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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

As Hospitals Crumble, the Sick Turn to 'Witch Doctors'

Institute for War and Peace Reporting (London)

February 1, 2005
Posted to the web February 1, 2005

IWPR reporter

Dire shortage of qualified doctors and medicines leaves once impressive
health sector in a desperate state.

As Zimbabwe's hospitals and health services - until a decade ago among the
finest in Africa - deteriorate rapidly, traditional healers are doing brisk

The healers, known as "witch doctors" beyond Africa, throw bones and
prescribe concoctions made from roots, barks, leaves, animal parts and,
sometimes, human organs.

The healers have no formal training and their medicines are neither tested
nor controlled by any government body. Black Zimbabweans have always
consulted them, but now they turn to them out of sheer desperation.

"You cannot get any help from hospitals these days," said Bill Tafamombe
from rural Zimunya, near Mutare, 350 kilometres east of Harare. "Either the
hospitals have no medicines or the charges demanded upfront are way beyond
the common man's reach. Many people simply die at home or consult
traditional healers."

Hospitals throughout the country are deteriorating fast. They are
desperately short of medicines, equipment and spares. Doctors, nurses and
pharmacists are emigrating in large numbers for better-paid jobs and
conditions, usually to Britain, Australia and neighbouring South Africa and

"When you're running out of drugs and drips, what do you do?" said Brighton
Chireka, who emigrated to Britain after a young doctors' strike failed to
persuade the government to improve the supply of drugs and renew basic
equipment. "You are not serving the people. You have to ask the patient to
buy equipment for himself - basic things, like bandages. After two months on
strike, we realised the government wasn't going to do anything. We were just
causing patients' deaths, so we called it quits."

Zimbabwe's National Medical Association said that in the past four years,
forty per cent of doctors in Harare, the capital, have quit the country. In
Bulawayo, the corresponding figure is sixty per cent. Meanwhile, half of the
eight new doctors produced each year by the country's only medical school,
at the University of Zimbabwe, leave the country immediately on qualifying:
there may soon be no new doctors, because teaching physicians are also

There are now fewer than 900 doctors to serve a population of 11.5 million.
The World Health Organisation estimates that the country needs an absolute
minimum of 2000 doctors to provide only a basic health service.

Harare, with a population of more than two million, has the country's two
biggest referral hospitals, Harare Central and Parirenyatwa. Their shabby
exteriors are dotted with broken windows and leaking pipes while heaps of
rubbish pile up around the buildings.

A nurse at the 1428-bed Harare Central, speaking on condition of anonymity
for fear of retaliation, said, "Often we lack such basic necessities as
surgical gloves, so it becomes hazardous to treat patients, especially those
infected with HIV and suffering from other communicable diseases."

Most of the hospital's equipment is obsolete. Five of its elevators are
permanently broken following the withdrawal of the elevator company, Otis,
from Zimbabwe. Consequently, patients have to manhandled up and down stairs.
Many toilets and sinks are blocked. Ceilings leak badly. Three out of five
dialysis machines are beyond repair.

At Parirenyatwa, with even more beds than Harare Central, nurses say there
have been no HIV test kits since November 2003 - in a nation where more than
one in every four people aged 15 to 49 is HIV-positive.

Quite apart from dishearteningly low salaries and deteriorating working
conditions, the nurse at Harare Central said, "We are fed up with seeing our
patients die daily because of the shortages of essential drugs and

Most patients at the two Harare hospitals are rural peasants or urban poor.
More than 70 per cent of them are unemployed. Over 80 per cent of
Zimbabweans live below the international poverty line of a US dollar a day
income; so they cannot afford basic drugs or often the most basic of
hospital charges.

Twelve-year-old Linda Mudzimwa lives in the densely populated township of
Mbare, south of Harare. She has severe asthma but her mother, the surviving
parent, cannot afford to buy either an inhaler or anti-asthma medicines -
simple and cheap treatments for her condition in most countries. An attack
could easily kill her.

"I make sure I am warm all the time because sudden weather changes can
trigger an attack," said Linda. "I cannot have fun with other children of my
age. I can only watch them play because vigorous activity makes me run out
of breath quickly."

The problems at the two hospitals spread through every department. Corpses
are piling up in the hospital morgues because the last government forensic
pathologist quit eight months ago and returned home to Tanzania. With no
qualified personnel to conduct post-mortem examinations, bodies are cleared
only slowly from the morgues where refrigeration frequently breaks down and
the stench is overpowering.

"We no longer go in there," said a morgue attendant at Harare Central. "If
you bring your dead relative you have to find somewhere to put them
yourself, or we will charge you if you want us to do that."

Laundry is piling up because steam cleaners have long been out of order in
the absence of spares. Relatives of the sick are told to bring their own
linen from home.

"In 1982, when I was just ten, doctors here saved my life when I was knocked
down by a car," said Givemore Madzudzo, whose own mother died painfully in
Harare Central after being run over by a vehicle. "Now I am witnessing a
total collapse of the health delivery system. We were asked to buy almost
all the drugs during the four months she was in the hospital.

"When the doctors operated on her broken leg they used the wrong clamps and
surgical screws to bind her shattered bones. They had to be replaced quickly
and we were asked to find the right instruments, which cost us Zimbabwe 1.8
million dollars [about 2000 US dollars].

"In the fourth month her leg became cancerous. We were told to take my
mother home. We had to buy her oxygen tanks and a wheelchair. She died a
week after leaving hospital."

However serious the health care crisis in the cities, the situation is worse
in rural areas. There, doctors and patients alike say many of the hundreds
of the once model local government clinics now have no trained medical
workers or working refrigerators and radios. There are few medicines beyond
basic antibiotics and pain relievers, and even these come largely from
global charities, the European Union and the British and American

No one outside Zimbabwe's government knows, in the final analysis, the scale
of the public health crisis. President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF government,
paranoid about adverse publicity, has blocked the public release of United
Nations appraisals of major health and other social indicators. The network
of clinics and doctors has frayed so badly that experts suspect that data
once reliably and routinely sent to statisticians are no longer reliable.

Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr David Parirenyatwa confessed last
year that the country's deepening economic crisis [the World Bank says
Zimbabwe has the world's fastest deteriorating economy] makes it difficult
for the government to invest in health. He said the situation was unlikely
to improve in the near future and the drain of doctors and nurses to other
countries was likely to continue.

This story has not been bylined because of concerns for the security of IWPR
contributors reporting from Zimbabwe.

Visit IWPR online:

The Zimbabwe Elections Report is part of Africa Reports, the publication arm
of IWPR's developing Africa programme, which undertakes training, reporting
and capacity building projects in support of Africa media.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe drops appeal vs. acquittal of oppo leader
HARARE, Feb 1 (Reuters) Zimbabwe's government has withdrawn its challenge to
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's acquittal on treason charges,
according to court documents made available today.

Zimbabwe's High Court acquitted the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) leader in October of charges he plotted to assassinate
President Robert Mugabe and seize power ahead of the 2002 presidential

Mugabe's government challenged the decision -- which it said had let a
guilty man walk free -- but last week quietly decided to drop the appeal.

The MDC is due this week to announce whether it will contest parliamentary
elections expected in March, a barometer of democratic progress in a country
where MDC leaders have accused Mugabe's government of mounting a political

Tsvangirai's attorney, Innocent Chagonda, said he had received notice of the
legal filing today. The filing, a copy of which was also seen by Reuters,
did not state the government's reason for dropping the court case.

Tsvangirai's treason charge could have brought a death penalty on

The state case rested on a secretly taped video in which prosecutors said
Tsvangirai discussed Mugabe's ''elimination''.

Tsvangirai said he had merely discussed suggestions Mugabe might accept a
retirement plan before the 2002 poll, which the veteran leader went on to
win amid charges of rigging from the MDC and some Western nations.

Tsvangirai still faces second treason charges linked to anti-Mugabe protests
organised by the MDC in 2003. His next court appearance in that case is
scheduled for May.

Mugabe has dismissed the MDC as a puppet of Britain and says this year's
parliamentary elections will bury the 5-year-old opposition party.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Wed 2 February 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe cannot hold a democratic election next month because
heavily militarised electoral systems and institutions as well as draconian
legislation continue to tilt the scale in favour of the government,
according to the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) group.

      The CZC is a coalition of major pro-democracy and human rights groups,
churches, opposition political parties, women's groups, the student and
labourmovement in Zimbabwe.

      The coalition's reservations about Zimbabwe's readiness to hold a free
and fair election emerge as President Robert Mugabe yesterday set March 31
as thedate for the crunch ballot.

      In a signed proclamation, Mugabe said he will dissolve Parliament on
March 30 to allow for polling the following day for the 120 elected seats.

      Nomination hearings for poll candidates will be held on February 18.

      In the report entitled "Things Fall Apart", which was prepared last
month, the CZC bemoans the deployment of military officers loyal to
President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party at the centre of the
election system and state institutions responsible for governance.

      "Despite minor and cosmetic changes, the electoral laws are still
heavily weighed in favour of the incumbent - electoral processes and
institutions continue to be militarised or Zanunised," reads part of the
report which is expected to be handed over to the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) this month.

      "Military personnel have been deployed at the centre of state
institutions that are responsible for governance such as the judiciary, the
Electoral Supervisory Commission, the Delimitation Commission, parastatals
and in the administration of elections," the coalition adds.

      Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday told ZimOnline he had not
yet seen the report but still dismissed it in advance saying it was written
in Britain. Mugabe and his government blame former colonial master London of
fomenting the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe in a bid to oust
them from power.

      Chinamasa said: "There is nothing worth losing sleep over, as it (the
CZC report) was most probably written in London at Downing Street (No 10,
residence of British Premier Tony Blair). "

      In addition to militarisation of the electoral system, security and
Press laws enacted by the government in the last five years have shrunk
democratic space that it was nearly impossible for the opposition to carry
out its activities or to campaign.

      Under the government's Public Order and Security Act, Zimbabweans must
seek police permission first before meeting in public to discuss politics.
To date the police have only used the law to cancel meetings by the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.

      The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act has seen
hundreds of journalists arrested and at least three newspapers including the
country's biggest and only private daily paper, the Daily News, closed.

      The CZC said the government had also adopted a narrow definition of
the country's Citizenship Act to disenfranchise many white Zimbabweans and
children of immigrants from countries in the region such as Malawi and
Zambia, the majority of whom back the opposition.

      Although such "Zimbabweans" were born in the country and lived here
all their lives and voted in elections held before 2000, they can no longer
do so now because the government says they are not Zimbabweans since their
ancestors were not born in the country.

      "This narrow definition of citizenship has been targeted at people of
foreign descent, with white Zimbabweans branded by President Mugabe as
'aliens' and enemies of the state. This branding or 'otherisation' has been
used to disfranchise perceived
      MDC sympathisers," the CZC said in its report.

      The CZC dismissed recent government electoral reforms that saw a new
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) appointed to run polls in the country as
minor and cosmetic.

      For example, the coalition pointed out that the chairman of the new
commission, High Court Judge George Chiweshe, is a former army colonel who
only joined the bench after Mugabe purged the independent judges.

      Chiweshe also headed the Delimitation Commission that redrew voting
constituencies chopping off three constituencies from opposition strongholds
and awarding them to rural areas where Mugabe and ZANU PF enjoy more
support. - ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

MDC attacks Mugabe over election date
Wed 2 February 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party yesterday criticised President Robert Mugabe for setting the country's
parliamentary election on March 31 saying more time was needed to prepare
for a free and fair poll.

      The opposition party's secretary general Welshman Ncube said the poll
date would virtually disable the newly created Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
that should run the ballot.

      The commission headed by pro-Mugabe High Court Judge George Chiweshe
was appointed last month. But it neither has staff nor even telephones.

      "The announcement of the date is a huge non-event as the repressive
state machinery which militates against all democratic forces is still very
much in place," Ncube said.

      Ncube and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai have since late last year
visited key Southern African Development Community (SADC) and European
leaders pleading with them to pressurise Mugabe to reschedule the election
to June to allow the country to implement regional principles and standards
for democratic elections.

      The MDC wants far-reaching reforms to overhaul Zimbabwe's electoral
laws and systems arguing that electoral changes implemented by the
government so far including a new rule on one-day voting, were merely
cosmetic. The opposition party has still not formally said whether it will
contest the poll.

      The Zimbabwe Election Support Network, which monitors elections in the
country, last night also said a free and fair election was impossible in the
country without major changes including the repealing of security laws that
inhibit the opposition from organising meetings. - ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Zimbabwe threatens to throw COSATU team in jail
Wed 2 February 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe Labour Minister Paul Mangwana yesterday told state
television that Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) leaders will
be jailed if they visited the country without permission from Harare.

      The state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation quoted Mangwana in its
afternoon news bulletin saying the COSATU mission will "be thrown into
Chikurubi if they come."

      Chikurubi is a government maximum security prison on Harare's eastern
border. It is notorious for its harsh conditions that include inmates being
made to spend hours on end without food or water. Prisoners are also
reportedly tortured regularly at the infamous jail.

      British mercenary leader Simmon Mann and other hardcore criminals are
held at the penitentiary.

      Contacted for comment by ZimOnline, Mangwana, vowed to deal with the
COSATU delegation to be headed by the union's secretary general Zwelinzima
Vavi. He did not elaborate what action the government will take against the
union's leaders.

      "We will deal with them. I have heard that they are coming and we are
going to inform the relevant authorities on their arrival," said Mangwana.

      Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, in charge of immigration and the
police, said a plan was already in place to deal with Vavi and his

      "There is a plan which we have put in place but I cannot pre-empt our
plan. Do they (COSATU) have to know what we are planning? Once they know
what we intend to do, then it will not be a plan anymore," Mohadi said when
asked whether the union's delegation will be deported back to South Africa
or will be sent to Chikurubi.

      COSATU, which says it wants to discuss labour issues with its
counterpart, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and also to assess
whether conditions for a free and fair election exist in Zimbabwe insisted
yesterday that it will press ahead with the mission to Harare.

      A COSATU spokesman Paul Notyawa told journalists in Johannesburg that
Vavi and his delegation will be leaving South Africa for Harare this

      A similar COSATU mission to Zimbabwe was last year harassed and thrown
out of the country.

      South Africa's Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana earlier this week
appealed to COSATU to abort its mission saying it would damage relations
between Harare and Pretoria.

      But South Africa's ruling African National Congress party, which
opposed COSATU's failed mission to Zimbabwe last year, said this time it
supports the union's visit as long as it did not breach Zimbabwe's laws. -
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

New Attorney General declined to back Tsvangirai treason appeal
Wed 2 February 2005
  HARARE - Objections by newly appointed Attorney General (AG) Sobuza
Gula-Ndebele and pressure from regional leaders forced the Zimbabwe
government to drop an appeal against last year's acquittal of opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai of treason, it was learnt yesterday.

      Sources at the AG's office told ZimOnline that Gula-Ndebele refused to
support the appeal to the Supreme Court against High Court Judge President
Paddington Garwe's acquittal of Tsvangirai saying there was little prospect
it could succeed.

      "Gula-Ndebele felt that the appeal had no prospects of success at the
Supreme Court," said the source, who did not want to be named.

      He added: "The state is also under immense pressure from Southern
African Development Community leaders to be seen to be opening democratic
space and withdrawing the appeal against Tsvangirai was seen as one way of
appeasing the region."

      A withdrawal of application for leave to appeal filed at the Supreme
Court earlier this week and signed by the director of public prosecution in
the Attorney General's office Joseph Musakwa simply reads: "Please take
notice that Applicant (AG) withdraws the application for leave to appeal
filed with the Court on November 29 2004."

      Musakwa yesterday refused to discuss the reasons why the state had
withdrawn the appeal instead referring questions to Gula-Ndebele who could
not be reached on his phone.

      Garwe last October acquitted Tsvangirai of charges that he plotted to
assassinate President Robert Mugabe ahead of the 2002 presidential election
saying there was no sufficient evidence to link the opposition leader to the
alleged crime.

      Then acting AG and now a High Court judge, Bharat Patel filed an
appeal against the judgment the following month.

      Tsvangirai, who still faces another treason charge for calling
anti-government demonstrations in 2003 that the government says were an
attempt to overthrow it unconstitutionally, always denied he plotted to kill
Mugabe and accused the state of trying to frame him. - ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Rebel cricketers demand sacking of duo
Wed 2 February 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's rebel white cricket players, who have indicated their
willingness to return and play for the country want convener of selectors,
Macsood Ebrahim, dismissed before they can resume playing for the country,
it was learnt last night.

      The players also want newly-appointed Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chief
Ozias Bvute removed from the cricket body, according to sources close to an
ad-hoc-committee set up by the Sports and Recreation Commission to negotiate
a compromise between the rebel players and ZC.

      Bvute has been accused of links with the government's secret service
Central Intelligence Organisation. He denies the allegation.
      "From our discussions with the rebel players, it is clear that the two
guys have been part of the problem and we will recommend their removal.
Ebrahim in particular is not popular with the players," said one source, who
did not want to be named.

      ZC communications manager Lovemore Banda refused to comment on moves
to bring back the rebel players or on reports that they were demanding the
removal of Ebrahim and Bvute before they could return to the national side.

      Banda said speaking on the matter now was premature and could
complicate ongoing efforts to resolve the impasse between the ZC and the
players that has seen Zimbabwe's cricket game plunging to the lowest levels

      According to the source, the ad-hoc committee chaired by Harare lawyer
Addington Chinake met former captain Heath Streak and his fellow rebels last
Saturday and is scheduled to meet ZC officials today to present the players'

      Other members of the committee are former Springboks player Jackie du
Preez and George Makings, a labour consultant.

      The ZC is desperate to bring back the white players in the wake of
shattering defeats at the hand of minnows Bangladesh.

      Zimbabwe's young and inexperienced side cobbled up together after the
white players rebelled made history for all the wrong reasons when it handed
Bangladesh its first ever Test victory.

      As if that was not enough, the Zimbabweans were again to hand the
Bangladeshis their first ever One Day International series victory last
week, sparking fears that Zimbabwe could be booted out of Test cricket if it
continued on a losing streak.

      The Bangladesh tour was Zimbabwe's first after the International
Cricket Union lifted a ban from Test cricket it had imposed on the country
following the rebellion of its senior white players.

      Former white players willing to return to play for Zimbabwe are
Streak, Stuart Carlisle, Trevor Gripper, Grant Flower, Andy Blignaut,
Raymond Price, Neil Ferreira and Craig Wishart. The ZC is said to be
desperate to have them back in time for Zimbabwe's tour of South Africa next
month. - ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Business Day

High noon for Cosatu as Harare visit dawns


By Rob Rose
SACP pans chummy meetings and rolling over of debt' on eve of mission.

High noon looms for the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)
today as a delegation heads for Harare, facing a threat of arrest there and
risking political fallout with its ally, the African National Congess (ANC).

One the eve of the on-off visit, Zimbabwean Labour Minister Paul Mangwana
vowed yesterday to boot the delegation out to thwart its "agenda of
undermining the Zimbabwe government".

"They won't be allowed to enter the country. They should learn to follow
procedure they should have gone through the (South African) ministry of
labour," Mangwana said.

Mangwana said that if Cosatu attempted to re-enter the country using illegal
entry points at a later stage "then we will arrest them".

Cosatu is sending an 18-man delegation headed by general secretary
Zwelinzima Vavi to meet the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions on a
fact-finding mission ahead of the country's elections.

The mission is its second attempt at a visit after it was booted out in

The visit coincides with President Robert Mugabe yesterday setting March 31
as the date for parliamentary elections.

Analysts said the fate of the Cosatu mission would provide a pointer as to
whether his government had made any progress towards putting in place a
proper environment for elections to take place freely and fairly.

The looming standoff could also put unprecedented pressure on the South
African government because Cosatu said it would call on the ANC for
assistance if it was thrown out.

The alliance parties the ANC, Cosatu and the South African Communist Party
(SACP) met last week. According to Cosatu, the partners now spoke with "one
voice" on Zimbabwe.

Cosatu spokesman Paul Notyhawa said the ANC "is behind us 100% because the
alliance is of the same mind".

He said that if Cosatu was barred from entering "we will recall the alliance
and shape a way forward on how to proceed".

"If we're kicked out we will leave and the world will see what type of
government exists in Zimbabwe," said Notyhawa.

The ANC last week gave its blessing to Cosatu's mission, but spokesman Smuts
Ngonyama was reluctant to speak last night on the reaction to a Cosatu
ejection. "We are in touch with the Zimbabwe government, and will continue
to use our existing channels (of communication)."

The third member of the alliance, the SACP, suggested yesterday that
government's approach to Zimbabwe might need to be hardened.

"Chummy meetings with ministerial counterparts in Harare, or the rolling
over of ballooning debts, must be reconsidered from our side," it said.

SA's northern neighbour is battling an economic meltdown, with inflation of
132% and unemployment of about 70%. Harare has also been pilloried by human
rights groups for its climate of political repression.

Mangwana said that had Cosatu requested permission to visit through the
South African ministry "they would have been welcome to come to Zimbabwe".

When asked how his government could justify refusing entry to a labour union
seeking only to meet its Zimbabwean counterparts, Mangwana said that "their
letters to me did not suggest this was all they wanted".

Mangwana said that it was instead a "continuation of their agenda" to
undermine the Zimbabwean government.

Institute for Democracy in SA (Idasa) political analyst Paul Graham said
that "given the controversy last year Cosatu would in all probability have
pulled out all the stops in their relations with their alliance partners".

Independent political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said that while Cosatu might
like to exploit its "common position" with the ANC, the Zimbabwean
government was impervious to external opinion.

"The ANC may have adjusted its stance on Zimbabwe, but I am unconvinced that
Cosatu and the ANC speak with one voice. There still seems a divergence
between the two on how the issue should be tackled strategically," he said.

Matshiqi said that partly because of this it was unlikely the fate of the
Cosatu mission would cause strain between the ANC and Zanu (PF).

Graham said: "The attitude that the Zimbabwe government takes will have an
impact on international perceptions of whether it has made progress towards
an appropriate climate for the upcoming election."

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will disclose
this week whether it will contest the election.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said yesterday: "We are keen to take part in
this process, provided the conditions are right."

Business Day

Back to the Top
Back to Index


      Zimbabwe expected to expel, not jail, S.Africa union team

      Wed February 2, 2005 10:13 AM GMT+02:00
      By Cris Chinaka

      HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe is likely to deport rather than detain a
South African trade union team expected in Harare on Wednesday to avoid
embarrassing South African President Thabo Mbeki, officials said.

      President Robert Mugabe's government had threatened to jail the South
African Congress of Trade Unions (COSATU) team, due on a fact-finding
mission despite Harare's contention that it is meddling on behalf of
Mugabe's Western opponents.

      On Wednesday, Zimbabwe's state media quoted Labour, Public Service and
Social Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana as saying the 20 COSATU visitors were
unwelcome, but did not repeat his threat on Tuesday that they would be
jailed if they arrived.

      In what appeared as a softening of tone, the Herald newspaper quoted
Mangwana as saying Zimbabwe could consider COSATU's visit to assess
Zimbabwe's political crisis only if they applied for a permit through the
South African labour minister.

      "Until they comply with that requirement, which we have already
communicated to them, their coming is not welcome," Mangwana said.

      COSATU's trip comes as Zimbabwe readies for March 31 parliamentary
elections seen as a test of how far Mugabe's government has yielded to
international pressure for a fair vote, and of the popularity of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), a party with strong labour

      A senior government official told Reuters the COSATU group was likely
to be sent back to South Africa on the same flight on arrival in Harare.

      "The general view is that they should be sent back because detaining
them might affect our good relations with President Mbeki and the South
African government," he said.

      "There is a general feeling and understanding that COSATU is acting
outside the wishes of the South African government, but although this is the
case, if we are too hard on COSATU, we are going to make things difficult
for him and the South African government," he added.

      COSATU, the powerful umbrella group of South African trade unions, is
an official alliance partner of Mbeki's ruling African National Congress
(ANC) but has taken a much tougher line on Zimbabwe than the South African

      The Zimbabwe official said although the COSATU team was unlikely to be
detained, Zimbabwe also wanted to send a clear message to South African
unions that it would not be bullied.

      "The message is that we should still show that Zimbabwe is not a
banana republic, and we will not allow them to treat us as one," he said.

      Mugabe's government expelled a similar COSATU fact-finding mission
last October, saying it was acting in concert with Western countries led by
former colonial ruler Britain to interfere in Zimbabwe's internal affairs
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mail and Guardian

      Farmers uprooted by Mugabe seek new life in Nigeria

      Daniel Balint-Kurti | Shonga

      02 February 2005 09:10

            Riding through a Nigerian forest on motorbikes, four white
Zimbabwean farmers are checking out the land they'll soon settle on, hoping
to start a new life here after being chased off their farms by
government-backed thugs back home.

            Uprooted by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's land
redistribution programme, scores of farmers have already been welcomed by
the country's immediate neighbours for the jobs and economic growth they
promise to create.

            But Nigeria, 4 000km northwest of Zimbabwe, represents a new
phase of
            a budding exodus.

            The four men visiting Shonga are an advance party for 15 farmers
planning to move here next month along with families, 50 black Zimbabwean
farmhands and 2 000 cattle.

            "Everybody is enthusiastic for the project to get going," says
Alan Jack (46) whose farm was grabbed five years ago by about 50 youths
armed with clubs and machetes.

            Mugabe has encouraged the land seizures as a means of redressing
wealth inequalities rooted in British colonial times. But the policy has
been widely criticised for its brutality and has made Zimbabwe, once a food
exporter, dependent on food aid to save nearly half its 12,5-million people
from starvation.

            Since 2000, some of the thousands of farmers forced off their
land have moved to neighbouring Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia.

            Few, if any, have moved to West Africa, but governments here -- 
Ghana and Senegal as well as Nigeria -- are lining up to host them,
according to the farmers.

            It's an endeavor that requires tact, if only because all these
countries bear the legacy of white colonial rule. Zambia has publicly warned
its newcomers not to form white "cliques" or set up "elitist" white country
clubs, to stay out of politics and not get involved in supporting opposition
groups as they did in Zimbabwe.

            There are also fears in Nigeria that the farmers' arrival will
raise unrealistic expectations among the low-income farmers already working
in the Shonga area, 322km north of Nigeria's main city, Lagos.

            But the Nigerian government, which initiated the white
migration, remains gung-ho. Olayinka Aje, an aide to the governor of Kwara,
Shonga's state, says the farmers could turn the area "into the food basket
of the West African sub-region."

            Jack said he was attracted to Shonga because of good rainfall
and firm, deep soil in which "just about any crop will grow".

            Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with 126-million
inhabitants, also offers a huge domestic market.

            If things go well, more white Zimbabweans could move in next
year, he said.

            Mugabe's government refuses to comment on the farmers'
emigration, but continues to insist the land seizures are the way forward.

            The farmers will hire hundreds of Nigerian workers who, along
with the Zimbabwean farmhands, will clear an allotted 14 800ha of trees and
towering termite mounds to make way for maize, rice, soybeans, and dairy and
poultry farms.

            Nigerian farmers here tend small plots growing staples such as
cassava and corn without machines or fertiliser. The Zimbabweans are
offering technical know-how and advice on cost-free techniques for improving
yields, such as better crop spacing. The government has promised to fund a
16th farm for training purposes, run by a Zimbabwean farmer.

            But people here are wary. Huge state-run projects here usually
are gutted by corrupt managers. Near Shonga, combine harvesters corrode in
open fields, left over from a project that collapsed in the 1990s.

            "We have a vision and I am trying to share that faith with the
people," says Halina Yahaya, the emir of mainly Muslim Shonga, but "people
say we hope we are not being taken for a ride".

            As well as signing an agreement with the local government, legal
owner of Kwara's land, the farmers also needed to negotiate with the emir,
who also holds land rights under local custom.

            The 7 000-plus villagers of the area, who have virtually no
health care or primary education, harbour very high expectations.

            Jibril Muazu, the chief of Ogudu, a village bordering the
Zimbabweans' future farmland, wants new roads, electricity, drinking water,
hospitals and schools.

            "If the commercial farmers are going to benefit from our land,
these are the ways we should benefit from them," he says.

            Aje, the governor's aide, insists all these demands will be met
by a trust fund financed by a 1% levy on the newcomers' turnover.

            The four Zimbabweans, constantly joking like old friends, seem
undaunted by the challenge of rebuilding a social life far from home.

            "In Zimbabwe, we did everything together as farmers. We'll just
do the same here," Jack said. "There's 15 of us. It's enough to get on in
life." - Sapa-AP

            a.. Angus Shaw contributed to this report.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Star

      Critics sceptical over Mugabe's poll date
      February 2, 2005

      Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has set March 31 as the
date for key parliamentary elections that will be closely watched to gauge
whether the country can live up to its pledge to hold free and fair polls.

      However, the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has
yet to decide whether it will take part in the elections for the 120
contested seats in the 150-member parliament.

      The announcement of the poll date was made in a special copy of the
Government Gazette, which said Zimbabwe's parliament would be dissolved on
March 30, a day before the nationwide vote.

      "I do by this proclamation fix Thursday the 31st March 2005 as the day
of the general election," Mugabe said in the Gazette.

      The move was criticised by the MDC, which reiterated its view that
Zimbabwe was not ready to hold elections.

      "This date will have the effect of disabling the institutions that
needed more time to establish themselves," MDC secretary-general Welshman
Ncube complained.

      Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has been in power since the country's
independence in 1980, and is hoping to consolidate its hold on power.

      The polls are being seen as a litmus test for Zimbabwe.

      Mugabe pointed out that his government would allow only election
observer groups from Third World countries.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zanu PF Torn By Rivalries

Institute for War and Peace Reporting (London)

February 1, 2005
Posted to the web February 1, 2005

IWPR reporter

Mugabe is struggling to deal with profound divisions within his ruling

With an announcement of the date in March for Zimbabwe's parliamentary
elections imminent, President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party has just
completed internal elections to choose its own candidates, exposing major
weaknesses in the organisation that has ruled the country uninterrupted
since independence in 1980.

"ZANU PF's own primaries have shown that the party is in shambles, and that
may have an adverse effect on Mugabe's exit plan," a University of Zimbabwe
political scientist told IWPR on condition of anonymity. Mugabe has until
recently said he would not stand for re-election in 2008 when his present
term expires.

The academic said the March elections were important to Mugabe because he
wished to leave ZANU PF united and firmly in power. But the profound
divisions that emerged in the primaries point to a split in the party that
might scuttle his dearest wish.

Mugabe's departure strategy is to change the constitution after the March
elections - which his party is expected to win by a combination of fair and
foul means - so as to create a new position of prime minister, which will
acquire many of the powers currently enjoyed by the president.

The post of premier would most likely be filled in by Joyce Mujuru, a former
guerrilla fighter, who was manoeuvred by Mugabe into the position of
national vice-president, the first woman to hold the post, during the ZANU
PF congress held in December.

The appointment of Mujuru, who during the 1970s liberation struggle was
known by her nom de guerre of Spillblood, was intended to quell intense
infighting that left the party severely divided - but all her selection did
was fuel the turmoil.

The planned constitutional change, said the university academic, would also
see the re-introduction of the ceremonial head of state, abolished in 1987,
which Mugabe himself would occupy until his eventual full retirement.

Mujuru, a fellow member with Mugabe of the Zezuru, a sub-clan of the larger
Shona tribal grouping, is seen as a loyal supporter of Mugabe who would
cause him few problems in his retirement.

"Mujuru was sworn in as stop the infighting that was
threatening to tear [Mugabe's] party asunder," the academic said. "But the
primaries showed the infighting had intensified.

"Despite it, ZANU PF will still win the March elections. The playing field
is not even, so there is no chance of the opposition wresting the election
away from ZANU PF, which will win by hook or by crook."

There is much speculation that Mujuru, after a spell as prime minister, will
ease Mugabe into peaceful retirement by herself becoming the ceremonial
state president in 2008. It is believed to be a major plank in the Mugabe
game plan.

"If what has happened elsewhere in the southern African region recently is
anything to go by, she could easily win the 2008 presidential election,"
said another analyst, who works for a non-governmental organisation dealing
with governance issues. "Except for Botswana where the incumbent president
was standing for office, candidates in Malawi, Botswana, Namibia and
Mozambique hand-picked by the outgoing presidents have gone on to win
presidential elections."

Mugabe arm-twisted ZANU PF delegates from all the country's ten provinces to
nominate Mujuru for the post of national vice-president. Members who
dissented were banned from the party.

The question is whether Zimbabwean politics really is similar to that of its
regional neighbours. Can Mugabe hand-pick and impose a successor and hope to
win an election?

According to ZANU PF political commissar Elliot Manyika, the party is more
than powerful enough to contain dissent. But several analysts believe ZANU
PF could go the way of the former Kenyan ruling party, the Kenya African
National Union, KANU.

"Zimbabweans should look further afield to Kenya for what might happen in
Zimbabwe," said a senior member of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network,
ZESN, an NGO that teaches electoral issues to mostly rural people. "On his
way out, Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi hand-picked Uhuru Kenyatta, son of
Kenya's founding father Jomo Kenyatta, to succeed him and in that single
stroke dug his party's grave. Senior members of the ruling KANU rebelled and
joined hands with members of the opposition parties and formed the Rainbow
Alliance which routed KANU in both the parliamentary and presidential
elections that followed.

"Six out of 10 ZANU PF provinces did not nominate Mujuru for her post. There
is evidence that Mugabe used his power to influence the choice of Mujuru as
vice-president. Like in Kenya, where Moi divided KANU by appointing Uhuru
Kenyatta, Mugabe divided ZANU PF by arm-twisting some provinces into
nominating Mujuru."

Some people nominated by their provinces as parliamentary candidates were
dropped in favour of Mugabe cronies who had no popular support. "The whole
process of nomination and selection employed at the ZANU PF congress showed
how undemocratic the party is even when dealing with its own people," the
ZESN official said.

The primary elections divided the party in other ways, according to ZANU PF
politburo member Dr Olivia Muchena. Reflecting that the primaries were
riddled with factionalism, Dr Muchena said, "It is my observation that ZANU
PF still commands overwhelming support. But the problem is with
parliamentary aspirants who fan factionalism. All that these aspirants
preach is hatred to win elections at all cost."

These divisions, which have surfaced very publicly, are unlikely to affect
ZANU PF before the March elections unless some of the dissidents stand as
independent candidates, in which case they will be automatically fired from
the party.

However, in such circumstances, ZANU PF dissidents might allow the MDC to do
its best in adverse circumstances in the March ballot before forming a
Rainbow Alliance with it and other groups as the country moves towards 2008.
"All that is needed to trigger the formation of [this coalition] is just one
dissident with sufficient courage to galvanise the support of all those
disgruntled by Mugabe's increasingly dictatorial tendency in dealing with
younger members of his party," said one of the analysts who spoke to IWPR.

This story has not been bylined because of concerns for the security of IWPR
contributors reporting from Zimbabwe.

Visit IWPR online:

The Zimbabwe Elections Report is part of Africa Reports, the publication arm
of IWPR's developing Africa programme, which undertakes training, reporting
and capacity building projects in support of Africa media.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Comment: Media Stifled By Harsh Laws and Thuggery

Institute for War and Peace Reporting (London)

February 1, 2005
Posted to the web February 1, 2005

Gugulethu Moyo

The Mugabe government will stop at nothing to silence press criticism.

Barely one month into the New Year and with a general election looming, it
comes as no surprise that Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe's first new law
of 2005 tightens the noose around the neck of the country's media.

Silencing opposition by passing undemocratic laws and unleashing strongmen
and thugs, particularly against journalists, is part of the charter of the
Mugabe government for remaining in power.

Amendments to the Orwellian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act, AIPPA, signed into law by Mugabe at the beginning of the year, dictate
that journalists who work without the approval of a state-appointed media
regulator can be imprisoned for two years. Another law awaiting only the
president's signature will introduce jail sentences of up to 20 years for
anyone convicted of communicating ill-defined "falsehoods" deemed
prejudicial to the state.

These adjustments to the original AIPPA 2002 legislation affirm the one
immutable constant of Zimbabwean journalism - the Mugabe government will
stop at nothing to silence criticism. And those who dare to speak out
against the government will be punished.

In the three years I worked as legal adviser to the now-banned Daily News,
Zimbabwe's only independent daily newspaper, journalists were charged with
all manner of catch-all criminal offences that were difficult to disprove
but which were punishable by jail terms under several oppressive laws -
insulting the president; undermining public confidence in state
institutions; engaging in threatening and abusive conduct; and inciting
illegal demonstration.

The state persecuted Daily News journalists and others by dragging out
pre-trial processes for months or even years. Those that were charged were
charged purely in order to frighten them - none were ever convicted under
the aforementioned vague legislation.

However, these mechanisms of intimidation proved inadequate for Mugabe's
grander designs - the elimination of particular independent newspapers and
radio stations, or the redirection of their editorial policies.

It was to get over this problem that Mugabe had the national assembly
legislate AIPPA in March 2002 as his most powerful and effective weapon.
AIPPA effectively made the continued publication of newspapers and the
practice of journalism contingent on government whim.

To obtain the legal right to practice as a journalist under AIPPA, an
application must be submitted to a Media and Information Commission - a
regulatory body whose head is known in Zimbabwean media circles as the
"hatchet man" because of his allegiance to the ruling party and his
diligence in instituting the repressive policies of the state.

Under AIPPA, three newspapers have been forced to close. These include the
Daily News, the country's most popular daily, which was read by just under a
tenth of Zimbabwe's 11.5 million population. Scores of journalists have been
forbidden the right to work lawfully under this legislation and hundreds
more have lost their jobs because of the newspaper closures.

AIPPA, together with the draconian Public Order and Security Act, which
limits the right of assembly and association, is a grotesque mimicry of
legislation, crafted by a government skilled in its use of the law to
pervert the law. These Acts negate the fundamental right to freedom of
expression and are devoid of the essential qualities deemed necessary to
make them law at all in most functioning democracies. They have attracted
worldwide condemnation from human rights organisations and media freedom

Ironically, these are similar laws to those used by Ian Smith during the
Rhodesian era to oppress the liberation movements and prevent people gaining
independence from the colonial regime.

However, all the harshest laws of the modern Zimbabwean state fall short of
silencing all journalists. The state therefore reverts unashamedly to
unlawful means when the law fails to silence its targets. In May 2003, after
the state failed to secure a conviction against foreign correspondent Andrew
Meldrum under AIPPA, he was forcibly abducted and deported with only the
clothes he was wearing. Meldrum, an American, had reported from Zimbabwe for
22 years for the London papers The Guardian and The Observer. With Meldrum's
removal, there were no foreign correspondents left in Zimbabwe: all others
had already been thrown out.

On four occasions in early 2004, police invaded the premises of the Daily
News and prevented its journalists from going to work.

From its launch in March 1999, a watershed year for Zimbabwean politics when
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change was founded and quickly gained
popular support, the title was a thorn in the side of the Mugabe regime.
While the state-controlled media increasingly propped up the government,
Daily News reporters sought out dissenting voices and by March 2000 sales
had overtaken those of the Mugabe-approved newspapers. It was a real
rejection of propaganda by Zimbabweans.

Then the intimidation and harassment started. The Daily News offices and
printing press were bombed in 2001 after the government's zealous
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo - known among journalists as "Mugabe's
Goebbels" - said the newspaper was "a threat to national security [and] had
to be silenced". Assassins were hired to kill - without success - editor
Geoff Nyarota.

Thousands of newspapers were destroyed on the streets by government
supporters and vendors and readers were terrorised and assaulted. One reader
was murdered simply because he possessed a copy of the Daily News. Police
stood aside as all this happened.

If the government did not like a story, journalists would be picked up and
"persuaded" - often violently - to modify their views. Police would make the
arrests without knowing what the "suspects" were to be charged with. It
really did not matter, since there was a big raft of repressive legislation
to choose from.

During my first week at work in 2002, the Daily News editor and two
journalists were arrested and charged with publishing a falsehood. They were
jailed for two days and faced two years' imprisonment, though were never
convicted. Several weeks later, three Daily News staffers went to cover an
opposition rally to mark International Youth Day. They were beaten up,
dragged off to the police station and held for 48 hours while the
authorities decided on the charges. Eventually, a charge of engaging in
threatening and abusive conduct was settled on. The case was eventually
dismissed, but not before one of the journalists suffered a broken arm and
the other a broken finger at the hands of their captors.

I was also assaulted by the police. My crime? I was the lawyer for the Daily

The Daily News staff were incredibly courageous people. They had a job to do
and persevered, despite the constant terror under which they operated. Many
continue to operate in defiance of all the restrictive laws.

Denied a licence by the Media and Information Commission for daring to
dispute the legitimacy of AIPPA and other laws, the newspaper has never been
able to reopen, although a skeleton staff of about 15 remain and publish a
website report from outside the country. Court challenges to AIPPA are
continuing, but if the Daily News is ever allowed to publish again I cannot
imagine many journalists will want to return to a place that was the site of
so much trauma.

Despite what is happening, information still gets out of Zimbabwe. There are
weekly newspapers that continue to publish and, as best they can, criticise
the injustice they see around them. However, they reach a far smaller
audience than the Daily News did. Many former Daily News journalists have
left the country to set up, or write for, foreign-based publications,
working to expose human rights violations taking place in Zimbabwe, a
service more crucial than ever as elections approach.

The fact that people continue to do this despite the danger, and despite the
fact the government still feels the need for further deterrent measures
against the press, is to me a sign of hope. As long as Mugabe and his
followers feel threatened by the written word there is hope.

Gugulethu Moyo is a former legal adviser to the Daily News and is now a
media relations adviser for South African Studies at the International Bar
Association in London.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

127 die in prison

Clemence Manyukwe
issue date :2005-Feb-02

A TOTAL of 127 prisoners died at Khami Prison in Bulawayo last year alone,
the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has said, attributing some of the deaths
to overcrowding and poor ventilation.
The total number of prison deaths throughout the country was yet to be
established, since reports on the situation at other prisons in Harare and
Mutare were still being compiled.
Statistics on the Khami deaths are carried in a report done by a team of
eight prominent Bulawayo lawyers, following a government-sanctioned
assessment visit to the penitentiary just outside the city on December 10
last year.
The lawyers involved in the assessment included LSZ president Joseph James,
Advocate Lucas Nkomo, Greyson Nyoni and Thabiso Sibanda.
The appraisal also coincided with commemorations to mark World Human Rights
Day, observed on December 10 every year.
Speaking by phone from Bulawayo yesterday, James said they were yet to
submit the report to the government, as they were awaiting reports from
three other prisons. He said other lawyers had assessed a prison in Harare
and two others in Mutare.
The 127 Khami deaths were blamed on the fast spread of diseases due to
 "This overcrowding has a terrible effect on the prisoners, and coupled with
reduced ventilation, is the prime reason for the fast spread of diseases,
notably tuberculosis. There are 96 recorded cases of TB, 25 cases of scabies
and other infections. There are six known cases of Aids. There have been 127
deaths since the last visit," reads part of the lawyers' report.
Khami has a holding capacity of 650 inmates, but on the day of the visit it
was teeming with 1 167, representing an overcrowding percentage of 85.24.
Of the prisoners doing time there, 961 were convicts, while the other 206
were on remand.
The report said although convicted prisoners were separated from those on
remand, there was no separation regarding age, resulting in juveniles being
locked up in cells with hardened criminals.
It was critical of the squalid living conditions of prisoners at the
corrections centre where a 1.5m X 2.5m cell (3.75 square metres) originally
designed for one inmate now holds three, while cells measuring 3m X 3m (nine
square metres) take up to 14 prisoners.
The problem of overcrowding could be solved if the courts dealt timeously
with cases before them, the report suggested.
It was noted that there was a sizeable number of inmates committed for
sentence and had stayed for over two years.
On a positive note, the lawyers noted that the quantity of food had
improved, while health services were being provided. Two doctors visited the
prison thrice a week, while nine nurses and a rehabilitation technician were
in attendance daily.
"The provision of food has improved. The quantity thereof is enough but the
quality and nutritional value is suspect. The best meal, according to the
inmates, is soft porridge, which is easy to prepare. Of concern are the
hours of feeding, the three meals sometimes being squeezed inside four
hours," the report said.
However, there was no evidence of contact with the outside world, such as
newspapers and radios so that prisoners were regularly informed about events
taking place around them.
In an interview, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,
Patrick Chinamasa, said he was aware that prisoners were dying, but was not
sure of the figures.  He attributed most of the deaths to Aids-related
"In the majority of cases, they die of Aids-related illnesses. Some of them
come with the disease, others get infected inside. The disease is not
sparing anyone," said Chinamasa.
He added that they were embarking on a programme to acquire Anti-Retroviral
drugs for the inmates, with the terminally ill earmarked for Presidential
Efforts to get a comment from the prisons spokesperson, Elizabeth Banda,
were fruitless yesterday.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Gono throws councils a lifeline

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-02

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono has unveiled a comprehensive
programme for municipality reform that will see the central bank releasing
$1 trillion to various local authorities.
Gono revealed that the main motivation for this thrust was that the country's
urban centres were the hosts of the commercial and industrial hubs, as well
as homes to the human capital that drives the production process.
"Against this background, operational inefficiencies and rigidities inherent
in municipalities, mainly a result of historical
 accumulation of debt obligations and inadequate strategic programme design
and execution, stand as a significant hurdle to smooth transmission of
fiscal, structural and monetary policies to the corporate and household
sectors," Gono said.
The RBZ boss said there would be a zonal distribution of the funds,
depending on the commercial and industrial concentration, demographic
concentration and the need to have balanced geographic distribution of
national economic development.
In cluster one, Harare would get $200 billion and Bulawayo $150 billion.
Other cities in cluster two would get a total of $200 billion, cluster three
$100 billion, cluster four $180 billion, cluster five $90 billion and
cluster six $100 billion.
The funds would be used for roads, water reticulation, lighting, stands
development, equipment replacement and upgrading, industrial vehicle
acquisition, computerisation, investment promotion and debt restructuring.
Gono stressed that the RBZ would put in place strict guidelines to ensure
"that any draw-downs on this facility are on the back of submission and
implementation of concrete programmes by the municipalities".
He said the benefits of such a programme would include curbing disruptive
administrative charges and rental increases; induce positive multiplier
effects that generate employment and growth in production; liberate councils
from the yoke of past debts and improving the quality of living for
households resident or visiting the centres.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zvinavashe loses disputed properties

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-02

THE Supreme Court has struck off its roll William Zvinavashe's appeal
against last year's High Court judgment stripping him off the disputed
Turnpike properties on the outskirts of Harare.
Justices Wilson Sandura, Luke Malaba and Elizabeth Gwaunza concurred in
their verdict handed down on 24 January 2005 that: "Whereupon, after reading
documents filed of record and hearing counsel, and thereafter, that is to
say, 24th day of January 2005, It is ordered that the matter be and is
hereby struck off the roll with costs."
This effectively means that the judgment that Zvinavashe - a relative to
retired Army General Vitalis Zvinavashe - was appealing against stands.
Famaps Investments (Pvt) Ltd and Zvinavashe are the appellants while Kenneth
Greebe and his wife Sheila were cited as first and second respondents
The two parties are embroiled in a dispute over ownership of Turnpike
Service Station and nearby properties, the Greebes claim Zvinavashe took
away from them without payment.
In the Supreme Court appeal, Zvinavashe said the High Court judge who
ordered him to surrender the disputed properties, erred by ignoring his
submissions to postpone the matter.
Zvinavashe argued that postponing the case would have enabled him prove that
he paid for the properties.
He said money was transferred into an overseas account in March 2003 as had
been requested by the Greebes.
High Court Judge Susan Mavangira ruled the sale agreement between Zvinavashe
and the Greebes null and void because it was illegal.
She said the illegality stemmed from the fact that Zvinavashe violated the
Exchange Control Regulations Act when he made payments outside the country
as no prior authority had been obtained.
According to Section 11 of the Act, no Zimbabwean resident is permitted to
pay or obliged to make payments outside the country without the consent of
exchange control authorities.
The law also bars transactions involving money in a foreign currency

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Zanu PF youths accused of sparking violence

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-02

JUST a month before the general elections, violence is reported to be
rearing its ugly head again despite calls by political parties for a
peaceful election campaign and poll.
President Robert Mugabe has urged Zimbabweans to ditch violence and allow
for a peaceful countdown to the parliamentary elections slated for March
this year.
The polls are expected to be a two horse race between President Mugabe's
Zanu PF and Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC if the opposition makes up it mind and
But that plea seem to have fallen on deaf ears after suspected Zanu PF
supporters clashed with suspected MDC sympathisers on Saturday in Epworth,
about 20 km east of Harare.
Eyewitnesses said ruling party supporters sparked violence after they
confronted MDC members calling them all sorts of names including "traitors."
The heated fracas degenerated into a nasty fistfight in which one person was
seriously injured. Epworth police confirmed the incident, but refused to
shed light on whether the violence was politically motivated.
Zanu PF national youth secretary Absolom Sikhosana condemned the youths'
wayward behaviour saying it tarnished the country's image and called on the
police to deal appropriately with offenders.
"I urge all supporters of any party to refrain from political violence and
go to the elections peacefully.
The police would not entertain any lawbreakers.
The elections must be peaceful," Sikhosana said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Hackers break into Zimbabwe government website

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 02/02/2005 12:53:12
ZIMBABWEAN intelligence officials were investigating a major security breach
this week after two computer wizards from the UK hacked into the
government's website forcing it to go offline.

New was alerted to the breach by the hackers from Leicester,

"The idea was to hack into the website and replace everything on there with
slogans like 'Robert Mugabe is a tyrant'," one of the hackers told New by telephone last night.

"We were about to achieve our goal when the whole thing crashed," the hacker
who has asked to remain anonymous said. "We will keep trying, the security
is clearly lax."

The government website is now offline and has been
replaced by a server advert from the computer giant Microsoft.
An intelligence source within the CIO's telcoms unit told New
last night: "This is a very serious security breach. We are trying to
establish how this came about and we are treating it very seriously. The
internet has become a major source of irritation for the government and the
President has admitted as much."

The government recently announced moves to monitor e-mails. The plan is for
all internet service providers in Zimbabwe to forward to government any
e-mail communications "likely to incite or cause alarm, fear or despondency"
under the country's draconian Public Order and Security Act.

At least two people have been arrested and charged.

However, President Robert Mugabe's bid to play Big Brother has already
suffered a major setback after the Supreme Court, sitting as a full bench,
declared as unconstitutional legal provisions that give the President powers
to eavesdrop, including the powers to intercept mail, telephone
conversations and other such electronic telecommunications devices.

The superior court upheld contentions by the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LCZ),
a grouping of lawyers, who had filed the constitutional application arguing
that the presidential powers provided for by the Posts and Telecommunication
(PTC) Act violated section 20 of the Constitution.

The lawyers were challenging section 98 and 103 of the PTC Act, which gives
president powers to intercept mail, telephones, e-mail and any other form of

The Act also gave powers to the president to give any directions to a
licensee requiring him or her to do or not to do a particular specified

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe police specify banned weapons ahead of poll

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 02/02/2005 12:04:40
ZIMBABWEAN police have specified certain weapons and household tools which
are banned from being carried in public between now and the country's
parliamentary elections on March 31.

A convoy of Mazda B1800 police trucks were seen in Harare on Tuesday from
which uniformed police officers distributed flyers warning Zimbabweans
against carrying the specified weapons, in an apparent move to clamp down on
pre-election thuggery by rival party supporters.

According to Zimbabwe's independent radio station SW Radio Africa which
broadcasts from Britain, police officers on the back of the vehicles were
seen throwing out flyers announcing a weapons ban.

"The flyers were actually a notice for residents in the Harare South
constituency, announcing a ban on all sorts of weapons including the
traditional knobkerries, catapults and knives," SW Radio Africa reported.
"The ban will be in effect from today (Tuesday) until March 31st, which was
also gazetted as election day."

The notice was signed by a chief superintendent C.V. Tarambwa, the officer
Commanding the Harare South Region, which includes the high-density suburbs
of Glen Norah, Budiriro, Kuwadzana, DZ, Glen-View, Warren Park, Rugare and

It was not clear whether the weapons ban applied to other parts of the
country yet.

Back to the Top
Back to Index