MATHIAS Matewu Mlambo, the MP for Chipinge North, on Saturday escaped death
by a whisker when a group of about 200 Zanu PF youths attacked him at Pfidza
Mlambo was addressing an MDC presidential election campaign rally when the
attack took place.
Mlambo said the attack took place at around 2pm.
He said: “I arrived at the growth point at around 2pm and saw at least 200
people waiting. Little did I know that MDC supporters had already been chased
away and replaced by Zanu PF youths. One of them approached me and ordered me to
leave if I valued my life. I thought he was joking as I had a rally scheduled
for that venue and which had been approved by the police. Before I knew it, the
mob started throwing stones at me. As I fled, my car, a Nissan Twin Cab, was
Mlambo said he reported the case to Chipinge police station and was issued
with a crime report number 22102.
At Tanganda township, Mlambo was stopped by another group of Zanu PF
supporters who recognised him. He said he was warned him this was a no-go area
for MDC members.
“I resisted and they started throwing stones at me. One of our members
sustained cuts to his leg. I made another report at the same police station and
was issued with a case number 012444. This is highly disturbing. MDC MPs are
Morgan Tsvangirai’s election agents. How are we supposed to campaign in such an
atmosphere?” he said.
Tsvangirai is the MDC presidential candidate. He is pitted against
President Mugabe of Zanu PF, Wilson Kumbula, Abel Siwela, both of whom are
running as independents, and Shakespeare Maya of the National Alliance for Good
Zanu PF has intensified its terror campaign in Manicaland as the election
scheduled for 9 and 10 March draws nearer. More than 6 000 MDC members have
reportedly fled their respective constituencies.
Meanwhile, the ongoing voter registration in Manicaland has raised eyebrows
amid fears it could be a well calculated move by Zanu PF to rig the election.
In the past two weeks, more than 1 000 people have been registered as new
voters in Mutare in what MDC officials have described as a fraudulent exercise.
Charles Mhende, the provincial registrar, confirmed the registration of new
voters, but said the exercise had nothing to do with next week’s presidential
He said: “The registration of new voters is an ongoing exercise which is
conducted at any given time.”
MDC supporter murdered
2/26/02 9:11:03 AM (GMT +2)
AN MDC supporter in Rushinga, Takesure Nhitsa, died at Chimhanda Hospital
after he was severely beaten up by Zanu PF youths who accused him of cutting off
An official at the hospital said Nhitsa, who worked as a pump attendant
with the Department of Water Development in Rushinga, was admitted on Tuesday
last week and died the following day. A statement issued by the MDC in Harare
said Nhitsa was approached by the Zanu PF youths who accused him of cutting off
water supplies and of being an MDC member.
“The group severely assaulted him,” said the statement.
In a related
incident, Babillon Matambo, a war veteran, and Taurai Chimutanda, a Zanu PF
supporter, were arrested by the police for burning down houses belonging to MDC
The Rushinga police confirmed the arrests, but said Chimutanda has since
In Goromonzi district, Wiseman Mutero, the MDC treasurer, and Parirenyatwa
Chari, the youth chairman, were attacked last Tuesday by Zanu PF supporters led
by Godwin Nyarira and Albert Chimanika.
The two sought refuge at the Goromonzi police station but were arrested for
allegedly triggering the attack by sounding MDC whistles. Zanu PF supporters
later set Mutero’s house on fire.
Abubakar says attack on poll observers
2/26/02 9:12:19 AM (GMT +2)
ABDULSALAMI Abubakar, the chairman of the Commonwealth observer
Sunday described as “unfortunate”, the attack on two members of the
African election observer mission by Zanu PF supporters in Kwekwe on
“It is unfortunate that the incident took place, that some people
friendly people who have come to observe elections,” the former
head of state who arrived in the country on Saturday,
He was responding to a question during a media briefing in
“I hope it will not happen to us,” Abubakar said.
observers, identified as Elizah Maahlo and Bethel Sithai, reported the
to the police in Kwekwe and two Zanu PF youths were arrested.
however, said it was “too early to start making comments” about
in the country in the run-up to next week’s presidential
said 33 observers, comprising present and former parliamentarians,
officials and civil society leaders, all appointed by the
Secretary-General, had arrived in the country by Sunday.
expected to arrive.
The main body of the Commonwealth observer group,
described as the biggest
since the 1994 “freedom” elections in South Africa,
arrived in Zimbabwe over
Asked why the group came late,
Abubakar said: “We could not come without an
invitation. We came after we got
Outlining his mission’s mandate, Abubakar said: “Our
concern will be purely
with the electoral environment and the process, rather
than the outcome. We
will be observing in our individual capacities and not
as representatives of
our countries, our governments or any organisations to
which we may belong.”
Meanwhile, suspected Zanu PF youths in Sunningdale
2, Harare, on Sunday
attacked a truck carrying MDC supporters, including
James Mushonga, the
aspiring councillor for Ward 1 in Harare
Garikai Chinyama, an activist, was hit on the ankle and shin when
a group of
about 50 boys and girls, besieged their Land Rover truck as they
the middle-density suburb putting up posters and distributing
Ironically, the incident occurred less than 30 metres from the
“The police are not doing anything to protect
us,” Mushonga complained. “We
are trying to maintain peace, that’s why we ran
away when the youths
Mushonga said they reported the
incident to Braeside Police Station, where a
Constable Charungwa allegedly
said he would pass the report on to the Law
and Order Section at Harare
Central Police Station.
Church says Kunonga’s close links with Zanu PF his democratic
2/26/02 9:13:04 AM (GMT +2)
The Anglican Church’s Justice, Peace and Reconciliation (JPR) committee
last week said the Bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, had links with Zanu PF
before he was installed in April last year.
George Wauchope, the JPR committee spokesman, was explaining the apparently
strong support by Kunonga for Zanu PF and the government’s violent fast-track
land reform programme, even in the face of criticism by many Anglicans in and
out of his diocese.
Wauchope said: “The bishop’s links with Zanu PF are from the time before he
But he said Kunonga’s stance should be viewed as his democratic right as an
He said it was important to separate individual opinion from
that of the church.
He said: “The bishop has come out very strongly on the land issue, which we
see as a matter of justice and addressing the wrongs of the past. Our stand as
the Anglican Church is that it should be done transparently, peacefully and in
an orderly manner.”
Kunonga’s pro-Zanu PF and pro-government pronouncements from the pulpit and
elsewhere have alienated some members of his diocese and other Anglicans in
general, who see him as condoning the violence unleashed on the people by Zanu
PF in the name of land reform.
In January, Kunonga declared that President Mugabe, who has boasted of
having degrees in violence, was more Christian than himself.
Wauchope said the Anglican Church was praying for a free and fair
presidential election, an end to violence, and equal access to all the media for
all political parties and candidates, among other things.
He expressed the JPR committee’s solidarity with two Matabeleland Anglican
priests, David Maroneng and Noel Scott, arrested in Bulawayo on 16 February
during a public march for unity by churches.
He said: “Some unruly elements exploited the situation.”
were remanded to 4 March. They are being charged under the Public Order and
Massive egg, chicken shortages looming
2/26/02 9:34:53 AM (GMT +2)
By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor
MASSIVE egg and chicken shortages are looming in Zimbabwe because there is
a serious crisis in the supply of chicken feed countrywide.
There is a shortage of layers’ mash to such an extent that farmers are
cutting down on production and slaughtering their animals before they reach
There are also problems in the ostrich industry currently facing a bleak
future because of stockfeed shortages while dog-meal is now a scarce commodity.
The Cattle Producers’ Association last month warned of serious shortages of
livestock products such as pork and poultry products this year because of a
decree by the government which allows the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to seize
maize from commercial farmers.
Philip de Chassart, a poultry producer said he had reduced production by 50
percent because stockfeed manufacturers had reduced their supplies.
De Chassart said: “There are going to be shortages in poultry products
because of the stockfeed shortages. The problem with poultry production is that
chickens have no alternative stockfeed other than maize, which constitutes 60
percent of chicken feed.
He said the country would also face shortages in other livestock products
such as beef, lamb and pork because of the current crisis in maize supply.
Meanwhile, with the drought and a critical shortage of maize threatening
widespread starvation throughout the country, the ostrich industry, whose main
source of feed is maize, is facing an unprecedented crisis with mounting fears
of an imminent collapse, a 19 February 2002 issue of The Farmer Magazine said.
Andrew Cunningham an official from the ostrich industry said due to the
critical shortage of maize, farmers were panicking and this was a major concern
to the industry.
Zimbabwe earns millions of dollars annually from exporting ostrich
Stockfeed manufacturers are encountering problems in procuring maize to
The GMB is seizing maize (including maize for stockfeed) from commercial
farmers using new legislation implemented on 28 December 2001, a desperate move
expected to help the parastatal to improve the maize supply situation.
Zimbabwe is facing maize shortages because of a poor rainfall season last
year that affected crop yields, while a 50 percent reduction in maize production
in the commercial farming sector, as a result of the controversy surrounding the
land issue, caused a reduction in output.
Grain farmers are now compelled to deliver maize and grain stocks no later
than 14 days after harvest, a development that has come about at the gazetting
Instrument 387 of 28 December 2001.
Commercial farmers however said most of the stocks being confiscated by the
GMB was D grade maize that was not suitable for human consumption and could only
be used for livestock feeding.
Stockfeed manufacturers, National Foods Limited told The Farmer Magazine
that there was a shortage of stockfeed.
War vets take over maize distribution in Bulawayo
2/26/02 9:36:22 AM (GMT +2)
From Sandra Mujokoro in Bulawayo
War veterans have taken over the distribution of maize at the Grain
Marketing Board (GMB) depot in Bulawayo.
The depot has been receiving maize by train from South Africa for the past
Despite receiving about 7 000 tonnes of maize so far, there has been very
little improvement in the availability of maize-meal in the country.
Long queues are still the order of the day at retail shops as people wait
for non-existent deliveries from the milling companies. One woman reportedly
collapsed and died of hunger while in a maize-meal queue in Mpopoma. Retailers
with maize-meal in stock are selling it at exorbitant prices, while some millers
are reselling some of the maize on the parallel market instead of milling it.
At the GMB depot, riot police now keep a permanent presence, controlling
millers and hungry consumers as they jostle for the maize.
War veterans have accused the GMB of creating artificial shortages. On
Wednesday last week they took over the distribution process at the depot.
The GMB has been accused of giving priority to millers from outside the
city, thus starving the locals who are in dire need of maize-meal.
GMB officials have allegedly disregarded the system of rotation where
commercial millers bought maize on
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while
service millers purchased theirs on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The system has been in use over the past few years. Mitcho Ndlovu, the
acting war veterans’ chairman for Bulawayo province, said they were now working
as a pressure group to ensure that millers from Bulawayo are given priority in
the distribution of maize.
He said there was no clarity on how service, commercial and indigenous
millers were receiving maize.
“Millers were not clear on how maize was being distributed and people are
getting desperate by the day because the millers have nothing,” said Ndlovu.
“This is why we have intervened and we expect to finish this exercise over the
He said they were ensuring that the millers did not divert the maize to the
parallel market and instead produced maize-meal The GMB manager, Cephas
Taruvinga, declined to comment but an insider said they were taking orders from
the war veterans because maize-meal had become a political issue.
“It is as if the GMB has been selectively distributing maize to create
ill-feelings in this region towards the government. This is not the case,” said
Zimbabwe’s foreign debt now
2/26/02 9:43:58 AM (GMT +2)
Chanakira Business Editor
The country’s foreign debt, which stands at
more than US$10 billion (about
Z$550 billion), is now unpayable and should
not be repaid because so much
has already been spent in servicing foreign
debt, a debt consultancy
organisation has recommended.
That is one of
the controversial suggestions made in a booklet dealing with
effects and politics of public debt in Zimbabwe released in
The 56-page report was compiled by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt
The report was drawn from several
individuals, civil society and government
At the time
the report was compiled Zimbabwe’s foreign debt stood at a US$5
(about Z$275 billion).
It has since skyrocketed to more than US$10
The report says: “The foreign debt - US$5 billion - is
unpayable, and should
not be repaid, because so much has already been spent
in servicing foreign
“The foreign debt is too large for an
economy whose Gross Domestic Product
will struggle to sustain US$5 billion in
output during the current
The Minister of Finance and
Economic Development, Dr Simba Makoni, confirmed
the country’s debt in
Durban, South Africa at a regional session of the
World Economic Forum in
June, last year.
Makoni said Zimbabwe was committed to “fulfiling these
obligations, but it’s
clear that our economy is in no state to generate
sufficient funds to clear
The Zimcodd report says the
foreign debt can only be paid at a huge cost in
terms of human development
and any further repayments on the debt are
unjustified in view of the fact
that substantial amounts have already been
spent by the government in
servicing the foreign debt and also because
foreign lenders - especially in
Washington - have to accept joint
responsibility and share in the blame for
failed structural adjustment.
Zimbabwe also has a huge and soaring
domestic debt which had reached $110
billion as at the end of January, this
year. The figure continues to
increase at the rate of at least $2 billion
The Zimcodd report says:
“A tribunal is necessary to set the
terms of the debate over the inheritance
of debt from the colonial government
through the two decades of
independence. “Zimcodd should convene such a
tribunal so as to have a people
’s assessment of the impact of public debt on
We Did Not Offer Asylum to Mugabe
This Day (Lagos)
February 26, 2002
Posted to the web February 26, 2002
Nigeria yesterday said it was not true it had offered to provide a safe
haven for President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe in the event of losing the March 9
presidential election in his country.
Reacting to the alleged offer, the Senior Special Assistant to President
Olusegun Obasanjo on Media and Publicity, Mr Tunji Oseni, said it was also false
that the country had stationed a helicopter at the Harare government house to
move Mugabe to the airport as soon as it became clear that he had lost the
Oseni told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that President
Olusegun Obasanjo did not discuss the issue of asylum with Mugabe because the
matter did not even arise.
He said claims that Obasanjo also met with Opposition Leader Morgan
Tsvangirai during his visit to Zimbabwe recently were false and that no such
meeting took place.
"The whole of these is baseless and untrue," Oseni said, pointing out that
the federal government would not interfere in the internal affairs of another
NAN reported that some unverified reports had claimed that Obasanjo had
offered Mugabe asylum in Nigeria if he failed to win the presidential election
and that he also met with the leader of the opposition on Mugabe's future.
"All our planes are at the airport and no permission has been granted to
move any plane to Zimbabwe," Oseni said, stressing that any claim to the
contrary was a mere fabrication.
SADC observers slag Zim attacks
Harare - Election observers from the union of Southern Africa's parliaments
were awaiting a response on Monday from President Robert Mugabe's government to
a protest over an attack on observers on Sunday.
Duke Lekhofa, head of the Southern African Parliamentary Forum observer
mission, told reporters that if attacks on observers continued, "we will have to
review our mission".
Three were slightly injured when youths - supporters of Mugabe's ruling
Zanu-PF party - stoned a SADC minibus just outside the town of Chinhoyi, about
110km north of Harare where they had attended a rally addressed by opposition
Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
It was the second attack on observers in three days. On Friday, two South
African observers escaped injury when they were visiting the MDC offices in the
central town of Kwekwe were attacked by a crowd of about 200 youths.
Their vehicle was damaged in the incident.
Lefhoko said he was "not optimistic" that presidential elections on March 9
and 10 could be free and fair and he was anxious about the safety of his
He said police had "not been very helpful in identifying the culprits" who
threw the stones.
Waiting for a reply
Several other vehicles had their windows smashed by the mob, and occupants
said the youths were wearing Zanu-PF t-shirts.
A spokesperson said a request for an assurance of the group's safety had
been made to government.
"We've not yet had a reply," the official said.
Meanwhile the head of the South African parliamentary observer mission,
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, said she was also "very anxious" about the security of
members of her delegation after the attacks.
She also revealed she and other South African observers had undergone "an
uncomfortable experience" with Zimbabwean police near Chinhoyi on Sunday.
She said they had driven to the nearby village of Banket after being told
that ruling party youths, assisted by police, had set up roadblocks and were
stopping people trying to go to Tsvangirai's rally.
"On arrival at Banket, we indeed saw young people who scattered all over
and disappeared into the mealie fields," she said.
The observers also found a group of policemen near the scene, who said they
were there to investigate the same reports of a roadblock.
Police not co-operating with observers
"The police refused to identify themselves," she said.
"During the course of the discussions, they jumped on to a passing bus and
left us standing there.
"When we followed them to the Banket police station they still refused to
identify themselves and give us their numbers. They wouldn't co-operate with
However, the observers telephoned police in Harare who ensured police in
Chinhoyi assisted them, she said.
She also strongly denied a report in the state-controlled daily Herald
newspaper which said Errol Moorcroft, an MP of the opposition Democratic
Alliance who was part of the South African parliamentary group, had been
chanting MDC slogans at Tsvangirai's rally.
"It is incorrect," she said. "I object very strongly to anyone implying
that a member of my delegation was involved in any such activities."
Neither Lefhoko nor Mapisa-Nqakula would identify who was responsible for
Government spokesperson George Charamba said they were "carried out by
elements of a third force supported by foreign elements bent on dividing the
people of Zimbabwe and South Africa."
What to do in an
If someone you know is
arrested under POSA or abducted:
- If possible or practical
follow the vehicle/s to the police station or get a friend to do it for
- Notify a lawyer. (If you
cannot afford one contact the Human Rights Forum Legal Unit and they will
assist -phone number below)
- Make a report to the
police and get a case number. Also keep the contact details of the OIC to whom
you made the report.
- Phone the observer
missions and report your case. Give them as much evidence as is possible
including registration numbers of cars, names and descriptions of people
involved times and locations. The more detailed your report the better.
- Document all evidence and
happenings in the case and ensure that a written report is given to Amani
Trust even if you are using your own resources (lawyer, doctor etc..). Make
sure that you document even the most trivial of details and where possible
include photographic evidence.
- Once the victim is
released if they cannot afford medical treatment contact Amani they will cover
the medical costs. If you can afford to cover your own legal and medical costs
please try to as resources and personnel are stretched. However ensure that a
complete written report of your case is given to Amani.
- Contact the News Room , Tel: 091-258-525, 023-405-267,
091-337-694 to ensure that your story is told. Anonymity will be respected if
- If a victim has been
tortured/beaten it is recommended he/she seek counselling. This can be
arranged through Amani Trust. (Please note that Amani guarantee the
confidentiality of their clients).
Contact Numbers to
Land Line 792222
Medical Director - emergency 091 308
- Human Rights Forum -
Godfrey Mupunga 091 238 070
Emergency numbers 091 257
- Human Rights Forum
Command Centre - Emergency Numbers
091 827 357 or 023 411
- Commonwealth Observer
John Shepard (Head of Secretariat)
Wanandeya (Media Liaison Officer)
Operations Room 707721
Ops room 091-241-343
- South African Observer
Operations Room 251858
BYO - Rev. Lisenjani 00-27-34425029
- SADC Observer
Kondwani Chirambo 091-249-096