|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Remarks by Morgan Tsvangirai, President of the
Movement for Democratic
Change, at the launch of the MDC’s economic policy, RESTART, at the Harare
International Conference Centre.
Members of the National Executive Committee
Ladies and Gentlemen
Zimbabweans are deeply disturbed by the political, economic and social
decay that is evident in our country today. In spite of the much-publicized
accusations against imaginary foreign and local economic saboteurs, the real
enemies of Zimbabwe are being exposed every day.
Recent events show clearly that the rot is entrenched in a
corrupt system of
political patronage, nursed by a corrupt dictatorship that seeks to cling on
power at the expense of the majority. We are in this mess, not because of
lack of resources and an industrious nation. We are in this mess today
because of mismanagement, lack of good governance and general misrule.
In launching our economic policy, RESTART, we recognize
challenges that lie ahead. We recognize the difficulties that an MDC
government will have to face to reconstruct, restore and stabilize our
severely battered economy.
With RESTART, we are offering
Zimbabweans a new beginning in a new direction
we seek to tae the country. RESTART is a holistic programme whose success
will depend on a multi-faceted attack on the current political, economic and
social ills brought about by tyranny, greed and corruption.
RESTART is product of a
consultation process that began early last year. The
programme is guided by the values of the MDC: peace, freedom, justice and
solidarity. It is a flexible programme that takes into account the sad
realities on the ground. It offers a diagnosis and prescription for long
term recovery and growth. We are ready to govern.
An MDC government will seek to establish
social justice for all Zimbabweans.
We are determined to address the issues of democracy, liberty, transparency,
justice, equality, growth and equitable distribution of resources.
We are dismayed with the fact that for
so long, our political independence
has turned out to be a mere elite power transfer process that has failed to
transform and uplift the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans. The struggle for
social liberation and the quest for social justice we are currently engaged
in as the MDC are goals we are determined to achieve.
Our country has experienced continuous
negative growth rates for six years.
Massive devaluation of commerce and industry and a subjective, chaotic land
policy have left millions of people jobless, homeless and hungry.
Any visitor coming into Zimbabwe
today would be excused to assume that we
are at war. The regime has turned its fight for survival onto the people,
creating a social crisis leading to the collapse of transport, education and
health delivery systems. The HIV/Aids pandemic rests at the top of this
massive humanitarian emergency.
The challenge of social liberation we pursue today
must represent a marked
departure from years of failed economic experiments which were introduced at
Independence and thereafter.
challenges can only be led by a new movement like the MDC whose
traditions are rooted in the ideals of the liberation. The values of that
struggle are the driving force in our quest for social justice. Our new
economic programme is thus a RESTART after years of decay and economic
The RESTART we unveil today is a process and
a goal. It is an ideal and a
target in which the potential and capabilities of our people are directed
towards achieving a just and equitable society.
The RESTART we present today is underpinned by our
values. It can only
succeed in a climate where the rule of law is restored and observed
resulting in an election of a legitimate government. Any legitimate
government must immediately enable the people to effect fundamental changes
to our constitutional and legal framework in order to put in place
irreversible guarantees to people’s freedoms.
a people-driven Constitution, it would be impossible for us to
harness the creative potential of all our people in this country. As long as
some sections of our community feel excluded from key political and economic
processes, we are bound to fail. Governments can never function effectively
when it is at war with civil society. Governments are bound to fail if they
pay lip service to the people’s agenda.
Intolerant regimes always cause discomfort to their
neighbours and the
international community. The world does not have faith in countries where
tyranny is celebrated. Zimbabwe will never survive international isolation.
Through RESTART, the MDC is convinced
that we are our own liberators. We
have to play the major part to pull ourselves out of the current mess. We
have to create a society that is able to satisfy people’s basic needs. As I
said earlier, we are already in a state of governing preparedness.
This is the beginning of a process of
popularizing all our policies and
programmes after they were debated, revised and adopted by our party
structures and our conference last year. We must put people first.
Mr. Chairman, it is my pleasure to lay on the table
our new economic policy,
White emigrants returning to South Africa
HOMECOMING REVOLUTION: Thousands of people who left the country because of
political turmoil are now asking themselves whether leaving was really the
AFP , JOHANNESBURG
Saturday, Jan 31, 2004,Page 6
They emigrated six or 10 years ago, fearful for their security and their
future or, more recently, attracted by prospects in London or Toronto.
But now some are coming back. With little fanfare, but with enthusiasm,
white South Africans are returning little by little to a country "that
works" and a homeland they miss.
The "Homecoming Revolution" is on the move.
It is a vibrant new non-governmental organization, run by two young
executive women who believe in the drive to persuade South Africans to come
For the past year, the organization has been the echo chamber for tens of
thousands of homesick South Africans, the majority of them white, who had
found what they thought were greener pastures in Canada or Australia, in
Manchester or New York, but who are now asking themselves whether leaving
was really the right choice.
The "Homecoming" Internet site is a revelation.
It hosts a constant flow of exchanges, written by those who want to return
but who haven't worked up the courage yet, and whose incomes keep them
abroad -- professionals, bankers and real estate agents.
There is also the occasional embittered entry, accusing South Africa of
going down the same path as President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, currently in
It is difficult to quantify the number of those returning, but they
certainly do not match the number of those leaving, contributing to an acute
shortage of professionals and skilled artisans.
But the trend is there, the optimism as well, said Alison Melvill, a South
African who returned with her IT consultant husband after six years in
"In the six years since we left, people's attitudes have changed a lot. The
people here now are very positive about where the country is going, very
gung-ho, very keen to explore."
Angel Jones, a 31-year-old creative director of an advertising agency and
Marina Smithers, 32, a public relations officer, "threw a bottle in the
ocean" when they launched the site a year ago with a message for 27,000
South Africans across the world.
They have been overwhelmed by people writing their stories, sometimes more
than 1,000 a day.
"We couldn't read everything, we had no idea that we had reached so many
people," said Jones, who last year won a South African Woman of the Year
The Web site plays on all the cliches in South Africa: sun, space, bush,
biltong (dried meat), braais (barbecues), the clear skies. These are the
things dear to the hearts of expatriates facing a London drizzle or a
snowstorm in Canada.
Jones, who lived in London for seven years, believes that one man was the
catalyst for the idea ... Nelson Mandela.
During a visit in 1996, the then president spoke to a huge number of
expatriates, who braved the cold to listen to him speak in Trafalgar Square.
Said Jones: "He [Mandela] just said `I love all of you. I just want to put
you in my pocket and take all of you home'. The whole crowd just roared.
There were people in tears, and I looked around and saw all of these South
Africans just yearning to come home ... That's where it all began."
The obstacles preventing people from returning -- crime and concerns about
job losses -- are often the same that still drive them away: some 9,000
South Africans left during the first nine months of last year.
"Our message is: don't wait for the country to improve. Come back and
improve it. Don't wait for the jobs. Come and create the jobs," Jones said.
"From a PR point of view, the idea of returning home had to become `cool.'"
"There is not a single country in the world where everything is so possible,
or where any individual can make such an impact in society," she declares.
"And then again, we don't say to people, `Don't go,' we tell them: `Go,
enrich yourselves, get a qualification, and return and invest here.'"
EFFECTIVE PLAN TO TACKLE HIV/AIDS IN AFRICA
Washington, DC -- In an efficient and effective operation, the Hope on
Africa project is being launched to reverse the trend of the HIV/AIDS
pandemic across the African continent.
There are now 13 million orphans in Africa, and every 14 seconds another
orphan is created. Unless the Hope on Africa program is actioned now it is
predicted there will be 20 million orphans by 2010.
At present, 25 million people in Africa are suffering from HIV/AIDS and its
spread is accelerated because the majority receive no treatment and no
Hope on Africa will send 7,500 therapists to Africa and they will deliver 25
million treatments to HIV/AIDS sufferers.
Education is a key feature of the project. Through education and healthcare,
parents will be kept alive longer to care for their children, therefore
reducing the growth of the orphan population.
EU has no case against Zimbabwe: President
THE European Union has no case against Zimbabwe because Britain influences
its decisions over Zimbabwe, President Mugabe said yesterday.
"There is no case that the European Union should go against us," he told the
outgoing French Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Didier Ferrand, at Zimbabwe
"That is the issue, but we notice of course that Britain is taking these
issues to the European Union."
The EU is set to meet next month to review sanctions it imposed against
Zimbabwe in 2002 amid reports that British Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair was
attempting to influence its decision.
MDC has dispatched its officials to several EU capitals, including France,
to press for tougher sanctions against Zimbabwe.
The party’s vice president Mr Gibson Sibanda on Wednesday urged the EU to
slap so-called targeted sanctions against the Government, despite the fact
that these have damaged the country’s economy over the past few years.
The United States was also accused of influencing the EU decision by issuing
a warning to its citizens last week to consider leaving Zimbabwe.
The Government has dismissed the warning, which alleged that Zimbabwe’s
political, economic and humanitarian crises could affect the security of US
Mr Blair, President Mugabe said, admitted he was wrong on his treatment of
Zimbabwe, but it was too late.
"They could not retract and redeem themselves because of too much publicity.
We are more democratic here than most countries in Africa."
President Mugabe said Zimbabwe would fight for its sovereignty without being
"We fought for our independence and we will continue to do so."
President Mugabe commended French President Mr Jacques Chirac for his
principled stance with regards to Zimbabwe.
Mr Chirac refused to be intimidated by his colleagues in the EU.
President Mugabe said Mr Chirac understood that the differences between
Zimbabwe and Britain were a bilateral issue that stemmed from history.
Mr Chirac had invited him to the 22nd French-Africa Summit last year against
the wishes of some EU countries because he understood the issues concerning
Britain openly expressed its anger at Mr Chirac, the leader of its main
rival in Africa during the colonial era, for inviting the President to the
Mr Ferrand said he discussed bilateral issues with President Mugabe.
"I told him that France has a principled foreign policy," he told
journalists after the meeting.
"We have been co-operating with Zimbabwe and we have ratified an agreement
for the protection of investment."
Mr Ferrand said France supported a number of community projects in the
These included supporting the teaching of French, community-based micro
finance and the fight against HIV and Aids.
Mr Ferrand was expected to depart for France today after serving for more
than three years.
In Zim's fantasy world, nothing is as it seems
Mail & Guardian (SA)
The rule of law in Mugabeland, it would
seem, is now as problematical
as logic is in Alice’s Wonderland
As in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, nothing is ever as it
appears on the surface in what one journalistic wag has nicknamed
“Mugabeland”. This is Zimbabwe, the politically and economically tattered
Southern African country President Robert Mugabe has straddled like a
Colossus since independence in 1980. This fantasy world is particularly
poignant for journalists working for The Daily News and The Daily News on
Sunday, the independent newspapers published by Associated Newspapers of
Zimbabwe (ANZ). Their saga could be a summary of “The Mad Hatter’s Tea
Party”- chapter seven of the famous children’s tale - in which the March
Hare, the Hatter, and the Dormouse contradict Alice at every turn,
correcting her with confusing arguments that have their own strange logic.
In ANZ’s case, whenever the company celebrates what it believes to be a
victory in the court case launched against it by the government last
September, it turns out to be another humiliating Waterloo. The latest such
incident occurred after the Harare High Court ordered the police to vacate
ANZ’s printing premises in the Southerton industrial area of Harare. The
police have occupied the building on and off since September.
The company’s lawyers interpreted the ruling to mean the essence of
their application: resumption of publication until the Supreme Court rules
on ANZ’s application to be registered by the Media and Information
Commission (MIC). But the government claimed the ruling did not entail
resumption of printing - only the removal of the police. This was not the
first time the government had outfoxed, not only ANZ, but the judiciary
itself. A ruling by an Administrative Court judge last year, again declaring
the company could resume printing, was shot down by a minister as “academic”
.Before that, there had been a bizarre twist in the case. Another
Administrative Court judge had been forced to recuse himself from passing
judgement because - or so it was claimed in the government paper, The
Herald - he had told a passenger in his car that he intended ruling in
favour of ANZ. The case was eventually decided in ANZ’s favour by another
judge, who received a death threat from people claiming to be war veterans.
The Minister for Information and Publicity, Jonathan Moyo, has been in
the thick of the set-to between the government and ANZ, whose original sin
was not to register with the MIC, the lynchpin of the restrictive Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act. By some calculations, the Act is
probably as restrictive of press freedom as any laws conjured up by the
Nazis. Its description of a falsehood, for which a journalist can be jailed
or fined heavily, is so imprecise one scribe joked that it could turn
journalists into politicians or civil servants - both masters of
gobbledegook, doublespeak and obfuscation. Moyo has been pilloried by the
independent media as the ruling Zanu PF’s Goebbels, which ought to intrigue
German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who is currently visiting South Africa.
His talks with President Thabo Mbeki are expected to touch on Mbeki’s role
as an honest broker between Mugabe and his political nemesis, Morgan
Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The decision by the 52 Commonwealth members in Abuja last month to
extend Zimbabwe’s suspension over Mugabe’s flawed re-election in 2002 must
have grievously wounded Mbeki’s political ego. But to have expected his
colleagues to endorse the imagined success of his “quiet diplomacy”
suggested a naive, simplistic reading of their mood. Mugabe has done nothing
to endear himself not only to the majority of his own people since the
suspension, but to his peers in the Commonwealth. Could Mbeki have waved the
banning of ANZ newspapers as a shining example of the alleged excellent good
governance for which Mugabe ought to be rewarded? Clearly on instructions
from on high, the police and the MIC are frustrating the implementation of
every judgement made in favour of ANZ in its struggle to resume publication.
In defying the rulings of the judges, the government seems to be
implementing Mugabe’s threat made a few months ago. The president announced
publicly that in future, if his government did not agree with a court
judgement, it would ignore such a judgement. The rule of law in Mugabeland,
it would seem, is now as problematical as logic is in Alice’s Wonderland.
Bill Saidi is editor of The Daily News on Sunday
Sunday Times (SA)
England and Zimbabwe may play 'tour games' in SA
Playing matches in South Africa has
been suggested as a possible compromise
to the impasse over England's scheduled cricket tour of Zimbabwe in
The option of using South Africa as a neutral venue was raised by David
Morgan, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), in an
interview with The Guardian newspaper in London. England are unwilling to
tour Zimbabwe because of the political situation there.
England are due to visit Zimbabwe
immediately before a tour of South Africa,
and Morgan suggested that an early arrival in SA was an option. He said the
ECB might offer US1-million (about R7 million) to the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
(ZCU) as compensation if the tour did not take place.
Gerald Majola, chief executive of the United
Cricket Board of SA, said he
had not been sounded out about making venues available. "The only way we
could entertain such a suggestion would be if we were approached by Zimbabwe
as the hosts," he said.
Chingoka, president of the ZCU, is determined to press for England to
honour their commitment. Nor is Ehsan Mani, president of the International
Cricket Council (ICC), in favour of the neutral option.
"Pakistan played West
Indies at neutral venues and lost millions as a result
in sponsorship and gate revenue. The television arrangements were all that
survived," said Mani, who is from Pakistan.
Morgan said on Wednesday that the ECB would
negotiate with the ZCU and the
ICC during February. "We need to know all the impacts that might be made by
the cancellation," he said.
Thursday, though, the ECB agreed to postpone a decision until they
presented their case at an ICC executive board meeting in New Zealand on
England, who withdrew from a World Cup match in
Zimbabwe last year, are the
only one of the ICC's Test-playing members who have consistently ba lked at
playing in Zimbabwe. Bangladesh are due to play a series there this month
and Sri Lanka are due in May.
England, there has been political pressure on the Australians to
withdraw, but James Sutherland, chief executive of Cricket Australia, has
backed the ICC's policy that all countries should honour their obligations
to play each other.
"We'll make a decision on any tour based on safety and
security grounds. We
don't see it as appropriate that we make judgments on those other issues,"
England believes it has a
special case. Morgan will go to New Zealand
carrying letters from Jack Straw, the British Foreign Secretary, and the two
main opposition parties, all expressing concerns over the tour. There is
also pressure from major sponsors and other stakeholders in English cricket
to refuse to tour while Robert Mugabe remains president.
Chingoka has sent an e-mail to all 18
English first-class counties warning
of the financial consequences if the tour is cancelled, although according
to the Wisden CricInfo website most of the counties support the ECB stance.
The website quoted Mark Newton,
chief executive of Worcestershire: "The
counties have allowed the management board to make that decision for us
because we believe they are the best qualified. You can always put pressure
on people if you want to, but that doesn't mean they will necessarily
respond to it, and I fail to see how sending an e-mail like this is going to
help Zimbabwe cricket at all."
The political situation in Zimbabwe has led to the country's
playing strength being diluted. Andy Flower and Henry Olonga left Zimbabwe
after making a public protest about political conditions, while Bryan
Strang, the country's former opening bowler, writes in a letter in the
February edition of the Wisden Cricketer magazine that the game has become
politicised in his country.
He says he was subjected to
racial abuse because of a selection he made as
coach of the Mashonaland under-12 team. He claims the incident was "swept
under the carpet" when he reported it to the ZCU. Strang wrote: "Some of us
know first-hand the politicisation and racialisation of cricket in Zimbabwe.
are learning first-hand from coaches and policy-makers that skin
colour matters. A union which promotes racial division and does nothing
about hate speech should not be given the courtesy of touring democratic
Move to ease congestion in city welcome
THE Harare City Council has started attempts to address problems related to
parking in the streets of the capital.
Vehicles parked haphazardly on the streets will be towed away or have their
wheels clamped. This is a move to ease congestion and is in response to
calls by ratepayers to clean up the city.
This week saw more than 15 vehicles that were illegally parked or were being
sold on the streets towed to the city’s central stores. Owners have to pay
the costs for towing the vehicles and storage charges of $3 000 a day.
Another menace is from the illegal car dealers who sell motor vehicles on
the streets and the street mechanics especially along Kaguvi Street.
That there is now a penalty of $500 000 before a vehicle is released will
make some of these street businesses think twice before embarking on such
The wheel clamping system is currently in operation at the Harare
International Airport and it has drastically reduced parking violations
The airport system forces the motorist to pay the fine immediately in order
to recover his vehicle. Failure to pay the fine on time results in storage
The vehicle clamping system has proved a solution to parking violations in
other countries such as Britain, Germany and South Africa. If well managed,
the Harare City Council can generate millions from the illegal car parkers
and in the process improve the city’s damaged reputation as the Sunshine
The Bulawayo City Council is already implementing the system. It has raked
in millions of dollars by immobilising vehicles that are parked illegally.
Offending motorists are now forced to pay fines within four days.
The Harare City Council should not only target private vehicles and
mini-buses but haulage trucks as well. They are becoming a menace. Drivers
are parking and driving in the city centre areas not designated for huge
Double parking on some islands in the central business district should also
be discouraged. The council should move urgently on these motorists.
A number of illegal commuter omnibus ranks have also mushroomed throughout
the city centre. One such illegal rank is at the Leopold Takawira pedestrian
crossing where commuter omnibuses, private and unregistered taxis plying the
City/Parirenyatwa/Avondale route constantly block the pedestrian crossing.
The council, in consultation with the police, should take stern measures
against these operators. The practice is causing congestion along certain
roads as well as blocking the parking space for other motorists.
The clampdown, if well implemented, should help the municipality recover
millions of dollars from traffic offenders who ignored previous fines.
The council should refer to its data base before releasing a vehicle to
check if clamped or towed vehicles were not caught on the wrong side of the
city’s roads before.
England face new threat over tour
'Pull out of Zimbabwe and you could lose September showpiece' is the message
By Stephen Brenkley
01 February 2004
of England's probable refusal to tour Zimbabwe are
beginning to emerge. In a low-key but ominous warning, Jagmohan Dalmiya, the
president of the Indian cricket board, indicated that the Champions' Trophy,
the so-called mini World Cup, would be under threat.
"The Champions' Trophy will be played in England in 2004 [from 8 to 25
September] and India are going there for three one-day matches before to
acclimatise," he said. "If the tour to Zimbabwe has been cancelled that is
something we would have to consider. We would need to talk about it in the
International Cricket Council."
Dalmiya, who is also the driving force of the Asian Cricket Council, refused
to sympathise with the England and Wales Cricket Board or the dilemma in
which they find themselves through being put under pressure from the
Government and the media. He said they had agreed to tour Zimbabwe under the
future tours programme.
"I look forward to hearing what England have to say at the Executive Board
meeting of the ICC in March," he said. "We all have to keep an open mind.
The Champions' Trophy is an important competition." Dalmiya said that if
anything extreme happened, a proposition to hold it elsewhere could be
The Trophy, a biennial event involving all the major nations, is the ICC's
second most important one-day competition. Those considering themselves as
purists scoff at it as being superfluous, but apart from being a short
festival involving all the world's leading players in one country, it also
forms part of the organisation's lucrative $550m (£300m) television deal,
which lasts until the 2007 World Cup. Anything that jeopardises it would
threaten massive financial penalties.
So far, there is a conciliatory mood, as was embodied by Dalmiya's refusal
to issue outright threats. Other countries insist they are willing to
listen. The new presidents of the Pakistan and South Africa boards both said
they were not rushing to judgement.
For Pakistan,however, Shah-aryar Khan said he would stick to his country's
traditional line, that politics and sport must be kept separate. He expected
England to tour. Ray Mali of South Africa said that England should tour as
long as it was safe but did not rule out the possibility of his country
agreeing to stage the Zimbabwe-England matches.
England agreed last week to postpone their decision on the Zimbabwean tour,
scheduled for October and November, until after the ICC's executive board
meeting in Auckland on 9 and 10 March. This followed a request from the ICC
president, Ehsan Mani.
Although the probability is that England will withdraw, the postponement of
the decision buys them time on two grounds. First, they have the chance to
convince the ICC that the situation in Zimbabwe has altered, and that
England are a special case.
Secondly, the Australian board will send a three-man delegation to Zimbabwe
in March to assess whether it is safe enough for them to tour in May. James
Sutherland, the chief executive of Cricket Australia, said last week: "We
will only travel if it is safe to travel." It would be convenient for
England if Australia - who, like others, refuse to countenance a moral
dimension - found it unsafe and that they had found it so before England
make their decision.
There is no doubt the ICC will take some convincing of England's case, not
least because Zimbabwe toured here last year. Administrators and
commentators worldwide pointed out last week that if you embraced a moral
dimen-sion it was objectionable not only to tour a country but to play them
David Morgan, the chairman of the ECB, said he was not worried about the
reception he might receive from his fellow board heads. It was he who
travelled to Zimbabwe last March to seek assurances that they would tour
England, and promised them that England would withdraw from the reciprocal
tour only on safety and security grounds. "That was our position then, but
since March last year our information is that there has been a deterioration
in the situation," he said. "The letter to the ECB from the Foreign
Secretary was as close as you are ever likely to get in a western democracy
to an instruction not to go. We know business is against us going. But I
would emphasise that we have not made a decision. We must give the
international community the opportunity to put their side of the story."
The ECB have not yet adopted the paper written by Des Wilson, the chairman
of the Corporate Affairs and Marketing Advisory Committee, Reviewing
Overseas Cricket Tours: A Framework For Rational Decision Making. This
embraces the concept of declining to tour on moral grounds and, as Morgan
said, has been well received in the UK, not so well elsewhere.
Morgan and the ECB's chief executive, Tim Lamb, will spend the next five
weeks trying to persuade their counterparts in other countries both of the
merits of Wilson's document and England's status as a special case, and
pointingout that the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe are against
the tour. Morgan insisted that relations with the ICC top brass are cordial.
"I'm not going to be hypothetical about what might or might not happen after
we have made a decision," he said. But when he speaks to Dalmiya he will
probably be told that plenty will.
Sunday Times (SA)
Minister embroiled in loan scandal
Sunday Times Foreign Desk
Zimbabwe's Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare Minister July Moyo has
been accused of using cash from his own department as collateral for a
Z1-billion loan for a company owned by two close associates.
Moyo's ministry is said to have deposited the money into a First Bank
account to secure a loan for Smoothnest Investments.
Smoothnest is partly owned by National Social Security
chairman Edwin Manikai, who was appointed by Moyo to head up the NSSA public
and private sector pension fund.
Wayne Bvudzijena has confirmed that Moyo was interrogated
on January 16, after law enforcement agents received a tip-off document
detailing the Z1-billion loan transaction. Moyo, Manikai and his partner
Patrice Dhliwayo were reportedly grilled for hours by the police but the
three strenuously denied accusations of wrong doing.
In the end, Bvudzijena said police
"had no interest" in the issue but would
investigate further if new information was found.
Those linked to the loan deal have dismissed
the issue as a smear campaign
connected to President Robert Mugabe's succession debate.
First Bank confirmed that Smoothnest was their
client, but refused to give