ON THE 2ND FEBRUARY AT 12OO HOURS
I, MARCUS HALE, WAS ARRESTED IN HARARE ALONG LORRAINE DRIVE BY NYABIRA POLICE
WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF ENDU MHLANGA'S AND PATRICK MYURAWATA'S YOUTH. THEY
DROVE ME TO MYABIRA POLICE STATION ACCUSSING ME OF STEALING `THEIR'
ELECTRONIC MCB'S OFF `THEIR' BOOSTER PUMP OFF `THEIR' FARM (BRAMFIELD
I WAS THEN QUESTIONED AT THE POLICE STATION AND THE POLICE
CONSTABLE SAID THAT HE KNEW THAT I HAD COMMITTED THE CRIME AND THAT ALL I HAD
TO DO WAS CONFESS, REPLACE THE STOLEN GOODS AND THEN HE WOULDN'T PUNISH ME.
I TOLD HIM THAT I DID NOT REMOVE ANYTHING FROM THE FARM AND THAT THE PROPERTY
IN QUESTION BELONGED TO NAWE FARMING AND NOT TO THE WARVETS.
1500 HOURS ENDY MHLANGA ARRIVED AND PROCEEDED TO TELL THE POLICE THAT HE
WOULD HAVE ME KILLED IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR THE INTERNATIONAL
PRESS COVERAGE. HE HAD A LONG MEETING WITH THE POLICE AND THEN STORMED
JUST BEFORE HE LEFT TWO OF OUR TRACTORS AND TRAILERS WHICH MHLANGA
AND NYURAWATA STOLE IN 2002 DROVE PAST THE POLICE STATION. MY FATHER WHO
HAD JUST ARRIVED POINTED THIS OUT TO THE POLICE. OBVIOUSLY NO ACTION WAS
TAKEN BUT IT DID MANAGE TO INFURIATE MHLANGA SOME MORE.
THEY KEPT ME
IN THE CHARGE OFFICE UNTIL 2100 HOURS AND THEN CHARGED ME WITH THEFT AND
LOCKED ME UP IN THEIR LITTLE JAIL. AT ABOUT 900 HOURS ON THE 3RD FEBRUARY
2004 THEY TOLD ME THAT WE WERE GOING TO GO TO COURT IN CHINOYI. I WAS THEN
HANDCUFFED TO ANOTHER CRIMINAL AND WE PROCEEDED TO WALK TO THE MAIN ROAD SO
THAT WE COULD CATCH A MINIBUS TO GET TO COURT. FORTUNATELY WE MET MY FATHER
ON THE ROAD WHO GAVE US A LIFT TO CHINOYI.
AT ABOUT 1400 HOURS WE HAD THE
HEARING AND IT WAS THROWN OUT OF COURT ON THE GROUNDS THAT THE FARM HAS
RECEIVED NO SECTION 8 AND THE FACT THAT WE HAVE A COURT ORDER TO REMOVE ALL
OF OUR EQUIPMENT THAT THEY HAVE STOLEN FROM US.
I wish to
comment on the issue of illegal immigrants in our peace-loving country.
Public perceptions are being brainwashed in order to build a smokescreen
against a badly tackled issue.
The political leadership of
Botswana should do its job and protect Batswana, even if it means
embarrassing a neighbour and fellow African Robert Mugabe by declaring his
subject who cross into Botswana refugees and not illegal
What is happening in Zimbabwe is a political issue that
can only be resolved politically by the politicians themselves. Apart from
the recent statements by our rulers which shed some light though dim on
Botswana’s political stand with regards to our neighbour, politically we have
added impetus to the deterioration of the situation in Zimbabwe by taking
sides with the rulers in Zimbabwe.
The people (or political,
social, economic, spiritual refugees) have been denied their right of being
granted that status by our country in the name of being neighbourly to our
big brother(s). We have absolutely nothing to gain by pursuing this stand but
everything to lose.
When it suited the big brothers, they sabotaged
our rail system, which for years had helped them during their struggle for
independence. They do not care about the control of foot and mouth disease as
another way of sabotaging our economy.
We are being racist
because when the parents of these refugees were running away from Ian Smith,
our country granted them refugee status. Why can’t this be done today? Is it
because the leadership is African and therefore it will cause embarrassment?
Who is suffering?
When Smith was making his hot pursuit, the
ordinary citizens were blamed for crossing into Rhodesia. Today the same
Motswana is being blamed for employing and accommodating Zimbabweans
(Botswana Daily News, Thursday January 8 2004, p. 4). To me this is all the
ordinary Motswana can showcase to the outside world that we are
On top of that, Batswana are a peace-loving people who
practice the principle of Botho, not only to other Batswana but fellow human
beings. Another issue is that most Batswana cannot afford to advertise for
the jobs they have but they are intelligent enough to know that it is cheaper
to hire a Zimbabwean than a local because those who preach the principle of
being neighbourly without practicing it protect the local.
suggestions to the solution of this problem are:
* Appeal to the
international body responsible for refugees and place these people in refugee
camps instead of state of the art prison for refugees in Francistown. Illegal
immigrants are people who think just like us Batswana and building an
electric fence will not deter them because they know that a line being
constructed is not live, so they sabotage at that stage. These people know
shorter routes through the bush into Botswana and it is naďve for those
concerned to leave these people at the border and think they have solved the
problem. This may compound the issue as they now go back and recruit more
cousins and nephews, including the “Zimbabwean boys being in town” as one
weekly referred to the new imports, the street-boys from
* Do not harass them as they are beyond caring, they have
experienced more harassment than you can offer. What you are doing by
ill-treating them is to add insult to injury. You are creating an enemy from
a person who looked up to you as a saviour. Let us face reality. Some of
these people are jumping the border for the third time in their lifetime
(pre-independence era, 1982-87, and now. Why are they always coming to us? We
should be asking ourselves. Some of us have seen them before 1980, in the
1980s and today and know their plight. Grant them the refugee status not
prison status as they are not the latter. After all refugees are illegal
immigrants at first.
* Government should take a clear stand and
condemn Mugabe and his policies, and give him advice on the issue of good
governance. After all what are SADC and AU for? You are always meeting at
public expense without discussing issues that affect the said
* Be proactive and buy those farms when the economy and
political climates still favour you. If all Members of Parliament can afford
a farm each, then government can afford to buy all the farms around the
former African Reserves.
Please help Zimbabwe by giving these
people refugee status and then the people of the world including those
Zimbabweans who still believe in Mugabe ne zwimbatambwata zwakhe, a term used
for Smith during the liberation wars, will see sense. Let us act now before
it is too late.
Reporter Zimbabweans were yesterday outraged to learn about the plot by some
powerful politicians and businessmen to discredit Reserve Bank Governor Dr
Gideon Gono, and war veterans vowed to leave no stone unturned in exposing
those behind the plot.
Many condemned the plot to character
assassinate the person of Dr Gono, whose monetary policy is still in its
infancy but is producing tangible results.
They said such plans were
by people who did not have the interests of the country at heart and such
people, if they were politicians, were not fit to represent anyone. Zimbabwe
National Liberation War Veterans Association vice- president Cde Joseph
Chinotimba said the former combatants would leave no stone unturned in
finding those behind the plot.
"We want The Herald to release the names
of those people so that we can deal with them whoever they are because they
cannot claim to be genuine Zimbabweans.
"We did not go to war so that
only a few people can benefit and we are definitely going to call an
emergency meeting as an association so that we can deal with this issue," Cde
Economic commentator Dr Samuel Undenge said there was
need to form a united stand against people seeking to undo the good work that
Dr Gono was doing.
"We have two choices — either to stand up for the good
of the economy or to stand by and watch the economy going down.
cannot let a few people benefit at the expense of the majority of people in
the country because this is what people have been waiting for and there can
be no reversal because this will mean a return to hardships.
stabilised and you can actually see relief on the faces of many people, which
shows that we are moving in the right direction," he said.
Dr Gono has
vowed to continue implementing his five-year monetary policy despite the
unearthing of the plot to discredit him.
Contacted for comment, Dr Gono’s
spokesperson said he refuses to be drawn into matters designed to distract
him from the assignments at hand.
"The governor wishes to assure the
Government, industry and commerce and the nation at large that ‘mission
abandonment’, as defined in the monetary policy, is not an option, neither is
it a failure to turn around this economy in the long run," said the
spokesperson who identified herself as Denise.
"He is appealing to all
stakeholders to remain focused and work together for the good of our country.
For every bad apple out there, the governor believes there are a million
angels in the form of Zimbabweans from all walks of life who want to see our
economy improving. Those are the people who matter, and of course, God," she
The plot against Dr Gono includes a number of measures such as
attacking Dr Gono’s person using the private Press.
The plotters have
also proposed to seek the assistance of the MDC to make the plan a success.
The plotters alleged that Dr Gono was using former CBZ marketing executive Mr
Jonah Mungoshi as a front for his alleged asset management
But Mr Mungoshi yesterday refuted the allegations.
have no knowledge of any asset management company belonging to Dr Gono and I
am not employed by him," he said.
The plotters reportedly set aside
millions of dollars for the campaign that is also meant to attack Dr Gono’s
A number of secret meetings are now being held to map out
ways of smearing Dr Gono by the businessmen and politicians who feel the
governor is frustrating their illegal businesses and political careers.
Butaumocho HARAREs landscape has witnessed a dramatic change with the
sprouting of upmarket shopping malls in and around the capital and high-rise
buildings as the city competes with trends in the developing world.
note is the shift by developers from conventional housing to flats
and cluster houses, particularly evident in affluent residential
Modern offices commonly referred to as "industrial parks" situated
in the northern suburbs have become the order of the day as companies flee
from congested office spaces in the Central Business Development
Development in central Harare, especially the CBD, had declined,
a development hastened by the movement of "poor people" and vendors into
the city centre.
This had also resulted in companies and individuals
moving further away from the city centre to suburban premises, which were
formally residential properties.
Developers on the other hand were
also pouring millions of dollars in the construction of state-of-the-art
offices comprising tennis courts and gym facilities to meet the demands of
the growing "sophisticated clientele".
This new phenomenon was apparently
not a new experience on the continent but had also become a trademark of
development in other African countries.
South Africas major cities
boasted of upmarket shopping malls such as the Canalwalk in Cape Town where
shoppers could buy anything from furniture to clothing and also dine under
The shopping malls open till late in the evening, giving the
working class the opportunity of shopping with ease after a hard days
Similar shopping malls were becoming a common feature in Zimbabwes
new residential areas.
Unlike a few years ago when developers either
renovated or built shops along the main streets, developers were now keen on
building shopping malls instead.
Some of the most exciting shopping
malls in Harare include High Glen close to Budiriro, Eastgate in Harares CBD,
Westgate and another one in Chitungwiza constructed by insurance giant, Old
Bulawayo and Mutare also boast of shopping malls in Nkulumane and
"Shopping malls lessen the burden for town
planners. There is a neat arrangement of buildings and better still state-of-
the-art buildings in one complex," said a site planner with one of the
property development firms in the country.
He said by concentrating on
building shopping malls, developers were merely responding to the needs of
the market that had seen business units restructuring their operations in
line with international trends.
"The global economy has generated
enormous pressure on Zimbabwes cities and others in the continent by forcing
businesses to become globally competitive.
"It then becomes imperative
for a company with business dealings with another company in England or Hong
Kong to adopt an international strategy if its business is to prosper," he
He said shopping malls were not as expensive as high rise
buildings, which required for instance many other accessories like
Elevators require regular maintenance and this had proved a
costly exercise as seen in some buildings in the CBD where elevators had
become dangerous due to lack of maintenance.
This physical impact of
globalisation had also seen the growth and improvement of infrastructure in
other African cities such as Johannesburg, Lagos, Pretoria and Durban just to
name a few.
Construction of flats, cheap and reasonable accommodation,
and shopping malls and out of town offices in upmarket suburbs had since
become part and parcel of regional town planning initiatives.
means that city planners and developers in capital cities have to come up
with infrastructure that would meet demands of their growing
City of Harare was no exception.
Harare has witnessed
growth of modern offices and glittering shopping malls in the last couple of
years, but little has been done to alleviate the residential accommodation
crisis currently haunting city dwellers.
Development currently taking
place in the CBD, northern suburbs that include Borrowdale and Westgate, does
not tally with what was taking place in some residential areas in the
Mbare, Mufakose, Highfield and Glen View are some
of the areas in the southwestern areas where no meaningful development had
taken place because of unavailability of land.
This had resulted in
the upsurge of squatter camps or unplanned settlements.
Institute of Zimbabwe (REIZ) spokesperson said the continued decay of the
city of Harare was the result of a collapsed service that the municipality
was obliged to offer residents.
"About 10 years ago, Harare as a city had
made significant strides in developing infrastructure, but this had since
"It (Harare) of course still remains one of the cities in
Africa with the best infrastructure, but the standards have plummeted to
unbelievable levels, hence the sprouting of shopping malls and up-market
offices in suburban areas," the official said.
The official however
added that the decline of standards in Harare should not be left entirely to
One of the major problems facing Harare that has
stalled development was the shortage of land for both commercial and
The few hectares of land available for development
was prohibitive, making it impossible for the ordinary person to
Concerned about the increased shortage of land for development
in Harare, REIZ president Mr Nico Kuipa recently urged Government and the
Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, through
local authorities to assist the private sector by providing land for office
parks, shopping malls and factories.
"We need the municipalities to
assist us by availing prime land to set up commercial and industrial
infrastructure without first having to pull down existing ones to later
construct new structures on the same piece of land," said Mr Kuipa.
Kuipa said Harare, which was the epitome of the countrys economy, but did not
have the space it needed for commercial and industrial purposes, was a clear
indication of similar problems being faced by other towns in the country.
Reporter THE national airline, Air Zimbabwe, has been suspended by the
International Air Transport Association (IATA) over a US$1,3 million
The suspension means the airline can no longer book its passengers
on other airlines plying routes that it does not service.
Clearing House is the internationally-recognised method through which
airlines settle bills owed to each other.
Air Zimbabwe said in a
statement yesterday the debt owed to IATA stood at US$1,9 million as at
January 27, but was yesterday reduced to US$1,3 million after a payment of
The debt was already in arrears by 17 days.
from this delay in payment, the IATA Clearing House invoked the right to
suspend the airline from the clearing house with effect from the 2nd of
February 2004," the airline said in a statement.
"Concerted efforts to
pay the remaining balance in the shortest possible time so as to regain
membership of the clearing house are at an advanced stage."
airline blamed the shortage of foreign currency for failing to service the
It said it still remained an active member of IATA despite being
suspended from the clearing house.
"Over the past 12 months, Air
Zimbabwe has been facing problems procuring foreign currency to meet its
foreign currency denominated commitments," the airline said.
airline expresses sincere apologies to inconveniences that this temporary
suspension may occasion."
The airline advised passengers holding its
tickets for travel to destinations it does not fly and intending to fly
within the next seven days to contact its nearest sales offices.
turnaround strategy, the airline said, had been instituted for repositioning
to meet challenges.
The strategy was beginning to realise some positive
"The turnaround strategy will see Air Zimbabwe transforming
itself into a commercially viable entity," the airline said.
parliamentary committee last year called for the amendment of the
Air Zimbabwe Act to ensure the airline was granted an option to
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr
Herbert Murerwa said in his budget statement last year the national airline
should charge economic fares on all routes.
This would ensure its
viability, which is critical for its operations, the promotion of tourism and
The Government was also looking for a strategic partner
for the airline.
Air Zimbabwe lost its competitive edge in the last few
years and was battling to pay creditors who have to be paid in foreign
The airline has been battling against operational problems that
have seen it losing a number of key personnel within the last few
HARARE, Feb. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) said here
on Tuesday that the organization would remain on alert against a resurgence
of a cholera outbreak which has killed 40 people in the country since
The authorities this week declared the cholera
outbreak which devastated the northern districts of Zimbabwe over, but the
WHO said it was still monitoring the situation.
"We have put
in place mechanisms to ensure that we pick it up as soon as it resurfaces,"
said a WHO spokesman.
"We can not completely kick out cholera;
it's like a flu. You always have it now and then but we can always be alert
to detect it early," the spokesman said.
Cholera was first
detected in the Mola area of Kariba district last November, where it killed
19 people and affected 600 others.
An infected corpse that was
transferred for burial in neighboring Binga district triggered a fresh
outbreak there, which resulted in a further 17 deaths and 101 cases which
were successfully treated.
The outbreak was declared over in
December but new cases surfaced in January, resulting in four deaths,
according to reports.
The WHO spokesman said awareness among
health personnel was a key weapon against the disease, which can cause death
within 48 hours if not treated.
"Wherever there is an
increase in diarrhoea, health workers must test if it's cholera," he
International organizations including the WHO, the
International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies helped
with funds and other resources to bring the scourge under
Cholera is a highly contagious disease whose symptoms
include diarrhoea and fits of vomiting. Enditem
In mid December, the new Reserve Bank
Governor announced a new monetary policy for Zimbabwe. This was much heralded
- the Minister of Finance had said it was coming in the November budget
statement and then the Governor himself had said that he would be announcing
far-reaching measures. The State controlled media and the bank itself
carefully orchestrated the actual announcement. Television crews recorded the
statement as it was being made and copies were rushed to the financial
It was long - 114 pages, had some poor English in it but in
substance he announced that there would be two major changes to the way the
Bank had done business in the recent past. These were: -
1. He would
allow the dual interest rate policy to continue - allowing the State to
borrow at low rates to fund its activities and budget deficit but requiring
the "productive sector" to pay a market related rate. There would be an end
to Reserve Bank support for illiquid financial institutions.
2. He would
introduce an auction for foreign exchange and half the Governments statutory
purchases of foreign exchange from exporters would be directed through this
mechanism. He also tightened up the rules for the use of the other 50 per
cent retained by the exporters.
To say that the impact was dramatic is to
put it mildly. Interest rates in the private sector shot up from about 100
per cent per annum to over 900 per cent and when the auction was opened
exchange rates firmed about 40 per cent. From about 6000 to 1 for the US
dollar to about 3500 to 1 where it was yesterday on the auction.
banking sector was taken by surprise and the 17 commercial banks and 20 odd
Merchant Banks and 100 or so other financial institutions suddenly found
themselves operating in an environment of punitive interest rates on all
commercial borrowing. The Reserve Bank sat back and watched events unfold for
two full weeks before acting. Essentially what happened was that all
financial institutions which had a poor quality debt book and were highly
geared simply crashed. The banks passed on the massive hike in interest rates
to their surviving customers and many major firms suddenly found themselves
paying out their entire annual profits in interest in a matter of
8 commercial banks (almost half all the registered commercial
banks) failed to cover their short-term requirements and could not meet
their obligations. Dozens of smaller merchant banks were plunged into a
financial crisis and in boardrooms across the country directors of firms
When the Governor eventually acted to rectify
matters he liquidated two of the delinquent institutions, replaced the Board
of another and then simply reversed his carefully constructed policy and
allowed "unlimited" credit to the affected banks at 30 per cent interest.
That is 5 per cent of the current official inflation rate of 600 per cent per
annum. Interest rates collapsed and it is now difficult to even find an
institution that will take surplus cash on an interest bearing deposit basis.
Cash has fled from the vaults of the worst affected institutions and made its
way to the more reputable ones who are now awash with liquidity. Chaos
The immediate effect has been to cripple many new; mainly Zanu
PF controlled financial institutions. A number of high flyers who have
been living it up on other peoples money are now in prison and a
widespread investigation is underway. It is doubtful that most of these
institutions will be able to survive without long term support by the Reserve
Bank and other government controlled agencies - like the National Social
Security Authority. Soft loans have been extended to all the major firms, who
were in trouble because of their highly geared status, but these are only
for six months and then the whole issue must be faced again. There is
no certainty or confidence in what will happen next. And in the meantime,
the whole cycle of speculation and inflation has started up again. The
Stock market, which crashed by 50 per cent before Christmas is now
rapidly recovering the ground lost.
In the field of exchange rate
management the Bank has fared a bit better, but the crunch, followed by
collapse of the present policy is only a matter of time. The idea of the
auction system came from the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and was
adopted so that the working group that developed these ideas did not have to
use the word "devaluation", as this is an anathema to the State President.
But they went even further, why not use this mechanism to drive down the
exchange rate and thereby reduce inflationary pressures?
announced that the new auction would be "controlled" by the Bank. A colleague
with vast experience of Africa said to me - when I welcomed the auction idea,
"watch how they run the auction - they will manipulate the process and in
doing so will undermine its effectiveness." Well they are doing just that.
Yesterday the Bank put US$8 million on offer, accepted bids for US$10 million
and put 300 other bids - of an undisclosed value on hold. They then
"accepted" bids within narrow margins and announced an "average" exchange
rate of 3500 to 1. The Bank staff is boasting that they will get the rate
down even lower.
Well, perhaps I went to a different University to all
those clever guys, but an auction to me means that you put the product on the
table and then accept the highest bid made. That is not happening and all
that is happening is that certain people (selected on goodness knows what
criteria) are being allowed to buy a scarce commodity at a low price. They of
course, are delighted and will no doubt sing Gono's praise and vote Zanu PF
at every opportunity.
But the impact on our exporters and other
foreign exchange generators has been immediate and serious. Many, if not
most, are now considering their options. Many are considering halting exports
altogether. Chaos prevails.
The only real market arbiter remains the
street - dangerous, illegal and inefficient. That says the auction rate is
nonsense and traders are bidding for the greenback at 4500 to 5000 to 1 - and
rising. Gono, like many of his colleagues in government, will have to learn
the lesson all businessmen learn when in kindergarten - you cannot buck the
market indefinitely or even for a short time. Every time I do a spell check
on my computer it changes Gono's name to Goon, perhaps there is some truth to
E G Cross Bulawayo, 3rd February
__________________________________________________ Letter 2 Dear
friends and colleagues,
As a way of introducing you to Weaver Press, I am
writing to inform you that we have recently published three new titles, A
Tragedy of Lives: women in prison in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe's Unfinished
Business: Rethinking Land, State and Nation in the Context of Crisis, and The
Assassination of Herbert Chitepo: Texts and Politics in Zimbabwe. Further
information about all these, and all our other titles is available on our
Details of where to purchase the books if you are living outside Zimbabwe is
also available on the site.
The books are available in all good
bookshops, but should you have any difficulty obtaining them, please call or
Zimbabwe's Unfinished Business will shortly be launched at the
Book Cafe by invitation only. If you would like an invitation to the launch,
please let us know.
Thank you for your time. Your support will help us
to keep ideas alive in Zimbabwe.
might want to go to our Website for information on this month's
Letter 3 Hi, I am writing from the USA and was hoping
you might tell me if the name Mr. Martin Tillotson shows anywhere there in
Zimbabwe??? We were told he was a foreign national, resident engineer who
was in heavy duty farm equipment. Can you possibly shed any light on this
person for us??? This is very important as we are researching some of our
family members and want to either include him or exclude him from our tree.
Thank you so much for your time. Helen firstname.lastname@example.org
letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions of the
submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice for
for Agriculture mailing list To subscribe/unsubscribe: Please write to email@example.com
Here is the ad we want put onto the employment section of your JAG
Mature lady required as a secretary for a small Auto electrical
company in town centre. Needed for 3 mornings a week to do banking,
invoicing, creditors, filing etc
Phone: 04 790266 011
414050 011 420777
Thanks for your help. See you
Sir/ Madam We have a vacancy for a mornings only Bookeeper / General Admin /
Wages etc. It would suit a farmers wife now living in town. Do you know
of anyone looking for something similar - to start ASAP. Please contact
Martin on 750617, 748189 or 011 412331. 3. 29.01.2004
How can we go about placing an ad in your classified section for a
position available ?
Details as follows :
Looking for a young
farm manager (male environment), preferably with : Minimum of 2 years tobacco
growing experience Some other crop knowledge (maize & passion fruit an
advantage) Must be able to shoot (some game culling required) Preferably
Interested parties please reply to : Imire, Wedza Tel
Nos : (022) 2354 (Farm Office) (022) 22255 (Owners Residence
Mr. J. Travers) (022) 2449 or 22257 (Game Park Lodges - may take a
message) It is best to phone first and then book an
appointment. Alternatively, by post : Imire Farm P.Bag 3750.
Thank you, please let us know how to go about placing this
J.N. Travers 4. 29.01.2004 I wish to place an advert on your e
mail site (and perhaps the CFU,s site but dont have their e mail
I am looking for a farm manager with a minimum of five years
flue cured tobacco experience to work on a farm in Malawi. Knowledge of
forced air systems would be an advantage. For further details please e
mail firstname.lastname@example.org or
write to K Buckle, Box 5358. Limbe Malawi. Good package offered for the right
person. 5. 21.01.2004 I was wondering if you would be able to place this
ad in your classified's:
URGENT - Farm Manager wishing to relocate to
Harare - looking for house to rent at a reasonable rate. Please
contact: Belinda Van Vuuren - 04 492 442 or 011 614 643 or e'mail email@example.com
the latest listings of accommodation available for farmers, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
(updated 4 February
for Agriculture mailing list To subscribe/unsubscribe: Please write to email@example.com
February 4, 2004 Posted to the web February 4,
THIRTEEN heads of Government schools have been
suspended pending disciplinary hearings after they increased levies without
approval from the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture.
development associations of the same 13 Government schools have been
dissolved. The associations are responsible for setting the levies.
schools - whether Government, local Government or private - need
written approval from the ministry before they increase fees or levies by
more than 10 percent.
In a statement yesterday, the Minister of
Education, Sport and Culture Cde Aeneas Chigwedere, gave the following list
of schools whose heads had been suspended and school development associations
Prince Edward High
Mutare Boys High
Godfrey Huggins Primary
Cde Chigwedere said the 13 schools should
immediately fall back to the levies and fees they charged last
"Only after the schools have tabled proposals that are accepted by
the ministry can they effect new fees," he said.
Parents who had
already paid the new and "illegal" fees should have the excess credited
against the fees and levies due next term.
"They should go to the schools
and make that arrangement."
The ministry was continuing investigations
and teams were at work in all regions.
"We sometimes get unreliable
reports and we do not want to act on such information. For that reason, we
still have teams out in full force scouting for those who are breaking the
The procedure for raising fees or levies by more than 10 percent
is relatively simple. The school development association or board of
governors needs to call a meeting of parents, giving adequate
The parents need to be told why fees or levies need to be raised
and their questions should be addressed. At the end of the meeting a formal
vote has to be taken on whether the proposed fee or levy is
The school then has to forward to the relevant regional
director, copies of the notice of the meeting, the register listing the names
of those who attended, the minutes of the meeting and the budget used to
arrive at the new figure.
In most cases, so long as a substantial
majority of parents attending the meeting have agreed to the new figure and
so long as the other papers are in order, approval is granted.
how some private schools wishing to raise fees to around $7 million a term
for tuition and boarding have managed to obtain approval. Other schools,
wanting far lower fees cannot legally charge these because they have not gone
through the correct process.
Several schools that had raised fees or
levies without even holding a parents meeting have been holding frantic
meetings over the past fortnight in a desperate and belated attempt to meet
the requirements of the Ministry.
February 4, 2004 Posted to the web February 4,
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has
declared the by-election on Monday and Tuesday in the central Zimbabwean
constituency of Gutu North as "peaceful."
The seat fell vacant
following the death of vice-president Simon Muzenda, and was contested by
retired air marshal Josiah Tungamirai of the ruling ZANU-PF party and Crispen
Musona from the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change
Reginald Matchaba-Hove, chairman of ZESN, said he had spent three
days on the ground "and I have not noticed any intimidation or party
T-shirts" in the vicinity of the polling stations.
ZESN reported on
Tuesday that European Union diplomats had been denied entry to some of the
voting locations. Matchaba-Hove explained that the incident had occurred at
only one polling station, where the polling official in charge had not been
briefed about the visit. The delegation eventually gained
According to political analyst Brian Raftopoulos, Gutu North is
an important constituency, because it is located in Masvingo, the province
with the largest electoral population in the country. The constituency in
itself has 59,390 eligible voters.
"It is also an important
constituency in terms of ZANU-PF politics. Whoever wins the constituency for
ZANU-PF, because of the vast number it controls, will play an important role
in the succession battle within ZANU-PF," Raftopoulos commented. He expected
Tungamirai to win comfortably.
February 4, 2004 Posted to the web February 4,
Juliana Taiwo Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has
in a letter to President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, demanded the
reinstatement of Brother Lovemore Matombo, President of the Zimbabwe Congress
of Trade Unions (ZCTU), who was relieved of his appointment by the Zimbabwean
Postal Organisation (ZIMPOST) last month.
NLC in the letter written
through the Zimbabwean High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. K. L. Dube and
signed by its General Secretary, John Odah, labour noted that Matombo who was
relieved of his appointment on January 23, 2003 for absenting himself from
duty, was away abroad attending the Congress of the Organisation of Africa
Trade Union Unity (OATUU), to which the ZCTU is an affiliate.
alleged that the sack was aimed at intimidating and harassing workers
in order to hamstring labour movement in the country.
of his appointment was at the behest of your government, as part of
wide-ranging measures implemented to intimidate and harass legitimate
opposition, especially the trade union movement."
NLC described as unfair
and unjustifiable the termination of the appointment of Matombo, stressing
that the action does no credit at all to Mugabe's administration in the
comity of other civilised African nations, whose trade union leaders also
attended the OATUU Congress.
The NLC urged Mugabe to cause the
appropriate directives to be issued towards Matombo's reinstatement and
lifting of the suspension on the other members of his union's executive body.
The union also stressed that despite the tense and difficult situation in
Zimbabwe, there is "robust space for a wider margin of tolerance by your
government in relating with the ZCTU, notwithstanding her critical view of
the governance situation."
"Indeed, international law and international
labour standards oblige you to engage the trade movement in a more liberal
way that is devoid of the high-handed tactics, which are all too often
unleashed on the ZCTU and its leadership. Nigeria workers call on your
Excellency to remedy the situation in line with the aspirations of Zimbabwean
workers and people and consistent with international law and labour
standards", it said.
February 4, 2004 Posted to the web February 4,
Dumisani Muleya Johannesburg
ZIMBABWEAN police have again
banned the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) from spreading the word on
its proposed economic rescue plan, this time in the Midlands city of Gweru
MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said his party had been told
by the officer commanding Gweru urban station a chief superintendent known
only by the surname of Mbewe that the party was prohibited from unveiling its
economic recovery plan because of a lack of adequate manpower to provide
President Robert Mugabe's regime had banned the launch of the
MDC economic policy Restart (Reconstruction, Stabilisation, Recovery and
Transformation) in Gweru tomorrow, Nyathi said.
The MDC launched its
revival policy in Harare last week, but not without a trip to the Harare High
Court to have a ban on its meeting overturned. The court issued an eleventh
hour rescue, which allowed that meeting to take place.
The MDC said it
would once again file a high court application seeking to overturn the
unlawful ban on the unveiling of the plan.
The MDC plans to unveil its
Revival plan in Bulawayo on Friday.
It was "a big shame" for the
government that the MDC had to go to court every time it sought to outline
its policies, Nyathi said.
"It is a clear admission that Zanu (PF) is no
match to the MDC programme, and now Mugabe through his partisan police force
seeks to deny the people of Zimbabwe access to the economic
Nyathi said it was ironic for a government that often claimed
the MDC had no policies to scramble to stop his party from launching its
economic recovery plan.
"Zimbabweans are no doubt wondering why Zanu
(PF) seeks to stop the people knowing the contents of that
Meanwhile in Harare, state radio said voter turnout was heavy
in a parliamentary by-election in southern Zimbabwe where the opposition
said balloting was marred by intimidation and vote rigging.
two-day poll ended yesterday in the ruling party's stronghold of Gutu, 240km
south of Harare to fill the seat left vacant by the death of
former vice-president Simon Muzenda in September last year.
February 4, 2004 Posted to the web February 4,
HARARE City Council has been hit by a massive exodus
of key staff from all departments, putting under threat the efficient
delivery of service to the capital city of 2,5 million people.
January and December last year, council lost 170 workers, with 99 of them
being nursing staff and 28 from the department of works.
Council has an
establishment of 10 500 workers but currently employs 8 600, meaning it has a
deficit of 1 900 workers.
Sources said the resignations - blamed on poor
salaries, unprofessional political interference and unfavourable working
conditions - spared no department and some heads of departments had also
indicated intentions to leave.
A senior employee cited examples of
council's failure to provide housing stands and educational allowances to key
staff as reasons for the exodus.
Information from Town House also
indicates that deaths were a major cause of the staff deficit, with high
deaths recorded in the works and housing departments.
like engineers complained they were not provided with transport and retention
allowances while some said they were denied overtime pay.
sometimes asked to work over weekends and after hours. After reporting for
such duties, we are then asked to go home by public transport," said one
The engineers complained their salaries were pathetic, with
some of them taking home as little as $200 000 per month while their
counterparts in the private sector earn in excess of $3 million a month and
enjoy several benefits.
Town clerk Mr Nomutsa Chideya confirmed the
resignations and said council was doing all it could to save the
"We are looking at improving the salaries and working conditions of
He said some of the workers just stopped reporting for
duty without giving notice and the next council would hear was that the
workers had left for the United Kingdom.
"Yes, we have lost a good
number of engineers and nurses. We are looking at addressing their concerns,"
Some of the workers cited undue interference from politicians in
their daily operations, while some said council ignored the professional
recommendations they made.
"We tell them what to do and what not to do
but they are adamant, they know better than us. It is better to leave the
institution before it crumbles," one senior official said.
leaving before the situation had deteriorated further would save some of them
Sources within council told The Herald that if the situation
went unchecked for another month, the city would crumble.
hit departments were those of works and health services.
engineers and nursing staff are leaving the council on a
"The law department, where about 12 lawyers should be
employed, only had one.
"The rest have left because council does not
pay well," said one official.
Other essential staff like horticulturists,
social workers and specialists have all left.
Harare residents have
over the years been complaining over the shoddy delivery of service mostly
involving burst water and sewer pipes, which can go for days without being
"The engineers are now taking it easy and are not responding to
distress calls," said one worker who spoke on condition of anonymity.
ARMED anti-riot police yesterday thwarted a demonstration
organised by the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and allegedly
severely beat up the organisationâ€™s chairman, Lovemore Madhuku, whom they
are said to have left for dead in a bush near the National Sports Stadium on
the outskirts of the city centre.
When a Daily News crew arrived at
the dumpsite adjacent to the National Sports Stadium where he had been left,
Madhuku was lying in a pool of blood as sympathisers were making plans to
take him to hospital.
The outspoken constitutional expert, who sustained
lacerations on his head and serious injuries all over his body, was admitted
to a private hospital.
The NCA has over the years engaged in running
battles with the police over several demonstrations held by the organisation
to press the government to craft a new constitution.
in pain and withdrawn due to excessive bleeding, said he could not recall
some of yesterdayâ€™s events because he had lost consciousness before he was
â€śThe last time I remember was when they were saying I was
stubborn and had to be eliminated,â€ť Madhuku said from the hospital bed
where he was recovering.
â€śI was picked up outside the Parliament
building together with eight members and pushed into a truck by the
â€śThe others were dropped off on the way and then six police
officers started beating me with batons and fists. I remember one police
detail saying that I had to be eliminated once and for all.â€ť
said he was having difficulty hearing. The NCA chairman also said he was in
severe pain after sustaining wounds on his head.
Police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena, who had earlier indicated that he would comment on the matter,
was no longer reachable at the time of going to print last
Ernest Mudzengi, the NCA spokesman, said the organisation had
not sought police permission for its demonstration.
â€śWe believe that
it is the duty of responsible citizens to disobey bad laws. The Public Order
and Security Act â€“ POSA â€“ is a bad law. The attempt by the police on
Madhukuâ€™s life is ample proof that we are now dealing with a thuggish
government bent on eliminating its perceived enemies.â€ť
youths who were beaten by the police were yesterday receiving treatment at a
private surgery and said the police had set vicious dogs on
â€śWe had to run for our lives after we were beaten up,â€ť said one
of the NCA members.
Madhuku said his organisation would continue to
demonstrate until its goals were achieved.
â€śIn fact, there will be
more and more demonstrations,â€ť said Madhuku, who was struggling to
â€śWhat has happened today is actually igniting the flame for a
new constitution. We will not be deterred by the beatings and cruelty of
this regime. They can only stop us by killing us.â€ť
THE High Court will this morning make a determination on an
urgent application filed by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
yesterday against the decision by the police to bar the launch of the
partyâ€™s economic blueprint in Gweru this afternoon.
The MDC sought
relief from the High Court yesterday after the police said they would not
sanction the meeting at the Gweru Theatre to publicly launch its economic
Todayâ€™s matter, to be heard by Justice Rita Makarau, comes
less than a week after another High Court judge, Justice Charles Hungwe,
overruled the police and granted a similar application by the MDC to be
allowed to hold the launch of the Restart programme in Harare on Friday
Feb 4 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe police arrested more than 100 people on Wednesday
during a crackdown on an anti-government protest, witnesses said.
leader of the protest, an outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe, said
he was assaulted and severely injured while leading the demonstration, which
was illegal under Zimbabwe law.
Zimbabwe's tough security laws bar
political and civic organisations from holding meetings or demonstrations
without police permission, but critics say the law is being used to to
suppress opposition against Mugabe's government in the face of a deep
political and economic crisis.
Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of political
pressure group National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), said police had
detained 116 people near a square in central Harare where the NCA was to hold
a demonstration to press its demands for constitutional
Madhuku said the NCA had no police permit for the
Police spokesmen were not immediately available for
comment, but witnesses at the scene said they saw police move in on the
protesters and load a number of them into security vans. Madhuku said riot
police had beat him with batons, kicked him all over his body, bundled him
into a truck and later dumped him on the outskirts of Harare.
suffered head and back injuries. I have lacerations all over my body,
and they only dumped me after I had a gash in the head and was bleeding,"
he said. His injuries could not be independently confirmed.
said about 20 other people were assaulted, and one man had also suffered
severe head and body injuries.
Zimbabwe police can detain people for up
to 48 hours before bringing them to court.
Mugabe, Zimbabwe's ruler
since the southern African country gained independence from Britain in 1980,
denies he has ruined one of Africa's most promising economies with his
controversial political and economic policies.
The 79-year-old leader
says Zimbabwe's economic crisis is a result of sabotage by Western and local
opponents seeking to overthrow him mainly for seizing white-owned farms for
THE proposed alteration of the
boundaries of Chikomba and Kadoma Rural District Councils, which will place
at least 150 farms under the control of Kadoma, has sparked a bitter row
between Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and the ruling ZANU PF
leadership in Chikomba.
The Local Government Ministry announced the
proposal in an advertisement published on 22 January, provoking an outcry
from traditional chiefs, resettled farmers and the ruling party leadership in
A group of farmers, including Chikomba Member of Parliament
Bernard Makokove, have formed a committee to protest the proposed transfer of
their properties to Kadoma.
The committee last week petitioned the
Ministry of Local Government, objecting to the proposed alterations and
characterising them as part of â€śpolitical machinations of certain people
who harbour a sinister and mischievous agenda against Chikomba Rural District
â€śThere is a serious political and security risk in forcibly
excising the properties from Chikomba to Kadoma,â€ť the farmers said in a
petition submitted to Vincent Hungwe, the secretary for Local Government,
Public Works and National Housing by Harare lawyer Obert Chaurura-Gutu on
â€śThe proposed excision of a big portion of Chikomba will
leave the local population angry. These people will feel marginalised and
this is a sure recipe for political instability.â€ť
complained that the leadership of Chikomba Rural District Council had not
been consulted and had not been given a chance to voice their objections to
the proposed boundary changes.
Chaurura-Gutu said: â€śThe local
population has also not been consulted, regardless of the fact that if the
excision is approved, it will have far-reaching consequences on the local
community, especially pertaining to their farming activities.
will note that if the proposed excision is approved, wards one, seven and
eight, which are all resettlement wards, will be annexed into Kadoma Rural
District Council. This will effectively mean that the Chikomba
District Council as a whole will only be left with Charter Estate and a few
model A2 farms. This will mean that Chikomba Rural District Council will lose
a total of 150 farmers to Kadoma Rural District Council.â€ť
farmersâ€™ lawyer added: â€śOur client is made up of the local political
leadership in Chikomba district and these are the people who have been very
active in ensuring that the people of Chikomba are given adequate land for
resettlement. The proposed excision of a big portion of Chikomba district
will, therefore, leave the local population angry.â€ť
district co-ordinating committee for Chikomba warned that the boundary
dispute could fuel ethnic conflict within ZANU PF, while Chiefs Mutekedza,
Chivese and Nyoka said they felt belittled and cheated by the proposed
excision of part of Chikomba without their consent.
all over the world have created ethnic conflicts,â€ť reads part of a letter
written by the ZANU PF co-ordinating committee (Chikomba) to the party
provincial chairman for Mashonaland East.
â€śAs the local political
leadership, we do not want to be party to this destabilising legacy being put
forward by Comrade (Ignatius) Chombo. Be advised that the British, the
Americans and other infectious imperialist elements, which are anti-Zimbabwe
and anti-ZANU PF, will use this opportunity to fuel discontent and hence try
to make the country ungovernable.â€ť
The letter added: â€śEach time
his Excellency the President appoints a local government minister from
Mashonaland West, the divisive talk of boundary changes for Chikomba is
revived. Why is this so? Is there a hidden agenda?â€ť
PRESS RELEASE February 4, 2004 Posted
to the web February 4, 2004
In a move likely to have serious
repercussions for the development of the telecommunications industry in
Zimbabwe, the government has called to life the monopoly of its fixed phone
company, TelOne, as the only legal gateway to all incoming and outgoing
international communications services in the country.
According to the
government gazette of January 29 2004, the Telecommunications Services
Regulations 2004, states that any operator providing direct international
telecommunication services must cease operations within the next 30 days and
make appropriate measures to comply with the new regulations.
government gazette, Statutory Instrument 18/04 provides that TelOne shall
with effect from January 31 provide access to all
international telecommunications services and provide international
interconnection capacity to all other public licensed telecommunications
including internet companies.
Telecommunications companies which fail
to comply will be de-licensed according to the gazette. The government says
that from the year 2000, several telecommunications companies operating in
Zimbabwe have been providing illegal satellite services. This, the government
argues was done through third parties who offer satellite based
telecommunications through an international company Intel stat
Information and Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo says that such
conduct has serious implications on the country's national security. The
government further alleges that the companies were not remitting foreign
currency earned back into the county.
Meanwhile one of the affected
companies, wireless phone operator, Econet wireless has filed an urgent
chamber application in the High Court contesting the government's move.
Econet Wireless, through its lawyers Kantor and Immerman, cites the Post and
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) and the Minister
of Transport and Communications as the first and second respondents
According to the application, Econet is seeking an
interdict for the government to stop interfering with its base stations,
international gateways or any of its international telecommunications
Econet is also seeking an interim relief to suspend
provisions of the new regulations pending the full determination of the
matter in the courts and also that the same be declared null, void and of no
effect and application.
In the court papers Econet has disputed TelOne's
exclusive rights in providing access to international communications as this
would be tantamount to reinstating the government's monopoly which was struck
down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1998. Econet further argues
that since TelOne is a competitor in the industry, the government is
giving unfair advantage to its own company.
company also stated in its application that TelOne has no capacity to carry
incoming and outgoing international traffic since its subscribers were
failing to call oversees wireless phone numbers.
"The background to this
and the chronology of events since 2000 demonstrated beyond doubt that the
second respondent has always harboured a desire to close down the Applicant's
(Econet)'s operations and the statutory element is therefore tailored to
cover the applicant," argues Econet wireless in its court papers.
manager with one of the wireless mobile phone companies, Telecell Zimbabwe,
told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation on February 2 2004 that the
regulations have serious repercussions for the development of the Information
Communication Technologies (ICT's) in Zimbabwe. He added
that telecommunications companies in Zimbabwe have agreements with other
outside companies which will be affected by the new regulations.
PARTICIPANTS in tomorrowâ€™s discussion in Harare of the role
and responsibility of the media in Zimbabwe should tackle this contentious
issue with a high degree of probity and impartiality.
After all, the
relationship between the government and the media often determines the level
of freedom of expression and, ultimately, the level of democracy enjoyed by
people in any country.
The decision by Global Arts, in association with
the Book Cafe, to include the media on its programme is highly commendable as
it comes at a time when Zimbabweâ€™s media turf has been seriously polarised,
with some of its practitioners totally confused and misdirected.
discussion â€“ to be led by Andrew Moyse, a former journalist who now runs
the Media Monitoring Project â€“ will include, hopefully, other scribes from
the media in Zimbabwe for it to be balanced.
As the organisers point out,
there are now two distinct media camps in the country. One, which is
predominantly State-run, is subserviently and unashamedly
It sees and hears no evil and daily churns out large
volumes of pro-government information. It, in essence, acts as the public
relations arm of the establishment.
This is in keeping with the
tradition of â€śhe who pays the piper, calls the tuneâ€ť.
has painted the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, as
an enemy of the State and claims, without concrete evidence, that the
opposition is funded by foreigners in London and Washington whose agenda is
to overthrow the government.
The second camp, comprised of privately
owned news organisations, has been generally critical of an autocratic
government that has entrenched itself in power and will not let
Sections of this camp have exposed the governmentâ€™s
excesses, wholesale graft, gross economic mismanagement, the endemic
political violence â€“ especially during elections, which are often rigged
â€“ and the glaring breakdown of the rule of law.
It has pointed out
cases of human rights abuses by State agents and has clashed with a
government that brooks no criticism; a government that has passed legislation
that virtually emasculates the private media.
It is crucial that
tomorrowâ€™s discussion should make clear in no uncertain terms the evils of
the polarisation of Zimbabweâ€™s media.
It is not in the interests of the
public, who the media is duty-bound to serve, when news reports cause more
confusion than clarity, which is the outcome when it becomes difficult to
determine which media portrayed truth to believe.
discussion will also not be complete without an examination of the two pieces
of legislation that have become anathema to the free flow of information in
Zimbabwe â€“ the Public Order and Security Act, a carry-over from the
colonial era of Ian Smith, and the draconian Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act.
These laws have made it difficult for
journalists to operate freely in this country, a circumstance that is also
not in the interests of the public.
It is to be hoped that
tomorrowâ€™s discussion will remind local journalists of the reasons they
went into journalism in the first place and their duty to the nation, which
is to report the truth without favour.
It is only by adhering to this
principle that the media can fulfil its role, to provide the public with the
facts that will enable it to make informed decisions, something that can only
benefit the nation.
MOST people think that they are so special and their history so
unique that no one can teach them anything. And unique they are,
But there is also the experience â€śthat there is nothing new under
African children have to learn African history. Why bother
them with Europeâ€™s past? True. And yet, we are all human, and what happened
in Europe 1 000 or 2 000 years ago may well be similar to what we are going
through now in this country.
The Romans were great water engineers.
They knew how to build aqueducts to get water to the public baths they were
so fond of.
But after their empire had collapsed under the onslaught of
younger and more vigorous nations, this remarkable water technology
collapsed. The new masters had no use for it.
It took a long time for
the new nations to reach the same degree of craftsmanship as the Romans, eg
in producing glass, constructing roads and building houses.
author writes: â€śHowever idealised the civilising might have been, it was
still basically being imposed from outside (by the Romans). Once they had
gone, there was a reversion. Darkness and destruction returned, which is so
often the case when the old masters move out.
â€śThe British have left
Africa, but not to peace and unity. It could be argued that great empires,
like the Roman and the British, donâ€™t actually do any good, except to
themselves. In the long run, people, like nations, have got to work it out
for themselves.â€ť (Hunter Davies)
Is that what we are going through now?
Have we completely rejected the colonial heritage? Are we dismantling
everything that was built up, the good together with the bad, so we have to
go back to square one and â€śwork it out for ourselvesâ€ť?
heard it said quite recklessly: â€śWhen the worst comes to the worst, we can
always go back to the land and grow our crops as we always did.â€ť
people really want to go back to pre-colonial
Even if they did, which I doubt very much, it
just could not be done. In 1850 or so, what is now Zimbabwe had at the most
one million inhabitants, probably less â€“ now we are 12 million.
by itself is not our prosperity. Our happiness does not lie in the past. I
have yet to meet anyone who believes it does, least of all among young
We cannot go back on the division of labour that now exists
between town and country, farmers and urban workers. Do we really want to
ruin the urban middle class and industrial workers and turn them into rural
dwellers again, thinking that peasants are easier to control
We inherited the trappings of parliamentary democracy, but
not real democracy. There was no universal vote. Majority rule was what the
war was about. A suitable form of government is indeed what we still â€śhave
to work out for ourselvesâ€ť.
Democracy originated in Greek city
states and in early Rome, but it did not last. Again and again, Europe saw a
reversion to feudal, autocratic, even totalitarian, forms of
Do we want to repeat this painful struggle over millennia? Or
can we learn a few lessons from our northern neighbours and shorten the
Democracy is not a ready-made kit which you buy in a
supermarket complete with a manual telling you how to use it. It is more than
just a set of rules about how to conduct the struggle for power without
If we want to work out a suitable form of
government for ourselves, one that allows everybody to participate in the
public affairs of the country (which is the original meeting of res publica,
ie republic), we need a new mindset.
We need to look at our fellow
citizens in a new way. What hurts them also hurts us. We must never do to
them what we do not want them to do to us.
People are not merely
â€śmassesâ€ť to be used, abused and manipulated for our
Democracy is based on respect for the profound value, dignity
and uniqueness of every person. It is based on respect for profound moral
and spiritual values.
Unless we hold those values democracy will be a
Democracy is a way to control power and limit its abuse. It
is based on the conviction that people are more important than power and must
not be sacrificed to power. If this conviction goes, you may still have
the trappings of a â€śdemocratic republicâ€ť,
but no genuine
participation in public affairs which is what â€śrepublicâ€ť means.
hear a lot of â€śnational sovereigntyâ€ť. Even soccer was enlisted in
a frenzied effort of putting our â€śsovereign nationâ€ť on the map. If you
cannot get the positive support of your people in a free political process,
you have to invent an enemy and frighten the people into submission with
his (enemyâ€™s) alleged evil intentions against you.
saw through this dirty trick in the past and refused to take part in the
general slaughter of the world wars of the last century; they maintained
these wars were a mere diversion from the more fundamental conflict between
In the name of â€śnational sovereigntyâ€ť, we are supposed to
hate Britain and the â€śimperialist powersâ€ť. Isnâ€™t that the same
You do not build a nation through the common hatred
of a perceived enemy. Hatred of the former colonial power is a bit tricky;
considering your â€śsovereign nationâ€ť in its present borders was shaped by
that colonial power.
Are you going to loathe yourself for having such an
origin? We cannot escape our history.
If we base our historical
identity entirely on pre-colonial Great Zimbabwe and the people who built it,
that leaves out the ethnic minority with its different history.
trying to build ethnically unified nation states with all the â€śethnic
cleansingâ€ť that makes it necessary? Are we going to espouse the kind of
nationalism that will land us in unending ethnic conflicts?
want to steer clear of the fanatical nationalism that turned Europe twice in
the twentieth century into a huge slaughter house?
We ought to go on fast
track towards a united Africa which legitimates national
Indeed, we â€śhave to work it out for ourselvesâ€ť, but always
aware of the stupid, ghastly blunders of the past which we want to