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

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The Age

By Andrew Meldrum
      February 4, 2004

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Zimbabwe's land seizures have escalated with the Government's confiscation
of the country's largest sugar producer, Hippo Valley.

The vast estate in the country's south-east annually produces 236,000 tonnes
of sugar, estimated to be worth $A91.4 million.

Hippo Valley covers nearly 70,000 hectares and employs 6000 full-time
workers and 4000 seasonal workers.

With the Triangle sugar estate, it produces all of Zimbabwe's sugar and
exports large amounts to neighbouring countries.

Industrial plantations producing sugar, coffee, tea and timber had been
exempt from President Robert Mugabe's seizures of white-owned farms, but an
amendment to last month's Land Acquisition Act relaxed requirements to allow
the Government to confiscate the huge developments.

South Africa's mining giant, Anglo-American Corporation, has the controlling
share of Hippo Valley.

"Hippo Valley estates have been designated and legal objections have been
lodged with appropriate authorities," a spokeswoman for Anglo-American in
Johannesburg said. "Hippo management is in discussion with the local lands
committee officials."

A Zimbabwean economist who declined to be named said: "This deals a huge
blow to the private ownership of these agri-businesses, not just in Zimbabwe
but in all of Africa. This is more than the seizure of a farm, it is the
seizure of a large industrial development."

South African President Thabo Mbeki now faces either standing up for the
property rights of Anglo-American, South Africa's largest corporation, or
remaining silent on Mr Mugabe's land seizures.

"The success of President Mbeki's New Partnership for Africa's Development
rests upon a predictable investment climate," said Iden Wetherell, the
editor of the Zimbabwe Independent.

"The arbitrary confiscation of productive sugar estates, the product of
years and years of investment and hard work, completely sabotages that
initiative and Mbeki should be the first to say so," he added.

Zimbabwe's sugar industry has developed since 1964, and Hippo Valley
represents a vast investment to make the country self-sufficient in sugar.
Its complex network of irrigation canals and huge refinery plant are some of
Africa's biggest.

One business analyst said: "If the Government is going to hand it over to
the state's agricultural and rural development authority, then we know it
will be a disaster.

"Everything it has taken over has failed."

- Guardian

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The Guardian

Old fears reawakened

The murder of a white farmer has sparked paranoia among sections of Kenya's
affluent white community. Jeevan Vasagar reports

Tuesday February 3, 2004

When a white farmer was murdered in Kenya last week, the spectre of Zimbabwe
was swiftly conjured up.
The white Kenyan grapevine buzzed with claims that there had been a "farm
invasion", and one local called Fleet Street newsdesks to insist that the
killing had been politically motivated.

There was even a suggestion that the farmer, an elderly man who was attacked
while in bed with his wife, had been the victim of a "ritual beheading" - a
form of execution used during the Mau Mau rebellion of the 50s.

It transpired that there was no "farm invasion" and, while police have not
yet established a reason for the murder, the motive appears to have been far
more mundane.

Neighbours said that there had been a spate of violent burglaries in the
area, while others speculated that it could have been a grudge killing
stemming from a dispute with an employee.

But the workings of the rumour mill show how the violence that has
accompanied Robert Mugabe's land redistribution has sharpened sensitivities
across a continent where land and race make a bitter cocktail.

Gilgil, in Kenya's Rift Valley, where the murder took place, is home to a
substantial white community, who enjoy a lifestyle transplanted directly
from Surrey.

On a Sunday morning, women in floral skirts toy with lapdogs, while their
husbands play tennis or head for the golf course. At the country club,
tables are set for Sunday lunch.

Africa exists on the fringes of this society - the zebra herds grazing near
the cattle, troops of baboons scavenging by the roadside, the lurid blooms
occupying the floral borders and, of course, the black golf caddies and
country club staff.

In Kenya, as in other colonies that attracted large numbers of white
settlers, vast tracts of prime land were occupied by Europeans, while the
African inhabitants were pushed out or turned into squatters in their own

Here, as elsewhere in Africa, land is central to people's lives. Even urban
Kenyans will keep a shamba - a plot of land in the countryside on which to
grow their own vegetables.

It is an insurance policy, a means of making certain there will always be
some food on the table if work dries up or does not pay on time. The unfair
distribution of land provides a simmering source of discontent across
Africa, which can always spill over into violence.

The Mau Mau rebellion, in the run-up to independence in Kenya, was driven by
a shortage of land. It featured attacks on white farms which, in turn,
provoked a ferocious military response from the British authorities.

However, when independence came, the settlers' willingness to sell some of
their land, and black leader Jomo Kenyatta's desire to seek reconciliation
with the Europeans, helped to create a stable basis for cooperation between
blacks and whites.

There is still a touch of paranoia among some whites, as shown by the
reaction in some quarters to last week's murder, but many others do not
believe they have anything to fear from a country they regard as their home.

Indeed, white farmers are widely considered to be good employers, and are
respected by black Kenyans for their willingness to get their fingers dirty
alongside their workers.

To many Kenyans, the whites are just another tribe - one with its own
strange codes and rituals, but an African tribe nonetheless.

Perhaps the most distinctive sub-group of the tribe is the "Kenya cowboy", a
breed of rebellious white male who speaks fluent Swahili, reveres African
wildlife and feels a kinship with hunting warrior tribes such as the Maasai.

Kenya cowboys only ever work as pilots, mechanics or safari guides - so the
cliche goes - and punctuate every sentence with the interjection "eh".

A tongue-in-cheek guide on how to enter the ranks of the "KC Clan", recently
published in Nairobi literary magazine Kwani, suggested that, to be a Kenya
cowboy, it is vital to have a "good strong man" name such as David or John.

Females of the clan take "feminine yet strong" names like those of Kenya's
rivers, Athi or Tana.

The rules of the tribe dictate that "the sun rises, and often sets, in
Kenya. Even if you live in Zambia, the sun rises in Kenya.

"If Bebe McDougall is holding a party in Lewa, for the sake of tribal unity,
Elpsa Huidenberg, from Bloomfontein [in South Africa] will (a) fly own plane
to Lewa, (b) take Kenya or British Airways flight to Nairobi, (c) if Kenya
or British Airways don't have flights, Elpsa will drive from the Cape to
Kenya in a green Land Rover."

The guide advises wannabes: "A bona fide Kenya cowboy drinks Tusker [the
local beer] and proclaims to all that 'Kenya is my country, Land Rover is my

"The Kenya cowboy may criticise Kenya, but will tear out the throat of
expatriates and other wannabes who attempt to do the same."

After all, no Kenya cowboy would want to be confused with an expat.

Like immigrants elsewhere in the world, the "KC" may still look foreign
enough to be mistaken for a stranger in the place in which they were born,
but they have, nevertheless, become a part of the African landscape.
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Daily News

      Our miseries gatecrash into 2004 with us

      Date:3-Feb, 2004

      AH, January! The month that is first in the year, although some
revellers think that Christmas Day comes before New Year’s Day. January is
the month whose Latin origin reminds us of Janus, the guardian god of doors,
gates and beginnings.

      January is the month that has since shown us that Philip Chiyangwa
neither locked his doors and gates nor shut his mouth, while Vice-President
Joseph Msika opened his mouth and closed the doors and gates

      on Chiyangwa.

      But when someone is said to be Janus-faced, that person is meant to be
represented with two opposite faces. And South African President Thabo Mbeki
and Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo promptly come to mind.

      January saw Jonathan Moyo in Tunisia.

      Moyo seems to have an odd sense of priorities. He was supposed to be
the Acting Minister of Transport and Communications, but why and how he
ended up in Tunisia and involving himself in the matters of a third
ministry, whose responsible minister was there in attendance, is a mystery
never meant to be solved.

      January also witnessed the graduation of one Joseph Chinotimba from a
violent farm invader to a threatening, menacing Warriors’ supporter and
gatecrasher. We witnessed his prowess as he came from nowhere, jumped the
queues and claimed a piece of the action in Tunisia.

      And the month of January instigated me to contemplate the unthinkable.
You see, if our beloved Warriors belong to Chinotimba, Karikoga Kaseke and
all those shameless ZANU PF hijackers of the national soccer squad, then I
have no choice but to withhold my support and hold on to my cash.

      I am certainly not going to pay a political party, least of all ZANU
PF, to play or to administer international soccer for us.

      While there is no doubt that the Warriors will continue to improve and
to make inroads on the continental soccer scene, for now I am content with
the fact that the likes of Moyo, Chinotimba and their ZANU PF chancers came
back empty-handed.

      Imagine the torture we would have been put through had the Warriors

      We saw Chinotimba at the airport giving his analysis of the game when
he arrived back from Tunisia. I did not know that there are still people who
kill cats to make their hats. Nationalism and international soccer – what a

      It is bad enough that we are forced to listen to and watch some
nauseating trash called Go, Warriors. Hopefully now that the Warriors have
been kicked out of this tournament, this silly song will disappear.

      It is tarnishing the image of the Warriors and the national team
deserves better than to be used by ZANU PF.

      The song is as annoying as Chave Chimurenga and Rambai Makashinga. The
song is a persistent irritant to viewers.

      And speaking of songs, in January someone in Tunisia reminded me that
our national anthem should be the beautiful, haunting Ishe Komborera Africa.
How nice it was to listen to that beautiful song again!

      It’s laughable that in this country, which purports to be a democracy,
it is illegal to criticise the President and the

      national anthem. What a joke!

      If it were not illegal, I would criticise both.

      Give me a break. I am as patriotic as anyone else, although I still
cannot distinguish between the national flag and the ZANU PF flag.

      Oh, January, come again, please so that I can see President Robert
Mugabe on leave. How refreshing it is to bury our dearly departed in his

      I now dread his eulogies because he always raises hell (no pun
intended), hurls insults and scolds people at the funerals of other people’s

      But this January saw the First Couple in South Africa. Reports said
the President had gone there for medical attention having collapsed after a
violent fit of vomiting. At the same time, but reported to have arrived a
day apart, the graceful First Lady was said to be searching for and viewing
expensive properties in South Africa.

      Nonsense, said the President. He is fit, he advised the nation. He and
his wife had only gone there to pay lobola on behalf of a cousin he
identified as Ngwenya. We hope that taxpayers’ money was not spent to

      Ngwenya’s wife on this personal and private jaunt.

      Oh! January, the month that GG (Gideon Gono) struck useless blows on
foreign currency dealers. It’s so artificial, really. The black market is
never going to die. We need to do something about our economy before
sniffing the foreign currency in other people’s pockets.

      The President said since he had a few rands on him, he opted to pay
for the requested cattle in cash. Does this mean he also attends the foreign
currency auctions? If so, how really patriotic!

      The President went on to reveal that they were charged 1 000 rands per
beast. Using GG’s rates as of last Friday, those beasts cost about Z$500 000
each. Why are those beasts less expensive than ours? Ours are way over a
million dollars now. I hope our abattoirs are aware of this. Here is a way
to bring down the price of beef in Zimbabwe.

      In January, some reporters were arrested for saying that Mugabe
commandeered a plane to go to the Far East. Fiddlesticks, I say. We have
always known that Air Zimbabwe passengers have always been inconvenienced
every time the President travelled on the national airliner.

      It’s been happening since way back because the President does not have
a presidential plane. So why is the President’s Office now trying to deny it
and harassing people over it? Apologies to the affected passengers would be
better than arresting reporters.

      January was a good month for some people. The month prompted the
hapless under-achiever Joseph Made to spend taxpayers’ money by travelling
to Iran to beg for tractors and agricultural implements when the planting
season was more than halfway through.

      Made, who unbelievably once surveyed our fields across the country
from a helicopter, did not seem to remember what month in the agrarian
season it was. Tractors could have been handy had they been sourced six
months ago.

      Anyway, tractors have been sourced for Zimbabwe before, but the
nearest we get to them is when they are “handed over” on TV. It is a long
journey from the chefs to the povo; tractors do not trickle down like rain.

      And when the TV reporter said that the tractors would be dispatched to
us as soon as payment is received, I knew Made had only just been on
holiday. GG is on the warpath about buying and selling foreign currency.
Where did Made expect to get the foreign currency from if he was not at one
of GG’s foreign currency auction floors?

      In January, I expected Made to be in short sleeves or in a khaki
safari suit like the one he wore when he was campaigning for Mugabe during
the presidential elections. I expected to see Made in the middle of fields,
farms and conservatories learning and advising farmers.

      Oh, Denis Norman, where are you? Farmers, new and old, you are on your

      Believe me, friends, take a cue from the President, from Made and

      January is just a holidaying month. The worst is yet to come.

      By Tanonoka Joseph Whande, a Zvishavane-based writer.
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Hobart Mercury

Munya's day of judgment arrives
A FOREIGN student who has been locked in a Hobart cell for a fortnight will
learn of his fate today.

Munyaradzi Chiraramiro or "Munya", 25, of Zimbabwe, will face the Migrant
Refugee Tribunal in the Federal Court at 9.30am.

His spokesman John Davies said the best outcome would see Munya released
from custody today and be permitted to return to his home country within

If Munya was officially deported, Mr Davies said, he would face massive
costs and a possible ban on returning to Australia.

Mr Davies said it was Munya's costs, pegged to a plummeting Zimbabwe dollar,
that saw his student visa lapse in the first place.

"We're hoping that he will be granted a bridging visa, which means he will
be able to leave the Hobart Remand Centre as soon as possible and make his
way out of the country on his own terms," Mr Davies said.

"If he is officially deported, it will be a black mark against his name
making it incredibly hard for him to come back."

Munya, a third year commerce student at the University of Tasmania, was
detained by Immigration Department officials for not having a valid visa,
although he had applied for a replacement visa.

His plight made headlines on Australia Day, sparking an outpouring of
community support.

Mr Davies said the trust fund established to help Munya cover his
outstanding university fees had raised more than $3000, and offers of other
assistance had been overwhelming.

"As the days have gone on and Munya has heard more and more of what is going
on in the community it has cheered him immensely."

Mr Davies said a benefit concert for Munya would be held in Hobart on Monday
from 6pm.

Seven Hobart bands had offered to play for free and waterfront nightclub
Isobar has also offered its downstairs venue for free.

Entry is $10, and all proceeds will go to Munyaradzi Chiraramiro Trust,
which can receive donations at any Bass and Equitable Building Society
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New Zimbabwe

Nyarota's treachery exposed

By Staff Reporters
DISGRACED former Daily News editor Geoffrey Nyarota who was condemned to a
journalism Siberia after a short flirtation with democratic activism in
Zimbabwe tried to blackmail two senior members of the country’s main
opposition party, we can reveal today.

Nyarota has been circulating damaging claims that Movement for Democratic
Change secretary general Professor Welshman Ncube and party spokesman Paul
Themba Nyathi plotted to oust party leader Morgan Tsvangirai in collusion
with a retired Rhodesian colonel and two senior Zanu PF officials.

Last December, New exposed how Nyarota was briefing against
Ncube and Nyathi. It is believed that Nyarota is trying to position himself
for a top post should the MDC come into power, using his false accusations
as a weapon of blackmail.

Nyarota, fired from The Daily News for financially running down the paper
and insubordination has also tried to smear The Daily News by insinuating
that the paper takes instructions from the MDC, and kills damaging stories
that reflect badly on the opposition party.

Stung by the New expose` and further threats of more
revelations, a panicky Nyarota tried to pre-empt our investigation by
putting out a statement detailing the unsubstantiated allegations against
Ncube and Nyathi that he has been privately peddling to senior MDC

But a clear pattern emerged this week of a sustained programme by Nyarota to
blackmail the two MDC officials in apparent retaliation to their alleged
part in influencing The Daily News’ decision to remove him from his position
as editor in chief.

In December, we told how Nyarota - famously described as a shameless
self-publicist with a streak of self-reliance – was briefing against Ncube
and Nyathi alleging they were Zanu PF supporters planted to bring down
Tsvangirai and the MDC.

Despite spirited denials by Nyarota at the time, he made an inadvertent
admission this week that he had discussed the alleged plot to oust
Tsvangirai by Ncube and Nyathi with a member of the MDC national executive.

At the same meeting held in London, Nyarota also insinuated that Professor
Ncube had sold out to Zanu PF. Nyarota, now exiled in America, based his
claims on a “sexed-up” article in the government-owned Herald newspaper
which, according to him, portrayed Ncube “in unusually, for that paper, and
exceedingly good light”.

Despite both Ncube and Nyathi warning Nyarota that his claims on the alleged
plot which is said to involve Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa,
retired army chief General Zvinavashe and former Rhodesian colonel Lionel
Dyck were false, he still went ahead and distributed the details to a small
circle of his friends and government-friendly newspapers.

Ncube said: “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 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.”

In a letter to Nyarota, Nyathi said: “Mnangagwa and Zvinavashe have never
approached me in connection with the matter that you allude to and I have no
doubt in my mind that they will never approach me, and therefore I find your
insinuation mischievous and libellous. Except for what I have read of Col
Dyck in the newspapers, I don’t know the man, have never met him, nor
received any communication from him whatsoever. The claims you make of an
alliance between Col Dyck/Mnangagwa/Zvinavashe, Professor Ncube and myself
are clearly at odds with the facts, namely that Col Dyck met with the
President of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai on three occasions, and has in fact
not met with any other member of the MDC. The facts clearly contradict any
claims that Dyck, Ncube and myself were conspiring against the President of
the MDC: if this was so, why would Col Dyck have met repeatedly with Morgan

Nyarota, a former Mugabe publicist who cheered the government when it was a
conducting its genocidal campaign in the Western part of the country in
1980's outlines his allegations in a rambling 14-page document.

In a letter addressed to Professor Ncube, Nyarota claims in part: “At the
end of October 2001 Lt-Col Lionel Dyck, a former top-ranking officer in the
Rhodesia Army, invited me through a third party to a meeting, described by
the third party as urgent and in the national interest.

“Col Dyck said he had been assigned by his principals to approach me in my
capacity as Editor-in-Chief of The Daily News. He said his principals
regarded The Daily News as the most influential newspaper in Zimbabwe. For
the new initiative to succeed they deemed it necessary to secure, at an
early stage, the support and blessings of the newspaper.

“It had become apparent to his principals and other Zanu PF officials that
President Robert Mugabe had become a liability to national development and
that for Zimbabwe’s prevailing political and economic crisis to be resolved
he had to be persuaded to retire effectively from politics and to step down
from the offices of President of Zimbabwe and president of Zanu PF. As part
of this strategy, the president of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, would be
sidelined simultaneously. Col Dyck said the Zanu PF officials had proffered
two reasons for the proposition to eliminate the MDC leader from his
position of influence.

“They perceived Mr. Tsvangirai as lacking the clout necessary for him to
gain credibility and acceptance among the armed forces who showed open
hostility towards him.

“President Mugabe would refuse to step down if it became apparent to him
that Mr. Tsvangirai was his likely successor.

“In view of these two alleged serious handicaps on the part of Mr.
Tsvangirai, a decision had been taken that he would not be a key player in
the proposed strategy to replace Mr. Mugabe. A new leader would emerge, at
least in the interim, from within the ranks of the ruling party.

“I asked Col Dyck if Mr. Mugabe himself was aware of this new initiative.
His response was that the President had not yet been consulted. The strategy
was to prepare all the necessary ground work and to involve Mr. Mugabe only
when the initiative was guaranteed of success.

“Was Col Dyck in a position to say who, in the absence of Mr. Tsvangirai,
would spearhead negotiations on behalf of the MDC. The colonel did not
hesitate. It was you, as the party’s Secretary General, and the Secretary
for Publicity and Information, Mr. Paul Themba Nyathi, he said. I asked if
you had already been approached. Not only had you been approached, he said,
but you had also shown yourselves not to be averse to the proposal. I was
worried by the implications of what Col Dyck had just revealed to me. One
obvious implication was that unity between ZANU-PF and the MDC would be
negotiated on the basis of an obvious split within the leadership of the
opposition party. Such division within the MDC had the potential to persist,
even if the new initiative failed.”

But eyebrows were raised this week as to why Nyarota had been silent all
along. In a bid to answer his critics, Nyarota - a multiple award winning
journalist not known to sit on big scoops - said he was “protecting” Ncube
and Nyathi, giving the impression it was also Daily News policy to protect
MDC officials.

Ncube said: “I must 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. The present pretext of protecting us is also no explanation at all. We
needed no protection since the allegation was pure fiction.”

Media analysts say the timing of Nyarota’s claims could provide confirmation
to a long-standing misconception that the paper is an MDC mouth piece.

The government-friendly Financial Gazette newspaper warned of a “backlash”
against The Daily News. Nathaniel Manheru, a government apologist who writes
a column in the Herald newspaper seized on Nyarota’s claims, saying:
“Nyarota admits to the Daily News political role on the side of the MDC.”

But Manheru observes rather tellingly: “Quite to what end all these
incriminating disclosures are meant, one cannot say. The story is as
unpredictable as the hand that pens it, its motives just as inscrutable as
the means that took its author right into the belly of so distant a beast.”

In trying to wiggle his way out of his blackmail scandal, Nyarota has BLAMED
New by suggesting that we pushed him into naming Ncube and
Nyathi in connection with the alleged plot to oust Tsvangirai. He would have
“gone to the grave” with the “secret”, he said.

He ranted: “If it wasn’t for Mathuthu’s (Mduduzi Mathuthu is the New editor) overzealous intervention the allegations levelled
against Nyathi and Ncube by Col Dyck in November 2002 would have remained a
secret in my heart.”

Nyarota’s claim that the matter would have remained a secret blew in his
face when it emerged he had already discussed it with an MDC national
executive member who in turn shared the information with another MDC

”It is clear from this that we are dealing with a refined enemy of the
truth,” Mathuthu said in response to Nyarota’s claims. “If anyone takes his
account as the truth, namely that something is a secret even when it has
been communicated to at least two people, then they are living in their own

Since being relieved from his job, sources say Nyarota has been bombarding
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe majority shareholder Strive Masiyiwa and
chief executive Sam Sipepa Nkomo with e-mails reflecting on his bitterness
at being dismissed and accusing Nkomo of tribalism.

In his document, Nyarota refers to a lunch meeting that he was due to have
attended with Ncube, Nyathi and Nkomo to discuss outstanding MDC payments
for adverts carried in the paper. Nyarota says he was dropped from the
meeting at the last minute, and a few days later he had been fired –
creating the impression that Ncube and Nyathi had contributed to his

Ncube said: “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. I sincerely hope
that the rest of us are not being drawn into a dispute which might be
essentially between you and Nkomo for the reason that we are perceived to be
what you call Nkomo's close associates.”

Nyarota who admits to being unhappy at the recruitment of Ndebeles at The
Daily News (NEWZIMBABWE.COM FACT: Out of a staff complement of over 400
people at ANZ, less than 50 are Ndebeles) further sought to prove Nyathi’s
connections with Nkomo in a bid to tie up his perceived involvement in his

He also queried why the MDC had not protested his removal from his position,
having done so in the case of Andrew Meldrum a Guardian correspondent who
was ejected from Zimbabwe last year.

But Nyathi hit back: “Sam Nkomo and I spent many years in detention and we
have been in the struggle together for many years. I am proud of my
association with him. I consider him an unflinching fighter for freedom and
justice. The problems that you have with him in relation to whom he employs
are none of my business. I frankly do not know what point you are trying to
make when you try to draw parallels between your sacking from the Daily News
and the deportation of Andrew Meldrum. The two are not related.”

In his letter to Nyarota, Ncube says the allegations Nyarota is peddling are
a grand plot by President Mugabe spy intelligence network, the Central
Intelligence Organisation. The project was bound to fail, he said.

“The Dyke allegations about me are all part and parcel of the Zanu PF 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.”
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New Zimbabwe


      Nyarota's tattered history and uncertain future

      THE great American philosopher Benjamin Franklin once said that a
little neglect may breed great mischief.

      I was reminded of this quote this week when that exiled, and frankly
irrelevant, doyen of Zimbabwean journalism Geoffrey Nyarota launched a
savage attack on New and me in particular.

      It was brutal in many ways. It would have been forgivable had the
accusations been based on fact, but that would be expecting too much from a
man known to, in the words of Winston Churchill, change his principles for
the sake of his party, rather than the reverse.

      This latest salvo was sparked by our expose` last December in which we
blew Nyarota’s democratic mask with stunning revelations of Nicodemus-style
briefing against senior MDC officials Welshman Ncube and Paul Themba Nyathi,
and his wild claims that The Daily News had been turned into a Ndebele

      Nyarota admits that he briefed a member of the MDC national executive
about his “secret”. He doesn’t dispute that he said the Daily News was now a
Ndebele Empire, and that he was unhappy with the recruitment of Ndebeles to
senior positions in the Daily News management structure.

      So in short, the facts are agreed. The point Nyarota rather violently
seeks to put out is that what we found newsworthy is to him less important
than his accusations of tribalism against Daily News chief executive Samuel
Sipepa Nkomo.

      To understand Nyarota’s self-important outbursts, one needs to
understand the character of the man. The Financial Gazette just about summed
up his character, describing him as a “well-known self-publicist with a
streak of self-reliance that runs through him”.

      Even government publicists who would on another day latch onto his
claims to discredit the MDC find Nyarota’s claims hard to believe, in fact
most of the things that he says.

      ”The story is as unpredictable as the hand that pens it, its motives
just as inscrutable as the means that took its author right into the belly
of so distant a beast. Whichever way one looks at it, Nyarota sounds an
extremely unhappy man,” says Nathaniel Manheru a columnist for the Herald.

      Of course it has to be really hard to know exactly what he is up to.
Nyarota is generally new to democracy and opposition activism, having spent
a great deal of time feverishly marketing Robert Mugabe as a great democrat
and campaigning for the massacre of Ndebeles at the Chronicle newspaper.

      This is not fiction, as has been suggested. It is fact, in black and
white. In an editorial entitled Time to Call in 5 Brigade on 29 August 1987,
Nyarota wrote: "We feel the security measures can be augmented. In June,
noting the resurgence of dissident activity in Matabeleland and the
Midlands, we made the call in this column for the crack 5 Brigade to be
deployed in Matabeleland again and the Midlands.

      "Indeed the Government has warned of this measure, and with the
re-introduction of a curfew in dissident-affected areas. We are of the
opinion that the time for warnings is over and the situation now calls for
immediate and decisive action".

      It is not rocket science what Nyarota was saying. It is one thing to
call for the army to be deployed in a trouble spot, and another to beg for
the return of a rabid special unit of blood-thirsty merchants of death. The
5 Brigade was just that. It had just killed over 20 000 innocent civilians
whose real crime was dissent and supporting PF-Zapu. Thousands had been
rendered homeless, many more driven into exile. Women were raped in front of
their children. Life was disrupted, deliberate starvation was encouraged and
many children denied an education.

      Responding to some of Nyarota’s outlandish claims about tribalism at
The Daily News, Nyathi told him: “I have in the past heard general advice
being given to others never to respond to accusations of racism or
tribalism - because in responding to such accusations you are very likely to
prove the point.”

      We agree with Nyathi’s observation. It is really not helpful to the
democratic movement in Zimbabwe at the moment to spend time debating village
politics when there is a bigger national crisis. Indeed some of our readers
will be saying cut the crap!

      We beg for your patience. Nyarota has besmirched the reputation of New, its editor and smeared several innocent people who have no
other platform to respond to his outlandish claims. In a country dominated
by state media, liars make bounty harvests from creating misfortune for

      New, as we have repeatedly said before, is committed to a
free Zimbabwe where all Zimbabweans can freely enjoy their liberties. You
have to live in foreign land to appreciate that we are really the same

      But we are determined to knock down enemies of this freedom that we
seek. We will lash out at those that wear the democratic mask by the day and
wear the devil’s suit by the night. They that seek to divide our society
along tribal lines for their individual benefit will never know peace.

      It is sad that while Zimbabwe was ready to forgive Nyarota for his
association with a murderous regime, he has allowed his controlling fear of
anonymity and relegation to push him to dabble in clueless village politics.
The neglect that Franklin referred to seems to have caused a mischief

      Our message to Geoffrey Nyarota is simple. Go to hell Geoff, you have
had your chance and you squandered it.
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New Zimbabwe

Nyarota allegations a cynical lie - 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

Dear Geoff

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.


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.


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.


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.


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
communicated with.

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.

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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
its knees.

"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
HIV/AIDS scourge.

"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.

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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
insufficient water.

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 media.

The joint campaign was embarked on after the cholera outbreak in Mola.
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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
statement said.
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EU Business
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
told AFP.

"This is as a result of lack of information between electoral bodies,"
Matchaba-Hove added.

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
on Monday.

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
state-owned Herald.

The paper said 1,451 people were turned away for either not possessing
proper identity documents or because their names were missing from the
voters' roll.

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
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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.

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Daily News

      ZIMRA service pathetic

      Date:3-Feb, 2004

      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
cash only.

      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”.

      Going Insane


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Daily News

      We need an independent electoral body

      Date:3-Feb, 2004

      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.

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Daily News

      Econet challenges proposed law

      Date:3-Feb, 2004

      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
phone shops.

      “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
based services.

      The High Court was by yesterday still to set a date for the hearing.

      Business Reporter

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February 2004



For Further Information Please Contact:


Nkanyiso Maqeda, MDC Director of Information: 00263 91 248 570

James Littleton: 00 27 727 310 554







?While Zimbabweans must be the key players in forging their own destiny, we believe that democratic governments in the international community have a duty to assist in the creation of an international political environment, which will set the stage for internal processes leading to meaningful and peaceful negotiations,? said MDC Vice President Gibson Sibanda in an address to Members of the European Parliament (27 January 2004)


?Today?s comments by President Thabo Mbeki, suggesting that President Mugabe has agreed to enter formal dialogue with the MDC, are deeply encouraging?Mugabe and Zanu PF [now] need to demonstrate a tangible commitment to dialogue,?  said Paul Themba Nyathi (22 January 2004)





On Thursday 29 January, the MDC launched its eagerly awaited RESTART[1]programme, 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. 


?With RESTART, we are offering Zimbabweans a new beginning in a new direction we seek to take the country. RESTART is a holistic programme whose success will depend on a multi-faceted attack on the current political, economic and social ills brought about by tyranny, greed and corruption.


?The programme is guided by the values of the MDC: peace, freedom, justice and solidarity,? said MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai at the launch of RESTART


?RESTART puts the people first. It has been developed according to social democratic principles that places the pursuit of social justice for all the people as the fundamental objective of an MDC government.


The objectives of RESTART are to reconstruct the social fabric and economic infrastructure, to stabilise the macro-economy, to recover levels of savings, investment and growth and to begin to transform the economy and society to achieve equitable, inclusive national development,? said Tendai Biti, MDC Secretary for Economic Affairs


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




- 1 February ? Traditional chiefs and headman in Gutu tour polling stations in the constituency warning people not to vote for the MDC. Voters are threatened with eviction from their homes if it is discovered that they voted for the MDC.


 - 26 January ? The MDC?s candidate for Gutu North, Crispa Musoni, was taken hostage for several hours by over a hundred Zanu PF youth who attempted to force him to withdraw his candidature from the by-election.  


 - During the course of last week, scores of houses owned by suspected MDC supporters were torched by Zanu PF supporters, rampaging through areas of Gutu North.


 - Zanu PF have illegally registered over 7,000 people from Harare in Gutu North in an attempt to rig the ballot.





Ngoni Mudzamiri ? ?It was around 9 am when a vehicle full of Zanu PF people approached me. They easily identified me because I was putting on an MDC T-Shirt?they hauled me onto the truck and quickly drove away. I was beaten all over my body along the way. I was driven around the constituency before being taken to Mpandawana where I was tortured until I fell unconscious. I was later dumped along the Harare/Chiredzi road.?


Kassim Jonas ? ?Two well-known Zanu PF thugs, Nhema and Mtirikwi, in the company of a group of other Zanu PF youths, last Tuesday approached me while I was going about my normal business?.they began assaulting me with fists and booted feet before handcuffing me and my friend John Muridzo?they then led us to the Central Intelligence camp at Gutu Mupandawana?.there they ordered us to stand on our heads?.?






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.


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      ACP-EU session to discuss lifting sanctions on Zimbabwe 2004-02-03 14:34:45

          HARARE, Feb. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- The next African, Caribbean and
Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU) parliamentary session in Ethiopia during the
middle of this month will discuss the lifting of sanctions imposed on
Zimbabwe by the EU, a Zimbabwean official has said.

          Ruling Zimbabwean African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF)
member of parliament Kumbirai Kangai told journalists at a press conference
on Monday that the ACP countries were not happy that the EU did not consult
them when it imposed the sanctions.

          Kangai represented the country at the ACP-EU preparatory meeting
for the session in Ethiopia held in Belgium last month where it was agreed
to put Zimbabwe on the agenda.

          "The ACP countries are saying we were not consulted when the
punitive measures were taken against Zimbabwe," he said.

          The ACP-EU joint assembly in Ethiopia would take place from
the16th to the 19th of this month.

          The EU Council will meet the following day on Feb. 20 to reviewthe
so-called "smart sanctions" imposed on Zimbabwe.

          The EU has already indicated its intention to extend the sanctions
alleging nothing has improved to warrant lifting of travel restrictions on
the government and ZANU-PF officials.

          But Kangai said there was nothing to show that the situation
inZimbabwe had not improved since the sanctions were imposed two years ago.

          "There is a lot of propaganda to try and strengthen the position
that the situation has deteriorated whereas we see that the situation in
Zimbabwe has improved," he said.

          "In Ethiopia, Zimbabwe will be on the agenda and our task will be
to defend Zimbabwe and to show that the situation is not deteriorating," he

          Kangai said Zimbabwe would mobilize all ACP countries and
otherfriendly EU nations to call for the lifting of sanctions.

          "What is important is that sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe
by the EU are due to expire, but we are already aware of the moves which the
United Kingdom is making to have them extended," he said.

          "What we are saying is that there is no justification for
continuing the sanctions beyond Feb. 20," he said.

          The last ACP-EU joint parliamentary session collapsed in Belgium
after the ACP group resisted attempts by the EU to bar twoZimbabwean
ministers from attending the session.

          Representatives of the ACP walked out of the session on economic
cooperation in protest against the decision of the EU to bar Zimbabwean
Minister of State for State Enterprises Paul Mangwana and Deputy Minister of
Finance and Economic Development Chris Kuruneri from entering the EU
parliament building where the meeting was scheduled to take place.

          The two ministers are subject to the travel ban the EU imposed on
the government and the ZANU-PF officials.

          Allegations of human rights and disregard of the rule of law were
cited as the reasons for the imposition of sanctions.

          President Robert Mugabe has already said the EU has no case
against Zimbabwe because Britain influences its decisions over thecountry.
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Sunday Times (SA)

Zimbabwe polling stations exclude EU diplomats

Tuesday February 03, 2004 15:11 - (SA)

European diplomats were not allowed inside some polling stations during a
parliamentary by-election to fill a seat left vacant after the death of
Zimbabwe's vice president Simon Muzenda, a local election observer group

"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
told AFP.

The two-day by-elections in the centre-east constituency of Gutu North began
on Monday.

"This is as a result of lack of information between electoral bodies,"
Matchaba-Hove said.

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.

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
state-owned Herald.

The paper said 1,451 people were turned away for either not possessing
proper identity documents or because their names were missing on the voters'

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 co-ordinator 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.

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Daily News

      Suspected killer cops remanded in custody

      Date:4-Feb, 2004

      THREE police officers who allegedly murdered a suspect were yesterday
remanded in custody to 17 February when they appeared before Harare
magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa.

      James Bomba, Denford Muchemedzi and Brian Chimhanda were advised to
apply for bail at the High Court, but they were not asked to plead.

      The State alleges that on 11 January this year, the trio – who are
stationed at Eiffel Flats Police Station in Kadoma – arrested Tarzen Mwale
at Henderson Research Station on suspicion of housebreaking and theft in

      Bomba, Muchemedzi and Chimhanda allegedly bundled Mwale into a Toyota
Hilux vehicle, which they had been given to use in the commission of their
duties by the complainant in the case of housebreaking and theft.

      The trio drove to Granville Cemetery, where they allegedly took Mwale
into a bush and assaulted him with batons and sticks.

      They then drove to Kadoma. When they stopped in Chegutu to have
drinks, they discovered that Mwale had died, the court heard.

      The trio then decided to take Mwale back to Harare, where they
intended to dump him at Harare Central police station. However, they found
that it was not possible to abandon the body of the deceased there without
being detected.

      They then allegedly drove to Parirenyatwa Hospital, where they parked
in front of the outpatient department.

      The three allegedly removed the body from their car and put it on a
stretcher, covered it with a blanket and drove away unnoticed.

      The State alleges that investigations revealed that Mwale was taken
from Mazowe by a Toyota Hilux belonging to Adriana Le Roux of Blagdom Farm
in Eiffel Flats, Kadoma.

      A follow-up was made and the three police officers were arrested on 28

      Staff Reporter
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--> Daily News

      Police disperse ZANU PF crowd

      Date:3-Feb, 2004

      GWERU-Police had to intervene to to disperse a group of suspected Zanu
PF supporters which had attempted to disrupt a ceremony held here last
Saturday to mark the belated installation of the city’s second executive
mayor, Sesel Zvidzai.

      The group, which comprised members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation
War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) and ruling party youths stormed the civic
centre early Saturday morning and threatened to disrupt the function,
accusing the predominantly opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
council of feasting at the expense of the ratepayers.

      Anti-riot police reacted swiftly and dispersed the sloganeering group,
whose number had swelled to about 50 people.

      Zvidzai, who was elected on an MDC ticket last September, said his
council’s efforts to provide quality service was being hampered by a $1
billion bank overdraft left by the previous council, which he said was now
attracting a total interest of $350 million per month.

      He said the situation was worsened by an accumulated budget deficit of
$237 million.

      “What this means is that a large amount of money is going to the bank
as interest charges,” he said.

      “The little resources available are therefore being spent on non-core
activities at the expense of improving service delivery.”

      He said the council had adopted a two-year strategic plan which should
reduce the deficit before year end.

      Guest of honour and Midlands provincial governor Cephas Msipa,
commended the council’s efforts to involve residents in formulating ways to
address the problems it is facing.

      The function was also attended by several senior MDC officials and
executive mayors of other cities.

      Staff Reporter

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