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

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Zim Online

Fri 4 February 2005
  HARARE - The names of 800 000 deceased Zimbabweans still appear on the
country's voters' roll among a litany of "chronic errors" that could render
an accurate and democratic election in March impossible, research on the key
roll has revealed.

      In addition to the 800 000 names of dead people, another 900 000
people listed on the roll as eligible voters are not known or do not live at
the addresses under which their names appear, according to a preliminary
report by FreeZim, a local non-governmental organisation that did the

      Established in 2002, FreeZim is an election support group which has
carried extensive research on Zimbabwe's shambolic voters' roll.

      The group has already submitted its report to the newly appointed
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The commission, headed by High Court Judge
and ally of President Robert Mugabe, George Chiweshe, is tasked with running
elections in Zimbabwe.

      Chiweshe, who was appointed only last month and does not have staff or
phones as yet, could not be reached for comment on the FreeZim report.

      The disclosure of gross inaccuracies and irregularities on the voters'
roll comes just as the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party rescinded yesterday a decision to boycott the March poll unless the
political playing field was levelled.

      Detailing some of the massive errors on the voters' roll released by
Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede last month, FreeZim, for example, said that
in Harare North constituency it had discovered that, 50 percent of the
people registered as voters there did not live at the addresses under which
their names appear.

      The group said it had also identified 300 000 names of voters that are
duplicated over and over again on several pages of the register.

      "Over two million of the 5.6 million names registered as voters are
suspect - it is obvious that there are chronic errors and the roll is
overstated by unrealistic proportions that cannot be ignored," the group
concludes in the report dated 23 January 2005.

      Under Zimbabwe's constituency-based parliamentary election system,
voters must prove they reside in a constituency before they can be
registered as voters and once so registered, they cannot vote in any other

      A voter can be barred from voting if their name or address is wrongly
entered on their constituency roll.

      Human rights groups and election observers have in the past accused
Mugabe and ZANU PF of manipulating the voters' roll in addition to using
violence and intimidation to win elections. Mugabe and his party deny the

      Announcing it will be contesting the poll, the MDC said it was doing
so only because of pressure from its supporters and insisted that the scales
were "more than ever" tilted in favour of Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF
party. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Mugabe must postpone election, labour leaders demand
Fri 4 February 2005
  MUSINA - South African and Zimbabwean labour leaders have called for
Zimbabwe's general election to be postponed and warned that rising political
tension in that country could break out into civil war.

      The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), who were meeting here after COSATU was
barred from Harare on Wednesday, also vowed to blockade Zimbabwe's borders
to protest repression and human rights violations in the southern African

      COSATU secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi said there was little
possibility that Zimbabwe's March 31 poll will be free and fair because the
political playing field remained heavily tilted in favour of President
Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party.

      Vavi, who was on Wednesday declared persona non grata in Zimbabwe,
called on the African Union and Southern African Development Community
leaders to act now and pressure Mugabe to stage a democratic election in
order to avoid possible bloodshed in future.

      Zimbabweans have been driven to the limit with five million of them or
about half of the country's population driven into exile where they survive
on menial and humiliating jobs, while those who remain in the country must
grapple food shortages, hyperinflation and unemployment, Vavi said.

      His ZCTU counterpart, Wellington Chibhebhe concurred, noting that
long-suffering Zimbabweans' patience might be reaching breaking point.

      The two union leaders said the election had to be postponed to allow
for the repealing of draconian security legislation that prohibits the
opposition from organising meetings without police permission and press laws
that have shackled the independent media in Zimbabwe.

      A postponement would also allow for time to set up a truly independent
commission to run the ballot in line with a SADC protocol on democratic
elections that calls for such commissions to run elections to ensure
transparency and fairness.

      The Harare government says a new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)
it appointed last month has sufficient powers to ensure an independent poll
in March.

      A top South African government spokesman, Joel Netshitenzhe, was also
quoted yesterday saying the possibility of a free and fair poll in Zimbabwe
was high because of the appointment of the ZEC.

      But Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party,
which until yesterday had threatened to boycott the election unless the
political field was levelled, says the ZEC lacks independence because its
chairman is appointed by Mugabe.

      The commission is headed by pro-Mugabe High Court Judge George
Chiweshe. A former military officer, Chiweshe was appointed to the bench
after Mugabe purged independent judges. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Zimbabwe trade unionists lie low after tip off
Fri 4 February 2005
  MUSINA - Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) leaders who were meeting
their South African labour counterparts had to abort their trip back home
after a tip off that they were going to be arrested as soon as they set foot
at Beitbridge border post.

      The meeting came a day after a delegation of the Congress of South
African Trade Unions (COSATU) on a fact-finding mission to Harare led by the
union's secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi was kicked out of the country on

      The ZCTU leaders led by secretary general Wellington Chibhebhe had to
drive to Musina from Harare, over 500km away, to meet the COSATU team to
discuss the plight of workers in the country and whether conditions for a
free and fair election exist before the March 31 general election.

      Vavi said after the tip-off from the South African police, they had
decided that the ZCTU delegation would leave at "an undisclosed time and
undisclosed location" to ensure their safety.

      Chibhebhe said the ZCTU will take the government to court over the
"illegal" deportation of the COSATU team. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Minister to fire MDC-led city council
Fri 4 February 2005
  MUTARE - A government committee has recommended the dismissal of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party-led Mutare city council in a
fresh bid to weaken the opposition party's grip in urban areas ahead of a
key election next month.

      The MDC controls Zimbabwe's five biggest cities after the capital,
Harare. The opposition party also won Harare but lost control in 2003 when
the government fired opposition mayor Elias Mudzuri and appointed a
commission to run the politically vital city.

      The government committee, appointed last month to monitor Mutare
council, wants Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo to appoint another
commission to run the city.

      Chombo could not be reached for comment on the matter while the
chairman of the state committee, Cosmos Chiringa, refused to take questions
saying he would only do so after submitting his findings to Chombo.

      "Our findings will go to the minister (Chombo). We cannot make public
the recommendations before the minister makes a decision. It will be a
public matter soon," said Chiringa.

      But sources told ZimOnline that Chiringa and his committee were
accusing the city council of mismanagement and flouting tender procedures.

      Chombo is expected to uphold Chiringa's findings and dismiss the
Mutare council. He is also expected to appoint within the next few weeks
committees to audit Bulawayo and Masvingo city councils, both dominated by
the MDC, according to sources. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Four years after brutal murder of MDC activists, state security agent
remains a free man
Fri 4 February 2005
  HARARE - Joseph Mwale, the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
state security operative, accused of masterminding the gruesome murder of
two opposition, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists during the
run-up to the 2000 parliamentary poll, remains a free man despite a court
order to have him arrested.

      Police are aware of his whereabouts but Mwale, although now sporting a
heavy beard to disguise his identity, remains a free citizen.

      The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has condemned the
government for deliberately failing to take action against Mwale. Mwale was
deployed in Mutoko last year after a High Court judge ordered his arrest.

      Mwale was based in Chimanimani where, together with Chogugudza, a
former Zimbabwe Republic Police officer in charge of that district, made
Chimanimani a no-go area for opposition supporters, human rights activists
and journalists form the independent media.

      Mwale is accused of murdering Talent Mabika, an MDC youth activist and
Tichaona Chiminya, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's personal assistant, at
Murambinda Growth Point in Buhera. The MDC activists were burnt to death
when the vehicle they were travelling in was torched by Mwale and three of
his accomplices.

      They were campaigning for Tsvangirai in Buhera North when they met
their deaths.

      Tsvangirai lost to Kenneth Manyonda, the Deputy Minister of Commerce
and International Trade. Manyonda's victory has since been annulled by the
High Court on the grounds that it was marred by massive violence and
intimidation against MDC supporters.

      Manyonda is still a parliamentarian because he appealed against the
High Court ruling, delivered three years ago.

      Mwale's accomplices, Trainos Zimunya better known as Kitsiyatota,
other ZANU PF activists known as Gwama and Mudzamiri have since been
arrested facing murder charges. They are out on Z$5 million bail each which
was granted by High Court Justice Bhunu.

      However, Mwale remains free although he is widely known to be
operating from Mutoko District, some 200km north-east of Harare. Government
sources say it was unlikely Mwale could be apprehended soon because he has
endeared himself with his superiors in the CIO and in both the ruling party
and government.

      The dreaded operative is popular with the ruling elite after he
successfully destabilised Roy Bennet's farming operations at Charleswood

      "I can bet you Mwale will not be made accountable soon," said a police
officer based in Chimanimani.

      "That one is a blue "eyed boy for the chefs (senior ZANU PF
officials). He worked for them here so tirelessly. Had it not been for him,
Bennet could still be at his farm but Mwale made sure he was evicted and
that happened."

      Bennet, the MDC MP for Chimanimani, is one of the most feared
politicians by top ZANU PF and government officials. The tough-talking MP is
currently serving a 10-month jail term after he assaulted two Cabinet
ministers Patrick Chinamasa and Didymus Mutasa during a heated parliamentary
session last October.

      Bennet will represent the MDC in next month's poll while still serving
his sentence. The law allows him to stand as he was not convicted by a
criminal court. Bennet was convicted and sentenced by a parliamentary

      A government source said Mwale was transferred from Chimanimani soon
after the court ordered that he be arrested together with his three

      The sources said Mwale may not be arrested soon especially after it
was pointed out at a recent ZANU PF provincial co-ordinating committee
meeting that the services of Mwale and his three colleagues were crucial in
retaining Buhera North.

      At the same meeting, the sources said, the bail for the other three
alleged murderers was raised. Two businessmen, who are active ZANU PF
members, Esau Mupfumi and Enock Porusingazi reportedly contributed to pay
the bail and have the alleged murderers out.

      Manyonda reportedly complained during the meeting, held in Mutare,
that the continued incarceration of the three would discourage other ZANU PF
activists from campaigning "full blast" for the ruling party in next Month's

      At that time, Manyonda was confident of winning the right to represent
his party at the poll. Unfortunately for him, he lost the primaries to an
unheralded rural businessman, William Mutomba.

      The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), an organisation of
lawyers championing the restoration of human rights in Zimbabwe, says they
are disappointed that Mwale continues to be a free man despite committing a
serious crime against humanity.

      ZLHR's director Arnold Tsunga said: "It is extremely disappointing and
it tends to send a strong message to the public that when he (Mwale)
committed the alleged crime, he was doing so at the insistence or with the
acquiescence of the State.

      Tsvangirai lost to Kenneth Manyonda, the Deputy Minister of Commerce
and International Trade.  "Effectively, it shows that if you participate in
violence against perceived political opponents of the State, then you can do
so with impunity," he said. -ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Opposition legislator challenges arrest
Fri 4 February 2005
  BULAWAYO - Opposition legislator Thokozani Khupe yesterday filed an
application at the High Court challenging her arrest by the police two weeks
ago while holding a meeting with 60 party activists at her restaurant in the

      The police charged Khupe with holding a public political meeting
without clearance from the law enforcement agency as stipulated under the
government's Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

      In her application, which was heard in Justice Nicholas Ndou's
chambers, Khupe says the police abused their powers and unfairly treated her
when they arrested her because the meeting she held was not public but a
private event at her private premises and restricted to a select group of

      Khupe's lawyer Job Sibanda said his client also wanted the court to
fully interpret POSA for the police stating what is and what is not a public

      Bulawayo Central police station,  Police Commissioner Augustine
Chihuri and Attorney General Sobuza Gula-Ndebele are first, second and third
respondents respectively in the matter.

      Ndou postponed the matter to Monday to allow respondents to file heads
of arguments. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Spy trial winds up, state to continue with final submissions
Fri 4 February 2005
  HARARE - The state will today continue final submissions to court before
sentence is passed on two senior ruling ZANU PF party officials and another
man accused of selling intelligence information to foreign agents.

      The state opened its pre-sentence address yesterday after the defence
concluded submissions in mitigation.

      The three men, ZANU PF external affairs director Itai Marchi,
Zimbabwe's ambassador-designate to Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo, and bank
executive Tendai Matambanadzo - who have pleaded guilty - are accused of
leaking strategic information to a South African agent for cash.

      ZANU PF chairman for Mashonaland West province Philip Chiyangwa and
the party's deputy security director Kenny Karidza are also accused of the
same alleged offence.

      Karidza was seen at court yesterday but prosecutors refused to shed
light on the reason why he was there. Chiyangwa is scheduled to appear next
Friday. The five men face up to 20 years in jail if found guilty of selling
intelligence information to foreign agents. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Court postpones bank merger challenge case
Fri 4 February 2005
  HARARE - The High Court yesterday postponed to Monday a case in which
Royal Bank shareholders want the government interdicted from forcibly
merging the bank into its Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG).

      ZABG is an amalgamation of Royal Bank, Trust Bank and Barbican Bank.
The three banks were forced to close down by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) last year after the central bank discovered the banks were near
collapse because of gross financial mismanagement and in some cases
downright corruption.

      Since the beginning of this week, the ZABG has been transferring
clients and assets of the three banks to its register as it prepares to open
to the public.

      Royal Bank shareholders, Jeffrey Mzwimbi and Durajadi Simba, who argue
that the merger of their bank into ZABG was unlawful, want the court to
block the RBZ and ZABG from acquiring their assets, motor vehicles, premises
and clients.

      The matter was postponed after the respondents submitted opposing
papers late yesterday.

      Royal's bid to scuttle the government's ZABG project is the second
after Trust also this week filed papers in court seeking an interdict
against its forced amalgamation into the state bank. - ZimOnline
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The Herald

Royal, Trust litigation: A threat to ZABG

THE Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group was just what the doctor ordered for an
ailing financial industry, were it not for plans by failed Trust Bank and
Royal Bank to derail this noble initiative.

In a move devoid of any sense of remorse or sympathy for the thousands of
stranded depositors, the two illiquid banks are seeking leave at the High
Court to be released from the recently opened ZABG.

ZABG - an amalgamation of distressed banks -officially opened on Monday this
week with Trust Bank, Royal Bank and Barbican Bank at the heart of the
banking group.

But misplaced attempts, analysts say, by Royal Bank and Trust Bank are not
only threatening to throw the whole ZABG initiative into disarray but also
seek to compound depositors' misery, just when they thought sanity had
finally returned to the banking sector.

Assuming the court applications by the two banks are upheld by the High
Court, it might mean going the liquidation route. In spite all their
bravado, Royal and Trust do not have the capacity to resume full-scale
operations given their insolvent status.

That would leave Barbican to fly the ZABG flag. But, of course, the door is
still open for Intermarket Holdings subsidiaries should merger talks with
Finhold collapse. The curator is still to submit his report on the troubled
CFX Bank. So it is still too early to write off the ZABG.

After all, the High Court might just find Trust Bank and Royal Bank's
application "frivolous" and "vexacious" and dismiss it accordingly.

The litigation channels being pursued by Royal Bank and Trust Bank, analysts
say, are deliberate attempts by the two institutions to frustrate a noble
plan targeted at redressing the lop-sided situation in the financial sector,
as well as salvaging the gains scored in black economic empowerment.

However, other financial commentators hold that Royal and Trust have no case
and must just lick their wounds in the financial wilderness and let ZABG
save their face.

"The two firms are only but shooting themselves in the foot and are only
there to cause confusion," remarked an analyst who cannot be named.

"The Reserve Bank has a lot of muscle and can get rid of the problems at
Royal and Trust and even the banks themselves.

"So, really, Royal and Trust must let the creators of ZABG call the shots
and then at least we can have normalcy in the banking sector."

The High Court was set to make a ruling on Royal Bank's application
yesterday afternoon, long after the copy deadline for the Herald Business.


Apex Corporation Zimbabwe Limited achieved results that were at the bottom
end of analysts' predictions, as the group recorded a loss per share of
$12,60 (2003: $21,13) in the full year to October 31, 2004.

Pre-tax profit plunged 40 percent to $5 million and while attributable
profit also fell a heavy 75 percent to $1,4 billion all figures in
historical terms resulting in the loss in earnings.

Tighter export margins, depressed local demand and significant increases in
costs of inputs (which were ahead on average inflation), administration and
selling chewed into the Apex's bottom-line.

Turnover was $104 billion, an increase of 324 percent from $25 billion
during the comparative period in 2003.

Operating profit at $18 billion was up 124 percent on prior year whilst the
interest paid increased very significantly by over 3 000 percent to $12
billion due to funding and the high interest rate regime.

On a sectoral level, Phoenix Consolidated posted a turnover of $49 billion.

Margins in the division declined due to increased input costs, mainly labour
and energy, and operating profit at $11,137 million (2003: $4,910 million)
reflects the significantly increased costs of selling and administration.

In the Communications and Printing Unit, the division performed well but
with reduced volumes, declining margins and increased costs of
administration and selling reflected a trading loss of $608 million.

The printing unit was at a break-even position.

Foundries, which are the core business of Apex, performed ahead of
expectations although there was marked decline in domestic demand. Turnover
for McKeenan went up 583 percent while Zimcast topline grew by three-fold.

Precision Grinders benefited from strong local demand for agricultural
equipment with sales for 2004 at $8 billion, significantly higher on 2003.
However, the unit registered a loss for the year of $2 billion due to
significantly higher input, administrative and selling costs.

Going forward, Apex intends to review operations of the group, as well as
finalising its plans to reconstruct the group, its borrowings and its focus.

Apex aims to reduce borrowings through the injection of new capital, sale of
assets and operating units, increased profitability and a real reduction in
working capital.

The group wants to ensure that resources will be committed to the core
business (foundries) of the group in order to improve profitability.
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Business Day

Cosatu to blockade Zimbabwe


By Rob Rose and Dumisani Muleya
Trade unionists meet south of border to plan action against Mugabe regime

As a defiant Zimbabwe defended its decision to expel a second Congress of
South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) fact-finding mission earlier this week ,
the outraged federation pledged to mobilise workers in southern Africa to
blockade all Zimbabwe's borders ahead of its March 31 elections.

Cosatu was kicked out on Wednesday, confirming fears over the political
climate for the elections and putting pressure on the South African
government to change its approach to the Zimbabwe crisis.

Yesterday, Cosatu met the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) in
Musina, south of the Beit Bridge border, and proposed an action plan to send
a clear message to President Robert Mugabe's government.

After the marathon six-hourmeeting, the two trade union bodies found that
conditions for free and fair elections did not exist in Zimbabwe.

They laid down a number of demands to the Zimbabwe government, including the
scrapping of various repressive laws and that Southern African Development
Community (SADC) observers be allowed into the country immediately to assess
prospects for a free and fair poll.

Cosatu and the ZCTU also threatened "border blockades of all borders into
Zimbabwe". These and other actions will be proposed to SADC's trade union
coordinating council at an urgent meeting in the "next few weeks".

"Nothing short of serious mobilisation of millions of SADC workers and civil
society formations will help us win these demands," said Cosatu general
secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Cosatu is also putting pressure on its African National Congress (ANC) ally
to react to Zimbabwe's tough-arm tactics.

Vavi said he saw no contradictions between Cosatu's methods of putting
pressure on its neighbour and the efforts of government "to silently talk to
its neighbour and raise issues with them about the need to create conditions
for a free and fair election".

Cabinet spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe has called Cosatu's confrontation with
Zimbabwe a "sideshow", saying government would not be detracted from working
with SADC in preparing it to establish an atmosphere conducive to free and
fair polls.

Zimbawe Labour Minister Paul Mangwana remained defiant yesterday, saying his
government had been fully justified in expelling the Cosatu team.

Meanwhile, yesterday's decision by Zimbabwe's main opposition, the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), to participate in the March 31 parliamentary
elections has elicited mixed responses in Zimbabwe.

Political analyst Prof Heneri Dzinotyiwei said: "It was the only option they
(MDC) had. But I think Zanu (PF) will have an edge over the MDC because of
the skewed playing field."

Dr Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, a
broad-based civic movement, said: "I'm shocked that the MDC would take such
an irresponsible decision.

"Their participation will just legitimise an election they will obviously
lose because of the current hostile political environment and the bad
electoral framework."
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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!



SADC Standard

Statute in Breach

Policy in Breach

Remedy for Breach of law

Remedy for Breach of policy



        Clause  2




SADC Member States to adhere to the following principles:








Full participation of citizens in the political process


Public Order and Security Act (POSA) s 24 – requiring notice of intention to hold a public gathering






POSA. s. 25 – regulation of public gatherings.


Note - any appeal against a police banning order is to the Minister of Home Affairs – an interested party


POSA. s 26 – power to ban public gatherings


POSA s 24 – the common police practice of interpreting this provision to mean that no gathering, including closed private party planning meetings, can take place without police permission, wrongly extending the application of this law


POSA. s. 25 – regulation of public gatherings, exacerbated by tendency to impose onerous and unreasonable directions





POSA s. 26 – power to ban public gatherings, exacerbated by police policy of giving free reign to ZANU (PF) meetings and banning opposition meetings on the flimsiest of pretexts, or for reasons outside the specified grounds.


Repeal the section








Repeal the section









Repeal the section



While the section remains in force interpret it restrictively – ie against any extension of police powers


While the section remains in force interpret it restrictively






While the section remains in force interpret it restrictively against

the abrogation of  the constitutional rights of  citizens




















Freedom of association


POSA. ss. 24, 25 and 26 as above




Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) Bill which requires NGOs to register with NGO Council under ZANU (PF)  control (s.9)   and imposes penalties for non-compliance - in breach of s 21 of Constitution which recognizes freedom of association



Police practice as above in respect of  POSA  ss 24, 25 and 26


Repeal POSA





Do not enact NGO Bill.  Reinstate old Private Voluntary Organisation Act


While the Act remains in force interpret it restrictively




Political tolerance



Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) – effectively excludes any robust expression of view point contrary to that of ZANU (PF) by a system of registering mass media services and accrediting journalists by a Media and Information Commission appointed and controlled by the Executive –  imposing severe sentences on those who do not comply



Policy that denies registration and accreditation to the independent media and journalists











Immunity from prosecution afforded to those who harass and intimidate the opposition


Repeal  AIPPA














Apply even-handed policy to pro-ZANU (PF) and pro-opposition media houses and journalists.


Allow the Daily News and Tribune newspapers to re-open




Cease selective enforcement of the criminal law




Regular intervals for elections













Equal access to state media for all political parties


The Broadcasting Services Act s. 4 places control of appointments to the all-powerful Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe Board in the hands of the President and his minister.  Effectively this gives total control of the state media and the power to grant or refuse broadcasting licenses to ZANU (PF)


There are no independent TV or radio stations in Zimbabwe as a result of this Act



The opposition has been refused access to the state media consistently at all times, and  independent media groups have been refused broadcasting licenses.













Amend s. 4 of the Act to constitute the Board from genuinely independent and professional members


Change the policy that excludes the opposition from the airwaves









Allow the establishment of independent TV and radio stations





Equal opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for


The restriction of postal ballots under s. 71 of the Electoral Act to members of the armed forces, diplomats (and spouses) effectively disenfranchises millions of Zimbabwean citizens living abroad.


NGO Act s. 17 which prohibits foreign funding of NGOs concerned with issues of governance – ie including promotion and protection of human rights - effectively restricts citizens from receiving advice or assistance in order to know or exercise the right to vote and be voted for.


Part IV of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Act prohibits all independent voter education


The effect of  s 17 as read with     s 51 of the Electoral Act is to empower the military to decide the number and location of  polling stations


The practice of requiring members of the armed forces serving abroad to vote in the presence of their commanding officers  mitigates strongly against the right to make a free choice in the election


















The number and location of polling stations has a bearing on the voters’ ability to exercise the right to vote freely.  In the 2002 election very few polling stations were sited in urban areas, causing long queues and preventing hundreds of thousands from voting.  In the rural areas the location of some polling stations (eg close to militia camps), was intimidating to opposition supporters.   Giving authority to the military to make these decisions will only exacerbate this problem



Repeal the Section and permit citizens living abroad to exercise their constitutional right to vote in national elections


Repeal the section











Repeal Part IV of the Act




Repeal s 17 of the Act


Change the practice to ensure that all postal ballots are carried out in conditions that ensure secrecy



















Give responsibility for deciding the number and location of polling stations to professional, non-partisan individuals and make them accountable to the electorate










































Independence of Judiciary & impartiality of electoral institutions


The mode of appointment of Supreme Court and High Court Judges under the Constitution (s. 84) makes them susceptible to political pressure through the all-powerful office of the President.





The appointment of members to the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) under s. 61 of the Constitution, of the Delimitation Commission under s. 59 of the Constitution,  of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), and of the Registrar-General are all done effectively by the President  - thus compromising  the independence and impartiality of all Zimbabwe’s electoral bodies.


The Electoral Act s 17 provides for the secondment of staff to supervise and run elections from the Defence Forces, the Police Service and the Prison Service.    This seriously jeopardizes the integrity of the whole electoral process



The policy of awarding valuable farms from the fast-track land resettlement programme to senior members of the Judiciary, civil servants, military personnel and officers of the ESC and ZEC severely compromises their independence.



(The lack of independence and impartiality  of the Judiciary was clearly demonstrated by the unreasonable delays in hearing election challenges for the 2000 parliamentary elections and 2002 presidential election).









The Defence Forces, Police Service and Prison Service have been strongly politicized over the last 4 years, with the result that they no longer enjoy the respect or confidence of  voters. Hence they cannot now be seen as impartial arbiters in the electoral process



Repeal the provisions relating to appointment, and enact legislation to ensure the genuine independence of all judicial and electoral officers



















Repeal s. 17 and provide non-partisan electoral officers


Reverse the policy of giving valuable hand-outs to judicial and electoral officers






















End the policy of politicization and build a truly professional service






























Voter education



NGO Act s 17 – which prohibits foreign funding of NGOs in respect of “issues of governance” will remove  funds previously available for voter education, eg. through Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)


Part IV of the ZEC Act prohibits all independent voter education


Even before the NGO Act comes into force the police are already harassing and intimidating qualified professionals who  seek to provide voter education


Repeal the Section









Repeal Part IV of the ZEC Act


Cease obstructing voter education by those quailed and experienced to provide it




Acceptance and respect of valid election results by political parties




Through the lawless acts of the youth militia and other state agents ZANU (PF)  has encouraged the growth of a culture of violence and intolerance which mitigate against the acceptance of valid election results




End the policy of political control through lawlessness and violence


Also end the policy of impunity for unlawful acts perpetrated against the opposition





Challenge of election results as per law of the land


The Electoral Court established by s 158 of the Electoral Act to hear and determine election petitions and consider electoral offences, is not independent of the Executive.  (The power to appoint judges to this Court being given to the Chief Justice whose judicial independence is suspect)  



The inordinate delays of  the Judiciary in processing election challenges under the 2000 parliamentary elections and 2002 presidential elections were in breach of the spirit and letter of Zimbabwe’s election laws, and called further into question the Judiciary’s impartiality


Repeal this Section and make provision for a truly independent Court to determine election challenges and adjudicate on electoral offences.


Judges appointed to act promptly, efficiently and without bias










           Clause 4




SADC Member States to be guided by the following guidelines:








Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of citizens



















POSA  s. 15 – publishing or communicating false statement prejudicial to the State – contrary to the freedom of expression …








New provisions in the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Bill  which impose a 20 year term of imprisonment for making a false statement


POSA  s. 16 – making abusive statement, even if true, about the President a criminal offence – contrary to freedom of expression protected by s 20 of the Constitution


POSA. ss  24, 25 and 26 – concerning notification, regulation and banning of public gatherings, infringing many rights protected by the Constitution




Policy of illegal arrests/ imprisonment of those making statements that cause embarrassment to ZANU (PF) whether statement true or false





















In practice the police tend to give the widest possible interpretation to these provisions,  thereby extending their already considerable powers and further infringing civil liberties



Repeal the section












Repeal the section






Repeal the section







Repeal the sections



While the section remains in force apply it impartially and only with respect to false statements that are genuinely prejudicial to the State rather than embarrassing to ZANU (PF)















While these sections remain in force, they should be interpreted restrictively































Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections


POSA. sections 15 (publishing false statements prejudicial to the State) 24 (notification of public gatherings)   25 (regulation of public gatherings and 26 (banning of public gatherings)


AIPPA effectively provides ZANU (PF) with the means to eliminate a free press. At the same time ZANU (PF) dominate the state media, achieving a massive and unfair advantage over the opposition











The independent press have been subjected to massive intimidation, and the country’s only independent and largest circulation daily paper, the Daily News, has been threatened, bombed and finally closed



Repeal the sections








Repeal the Act


While the sections remain in force interpret them restrictively





Reverse the policy of trying to silence the independent media












Nondiscrimination in voters’




The appointment of members to the Electoral Supervisory Commission, the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, members of the Delimitation Commission and the Registrar-General of Voters are all effectively done by the President and thus partisan, giving voters grave cause for concern re  an impartial registration process


By his own admission the Registrar-General is partisan, being a member of, and compliant to, ZANU (PF).

All previous voter registration exercises under his supervision have been seriously flawed.



Voters have been arbitrarily removed.  Thousands of dead people’s names are still on the voters’ roll.  It is harder to register in urban areas than it is in rural areas. In rural areas in order to register opposition supporters must have the support of traditional leaders, who are now paid by the government






Amend the electoral Acts to provide for the appointment of non-partisan electoral officers


Replace the Registrar-General with a non-partisan appointee






Remove the discriminatory restrictions to register. 


Compile a new voters’ roll in a non-partisan and credible way

















Existence of updated and accessible voters’ roll



Section 21 of the Electoral Act only allows a printed (interpreted by the Supreme Court as a paper, not electronic) copy of the voters’ roll despite the fact it is available in electronic format


The voters’ roll is neither updated nor accessible to voters. Experience in the 2000 and 2002 elections revealed that the roll used by the Registrar-General is seriously inaccurate and corrupted


The Registrar-General has consistently refused to provide the opposition with an updated electronic version which would

enable them to check its accuracy in an efficient manner

It costs Z$ 12 million for each copy of the voters’ roll and is an enormous volume of paper, making it effectively inaccessible


Amend the section to oblige the Registrar-General to provide all parties with an electronic copy of the voters’ roll


Appoint non-partisan electoral officers in whom voters can have confidence




Allow all parties to have access to electronic computer copies of the voters’ roll












Timeous announcement of election date












Any funding of political parties to be transparent and based on agreed threshold as per law of the land


Political Parties (Finance) Act   s 14  - prohibits  foreign funding for political parties and candidates.





The prohibition of foreign funding per se is not objectionable but “foreign funding” includes the prohibition of funding by non-resident Zimbabwean citizens, in violation of section 21 of the Zimbabwean Constitution.


Because of the partisan nature of the Attorney General and the Police any breach of the Act by ZANU (PF) is not investigated or exposed




Furthermore, the prohibition of foreign funding is more of a disadvantage to the opposition than to ZANU (PF)  since the latter uses State resources such as the State media, transport & communications freely for campaigning purposes


Corrupt use by ZANU (PF) of its powers of patronage secures it an unfair advantage in obtaining funds


Repeal the Section in so far as it prohibits funding by Zimbabweans in the Diaspora




Impose an effective and enforceable requirement for disclosure of funding on all parties


Enforce a clear distinction between the State and ZANU (PF)  in relation to the use of State resources












Take strong and effective measures against patronage and corruption




Polling stations to be in neutral places


The Electoral Act s 51 requires only that polling stations be established at “convenient” places, determined solely by constituency election officers, and even permits a polling station outside the boundaries of the constituency




Given that section 17 of the Electoral Act allows the military to be constituency election officers the siting of polling stations may be made by the military.


Experience has shown in the 2000 and 2002 elections that polling stations are often set up in locations in which the opposition are exposed to serious danger of intimidation and violence, and voters do not feel free to vote for the party of their choice



The military are so closely identified with ZANU (PF) that they are not regarded as impartial




To comply with the SADC standard care should be taken to site polling stations in neutral venues – in particular away from militia camps, police stations and army barracks


Repeal section 17







Take effective measures to restore voter confidence in the integrity of the electoral process










Counting of the votes at polling stations


Section 83 of the Electoral Act gives electoral officers (who may be soldiers appointed in terms of s 17) the power to exclude party representatives from polling stations for even trivial breaches of a code of conduct.


Section 84 of the Act allows votes to be counted in the absence of party representatives.


The combined effect of this is to give the military power to exclude opposition representatives, monitors and observers and then to proceed with the count

















In the 2002 election many opposition party representatives were effectively prevented from being present at the count











Repeal section 84






Mechanism to assist planning and deployment of observation missions













SADC observation missions to be deployed at least two weeks before voting day


















       Clause 7









Take necessary measures to ensure scrupulous implementation of above principles – as per constitutional processes of the country







Establish where none exist appropriate institutions where issues such as codes of conduct, citizenship, residency … and compilation of voters’ registers, would be addressed


Zimbabwe does not have any such “appropriate institutions”.


No consultation took place outside ZANU (PF) on any such issues.


The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill received an

adverse report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee but their objections were over-ridden

















Government should seek a consensus on the “appropriate institutions”





Establish impartial, all-inclusive, competent and accountable national electoral bodies staffed by qualified personnel, as well as competent legal entities including effective constitutional courts to arbitrate in the event of disputes arising from the conduct of elections


(1)    Section 61 of the Constitution establishes the Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) as the supreme Electoral body. It is entirely appointed by the President without any input from or say given to the opposition parties or civic society.

(2)    Section 59 of the Constitution gives the President absolute discretion to choose the members of the Delimitation Commission without any say given to opposition parties or civic society.

(3)    Section 18 of the Electoral Act creates a Registrar-General of Voters who is a civil servant effectively appointed by the President

(4)    Section 3 of the ZEC Act allows the President to appoint its Chairperson in his absolute discretion, again without any input from opposition parties or civic society.  While the opposition has some input on the selection of the remaining 4 members, the ZEC is a body subservient to the ESC in terms of section 61 (6) of the Constitution

(5)    Section 14 of the Electoral Act creates an “Observers’ Accreditation Committee” whose members are the Chairperson of the ESC, appointed by the President, and 4 other persons nominated by the Office of the President and the Ministers of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Information. This committee, an entirely partisan body, is given absolute discretion as to who can observe an election


In summary none of Zimbabwe’s electoral bodies are impartial, all-inclusive or accountable.



Again the experience of the 2000 and 2002 Polls – under the same Registrar-General and similar electoral bodies  – proved that they are not impartial, competent or ultimately accountable to the voters.  In fact they have shown gross bias in favour of ZANU (PF)


Repeal the amend the relevant sections of the Constitution, Electoral Act, and ZEC Act to comply with  SADC standards






Safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression and campaigning as well as access to the media on behalf of all stakeholders, during electoral processes as under 2.1.5.


Human and civil liberties are severely infringed by:






  referred to above


The opposition have been and are still  denied access to the State media, and the independent media has been closed down in terms of these laws.  Voter education by civil society is effectively banned by the ZEC Act


Section 142 of the Electoral Act requires the name and address of the printer of all posters, pamphlets and other documents used in campaigning to be recorded on the face of the document.

Section 150 of the Act makes it an offence to place any bill, poster or other document on any building, wall etc without the consent of the owner/ occupier



In addition to the statutory infringements of civil liberties the opposition has to contend with the abuse of legal process by the police eg  false charges illegal arrest and imprisonment and the selective application of the law against their members and supporters.


The right for the opposition to campaign is severely limited by the presence of militia and other lawless elements, plus the regular banning of their meetings by the police.




Whilst in a normal environment this would not be sinister in the context of the harassment and violence suffered by the opposition over the past five years, these provisions are very intimidating


Repeal those laws that are unconstitutional  or infringe human and civil liberties


It is ironic that ZANU (PF) have introduced recently a range of laws, ostensibly to comply with SADC standards, but which in fact make Zimbabwe even further in breach of SADC principles


Repeal section 142







Repeal section 150



The politicization of the police should be reversed, and a new policy of political tolerance, respect for all, and observance of the law inculcated in a professional force














Take all necessary measures and precautions to prevent the perpetration of fraud, rigging or other illegal practices throughout the whole electoral process …


The NGO Act which requires registration under a Council effectively under the dominance of  ZANU (PF), will lead to the closure of those NGOs concerned with human rights abuses, which in the past have been the most effective in exposing fraud, rigging and other illegal practices.


S 17 of the Act which prohibits foreign funding of any such organizations is a further measure which will make the exposure of electoral fraud more difficult in the future



AIPPA represents a major blow to the free press, and by the same token removes one of the most effective deterrents to fraud, rigging and electoral mal-practice


Sections  84  and 83 of the Electoral Act which allow counting to take place in the absence of party representatives opens the door to vote rigging


The existence of the youth militia and other violent elements which enjoy the support and protection of  ZANU (PF) militates strongly in favour of fraud, rigging, intimidation and violence


Do not enact the NGO Bill


















Repeal  AIPPA







Repeal the sections






Disband the youth militia, and remove the (unofficial) immunity from prosecution afforded to violent and lawless elements at the instigation of  ZANU (PF)









Allow the Daily News and Tribune newspapers to reopen
























Ensure the availability of adequate logistics and resources for carrying out democratic elections



The government has repeatedly rejected offers of logistical support from international bodies (including the UN ?)  towards the holding of democratic elections



Reverse this policy and cooperate with all those seeking to ensure a democratic election




Ensure that adequate security is provided to all parties participating in the elections



To date lawless elements in ZANU (PF) and their agents, including the militias, and State security agents, have rendered certain constituencies no-go areas for the opposition.


Members of the opposition are repeatedly subjected to  violence and abuse, while those responsible are not brought to justice




Introduce effective and impartial policing of all areas.


Also end the selective application of the criminal law against those who perpetrate violence




Ensure the transparency and integrity of the entire electoral process by facilitating the deployment of representatives of political parties and individual candidates at polling and counting stations and by accrediting national and/other observers/monitors



 There is no provision in the new Electoral Act enabling this


To date government has done nothing to facilitate the deployment of representatives of the opposition at polling and counting stations.  On the contrary it has seriously obstructed the opposition in deploying representatives as required.


Government policy is also against the deployment of observers and monitors except those deemed to be sympathetic to the ruling party


Amend the Electoral Act to facilitate this obligation


Reverse this policy, and open up polling and counting stations to representatives of all parties and to a credible international cross-section of observers and monitors










Encourage the participation of women, disabled and youth in all aspects of the electoral process as per the national laws


 Sections 59 and 60 of the Electoral Act give the presiding officers, who can be members of the military in terms of s 52  (2) (b), the power to assist and mark the ballot on behalf of illiterate or incapacitated voters. A police officer must also be present


The military and the police are not regarded as impartial and therefore voter secrecy for disabled people is severely compromised


Amend the Electoral Act to allow a person nominated by the illiterate or disabled voter to assist him or her to vote





Issuing invitation … to SADC 90 days before the voting day in order to allow an adequate preparation for the deployment of the Electoral Observation Mission



If the parliamentary elections take place in March 2005 as stated by the Executive, they are already in breach of this 90 day provision



Issue an invitation to SADC publicly and forthwith




Ensure freedom of movement of the members of the SADC Election Observers












Accreditation of the members of the SADC Election Observation Mission on a non-discriminatory basis




In direct breach of this requirement section 14 of the Electoral Act gives the “Observers’ Accreditation Committee” absolute power to exclude individuals from within SADC or elsewhere



Repeal section 14




(Clauses 7.13 to 7.19 concern the duties of the host government to the SADC Election Observation Mission to facilitate its work)




























Full Title


Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act

(No 5 of 2002)


Non Governmental Organizations Act (still to be signed into law and gazetted)


Public Order and Security Act (No 1 0f 2002)


Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act  (no 22 of 2004)







          The full text of these and other relevant Acts may be seen on the following









            (In the case of the NGO Act which is yet to be signed into law, the Electoral  &                                     

             Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Acts, a definitive version of which are

              still awaited, these will be posted to the websites as soon as available)



This document produced by   SOKWANELE ZVAKWANA – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH


                                                A VOICE FOR THE TRUTH

                                                   A VOICE FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY

                                                      A VOICE FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE

                                                         A VOICE FOR NON-VIOLENT CHANGE


January 2005

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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!


Deceit and Deception.

Sokwanele reporter

03 February 2005

Ever since Gideon Gono was promoted to the post of Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe he has practised a form of intense deception directed at the general public, for whom he obviously has scant regard. The nation has been subjected to a carefully managed media circus every three months as the Governor spells out in lengthy form his view of the “State of the Nation” and the circumstances for which he has personal responsibility.


These statements are always a mixture of the truth (the parastatals have failed the public) and half-truths or just blatant lies and distortion. Sorting out what is good and what is bad is difficult for the layperson and many are being deceived by the bright smile behind the statements that pour out of the Bank.


One thing that does come through, though not intended, is that Gono is Mugabe’s man and is carefully pursuing the objectives he was set when he was given the job. Let’s look at the situation and compare the real situation to what Gono is saying.


“We are on the path to recovery.” Gono points to lower inflation and projected growth in 2005 and says that Zimbabwe has turned the corner after experiencing a decline of 30 per cent in GDP after 2000. The facts are that in 1997, the last year for which we have reliable statistics, the GDP stood at US$8,4 billion. GDP at the end of 2004 was estimated by economists as no more than US$4,8 billion. That is a decline of 42 per cent in 6 years. Nearly all observers record declines in economic activity in every year since 1998.


The projection of growth in 2005 is based on a recovery in farm output of 28 per cent, growth in the mining industry and a recovery in tourism. None of this is likely to materialize. In fact we expect farm output to decline in 2005.  All investment in the mining industry – one of the stars of the economy in 2003 and 2004 - has been frozen and output is stagnant at best, despite record world market prices. No sign of any recovery in tourism either; in fact tourist arrivals continue to fall.


So it is more likely at this stage that the Zimbabwe economy will decline in 2005 by 5 per cent rather than expand by a similar amount after 6 years of negative growth.


“Inflation is falling and will reach 35 per cent by the years end.”  Average inflation in 2004 was about 350 per cent, in 2005 it was at least 375 per cent and the CSO estimates for inflation at the year-end bear no relationship to the facts on the ground. Prices are rising rapidly and many of those that are rising fastest are in fact controlled by the State – electricity, water, telephone and postal rates are all up by several hundred percent in 2005.


With the debt of Government now standing at over Z$3 trillion, parastatals debt at about the same level and the combined losses of the commercial banks closed down by Gono in 2004 at Z$2,6 trillion, the Reserve Bank is in an impossible situation. He must print money to cover his obligations and when he does so we will have higher inflation as a result. The 2005 budget of central government reflects an average inflation rate of 270 per cent – 5 times the rate predicted by the Governor. That is more likely to be the case and he knows it.


“No Bank will be allowed to fail.” He makes no mention of this promise made at the start of 2004, in his first review in 2005. This is because since he made that statement over 40 per cent of all Commercial banks have closed their doors. This has taken Z$2,6 trillion out of private hands and has left hundreds of thousands of depositors without reserves or even money to live on.


Even now, 15 months later, many financial institutions are under threat and major depositors see little chance of any recovery. They are being offered equity in an amorphous thing called the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group but as this is simply a collection of failed banks in whom there is absolutely no public confidence, this is little more than offering people a piece of useless paper in place of their liquid assets.


“Foreign Exchange receipts have risen.” Gono points out that the foreign exchange proceeds going through the Reserve Bank system have risen from just over US$350 million in 2003 to US$1700 million in 2004. No mention is made of how this was achieved in spite of falling exports and declining receipts from tourism and foreign aid. In fact all this records is his success in herding what is left of the Zimbabwe productive sector towards the banking halls of the Reserve Bank where they can be manipulated to the benefit of the State.


Exports in 1997 were US$3,4 billion  - last year they were US$1,34 billion – a fall of 60 per cent. Foreign aid receipts are down from about US$800 million in 1997 to just over US$350 million in 2004 – most of it for food aid.


“Gold production is up by 70 per cent.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In 2003 gold sales to the Reserve Bank (not the same as gold production) were only 12 tonnes. Industry experts estimated actual gold production at 34 tonnes – 22 tonnes were sold outside the Reserve Bank system. Gono has raised prices for gold purchased in Zimbabwe dollars to the point where the Bank is now paying a higher price that that available on the parallel market and as a result more gold is going into the Bank than into other free markets.


So what are we left with after the “spin” is dealt with? Not a great deal. We still have a shrinking economy, falling exports and negative investment. Our combined savings – the total value of all our pension funds and accumulated resources of 100 years of economic activity have been destroyed or stolen. Our pensioners are without exception, destitute and there are no signs of any changes to put things right.


Average life expectancy is now estimated at 34 years – down from 59 in 1990.  Or a decline of one year for every year that Mugabe has been in power. Incomes have halved and the value of the Zimbabwe currency is now half the Zambian Kwacha. 3,5 million adults have fled the country – most of them as economic refugees to more stable regions. 1400 follow every day. Our population was projected at Independence in 1980 to double every 18 years. It has fallen to less than 11 million since the mid 90’s.


These nightmare statistics are not those of a country at war with itself or its neighbors, but of a country that has received US$6 billion from donors since Independence, billions more as loans, and has been given every opportunity and concession possible by the world community. They are the unbelievable statistics of the failure of Africa’s best-educated and most advanced indigenous community.


They are the product of a small minority who seized power in 1980 and have ruthlessly held onto that power ever since. An elite that has become rich at the expense of the poor has destroyed the national inheritance in pursuit of power and privilege. Of this corrupt elite, Gideon Gono is only the most recent recruit.


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The Star

      Cosatu's major achievement in Zim

      Cosatu's mission to Zimbabwe has contributed a great deal to the
rights of the downtrodden
      February 4, 2005

      By Jovial Rantao

      So, what did Cosatu achieve by spending money on 20 airline tickets to
fly to and be kicked out of Zimbabwe?

      I believe that the mission by Cosatu was phenomenal, and so were its

      As an organisation that prides itself on being a true representative
of the people, in this case workers, it must continue to vociferously fight
for the small man, irrespective of how powerful the government of the day or
the boss is.

      The Cosatu delegation spent a few hours at Harare Airport, and did not
get an opportunity to interact with the workers of Zimbabwe, but I think the
mission should be classified as an unqualified success.

      The actions of Cosatu show that we should never sit back and accept
that things have gone horribly wrong in Zimbabwe - and do nothing about it.

      The mission proves that we should not just accept that Robert Mugabe,
the struggle hero of Zimbabwe, is no longer a good president, but that he,
like George Bush, the president of the most powerful nation in the world,
does not care about what opinion there is out there about him, his policies
and his actions.

      The act by our trade union federation should be a wake-up call to
similar organisations within the Southern African Development Community and
the African Union that they should not to be cowed into submission by the
powerful machinery of governments.

      Cosatu's treatment at the hands of Zimbabwe's officials indicates to
us what members of the Zimbabwean Council of Trade Unions have to endure on
a daily basis.

      The same can be said of the Movement for Democratic Change, a
political party formed on the back of workers' struggle for power in

      The question can be asked: what harm could a Cosatu visit to fellow
workers bring to the people of Zimbabwe and their president? The answer is:

      We can pose another question: what do Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe have
to hide by barring Cosatu from entering that country?

      The answer to this question has to be: there is definitely something
to hide.

      If not, why not allow the Cosatu delegation to arrive in that country,
spend a few hours in Harare and then depart?

      Why is it that Cosatu can meet with the ZCTU in Musina, South Africa,
without drama or controversy, but the same meeting cannot be allowed to take
place inside the Zimbabwean borders?

      The Cosatu delegation was not the first South African political
delegation to visit Zimbabwe. The ANC has been in that country many times to
meet with Zanu-PF and the MDC. Currently, a delegation from the South
African Council of Churches are in Zimbabwe, as guests of their counterparts
there, on a fact-finding mission. Why was the Cosatu delegation viewed and
treated differently?

      From a political strategy point of view, Zimbabwean authorities made a
mistake treating the Cosatu delegation in the manner they did. Would a
smooth Cosatu visit and a meeting with fellow trade union members have had
any impact within and outside Zimbabwe?

      I have serious doubts. I think that the meeting would have been a
low-level media event, relegated to inside pages in our newspapers.

      The Zimbabwean government has, in the manner that it behaved, helped
the cause of Cosatu and the ZCTU by generating the huge amount of publicity
for what was intended as an ordinary act of continental workers' solidarity.
It helped propel Cosatu onto the front pages of this country's major
newspaper and to the top of news bulletins in the electronic media.

      It can be argued that perhaps Mugabe's government became nervous of a
visit by Cosatu taking place so soon before the March 31 elections. This,
however, should not be the case because, while Cosatu's visit would be a
boost to the MDC's cause, there is no doubt that the political situation on
the ground is such that this opposition party cannot freely campaign and
prepare for the poll.

      We should pray that we don't live to see the day when the Cosatus of
this world are silenced by repressive governments of the day; when they just
turn a blind eye to human rights abuses; or when such watchdogs just curl up
and die.

      If that day comes, then the very democracy that we all cherish will be
hurtling towards its grave.

      Cosatu's mission to Zimbabwe was a powerful contribution towards the
cause of the many organisations that fight daily for the rights of the poor
and the downtrodden.

      South Africans should support this trade union federation in its quest
to contribute towards the liberation of Zimbabwean workers and their
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Pretoria News

      Mugabe shows again how intolerant he is
      February 4, 2005

      By Clyde Bawden

      It is difficult to understand why the Zimbabwean government, in spite
of the damage its disastrous policies have caused its people, seems
hell-bent on further tarnishing its image by way of its police-state

      Robert Mugabe's regime has so reduced the standard of living of
millions of Zimbabwean citizens that they now have pauper status and no
immediate prospect of a change for the better.

      With the seizure of white-owned farms accomplished - and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change bludgeoned into submission - one
might have thought Mugabe would change tack and work on improving his
government's relations with his critics to enable him to reverse the damage
his policies have caused.

      No chance of that.

      Instead, he has demonstrated to the whole world what a repressive
state Zimbabwe still is by refusing to allow a harmless Cosatu delegation
into his country to meet its trade union counterparts.

      With the election in Zimbabwe less than two months away, here was a
chance for Mugabe to disarm his detractors by letting the Cosatu dele-gation
visit and thereby showing the world that he has nothing to hide.

      But his strong-arm tactics have reminded us all that the chances of a
free and fair election in Zimbabwe are very slim indeed.

      What hope of a better life do the people of Zimbabwe have under this
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International Journalists' Network

Exiled journalists launch newspaper

Feb 03, 2005

The inaugural issue of the The Zimbabwean - created by exiled journalists
for the Zimbabwean diaspora - is expected on February 11.

The Afrol News service reported that the weekly newspaper will be published
in the United Kingdom, with a South African version published in

Founder Wilf Mbanga is collaborating with other expelled journalists on the
project. Mbanga also founded the Daily News, which was Zimbabwe's only
independent newspaper for four years until the government shut it down in

The Zimbabwean will cater mainly to the country's large diaspora, which
includes about 1 million U.K. residents and about 2 million people in South
Africa. The paper, with an initial print run of about 120,000 copies, will
feature news about the country and features on Zimbabweans living elsewhere.
Mbanga said the newspaper also plans to provide in-depth and independent
coverage of the country's upcoming March elections.

An online version will also be available in mid-February at

Mbanga, who says he hopes to establish relationships with media
organizations within Zimbabwe and with other Zimbabwean journalists, and can
be reached at
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to: with subject line "For: Open Letter Forum".

Thought of the Day:

"Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master
you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight."

Helen Keller.


- Never too late to Fight injustice - Jean Simon
- RE: Zim Dairy Farming - Kevin & Merle Grant
- An Example of Dialogue - J.L. (Willy) Robinson
- On the lighter Side: Never argue with a .... - Dave Clarke

Letter 1: NEVER TOO LATE TO FIGHT INJUSTICE, received 3 February 2005

by Jean Simon

Dear Farmers

I have watched farmers leave their homes, investments, life time savings
and futures behind on their farms as they were hounded off their farms over
the past four years. I see destitute old people, too poor to leave and too
poor to live, wondering around our country. I have watched an injustice
being perpetrated on our people in the name of power and politics and a
country brought to its knees by greed and avarice.

It is never too late to fight against injustice.

It is a sad day when people have to use personal prejudice, self interest
and blatant sexism to try and put somebody down when that person is trying
desperately to survive and help her friends and family.

I don't like what you are saying, Bruce, Willy and Ben, but I will defend
your right to say what you feel.

Best regards

Jean Simon


Letter 2: RE: ZIM DAIRY FARMING, received 3 February 2005

Kevin & Merle Grant

Dear JAG

In reply to the very good letter about Zim dairy farming We also saw the
article and have registered our disgust with the editor of the Farmers

They obviously have decided to bury their heads in the sand and make sure
their farmers live in a comfort zone thats its not too bad too loose ones
home & business!!!!..

Also little do they know most of the milk you buy is sour and of poor
quality and who has managed to get DMB milk lately.

Have just come back from 2 months in Zim!

Best greetings
Kevin & Merle Grant


Letter 3: RE: AN EXAMPLE OF DIALOGUE, received 2 February 2005

by J.L. (Willy) Robinson

The Editor,

I love the power of the simple written word. My wife recently arranged for
a gifts to be given to ex farm staff. (I am not sure that my wife used the
home link system!) One female employee went to one of our friends and
dictated this letter to express her gratitude for the gift - in keeping
with her culture. I have taken the liberty to delete names because I know
how the CIO operate, but otherwise the transcript is as it arrived.

I trust that this simple letter might be published to show why Matabeland
farmers could not be part of the dialogue process of the land reform
programme. This is what dialogue has led to - Matabeleland was not prepared
to be responsible for, or part and parcel of what the Government has done
to the people of Zimbabwe.

Perhaps this is the abundance theory and the successful land reform
programme we read about in The Herald?

J.L. (Willy) Robinson

----- Original Message -----
From: undisclosed

Mrs. Robinson

Thank-you very much for remembering me.  Thanks I saw the post-card and the
bonus. How is everybody there and how is Australia?  You must be very far
from the Zimbabwe.  I hope you will come back.

Things at Ntabende are tough and the situation is just difficult to adjust
to. The homestead has been turned into a primary school, running from Grade
1 to 7.  Teachers stay at your house.  The fruit trees around are dying.
There is no water for watering.  Starters are being stolen now and again
and engines are always down. Mdala's grave (Douglas) is still intact. No
problems there.

There is a lot of gold panning going on at Ntabende.  It starts from
Ntabende steching into 'Italian paddock', 'Turn paddock' and right up to
'Mhlawuli paddock".  There are trenches all over.  Gold is selling for $80
000, 00 a gram.

There is a three stamp mill right at the foot of Ntabende by the power
lines (zesa) crushing the gold ore in the area.  The stamp mill is owned by
Mr. Pretorius an old Falcon boy. Water is a problem, so there is no more
gardening. The rainfall has been poor and life is difficult here as we
depend on the cultivation.

The only viable business is buying and selling especially food stuffs to
gold panners as there are a lot of them.  The problem is cash to order in
bulk in Bulawayo as there is also transport problem.

Dad and mum are not feeling well especially mum is in bad shape (old age)
Dad has also eye sight problems.

Timothey has gone on early retirement and is the only one looking after dad
and mum.  We had left him alone as Rita and I are at our stands.

How is Bhwana, Jackie, Susan and Grandmother. Tell Jackie and Susan to send
me photos showing your new place. Lastly I have given Joe and Saziso their



Letter 4: ON THE LIGHTER SIDE, received 3 February 2005

Never Argue with a .....

by Dave Clarke

A couple goes on vacation to the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. The
husband likes to fish at the crack of dawn. The wife likes to read.

One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides
to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to
take the boat out.

 She motors out a short distance, anchors, and continues to read her book.
Along comes a game warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and
says, "Good morning Ma'am. What are you doing?" "Reading a book," she
replies, (thinking "Isn't that obvious?") "You're in a restricted fishing
area," he informs her.

Yes, officer, but I'm not fishing, I'm reading."
 "Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at
any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up."
 "If you do that I'll have to charge you with sexual assault", says the
woman. "But I haven't even touched you," says the game warden. "That's
true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any

"Have a nice day ma'am", he said and left.

MORAL: Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.

Dave Clarke
On the lighter side.


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(011) 431 068 we're here to help!

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Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR)


by Michael Holman

With their experience of western misrule, Africans appear sceptical that
the West will now do the right thing - in Zimbabwe or elsewhere on the

London - Some eighteen months ago, then American secretary of state Colin
Powell took South Africa's president Thabo Mbeki to task for his handling
of the crisis in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

This week his successor, Condoleeza Rice, entered the fray with a bang.
Along with North Korea, Cuba and other traditional suspects, she put
Zimbabwe on what can only be described as a US hit list.

Rice may well be puzzled by the immediate chorus of derision from Africa,
and the sound of ranks closing; and she is probably baffled by the fact
that President George W Bush trails a very long way behind Zimbabwe's
Robert Mugabe in Africa's popularity stakes.

Let me offer a possible explanation:

Pundits and politicians abroad seem to have forgotten the legacy of western
misrule in Africa, and its contribution to the problems of the continent.
And I suspect that Africa has no confidence that western politicians will,
this time, do the right thing - whether in Zimbabwe or elsewhere on the

After all, patronage of tyranny and tolerance of corruption have long been
at the heart of western policy across Africa, from Kenya under Daniel arap
Moi, to Zaire under Mobutu Sese Seko and Liberia under Samuel Doe.

Today, for all the protestations to the contrary, commercial interests or
strategic concerns continue to take precedence over principles: West
Africa, for example, is expected to provide 20 per cent of US oil imports
in ten years, a forecast that buys political leeway for some of Africa's
most venal and mismanaged governments.

The US and Britain should not be surprised if this doctrine proves to be a
two-edged sword, and provokes what they see as a perverse and irrational
solidarity among the weak.

Britain at least should know better. It has more experience after all. Yet
far from recognising that Africa's past still shapes current events, the
government appears to believe that it can start afresh, without the baggage
of history. For those in Britain who determine policy, it seems that the
continent's history begins when Labour won office.

Life is too short, and we are too busy, one minister told me, to become
bogged down in debate about the shortcomings of colonialism.

But Britain's record in Africa in general, and in southern Africa in
particular, is no better than its record in the Middle East, even if it
does receive less attention.

Just about wherever Britain and the West has been involved, from the Horn
of Africa to the Cape of Good Hope, Africa bears the scars. The legacy
lives on.

Nowhere are the consequences of western misjudgement more evident than
southern Africa, where the denial of responsibility is at its loudest.

Britain was as complicit in the consolidation of white power in Rhodesia in
the early 1960s, as surely as it helped create Iraq's fearsome armoury.

Indeed, from the petty to the profound, Britain has usually got it wrong.

In the 1950s, for example, Britain made clear its dismay at the prospect of
Seretse Khama, who was to become president of Botswana, marrying a white
woman. It was London that effectively vetoed a request from Zambia, on the
verge of independence, for a World Bank loan to build a railway link to the
Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam. Zambia was left dependent on trade routes
which ran through white-ruled Rhodesia, which was to wage a 15- year
struggle against majority rule.

And when Zambia became independent after British rule lasting six decades,
it had barely a dozen university graduates.

It was Britain that imposed the Central African Federation of the Rhodesias
and Nyasaland on the voteless African majority. And it was Britain that
presided over its dissolution, on terms that gave the bulk of the armed
forces to white-ruled Rhodesia, soon to declare illegal independence,
triggering a war that scarred the region. It was Britain that jailed the
leaders of African nationalism in nearly every one of the colonies.

I do not believe that Britain and the US are driven by malice, nor is Tony
Blair pursuing a sinister neo-colonialist strategy. The British prime
minister genuinely believes that the colonial past belongs to the history

He, like Colin Powell, just fails to understand that, as in the Middle
East, Africa's history still shapes events, still moulds values, and still
influences policies.

Perhaps Britain, at least is learning. The visit to Africa last week by UK
finance minister Gordon Brown, may signal a fresh look at the battered

Yet Brown must be careful. He was coming to learn, his advisers said. After
all, it was his first visit to Africa (apart from a stop-over in
Johannesburg a few years ago). He must be a very quick learner, for no
sooner had he landed than he was coming up with policy suggestions, ranging
from a Marshall plan for the continent to more debt relief.

Whether these and other measures will add up to a solution remains to be
seen. And if he has taken back to London a better understanding of the
continent, its problems and its sensitivities, it will be partly because he
has been wearing his historian's hat.

Alas for Africa, its history has, for the most part, been written by its
conquerors, and truth, accuracy and perspective are casualties. The fact is
Britain is still in the process of learning just what really happened
during the colonial period, as two important books published this month
illustrate. A study of Britain's fight against the Mau Mau in Kenya
suggests it was far more brutal than was appreciated at the time; and
Michela Wrong has revealed how the UK government stripped Ethiopia and
Eritrea of its industrial infrastructure in the 1940s.

It is not so much the West's lectures about human rights abuses that
irritate Africa. It is that they are delivered selectively, and are based
on ignorance. All too often the admonitions smack of hypocrisy, coming as
they so often do on behalf of powerful men who may wield big sticks, but
are moral dwarfs.

Michael Holman
(born and brought up in Zimbabwe, was Africa editor of the Financial Times
from 1984 to 2002).

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Hi All

You need to see has DOUBLED, and is already in effect!



 Telephone Charges as at 25th January, 2005
Local land line charges $1140-75 plus vat = $1311-86 per 3 minutes.
Off peak $855-57 plus vat = $983-91.
International- England $2362-05 per minute plus vat = $2716-36. Off peak $2125-98 plus vat =$2444-88 per minute.
South Africa $2063-83 per minute plus vat = $2373-40. Off peak $1849-95 per minute plus vat = $2127-44
Cellphone Charges
$1600 per minute plus vat = $1840.
Off Peak = $1300 per minute plus vat = $1495.
Message $345 each plus vat = $396-75.
South Africa $2758 per minute plus vat = $3171.
Message $726 plus vat = $835.
England $3100 per minute plus vat = $3565.
Message $958 plus vat = $1102.
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Please send any adverts for publication in the JAG Job Opportunities
newsletter to: with subject line "Job Opportunities".


- Employment OFFERED
- Employment SOUGHT - None



1.1 WANTED: Nursery School Teacher, received 20 January 2005

Wanted for nursery school in Avondale a preferably qualified infant or
nursery school teacher, English speaking. Will consider an experienced lady
who has worked in a nursery school before. Also wanted, a person to teach
4-5 year old's basic computers one morning (2 hours) a week during the
school term.

04-884294 afternoons or evenings.


1.2 ACCOUNTANT FOR BLACKFORDBY - URGENT, received 2 January 2005

Accountant wanted to run the accounts department of Blackfordby
Agricultural Institute.  The vacancy exists at Blackfordby Agricultural
Institute in the Concession area.  The position is suited to a couple
retired / semi retired who would live in the country 70km from Harare.

JOB: petty cash to balance sheet including all accounting responsibilities.
Construction of cash flows etc.

PERSON: Accountant / with experience and fully conversant with Pastel V 7.
A competitive salary package is offered with a house and car.


The Principal, Blackfordby Agricultural Institute, P.O. Box EH 197, Emerald
Hill, Harare.

Tel 075 - 2532/3
Fax 075 - 2539
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