As Hospitals Crumble, the Sick Turn to 'Witch Doctors'
for War and Peace Reporting (London)
Posted to the web February 1, 2005
Dire shortage of qualified doctors and medicines
leaves once impressive
health sector in a desperate state.
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
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
throughout the country are deteriorating fast. They are
desperately short of
medicines, equipment and spares. Doctors, nurses and
emigrating in large numbers for better-paid jobs and
conditions, usually to
Britain, Australia and neighbouring South Africa and
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."
Medical Association said that in the past four years,
forty per cent of
doctors in Harare, the capital, have quit the country. In
corresponding figure is sixty per cent. Meanwhile, half of the
doctors produced each year by the country's only medical school,
University of Zimbabwe, leave the country immediately on qualifying:
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
Harare, with a population of more than two million, has the
biggest referral hospitals, Harare Central and Parirenyatwa.
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
so it becomes hazardous to treat patients, especially those
HIV and suffering from other communicable diseases."
Most of the
hospital's equipment is obsolete. Five of its elevators are
broken following the withdrawal of the elevator company, Otis,
Zimbabwe. Consequently, patients have to manhandled up and down stairs.
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
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
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
"I make sure I am warm all the time because sudden weather changes
trigger an attack," said Linda. "I cannot have fun with other children
age. I can only watch them play because vigorous activity makes me run
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
"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
Laundry is piling up because steam cleaners have long been out of
the absence of spares. Relatives of the sick are told to bring
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
"In the fourth month her leg became cancerous. We were told to
mother home. We had to buy her oxygen tanks and a wheelchair. She
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
and pain relievers, and even these come largely from
global charities, the
European Union and the British and American
outside Zimbabwe's government knows, in the final analysis, the scale
public health crisis. President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF government,
about adverse publicity, has blocked the public release of United
appraisals of major health and other social indicators. The network
clinics and doctors has frayed so badly that experts suspect that data
reliably and routinely sent to statisticians are no longer
Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr David Parirenyatwa
year that the country's deepening economic crisis [the World
Zimbabwe has the world's fastest deteriorating economy] makes it
for the government to invest in health. He said the situation was
to improve in the near future and the drain of doctors and nurses
countries was likely to continue.
This story has not been
bylined because of concerns for the security of IWPR
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Zimbabwe drops appeal vs. acquittal of oppo
HARARE, Feb 1 (Reuters) Zimbabwe's government has withdrawn its
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's acquittal on treason
according to court documents made available
Zimbabwe's High Court acquitted the opposition Movement for
Change (MDC) leader in October of charges he plotted to
President Robert Mugabe and seize power ahead of the 2002
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
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.
charge could have brought a death penalty on
case rested on a secretly taped video in which prosecutors said
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.
dismissed the MDC as a puppet of Britain and says this year's
elections will bury the 5-year-old opposition party.
MILITARISED ELECTORAL SYSTEM SHATTERS PROSPECTS FOR DEMOCRATIC
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
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.
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
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
"Despite minor and cosmetic changes, the electoral laws
heavily weighed in favour of the incumbent - electoral processes
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.
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.
said: "There is nothing worth losing sleep over, as it (the
CZC report) was
most probably written in London at Downing Street (No 10,
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
police permission first before meeting in public to discuss politics.
date the police have only used the law to cancel meetings by the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act has seen
journalists arrested and at least three newspapers including the
biggest and only private daily paper, the Daily News, closed.
CZC said the government had also adopted a narrow definition of
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.
"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
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
For example, the coalition pointed out that the chairman
of the new
commission, High Court Judge George Chiweshe, is a former army
only joined the bench after Mugabe purged the independent
Chiweshe also headed the Delimitation Commission that
constituencies chopping off three constituencies from
and awarding them to rural areas where Mugabe and
ZANU PF enjoy more
support. - ZimOnline
MDC attacks Mugabe over election date
Wed 2 February
HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
party yesterday criticised President Robert Mugabe for setting the
parliamentary election on March 31 saying more time was needed to
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
The commission headed by pro-Mugabe High Court Judge George
was appointed last month. But it neither has staff nor even
"The announcement of the date is a huge non-event as
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
The MDC wants far-reaching reforms to overhaul
laws and systems arguing that electoral changes
implemented by the
government so far including a new rule on one-day voting,
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
Zimbabwe threatens to throw COSATU team in jail
HARARE - Zimbabwe Labour Minister Paul Mangwana yesterday
television that Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)
be jailed if they visited the country without permission from
The state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation quoted
Mangwana in its
afternoon news bulletin saying the COSATU mission will "be
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.
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
"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
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
the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and also to assess
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
COSATU mission to Zimbabwe was last year harassed and thrown
out of the
South Africa's Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana
earlier this week
appealed to COSATU to abort its mission saying it would
between Harare and Pretoria.
Africa's ruling African National Congress party, which
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. -
New Attorney General declined to back Tsvangirai treason
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
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.
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."
withdrawal of application for leave to appeal filed at the Supreme
earlier this week and signed by the director of public prosecution in
Attorney General's office Joseph Musakwa simply reads: "Please take
that Applicant (AG) withdraws the application for leave to appeal
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
Garwe last October acquitted Tsvangirai of charges that he
assassinate President Robert Mugabe ahead of the 2002
saying there was no sufficient evidence to link the
opposition leader to the
Then acting AG and now
a High Court judge, Bharat Patel filed an
appeal against the judgment the
Tsvangirai, who still faces another treason charge
anti-government demonstrations in 2003 that the government says
attempt to overthrow it unconstitutionally, always denied he plotted
Mugabe and accused the state of trying to frame him. - ZimOnline
Rebel cricketers demand sacking of duo
Wed 2 February
HARARE - Zimbabwe's rebel white cricket players, who have indicated
willingness to return and play for the country want convener of
Macsood Ebrahim, dismissed before they can resume playing for the
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
"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
Ebrahim in particular is not popular with the players," said one
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
the source, the ad-hoc committee chaired by Harare lawyer
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
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
The Bangladesh tour was Zimbabwe's first after the
Cricket Union lifted a ban from Test cricket it had imposed on
following the rebellion of its senior white
Former white players willing to return to play for
Streak, Stuart Carlisle, Trevor Gripper, Grant Flower, Andy
Raymond Price, Neil Ferreira and Craig Wishart. The ZC is said to
desperate to have them back in time for Zimbabwe's tour of South Africa
month. - ZimOnline
High noon for Cosatu as Harare visit
SACP pans chummy meetings and rolling over of debt' on eve of
High noon looms for the Congress of South African Trade Unions
today as a delegation heads for Harare, facing a threat of arrest
risking political fallout with its ally, the African National
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
should have gone through the (South African) ministry of
Mangwana said that if Cosatu attempted to re-enter the country
entry points at a later stage "then we will arrest
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.
said the fate of the Cosatu mission would provide a pointer as to
his government had made any progress towards putting in place a
environment for elections to take place freely and fairly.
standoff could also put unprecedented pressure on the South
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.
Paul Notyhawa said the ANC "is behind us 100% because the
alliance is of the
He said that if Cosatu was barred from entering "we will
recall the alliance
and shape a way forward on how to proceed".
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
The third member of the alliance, the SACP,
suggested yesterday that
government's approach to Zimbabwe might need to be
"Chummy meetings with ministerial counterparts in Harare, or
over of ballooning debts, must be reconsidered from our side,"
SA's northern neighbour is battling an economic meltdown, with
132% and unemployment of about 70%. Harare has also been
pilloried by human
rights groups for its climate of political
Mangwana said that had Cosatu requested permission to visit
South African ministry "they would have been welcome to come to
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
Mangwana said that it was instead a "continuation of their
undermine the Zimbabwean government.
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".
political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said that while Cosatu might
exploit its "common position" with the ANC, the Zimbabwean
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
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) will disclose
this week whether it will contest the
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said yesterday: "We are keen to
take part in
this process, provided the conditions are
Zimbabwe expected to expel, not jail, S.Africa union
Wed February 2, 2005 10:13 AM GMT+02:00
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe is likely to deport rather than
South African trade union team expected in Harare on Wednesday to
embarrassing South African President Thabo Mbeki, officials
President Robert Mugabe's government had threatened to jail
African Congress of Trade Unions (COSATU) team, due on a
mission despite Harare's contention that it is meddling on
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
In what appeared as a softening of tone, the Herald
Mangwana as saying Zimbabwe could consider COSATU's visit
Zimbabwe's political crisis only if they applied for a permit
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
"There is a general feeling and understanding that COSATU is
outside the wishes of the South African government, but although this
case, if we are too hard on COSATU, we are going to make things
for him and the South African government," he added.
COSATU, the powerful umbrella group of South African trade unions, is
official alliance partner of Mbeki's ruling African National Congress
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
unions that it would not be bullied.
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.
government expelled a similar COSATU fact-finding mission
saying it was acting in concert with Western countries led by
colonial ruler Britain to interfere in Zimbabwe's internal affairs
Mail and Guardian
Farmers uprooted by Mugabe seek new life in
Daniel Balint-Kurti | Shonga
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
government-backed thugs back home.
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
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
"Everybody is enthusiastic for the project to get
Alan Jack (46) whose farm was grabbed five years ago by about
armed with clubs and machetes.
encouraged the land seizures as a means of redressing
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
Since 2000, some of the thousands of farmers
forced off their
land have moved to neighbouring Mozambique, South Africa
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
There are also fears in Nigeria that the farmers'
raise unrealistic expectations among the low-income farmers
in the Shonga area, 322km north of Nigeria's main city,
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
If things go well, more white Zimbabweans could move
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
Nigerian farmers here tend small plots growing staples such as
corn without machines or fertiliser. The Zimbabweans are
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.
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
The 7 000-plus villagers of the area, who have
health care or primary education, harbour very high
Jibril Muazu, the chief of Ogudu, a village
Zimbabweans' future farmland, wants new roads, electricity,
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
Shaw contributed to this report.
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
The announcement of the poll date was made in a special
copy of the
Government Gazette, which said Zimbabwe's parliament would be
March 30, a day before the nationwide vote.
by this proclamation fix Thursday the 31st March 2005 as the day
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
needed more time to establish themselves," MDC
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
Zanu PF Torn By Rivalries
Institute for War and Peace Reporting
February 1, 2005
Posted to the web February
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
"ZANU PF's own primaries have shown that the party is in shambles,
may have an adverse effect on Mugabe's exit plan," a University of
political scientist told IWPR on condition of anonymity. Mugabe has
recently said he would not stand for re-election in 2008 when his
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.
departure strategy is to change the constitution after the March
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
The appointment of Mujuru, who during the 1970s liberation
known by her nom de guerre of Spillblood, was intended to quell
infighting that left the party severely divided - but all her
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
"Mujuru was sworn in as vice-president...to stop the
infighting that was
threatening to tear [Mugabe's] party asunder," the
academic said. "But the
primaries showed the infighting had
"Despite it, ZANU PF will still win the March elections. The
is not even, so there is no chance of the opposition wresting
away from ZANU PF, which will win by hook or by
There is much speculation that Mujuru, after a spell as prime
ease Mugabe into peaceful retirement by herself becoming the
state president in 2008. It is believed to be a major plank in
"If what has happened elsewhere in the southern
African region recently is
anything to go by, she could easily win the 2008
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
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
Can Mugabe hand-pick and impose a successor and hope to
According to ZANU PF political commissar Elliot Manyika, the
party is more
than powerful enough to contain dissent. But several analysts
PF could go the way of the former Kenyan ruling party, the
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.
out of 10 ZANU PF provinces did not nominate Mujuru for her post. There
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
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
factionalism, Dr Muchena said, "It is my observation that ZANU
commands overwhelming support. But the problem is with
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
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
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
with sufficient courage to galvanise the support of all those
Mugabe's increasingly dictatorial tendency in dealing with
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
reporting from Zimbabwe.
Visit IWPR online: www.iwpr.net.
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.
Comment: Media Stifled By Harsh Laws and Thuggery
War and Peace Reporting (London)
February 1, 2005
the web February 1, 2005
government will stop at nothing to silence press criticism.
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
tightens the noose around the neck of the country's media.
opposition by passing undemocratic laws and unleashing strongmen
particularly against journalists, is part of the charter of the
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.
adjustments to the original AIPPA 2002 legislation affirm the one
constant of Zimbabwean journalism - the Mugabe government will
nothing to silence criticism. And those who dare to speak out
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
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
However, these mechanisms of intimidation proved inadequate
grander designs - the elimination of particular independent
radio stations, or the redirection of their editorial
It was to get over this problem that Mugabe had the national
legislate AIPPA in March 2002 as his most powerful and effective
AIPPA effectively made the continued publication of newspapers and
practice of journalism contingent on government whim.
the legal right to practice as a journalist under AIPPA, an
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
However, all the harshest laws of the modern Zimbabwean
state fall short of
silencing all journalists. The state therefore reverts
unlawful means when the law fails to silence its targets. In
May 2003, after
the state failed to secure a conviction against foreign
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.
occasions in early 2004, police invaded the premises of the Daily
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.
state-controlled media increasingly propped up the government,
reporters sought out dissenting voices and by March 2000 sales
those of the Mugabe-approved newspapers. It was a real
propaganda by Zimbabweans.
Then the intimidation and harassment started.
The Daily News offices and
printing press were bombed in 2001 after the
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
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
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
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
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
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
The fact that people continue to do this despite the
danger, and despite the
fact the government still feels the need for further
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
Gugulethu Moyo is a former legal adviser to the Daily News and is
media relations adviser for South African Studies at the International
Association in London.
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
127 die in prison
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
The total number of prison deaths throughout the country was yet
established, since reports on the situation at other prisons in Harare
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
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
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,
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.
said although convicted prisoners were separated from those on
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
The problem of overcrowding could be solved if the courts dealt
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
prison thrice a week, while nine nurses and a rehabilitation
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.
there was no evidence of contact with the outside world, such as
and radios so that prisoners were regularly informed about events
place around them.
In an interview, the Minister of Justice, Legal and
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.
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
were fruitless yesterday.
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
Gono throws councils a lifeline
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
Gono revealed that the main motivation for this thrust was that
urban centres were the hosts of the commercial and industrial
hubs, as well
as homes to the human capital that drives the production
"Against this background, operational inefficiencies and rigidities
in municipalities, mainly a result of historical
of debt obligations and inadequate strategic programme design
stand as a significant hurdle to smooth transmission of
and monetary policies to the corporate and household
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.
would be used for roads, water reticulation, lighting, stands
equipment replacement and upgrading, industrial vehicle
computerisation, investment promotion and debt restructuring.
that the RBZ would put in place strict guidelines to ensure
draw-downs on this facility are on the back of submission and
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
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
Zvinavashe loses disputed properties
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."
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
parties are embroiled in a dispute over ownership of Turnpike
Station and nearby properties, the Greebes claim Zvinavashe took
them without payment.
In the Supreme Court appeal, Zvinavashe said the High
Court judge who
ordered him to surrender the disputed properties, erred by
submissions to postpone the matter.
Zvinavashe argued that
postponing the case would have enabled him prove that
he paid for the
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
According to Section 11 of the Act, no Zimbabwean resident is
pay or obliged to make payments outside the country without the
exchange control authorities.
The law also bars transactions
involving money in a foreign currency
Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe
Zanu PF youths accused of sparking
The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Feb-02
a month before the general elections, violence is reported to be
ugly head again despite calls by political parties for a
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
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
Eyewitnesses said ruling party supporters sparked violence after they
confronted MDC members calling them all sorts of names including
The heated fracas degenerated into a nasty fistfight in which one
seriously injured. Epworth police confirmed the incident, but
shed light on whether the violence was politically
Zanu PF national youth secretary Absolom Sikhosana condemned the
wayward behaviour saying it tarnished the country's image and called
police to deal appropriately with offenders.
"I urge all
supporters of any party to refrain from political violence and
go to the
The police would not entertain any lawbreakers.
elections must be peaceful," Sikhosana said.
Hackers break into Zimbabwe government website
By Staff Reporter
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
New Zimbabwe.com was alerted to the breach by the hackers from
"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
Zimbabwe.com by telephone last night.
were about to achieve our goal when the whole thing crashed," the hacker
has asked to remain anonymous said. "We will keep trying, the security
The government website http://www.gta.gov.zw is now offline and has
replaced by a server advert from the computer giant Microsoft.
intelligence source within the CIO's telcoms unit told New Zimbabwe.com
night: "This is a very serious security breach. We are trying to
how this came about and we are treating it very seriously. The
become a major source of irritation for the government and the
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
At least two people have been arrested and
However, President Robert Mugabe's bid to play Big Brother has
suffered a major setback after the Supreme Court, sitting as a full
declared as unconstitutional legal provisions that give the President
to eavesdrop, including the powers to intercept mail, telephone
conversations and other such electronic telecommunications
The superior court upheld contentions by the Law Society of
a grouping of lawyers, who had filed the constitutional
that the presidential powers provided for by the Posts
(PTC) Act violated section 20 of the
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
Zimbabwe police specify banned weapons ahead of poll
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
A convoy of Mazda B1800 police trucks were seen in Harare on
which uniformed police officers distributed flyers warning
against carrying the specified weapons, in an apparent move to
clamp down on
pre-election thuggery by rival party
According to Zimbabwe's independent radio station SW Radio
broadcasts from Britain, police officers on the back of the
seen throwing out flyers announcing a weapons ban.
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
not clear whether the weapons ban applied to other parts of the