MDC activists arrested for 'insulting' deputy minister Sat
5 February 2005 GWANDA - Thirteen opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party activists were this week arrested and fined Z$25 000 each by the
police for allegedly insulting deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Abednico
MDC publicity secretary for Matabeleland South province, in
which Gwanda lies, Edward Mkhosi told ZimOnline that the activists were in
the area on Wednesday campaigning when they met Ncube who was also
canvassing for support. Ncube is the ruling ZANU PF candidate for Gwanda in
next month's general election.
The MDC activists waved their
open palms at Ncube, which the deputy minister claimed was insulting to him
because the open palm is a symbol of the opposition party.
youths flashed MDC signs (open palms) at Ncube's entourage and we are
surprised that doing so is a chargeable offence. We see this as part of a
common pattern of intimidation that is gradually returning to the province
and country at large," said Mkhosi.
Ncube could not be reached
for comment on the matter while the police in Gwanda refused to comment on
the matter and referred all questions to national police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena, who could not be reached last night. - ZimOnline
State prosecutors wrap up final submissions in spy
trial Sat 5 February 2005 HARARE - State prosecutors yesterday concluded
final submissions in the trial of two ruling ZANU PF senior officials and
another man accused of selling intelligence information to foreign
Defence lawyers, who presented final submissions in
mitigation earlier this week, will on Monday respond to some points raised
in the state's final submissions.
The three men, ZANU PF
external affairs director Itai Marchi, Zimbabwe's ambassador-designate to
Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo, and bank executive Tendai Matambanadzo - who
have pleaded guilty - are accused of selling state security information to a
South African agent.
ZANU PF chairman for Mashonaland West province
Philip Chiyangwa and the party's deputy security director Kenny Karidza are
also accused of the same alleged offence. The two are scheduled to appear in
court separately at a later date.
The five men face up to 20
years in jail if found guilty of selling intelligence information to foreign
agents. - ZimOnline
Learn from Jonathan Moyo's fall or face wrath of God, cleric
warns Mugabe Sat 5 February 2005 BULAWAYO - Outspoken cleric Pius Ncube
has called on President Robert Mugabe to learn from his propaganda chief
Jonathan Moyo's fall from grace and abandon repression before God visits the
same fate on him.
"God works in mysterious ways. The current
political crisis Jonathan Moyo is going through is one of God's answers to
the nation's prayers," Ncube, who is Roman Catholic archbishop for Bulawayo,
told ZimOnline in an interview earlier this week.
Once one of
Mugabe's closest and most powerful lieutenants, Moyo fell out with the
ruling ZANU PF party after attempting last year to scuttle the appointment
of Joyce Mujuru as ZANU PF's and Zimbabwe's second
Moyo was dismissed by Mugabe from ZANU PF's key
politburo and central committee, barred from contesting in a general
election next month and nowsenior leaders in the ruling party are openly
calling for his dismissal from the party and government
Ncube said: "Moyo caused a lot of untold suffering to
the people. Several newspapers were forced to shut down leaving hundreds of
workers jobless. God has finally spoken."
journalists were arrested and three newspapers including Zimbabwe's largest
and only non-government-owned daily, the Daily News, were shut down under
tough media laws crafted by Moyo.
Mugabe could meet with the same
wrath of God as Moyo for causing untold suffering on Zimbabweans through his
failed economic and land reform policies, Ncube said.
must repent in 2005 and change his ways, I mean wrong-doings. Mugabe is
bound to fail dismally. He must repent from his evil deeds and start working
towards the uplifting of the people," Ncube said. - ZimOnline
14 DIE OF MALNUTRITION IN BULAWAYO Sat 5 February 2005
BULAWAYO - At least 14 people, most of them children aged between three and
four years died of malnutrition-related illnesses in January compared to
four such deaths recorded the previous months, according to a health report
released by Bulawayo city council this week.
The worst affected
was the city's ward 10 which recorded seven deaths, up from three last
December. Health experts blame the deaths on poor diet because of food
shortages in the city which is located in one of the country's most arid
Bulawayo Executive Mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, who has
been threatened with dismissal by the government for disclosing
malnutrition-related deaths in the past, refused to comment on the matter
But one senior medical officer with the city's health
services department, who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation,
said more children and older people in Bulawayo could die of hunger-related
illnesses in coming months if the government or food agencies do not provide
emergency food aid to the city.
The United States-based Famine
Early Warning Network last month said that it expected hunger to peak across
Zimbabwe during the first quarter of the year.
medical officer said: "Families are battling to make ends meet and as a
result they find it difficult to adequately cater for themselves in terms of
food provision. It is therefore a fact that most children are dying of
malnutrition, and it is high time the government did something to stop
The government last year ordered international
food relief agencies to take their help elsewhere saying the country had
harvested enough to feed itself, a claim later proven false by an inquiry
ordered by Parliament. - ZimOnline
OPINION February 4, 2005 Posted to the web February 4,
Ifeanyi Ubabukoh Lagos
One cardinal reason why Nigerians
are not truly convinced that President Olusegun Obasanjo will not stay put
in power after May, 2007 is that political sit-tightism is the heart of
Africa's traditional make-believe democracy.
Moreso, since the
restoration of democracy to Nigeria, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) has striven to retain power by all means, fair or foul. And as if in
fulfillment of the boast of Chief Audu Ogbeh, who shortly after he became
the party's chairman in 2002, warned the PDP would remain in power for 50
Yes, sit-tightism is the staple of African democracy. In the
post-colonial Africa, political power is based on either of two pillars:
weaponry or popular consent. But in the almost two decades of the
post-cold-war world that seeks decency and common standards- democracy or
multi-party elections, market economy and observation of human rights, etc.
- African politics have doggedly glided to a preponderance of sit-tightism,
a cloak for despotism.
A self-proclaimed messiah in khaki captures power
by force of arms, and when his people and the international community begin
to howl dictator, he hurriedly transforms himself, through a make-believe
election, into a civilian leader in agbada and constitutionally awards
himself unlimited presidential tenure. This is the case with the current
rulers of Burkina Faso, The Gambia, The Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia and
Like his allies who rule Rwanda, Ethiopia and Eritrea, President
Yoweri Museveni, at the head of guerillas, sacked President Milton Obote's
government at Kampala 19 years ago and has since remained in power and
committed to "no-party" system, through which he has continued to win bogus
elections for indefinite tenure. Museveni's Uganda, like the likes
aforementioned, is a masked dictatorship.
In a modern democratic
state, parties are in fact both necessary and inevitable, since public
opinion has to be consulted about policies which the government is to
follow. If politicians are not organised into parties, it is an incoherent
mass since in some way or another the electorate must be presented with
alternatives from which to choose. The competing parties provide these
alternatives. They offer the electorate a choice of policies which are
associated with particular political leaders who promise to carry them out
when they are voted to power. The primary function of a party, then, is to
define and to clarify issues for the electorate. It is not surprising that
Ugandan guerillas, excluded from power by the zero-party, are fighting it
out with Museveni.
With the end of the cold war in 1989, popular pressure
for change began to sweep the African continent. Strikes and demonstrations
obliged many autocrats to meet their critics in "national conferences".
Multi-party elections were held in hitherto one-party states of Benin
(thrice), the Cape Verde Islands, Cote d'Ivoire (twice), Gabon, Guinea,
Namibia, Zambia (thrice), Senegal (thrice), Botswana, Ghana (four times) and
In the 1992 Congo Brazaville presidential election,
President Paschal Lissouba had defeated Gen. Dennis Sassou Nguesso, who had
ruled the country from 1979 to 1992. But in June, 1997, Gen. Nguesso backed
by his "Cobra" militia began fighting President Lissouba and eventually
sacked the latter's government in October, the same year. So, the
ex-military ruler Nguesso has defeated and driven away the elected President
Lissouba by force of arms, accusing him of perpetuating himself in power by
manipulating electoral process of the presidential election initially fixed
for July 27, 1997 but later shifted to no date. Subsequently, Nguesso
arbitrarily approved the country's constitution, and with it, sits tight in
power indefinitely, or as long as he retains his Cobra
Sit-tightism is not, however, an exclusive preserve of
ex-military rulers who transformed themselves into civilian leaders. Once
elected in multi-party states, the civilian leaders have manipulated the
constitution to grant themselves perpetual tenures in office. The African
tyrants, soldiers and civilians alike, through manipulation of boundaries,
the media, the economy and the voters' roll that guarantees them control of
the voting and squashing of their opponents, have foisted on the people a
make -believe democracy, now commonly known as "donor democracy," just
enough to keep the aid-givers and the rest of the international community
happy. Because military rulers or repentant military dictators are smarter
in this game, "elected" soldiers are ruling half of the countries of West
and Central Africa.
Even then, a number of African leaders, whose
countries were never ruled by the military, appear indifferent to the
demands of the post-cold-war world. President Paul Biya had ruled Cameroun
for 15 years on three five-year terms. In October that year and last year,
Biya won kangaroo presidential elections. That of 1997 was boycotted, and
that of 2004 disputed, by the opposition.
It took opposition
master-minded widespread bloody riots on the streets of Kenya in 1997 to
compel President Daniel Arap Moi, who had ruled Kenya since 1978, to accept
a constitutional amendment limiting the president's tenure. And when
President Frederick Chiluba of Zambia, who had promised to vacate the
presidency at the expiry of his second and final term by the end of 2001,
started taking dodgy steps to abridge the constitution (just as he did in
1996 to stop ex-president from contesting the presidential election) to
extend his term of office ad infinitum, it took similar intensified
opposition to stop him.
But President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, who has
ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, is yet to be persuaded to accommodate
constitutional amendments similar to Kenya's, which will really keep
dictators in check. Since 1987 when he metamorphosed from ceremonial
presidency into executive presidency, Mugabe has become very powerful. For
example, he nominates 30 of the 150 seats in parliament, of which the
opposition won 57 seats (and later lost one in a by-election) and the ruling
Zanu-PF 62 seats in the June 24, 2000 parliamentary elections.
Togo, President Gnasingbe Eyadema has remained in power for 38 years, since
1967, after overthrowing and assassinating President Sylvanus Olympio in
1963, the first recorded coup d'etat in Africa South of the Sahara. In 1991,
Togo attempted to defang its dictator but it witnessed three coups in the
first week of October of that year, each designed to restore the
dictatorship of Eyadema. Today, Eyadema sits tight in power, conceding only
to appoint his own prime minister.
In addition are still African
dictators clinging on to power, some of whom have been in office since their
countries became independent. El Hadj Omar (formerly Albert Bernard) Bongo
has been the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Gabon
since 1967. AL Muammar Gaddafi has remained the ruler of Libya since
The sit-tightism of African dictators did not start today. Tubman's
Liberia, Nkrumah's Ghana, Banda's Malawi and Siaka Steven's Sierra Leone are
there for all to see. By a series of amendments to the 1847 Liberian
constitution, President William Tubman was able to rule Liberia for 28
years, from 1943 to 1971, when he died in office. Tubman's stretching
dictatorship provided the background to the 1980 coup of Master-Sergeant
Samuel Doe's Army Redemption Council of enlisted men that killed Tubman's
successor, President William Tolbert.
The subsequent civil war, which
has not really ended, was somehow traceable to the dominance of Tubman's
Whig Party, which was continually in power for 90 years. Instructively, Doe
came a dictator in Khaki and when he insisted on remaining so in agbada by
re-writing the constitution and manipulating election results, the guerillas
devoured him. This is why Nigerians must become jittery that the ruling PDP
is toeing the dangerous line of Tubman's True Whig Party and Siaka Steven's
APC - particularly in view of Ogbeh's boast.
The sit-tight African
dictators and those aspiring to be counted among them on the continent may
begin to express the jitters that the guerilla-infested Africa may handle
them in the same manner as Doe, Mobutu, Idi-Amin, Mengistu Mariam and their
From: "Trudy Stevenson" Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2005 4:09 PM Subject:
We're going to WIN!
I have received a few negative responses since
our announcement that we will participate in the forthcoming Parliamentary
Election, mostly on the lines of "You're going to lose."
the fact that the prospect of losing should never deter anyone from fighting
for a matter of principle, I believe MDC has every possibility of WINNING
this election. If not, I would have been reluctant to join the
Look at ZanuPF - look at the SECOND POSTPONEMENT of their
campaign launch! For a party supposedly calling the shots, this is extremely
difficult to spin into a positive message. Shamu or whoever had a good try
with "..so confident we even decided to postpone our launch.." but it doesn't
pack the punch of a Jono-spun response.
I remind everyone - the
Tsholotsho rebellion was backed by 6 out of 10 provinces, plus the ZanuPF War
Veterans' leader. That is a big majority, in numeric terms - and elections
are to do with numbers. Have we seen any attempts at reconciliation in that
party? Not publicly, at any rate - so perhaps it is more arm-twisting than
reconciliation? Will the arms remain twisted - or will they soon revert to
their natural state?
Is the Zimdollar strenthening - or weakening? Are
prices falling - or rising? Are people immigrating to Zimbabwe - or
emigrating? Is SADC rallying round to endorse Mugabe, or keeping an
Now look at Iraq - a situation with many negative
positions concerning their election. Did the majority boycott - or vote
despite all the odds? If you were an Iraqi right now, would you be crying -
I believe that the people are stronger than their
reporters think, and that MDC is the people's party. The people always
win - in the end! So come on, folks, have a bit of FAITH in People Power -
and join that power!
Together, we can complete the change to A NEW
ZIMBABWE and A NEW BEGINNING
Last week the government announced that the
Parliamentary elections would be held on the 31st March 2005. That gives us 8
weeks to campaign and do all the things we have to do to compete effectively
in the electoral process. Not long. Fortunately we have in fact been hard at
work on election preparedness for several months and we were able to convene
the National Executive and the Council of the MDC within 48 hours and to
decide - after several hours of debate, to run in the election and then the
following day, to confirm 110 candidates out of a required 120 while ordering
the re-run of 10 primaries where we were not satisfied with the procedures
On the 12th February we will launch our campaign in
Masvingo and on the same day release our Party Manifesto and introduce our
candidates. They will then be submitted to the Nomination Courts on the 18th
February for approval. In the meantime our candidates - most of them, have
already been in the field for some weeks campaigning quietly under the noses
of the powers that be!
There were some moving testimonies - three
white farmers have been selected by their districts to run as candidates -
Roy Bennett has been confirmed despite his incarceration by Parliament. Ian
Kay - well known Marondera farmer who was nearly beaten to death in the last
campaign and whose great friend Dave Stevens was in fact killed, won his
primary by two thirds majority. Threatened with death if he campaigned in the
high-density townships of Marondera, Ian went straight in and has been
campaigning on the ground for some time. Alan McCormack has gone back into
Garuve and was elected overwhelmingly by his District.
Mount Darwin district - a so called "no go area" for the MDC where we have
not been able to hold a meeting or canvas our structures for 4 years, over
180 delegates from the district ward committees walked out of the bush to
attend the primaries - ordinary peasant farmers. They were supporting
the opposition on principle and voting with their lives on the
Who said that Africans do not care about principle or
democracy? If you want to see solid evidence of just that - attend any MDC
function and watch the disciplined, non-violent, commitment to democratic
principles and human rights. We are not a Party of intellectuals or the rich
- you will see few vehicles at our rallies, just thousands or ordinary, hard
working people who live simple lives. For me this is one of the most
inspiring aspects of the MDC.
Will the elections be free and
fair? Of course not - we have not had any time on any of the State media for
nearly three years, only hostile propaganda against us poured out 24 hours a
day. All our meetings are monitored and most are banned by the Police on one
pretext or another. In the Honde valley our candidate - a single mother, has
had 10 out of 11 meetings banned in the past few days. She reported that the
regional governor has told local traditional leaders that the MDC will not be
allowed to campaign in that District.
Our security agencies
and the military will run the election - the new Election Commission (brought
into being in response to the SADC pressure!) has yet to be given an office
or staff - our letters to them are hand delivered to their homes. Yet they
are on paper, responsible for the voter's roll (closed yesterday) and the
actual voting procedures and the administration of the poll itself. Huge
responsibilities in an election with millions of voters and 12000 polling
stations. It is a sick joke.
Zanu has been planning the election
for two years. They think they have it sown up - the opposition cowed, the
people confused and the process totally in their hands. They were so
confident 6 months ago that we had information from inside Zanu PF that they
were actually debating how many seats to allow the MDC and which
Now the battle is on. MDC is in fact better prepared for
these elections than Zanu PF - we already have a manifesto which is coherent
and well thought through on all issues, we have over 90 per cent of our
candidates appointed and running. We have been campaigning quietly on the
ground throughout the country for some time. We do not have any money - but
we have no debt and what we get in now will go to the coalface. Zanu PF on
the other hand has no candidates in many districts and is heavily in debt.
They are deeply divided on many issues and the bruising primaries have
sapped support. Thousands of traditional Zanu PF supporters - including many
who have become wealthy on the back of Zanu patronage, are
Morgan Tsvangirai said this week "this election will
be won or lost on technical issues". He is right - if we had a free and fair
election in which people were free to make up their own minds and could vote
freely for the party of their choice, it would be no contest. MDC would win.
But it is not going to be like that and every aspect of this election is
flawed. Even the modifications introduced in response to the SADC protocols
make this election flawed - for example, no mobile voting stations - instead
we have 12000 polling stations - how on earth do we supervise that vast
spread and remember the vote is counted at the polling stations this time.
Fine, if we have observers and polling agents - but we have no assurance that
they will be allowed and on past experience, they will be barred from the
In 2000 Vice President Muzenda (since deceased) said,
"If we (Zanu PF) put up a baboon as a candidate, you must vote for them".
Well we will see if this is the case this time! We have done all we can to
ensure that the people have a choice. I think we have a chance - but we need
help to make it happen.
MDC needs - a great deal of money to
campaign, to catch up in the media when we finally are allowed space, to
organise on the ground so that every polling station is covered by trained
and dedicated polling agents. We need volunteers to man our campaign offices,
to run errands and to do the million and one things that must be done. In
addition we are asking specifically for volunteers to provide vehicles,
drivers and fuel and food for polling day. These will be used to deploy
polling agents on the day before polling, to then supervise the poll at up to
5 polling stations and then co-ordinate the results from counting that night
for relay to national headquarters. Why not take three days leave and come
and have some fun on the ground with us - and in the process make sure that
this time, the result is not stolen from the people.
Workers persuaded MDC to join poll February 05 2005 at
By Peta Thornycroft
Harare - The working-class
supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change persuaded the party
leadership not to oppose participation in Zimbabwe's general election next
Until a few weeks ago, some of the MDC's most influential
and thoughtful leaders were adamant that the party should not take
Over the Christmas holidays those "morally" committed to a
boycott of the poll - their fundamental objection being the inflated voters'
roll - came under intense pressure from supporters to change their
This emerged at the MDC's national executive meeting on
Wednesday and at a session of its national council on Thursday
Tendai Biti, MDC's finance secretary, said: "I hope
it is clear that the MDC has reserved its rights about
"It should be understood we are participating under
extreme protest. We know the voters' roll is fraudulent but the pressure
from the working class was intense and overwhelming."
Wednesday the MDC leadership completed investigations into several
complaints from disappointed aspiring candidates. If MDC candidates lacked
the support of two-thirds of the party officials in their constituencies,
they had to submit themselves for election.
Most, but not all,
of the opposition's sitting MPs have won the right to stand
Imprisoned MP Roy Bennett was the only one whose name was
put forward by his constituency in eastern Zimbabwe, weeks before his
November sentencing for having shoved justice minister Patrick Chinamasa in
Bennett's wife, Heather, said this week she was not
sure whether her husband would be willing to stand again. He is not excluded
from standing because his prison conviction was decided by parliament, not
the courts, so technically he has committed no crime.
will have five white candidates, one more than in the 2000 parliamentary
poll. Ian Kay - a former dispossessed farmer beaten so badly when the
programme of evicting white farmers began in 2000 that he nearly died - is
standing in Marondera constituency 90km south-east of Harare.
standing in the constituency in which he lived before the ethnic purge and
will be up against defence minister Sidney Sekeremayi, who won his seat by
only 38 votes in 2000.
On the inflated roll of 5,6-million voters,
fewer than 10 000 white voters probably remain.
secretary David Coltart said the members of his "audit" team who began to
look at the voters' roll in his Bulawayo constituency yesterday were all
"These youngsters had a letter signed by me asking
residents to fill in their details but saying that they were under no
obligation to co-operate.
"We want to find out who is
registered, who has been left out, who has moved away from the constituency,
because we know the voters' roll is appalling.
"The police have
taken the forms and my laminated letter and told the youths that I needed
official permission for this audit, which is not so."
The six team
members were released late yesterday without charge.
spokespersons at national headquarters in Harare were not answering their
The biggest surprise for political observers
in Zimbabwe may be that the MDC has survived to fight another election at
Insiders say there are some constituencies in Zanu-PF's rural
strongholds, particularly in Mashonaland West province, where no party
HARARE, Feb. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- The Zimbabwean Ministry
of Health and Child Welfare has issued a cholera alert in Manicaland
following the outbreak of the disease, which killed four people in the
province last month.
The ministry said in a statement
released on Saturday that people intending to visit the affected areas
should take preventative measures to avoid contracting the disease and
spreading it to other areas.
"Since January 26, 20 cases have
been treated while four people have died," said the
Any suspected cholera cases must be reported to
health workers, said the ministry. People in affected areas should drink
safe water, cook and eat their food.
Cholera is a severe,
diarrheal disease that kills in a short period. People affected by the
disease lose body fluids through diarrhea and vomiting. The patient becomes
weak and dies if the fluids are not quickly replaced. Enditem
1: SEEKING - MAJOR ANDREW FULLER, received 4 February 2005
Can you assist me please. I have been asked by a friend in
the United Kingdom if I can assist in advising what has happened to her
friend, Major Andrew Fuller, who used to farm in the Bromley/Melfort/Ruwa
area. She has lost contact with him. Can you assist
Sincerely, Peter Bellingham Ex Assistant Commissioner
Zimbabwe says citizens abroad can only vote at home
05, 2005, 11:45
Zimbabwe's government has opposed a court bid by a group
of Zimbabweans living abroad who want to vote in the March elections, saying
they can only take part if they come back home, state media reported
The six Zimbabweans, based in Britain, filed an urgent application
in Zimbabwe's Supreme Court on Monday challenging laws that bar them from
voting in the March 31 parliamentary poll.
Under existing electoral
laws only Zimbabweans outside their home constituencies on national duty can
cast postal votes - a requirement critics say has disenfranchised more than
3 million people living abroad.
Zimbabwe's voters roll has 5.6 million
names on it, but it is not clear how many of those people live outside the
Opposing the application, the attorney general's office said
President Robert Mugabe's government would only be in breach of the
constitution if it barred its citizens living abroad from returning home to
vote in their constituencies.
No date has been set for the
Critics say Mugabe's government wants to block Zimbabweans
abroad from voting because it fears they will support the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The MDC this week lifted a
boycott threat to take part in the polls but said the political climate was
still tilted in favour of Mugabe's ZANU-PF, which it accuses of rigging
parliamentary polls in 2000 and a presidential vote won by Mugabe two years
Mugabe insists he won fairly and has declared that next month's
elections will bury the MDC, a party he says is a puppet of former colonial
power Britain. - Reuters
THE opposition MDC has ordered an
investigation into the Masvingo Central parliamentary primary elections
reportedly conducted by party leader Morgan Tsvangirai last month, which saw
incumbent legislator Silas Mangono lose to lawyer, Tongai Matutu.
MDC national council threw out other appeals from incumbent legislators who
lost the right to represent the opposition in the March parliamentary
elections. In an interview with The Daily Mirror yesterday, party
secretary general Welshman Ncube said: "On Masvingo Central the national
council referred the matter for investigations by the management committee
of the party." Asked why the president of the MDC is said to have personally
conducted the primary election, Ncube referred this newspaper to Tsvangirai.
"I can't answer that. Why don't you ask him?" Contacted for comment
yesterday Tsvangirai said "You have got it all wrong. Go to your source, he
or she must tell you the correct story. You can not come to me to confirm
lies." His spokesperson William Bango said on Sunday, the MDC will be holding
a constituency committee meeting in Masvingo Central. Said Bango: "Every
elected official from wards up to districts executives will be there to deal
with the campaign and disputes arising from the non confirmation of
Mangono." In a document leaked to The Daily Mirror and allegedly written by
Mangono, the legislator blamed the MDC leadership for the intra-party crisis
in Masvingo. "I and the people of Masvingo Central constituency feel
greatly betrayed and let down by the top leadership of the party who preach
democracy, good governance and peaceful free and fair elections yet in the
conduct of party affairs allow dictatorship, bad administration of primary
elections and violence unchecked," read the document. The document went
on: "The classical fraud occurred on16 January 2005 when the national party
president (Tsvangirai) came to conduct a primary election in Masvingo
Central. The organising department, through Mr Mdlongwa and Mr Mukashi had
communicated to everyone that the primary elections had been postponed so I
and many district and ward executives committee members were absent. These
have since petitioned the party. "We knew the president (Tsvangirai) was
coming to Masvingo to meet the provincial executive so we were waiting for
him at the Flamboyant Hotel when we heard he was addressing a primary
election." The document alleged that Matutu hired Masvingo Central district
youth executive to terrorise officials and members perceived to be his
supporters. Efforts to contact Matutu proved fruitless. Of the violence,
Mangono according to the document said: "Evidence is there in the form of
photographs, video, hospital cards and numerous reports written by the
victims. On 26 December 2004, I brought one badly injured victim to the
president's house and he had to fork $300 000 for medical expenses." It
was further alleged that Mangono was attacked by youths he aligned to Matutu
on October 9 2004 who poured battery acid on his head. "It is clear to me
that many people in Masvingo Central that there is an attempt by one section
of the top leadership to impose a candidate of their choice. This section
has refused to solve the problems in Masvingo Central because they knew that
if fairness and justice prevailed their candidate would lose, so they have
promoted violence and fraud," lamented the document. Contacted for
comment on the authenticity of the material, Mangono said: "The issue is
under investigation, therefore the only person who is competent to comment
is party spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi." Nyathi referred all issues
relating to appeals and petitions to organising secretary, Esaph Mdlongwa
who was unreachable. Turning to the intra-party woes in Harare, Ncube said
the MDC dismissed an appeal for the nullification of results in Mabvuku by
incumbent legislator, Justin Mutendadzamera and confirmed Timothy Mubhawu as
the official candidate. On Budiriro, Ncube said the appeal was rejected
while in Mbare there were no appeals. MDC supporters in Budiriro had
called for a re-run of the confirmation exercise won by Gilbert Shoko
claiming it was flawed. The grievances were forwarded to the national council
whose decision fell in favour of Shoko.
THE Grain Marketing Board's
(GMB) Midlands Regional Manager, Goodwill Shiri, will soon be hauled before
the parastatal's disciplinary committee after a probe into allegations of
abusing the quasi-government institution's maize and vehicles, to win votes
in the recent Zanu PF primaries, revealed that he had a case to
answer. Trouble for Shiri started when he stood against the Minister of State
for State Enterprises and Parastatals, Rugare Gumbo, in Mberengwa East and
lost, amid allegations that he had illegally moved grain to the constituency
to woo supporters. He initially sprang a surprise against the minister,
but his victory was short-lived after Gumbo appealed against the outcome on
the grounds that counting had not been done at two polling stations, Urasha
and Mbuya Nehanda. The appeal was successful, and when results from the
two centres were included, Gumbo emerged the victor. In an interview
yesterday, GMB's acting chief executive officer, Samuel Muvuti said a team
that was dispatched to investigate the allegations found that Shiri had a
case to answer. " We now have our facts, and he will appear before a
disciplinary committee soon. Apparently what we heard was true," Muvuti
said. He refused to say much on the issue, saying it would be subjudice, as
Shiri had not yet appeared before the committee. In Makoni West, where
incumbent Zanu PF MP, Gibson Munyoro attributed the Minister of Agriculture,
Joseph Made's victory to the distribution of GMB inputs, Muvuti said the
allegations were not true. The parastatal's acting boss added that a team
that was sent to investigate Shiri is also the one, which was sent to Makoni
west to probe allegations against Made. No comment could be obtained from
Shiri yesterday as he was unreachable. Last Sunday he told The Daily Mirror
that he was being framed."I am not aware of anything. There is nothing
amiss, " Shiri said.
Opposition party a home of total confusion:
From Netsai Kembo in Mutare issue date
FORMER Zanu PF secretary general and veteran nationalist
Edgar Tekere has lashed out at the MDC for "dilly dallying" in announcing
its decision to take party in the March parliamentary elections and
described the opposition as a home of "total confusion." Tekere said by
dragging its feet on whether to contest in the polls, the MDC had shot
itself in the foot since it was now late for the opposition to effectively
communicate its participation to its rural structures. The MDC on Thursday
announced that it would take part in the parliamentary elections, ending
five months of a poll boycott. They had cited an uneven political playing
field, which they continue to say tilts heavily in favour of Zanu
PF. The opposition, among other things, accused government of denying access
to the public media, use of draconian laws like POSA and AIPPA to baselessly
prosecute as well as harass the opposition members and scuttle free flow of
information. It also demanded full implementation by government of the
Sadc protocol on democratic elections. Tekere-who fell out of favour
with the ruling Zanu PF in 1989, said the move to contest in the
parliamentary election by the MDC would confuse the electorate. "The
party has lots of mix-ups. They never seem to know what exactly to do. One
time they say this, and the next say that but all to their disadvantage,"
Tekere said. "What a pity that they are now saying they will contest the
general elections in protest and yet word had already spread like veld-fire
that they would not participate? Who would ever take them seriously even if
they declared to participate in protest? That's a non-starter in Zimbabwe.
Participation would remain participation." Tekere reiterated that the
worthiness of any party was determined by its performance in national
elections and for the MDC to boycott was rendering itself totally
insignificant and a betrayal of supporters. "Inyadzi chete. Vanoziva kuti
havahwini. Vaitika vanoda kugadziridza hupfumi. Saka vapinde, vahwineka
vagadzirise (They are ashamed. They know they will never win. They said they
would like to rebuild the country's economy. Now they should participate
and win and fulfil their promise)," added Tekere.
criminalises aid organisations Correspondents Report - Sunday, 6
February , 2005 Reporter: Rochelle Mutton HAMISH ROBERTSON:
One African country where poverty is unlikely to be halved by the year 2015
is Zimbabwe, whose once flourishing economy is in a state of near
Millions of Zimbabweans now face starvation in a country
whose farming sector used to be one of the most efficient in
Critics of President Robert Mugabe's regime say government
policies are largely to blame. But despite widespread international
condemnation, Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF government remains defiant, and is even
taking control of all humanitarian relief.
Under a proposed new
law, the Non-Governmental Organisations Bill, charity will become a crime,
with aid workers facing jail terms.
Because foreign reporters are
also banned from operating in Zimbabwe, Rochelle Mutton visited the country
secretly to compile this report.
(Sound of children laughing and
ROCHELLE MUTTON: These kids are on a special outing,
organised by a local church in Zimbabwe. To hear them squeal with this much
excitement is rare. But today they've been filled with food and love. Most
are orphans with little to laugh about.
I spoke to one of the
girls, Julia, who's 14.
JULIA: I feel better because.
ROCHELLE MUTTON: She's watching the others play games as she tells me her
tragic story. Her mum died eight years ago, dad two years later, both from
AIDS. Julia and her two brothers survive on help from an international NGO
that pays for their food, education and clothing.
In a country
where one in four adults are HIV positive, Zimbabwe has one million orphans.
People are desperate. A new law is about to make it a whole lot
GRAEME SHAW: You can be sure a significant number of people
are already dying of starvation and the numbers will increase as we go
ROCHELLE MUTTON: Graeme Shaw is a Methodist Minister in
Bulawayo. Because his church runs a feeding program he could go to prison.
The ruling Zanu-PF Party has just passed a bill that makes humanitarian aid
GRAEME SHAW: Zanu-PF is seeking now to take total control
of the food supply and distribution in the country. They no longer welcome
those who are effectively feeding the people. You could say that charitable
work has been criminalised.
ROCHELLE MUTTON: This young pastor
knows the orphans' needs. He's from Gokwe north, where there's a bad
PASTOR: As we are getting to a period that there is a
drought or there's not enough food it becomes serious. yeah, like some
doesn't want to go to school because there's no food.
MUTTON: It was getting help from the Swiss Medair Charity that fed 90,000
school children. Because he's been helping the orphans, this pastor hadn't
heard the bad news from home.
PASTOR: So they've been recently
ROCHELLE MUTTON: They've been denied registration,
they've been denied worker's permits and they've left the
KERRY KAY: It's absolute insanity. It's the breakdown of
everything and anything that would assist communities and uphold service
organisations from the Swiss, the Dutch, that have assisted in orphan
programs, in income generating projects, in water, boreholes,
ROCHELLE MUTTON: Kerry Kay was running a national HIV
AIDS program that the Government closed down. She condemns it for its NGO
KERRY KAY: They want total and absolute control. So anything
that's got any influence on the people of Zimbabwe and especially to do with
feeding or caring is a threat now. It's absolute madness. I've tried for a
week to get millimeal, staple diet of the people, and it's today is the
first day I've managed to get ten KGs here.
What happens to the children who were on those feeding programs,
KERRY KAY: Only God knows. Really, I think it's
ROCHELLE MUTTON: David Coltart is Shadow Minister for
Justice in the Zimbabwe Parliament. He says the NGO Bill is designed to use
food as a political weapon and hush up severely embarrassing reports about
the Mugabe Government's human rights abuses.
They fear that they will face prosecution if they lose power. And so the NGO
Bill has now been necessary, in their view, because they are convinced that
the NGOs have supplemented the flow of information out of the
I think it's designed to have a chilling effect so that
NGOs will constantly be looking over their shoulder, wondering whether
they'll fall foul of the law and locked up in cells. The victims will be the
hundreds of thousands if not millions of poor Zimbabweans who've benefited
ROCHELLE MUTTON: Even at the threat of being thrown in a
Zimbabwe prison, some, like Reverend Shaw, are willing to defy the Mugabe
GRAEME SHAW: Our mandate to feed the starving comes from
God himself. That is all the mandate that we need. We do not need the
State's permission to do this work.
HAMISH ROBERTSON: Graeme
Shaw, who's a Methodist Minister in Bulawayo, talking to Rochelle Mutton
about the implications of the NGO Bill which has now been passed Zimbabwe's
OPINION February 5, 2005 Posted to the web February 5,
Basil Enwegbara Lagos
I have always asked myself, why
should anyone forgive you what you owe him or her if you are not living like
a debtor, if your lifestyle remains extravagant and reckless. I have always
wondered why our creditors should just unilaterally forgive our debts simply
because we are crying out loud for their forgiveness. I have always wondered
why should they loud given their businesslike intentions?
important reasons why I always ask myself these questions, and I would like
you also to be fair to yourself and ask the same questions. One is: did he
or she lend with the intention to forego his or her money later? The second
question is: if he or she foregoes his money, will he or she be ready to
lend you next time? These bring us to another obvious question: why did he
or she lend you money in the first place, as a "Father Christmas"?
wealthy family lends money to a neighbouring poor family, and comes to
discover that this poor family is reckless in spending, and that the parents
of this poor family are more extravagant than them, shouldn't the children
of the lending parents demand their parents not to forgive the borrower?
Since nations are not quite different from families, aren't leaders
accountable to their citizens, who elected them to protect their national
interests? Are these leaders and their fellow citizens not reading our daily
newspapers? How one scandal of massive public corruption leads to another in
Nigeria? Just like the rich parents, what will these curious leaders have as
reasons to forgive us our debt?
Why should a money-lender who lives
off the proceeds of his/her business, willingly lets go this bonanza? Put
differently: why should a wealthy nation like Nigeria, at least as far as
oil is concerned, expect debt forgiveness? What are we expecting the
importers of our oil to use in paying for the oil? Or will we give it to
them free of charge? In other words, isn't keeping us indebted one way to
keep the oil flowing uninterrupted? On this basis, it is understandable why
the money-lenders are playing with words, why they don't want to tell us the
painful truth --that is, that they will never forgive our debts or let us
off the trap, notwithstanding our noisy outcry. But if we are fair enough,
or realistic enough we can easily see where they are coming from. Of what
benefits are forgiving our debts to them? Not any.
As we refuse to be
responsible for our problems, it is quite understandable why those who
benefit from our irresponsibility will never let's off the hook. Human
nature is what it has always been--the strongest and most intelligent animal
is better equipped in taking advantage of the weakest and least intelligent
animal. It is a historical truism that the weakest species as an endangered
species in animal kingdom must always remain prey for the survival of the
strongest, even if that means its gradual extinction.
are no different. They have exploited every opportunity our weakness
presents. As borrowers without anyway out, without any way of demonstrating
an ability to pay back, the lender has to increase his benefits to offset
the high risk our money-lenders have always seen opportunity coming. Our
story today no different from today's American credit card debtors who are
trapped in Credit Union. Once in the trap of the Credit Unions, these poor
American debtors are followed wherever they go. They are only left with a
meagre percentage of their income just to keep alive in order to continue
paying. And any slight failure to meet the date forces them start over
again. Because the creditors are in a union, any efforts to escape from the
trap are frustrated. To leave one for another, one is asked to go and clear
one's debt first before contemplating the change.
The agonies of poor
Americans are the same Nigeria's agonies. Like the poor Americans indebted
for life, Nigeria is in the trap of its life too. Little wonder our
creditors now decide how we spend the fraction that comes to us after paying
the huge interest on interests that we owe to them. Little wonder the
money-lenders never lend us money for capital projects, products critical to
our economic and industrial take-off. Little wonder our money-lenders have,
rightly in their own interest, made us perpetual borrower and debtor. Little
wonder these money-lenders have allowed us to borrow to finance consumption
rather than production. Little wonder they have allowed us to borrow to run
and maintain big government, large defence, and to maintain expensive
diplomatic missions wherever they too have. In short, little wonder they
have allowed us to borrow not for economic and industrial development
reasons but for the consumption of their products.
We are now trapped.
Just like the poor American trapped inside the credit union, we are inside
the briefcase of the global financial institutions. And no amount of our
outrage can let us off the hook. Or are they stupid to let us go? No, they
are not. This is because who else will take our current place? Just think
about it; a prey held as meal by a hungry lion is crying out for help. Help
from whom, from the same lion, the king of the forest? From where will the
next meal come if it let loose the prey?
To make sure we are not secretly
planning to put our creditor out of business, they have ways kept a close
watch on us. That includes sitting on the boards of all our critical
development initiatives so that they can make sure they are in control, and
that there are no surprises. Certainly determining what comes out of our
every development initiative requires first controlling what goes into the
initiative in the first place. This is where Alexander the Great's art of
strategy has been well applied. Alexander the Great taught his followers
that their ability to defeat opponents would depend on their ability to
constantly master opponents' strengths and weaknesses, and if possible, be
in charge of their critical affairs, watch them so closely, and make them
friends. This is the same reason why our lenders are interested in who is
elected President, who are the cabinet ministers, who are responsible for
formulating and sharpening economic and development policies for Nigeria,
and what are the next budgets focusing on?
It is for this same reason
that they will never allow us to invest in revenue generating projects
because having positive returns on our investment, and accumulating capital
have the likelihood of making us repay our debts in full. It is for this
same reason that they won't allow us invest massively in health care
infrastructure, in agriculture, in building and expanding our transportation
network, and in improving energy sector and water supply. Most importantly,
it is because of this reason that our money-lenders disapprove of our
investing in technological advances and research driven education and
training. It is the same reason that they use some of us to disrupt any
genuine efforts that are geared towards real change, by coming up with a
parallel project which has to be abandoned as soon as it is able to achieve
the objective of disruption. But is there anything wrong with the activities
of the money-lender? I will always say none.
But why should we always
blame only the money-lenders? What about their Nigerian connivers who help
to frustrate our development efforts? Or have we forgotten that there are
Nigerians, who, today make wealth off our debt, simply because each time we
pay interest on interests, they too get paid their own percent commission
for helping facilitate the payments? Of course, are these, too are Nigerians
demanding debt forgiveness?
I will argue--if we are serious about this
debt problem thing, that we begin with the examination of what we really
want to achieve in pursuing debt forgiveness. This is where I commend
President Obasanjo's recent efforts, his seeing the debt issue as a serious
cancer that is devouring the entire body, which must be stopped. I would
like the president to go further and present a bill to the National Assembly
that would make it illegal for any government in Nigeria, federal or state
to seek or obtain foreign or domestic loan without first seeking the
approval of the people, on whose interest the money is being borrowed. The
law should also make any foreign or domestic lender as co-conspirator should
the lender go ahead to lend money without the approval of the
Finally, I strongly believe that notwithstanding our president's
smart move, Nigeria cannot go it alone. African governments should come
together to tell the world of money-lenders that the debt burden has
bankrupted and destroyed Africa that that should no longer be allowed to
continue, if continent expect a future for next generations. Our leaders
should declare these debts null and void, and appeal to the friends of
Africa to help us lead a debt cancellation campaign. But African leaders
should also recognise that without funding this campaign and hiring powerful
lobbyists, the campaigns won't get anywhere. So, rather than continuing to
pay out billions annually to meet interest on interests, our leaders should
fund these efforts.