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Nyarota allegations a cynical lie - Ncube
PROFESSOR WELSHMAN NCUBE
• Text of Nyarota's coup plot claims
• Nyarota allegations libellous - Nyathi
• Nyarota's tattered history
• Outrage at Nyarota Empire claims
• Nyarota breaks silence
• Nkomo sabotaged Daily News - Nyarota
• Daily News publishes in Nigeria
• Masiyiwa vows to fight to 'last drop'
• 'Daily News a Ndebele Empire'
THIS is a letter written by Professor Welshman Ncube in response to Geoffrey
Nyarota's allegations that Ncube and MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi tried
to stage a coup on their leader Morgan Tsvangirai
I read your response to Mduduzi's article with complete amazement and
bewilderment. It is not possible or practicable for me to respond to every
allegation and every insinuation in your article concerning myself. I will
also not attempt to say anything about those parts of your article which
make no direct or indirect references to me or about me. My response is as
set out below.
1.MATHUTHU'S WEBSITE ARTICLE
Until your email I was not aware of Mduduzi Mathuthu's website article. As
of now I have not read it but will make an effort to access it so that I may
read it in due course. You seem to imply that I and Mr. P T Nyathi must be
the two senior MDC officials referred to by Mathuthu who not only must have
confirmed the existence of the alleged plot by yourself agaisnt myself and
Mr. Nyathi but who must have also have helped Mathuthu devise what you
characterise as a sting operation to discredit you.
The truth is a far cry from this. As a matter of fact I have not spoken to
Mduduzi Mathuthu since he left Zimbabwe more that a year ago. I certainly
did not meet or speak to him while I was in London during the middle of
November 2003. I dont believe that he attended the one public meeting I
addressed in London at the Royal African Society. If he attended that public
meeting I did not see him. It follows that I did not make any contribution
to the article.
To the extent that you also seem to imply that Miss Mahlunge might have
confided in me and disclosed to me the conversation you had with her making
the allegation that Dyck alleged to you that I had not been adverse to the
alleged proposal let me advise that I during my stay in London or at any
other time Miss Mahlunge did not tell me anything about your discussion. The
only meeting and discussion I had with Miss Mahlunge was a dinner meeting
which included Mrs Sekai Holland, Grace Kwinje, Prof E Mukonoweshuro and
Isaac Maphosa. Your issue did not arise at that meeting. Miss Mahlunge also
attended one private meeting and one public meeting both of which I
addressed. However, I did not have any opportunity to talk to her at both
those meetings. The simple truth is that Miss Mahlunge did not tell me
anything of your discussion. I learned of it for the first time through your
email to me.
If Mduduzi Mathuthu spoke to two MDC senior officials they certainly did not
include me. After I read your email I have since spoken to Miss Mahlunge by
phone and she advises me that she has never passed on your then "secret" to
anyone else other that Grace Kwinje who also says she never told anyone
about it. Mahlunge insists she does not know Mathuthu and that she did not
speak to him. By the way Miss Mahlunge is a member of the MDC national
executive and therefore a senior member of the party contrary to what you
seem to imply in your article.
Whoever might be after slandering you they do not include me. In short, not
only did I have absolutely no contribution to Mduduzi Mathuthu's article but
had no knowledge of its existence until you wrote to me about it.
2.THE DYCK FICTION
In your article you allege that that Dyck told you that he or some other
unnamed person had approached me to sound me out on the plot or proposal and
that when so approached I had not been adverse to the plot or proposal. This
is a malicious and cynical lie. I have never met Zvinavashe let alone speak
to him. I only know him from television and newspapers. I have never had a
private meeting with Mnangagwa. I have only met him in committee meetings of
Parliament and in open Parliamentary sessions. I met him once in his office
with the Vice President of MDC to arrange an invitation to the MDC
delegation to the opening of Parliament and once with the MDC Chief whip to
protest and object to his attempt to select parliamentary committee
chairpersons without the authority of the Committee on Standing Rules. I do
not know Dyck. I have never met him. I have never seen him. I do not know
what he looks like. I would not recognise him if I met him.I have never
spoken to him. Where ever he is I am sure he will confirm that he has never
met me or spoken to me. I have never been approached by any emissary of
either Mnangagwa or Zvinavashe.
The simple truth is that I have never been approached by any person in
connection with the "fiction" you say Dyck told you about. If I had been I
would have had no hesitation whatsoever in rejecting out of hand the
proposal since there can be no political settlement of the Zimbabwean crisis
which can be done without the approval of the President of the MDC and the
party's national executive. Any viable settlement must be based on the
acceptance of the MDC leadership as elected at the party's congress.
Whatever else I might be I am not a fool and I will never be a sellout.
In short, it is patently false that I was approached by Mnangagwa or
Zvinavashe or Dyck or anyone representing any of them. It is equally false
that I had not been adverse to their alleged scheme, if such a scheme
existed at all. If Dyck did say to you what you say he said I have no idea
what game he was playing and with whichever principals. What I know is the
fact that I was not involved at all nor did I know anything about it. I find
it strange that if such a scheme to sideline Tsvangirai existed Dyck would
in fact meet Tsvangirai, as he did, to sell another version of the scheme to
him? It simply does not make sense! We in the MDC leadership became aware of
the Dyck story, at least the version proposed to Tsvangirai when Tsvangirai
briefed the MDC leadership on it.
I must also state that I find it exceedingly strange that a seasoned and
multiple award winning editor like yourself would sit on this sort of
allegation for over a year without putting it to those who stood accused by
Dyck. That Nkomo excluded you from a lunch meeting is neither an explanation
nor an excuse. The present pretext of protecting us is also no explanation
at all. We needed no protection since the allegation was pure fiction.
3 THE LUNCH
As for the lunch with Mr. Nkomo, at no time was I aware that you were to be
part of the lunch meeting which had been arranged by P T Nyathi and Nkomo. I
was invited through Mr. Nyathi. I was advised that the purpose of the lunch
was for Mr. Nkomo to apologise over lunch for the behaviour of his marketing
and accounting staff who had been refusing to accept MDC adverts until the
debt had been fully paid. At the lunch meeting he did give the apology and
asked that in future I should deal with Mr. Kurwa on the matter and that
should there be problems I should go directly to him. My recollection is
that by the time of the lunch meeting we had just fully paid the debt. To
the extent that you appear to insinuate that Mr. Nkomo's hostility to you
that day might have had something to do with what was discussed by us at
that lunch and that your dismissal might have also been similarly connected,
let me state most categorically that at no time during the lunch meeting did
your name ever come up. The only time I discussed you with Mr. Nkomo was
after your dismissal when I inquired of him as to what the real reason for
your departure was as I had not believed the version put out by the company
at the time.
I sincerely hope that the rest of us are not being drawn into a dispute
which might be essentially between you and Mr. Nkomo for the reason that we
are perceived to be what you call Mr. Nkomo's close associates.
4.THE HERALD ARTICLE
I do not believe that The Herald article you refer to portrayed me in good
light at all. The focus of the interview I had had with the author had been
on the crisis in Zimbabwe and the way forward and not on the person of
Welshman Ncube. The story which was written shifted its focus dramatically
to focus on me rather that the national issues which had been raised during
the interview. When the issues were focussed upon my comments were either
removed from their context or altogether "sexed up" so as to ridicule the
MDC official position or to appear as if I was opposed to the party position
and accepted that Mugabe was legitimately elected. The article was a hatchet
job meant to present me as a sellout and to place me in conflict with
colleagues in the party. I did speak to the journalist who wrote the story
who advised me that in some parts the story he had filed had been edited in
such a way as to include and exclude certain things. Having agreed to be
interviewed by a paper extremely hostile to the MDC I do take responsibilty
for the consequences.
It appears to me that the Dyke allegations about me are all part and parcel
of the ZANUPF and CIO strategies to divide the MDC and split it right down
the line. The attempt to drive a wedge between me and Tsvangirai and also
between Ndebele speakers and Shona speakers in the MDC is an ongoing project
of the CIO and Zanu PF. So far it has failed dismally. For the sake of
Zimbabwe we trust in God it will not succeed. I am honestly totally bemused
that I would be placed at the center of something I know absolutely nothing
about. The alleged Dyke claims are completely false. I had nothing to do
with the Mathuthu story. I did not talk to him. Mahlunge did not tell me
about the discussion you had with her. In short, my name has been abused and
misused on a matter I have nothing to do with. What you decide to do with
your article and what you choose to include in it is up to you. My
conscience is very, very clear.
An earlier version of Prof. Ncube response contained the following
paragraph, which was expunged by him from this final version. - GN:
8. There is absolutely no validity in the extract sent to you. Just so that
you know. When I visited London I indicated to the MDC district committee
through its secretary that I was not going to hold any public meetings
organised by any organ of the party because I did not wish to be drawn into
the divisions and problems they were having as the purpose of my trip had
nothing to do with party structures. I also indicated that I did not wish to
meet them as a district committee for the same reasons. At the end of my
meeting at the Africa Royal Society the chairman of the District pleaded
with me to meet them as a district. I reluctantly agreed and a meeting was
subsequently organised by them for Sunday early afternoon. An hour before
that meeting the chairman phoned my assistant to tell him that the meeting
had been cancelled. A few minutes before the scheduled start of the meeting
the secretary of the district phoned me to inquire as to whether I was on
time. I told her that I was still in East London as I had been told that the
meeting had been cancelled. She told me that the meeting had not been
cancelled and that she was at the venue with most of the people expected to
attend and that she was expecting the rest to arrive in due course. It
became obvious to me that, their divisions were the problem. I then
proceeded to the venue of the meeting. I was informed that practically all
branch chairs were present. I still remember off the top of my head at least
6 who are not Ndebele, a Mnangatire, a Peter Ganya, a Mupendza, a Makombe, a
Culverwell, a Williams. Needless to say the chairman and his vice together
with 6 other members of the executive who are not branch chairs presumably
being those who had been told the meeting had been cancelled were not
present. I asked each of those present to state what the problems they were
having were and their causes. Each person gave his or her view of why they
were not working in cohesion. Among the many reasons raised was the issue of
ethnicity allegedly practiced by some members of the district committee.
There was unanimity on how to deal with the core problems whereafter I told
them that I was going to take their suggested way forward to the leadership
of the party in Harare and that once a decision had been made they will be
I am not aware of the Zezuru chairs who did not turn up or the reasons for
their not turning up. I do not understand what the author means by writing
that "Fun enough there was tribalism" and therefore can not respond usefully
to the allegation beyond saying that I witnessed nothing which I could call
tribalism unless it is being suggested that it is tribalism in itself
without more, to accuse someone of tribalism, as you yourself has accussed
Nkomo.The validity or otherwise of the accusations were not for me to
determine for I was not sitting as a court of law on the matter.
MDC Rolls Out Aids Campaign
The Daily News (Harare)
February 3, 2004
Posted to the web February 3, 2004
SHIFTING from politics that is the usual diet dished at political rallies,
the opposition Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) has started awareness
campaigns on HIV/Aids by advising its supporters on the dangers of the
scourge which has wrecked havoc on the economy.
Zimbabwe is one of the countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS, with at least 2
000 Zimbabweans said to be dying from the disease each week.
A grinding economic crisis and severe food shortages with 7.5 million people
or about 60 percent of the country's population facing starvation, have only
helped exacerbate the impact of HIV/AIDS in crisis-hit Zimbabwe.
"We believe the AIDS problem in Zimbabwe has reached unimaginable levels,
hence we have regarded it as one of the crucial areas an MDC government will
need to address urgently when it gets into power," said Tendai Biti, who is
the MDC's shadow minister for economic affairs.
He added: "That is the reason why we have decided to include the HIV/AIDS
issue under strategic areas such as jobs, the land question, the exchange
rate and good governance, which have resulted in this country going down on
"People are dying at alarming rates because of HIV-related illnesses. We
have been turned into professional funeral-goers. Hardly a week passes
without people attending a funeral for a relative or a friend."
Biti made the remarks at the launch last week of the opposition party's
economic recovery blueprint.
He said the country needed about US$500 million (Z$1.8 trillion) annually to
import anti-retrovirals (ARVs), hence the issue of HIV/Aids should be a
priority for any government.
Echoing Biti's sentiments MDC national youth chairman Nelson Chamisa called
on the youth during a rally of the opposition party last Sunday to change
their behaviour in order to avoid contracting the dreaded disease.
"AIDS is after our generation," Chamisa told about 5 000 MDC supporters at
Zororo Grounds in Harare's Highfield high-density suburb.
He added: "There is nothing wrong with us as the youths meeting and
socialising. All we need is to be responsible and behave.
"When the MDC comes into power, there should be people. We do not want to be
ruling over graves and sick people."
Chamisa said all national leaders had a duty to raise awareness of the
"It is cutting across the lines, be it ZANU PF or MDC, youths or the adults.
People are dying and we have to be on the look-out," he said.
Cholera Now Under Control in Binga, Says Parirenyatwa
The Herald (Harare)
February 3, 2004
Posted to the web February 3, 2004
THE Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, has managed to contain a cholera
outbreak that had resurfaced in the Chunga area in Binga last month and had
affected seven people.
This is barely three months after health officials in Binga district managed
to contain the first cholera outbreak in November last year.
Last year's cholera outbreak resulted in 17 deaths and 101 cases that were
In an interview yesterday, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr
David Parirenyatwa, said his ministry had put in measures that would help in
containing the disease in Chunga to avoid further spread.
"We sent a health team to the Chunga area to look into the problem and we
have managed to contain the disease," said Dr Parirenyatwa.
He said the last cholera case was recorded on January 29 in Chunga and no
other case has been reported since then.
Last year, a cholera outbreak in Mola communal lands in Kariba resulted in
at least 19 deaths while 600 people who were affected by the disease sought
Three treatment centres were established in Mola to prevent the disease from
spreading nearby areas.
Cholera spreads rapidly in poor sanitary conditions and areas where there is
Cholera, whose symptoms include severe diarrhoea, is a contagious disease
that can lead to death if one fails to access treatment within 48 hours of
contracting the germ.
A local company, Reckitt Benckiser, last year partnered with the Ministry of
Health and Child Welfare and engaged in a countrywide anti-cholera campaign
aimed at raising awareness on cholera prevention through various forms of
The joint campaign was embarked on after the cholera outbreak in Mola.
Role of Zimbabwean Media Probed
The Daily News (Harare)
February 3, 2004
Posted to the web February 3, 2004
Global Arts, in association with Book Café will on Thursday host a
discussion on the role and responsibility of media in Zimbabwe.
The discussion, which takes off at 1700 hours at the Book Cafe, is the first
of a bumper programme slated for the cultural cafe this year.
Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe boss, Andrew Moyse will be the
discussant on a topic which is contentious at the moment as most media
houses are now fragmented.
Journalists Brian Mangwende and Alexander Kanengoni form part of the panel.
"One gets a starkly different picture of the Zimbabwean reality from reading
the government media and the private media," a statement from the organisers
of the discussion said.
"The society's division into two basic camps that not only disagree on
issues political and ideological, but often bitterly and acrimoniously is
well reflected in these two media camps.
"The state media sees and hears no evil as far as government actions are
concerned, while the private media is unfailingly critical of government.
"In addition, the state media is part and parcel of government's campaign to
not just disagree with the opposition, but to demonise them.
"They are portrayed as being not just opposed to the government of the day
as is their right, but as unpatriotic enemies of the state in the employ of
hostile foreign forces."
The statement added that the private media in turn, although not always
unanimously supportive of the opposition, is certainly sympathetic to the
It noted that despite the very real and deep political and partisan
differences in the society, there are many issues that are not amenable to
being examined or reflected in such simplistic terms.
As the population has become more politically sophisticated, citizens have
increasingly been able to interpret events and take positions on issues
beyond their basic partisan leanings.
"One finds an increasing number of Zimbabweans who will support a political
position not on the basis of partisanship, but by examining it critically
and on whether they perceive it to be good for them or the country.
"This is certainly true for the educated urban population who are the
primary audience of both the state and private media.
"Yet both media often seem to automatically take stances on issues depending
on whether they are pro or anti-government or opposition, rather than on
their merits or otherwise. This is one key way in which the "polarisation"
of the media into loosely partisan camps makes its appearance," the
EU diplomats temporarily barred from Zimbabwe polling booths: observers
03 February 2004
European diplomats were temporarily denied entry to some polling stations in
Zimbabwe during a parliamentary by-election to fill a seat left vacant after
the death of its vice president Simon Muzenda, an EU official and a local
election observer group said Tuesday.
"EU diplomats were denied entry into some polling stations despite a letter
from the constituency registrar saying they were allowed access," the
Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) chairman Reginald Matchaba-Hove
"This is as a result of lack of information between electoral bodies,"
But EU officials in Harare later said the diplomats were allowed in after
waiting for an hour at polling stations.
"The problem of accessing some of the polling stations was a temporary
setback where they had to wait for an hour before they were allowed in,"
said an offcial, who asked not to be named.
The two-day by-elections in the centre-east constituency of Gutu North began
The poll is being contested by retired air marshal Josiah Tungamirai of the
ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party of
President Robert Mugabe and Crispen Musona from the main opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), led by Mugabe's arch-rival Morgan Tsvangirai.
Some 59,390 people are eligible to vote in the Gutu by-election, but only
17,104 had voted by the end of polling on Monday, according to the
The paper said 1,451 people were turned away for either not possessing
proper identity documents or because their names were missing from the
The MDC has alleged electoral fraud, saying the ruling party had included
about 7,000 people from other constituencies on the Gutu North voters' roll.
In response to opposition allegations, registrar-general and government
chief coordinator of elections Tobaiwa Mudede told AFP: "We cannot comment
while the by-election is still in progress."
The MDC holds 54 of the 150 seats in parliament.
ZESN is a network of 38 non-governmental organisations which teamed up on
the eve of the 2000 parliamentary elections.
It focuses on voter education, election observation and monitoring, media
monitoring and publicity and research and advocacy.
'We urge all Zimbabweans to emulate the peaceful conduct of (local)
elections in view of the 2005 general elections," the ZESN said in a
Zimbabweans will go to the polls next year for five-yearly parliamentary
Mixed Reactions to New Passport Fees
The Herald (Harare)
February 3, 2004
Posted to the web February 3, 2004
THE new passport fees announced by the Registrar General's Office on Sunday
have been met with mixed reactions from the public, with some welcoming the
move but demanding efficiency in the processing of the passports.
Others, however, criticised the move saying it would put passports beyond
the reach of many.
Mr Amon Rupiya, who welcomed the increases, said the Registrar General's
Office should speed up the processing of applications.
"We should see a change in the queues at the Passport Office and we should
also see a reduction in the corruption and prevalence of middlemen who pry
on unsuspecting applicants at the Passport Office," he said.
Mr Rangai Chitseru, who concurred with Mr Rupiya, said the RG's Office
should now work extra-hard to clear the backlog and the queues which form
daily at the Passport Office.
"It makes no sense for us to continue paying large sums of money when the
service that we are being offered remains the same.
"The changes in the fees should also translate to the services that we
receive and if the workers were putting in 100 percent effort then they
should upgrade to 200 percent," he said.
An applicant who declined to be named said she was not concerned about the
increases as long as it would speed up the processing of her application.
"What I am particularly concerned about is for this office to shorten the
turnaround of applications and if that means we have to pay more then so be
"There is no need really for someone to wait for six months or more for a
passport because, with the economic hardships in the country, some people
literally survive on their passports," she said.
However, some applicants who were not aware of the new fees had to go back
home after being notified about the changes, which took effect from Sunday.
Other applicants, however, criticised the RG's Office for increasing the
fees, arguing that this was likely to turn away many potential applicants.
Mr Sydney Ndadzungira said the increase in the passport fees was tantamount
to denying ordinary citizens their legal right.
"Obtaining a passport should be a right of every citizen in this country,
whether rich or poor, because the document is not any different from an
identity card or a birth certificate.
"But for us to have equal chances of obtaining this document, the fees
should be kept low enough, especially for application for ordinary
"I can understand if the increases are for executive and urgent passports
because that will depend on one's pocket, but the rest of the people should
be afforded a chance to obtain a passport, whether it takes six months or
more," said Mr Ndadzungira.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Cde Kembo Mohadi, last year said the country
was moving to a situation where people would have to pay the full cost of
producing a passport, with no subsidy from the taxpayer.
The minister said charging the full recovery cost should eliminate queues as
additional revenue would help in recruiting more workers and to import the
material needed for the production of the travel documents.
The Registrar General's Office last month indicated that it had managed to
clear the backlog after it extended working days to six, including
Saturdays, while an average of 700 people were reported to be collecting
their passports daily.
As an added measure, the office had also suspended the issuing of urgent
passports from mid-December to the middle of last month to allow for the
clearing of the backlog.
ZIMRA service pathetic
Since ZIMRA’s slogan is “We are here to serve”, you would expect to be
I have found that their service leaves a lot to be desired.
I have left their offices consumed with anger after having spent money
on fuel and countless hours in a queue at Drill Hall, as they then told me
my “documents are not correct”.
They will only accept two quotes from two specific garages, who charge
for the quote, and on returning to their offices, they inspect the vehicle
themselves to give it their own “evaluation”.
If they will not accept the two quotes, why must we drive to the
garages, wait for someone to value the vehicle and then pay for the quotes?
To add insult to injury, you have to pay the VAT (value-added tax) in
As they do not accept the quotes at face value, you are not sure what
the VAT will be and are forced to go to the bank and return later carrying
large sums of cash!
This can only be described as a nightmare. What next? I think ZIMRA
should change their slogan to “You are here to serve us”.
We need an independent electoral body
REPORTS carried by this newspaper yesterday that thousands of voters
from Harare have been fraudulently allowed to register to vote in the
ongoing by-election in Gutu North constituency once again make the case for
an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) that is insulated from
interference by the government, ruling and opposition party politicians and
other vested interests.
The need for such an electoral body is the more important now as
Zimbabweans prepare for the 2005 parliamentary plebiscite whose levels of
transparency, fairness and conformity to internationally acceptable
standards of democracy are critical to this country shaking off its pariah
According to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party, an audit of the voters’ rolls being used in the poll in Gutu North
revealed that about 7 000 people from at least 13 high-density suburbs in
Harare, who were previously registered as voters in those areas, were for
some mysterious reason now appearing on the Gutu North voters’ register.
Other reports carried by the local Press during the course of last
week speak of widespread violence and intimidation by pro-ruling ZANU PF
party militants against supporters of the MDC.
A circular is said to have been sent to some of the traditional chiefs
in the constituency, according to some of the accounts, warning the
traditional leaders that they will be stripped of their powers if their
subjects vote for the opposition candidate.
Predictably, ZANU PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira dismissed these
worrying reports as baseless and mere fabrications by the ruling party’s
opponents and detractors out to tarnish the image of President Robert Mugabe
and his government.
And Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede, who under Zimbabwe’s patently
undemocratic electoral laws is the one in charge of preparing the voters’
rolls and the running of elections, can be expected to insist as he has
always done in the past that the voters’ register is well in order and that
everything about the by-election has been above board.
But the point is really not whether the audit of the Gutu North voters
’ roll done by the MDC is correct in its findings or not.
The point is that no matter what protestations Shamuyarira, Mudede or
that thoroughly useless body, the Electoral Supervisory Commission, can and
will make, the country’s electoral system centred around Mudede has lost all
No one, except probably the young and blind zealots indoctrinated by
the government under its controversial National Youth Service Training
Programme, believes that it can deliver a truly democratic and fair election
that is free from violence and intimidation against opponents and the
manipulation of the voters’ rolls.
The only way for the government to restore respect and credibility to
elections in this country is for it to remove its dirty hands from the
electoral process and, as suggested by countless observers to the
controversial 2002 presidential ballot, allow an IEC to manage future
The IEC must be born out of a truly consultative process that should
involve ordinary Zimbabweans, civic society, labour, churches, opposition
parties or everyone and every organisation that has a stake in the
well-being of this country.
Insisting that Mudede alone should remain in charge of elections
because that is the best way to protect the country’s sovereignty – whatever
that means – will only mean that Zimbabwe will continue to be shunned by the
rest of the progressive international community as a caricature banana
republic in which elections are routinely rigged in favour of the Dear
Leader and his cronies.
Econet challenges proposed law
Econet Wireless has filed an urgent chamber application in the High
Court to contest government’s decision to bar private telecommunication
firms from operating international telecommunications services.
The government last week gazetted Statutory Instrument 18/04 which
provides that Tel One shall, with effect from January 31 2004, provide
access to all international telecommunications services and provide
international interconnection capacity for all other public licensed
telecommunications operators including voice over internet protocol.
Econet Wireless (Private) Limited through its lawyers Kantor and
Immerman has cited Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of
Zimbabwe and the Minister of Transport and Communications as the first and
second respondents respectively.
According to the application, Econet is seeking to interdict the
government from interfering with the company’s base station, international
gateways or any of its international telecommunications obligations under
the International Communications Constitution.
The telecommunications company is also seeking interim relief to
suspend provisions of the Postal and Telecommunications (International
Telecommunications Services) Regulations S I 18/04 pending the full
determination of the matter in the courts and also that the same provisions
be declared null, void and of no effect and application.
In the court papers, the company argued that Tel One, as a private
company like Econet could not be given the exclusive right to provide access
to international communications as this would be tantamount to reinstating
the government’s monopoly that was struck down as unconstitutional by the
Supreme Court in 1998.
It further contends that Tel One does not have the capacity on its
international gateway to carry incoming and outgoing international traffic.
“As we speak, Tel One subscribers cannot call overseas cellphone
numbers and it would be virtually impossible for it to carry the Applicant
(Econet)’s traffic,” the company states in court papers adding that the
actions would result in the disruption of the company’s more than 160 000
subscribers international business communication including YourFone public
“The background of this matter and the chronology of events since 2000
demonstrated beyond doubt that the second respondent has always harboured a
desire to close down the Applicant (Econet)’s operations and the Statutory
Instrument is therefore tailored to cover the Applicant,” Econet said.
The company further argues that legislating for an individual company
should not be permissible and constitutes abuse of legislative powers.
State media reported last week that the government had realised that
“several telecommunications companies” were providing satellite services
through third parties which had serious implications for the country’s
security and was “prejudicing the fiscus of much needed foreign currency”.
The reports also alleged that Econet was one of the several
telecommunications companies which were “illegally” accessing the satellite
The High Court was by yesterday still to set a date for the hearing.
For Further Information Please Contact:
Nkanyiso Maqeda, MDC Director of Information: 00263 91 248 570
James Littleton: 00 27 727 310 554
On Thursday 29 January, the MDC launched its eagerly awaited RESTARTprogramme, the party?s blueprint for sustainable economic recovery in Zimbabwe, formulated in adherence to social democratic principles.
The repressive and anti-democratic instincts of the Zanu PF government were in evidence again on the day of the launch when the police informed the MDC that they would not grant permission for the launch to go ahead as planned. This was despite the fact that the MDC had acted in accordance with the guidelines set out in the draconian Public Order and Security Act, and submitted an application to the police within the four day period stipulated under the Act.
The police based their decision to ban the meeting on the spurious grounds that the application had gone to the wrong office and that they lacked sufficient manpower to cover the event. The second element of the police case underlines the absurdity of their argument: how can the launch of a policy agenda in front of an audience of diplomats and journalists constitute a security threat? The MDC successfully applied to the High Court to have the police decision overturned, allowing the launch to go ahead as planned.
The MDC is planning to showcase the RESART programme in Gweru on Thursday and Bulawayo on Friday. At the time of writing, however, the police have yet again attempted to prevent the MDC from engaging with the people by banning the promotion of RESTART in Gweru. Yet again the MDC is having to apply to the High Court to seek redress in order to communicate its policies to the electorate. What is clear from the actions of the police is the Mugabe government is panicked by the response RESTART is likely to receive from a population fed up with Zanu PF?s consistent record of failure.
Last week the MDC offices in Harare and Bulawayo were raided by police who claimed they were looking for ?subversive publications?. Documents that were confiscated included the MDC?s party policy document, party newsletters and personal documents belonging to MDC staff.
Responding to this latest incident of state harassment, Paul Themba Nyathi said:
?After the encouraging remarks by President Mbeki, indicating a commitment by President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF towards entering into a process of dialogue, this latest anti-democratic act is a setback towards creating an environment conducive for meaningful inter-party dialogue?.
Four MDC activists were last week kidnapped at gun point by members of the feared Central Intelligence Organisation at the MDC offices in Chimanimani (Manicaland Province)
Dumisani Muleya, the chief reporter of the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, was recently attacked outside a hotel in Harare.
A meeting of the Combined Harare Residents? Association (CHRA) was last week banned by the police.
Gutu North By-Election
Today, voters in Gutu North cast their ballots to elect a new MP for the Gutu North constituency, following the death in September of the previous incumbent, Vice President, Simon Muzenda. Unfortunately, the campaign for Gutu North is consistent with other elections in recent years in Zimbabwe in that it has been characterised by violence and intimidation by Zanu PF, who yet again are seeking to defraud the electorate by distorting the electoral process. The table below illustrates the desperate and callous nature of Zanu PF?s election tactics
ؼ/FONT> 7.5 Million Will Need Food Aid
The World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that the number of people forecast to be in need of food aid over the next few months is a record 7.5 million.
ؼ/FONT> Defiance of Court Orders
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human rights have expressed deep concern at the frequency with which the government now ignores court orders. In a statement issued last week the ZLHR said:
?Defiance of court orders has become endemic in Zimbabwe and it is an issue that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Godfrey Chidyausiku, Judge President of the High court, Paddington Garwe, and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, must do something about if the integrity of the courts and the justice system is to be protected.?
ؼ/FONT> Price of Bread Set To Rise
Within the next week the price of bread is scheduled to rise above Zim$3,500 per loaf.