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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index


DA delegation denied entry into Zimbabwe

February 18, 2005, 13:15

A Democratic Alliance (DA) delegation has been denied access to Zimbabwe at
Harare International Airport. The three person delegation jetted off on a
fact finding mission from Johannesburg International this morning.

The delegation was led by Joe Seremane, the chairperson of the party, and
was planning to stay in the country for three days in order to investigate
conditions in the run-up to elections.

Meanwhile Tony Leon, the leader of the DA, says it comes as no surprise that
they were turned away. Leon says the Zimbabwean government's action is
further evidence that there are no grounds for free and fair elections in
that country.

Cosatu turned away
This is the second South Africa delegation to be turned away at Harare
International Airport. A Congress of South African Trade Unions delegation
was also turned away earlier this month.

They had hoped to meet with fellow trade unionists from the Zimbabwean
Congress of Trade Unions, but, after being rebuffed on a similar visit last
year, they had not even attempted to meet government officials.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sunday Times (SA)

Postpone Zimbabwe election: Leon

Friday February 18, 2005 11:53 - (SA)

The government must insist on a postponement of next month's parliamentary
elections in Zimbabwe, and call for immediate negotiations between the
ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition MDC, the Democratic Alliance said today.

In his weekly newsletter on the party's website, DA leader Tony Leon said
this should be done with the aim of "restoring constitutional democracy in
Zimbabwe, and holding new elections within a reasonable time frame".

Elections are set to be held in Zimbabwe on March 31. Leon's call for
government to intervene in Zimbabwe comes on the same day a DA delegation -
comprising party chairman Joe Seremane and Chief Whip Douglas Gibson - is
set to enter that country on a "fact-finding mission".

Leon said South Africa's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma seemed
"determined to provide prefabricated approval for a Zimbabwean election",
but available facts showed the election was already fundamentally flawed.

"As time runs out before the poll date of March 31, the minister provides
increasingly confident assertions that the Zimbabwean election will indeed
be free and fair, rejecting any attempts to determine the facts on the
ground, and ignoring all information
that suggests otherwise."

Referring to Seremane and Gibson's departure for Zimbabwe, he said: "all
democratically minded South Africans should wish them well on their crucial
visit this weekend".

The pair are scheduled to arrive by air in the Zimbabwe capital, Harare
shortly after noon today.

Leon said it appeared the Zimbabwean government was in "fundamental breach
of its commitments to South Africa, the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) and the international community".

"Last August, the leaders of the member nations of SADC, including South
Africa and Zimbabwe, met in Mauritius and adopted the SADC Protocol on
Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

"The agreement was widely hailed, and Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Berenger
used the occasion to predict that Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections in 2005
would indeed be free and fair. "The Mauritius Protocol requires that SADC
members adhere to a set of principles in the conduct of democratic

"These include... freedom of association; equal opportunity for all parties
to access the state media; and independence of the judiciary and
impartiality of the electoral institutions."

However, it now seemed clear the Zimbabwean government had already violated
most of these principles.

"Zanu-PF youth activists have forced people to leave their homes and attend
ruling party gatherings. The Zimbabwean state media have refused to run
advertisements from the Movement for Democratic Change.

"And just this week, Zimbabwean police raided the Sheraton Hotel in Harare
to disrupt a candidate training session held by the Movement for Democratic
Change, and to arrest MDC director of elections Ian Makone."

Leon said this was a clear violation of the Mauritius Protocol.

"We face the grim prospect of a repeat of the Zimbabwean presidential
election of 2002, when the South Africa Observer Mission infamously declared
that the result was 'legitimate', and the ANC sent its 'warm
congratulations' to Robert Mugabe.
Leon said it was too late for the Zimbabwean government to redeem its
commitments; its violations of the Mauritius Protocol were "simply too
numerous and too grave".

"But it is not too late to rescue the situation from even further

"The South African government should insist on a postponement of the
parliamentary elections, and an immediate start to public negotiations
between the Zanu-PF government and the opposition MDC," he said.


Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sunday Times (SA)

Foreign Affairs in spat over Zimbabwe

Friday February 18, 2005 12:49 - (SA)

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has denied telling the Southern
African Development (SADC) secretariat in Botswana to cancel the visit by a
South African legal team to monitor elections in Zimbabwe.

The daily newspaper Beeld reported SADC spokeswoman Esther Kanaimba as
saying SADC had received a letter from the office of Jesse Duarte, director
of multi-lateral affairs at the DFA, saying the South African legal team's
visit should be cancelled.

Reacting to the report, DFA spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said Foreign Minister
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had written to SADC in her capacity as chairwoman of
the SADC directorate of politics, defence and security.

Mamoepa said Dlamini-Zuma's letter had been a request for the secretariat to
organise the SADC observer team for the Zimbabwe elections.

He said the DFA understood that the team "will include legal experts who
will assist in ensuring that there is synergy between the Zimbabwe electoral
laws and the SADC guidelines on elections".

However, Beeld reported Kanaimba as saying the SADC secretariat had no power
to send a legal team to Zimbabwe and it was waiting for instructions from
South Africa.

"We throw the ball at them (South Africa) and then they throw it back to us.
We can do nothing without them saying 'yes'," Beeld quoted Kanaimba as

Mamoepa wrote off the suggestion that South Africa no longer said legal
experts were necessary for the mission as "a fallacy".

SADC was still awaiting its invitation from the Zimbabwe government, Mamoepa

Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Zimbabwe acts to reverse brain drain 2005-02-19 01:26:26

         HARARE, Feb. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- The government of Zimbabwe has
embarked on a project to counter brain drain by harnessing academic skills
and expertise of Zimbabweans both at home and abroad.

          University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura said on Friday
the "brain gain" program aimed to utilize a wide range of experts, some
retired, to boost the skills base in the country.

          To achieve this, universities would engage retired professors and
also use ideas and experience from an estimated 3 million Zimbabweans in the

          "These people will be useful in teaching, mentoring and
supervising research. We will bring in retired professors to utilize their
experience, most importantly in the professional development of young
academics," he said.

          Meanwhile, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education is, with
effect from this month, expected to chair the Inter-Agency Task Force for
the Mobilization of Skilled Manpower in critical shortage areas in the
public sector.

          Nyagura said several professors had already joined the program
while the university was still engaging more retired professors tocontribute
toward the enhancement of the education system in the country.

          A 2003 study revealed that 62.5 percent of Zimbabweans living
outside the country would come home once the economic situation improved,
thus bringing back their skills, expertise and investment.

          For the past four years, Zimbabwe has been experiencing
massivebrain drain as skilled workers left for foreign countries in search
of better work conditions. Enditem
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zimbabwe's Political Parties Nominate Candidates for March Election By  Peta
      18 February 2005

Special courts set up to confirm candidates in Zimbabwe's March general
election met for six hours Friday, but excluded one of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change's, MDC, most popular candidates.

A nomination court in eastern Zimbabwe refused an application by opposition
legislator Roy Bennett to run as a candidate in the general election.

Mr. Bennett, a former commercial farmer, has been repeatedly detained,
beaten and tortured since he was elected in 2000 and all his possessions,
including his home, have been confiscated.

Two of his workers were killed and many more injured during sustained
attacks. Mr. Bennett was finally forced to leave his farm in eastern
Zimbabwe last year.

During a heated debate on land in parliament last May, Mr. Bennett lunged at
justice minister Patrick Chinamasa. A committee dominated by Zanu-PF
legislators sentenced him to a year in prison for bringing parliament into

Mr. Bennett is serving his sentence in a rural prison in northern Zimbabwe.

Election officials asserted Friday that Mr. Bennett is a criminal and
therefore not eligible to be a candidate in the general election.

MDC legal spokesman David Coltart said Mr. Bennett's exclusion was illegal.
He said under elections laws, passed in December, there is supposed to be an
election court available to immediately resolve any electoral disputes.

He said no one knew whether an electoral court had been established.

There were no independent observers at the nomination courts in Marondera,
60 kilometers southeast of Harare on Friday.

Most ruling Zanu-PF heavyweights, including several cabinet ministers, had
submitted their applications to run for election 24 hours earlier and were
not in court Friday.

There is confusion in Zimbabwe's election machinery as a new authority to
run the polls, the Zimbabwe Election Commission, was established in

President Robert Mugabe said the Commission, which is supposed to be
independent of the government, was established so that Zimbabwe's elections
comply with electoral principles he agreed to at a regional summit last

At the nomination court in Marondera, candidates' nominations were not
handled by the new Commission, but were processed by another electoral
authority, which has been running Zimbabwe's elections for the last 25

It is not yet known whether any other candidates for either the MDC and or
Zanu-PF were excluded from running for election.

Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Mugabe's spin doctor to go solo

      Zimbabwe's Information Minister Jonathan Moyo has defied his party by
registering to be an independent candidate for March's elections.
      He had been excluded from running in the Tsholotsho constituency as it
was reserved for a woman Zanu-PF candidate.

      The decision was said to be linked to a row over President Robert
Mugabe's choice of candidate for vice-president.

      People cheered on the controversial minister, who could now face the
sack, as he handed in his nomination papers.

      The country is due to hold parliamentary elections on 31 March.


      Mr Moyo was disciplined by Zanu-PF in December and dropped from the
top policy body after campaigning against President Mugabe's choice for
vice-president, Joyce Mujuru.

      Mr Moyo is the architect of Zimbabwe's tough media laws, which have
seen the expulsion of foreign correspondents, the closure of the most
popular daily paper and the threat of prison terms for journalists who work
without a state licence.

      The BBC's Themba Nkosi said Mr Moyo did not say whether he had
resigned from Zanu-PF, but under the party's constitution he will face
dismissal for running as an independent candidate.

      Senior Zanu-PF officials at the nomination court were surprised by Mr
Moyo's action, our correspondent says.

      Opposition supporters enjoyed the scene and even greeted him and shook
his hand.

      Tsholotsho, in western Zimbabwe, is currently held by the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change, but observers say the seat could fall to Mr
Moyo who comes from the area and is popular there.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 17 February

'Don't chase Zim invite'

Mail & Guardian Reporter

Revelations that South Africa attempted to stop a Southern African
Development Community (SADC) judicial delegation, declaring the mission
"unnecessary", have resulted in confusion about the country's approach to
the upcoming election in Zimbabwe. The legal team was meant to precede and
inform a broader SADC observer mission. On Sunday President Thabo Mbeki told
the SABC that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe had assured him the team
would be welcome. "I've discussed the matter with President Mugabe, I am
quite sure that the SADC delegation can go to Zimbabwe," he said. "I think
that we should send in a SADC delegation as quickly as is possible - not to
go there and observe, but to be able to intervene to help to create the
situation for free and fair elections." But Beeld on Thursday revealed that
a Foreign Affairs director, Jessie Duarte, had written to the SADC
secretariat to stop the lawyers' mission, which was supposed to visit
Zimbabwe to inspect access to the body's electoral protocols. The letter
asked that "the issue of the legal experts' visit should not be followed up"
and stated that the matter had been discussed "at the highest level" in
South Africa.

The protocols agreed to by all member states last August were held up as a
benchmark to ensure free and fair elections across the region, but
especially in Zimbabwe. The delegation was meant to ensure that Zimbabwe was
keeping to its pledge that there would be independent electoral
institutions, freedom of assembly and association, and freedom of the media
in the run-up to the March 31 poll. In January the African National Congress
criticised the absence of freedom of assembly when it complained publicly
that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was not able to hold meetings.
Secretary General Kgalema Motlanthe's statement was read as a U-turn in
South Africa's policy of quiet diplomacy towards Zimbabwe, but Duarte's
letter to the SADC secretariat has sown confusion. This week Minister of
Foreign Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said she was cautiously optimistic
about changes in Zimbabwe. Her optimism was fuelled by the fact that the
Zimbabwean government had passed a set of laws to set up independent
electoral institutions; and that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai had said that
political violence was abating.

But, on Wednesday, police arrested MDC elections director Ian Makone and
ordered the party's 120 constituency candidates, who had gathered for a
briefing, to disband or face arrest. The attempt to forestall the legal
mission may be an effort to ensure that Zimbabwe allows in the official SADC
election observer mission to oversee the poll. While SADC protocols
recommend that this observer mission is accredited 90 days prior to the
election, Zimbabwe has not, as yet, invited the mission. "If we are not
invited we will be very concerned," said Dlamini-Zuma this week. "We were
hoping the invitation would materialise by the end of last week. We have not
been told we couldn't come." South Africa will not send a separate team to
observe the election but will form part of the larger regional observer
team, providing it is invited. Zimbabwe also cancelled a scheduled visit in
January by Mbeki, Lesotho Prime Minister Phakalitha Mosisili and former
Namibian president Sam Nujoma, ostensibly because Mugabe was preparing for
the elections.

Meanwhile, Wisani wa ka Ngobeni reports that South Africa's National
Prosecuting Authority (NPA) may have been quietly assisting the
International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to probe human rights abuses
in Zimbabwe. The Mail & Guardian has ascertained key aspects of the ICC's
probe from documents and sources. The NPA's 2003/04 annual report said that:
"Requests have been received from the chief prosecutor [of the ICC] to look
into possible human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo and
Zimbabwe". The report says that former national director of public
prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka and Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC chief
prosecutor met in January 2004 to discuss the probe. It also says
Moreno-Ocampo met members of the NPA priority crimes litigation unit, set up
by the government two years ago, to ensure compliance with the Rome Statute
established by the ICC. As a signatory to the Rome Statute, South Africa is
obliged to cooperate with the ICC, which was set up in 1998, to prosecute
people accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity (such as
torture and rape) that were committed after July 2002. The ICC this week
said it has "no jurisdiction in Zimbabwe", which has not ratified the Rome

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Caprivi flood warning issued

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 18 Feb 2005 (IRIN) - Namibia's Emergency Management Unit (EMU)
on Friday reissued an appeal to residents living along the Zambezi river in
northeastern Caprivi to evacuate the area after reports that the water was

"The latest indications show that the water level in the river is increasing
extremely fast. As of this morning (Friday) it stood at 1.87 m, compared to
2.11m on the same day last year [when the area experienced flooding]. We
expect that by next week it will probably reach 1.9m or even 2m," EMU deputy
director, Gabriel Kangowa, told IRIN.

He said the EMU had issued a warning to residents of flood-prone areas to
move to higher ground. Last year, large portions of eastern Caprivi were
submerged in the worst floods since 1958, reportedly affecting 50,000

"This time around we have a solid contingency plan in place, but we do hope
that people will relocate voluntarily. We understand that it is difficult
for families to move their entire households, but in this case there isn't
any other option," Kangowa explained.

He pointed out that floodwater had already entered parts of the Kabbe
constituency in eastern Caprivi, cutting the road to the local primary

An estimated 10,000 residents were evacuated and relocated to five
evacuation camps last year: Lusese A and B, Schukmannsburg, Impalila and
Kasika in eastern part of the region. Flood victims remained in the camps
from March until August 2004, when it was safe to return to their villages.

This year the EMU has planned to establish four additional camps to cope
with the influx.

"Last year we were caught a bit off-guard, but we cannot afford to take a
chance this time. So far we have already checked the ... water tanks and
they are still in good condition, and so is the water pipe we used last
year. As from next week, the EMU will start pre-positioning basic supplies
in Katima Mulilo [the regional capital]," Kangowa explained.

Forty people, including community members, have been identified to undergo
preparedness training, in case the flood-prone region should be inundated.
The group undergoing training from the second week of March includes 12
nurses, 10 truck drivers and six boat pilots.

The Zambezi, the longest river in Southern Africa, rises in northwestern
Zambia and flows along the eastern edge of Namibia's Caprivi Strip, from
where it demarcates the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe before continuing
through Mozambique to the Indian Ocean.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Rural Councils' Service Delivery Hampered

The Herald (Harare)

February 18, 2005
Posted to the web February 18, 2005


THE exodus of experienced local government managers, coupled with reluctance
by ratepayers, especially newly-resettled farmers, to pay rates to local
authorities, is hampering service delivery by many rural district councils.

In an interview yesterday, the president of the Association of Zimbabwe
Rural District Councils, Cde Jerry Gotora, said farmers were prioritising
other payments and in the process adversely affecting the survival of

"Most local authorities are only getting between 40 and 45 percent of what
they should be getting", he said.

Cde Gotora said intensive campaign should be carried out to encourage the
farmers to pay up.

Rural district councils normally use the money for road construction,
schools and clinics development, among other essential amenities.

"The councils should say why the people should pay and should also plan with
them infrastructure to be maintained", he said.

Cde Gotora said most farmers have over-borrowed from financial institutions
and were struggling to reimburse the loans, leaving payment of rates to
councils on the bottom of their list of priorities.

So bad are some roads in the farming areas that transportation of farm
produce might be a big problem this season.

In the past years, commercial transporters have been hesitant to use the
roads in communal and settlement areas.

Mr Gotora said his association was working on modalities to ensure that the
rates and tariffs paid by farmers were uniform across the country. At the
moment amounts differ from council to council.

Cde Gotora said despite having agreed with Government that it would take
over the payment of senior council officials, nothing had materialised so

He said RDCs had hoped that by the beginning of this year Government would
have taken over that responsibility to entice key personnel such as auditors
and engineers to remain in council employment.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Tobacco Growers Seek Early Start to Selling Season

The Herald (Harare)

February 18, 2005
Posted to the web February 18, 2005


TOBACCO growers want the 2005 selling season brought forward so that they
can repay their loans before they become unbearable.

The local tobacco selling normally begins at the end of April.

But some growers wanted the season to open much earlier, by mid-March,
before commercial bank interest charges eat into their profits or make it
impossible to meet their obligations.

However, they have been warned that opening the tobacco selling season
earlier could have a negative impact on the value of the crop as it would
clash with sales in South American producing countries, especially Brazil.

President of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers* Union Mr Davison Mugabe said
while he understood their reasons for wanting to dispose of the tobacco crop
early, it also was important to remember that this could be costly to the

"There is a danger that if we open the auction floors earlier than usual,
most of the buyers would be in Brazil as the selling season would be in full
swing there.

"I think they should first finish with the buying of the crop in Brazil and
then come to Zimbabwe for the 2005 selling season," said Mr Mugabe.

He said it was imperative that farmers wait until the normal tobacco selling
season opens to avoid competing directly with the Brazilian crop.

Growers were urged to remain patient as the local crop continued to attract
merchants from across the globe because of its superior blending quality - a
result of the unique climatic conditions in the country.

It was also critical that the auction floors open at a time when almost all
the farmers have completed curing their crop. At present, only those with
irrigated facilities have started curing.

Some farmers financed the 200/05 crop using their own resources, mostly
loans from commercial banks, and interest charges have been ballooning since
last year.

Growers had to source their own finance as delays in the disbursement of
inputs under the Tobacco Input Credit Scheme threatened to derail their
plans. Tobacco for the 2005 season has been financed through the Tobacco
Industry and Marketing Board-initiated input credit scheme, contract farming
while others are self- financed.

To date, 7 569 tobacco growers have benefited from inputs amounting to $102
billion availed through the credit scheme meant to boost tobacco production
which has been slipping in the past four seasons.

Beneficiaries of the credit scheme are expected to produce around 60 million
kilogrammes of flue-cured tobacco while contract production, other schemes
and self-financed growers are set to produce about 40 million kilogrammes.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zinwa, Farmers Need to Negotiate

The Herald (Harare)

February 18, 2005
Posted to the web February 18, 2005

Hatred Zenenga

THERE is need for the Zimbabwe National Water Authority to avoid regrettable
actions and find a middle ground in settling the outstanding $30 billion
debt in water bills owed to it by some new farmers.

A good number of new farmers resettled under the land reform programme
across the country owe Zinwa at least $30 billion.

Zinwa is now threatening to cut water supplies to the farmers in a bid to
recover the money.

If Zinwa takes this route, the consequences could prove costly, not only to
the farmers alone, but also to the country as a whole.

The authority is, therefore, best advised to consider other options.

It is my humble suggestion that the settlement of the bills be staggered
over a period of time to cushion the affected farmers, most of whom are
still to establish themselves.

Zinwa must be aware of the fact that the option of cutting off water
supplies has some far-reaching consequences.

The immediate impact would be the ceasing of production on farms dependent
on irrigation. This will affect the production of crops such as wheat,
soyabeans and vegetables.

At the national level, the effect would also be felt with the phenomenon of
shortages of commodities such as bread and sharp price increases for other

Under the New Water Act, all water belongs to the State and Zinwa are the

Historically, water resources management was the responsibility of a
minority who were the water right holders under the 1976 Water Act.

But now there is vast interest in water by the majority of Zimbabweans who
have been given land, hence the need to repeal the 1976 Act, which gave the
water right holder excessive power that could not be compromised.

Now, everyone accessing the water in dams and rivers should pay to enable
Zinwa to efficiently manage the distribution and use of the water.

But the biggest problem is that many farmers have been ignorant about this
obligation, while at the same time Zinwa's undoing over the issue has been
its inability to educate the new farmers.

Zinwa's existence has been shrouded in mystery hence the ordinary new
farmer's argument has been that: Why should I pay for water, which comes
naturally in our rivers?

It is clear that most people, farmers included, do not understand Zinwa's
role nor the rationale behind the pricing of water.

The authority simply approached new farmers out of the blue. And the farmers
have been rightly asking who Zinwa was and where it was coming from.

As a result, the relationship is now characterised by mistrust with new
farmers viewing Zinwa as an organisation out to exploit them.

But it is important for new farmers to appreciate the reforms that have
taken place in the water sector, which resulted in the formation of Zinwa.

Zinwa's mandate is to plan, develop and manage all the country's water
resources. The distribution and use of the water must be efficiently
managed. To do that, Zinwa must levy water users.

However, the authority's tariffs have been a bone of contention. Zinwa has
been accused of charging prohibitive water tariffs that have the capacity to
frustrate rather than promote agrarian reform as the majority of farmers are
struggling to meet the charges. It is important for Zinwa to first consult
with the farmers before coming up with any charges.

In the end, the charges should help promote the farmers while at the same
time enabling Zinwa to play its role in maintaining and establishing
efficient systems in areas such as irrigation and dam construction.

In addition, there must be a transparent way of billing and revenue
collection from the farmers.

We hope Zinwa will not reach a stage where it will act irrationally and cut
off farmers' water supplies.

It is my strong belief that farmers will not refuse to pay as long as things
are explained to them.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

President Bemoans Low Rural Schools' Pass Rate

The Herald (Harare)

February 18, 2005
Posted to the web February 18, 2005

Bulawayo Bureau

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday expressed concern at the low pass rates in rural
schools throughout the country and called for greater co-operation between
teachers, parents and Government to improve the education sector.

Addressing thousands of pupils, parents and Zanu-PF supporters at Silobela
Secondary School in Silobela and Rusununguko High School in Shurugwi, where
he donated state of the art computers to eight schools in Midlands,
President Mugabe said the country would be literally digging graves for
pupils if it allowed them to continue failing.

He said this after learning that Silobela Secondary School had a three
percent pass rate in last year's Ordinary Level examinations while
Rusununguko High School recorded an eight percent pass rate.

"This is not only a problem here. It is like this throughout the country.
Everywhere pupils are failing. It's Us, Us, Us, and Us everywhere. And U
stands for underground. They are going six feet down if we allow them to
fail like this.

"In Silobela they had a three percent pass rate. Here there was a pass rate
of eight percent. In other areas it's six percent, 19 percent and 27 percent
has been the highest so far. Our education standards have fallen partly
because of lack of resources but we must lift them up," said President

He called on parents, teachers and pupils to play their role in education.

The President urged parents to pay their children's school fees and discuss
their progress with teachers while cases of indiscipline must be dealt with
by both parents and teachers.

"Teachers should know about each pupil individually. They should know each
pupil's weakness so that they can help him or her. You must prepare pupils
for examinations. If you do this and ensure that pupils do their homework
and corrections, they will pass even if they don't have laboratories and
computers because they would have been taught properly. Is this being done
here?" he said in Silobela.

President Mugabe said he hoped the computers would enhance the teaching
process at the schools as they can be used to source information for
learning and research purposes.

He said the computers would be one of the answers to the problem of lack of
resources bedevilling schools.

In Silobela, the President donated 10 computers and accessories to Silobela,
Mateta, Zhombe and Maboleni Secondary schools. Rusununguko, Chinembeure,
Siyahokwe and Zvemukonde secondary schools also each received 10 computers
and accessories.

He promised to donate more computers to schools in the next month.

Turning to next month's general elections, President Mugabe warned the
electorate to be wary of the MDC which only remembers them at election time.
He said the MDC had brought suffering to Zimbabweans by calling on the
European Union led by Britain to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe in a bid to
take over power.

President Mugabe said only Zanu-PF could fulfil the wishes of the majority
as the party which led them to independence.

The Government had come up with policies to improve education, health, roads
and agriculture, he said.

With the nomination court sitting today, President Mugabe said the MDC would
be among parties campaigning for votes in the run-up to the elections.

But the President told the people that when MDC comes to them canvassing for
votes, they should remind the party of its links with Tony Blair, who
admitted in the house of Commons that his government was working with the
MDC to effect a regime change in Zimbabwe.

President Mugabe said the MDC was the only opposition in Africa which sought
foreign assistance to remove an elected government.

"In other countries there are opposition parties- in Malawi, Mozambique,
Zambia and Ghana. Have you heard the opposition going to Europe asking for
assistance to remove a government or the imposition of sanctions? Zimbabwe
is the only country with people like that. Marema akadaro. Benzi risingazivi
kuti ukapisa imba hauzowani pekugara," he said.

President Mugabe said the MDC wanted to bring back British colonisers who
crafted laws to suppress the black majority and sent many to prison,
detention camps and restricted areas.

"Now they want to sell the country for the British to come and rule us.
Invite them, but they will find out that we are prepared to defend our
country with our blood. We are ready. No country wants to lose its
independence no matter how small it is. That's why we are always criticising
Blair and the MDC. This is an anti-Blair election," he said.

The President said the country could not afford to let the heritage which
many of its sons and daughters fought for to slip away.

"We lost many heroes in the war. We lost (Cde Josiah) Tongogara on the eve
of independence. What did they die for? They did not die so that the country
can be in the hands of sellouts whose ears are always on the ground to
listen to what Blair is saying," he said, in Shurugwi which is Cde
Tongogara's home area.

The President reiterated that there should be no violence during the
election period.

"We want your vote. No fighting. Your vote is your only weapon. We ask the
MDC not to do what they did last time, kidnapping our people and killing
them in the bush.

"We want peace and not violence. Violence from any quarter must be

President Mugabe was also introduced to the ruling party's candidates from
the Midlands province for the parliamentary elections.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mail and Guardian

      DA trio to appeal Zim ejection

      Duncan Guy | Johannesburg, South Africa

      18 February 2005 05:04

            The Democratic Alliance trio prohibited from entering Zimbabwe
on Friday said this action undermined the protocol of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC).

            On their return to Johannesburg International airport,
chairperson Joe Seremane said Zimbabwe's heavy-handedness comes at a time
when the SADC is easing passport requirements to promote the free movement
of people between states.

            Seremane, chief whip Douglas Gibson and researcher Paul Boughey
flew to Harare on Friday morning for a pre-election fact-finding visit but
were sent home on the same aeroplane.

            The trio said they will appeal to Zimbabwean authorities their
ejection from the country.

            Speaking to journalists at the airport, Gibson said the DA's
visit was different from that of the Congress of South African Trade Unions
(Cosatu), which was also recently prevented entry to Zimbabwe on a similar

            "Cosatu is a trade union. We are the official opposition," said

            The DA officials said they were insulted by their experience in
Zimbabwe, but that the authorities had treated them well.

            Gibson added that their experience also calls President Thabo
Mbeki's policy on Zimbabwe into question.

            He said the matter will be reported to the SADC parliamentary
forum, on which Seremane is a representative, and to the Commonwealth
Parliamentary Association, of which Gibson is a member.

            Seremane called the matter petty and said he had "walked that
road with apartheid".

            Reacting to African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL)
criticism of the visit -- deriding Seremane as a "coconut" -- black outside,
white on the inside -- and accusing the DA of favouring "mercenaries",
Seremane said this is racism.

            "But I have no hard feelings," he said, adding that the ANCYL is
still growing up.

            Gibson said his own son has more sense than ANCYL spokesperson
Zizi Kodwa, who is probably wearing a Gucci outfit and will be a millionaire
before the age of 25.

            Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), while
"dissociating itself from the policies and orientation of the DA", condemned
the party's ejection from Zimbabwe.

            In a statement, spokesperson Mlamleli Sibanda said no citizen of
the SADC with a valid passport should be prohibited from visiting Zimbabwe.

            The ZCTU recently invited Cosatu to Zimbabwe.

            This delegation was also refused entry and the ZCTU had to
travel to South Africa for the meeting. -- Sapa

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Media, opposition complain of harassment
18 Feb 2005 17:01:12 GMT

Source: IRIN
JOHANNESBURG, 18 February (IRIN) - The arrest of an opposition election
official in Zimbabwe earlier this week ran counter to the spirit of the
Southern African Development Community's (SADC) principles and guidelines on
holding a free and fair poll, local civil society groups told IRIN.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), a coalition of NGOs, said the
arrest of Ian Makone, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
election coordinator, defied the SADC principles on democratic elections
agreed to in Mauritius last year.

Makone was arrested in the capital, Harare, on Wednesday for organising "an
illegal meeting", said police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena. He was charged
with violating the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), which effectively
bans any assembly without police permission, but was released the same day.

MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi told IRIN that Makone was holding an
internal briefing for his party's candidates in a private room at a Harare
hotel when he was arrested.

ZESN chairman Reginald Matchaba-Hove said the arrest was "unnecessary" when
"Zimbabweans are attempting to create a free atmosphere" ahead of next
month's legislative elections.


The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also expressed concern about the
questioning of three international media correspondents by police earlier
this week.

The CPJ, quoting the journalists' lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, said the
authorities first claimed they were investigating espionage allegations
against the journalists; then that they were looking into the reporters'
accreditation; and, finally, that they were investigating whether a
satellite phone used by one of the journalists was licensed.

The three reporters were Jan Raath and Brian Latham, who both work for a
number of British and South African news organisations, and Angus Shaw of
the Associated Press (AP).

"CPJ is disturbed at this ominous development and calls on the government to
cease its harassment of independent journalists," said CPJ executive
director Ann Cooper.

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe announced on Wednesday that all
political parties and candidates contesting the elections next month would
have equal access to state media. The MDC had earlier complained that it was
being denied access to public broadcasters.

Matchaba-Hove welcomed the Broadcasting Authority's announcement but
commented, "[This] should have come into effect at least 90 days - i.e.
three months - before the elections, but better late than never. We will be
monitoring to check if the regulations [regarding access to state media] are
being adhered to."


The European Union (EU) has renewed sanctions implemented two years ago
against President Robert Mugabe's government, including a travel ban on
Mugabe and other leading officials; the freezing of their assets in Europe;
and a ban on the sale of military equipment by EU members to Zimbabwe.

However, Geoffrey Van Orden, the British Conservative Party spokesman on
human rights in the European parliament said, "with elections in Zimbabwe
fast approaching, simply renewing existing EU sanctions will not send a
clear message to the regime that it must change for the better or face the

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Reporters without Borders

Four reporters for foreign news media harassed in runup to parliamentary

Reporters Without Borders today protested against a manhunt for a reporter
for foreign news media, Cornelius Nduna, and a 14 February police raid on
the Associated Press (AP) bureau in Harare in which Jan Raath, Tsvangirai
Mkwazhi and Angus Shaw - all stringers for the AP and other foreign media -
were threatened with arrest on spying charges.

"The government has once again shown that it likes to treat journalists as
enemies of the state, this time just six weeks before parliamentary
elections," the press freedom organizations said. "This paranoid behaviour
in which the foreign press is routinely accused of spying for western
countries is disgraceful and unacceptable at a time when Zimbabwe is meant
to conform with the Southern Africa Development Community's (SADC)
democratic criteria."

The manhunt for Nduna, who strings for several foreign newspapers and news
agencies, was launched a week ago by the Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO), Zimbabwe's secret police. Failing to find him at his office, the CIO
suspects he skipped the country with two "very sensitive" video cassettes
that could be dangerous for the government if they fall into "enemy" hands,
Nduna's lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, told Reporters Without Borders.

Zduna supposedly got the cassettes from the state-owned Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) with the help of an employee of the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Holding (ZBH). Mtetwa said they contain "sensitive" footage
shot in "youth training camps" that train militia blamed for attacks and
killings of members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
during the past three years.

These militia have in the past also burned many copies of newspapers such as
The Independent, The Daily News, The Financial Gazette and The Standard and
prevented them from circulating in rural areas.

Equipment for "spying"

In the raid on the AP bureau in Harare on the evening of 14 February, police
interrogated the journalists present for two hours and were on the point of
seizing satellite communication equipment which they said could interfere
with state security transmissions. The police accused them of "spying" and
of being "hostile" toward President Robert Mugabe's government but calmed
down when their lawyer, Mtetwa, arrived.

The police nonetheless insisted on checking the press accreditation status
of Raath and Mkwazhi, who have applied to the government-controlled Media
and Information Commission (MIC) but have not yet received their final
accreditation. Under the repressive Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, journalists can be sentenced to two years in prison for working
without MIC accreditation, but may carry on working if they have a receipt
that shows they have applied.

Before leaving the police promised to come back and deal with "spies." They
did return on 15 and 16 February but found no one present at the AP bureau.
Mtetwa said her clients are now in a safe place.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Sunday Times, SA

Judge challenges Mugabe over tribunal

Friday February 18, 2005 12:49 - (SA)

HARARE - A Zimbabwean judge suspended two years ago for alleged misconduct
has appealed to the country's Supreme Court to dissolve a tribunal of
foreign judges appointed by President Robert Mugabe to investigate him over
alleged corruption charges.

Mugabe last year swore in a three-man tribunal, comprising judges from
Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, to hear the case of Justice Benjamin Paradza,
accused of trying to influence his colleagues presiding in the case of his
business colleague.

Paradza's legal counsel Eric Matinenga and South African advocate Jeremy
Gauntlett told the Supreme Court the tribunal was not properly constituted
as its members were nominated by judicial authorities in their countries and
not chosen by Mugabe as required by Zimbabwe's constitution.

The lawyers said Zimbabwe's laws did not allow Mugabe to delegate other
people to select the tribunal.

"A dispute relating to constitutional matters exists in this respect,"
Gauntlett said.

The "fifth respondent (Mugabe) plainly failed to select the members of the
tribunal in the sense and manner required."

"If left undetermined this gives rise to a violation of our client's rights
and leaves a tribunal which is not a court of law and which currently
comprises persons not versed in Zimbabwean law to determine the issue," he

Paradza was arrested two years ago after he allegedly tried to influence the
bail conditions of his partner in a safari hunting business, Russell
Labuschagne, charged with murder.

He allegedly told a fellow judge involved in Labuschagne's case that he
stood to loose money if his associate, whose passport had been held by the
state as part of bail terms, was unable to travel to Europe.

His arrest and detention in a vermon-infested cell drew international

Back to the Top
Back to Index