|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
February 12, 2004
~~~ Newsletter 048
Calling all angels
Remember that you must be connected to the internet to view the pictures in this newsletter.
Thank you and strong hearts to Zimbabweans who continue to demand justice through street protests. 2004 is the year to get jiggy with the regime. More fire!
thumbs up to the WOZA women - join them in large numbers on Valentine's Day -
gather in love and song!
Zvakwana has been receiving the WOZA information pamphlets and here is their news:
Harare: It is pleasing to note that the Zimbabwe Republic Police Force in Harare are coming out in full support of this important gathering of women on Saturday 14 February. Zvakwana sends them a big thank you for abiding by the full legal rights of citizens to gather in a public space. This is a fundamental requirement in upholding democracy.
Bulawayo & Vic Falls: Sadly this police force is not being consistent and so in Bulawayo and Vic Falls the police are failing to co-operate. WOZA have had to take the matter to the High Court in Bulawayo to request that the police co-operate. We are awaiting the result of this.
WOZA asks everyone to come and spend just one hour of Saturday hand in hand in love with fellow Zimbabweans.
Please note the change of time and place for Harare! And time for Bulawayo.
Harare - police approval
Saturday 14th February 2004
Place: Town Hall, Julius Nyerere Way
Bulawayo - awaiting High Court approval for march
Saturday 14th February 2004
Place: Small City Hall in 8th Avenue
Sisters are doing it for themselves
I do not remember when Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox released this hit song but it was a singularly powerful message and reminder to women world wide of their power and capabilities. On 14 February, some women will march for peace, for love in our country and it is not an easy call. They are doing it for the future, for their own children and for yours as well. Yes you, the person reading this message. Your children live in this country unless you have sent them away which is your prerogative. And it is also for them that these brave women are marching. They are no more fearless than you and I. They share the same fears and aspirations as you and I but they have chosen not to be victims. They have chosen instead to be the main actresses in their lives, to play the starring role and receive their due Oscars, not as a favour or an empowerment initiative but because they have chosen to play their real life roles as best they can. Paul of Tarsus has written, when you run the race, you run to win it. These women are running their race. The problem with races is there are times when you feel like giving up. There is a stage in the marathon, I am told, that is a make or break point and when you make that extra step needed to pass that critical point, you will finish the race. It is not in what position you finish, it is how you run it.
"Light a candle, instead of cursing the darkness."
~ Albert Gumbo, 12 February 2004
are civic organisations not united?
Zvakwana is perplexed to note that within the women's movement in Harare in just one week there are two marches. Even though the marches have very similar themes. This means we have a dispersed effect. We have double organisational overheads. The Women's Coalition (email@example.com) must be commended on getting some few women on the street protesting against rape recently. However it is confusing as to why the Coalition and WOZA did not combine under one big march. It is precisely this lack of unity that keeps the regime smiling. It is high time that civics coordinate more fully for the true benefit of their constituency. Zvakwana did not know about the rape march on Wednesday 11th - did you? Only while gagging over dead bc's propaganda did we realise that some banners saw the light of day on Julius Nyerere Way.
Minister of ill Health invited to NGO function
The respected scholar Gene Sharp put together a list of 198 non-violent actions that individuals can undertake to peacefully oppose regimes and dictatorships. One of his suggestions is to stop any fraternisation with government officials - to ostracise them. There is very little doubt from the flawed presidential election that the mugabe government is illegitimate. By inviting government ministers and officials to workshops and the like gives the wrong signal not only to the ego stuffed ministers but also the citizens of the country. So Zvakwana is outraged to hear that Island Hospice recently invited david parirenyatwa to commission their new headquarters. Zvakwana wonders whether any members of Island Hospice have walked the dim corridors of Parirenyatwa Hospital lately. Of course members of the mugabe government are never seen to be having medical treatment in their own country. Instead they fly elsewhere to seek their restoration. It might seem that the battle for democracy in this country is too big for any individual but we can all do SOMETHING to oppose the regime. Stop inviting government officials to your functions! Please email Island Hospice to tell them what you think of fraternising with the regime firstname.lastname@example.org
Vanachiwenga want to tell us they're ruling the country. But if they rule the country, what are they doing about the fact that our friends, spouses, parents, children and siblings are dying from diseases which could be cured?
Even HIV/AIDS is killing us off faster than it would if there was some basic health care system that still worked. What ever happened to health for all by the Year 2000? And why now is a military general getting involved in health care issues?
Sure something is seriously wrong in Zimbabwe. How can they claim to rule the country when more of us are dying every day? Health care is our right. And it is not the doctors, the clinics, or even the
medical aid systems alone which are to blame for our problems. Topera. Votarisa. Let's stand up together and tell them Zvakwana!
~ Shupi, Zvakwana Subscriber
Cabinet reshuffle: old trousers turned inside
Some excerpts from the recent ZCTU press statement: The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is disappointed by the announcement of a supposedly new cabinet by the President, Robert Mugabe. The ZCTU views this as a reconfirmation of recycled brains. It seems the President does not look over the horizon when he chooses people for office as confirmed by his picking of his tried and tired loyalists who will only manage to bend to the whims of the President. The appointment of additional Ministers and the creation of Ministries without portfolios also shows that the President is afraid of bringing in new blood which will revive the economy and one wonders how these 'old brains' who keep bouncing back to the cabinet will develop new ideas to turn around the economy. The appointment of Elliot Manyika to Minister without Portfolio is very suspicious as it is an indication that the Minister will now be responsible for election campaigns especially in view of the imminent 2005 Parliamentary elections. This is only an election gimmick. This cabinet reshuffle is just like putting on old trousers inside out and believing that people will think it is new. Support the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) - email them on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
to SW Radio Africa revolutionary
Georgina Godwin is known to many Zimbabweans for her courageous radio reporting. She along with some other Zimbabweans continues to bring independent news into the country. Zvakwana issues strong condolences to her on the passing on of her father Mr George Godwin. If you would like to send your messages of support to Georgina, please use email@example.com
And continue to visit www.swradioafrica.com for useful information on Zimbabwe.
Baba Chatunga's Turning 80!
In what other job can you keep on working until you're 80 and no one tells you to retire? Zimbabwe deserves a president who's still able to make sense of what's going on. This year, let's send Happy Retirement cards to bob, instead of birthday cards, and let him know that he's past his best before date!
Write to: Munhumutapa Building, Samora Machel Ave/3rd Street, Harare. Or if you would like to channel your messages of support for his retirement through Zvakwana, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Zvakwana also appeals to our supporters and activists locally and in the region to fax "Retire now! Bob" messages to +263-4-723710.
moyo junior indicating just how little support his master mugabe actually has.
Over 300 fearless Zimbabweans braved riot police to demonstrate with the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) for a people's constitution on 4 February. The group marched in NCA t-shirts carrying banners and placards demanding a new Constitution. One banner read "We are ready to die for a new constitution." Zvakwana congratulates the brave men and women who were at this demonstration. The NCA has pledged that it will continue to fight for a People's Constitution and will be having more demonstrations every two weeks. Yes it might be scary to participate. But we've all been complaining that "no one is doing anything" about our current troubles. But we are the ones who can Do Something! The dictator only wins when we are too afraid to Get UP Stand UP and Speak OUT for our rights. Let's make sure that next time there are more reporters, more photographers and more of US there so that everyone at home and in the region knows we're ready for change! Find out how YOU can participate. Visit 348 Herbert Chitepo Ave, Phone 736338, or Email email@example.com
We're talking about a revolution
When nonviolent movements mobilise people to use strikes, boycotts, civil disobedience, and other disruptive tactics - through a strategy to subvert an unjust regime's power - democracy ensues more often than when violence is used. A movement's members must set aside their partisan, ethnic, or ideological differences and unify behind the goal of liberating the country from its oppressors. Then the movement has to reduce civilians' fear of participating by first using nonviolent tactics entailing less physical risk, such as not paying taxes, work stay-aways, and commercial boycotts. This broadens a movement's base, as it recruits people who won't be violent but still want to act. Distributing the scope of resistance beyond the capital also strains the regime's outermost, least reliable agents. The movement also has to challenge the regime's legitimacy. Tactics that tempt repression can force rulers to discredit themselves in the world's eyes. That takes nonviolent discipline, to crystallise the meaning of the choice between the regime and the opposition. Then more disruptive actions - such as a general strike or larger demonstrations - can be sequenced to make it hard for an oppressor to maintain the semblance of control. When it's clear that nothing will be normal until the regime changes, even the military will begin to doubt the intelligence of endless obedience. Finally, the movement has to anticipate repression and perhaps be ready to settle for intermediate goals, until its own strength is sufficient - it has to know when to buy time and when to reach for victory. Mohandas Gandhi often invoked the biblical maxim that "as you sow, so shall you reap" - that your achievement will reflect your methods. The history that Gandhi helped launch has confirmed that truth:
More from: http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj0402&article=040221
Protest music: Zvakwana has released the all
time best Get Up Stand Up Top 20
Yes, we are pleased to inform you that our youthful supporters have been distributing this very popular home-made cd. In Harare we are hearing that certain bars and night-clubs have been playing this compilation of resistance songs much to the satisfaction of patrons. If you would like a FREE copy of this Get Up Stand Up cd then send an email with your postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org and play it loud people!
zanu pf electricity?
"Zesa is zanu pf. If you see any trucks belonging to Zesa, Arda or DDF doing work in the roads, you should know it is zanu pf doing it," said Gata.
There were mixed reports
this week that South African power company Eskom had stopped supplying
electricity to the Zimbabwe Electricity (non) Supply Authority (ZESA) for two
days. The state controlled sunday mail claimed that Eskom had cut off power due
of debts. ZESA now owes African utility companies like Eskom and Mozambique's Hydroelectrica Cahora Bassa (HCB) over $410 m in back payments. Eskom, however, claimed that it had not switched off the power, nor did it even think about doing so. Why then do we still see load shedding? Why then are the industrial areas so often without power?
ZESA's executive chairman
Sydney Gata was at Zvavahera village in Gutu recently. He was supposed to be
commissioning an irrigation scheme, but it was turned into a campaign rally for
zanu pf. Zvavahera is where Kassim Jonas, John Mudziro and other suspected MDC
supporters were abducted and tortured by zanu pf youths. Gata told thousands of
villagers that there is no difference between the ruling party and ZESA. "Zesa
is zanu pf. If you see any trucks belonging to Zesa, Arda or DDF doing work in
the roads, you should know it is zanu pf doing it," said Gata. The controversial
Gata even urged the new directors of the unbundled subsidiaries of Zesa to
"learn" zanu pf slogans. Several ZESA trucks were also used to ferry Zanu PF
supporters to Zvavahera village from surrounding areas such as Chitsa,
Mpandawana, Chamisa and Chastworth. Also at the event was Vice President joseph
msika, who said that if zanu pf lost the Gutu North seat to the MDC, the party
would have lost to the British. "If you don't vote and we lose we would have
lost to the British. You
would have sold the nation back to the colonisers and this would anger those who fought for the liberation of the country," said msika. So our power company doesn't have enough money to pay its debts. And its not organised enough to supply us power when and where we need it. But it still has time to go to campaign rallies and tell us to vote for the ruling party. Since when was electricity a zanu pf invention? The next thing they'll be telling us is that we need a zanu pf party card if we want to have magetz! Write, call or fax Gata and tell him what you think of this:
ZESA HQ Box 277, Harare. Tel: +263-4-774508/35 or Fax +263-4-774542/3. Or email the Regional Manager on email@example.com
workers fight Mugabe land thugs
Odzi - Thousands of Zimbabweans who grow vegetables for British supermarkets are fighting attempts by a cabinet minister to confiscate the land they work on. The rebellion by 6,000 black workers is the first in nearly four years of state-sponsored terror on the country's white-owned farms. Kondozi's 1,500 profitable acres provide huge quantities of runner beans, mange tout and red peppers for stores including Safeway, Sainsbury's and Tesco. But the minister for agriculture, Joseph Made, wants the business for himself. A few weeks ago, he arrived at the farm with colleagues and ordered out the workers and the white owners. A fortnight later, scores of ruling Zanu PF party loyalists were sent in but around 200 women workers fought back with broken tiles, stones and broken bricks. Shots were fired, apparently by pro-government thugs, but they were forced to flee.
"We needed land reform. OK? OK, you hear?
But now it is gone too far by politicians. We don't want Joseph Made or the local MP to come here."
Zimbabweans: sleeping and slouching - more fire people!
The Harare City Council has voted to increase the city rates dramatically to pay for its rising expenditure this year. But do we really see such good service that they should be increasing our rates? Potholes are everywhere, most streetlights don't work, our traffic lights are failing to work, our sewerage is unreliable and half the time our rubbish is not collected. The Combined Harare Ratepayers Association (CHRA) organised a public meeting to give people a chance to speak with their councillors about this. The first time the meeting was held, police closed it off. When CHRA managed to hold it again, and had advertisements, flyers and announcements to urge people to come, not even 100 residents came. Out of a city of over 1 million! Why do we think things will change if we complain in our homes but never Get UP and do anything about them? We have to change this attitude and start Standing UP for what we want.
Contact CHRA to find out how you can do more to make sure the City Council provides us with what we need. Phone +263-4-746019, write to Box HR7870, Harare, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to the continued overwhelming support for Zvakwana from around the country-side we will soon be setting up special email addresses for Zvakwana street level activists in other centres such as Mutare, Masvingo, Gweru and Kariba to name a few. Keep looking out.
Watch out for Zvakwana papers on the streets!
Zvakwana, Sokwanele, Enough!!
Make sure you SPEAK OUT - keep discussion alive, keep information flowing.
Please remember Zvakwana welcomes feedback, ideas and support for actions.
Visit our website at www.zvakwana.org
Enough is enough, Zvakwana, Sokwanele.
It was once celebrated as a rare African
success story -- an example of what
committed leadership can do. Education for all was the policy Zimbabwean
authorities pursued diligently for much of the first decade since
independence from Britain in 1980. The goal was to extend education to the
previously disadvantaged black majority.
As a result, scores of schools were built and the training of thousands of
teachers speeded up.
The investment did not take long to bear fruit -- by 2000 Zimbabwe had
achieved an adult literacy rate, according to the UN Children's Fund
(Unicef), of 93%, the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sadly, those classroom gains are currently in jeopardy, threatened by triple
digit inflation and political impenitence. One urban primary school says at
least half of its more than 1 000 pupils cannot afford fees, while a
government directive says learners must not be sent home.
The very poor, including Aids orphans, can apply for government help. But
such dues are always too little, too late.
As a result, the school is permanently entangled in a never-ending cash
crisis. Four classes have to share an average of 20 text books. There is no
money to replace even the 100 Zimbabwean dollars worth of exercise books
stolen during last week's burglary.
Parents cannot come to the school's rescue either. Four years of economic
contraction and increasing inflation have left many unemployed and
impoverished. They struggle to buy basic foodstuffs, let alone pay school
"If you talk of raising levies, parents will tell you the government has
directed there should be no increase," says the exasperated school head.
Unwilling to endure the frustration of running a school with no resources to
even cover its water bill, she has decided to quit.
"This just gives you grey hairs," she shrugs.
The situation is equally dire in most urban schools, and often worse in
rural areas. Here, not only are parents too poor to finance non-salary
recurrent costs of education, but teachers have the additional burden of
being targeted by President Robert Mugabe's marauding youth militia and war
Witness Ncube, a teacher at Matshetsheni Primary School in Nkayi,
Matabeleland North province, says he fled after three encounters with war
veterans, who accused him of preaching opposition politics to students.
Like multitudes of other teachers, who have turned their backs on low
salaries and poor conditions, he is planning to go to Britain. Meanwhile,
three months after his departure, the school still has not found a
Ncube's problem is not uncommon. Teachers, considered key informants and
community leaders in rural areas, have been targeted on a regular basis.
Brian Raftopolous, an associate professor at the Zimbabwe Institute of
Development Studies, says in "its attempt to deal with this growing economic
disaster and the severe loss of political legitimacy", the ruling Zanu-PF
party has attacked its own state structures, including those in the
This is one of the many reasons the country's education system, long
trumpeted as President Mugabe's enduring achievement, is on its knees. To
appease a restless population the government has put a freeze on school fee
increases, despite inflation of 600%.
In the last two weeks the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture suspended
50 school heads and dissolved a similar number of parents' school
development associations for "raising fees and levies without government
According to a government-controlled daily, the schools -- most of which are
privately run -- will be charged under the Education Act, "which means that
if they fail to comply with the Ministry's directive they risk being closed
Unable to balance their books but still expected to provide a service, it
remains to be seen how schools will avoid insolvency.
Yet Mugabe's educational achievements had extended to tertiary education,
where tens of thousands of college and university graduates were poised to
run what was once one of Africa's most viable economies.
Ironically, that same education has also equipped its beneficiaries with the
skills many are selling in neighbouring countries, and overseas.
Compared to one university at independence, Zimbabwe now has six state
universities, with another being planned. The quantity of institutions has
increased, but hardly the same can be said for quality.
Despite being only 12-years old, the National University of Science and
Technology (Nust) had acquired a reputation for producing well-rounded,
much-sought-after graduates. It too has been unable to prevent experienced
lecturers leaving for positions, often better-paid, with universities
The education crisis has reached beyond class size and staff, pulling at the
university's very foundation. The Nust campus consists of a few impressive
concrete structures interspersed with bush. There is no sound of concrete
mixers or workmen's chatter. University spokesperson Felix Moyo says due to
inflation "money runs out earlier than projected".
There is little funding for capital projects. Mugabe himself captured the
essence of the money problem last November, after getting an honorary degree
from a new state university in Gweru, central Zimbabwe. He remarked that it
was the first time he had received a degree "from the bush".
Mugabe was capped by a university with no buildings of its own. Three years
after the foundation stone was laid, very little work had been done. There
simply is not enough money.
Since independence, education ministries were often allocated the biggest
share of the national budget. But economic consultant John Robertson says
there has been a shift, more recently, as "it would seem they weren't given
the money allocated to them."
He says it appears that when the government overspends in one area, it makes
up for the shortfall by taking from the education and even the health
ministry allocation, hoping donor funding would plug the hole. Furthermore,
says Robertson, the money allocated "is not adjusted for inflation".
The mix-up of O and A level results early last year caused public concern,
amid reports of corruption within the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council.
Previously run by Cambridge University in Britain, O and A level
examinations were localised in 2001 mainly to save on foreign currency.
At the oldest university, the University of Zimbabwe, under-paid lecturers
withheld examination results, resulting in thousands of students being
unable to graduate. The students, meanwhile, exhaust their inflation hit
government grants in days, leaving them to their own devices the rest of the
Education has clearly been a major casualty of the Zimbabwe crisis.
Interestingly, the number of students from neighbouring Botswana has
increased, says Hugh Henstridge, campus director of Speciss College, a
favourite among the Tswanas.
"There's a big gap in tertiary education in Botswana," he says, attributing
increased enrollment to the college's solid reputation in Botswana. The weak
Zimbabwe dollar has also made it cheaper for predominantly middle class
parents to send their children to Zimbabwe and not South Africa.
However, as they make their way into Zimbabwe, Tswana parents cross paths
with the growing number of wealthy Zimbabweans searching for quality
education for their children outside the country.
Raftopoulos says while this quantitative growth of education has been
impressive, several problems confront the future of educational development
These, he says, include the absence of a comprehensive policy framework as
well as gender equity, finance and access. About 15% of children remain out
of school, Raftopoulos says.
The other challenges include the relevance of the curriculum which,
currently, is considered unresponsive to the labour market and the high
For Robertson, however, the issue is that Mugabe prefers no growth to growth
he cannot control. - IPS
'Misplaced faith in accuser'
13/02/2004 20:40 - (SA)
Print article email story
a.. Tsvangirai law firm banned
a.. Tsvangirai grilled over payment
Harare - A senior Zimbabwean
opposition figure says he didn't doubt the
credentials of a Canadian political consultancy that later accused
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of plotting to kill President Robert
Testifying in court at the treason trial of Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) leader Tsvangirai, who faces the death penalty if convicted, MDC
official Renson Gasela said he placed faith in the firm because he knew one
of the directors.
Gasela, a lawmaker and the MDC's shadow agriculture minister, said he had
known Dickens and Madison director Rupert Johnson since 1991.
Ari Ben Menashe, the owner of the firm, is now alleging that Tsvangirai
plotted the assassination of President Robert Mugabe ahead of 2002
presidential elections, which the MDC and the international community say
was seriously flawed.
"My impression was that he (Johnson) was a solid businessman with
international repute," Gasela told the Harare High Court.
Evidence based on video
Ben Menashe is the key state
witness in the case. The state's evidence is
based on a secretly recorded grainy and partially audible videotape of a
meeting Tsvangirai attended in Montreal with Ben Menashe.
Gasela said that in August 2001, he received a telephone call from Johnson,
asking him about the political situation in Zimbabwe and then expressing an
interest in helping the MDC.
The two later met in London where Gasela was given a business card by
Johnson which showed he was a director with Dickens and Madison.
Gasela said Johnson had indicated that his company was much more interested
in assisting the MDC in the post-electoral period as he was convinced
Tsvangirai would win the 2002 presidential polls.
"I expressed some interest and I told him I would report to the leadership
of the party," said Gasela.
The MDC then engaged Ben Menashe to help promote its image and lobby the
international community for funding, but said it realised later that it was
also being used for a similar purpose by the Zimbabwean government.
Edited by Noeleen Vorster
Rest in Peace
Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)
February 12, 2004
Posted to the web February 13, 2004
"After a long and
difficult illness, freedom of the press and freedom of
expression died in Zimbabwe last Friday. They were buried this week.
Mourners did not include South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki and his
Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. But the workers of South Africa,
its fourth estate and the legal fraternity were devastated."
So might read the death notice of Zimbabwe's free press this week. After a
brave court battle and international campaign, the Daily News and its
sister, the Daily News on Sunday, closed their doors. Their journalists are
jobless and the country without a brave voice that has sought to focus the
world's attention on Zimbabwe's political and economic implosion.
The Zanu-PF-packed Supreme Court ruled that the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) is constitutional, enabling "Information
Minister" Jonathan Moyo to shut the newspapers because their holding company
and journalists are not registered with the Media and Information
Commission. Another law is in the offing, designed to complete the hatchet
job. It provides that independent newspaper owners now living in South
Africa must reside in Zimbabwe.
Like South Africa's independent media under apartheid, Zimbabwe's freedom
sheets have become its citizens' information lifeblood. They expose the
harassment, torture, detentions, rapes and other state-sanctioned abuses
from which the South African government averts its gaze. They have
documented every pothole in Zanu-PF's journey from proud liberation movement
to rampant cronyism and corruption. Decent democracies engage and persuade
Last May President Robert Mugabe promised Mbeki he would amend the AIPPA and
other repressive laws. He has not done this, as he has failed to deliver on
other alleged commitments. At every step Mbeki, the master-strategist, has
been out-thought by Mugabe, who merely reads South African endorsement as
justifying his abuses.
This week, the AIPPA judgement left Dlamini-Zuma cold. "I am not here to try
to say constitutional courts [sic] of other countries are wrong. If it was
happening in Britain and the Constitutional Court [sic] said it was okay,
I'm sure all of you would accept it without question," she said.
Shock and disgust greeted this, but should we be surprised? For years, our
government has intoned: leave Zimbabwe alone; give it time; Mugabe is
misunderstood and misrepresented. It refuses to view Zimbabwe through the
prism of human rights, of solidarity with its people and not just its
rulers, and in keeping with the principles of the African Union.
Increasingly, South Africa's government is at odds with its people. The
1,7-million-member the Congress of South African Trade Unions deplored the
closure of the Daily News. "The law and the judgement make it a crime for
journalists to carry out their work without government permission. This is
totally incompatible with universally recognised principles of the right of
freedom of expression." South Africa's editors echoed the sentiments, as did
the General Council of the Bar.
Not all Cabinet members share Dlamini-Zuma's myopic faith in Zanu-PF or her
lack of passion for a free press. Reason prevailed on treatment for HIV/Aids
after a lengthy struggle in the ruling party. We can only hope that the
principled elements eventually win the argument over Zimbabwe.
A case of true love
Ahead of Valentine's Day, we present excerpts from "Love Letters to Bob" by
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a selection from 2000 to 2004:
On the state licensing of Zimbabwe's journalists: "I don't see how that
would in itself translate to control of the media, unless we could say here
and here and here the government has refused a legal application."
On whether the registration of journalists would hamper free and fair
elections: "If a journalist follows the legal process and the government
still refuses to register him, and the process goes through the courts, only
then would it be worrying."
On alleged plans to restore confiscated farms to white farmers: "Work is
still going on to do that."
At the National Press Club: "You are waiting for condemnation of Zimbabwe.
You will never hear that. It is not going to happen as long as this
government is in power."
"Zimbabwe is a democracy; the president does not decree laws."
On why Zimbabwe needs more time: "Here in South Africa, you don't say you
are going to change the law today and tomorrow it has been changed. But
somehow you expect it to work like that in Zimbabwe."
"Zanu-PF is a progressive organisation for obvious reasons."
On Zanu-PF as the African National Congress's sister organisation: "We
liberated our countries from the yoke of colonialism and we are set to
improve the lives of our people in our respective countries."
On the alleged dialogue between Zanu-PF and the opposition: "Everybody has
their opening lines in negotiations. That can be overcome."
"If you have problems with the Zimbabwean government, go to the Zimbabweans.
The government was elected by Zimbabweans. It was not an imposed regime."
"He [Mugabe] may not live up to the expectations of Western countries, but
he is interested [in peace and stability]."
Zimbabwe: Farm Kids Struggle to Find Decent Education
Integrated Regional Information Networks
February 13, 2004
Posted to the web February 13, 2004
In a non-verbal but eloquent answer to a question posed by a visiting
government and UN delegation about health conditions in her school,
eight-year-old Tendayi Bwanali started coughing.
When she finally settled down, she told the education department and UN
Children's Fund (UNICEF) officials: "We are holding lessons in tobacco barns
where tobacco is prepared (cured) every year - the smell of tobacco is so
strong that we have problems breathing."
Bwanali is in second grade at a satellite school in the Mt Darwin district
of Mashonaland Central province, in northern Zimbabwe. Lessons are held in a
badly ventilated barn, which is so dark the children have to strain to see
what is written on the blackboard.
There are close to 70,000 children around the country enrolled in 489
satellite schools - unregistered learning centres affiliated to the nearest
The majority of them sprang up in the wake of the government's controversial
land redistribution exercise which began in 2000. The large-scale movement
of people from communal areas to formerly white-owned commercial farms
resulted in children moving out of established classrooms to farms where
there were either no schools, or poorly equipped learning centres which had
catered mainly for the children of former farm workers.
"When it emerged that the children's educational development was under
threat, the Ministry of Education established satellite schools on some
commercial farms to try and alleviate the challenges facing children,"
explained UNICEF information assistant, Tichaona Chikowore.
However, with a lack of learning materials and proper facilities, education
standards are far from ideal, and marked by high levels of absenteeism.
UNICEF is trying to assist children in satellite schools by encouraging
donors to provide financial support. "If representatives of the donor
community see for themselves the plight of the children at satellite
schools, they will be in a better position to appreciate what they are going
through," Chikowore said.
Last year, in conjunction with the New Zealand Agency for International
Development, UNICEF donated education material worth US $68,000. The
donation, which helped 175 schools, included pens, text books, exercise
books, chalk and blackboards.
Bwanali and the rest of the children in her class said they had no books,
and little in the way of other learning materials.
"Holding lessons in the barns is not good for the health of the children
because their eyes could be damaged by the poor lighting system, while they
could develop respiratory problems because of the strong tobacco smell in
the barns," said headmistress Natalia Hwicho.
2004 expected to be a better year - President Mugabe
13 February 2004
President Robert Mugabe has expressed hope that Zimbabwe will this year
witness socio-economic and political improvements compared to last year.
The President was speaking at Zimbabwe House in Harare during a meeting with
a twenty-men delegation from the ‘Hear The Word Church Ministries’. Cde
Mugabe said this year should be better than last year, which saw the country
’s agriculture affected by drought and problems experienced in various
sectors including the political arena. He expressed concern over the erosion
of moral values among both rural and urban people in the country saying this
has led to corruption and the high prevalence of crimes such as stock theft.
The president called for stronger partnership between the church and state
in instilling moral values in society.
Cde Mugabe said it is unfortunate that some leaders are caught up in immoral
practices such as drunkenness. He welcomed the reduction in the incidents of
political violence saying it is positive step towards unity in the country.
Speaking at the same occasion, the leader of the church, Pastor Tom
Deuschle, said morality is the biggest challenge facing society today. He
called on the church to speak out on social issues affecting the nation. The
church leader also spoke about freedom of expression saying it should be
exercised within the confines of the law. The group presented $30 million to
the President saying it is a token of love from that church.
Organ traffickers 'threaten' nuns
Catholic nuns say they have received death threats after exposing
an organ trafficking network allegedly operating in northern Mozambique.
The traffickers are said to target the sex organs of children, which
are sold to make magic charms.
The nuns from the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate order say they
have gathered evidence of the trade.
They say they have spoken to victims who managed to escape and photos
of dead children with missing organs.
Ritual murders have been reported in many African countries, as some
witchdoctors say using human organs in magic charms makes them more
These are believed by some to bring financial or sexual success to
those who use them.
"We have received some very clear threats," order spokeswoman Sister
Juliana told Portuguese radio.
"Several countries are involved in this iniquitous
game and the
victims are the poor, those who have no voice or defence, or the strength to
defend themselves, we are convinced that Nampula is part of an international
ring," said Sister Juliana.
She said there have been several attempts to abduct children from the
orphanage they run in Nampula.
Mozambican, South African, Brazilian and Portuguese nationals were
involved in the ring, she said.
The BBC's Jose Tembe in Mozambique says the government had sent a team
of investigators to the area to probe claims of the existence of the
The organs are reportedly smuggled into neighbouring Zimbabwe and
The Spanish Embassy in Mozambique is also investigating the claims
after receiving reports from the nuns, who have lived in the area for 30
'Racist' book threatens agricultural relations
Posted Fri, 13 Feb 2004
A new book criticising government land reform threatens to strain relations
between the government, farmers and agricultural unions, the land affairs
department said on Thursday.
"In fact if this book gets out into the general populous I can see racial
outbreaks developing between blacks and whites," said chief land claims
commissioner Tozi Gwanya.
He described the book as "a piece of racist literature that would surely
anger any black reader".
“I fear the repercussions of this book”
"Basically what it says is that blacks are useless farmers and whites should
remain in possession of 87 percent of the land. I fear the repercussions of
At the launch of the book, "The Great South African Land Scandal", in
Pretoria on Thursday, publisher Philip du Toit said he hoped it would
"inform the broader public about the slow cancer infecting commercial
agriculture in South Africa".
The book claims that recent amendments to the 1994 Restitution of Land
Rights Act paved the way for the land affairs minister to "expropriate land
Despite promises by government that this would not happen, Du Toit said,
land seizures in Zimbabwe started off exactly the same way in 1991.
"South Africa will harvest its lowest maize crop in 60 years, while
preliminary areas planted for next season are the lowest since the 1939/40
season," he said.
Drought coupled with poor land redistribution tactics would leave South
Africa and the rest of the continent in dire straits.
Book described as dubious
The Department of Land Affairs described the book as "very dubious", saying
it sought to undermine land reform gains made by the government
According to deputy agriculture minister Dirk du Toit, "the sweeping
statements and generalisations in the book are intolerable. Conclusions were
reached without any apparent attempt to apply comparative formulae and no
contrast of negatives and positives was done”.
Philip du Toit would use the findings of the book in an address to a
conference on Africa in the United States next week.
Foreign charities accused of promoting famine
The book accuses foreign charity organisations of pushing Africa into a
continental famine by removing experienced farmers.
"We know for a fact that overseas governments are funding land claimant
activists in South Africa and are enticing them to violence and hate
speech," Du Toit said.
He cited British charity organisations Oxfam and War on Want as examples,
claiming the latter has been blamed for creating the Landless Peoples'
Movement (LPM), "whose leader recently called for South African farmers to
Du Toit claimed that these organisations have been asked to stop funding the
LPM following new British anti-terrorism legislation forbidding all forms of
violence and race hatred.
British High Commission spokesperson Nick Sheppard said he was not aware of
such claims. If true, the matter would be probed by the Charity Commission
in England and not the government.
LPM national organiser Mangaliso Kubheki acknowledged the body was funded by
Oxfam and War on Want.
"I have never uttered any inflammatory statement demanding the death of
farmers. What I have said is that landless people must protect themselves
from farmers if government won't do it. How can farmers feed human beings to
lions and then not expect repercussions," he asked angrily.
Agri SA not consulted on book’s contents
The book was based on information gathered by "qualified researchers" who
visited farms handed over by the government to formerly disadvantaged
Not one of these farms was able to sustain itself, the book claims.
But deputy land affairs director-general Glen Thomas said the book did not
provide an accurate picture.
"It appears that only the farming projects that had failed, had been
selected as examples." He invited Du Toit to accompany him on a tour of the
Farming unions Agri SA and the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU) agreed on
the need of a more structured redistribution policy.
But Lourie Bosman, deputy president of Agri SA, said the body did not
support all the views in the book, and was not consulted on its contents.
Parents disrupt classes over levies
From Bulawayo Bureau
ANGRY parents yesterday disrupted lessons at Nkulumane Primary School in
Mpopoma in Bulawayo after the headmistress summoned them to the school to
sign letters confirming that they approved levies being charged by the
The parents said they never agreed on the levies with the school and accused
the headmistress of trying to use them to escape the ongoing probe into
schools that defied a Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture directive
not to increase fees without its approval.
The school raised its levy from $1 000 to $8 000 a term while school fees
remains at $600 a term.
The parents also accused the school’s development association of conniving
with school authorities to impose decisions on them.
"A lot of things are not going on well at the school and the SDA is refusing
to hold a meeting with us to resolve the problems.
"This morning we were summoned to the school to sign certain forms
purporting that we agreed to the fees they are now charging," said Mrs Emily
Ndlovu who was part of the demonstrators.
"We suspect the headmistress is trying to use our signatures to avoid being
arrested for charging illegal school fees.
"We never agreed to these fees and she is trying to cheat us. The SDA is
toothless because she can just impose any decision she can think of."
The headmistress, a Ms N L Moyo refused to comment on the allegations.
The parents also accused her of failing to inform them on decisions she
takes on behalf of this school.
"We want this woman to leave. She has just done a lot of things without
consulting us and we are not happy," said Mr Dumisani Ndlovu.
"Last month there was a break in at the school and she never informed us
what happened to the property."
However, the SDA defended the headmistress saying the levies were approved
by parents at a meeting held in November.
"This is disappointing, the parents agreed to these levies at a meeting held
in November last year.
"Today they are turning back on their own decisions because there are some
people who are pursuing their own agendas," said the SDA chairman who only
identified himself as Mr Ncube.
"On the burglary, the issue is in the hands of the police and there is no
way we can interfere. The parents should be aware that there are a lot of
developments at this school that need money."
He said some parents were voluntarily paying the fees and only a few wanted
Governor fails to get accommodation
From Bulawayo Bureau
THE Governor and Resident Minister of Matabeleland South, Cde Angeline
Masuku, has failed to secure accommodation in Gwanda amid reports that a
number of Government houses are occupied by "ghost" civil servants.
The Governor has since instituted investigations into the allocation of
accommodation for civil servants in the provincial capital.
Speaking at a meeting with Gwanda chiefs, councillors, party officials and
civil servants, Cde Masuku said because of the shortage of accommodation in
Gwanda as a result of some "ghost" civil servants clinging onto them, she
was commuting daily to Gwanda from Bulawayo.
"I have to wake up and leave home at 6am every morning to commute to Gwanda
from my home in Esigodini because I could not get accommodation in the
town," she said.
"I understand there are some houses which are occupied by people who are not
civil servants and some who have either left the service or transferred to
other provinces while the rest of us do not have accommodation here," she
Cde Masuku was responding to calls from civil servants to assist them in
securing accommodation in the town.
"Most of you know people who are occupying Government houses but are not
civil servants and you decide to keep quiet when you do not have
accommodation. It is up to you to assist us by alerting us on such issues
and then my office will take it up from there,’ she said.
One civil servant said she has been working and living in Gwanda for the
past five years but has failed to get Government accommodation in the town.
She said this was frustrating and there was need for the Government to take
action to ensure that civil servants were well accommodated.
Other civil servants told the governor that some of the Government houses
had been sold to sitting tenants reducing the number of houses available for
"Some of the houses were sold to the sitting tenants who have since left the
service or moved to other provinces. Now we have a problem of securing
accommodation for those who come in to replace them," said the provincial
administrator, Mr David Mpofu.
He said his office was aware that some of the Government houses were let out
to non civil servants at the expense of Government employees.
"This is something that we want to get to the bottom of. We need to take
stock of all Government accommodation and find out who is physically living
in those houses," said the Governor.
Cde Masuku becomes the second Governor in the province who is forced to
commute to work from out of town due to the shortage of accommodation.
The late former Governor Cde Stephen Nkomo had to commute daily between
Bulawayo and Gwanda, as there was no house allocated for him in the
The provincial administrator has still not been allocated a house three
months after being appointed.
Even the district administrator for Gwanda was forced to rent a flat from
the municipality as he was not allocated a house.
Complaints have been raised over the delays in moving into Gwanda by the
provincial medical director, Dr Jabulani Ndlovu and his staff, who have
cited the lack of accommodation and office space as their major reasons
City slams alms-giving
HARARE City Council has appealed to members of the public to desist from
giving alms to street kids as doing so encourages them to continue living on
The call comes in the wake of numerous complaints by members of the public
who have been molested, raped or robbed by the streetkids.
Harare City Council public relations manager Mr Lesley Gwindi said civic
society should declare war against the menace of street kids and starve them
of street support.
"For them to survive on the streets it means they are getting support from
civic society. Civic society should make street life unbearable for the
street kids," he said.
Mr Gwindi said society should rather support homes that look after children
to enable them to increase their intake.
"If we all supported these homes, more children in difficult circumstances
would be accommodated," he said.
He appealed to the Zimbabwe Republic Police to intensify its campaigns of
flushing out streetkids and street families.
On Wednesday, the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe held a protest march against
The march followed a recent rape incident in which a 38-year-old woman was
allegedly gang-raped by five streetkids at the corner of Leopold Takawira
Street and Samora Machel Avenue.
Harare acting mayor Ms Sekesayi Makwavarara said abuse of women had become
so rampant that people were beginning to view it as an acceptable
phenomenon. This had to be put to an end.
"We as the city are dedicated to the safety of women and children. We have
always joined hands to fight abuse. To that extent, we have engaged the
police force in putting up a programme to rid the city of these elements,"
Chairperson of the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe Mrs Janah Ncube said more
police officers should be deployed to patrol the streets.
She said rape was one of the worst violations any woman could be subjected
Mrs Ncube challenged the police to arrest the streetkids the same way they
do commercial sex workers.
She said 90 percent of child rape cases occurred in the home set-up while 60
percent of murder cases that pass through the High Court in Harare were
cases of domestic violence.
"We marched today to protest in the strongest terms against rape and gang
rape of girls and women. Of late, Zimbabwe has witnessed a frightening rape
scourge which has permeated our society," she said.
"Let it be known that rape is not a crime resulting from uncontrollable
sexual passion. Rape is a crime of violence where sex is used brutally as a
weapon of control," she said.
RBZ in move to tap forex
By Tanaka Chifamba
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has moved a gear up in its efforts to attract
foreign currency from Zimbabweans living abroad.
The central bank has appointed a team that is expected to leave the country
shortly on a mission to liaise with Zimbabweans in the Diaspora on the need
to repatriate their earnings through the formal channels.
Economic commentator and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe
vice-president Mr Erich Bloch will lead the team.
The team would visit the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia,
New Zealand, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique.
Millions of Zimbabweans are scattered in these countries.
Reserve Bank governor Dr Gideon Gono announced the appointment of the team
at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe seminar on the
monetary policy early this week.
The advisory board on foreign currency has already established that at least
3,4 million Zimbabweans live abroad.
Of this number, 1,1 million were in the United Kingdom, 1,2 million in South
Africa, 100 000 in Australia and the same number in Canada.
Others are scattered in some countries in Europe and on the continent.
Mr Bloch said most of these people had been sending money to their families,
but the foreign currency was being externalised by some unscrupulous
dealers, which meant that the funds were not benefiting the country.
He said it was not possible for Zimbabwe to rely purely on exports or from
funds from external organisations to meet the country’s foreign currency
In some countries, remittances from citizens living abroad constituted a
major proportion of their foreign exchange earnings.
For instance, in the Philippines in 2002, Filipinos living abroad remitted
US$15 billion to the country while Turkish nationals remitted US$45 billion
Egypt and Ghana also obtained a large proportion of their foreign currency
from remittances from their nationals abroad.
It is estimated that at least US$4 million is brought into the country by
export labour and crossborder traders daily, of which a significant
proportion has not been accounted for in the national accounts.
A group of Zimbabweans calling themselves "True Zimbabweans" living in UK
last month said they were keen to send money to their families through
"We support Dr Gono’s moves to restore sanity in Zimbabwean finances. We
urge him to go a step further and open a money changing facility at the
embassy in London (and at all embassies and high commissions) where we can
send our money directly and have it converted into Zimbabwe dollars and
deposited into Zimbabwean bank accounts," said the group.
This would eliminate the use of middlemen, most of whom had been fuelling
the parallel market.
Rates obtaining at the foreign currency auction market have become
attractive to companies and individuals where an increasing number are
offloading their earnings.
RBZ settles foreign currency debts to gold producers
By Maria Mudimu
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has settled all the foreign currency
liabilities to gold producers, the central bank has announced.
This is in line with the terms of the monetary policy statement announced by
the RBZ governor, Dr Gideon Gono, on December 18 last year, where the
central bank promised to honour all its commitments.
The amount so far could not be obtained yesterday but the central bank said
it would continue settling and honouring its debts.
"In this connection the Reserve Bank is pleased to advise the public that
all outstanding foreign currency liabilities to gold producers have been
"The Reserve Bank will continue to implement a repayment plan for its
outstanding commitments," the central bank said.
Meanwhile, gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners, an arm of the
central bank responsible for gold processing and marketing have since
By end of January this year statistics from the central bank showed that
gold deliveries to Fidelity had gone up significantly with 1 109 kg being
Some of the daily deliveries were higher than last year’s monthly figures.
Exports have also increased significantly to three batches per month (42 000
ounces) during December 2003 and were expected to hit a high of four batches
by the end of last month.
Small scale miners who had been withholding their gold and selling it on the
black market have now become significant contributors of gold to Fidelity
Printers because of the increase in the producer price from Z$28 125 per
gram in August last year to Z$60 000 by November last year.
The year is expected to record phenomenal returns, augmented by the firming
of the mineral’s international prices and the new exchange rate auction
The Government recently appointed a small team of monitoring officials to
ensure that gold is channelled to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
The officials would verify whether a claim owner forwarded their gold to
Fidelity without which claims would be cancelled.
The latest development is expected to discourage side marketing and curb
illegal exports of the precious metal.
The country was losing significant amounts of the precious mineral through
illegal export dealings.
This Day, Nigeria
Don't Bring in White Farmers -Ex Milad
From Ahmed Oyerinde in Sokoto
The pioneer Military Administrator of Ekiti State, Lt. Col. Muhammed Inua
Bawa (rtd) has warned against asking white farmers in Zimbabwe to come into
the country, saying such move would pose serious security threat to the
Speaking during an interview in Sokoto, Bawa reasoned that bringing white
farmers from that part of Africa would never help to boost agricultural
production in the country, as no other person can do better than Nigerians
if they are committed.
His words: "Rather than importing white farmers, we should look inwards and
plan well by getting many people involved in the sector through workable
policies and we will get the deserved results."
According to him, the white farmers would not come to Nigeria and farm alone
as they would get involved in our local politics for their selfish end and
thereby pose great danger to our continued survival as a nation.
Col. Bawa called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency,
address the present state of insecurity in the country as a way of
protecting the nascent democracy and making people feel safe.
He further reasoned that government could do this effectively by creating
employment opportunities as utilisation of these idle minds would greatly
reduce security problem.
Air Zim Chart Plan to Clear IATA Debt
February 12, 2004
Posted to the web February 12, 2004
Air Zimbabwe has salvaged funding to pay off its outstanding US $1.3 million
debt to the International Air Transport Agency (IATA) Clearing House.
But the Airline remains suspended from the IATA until it liquidates its
Air Zimbabwe regional manager Marcia Cannon stated yesterday that
arrangements were underway for the remission of funding to IATA as a matter
"The Airline has maintained that its suspension from the Clearing House was
short-lived and a temporary event," she stated.
Cannon said Air Zimbabwe was currently strengthening its turn around
programme with a sustained arrangement to manage its long term and recurrent
creditors to ensure profitability of its business.
"We assure our passengers of the continued operation of the airline well
into the future," she stated.
Air Zimbabwe was on February 2 suspended from the IATA over non-payment of
IATA dues because it had problems securing foreign currency over the last
The suspension meant that the airline would not book its passenger on the
routes that it does not service.
IATA is the internationally recognized system through which airlines settle
bills owed to each other in air transfers and through which airlines knit
their individual networks into a worldwide system.
Botswana man locks self with corpse of Zimbabwean lover
By Ryder Gabathuse
A BOTSWANA man locked himself up with the corpse of his
illegal-immigrant-girlfriend from Zimbabwe in a bid to avoid punishment by
Botswana authorities, it has been learnt.
The middle-aged Monarch man found himself in a fix last Monday after his
live-in girlfriend, said to be an illegal immigrant from Zimbabwe died
According to Francistown police, concerned neighbours who knew about the
death reported the incident, which comes hardly a week after a 25-year-old
Zimbabwean illegal immigrant was found hanging from the rafters of a house.
Francistown district police boss Boikhutso Dintwa expressed worry that
Batswana men continue to disregard the law and harbour illegal immigrants.
He indicated that the boyfriend in the latest incident would have to bear
the costs of burying the deceased partner.
“As the police, our assistance will be limited to tracing the deceased’s
next of kin across the border with the help of the Zimbabwe police and the
rest will be borne by the partner,” he said.
Only last week, the body of a 25-year-old Zimbabwean woman was found hanging
from the rafters of a house in Somerset East in Botswana.
Senior Superintendent Dintwa said the deceased who was in the country
illegally was staying with her live-in lover before she met her fate.
“She has been living with a Motswana man who rented the house at Somerset
East. The couple allegedly had a misunderstanding and the woman took her
life whilst her boyfriend was at work,” said Dintwa.
According to the police, there was a note left in the house explaining why
the woman took her life so brutally.
“From the note is clear that the woman was not happy following a
misunderstanding with her lover,” explained Dintwa.
The 31-year-old Motswana man has been slapped with a charge of aiding and
abetting an illegal immigrant to stay in Botswana. The police said the man
has the option of paying P1 000 admission of guilt fine or defending himself
in court. Dintwa reminded Batswana who were keeping illegal aliens in their
houses for whatever reason that they were not doing themselves any justice.
“In most cases you will find that these people do not even know the address
of the person they are living with and during hard times like in the case of
death or serious sickness, they fall into serious trouble,” he stated.
According to him, some have had valuables stolen from their houses whilst
they were away and it is always difficult to trace the suspects since their
true identities and addresses are unknown in most cases.
He warned those who continued disregarding the law that sterner measures
will be taken against them.
Francistown has become a hub of illegal immigrants mainly from Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, the Francistown District Commissioner (DC), Sylvia Muzila said
that up to last September 32 illegal immigrants were given pauper’s burial
because their next of kin could not be immediately traced. She also stated
that about 39 corpses within the same period were sent across the border
after the dead were positively identified.
Amongst the dead bodies conveyed home, two of them were Zambians, three
South Africans and one Malawian. According to her, they get corpses of dead
illegal aliens for transmission almost weekly.