In order to clarify the position of ID's and Driving Licences at Police
road blocks, we have received this verbal comment from an Assist. Commissioner
at PHQ. We are trying to get it published and broadcast for the public as a
Motorists must carry their ORIGINAL ID's or Driving Licences.
On this one we suggest you get them photocopied and certified by a
Commissioner of Oaths / Justice of the Peace and keep some spares at home.
If you ID / DL is stolen, you must report it to your local Police
station and get an acknowledgement or an RRB number which you can then show at
road blocks. You will then have to get copies of the originals from the
respective government offices. (Good Luck)
On this one we pointed out how time consuming and hard this exercise is,
they did not believe us!!!
However, even under the new Public Security Bill recently passed in
Parliament, you still have 7 days in which to produce the original or a Police
report that it has been stolen.
We suggest that you only carry one of these documents around with you.
Carrying Zimbabwean Passports which include your ID number is risky, if you lose
your Passport you really do have a dreadful time getting a new one.
If you abide by these "rules" and continue to have trouble at road blocks,
please let us know. We want the FACTS. You can also try and reason with the
constable that these are the rules and can you have his number, name, and
station to which he is attached. I know in these mega stressful times it is hard
to be patient and pleasant, but losing tempers and shouting doesn't help
We have recieved several reports of ladies travelling home after dark
who have been harrassed at road blocks. For the next few weeks ladies should not
be travelling alone after dark. Think, and plan ahead, it could save you a lot
Take care everyone, there are still hijackers out there.
Soldiers ensure voters dance to Mugabe's tune
FROM JAN RAATH IN MUTAWATAWA, NORTHEASTERN ZIMBABWE
THE presidential election campaign of Robert Mugabe took to the
road yesterday with helicopters, racist rhetoric, flags, posters and menacing
men with automatic weapons.
By the time President Mugabe arrived here in
Mutawatawa, the ruling Zanu (PF) party’s slick campaign machine had produced a
crowd of about 8,000 at a dilapidated school about 70 miles northeast of Harare.
Scores of marshals ensured that they were primed with songs and slogans.
“Down with the teaboy,” they chanted. This was a reference to a party
cartoon in the state press this week in which Mr Mugabe’s challenger, Morgan
Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is handing a
cup of tea containing Zimbabwe to Tony Blair.
“Is this what you want to have, baas?” he asks.
“Yes, yes, my boy, Morgan,” Mr Blair says.
The nearby hotel was fully booked the night before by the Zanu(PF) advance
team. Government lorries constantly disgorged people, many of them in new white
Nearly every home, shop and school within 12 miles was deserted. The
schoolchildren cheered when the white presidential helicopter and its two
escorts thundered overhead. But with the arrival of a 20- vehicle motorcade
shortly afterwards, the holiday atmosphere evaporated.
The area was suddenly swamped with soldiers, secret police, and aides who
scurried around Mr Mugabe as he made a perfunctory tour, wearing a Zanu (PF)
It is 36 days until the elections on March 9 and 10 and the state media
have been pumping out his simple campaign message for months, but he repeats it
The country’s parlous economic state is the result of the “state of war”
with Britain, which is using Mr Tsvangirai to take land belonging to black
people away from them, he says. “Whatever Blair tries to do, we will not back
off,” he has declared.
The call he has been making lately for peaceful elections gets an airing,
two sentences of it in English, for the apparent benefit of the three white
“We don’t condone violence, but I am not saying that you should fold your
arms if you are provoked. You must stand your ground. But please, you should not
go assaulting people anywhere.”
This was met with loud guffaws from the crowd of tough-looking,
well-dressed men sitting near the podium.
The presence in the front row of Elliot Manyika, the Minister of Youth
Development, Gender and Employment, sends a chilling message. He is dressed in
the stiff, new uniform of the National Service, the month-old militia whose
members are conducting the final phase of brutality before the elections.
Nor do the new songs just taught to the crowd lend credence to Mr Mugabe’s
“Zanu is lethal, Zanu bites,” goes one; another, “Tsvangirai, you will get
a beating from the comrades.”
The programme, repeated almost identically in each election campaign since
independence in 1980, has the effect of conferring a sense of invincibility on
Mr Mugabe, and undermines any hope that Zimbabweans will be able to rise above
the violence and repression inflicted by him.
Mr Tsvangirai cannot match the resources of Zanu(PF), which has no qualms
about plundering the exhausted state coffers, as well as using almost every
branch of the Civil Service and security forces to ensure his continued rule. A
rally that Mr Tsvangirai was to have held two weeks ago in the western city of
Bulawayo had to be abandoned when ruling party youths took over the stadium the
night before and police refused to remove them. He could not have held a rally
in a place like Mutawatawa, in the centre of Zanu (PF)’s heartland, without
risking his life.
The crowd’s reaction yesterday was obedient but muted. As we drove off,
some waved the MDC’s open-hand
Harare defiant as press outcry grows
RICHARD BEESTON, MARTIN FLETCHER AND MICHAEL DYNES
remained unrepentant yesterday after the international uproar triggered by the
passing of a new media Bill, which imposes draconian restrictions on the press.
Despite criticism from America, Britain and the European Union, Jonathan
Moyo, the Information Minister and architect of the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Bill, insisted that the interests of the state outweighed
the needs of a free press.
“Thomas Jefferson said it was better to have newspapers without government.
He was very, very wrong. It is far better to have government without
newspapers,” he told CNN.
The Bill, which is expected to become law shortly, after it is signed by
President Mugabe, will restrict foreign correspondents working in Zimbabwe and
curtail local newspapers and broadcasters.
Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, who is visiting Washington, condemned
the Bill. “I find it almost impossible to comprehend how free and fair elections
can be held in Zimbabwe when such laws have been passed,” he said.
Chris Patten, the External Affairs Commissioner, said the EU was
“It represents a fundamental attack on media freedom which, if implemented,
will drive a further nail into the coffin of Zimbabwe’s democratic tradition,”
he said However the move was unlikely to trigger sanctions against the
leadership in Harare because it did not breach the specific demands made by the
EU’s foreign ministers on Monday. They threatened Mr Mugabe and 20 of his
closest associates with a travel ban and asset freeze if the Government impeded
the EU observer mission, denied access to the international media, or stepped up
its attacks on the opposition.
But the “crunch point” could come next week. The EU intends to send a core
team of half a dozen observers to Harare to prepare the ground. They will be
followed in mid-February by another 20 or 30 observers who will stay for the
duration, and in the election’s final days the EU hopes to have about 150
observers on the ground. A similar observer team is being prepared by the
Commonwealth, which earlier this week condemned Zimbabwe for breaking its
Despite the growing international outcry, Mr Moyo appeared unfazed. He said
that foreign reporters would be admitted to Zimbabwe to cover the presidential
elections, but warned that British correspondents would not be welcome. “We have
always accredited international journalists to come,” he said. “There is no
reason why we should not do it now, but we are very clear — Tony Blair and his
lot will not be allowed to come here. We are saying to them: ‘Continue your
colonial arrogance in London. You are not welcome here’.”
Simon Moyo, Zimbabwe’s High Commissioner to Pretoria, went one step further
by accusing Britain of fomenting a revolt against Mr Mugabe by allowing
Zimbabwean citizens to broadcast anti-government propaganda into the country
from a short-wave radio station in London.
“The United Kingdom is presently broadcasting to Zimbabwe inciting people
to be as violent as they can, and at the same time calling for peaceful
elections,” Mr Moyo said. “We have transcripts of them broadcasting in Shona and
Ndebele.” He said that journalists who broadcast or wrote negative reports about
Zimbabwe “were going to hell and future generations would spit on their
MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE
Building Fund for the MDC Bulawayo Offices
Progress Report No. 4 Period 17/1 - 28/1/02
The death of Mthokozisi Ncube was reported yesterday the 26th January
2002. Mthokozisi was severely beaten with iron bars inside White City
Stadium last Sunday 20th January 2002 by alleged ZANU PF supporters/militia.
Mthokozisi was also stabbed in the eyes and mid-rift. He was dumped in a bush
area near Pumula and found by passers by. He was admitted to the intensive care
unit in Bulawayo. Mthokozisi died of head injuries and damaged kidneys as a
result of the attack. Mthokozisi is survived by his wife and child. He was an
ardent MDC supporter and resided at 57799/2 Lobengula, Bulawayo. Mthokozisis'
body was taken to his rural home in Filabusi on Monday 28th January 2002 for
burial on Tuesday 29th January 2002 morning.
The "Team" offers their sincere sympathy and condolences to the family,
friends and relatives.
Progress was marred by the injury and subsequent death of Mthokozisi, but
at the same time acted as an inducement to the team to ensure that the loss of a
collegue was not in vain. Mthokozisi would have wanted the rebuilding of
the office and Zimbabwe to continue uninterupted.
The first phase is now totally operational and complete in all aspects
including glazing, plumbing and decoration.
The second phase was delayed but is now back on track. The awaited front
beams were installed on Wednesday 23rd January. The subsequent brickwork
including the new gable and plastering both internally and externally was
completed by Sunday 27th January
The remaining internal plaster to the main office are will be completed
today the 29th. The roof beams have been purchased and it is hoped that the roof
and ceilings will be complete by Friday this week. Estimated completion date is
now Sunday 3rd February.
The main costs still to be incurred are electrics, plumbing, glazing and
decoration. this is estimated to in the region of $300,000,00.
Thanks are extended to all the supporters who have so generously donated in
cash and kind.
However, as last time, building costs to day escalate continuously and our
"kitty" again needs topping up. We regretfully have to again appeal to our
supporters generosity to complete the change. We have to remind you that WE CAN
ONLY ACCEPT FUNDS FROM ZIMBABWEAN SOURCES, as fundraising for political parties
from external sources is illegal under Zimbabwean law.
Donations may be sent to:
Building Fund P.O. Box 9400, Hillside, Bulawayo
All donations will be receipted/acknowledged and confidentiality will be
Anonymous donations may be directly deposited to The Building Fund
account no. 0100241395301, Standard Bank, Fife Street Branch, Bulawayo.
In addition we still need office furniture and equipment - desks, tables,
chairs etc. Please phone 091 244 699 to arrange delivery / collection.
Let us unite in support of all people and take one more step on the way to
rebuilding our beloved Zimbabwe!
Please pass this report and appeal to as many supporters as possible. Give
us the tools and we will complete the job.
VOTE FOR CHANGE - VOTE MORGAN TSVANGIRAI FOR PRESIDENT !
"Together we can complete the change for all Zimbabweans"
THE POWER IS IN YOUR HANDS !
completion, but writing still on the wall
Roofing at last
Dedicated to Mtokozisi Ncube
including staff, complete.
Invasions And Security Report
January 31, 2002
This report does not
purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial
farming areas. Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent
farmers from reporting all that happens. Farmers names, and in some cases
farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of
REPORT IN BRIEF
Tiverton, Chegutu/Suri Suri, two labourers were beaten with sticks on the soles
of their feet and made to roll in the mud, with army and police personnel
allegedly involved. Everyone has been forced to buy ZANU (PF) cards in this area
as a result of intimidation at roadblocks.
Continued harassment of the owner of Edwaleni/Merryvale in Nyamandhlovu,
includes being forced out of the homestead by a group of 25 people armed with
traditional weapons, settlers driving about 200 of his cattle to his neighbour’s
farm, and the return of DDF tractors ploughing the planted pastures, a
deliberately vindictive policy as no attempt has been made to plant crops in the
Edgecombe, Matobo, the settlers have slaughtered calves, and the owner forced to
sell prime breeding stock with calves in order to salvage part of his
investment. Most of the stock will
be lost to the depleted breeding herd in the province as it is destined for
abattoir on Gelukverwacht, Featherstone, was allowed to
Nothing to report as generally
- The area has been generally quiet.
On Butcombe Farm occupants of a red pick up truck told the owner to vacate by
5pm on 28.01.02. They staged a
"pungwe" outside his gates on the appointed evening, dispersing the following
morning. 30.01.02 the owner vacated
after another threatening notice was received. On Bourtonvale Farm a group of
eight made their way into the security fence area demanding to speak to the
owner, who refused. They returned the following morning and demanded he vacate
his property by noon of the same day. He has done so and the situation has not
– Glen Divis Farm reports a crop guard
fired into the maize field believing he heard pigs destroying the crop. Upon
further investigation the following morning a bag containing stolen maize was
found, as well as blood.
- No report received.
- The district is fairly quiet with the GMB inspectors in the Ruwa
– the abattoir on Gelukverwacht was allowed to reopen.
Harare South - No report
\ Virginia - No report received.
North – on Warwick guards looking after maize heard shots outside their
guard hut. They fled, leaving a
torch, baton and raincoat, which were stolen. A slaughtered cow was found on Cotter At
Nyagambi a barricade was raised at the main gate. When the police finally arrived the
owner was accused of making a false report as the barricade had been lifted. A
tractor is now ploughing a land the owner earmarked for wheat. Although
movement of the Youth is active, there are no further
South - On 29.01.02 the owner of Larkhill was approached by 43
and youths led by Mr. Utete, Councillor for Seke, demanding wood, milk and
cow. The owner said he could supply the wood but a cow would be excessive
and he would think about it. When the crowd returned, he said a cow cost too
much and gave them ZWD5 000-00. The
money was sneered at and they demanded five beasts instead. The owner and
his wife left the farm the next morning. A report was made to the police; it was
there had been extortion and police would react. At a meeting on
the farm between the owner, Support Unit and ZANU PF officials, Mr. Utete
claimed the owner had said he did not care
about the President. The owner was
made to apologise, then supply transport for people to return home. On the
previous day, a worker returning with the farm pickup was abducted with the
vehicle, taken to Charakapa base camp and then to Dema Police Station. Inspector Mwatsikesimbe helped return
the vehicle and driver to the farm.
The three workers abducted from Safari Farm, as reported in the previous
sitrep, were arrested and detained by police on unknown charges. At Igudu Farm On the evening of
24.01.02, settlers drove the owner's cattle into their maize. Eight trucks
arrived the next day to take the cattle off farm, but the settlers demanded
compensation before the cattle were loaded. They threatened to damage vehicles
belonging to other farmers in the area. The owner gave into the demand and
paid out 154 bags of maize. Due to advice from other farmers the owner
eventually made a report to the police.
On Makarara Agritex brought more people to look at land under the A2
Scheme. No designation has been made or Section 5's, 7's or 8's issued to
– on Rapoka a night guard reported cattle were herded through the farm. It was
established the cattle belonged to the owner and had been moved to the next-door
farm for safety. The cattle were
being driven back through cut fences at night. The settlers demanded
compensation for maize the cattle had eaten. The owner called the police and
Agritex with no response. The owner
inspected the maize to find it had suffered no damage and the matter was
- On one property a highly connected ZANU (PF) official is demanding
the use of tobacco barns the owner is currently using.
Selous - GMB is
doing complete searches of all sheds, buildings, etc. for "secretly concealed”
maize on farm, with no success to date.
On Faun Farm the Deputy Minister of Justice told one of the owner’s employees he
would be moving into the second homestead on the farm. On another property
an Assistant Commissioner of Police from Chinhoyi has told the tenant to move
out, as he wants to move in. On Tiverton two labourers were beaten with
sticks on the soles of their feet and made to roll in the mud, with army and
police personnel allegedly involved. Everyone has been forced to buy ZANU (PF)
cards in this area as a result of intimidation at roadblocks. On Brunswick
Farm both homesteads have been occupied by settlers.
- The status quo remains much the same, with very little production
allowed and twelve homesteads are occupied by settlers. On Railway Farm 4
all but five of the workers have been evicted from their homes by war veteran
Madzikanda, who is now wanting to dismantle the owner’s tobacco barns to make
Blair toilets for a "school" he is setting up in the chicken houses. On
Twintops the lodge was broken into and ZWD138 000-00 worth of goods stolen. It is suspected the settlers are the
and Central, Chiredzi, Mwenezi, Save Conservancy - No reports have come
in from these areas. All seems to be quiet.
– the owner of Lauder/Wragley Farm faces continued harassment to move
all cattle off the property and vacate the farm. Reported to the
- on 22.01.02, settlers on Glen Curragh Ranch, cleaned out the dip tank,
discarding a harmful chemical in an unprotected area. Unknown persons are telling farm labour
to move off farms as these all belong to the Government. Seafield Valley Farm reports that
labourers driving cattle to the Nyamandhlovu sale were severely assaulted,
by eleven people travelling in an Umguza Rural District vehicle, registration
568-882 P. The complainants recognised two of the assailants: Wilson
Tshuma and Steven Ngulube. Also present, but not involved in the
assault, was Deni Ndebele, a “war vet” resident on Seafield Valley farm. Police
are investigating. Amos Mkhwananzi,
a former M.P. for Tsholotsho and now local “war vet” leader, visited Porter
Farm, informing the owner’s son he had been allocated the farm under the A2
resettlement scheme. On learning the farm had received no acquisition orders, he
said he would return to the Ministry of Lands and left the farm. Harassment of
the owner of Edwaleni/Merryvale continues, with 500 of the settlers’ cattle, and
300 huts now on the property. The
owner has been forced out of the homestead by a group of 25 people armed with
traditional weapons, and lives on the neighbouring property. Settlers have driven about 200 of his
cattle to his neighbour’s farm, and DDF tractors are back and ploughing the
planted pastures, a deliberately vindictive policy, as no attempt has been made
to plant crops in the ploughed pastures.
He has been accused of deliberately driving his cattle into settlers’
maize plots, a false claim, as most of the fencing that would keep the cattle
confined has been stolen. On
27.01.02, a meeting was held at Nyokeni Farm. Japhet Mpofu, a local dairy
farmer, addressed the settlers saying he had money to disperse for a work
project. The settlers were told to clear all roads and they would be paid
ZWD1 500-00 per month. In answer to
settlers’ complaints about wildlife on properties, he said they were not to
worry, as the farms would be theirs in the not too distant future. On Kloof Farm a DDF tractor is ploughing
the improved veld pasture, depriving the dairy herd of essential grazing. As it is the end of January, no planting
will be done and the exercise is to create damage and force the owner off the
farm. The lack of stock feed
compounds the problem. For some
months now, the owner of Redwood Park has been prevented from living on the
property, with a winter wheat crop destroyed, drip tapes ploughed up by DDF, no
paprika or maize silage crop planted, and ostrich production severely
curtailed. The labourers were
ordered to remove furniture from the homestead, as the building is required for
occupation. Highly intimidated, the
labourers are complying.
– River Ranch was offered to Government, resettled but not paid for. The owner has maintained a presence to
protect the homestead and infrastructure.
“War vets” beat up a labourer, and the homestead and cottage were broken
into, and the cottage converted into a school. Settlers have prevented the owner from
removing his pump and switchgear from the river worth ZWD250 000-00, and a
Minister is reported to have ordered ZESA to connect the electricity and send
the bill to the owner, who should pay.
The Oakley Block ranch manager and his family were forcibly evicted. Their furniture is still in the
homestead. Six labourers were
assaulted and their belongings burnt.
A police docket was opened but no follow up to date. Of major concern in the manager’s
absence is the pumping of water and
predator control of the cattle, which are losing
– the staff housing and a large shed have been taken over by settlers on Mount
Edgecombe The settlers have
slaughtered calves, and the owner forced to sell prime breeding stock, with
calves, in order to salvage part of his investment. Most of the stock will be lost to the
depleted breeding herd in the province as it is destined for
– Four family housing units for labour were taken over by settlers on
Redesdale The furniture has been removed and the buildings are to be used as a
school. A delegation arrived at the
Adams Farm homestead, demanding the owner vacate, as it wanted to establish a
community school in the house. The
owner has not complied with demands.
The owner of Glenmore faces mounting pressure to vacate his home to make
way for a school. DDF officials
helped themselves to a water pump, which was returned under instruction from the
DA. The settlers regularly set up
five unmanned roadblocks on the property as a means of
– two encounters between game guards and poachers on Highfield Farms
the owner has confirmed three .303 and one .22
rifles in the poachers’ possession.
Although there was no incident both times, it is suspected game is shot
and the meat marketed in the nearby urban areas.
Unless specifically stated that this
message is a Commercial Farmers' Union communiqué, or that it is being issued or
forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU capacity, the opinions
contained therein are private. Private messages also include those sent on
behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the Union. The CFU does
not accept any legal responsibility for private messages and opinions held by
the sender and transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network
users and/or to external addressees.
Mugabe: it's war on white puppets
By Peta Thornycroft in Mutawatawa and David
PRESIDENT Mugabe launched his re-election campaign in familiar fashion
yesterday, blaming Britain for all of Zimbabwe's problems and branding the black
opposition "puppets of the whites".
Wearing a white baseball cap and a three-piece suit, he addressed 8,000
subdued supporters at a carefully staged rally in a rural stronghold of his
To chants of "Down with the British" and "Down with the whites", he turned
on Britain and Tony Blair. "We are in a state of political war," he said.
"We are in a war to defend our rights and the interests of our people. The
British have decided to take us on through the MDC [Movement of Democratic
The campaign for his re-election in six weeks time began as Mr Mugabe's
government faced the worst diplomatic crisis in its relations with the developed
world since Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980.
Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said yesterday he found it "almost
impossible to comprehend how free and fair elections can be held".
Condemning the passage on Thursday night of the draconian new media law,
which will make it impossible for journalists to work without state approval, he
said it could trigger the imposition of European Union sanctions next
Any sanctions would be aimed at Mr Mugabe and his allies and take the form
of travel bans and the freezing of overseas assets.
Mr Straw's tough message was delivered in Washington and echoed by Colin
Powell, the secretary of state.
America has already passed a law empowering President Bush to impose
personal sanctions on Mr Mugabe. Mr Powell said the administration was working
"in close co-ordination with our British colleagues".
But Foreign Office sources played down suggestions that the media law alone
would trigger the onset of sanctions.
They said the key test would be whether Mr Mugabe admits the first six EU
election observers, who are due to arrive in Harare tomorrow.
Mr Mugabe's half-hour speech at the rally was peppered with racial insults
directed at Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader. The president accused him of
masquerading as a white man and being a British stooge.
"Tsvangirai has decided he must be white," he said. "He must become
Tsvangison in line with his wishes for all things white. How can we have blacks
who masquerade as whites? Whatever Blair tries to do, we will not back
"We went to war; we went to prison; we have suffered over the years but we
are not afraid of the struggle. We will not run away. You can count on us to
The rally was held in Mutawatawa, a dilapidated town 130 miles north-east
of Harare. Mr Mugabe said the area was undeveloped and "this was brought about
by the British and Tsvangirai".
Fresh from passing the media law, Prof Jonathan Moyo, the information
minister, announced that British journalists will not be allowed to cover the
election. He added that the army would not tolerate a Tsvangirai victory.
In an interview with CNN, Prof Moyo said: "We have always allowed
accredited international journalists and there is no reason why we shouldn't do
that now but we are very clear, Tony Blair and his lot will not be allowed to
Defending his media law, which imposes some of the strictest curbs on the
press anywhere in the world, Prof Moyo argued that newspapers are an unnecessary
hindrance for governments.
"Thomas Jefferson said it was better to have newspapers without
government," he said. "He was very wrong. It is far better to have government
Last month, Gen Vitalis Zvinavashe, commander of the armed services, said
the forces would "never support, let alone salute" any presidential candidate
who had not fought in the war against white rule of the 1970s - a thinly veiled
reference to Mr Tsvangirai.
Prof Moyo backed this threat: "It would be a mockery to them [the army] and
the cause they fought for if they were made to salute one of the people they
fought against . . . we don't expect the Jews to salute the Nazis."
Asked whether this was sanctioning a coup, Prof Moyo replied: "People can
read whatever they want in it . . . we should not demean the African struggles
for liberation with the fiction of democracy."
For all the displays of confidence, evidence is mounting that Zimbabwe will
run out of maize well before the election on March 9 and 10. The World Food
Programme estimates that 558,000 people need emergency supplies.
The Age, Melbourne
Aust condemns Zimbabwe's new media law as
CANBERRA, Feb 2 AAP|Published: Saturday February 2,
The federal government today condemned Zimbabwe's new media law as a
violation of democratic principles by President Robert Mugabe's government.
The new law restricts access to foreign reporters and imposes tight control
on local media, with a state appointed commission set up to license
Australia's bid to have Zimbabwe suspended from the Commonwealth failed this
week with the eight-member Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) opting
instead to try to ensure free and fair elections in the African nation in March.
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and his British counterpart Jack Straw were
the only CMAG delegates pushing for suspension at the London meeting.
Mr Downer said today the new Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act, which passed through the Zimbabwe Parliament on Thursday, further
demonstrated the current regime's contempt for democracy.
"Australia condemns the passage of this law, which unfairly limits free
speech, prohibits foreign media access and places an even deeper doubt over the
chance of a free and fair presidential election on 9-10 March," he said in a
"This election is already taking place under threat of a military coup should
the opposition win."
Mr Downer said CMAG specifically called on Zimbabwe to respect press freedoms
and to allow foreign media access to the country.
"The law confirms our view that the international community must take a
strong stand in the face of Zimbabwe's persistent violation of democratic
principles," he said.
Mr Downer said the earliest possible deployment of the Commonwealth Election
Observer Team, alongside other international observer missions, was even more
"It is absolutely vital that every effort is made to ensure an environment in
which the people of Zimbabwe can exercise their democratic right to decide the
future president without fear of intimidation or violence," he
Mugabe wages war on Britain on campaign trail
Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Saturday February 2, 2002
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe kicked off his re-election campaign
yesterday by attacking his main opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, as "a puppet of
Swooping into the rural crossroads of Mutawatawa in his white
presidential helicopter, escorted by two army helicopters, he greeted a crowd of
8,000 supporters at Murewa, in the north-east, the heartland of support for the
ruling Zanu-PF party.
Mr Mugabe drew a supportive but muted response from the crowd in his 30
minute speech, which concentrated on attacking Britain even more than Mr
Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change.
"Tsvangirai is masquerading as a white man," Mr Mugabe said. "He is a
puppet from Britain, a front for Britain." Later he said: "We are in a state of
war against the British government. Britain wants to topple this government.
They want to give the land back to the whites."
Mr Mugabe said his government would never abandon its seizure of
white-owned farms. "The people will benefit," he said.
At one point, when community elders made a presentation to Mr Mugabe, they
complained that the roads in their area were bad. He blamed that, too, on his
"conflict with Britain", before flying off to a similar rally in another rural
Mr Tsvangirai cannot campaign in rural areas, due to widespread violence
against his party. Nor can he criticise Mr Mugabe, as a new security law makes
it a criminal offence to make derogatory remarks about the president, the police
or the army.
Mr Tsvangirai is set to hold his first rally on Sunday in the eastern town
of Mutare, near the border with Mozambique. He has already denounced the
campaign conditions as "unfree and unfair".
The MDC has been barred from campaigning in large areas of central
Mashonaland province and the Gokwe, Zaka and Bikita districts because pro-Mugabe
militants have set up roadblocks, Mr Tsvangirai said.
"The mention of 'MDC' carries with it a death sentence, and that is what
the people in these areas have to endure," he said.
The MDC alleges that 100 of its supporters have been killed in politically
motivated attacks, while hundreds of thousands more have been beaten.
The US secretary of state, Colin Powell, and the British foreign secretary,
Jack Straw, strongly condemned the government's tough new media bill yesterday
after a meeting in Washington, where they discussed possible punitive measures
"I find it almost impossible to comprehend how free and fair elections can
be held in Zimbabwe when such laws have been passed," Mr Straw said, adding that
the law would influence the EU's decision on the imposition of sanctions.
On Monday, EU foreign ministers gave Zimbabwe until February 3 to accept
observers for the polls or face sanctions, including a suspension of aid, travel
bans and the freezing of the assets of Mr Mugabe and 20 others in his inner
Mr Powell echoed Mr Straw's remarks and pointed to his own past criticism
of Mr Mugabe, adding that Washington was "in close coordination with our British
colleagues and with others as to what action might be appropriate as we move
Despite mounting criticism from western countries and human rights groups,
Mr Mugabe's neighbours have taken a softer tone and sometimes voiced support for
A taskforce from the 14-nation Southern African Development Community
reiterated its opposition to sanctions on Mr Mugabe after a two-day meeting in
Malawi's foreign minister, Lilian Patel, who heads the taskforce, said:"The
way some media reports about Zimbabwe is very bad, because they create an
impression which makes one think that the country was full of thugs and unsafe."
The Irish Independent
Media goes quiet as Mugabe begins poll campaign
ZIMBABWE'S Information Minister questioned the need for the media
yesterday amid global dismay at a law intended to silence political debate
before the presidential elections.
Jonathan Moyo said the Zimbabwe military would not tolerate an
opposition victory next month.
The press law imposes tight restrictions on journalists and seeks to
eliminate criticism of the government and its policies. Mr Moyo suggested that
Zimbabwe would be better off without a free press.
"Thomas Jefferson said it was better to have newspapers without
government. He was very, very wrong. It is far better to have government without
newspapers," he said.
Mr Moyo said foreign correspondents could still apply for permission to
cover news in Zimbabwe, but that British news organisations would be kept out.
"We are very clear - Tony Blair and his lot will not be allowed to come here."
Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe launched his re-election campaign in
familiar fashion yesterday, blaming Britain for all of Zimbabwe's problems and
branding the black opposition "puppets of the whites".
Wearing a white baseball cap and a three-piece suit, he addressed 8,000
subdued supporters at a carefully staged rally in a stronghold of his Zanu-PF
To chants of "Down with the British" and "Down with the whites", he
turned on Britain and Tony Blair.
"We are in a state of political war," he said.
(Independent News Service)
Basildon Peta in Harare
Rebel Radio - Newsweek
While the Zimbabwean government tightens its
curbs on the media, a tiny shortwave station offers an independent voice from
NEWSWEEK WEB EXCLUSIVE
Feb. 1— The last time Gerry Jackson
tried to start an independent radio station in Zimbabwe, her government sent
rifle-toting men to shut it down six days after it started.
JACKSON IS DOING BETTER this time around. Six weeks ago, she and a
handful of fellow Zimbabwean journalists began broadcasting from a cramped
studio in London to an eager audience in the troubled southern African nation.
Their station, SW Radio Africa, is their country’s only live independent radio
voice at a time when Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, is trying tighten the
country’s already-harsh media restrictions ahead of next month’s presidential
Funded by the American government agency USAID, SW Radio Africa has already
caused a stir among the country’s political leaders. Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo has called on Britain and the European Union to ban the station,
accusing it of fanning tribal divisions and ethnic hatred. Zimbabweans, however,
have responded positively: more than 300,000 have visited the station’s Web site
and callers have flooded its phone-in program to discuss controversial issues
like food shortages and political violence. Jackson spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Ginanne
Brownell in London. Excerpts:
NEWSWEEK: Right now, the only
radio station allowed to operate inside Zimbabwe is the state-run Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corp. What are its broadcasts like?
Gerry Jackson: You would have
to be there to really understand how unbelievably bad the news has become. It’s
never been great, but it has sunk to truly new depths. There is no attempt to
try and cover it up with some form of balance. It is full of very dated,
nationalist rhetoric and neocolonialist type stuff. It is just endless ...When
the violence started in the run-up to parliamentary elections in 2000 and
[squatters who occupied white-owned farms] started killing white farmers, you
got no information. There was no one telling the story and no one giving
Zimbabweans a voice.
Who are your
“They say we are not balanced, but
then they do not want to talk to us. ”
What we can garner from the feedback
we get is that people across the board are listening. Every racial group, every
Good feedback so
Overwhelming. They are
delighted that we have managed to do this. We got a call from a listener who had
come back from the rural areas and seen a bunch of people up in the trees,
putting bits of wire and antenna together to get a better signal.
But the Zimbabwean government
has been critical.
Information] Jonathan Moyo of course is going to criticize and accuse us of
being a random, hate radio. What we broadcast is nothing that shouldn’t be on a
radio station in Zimbabwe today, nothing different. A journalist’s role has
always been to put out the information that the government is giving so people
can understand it, and equally to broadcast back what people are saying to the
government. It is absolutely not happening in Zimbabwe. They say we are not
balanced, but then they do not want to talk to us.
What about Moyo’s accusations
that your station was fanning tribal
It was expected.
Moyo always turns it around in his “Alice in Wonderland” world.
Just this week, Mugabe’s
government passed a tough new media law restricting foreign reporters in the
country and requiring licenses for all local journalists and news organizations.
But he did agree to allow foreign observers to be there for the election. Will
that help make the elections
That’s not going to
help. They need monitors—observers and monitors are two different beasts.
Observers stay in very nice hotels and are only allowed in certain areas. What
are you going to observe? There are few adjectives to describe how profound the
violence is and how widespread the intimidation is at every single level. It
constantly shocks me. I heard this week about a 6-month-old baby who had been
beaten within an inch of its life and a 4-year-old whose face had been split
open. It is incredible brutality. And not only the people—wildlife as well. What
is being done to the beef and dairy herds—it’s incomprehensible. Dairy cattle
having their eyes gouged out and being disemboweled [by squatters on white-owned
farms] just to be malicious. Horses on farms chased over cattle grids to
purposely break their legs. One attack on cattle was perpetrated by a
12-year-old who severed the spine of an animal with an ax. It’s unlikely
there’ll be a national beef or dairy herd at the end of this land exercise. And
that is an aspect that doesn’t ever get touched because everyone says, “well
people are suffering so much, who is going to touch that?”
How is the international press
I am frustrated. A
white farmer gets killed and the [foreign press] cover the story en masse. Some
black peasant gets killed down the road, they don’t even [print] his name. That
is happening on a daily basis.
Your funding comes from the
U.S. government. Is this another bone of contention between you and the
no source of funding we could have received that would have satisfied the
Zimbabwean government, and our job is not to keep [it] happy. We approached
various nongovernmental and donor agencies with proposals and [USAID’s] Office
of Transition Initiatives eventually gave us the funding. The vital issue is we
have complete editorial control and absolute autonomy. That is something that
the Zimbabwean government finds difficult to comprehend, because they control
the media. They cannot believe that any media outlet is free. The focus should
be the violence and intimidation [people face], not how we set up the company.
What do you discuss on your
We cover current
affairs. We had a plan to do lighter programming with music, but the situation
has become so serious that it is becoming more a talk program. HIV is a main
focus. There is so little education in Zimbabwe [about it], and it is so very
serious. We introduce many topics for discussion, but the focus now is the
violence. We choose the topic for the day and we call people who have left their
numbers [on an answering machine in Zimbabwe] for their
How do you see Zimbabwe’s
If only I had a
crystal ball. It is such a spectacularly huge mess in every area—[a] total
collapse of the health system, a conservative estimate of 25 percent of the
population infected with HIV, the agricultural base destroyed, hundreds of
people fleeing the country every day, shortages of food, 60 percent unemployment
and 80 percent of people living under the poverty line. Many people are holding
out that [opposition leader] Morgan Tsvangirai is the savior. What a daunting
task if he gets in. There is no quick fix here. I do believe if the elections
were free and fair, he would win. People want change.
What about you? You were fired
from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. because you took live calls from angry
citizens during the 1997 food riots. Then you won a legal battle to set up the
privately owned Capital Radio in Zimbabwe two years ago—but Mugabe had it closed
after six days. Now the government is complaining about Radio Africa. Don’t you
fear for your own safety?
don’t have personal fears. If I did have personal fears I guess I wouldn’t be
Will you go back to
If the situation is
resolved and FM licenses were given in Zimbabwe, obviously that is the best-case
scenario. For those of us who have relocated it has been hard. You feel bad
leaving people behind. It has become self-fulfilling in Zimbabwe, where everyone
with expertise leaves. So how are we ever going to get it
The Times of India
No reason to doubt Mugabe, says S Africa
AFP [ FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 01, 2002 10:12:22 PM ]
PRETORIA: A day after Zimbabwe's parliament sparked international
protests by passing a tough media law ahead of key presidential elections in
March, South Africa said it did not doubt President Robert Mugabe's commitment
to a fair poll. "We have no reason to doubt that the commitments given to SADC
(the Southern African Development Community) and other institutions will be
met," South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said Friday.
Pahad refused to react directly to the media law, saying the South African
government planned to wait until a SADC task team in Zimbabwe had reported back.
Mugabe's critics have condemned the law as a bid to muzzle the press before the
elections set for March 9-10, particularly by compelling journalists to seek
annual accreditation from a panel hand-picked by Information Minister Jonathan
Moyo with wide-ranging powers of discretion. Pahad said Zimbabwe's government
was "by and large" meeting commitments Mugabe had made to fellow leaders at the
SADC summit in mid-January, by inviting foreign observers and drafting an
electoral code of conduct.
"We believe we must now try to create all the possibilities that the
commitments that have been given are going to be met," the deputy minister told
a press conference in Pretoria. "We don't want to judge the situation without
experiencing what is on the ground," he added. The SADC delegation, which had
spent three days in Zimbabwe, was broad enough "for us to have confidence that
they will be able to honestly judge what is happening," Pahad said. "We have to
start on the basis that you don't find a government guilty before there is
evidence proving them guilty."
The South African government will be briefed on the visit and on the media
law by Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana, who was part of the SADC task team,
Pahad said. "We need to study the new bill in its totality to see what it says.
When our delegation returns we will meet with them and we will have a better
analysis of what amendments were accepted and not accepted," he said. Asked
whether the elections could be free and fair in the political climate in
Zimbabwe, Pahad said the media and critics were too quick to pre-judge the
election. "You are already trying to declare the elections unfree and unfair. We
think that is absolutely incorrect," he said.