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

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Daily News online edition

Too late to honour SADC principles

Date: 4-Feb, 2005

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) says there is
little time left for the new electoral legislation to conform to the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) Principles and Guidelines
governing the conduct of democratic elections.

The electoral body said although the new legislation went some way
towards meeting the SADC Principles and Guidelines, the legislation had been
promulgated too late to have any real effect on the general political
environment and on the election processes for the March election.

"The Electoral Commission will not have the time to re-examine the
voters' rolls and to put in place the procedures and staff necessary to
ensure that the election is conducted freely, fairly and democratically,"
ZESN said.

The coalition said under the SADC guidelines, member states were
required to ensure that all their citizens enjoyed freedom of movement,
assembly, association and expression as well as political tolerance during
electoral processes.

"There must also be an independent judiciary," ZESN said. "On the
electoral environment there is little in the Zimbabwean legislation that
touches on these topics, apart from a general statement of principles in
section 3 of the Electoral Act.

"There is no enforcement mechanism, and the Electoral Commission's
role is confined to registering voters, providing voter education and
conducting elections. This is a flaw, likely to affect the political
environment for the holding of democratic multi-party elections."

ZESN said this in a detailed examination of the newly enacted Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission Act (Chapter 2:12) and the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13)
in comparison to the principles and guidelines that were adopted by SADC
heads of States in August 2004 in Mauritius.

The organization said of particular concern were the repressive laws
like the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), the
Public Order and Security Act (POSA), and the Non Governmental Organisations
Bill when it becomes law.

The Zimbabwean Constitution requires elections to be held within four
months after dissolution of Parliament and within 90 days after a President's
term expires or he ceases to hold office.

Polling must take place between 35 and 66 days after publication of a
proclamation calling an election. ZESN said 35 days were inadequate for the
holding of a general election or a presidential election. It said the period
was less than the period of three or four months suggested by the SADC
Parliamentary Forum.

Under Zimbabwe's laws, the President is empowered to fix the dates of
parliamentary elections without consulting the Electoral Commission yet the
SADC Parliamentary Forum suggests that Parliament should be involved in
fixing election dates.

The organisation also raised concern at the duplication of roles
between the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the constitutionally
appointed Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) because it remained unclear
how they would operate or which one

of them had greater authority. Only the ZEC is allowed to carry out
voter education.

Under the SADC Principles and Guidelines, national and international
observers and monitors must be accredited and given free access to everyone
concerned in the electoral process.

SADC must be invited to send a mission at least 90 days before
polling. Representatives of parties and candidates must be allowed in
polling stations and counting stations.

A committee dominated by Ministerial nominees accredits observers, and
only persons invited by a Minister or the ESC may be accredited. Monitors
will all be public servants.

ZESN said there was little time for SADC to be given an invitation to
send observers 90 days before polling, if the parliamentary election is to
be held in March.

The Zimbabwean legislation does nothing to regulate the general
political environment or to give parties access to the State media, it said.

The SADC Principles and Guidelines require polling stations to be
sited in neutral places but there is nothing in the Act to regulate the
citing of polling stations, but the Act does lay down elaborate procedures
for polling which should discourage illegal practices.

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UK-based Zimbabwean journalists launch association

Date: 4-Feb, 2005

LONDON - Zimbabwean journalists living in the United Kingdom have
launched an association to deal with issues affecting them.

At a function held in London last Saturday, the journalists from all
over the United Kingdom, for the first time came together to discuss their
plight and ways through which they can improve their professional

Named the Association of Zimbabwean Journalists in the UK, the new
organisation plans to create a database of all the journalists from Zimbabwe
living in the UK and make sure they get opportunities to continue to write
in an environment that is largely difficult.

The association also aims to conduct research and facilitate dialogue
in various issues affecting Zimbabwe as a country and the media industry,
provide a platform for the journalists to meet, discuss ideas Of how they
can develop themselves here in the UK and related issues.

The association also wants to work with local universities and
colleges and the media in the UK to secure educational opportunities for its
members, dedicate some of its work to the defence of journalists in Zimbabwe
and the promotion of media freedoms.

Association secretary, Sandra Nyaira, said the journalists also want
to find ways of how to help struggling colleagues back in Zimbabwe whose
newspapers, such as the independent Daily News and its sister paper The
Daily News on Sunday where closed down by the government in September 2003.

She said the crying need for an association arose from the big number
of Zimbabwean journalists now resident in the UK and the fact that most of
them have not had opportunities to acquire new skills to use when they
eventually returned to Zimbabwe.

More than 30 Zimbabwean journalists are currently living in the UK.
She said the association would try to help individual journalists improve
their professional skills through training programmes developed with media
organisations and training institutions in the UK.

The association also announced an annual award to be given to a
Zimbabwean journalist in memory of the late Standard Editor, Mark
Chavhunduka, who was arrested and tortured together with reporter Ray Choto,
after publishing a controversial story about a coup attempt

By Zimbabwe's military. Sponsored in part by John Owen, a City
University lecturer, former Freedom Forum Director and Mark's friend, the
award, worth 1 000 will be given to a courageous journalist.

"It was a historic social day that marked the birth of AZJUK," said
Forward Maisokwadzo, interim chair for the steering group.

"I was humbled by the overwhelming support we got from different
people. The enthusiasm shown by many people wanting to see this association
take off ground was remarkable, and I'm glad all went well."

The message from speakers and well-wishers was loud and clear, "tell
us what you want as a group, we're willing to help in what ever way we can
using our different portfolios but the onus is with Zimbabwe journalists to
clearly outline your needs."

An interim committee comprising Maisokwadzo, Simbarashe Chabarika,
Blessing Ruzengwe and Nyaira was tasked to run the association prior to the
election of a permanent executive.
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May the best party -- not the most violent -- win

Date: 4-Feb, 2005

THE date of the parliamentary elections has been announced as 31
March. The MDC has announced it is taking part, in protest.

This was to be expected: the party's performance in the 2000 elections
was impressive, for an organization just nine months old. But Zanu PF poured
everything into that election campaign, including the kitchen sink, a number
of guns and other deadly weapons.

In spite of using that arsenal to kill, maim and beat up members of
the opposition, Zanu PF still lost 57 seats - its greatest loss since
independence. The victories belonged, not just to the MDC, but to people of
courage who dared to vote against the ruling party in spite of the
atmosphere of violence before and during the election.

Since then, much water, most of it stained with the blood of those who
died in that campaign, has flowed under the electoral bridge.In many
respects, Zanu PF has become more determined that ever before not to be
caught napping - as some of its leaders explained the loss of 57 seats.

Intimidation and violence remain the party's stock-in-trade. There
have been a number of unexplained arrests of MDC MPS. In the high0-density
suburbs, the tension is palpable, as Zanu PF fights tooth and nail to
reverse is 2000 losses in most urban centres.

In Harare the party staged a virtual coup d'etat against the
MDC-dominated city council and in Mutare, Gweru and Bulawayo it is, waging a
similar blitzkrieg,which it hopes will translate into electoral votes on 31

Pinning their hopes in Zanu PF's faithful adherence to the Southern
African Development Community's electoral guidelines may not be such a
foolproof device to ensure the electoral playing field is level. The MDC
might need to do more - make their presence so visible, emphatic and vocal
that Zanu PF will be aware that they are being watched.

Of course, in the end, Zanu PF might not care about that or any of the
promises it has made to conduct a peaceful election campaign. But what most
people would love to see is an election result untainted by the violence of
past polls.

We know that Zanu PF is probably at its most unpopular and vulnerable
today. If it loses, that would not be such a surprise. But if it wins
without using any violence or electoral chicanery at all that would be an
even bigger surprise.

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Farmers face trials after defying evictions
February 04 2005 at 02:51PM

Harare - Ten white Zimbabweans charged with defying a government order
to give up their farms to landless blacks will be tried in court this month,
their lawyer said on Friday.

"The first two cases will be heard on 14 February," lawyer Edmore Jori

"The others will follow probably in April. The farmers are currently
on remand for defying eviction orders and they have all pleaded not guilty."

If convicted, the farmers will be evicted.

The farmers based in the northern Mashonaland West province were
served notices in November to vacate their properties.

Under Zimbabwe's controversial laws they were supposed to leave the
farms within 90 days of receiving the notice.

Some of the farmers were challenging the order while others were
trying to work out a compromise to give up portions of their farms.

Zimbabwe launched its controversial land reform programme in 2000 to
correct what it says are "historical imbalances".

At least 4 000 white commercial farmers have been evicted and the land
reform programme was marred at its inception by violent seizures led by
veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation war against Britain.

The land reforms have been blamed for plummeting agricultural
production which has seen Zimbabwe, once southern Africa's bread basket,
importing its national staple, maize.

Analysts say the "new farmers" lack experience and rely on government

Some government and top ruling party officials have grabbed more than
one farm at the expense of deserving landless farmers, according to a
government audit. - Sapa-AFP
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Pro-democracy groups concerned over March poll

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 4 Feb 2005 (IRIN) - Zimbabwean pro-democracy groups have
cautioned that the use of civil servants and the military to monitor next
month's poll would throw its fairness and transparency into doubt.

In a report released last week, the Crisis Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) alleged
that the deployment of civil servants, security personnel and the use of
pro-government national youth service militia was designed to ensure a
ZANU-PF victory.

It also said the controversial Public Order and Security Act, Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Broadcasting Act of
Zimbabwe, limited freedom of expression and assembly.

The CZC report, entitled 'Things Fall Apart', noted the militarisation of
key electoral bodies.

"Military personnel have been placed at the centre of state institutions
responsible for governance - the judiciary, the Electoral Supervisory
Commission, the Delimitation Commission, parastatals and general election
administration," read part of the report.

Lovemore Madhuku, a constitutional and human rights lawyer, said the
organisation of the 31 March poll by an allegedly partisan civil service
rather than independent monitors, as recommended in the electoral guidelines
of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), was cause for concern.

"Over the past four years, we have seen an extensive purge of the key arms
of the service, including the replacement of independent judiciary officers
suspected of collaborating with the opposition, with ZANU-PF loyalists. The
purges were felt across the civil service, from the highest offices to the
lowest workers. It is therefore not surprising that government has thought
of using them to conduct this poll," Madhuku remarked.

"Most of the rank and file civil servants saw their friends lose jobs over
allegations of supporting the [opposition] MDC [Movement for Democratic
Change]. They saw some of them being assaulted and killed for the same
reasons. Whatever they do with regards to the elections will be designed to
protect their jobs and save their lives. For these reasons, they cannot be
trusted to be impartial," claimed Madhuku.

The civil society organisation, Zimbabwe Election Support Network, noted
that while SADC guidelines did not bar civil servants from running a ballot,
giving them total control of the electoral process in Zimbabwe was bound to
raise questions over the fairness of the poll.

Justice, legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, has
defended the use of civil servants to organise the election, as they have
done for every ballot since independence.

"Our civil servants are experienced in running elections ... National
elections are an important event in any country's history and, as such, we
want to ensure that those who handle them are trustworthy and accountable,"
he noted.

"Independent monitors, who are strangers in most cases, cannot be trusted
that way, but we can trust our civil service to do the same job they have
done capably since 1980," said Chinamasa.

He also dismissed allegations by Free Zimbabwe, an independent election
support group, that there were more than two million suspect names included
in the voters' roll of 5.6 million people.

"There is nothing like that," said Chinamasa. "Why can't they publish a list
of the disputed names if they are genuine? We will not worry about
desperate, power-hungry day-dreamers, who have made it their business to
rubbish the good name of this country."
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COSATU plans to blockade Zimbabwe's borders

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 4 Feb 2005 (IRIN) - The Congress of South African Trade Unions
(COSATU) and the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) have called for
a blockade of Zimbabwe's borders, ahead of general elections next month.

The campaign has been prompted by the Zimbabwean authorities' decision to
expel a second 18-member COSATU "fact-finding" mission earlier this week.
The labour movement's first "solidarity" trip to Zimbabwe in October 2004
also ended abruptly after they were deported.

"The blockades will be held soon," COSATU spokesman Patrick Craven told

The trade unionists met on Thursday in South Africa's northern Limpopo
province, where they called for a special executive meeting of the Southern
African Trade Union Coordination Council, to organise a regional protest
campaign to press for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

The unions have demanded that the 31 March polls should be delayed until an
independent electoral commission has been established; controversial
legislation on human rights and the media - the Public Order and Security
Act (POSA) and the Access to Information and Privacy Act (AIPA) - has been
scrapped; concerns over the voters' roll have been addressed; and the
government abides by the rule of law and ceases harassing the labour
movement, among other issues.

South African government spokesman Joel Netshitenzhe was quoted on Friday in
the daily newspaper, Business Day, as describing COSATU's confrontation with
Zimbabwe as a "sideshow". He told IRIN that the government was working from
within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to ensure the
elections in Zimbabwe were free and fair.

He said a SADC team would be leaving for Zimbabwe "soon" to assess the
situation, and the government would reserve comment on COSATU's intended
protest action until the date of the blockade had been announced.

IRIN was unable to reach the Zimbabwean authorities for comment.
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Zimbabwe: Economic Turnaround Anticipated After Election Hurdle

SouthScan (London)

January 28, 2005
Posted to the web February 4, 2005


President Robert Mugabe is calculating on a post-election economic recovery.
His Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono this week announced further success in
cutting the inflation rate and a projected growth rate of 5 percent this

But while his success in bringing down the inflation rate is acknowledged,
many have concerns about his other projections.

Gono has been given the job of squaring the circle - running an economic
empowerment programme with the clientilist links on which Zanu-PF depends,
and also instituting the structural reforms that will bring Zimbabwe back
into the Washington Consensus fold and access to international finance.

Delivering his first-quarter monetary policy review in Harare, Gono claimed
the economy would "graduate into its first year of positive growth, which is
projected at between 3 and 5%, from a 30.7% cumulative decline from 2001 to
2004". Gono also said inflation, which peaked at 622% in January last year,
would fall to between 20% and 35%. It is currently 132.7%.

He would maintain a dual interest rate policy and lending to the productive
sectors of the economy at concessionary interests rates until June.

Concessionary lending rates are about 30%, while the bank rates are about
150% but he announced a radical interest rate policy which will see the
bank's benchmark overnight rate reduced by 40 percentage points by June.

On the exchange rate, Gono said he would maintain the current auction system
and try to "bridge the gap between supply and demand for foreign currency".

Patronage remains

But at the heart of Gono's economic reform remains patronage politics.

Instead of going the privatisation route which could open the country's
parastatals to investment not only from the region (and particularly South
Africa - a major issue of contention) but also from Zimbabweans outside
Mugabe's coterie, Gono has announced an extensive and costly restructuring,
so that they will by 2006 no longer be a drain on the state. Critics say
that maintaining the parastatals keeps alive Zanu-PF's patronage system
which it identifies closely with the Zimbabwean brand of 'black economic

The plan will cost ZD10 trillion. National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and
Air Zimbabwe will receive ZD1.1 trillion each, while the Grain Marketing
Board (GMB), the Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) and the
District Development Fund (DDF) will receive a combined ZD1.1 trillion.

Power utility ZESA Holdings and Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO) will
receive ZD1 trillion each. Hwange Colliery Company will receive ZD400
billion, Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO), ZD300bn, Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Holdings, ZD100bn, Zimbabwe National Water Authority, Cold
Storage Company, ZD350bn, ZD200bn and the profit-making Industrial
Development Corporation, ZD800bn.

Local authorities will be allocated a combined ZD1 trillion, while ZD600bn
will be committed to the establishment of a fertiliser and allied
agricultural chemicals manufacturing unit and ZD500bn will be set aside for
energy development. A national milk production programme will be allocated
ZD150bn and ZD200bn will go towards land surveying.

Financial sector

The economic empowerment programme was set in motion about a decade ago by
Africa Resources Ltd's acquisition of the Shabanie-Mashava asbestos mines
from Turner & Newall. More recently the deregulation of the financial
services sector opened the way for indigenous business, but brought in its
wake failures and scandals, with a number of founding shareholders of banks
fleeing abroad and some landing in jail.

An analysis of the collapse in December last year of CFX Bank provides
evidence that a number of the empowerment deals hinged on weak patronage
frameworks that the government built to generate its capital.

Earlier this month CFX Financial Services, the holding company for collapsed
CFX Bank, was considering a rescue package involving support from the
Reserve Bank to pay off the minor shareholders and small depositors.

Part of the responsibility for the messy indigenisation process lay with the
entrepreneurs themselves who "bribed their way into the troubled sector", an
analyst with Standard Chartered Bank commented.

The government's banking shakeout delighted many Zimbabweans who believe it
marked the onset of fairness and the restoration of prudent business
conduct. But others saw the anti-corruption crusade as an act of retribution
by Gono and the government in an insufficiently regulated sector and some
believe that Gono could be seeking to extend this to the re-nationalization
of business. The state takeover of the Shabanie asbestos mining concern and
the on-and-off threats to nationalize platinum investments to elbow out
Impala Platinum are cited.

In response to the anti- corruption clampdown some politicians and bankers
have now formed loose alliances for or against Gono or the government.
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Internal Disputes Delay Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF Election Campaign Rollout By
Peta Thornycroft
04 February 2005

President Robert Mugabe was scheduled to launch Zanu PF's 2005 parliamentary
election campaign Saturday, but the rollout has now been delayed for a week
as internal disputes over its candidates continues. Political analysts say
Zanu PF is mired in its first serious internal wrangling since independence
in 1980.

On February 18, all candidates contesting the March 31 general election must
be confirmed by nomination courts around the country.

Zanu PF's announcement of a delay in launching its campaign, takes it to
just six days before it is legally bound to have its candidates in place.

The simmering disputes within Zanu PF exploded shortly before its annual
congress in December, when more than half of its district chairmen were
suspended from the party.

They were allegedly considering supporting a veteran Zanu PF politician,
Emmerson Mnangagwa, for vice president and the person most likely to succeed
Mr. Mugabe if and when he retires. Mr. Mugabe chose a long time loyalist,
Joyce Mujuru, the first woman to rise so high in Zanu PF.

Zanu PF's top leaders have prevented the party's provincial chairs from
running as candidates in the election, even though the state controlled
media report that some claim they have support of the majority in their

Elliot Manyika, a fiery Zanu PF leader is in charge of Zanu PF's election
for this year's poll. He told state controlled media that Zanu PF still has
to confirm two candidates in the southern Matabeleland province before the
campaign can go ahead.

Matabeleland, a mostly dry and poor part of Zimbabwe has, for decades, had a
difficult relationship with Zanu PF. This is where the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change has considerable support.

In a rare move, the state controlled media reported Thursday's announcement
by the MDC that it will drop its boycott plans anjd take part in the poll.
The state's Herald newspaper even quoted MDC spokesman Paul Themba.

Out on the streets however, it seems there is little interest in the
election. While most people in the city center would not agree to speak into
a tape recorder, because they said there were too many policemen around,
Sarah, a 37-year-old single mother of three young children commented she had
not taken much notice of politics recently. She said life was hard and she
was more worried about the cost of food and school fees than with the

She said she did not know who would win the poll, but said she did not
expect any change whichever party emerged as the victor.

Independent analyst and pro democracy campaigner, Lovemore Madhuku, who is
also a senior academic at the University of Zimbabwe, said Thursday the MDC
would not win nearly as many seats as it did in 2000, when it came within
three seats of winning a majority in the 120 seat parliament. The MDC was
only nine months old when it fought its first election. Hundreds of its
supporters have been murdered since then and thousands arrested, according
to statistics collected by the Human Rights Forum, a coalition of
non-governmental organizations in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Madhuku says many MDC structures have been broken, and he doubts whether
there is enough time or freedom of movement or expression for the MDC to
rebuild lost support before the end of March.
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Zimbabweans sell property to buy food
Rights groups fear food will be used as political weapon
Friday, February 4, 2005 Posted: 9:52 AM EST (1452 GMT)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) -- Hungry Zimbabweans are staving off
starvation by selling property and getting money from relatives abroad, but
rights groups fear food may still become a political weapon ahead of
elections in March.

Many Zimbabweans have had to pull children out of school or sell assets --
including cattle and tools needed to grow crops -- to feed themselves, while
others have cut back to only one meal a day, leaving them weak but alive.

"There aren't obviously starving people walking the streets but people are
having to resort to things like selling their last cow to buy food," a
Western diplomat said.

Soaring unemployment and inflation have hit the ability of ordinary
Zimbabweans to buy food, and critics say chaotic seizures of white-owned
commercial farms by landless blacks have destroyed production in the country
of 13 million people.

Around 3.5 million Zimbabweans have left the country and aid workers say the
$1 million they send home every week helps thousands buy food.

Food shortages have left millions hungry across southern Africa in recent
years -- with 25 percent of children malnourished in some rural parts of
neighboring South Africa. But Zimbabwe's shortages have become politicized
in a way not seen elsewhere.

Political favoritism
Human rights groups have accused President Robert Mugabe's government of
using grain stores for political ends in the past, and some rights workers
say they fear this may be repeated as the country gears up for March 31
parliamentary elections.

Amnesty International says the government's Grain Market Board (GMB), which
also controls access to seeds and fertilizer, has in the past denied
supplies to government opponents, instead favoring ruling ZANU-PF party

While some aid groups say the GMB's main problems are poor logistics, bad
planning and fuel shortages, Western observers have reported anecdotal
evidence of Zimbabweans having to show ZANU-PF membership cards to access
GMB grain.

"The GMB's history of inept and discriminatory distribution of food ...
provide the potential for violations of the right to adequate food around
the elections," said Amnesty South Africa Executive Director Heather Van

But many food analysts say Zimbabwe's food problems have deeper roots -- and
that the country's hard-pressed people will be forced into increasingly
desperate strategies to stay fed.

"It's not fair to just blame the government," said Ann Witteveen, food
security coordinator for aid agency Oxfam. "The problems in Zimbabwe are a
combination of the declining economic situation, political problems as well
as the weather and the impact of HIV/AIDS."

The U.N. World Food Program says it believes the 2004 grain crop was no more
than 1 million tons -- short of the 1.8 million the country needs but an
increase on 2003's 800,000 tons. Some analysts see this as a sign that black
farmers who took over white-owned farms were learning the skills they need.

Assessments of the 2005 crop vary, but based on the area planted, drought
and seed shortages the diplomat said it would likely only be around 800,000
tons, keeping the food pressure on Zimbabwe long after the March elections.
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Oldham Evening Chronicle - Friday, 04 Febuary, 2005

Battle to keep teacher in UK

by Janice Barker

Campaigners are fighting to stop a Saddleworth School trainee teacher
being deported to Zimbabwe where he could face beatings, torture or even

Leonard, who does not want us to use his surname because of the
dangers to his family in Zimbabwe, was a member of the Movement for
Democratic Change opposing Robert Mugabe's oppressive regime.

And he fled the country in 2001 when authorities started questioning
people at the school where he taught.

He came to Manchester where he met his partner Nyembezi.

He applied for asylum, and did agency work as he studied to join an
Open University teacher training programme last year.

Leonard (28), has a BSc in maths and hoped to become a maths teacher.
He was accepted by Saddleworth School and did a 10-day placement in

But that month the Government changed its policy on Zimbabweans and
began returning failed asylum-seekers.

Leonard was due to continue his training at Saddleworth after
Christmas for the rest of the school year, but when he failed to arrive
staff were told he was in Campsfield Detention Centre, Oxfordshire. Anne
Allen, head of maths, said: "Leonard worked with groups of 11 to
16-year-olds and seemed very motivated and knowledgeable."

His lawyers have blocked his deportation for the time being, with a
last-minute legal challenge, calling for a judicial review of his case.

But he has now been transferred to the Dover Immigration and Removal
Centre, from where he told the Chronicle: "Nothing has been explained to me
about why I have been moved.

"I was due to be removed from the UK on January 29, but my solicitors
launched this court application and I am trying to get bail.

"There is no change in Zimbabwe and if I go back I face beating and
torture and possible death. This has already happened to people like

"Saddleworth is a lovely place and I thought I would be able to finish
my teaching course in England before there was a change in the Government's
policy. However, they have reversed their decision yet nothing has changed
in Zimbabwe."

His case is being supported by the left-wing online newspaper
Socialist Worker, and the National Coalition of Anti Deportation Campaigns

NCADC's North-West spokesman Emma Ginn said: "Leonard is in great
danger. We know people who have returned to Zimbabwe have suffered torture."

A Home Office statement said: "This change in asylum policy is
entirely about operating a firm and fair asylum system. It does not reflect
any change in the Government's categorical opposition to human rights abuses
in Zimbabwe. Genuine refugees, including members of opposition parties, will
continue to be protected."
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Reporters sans frontieres

Reporters Without Borders again denounces absurdity of China, Cuba and
Zimbabwe judging world rights violations

Reporters Without Borders today deplored the "continuing farce" of "leading
repressive countries" - this year China, Cuba and Zimbabwe - being chosen by
the United Nations to decide which cases its Human Rights Commission will
consider at its annual meeting.

"We know for sure that no case about violations in any of these three
countries and their allies will be heard," the worldwide press freedom
organization said. "This is a very grave matter and we don't understand why
the United Nations allows it. It would be comical if it wasn't so serious."

The sub-commission working group the three countries have been named to
along with Hungary and the Netherlands will meet on 7 February to sift
through cases submitted over the past year and decide which to pass on to
the Commission, which will sit between 14 March and 22 April to consider
them and possibly condemn countries for violations.

The Commission has steadily lost credibility in recent years. The naming of
Libya to chair it in 2003 caused an uproar. Last year, Reporters Without
Borders pointed out that 25 of its 53 member-countries had not even ratified
all international human rights agreements, treaties and conventions.

Reporters Without Borders has proposed reforming the Commission by requiring
member-countries to have ratified all these accords. It has also called for
abolition of the device of "no-action motions" used to block all discussion
about countries that are large-scale human rights violators.
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Cosatu vows to hit back at Zim
04/02/2005 21:25 - (SA)

Johannesburg - The Congress of SA Trade Unions has called for the
mobilisation of workers, civil society and religious groups in putting an
end to the political situation in Zimbabwe.

Paul Notyhawa of Cosatu said on Friday: "We want nothing short of the
mobilisation of millions.

"We want to ensure harm to the criminals, these being the Zanu-PF
politicians benefiting from President Robert Mugabe's regime."

Notyhawa said: "We want to ensure that the pain they are going to feel hits
hard without harming the victims who have already suffered enough."

He said they were aware that, in war, there were casualties on both sides,
but they were prepared for that.

Organising concerted action

Cosatu and the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) met on Thursday in
Musina, Limpopo, to discuss the socio-economic conditions in Zimbabwe and
how best Cosatu could help.

This was after the Cosatu delegation was prevented from entering Zimbabwe on
Wednesday afternoon.

A joint statement by Cosatu and ZCTU said the labour bodies had called for a
special executive meeting of the Southern African Trade Union Co-ordination
Council (Satucc) to organise concerted action in support of these demands.

The statement read: "Options to be presented to the Satucc and Cosatu
central executive committee include intensified pickets, demonstrations,
including blockades of all borders to Zimbabwe, and setting up of a
legal-aid fund to assist the ZCTU."

Asked whether the labour body was not worried about the impact of any mass
action, Notyhawa, said: "We voted for this government and it is obliged to
protected us.

Notyhawa said: "Our priority is to take care of our own house first. Why
should we worry about the Zimbabwean government?

"They have showed that they do not care about our government when they threw
us out of Zimbabwe, even though we are alliance partners of the ruling

He said the government could continue with its quiet-diplomacy approach and
they would continue with the "revolution".

Members to debate all issues

Notyhawa said: "It is pain that will change the attitudes of the Zimbabwean

He said they were optimistic members would heed their call for mass
demonstrations as Zimbabwe's problems affected and burdened the
working-class in both countries.

Notyhawa said: "We will not carry out any action without first reporting
back to our regional and local structures so that our members can debate all
issues and give us feedback.

"The ZCTU will do the same."

The meeting also produced a number of demands, among them the scrapping of
acts prohibiting unions from holding meetings without the government's

Cosatu and ZCTU have also called for the establishment of an independent
electoral commission, the presence of SADC observers to access pre-election
conditions and the end to Cosatu's prohibition to enter Zimbabwe.
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Zim election costs soar
04/02/2005 16:56 - (SA)

Harare - The Zimbabwe government on Friday significantly increased official
charges for parties wishing to run candidates in March 31 parliamentary

The main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
criticised the move saying it was an attempt to break the party's election
budget and hamper its campaign.

A government gazette published on Friday said the deposit charge for a
candidate had been increased 20-fold to Z$2m (about R2 200 at the official
exchange rate), while the cost of a copy of the voters' register is now
$Z10m - 10 times the previous amount.

The new charges were "clearly an attempt to exclude our people from taking
part in the democratic process," said MDC spokesperson Paul Nyathi.

"The MDC is not as well-endowed with resources as a party that helps itself
to the contents of the state coffers," Nyathi added in a reference to the
ruling Zanu-PF party of President Robert Mugabe.

Opposition figures on Friday also alleged electoral fraud, saying that
ruling party supporters were being brought into an MDC constituency in
Harare from rural areas and registered illegally as voters.

Both developments occurred within 24 hours of the MDC announcing it had
decided to contest the election "under protest", because of the "uneven
electoral playing field". - Sapa-dpa
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