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

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Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.
-Jules de Gaultier


I was astounded by the response I got to the first image sent just YESTERDAY.

When I created the first 'graphic commentaries' series in 2000, I had no idea they would be so far-reaching but the anticipation of this series has been touching, positive and overwhelming.

Like wildfire, they have started to feature on some important web-sites. Newspapers and magazines are interested, organisations, companies and even embassies have asked to be included on the mailing list. Beside Zimbabwe, requests from Brazil to Egypt, Sweden to Iran show the solidarity with our struggle for truth, tolerance and justice.

I thank you for you encouragement and support.

I would like to answer every email but my schedule and other commitments mean that almost all my time is accounted for over the next month. In the next few days I will be setting up a web-site from where anybody who wants the images, is free to download them. I will let you know when that is up and you can pass that around.

I am also listening to your suggestions and ideas to see how they can be incorporated in the series. I would ask you to be patient though as there are many topics and issues that need to be addressed and some of these can't be rushed.

Besides our evil regime, time is also my enemy and I will try my best to create an image a day at least. This means, like everything else in life, some images will be stronger than others. Some will be simpler than others but ultimately the most important goal is to get the messages out there.

Finally again, please feel free to distribute these (emailed, printed, photocopied etc.) to who ever wants them, especially those who need to see them (policy and decision makers) and those who can use them (our tortured brothers and sisters with no access to technology).

As Ghandi passionately said "Become the change you seek"

Take Courage,

Chaz Maviyane-Davies

The next image:

Portal 2
As they squeeze the life-blood out of our vanquished country those who can, must vote for change.
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04 February 2002

Officer Commanding (Masvingo Province),

Zimbabwe Republic Police,

P.O. Box 125,


Dear Mr. Moyo,


I refer to the above meeting of my committee, which was held on Friday 01, February 2002, at our Masvingo office.

Whilst it has been said that there is a crack down on political violence nation wide I am afraid I must report that from what came out of this meeting was a completely different picture. I found this very disturbing particularly after a few incidents that I knew of had been "satisfactorily" resolved. Some of these incidents related can in no way need any clarification between being "criminal" or "political" whether this is really even necessary or not.

As examples I list the following matters of concern for your attention: -

  1. Mwenezi Police Station is reported to be without any satisfactory transport and therefore could not react to an emergency distress call sent out at 2am. The Quaggapan homestead had been surrounded by a drunken mob – which fortunately dispersed after several hours.

  2. Again at Mwenezi Police found it necessary to investigate a sudden death on Sweetwaters and coerced the ranch manager to carry the body with his own transport to Neshuru Hospital only to be refused entry to the morgue "because it was full". The deceased was then returned to her husband on the farm to spend the night in a very unhygienic situation.

  3. It sounds like we have a particular problem with the Mashava Police station who are reported to be extremely cautious about investigating crimes on commercial farms in the area.

  4. Spring Spruit Farm has been targeted for a long time and we hear of rapes and abductions, which have never been investigated. Just last week two staff members were severely beaten by suspected party officials. When they went to the Police their cases were neither recorded nor investigated. Even the hospital apparently refused to treat them without a letter from the Police (who had refused to issue a letter).

  5. On the same farm the community fishing camp has been taken over by party hierarchy and used (and abused) as "their base" for some considerable time now.

  6. Six out of eight boreholes are also reported to have been stripped of both headgear and underground piping and pumps – again no police action.

  7. On Lochinvar we have had stocktheft reportedly totalling into the hundreds, and again absolutely no effective Police action or investigation has been carried out. This is despite suspected senior Government persons involvement and Government vehicle numbers being given to the Police. The complainants have reportedly been told just to keep it quiet due to the high profile of the political suspects. The losses run into many millions of dollars.

  8. In Gutu we have a problem with negotiating with the "committees of 7" as well as the District Administrator, who seem hell bent on frustrating any efforts by commercial farmers to negotiate or find suitable grazing for their livestock. The attitude of the District Administrator was well described and defined in my previous report of his alleged actions on Bath Farm prior to the Commonwealth Ministerial visit.

  9. Despite my pleading with the various authorities absolutely no responsible action has been taken in regard to the critical state of the animals’ welfare in both the Gutu and Chatsworth commercial farming areas. These animals’ grazing is being extremely restricted by certain well-known people who seem to have their own political agendas. The cruelty and forced starvation of commercial farmers’ cattle in these areas is absolutely shocking and inhumane. This must, with respect be stopped forthwith, and the cattle need to be able to graze freely!

  10. We have a similar situation where there is virtually no response from the Chatsworth Police Station to calls from commercial farmers. There have been a number of distress calls to there recently, which could very well have been a matter of life and death and have received a zero response. Is it really necessary for farmers to have to disturb the senior provincial and district officers in Masvingo to get a response every time there is an incident on Chatsworth farms?

  11. We talk of course of the continued harassment on Bath Farm, which seems to have been continually targeted for no logical reason except for probably orders strongly suspected to come from a fore mentioned character in the district administration.

We have found in this province that it does not matter who our farmers talk to or turns to for help, nothing has ever been resolved and therefore the animals are continually made to suffer for "political reasons" which they cannot be part of.

My major concern is the safety of my farmers, their staff, their homes and their livestock in the build-up to the forthcoming watershed elections, especially if we continue to have to exist in the environment and conditions as described above.

On these matters I respectfully seek your guidance, advice, assistance and response. Please be assured of our absolute, and peaceful, co-operation before and after the election, after which we sincerely hope to be able to produce the necessary food for our starving nation.

Yours sincerely,

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ZIMBABWE: Food security threatened - maize stocks low

JOHANNESBURG, 7 February (IRIN) - Zimbabwe faces a critical shortage of maize with preliminary production figures looking gloomy, the Grain Producers Association (ZGPA) told IRIN Thursday.

Vanessa McKay, administrator for the ZGPA said it was clear that the expected yield this harvest would be insufficient to feed the country in the next few months.

Production of maize in Zimbabwe has been affected by a number of things, among them disruptions caused by the controversial land re-distribution programme of President Robert Mugabe. Further exacerbating the situation is an unusually dry season, a shortage of fertiliser and a decrease of 41 percent in the total area of land planted with maize by commercial farmers.

While the World Food Programme (WFP) has begun importing into Zimbabwe basic items, such as maize meal and cooking oil, they as yet have insufficient stock in their warehouses to cover the expected shortage.

Said McKay: "It's been a dry year so far and in parts of the south of the country crops are devastated, so crop projections are for a low yield of 820 kg per hectare, which would give a national output of (just over) 1 million mt. If by some miracle it turns out to be an average season, with a yield of 1.11 mt per hectare, we'd have a total national output of 1.4 million mt."

However, an average yield is unlikely, said McKay: "February should be our wettest month of the year, but the forecast is that we'll only get rain on 11 February, so its a very, very dry season."

Zimbabwe's annual maize consumption is conservatively estimated 1.8 million mt per annum.

"However, if one bases consumption on the official mid-year population rate then the consumption figure would be two million  tons. It's highly likely that consumption of maize is down, for some months (people in) certain areas of Zimbabwe have been resorting to eating roots of plants and boiling grasses for nutritional requirements because of the short supply," McKay claimed.

The Zimbabwean Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is reportedly sourcing 200,000 mt of maize from South African producers to cover the shortfall. However, reports have suggested that it is now having problems in transporting the maize into Zimbabwe.

Said McKay: "With official crop estimates of last year, including the grain marketing board reserves, we predicted that we would have a national stock-out (no maize stock) in mid-February this year, if imports had not landed prior to mid-February. Information is that four truck loads (of government sourced maize) have crossed the boarder into Zimbabwe. They are 32 ton trucks, which means it's a drop in the ocean. It takes 150,000 mt a month to feed the country, and only four trucks with 128 mt have arrived."

At the end of December last year the government introduced new legislation which enabled it to seize maize that is held outside the GMB. Traditionally farmers, particularly large-scale commercial farmers, keep maize to sustain their labourers and dependents and livestock. "Since 28 December government and the GMB have been moving onto farms to seize maize stocks, so far about 50,000 mt have been seized. I  would estimate there's not more than 15,000 mt left," said McKay.

Although WFP will soon begin distributing food, it does not have sufficient quantities to completely cover the shortage. WFP programme officer in Zimbabwe, Anna Shotton, told IRIN that they bought 5,200 mt of maize meal, 600 mt of beans, 250 mt of ground nuts and 110 mt of vegetable oil.

"We've already bought that in South Africa and we are trying to move it to warehouses, one in Bulawayo, one in Chiredzi and another in Bindura." The warehouses were chosen for their locations to better enable the WFP to distribute food.

"The food security situation is now serious and will continue to worsen after the harvest, which is March/April. The situation in the rural areas should improve, we are planning to start distribution of food aid from the middle of this month. We hope to mitigate some of the food shortages," she said.

Shotton quoted local reports of high maize prices to underline the seriousness of the shortage. "In mid January the price ranged between Z$22.22 (about US $0.40 at the official rate) to Z$38.89 (US $0.70) per kilogram and that's a 100 percent increase compared to October 2001 prices. In October 2001 the range was Z$11.11 to Z$19.44 per kg. Although it's normal to see price increases as it gets nearer to harvest, the current maize prices in Zimbabwe are abnormally high for this time of year."

Shotton said maize stocks continue to decrease. The last official maize stock figures date back to December 2001.

"Farmers are experiencing a shortage of fertilizers, there are reports of water logging and dry spells in various areas, this will reduce maize yields. The outlook is that production of maize will be lower. With cash crops there's been a significant decrease in areas planted, 54 percent decrease for tobacco, 44 percent for soya, and 56 percent decrease for sunflowers. Tobacco of course is a foreign currency earner," she said.
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ZIMBABWE: Death rate mounts in political violence

JOHANNESBURG, 7 February (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's political violence claimed 16 lives in January, the highest figure recorded so far, according to a report by a human rights umbrella group.

"This is the highest number of deaths recorded in any one month since the first politically motivated murder that was recorded in March 2000," the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said in the report released on Wednesday. "This figure may be higher [still] as it is possible that other deaths went unreported."

The rights group identified only two of the fatalities as being supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF. It alleged that "carefully orchestrated violence" was part of a "modus operandi to crush opposition party support" ahead of the 9-10 March presidential election.

The report said attacks continued on schoolteachers in particular, "whose recognised competence to influence and inform their communities has long been considered a threat by the government".

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman, Learnmore Jongwe, told IRIN that while ZANU-PF publically urged non-violence, it "has absolutely no intention of dropping violence in this election campaign. They need this climate of intimidation in the run-up to the poll."

Jongwe said that no-go zones for the opposition in several parts of the country, new legislation that disenfranchises Zimbabweans that live abroad, and his party's lack of access to state media, meant that "one can easily come to the conclusion that the election is not going to be free and fair, even if the MDC wins it".

Jongwe said that under Zimbabwe's new public order legislation, the MDC had been barred by the police from holding 63 rallies across the country, restrictions that had not applied to ZANU-PF. He alleged that where rallies had taken place, road blocks had been thrown up by the police with the aim of turning back supporters.

The state-run Herald newspaper on Thursday quoted police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena as denying the accusation. He emphasised that under the Public Order and Security Act, organisers of public gatherings are required to give four days written notice to the police.

"It must be appreciated that as a necessary strategy to prevent crime, the police are deployed on to the roads to search motor vehicles and individuals as a security measure to weed out those carrying dangerous weapons," said Bvudzijena. "Many people have been arrested for carrying dangerous weapons to rallies, which they could use to inflict injuries on others."
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From ZWNEWS, 7 February

And again...

Nkayi – A second assault on opposition campaigners took place yesterday in the Nkayi district some 150 kms north-west of Bulawayo. An MDC showboat – a convoy of vehicles with loudspeakers and singing supporters – was stopped by the police, who arrested many, including three MDC MPs – Abednego Bhebe, Peter Nyoni and George Ndlovu. Getrude Mthombeni, a member of the party’s national executive was also detained, along with an unknown number of other opposition supporters. Zanu PF youth and militia then dispersed into the surrounding area and beat up anyone found with MDC campaign leaflets. Soldiers were present and shots were heard. Intimidation of Zanu PF supporters was also stepped up in Bulawayo yesterday. Simon Spooner, who together with MDC Treasurer Fletcher Dulini-Ncube and more than a dozen others was arrested last year, and kept in jail illegally for five weeks in shocking conditions, was yesterday charged with possession of an "unsafe weapon". The charge relates to a fully licensed weapon found in an unlocked cupboard at the time of his initial arrest last year. Spooner has been ordered to report to Detective Inspector Matira today. Matira has become notorious in Matabeleland for his involvement in political violence. Craig Biddlecombe, one of the bodyguards of David Coltart MP, has also been threatened with the same charge. Weapons belonging to Biddlecombe have been in the police armoury since March last year.

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From The Financial Gazette, 7 February

Terror squads camp on farms

Zimbabwe’s commercial farmers this week said President Robert Mugabe’s militant war veterans had set up "re-education camps" on several farms in Mashonaland East, where ruling Zanu PF youths were being trained in military tactics to hunt down opposition party supporters. They said youths were forcibly recruited in the province and sent to terrorise opposition party supporters and white farmers, threatening to harm them if they did not vote for Mugabe in next month’s presidential election. Youths from the government’s Border Gezi Training Centre near Mount Darwin are said to be assisting the war veterans with the training on the commercial farms. The Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) this week said at one Mashonaland East farm, Glen Sommerset in Macheke, up to 150 people were being trained daily by war veterans before being sent to other properties. "There is a training camp in full swing with plus or minus 150 people training daily close to the farmer’s house on Glen Sommerset," said a senior CFU official. He declined to provide further detail, saying it would jeopardise the farmer’s life.

The national chairman of the Zimbabwe Victims Rehabilitation Support Network (ZVRSN), Bopoto Nyandoro, said war veterans had also set up 10 bases in Mashonaland East where suspected opposition supporters were being tortured. He said a field study undertaken by ZVRSN had revealed that opposition Movement for Democratic Change supporters were being kidnapped, tortured and forced to reveal where their colleagues lived. He said the 10 bases were at Irene Farm, Igava, Pondarossa, Michel, Gumbeze, Sheba, Nyagambe, Mohoroza, Tranquility and Safari Farm, all located around Macheke. "Their (war veterans) strategy is that they kidnap and torture political opponents and force them to reveal where other supporters are living," he told the Financial Gazette. "Where reports have been made to the police, it is usually the victim who is arrested on the basis that he is being investigated for abducting a Zanu PF supporter." Police at Marondera provincial headquarters refused to comment on the issue, saying they did not discuss allegations.

In its farm security report this week, the CFU reported that in other provinces war veterans and Zanu PF youths were terrorising workers and farmers and falsely accusing farmers of sabotaging their crops. The organisation said the accusations were being made so that the war veterans could expel the farmers from their properties. Meanwhile, the National Association of Social Workers-Zimbabwe yesterday said social welfare officers distributing drought relief money in rural areas were being chased away by villagers who complained that the amounts were too little. "We fear for the safety and lives of all these civil servants and we urge everyone to be tolerant with them as they discharge their duties to the public," association secretary Douglas Machiridza said, appealing to the police, chiefs and politicians to provide protection.

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From The Star (SA), 6 February

EU denies 'sneaking' observers into Zimbabwe

Harare - The European Union mission in Zimbabwe on Wednesday denied government claims that it had "sneaked" uninvited observers into the country for the presidential elections on March 9 and 10, risking a diplomatic incident. President Robert Mugabe, 77, who is seeking re-election after 22 years in power, has banned British personnel coming in under the guise of the European Union or the Commonwealth, claiming Tony Blair's government is behind an international conspiracy to replace him with the Movement for Democratic Change candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, 49. Willard Chiwewe, permanent secretary (top civil servant) in the ministry of foreign affairs, told state radio he believed numbers of British and European personnel had come before receiving letters from Mugabe's government, and were "not welcome". "Those who sneak into Zimbabwe avoiding the normal processes cannot be deemed to be friends of Zimbabwe," said Chiwewe.

However, a spokesperson for the EU office in Harare said confusion may have arisen because it was planning to seek accreditation for some staff already based in the Zimbabwean capital, with special knowledge of local conditions. "We totally reject that we have covertly or illegally sneaked in anybody," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He believed there were "very strong indications" formal letters of invitation would be issued to EU observers and expected 20-30 would be accredited to begin work by the beginning of next week. He predicted a total 150 would be "in place" before polling began.

There have been widespread fears for the freedom and fairness of the upcoming elections following two years of violence in which 200 people including nine white farmers have died. Human rights groups allege state funded militants, often calling themselves veterans of the 1972-80 guerrilla war in former Rhodesia, have taken the lead in victimisation of suspected opposition, particularly in commercial farming areas where 5 000 whites are being evicted to make way for 300 000 black Zimbabweans. Former Nigerian head of state Abdulsalami Abubakar is to lead a group of Commonwealth observers while another group will be supplied by the 14 nation South African Development Community, of which Zimbabwe is a member.

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Daily News

Police ban dangerous weapons

2/7/02 4:22:20 AM (GMT +2)

From Our Correspondent in Masvingo

AS political violence continues in Masvingo province, the police have banned
the public from moving around with dangerous weapons.

There have been five deaths resulting from political violence in the
province since the beginning of January.

Chief Superintendent Edmore Veterai, the officer commanding Masvingo
district, said with effect from 1 February the public had been banned from
moving around with weapons such as catapults, knobkerries, knives, clubs,
spears and guns. The measures, he said, are in line with the provisions of
the recently promulgated Public Order and Security Act. "Those found with
these weapons will be arrested," said Veterai. "Police have the right to
seize such weapons without any warrant."

Meanwhile, on Monday, the police arrested five Zanu PF youths manning a
roadblock demanding party membership cards along the Masvingo-Rupike road.
They were part of a group that terrorised people in the Nyajena communal
lands, demanding party cards from villagers.

In Gutu South at Nyamandi village, Opias Ruwocha, an MDC activist, was
allegedly robbed of $20 000 and property worth thousands of dollars when
Zanu PF youths raided his homestead on Tuesday.

Ruwocha said: "They came at night and and beat up my son before taking with
them the money and the property."

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Daily News

Maize crisis not over as transport blues hit GMB

2/7/02 4:11:15 AM (GMT +2)

By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor

MAIZE shortages will continue next month because limitations on rail wagon
availability and rail line capacity will make it virtually impossible for
200 000 tonnes promised to Zimbabwe by South African companies to be in the
country soon, sources in the transport industry said yesterday.

The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) said this week that the first consignment of
the 200 000 tonnes of maize had arrived in Beitbridge and "there was no need
to panic". But sources close to the GMB said yesterday only a single truck
had delivered an insignificant 35 tonnes of maize to the Beitbridge border
post by yesterday.

Zimbabwe is facing a serious maize shortfall because of a poor rainfall
season which resulted in low yields last year, while commercial farmers
reduced planting by 50 percent, due to uncertainties caused by President
Mugabe's politicisation of the land issue.

Sources in the transport industry said rail transporters would only be able
to move
between 30 000 and 40 000 tonnes of maize in a month because of constraints
wagons and the rail line.

"It is too ambitious for one to say that 200 000 tonnes of maize can be
moved in one month. If rail companies are forced to carry 200 000 tonnes,
the rail line will burst," a source in the rail industry said.

The 30 000 or 40 000 tonnes that is likely to be imported into the country
in the next month is far from meeting Zimbabwe's monthly human needs of
about 120 000 tonnes.

Spoornet, the South African rail company is touted to be the main
transporter of the maize.

Contacted for comment, Harare-based Spoornet business manager for
international rail traffic, Matthew Senga, confirmed the company would
handle the GMB maize but refused to give details.

"Yes, we are going to move the GMB maize. We actually began transporting the
maize last week but we will not give details to the Press because our
company policy prohibits it," Senga said.

The sources said the GMB would supplement the rail import with road
transport but the total tonnage to be imported would still not be enough for
normal supplies.

GMB operations manager, Justine Mutasa told the State-controlled Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday that the GMB would use 10 more 32-tonne
trucks from the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) for the importation of
the maize from South Africa. If these trucks are to be used every day, they
will only be able to bring about 320 tonnes into the country, which is still
an inconsequential amount.

Under normal circumstances a miller grinds about 500 tonnes a day, a
quantity which is still considered unimportant, in relation to national

Mutasa was quoted yesterday in the state-controlled Herald as saying that
already three trains, each pulling 35 wagons carrying 1 450 tonnes, were set
to arrive at Beitbridge this week.

This means that a total of 4 350 tonnes would be in this particular load,
but it is still less than the country's daily needs of about 5 000 tonnes.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture Rural Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made, who
of late has remained silent about the maize imports, has been accused by
food experts in the country of causing the current maize crisis, as he last
year adamantly denied there would be food shortages.

Enock Kamushida has been castigated by the maize industry for delaying the
maize imports, which, if they had been made from September last year, would
have averted the current maize shortage.

There were allegations that there would be delays in the transportation of
the 10 000 tonnes of maize promised by the Republic of South Africa Agri
(RSA Agri) because the GMB had failed to raise letters of credit as a result
of foreign currency shortages.

Joan Mutukwa, acting GMB chief executive officer had not responded to
questions fielded by The Daily News yesterday.

RSA Agri managing director, Jonathan Edwards said: "The GMB is still
organising the letters of credit and attempting to do whatever is
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Daily News

Observers unwelcome if there's something to hide

2/7/02 4:33:13 AM (GMT +2)

THE European Union team which observed the 27 December tripartite elections
in Zambia has produced a damning final report.

It used the word "unsafe" to describe an acceptance of the results as a true
reflection of the voters' decision.

The Carter Centre of the United States made a similarly unfavourable report.
There were so many anomalies, the two reports concluded, the final result
could not be considered free and fair.

When you consider that Levy Mwanawasa, the ruling Movement for Multiparty
Democracy's candidate, won with a measly 29 percent of the total vote cast
for a party in power for 10 years, then you wonder at the legitimacy of his
Mwanawasa passed through Harare on Tuesday on his way to Paris.

Commenting on the two unfavourable reports on his election, he made the
hardly unexpected statement that African countries should in future not
invite European or other foreign observers to their elections.

That statement was inevitably lapped up by the government media in Zimbabwe:
it was music to the government's ears.

They are still chafing at the prospect of international observers being
unleashed on the 9-10 March presidential election here.

They tried almost everything to prevent the observers from coming, including
Mwanawasa's feeble and rather illogical argument that Africans were never
invited to observe elections in Europe or the United States.

A little background would be useful here.

During the Cold War, the West lent its economic and political support to any
African country which was anti-communist.

That government could butcher its own people, as Mobutu Sese Seko and Idi
Amin did, and still remain a darling of the West.

"Progressive" African leaders were vociferous in condemning this Western
support for "reactionary" regimes. They criticised the West for not
demanding of these countries the same democratic and multiparty standards as
existed in their own countries.

After the Cold War, the Amins and the Mobutus of Africa found life
The West was at last insisting that aid be conditional on the kind of
political system a country requesting aid applied - as the so-called
"progressive" African leaders had demanded.

The real trouble was that these same leaders turned out to be not as
progressive as they were cracked up to be.

In fact, most of them turned out to be as odiously dictatorial and despotic
as the Mobutus, the Amins, the Jean Bedel Bokassas and the Kamuzu Bandas.
Zimbabwe, like Zambia, can hardly survive without some form of foreign aid.
Most of this has to come from the West, which believes it has every right to
expect the recipients of its taxpayers' hard-earned francs,deutschmarks,
pounds or kroners to conduct their political affairs with a modicum of
decency and fairness.

The logic is that if they have nothing to hide during an election, there is
absolutely no reason why such countries would be against the presence of
foreign observers.

Any country would be proud if foreigners came away from observing its
elections with the verdict that its voters were given a free and fair
opportunity to make their choice.

The government keeps harping on the sovereignty of Zimbabwe.

That sovereignty has meaning only if the people themselves feel free and are
not suspicious of their government's every action.

This is not the case in Zimbabwe today.

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Daily News

Zanu PF still to decide on Harare mayoral candidate

2/7/02 4:19:34 AM (GMT +2)

By Luke Tamborinyoka Municipal Reporter

CONFUSION surrounds the nomination of the Zanu PF candidate for the Harare
mayoral election after the party's provincial executive submitted four names
to the Politburo on the same day the nomination court was supposed to sit.

On nomination day, Monday, Zanu PF had yet to name a candidate, raising
suspicion that the government would contest the court decision to hold
elections on 11 and 12 February because the party had no candidate.

The Supreme Court has set the latest date for the mayoral and council
elections, but the government insists the election must run concurrently
with the presidential poll on 9 and 10 March.

The government has now set 18 February as the day for the nomination court,
in defiance of the Supreme Court order.

The MDC has already confirmed the former Harare City Council engineer, Elias
Mudzuri, as its candidate.

On Tuesday, Stalin Mau Mau, Zanu PF's publicity and information secretary
for Harare province, said Enock Kamushinda, a businessman and chairman of
Zimbabwe Newspapers, was among the four names submitted to Zanu PF's

Mau Mau said the nominees, in order of the votes polled at the weekend, were
businessman James Makamba, former ZBC director and Central Intelligence
Organisation operative, Chris Mutsvangwa, former mayor Charles Tawengwa and

If the nomination court had sat on Monday, Mau Mau said: "We were going to
announce a candidate. But the matter was under appeal and our position was
everything must be held in abeyance until the government appeal is
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Tourism receipts plunge 42%

Staff Reporter
2/7/02 1:23:33 AM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE earned US$43.4 million ($2.38 billion) from tourism during the
first half of last year but the receipts were drastically lower than the
corresponding period in 2000 despite the influx of visitors who came for the
solar eclipse.

Statistics released this week by the central Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
revealed that the tourism receipts declined more than 42 percent during the
first six months of last year compared to the corresponding period in 2000.

The country raked in US$75.8 million ($4.17 billion) from tourism during the
period between January and June 2000.

Final figures on total tourism earnings for last year are still being
compiled but available statistics show that receipts from the sector have
been declining since 1999 when the country raked in US$201.6 million.

Total earnings for 2000 were US$124.7 million or 38 percent lower than the
previous year.

But despite the decline in earnings, the sector performed better last year
compared to 2000 in terms of the number of visitors as well as room and bed
occupancy at hotels.

According to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), about 1.8 million
tourists visited Zimbabwe between January and September 2001 compared to
just 1.3 million visitors in the first nine months of 2000.

Total arrivals for 2000 were 1.87 million, which was 10 percent lower than
the peak of 2.09 million visitors who came to the country in 1999.

The ZTA said average room and bed occupancies for 2000 were 40 and 29
percent respectively compared to 41 and 30 percent respectively for last

Industry players attributed the increase in hotel occupancy to a surge in
the number of domestic tourists.

"Most of the establishments have reported an increase in domestic tourism
over the past year mostly due to the discounts offered," said Zimbabwe
Council for Tourism president Pedia Moyo.

Zimbabwe’s tourism industry, once regarded as the fastest growing economic
sector, has paid dearly for the country’s bad-boy image during the past year
as safety and security fears kept most foreign tourists away.

The sector, which used to contribute about eight percent to Zimbabwe’s
annual gross domestic product, has been severely affected by a barrage of
negative publicity on the country’s economic and socio-political climate.

The main threat to the industry has been the orgy of violence perpetrated by
self-styled independence war veterans who have attacked tourists and other
perceived sympathisers of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Economist John Robertson this week warned that it would be difficult to
restore the glitter of Zimbabwe’s tourism sector under the current volatile
political and economic climate, dramatised by political violence and
shortages of fuel and foreign currency.

"There is not much future for the industry under the current conditions
unless the authorities take drastic action to restore confidence and correct
the negative perceptions about the country," he said.

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Constitutional reform is No 1 priority after poll

2/7/02 1:20:17 AM (GMT +2)

IN writing this article, I cannot help but vividly remember Bill Clinton’s
election campaign stickers which read: "It’s the economy, stupid!" Clinton
was able to win the presidency after convincing the American people that the
economy was priority number one.

What then should be the first priority of the government after March 2002?

Without a doubt, any relevant and objective discussion on Zimbabwe’s present
political and economic predicament should start with the issue of the

Development and prosperity

Let us be clear: the present constitution will not entrench development and
prosperity. It will sabotage economic growth, development and people power.
Any system of government that will ignore the calls of the people for a new
constitution will just be but awaiting burial.

In view of the need to protect and safeguard the primary needs and interests
of the collective and individual aspirations of our great nation and in a
bid to attain and espouse the highest level of social justice, respect for
the dignity of man, democracy, accountability, transparency, tolerance,
decency and
progress and freedom of the individual, the Press and community, we need to
treat the issue of a new constitution with urgency.

It is this constitution which will above all guarantee all the basic human
rights and democratic values, protect the people from beatings by the
uniformed forces, redeem the people from the curse of "life governments" and
guard against chaotic electionsin future.

In the name of the present constitution, murder has more or less been
justified and education — our birthright — has been privatised and is now
just like a commodity on the black market.

These are all the results of an impalpable constitution which is vague and
prone to repugnant interpretations which end up giving divine powers to a
mortal being.

It is evident that the heart of the problem is the constitution. It needs to
durable while at the same time safeguarding our primary and tertiary needs.

Our current constitution, the Lancaster House Constitution, was an idea from
our former colonial masters who never anticipated that the document would
one day be a module for malfeasance. In essence, the Lancaster constitution
was the work of pseudo-democrats and the situation was made worse by the
urgency of events at the time and by a grave restriction in terms of time.

Educated people

That constitution was never meant to be the end-all of Zimbabwean law. Given
this fact, the Lancaster constitution can safely be said to have outlived
its purpose. It can now be said to be living on borrowed time.

Zimbabwe has highly educated people who cannot continue to be governed by
the Lancaster constitution — a constitution which is a mockery of genuine
law, which defies logic and which defeats the agenda of public enterprise.
There is need for a new constitution that acknowledges the impartial role
the uniformed forces should play in a democratic society, especially at
times of transformation like the one facing Zimbabwe. Soldiers should be
true to their oaths and protect the country and the interests of its

Truly heroic soldiers are defenders of the common good, and this common good
includes the right of the people to choose a leadership of their choice.

It should be noted that one of the fundamental goals of the liberation
struggle was to attain universal suffrage leading to a government for the
people and by the people.
What I am saying is that the Lancaster constitution is not fulfilling our
expectations. Instead of safeguarding the gains of the liberation struggle,
is corrupting these gains. It fails to give the people power to govern

A new constitution will lead us out of bondage and it is therefore quite
clear that constitutional reform should be priority number one in rebuilding
our great nation which has been repeatedly bruised by the Lancaster
constitution. We need a constitution that makes possible the co-existence of
citizens with different views and beliefs.

Without the possibility of a new constitution, nihilist and xenophobic
reflexes will always have a free reign in this country.

Tinashe Mundawarara is a student at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and
features editor of the UZ’s Campus magazine.He can be contacted on e-mail

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  Mugabe could move ahead of UN plan

2/7/02 1:49:45 AM (GMT +2)

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe might stop the current haphazard land reform plan
and order an official inquiry into a possible land scam should he win next
month’s election, sources in his ruling ZANU PF party said this week.

Traditional chiefs in Chinamora told Mugabe during his election campaign
last week that villagers were angry that people from Harare were grabbing
most of the farms in the area. Mugabe assured the chiefs that he would

There are widespread reports that ZANU PF chiefs and senior civil servants
have hijacked the fast-track land reform programme, which was initially
meant to benefit the landless first.

To counter the claims, the state media has been printing names of those who
applied for farms and are said to have been successful in acquiring land but
there have been complains that the applicants are told to go back and wait
for official letters when they make serious inquiries.

"The President might just decide to stop the whole exercise altogether and
then institute an official enquiry into the resettlement programme once he
has won the election," said a source close to senior ZANU PF officials.

He said should Mugabe win the highly contested poll, he could use the
results of such an investigation into the possible land scam to win back
European and American hearts that his new administration was keen to stamp
out corruption.

Welshman Ncube, the secretary-general of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, said what Mugabe was likely to do now was to declare the
land resettlement programme completed.

"All I know is that the United Nations Development Programme’s report which
was given to the government two days ago says what they are doing is not
sustainable," Ncube told the Financial Gazette.

The UNDP was commissioned last year by UN secretary-general Kofi Annan to
study the government’s fast track land reform plan and recommend how it
could be spruced up to attract international funding.

The long-awaited UNDP report, said to have blasted Mugabe’s violent and
corrupt land reforms, was supposed to have been presented to the government
this week.

Ncube said while the land issue remained a major factor over the March
presidential election, Zimbabweans had a choice: whether to stick with the
violent ZANU PF plan or the opposition party’s which emphasised a
transparent land reform programme that would also address the question of

Highly placed sources quote the UNDP’s report as saying Zimbabwe, having
halted the chaotic fast-track land plan, would need $80 billion a year for
five years to address landlessness — money which could only be mobilised
through the international community which has given Mugabe’s plan a thumbs
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NCA takes Mugabe to court on constitution

Staff Reporter
2/7/02 1:41:11 AM (GMT +2)

THE National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) this week filed a High Court
application seeking to force President Robert Mugabe and his government to
accepts its draft constitution which they have repeatedly refused to accept
since last year.

Court papers filed in the High Court on Tuesday cite Mugabe as the first
respondent and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Attorney-General
Andrew Chigovera as second and third respondents respectively.

In his founding affidavit, NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku says his
organisation is seeking a formal meeting with Mugabe in his capacity as head
of state so they could present him the draft constitution for consideration
by the government.

Since December, the NCA has unsuccessfully tried to meet Mugabe over the

Chinamasa, who is supposed to organise the meeting between Mugabe and the
NCA, has repeatedly refused, saying the two of them did not have time to
deal with the civic-led body because it campaigned against the 2000
government-inspired constitutional referendum.

"The NCA believes that the government’s refusal to receive the NCA’s
proposed draft constitution is grossly unreasonable because the NCA does not
seek to impose its programme on the government. It merely seeks to present
its proposals, which the government is at liberty to reject," Madhuku said
in his affidavit.

The order which the NCA is seeking from the High Court would compel
Chinamasa and Chigovera to facilitate a meeting between Mugabe and the NCA
in 14 days.

Mugabe and his government would then make their position on the proposed
draft known within 30 days from the day they receive it.

The NCA wants the government to hold a national referendum that allows
Zimbabweans to decide whether or not the NCA draft constitution adequately
covers their concerns.

The NCA’s court action comes at the same time the civic body is planning
national mass action over the government’s refusal to embrace a new and more
democratic constitution.

"We are planning mass actions on February 15 in all five major
centres—Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru and Masvingo. We want to remind the
government of the need for a new constitution, whichever way the
(presidential) elections go," Madhuku said yesterday.

He said because ZANU PF had already indicated its unwillingness to accept
the proposed constitution, the NCA had started campaigning for the
opposition as agreed in the last of the 12 resolutions made at the NCA’s
all-stakeholders’ conference last March.

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Zim surprised by flurry of poll observers

Staff Reporter
2/7/02 1:40:03 AM (GMT +2)

HUNDREDS of election observers from the Commonwealth and the European Union
(EU) are arriving everyday in Harare for the March presidential poll, taking
Zimbabwean authorities by surprise because formal invitations have yet to be
issued to them.

A radio report on the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
yesterday accused the EU of sneaking its observers into the country this
week before they had received formal invitations.

The Commonwealth this week said a team of its secretariat staff arrived in
Zimbabwe on Tuesday to prepare for a 50-strong observer team expected in
Harare by Monday.

Former Nigerian president General Abdulsalim Abubakar, who also led another
mission to Zimbabwe’s general election in June 2000, will lead the
Commonwealth’s observer mission.

The secretariat team led by Jon Sheppard, the Commonwealth’s director of
political affairs, was expected to hold meetings with the government’s
Electoral Supervisory Commission, political parties and non-governmental

Both the EU and the Commonwealth have temporarily stopped the imposition of
smart sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and his close advisers after
the Zimbabwean authorities backtracked from an earlier stance barring
European and other international observers to the highly contested March

Mugabe faces the sternest test to his 21-year-old rule from Morgan
Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

One of the foreign diplomats in the country for the March poll told the
Financial Gazette this week that the EU and the Commonwealth had dropped the
threat of sanctions against Mugabe because "it made no sense" to punish him
before the crucial poll.

"That would have meant in the eyes of the world that we have already
prejudged the outcome of this election," said the diplomat, who spoke on
condition of anonymity.

He said it was clear that there would be "no more wavering" from both
organisations on targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his allies should
Zimbabwean authorities fail to ensure a free and fair poll that satisfied
international demands.

A Commonwealth official said the absence of British observers, who were
specifically barred from Harare by Mugabe, was not going to affect the
operations of its observer mission.

"There have been plenty of Commonwealth election observer missions without
British nationals or citizens before," he said.

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Zimpapers chief quits

2/7/02 1:37:34 AM (GMT +2)

BRAMWELL Kamudyariwa, the chief executive officer of the government-run
Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers), resigned this week in unclear circumstances
and amid allegations of political interference at the country’s largest
publishing group.

Kamudyariwa packed his bags in a huff on Tuesday and left the organisation
he has led since April 2001.

No comment was available yesterday from Kamudyariwa or Zimpapers chairman
Enoch Kamushinda but sources at the newspaper group said the former chief
executive quit because of mounting frustration caused by political
interference in administrative matters.

It is understood that part of the reason why he decided to leave was the
heavy financial loss incurred by the group in the past few months when an
ambitious move to sell some of its titles in southern Africa and Europe came
crushing down.

The newspapers are understood to be failing to sell in the targeted markets
of South Africa, Botswana and Europe.

"The company has also been incurring huge losses as a result of the decision
by the board to print some copies of the Chronicle in Harare," said one
source who spoke on condition of not being named.

The Chronicle is Zimpapers’ flagship title for the southern Matabeleland
region and was until recently printed in Bulawayo and distributed throughout
Zimbabwe. — Staff Reporter
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MDC MPs flee Mat North terror

Staff Reporter
2/7/02 1:37:01 AM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO — The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislators
for Hwange East and West, Jealous Sansole and Peter Nyoni, have been forced
to flee their constituencies by ruling ZANU PF militia as political violence
escalates in Matabeleland North, it was established this week.

MDC officials said Sansole and Nyoni were campaigning for the MDC in Lupane
at the weekend when their convoy was attacked by ruling party supporters,
forcing them to flee the area.

"The MPs fled and they have since run away from their constituencies,"
Morgan Komichi, the MDC’s provincial chairman for Matabeleland North, told
the Financial Gazette.

"Sansole is nowhere to be found (and) Nyoni is living in fear. He has found
it necessary to leave the area."

He said youths wearing the green uniforms of Zimbabwe’s so-called national
service had also on Tuesday this week descended on Cross-Dete shopping
centre, which is owned by Sansole. They destroyed a fuel service station, a
butchery, a grocery shop and a bottle store as well as Sansole’s residence.

Police yesterday refused to comment on the matter, but eyewitnesses said
prior to destroying the property, the youths, allegedly bussed into the area
by two government trucks, severely assaulted scores of people found outside
the shopping centre.

"The terror has reached new heights," Komichi said. "About 200 youths in
green uniforms attacked everyone at the centre before destroying the petrol
station, the butchery, the bottle store, a clothing store and the MP’s
residential house.

"There is terror in the province, but the police are saying they are not
aware. We have also reported to them (the police) that armed war veterans
are threatening villagers with guns but the police are adamant they are not

"Villagers have fled to Bulawayo because of fear of being killed. Some have
had guns pointed at their chests and this is very scary."

Victor Nyoni, the MDC’s regional social welfare officer, said about 25 MDC
supporters badly injured during the attacks had to be ferried from Nkayi
district to Bulawayo.

"Most of them can’t walk," he said. "The war veterans are said to be
shooting in the air and villagers are running scared. Thousands of people
have relocated to Bulawayo and are refusing to go back to vote from there."

One of the Nkayi victims told the Financial Gazette: "They strangled me with
a shoe-lace saying that I should feel the pain that was felt by Cain Nkala."

ZANU PF has blamed MDC activists for the murder at the end of last year of
Bulawayo war veterans’ leader Nkala. A Matabeleland MDC activist Joseph
Sibindi was subsequently murdered last month by alleged war veterans.

He was battered to death with logs and knobkerries but no suspects have been
arrested for the murder. Police say their investigations are continuing.

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Business Day

Intolerance high in Zimbabwe: Mdladlana


By Angela Quintal
Political intolerance was high in Zimbabwe, and Southern African Development
Community observers should move immediately to ensure a free and fair
presidential poll, says Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana.

Mdladlana - who represents South Africa on the six-member SADC ministerial
task force on Zimbabwe - said the 150-member regional team should "have been
there yesterday".

"There is too much intolerance in that country and too much polarisation...
What concerns me most is this intolerance," he said in a wide-ranging

This intolerance was across the board, and there had been an increase in
political violence since President Robert Mugabe announced the March 9 and
10 presidential election dates.

"The weak link is that they are not talking to each other. They wait for us
to come there before they talk. There is no dialogue."

Asked how a free and fair election was possible in such a climate, Mdladlana
referred to South Africa's own history of political violence in the run up
to the country's first democratic elections in 1994.

"Just two or three weeks before our own election on April 27, one thousand
people died... but South Africans said 'we shall have these elections and we
shall see that it is free and fair' and everyone is now dubbing that a

"I don't lose hope until the situation is hopeless, and we haven't reached
that stage (in Zimbabwe)."

Mdladlana said the SADC observer team had to move very quickly, and he had
already sent a message to SADC chair, President Bakili Maluzi of Malawi, to
deploy the team.

"If we don't send sharp observers then we will have a huge problem.

"They (SADC) are moving very slowly and its worrying us because it looks
like the South African delegation will be ready much earlier than the SADC

South Africa did not want to send its observers, before SADC and Nigeria had
theirs in place, he said.

Mdladlana said the racial composition of South Africa's team -- which would
cut across all sectors of South African society -- would have to be
carefully considered.

He was in favour of sending mostly black South Africans, rather than loading
the team with whites.

"If you do, then your just exposing our white compatriots to abuse and
insults in that country. They have this belief -- that is why South Africa
is not trusted -- that we are sending the Selous Scouts of Rhodesia.

"We don't want a diplomatic bungle because one of our white South African
compatriots are attacked in Zimbabwe. That's one thing I don't want."

If that happened, South Africa would not be able to "take it lying down".
Mdladlana said.

The presidency was looking for a suitable person to lead the South African

Among those mooted, was former ANC MP and ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sam
Motsuenyane. There had also been talk about involving some of South Africa's

However, Methodist bishop of Southern Africa Mvume Dandala and Anglican
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, for example, had made statements which would expose
them to criticism in Zimbabwe that they were not independent, Mdladlana
said. "We don't want to expose them to that."

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"From Hope to Soap"
So many people tell you that the mind is conditioned not to remember the bad
things. People who were in Concentration camps or who have had to go through
terrible ordeals when they talk about the past seem to remember the good
things that happened. So lets hope we too will only remember the good things
that have happened in this absolutely terrible time we have been through and
are still going through.  Unbelievably in thirty days time we will be voting
and every Zimbabwean I know is hoping for change. I believe we are bowed but
not beaten and very soon there will be an end to this madness. From Hope to
Soap. Of all life's lessons I have learnt the soap making is proving to be
very useful we might not have cooking oil, sugar, butter or milk but our
house always has soap. I wash the dog with it, we do the washing, it can
strip the paint of the wall if it has too much caustic soda and blind you,
but I love it.  I give it away to all my friends and their friends and I am
sure they pass it on to their friends in desperation.  Our old deaf cook has
never been enthusiastic about my soap, he grumbles away about it being
cheeky sterik and tucks it away behind pots and pans hoping it won't be
found so he can go back to the good old days when we were all sane and used
sunlight liquid. I sent a bar to an email friend in America to his relief
the package arrived without the soap I think the authorities must have
thought it was anthrax contaminated. When I feel my life is falling apart
and I am just about to reach out for the Prozac bottle I just go and make
soap.  You must all try it some time. Lots of love from m.
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