Portal of truth 11
In the end,
we will remember not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of
Martin Luther King Jr.
Portal of truth 10
Robert Mugabe defied the European Union two days ago, announcing that
observers would not be allowed to monitor Zimbabwe's presidential
The Harare government said Pierre Schori, the former Swedish
minister chosen to lead the group, had arrived as a "tourist" and
be granted accreditation as an observer.
Schori led the EU delegation during the June 2000
Most agreed that the EU report was the most
credible of all the observer
reports because of the relatively long time
spent in-country by the
observation team and because of the relative
size of the team -- the largest
of all observer missions.
Are there still any doubters out there on how
free and fair our elections
Poll may be re-run
ZIMBABWEANS must brace
themselves for a re-run of the presidential poll in
the event that neither of
the candidates is able to garner an outright
Leaders of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zanu PF and the
National Alliance for
Good Governance (NAGG) are the confirmed party
candidates in the 9/10 poll
race, whilst Abel Siwela and Wilson Kumbula are
According to the Electoral Act, Chapter 101, Section 3,
where two or more
candidates run for the presidential election and no
receives a majority of total votes cast, a run-off must
"Where two or more candidates for president are nominated,
and after a poll
taken in terms of subsection (2) no candidate receives a
majority of the
total number of valid votes cast, a second election shall be
twenty-one days after the previous election in accordance with
says the Electoral Act.
"In a second election held in terms
of subsection (3), only the two
candidates who received the highest and next
highest numbers of valid votes
cast in the previous election shall be
eligible to contest the election,"
the Act says.
This would mean that
whoever wins the poll must secure 51% of the total
number of votes
Zimbabwe Election Support Network chairperson Reginald
confirmed the regulations. "In Zimbabwe, the presidential
hopeful must win
by a margin of 50% or more of all ballots cast," he said. -
Zimbabwe police seal office ahead of protest
HARARE, Feb. 15
— Zimbabwe riot police on Friday sealed the offices of a
civic group that has
called for protests over the government's refusal to
adopt a new national
constitution, the group's spokesman said.
Maxwell Saungweme of
the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) said
two dozen police armed with
firearms, batons, sticks and teargas had
surrounded the NCA office block
outside central Harare. ''We are in the
offices and they are milling
outside,'' he told Reuters.
Zimbabwe has become increasingly tense in
the run-up to a March
presidential election, in which President Robert Mugabe
faces a fierce
challenge from Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan
''I think they are trying to stop the protest marches that
to lead later today...but we are not planning to call off the
Harare or other areas,'' he said.
The NCA is a
coalition of civic rights campaigners, church groups,
opposition activists and professional bodies that has
spearheaded demands in
the last two years for a new national constitution.
Government close to breaching RBZ borrowing
THE cash-strapped government is close to
shooting through the ceiling of the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)'s
borrowing limit of 20% of revenues
collected after being advanced $19 billion
in a space of eight weeks,
pushing the domestic debt to new highs of $210
billion up from $202 billion,
a week ago.
On average, the central bank
is lending the debt-ridden government between
$4 billion and $5 billion a
According to the RBZ Act, the bank "shall not lend or advance
moneys to or
directly buy, discount or rediscount bills, notes or other
the State or any fund established by the State so that the
outstanding at any time exceeds the equivalent of 20% of the previous
ordinary revenue of the State".
Since last year, the government
through the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority
managed to collect $131 billion
against the targeted $132 billion. This
would effectively mean that
government could only borrow $26,2 billion, or
20% of the revenue collected.
One of the major weaknesses in the RBZ Act is
that it does not specify the
interest rate payment on the borrowings.
Analysts said the increase in
the debt has also been caused by continued
borrowing from the banking sector.
This crowds out private, productive
sector investment through maintaining
pressure on interest rates, while the
overdraft facility with the central
bank adds to money supply growth, which
in turn intensifies
Zimbabwe's domestic debt is expected to shoot up to $230
billion by the time
the country goes to the March 9/10 presidential election,
expected continued borrowing to finance President Robert Mugabe's
and pay for food imports.
By the end of January, Zimbabwe was
beginning to feel the effects of serious
the government is not settling any of its debts - both domestic
international, with the latter now at more than US$700 million.
government budget was thrown into disarray because of the
grain imports from South Africa. Government's fast-track land
programme has destroyed the once viable commercial farming
it with peasant agriculture.
Holdings chief economist, Witness Chinyama said the
domestic debt has
continued to grow because of the sustained borrowing
mainly through Treasury
bills and the RBZ overdraft facility. He said the
use of the domestic banking
sector has increased as government is no longer
able to access loans from
multilateral finance institutions like the World
Bank and the International
Since 1997 Zimbabwe has failed to access any form of
funding from major
donors who are taking a cue from the Bretton Woods
Although the RBZ has been resisting the upward pressure on
interest rates by
rejecting bids by banks at its weekly and ad hoc Treasury
bill tenders, the
current upward trend in interest rates is expected to
remain until the high
inflationary pressures have been
Currently Zimbabwe's inflation is 112,3%, way above her major
"This excessive money supply growth, coupled
with a strong parallel market
rate, has fuelled inflationary pressures and
the situation is not expected
to improve until these factors are addressed,"
Due to the shortage of foreign currency in the country,
Zimbabwe for the
past three years has had a dual exchange rate where a
parallel market exists
alongside the interbank market.
Abubakar convicted of rights abuses
HEAD of the Commonwealth election observer mission in Zimbabwe
Abdulsalami Abubakar has been convicted of human rights abuses and
excesses during his military rule three years ago.
against Abubakar - Nigeria's last military ruler - was handed
down on Monday
by Judge Bernard Friedman in a United States district court
for the eastern
district of Michigan in Detroit.
Abubakar was sued last year by Nigerians
living in the US for the abuses
perpetrated between 1998 and 1999 during his
tenure as military ruler. The
former dictator, who had succeeded another
military ruler, General Sani
Abacha, after his sudden death in 1998,
relinquished power in 1999 to pave
way for civilian rule under President
The plaintiffs in the case were Hafsat Abiola, Chief
Anthony Enahoro and Dr
Arthur Nwankwo. Other defendants apart from Abubakar
generals Muhammadu Buhari and Ibrahim Babangida. The
were Kayode Oladele and Austin Agomuoh.
US-based Nigerian Pro-Democracy Network said the ruling was a
mammoth victory" for the litigants.
"This is a precedent-setting case as it
is the first time in history that an
African dictator has been sued abroad
and found liable for human rights and
other abuses committed in his country,"
the group said.
"It is a clear warning to past, present and future
African despots who think
they are above the law in their countries that they
will be held accountable
for their actions even outside their
The group said the ruling would discredit the Commonwealth
in Zimbabwe for the March 9/10 presidential
"In the light of the court action against General Abubakar and
the ruling of
February 11, we would like to question his credibility as the
leader of the
Commonwealth observer mission to the Zimbabwe election," it
said. "We hope
the Commonwealth wants to be taken seriously by the rest of
Abubakar and President Robert Mugabe appear to be close. The
ruler has of late offered solidarity messages to Harare,
as "an African brother"
ESC warns monitors not to talk
THE partiality of the government-sponsored Electoral Supervisory
(ESC) is being questioned as details emerge that election monitors
told not to disclose any information about their training, the
Independent has established.
Monitors who spoke on condition
of anonymity said a lot of personal details
were being taken at the end of
the training programme.
"We are made to fill in a lot of forms giving
personal details," one monitor
"We were told that this was for
security reasons and the trainers warned us
that if we did not behave
ourselves we would be tracked down and dealt
The monitors have
also been banned from talking to members of the press and
Constitutional Assembly (NCA).
"We were specifically told not to
communicate with the NCA and members of
the press, notably independent
"The Zanu PF agenda in all this is now very apparent and is
disturbing," said the monitor.
But ESC chairman Sobuza
Gula-Ndebele said there was nothing sinister in
taking down the personal
details of the monitors.
"People who are saying that are not serious about
the training. It is not a
secret that we are taking down those details. We
need to have personal
details so that we can weed out criminal elements,"
"This is a high integrity job and as such we cannot
afford to have people
with criminal records.
"We send those details to
the police so that they can verify them. If this
election is run by criminals
do you think people will take us seriously?"
refuted claims that the ESC sided with one political party.
"I am a private
lawyer and I have a reputation to protect. Siding with any
will not do me any good. These people are civil servants and
I am not
expected to know their party affiliation," he said.
The monitors are
being given a two-day training in batches under the
supervision of the ESC.
The first day deals with the training proper and the
second day is a question
and answer session and this is apparently when the
riot act is read to the
Last July the Minister of State for Publicity and Information,
Jonathan Moyo, said the government would ban foreign funding to
organisations for voter education, restrict election monitoring to
servants, and restrict voter education to the ESC and ESC- approved
This legislation was rammed through parliament after the ruling
annual national conference in December.
This effectively meant
that civic organisations which had been engaged in
intensive voter education
campaigns and had assisted the ESC in the past
Zanu PF intensifies onslaught on MDC
Zanu PF supporters have intensified their terror campaign throughout
country ahead of the March presidential election.
On Monday, Zanu PF
militias and war veterans stormed the shop of a prominent
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporter at Dema
growth point in
The businessman, who did not want to be named for fear
said violence erupted after a group of MDC supporters went
campaigning for their party. Zanu PF members intercepted and attacked
"As the MDC supporters started retreating, gunshots were fired in
and luckily no-one was injured," the businessman said.
the Zanu PF youths' ring-leader has been identified only as Wonder,
of the Zimbabwe National Army, but no attempts by the police have
to apprehend him.
"Wonder instructed the militias to attack the MDC
youths. It was during the
process that the marauding Zanu PF youths
extensively shattered my shop
windows and assaulted my wife. They wielded
knives and iron bars. They were
chanting party slogans and asked my wife
about my whereabouts."
I reported the matter to the officer-in-charge at
Dema police post and he
said they were still investigating the matter," the
"If I get killed, the people responsible are already
known. I have already
told my family about the issue."
communal lands villagers are living in fear following recent
motivated attacks by Zanu PF youths.
Most of the attacks and abductions have
been targeted at suspected MDC
supporters or sympathisers.
the attacks were carried out in broad daylight and any visitor
to Zvimba had
to have a Zanu PF party card and to know the party's slogan.
But of late,
said the villagers, while the situation appeared to have
returned to normal,
abductions were now being carried out at night making it
difficult to account
for the victims.
While the exact number could not be established, the
villagers said quite a
large number fell victim.
In late January, at
Tafira School in Zvimba, an old woman and her grandson
were abducted at night
by suspected Zanu PF youths. While the woman was
later found, the grandson is
still missing and his fate is unknown.
Another villager and his wife were
recently abducted and severely assaulted.
They were taken to Murombedzi
clinic where their condition deteriorated.
They were later transferred to
Chinhoyi Hospital where the husband's
condition is reported to be
MDC supporters were said to have gone underground and are
pretending to be
ruling party supporters.
MDC's chairman in
Mashonaland West, Gift Konjana, said the whole province
has been affected by
political violence. In Chegutu, the ongoing voter
registration is only admit-
ting people identified as Zanu PF supporters.
Aspiring voters are asked to
chant Zanu PF slogans before they can register.
In Chinhoyi, Konjana
said, officials at the Registrar-General's office are
demanding letters from
Zanu PF sitting councillors as the criteria for
registration. - Staff
Reinvent journalism says Ethics
INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo’s Media
Ethics Committee has urged
government to remodel journalism to suit official
cultural views and tighten
In a report yet to be
submitted to Moyo, the committee, chaired by Harare
Polytechnic head of Mass
Communications, Tafataona Mahoso, suggests
government should reinvent the
wheel of journalism in line with "African
come up with a clearly-defined media policy to guide the
operations of the
media industry in Zimbabwe," the report says.
"This can only be done in
the context of a clearly-defined cultural
The report claims
respondents during the inquiry said media training
refashion their curricula to incorporate "patriotism".
professionals, media analysts, and trainers interviewed called
training institutions to carry out a thorough review of their
claims, "particularly in order to address the nation's
concerns about ethics,
patriotism, African culture, African values, African
history and new
The report asserts there is a fundamental
ethical question about journalism,
which needs to be addressed.
ethical question arose out of the fact that journalism as a form
communication came to Africa first as a weapon of intervention," it
"As such, it tended to be hostile to African communication systems
techniques which were not part of the white settlers' intervention
The report tries to consolidate rigid official cultural
camouflaging crude repression by government.
observation raises a policy question: When did the African government
independence stop this interventionist function of journalism, so that
mass media from then on would operate in tandem with indigenous know-
systems and indigenous communication media?"
The report - which states
the mainstream media remains essentially
"Eurocentric" - takes a shot at this
"What is the connection between the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper
Zimbabwe's independence? Are these names merely based on location or
It avers there is polarisation in the media, a
view promoted by Moyo, Mahoso
and others as a pretext to target the free
press, but it exonerates the
Triple election process set to discourage urban
THE insistence by Zanu PF on holding triple
elections in Harare and
Chitungwiza may be a ploy by the ruling party to win
the polls by
deliberately frustrating voters.
This tactic was ably
used in Zambia by the ruling Movement for Multiparty
Democracy in its recent
election. The ruling party in Zambia used delaying
tactics by starving
opposition strongholds of ballot papers and
unnecessarily dragging the whole
exercise out by asking a series of
This was revealed by
Reginald Matchaba-Hove in his presentation at the
Zimbabwe Economic Society
monthly meeting last week.
"In Harare, Chitungwiza (and possibly Gweru) there
will be elections for the
president, mayor and councillors held at the same
time as happened in Zambia
in December 2001," Matchaba-Hove said.
was likely to cause a lot of confusion and inordinate delays in the
process in the urban areas, he said.
Matchaba-Hove cited the Electoral
(Amendment) Regulations as providing
ingredients for the lengthy delays in
the whole process.
"For example, a recent Statutory Instrument 8A of 2002,
after presenting a valid identity document at the election,
officer...shall, before allowing a person to vote, put to him
all or any of
the following questions... (i) Are you the person whose name
appears as AB
and whose address appears as CD on the roll of voters now shown
to you? (ii)
Have you already voted at a polling station or by post at this
this or that constituency? (iii) Have you received a postal
ballot paper to
enable you to vote by post at this election?" Matchaba-Hove
said the very
process of voting itself was equally demanding.
you add these questions to the long process of locating the voter's
the voters' roll, checking hands under the fluorescent lamp,
the ballot paper should be completed and deposited, then you
end up with an
inordinately long, slow and tedious process which could
result in very long
queues," he said.
Matchaba-Hove said the long queues would very much fit
the Zanu PF election
"Impatient voters may decide to leave
before voting. In addition there has
not been any inspection of the municipal
voter's roll to date.
"This appears to be nothing but a shenanigan
designed to create unfair
advantage for one contestant by confusing and
frustrating the urban
electorate who may be perceived to be hostile to that
The candidates that the ruling party is fielding in both
Chitungwiza stand no chance against the opposition MDC which has
support in the urban centres. Zanu PF has lost mayoral elections
Masvingo, Bulawayo and Chegutu.
In Harare the MDC will field Elias
Mudzuri for the mayoral seat. The ruling
party is still struggling to come up
with a candidate.
In Chitugwiza, the incumbent, controversial executive
mayor, Joseph Macheka,
will battle it out with the MDC's Misheck Shoko, a war
veteran and senior
master at Seke One High School.
Haphazard land reform bad for economy —
THE United Nations Development Programme’s interim report on land
Zimbabwe says the exercise is not the product of a national
the result of one-off executive actions. It describes it as “an
of the original objectives.
The report provides a
comprehensive review of the fast track programme up to
November when the
review mission was here. While it sharply dissects
structural failures in the
programme, it generally accepts the fast track
assessment of the mission is that, while the political
socio-economic rationale of the fast track land reform and
programme as defined by the government of Zimbabwe remain
sound, the current
scope represents an over-reach of the original
The report notes that there has been little scope for formal debate
reform either among elected officials or those who stand to lose or
the process. It says the current scope of the programme - at 9,2
hectares in November - was not the consequence of clear government
"but rather the aggregation of a series of one-off executive
The report describes as impracticable the constitutional
compensation for land compulsorily acquired for resettlement
is not payable
unless the UK government provides the money.
constitution of one country cannot place an obligation on a second
unless that is based on a binding mutual agreement," it points out.
there may be a moral obligation, there cannot be a legal one, it says.
also criticises the use of ad hoc retroactive legislation to clean up
are essentially political contradictions and problems of
fact that many of these changes are openly at variance
with the doctrine of
natural justice provide fertile ground for unproductive
There is another dimension to this, it points out.
apparent disregard of accrued rights and interests (both social and
of large-scale commercial farmers in the land acquisition process
injurious to the national economy," it declares, adding that
growth in other
sectors of the economy will continue to be sluggish as long
as the land
reform process remains problematic. This will in turn delay
The report says full confidence in the land reform and land
process can be restored if all stakeholders are prepared to make
a number of
It notes targets for land
acquisition have been arbitrarily hiked from five
million hectares to nearly
10 million but does not comment on the political
motives behind this change
of policy. The Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement
Initiative, which is given the
UNDP's seal of approval in this report, is
already a dead letter.
the basis of the government's own justification for the resettlement of
additional five million hectares in Phase II," it says, "the resettlement
double that figure will have a serious detrimental impact on the
role of the large-scale commercial farming sector in national
The report comments on the likely consequences on
"The expectations of some officials implementing the fast track
that the settlers' production will more than make up for shortfalls
production on commercial farms must be viewed as overly optimistic,"
It concludes there are "many problems the government needs to
resolve if the
programme is to be efficient and environmentally
But it doesn't refer to the toll on wildlife, forests and
river systems. -
Zanu PF not ordained to rule Zim forever
RELIGION has suddenly made a welcome encroachment into the realm of
in Zimbabwe after years of knuckle-rapping of the clergy by
because the two are "inherently" immiscible.
Zimbabweans find themselves at a crossroads about whether to
basically has been a gift from above and court both
perdition, or continue the twenty-something years walk to
freedom without any
telling when that will come a-knocking. It is their
What makes it more interesting is that religion is being evoked
time when nothing seems to convincingly depict that mood of
that is an invariable cognate of all religions that claim to
The canvassing of voters' allegiance hasn't been the
most peaceful by any
standard, as the violence has seen the decapitation of
supporters, abductions, disappearances, rape, and other
from the animal kingdom.
The election will in fact be
a decider not only for the politicians but,
more importantly, for the people
of this nation. And this for a country
which we have been endlessly reminded
had so much promise as one of the
continent's beacons of hope, politically
Despite the not-so-abrupt turn of fortune for the
country, we are being told
by seemingly devout patriots, who have turned out
to be not-so-convincing
Bible scholars, that this government is here by the
doings of a force whose
edicts are not to be disobeyed. While calls to change
the government have
been dismissed by those students of the Bible as an
attempt to defy divine
order, it is preposterous and inane when one imagines
that the same theodicy
(religious explanation and justification) may still be
claimed by any other
country that calls for an election. "Why hold an
election? Our party was
installed by God!" every other party which seeks
re-election would say.
But not even in those countries where religion is
closely tied to the state
have the people heard such election manifestos.
That is what the Mullah
Mahommeds told themselves after they punched their
way to power in
Afghanistan with their brand of the Koran. But the God they
claimed was on
their side when they forced women not to work or drive, when
ancient Buddhist statues, was nowhere to give them divine
armour when they
needed it most.
Today some of their loyalists are
prisoners of war. And here we are as
remote as we could be from being a
Christian state but that has not stopped
claims to this being a government
given us by the "gods"! And we have the
election violence to condemn us as
pagans, at least if we are to be
collectively adjudged by the politics of the
ruling party! So ours becomes a
theocracy whose presence and authority cannot
be challenged or questioned.
It is obvious that if nothing else will
convince the voting public to put
their vote where they think their salvation
lies, then the wrath of God is
the next sure thing after violence which will
convince the people not to toy
with divine Providence. God gave you Zanu PF,
we have been told, so stop
complaining about change. Let no man put asunder
what God has put together,
that is what the voters are being told.
anybody who claims even the most elementary religious instruction will
through those untruths because what comes from above ideally seeks to
the lives of the people - His people. Or is it still part of the
Great I AM's
grand plan and we have to wait some 40 years before we get to
Land? But many are convinced that half that period has been
enough, and are
still convinced it has nothing to do with their Maker!
The gospel being
preached by folks who seem to think that what the people
themselves want is
not important is not itself important because it is known
that this is being
invoked to scare them into thinking any choice made which
is not Zanu PF is
contrary to divine dictates. Why should anyone dice with
just so as to rule till eternity, as if that were
this will not show the people of this nation that politicians will
anything to win an election, with or without their approval, the
condemns itself to a life with no sense of right and wrong and
mass of very gullible souls! What is curious though is that while
being summoned as the last "straw" which will presumably break the
back, the tactics to woo voters have been a story of blood, sweat and
Could all this be part of our Creator's grand plan for
That is what makes this an election which will shake a lot of
if these assertions by Zanu PF and its God-fearing leader are
Voter education is thus important in bringing awareness to the
making their choices volitionally and without coercion from
forces that seek
to advance their own cause by appealing to their faith which
for them has
been embedded in the image of a wrathful God whose will is not
reversed. But then this all remains the gospel according to people
knowledge of the scriptures has turned out to be nothing but dubious.
Zimbabwe decides, the issues of good governance, economic prosperity
other ideals, have seemingly been superseded by whether the people of
nation want to challenge what is essentially God-ordained, or just dare
devil and do what they think has got to be done.
And this they do
with the foresight that they may as well be inviting the
wrath of their
Maker, as we have been told. Yet in all fairness, it has to
be asked, what
does it profit a man to forfeit his soul and gain the
presidency, for we know
that all that religious stuff has become another
victim of political
expediency? And the whole farce is made worse by that it
has been endorsed by
some clergy whose brief as spiritual guardians of the
faithful has been
irrevocably dented. Nobody worth their Christ will ever
Marko Phiri is a freelance writer based in Harare
Lodge your protest now
I HAVE been inundated with letters and inquiries this week from
have received letters from the Registrar-General's Office saying
having renounced their Zimbabwean citizenship, they will be struck off
voters roll unless an enclosed Notice of Objection is lodged with
Constituency Registrar's Office within a number of days.
letters were sent out on February 4. The deadline given was February 11.
most of them have taken over a week to arrive and many people targeted
therefore miss the deadline.
This is manifestly unjust and there are strong
grounds for suspecting that
this is a deliberate policy to prevent people
from exercising their
democratic right to vote. It does at least confirm the
suspicion that the
whole exercise of obliging people to renounce foreign
citizenship - both
real and assumed - was designed to strip them of the
If you were a resident of Zimbabwe prior to 1986 you are
entitled to vote
whether you are a citizen or not now. Registrar-General
Tobaiwa Mudede made
that clear in a ZTV interview last year and Justice Rita
confirmed the legal position in a recent ruling. It should
unnecessary for residents to claim a right they already have in
current exercise is therefore clearly intended to frustrate and
Whatever the case, I advise you to complete
the Notice of Objection and
submit it to the Registrar of Constituencies
asserting your right to vote.
Point out the fact that you were unable to meet
the ridiculously short
deadline because the registered letter was only
delivered to your post
office a week after it was sent. Here is what you
"Notice of Appeal.
"The grounds of my appeal are as
follows: I have been a permanent resident
of this country since . . . , that
is before 31 December 1985. I am
therefore entitled to register as a voter on
the common roll in terms of
section 3 (1) (b) of Schedule 3 of the
Constitution. I would be grateful
there- fore if you will retain my name on
the voters' roll.
"I should mention that although your letter is dated .
. . I note that the
postmark on the envelope containing your letter is dated
. . In fact I only
received your letter on . . .from which date I presume the
seven day notice
Sign and date it. Then take it to
Room 4 at Market Square where they will
give you a receipt. You will be
charged $50 for this "service". Or send it
registered post plus the
Note that the $50 fee has to be submitted by money order or cash -
personal cheque. Apparently a $50 money order earns commission of $150
registration costs $88, so be prepared to pay out $288 if you want to
your documents by registered post in this manner.
have returned their notices by post with an enclosed cheque. As
nothing from the Constituency Registrar's office to say this is
unacceptable procedure, I would think you have a good legal case
regarding the notification as duly served. Why should you
in the first place for a highly questionable procedure?
There is a group
of people who are organising the legal side of the appeal
blatant violation of people's constitutional rights. It is
Citizenship Lobby Group. Their telephone number is 494363. If
a number of cases to cite rather than just your own. And make
sure you were a
resident prior to 1986. If you have e-mail the address is
email@example.com. Latest developments can be found
at their website:
Bryant Elliot of
Gill, Godlonton & Gerans continues to be involved in legal
challenging the issuing of these Notices of Objection. He is being
informed of the information received through the Citizenship
If you are refused the right of appeal it is important to
write and protest
to the relevant Constituency Registrar and the
the date of receipt of the actual document,
notwithstanding the date on
which it was posted by the Constituency
Registrar, and the date on which
your appeal was refused. The RG's office may
be in breach of Section 34(1)
of the Interpretation Act.
Citizenship Lobby Group proposes to collate the information
regarding these Notices of Objection and will be submitting them to
electoral observers as proof of the RG's intention to disenfranchise
who have a legitimate right to participate in the forthcoming
My heart goes out to the elderly and infirm who were first
undergo the ordeal of renunciation at Makombe Building last year
and are now
expected to complete these forms and take them to Market
Arbitrary and discriminatory governance of this sort is precisely
distinguishes rogue regimes around the world from decent ones. What
me is that we have judges who are not prepared to challenge
overweening interventions by the executive in electoral
Fortunately, Justice Ebrahim provided the sort of judicial
country expects with his minority ruling that it was important
Supreme Court to determine the validity of Statutory Instruments of
sort which are ultra vires the powers conferred on the president
Section 158 of the Electoral Act.
It is clear Mugabe exceeded
his authority in issuing the decree aimed at
thwarting the opposition's
prospects in Harare and Chitungwiza and that this
represents another abuse of
power designed to obstruct democratic outcomes.
The courts have a duty to
uphold people's rights.
I hope all electoral observers over the next few
weeks will be acquainted
with the many obstacles this government has erected
to block a free and fair
poll. The exclusion of potential voters must be high
on their list.
Tsvangirai - the plot thickens
MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai
admitted he was set up by a former Israeli intelligence officer on
the Zimbabwe government. The operation involved implicating
Tsvangirai in a
plot to assassinate President Mugabe.
Ari Ben-Menashe - a veteran Mossad spy involved in a number
ranging from the Iran/Contra affair to the Zambian US$6 million
last year - wanted to lure him into "gangland" and destroy
Ben-Menashe is chief executive officer of Dickens & Mad- son
(Canada Inc), a
Canadian political consultancy firm which is linked to
minister Nicholas Goche.
The MDC leader said
Ben-Me-nashe contrived the assassination plot to
discredit him after a bid by
the consultancy firm to represent the MDC in
North Ame- rica went sour.
Despite the failure of the deal, Tsvangirai said
Ben-Menashe was still
pursuing him through the media.
On Wednesday, Australia's Special
Broadcasting Services (SBS) - a
multi-ethnic station covering, among other
things, aboriginal issues -
broadcast a documentary which included
surveillance video footage purporting
to show Tsvangirai agreeing to the
"elimination" of Mugabe.
The video was provided by Dickens &
Tsvangirai, who has already instructed his foreign attorneys to
legal action against Ben-Menashe and his group, dismissed the
He said investigations revealed
Ben-Menashe was working in cahoots with
Goche and presidential spokesman
George Charamba in a "smear campaign"
chief told the Zimbabwe Independent how the problem started:
approached by Rupert Johnson, a representative of Dickens & Madson,
public relations work," he said.
"The group said it wanted to help us
build our image abroad, mainly in North
America where Zanu PF was winning the
propaganda war through its lobbyist
group Cohen &
Tsvangirai said Dickens & Madson urged the MDC to launch
counter-offensive. Zanu PF had paid Cohen & Woods US$5
He said the Canadian firm approached the MDC through its
Agriculture, Renson Gasela, because he knew Johnson, a South
commodities broker, from his days as Grain Marketing Board general
"We needed a counter consultancy group and that's why we agreed
Dickens & Madson," Tsvangirai said. "It was solely their own
Meetings were later arranged to seal the deal. Tsvangirai,
senior MDC officials, travelled to meet Dickens & Madson
London in October last year. Ben-Menashe introduced
himself at the meeting
as a national security advisor to former Israeli Prime
Tsvangirai said the veteran spy said he
wanted to deal with the MDC because
Mugabe was unreliable. Mugabe was said to
have reneged on a retirement deal
with former US president Bill Clinton in
After the first meeting the MDC, through its London consultancy
US$50 000 to Dickens & Madson for public relations. A US$50
The second meeting in London was just a
"follow-up" to the first one,
At that meeting, Tsvangirai
said, Ben-Menashe claimed contacts at the
"highest levels" in government and
"Ben-Menashe is trying to be too clever by half," Tsvangirai
said. "At the
Montreal meeting he is the one who introduced irrelevant issues
eliminating the president, that his health is bad, and various
The opposition leader said he could not have
introduced the issue of
assassinating Mugabe to Dickens & Madson as they
were unknown quantities to
him and could have been part of a "criminal
Tsvangirai said after the "frosty" Montreal
meeting he reported
Ben-Menashe's antics to his party and investigations were
launched. It was
after the probe that Dickens & Madson's undercover role
The maker of the Australian documentary, Mark Davis, was in
month and obtained an interview with Mugabe after speaking to
although he had no accreditation.
Approached by a news agency
on Wednesday for comment, Ben-Menashe said:
"Don't bother speaking to me. Get
in touch with Nick Goche. He's the one
Menashe a master of 'dirty tricks'
ARI Ben-Menashe - the man who set up MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
elaborate operation involving an assassination plot against President
Mugabe - is a master of "dirty tricks", the Zimbabwe Independent has
He was described by Time magazine as a "veteran spinner
Yesterday the Independent heard
that Ben-Menashe's company Dickens & Madson
has been heavily involved in
arms for diamonds trade together with senior
military officers in Zimbabwe. A
source close to the dealings said the
company was flying diamonds from Harare
to South Africa where they were
being cut before being flown to East European
capitals to be exchanged for
Ben-Menashe - yesterday
described by diplomatic sources as "one of the
dodgiest men in Canada" - is
an Iranian-born veteran Israeli spy who worked
as a personal security advisor
to former Israeli premier Yitzhak Shamir for
He served in
the external relations department of Israel's Military
Intelligence and is a
former Mossad deputy chief.
Ben-Menashe is described as one of "six on
Israel's top-secret Joint
Committee on Israel-Iran Relations, who spent years
globe-trot- ting for
them, setting up fronts and transferring millions in
The former Israeli spy gained international notoriety after his
in the Iran-Contra Affair or "Irangate" in which he was accused
false information to the media and lying to the US Congress
under oath about
a shady arms deal.
consultancy, Dickens & Madson, has been working with
government for the past three years. It has connections with
Ben-Menashe has written a sensational book - Profits of War:
Secret US-Israeli Arms Network. It deals with a worldwide arms
In the mid-'80s he made unproven claims about the "October
which he alleged that former US president Ronald Reagan's
team arranged a deal with Iranian and Israeli officials to
delay the release
of US hostages held in Tehran until after the poll in
The unfounded allegations were that Reagan's campaign
specifically William Casey, plotted to delay the release of the
electoral gain. This alleged act of sabotage was supposedly
prevent Jimmy Carter from arranging a release of hostages in
prior to the 1979 election.
Although Ben-Menashe was
acquitted by a New York federal jury in 1990 of
charges involving the alleged
illegal sale of Israeli-owned C-130 Hercules
aircraft to Iran, his record
still remained riddled with controversy.
In November 1990, ABC News gave
Ben-Menashe a lie detector test concerning
his allegations about the
Iran-Contra affair. According to Christopher
Isham, an ABC
Ben-Menashe failed it dismally.
In March 1992 Ben-Menashe was described
by the Jerusalem Post as a
"notorious and chronic liar".
Soldiers seconded to ESC
THE Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has sanctioned the release
of 72 of its
officers for an indefinite period to the Electoral Supervisory
(ESC) amid growing concerns over whether the country is going to
have a free
and fair presidential poll.
The list of army personnel
assigned to the ESC in the possession of the
Zimbabwe Independent includes
officers from senior ranks like major-generals
and extends down to
lieutenants and NCOs.
"The following officers and others have been
attached to the Electoral
Supervisory Commission for an indefinite period,"
the letter from Army HQ
endorsing their release says.
However, their role
and functions were not specified.
Of the 72 officers, 15 are from army
headquarters while the remainder are
drawn from different centres and
Four major-generals, S Mukanga, J Mudzingwa, T Machivenyika,
TM Ncube and R
Mapako, are among the top-ranked officers included in the list
attached to the ESC.
The army's careers department drafted
the list and endorsed it by releasing
officer A Moyo, a major in the same
The drafting in of the army to the ESC has been viewed with
The ESC is struggling to find manpower to
supervise the watershed election
with only three weeks left. Critics say the
commission will accommodate the
army in the electioneering process to beef up
its manpower after government
rejected independent monitors.
SA/Sadc lobby govt to accredit Schori
Marawanyika/ Blessing Zulu
HIGH level lobbying by European Union and Sadc
countries, including South
Africa, is currently taking place to force the
Zimbabwean authorities to
back down and accredit Pierre Schori as the head of
the EU’s election
Schori, a Swede, has been chosen to
lead the 150-strong EU team to monitor
the March 9/10 presidential election.
But the government has vowed not to
Stan Mudenge has said Schori could remain as a "tourist"
minister Jonathan Moyo described his coming to Zimbabwe and
accreditation as lawless.
"We do not expect the parties involved to behave in
a lawless manner or take
the law unto themselves," said
Yesterday the government accredited 30 EU observers from countries
acceptable to Mugabe's government. The remaining batch of 120 will
the country on March 3. Schori's spokesperson Stefan Amer who is
Swede was not accredited either. But diplomatic initiatives are under
ensure that Schori is accredited.
Head of the South African
delegation Sam Motsuenyane confirmed on Wednesday
that several meetings were
taking place to solve the impasse.
"I will not be drawn into saying
anything on the problems," said
"But I can confirm that
our countries are addressing that issue at the
Motsuenyane said the South African observer team, numbering only
not alone be able to effectively monitor the election
"Our intention is to deploy members (observers) in all strategic
However, due to some constraints we cannot," said
Schori's position has arisen because of the apparent
blacklisting of his
country by President Mugabe who considers it
He has also refused entry to observers from Britain, Germany,
Netherlands, Den- mark, Finland and the United States.
round of meetings comes amid debate on whether to impose
sanctions on Mugabe
and his ruling elite by the EU this week.
Sadc has also been involved in
the latest initiative. Its observer mission
is partly funded by the EU. If
Zimbabwe fails to accredit Schori that could
have implications for the region
as the EU funds Sadc election observers to
the tune of half a million
Schori has vowed to stay despite not being accredited.
Commission envoy to Harare Franscesca Mosca confirmed the meetings
not be drawn into revealing details.
"We are going to see the outcome of
the meetings but it is too early to say
anything as yet," Mosca said.
Little time left to break Zanu's chain of
regional, global players fail to act against Harare, democracy will be
FOR a long time now, the international community has seen the rule of
being subverted by the government of Zimbabwean President Robert
Recently too, Harare has attempted to seek through a subverted
process the effects of a state of emergency, such as martial law
and rule by
decree, without actually declaring it.
In effect, what the
international community has witnessed has been the
gradual installation of a
civilmilitary junta. On the eve of the elections,
Zimbabwe is actually in the
concluding phase of what is virtually a
slow-motion coup d'état.
this light, the current regional and international debate about whether
not there will be a free and fair presidential poll in the country is
idle talk and an excuse for inaction.
Under the prevailing conditions on
the ground in Zimbabwe, there can never
be free and fair elections. The
Southern African Development Community, the
Commonwealth, the European Union,
the US and the rest of the international
community all no longer have any
justifiable reason not to take drastic
action against Harare.
just not enough for the Mugabe regime to concede on the issues of
observers and the global press. The infrastructure of violence must
If the international community does not impel Mugabe to
abandon and revoke
his antidemocratic and authoritarian legislation and if it
does not take
measures to ensure that Mugabe rolls back the frontiers of
violence, then we
can all resign to the fact that the presidential poll
stands rigged even
before the first ballot is cast.
In fact in
circumstances such as these, normal elections cannot be held, so
be nothing to rig. What we will witness is a fatal defeat of
democracy on a
violent electoral field. This is precisely Mugabe's intention
and he has
prepared elaborately for it.
The ruling Zanu (PF)'s own security
department concluded in early December
last year that, under free and fair
electoral conditions, it faced the real
prospect of defeat by the opposition
Movement for Democratic change (MDC).
This realisation impelled the party
to put in place a violent survival
strategy. Its implementation has resulted
in the current wave of violence
that has gripped Zimbabwe since the festive
The strategy is being co-ordinated by a shadowy group called the
Command Centre based at Zanu (PF) headquarters in
This is a civil-military outfit linking together top Zanu (PF)
the Central Intelligence Organisation, the army, police,
forces, the so-called war veterans and key senior public
This structure is replicated at the provincial and district
level and in
each of the 120 parliamentary constituencies, thus establishing
chain of command from the remotest villages up to Harare. They
virtually as freebooters sustaining themselves through extortion and
However, what is laughable but tragic is Zanu (PF)'s pretence to
due process, because even when they are militarising the electoral
to ensure it is thoroughly subverted, they are still finetuning the
amendment to the Electoral Act to plug all loopholes that might
Last month the government introduced new
statutory regulations in addition
to the amendment to the act, prohibiting
monitors, polling agents and
election agents from travelling in vehicles
transporting ballot boxes.
This is clearly meant to afford government
agents the opportunity to break
the seals and stuff the ballot boxes on their
way to counting centres. It is
as simple as that. They have even stopped
bothering with the more
sophisticated forms of election rigging.
is even a real possibility that Mugabe may, at the last minute, before
poll, use his wide presidential powers to amend the act further so as
require that the winner of the poll be decided by the number
constituencies a candidate wins rather than the total number of
votes cast. Zanu (PF) has already been discussing this.
strategy is that violence in rural areas will drive away potential
supporters from the poll and Mugabe will then win in the majority
constituencies, which are rural. This is why, for the first time in
history of the presidential elections, Mugabe made legislative provisions
ensure voting will, for the first time, be on a constituency basis
than the whole country being turned into one constituency.
MDC has challenged this in the courts, with the high court ruling in
favour but the supreme court (now packed with government supporters)
still deliver a judgment favourable to Zanu (PF).
strategies are also in the offing. Mugabe has always banked on
vote, although evidence on the ground suggests rural support is
However, operating on this assumption, there are plans to saturate
areas with polling stations and ballot boxes, with the hope of
distances travelled for rural voters and thereby "net-in" a maximum
of coerced votes to dilute the urban vote seen as predominantly
to the opposition.
The idea is to drastically reduce the
number of polling stations and ballot
boxes in the urban areas, and create
congestion, which will automatically
and effectively disenfranchise a
substantial percentage of the urban
As a result of
Mugabe's "violence strategy", Zimbabwe's population of
persons is growing rapidly. There is now a serious
internal refugee problem
composed of a floating population of displaced farm
workers and victims of
political violence. Sometimes the two cannot be
together with the looming food shortages, could speed up the exodus
refugees to neighbouring countries. SA has already started preparing
The world must know that Mugabe's strategy is to
rig the election and then
later negotiate with the global community for
Mukonoweshuro is Professor of Political Studies at the
Feb 14 2002 12:00:00:000AM Eliphas
Mukonoweshuro Business Day 1st Edition
tEric Bloch Column
Argentina: cry for me Zimbabwe
ANDREW Lloyd Webber, in his wonderful musical, Evita, penned the
following words for
his principal character, Evita Peron, the wife of the
Argentinean president: "Don't cry for me, Argentina, The truth is I never left
you. All through my wild days, My mad existence, I kept my promise - Don't keep
your distance. And as for fortune, and as for fame, I never invited them in,
Though it seems to the world they were all I desired: They are illusions.
They're not the solutions they promised to be, The answer was here all the time
... Don't cry for me, Argentina."
Although a very different
interpretation to that intended by the lyricist would need to be applied to
those words, nevertheless today's circumstances are such that Zimbabwe could
well be the songstress, with the words only minimally changed to a distraught
appeal of "Cry for me, Argentina". Certainly, any who presently perceive the
Zimbabwean environment favourably, are misguided by illusions, and government's
solutions to the country's problems are not what they are promised to be. The
answers to the economic ills are there, but constantly ignored.
long, Argentina's predominant claims to fame have been the revolutionary impact
of its Peronist era, its vigorous endeavours to wrest the Falkland Islands from
British control, the quality of its beef, and that its history (or rather, an
era in that history) provided the setting for a spectacular stage musical,
Evita, later made into an equally spectacular movie, starring Madonna.
But recently it has been the Argentinean economy which has been the
primary focus of attention of the international community, and to such an extent
that to a significant degree it diverted the attention of financiers,
economists, invest- ors and governments from the circumstances of other
Over recent years, the economy of Argentina, very heavily
centred upon primary product exports to the world in general, and upon trade
with neighbouring Brazil in particular, under- went continuing and very rapidly
progressing decline. The collapse was of such a magnitude that over the last six
months of 2001, the estimated decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) was over
11%. In that same period, unemployment doubled, and inflation soared.
the end of 2001, key characteristics of the Argentine economy included a massive
foreign debt of approximately US$150 billion, representing more than 50% of GDP,
whilst government's domestic debt was of even greater magnitude. So great was
the state's debt burden (equating to nearly 90% of GDP), and so inadequate its
cash inflows, that it defaulted repeatedly on servicing its debts, and even
delayed payment of state pensions. An inevitable consequence was the suspension
of lines of credit and funding support from the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and most of the financial entities of the world. The intensification of
the economic deterioration set in virtual perpetual motion a continuing, almost
un-stoppable, worsening of every sector of the economy, until the economy was
effectively in a mode of self-destruction. Inflation rose constantly, and the
shrinking purchasing power of money resulted in progressively greater hardships
for the majority of the populace.
As the meagre savings of the masses
became worth less, and less, and less, in terms of that which they could buy,
the people became increasingly distressed, despondent and agitated, confidence
plum- meted until it became non-existent, all determined to withdraw their
savings from the banks and spend them before they became even more worthless,
and that caused a run on the banks placing their survival in great jeopardy and
the entire monetary system parlously poised on the precipice of total
The government strove assiduously to halt the regression of the
economy, but in doing so it stubbornly rejected all advice of the economic
experts of the international community, and of any and all of the economists of
the country other than those in the employ of the state or as were active
members and supporters of the ruling regime. It flouted and rejected all the
fundamental principles of economics and, in so doing, it accelerated the
The first of its grave errors was its failure to
address the underlying causes of inflation, of which the most pronounced was the
profligate spending of the state, and the consequential continuous recourse to
borrowings. Government was recurrently urged to reduce the bloated public
service, but did nothing to do so. The authorities were repeatedly encouraged to
contain expenditure, but their intemperate squandering of funds continued
As inflation continued ever upwards, costs of production rose
concomitantly, impacting not only upon prices of goods for domestic consumption,
but also upon those of goods intended for export.
As a result, those
goods became less and less price competitive in Argentina's traditional export
markets, and could not compete in possible alternative markets. Only one thing
could restore the ability of exporters to market their production, and that was
a devaluation of Argentine currency, the Peso. But government refused to do so.
It allowed political perceptions, patriotic arrogance, and self-centred
conviction of invincibility to override economic dictates, and therefore rigidly
adhered to a Peso/United States dollar linkage which bore no relationship to
In consequence, exports fell more and more, and
concurrently Argentina attracted ever less foreign investment. The loss of
export earnings, investment inflows and ultimately of IMF support, caused a
massive balance-of-payments deficit, and the availability of foreign ex- change
diminished continuously. Soon the only manner whereby exporters could survive,
even if only inadequately, and the only manner whereby those needing foreign
exchange had a chance of obtaining some, was by trading currencies in what
became known as "in the streets". (In Zimbabwe, that is known as parallel market
or black market.)
As the deterioration became greater and greater, the
only thriving and growing economic sector was that engaged in the closure and
liquidation of businesses. Liquidators, auctioneers and the like experienced an
increasing demand for their services, but they were the exceptions, not the
rule. As enterprises fell like skittles, so more and more of the nation's
employees (other than those in the public service) were retrenched, and few were
fortunate enough to obtain alternative employment. Hardships and poverty
increased, the health delivery system, the provision of utilities and the supply
of other essential services became more and more inadequate and
In 1989, when Argentina had previously undergone a period of
severe economic recession and hyperinflation, the dissatisfaction of the
Argentinean people effectively forced the resignation of the then president,
Alfonsin, whereafter the country experienced a marked change in economic
policies and a significant upturn in the economy. But when the mistakes were
repeated years later, bringing about, yet again, an economic decline, those
responsible for that decline survived in office surprisingly long. However,
eventually patience wore thin.
The populace was not prepared to continue
suffering, and feared an intensification of that suffering. It also increasingly
resented the proliferation of corrupt practices which enabled many in authority,
and many bureaucrats, to live lives of extreme luxury and comfort despite the
economic morass they had created for others. The people became ever more
vociferous in voicing their displeasure and dissatisfaction and turned out in
their tens of thousands in the streets.
Initially the protests were
peaceful, but soon emotions subjugated reason and natural tendencies of
compliance with law, and growing anger gave rise to riots, civil commotion and
violence. The culmination was the resignation of President De La Rua to pre-empt
being overthrown, and within days that of his successor and, soon thereafter, of
his successor too.
The similarities between the Argentinean experiences
and those of Zimbabwe are frighteningly great. Zimbabwe has emulated most of the
economic mistakes of Argentina, including the spendthrift abuse of the
exchequer, alienation of international sources of funding, fuelling of
inflation, disregard of well-intended and the economic advice of international
experts and the hard-press-ed captains of commerce, industry and other economic
sectors, destruction of export markets, disdainful disregard for the economic
well-being of the population, and vast accumulation of debt.
similarities end there, or will the consequences and developments in Zimbabwe
mirror those of Argentina? That country having suffered grievously, its
witnessing of Zimbabwe's failure to learn from the mistakes of others must make
it wish to cry for Zimbabwe!
Jonathan Moyo insists he is no sellout, just 'honest'
is Jonathan Moyo suddenly on the defensive? Having spent much of the last two
years attacking everybody and anybody who gets in his way, he is now reduced to
insisting that he is not a sellout.
two exclusive interviews with the Herald, "Prof Moyo said he had never sold out
to anyone because he was never part of any lobby group or political party and
was simply playing his role as an academic".
what prompted this anguished self-pitying insight at this point in time? Could
it have something to do with growing opposition within his own party to his
vaulting ambitions - or fresh accusations of fraud from South Africa? Then there
was the 1993 article the Zimbabwe Independent published recently which evidently
embarrassed him by recalling his attacks on the cult of the "Dear Leader", a
cult which he now heads.
Herald's explanation for the acres of space accorded to him last week was that
Moyo was a victim of "a sustained campaign" by the British, South African and
"local opposition" media to vilify him. This had culminated in "threats against
his life", we were improbably informed - possibly a reference to the
non-existent anthrax letter.
is clearly anxious to iron out all those mountainous inconsistencies that have
erupted in his defence of the indefensible over the past two years. But his
interviews with the Herald only exposed his intellectual dishonesty.
"There is nothing I said in the past that I regret," he told the paper.
"When you are an academic you must be an honest academic, that is why I
criticised the government, the churches, the NGOs, the British government, the
Supreme Court and former Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay...."
Really? We thought the dispute with Gubbay started when the then high
court judge made a ruling in regard to the custody of Moyo's children? Wasn't
that when the vendetta against Gubbay started? And we don't recall him attacking
quite such a wide range of targets at the time, unless of course it was for
supporting the Mugabe regime.
Herald describes Moyo as a "renowned critic, researcher and lecturer". Surely,
that is for his peers to decide? Or was the Herald told to print that
description - just as it was told to carry the "interviews"?
says he took a cut in salary to join the constitutional commission although
reports at the time suggested he negotiated a package equal to his income in
are prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt on that one although we would
still like to know who picked up the tab at the Sheraton. The biggest problem
arises over his claim that "it is only fools and ignoramuses who think I have
same fools who formed Zum moved on to Forum. They are sellouts," he
But wasn't his book, Voting for Democracy, all about the triumph of
Zum in rolling back the frontiers of the one-party state in the 1990 election?
And when he last had something to say about Edgar Tekere we recall him
retreating in disarray at the first whiff of gunshot from the direction of
Mutare. Perhaps as an academic he had to be "honest". Not so as a
a pity that the Herald allowed itself to be used as a vehicle for some rather
unpleasant and certainly unprofessional attacks on Moeletsi Mbeki. How relevant
is Mbeki's relationship with a Dutch woman? Can't Moyo get by without this sort
And nowhere does Moyo mention that all the projects he was
associated with in South Africa were the result of introductions made by Mbeki
to donors. Once again Moyo is biting the hand that fed him!
reveals that he still has a sense of humour when he tells readers that "I don't
subscribe to conspiracy theories easily". He then proceeds to suggest that
because Mbeki is a consultant to a number of multi-national corporations and, as
chair of the South African Institute of International Affairs, had hosted
seminars which "attack(ed) Zimbabwe" it therefore follows that he would see
somebody like Moyo as a stumbling block.
self-characterisation of Moyo as the authentic voice of African nationalism
standing in the way of wicked South African, British and Dutch corporate
interests is of course entirely delusional. Nobody, except perhaps in the depths
of Harlem, regards Moyo or his sponsor as anything more than the spokesmen for a
corrupt and violent regime intent upon suppressing democracy. The seminars
referred to as "attacking Zimbabwe" included contributions from Simba Makoni,
Aziz Pahad, Essop Pahad and Nigerian High Commissioner Tunji Olangunju as well
as Morgan Tsvangirai.
calls Mbeki a "sellout or a prostitute" attempting to benefit from his family
name. When he later complains about "unacceptable defamation" he should consider
the impression on a court of his own intemperate and defamatory language.
interview eventually descended into bathos. Moyo was asked about the support of
his family as his enemies closed in.
grateful for their support," he said, "and looking forward to a time when God
gives me an opportunity to return the favour to my wife and kids, if not in this
life, then certainly in another life."
he know something we don't? Or is this the phoney anthrax attack making a
have always said that the best way to gauge which way the political wind is
blowing is to watch the signs of desperation coming from Zanu PF and its media.
Sunday Mail's political editor Munyaradzi Huni showed us just how bad things are
for President Mugabe's campaign by inventing a story about David Coltart
becoming vice-president and then another one about the MDC planning to cause
PF, clearly oblivious to Coltart's majority, believes that it can stampede
voters into the ruling party's camp by telling them Coltart will be
vice-president. Let's see if it works.
more revealing still was Huni's story about the MDC's alleged terror campaign
based on an "interview" with an "MDC legislator".
definitely have a problem in the party," the mysterious "legislator" was quoted
as saying. "You see our chances of winning in the presidential elections are
fading with every passing day and the leadership thinks we have to find a way of
making sure that the results are nullified. It's a big gamble to think that the
observers will fall into our trap but we have very limited options."
who do you think said that? Does it sound anything like what an MDC MP would
say? Or does it sound more like what Munyaradzi Huni would say?
MDC currently has its tail up. All the surveys - including Zanu PF's own - are
telling them that Mugabe is heading for defeat. Just ask anybody you meet and
you will get the same answer. Even the army is convinced their C-in-C is on his
Mugabe's rallies are dull and lifeless. All he can do is threaten voters
with goblins while Grace hands out the sewing machines. Tsvangirai's meetings
are full of enthusiasm. It is palpable.
when Huni fabricates stories about MDC followers on farms being made to wear
Zanu PF T-shirts and carry out violence nobody is likely to believe him.
Everybody knows in their daily lives where the violence comes from. The people
wearing the Zanu PF T-shirts are authentic thugs!
Huni's fiction had a purpose. It was timed to coincide with the arrival
of election observers and mislead them about who is behind the terror campaign
around the country.
They are unlikely to fall for it. But observers could
earn immediate credibility if they moved around the country now and saw for
themselves the mayhem taking place. A good starting point would be Matabeleland
South where youth militias, supported by the police and army, are abducting and
assaulting opposition supporters including MPs.
sort of party is it that is reduced to placing adverts calling for British prime
minister Tony Blair to be flushed down the toilet? We appreciate it must have
been galling to see Blair received with such enthusiasm in Nigeria, Ghana and
Sierra Leone but can't the ruling party think of something better? Perhaps it is
proving difficult for them to itemise what they have actually achieved over the
past 21 years?
from threatening voters with goblins if they don't support him Mugabe has also
been threatening farmers and church leaders. He said in Chivi there were some
churches that wanted the Zanu PF government removed from power. The government
was going to investigate and if the reports were found to be true, "action would
be taken against them", he warned.
action? Why was it okay for delinquent church leaders to take part in the
Sheraton shindig in support of Mugabe but not okay for others to endorse
different leaders? What sort of freedom of conscience or choice is
farmers were warned that they would lose their land if they "connived with" the
MDC. Are there any white farms left to take? Whatever the case, it is useful to
have the president's confiscatory approach to land reform on the record. There
are some Zanu PF spokesmen like George Shire pretending that this is all about
addressing historical anomalies - that whites still own 70% of the land. The
Sunday Mail was still claiming last weekend that land was being taken from
commercial farmers with more than one farm. And these guys are in the business
of news. Mugabe has said he will take ALL white-owned farms. It's now a matter
Perhaps we should not expect too much from government sources. Phillip
Magwaza was telling Herald readers on Tuesday that Blair had yet to visit Sierra
Leone and Senegal, "both members of the Commonwealth". In fact the British PM
visited those two states last weekend and had been back in London two days when
Magwaza's report appeared.
Senegal will be interested to learn that it has joined the
We are still waiting to hear from Paul Siwela which
newspaper told him they would give him coverage if he dropped out of the race
and supported the MDC. This is one of several lies he is telling on behalf of
his paymasters. Siwela is a stooge. But does he have to be such an obvious one?
Deputy police commissioner Godwin Matanga is a soft touch for a weapons
licence, according to evidence supplied in the Joseph Chinotimba case. He
admitted to supplying the licence after Zanu PF had requested weapons for the
defence of the Zanu PF headquarters.
issued the firearm and signed the voucher after Zanu PF had requested weapons to
protect the Head of State and his Cabinet ministers," Matanga said.
isn't it the duty of the police to protect President Mugabe, his ministers and
Zanu PF HQ? Why are the police licensing people to take over their
Matanga told the court that the issuing of the firearm itself served as
an issue voucher. There was no need for a certificate once the police had
established "the calibre of the recipient".
Challenged by Brian Vito of the AG's office to show the section of the
Firearms Act which said an issue voucher was equivalent to a certificate,
Matanga admitted there had been "an administrative oversight".
I am telling you is what has been going on before I became the deputy
commissioner," he blustered.
after, by the look of it!
Emergence of MDC proves a boon for Mugabe's forces of
THE emergence of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) on the Zimbabwean political scene has proved a boon for
the defence forces and the police. They have received large pay hikes and other
benefits to keep them sweet ahead of next month's election.
Zanu PF is
fighting to have President Robert Mugabe re-elected in the watershed March 9/10
poll but its candidate is proving a tough product to sell to a restive
electorate yearning for change after years of abuse, endemic corruption and
Joining the civil service payroll are chiefs,
headmen, and war veterans - all seen as crucial to the ruling party's election
Critics say Mugabe has no chance of turning the economy around
by March and as a result has to rely on three factors: land resettlement, which
he hopes will swing the rural vote in his favour, intimidation which is now
widespread, and bribery.
This includes buying the loyalty of the defence
forces and security services through salary hikes unmatched elsewhere in the
Analysts say in such a volatile situation, the economy
will take second place to politics - a reality reflected in the discrepancy in
growth and inflation forecasts.
The root cause of Zimbabwe's current
economic crisis lies in the president's unwillingness to bring the fiscal
deficit under control, analysts say. The steep decline in the economy - combined
with large salary increases prior to the general election in June 2000, rapidly
mounting domestic debt and the country's involvement in the conflict in the
Democratic Republic of Congo conflict - caused the budget deficit to balloon to
22,3% of GDP in 2000.
However, even if the government managed to
manipulate interest rates and kept wages under control, military expenditure is
continuing to drain the country's fiscus, critics say. Coupled with the cost of
food imports, this resulted in a budget deficit of 15,8% of GDP in
Having held public wages at well under the rate of inflation in
2001, government recently sanctioned a 100% salary increment for uniformed
forces and up to 55% for other civil servants. Analysts say the increase will be
accompanied by a gradual rise in interest rates in the second half of the year.
Therefore, even if a comprehensive economic reform programme is
introduced after the election, economists forecast a budget deficit of 18,2% of
GDP in 2002.
Although economists welcomed the wage increases for all
civil servants, they were wary of the timing and the inflationary impact of 100%
rises across the board.
"It's very strange to have only the uniformed
forces have salary increments in tandem with inflation while the rest of the
civil servants have theirs far below," said Professor Tony Hawkins of the
University of Zimbabwe.
He said the selective awarding of high
cost-of-living adjustments to a certain section of the civil service indicated
that government had "no policy to address the current problems".
said government, by offering unrealistic policies like free health, free
education, price controls, and free land among other things, was charting a
disastrous path for the economy.
"The current situation shows that our
economy is heading for a hard landing," he said.
The opposition MDC said
although they welcomed the award of 100% salary adjustments for civil servants
as proposed by Finance minister Simba Makoni in his 2002 budget, the latest
increases to a selected group was viewed as part of a widening campaign by Zanu
PF to blindfold the civil service into "trading its professionalism for
commissariat posts in Zanu PF".
The army was instrumental in Mugabe's
land grab exercise and are believed to be playing another key role by assisting
in his campaign of violent suppression of civil liberties.
economist Witness Chinyama said it was clear that political considerations were
over-riding economic considerations as the nation faces the
"The awarding of uniformed forces hefty salary increases is a
just another populist policy by the authorities to try and keep them calm ahead
of a critical election," said Chinyama.
"It's a matter of security," he
The police, who fall under the Home Affairs ministry received $17
billion in the 2002 budget. The police have also seen their powers beefed up by
the recent enactment of the draconian Public Order and Security
Bulawayo-based economist Erich Bloch said although the timing was
regrettable, the salary increases for the unformed forces were justified
considering that their salaries were low in the light of galloping
He said since the money was budgeted for, he doubted whether
they were going to have an impact on the budget deficit.
castigated government's lavish spending which he said was inflationary and
crowded out the private sector.
"All civil servants need to be
remunerated on a legitimate rate," said Bloch, adding that government should try
to stabilise the economy by reducing inflation which continues to squeeze
consumer spending power.
The government spent $16 billion on salaries and
bonuses to the civil service last year and it has been projected that by end of
this year, the salary bill for the service, which takes 13,1% of the total
national budget, would have surged by more than 60% if expenditure pressures
were not addressed.
Independent economist John Robertson said Mugabe's
govern ment should try to stabilise the economy by reducing inflation which
continues to squeeze consumer spending power.
The government spent $16
billion on salaries and bonuses to the civil service last year and it has been
projected that by end of this year, the salary bill for the public service,
which takes 13,1% of the total national budget, would have surged by more than
60% if expenditure pressures were not addressed.
John Robertson said Mugabe's government will not control expenditure in view of
the election in March despite the issue being unsustainable.
said borrowing money to pay for salaries was a recipe for disaster considering
that government was failing to service both its mounting domestic and foreign
Asked what will happen, Robertson said: "It will come to an end
some time but with a lot of disillusionment."
Analysts said it was also
interesting to note that one of the major hindrances in reducing the country's
budget deficit has been the escalating civil service salary bill.
said it was critical to examine mechanisms to cut the escalating
Monetary and fiscal policy measures to be implemented should be
revised in a way which tries to address the differentials between revenue and
spending patterns of the government, they said.
Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU) chief economist, Godfrey Kanyenze, said the bottom line is
not only about numbers but the need to strategically restructure government
departments and ministries.
"Salary adjustments alone are ad hoc but the
problem requires a holistic approach so that we have a properly planned civil
service," said Kanyenze.
He said the situation was worsened by the fact
that government had politicised the whole exercise to such an extent that it had
taken a wage-restrained policy. He said lack of institutional capacity, and
absence of strategic planning, with so much emphasis on meeting numerical
targets, meant that the goal of achieving development is lost.
increments have also distorted salary trends. A police constable or an army
private, the lowest ranks, now earn about $39 000 a month which is more than a
high school teacher who gets about $30 000.
Mugabe assassination plot another dirty
or fiction? With just over three weeks to go to the potentially mould-breaking
presidential poll and with international observers pouring into the country, the
government is given a gift of a story about Morgan Tsvangirai plotting with
ex-Rhodesians and others to assassinate President Mugabe.
The gift came
in the form of a documentary broadcast by a small Australian television station,
SBS, which is aimed at an ethnic minorities audience. It named a "political
consultancy" firm in Canada, Dickens & Madson, as having been approached by
Tsvangirai to arrange the assassination. The firm says when it realised the
import of the request it was "horrified" and immediately approached the
Zimbabwean authorities with the information.
There we have our first
credibility problem. Dickens & Madson, it now transpires, are actually
retained by the Zimbabwean government as consultants. Their chief executive, Ari
Ben Menashe, a former Mossad agent, is reported to have said his contact in the
Zimbabwe government is Security minister Nicholas Goche.
In its report
yesterday the Herald omitted to mention this salient fact: that the firm
claiming to be doing a public duty by revealing to the Zimbabwe government
details of a plot by Tsvangirai was already retained by that government as its
public relations agency. And their track record reveals a firm unlikely to be
"horrified" about any such thing.
The question that now arises is: when
did that contract commence? Did Dickens & Madson, as seems probable, already
have a relationship with Mugabe's office when they first met Tsvangirai? Our
information suggests they did. In fact the relationship stretches over several
years. In other words Tsvangirai was set up.
The tape of the meetings was
handed to the Zimbabwe government last month, we gather. The Australian
film-maker who "uncovered" the evidence, Mark Davis, has been reluctant to say
whether he was actually given the tape by Dickens & Madson. What we do know
is that not long after arriving in Zimbabwe last month without accreditation as
a journalist he saw officials of the President's Office and was quickly granted
an interview with Mugabe.
As for the "evidence", nowhere is Tsvangirai
shown plotting to assassinate Mugabe. Tsvangirai says he understood the meeting
would focus on fundraising, but that the conversation also included political
discussions and analysis of different scenarios in the coming months. That
included the role of the military.
But anybody listening to the tape will
quickly see that he was "led" in his remarks by Dickens & Madson executives
and that the subsequent conversation was disjointed. Tsvangirai does appear to
use the word "eliminate". But at no time does he speak of assassination or a
coup. Those questions are put to him very obviously by Dickens & Madson
executives. And it is evident the tape has been extensively edited. The
questions about Mugabe's health, for instance, have been omitted.
do have is the word of three Dickens & Madson employees in the pay of the
Zimbabwe government. Davis now reportedly admits Ben Menashe's word might not be
credible in certain circles.
The MDC had been introduced to Dickens
& Madson as a firm able to help them with their public relations thrust in
North America. But by the time of the Montreal meeting Tsvangirai had woken up
to the sting. He complained about items added to the agenda without his approval
and the line of leading questions that ensued.
Dickens & Madson's
statement carried in the Herald yesterday gives the game away. Here is a firm
massaging the battered image of Mugabe's regime, portraying it as the victim of
a plot by exiled Rhodesians. Its tone and content are borrowed wholesale from
the Office of the President and are clearly aimed at an overseas
The suggestion that Tsvangirai had no confidence in his ability
to win the upcoming election is at variance with all the evidence on the ground
that the MDC leader is heading for a landslide. That is the view not just of the
MDC but of Zanu PF as well. The tapes do not reveal him saying he is likely to
lose. And why should he want to share power with the army given the MDC's
position on democratic governance and its expectation of a clear majority? On
the other hand Ben Menashe made no secret of his contacts in the Zimbabwean
military. It is he who introduced the subject.
That a political football
was kicked around the room in Montreal we do not doubt. But the truth about the
meeting is now emerging. It should be seen in the same context as the
"discovery" of arms on Zapu farms in 1982 and the arrest of Ndabaningi Sithole
for "plotting to assassinate" Mugabe in 1995.
These political stunts
have one obvious source: The same people who colluded with a public relations
firm to which they were already linked and a gullible Australian producer to
deliver a story that shows President Mugabe's chief rival in a poor light. It is
all too clumsily obvious.
Date: 16/2/02 Venue: outside
the Zimbabwe High Commission
429 Strand London
Nearest tube: Charing
Time 11:00 to 14:00
In order to create a better visual
impact please try and wear BLACK - for those that have died in the political
violence and those that are suffering now. Also wear a gag (scarf or tape) to
symbolize the repressive new legislation which is silencing the opposition in
Zimbabwe: restricting the press and making it illegal to hold public gatherings
without permission or to criticize the authorities.
PLEASE try and come this is our
Please forward this