Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.
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
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.
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
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
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).
passionately said "Become the change you seek"
As they squeeze the life-blood out of our vanquished
country those who can, must vote for change.
04 February 2002
Officer Commanding (Masvingo Province),
Zimbabwe Republic Police,
P.O. Box 125,
Dear Mr. Moyo,
MASVINGO REGIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
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
As examples I list the following matters of concern for your
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Six out of eight boreholes are also reported to have been
stripped of both headgear and underground piping and pumps – again no police
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
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.
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
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?
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.
ZIMBABWE: Food security threatened - maize stocks low
February (IRIN) - Zimbabwe faces a critical shortage of maize with preliminary
production figures looking gloomy, the Grain Producers Association (ZGPA) told
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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.
ZIMBABWE: Death rate mounts in political violence
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
"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
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
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."
From ZWNEWS, 7
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.
From The Financial Gazette, 7
Terror squads camp on
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
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.
From The Star (SA), 6
EU denies 'sneaking' observers into
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
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
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.
Police ban dangerous weapons
2/7/02 4:22:20 AM (GMT
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
Chief Superintendent Edmore Veterai, the officer commanding
district, said with effect from 1 February the public had been
moving around with weapons such as catapults, knobkerries,
spears and guns. The measures, he said, are in line with the
the recently promulgated Public Order and Security Act. "Those
these weapons will be arrested," said Veterai. "Police have the
seize such weapons without any warrant."
Monday, the police arrested five Zanu PF youths manning a
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
Ruwocha said: "They came at night and and beat up my son before
them the money and the property."
Maize crisis not over as transport blues hit GMB
4:11:15 AM (GMT +2)
By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor
shortages will continue next month because limitations on rail
availability and rail line capacity will make it virtually impossible
200 000 tonnes promised to Zimbabwe by South African companies to
be in the
country soon, sources in the transport industry said
The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) said this week that the first
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
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
Sources in the transport industry said rail transporters would
only be able
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
Spoornet, the South African rail company is touted to be the
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
"Yes, we are going to move the GMB maize. We actually began
maize last week but we will not give details to the Press
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
GMB operations manager, Justine Mutasa told the
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.
circumstances a miller grinds about 500 tonnes a day, a
quantity which is
still considered unimportant, in relation to national
was quoted yesterday in the state-controlled Herald as saying that
three trains, each pulling 35 wagons carrying 1 450 tonnes, were set
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
Enock Kamushida has been castigated by the maize industry for
maize imports, which, if they had been made from September last
have averted the current maize shortage.
allegations that there would be delays in the transportation of
the 10 000
tonnes of maize promised by the Republic of South Africa Agri
because the GMB had failed to raise letters of credit as a result
Joan Mutukwa, acting GMB chief executive officer had
not responded to
questions fielded by The Daily News yesterday.
Agri managing director, Jonathan Edwards said: "The GMB is still
the letters of credit and attempting to do whatever is
Observers unwelcome if there's something to hide
4:33:13 AM (GMT +2)
THE European Union team which observed the 27
December tripartite elections
in Zambia has produced a damning final
It used the word "unsafe" to describe an acceptance of the
results as a true
reflection of the voters' decision.
Centre of the United States made a similarly unfavourable report.
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
That statement was inevitably lapped up by the
government media in Zimbabwe:
it was music to the government's
They are still chafing at the prospect of international observers
unleashed on the 9-10 March presidential election here.
tried almost everything to prevent the observers from coming,
Mwanawasa's feeble and rather illogical argument that Africans were
invited to observe elections in Europe or the United States.
little background would be useful here.
During the Cold War, the West
lent its economic and political support to any
African country which was
That government could butcher its own people, as Mobutu
Sese Seko and Idi
Amin did, and still remain a darling of the
"Progressive" African leaders were vociferous in condemning this
support for "reactionary" regimes. They criticised the West for
demanding of these countries the same democratic and multiparty standards
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
The real trouble was that these same leaders turned out to be
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.
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
recipients of its taxpayers' hard-earned francs,deutschmarks,
kroners to conduct their political affairs with a modicum of
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
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
The government keeps harping on the sovereignty of
That sovereignty has meaning only if the people themselves feel
free and are
not suspicious of their government's every action.
is not the case in Zimbabwe today.
Zanu PF still to decide on Harare mayoral
2/7/02 4:19:34 AM (GMT +2)
By Luke Tamborinyoka
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
The government has now set 18 February as the day for the
in defiance of the Supreme Court order.
The MDC has
already confirmed the former Harare City Council engineer, Elias
On Tuesday, Stalin Mau Mau, Zanu PF's publicity and
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
nomination court had sat on Monday, Mau Mau said: "We were going to
a candidate. But the matter was under appeal and our position
everything must be held in abeyance until the government appeal
Tourism receipts plunge 42%
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
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
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
Total earnings for 2000 were US$124.7 million or 38
percent lower than the
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
According to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), about 1.8
tourists visited Zimbabwe between January and September 2001 compared
just 1.3 million visitors in the first nine months of 2000.
arrivals for 2000 were 1.87 million, which was 10 percent lower than
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
compared to 41 and 30 percent respectively for last
players attributed the increase in hotel occupancy to a surge in
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
Zimbabwe’s tourism industry, once regarded as the fastest growing
sector, has paid dearly for the country’s bad-boy image during the
as safety and security fears kept most foreign tourists
The sector, which used to contribute about eight percent to
annual gross domestic product, has been severely affected by a
negative publicity on the country’s economic and socio-political
The main threat to the industry has been the orgy of violence
self-styled independence war veterans who have attacked
tourists and other
perceived sympathisers of the opposition Movement for
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
shortages of fuel and foreign currency.
"There is not
much future for the industry under the current conditions
authorities take drastic action to restore confidence and correct
negative perceptions about the country," he said.
Constitutional reform is No 1 priority after
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
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
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
In view of the need to protect and safeguard the primary needs
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,
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
In the name of the present constitution, murder has more or less
justified and education — our birthright — has been privatised and is
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
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
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.
constitution was never meant to be the end-all of Zimbabwean law. Given
fact, the Lancaster constitution can safely be said to have outlived
purpose. It can now be said to be living on borrowed time.
highly educated people who cannot continue to be governed by
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
soldiers are defenders of the common good, and this common good
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
What I am saying is that the Lancaster constitution is not fulfilling
expectations. Instead of safeguarding the gains of the liberation
is corrupting these gains. It fails to give the people power
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
citizens with different views and beliefs.
possibility of a new constitution, nihilist and xenophobic
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
Mugabe could move ahead of UN plan
2/7/02 1:49:45 AM
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe might stop the current haphazard land
and order an official inquiry into a possible land scam should he
month’s election, sources in his ruling ZANU PF party said this
Traditional chiefs in Chinamora told Mugabe during his election
last week that villagers were angry that people from Harare were
most of the farms in the area. Mugabe assured the chiefs that he
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.
the claims, the state media has been printing names of those who
farms and are said to have been successful in acquiring land but
been complains that the applicants are told to go back and wait
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
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
"All I know is that the United Nations Development Programme’s
was given to the government two days ago says what they are
doing is not
sustainable," Ncube told the Financial
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
The long-awaited UNDP report, said to have blasted Mugabe’s
corrupt land reforms, was supposed to have been presented to the
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
NCA takes Mugabe to court on constitution
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.
papers filed in the High Court on Tuesday cite Mugabe as the first
and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Attorney-General
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.
December, the NCA has unsuccessfully tried to meet Mugabe over
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
government-inspired constitutional referendum.
"The NCA believes
that the government’s refusal to receive the NCA’s
constitution is grossly unreasonable because the NCA does not
seek to impose
its programme on the government. It merely seeks to present
which the government is at liberty to reject," Madhuku said
The order which the NCA is seeking from the High Court would
Chinamasa and Chigovera to facilitate a meeting between Mugabe and the
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
The NCA wants the government to hold a national referendum that
Zimbabweans to decide whether or not the NCA draft constitution
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
"We are planning mass actions on February 15 in all five
centres—Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru and Masvingo. We want to remind
government of the need for a new constitution, whichever way
(presidential) elections go," Madhuku said yesterday.
because ZANU PF had already indicated its unwillingness to accept
proposed constitution, the NCA had started campaigning for the
agreed in the last of the 12 resolutions made at the NCA’s
conference last March.
Zim surprised by flurry of poll observers
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.
radio report on the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
accused the EU of sneaking its observers into the country this
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.
president General Abdulsalim Abubakar, who also led another
Zimbabwe’s general election in June 2000, will lead the
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
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
"That would have meant in the eyes of the world that we have
prejudged the outcome of this election," said the diplomat, who spoke
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
official said the absence of British observers, who were
from Harare by Mugabe, was not going to affect the
operations of its observer
"There have been plenty of Commonwealth election observer
British nationals or citizens before," he said.
Zimpapers chief quits
2/7/02 1:37:34 AM (GMT
BRAMWELL Kamudyariwa, the chief executive officer of the
Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers), resigned this week in unclear
and amid allegations of political interference at the country’s
Kamudyariwa packed his bags in a
huff on Tuesday and left the organisation
he has led since April
No comment was available yesterday from Kamudyariwa or Zimpapers
Enoch Kamushinda but sources at the newspaper group said the former
executive quit because of mounting frustration caused by
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
The newspapers are understood to be failing to sell in the targeted
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
MDC MPs flee Mat North terror
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
"The MPs fled and they have since run away from their
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
He said youths wearing the green uniforms of Zimbabwe’s
service had also on Tuesday this week descended on
centre, which is owned by Sansole. They destroyed a fuel
service station, a
butchery, a grocery shop and a bottle store as well as
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
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
villagers with guns but the police are adamant they are
"Villagers have fled to Bulawayo because of fear of being
killed. Some have
had guns pointed at their chests and this is very
Victor Nyoni, the MDC’s regional social welfare officer, said
about 25 MDC
supporters badly injured during the attacks had to be ferried
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.
Intolerance high in Zimbabwe:
Political intolerance was high in Zimbabwe, and Southern
Community observers should move immediately to ensure a
free and fair
presidential poll, says Labour Minister Membathisi
Mdladlana - who represents South Africa on the six-member SADC
task force on Zimbabwe - said the 150-member regional team should
"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
was across the board, and there had been an increase in
since President Robert Mugabe announced the March 9 and
"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
Asked how a free and fair election was possible in such a
referred to South Africa's own history of political
violence in the run up
to the country's first democratic elections in
"Just two or three weeks before our own election on April 27, one
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)."
said the SADC observer team had to move very quickly, and he had
a message to SADC chair, President Bakili Maluzi of Malawi, to
"If we don't send sharp observers then we will have a huge
"They (SADC) are moving very slowly and its worrying us because
like the South African delegation will be ready much earlier than
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
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".
The presidency was
looking for a suitable person to lead the South African
those mooted, was former ANC MP and ambassador to Saudi Arabia,
Motsuenyane. There had also been talk about involving some of South
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
"From Hope to Soap"
So many people tell you that the mind is conditioned not to remember the
things. People who were in Concentration camps or who have had to go
terrible ordeals when they talk about the past seem to remember the
things that happened. So lets hope we too will only remember the good
that have happened in this absolutely terrible time we have been
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
found so he can go back to the good old days when we were all sane
sunlight liquid. I sent a bar to an email friend in America to his
the package arrived without the soap I think the authorities must
thought it was anthrax contaminated. When I feel my life is falling
and I am just about to reach out for the Prozac bottle I just go and
soap. You must all try it some time. Lots of love from m.