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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Union Network International

World Journalists Condemn Court Decision as Judges Tighten Mugabe's Grip on
Free Press

The International Federation of Journalists today declared that Zimbabwe had
put itself "outside the orbit of democratic accountability" after the
Supreme Court in Zimbabwe decided to outlaw journalism unless reporters and
media have a license.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld the government's right to stop
journalists working without official accreditation from a media commission.
The decision confirms the impact of tough media regulations introduced by
President Robert Mugabe after his election two years ago that have "created
a twilight zone for press freedom and journalism" says the IFJ. "The judges
have now helped Mugabe to tighten his grip on the free press."

The decision blocks the independent newspaper the Daily News, which had only
started publishing again two weeks ago after a suspension of publication
since last September. It restarted publishing after winning its legal battle
against the government's decision to close the paper last year. But the new
Supreme Court decision means that if the paper continues to publish without
a valid licence in force, the journalists may be arrested.

"This decision is another blow to free speech that puts Zimbabwe firmly
outside the orbit of democratic accountability," said Aidan White, IFJ
General Secretary.

Further information: + 32 2 235 22 00
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries

Back to the Top
Back to Index




Herewith the Veritas Parliamentary Updated relating to the Land Acquisition
Amendment Bill, as promised.
Parliament opened on Tuesday 20th January 2004 and adjourned again on
Thursday 29th January 2004.  Two important pieces of legislation were
The Land Acquisition Amendment Bill [H.B. 15, 2003]
The Bank Use Promotion and Anti-Money Laundering Bill [H.B. 16, 2003]
These have not yet been signed and gazetted.
In response to numerous enquiries about the controversial debate on the
Land Acquisition Amendment Bill and what amendments were made to it - below
is a summary of it's passage through Parliament and attached is the Bill
with all the amendments inserted.  [Please note that it is not the official
version of the new Act - this will be distributed as soon as it has been
signed by the President and gazetted.]
On Wednesday 21st January the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] acting
Chairman tabled an adverse report on the Bill.  He reported that in the
opinion of the PLC there were clauses in the Bill which contravene sections
of the Constitution.  The PLC is a committee appointed by Parliament and
has to examine each piece of proposed legislation and report whether or not
it is in line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and, in the case of an
amendment, the Act it is amending.
The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs proposed that
Parliament reject the adverse report of the PLC and proceed with the second
reading and debate on the Bill.
An opposition MP [past chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs] raised a point of order - that MP's that
stood to benefit from provisions of the proposed legislation on land should
recuse themselves from any vote or debate in terms of Section 17 Subsection
(1) of the Parliamentary Privileges and Powers Act.
Whether this was the case was hotly contested.  A list of MP's who stood to
benefit from the land acquisition exercise was tabled.  There was a query
whether all the information on this list was accurate.  If it was not
accurate, it was claimed that it could be a breach of Parliamentary
The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House ruled to proceed with the
vote on the adverse report of the PLC.  The House overwhelmingly voted to
accept it which would mean that the Bill could not proceed, but would have
to be returned to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement
for redrafting.  MP's from the ruling party realised they had made an error
and had voted to accept the adverse report when they wanted to reject it.
The Chairman decided to discount the vote that had been taken and allow a
The House re-voted, ZANU PF 58 to MDC 32, to reject the adverse report.
This meant that the Bill could proceed with the second reading and be
debated.  A rejection of an adverse report of the PLC, however, means that
there is bound to be a challenge in the Supreme Court to the provisions
which the PLC rules unconstitutional.
On Thursday 24th, the Speaker made a ruling on the request that MP's who
had benefited or stood to benefit from the land acquisition legislation
should recuse themselves.  The Speaker summed up his ruling with the
statement that the "Claim that they [the MP's] have a direct, pecuniary
interest as beneficiaries of the Land Reform Programme is mischievous,
frivolous and devoid of legal logic and validity".  Therefore they were
entitled to debate and vote on the Bill.
The Speaker also ruled on the matter raised of whether the list of
beneficiaries that had been tabled was a breach of Parliamentary privilege
"by attempting to mislead, misinform and deceive the House".  He ruled the
matter was to be referred to a Committee on Privileges to be appointed by
the Parliamentary Standing Rules and Order Committee.
Debate was then resumed on the second reading of the Bill. But when the
leader of House referred to those MP's who had spoken against the Land
Acquisition Bill as 'enemies', a point of order was raised in objection to
this by the Leader of the Opposition. The Speaker ruled against this
objection.  The opposition MP's then walked out of the chamber en masse in
protest against what they considered the partisan manner in which
parliamentary business is being conducted.
The debate on the Bill was continued on Tuesday 27th January.  The Minister
of Justice put several amendments to the House and these were agreed to.
The Bill with amendments was then referred back to the PLC.  On Wednesday
28th January, the acting Chairman of the PLC presented an adverse report on
the Bill as amended.  The Chairperson of the Committee of the Whole House
put the adverse report to the vote of the House which voted not to accept
the adverse report.  This meant the Bill proceeded to its third [final]
The Bill was read for the third time and passed.  It still has to be signed
by the President and gazetted before it comes into force as an Act. As
already pointed out it, as the PLC consisting of prominent Parliamentary
lawyers consider the provisions of the Act unconstitutional, it is bound to
be challenged in the Supreme Court on the grounds of contravening the
Constitution of Zimbabwe.  It remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court
will make the same ruling on constitutionality.
H.B. 15A , 2003 - showing Committee Stage amendments to H.B. 15.
To amend the Land Acquisition Act [Chapter 20:10]; to repeal Hippo Valley
Agreement Act [Chapter 20:08]; to make certain declaratory provisions
respecting the Land Reform Programme; and to provide for matters incidental

ENACTED by the President and the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

1 Short title
This Act may be cited as the Land Acquisition Amendment Act, 2004.
2 Amendment of section 5 of Cap. 20:10
(1) Section 5 ("Preliminary notice of compulsory acquisition") of the Land
Acquisition Act [Chapter 20:10] (hereinafter called "the principal Act")
is amended¾
 (a) in subsection (1) by the insertion of the following proviso to
paragraph (b)¾
"Provided that in respect of agricultural land required for resettlement
purposes the publication of a preliminary notice in the Gazette and once a
week for two consecutive weeks (commencing on the day on which the notice
in the Gazette is published) in a newspaper circulating in the area in
which the land to be acquired is situated, shall be deemed to constitute
service of notice in writing on the owner of the land to be acquired and
the holder of any other registered real right in that land.";
 (b) the repeal of paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (8) and the
substitution of ¾
 "(a) a fine^×
 (i) equivalent to so much of the amount of the prejudice caused to the
land in relation to the purpose for which it is to be acquired as is
ascertainable in monetary terms; or
 (ii) not exceeding level ten;
  whichever is the greater amount; or
 (b) imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years;
or to both such fine and such imprisonment.".
(2) Section 5 of the principal Act, as amended by paragraph (a) of
subsection (1), shall be deemed to have come into operation on the 23rd
May, 2000.
3 Repeal of sections 6A and 6B of Cap. 20:10
(1) Sections 6A ("Circumstances under which owner may offer land in
substitution for, or in lieu of the acquisition of, land to be acquired for
resettlement purposes") and 6B ("Circumstances under which owner may
subdivide land to be acquired for resettlement purposes") of the principal
Act are repealed.
(2) The repeal of sections 6A and 6B of the principal Act by subsection
(1) shall have the effect of cancelling the acceptance of every offer of
the whole or any portion of agricultural land required for resettlement
purposes as defined in the principal Act.
(3) The fact that -
 (a) any land was offered in substitution for agricultural land required
for resettlement purposes, whether in terms of section 6A or 6B of the
principal Act or otherwise ; or
 (b) any portion of agricultural land required for resettlement purposes
was offered in substitution for the whole of such land, whether in terms of
section 6A or 6B of the prinicpal Act or otherwise ;
 (c) the offer of any land or portion of agricultural land was accepted in
terms of sectioin 6A or 6B of the principal Act and, before the
commencement of this Act, was confirmed by the Administrative Court after
the owner had initially objected to the proposed acquisition in terms of
section 5 of the prinicpal Act
shall not constitute valid grounds for an objection to the compulsory
acquisition of the whole or part (as the case may be) of the agricultural
land required for resettlement purposes, nor shall it form the basis of any
claim or right in law

4 Amendment of section 7 of Cap. 20:10
Section 7 ("Application for authorising or confirming order where
acquisition contested") of the principal Act is amended¾
 (a) in subsection (3) by the insertion of the following proviso¾
"Provided that in respect of agricultural land required for resettlement
 (a) the publication in the Gazette of a notice of the application and
particulars of where and the time within which any related documentation
may be collected by the owner of the land to be acquired and the holder of
any other registered real right in that land shall be deemed to constitute
sufficient service of the notice of the application upon the owner and any
other party concerned in the application;
 (b) it shall not be necessary for the purposes of proviso (a) to identify
by name the holder of any registered real right in the land who is not the
owner of the land.";
 (b) by the insertion after subsection (3) of the following subsection¾
"(3a) The Administrative Court shall have jurisdiction in the first
instance to hear and determine any application (whether or not made at the
same time as the application for an order referred to in subsection (1)) to
review the proceedings and decisions of the acquiring authority on any of
the grounds specified in section 27 of the High Court Act [Chapter 7:06],
and may exercise in relation to such application the same powers that the
High Court has on review of civil proceedings or decisions.".
5 Amendment of section 8 of Cap. 20:10
Section 8 ("Vesting of land, taking of materials and exercise of rights
over land") of the principal Act is amended in subsection (1) by the repeal
of proviso (iii) and the substitution of^×
 "(iii) in the case of agricultural land required for resettlement
purposes, the acquiring authority shall acquire the land concerned by
notice in the Gazette specifying^×
 (a) the land that is being acquired; and
 (b) the name of the registered owner of such land.".
6 Amendments of penalties in and minor amendments to Cap. 20:10
The provisions of the principal Act specified in the first column of the
Schedule are amended to the extent specified opposite thereto in the second
column of the Schedule.
7 Repeal of S.I. 346 of 2001
The Land Acquisition (Offers of Land in Substitution for Land to be
Acquired for Resettlement Purposes and Related Matters) Regulations, 2001,
published in Statutory Instrument 346 of 2001, are repealed.
8 Repeal of Cap. 20:08
(1) The Hippo Valley Agreement Act [Cap. 20:08] (hereafter in this section
referred to as "the repealed Act") is repealed.
(2) Nothwithstanding any condition contained in any agreement of lease, or
sale or other disposition between the Hippo Valley Estates Limited or its
successors in title and any person in respect of land transferred to it or
under its control in terms of the agreement set out in the Schedule to the
repealed Act, or contained in any title deed in respect of such land, the
State may, in terms of the principal Act, compulsorily acquire as
agricultural land required for resettlement purposes any such land.
 (3) Any word or expression to which a meaning has been assigned in any
provision of the principal Act shall have the same meaning when used in
subsection (2).

9 Declaratory provisions respecting application of the Land Reform
(1) In this section^×
 (a) the term "Land Reform Programme" means the Land Reform and
Resettlement Programme and Implementation Plan (Phase 2), published in
April, 2001 (as re-issued and amended from time to time), in connection
with the programme of acquiring agricultural land for resettlement purposes
which commenced under the terms of the principal Act on the 23rd May, 2000;
 (b) any word or expression to which a meaning has been assigned in any
provision of the principal Act shall have the same meaning when used in
this section.
(2) For the avoidance of doubt it is declared that^×
 (a) the criteria listed in the Land Reform Programme for the acquisition
of agricultural land required for resettlement purposes are not binding on
the acquiring authority; accordingly the fact that the land to be acquired^×
 (i) is a plantation farm engaged in large-scale production of tea, coffee,
timber, citrus fruit, sugar cane or other plantation crops;
 (ii) is an agro-industrial property involved in the integrated production,
processing or marketing of poultry, beef and dairy products and
 (iii) is within an export processing zone or operates under a permit
issued by the Zimbabwe Investment Centre;
 (iv) is an approved conservancy;
 (iii) is the only piece of land belonging to the owner;
  shall not constitute valid grounds for any objection to the compulsory
acquisition of the land nor shall such criteria form the basis of any claim
or right in law;
 (b) the total hectarage of land required for resettlement purposes
specified in the Land Reform Programme is indicative only of the minimum
hectarage of such land; accordingly, the acquiring authority is not
prevented by that Programme from acquiring land in excess of the hectarage
so specified.
(3) For public information it is declared that the State intends to
acquire not less than eleven million hectares of agricultural land for
resettlement purposes in terms of the Land Reform Programme.

SCHEDULE (Section 6)
Provision Extent of amendment
Section 8 (7) By the deletion of "twenty thousand dollars" and the
substitution of "level eight".
Section 9 (1) (b) and proviso (ii) thereto and (2) By the deletion of "one
hundred thousand dollars" and the substitution of "level eight".
Section 10 (1) (a) By the deletion of "or, where no such order was required
in terms of proviso (iii) to that subsection, written confirmation to that
Paragraph 9 of Part I of the Schedule By the deletion of "tailers" and the
substitution of "trailers".

Back to the Top
Back to Index



Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Prelude text JAG OLF NO. 231 - 10-02-2004


Letter 1:

When you walk into the Jag office there is a notice stating:
"Peace is not the absence of war but the absence of fear which is the
presence of JUSTICE."

It would appear that FEAR and JUSTICE cannot share the same bed. Just as
Jag and CFU cannot share the same bed, so Zanu(PF) and CFU have shared a
bed based on tyranny and fear - the CFU prostitution based seemingly on
fear, maybe greed but hopefully not lust.

What the Trustees of CFU need to give some careful thought about is why
Colin Cloete and David Hasluck fired Benjamin Freeth - did Mr. Msika
instruct the CFU? Funnily enough the "Freeth Affair" requires some deep and
meaningful debate - including Colin Cloete, David Hasluck, Doug Taylor
Freeme, Stoff Hawgood and any other members of Council who felt that
Benjamin was not "faithfully enuciating CFU Council Policy." Naturally, Mr.
Meikle and Mr. Wingfield would add a welcome touch of style to the whole
debate. The cherry on the cake will be for Mr. Stan Parsons to chair the
proceedings, like the Bulawayo meeting.

The meeting could be a personal growth experience for all those concerned.
I am not sure, but it is possible that Freeth really wanted to be a cowboy
and did get a job with the CFU - for about six years. But then he found
that he really wanted to serve his farmers and had immense faith and
courage to stand up for Justice.

Now he found that he no longer qualified to be a CFU cowboy, perhaps. Maybe
the Chairman can qualify the definition of a cowboy, and meeting decide if
Justice is the absence of fear, and this could signal a genuine committment
to the Fourth Chimurenga - JUSTICE. The likes of Elsworth, Olds and Stevens
have paid the ultimate price for Justice - can anybody actually consider
sweeping it under the carpet, and still sleep at night?

Fourth Chimurenga.
Letter 2

Just a little note to let people who think that education is free in 1st
world countries.  Not so!  We now live in Plano, Texas part of the Dallas
Metroplex and we pay a little over US$2,500 per year in school fees.
School fees are paid by the home owners!  A morgage is made up like this:
Capitol and Interest $800 per month
Property Taxes 352 per month
School Fees 208 per month.
If your house is not morgaged, ie paid in full, then you would have to pay
the $4,224 in property taxes and $2,500 in school fees yearly!
Nothing is free!!
Grace Bates
ex Mvurwi

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zimbabwe: Demonstrators freed after paying fine
Staff Reporter
HARARE, 11 February 2004
More than 100 pro-democracy demonstrators in Zimbabwe have been released, a
day after being detained and allegedly beaten up by police who broke up a
protest outside parliament in Harare.

HARARE: Their lawyer says the demonstrators were freed after each paying a
fine of the equivalent of less than half an American dollar.

The demonstrators belong to the National Constitutional Assembly, a civic
group seeking constitutional reforms in Zimbabwe. The group says the protest
was organised to put pressure on the government to accept a proposed new
constitution drafted by the group.

Meanwhile, Godfrey Chidyausiku, Zimbabwean Chief Justice has postponed a
ruling on an urgent government application to ban the popular
anti-government Daily News. However, he did not announce a new date for a
hearing. The government-appointed Media and Information Commission made an
application two weeks ago to again halt the Daily News from publishing after
it resumed operations on the 22nd of last month.

The paper, had been shut down last September for failing to register with a
state-appointed media commission, but resumed operations last month after a
high court ruling ordered police to end their occupation of its printing
works. -SAPA-AFP

Nigeria supports sacked Zimbabwean union leader

LAGOS: Meanwhile, Nigerian labour federation, the Nigeria Labour Congress,
has written to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in support of a leading
Zimbabwean trade unionist dismissed from his government job amid protests
against the Harare government.

Lovemore Matombo, President of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions was
discharged from his postal job while he attended the Congress of the
Organisation of African Trade Union Unity in Khartoum last month. The
Nigeria Labour Congress said in its letter that international labour law
obliged the Zimbabwean government to engage the trade union movement in a
more liberal way. -SAPA-AFP

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Still 'war cabinet' for Zim
10/02/2004 22:07  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday said his newly
appointed cabinet remained "a war cabinet", but this time to fight an
internal war against corruption.

"It's still a war cabinet," Mugabe told reporters shortly after a ceremony
to swear in the newcomers to the cabinet at State House, his official

"The war is getting less and less political, that is vis-a-vis the British
and vis-a-vis the Americans, those I think we have defeated now," he said
referring to the political differences his government has with the West,
particularly over Harare's controversial land reform programme.

"It is now the internal war to fight the evils within our system, to fight
corruption, to fight tendencies to amass wealth at the expense of the
nation, to fight indiscipline, to fight crime," he said.


Mugabe created a new ministry of anti-corruption and anti-monopolies
programmes to be headed by a veteran politician and ruling party stalwart,
Didymus Mutasa.

The president on Monday night conducted his first reshuffle of a "war
cabinet" he appointed in August 2002, following his re-election in
controversial polls in March that year.

He dropped Mines Minister Edward Chindori-Chininga but kept most of the
other ministers from the old cabinet.

Mugabe elevated deputy finance minister Chris Kuruneri to head that
ministry - seen as key in attempts to turn around the economy which has been
recession in recent years.

Outgoing Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa has been re-assigned to the
ministry of higher and tertiary education, a portfolio he has held once


Mugabe said he also shuffled his cabinet with the aim of correcting the
damage resulting from a famine that has hit the country over three
successive years, and sanctions imposed by the European Union, Australia,
New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States.

"We want to enhance the capacities of our own people to build their own
country, to reverse the damage that has been done by a combination of
drought and sanctions.

"This means of course that our agriculture has got to be propelled, it has
got to be supported effectively," he said.

Mugabe also split the former ministry of land, agriculture and rural
resettlement into two.

Edited by Elmarie Jack

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Tsvangirai treason trial resumes
From correspondents in Harare, Zimbabwe
February 12, 2004

THE treason trial of Zimbabwe's Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai, accused
of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe, reopened today with an
aide to Tsvangirai saying they had been taken for a ride by a Canadian
political consultancy firm.

Welshman Ncube, secretary-general of the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party, gave an account of how he got to know about
Dickens and Madison, a Canadian firm which accused Tsvangirai of trying to
hire it to murder Mugabe.

The firm is owned by Ari Ben Menashe, the key state witness in the case.

Ncube said Ben Menashe had introduced himself as a former Israeli spy who
was on first name terms with several world leaders including the Iranian
president Mohammad Khatami and former US head of state Bill Clinton.

He said he was later surprised to learn that the firm had been recently
formed with only a handful of employees and no clients.

"It was in complete variance with what Ben Menashe had presented to us that
his company was successful, had worldwide connections and so much
influence," he told the Harare High Court.

He said Menashe had claimed that he had negotiated an exit package for
Mugabe with the help of Clinton but Mugabe had supposedly reneged on a
promise to take up the offer.

"Ben Menashe told us that after the agreement had been sealed, President
Mugabe had reneged on it and this had angered ... the United States
government and in particular Bill Clinton and the financial backers of the
deal whom he presented as the Jewish community in the US," said Ncube.

Menashe had said that in the light of Mugabe's reneging on his alleged
promise, his company had moved to support the MDC and had collected two
million dollars ($2.57 million) from the Jewish community which would be
released once the MDC engaged Dickens and Madison as its political
consultants in the United States and Canada.

Mugabe returned to power after elections in March 2002 which international
observers and Tsvangirai said had been rigged. It has been beset by
political, social and economic crises since then.

Tsvangirai has denied the conspiracy charges, for which he could face the
death sentence if convicted, alleging he was framed by the government in a
bid to discredit him ahead of the 2002 presidential polls.

Asked to comment on Menashe's evidence that the MDC had sought his
assistance to assassinate Mugabe and stage a military coup, Ncube said:
"That evidence is utterly false, completely and utterly false; no such
request was made".

He said violence was against the party's principles.

"It's completely repugnant in every sense. We (the MDC) have always been
committed to legality, democracy and constitutional and non-violent means of
succeeding to power," he said.

Because of the volatile situation in the country in the run-up to the 2002
elections, Ncube said "arranging a coup would have been extremely dangerous
... with violent and often armed war veterans very closely aligned to
(ruling party) ZANU-PF".

"(A coup is) the sort of dangerous adventure which would not have been
contemplated by any person. It simply would have led to chaos," he said.

The state's evidence is based on a secretly recorded black-and-white grainy
and partially audible video tape of a meeting Tsvangirai attended in
Montreal with Menashe.

Tsvangirai said his party had engaged Menashe to help promote its image and
lobby the international community for funding, but realised later that it
had also been hired by the Zimbabwe government to conduct its public

Ncube is a University of Zimbabwe Law lecturer who joined the MDC in
February 2000 after its inauguration in September 1999.

Ncube was initially also charged with treason, but the charges against him
were dropped.

Agence France-Presse

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zimbabwe: MDC Secretary General Testifies at Tsvangirai Treason Trial
Peta Thornycroft
11 Feb 2004, 16:48 UTC

The secretary-general of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic
Change has testified at the High Court on behalf of his political leader,
Morgan Tsvangirai, who is on trial for treason. The defense got a boost when
the court admitted into evidence documents that Mr. Tsvangirai's lawyers say
contradict the prosecution's case.
A professor of law on leave from the University of Zimbabwe, Welshman Ncube
told the court he drew up the first contract between a Canadian firm and the
Movement for Democratic Change for lobbying in the United States and Canada
ahead of Zimbabwe's presidential elections in March 2002.

The firm is owned by Ari Ben Menashe, a key prosecution witness in the trial
against MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is accused of plotting to kill
President Robert Mugabe. The state's case rests on evidence that Mr.
Tsvangirai had three meetings with Mr. Ben Menashe, in which an
assassination plot was allegedly discussed. The final meeting was
videotaped, and is a key part of the state's case.

Mr. Tsvangirai has denied the allegations and said he was framed by the
Canadian company.

Mr. Ncube testified he was duped into believing that the Canadian company
was well connected with world leaders and wielded much influence, when in
fact, it had no influence and no clients.

The high court, in a decision seen as boosting the defendant's case,
admitted into evidence MDC's demand for the return of $100,000 paid to Mr.
Menashe and his reply. These documents, defense lawyer George Bizos told the
court, contradict the prosecution witness' testimony.

The opposition leader faces the death penalty, if convicted.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sunday Times (SA)

EU blasts clampdown on Zimbabwe demo

Wednesday February 11, 2004 11:55 - (SA)

The European Union condemned a clampdown on a pro-democracy demonstration in
Zimbabwe and the arrest and mistreatment of a key leader, urging Harare to
act to avoid any future incidents.

The chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), Lovemore Madhuku
was allegedly assaulted and dumped in a suburb on the outskirts of Harare,
after the demo last Wednesday in which organisers said 34 activists were

"The European Union strongly deplores the arrest and assault of a large
number of participants in the demonstration," said a spokesman for the Irish
EU presidency, citing an EU statement.

"The EU, in particular, condemns the apprehension and ill-treatment of Mr.
Lovemore Madhuku," and "calls on the government of Zimbabwe to take all
necessary measures to guarantee the rights of its citizens to freedom of
expression, association and peaceful assembly," the statement said.

Organisers of the demo, held outside parliament in Harare, claimed that
Madhuku was beaten up by police. Police denied making any arrests, but
acknowledged breaking up the march.

The EU condemnation comes a before an expected decision next week to renew
EU sanctions against the regime of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe for
the third year.


Back to the Top
Back to Index

From Business Day (SA), 11 February

Mbeki stance puzzles UK MP

International Affairs Editor

A senior British MP who was an active supporter of the anti-apartheid
movement in the UK says he is "puzzled" by President Thabo Mbeki's policy of
quiet diplomacy towards Zimbabwe and is seeking to learn from the South
African government why respect for human rights stops at the Limpopo. UK MP
Donald Anderson, a member of Tony Blair's Labour Party, who chairs the
influential house of commons foreign affairs committee, said yesterday in
Johannesburg that he had expected SA to play a leading role in promoting
human rights. Anderson is in SA this week leading 10 MPs from the committee
as part of a wide-ranging investigation into UK relations with SA. A report
on their findings is due out as early as May. Anderson said quiet diplomacy
had hurt investor sentiment in the entire region. He did not discount the
possibility that quiet diplomacy could work, but said he still expected that
human rights would be a priority for SA. If Britain were to take a leading
role in trying to mediate in Zimbabwe, it would play into Mugabe's hands,
Anderson said. The UK committee's investigation will include parts of SA's
regional role and its relations with Zimbabwe, the New Partnership for
Africa's Development, World Trade Organisation negotiations and SA's role in
the war against terrorism. Anderson said the inclusion of SA in the "war
against terrorism" was in response to concern in the US that Africa
represented the "soft underbelly" in the war. The UK committee's reports
have considerable influence on the government and often lead to public
debate. Anderson said the motivation for the report was to review UK/SA
relations 10 years after liberation and it was not in response to any one
development in particular. After coming to office in 1997, Blair established
close ties with Mbeki but relations have become increasingly strained in
recent months over SA's stance on Zimbabwe, and the war in Iraq.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Star (SA), 10 February

SA minister attacks UK on Zimbabwe stance

By Jeremy Michaels and Peter Fabricius

Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says a British "kith and kin" factor
is frustrating the political crisis in Zimbabwe. She says the Zanu PF
government does not want to be seen to being told what to do by former
colonisers. In an interview with Independent Newspapers yesterday,
Dlamini-Zuma said the "kith and kin" issue - recently raised by President
Thabo Mbeki - was first brought up by the ANC when Ian Smith seized control
of Zimbabwe from Britain. It was "still part of the problem" today. "The ANC
in the 1960s was also talking about how the Labour government at the time
had not responded appropriately, in their view, to the situation in
Zimbabwe, where Ian Smith had declared independence. "The British had
responded in all other instances like that, but when it came to Zimbabwe
they openly said that 'because of kith and kin' they can't respond,"
Dlamini-Zuma said. "But of course we also know that today land is taken away
from 'kith and kin' as well, so that is still part of the problem, in my
view." Asked whether the 'kith and kin' issue was complicating efforts to
find a political solution in Zimbabwe, Dlamini-Zuma said: "It does, because
the Zimbabweans do not want to be seen to be told what to do by their former

At a media briefing earlier, Dlamini-Zuma said she saw nothing wrong with
the Zimbabwean Supreme Court's controversial decision last week that the
country's harsh media law is constitutional. The Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) requires Zimbabwean media to register with
the government or face closure. It has been widely criticised as giving the
Zimbabwean government the power to close down media critical of itself.
After repeated closures, the country's only independent newspaper, the Daily
News appealed to the Zimbabwean Supreme Court to declare the Aippa
unconstitutional because it clashed with the free-speech provisions of the
constitution. But last week the Supreme Court dismissed the application by
the Daily News. At a parliamentary briefing, Dlamini-Zuma was asked whether
it was possible for the country to hold free-and-fair elections - due next
year - if the media was controlled by the government through the Aippa.
Dlamini-Zuma said the government always accepted the decision of its courts.
"I don't know whether you are implying that we should not accept a
constitutional court ruling in another country," she inquired."This was not
a government ruling, but a court ruling," she added.

Dlamini-Zuma then questioned how the requirement for media houses to
register under the Aippa would constitute control of the media by the
government. "How does that translate to government control of the media? If
the government just wants to register the media? If you are expected to
register, you register. That's the law of the land." It was pointed out to
her that the law allowed the government to control the media because it
could refuse to register media houses it did not like. She insisted she did
not see how this constituted an attempt by the government to control the
media unless the government was refusing to apply the law. "Unless we can
say that here and here and here the government has refused a legal
application, and the court has said the government should register that
media, and the government is refusing to apply what the court has said (it
should do), then we can talk about it." She added that if the constitutional
court in, say Britain, had made such a ruling, "you would accept that
without question, as you accept many things from that part of the world".

After stressing that she was "not quite the foreign minister of Zimbabwe",
Dlamini-Zuma gave an update on the state of negotiations between the ruling
Zanu PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. She said that
after President Mbeki visited Zimbabwe in December to meet President Robert
Mugabe, Mugabe had briefed the Zimbabwean media that Zanu PF was having
informal talks with the MDC, looking at various issues. "He said that as
soon as they had finished those informal talks, they would go to formal
talks and the media would be informed when that happened." Dlamini-Zuma said
Mbeki and his delegation had also met with the Zimbabwean opposition "to get
their impressions". She said the MDC had told Mbeki that, as a result of the
government's near-readiness, they would tell their team to speed up the
informal talks. "I think after that, Zanu PF announced they were forming a
negotiating commission, which means they are probably preparing for the next
phase (of negotiations)". Mbeki said on Sunday that Zanu-PF and the MDC had
agreed to hold the parliamentary election in March 2005 - three months ahead
of the scheduled June date that would have made the poll five years later
than the previous election. But the MDC said in Harare that the election
date was not the outcome of negotiations but a requirement of law. The
Sunday Times reported that Mugabe would announce a date when he returned
from leave later this month.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Comment from ZWNEWS, 11 February

Her Master's Voice

Those who have seen and heard the South African Foreign Minister's outbursts
this past week can be forgiven for speculating as to what exactly Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma is for. She is not the architect of South Africa's foreign
policy: that is decided for her by people above her pay-grade. She is
certainly no diplomat. What is the point of Mrs Dlamini-Zuma?

Whatever her value to the South African administration, for
Zimbabwe-watchers Mrs Dlamini-Zuma serves two useful purposes. First, when
speaking of South Africa's policy towards Zimbabwe, she speaks the plain
unvarnished truth about its true nature. Where President Mbeki and his
spokesmen obfuscate and prevaricate, Mrs Dlamini-Zuma gets straight to the
heart of the matter. As long ago as 2001, she said: "We won't condemn
Zimbabwe." A year ago she said it would be "unrevolutionary" to criticise
Zimbabwe. Those two statements alone, amongst all the others she has made,
have proved a better guide to South Africa's Zimbabwe policy than anything
that has emanated from Mbeki's office.

Secondly, when speaking of conditions inside Zimbabwe, Mrs Dlamini-Zuma
undergoes a pole reversal: almost everything she says is the opposite of the
truth. Referring to the decidedly unfree parliamentary elections in 2000,
she said: "We will not treat the Zimbabwe government as if it was an
illegitimate government. It was elected in democratic elections that were
free and fair." A year ago, her view of the 'fast-track' land reform policy,
that has resulted in nearly three-quarters of the population being fed by
international donors, was that it had been marred by "a few administration
errors". Most recently, she asked, rhetorically: "Has any journalist been
denied accreditation?" Within hours, the head of Zimbabwe's Media Commission
had disobliged her, by stating that no Daily News journalists would be
registered unless they found a new employer.

So there we have two simple rules of interpretation. What Mrs Dlamini-Zuma
says regarding South Africa's policy towards its northern neighbour can be
taken at face value. When she speaks on other matters Zimbabwean - about
face. Her statement that a solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe is being
frustrated by a British policy of supporting its "kith and kin", therefore
means that the problem lies not in London, but somewhere closer to home -
first Harare, and second Pretoria. Her statement that the Zimbabwe Supreme
Court's ruling that the AIPPA media act is constitutional was a court
decision, and not that of the government, therefore means the opposite. And
then she exploded on Monday at a press briefing, saying: "I am not the
Zimbabwe foreign minister." She might as well be. The government in Harare
should be decent enough to fund part of her salary.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Washington Times

South Africa's zinger from Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe's recent attack on press freedoms and ongoing sham trial of an
opposition leader are not only a reaffirmation of the government's
bare-knuckled tendencies, but also a reflection of South Africa's leadership
    South African President Thabo Mbeki, the undisputed power broker of
southern Africa, said Sunday that the government of Zimbabwe and its
opposition have agreed on an agenda for negotiations geared toward holding
parliamentary elections. But Zimbabwe's justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa,
said Monday that he didn't know of any developments regarding talks with the
opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
    Surely, Mr. Chinamasa's public disavowal of Mr. Mbeki's statement was
embarrassing for South Africa. Mr. Mbeki's reticence to push Zimbabwe even
moderately toward law, order and democracy already undermines his
government's clout. It now appears that the Zimbabwean government gave Mr.
Mbeki false informationregardingdemocratic developments. Mr. Mbeki's failure
to react to this apparent deception further undermines his credibility.
    Organizations in South Africa haven't been so quiet regarding the
transgressions of Zimbabwe's leader, Robert Mugabe. The General Council of
the Bar of South Africa was quick to react to Zimbabwe's latest attack on
press freedoms. The Zimbabwean Supreme Court ruled Thursday that all
journalists working without a government-issued license face a mandatory
penalty of two years in jail, without review. The South African
organizations said the ruling "is not only a blow to freedom of expression,
but also to the independence of the judiciary, and is to be doubly
deprecated." The ruling has shut down Zimbabwe's only independent daily
newspaper, the Daily News.
    The South African National Editors' Forum on Sunday echoed those
concerns and requested a meeting with the Department of Foreign Affairs to
discuss them. But South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was
embarrassingly supportive of the court's ruling.
    Meanwhile, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC opposition party, is
facing trial (and therefore a death penalty) on treason charges that are,
according to serious observers, obviously trumped up. After South Africa's
own struggles with repression and brutality, it seems inconceivable that Mr.
Mbeki would stand idly by.
    South Africa has maintained strong press freedoms and a vibrant, open
debate itself. Its media is a reliable watchdog of the Mbeki and other
governments, and it has bolstered accountability in the region. But its
routine apologies for Zimbabwe's wrongs are severely damaging its
credibility. Despite all of South Africa's misplaced support, the government
of Zimbabwe has no qualms about publicly embarrassing Mr. Mbeki. What will
it take for South Africa to finally change its approach?

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Needs Us$9 Million to Buy Foot-And-Mouth Vaccines

The Herald (Harare)

February 11, 2004
Posted to the web February 11, 2004


ZIMBABWE needs at least US$9 million (close to $34 billion) to buy
foot-and-mouth disease vaccines from Botswana this year and effectively
contain the outbreaks of the highly contagious disease, Director of
Veterinary Services, Dr Welbourne Madzima, said yesterday.

Dr Madzima said a request for funding has been forwarded to the Government
for the purchase of the vaccine to be used mainly in Matabeleland South,
Matabeleland North, Midlands and Masvingo, which have in the past recorded
frequent outbreaks of foot and mouth.

He said the vaccines would also be used in other provinces when the need

Dr Madzima said his department gets foreign currency from the Government as
an ongoing exercise.

"We have been getting foreign currency from the Government as an ongoing
exercise. We make applications for allocations when the need arises. Right
now we have made an application because the last time we were given was 24
September, an allocation that we have exhausted," said Dr Madzima.

"We need at least US$9 million this year to purchase the vaccines for the
areas that are prone to outbreaks to maintain a high level of immunity in
our cattle. The vaccines will be administered to cattle that we last
vaccinated last year or the year before."

He said the Veterinary Services Department has to spend at least US$1
million importing vaccines from the Botswana Vaccine Institute every month.

"The Government undertook to give us US$1 million a month. We are aware that
there are many sectors of the economy competing for the same foreign
currency from the Government and we are aware that the country is not
generating much foreign currency. But we also believe that we put up a
convincing proposal that will get a good response from the Government," Dr
Madzima said.

He said the country had managed to contain the major outbreaks of foot and
mouth that occurred in Matabeleland North and the Midlands last year.

"We only reported isolated cases in Chiredzi and Mwenezi areas at the
beginning of the year. We have adequate vaccines for the cases and the
situation seems to be getting back to normal," he said.

The frequent foot and mouth outbreaks have in the past negatively affected
the country's beef exports to the niche market in the European Union.

The country banned the export of meat products last year following outbreaks
of the disease.

Dr Madzima said at least three million cattle have to be vaccinated against
foot and mouth this year if the funds were made available.

At the beginning of the year the Minister of Agriculture and Rural
Development Dr Joseph Made held talks with Iranian experts on possibilities
of setting up an institution to manufacture foot and mouth vaccines.

Dr Made said the major reason for setting up such a factory were to reduce
the amount of foreign currency spent on importing the vaccines from Botswana
and South Africa.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Legal Profession Loses Glitter

The Herald (Harare)

February 11, 2004
Posted to the web February 11, 2004

Ruth Butaumocho

ZIMBABWE has witnessed an increase in malpractice by law firms.

The cases ranged from practising without registration, failure to renew
registration and abuse of trust funds.

Some of the misconduct also included that of lawyers coming to court to
represent a client in a drunken state.

At least 40 law firms were barred from practicing following their failure to
renew licences, a requirement stipulated by their mother body, the Law
Society of Zimbabwe early this month.

All lawyers or law firms in private practice were expected to register and
provide an audit certificate on funds held in trust.

There are a good number of lawyers who have been caught on the wrong side of
the law but still continue to practice.

This has left many people wondering what could have gone wrong with the
learned professionals who had once been held in very high esteem.

Discontent has also been registered within the legal fraternity over these

Mr Justice Maphios Cheda said at the opening of the first term of Gweru High
Court circuit early this year that it was disheartening to note that some
lawyers struck off the professional register were illegally offering
services to members of the public.

"Of late, we have seen a number of self-actors filing professionally drafted
pleadings. However, when the self-actor appears in court, in most cases you
find out that he is completely semi-literate.

"Preliminary investigations have revealed that the authors of such pleadings
are blacklisted lawyers, former magistrates or those who had a stint in
legal firms.

"The profession cannot afford to have its image tarnished by such people,"
said the judge.

It was also now common for legal practitioners to act in cahoots with
criminal elements.

This has seen prominent lawyers being brought before the courts on
allegations of corruption and other acts of misconduct.

Last month, prominent Harare lawyer Wilson Manase, provincial magistrate
Caroline-Anne Chigumira and prosecutor Blessmore Gorejena were arraigned
before the courts to answer to charges of corruption.

Charges against the three rose after a key suspect in the Trust Bank fraud
involving $7,7 was granted bail in chambers despite the fact that the State
had not approved that he be granted bail.

The three are now awaiting courts ruling on the case.

Although the public is waiting for the outcome of the case, several opinions
have been expressed with members of the public saying such allegations raise
ire because lawyers were custodians of justice.

"For a lawyer to be dragged to the courts like a common criminal is not only
an embarrassment to the legal society, but brings out glaring loopholes
within the legal fraternity," said a prominent Harare lawyer.

He said the societys confidence in this noble profession had waned,
destroying the trust that society had in lawyers and the judiciary as a

"If lawyers can be subjected to the scrutiny of the public through the
courts and spending nights in cells, then the legal profession is threatened
and undermined as well," said Rudolf Mareya, an advocate officer with a
non-governmental organisation.

He added that while it was too early to comment on allegations that were
being leveled against Mr Manase, the law would be upheld.

Law Society of Zimbabwe president Mr Joseph James dismissed assertions that
the legal fraternity was no longer a noble profession, saying it was normal
for any profession to experience irregularities.

"The problem is everywhere. Go to South Africa, Zambia and even the
developed countries, you will always come across some lawyers, who misbehave
while in the line of duty," he said.

Mr James however said the society handled several complaints of misconduct
from the members of the public and these had since been dealt with.

"When we receive complaints from the public we normally ask the lawyer
concerned to comment. Failure to do so would be deemed as an act of

Commenting on the 40 firms that were struck off the register at the
beginning of this year, Mr Joseph said this was purely for administrative
reasons and had nothing to do with their professional conduct.

"Law firms are supposed to register the last day of December every year so
that they can continue to practice.

"When they register, they need to avail their books to the society. However
most of them failed to do that in time because of shortage of accountants,
hence the decision we took," he said.

However be it as it may some sections of society has accused the law society
of failing to monitor the operations of its members regularly, resulting in
these malpractices.

It has also been accused of being reactive rather than proactive.

"We continue to monitor the operations of our members and it is not fair for
people to start labelling us over one incident," said the law society

Mr Joseph added that despite negative media publicity on the legal
fraternity he was satisfied with the performance of his members who were
strewn around the country.

The Law Society of Zimbabwe has more than 800 lawyers under its membership,
600 of them were in the private sector.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

'Look East' Policy Bears Fruit

The Herald (Harare)

February 11, 2004
Posted to the web February 11, 2004

Donald Charumbira

Zimbabwe's "Look East" policy is beginning to bear fruit, as the nation
shifts its foreign policy towards deeper relations with genuine friends of
the East.

Recent contributions to the land reform programme by such countries as
China, Iran and Malaysia are evidence of the sincerity of these long-term,
all-weather friends.

This has mitigated challenges resulting from the harsh and unjustified
Western sanctions imposed against the country.

The double standards of the West had become increasingly cumbersome in the
last decade of the 20th Century, with regards in particular to the land
reform programme. The high expectations that we had for support and
co-operation with the West crashed when their true colours came to the fore.

It is no longer a secret that any relationship with some Western nations is
based solely on how a developing country can benefit the West, without as
much as consideration of the needs of the developing nation itself.

A journey back in history will show clearly that the genuine trade partners
who sought mutually beneficial partnerships were the nations of the East.
Traders from China, Iran, India, Malaya and other Asian nations had solid
trade links established with Africa, long before the arrival of the

When the Europeans came under the guise of friendship, they swiftly usurped
power and made themselves despots in our lands. They plundered our resources
and, through the British South Africa Company, made arrangements to legalise
their rule in Zimbabwe. They had no morals or ethics as evidenced by the
deceptive manner in which the Rudd Concession was obtained. They viewed
Africans as quasi-human entities that had no human rights.

Free trade had always been the chorus of the West. In the 19th Century, they
used threats and force of arms to open up the countries of Africa and Asia
for trade. They objected strongly when they were not allowed to use opium to
pay for the goods of Asian countries.

They set up fortified trading stations in many of the countries and used
superior arms to infiltrate the hinterlands to secure supplies of local

Stealthily they colonised and occupied many of the counties they were
purportedly trading with.

In our struggle for liberation, the West was, once again, double faced. They
proclaimed sympathy with the liberation forces, yet they clandestinely
supported Rhodesian rule in Zimbabwe. Evidence has pointed to weapons supply
from Western nations, to support the Rhodesian resistance.

It was the Eastern nations - China, North Korea and the Soviet Union - which
supplied the liberation forces with training and equipment for the armed

Without their assistance, Zimbabwe's struggle may have been further

Similarly, after we gained independence, the West flooded Zimbabwe with
promises and pledges, through its popular "carrot-and-stick" strategy.

They imposed their will on the country by demanding democracy, "free and
fair elections," open markets, free-floating currencies, privatization - all
facets that would give them unregulated control over Zimbabwe's economy and

However, when the nation decided to undertake the Land Reform Programme
meant to redress long-standing colonial imbalances, the fake friendships of
the West soon dissolved. Their true colours have since come through. They
have imposed sanctions on the country and supported puppet parties to split
the people of the country.

Once again, it is the Eastern nations of China, Iran, Malaysia and others
that are now rallying behind Zimbabwe's drive for economic and agricultural
development. The proverbial East also encompasses friendly countries that
are not literally in the East, but support the ideology of south-south
partnership, such as Cuba, Libya and others. Indeed it is in trying times
that one's true friends come to the fore.

The time is opportune therefore, for Zimbabwe to turn its eyes away from the
West and to actively adopt a Look-East policy. This is a policy that
involves getting to know the East, engaging it, and working with it towards
national development. This involves learning from the success stories of
Eastern nations, and developing national plans based on the best practices
of the East.

Learning from the East will not be easy. The Western nations have long
ensured that there is little communication and co-operation between Africa
and the East. As a result, the East holds great misconceptions about Africa.
Trade has often been focused with the West, such that a product from Africa
would first go to Europe before being exported to an Eastern nation, and
vice versa.

A preliminary imperative is therefore to initiate exchange programmes
amongst youth, businesspeople, women, parliamentarians, farmers and other
groups. The key to successful relations with the East lies in first
developing friendships before doing business. Unlike the West, many cultures
in Asia value long-term relationships in business which emanate from trust,
mutual understanding and friendship. We must develop friendships on many
levels with people of the East.

The second imperative is to launch solid avenues for long-term co-operation.
Such co-operation needs to be honest, committed and efficiently implemented.
We must never abuse the friendship and trust that we have with the East. We
need to be able to fulfil our end of the bargain.

A crosscutting imperative is the constant need for win-win partnerships in
all aspects of co-operation with the East. It is not sustainable to depend
on aid alone, for this will either dry up quickly, or be subject to
conditionalities that may damage terms of cooperation. All parties to a
co-operative programme need to benefit equally.

Looking East ultimately calls for us to discard the false friendships with
the West, and concentrating our efforts on enhancing relations with the more
genuine nations of the East, that are interested in transparent win-win

Let us realise that the West has never, and does not see Africans as equal
human beings and partners. They will continue to feel that their race is
superior and that they are entitled to own the best that the world has to
offer. They will continue to think that they can control and command all
other races.

They will always believe that the cities and fertile lands are theirs and
theirs alone, and that we should be grateful for the barren lands, forests
and jungles. They have proved over the years that they are devoid of any
moral and ethical standards.

Let us therefore affirm our sovereignty, integrity and dignity by
befriending those who will take us as fellow and equal human beings.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Dispatch - East London

Zimbabwe rights
THE Zimbabwe crisis has gathered like heavy cloud over southern Africa,
getting darker and more stifling, punctuated with ominous flashes, yet
neither erupting into storm nor opening to a rainbow of hope.

Outright critics of President Robert Mugabe and his gang of supporters are
convinced the storm must come. Others, like our President Thabo Mbeki and
Foreign Minister Nkosazana Zuma, are convinced that the cloud will roll
back - so convinced they have again been accused of dreaming.

In an interview broadcast on Sunday, Mbeki apparently said Zimbabwe's ruling
Zanu(PF) and opposition Movement for Democratic Change had agreed to bring
forward the next parliamentary election to March next year. Mbeki's claim
was immediately denied by MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube.

Ncube told Business Day that, while Mbeki's call for urgent talks was
commendable, the only contact between the parties was in talks about talks.
It could not possibly be true that they had agreed to bring forward the
parliamentary election. The timing of the parliamentary election was never
in dispute: "What has always been the issue in dispute is the stolen
presidential election of March 2002."

A few months ago Mbeki said substantive talks were under way between the
parties, only to be immediately contradicted by both of them. Earlier last
year he told the All-Africa Editors' Conference at Midrand that the MDC had
asked him to take no action until all the 2002 voting challenges had been
resolved by Zimbabwe's courts. Almost a year later the courts are still
dragging their robes.

On Monday Nkosazana Zuma berated a journalist for asking whether the South
African government was going to protest over a Zimbabwe Supreme Court
ruling. With one judge dissenting, the court found the constitution was not
infringed by a government ban on reporters working without official

Journalists working for the independent Daily News were refused
accreditation by the Zimbabwe media commission because the newspaper is not
licensed - the subject of yet another dispute before Zimbabwe's courts.

Zuma's attitude was that the reporter would never have questioned a decision
of a British court - although the British press has recently been highly
critical of the findings of Senior Judge James Hutton regarding its
government's use (or abuse) of intelligence reports.

The South African National Editors' Forum has condemned the Zimbabwean
Supreme Court for the Daily News ruling and is seeking an urgent meeting
with Foreign Affairs to say so.

Meanwhile the British parliament's foreign affairs committee, in South
Africa on a fact-finding tour, is "puzzled" by the government's attitude on
Zimbabwe "because South Africa is such a successful model of transition".

MP Donald Anderson said: "It would be better for foreign investors in South
Africa if the government had a clear stance on human rights. South Africa is
paying a high price for what is happening in Zimbabwe."

Our government can sneer at Britain's record in Zimbabwe - it depends who
you choose to believe on the recent history of land claims there. But we
cannot sneer at protests about human rights and expect diplomats and
visiting MPs to recommend investment here.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


137 Harare rapes in January
11/02/2004 17:36  - (SA)

Harare - At least 137 young girls were raped in Harare in January, according
to figures released by a rights activist on Wednesday.

She described the figure as "staggering" for a capital of 1.5 million

A separate study revealed that 18% of Zimbabwean women had been raped in
their lifetime, according to Janah Ncube, head of the Woman's Coalition of

Ncube told scores of protesters who took to the streets on Wednesday to
protest against rape that the figure for the number of children raped in
Harare in January came from a clinic where most cases like this were

More than 90% of reported rape victims were infected by HIV, according to
the coalition. Zimbabwe is one of the countries worst affected by the Aids
scourge, with at least 3 000 Aids-related deaths a week.

"We are really very angry, we are outraged, we want a law to protect us,"
said Ncube.

The protesters included women, men, parliamentarians and rights activists.

Has become an accepted phenomenon

Escorted by police, the group marched from the mayor's office to the city
centre park, Africa Unity Square, days after a woman was gang-raped by five
homeless people in the capital in the early evening.

The city's acting mayor Sekesai Makwavarara expressed concern that violence
against women had taken root in the country.

"Abuse of women has become an accepted phenomenon in our society and we
should put an end to this," she said.

"Rape is a form of torture and it kills," said the mayor.

Last week, the 38-year-old woman, walking from her office to her flat in the
city centre, was dragged into an alley and gang-raped by five men.

"Gang rape has become commonplace," said Ncube. "We are now scared to walk
in the streets even in broad daylight."

She said that in the early 1980s, the "government had enough police to
unleash into the streets of Harare to round up women who were walking
unaccompanied by males, claiming that they were prostitutes".

"Why can the same police not be unleashed on the streets of Harare to round
up street kids who have grown up to be street rapists?" she asked.

The protesters carried placards urging the government to round up street
children and take them to farms.

The government has acquired, under its controversial land reforms, millions
of hectares of land from whites for resettlement of landless blacks.

Edited by Iaine Harper

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

British journalists taken for ride in Victoria Falls

By Trevor Grundy
BRITISH journalists representing tabloids and consumer magazines which
specialise in luxury travel and weddings in expensively exotic places have
been flown to starving Zimbabwe to attend centenary
celebrations at the world famous Victoria Falls Hotel.

The intention is that they help kick-start the tourist industry in a country
which has become an international pariah because of the violent policies of
its soon to be 80-year old leader, President Robert Mugabe.

The journalists agreed to fly to Harare and then on to the five star
Victoria Falls Hotel for centenary celebrations at the weekend.

They are the guests of two huge hotel chains – the Zimbabwe Sun Leisure
Group and Meikles Africa Hotels which was founded by a family of intrepid
Scots who left Strathaven and Avondale in 1868 to start a new life in
southern Africa during the Highland Clearances.

“We believe British journalists can help us re-launch the tourism industry,
“ Victoria Falls Hotel manager David Seaman said in a telephone interview.

”Last year, our occupancy was only 22 percent. Victoria Falls is a safe
destination and to make it even safer, we plan to introduce tourist police
because some visitors are embarrassed when hawkers offer them curios for
their shoes.”

The Victoria Falls Hotel was completed in April 1904 when the Rhodesian
Railway was extended from Bulawayo to the River Zambezi.

“Favourable reports about Zimbabwe’s tourism potential could do us a lot of
good,” said Seaman.

The Minister of Tourism, Francis Nhema, is expected to fly to the Victoria
Falls on the border with Zambia to meet journalists and tell them that
foreign correspondents have exaggerated the security situation in order to
“undermine” President Mugabe’s land policies.

Sources say it’s possible that President Mugabe himself will meet the
journalists, although he says publicly that he detests the British media.
The BBC, banned in Zimbabwe, reports on events in that country from London,
Beit Bridge and Johannesburg.

Tourism in destination-rich Zimbabwe is in the doldrums.

In 1999, two million people visited Zimbabwe, tourism was the country’s
third largest earner of foreign exchange and tourist spending generated six
percent of GDP, employing over 200,000 people.

Following the invasion of white-owned farms and violent attacks on the
opposition, visitor numbers fell by 60 percent in 2000. The British stayed
away and hotels experienced a 70 percent fall. About 10,000 workers lost
their jobs.

Unemployment today has reached 85 percent and over 90 percent of the country
’s 11.5 million people live below the poverty datum line (pdl).

During the apartheid years in South Africa, journalists were asked by the UN
not to help boost tourism by visiting that country where black
leaders –including Nelson Mandela – were imprisoned on Robben Island close
to that country’s most spectacular sight, Table Cloth Mountain in Cape Town.

“We would like the British to return and experience our commitment to
excellence,” says Seaman. ”But we are also targeting markets in Spain,
France, Germany and Japan.”

The Zimbabwe Tourist Association (ZTA ) has been keen to emphasise that
"violence occurs far away from our main tourist centres. The international
press fails to report violence in other countries, including South Africa.”

David Seaman has promised the journalists the trip of a lifetime.

Magazines specialising in lifestyle and luxury weddings have been targeted
by the hotel’s public relations company in the UK.

At a time when ordinary blacks struggle to pay for a loaf of bread a day to
feed families of between 6-8 people, the Victoria Falls Hotel (owned by a
group calling itself Emergent Railway Properties) is offering those about to
tie the knot memory-making ceremonies in a private Anglican Church chapel.

Website adverts tell British couples of some of the treats awaiting them in
soon to be starving Zimbabwe.

“An iced wedding cake decorated with roses and the bride and groom’s name on
it (large enough for 10 people). A champagne breakfast in your own room, red
roses, a box of Belgian chocolates and a bottle of South African sparkling

And after the stresses and strains of a tiring wedding night – “A
complementary massage for the bride and groom.”

The happy couple will then be encouraged to eat at quality restaurants named
after Africa’s best known explorers – Scotland’s Dr David Livingstone just
one of them.

After sampling what the famous hotel has on offer, reporters will be
encouraged to tell their readers about luxury “booze cruises” along the
River Zambezi and the joy of sipping ice cold champagne as a golden sun
sinks over the world’s largest curtain of falling water while listening to
indigenous choirs and seeing local dancers in gardens once walked upon by
Harold Macmillan, John Vorster, Kenneth Kaunda, Ian Smith and members of the
Royal Family.

The journalists will travel free to Zimbabwe and won’t have to put hands in
their pockets unless they want to return home with curios sold at almost
give away prices because of the recession and a 1000 percent inflation rate.

Normally air fares to Zimbabwe (return) cost about £750 and hotel bills
would set a couple back at least that same amount again.

And if holidaymakers do decide to return to a country, they will find they
are on one of the cheapest holidays in the world.

The British pound is pegged a $1 433 at the official rate. But outside the
Victoria Falls Hotel hawkers with large leather bags watched by the local
police offer as much as $9,000 for a British pound.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe’s Recovery and NEPAD

South Africa has failed Zimbabweans. There were always positive, active things to be doing over the past three years of Zimbabwe’s economic and human rights implosion beyond ‘silent diplomacy’. By focussing on Robert Mugabe and his eccentric personal and party needs– itself wrong as he heads an illegal and massively corrupt and brutal regime – South Africa has denied itself and Zimbabweans a number of constructive measures of long term value.
If that had, or soon does, happen, the good governance foundations of NEPAD would have been well served. So too, an understanding as to how best to rebuild failed states and economies could have been tried and demonstrated.
NEPAD’s economic framework seeks foreign support, upon good governance, to build the infrastructure to attract foreign private investment to produce the exports to pay off the foreign loans. It, curiously and sadly, says little of direct interest to Africans desperately seeking to find economic activity for themselves within their own countries. It is global without any ‘local’.
Zimbabwe, as our immediate and most important neighbour, still provides South Africa with several important opportunities. They are to demonstrate the ability to help bring about the reforms and the economic security of all citizens needed to ensure its rapid economic recovery and return to full democratic nationhood.

This paper concentrates on two key issues:-

1. Reformed Foreign Exchange Market
2. Citizen Investment Rights

The economic and social recovery of Zimbabwe requires that two mechanisms for rapid economic and social recovery are used. The first part examines the type of foreign exchange regime that suits Zimbabwe’s economic needs and opportunities so that an economically devastated country can recover rapidly. The second part contains a proposal for the creation of economic and social rights for all adults, notably community investment rights and the formation of community development associations within which to exercise those investment rights.

The aims of the proposed policy and programme pieces are the following: -
Dynamic foreign exchange and a stable currency.
Securing the country by providing all citizens with economic activity and thus with income and stimulating local economic activity by swelling local demand.
Localisation policies and economic rights programmes to speed up the rebuilding of the economy and providing rewarding mutual activities within communities riven by trauma and officially sponsored violence.

Part 1. A Stable Yet Dynamic Foreign Exchange Regime

Keynes made the all-important distinction: people, ideas and some goods and services must move freely between countries – but not goods and services that can be produced locally and certainly not money. He argued for controls over capital flows so that each country could set interest rates according to domestic economic policy needs.

The massive structural shift to vast speculative capital flows does not affect the rich countries as much as it does many poorer countries. The reason is that the developed countries, who set the rules, conduct very little trade compared with the size of their GDPs. For instance, the imports and exports of the USA and the EU comprise a mere 15% and 14% of their GDPs. In the UK, trade makes up around 30% of GDP. As a small economy, 65% of Zimbabwe’s GDP is formed by exports and imports. Zimbabwe receives prices from the global economy. Normal trade pricing is easily distorted by the flash of vast speculative monies.

The MDC, soon to be the new government, will quickly rebuild working relations with the IMF and the World Bank, clearly to help with restoring a working currency and trade and investment systems. The international community is ready to announce a “package” of support. The detail, however, remains important.

The level of state debt, international and national, makes this task difficult. Yet Zimbabwe has and can again pay its way in the world.

The way foreign exchange is raised and distributed becomes crucial. With so many competing needs, an open system will not work. There are humanitarian (food and health) and general (fuel and electricity) needs that must be met. At the same time, the gross displays of consumer wealth an open exchange system allows are not to be tolerated. Non-essential imports should be curbed in favour of local production.

What is needed is a rapid recovery of those activities that earn foreign exchange and the creation of a large mass market for basic goods and services, that is locally produced items that have low foreign exchange requirements in their production and thus consumption. People and the public interest, sustainable economic recovery, must be seen to come first.

Zimbabwe’s foreign exchange system is chaotic. It is a punishment to all citizens and businesses and rewards speculators and subsidises government loans at the expense of savers. Most people work to make the corrupt few rich while becoming impoverished in the process. The orthodox foreign exchange market will not serve Zimbabwe’s recovery. It needs a system that recognises market forces, but does not naively believe that “free markets” are indeed free and thus are not a perfect solution.
A return to an orthodox foreign exchange regime would ignore the mismatch of the highly open nature of the Zimbabwe economy, unfair international trade practices and the dominance of speculative money flows. It would also treat consumer goods as equal to essential imports. It would thus starve foreign exchange-earning sectors of access to abundant and cheap foreign exchange and hold back on essential services.

Four foreign exchange categories fulfil different purposes in the economy. They should be treated separately and the economy defended from difficult international conditions, at least until it has recovered. These categories are:

1. Those sectors that earn foreign exchange.

Exporters, tourism, and services must be allowed to maximise their foreign exchange earnings by optimising production and sales. They must be allowed to buy and then to repay all the foreign exchange they can use. The best method is for each sector to adopt “indicative planning”; that is a plan to optimise all relations within each sector. In Zimbabwe agriculture would be one such sector. Under normal conditions it earns around US$4 for every US$1 it uses. Tobacco, horticulture and beef, etc have higher earnings ratios and must be helped to recover. Tobaccos is 12:1. Mining, tourism, manufacturing and services are other net earners.
For Agriculture, farmers, input and equipment suppliers, transport, banks, processors and trade agents, labour and the state agencies that form the agriculture sector would undertake a series of optimising circular or iterative discussions. “I, John, could double production and employment if....” And the response: “I could do what John requires if...” This exposes the bottlenecks and helps devote key resources to removing them. If they are net earners of foreign exchange, they loan what they need, even from foreign banks. Foreign exchange is not allowed to be a constraint.

Government or donors can guarantee such loans at very little risk. In this way, the financial capacities of the donors and of the state are multiplied manifold.

If funds have to be borrowed abroad, the interest rate would be likely to be lower than local rates, providing a cost savings, and there is little or no foreign exchange risk involved in this “market” as it earns the same currencies that were borrowed.

2. Essential public goods

The net earnings of foreign exchange by the first market is deposited into the second market. This secures the importation of essential “public and economic” imports such as fuels, transport equipment and medicines. As there is no premium to be paid for the foreign exchange, it keeps landed costs low. This helps establish a low cost structure to the economy that also promotes its competitiveness.

3. Imports for local production

Any balance left over from the import of essential public goods goes into the third market which provides foreign exchange for the imports needed for local production. In bad times, the price of foreign exchange in this market will be higher than in the first two markets. This will in still some discipline if terms of what is produced. However, the price will be higher in the next market, market 4 for consumer goods imports. This will act to favour locally produced items.

4. Consumer imports

The foreign exchange for imported consumer goods, holidays abroad, etc. is provided in the fourth market. This is allocated by way of a monthly auction of the available balance of foreign exchange after the first three markets have been satisfied. Here the price of foreign exchange will be the highest providing a degree of protection for local production from competition from imported consumer imports.

The four markets have different foreign currency prices according to the economic value of their activities. The model values exports ahead of essential imports, aiming to “get the ball rolling” by earning foreign currency; then it provides the means to buy essential imports as cheaply as possible in order to keep the domestic cost structure and inflation down; it also provides for import needs for the local production of consumer goods and services; finally, it treats imported consumer goods as the lowest priority and thus with the highest foreign exchange prices, providing a degree of protection for local producers.
When the country generates more foreign exchange than is needed for its immediate needs, including building up reserves, the model can be simplified. One or more markets can be collapsed, even into one market. The different markets can be reintroduced as foreign exchange runs into short supply, beginning with placing consumer goods imports at the back of the queue where available foreign exchange is auctioned and prices are higher.
The country can thus defend itself not by tariffs or by interest rates, but by altering the market conditions and thus the prices under which foreign exchange is purchased for different purposes in different markets to suit both global and internal conditions.

Part 2. Building Citizen Rights, Economic Security and Participation

In responding to Zimbabwe’s need of at least US$800m for emergency food aid and vastly more funds for economic recovery over several years, maybe US$2 billion in all, the UN and donors, including South Africa, should:
? Place those foreign funds, on agreed timetables over three or more years, into the first foreign exchange market. As this will be at no cost, exporters and the seller, the Reserve Bank, can share the gains from what becomes a subsidised price for foreign exchange. These funds can be used to ‘gear-up’ available foreign currency by guarantying loans and hence would also act to keep borrowing rates down. Donor assistance, in the first round, thereby helps fuel economic recovery via exports and a resultant higher capacity to import essential goods while building the new foreign exchange system.
? Sell all direct food imports directly into the local market, minus emergency distribution needs, restoring the food market to efficiency and moving it beyond political manipulation. In addition, a development fund from the Z$ proceeds should to go mainly into the community investment fund (see below).
? Help oversee the financing needs of instant reform of the exchange system, thereby preventing currency speculation.

Empowering Citizens as Investors and Owners

Zimbabwe requires a strategic way to rebuild its key productive economic activities and to place its people ahead of primary rewards to capital. Once the foreign exchange markets to support trade are set up, they must be automatically separated from those for speculative and investor capital flows. The latter becomes a fifth market until the country can take the risk of further capital flight. It would be like the Financial Rand of not so long ago.
Zimbabweans are in dire straits. The UN, AU and South Africa should lead the international community in setting up a “Citizen and Community Investment and Development Fund” to operate for five years, declining by 15% per year as the economy picks up. No other funding would be needed.
The size of the fund should be calculated to provide community employment for all adults for 88 days a year, declining – like the fund – by 15% per year. The wage should be the equivalent of US5.50 (R40) per day (work on community projects, not a job) and doubled to cover materials, engineering and transport.
This fund should flow directly to all adults organised into community development associations as a community investment budget under which their individual grants are assembled for joint community use. This method acknowledges each individual’s membership and the fact that they have rights over the resultant budget. It also acts to build joint analysis of investment options and joint decision-making.
Most importantly, it provides, for the first time, the basic economic right to know the available resources. All business people, heads of agencies and families with income enjoy this right – why not communities as “constituent units of society”? It allows them to explore the opportunity cost of each possible action, to invest across a front of options to optimise benefits, and to plan to invest in a sequence over time.
Once projects are chosen, the workdays involved are distributed at a rate per day set by the community as work rights. These are exchangeable amongst members. Those who work for 90 days per year gain a training right grant of the equivalent of R2 500 so that individuals and families, operating within community goals, can build their security, income, training and careers, as well as family welfare and business for the next five years.
In return, Zimbabweans will reach out to find each other again and rebuild their lives and communities. The first use of the money will be for investment. The second, earned wages, is for family consumption. The third use is the resultant family savings and investment. The fourth, under a social compact with the donors and their newly elected government, is to accept, in return for ongoing and increasing investment flows that build a financially competent citizenry, an increasing local commitment to pay for health and schooling under community guarantees that all have access to health (which is primarily about socio-economic conditions and not merely medical services).
It is also to accept that all children attend school. This, crucially, allows the state to redirect the large expenditure for education and health to investment through citizens in return for their accepting a greater responsibility for funding these services. They are able to accept this liability because of the greater infusion of investment monies and because they raise the local multiplier in the process, building strong local economies from which they can extract the fees due.
The model builds local activity and local demand to reward the local production of goods and of services, reconstructing the national economy from below. It also provides, as spent in local currency, the foreign exchange to rebuild the formal economy.
In addition, the model removes the petty discretion of officials, and makes possible common purpose amongst neighbours. It requires that the battered and distrusted state machinery withdraw to where it can begin to re-professionalise itself by seeing the wood for the trees, and learning to support people’s endeavours. Without this break with the past, discrimination, endless spying and branding of innocent people, and poor policies and programme methods will persist.
The announcement of such measures to assist Zimbabweans to rebuild their lives and reclaim their country will whip the carpet out from under from Mugabe and all his cronies. The world, Africa included, will be seen to have acted to free citizens from grinding chaos and oppression. They will have “red-carded” a despotic regime long elected out of office to now leave the field. And they will have demonstrated an ongoing economic rights approach to citizen security, participation and responsible daily involvement as the best bulwark against tyrants.

Back to the Top
Back to Index