Report of events at
Sandown North Farm, Marula, Matabeleland South Province.6-8 February
On Tuesday night our
workers compound was attacked by a group of youths (known to our workers to be
settlers from around the district), and all our workers were ordered out of the
compound. They spent the night in the bush, including women with tiny
We reported this to
the police (Figtree) on Weds morning, and within four hours they were here to
investigate. They did not come back to us after their "investigations" at the
Last night (Weds
evening) at about 9 p.m. there was a lot of noise from the compound, and shortly
after that our workers all arrived at the back gate, having been thrown out of
their housing again. Upon phoning the police then, we were told the issue was
now political, and they (police) would not do anything. They told us to call the
DA in Plumtree. We know from past experience that the DA's office in Plumtree is
not neutral, and has sided with the "settlers" in the past. I phoned our MP, who
contacted the police and got the same response.
We made makeshift
housing in our shed for the workers and their families (There are more than 5
babes-in-arms amongst the people being treated in this way), but there was more
trouble this morning (Thursday) with three workers claiming to have had money
and/or goods stolen from them in the debacle last night. Calls for help to the
police met with the usual excuse of "it is political, and we can do
The hassles continued
this morning with our lodge security guard coming up to the homestead at about 9
a.m. to tell us that eight youths had entered the safari camp area, had smashed
up some client trophies, and sent us a message to vacate the lodge immediately.
They further ordered that we should immediately stop tending our paprika crop,
and that if we wanted it we should uproot it and replant it on the other side of
their perceived "boundary", the Marula road. They further said that anyone from
this location wishing to proceed to the Solusi Road (our usual route to
Bulawayo) would from now on require a Zanu PF card to pass that way.
Other workers families
have arrived at the homestead during the day, saying they too have been ordered
out of their housing. Reports have been coming in all day that the houses are
being destroyed, by having the thatch grass pulled from the rooves, and all
possessions thrown out into the bush. Again calls to the police (capitalisation
purposely omitted) met with the plaintiff cry of "but it is
Of note here is that
the farm Foreman, and the senior workshop mechanic have been left quite alone.
They are both well-built and known in the area for not taking trouble from
Contact was made with
local CFU leadership, who got hold of the Provincial police in Gwanda. We are
told that they have ordered Figtree police to react, and arranged for the DA to
come here tomorrow to try and defuse the situation.
We have the names of
all 9 youths involved, and even the ID number of one of them, as he works for
us. This should all come into use later, I'm sure.
The names of the
alleged attackers are:
Japhet Ncube (a
Friday Morning, 8
Since I wrote this, we
have had the DA here, together with the leader of the local WarVets association,
Croft Ndlovu. They arrived at 6 p.m. Thursday, despite earlier arrangements
they'd come on Friday morning. They were accompanied by the senior War-Vet
settler on the property, and Japhet Ncube, one of the perpetratrators of
yesterday's terror. The DA and Croft were very evasive about exactly what they
were going to do. They blamed the troubles on ourselves "being too political"
with our workers, and said the settlers were upset with some of our workers for
not taking up their "allocated plots". The strange thing is those specific
workers were the ones whose homes were AVOIDED during this attack. We were very
confused once they left, as none of our complaints were specifically addressed.
The strangest part of
our discussion was the repeated statements that we are all Zimbabweans, and we
must work together to solve our problems, and that under the skin we are all the
same, and the war vets have great respect for my father for his years of
experience, and nobody wants a Rwanda-type situation to develop here. A very
different line to that which has spewed from his mouth for the last two years.
Perhaps the Day-Glo Orange Capitalised writing on the wall has been read, AND
This morning we have
had a couple of new threats. Our lodge has been re-visited, and the workers
there told that today is their last day there. We have been informed that the
new compound we are building will also be destroyed, as they expect the workers
to move into the farm house with us. A report to the DA got a similar confusing
response about not dealing with politics, only the "land
If this is now being
brushed off as politics, could someone who receives this please pass it on to an
Election Observer, as perhaps they are the ones who needs to see/ hear what's
Future generations to inherit $210 billion
2/12/02 7:57:21 AM (GMT +2)
By Ngoni Chanakira Business
The government’s insatiable appetite for funds has resulted in the
domestic debt escalating to more than $210 billion - a debt the
grandchildren will inherit.
The debt, for the period ending
25 January, stands at $210 036 900 000.
Analysts say the domestic debt
will continue to escalate because of the
recent salary increments given to
key sectors by the government in a clear
bid to woo their vote for President
Mugabe, the Zanu PF candidate in next
month’s presidential election. Mugabe
is in real danger of being unseated by
Morgan Tsvangirai of the
Civil servants, the army, the secret service, as well as chiefs and
were recently given hefty salary increments.
claimed the increases were long overdue.
The presidential election
campaign has also been cited as a major
contributor to the escalating
Economists predict that the debt will soar and reach at
least $300 billion
by the end of March, when the election campaign
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) last Friday admitted that the
debt had risen above $210 billion.
The debt is ballooning at
an average rate of $8 billion every week as at 18
January, when it overshot
the $200 billion mark, reaching $202 210 100 000.
This was the first time
that the figure had surpassed the $200 billion mark
since independence in
Dr Simba Makoni, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development,
2002 National Budget Statement to Parliament, told Zimbabweans that
government needed to begin several cost-cutting measures if it was ever
wipe out the huge debt.
Makoni said the government had undertook to
restructure the domestic debt so
that at least 30 percent became medium to
long-term and not more than 70
percent in short-term debt.
however, said economic activity would seriously deteriorate this
resulting in further hardships on the already suffering
The RBZ said while lending to banks had increased, lending to
Economists say as long as the RBZ remains
a “government handout machine”,
the domestic debt would continue to
Zimbabwe is also saddled with a foreign debt of at least US$700
(Z$38,5 billion) as at December, 2001.
Failure to repay this
debt has resulted in major international organisations
such as the World Bank
and the International Monetary Fund withdrawing
crucial balance of payments
Zimbabwe bars US senator ahead of polls
AM (GMT +2)
THE government has withdrawn United
States Senator Russ Feingold’s visa to
travel to Zimbabwe, effectively
banning the senator from visiting the
country ahead of next month’s
Feingold is a member of the US Senate’s Foreign
Relations Committee Africa
He was due to visit Zimbabwe
later this month as part of his visit to
southern Africa, but the government
revoked his travel permit six days after
it was granted by the Zimbabwean
embassy in Washington DC.
In Zimbabwe, Feingold intended to assess the
political situation in the
run-up to the presidential election scheduled for
9 and 10 March.
“Clearly, the government of Zimbabwe believes it has
something to hide,”
Senator Feingold said in a statement issued in
“It is certainly disappointing that the government of
Zimbabwe has chosen to
revoke my visa and to deny official visitors access to
the country during
this critical pre-election period.”
revoking the visa allegedly said the travel permit had been revoked
the time of this visit is not suitable.”
The withdrawal of Feingold’s
visa comes after President Mugabe barred
observers from Britain from coming
to assess next month’s election.
NCA takes Mugabe to court over draft
2/12/02 7:49:24 AM (GMT +2)
THE National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) on Tuesday last week
filed a High
Court application seeking to force President Mugabe and his
accept its draft constitution.
Court papers filed in the
High Court cited President Mugabe as the first
respondent, and the Minister
of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,
Patrick Chinamasa, as the second
respondent. In his founding affidavit, NCA
chairman Lovemore Madhuku, says
his organisation is seeking an audience with
Mugabe to hand him the draft
constitution for consideration by the
Since December, the
NCA has unsuccessfully tried to meet Mugabe through
Chinamasa. Madhuku said
the government’s refusal to receive the draft
He said: “By denying the NCA, which is working on the
instructions of all
stakeholders, an opportunity to meet and hand its draft
constitution to the
government through the president, on the pretext that
NCA’s ideas are
inimical to the interests of the government, the government
section 23 of the constitution, which prohibits discrimination
of anyone on
a plethora of grounds that include political
Madhuku said the government’s action was in breach of Section
20 of the
Constitution which safeguards freedom to receive and impart ideas
Meanwhile, the NCA said it would stage
peaceful mass processions in Mutare,
Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Gweru on
Soldiers beat up Zanu PF youths
2/12/02 7:51:24 AM (GMT
From Mduduzi Mathuthu in Bulawayo
SOLDIERS deployed in
strife-torn Nkayi district recently beat up scores of
green-uniformed Zanu PF
youths in retaliation for earlier attacks on their
youths, trained under a contentious national youth service
reportedly beat up off-duty soldiers last week at a popular night
Nkayi business centre, suspecting they were MDC supporters,
Several soldiers were hospitalised at Nkayi General Hospital after
assaults, but were later discharged.
The soldiers took their
revenge last Saturday, raiding several camping areas
of the youth brigade,
who have been campaigning for President Mugabe’s
re-election ahead of the
9-10 March presidential poll, often violently.
The official police
spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena refused to comment on the
clashes. But the
reports were confirmed by junior police officers in Nkayi
and Hwange, the
Matabeleland North police headquarters.
Abednico Bhebhe, the MP for
Nkayi, on Sunday confirmed the clashes in his
calm had returned to the area, confirming the army action had scared
the youths into abandoning their camps. Bhebhe said the army
put a stop to the systematic repression of Mugabe’s
way, people are grateful to the army because they were being subjected
routine attacks by these youths who, under the cover of national service,
now being used as pawns by Zanu PF,” said Bhebhe.
Hundreds of youths
camped in the Magazi area, outside Nkayi along the Mvuma
road, fled when
soldiers raided the area.
CIO agents visit MDC mayoral candidate
8:25:43 AM (GMT +2)
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officers last week visited the
Seke home of
Misheck Shoko, the MDC candidate for the Chitungwiza mayoral
election on 9 to
Shoko, a war veteran and senior master at Seke One High School,
the election against incumbent mayor, Joseph Macheka, whose
been endorsed by the Zanu PF politburo.
Shoko said three CIO agents, driving a white truck, arrived at
his Unit G
home and identified themselves.
“They said they wanted my curriculum
vitae. They left a number and said I
should phone them,” said
“When I phoned them the following day, they said they wanted a
copy of my
profile and to ascertain whether I was indeed a
He said the man who answered the phone identified himself as
Munemo and said
it was routine procedure to get the details of people running
Press Release: 13 February 2002
Allegations that Tsvangirai plotted to assassinate Mugabe
The Movement for Democratic Change has received information
that an Australian television station intends to air a documentary in which it
claims that the MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, plotted to assassinate
president Mugabe ahead of the forthcoming presidential election. The documentary
in question has not yet been made available to us and we have not seen its exact
contents. While the MDC president finds it undesirable to dignify these
unfortunate allegations by commenting on them, the point has to be made that the
MDC president has no plan, desire or motive to eliminate president Mugabe. The
MDC president believes in a peaceful and constitutional transfer of power
through the ballot box. It is for this reason that the MDC has nominated him to
stand as the party candidate in the forthcoming presidential election. The MDC
president does not wish to be diverted from the central objective of seeking to
complete the change for a better life for all Zimbabweans though participating
in, and winning the forthcoming election. This assassination story is similar to
other stories that have been run both inside and outside the country at the
instigation, involvement and political machinations of the ruling party. Some of
the stories in this category include the allegations that MDC is planning war in
Zimbabwe, that MDC has assured the British government that David Coltart, an MDC
legislator, will be appointed the country’s vice president if MDC wins the
election, that MDC is behind the so called biological warfare against Zanu PF,
that MDC was behind South Africa’s biggest bank robbery recently. The list is
endless. The people of Zimbabwe are now tired of these baseless stories. The
people want to hear political leaders and competitors talk about the looming
food shortages, joblessness, the sky rocketing of prices of basic commodities,
the HIV/AIDS pandemic, funding of tertiary education and many other key issues
of the day worrying the toiling masses. This is where the MDC president will
continue to focus his energy and attention during the next few days as the
nation draws closer to this make or break election.
Secretary, Information and Publicity
Wednesday, 13 February, 2002, 17:59 GMT
Mugabe 'assassination' tape
Mr Tsvangirai said there was no truth to the
The opposition candidate in Zimbabwe's crucial presidential elections next
month has strongly denied allegations made in an Australian television
documentary that he discussed a plan to assassinate his rival, President Robert
The film purports to show Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of opposition party
the Movement for Democratic Change, talking about the elimination of President
The eight minutes of edited film was part of a one-hour documentary.
The video, which appears to have been filmed secretly, shows four men in a
room discussing political scenarios in Zimbabwe.
The SBS Dateline programme said it was a meeting between representatives of a
political consultancy in Canada and a man described in the film as, "the MDC's
The MDC claims Mr Mugabe's party is trying to
However, the black and white film is of poor quality and the identities of
the men cannot be seen.
In it, the figure said to be Mr Tsvangirai describes the procedure in the
country immediately after "the head of state has been eliminated".
Mr Tsvangirai has reportedly dismissed the charges as a crude smear campaign
and says that there is no truth to them.
His MDC party issued a press release saying that this assassination story is
similar to numerous other baseless stories put out, it says, at the instigation
of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
|Zimbabwe opposition leader accused of plotting to
An Australian television station has accused Zimbabwe's main opposition
leader of plotting to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.
SBS television's Dateline programme aired a secretly filmed meeting in which
the station says Morgan Tsvangirai discussed plans to take power in a coup.
The President of the Movement for Democratic Change says the allegations are
He has refused to comment further, but opposition spokesman Learnmore Jongwe
says Mr Tsvangirai has no plan desire or motive to eliminate President
He said: "The MDC president believes in a peaceful and constitutional
transfer of power through the ballot box."
According to the television report, Mr Tsvangirai also discussed plans for a
smooth transition in Zimbabwe at the meeting at a political consultancy firm in
The firm says it is working for the Zimbabwean government, according to the
The surveillance tape, which Dateline said was shot December 4, shows an
aerial view of four men sitting around a boardroom table. However, the black and
white picture is grainy and the faces of the men including the one named as Mr
Tsvangirai were largely obscured.
According to the report Tsvangirai had previously asked the consultants to
assassinate President Mugabe in exchange for money and the promise of future
The opposition says the story is part of an ongoing government smear campaign
against the party.
Story filed: 12:13 Wednesday 13th February 2002
Canadian firm accuses Zimbabwe opposition leader of plotting to
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Feb. 13 —
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader was
involved in a plot to assassinate or
overthrow President Robert Mugabe, a
consulting firm with ties to the
Zimbabwean government said Wednesday.
An official at Dicksen &
Madson said he secretly taped a meeting with
Morgan Tsvangirai, president of
the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, where they discussed removing
Mugabe from power. Tsvangirai was
apparently unaware of the firm's connection
The grainy footage was broadcast on Australian television
Tsvangirai told The Associated Press the tape was
He refused to comment further, but opposition spokesman
Jongwe said Tsvangirai ''has no plan, desire or motive to
President Mugabe. The MDC president believes in a peaceful
constitutional transfer of power through the ballot box.''
presidential election is scheduled for March 9-10. Tsvangirai poses
greatest challenge to Mugabe's 22-year rule since Zimbabwe
independence from Britain in 1980. Mugabe has become increasingly
amid the collapse of his country's economy and political violence
A man representing Tsvangirai's
party approached Dicksen & Madson in
November, said Ari Ben-Menashe, the
The opposition officials appeared unaware the firm
had done work for
Mugabe's government for ''a few years'' and believed it had
assassins, Ben-Menashe said. It is currently representing the
At two meetings in London, Tsvangirai
raised the subject of
assassinating Mugabe and arranging a coup d'etat, said
attended the meetings. He said he had an audio tape of one
A third meeting was arranged in Montreal with a
hidden camera that
secretly taped the proceedings, he said.
tape aired Wednesday on SBS television's ''Dateline'' program.
It showed an
aerial view of four men sitting around a boardroom table. The
picture was grainy and the faces of the men — including the
one identified as
Tsvangirai — were largely obscured.
''The MDC, represented by the top
man who's sitting here right now,
commits to ... the coup d'etat or the
elimination of the president,''
Ben-Menashe said on the tape.
During the meeting, the man identified as Tsvangirai expressed
military might take over if Mugabe was ''eliminated.''
But he also
expressed hope ''the MDC on the one hand and the army on
the other can work
together to ensure a smooth transition toward democracy
through the electoral
process, even if it means delaying the election.''
The opposition said
the story was part of an ongoing government smear
campaign intended to
distract people from the important issues of
joblessness, AIDS and food
The Zimbabwean government did not immediately comment on
accusation. Under security laws passed last month acts of
banditry, sabotage or terrorism'' carry a penalty of life
Zimbabwe has been wracked by political violence over the
years that human rights workers, opposition officials and
observers blame mainly on ruling party thugs' efforts to
opposition supporters in advance of the election.
Tsvangirai himself has been the target of several violent attacks
ruling party henchmen.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All
Bishops call for end to violence
Harare - Zimbabwe's Roman
Catholic bishops on Wednesday called for an end to
political violence in the
run-up to next month's presidential elections.
"We... strongly call upon
our government to use the organs and institutions
of the state to bring about
true peace and harmony as we move towards the
presidential and mayoral
elections in March 2002," the nine bishops said in
a pastoral letter
published on Wednesday.
"We also call upon all parties to refrain from
acts of intimidation,
violence or any anti-social activities that diminish
peace," the bishops
According to an AFP tally, at least 19
people have been reported killed in
politically motivated violence in
Zimbabwe since December 24 as the country
prepares for key presidential polls
due on March 9-10.
The MDC claims more than 90 of its supporters have
been killed since it came
to prominence ahead of parliamentary elections in
Media urged to report objectively
has surged ahead of the March election, in which
President Robert Mugabe is
seeking to extend his 22-year rule.
The bishops also urged the media to
report events objectively to "facilitate
national dialogue, tolerance, peace
They said political leaders must make "a positive
contribution to peaceful
free and fair elections by addressing themselves to
the real issues of
governance, land redistribution, high cost of living,
corruption, health delivery services, education and find proper
strengthen our economy".
The bishops have in the past year
denounced lawlessness and the intimidation
of journalists and
Last year they issued one of their harshest criticism of Mugabe's
during the land reform campaign that was often violent in
Mugabe is Catholic, Jesuit-educated and was married in the
church. - Sapa-AFP
Wednesday, 13 February, 2002, 15:03 GMT
Meagre harvest in Zimbabwe
Off limits: Farm takeovers have slashed grain
After a year in which farms have stopped planting, yields
have shrunk, and the land reassignment programme has left thousands of families
facing hunger, Zimbabweans could be forgiven for thinking the agricultural
outlook could not get much worse.
But new statistics from the Grain Producers' Association suggest that this
year's harvest could be even more meagre than expected.
In previous years,
Zimbabwe has produced about 2m tonnes of maize, which when milled produces
mealie meal - the basis for sadza, a porridge which forms the staple diet for
Retail maize prices
GMB official price:
Jan '02 quoted price:
FEWS.net Official exchange rate: Z$55=US$1 Real exchange rate: ca Z$300=US$1
Broadly speaking, that matched the annual demand.
But in 2001, maize production fell to just 1.4m tonnes, prompting fears - now
being realised - that hunger could be on the way.
And according to reports from the UN's IRIN news service, the GPA now
believes that the 2002 harvest, due to start at the same time as the
presidential election in March - could struggle to top even 1m tonnes.
The result: shops are starved of mealie meal, and have been for weeks. More
than 600,000 Zimbabweans are registered as requiring urgent help from the World
And with inflation topping 100% a year, millions are now finding themselves
barely able to buy even the basic staples.
Maize prices have more than doubled since October 2001.
Other commodities such as cooking oil are under government price controls -
leading to a thriving black market, but also to factory closures as a rampaging
exchange rate combines with inflation to make production uneconomic.
According to local experts, there are two main reasons for the poor harvest -
one natural, the other man-made.
On the one hand, the west of Zimbabwe has been experiencing rains well
below average, hitting productivity, while torrential downpours in some eastern
areas have drowned the crop.
Watershed elections for President Mugabe will coincide
with a poor harvest
And price controls on fertiliser have led many manufacturers to susend its
production, further undermining agricultural output - especially by subsistence
But even if - despite the poor weather - output climbs to an average of about
1.1 tonnes per hectare, production overall is unlikely to top last year's.
The reason? Wholesale land seizures of white-owned farms over the past few
years have slashed commercial maize production, while shifting black workers off
those farms has cut into subsistence farming and left their families going
Subsistence farming by war veterans who have moved onto the land is patchy at
best, and in any case results in yields four or five times lower than commercial
National grain reserves are now down to 10,000 tonnes, just two days'
consumption, according to government offficials quoted in the state-owned Herald
Accusing private - needless to say white - farmers of hoarding grain, the
government last year nationalised sales through the state Grain Marketing Board.
The GMB has been
importing through commercial tenders, and is hoping to have as much as 4,600
tonnes coming into the country every day.
Commercial maize planting
Meanwhile, it has been raiding farms where it says grain is being hoarded,
amid reports in the Herald that white farmers are trying to starve the black
But in the only documented case - at the Forresters Estate in northeast
Zimbabwe - claims of hoarding have been proved false.
Forrester is owned by a German company, and officials at the German Embassy
in Zimbabwe told BBC News Online that the 6,000 tonnes stored there was entirely
legal and, moreover, well known to the GMB.
The estate, the officials said, was covered by a Zimbabwe-Germany investment
agreement; the grain was being kept for farm workers, as well as some yellow
maize for animal feed; and in any case the GMB was in arrears in paying for the
last load it bought.
As for the tenders, the government is hoping to bring in 200,000 tonnes by
May, according to agriculture minister Joseph Made.
But the exact requirements will not be known until
investigations on the ground are complete, he said, a process which could take
three weeks or more.
112% inflation is driving up the cost of
Transport is proving problematic too. Getting the grain up from the sole
South African border crossing at Beit Bridge in the south to Harare, the western
town of Bulawayo and beyond is reliant on Zimbabwe's shaky rail network.
In any case, the country is starved of foreign exchange, making brokers
unwilling to deal even with the government in anything but hard cash.
And grain prices in the region are at 10-year highs due to widespread
South Africa was the only country to turn a modest surplus last year.
And with demand from all its neighbours skyrocketing - Malawi is now warning
of children dying from starvation-related illnesses - even South Africa is now
importing maize from the US.
"The [Zimbabwean] government have pretty much mismanaged the tendering
process," one Harare-based economist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told
BBC News Online.
"There's very little on the way. For months they denied there was a need to
import, and by the time the government changed its tune most of it was
What is coming into the country is being allocated through government
NGOs including the World Food Programme are trying to help, but the
government is reluctant to allow them to operate because control of the food
supply is seen as important ahead of the presidential elections in March.
Fleeing Zimbabweans find cold welcome in
LONDON, Feb. 13 — Hundreds of Zimbabweans fleeing to
Britain after threats
and beatings by supporters of President Robert Mugabe's
ruling ZANU-PF party
are finding themselves whisked back home or into British
exiles said on Wednesday.
coming from Zimbabwe are ignorant of the asylum
Brighton Chireka told Reuters. ''They arrive
without visas because they have
been told that as Zimbabwe is part of the
Commonwealth they don't need
''Most are turned down and sent straight back the same day,
they can get to learn about the asylum procedures, and so the British
still say they are not sending back people who have applied for asylum,''
added. ''This is happening daily.''
The British government last
month suspended deportation of
Zimbabweans who had applied for but failed to
be granted asylum because they
risked violence if they were sent back. But
those who do not even apply
still risk being sent straight back
A Home Office spokeswoman said on Wednesday there were no
details on the numbers of people turned back at the port of entry who
never entered the asylum process.
More than 100 people --
mostly black supporters of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) -- have been killed in two years of
political violence as Mugabe seeks
to extend his 22 years in power in
elections next month.
the attacks and invasions of the country's white- owned
commercial farms have
been carried out by self-styled veterans of the former
Rhodesia's war to end
white minority rule and win independence from colonial
ONE HUNDRED STILL IN JAIL
Official figures show that
at the end of December 106 Zimbabweans
were in detention in Britain, of whom
90 were seeking asylum.
Bornwell Chitambo, a head teacher and
supporter of the MDC, fled to
Britain at the end of July after months of
threats and several beatings at
his school in the eastern city of
He was told his application had been rejected because he
fled earlier if he was really afraid and in any case should have
neighbouring Mozambique, and because the ''war veterans'' did not
serious threat to him.
He spent the next three months in
detention and was only released at
the end of November on bail arranged for
him by the fledgling Zimbabwe
Asylum Seekers Association set up in October
and already with 200 cases on
Chitambo, who is still
waiting for his asylum hearing, said he is
convinced Mugabe's Central
Intelligence Organisation secret police will kill
him if he
''The CIO knows where I am. To go back to Zimbabwe now would
commit suicide,'' he said.
Fellow Zimbabwean, musician
Blessed Chipatiko, has been held in
Tinsley House immigration detention
centre near Gatwick airport since he
arrived in mid-July.
was dismissed. They did not give me a reason. I appealed
and got a new
lawyer. But on January 11 they took me to the airport to try
to send me back.
My lawyer showed them papers proving my MDC membership so
they didn't send me
back,'' he said.
''They know that if I go back they will kill me. When
those guys are
looking for you it is not just to torture you. You will
disappear. I cannot
go back,'' said Chipatiko who was beaten for two days in
a Harare jail
''When I fled here from Zimbabwe I
didn't expect the treatment I have
received. I am shocked at how I have been
treated. The only difference is
that here they are not trying to kill me,''
S.Africa minister sees Zimbabwe hitting Africa
CAPE TOWN, Feb. 13 — A senior South African minister
Wednesday that the country's handling of the political crisis
could influence support for an African recovery plan being driven
President Thabo Mbeki.
''It is a top priority for us
that...southern Africa and the
continent must be seen to support firmly
credible processes of elections,''
Mosiuoa Lekota, minister of defence and
chairman of the ruling African
National Congress, told reporters and
diplomats in Cape Town.
Mbeki has been criticised at home and abroad
for his moderate
reaction to the political violence in neighbouring Zimbabwe,
Robert Mugabe is seeking to extend his 22-year rule in March
Lekota said the international community would judge
Africa on its
commitment to peace and democracy and would support the New
Africa's Development (NEPAD) accordingly.
extent that we are seen not to be serious, we will not be
able to inspire
countries of the north to contribute to what we are trying
to do,'' he
Although Mbeki has called for free and fair elections in
has refused to publicly condemn Mugabe, to discuss the
consequences of a
rigged poll or to consider personal sanctions against
Mugabe and his inner
Lekota, one of the most
independent-minded members of Mbeki's cabinet
and a potential successor, said
the majority view of election observers in
Zimbabwe should determine whether
the election is considered free and fair.
''The process has to be
credible,'' he said, adding this would depend
on ''whether people were
allowed to campaign as they should, whether levels
such that it can be said that voters expressed
Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said at the same briefing that
Zimbabwe should not affect international support for NEPAD.
made it clear that events in Zimbabwe or any other country
cannot be the
basis on which people support the NEPAD programme,'' he said.
has condoned the violent seizure by blacks of white-owned
farms and the
intimidation of opposition Movement for Democratic Change
supporters ahead of
next month's poll.
Zimbabwe and the European Union were on Wednesday
locked in a
diplomatic tussle over the registration of EU election observers
Zimbabwean state-controlled newspaper accused the Europeans of
(Parliament newsroom +27-21-4032502,
Zimbabwe opposition leader held briefly at
HARARE, Feb. 13 — Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai was held
briefly at Harare airport on Tuesday after being accused
of using false
travel documents, an opposition official said on
''Mr Tsvangirai was held for 20 minutes at the airport by
agents. They said he had lost his passport and was using a false
document, but they found that he did have his passport and let him
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman Learnmore Jongwe
Zimbabwe immigration officials said Tsvangirai's
passport was only
taken for a few minutes as part of routine immigration
''We simply asked for his passport. If we ask for your
two minutes is that detaining you?'' one official
Although Tsvangirai's detention was brief, it adds to fears that
government is increasing its harassment of the opposition in efforts
frustrate Tsvangirai's bid to end President Robert Mugabe's 22-year rule
presidential elections on March 9-10.
The incident came a day
after the government rejected Swedish
diplomat Pierre Schori as head of a
European Union election observer team,
increasing concern in opposition ranks
that the electoral process is being
The MDC says more than
100 people have been killed in the last two
years in violence triggered by
the invasion of white-owned farms in February
2000 by militants loyal to
A leading human rights group said last week 16
murders were recorded in January, the highest monthly
toll since it began
logging incidents two years ago. The group said 13 were
Zimbabwe daily slams EU "arrogance"
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's state-controlled daily newspaper
the European Union of arrogance and bullying and vows the
never accredit the Swedish head of the EU election
The blistering editorial in the Herald on Wednesday, whose
reflect those of President Robert Mugabe's government, is
likely to tighten
the deadlock over leadership of the European team, whose
mission is to help
ensure March 9-10 presidential elections are free and
The government rejected Swedish diplomat Pierre Schori as head
of the EU
team after his arrival on Monday, feeding fears in opposition ranks
electoral process is being rigged.
Schori told Reuters on
Wednesday that the row over his accreditation had not
yet been resolved. "It
has not changed much. We are still waiting for
clarification on how the
government views our mission," he said.
The opposition's concern
increased when Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
leader Morgan Tsvangirai
was accused of using false travel documents and
held briefly at Harare
airport on Tuesday, MDC spokesman Learnmore Jongwe
"Mr Tsvangirai was held for 20 minutes at the airport by
state agents. They
said he had lost his passport and was using a false travel
they found that he did have his passport and let him go,"
Though brief, his detention adds to fears
that the government is increasing
its harassment of the opposition in an
effort to frustrate Tsvangirai's bid
to end Mugabe's 22-year rule in the
On Wednesday, the Herald
repeated the government line that Schori was
welcome to Zimbabwe as a tourist
and should be welcomed like "those tourists
who have a passion to watch
elections as those who want to look at
self-imposed head of the EU electoral observer team now in Harare will
accredited because he was never invited by Zimbabwe," the
The Herald said Zimbabwe had the sovereign right to
invite whoever it wanted
to observe the presidential election and the EU had
no right to validate or
criticise the poll.
"A big bully with
astonishing arrogance is what the European Union has
become to Zimbabweans,"
the editorial said.
"The EU is so desperate to observe our
presidential election that it is not
ashamed to make ridiculous and
provocative claims and is also threatening to
impose sanctions on Zimbabwe if
we say no to its demands."
But the private Daily News said the
government's behaviour suggested it had
something to hide during the
In an editorial headlined "Little to be gained from this
posturing," the Daily News said the government seemed to be
"damnedest to court the wrath of the international
In London, the head of
a Commonwealth observer mission to the elections,
Abubakar, told Reuters his 40-strong team would have an
impact although it
would not reach full strength until two weeks before the
matter how many people you get on an observer mission you cannot
supervise all the polling stations," he said. "But the mere fact that
presence is known will certainly make an impact."
already banned citizens of former colonial power Britain from the
which will eventually number about 150 observers.
This week it
emerged that Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge had pointedly failed
representatives from five other members of the 15-nation EU --
Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.
The EU has threatened
sanctions and warned it will freeze the assets in EU
member states of
Mugabe's family and inner circle and bar them from travel
to the European
bloc unless Harare allows the deployment of EU observers.
But in the
past six months of increasingly tense relations with the EU,
Mugabe has yet
to blink, doling out concessions after ignoring ultimatums.
in Harare were watching closely to see how the row over Schori,
ambassador to the United Nations and a former minister,
The signs were that Brussels was ready to avoid
confrontation in order to
ensure EU observers were deployed.
Australia the government-funded Special Broadcasting Service broadcast
video it said showed Tsvangirai, at a meeting in Montreal in December with
political consultancy firm, discussing a plot to assassinate
The MDC strongly denied the allegations, made in the
and said in a statement issued in Harare "...the MDC
president has no plan,
desire or motive to eliminate President
50 SA observers for Zim poll
Johannesburg - South Africa
will not intervene in the ongoing dispute
between the Zimbabwean government
and the European Union over the EU's
observer rights in that country's
Leader of the South African observer mission Sam
Motsuenyane on Tuesday said
that relations between Zimbabwe and the EU "is
really outside the purview of
"We won't intervene in
any way at this stage where there is a problem."
He was responding to
questions during a media briefing ahead of the
departure by the first group
of the 50-member strong delegation to witness
Zimbabwe's preparations for the
elections on March 9 and 10.
Motsuenyane said the South Africans believed
a free and fair presidential
election was still possible in
South Africa would deploy its members at various parts of the
country so as
to be in a position to operate in a non-partisan manner but
"would not run
the elections there".
Motsuenyane rejected suggestions
that the South African mission was being
funded by the EU, saying the funds
had come from various South African
He said the South
Africans had been invited by Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe to be there
as soon as possible.
"Our purpose as an observer mission is to ensure
that the proper conditions
exist for Zimbabwe to hold substantially free and
elections, despite the problems that country has been
It was imperative that Zimbabweans were able to speak
through the ballot
box, he added.
According to Motsuenyane, South
Africa would use its own election
experiences which showed that even under
conditions of extreme turmoil, a
relatively free and fair election could be
Motsuenyane is among the first batch of 13 observers scheduled
to depart on
Wednesday. Two other teams will join them on February 20 and
The mission comprises representatives from
various sectors, including trade
unions, business, religious and
In addition, judges Digkang Moseneke and Sisi Kampepe will serve
specific judicial observer mission and will report to President Thabo
on whether there had been substantial due compliance with the
Constitution and electoral laws.
Foreign observers sidelined before Zimbabwe
HARARE, Feb. 13 — With only 24 days to go before Zimbabwe's
polls, analysts said on Wednesday that the contribution of
to making the elections free and fair is likely to be
marginal at best.
Invoking national sovereignty, President Robert
Mugabe has spent
much of the past six months resisting pressure to admit
large teams of
observers for the March 9-10 vote.
banned completely. No Americans are expected, certainly
none who have built
expertise during the past 10 years of multi-party
elections in Africa. Danes
and Swedes, normally among the first to be
invited as disinterested election
observers, have been told they are
absences will put pressure on some 80 South African
observers arriving this
week with a mandate from their government to help
ensure the polls in their
troubled neighbour are ''free and fair.''
''The government has clearly
acted in a way to delay the arrival of
international election observers, to
limit their number and to ensure that
they move around the country as little
and as late as possible,'' a senior
Western diplomatic source told
``A lot now hinges on South Africa,'' the source said. BETTER LATE
Next month's election is set to be the closest since
independence from Britain in 1980. Mugabe has been in charge since
has no room for complacency against Morgan Tsvangirai of the
Democratic Change (MDC).
The MDC says the late
admission of selected groups of observers is
part of the ruling ZANU-PF's
strategy to grab an unfair victory at the
elections, observers arrive far in advance with unfettered
access to voter
rolls and registration. They deploy nationwide to monitor
the integrity of
voting and counting and are on hand when results are
case of Swedish diplomat Pierre Schori has underlined how far
and the European Union are on the issue.
''A big bully with
astonishing arrogance is what the European Union
has become to Zimbabweans,''
The Herald newspaper, which reflects
govermnment views, said on
''The EU is so desperate to observe our presidential
election that it
is not ashamed to make ridiculous and provocative claims and
threatening to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe if we say no to its
it said in an editorial.
The government has refused to
accredit Schori as head of the EU
observer team, whose number is due to reach
150 by election day. The EU had
already made concessions to get this
It accepted the exclusion from the observer team of Britons,
on the grounds that they personify the former colonial power and
Minister Tony Blair -- accused by Zimbabwe of siding with white farmers
trying to topple Mugabe.
Then the EU was told not to pick
observers from Denmark, Finland,
Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, five
countries which have heavily
criticised Mugabe over human rights issues and
the seizure of farmland from
The Schori stand-off was
unresolved on Wednesday and the EU observers
were not due to deploy until
U.S. SPECIALISTS NOT INVITED
specialists from the United States, such as the
Carter Centre and the
International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES),
have not been invited
The only U.S. group publicly to receive an invitation from
government, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
(NAACP), doesn't do election observation.
''As long as
observers are hand-picked by Mugabe they might as well
not come here,''
Professor Masipula Sithole, a political scientist at the
Zimbabwe, told Reuters.
''I welcome the way the EU is handling the
Schori case. They should
stand on their principle,'' he said.
Ironically Britain was also banned by Mugabe from the observer team
the Commonwealth, the 54-nation club composed mainly of former
colonies. By Wednesday there were only eight Commonwealth observers
The head of what is planned to become a 40-strong mission,
Nigerian head of state General Abdulsalami Abubakar, said in London
would make an impact.
''No matter how many people you get
on an observer mission you cannot
really supervise all the polling
stations,'' he said.
''Before you go to any place you have to get an
invitation has just been received, and already an advance
party of eight
people is in Zimbabwe,'' Abubakar told Reuters.
Citizenship Lobby Group Update #10
Remember, you have the right to vote if
you have been resident in Zimbabwe
since at least December 31,
Multiple Notices of Objection
people have received more than one of these notices. If you have missed
deadline on your first notice, make sure to get your appeal in on time
the second one.
Internet access to
CLG updates are now available on the civic and human
They are archived
under the Elections sector and can be viewed at the
fact sheet for the Citizenship Lobby Group can be viewed at:
regularly sends out newsletters containing civic and human
information. If you would like to be on their mailing list,
Please provide the following information when you email
· telephone number
· date since which you've been
permanently resident of Zimbabwe
(should be since at least December 31,
· which city/district you reside in
· when you
received your Notice of Objection
- Date on Notice
Postmark on envelope
- Date on registered slip
Date registered slip collected
- Date Notice collected
appeal lodged OR Date appeal refused and reason
· whether you have
received more than one objection notice
Di Mitchell has volunteered to receive information on the
receipt of Notices
of Objection by telephone.
She requests that you
observe the following points before calling her on
provide details for people who have been resident in Zimbabwe since
Dec 31, 1985 and have voted before (ie have a legitimate claim
- Collect the following information from as many people
affected as you
possibly can before calling:
· telephone number
· date since which you've been
a permanent resident of Zimbabwe
are apparently lodged at Room 12 at the Passport Building
A couple of
reports have come in regarding unusual demands made by staff at
in Harare. Have you experienced anything similar?
that the appeal is made by the appellant in person.
This seems highly unusual
if one can lodge an appeal by registered mail -
No mention is made on the form that the person in question
their objection in person. A member of our company took 2
separate sets of
documents to Market Square, and was given a hard time. They
stated that the
objection had to be made in person. He however talked his way
and managed to get the receipts as required.
Payment by money order refused
The writer said:
anger when this time my messenger was told that they would not
money orders, because they were only taking hard cash. This I
might add when
the registered letter from them said that the fifty dollars
had to be paid in
the form of a money order.
What to do if you've been
refused the opportunity to appeal
Make sure you've submitted your details
to either myself on email
Di Mitchell on telephone 494363. Please ensure that you are
eligible to vote
before contacting us.
Write to the Registrar-General at Private
Bag 7734, Causeway
Copy your complaint to a civil society organisation
· Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), P.O. Box BE630,
· Legal Resources Foundation (LRF), P.O.
Box 918, Harare
Legal appeals - class
These are underway and being handled by Bryant Elliot of
Gill, Godlonton &
Gerrans. We will submit your details to him as he
Harare & Chitungwiza Mayoral/Council
To vote in these elections you have to be on the common voters
should have registered to vote by the date the roll was closed -
Jan 10, 2002.
Tsvangirai smear adds to Zimbabwe election turmoil
By Kathy Marks in Sydney and Basildon Peta in Harare
14 February 2002
Details of an alleged plot by the Zimbabwean opposition leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai, to assassinate President Robert Mugabe before next month's election
and seize power in a coup assisted by the army were broadcast on Australian
television last night.
A documentary aired on SBS featured excerpts from a surveillance video that
purportedly showed Mr Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), discussing with British and Canadian associates plans to
"eliminate" Mr Mugabe at a meeting in Montreal in December last year. The
opposition party dismissed the allegations yesterday.
According to the film maker, Mark Davis, a Canadian firm of political
consultants called Dickens and Madson were promised $500,000 (£350,000) and
lucrative contracts for killing Mr Mugabe. Documents obtained by Mr Davis
allegedly show that down-payments of $147,400 were channelled through a British
In a statement to SBS, Dickens and Madson said they had had no intention of
fulfilling the contract and were now co-operating with the Zimbabwean
Mr Tsvangirai and an unidentified "fixer" allegedly attended two meetings in
London in October and November with a principal of Dickens and Madson at which
terms were agreed. The Canadians maintain Mr Tsvangirai personally requested the
assassination at the start of their first meeting.
The third meeting in Montreal, which was secretly filmed, is said to have
been attended by three employees of the Canadian firm, a mysterious Briton, an
unidentified American and Mr Tsvangirai.
In the fuzzy black-and-white video, it is impossible to distinguish the
identity of the six participants. The audio quality is also poor. In the
footage, the American notes that the Zimbabwean media are predicting a Mugabe
victory and adds: "I think we have certainly proved that fact to be wrong
today." One of the Canadians rejoins, to general laughter: "Do coffins win
elections?" The latter then says: "The MDC, represented by the top man who's
sitting here right now, commits to – let's call it whatever you want to call it
– the coup d'etat or the elimination of the President."
The American talks about a "a plan of introducing a transitional government
through the termination of Mugabe". The Canadians ask Mr Tsvangirai: "OK, Mr
Mugabe is eliminated. Now what? Are you in a position to ensure a smooth
transition of power?" He replies: "Yes. I've no doubt about it."
The man alleged to be Mr Tsvangirai claims to have the support of a senior
figure in the armed forces and says he hopes for a power-sharing arrangement
with the army.
The film alleges that an initial payment of $97,400 was made by a British
firm to Dickens and Madson for a "general services contract". A second sum of
$50,000 was also allegedly advanced. According to the Canadians, the balance was
due once Mr Mugabe had been killed. The programme said there was nothing to
indicate that the British firm knew what the payments were for.
The MDC said in a statement yesterday: "The MDC president has no plan, desire
or motive to eliminate President Mugabe. The MDC president believes in a
peaceful and constitutional transfer of power through the ballot box."
Learnmore Jongwe, a spokesman for Mr Tsvangirai, added: "This assassination
story is similar to other stories that have been run ... at the instigation ...
of the ruling party."