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

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Zim Online

Fresh crackdown against Zimbabwe journalists
Sat 12 February 2005
† HARARE - State secret police this week launched a manhunt for a senior
journalist, Cornelius Nduna, as prosecutors revived charges against
prominent newspaper columnist, Pius Wakatama, in a crackdown on the media
ahead of the March election.

††††† Officers from the police's law and order department this week told
Nduna's lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, that they wanted to see her client over
"sensitive and security" video tapes they claimed he possessed.

††††† Mtetwa said: "I have met the people at the law and order section and I
will be meeting them again so that they can clarify issues.

††††† But they have told me that they believe Cornelius (Nduna) is in
possession of video tapes that are sensitive and a security concern. Of
course Cornelius is not aware of these tapes or the so-called sensitivity."

††††† Operatives of the government's Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
normally claim they are from the law and order section, an ordinary division
of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, to hide their identity when they go after
journalists or human rights activists.

††††† Impeccable sources at the CIO yesterday told ZimOnline that the secret
police organ in fact wanted to arrest Nduna in connection with a story
broadcast sometime last year by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
exposing human rights abuses by youths trained under the government's
controversial national youth service training programme.

††††† The CIO believes that Nduna, a former news editor of the independent
Standard weekly paper and now a top freelancer for several international
news agencies, might have helped in the production of the video.

††††† "We want to arrest him over the BBC story on the youths. Our
information is that he helped produce that documentary," a senior CIO
officer said.

††††† According to the sources, undercover agents of the CIO have for the
past week attempted to arrest the journalist at his offices in Harare but
found him away each time they went there.

††††† The CIO refused to speak on the matter last night saying it does not
"advertise" its work in newspapers, while state Security Minister Nicholas
Goche, in charge of the CIO, could not be reached for comment.

††††† It was also not possible to get a comment from Nduna as he could not
be reached on his mobile phone.

††††† As CIO agents hunted down Nduna, state prosecutors revived a case
against Wakatama in which the columnist was charged with breaching Section
80 (a) (ii) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act when
he repeated in one of his columns three years ago a story that was later
proved to have been false.

††††† Section 80 outlaws the publication of falsehoods with offenders liable
to a fine or a jail sentence of up to two years. Wakatama's trial was
yesterday set for March 10.

††††† Wakatama referred in one of his columns in the banned Daily News to a
newspaper story in which it was alleged that some farm workers of foreign
origin at Reinham farm just outside Harare were left homeless when the
property was forcibly seized by government supporters.

††††† Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary general Foster Dongozi
condemned the fresh crackdown on Zimbabwe's embattled journalists.

††††† He said: "This is all part of a process by the government to silence
all critics and journalists. We are going to see this kind of onslaught
intensifying in light of the looming parliamentary elections." - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

FEATURE: Thumbs down for Mugabe's high-tech computers
Sat 12 February 2005
† MANICALAND PROVINCE - Although Vumbunu secondary school in rural
Manicaland has five computers donated to it five years ago, 18-year old
Fungai Chidahuyo, a former student at the school, says she has no idea how
to use a computer.

††††† "The computers were there but we could not use them because there is
no electricity at the school" says Fungayi.

††††† But Fungayi, who failed his Ordinary level examinations last year and
is now stuck here in the rural areas unemployed, does not wish the European
non-governmental organisation (NGO) that gave the computers to come back and
help instal electricity at the school so students could use the computers.

††††† Instead, Fungayi told a ZimOnline news crew that toured the area this
week, he wishes the NGO or any other well-wisher could come with donations
of basic learning materials such as textbooks and equipment for the empty
school science laboratory.

††††† "Computers and electricity are good but that is not the immediate need
at Vumbunu school today. The reason some of my friends and I failed was
because we did not have basic resources to help with our learning, things
like textbooks and ballpoint pens," said Fungayi.

††††† He added: "Clearly, if the donors knew the situation on the ground at
our school they probably would have given us books first and computers

††††† Likewise, critics say if President Robert Mugabe knew the situation on
the ground at Zimbabwe's crumbing public schools, he would exchange the
computers for basics like textbooks, pens and pencils.

††††† The 80-year old Zimbabwean leader, a former teacher himself who is
known for his passion for education, has travelled the length and breath of
Zimbabwe sincelast year, donating computers worth more than Z$1.8 billion to
rural schools.

††††† Mugabe says the move is not an election gimmick, but is meant to
strengthen the country's education system by providing cut-edge technology
to rural schools.

††††† But teachers and other education experts say the president's gifts
might be well-meant but they are also a testimony of how out of touch he is
the with the parlous state of affairs in the public school system.

††††† "If this is not mere electioneering, then it is a classical case of
misplaced priorities," said Moses Nguna, a teacher at another secondary
school in remote rural Mutoko district, hundreds of kilometres north from

††††† Nguna narrated the situation at his school. "At our school a class of
up to 45 children will share a single textbook, which is read to the class
by the teacher. There are no desks and some children have to sit on
home-made stools or on the floor.

††††† "We have no electricity and we cannot even dream of science
laboratories and now you tell me, of what use would be a computer to our

††††† The public education sector, together with the public health sector,
once stood as the pride of Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party's
achievements since taking power at independence in 1980.

††††† Today, public schools crumbling after years of under-funding and
neglect, stand out as the most vivid illustration of Zimbabwe's social,
economic and political crises blamed by many critics on Mugabe and his
government's failed policies.

††††† An acute shortage of books and other learning aids at schools has not
been helped by political violence which has seen many teachers accused by
ZANU PF militants of backing the opposition fleeing rural schools to the
safety of towns.

††††† An executive member of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
(PTUZ), Macdonald Maungazani, said: "What schools need badly are textbooks
to enable students to pass. They need an end to violence so that teachers do
not run away from rural areas.

††††† "There is no student who is going to use the computers productively to
pass O-levels when the basic resources are lacking."

††††† The PTUZ official might be correct but it is equally correct to say
that as the campaigning for next month's election heats up in weeks to come,
so will students at village schools with no textbooks or laboratories will
receive more hi-tech computers, courtesy of the President. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Economic crisis hits judiciary
Sat 12 February 2005
† BULAWAYO - A cheerless elderly woman struggles on an antiquated manual
type-writer. The ribbon on the machine frequently loosens and comes off or
the rusty keys simply stick and will not respond to any punching.

††††† On one of the shabby walls of the office hangs an old Victorian clock.
Covered in a haze of dust, it rests so dead that it is difficult to imagine
it ever worked.

††††† "All these files on my desk contain documents that need retyping,"
Nohlahla Sithole (not her real name), said with a sweeping wave of the hand
at the old and torn files thrown about on her desk.

††††† She continued: "We are supposed to be five people doing this work but
we are only two and our typewriters are old and virtually useless."

††††† Zimbabwe's five-year old economic crisis that has forced the
government to cut spending on all public sectors, except defence of course,
is exacting a heavy toll on the judiciary process not only here at the
Bulawayo Magistrates' Court but across the country.

††††† Magistrates and staff like Sithole must not only do with lack of
resources to do their work, they must also contend with poor salaries, a
situation that has led to a huge brain drain from the justice delivery
system as state prosecutors and magistrates resign and take up better paying
jobs in the private sector or abroad.

††††† The backlog of cases continues to rise because there are not enough
magistrates to hear the cases and more worrying, corruption is fast creeping
into the system as rich criminals take advantage by using cash to sway cases
in their favour.

††††† "There is a shortage of staff in all departments here and that is
impacting negatively on the justice system," said one magistrate, speaking
anonymously for professional reasons.

††††† "The real problem is that we are poorly paid. Prosecutors are also
resigning each and every day. Currently, there are five instead of eight of
them," he added.

††††† To illustrate his point, the magistrate recounted to ZimOnline a case
where a fellow magistrate was two weeks ago unable to hand down judgment in
the inquest into the death of late national heroine Joanna Mafuyane Nkomo
because the judgment had not been transcribed.

††††† He said: "There was simply no one to transcribe the judgment. We are
supposed to have 10 transcribers but we only have two. So my brother
magistrate had to postpone the matter."

††††† Opening the legal year here in Bulawayo, High Court Judge President
Paddington Garwe called on the Ministry of Justice to urgently address the
situation or the wheels of justice will grind to a halt.

††††† Garwe said: "Magistrates and judges in both Bulawayo and Harare
continue to abandon their jobs because they are unhappy with their salaries.
This has resulted in the country losing some of the best legal brains that
are crucial to our justice system, and I think it is time the government
acted to stop this exodus,"

††††† For Sithole, a higher salary is obviously most welcome but the typist
would also no doubt be very grateful for a new electric typewriter. It would
certainly make her life a lot easier. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

ZANU PF spy suspect remanded in custody
Sat 12 February 2005
† HARARE - ZANU PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Philip Chiyangwa,
charged with spying, was yesterday remanded in custody to next Thursday.

††††† Chiyangwa has been in remand prison since December when he and four
other men were arrested by state secret police for allegedly selling
intelligence information to South African agents.

††††† Three of the accused, ZANU PF external affairs director Itai Marchi,
Zimbabwe ambassador-designate to Mozambique Godfrey Dvairo and banking
executive Tendai Matambanadzo were convicted last week and sentenced to a
total of 16 years in jail.

††††† The state has not yet set a trial date for Chiyangwa and ZANU PF
deputy security chief Kenny Karidza, who is also being held in custody. -
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Moneyweb - Interview

BELINDA ANDERSON: Feeding into this chat, we pre-recorded an interview a little bit earlier with a gent who couldnít talk to us because he was going to be on CNN. So we donít normally pre-record but we thought, we wonít try and shuffle CNNs agenda around. Itís something that has also been picked up by Sky and BBC. Itís the launch of a new newspaper called The Zimbabwean. Itís an opposition newspaper. As I said, we did pre-record this a little earlier. Wilf Mbanga, the founder of The Zimbabwean, a brand new publication, on the line with us from London. Wilf, we will get into the newspaper in just a moment, but did you have a chance to see what President Mbeki had to say on Zimbabwe in his State of the Nation Address today?

WILF MBANGA: I believe he didnít say much.

BELINDA ANDERSON: No, he didnít.

WILF MBANGA; I believe he only talked about working with SADC heads of state to bring about free and fair elections But Zimbabwe is a serious problem. Itís affecting all SADC neighbours. South Africa itself is playing host to millions of Zimbabweans, most of them illegal immigrants. And I would have thought that itís in South Africaís interests to help solve the Zimbabwean question, so that all these people can go back to their country.

BELINDA ANDERSON: So you donít think Mbekiís stance of quiet diplomacy has been quite enough?

WILF MBANGA: He has been too quiet. Itís a deafening silence, in fact. I would have thought that he would make a lot of noise, especially because whatís going in Zimbabwe is affecting South Africa, you know, all the illegal immigrants. The crime rate is so Ö all coming to South Africa.

BELINDA ANDERSON: What Mbeki did say in his speech today Ė he was referring to various of the SADC countries and Africa broadly Ė he spoke about the Togo affair, saying that it was a unconstitutional charade. Thatís quite a strong way to refer to a change of government. Surely it would be the same in Zim if the MDC isnít allowed to participate in elections?

WILF MBANGA: Well, the MDC has no chance of ever winning Ė those elections are not going to be free and fair. For example, we have got two million [indistinct] voters on our roll at the moment. Three million Zimbabweans are outside the country, have been disenfranchised. All the other countries, including South Africa, allows South Africans in the Diaspora to vote. And recently, in the Iraqi elections, Iraqis living in London now were the first to vote. And all three million Zimbabweans outside the country will not be allowed to vote. So youíve got, on the one hand, three million people who canít vote, who have been disenfranchised, and then youíve got two million [indistinct] voters.

BELINDA ANDERSON: You donít believe the elections can be free and fair at all?

WILF MBANGA: There is no way they can be free and fair.

BELINDA ANDERSON: We know about the importance of the media, as a check and balance, a watchdog to government, hasnít been the case in your country. You were one of the founders of The Daily News. It must have been very sad for you to see that being shut down.

WILF MBANGA: Well, the people of Zimbabwe voted with their dollars. The Daily News became the largest selling newspaper in the country within a very short space of time. People had confidence in it, it was the paper that told the story like it is. They didnít believe what they read in the government newspaper. So the people of Zimbabwe were saying "this is the paper we prefer".

BELINDA ANDERSON: How many subscribers did you have at its peak?

WILF MBANGA: Well, we had 150,000 copies per day.

BELINDA ANDERSON: I read a report a little bit earlier, I think in Business Day, saying that Strive Masiyiwa of Econet, who then later bought The Daily News, is sort of giving it back to the workers, heís donating it, and setting up a trust to try and revive that. Do you think in a country, working in a country like Zim, a paper like The Daily News can be revived?

WILF MBANGA: I would like to see it revived. It enjoys popular support in the country, and I think itís a great idea to give it back to the workers. A lot of journalists at The Daily News suffered, a lot of them were arrested, some of them were beaten up, and so on. I really take my hat off to them. They are an incredible bunch of people.

BELINDA ANDERSON: Is that why youíve started another newspaper outside of Zimbabweís borders?

WILF MBANGA: Yes, well, because Iím living in exile now. And I realise that Zimbabweans in the Diaspora need to know what is going on at home. And also the people back in Zimbabwe need to know whatís happening to their compatriots outside the country. So this newspaper will tell you, from the Zimbabweans in the UK, the Zimbabweans in South Africa, and the Zimbabweans inside the country.

BELINDA ANDERSON: And you can get it online, but you are also going to be printing it, I understand, in London and in Joíburg?

WILF MBANGA: Thatís correct. Next week we will go up to 15,000 copies in the UK, for Zimbabweans in the UK. We will be printing 30,000 for our readers in South Africa, and 10,000 this week, actually today, we have flown to Harare and hopefully next week we want to increase that.

BELINDA ANDERSON: So whoever is distributing those around Harare must be watching their back?

WILF MBANGA: Well, it should be on the streets, like any other newspaper.

BELINDA ANDERSON: Are you anticipating government intervention to try and stop it?

WILF MBANGA: I donít now. Iím hoping for the best. They have not stopped other newspapers, South African newspapers, circulating in Zimbabwe. So why should they stop this one?

BELINDA ANDERSON: Best of luck, Wilf Mbanga, founder of a new newspaper, The Zimbabwean, written for Zimbabweans living outside of the country.

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Don't blame imperialism

Saturday February 12, 2005
The Guardian

It has been drawn to my attention that Seumas Milne has once again been
heaping opprobrium on the history of the British empire, not to mention on
me (Barbarity is the inevitable consequence of foreign rule, January 27).
Milne makes the mistake of concluding from a small number of familiar
episodes - the Bengal famines, Mau Mau - that the history of the British
empire is nothing more than a history of "horrors". He also implies an
equivalence with "Stalin's terror and the monstrosities of Nazism". What he
fails to consider is the entire balance sheet of British rule, as well as
the counterfactual question: would British colonies have achieved more peace
and prosperity in the absence of British rule? Certainly, in the case of
many African countries, it is clear that they would not. Many have, in fact,
achieved next to no economic progress since independence - quite a feat
given the rates of growth of the rest of the world economy. Finally, Milne
leaves out of account that foreign rule has no monopoly on "barbarity".
Sadly, the worst barbarities perpetrated against Africans in the 20th
century have been by other Africans. Compared with the genocide in Rwanda,
to name just one example, the repression of Mau Mau was a minor, if
deplorable episode. Oh, and spare me the Robert Mugabe line that everything
that goes amiss in Africa today is a legacy of colonialism.
Niall Ferguson
Professor of International History, Harvard University
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Tehran Times

Zimbabwe, Iran to cooperate in vaccine production

HARARE (Prensa Latina) - Zimbabwean ministry for agriculture and rural
development announced the joint development of human and animal vaccines
with Iran.

A lab spokesman said a delegation from one of the world's largest vaccine
producers, Iran's Razi Institute headed by its deputy director Masud
Hashemzadeh currently will assess the capacity of Zimbabwean universities
and research centers' staffers to set up new such plants.

Hashemzadeh met Wednesday with Minister Joseph Made to work on the details
and prospects of the vaccine industry's joint development.

The Iranian official said his country plans to help Zimbabwe meet national
demands and supply other countries in the black continent.
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Mail and Guardian

††††† Condoleezza Rice a slave, spits Bob

††††† Harare

††††† 12 February 2005 07:41

††††††††††† President Robert Mugabe on Friday sharply criticised US
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying she was a "slave" to white
masters in Washington who had branded Zimbabwe an outpost of tyranny.

††††††††††† Launching the election campaign of his ruling party, Mugabe
referred to Rice as "that girl born out of the slave ancestry, who should
know from the history of slavery in America, from the present situation of
blacks in America that the white man is not a friend."

††††††††††† "The white man is the slave master to her," said Mugabe in a
two-hour speech launching the campaign of his Zimbabwe African National
Union -Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party for the March 31 parliamentary

††††††††††† "She says Zimbabwe is one of the five or six outposts of
tyranny. Ah well, she has got to echo her master's voice," he declared.

††††††††††† At a US Senate confirmation hearing in Washington last month,
Rice, an African-American and one of the most influential members of
President George W. Bush's administration, branded Zimbabwe along with
Belarus, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar and North Korea as "outposts of tyranny".

††††††††††† If Zimbabwe were indeed a tyranny, Mugabe argued, "the first
person to lose his head would be Ian Smith", who led the white-minority
government in Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was called before independence in 1980.

††††††††††† "We have kept him and protected that head. He eats our food,
lives in our home comfortably and is protected by our rules of law and
order," said Mugabe.

††††††††††† Smith, who was prime minister from 1965 to 1979, lives on a farm
outside Harare and has remained an outspoken critic of Mugabe.

††††††††††† "He enjoys the comfort of Zimbabwe, can travel ... He writes
books freely, against us even, and using that head, which, if we had been a
tyrannical government, we would have long taken off," he added.

††††††††††† "How many countries would have done what we did?" Mugabe asked,
adding that Smith enjoys "charity, generosity, kindness and forgiveness in
our house." - Sapa-AFP

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Washington Post

Zimbabwe Plans Food Handouts as Elections Near

By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, February 12, 2005; Page A13

JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 11 -- The Zimbabwean government, backing off forecasts of
a bumper harvest, announced Friday that 1.5 million people were in immediate
need of food aid, especially in the country's drought-stricken southern

The state-controlled Herald newspaper in Harare, the capital, reported that
the government planned to spend about $8 million to buy and distribute more
than 15,000 tons of corn meal, the staple food in southern Africa, in the
weeks leading up to nationwide parliamentary elections March 31.

Ignatius Chombo, Zimbabwe's acting minister of public service, labor and
social welfare, said that needy households would each receive a 110
pound-bag of corn meal, as well as about $5 in cash to help buy food, the
Herald reported.

The announcement drew immediate criticism from opposition leaders, human
rights activists and other government critics who warned that in the
previous two national elections -- in 2000 and 2002 -- President Robert
Mugabe's ruling party used food handouts to garner votes. Mugabe has been in
power since 1980.

"They want to control the food and politicize it," said Pius Ncube, the
Catholic archbishop of Zimbabwe's second-largest city and one of Mugabe's
most vocal critics. "They'd rather kill people for the sake of power."

Ncube said the announcement was part of a strategy begun in May, when Mugabe
called on international food donors to leave Zimbabwe. "We are not hungry .
. . Why foist this food upon us? We don't want to be choked. We have
enough," Mugabe told Britain's Sky News.

The U.N. World Food Program, World Vision and other donors sharply curtailed
their operations soon after, leaving the government as the primary source of
emergency food aid.

The government also has limited the purchase and transport of corn meal by
individuals. Roadblocks have been set up on main roads, and Zimbabweans
caught carrying more than two or three of the bags can face fines or

Zimbabwe was once known as the breadbasket of southern Africa because of its
copious production and export of corn, tobacco and other commodities. But
agricultural output has plummeted since 2000, when Mugabe sanctioned violent
seizures of white-owned commercial farms. Many once-productive fields have
turned brown and are overgrown with weeds. As recently as 2002, the World
Food Program fed more than half the population.

Production appeared to increase early last year after months of heavy
rainfall. Mugabe ejected international teams charged with measuring output
but predicted that Zimbabwe would produce more corn than in any year since
the land seizures began.

The Movement for Democratic Change, the main opposition party, charged that
such food aid was already being used to buy support, especially in rural

"It has already begun, using food as a weapon," said Paul Themba Nyathi, a
party spokesman. "Government is already saying to these communities, should
you vote against government, should you vote for opposition, you won't get
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The Telegraph

††††††††††††††††† A farmer is ruined in the land where time stands still
††††††††††††††††† By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
††††††††††††††††† (Filed: 12/02/2005)

††††††††††††††††† In a colonial-era court where the clock has been stuck at
5.44 for a decade or so, an 81-year-old farmer lost his home yesterday.

††††††††††††††††† The fate of Lawrence Nicholson's small ranch was decided
as part of President Robert Mugabe's sudden scramble to complete "legal"
acquisition of all white-owned land.

††††††††††††††††† All but 300 out of 4,000 of Zimbabwe's farms have been
seized since Mr Mugabe started his land redistribution scheme five years
ago. Now the paperwork is being rushed through to give the programme a legal
rubber stamp, critics say. Mr Mugabe has established new courts, new laws
and appointed new judges to fast-track the process.

††††††††††††††††† The legal debate, such as it was, about Mr Nicholson's
home, a 10,000-acre ranch 250 miles south of the capital, took place in the
Administrative Court in Harare, where blinds hang askew across grimy

††††††††††††††††† Judge Andrew Matema presided over the court, airless on a
hot summer's day and empty save for a clerk running the tape recorder, a
state lawyer, one for the defence and Mr Nicholson's youngest son, John, 34.

††††††††††††††††† His father bought the land four years after independence
in 1980. By keeping cattle down to 250 head, the over-grazed pasture
recovered and he earned conservation awards, but not much money.

††††††††††††††††† He was, unusually, largely left alone during Mr Mugabe's
violent five-year campaign to evict white farmers. But inflation of 600 per
cent put him out of business.

††††††††††††††††† Mr Nicholson's defence was to cite the constitution, which
guarantees a fair trial. His lawyer, Rodney Makavsi, argued that several
judges had been "beneficiaries" of Mr Mugabe's largesse.

††††††††††††††††† Judge Matema threw out the argument, saying it was
"frivolous, vexatious and bordering on contempt".

††††††††††††††††† When Judge Matema closed the session, John Nicholson, who
is alone among four siblings to remain in Zimbabwe, stared at the bench and
said: "How can this be called frivolous?"

††††††††††††††††† . Ole Sande, 66, one of the few white farmers left in the
Banket district, north of Harare, was beaten to death at the weekend. His
British wife, Jean, returned from Britain a few days ago.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

MDC supporters stage demo

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-12

A GROUP of disgruntled MDC activists from Harare's bustling Budiriro
constituency staged a demonstration at the party's Harvest House
headquarters in the capital yesterday as Zimbabwe's main opposition keeps
the nation guessing over when its campaign for the March 31 general
elections will be officially launched.
The discontented youths, numbering about 10, denounced what they alleged was
the imposition by the top leadership of incumbent legislator Gilbert Shoko
as the party's candidate for the area in next month's parliamentary polls.
The demonstrators waved placards and chanted songs denigrating Shoko.
The messages on some of the placards read: "Top 6 get serious" and "Do not
divide the party by imposing candidates."
The youths forced their way onto the ground floor of Harvest House where
they continued singing, whistling and dancing.
But their demonstration was short lived as the group was eventually
overpowered and locked out by party youths manning the building.
"We are going to wait for Tsvangirai to address us or else we will sleep
here," the defiant youths shouted.
The demonstration took place amid uncertainty as to when† exactly the
opposition party would officially launch its election campaign.
Yesterday MDC national organising secretary, Esaph Mdlongwa said: " We will
meet very soon to decide on the date. There would be an announcement,
probably next week."
All has not been well in Budiriro since Shoko won the primaries for the
right to represent the MDC with some disgruntled party supporters demanding
a re-run arguing the voting process was fraught with irregularities.
They appealed to the party's national council but their case was thrown out
and Shoko's candidacy was endorsed.
MDC secretary for Harare province Last Maengahama would not comment over
yesterday's skirmishes saying he was in a meeting.
Efforts to reach him latter were fruitless.
MDC primaries were marred by violence in some areas with losing candidates
refusing to accept the outcome.
†Yesterday's clashes at Harvest House follows intra-party skirmishes that
rocked Masvingo Central this week where Tsvangirai was trying to resolve the
impasse between outgoing legislator Silas Mangono and the party's candidate
for the constituency, city lawyer Tongai Matutu.
The national council recommended an investigation into the manner Tsvangirai
conducted the Masvingo Central primary polls after Mangono filed an appeal.
The Masvingo clashes left scores of MDC supporters injured.
Meanwhile, some MDC officials from Budiriro who this week reportedly
demonstrated against Shoko's alleged imposition have distanced themselves
from the squabbles.
They declared their support for Shoko and said they were not the "persons"
whom The Daily Mirror spoke to in its article of February 7, but some
"rebels" that masqueraded as party officials.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Poll race begins

Mirror Reporters
issue date :2005-Feb-12

Mugabe launches Zanu PF campaign as MDC youths exchange blows. A
BANDANA-spotting President Robert Mugabe yesterday launched the election
manifesto for his party, Zanu PF, in Harare, vowing that MDC would be
crushed in next month's parliamentary elections, now only 46 days away.
"We have never fought a political battle and lost. We can never be losers.
We cannot spell the word 'loser' in Zanu PF," he told delegates to the
launch, which was broadcast live on national radio and television for more
than three hours.
President Mugabe is the party's President and First Secretary.
Hardly a kilometre away at Harvest House, the opposition MDC's national
headquarters, a number of youths from Budiriro exchanged blows with those
providing security at the building over the alleged imposition of current
Member of Parliament Gilbert Shoko as the party's candidate for the polls.
MDC, which only announced its participation in the polls last week after a
six-month boycott of national and local elections, is still to officially
launch its election campaign, although leader Morgan Tsvangirai has already
held several rallies in some parts of the country.
Squabbles at the MDC headquarters took place as the Ecumenical Church
Institutions in Zimbabwe called for a National Day of Prayer for Peaceful
Elections. The institutions comprise the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the
Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops
Both Zanu PF and MDC have been hit by internal problems, with the Zanu PF
old guard on the one hand unsettled by Young Turks, now referred to as
mafikizolos (Johnny-come-latelies), positioning themselves for senior
positions, and accusations that some candidates for the elections were
imposed on the people.
On the other hand, the MDC is grappling with the same problem of candidate
impositions, while personal differences among some leaders have threatened
to tear the party apart.
Saying that the bandana (doek) he wore symbolised the importance of women in
the party, the President warned candidates against spurning them, for they
would do this at their own peril.
†"Musimboti weparty idhuku randakapfeka iri. Ignore the women and you are
gone," he advised the candidates, whom he also gave a few lessons on
etiquette. Generally, women, especially the elderly, cover their heads with
bandanas as part of their dressing.
Vice President, Joyce Mujuru had also emphasised the importance of women in
an earlier speech saying they had to make sure that their families go and
vote on March 31 because the men usually procrastinated.
"Vana baba tinoziva kuti vanoti regai timbonoita one-one. Manje gore rino
kunovhotwa neone day, saka vana mai mutomuka kuma four mogadzirira vana baba
nevana zvekudya kuti vanovhota. (The fathers usually want to go and have a
beer before they go and vote. This year voting would be done in one day, so
the mothers should wake up as early as 4 am and prepare food so that the
family goes to vote early,"
President Mugabe said the election manifesto would provide the guidelines
for the country's governance in the next five years.
"What I have been saying today is contained in this manifesto and it will
provide the guidelines on how we will govern after the elections," he said.
He castigated Western countries for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe and said
the government would maintain its "Look-East" policy instead. "The sun rises
in the east as we wake up while it sets in the west as we sleep. The West
will make you sleep while the East will make you rise, that is why we have
adopted the "Look East" policy," he said, to the applause of the over 3 000
"If we were tyrannical in this country, the first person to lose his head
should have been Ian Smith. We have protected him so that his head doesn't
fall off," the President said in response to recent utterances by US
Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, that Zimbabwe was one the six
"outposts of tyranny" in the world.
President Mugabe also sarcastically thanked British Prime Minister Tony
Blair for refusing to honour their colonial obligations saying this had
expedited the land reform process.
"Blair contributed to the slowing down of the resettlement programme. He
refused to honour the Lancaster House constitution, but we thank him for
that because if one side ignores their part of the contract then the other
side is free to do as they please," he said.
Government accuses Britain of reneging on its obligatory commitment to pay
compensation for land to resettle landless blacks under the terms of the
Lancaster House peace conference arguing this precipitated the fast track
agrarian reforms in 2000
On the economy, President Mugabe said government would repossess some of the
privatised enterprises he accused of profiteering at the expense of ordinary
people. He also said if retained in power, the Zanu PF government would
revert to the command economy.
†"Privatisation has created monopolies in some instances and they have lost
the direction that they had earlier on, that of serving the people. Now the
State is thinking of going back, we now have to go and buy back from those
who are now calling them (the enterprises) their own," the President said.
Government privatised the Dairy Marketing Board (DMB) into Dairiboard
Zimbabwe Limited and the Cotton Marketing Board (CMB) now the Cotton Company
of Zimbabwe and the two have successfully listed on the Zimbabwe Stock
Other state enterprises like Ziscosteel, Zesa Holdings, Zupco and the
National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) have continuously drained the fiscus due
to the huge losses they incur.
President Mugabe admitted that they had made a mistake when they adopted
"bookish economics" from the West, saying some of their economic policies
were not realistic at all.
President Mugabe also acknowledged the existence of high unemployment in
urban areas, saying more resources had to be availed to small-scale
enterprises if the scourge was to be contained.
"There is great unemployment in urban areas, we have got to accept that.
Firms are shrinking and some are closing down..SMEs have to be assisted to
make sure they play a part in the economy," he said.
He, however, welcomed the assistance the private sector was receiving from
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe under the productive sector facility.
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