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

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WOZA gearing for another Valentine's Day protest

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

HARARE, 8 Feb 2005 (IRIN) - The activist organisation, Women of Zimbabwe
Arise (WOZA), will return to the streets of the capital, Harare, on St
Valentine's Day next week to demand democratic and violence-free elections
in March.

Under the theme, "The power of love can conquer the love of power", the
women will hand out red roses and cards to symbolise their anti-violence

Since its formation in 2003, WOZA has taken to the streets every St
Valentine's Day to protest against violence in the country.

"We will play our role in educating and organising women to demand the right
to a free and fair election," Jenni Williams, national coordinator of WOZA,
told IRIN.

Elections in 2000 and 2002 were marred by political violence and
intimidation, widely blamed on the ruling ZANU-PF party. Between January and
September 2004, 12 people were killed because of their political beliefs,
202 were unlawfully arrested and 329 assaulted, according to the Human
rights NGO Forum, a coalition of 17 NGOs.

Williams denied that her organisation had a political agenda, saying it had
stuck to its mandate of giving women a voice to protest the socio-political
and economic hardships affecting their lives.

WOZA activists, who comprise mainly informal vendors, have taken to the
streets for the past two years to highlight a number of issues, including
rising inflation, unemployment - now at 70 percent - and food shortages.

In October 2004, WOZA undertook a 440 km sponsored walk to protest against a
controversial NGO Bill, which sought to ban foreign NGOs concerned
principally with "issues of governance", and deny registration to NGOs
receiving foreign funding for "promotion and protection of human rights and
political governance issues".

Last month the women demonstrated against escalating education costs and
falling standards in state schools.

Police have largely treated WOZA protests as illegal 'political' gatherings.
In two years of demonstrations, about 500 WOZA activists have been arrested
for breaching the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), which prohibits
public gatherings without police clearance. Williams currently has 16 cases
pending against her in the courts.

WOZA believes their exposure has helped them make inroads in the rural
areas, where most Zimbabwean women live. "In the latter part of 2004, we
reached out to 25 rural areas with a pilot programme, and conducted meetings
with an average of 25 participants in each meeting," Williams told IRIN.

In two years WOZA has evolved from an informal team of 80 voluntary
campaigners to a core of about 200, with an overall membership of 5,000.

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Zim spies convicted in hushed courtroom

February 08, 2005, 18:30

Three Zimbabweans - accused of spying for the South African Government -
were sentenced in the Harare Magistrate's Court today. They are Zimbabwe's
former Consul-General to South Africa, Godfrey Dzvaira, banker Tendai
Matamba-nadzo and Zanu(PF) Security Officer, Itai Matchi. It's not clear
what their sentences are, as the media was allowed into the courtroom. And
no further details are available at this stage.

The ministry of intelligence reacted with sealed lips to the fate of its
agent, operating under the false name of Andrew Brown, who is being held in
Zimbabwe. A Sunday newspaper reported that Tendai Matambanadzo (42), said he
was given thousands of US dollars for information on likely successors for
President Robert Mugabe. He said he had worked with a spy known to him as
Andrew Brown who had told him he was a risk management consultant, a
48-year-old white man who lived in a suburb east of Pretoria. When asked
what was being done to secure Brown's release, or see to his welfare, Lorna
Daniels, the intelligence ministry spokesperson, said her office was not
commenting. "Not at all that's as much as I can say," she said.

Ronnie Mamoepa, the department of foreign affairs spokesperson, would only
refer the matter to the intelligence ministry.

The newspaper claims they know the alleged spy's true name, but were
informed by a spokesperson for the ministry of intelligence that it was
illegal to publish the name. Matambanadzo said he met Brown at several
hotels in Zimbabwe over the three years since he met him in 2001. He said
Brown was also dressed casually and once even took him to his house near
Pretoria where they talked about sports and rugby.

Matambanadzo said he used to get a call just saying that Andrew was in
Harare and could they meet. He also claimed that he gave some of the money
he was paid for information back to Brown who allegedly had financial
problems. "He said he had personal problems with alimony and child support,"
Matambanadzo said.

Matambanadzo, Itai Marchi and Godfrey Dzvairo were arrested in December
after Brown was arrested. He named them and three others as part of his "spy
ring". Brown was being held at an undisclosed location in Zimbabwe.
Matambanadzo claimed that he did not know he was involved in espionage. The
attorney representing Matambanadzo and the other two said nothing in their
confessions involved a state secret or a stolen document. - additional
reporting by Sapa
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Zimbabwe Ruling Party Slams Archbishop Tutu As 'Sellout' By  VOA News
      08 February 2005

Zimbabwe's ruling party has denounced South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu
as a sellout, saying his recent criticism of the Zimbabwean government plays
into the hands of white racists.

In comments published in Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper, ruling party
official, Didymus Mutasa, said Mr. Tutu has lost his soul to "false gods" in
the West such as British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush.

On Sunday, the retired Archbishop and Nobel Laureate accused Zimbabwe of
making a mockery of African democracy and alienating Western donors.

Mr. Mutasa slammed back, saying there are far worse governments in Africa,
and adding that Zimbabwe's democracy was secured through precious blood in
its fight against former colonial ruler, Britain.

Western governments, including the United States and Britain, have sharply
criticized Zimbabwe's human rights record, and accused President Mugabe of
sinking the economy with his land reform act.
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Zim Online

Tues 8 February 2005
  HARARE - The African Union has adopted a report criticising President
Robert Mugabe's human rights record, according to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights.

      A report on human rights abuses by Harare by the African Commission on
Human and Peoples' Rights which was prepared three years ago after the
violent 2002 presidential election controversially won by President Robert
Mugabe was officially adopted by the AU yesterday.

      The report criticised Zimbabwe's police force saying it was not free
of political control. It also said Zimbabwe's security and media legislation
violates fundamental rights of the country's citizens.

      Zimbabwe sought to block the adoption of the report in the past,
saying it had not been given a chance to respond to the allegations of human
rights abuses in the country. The government denies there are any human
rights abuses in the country arguing the allegations are from the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change party who are seeking to oust the government
from power.

      In the report, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
recommends that Zimbabwe dismantles its youth militia, notorious for
unleashing violence against Mugabe's political opponents.

      The report also recommends that the judiciary and the police, which
are largely perceived to be pro-ZANU PF, be freed of executive control and
influence. Tough media laws, which have been used to ban three independent
newspapers in the last two years must be repealed, says the report.

      Zimbabwe's justice minister Patrick Chinamasa could not be reached for
comment yesterday.

      Meanwhile, Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba, yesterday attacked
plans by South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance to send a
fact-finding delegation to Harare to assess whether conditions in the
country will allow for free and fair elections in the March 31 parliamentary

      Charamba slammed the DA saying the party's intended visit was to
"preserve white interests in southern Africa"

      "We now know that (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair's will expresses
itself in ... South Africa through the DA," he said. "We remind Tony Leon
(DA leader) that between Joburg and Harare, is the great Limpopo river and a
boundary that marks our sovereignty." - ZimOnline
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Daily News online edition

      Botswana gets tough on illegal immigrants

      Date: 8-Feb, 2005

      JOHANNESBURG - Botswana has introduced stiffer fines and increased to
five months the length of detention in order to keep Zimbabwean illegal
immigrants out of the country.

      According to a London-based news service, Southscan, the Botswana
government has fines ranging from between P300 (equivalent to Z$378 000
officially and Z$540 000 on the black market) and P4 000 (Z$5 million
officially and Z$7,2 million on parallel market) with sentences imposed on
those entering the country illegally.

      Those convicted will be kept at a new centre in Molepolole, a village
60 km west of the capital Gaborone, for up to five months before being

      The new centre is meant to ease the pressure on a similar facility in
Francistown, 60km from the border with Zimbabwe, which is already stretched
to capacity. The Francistown shelter serves as a holding station for illegal
immigrants awaiting deportation. Often they quickly sneak back into

      Last year Botswana deported an estimated 2 500 Zimbabweans a month. In
November and December repatriating illegal immigrants, mainly back to
Zimbabwe, cost the Batswana government US$33,800.

      Zimbabweans, failing to come to terms with the deteriorating standards
of living are seeking opportunities in neighbouring countries such as
Botswana, South Africa and Namibia.

      Most of them enter Botswana legally, using valid visas obtained at the
two countries' common border posts, but when the visas expire, some evade
immigration officials and the police to remain in the country.

      The Botswana police and army are expected to intensify border patrols,
and the government is speeding up the construction of the 500km electric
fence between the two countries.

      Meanwhile, Zimbabwean and South African police have mounted a
week-long campaign around the Beitbridge border post aimed at curbing
"illegal activities", mainly smuggling.

      In the first few days about 3 000 people trying to jump the border
into South Africa were intercepted.

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Daily News online edition

      Use of military to monitor polls criticised

      Date: 8-Feb, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

      Lovemore Madhuku, a constitutional and human rights lawyer, said the
organisation of the 31 March poll by an allegedly partisan civil service
rather than independent monitors, as recommended in the electoral guidelines
of the Southern African Development

      Community (SADC), was cause for concern.

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

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

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

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

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

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

      He also dismissed allegations by Free Zimbabwe, an independent
election support group, that there were more than two million suspect names
included in the voters' roll of 5,6 million people.

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

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Daily News online edition

      Exiled Zimbabwean farmers flourish in Nigeria

      Date: 8-Feb, 2005

      KWARA (NIGERIA) - Zimbabwean white commercial farmers who settled in
the Kwara state of Nigeria, have signed an agreement with the state
government through which they have been offered more than 15 000 hectares of
land for cultivation.

      The farmers, who are all members of the Commercial Farmers Union of
Zimbabwe (CFU), were chased out of their fertile land during Zimbabwe's
chaotic land invasions in 2002.

      Most of them quickly appealed for assistance from other African states
which were in need of expert farmers. Nigeria was one of the countries which
gratefully received the distressed Zimbabwean farmers, offering them land in
many parts of the country.

      Last week, the farmers signed a collaborative agreement with the
community in Patigi Local Govenment Area, in which they were offered

      land along the Niger River bank to facilitate a massive high -tech
agricultural venture.

      Kwara state governor Bukola Saraki, who was in the area for the
ceremony, praised the Zimbabwean farmers and said his administration would
do everything to improve the living conditions of the local community. He
said an irrigation scheme at Duku/Lade, which was abandoned 40 years ago,
would be revived and earmarked for rice production, with the help of the
Zimbabwean farmers.

      He said a hospital at Patigi would be upgraded to a specialist
institution and the area turned into a tourist resort.

      Zimbabwean farmers have also taken up land in Mozambique, Zambia,
Tanzania and Rwanda, where they have revamped agricultural production. In
Zambia, maize and tobacco production has more than doubled since the
Zimbabwean farmers took up land.

      The situation is however opposite back in Zimbabwe, where the key
tobacco and maize production has drastically plummeted, as most of the
productive farms have been lying idle due to inactivity as a result of the
chaotic land redistribution exercise.

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A return to the fold?

Cricinfo staff

February 8, 2005

            Heath Streak: coming in from the cold? © Getty Images

A return to international cricket is a possibility for Heath Streak, and
some of the other so-called rebel players, as a result of a series of
meetings with Zimbabwe Cricket to broker a resolution to the long-standing

The players have refused to play for Zimbabwe since last April, after a
disagreement about selection policy led Streak to resign and be replaced as
captain by Tatenda Taibu. Fourteen other players supported him, although
some have since rejoined the mainstream of Zimbabwean cricket, and the
remaining rebels recently agreed to resume playing league matches.

But today Streak - who is by far Zimbabwe's leading bowler in Tests, with
202 wickets - told Reuters: "We have a meeting on Friday, and following on
from the constructive meetings we've had so far we're hopeful of a positive
outcome." Apparently the Zimbabwean government's sports commission helped
set up the meetings.

Zimbabwe are shortly due to depart for a tour of South Africa, which
includes two Tests and three ODIs. It's unlikely that the rebels' dispute
will be resolved in time for them to take part in those matches, but after
that Zimbabwe do not have any international cricket planned until they play
New Zealand in September.

© Cricinfo
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U.S. Blasts Human Rights Panel Selection

Associated press Writer

February 8, 2005, 12:36 PM EST

WASHINGTON -- The State Department denounced on Tuesday the selection of
Cuba and Zimbabwe for a panel that will decide on the agenda for a meeting
of the U.N. Human Rights Commission next month.

"The United States believes that countries that routinely and systematically
violate the rights of their citizens should not be selected to review the
human rights performance of other countries," State Department press office
Tom Casey said.

Besides Cuba and Zimbabwe, the other members of the so-called "Working Group
on Situations" are Hungary, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.

"Despite the inappropriate membership of Cuba and Zimbabwe, we look for the
working group to conduct its procedures in a balanced and transparent
manner," Casey said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice listed Cuba and Zimbabwe among six
"outposts of tyranny" during her Senate confirmation hearing last month.

Casey's statement offered no criticism of the selection of Saudi Arabia, an
authoritarian monarchy. Officials note, however, that a reform movement is
under way in the country, highlighted by village elections set for this

The working group passes judgment on the admissibility of complaints
intended for consideration by the 53-member commission. The group meets
every March at its headquarters in Geneva.

Cuba was selected to the working group based on the support it received from
fellow Latin American countries. The Cuban Foreign Ministry web site said
Argentina proposed Cuba for membership on the panel.

The show of hemispheric support for Cuba signaled another setback for the
administration in its campaign to isolate Cuba internationally.

Last week, ignoring Bush administration objections, the European Union
lifted a suspension on high-level contacts with Cuba that was imposed after
a crackdown on dissidents in 2003.

Cuba's official news agency, AIN, said that among the cases being considered
by the commission this year are "the well documented atrocities committed by
the U.S. government in Iraq, particularly the brutal procedures used against
prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail and at the prison camp set up at the
illegal U.S. naval base located in the eastern Cuban province of

Jose Miguel Vivanco, head of the America's Division of Human Rights Watch,
reacted sharply to Cuba's selection to the panel.

"I think it's a scandal," Vivanco said. A country with "such a poor record
on human rights" should not be rewarded in this way," he said.
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      Zimbabwean court tries 3 officials for selling secrets to foreign
agents 2005-02-09 02:44:29

          HARARE, Feb. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- A Harare magistrate on Tuesday
sentenced three high-profile officials convicted of spying for unnamed
foreign powers to varying prison terms, local media reported.

          Zimbabwe's ambassador-designate to Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo was
jailed by the magistrate for six years, while ruling Zimbabwe African
National Union-Patriotic Front director of external affairs, Itai Marchi and
former Metropolitan Bank company secretary, Tendai Matambanadzo, were
sentenced to five years each.

          The trio was convicted, on own plea of guilt, of selling specified
state secrets to foreign agents.

          The case was held in camera throughout, for fear of jeopardizing
national security, but drew a lot of interest.

          The three, together with Chinhoyi Member of Parliament,
PhillipChiyangwa, and the ruling party's deputy director for security, Kenny
Karidza are facing charges of breaching Section 4 of the Official Secrets

          The section deals with people who pass on information they would
have acquired or been told in confidence to unauthorized persons.

          It is the lesser of two sections that deal with passing on of
confidential state information.

          The three unsuccessfully tried to change their pleas after their
initial plea of guilty on Christmas Eve last year, saying they were not
legally represented when they first appeared in court.

          Chiyangwa and Karidza, who are being charged separately, are
currently in remand prison.

          Chiyangwa is expected to appear at the magistrate's courts on
Friday for routine remand hearing. Enditem

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Mugabe slams 'Tony Blairs of the world'
          February 08 2005 at 12:23PM

      Harare - Gearing up for elections next month, President Robert Mugabe
has warned against what he claims are attempts by Britain to gain a foothold
in Zimbabwe through the opposition, state media reported on Tuesday.

      Mugabe, addressing thousands of people at a secondary school where he
donated computers, also said that his ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) was working to win back the hearts of
Zimbabweans after the shortcomings of the 2000 elections.

      "Let us straighten where we went wrong. We know the British want to
turn us into a colony, slaves of whites in our own country," a
government-run daily newspaper quoted him as saying on Tuesday.

       Mugabe has repeatedly accused Britain of meddling in Zimbabwe's
affairs and of trying to topple him by supporting the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.

      Mugabe - in power since independence from Britain in 1980 - expounded
on the same theme again at the school, accusing Blair of trying to
interfering in the March 31 elections.

      "We don't mind if those people are Zimbabweans but we definitely mind
if they are foreigners, the Tony Blairs of this world.

      "What do they want here? Do they want to take away our wives," he said
to "thunderous applause," according to news reports.

      Mugabe also referred to the last elections five years ago, when the
opposition MDC, riding a wave of discontent over plummeting living
standards, managed to win nearly half of the 120 contested seats.

      "In 2000 the vote was by and large 'no'," for the ruling Zanu-PF, he

      "But if a man is rejected by a woman (and) if he is still in love with
her as we believe we are still in love with you, he will come back again. Is
she going to say no again?" he said.

      Mugabe is due to launch the ruling party's electoral campaign on

      He added: "After the launch of our election campaign ... we will be
coming to talk to you in a serious way and we will establish if our destiny
is together."

      The MDC has posed the stiffest challenge to Mugabe's stranglehold on
power since it was founded in 1999 but it has fared poorly in recent

      Zimbabwe's last two polls in 2000 and 2002 were widely criticised as
being marred by violence, intimidation and fraud and MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai claimed that victory had been snatched from him in the last
presidential polls.

      The MDC last week said it was reluctantly contesting the polls while
stressing that the conditions for a free and fair poll were almost nil.

      Zimbabwe now says it has revamped its electoral machinery -
instituting an independent poll commission, introducing a single day of
voting and providing for counting at polling stations - to conform to
southern African regional standards on free polling. - Sapa-AFP
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Hatcliffe Extension Rally 6 February 2005 - report
Trudy Stevenson

We in Harare North held our first rally of the year yesterday, Sunday 6
February, in the "informal settlement" of Hatcliffe Extension.  This
"informal settlement" of some 15 000 people living largely in plastic bags
and flimsy wooden sheds was actually created by the ZanuPF regime in 1993,
when it bulldozed the brick houses, school, clinic etc at Churu Farm on the
other side of town because they were perceived to be a threat to ZanuPF.
Churu Farm was owned by the late Rev Ndabaningi Sithole, President of Zanu
during most of the Liberation Struggle.  So the bulldozers moved in,
residents were camped at the side of the road for a couple of weeks in the
pouring rain until suddenly one night they were piled onto lorries and moved
to the other side of town and dumped just outside the then city boundary in
what was called a Temporary Holding Camp - so that Harare City Council would
not be responsible for them!

On that hill where they were dumped there was nothing - no well or borehole
for water, no house or building, no clinic or school, no sewerage or even
"Blair toilet" (long-drop) and certainly no electricity or paved road.  And
now in 2005, they are still there, though some have moved to the
neighbouring "New Stands" which is an abandoned site-and-service scheme
funded inititally by the World Bank and UNDP.  The stands (plots of land)
have been allocated, but people have been told not to build permanent
structures yet, and the water and sewerage pipes remain unconnected to the
City reticulation system 3 years after people were allocated their stands
with a great flourish of generosity by Local Govenrment Minister Dr Ignatius
Chombo - precisely one week before the Presidential election!

Back to our rally - we knew we were holding this in "enemy territory"
because ZanuPF keeps absolute control of that camp, despite having an MDC
MP.  People live there as virtual prisoners, told they will be removed if
they do not support ZanuPF which ALLOWS them to stay there!  It takes great
courage to escape that prison mentally - and even more to be seen to support
the opposition MDC.  MDC has a strong structure there, however, and that
structure organised yesterday's rally including security staying at the
venue the entire night to make sure ZanuPF didn't suddenly move in and take
over the place, and a team to toyi-toyi through the settlement in the early
hours of Sunday to let people know we would be there later on.

However, around 7.30 am I received the first phone call - "They have told us
we can't hold a rally here, the MP is not allowed to come here." "NO, stand
your ground," I reply. " We have police authorisation, and we will go ahead,
whatever they say." "But we are afraid, We think we'd better cancel." NO," I
reply, " We must stand our ground, I am coming there, tell them that."

Around 9 am another phone call: "It's Chiroto (election coordinator).  I'm
at Borrowdale Police Station making a report.  Some ZanuPF members are
trying to stop us proceeding, and the leader is Kangai's driver"  Ah!" I
reply, " I know Hon Kangai, I will call him to ask him to speak to his
driver to stop all this nonsense."  Which I do, and Hon Kangai is shocked
and can't contact his driver until the next day..but clearly he is
embarrassed. Then I go to collect the youth from Marlborough, and we head
off for Extension, distributing flyers and chatting to people as we fly down
the road.  Another phone call - they have arrested those ZanuPF thugs who
were organising the jambanja (violence)!

When we drive onto the football ground, there are many people gathered at
the periphery, waiting for proceedings to begin, obviously - and there is a
lot of noise, whistle-blowing and excitement as I arrive.  I distribute the
bandanas, flyers and other goodies I've brought - then approach the police
as a matter of courtesy.  They say everything is now alright, I return to
the main group and join the dancing round the drum (my drum, their drum has
been destroyed by ZanuPF members during the violence).  Then I notice that
the by-standers are being called together. The police speak to them - and
then they leave, obviously told they cannot stay there.  This disturbs me,
so I approach a group of police officers driving people away on the other
side of the field, and ask why they are doing that.  They reply "Because
they are not MDC members, we are only allowing MDC members to stay to avoid
more clashes"  I protest that I would prefer them to be allowed to stay, as
long as they are peaceful, then the Officer Commanding Borrowdale, Chief
Inspector Nhabo (sp?), wearing ordinary T shirt etc, approaches us to ask
what is the problem.  I explain, he also replies that they will not allow
Zanu and others to stay, to avoid clashes, I protest as before and he
replies"Well, if you are comfortable with that, it's OK" - but by this time,
all the by-standers have taken fright and left.

Participants carry on singing and dancing for a while, gradually a few bold
people creep back, others walk across the field in groups - obviously dying
to know what's happening!  Soon I am called to Harvest House to fetch the
Provincial Chairman and others (an hour's return trip - unfortunately!) but
when we all return, there are more people gathered round and we begin the
rally - prayer, introductions, and speeches.  Mr Femai, Provincial Chairman,
is an excellent rabble-rouser, poking fun at ZanuPF and getting people to
laugh and do their slogans over and over again as he struts about.  Then I
struggle my way through what I have to say in Shona (everything is in Shona
in Extension, many of those people are illiterate) but they get the gist of
it, and we all have a few laughs and murmurs of agreement, esp on the "We're
going to WIN!" bit.  Lastly Tendai Biti takes the floor - another brilliant
performance, and he explains the economic disaster that forces them to live
in those terrible conditions compared to the outrageous decadence of the
elite such as Gideon Gono with his 112-bedroomed house!  I notice that the
police are listening attentively throughout, and laughing along with the
rest!  We end with another prayer and some songs, and everyone goes away,
fired up and happy that, despite the wishes of ZanuPF, we held a very
successful and peaceful rally.

Afterwards, people told me that the riot police came and broke up the two
meetings organised by Nyasha Chikwinya (ZanuPF candidate and my competitor
for the last two elections also!) at exactly the same time as ours, one in
Extension and one in Hatcliffe One, because she hadn't bothered to inform
the police!  We had a good laugh, because she had been busy intimidating
everyone that they had to attend her meetings and not ours!  Today, Mr
Chiroto informed me that those ZanuPF thugs who were arrested had to pay
$500 000 each to get out of jail!!

We're going to WIN this election!  Chinja!
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8 February 2005


The media has a critical role in disseminating vital information to the
nation, in particular within the next six weeks, and to help the people to
make informed choices in the forthcoming election.

A lot of confusion is likely to emerge as the campaigns hot up. It is
therefore important for all media practitioners to understand that careless
journalism could result in the perpetuation of the current crisis. We have
insisted that all the players be allowed access to the main public media
outlets to enable the people to have a rich menu of messages at their

Against this background, I was fascinated to learn through the public media
that I am in Europe and the United States at a time when I am engaging with
the people deep inside the country.

We aspire for a society that is awash with media forbearance. We expect the
media to act as a marketplace of ideas, to contribute to the widening of
political space and to play a part in the search for a lasting end to the
national crisis.

Now that the question of our participation in the March election has been
settled, the responsibility for ensuring that we achieve our national
objective in the democratic struggle lies with all us. Wherever you are,
whatever you do, Zimbabwe needs all of us. We have reached a stage where, as
a national duty, it is imperative for the people to unite against tyranny,
and to deal decisively with the present vampire and criminal elite.

We believe we have won the broad struggle against tyranny; we believe we are
firmly driving the political agenda. Let us seize this opportunity and clear
up the national dispute arising from the clash of visions between the status
quo and the people.

Our vision is that of a new Zimbabwe whose focus shall be on food security
and jobs. A new approach is urgently needed for the nation to move out of
the current humanitarian crisis.

We maintain that we never regarded an election as an end in itself. Our goal
is, and has been, to transform our political culture, to roll the nation
back to the ideals of the liberation struggle, to extend basic freedoms and
to put together all aspects of our nation into a single unit.

Judging by the mood on the ground, the forthcoming election could provide
the medium through which the people realise their cherished goals. There is
renewed enthusiasm in political competition, despite the known odds stacked
against the majority. The people are keen to persevere. They are determined
to exercise their democratic right to reclaim their voice and dignity.

As I said last week, the choices are obvious. The status quo has become
untenable, totally unable to move the nation ahead. The status quo is a
serious national liability; a real threat to national security and national
survival. The status quo is loathed by our neighbours and the international
community - in short, the world is uncomfortable with present-day Zimbabwe.
These negatives, as we have seen during the past five years, are very
harmful to the tormentor and the tormented, the regime and the people. We
must put an end to the era of madness and regression.

An analysis of the regime's vision, programmes and behaviour shows that it
is no longer possible for the status quo to turn around the nation's
fortunes. That leaves the people with a single option to start afresh, in a
new setting, with a leadership that has a clean record and unblemished

Given the time left before the March election, Zimbabweans are anxious about
the work of the new commission. The commission has an intricate task to
separate itself from past practices and show Zimbabweans in a visible way
that a fresh electoral management system is possible. That can only happen
if the commission discharges its duties without fear or favour. The
commissioners must display a behaviour that earns them national legitimacy
and pride. They must show leadership in line with their national mandate.

I wish to record, however, that today, millions are denied this right simply
because of their ancestry, bureaucratic inefficiency or place of residence.
Those driven out of the country by the regime's policies, by economic
insecurity or by any other reasons have a right to determine Zimbabwe's
future and must be allowed to vote. We eagerly await the commission's
determination on this issue.

The commission must listen to all and save us from another five years of
uncertainty. The commission needs to check on the impact of Zanu-PF's
bureaucratic dominance on the management and administration of the election.

Given our experience with disputed elections, the people shall feel relieved
if the commission demonstrates a preparedness to go down in history as a
patriotic unit that steers the nation from the precipice.

We are mobilizing the people against voter apathy. The responses are very
encouraging as people understand that they must come out and decide the
future. The people are determined to vote to fulfill one of the ideals of
the liberation struggle.  We were at war with colonialism because of our
quest to assume the universal right to vote.

Together, we shall win.

Morgan Tsvangirai

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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!



The Unfolding Grain Crisis

Sokwanele reporter

08 February 2005

When the State President went on television and stated that Zimbabwe had grown a crop of 2,4 million tonnes in the 2003/04 season, the news was received with disbelief. How could a country which had not fed itself for four years now have a record maize crop which would allow the country to export 600 000 tonnes (500 train loads) of maize?


The truth was that the country had produced at most 800 000 tonnes – the Parliamentary Committee set up to investigate the situation at the instigation of the MDC, in fact suggested that the crop had been only 600 000 tonnes. Despite imports and donor aid supplying 5 million people with their basic needs for much of the 2003/04 season, Zimbabwe turned the corner into the 2004/05 grain marketing year with barely 300 000 tonnes in stock.


Since then the country has been importing maize grain steadily – despite Mugabe’s assurance that we had plenty of food and did not need food aid. We have bought maize from Zambia and South Africa as well as from overseas. Even so, our food stocks have declined and at present it would appear that the GMB is only importing 8000 tonnes a week against estimated demand of 23 000 tonnes a week for human needs only.


There is growing evidence of this shortfall in the market place.  Maize meal, the staple food for most Zimbabweans is often not available in the cities or in the rural areas.  GMB management has been meeting millers to attempt to ensure they are not hoarding maize or selling it on to the stock feeders who pay double what the GMB sells maize for, as they are required to meet their own needs by importing direct.


But this only explains a small portion of the shortages – Zimbabwe is running out of maize and when it finally does exhaust its stocks a very serious crisis will develop. Some observers put this situation as only weeks away.


The National Railways – the only organisation with the capacity to handle food imports on any scale, simply no longer has the capacity to move the quantities required. A few weeks ago they were managing to put together only 9 trains a day between major centers on all lines and covering all commodities.


5000 tonnes a day of maize imports would require half of all NRZ resources to move and this would leave the organisation without capacity to move other essential goods such as fuel (3 million liters a day) and coal (3500 tonnes a day).


Then there is the problem of where to source the grain – South Africa has a shortfall looming and may be reluctant to let Zimbabwe take half its reserves of maize for consumption. If we cannot source maize in South Africa then the nightmare of logistics becomes even more alarming.


Mugabe had planned to use the food deficit and the possession of stocks in ZANU PF hands as a political weapon. But what he cannot afford is an absolute shortage of the country’s basic staple food; that would be a recipe for revolution. It appears he may have miscalculated.


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Catholic Institution for International Relations

9 Feb 2005
Zimbabwe: CIIR advocacy coordinator for Africa outlines the political
In a recent interview with Vatican Radio, CIIR advocacy coordinator for
Africa, Dr Steve Kibble, outlined the situation in Zimbabwe and the
political backdrop in the run-up to the scheduled elections in March.

In response to a question on recent claims by the Zimbabwean government that
there is enough food in the country, Dr Kibble pointed to a recent report
from the Famine Early Warning System Network that warns that 5.8 million
Zimbabweans - nearly half the population - will need food aid.

Vatican Radio then asked about the Zimbabwean government's claims to be
self-sufficient and Dr Kibble outlined the government's lack of concern for
the human rights of those who do not support the ruling Zanu-PF regime. He
described how Zanu-PF has a desperate desire to prove that its failing land
reform programme has worked, as well as a desire not to be beholden to
international NGOs that it claims are a front for Western governments.

The interviewer then asked Dr Kibble why the US has just deemed Zimbabwe a
tyranny when it was previously heralded a 'success story' until 2000. Dr
Kibble responded that there are a number of myths about the golden age of
Zimbabwe. The reality is that most Zimbabweans remain poor and there has
never been a culture of respect for human rights. There has, however, been a
massive economic and social decline alongside serious human rights abuses in
the last five years. There are major regional and international concerns
about these issues.
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Sunday Times SA

Zimbabwe, Botswana affirm their friendship

Tuesday February 08, 2005 14:58 - (SA)

GABORONE - Botswana's President Festus Mogae met Zimbabwean's Minister of
Special Affairs, John Nkomo, in Botswana today.

Nkomo, who is also chairman of the ruling Zanu-PF was accompanied by the
Zimbabwean Ambassador to Botswana, Phelekezela Mphoko, and other officials.

Mogae was joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs Lt Gen Mompati Merafhe,
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Phandu Skelemani, and other officials.

Mogae was briefed on a number of recent developments in Zimbabwe and the
meeting closed with assurances from both sides of a "mutual desire to
further consolidate the long-standing friendship and solidarity" that exists
between the two neighbouring states.

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Cape Argus

      Zim farmers try to buy time
      February 8, 2005

      By Peta Thornycroft

      Lawrence Nicholson, 81, a South African citizen, is about to lose his
home, a small dry ranch about 150km north of Beit Bridge.
      His land was not invaded by President Robert Mugabe's supporters
during the five years of chaos in the commercial farming sector.

      But his was the first case to go to the Administrative Court in Harare
yesterday as Zimbabwe's justice system began to catch up with the paperwork
of Mugabe's land seizures, or land reform, as it is called by the

      All the land to be "acquired" by the state is owned by whites, and
many of the cattle farms going under the judicial hammer in the south are
owned by South Africans.

      Nicholson was on holiday in South Africa, but he instructed the
Commercial Farmers' Union to hire a lawyer and defend his home.

      Harare lawyer Rodney Makavsi opposed the government's application to
"acquire" Nicholson's home on two fronts. He raised the issue of the
independence of the judiciary, because he said many judges were
beneficiaries of farm redistribution and were therefore interested parties
to the "acquisitions".

      "They are judges to their own cause, and this denies the respondent a
fair hearing," he said.

      And he slammed recent changes to land laws which, he said, deprived
people of their only homes.

      Mr Justice Andrew Matema adjourned the case until today and asked for
proof that judges had been beneficiaries of the programme. In the second
case, lawyer Munyaradzi Muzah spoke with passion on behalf of a client she
has never met, Rudolph van den Heever, believed to be a doctor in

      He inherited his farm, which is still operating and is run by his
sister and brother-in-law, also in the dry south.

      "Several judges, including the honourable chief justice, have accepted
offers of land from the applicant" (the minister for land, land reform and
rural resettlement), she said.

      "In the present circumstances, where the bench has benefited from the
land reform programme, this prejudices the respondent and the bench can no
longer look impartially at land issues."

      Regional Commercial Farmers' Union chairman Mike Clark was in court
watching the proceedings on behalf of his members whose land and homes are
being "processed".

      Clark believes the sudden rush by the government to do its paperwork
is connected to the elections, but South African diplomats have succeeded in
buying a little time for some farmers.

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Business Day

A grave matter of blind patriots caught between rock, hard place
Jacob Dlamini


"WHOSE grave is this?" asks a South African journalist, pointing at a blank
tombstone next to the grave of Sally Mugabe, the Zimbabwean first lady, who
died in 1992.

"These two," says a tour guide as he points at the graves next to that of
the late Mugabe, are "technically reserved". Slow to catch on, the South
African journalist asks: "Reserved for whom?" There is a nervous chuckle
from the tour guide before the journalist realises his "mistake" and quickly
changes the subject.

The journalist is part of a group of South African journalists being given a
tour of Zimbabwe's Heroes' Acre by officials of the ruling Zanu (PF).

The two graves next to Mugabe's are "technically reserved" for President
Robert Mugabe and his second wife Grace, but the two Zanu (PF) men
accompanying the journalists seem to find it difficult to say so outright.

The men, whose party has been in power since Zimbabwe gained independence in
1980, obviously know that Mugabe is mortal. But it seems they cannot quite
come to terms with the fact that their president, like all mortals, will one
day cease to exist. We feel this in the uncomfortable silence that follows
the brief exchange between the journalist and the tour guide.

The silence goes away only once we move on to the other graves at the

The site, built by the North Koreans in the 1980s along with the national
stadium it overlooks, is the final resting place of more than 30 of Zimbabwe's
national heroes. They include, the tour guide says proudly, one white priest
and one coloured man.

The Zanu (PF) men, who have invited members of the South African media to
Zimbabwe to "show" us and the world that there is no crisis in their country
and that multiparty democracy is "thriving", don't seem to want to talk
about Mugabe's grave.

But they are more than eager to say whose body "would never" be laid to rest
at Heroes' Acre - opposition party leader Morgan Tsvangirai's.

"My brother, can you imagine Tsvangirai being buried alongside these
 heroes," says one Zanu (PF) official, taking us past the graves of Joshua
Nkomo and war veterans leader Chenjerai "Hitler" Hunzvi, among others.

The official says: "This man (Tsvangirai) does not belong here. What has he
ever done for his country? What has he sacrificed for the liberation of his

It is clear from their tone that we are on sacred ground and that only Zanu
(PF) loyalists or those close to the party qualify for burial here.

"Even I could never dream of being buried here along all these people," says
the other Zanu (PF) official, no doubt showing just how far down the pecking
order "traitors" such as Tsvangirai are. According to the Zanu (PF)
apparatchiks, Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is the worst
thing to have ever happened to Zimbabwe.

One of them says that the MDC, and the fact that he has yet to score a farm
from the land reform programme, are the only things that give him sleepless

He says the "danger" posed by the MDC to Zimbabwe's continued survival as a
sovereign state is worse than the evils of colonialism. Tsvangirai, the Zanu
(PF) men say, is an "imperialist stooge" who takes his orders from Britain
and the US.

They say they will never allow someone like him to "dishonour" Heroes' Acre.

The two apparatchiks are different in their own ways: one is a liberation
war veteran, a retired army officer and a party loyalist still in search of
a farm; the other a youngish economist who farms his massive repossessed
plot in the south of the country by "remote control" from Johannesburg,
where he is a Zanu (PF) spokesman.

But they are united in their faith in Zanu (PF) and in Mugabe. For them, the
party and the leader are almost one. Mugabe and Zanu (PF) are the best
things to have happened to Zimbabwe.

The two men are to politics what Osama bin Laden is to religion -
fundamentalist, fervent and scary.

Asked if they could ever conceive of a government of national unity that
includes both Zanu (PF) and the MDC, they say: "Never!"

"There is no unity of purpose and vision between Zanu (PF) and the MDC. How
can you unite with people who do not share your vision or your history of
struggle?" says one of them.

But what about the thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans who vote MDC, we ask?

The Zanu (PF) hacks ignore our question. To them, the idea that there are
people who find parties other than theirs attractive is as much an anathema
as talking about Mugabe's grave.

You know it's there; you just don't talk about it.

.. Dlamini is political editor
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What's Needed: Foreign Policy for All Seasons

The Daily News (Harare)

February 8, 2005
Posted to the web February 8, 2005

Munodii Kunzwa

THE foreign policy of Zimbabwe is a hodgepodge of contradictions. Someone
said that - I am not too sure who.

Another said the anchor of the foreign policy seems to be: We are right and
everyone else is wrong. Or: if you are not with us, then you are against us.

The foreign policy of a government should not be so variable one day it
declares itself in favour of a global war on poverty, the next day it says
poverty is ineradicable because it was created by God, along with Adam and
Eve, wealth, sloth and purity.

Zimbabwe's foreígn policy, since independence has not been determined
entirely on the basis of enlightened self-interest, as it ought to be. It
has instead been guided, the detractors say, but by a pigheaded adherence to
old-fashioned, archaic Cold War politics.

It was inevitable that, eventually, Zimbabwe would turn to the East. What
may not be clear to the foreign policy planners is that this East is not the
same East as the East of the Cold War.

China is not exactly swimming in Coca Cola, or fattening itself into a
cholesterol coma on Mother's apple pie and hamburgers. But it is not the
same China to which Zanu PF sent its cadres for guerilla training.

Neither does the Russian federation of today resemble the Soviet Union of
the Cold War, which trained Zipra cadres.

In spite of their differences on issues such as the war in Iraq and global
warming, the former Cold War foes have a better relationship than before.
Certainly, it would be extraordinary if Russia and China ganged up against
the United States over Zimbabwe, which seems to have rejected multi-party

Foreign policy is not an exact science and people often lionised as foreign
policy fundis can turn out to be charlatans.

The custodian of Zimbabwe's foreign policy, for some time now, has been the
historian Stan Mudenge. But this intellectual once in a while stoops to such
plebeian depths people wonder if he is on some medication they are unaware

His histrionics over the arrest of the Equatorial Guinea-bound mercenaries
come to mind. Almost foaming at the mouth as he addressed foreign diplomats
in Harare, he as much as pronounced them guilty, when he referred to how
they might actually be "hanged".

In the event, none of them was hanged, although they were found guilty and
sentenced to prison terms. All in all, the hullabaloo which Mudenge had
raised over the mercenaries turned out to have been a little overblown.

Mudenge may be the custodian, but the man in effective charge is President
Robert Mugabe. For instance,turning Tony Blair into an election platform in
March could not have been Mudenge's idea. Mugabe probably consulted him, as
all despots consult their underlings - after their decision.

Mugabe is virtually challenging the intellectual integrity of the voters.
Can an election be decided on the basis of the activities of one foreign
political individual?

The great pity for Zimbabwe is that our political enlightenment has not
progressed to the stage where a one-on-one televised debate between the main
actors is routine. In this case, a debate between the leaders of the two
major parties could be highly informative for the voters.

Of course, this time around the presidency is not at stake, so a
Mugabe-Morgan Tsvangirai duel would be out of the question. What about a
debate between the chairpersons of the two parties? This would help
crystallise the issues for the voters.

Would John Nkomo be able to convince voters that the election is not about
such bread-and--butter issues as unemployment, inflation, low wages and a
health delivery system now in the intensive care unit - but Tony Blair?

To many analysts of the African political scene, there are leaders who find
the temptation irresistible to dodge seemingly intractable local issues by
concentrating on foreign affairs.

In this case, Mugabe has hit the nadir: a country in dire economic straits,
where the governor of the central bank - a quasi-civil servant, in fact - is
virtually running the economy, wants to decide an election on the activities
of a foreign politician.

A debate on the issues could bring out the paucity of Zanu PF's policies.
Mugabe says the land reform programme is now complete, but there are endless
audits on the land redistribution. There is a food shortage looming, but
Mugabe insists we have enough food to last us until the next harvest. Others
warn of terrible hunger this year. Wouldn't a debate around that subject,
the epitome of bread-and-butter issues, be appropriate? Then the Zanu PF
chairman himself could explain why Tony Blair is the issue, not the spectre
of hunger. Sometimes you begin to wonder if even the politburo has an
opportunity to debate such weighty party issues as choosing Tony Blair as
their key platform. Mugabe is more comfortable with foreign affairs than
with issues that really affect ordinary people. His instinct was that the
people would not be familiar with foreign affairs. They would not ask
questions. It was cynical of Mugabe to foist on Zanu PF voters a foreign
issue which, in reality, cannot possibly affect their day-to-day existence.
This cynicism has become prevalent in other fields. The gift of computers to
schools may seem to be a gesture of benevolence befitting a head of state.
But it must raise the question of what has happened to our educational
system since the great days of early independence. Are the computers the
most urgent requirement for a system that has been tattered by
maladministration and a cabinet minister on some kind of revenge path? What
about gifts to save the health delivery system, a matter of life and death?
Why a foreign policy that shows level-headedness and a sober calculation of
international relations - a foreign policy for all seasons - is difficult
for Zanu PF seems to hinge on Mugabe's inherent mistrust of foreigners,
particularly foreigners who criticise him. If voters decide Tony Blair is
not as big an issue as putting food on their tables and vote with their
stomachs, Mugabe might wake up from his idyllic flirtation with foreign
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New Zimbabwe


      The sorrows of a patriot


      CELEBRATING the return of democracy in his country, Uruguay's famous
writer, Eduardo Galeano once wrote: "Latin Americans have been trained in
impotence. A pedagogy passed down from colonial times, taught by violent
soldiers, timorous teachers and frail fatalists, has rooted in our souls the
belief that reality is untouchable and that all we can do is swallow in
silence the woes each day brings."

      When absolute power is challenged and shaken it casts out the
democratic mask, which it usually adorns with impunity. Immediately and
brazenly it marshals fear and insecurity demanding total submission from all
brooking no dissent.

      At once patriots are no longer those who serve their country with
honesty, bravery and truthfulness nor those who sing the loudest in praise
of power but they become those who serve in silence with blindness, fear and
sheer obsequiousness.

      Nowhere is this apparent in our region than in the case of Zimbabwe
where the lily livered have queued and tumbled over one another in a
scramble to be
      counted first as super patriots at a time when others are seen to be
bootlicking the British and other imperialists.

      The Zanu PF politburo met recently in Harare to endorse its candidates
for the March 31 election virtually banging the door on all the complaints
and protests, in total display of virulent hostility towards the other view.

      Thousands of its supporters were obviously disappointed as the top
brass clearly rode roughshod over their will to impose carefully selected
      This was in the wake of the party's Congress which brazenly propelled
President Robert Mugabe's henchmen and cast out those who were either a
threat or were unclear on their commitment to the Dear Leader against the
wishes of many of the party loyalists.

      But nothing has happened and will happen since Zanu PF is a party of
patriots. The patriots are back home suffering silently. After all patriots
should not be
      seen to be defying authority. They should go and shed tears indoors
for the outsiders should not see their shame and tears. It is an abomination
to wail before the strangers and outsiders.

      Witness how Joseph Chinotimba, Patrick Chinamasa, Joseph Made, Tony
Gara, Kindness Paradza and company are all conspicuous by their silence. The
Zanu PF Congress showed us how bitter men and women are forced to conform to
the Dear Leader's whishes singing praises even as unwelcome ideas are forced
down their throats just to be counted amongst the patriots.

      Many suffered silently as they were arbitrarily dropped from the
Central Committee and when their choices were blocked by the Presidium. Even
as the Chairman John Nkomo pretended to want to be seen as a democratic
leader seeking for objections, it was clear to all that the whole exercise
of choosing the Central Committee members had nothing to do with democracy.

      The sheep sat like stones in the terraces fearing to dare question the
presidium's arbitrary interventions. Even though disappointed, they will not
dare utter a word because they are "patriots".

      They are the sagging souls burdened by fear and internal bleeding. A
people terrified by the thunder of the Leader feeding on a spectrum of
threats on a
      daily basis.

      Sadly this disturbing scenario is not limited to such events for fear
is the order of the day in Zimbabwe in the newsrooms, railway stations and
everywhere. Not very along ago I listened to the former Zimbabwe Information
Services officer, Johannes Nyamayedenga bravely assuring the nation that he
was not the kind of a journalist to "sell" his country by writing or
broadcasting a "negative story about my country" because he was "patriotic".

      He is not alone. Many young journalists who in their private life are
cursing the on-going "Third Chimurenga" carnage have also been whipped into
      to pretend to be the custodians of a noble idea sent down from the

      They have coined nice words and are still-hunting for more phrases to
camouflage the Dear Leader's supposed crusade. Superlatives abound as to the
Dear Leader's good intentions. The more they commit themselves the more it
becomes crystal clear how painful it is to be a patriot under the times of

      One must wear a mask to hide their genuine disappointment in the wake
of the destructive wave of the so-called "Third Chimurenga". In the Spot FM
      and Power FM studios, they carefully select certain songs to advertise
to their masters how patriotic they are.

      In football some have to pretend that there is no difference between
the Nigerian National team and their Zimbabwean counterparts. All hide their
pain in the hearts and pretend that there is no problem as all the resources
are mobilized to support or shore up this gigantic and taxing march of evil.

      They watch, as the civil service is bloated with incompetent managers
virtually in all departments. Competence and genuine patriotism becomes a
crime for
      it will prove that another idea -- a direct opposite of the "Third
Chimurenga" --will work wonders in Zimbabwe.

      It surely must be painful to be a patriot in a country where your
father or cousin's murder is not investigated because it is classified as in
defence of your birthright. Where your tax is taken to subsidise Judith
Makwanya, Reuben Barwe and Munyaradzi Huni to spew bile and obfuscate issues
in the public media all in the name of patriotism and nationalism.

      With the election campaigning, we should expect the patriots to be
hauled to rallies where they will wait for the Dear Leader all day long
chanting slogans and capering until he arrives three hours latter without
apologies. The patriots would have waited all day shifting positions with
the shadows of the trees without eating or tasting a drop of water.

      The sorrows of a patriot don't stop there. A patriot must hear the
Dear Leader and cheer him on as he spews irrelevant bile, threatening
imaginary enemies. Patriots must put on a brave face squatting under the
blazing African sun cheering a leader bellowing from under a shade.

      They are expected to wave the Dear Leader off as he takes off to the
sky on a helicopter living them with long miles to walk back to their homes.
      Mthulisi is a Zimbabwean journalist and writes from Zimbabwe. CONTACT

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Mail and Guardian

      DA mission 'will not go as as far as Zim airport'

      Carol Hills | Johannesburg, South Africa

      08 February 2005 05:53

            A Democratic Alliance fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe will not
"go as far as the airport", African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL)
president Fikile Mbalula told students at the University of the
Witwatersrand on Tuesday.

            The mission is a form of "opportunism" displayed by DA leader
Tony Leon.

            "He believes he can speak on behalf of the ANC as if it is
banned," said Mbalula, adding: "We can speak through our leaders. We can
speak for ourselves."

            Not even Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) wants the DA in Zimbabwe, he said.

            It has to be asked what the DA is going to do in Zimbabwe and
what it is going to inspect.

            In South Africa, he said, it is interested only in the
entrenchment of white capital, and has attacked black economic empowerment,
which it wants scrapped.

            "They support entrenchment of white property values in Zimbabwe.
They have allies in Zimbabwe. I don't think they'll go as far as the
airport," said Mbalula.

            His comments come in the wake of Congress of South African Trade
Unions fact-finding delegations being barred twice from Zimbabwe.

            The problem is the DA having drawn a conclusion even before the
mission. Zimbabwe, like any other nation "under siege", has the right to
self-defence, he said.

            The extent to which any fact-finding mission could be effective
depends on the manner in which it engages with all stakeholders, without a
political agenda.

            For its own part, the ANCYL opposes a change of government in
Zimbabwe, as it is not a "regime", said Mbalula.

            "Regimes are governments that are despicable [and that] don't
allow political expression to anybody."

            There is an opposition in Zimbabwe and one that has been allowed
to contest elections -- in line with British demands for the democratisation
of the government before it will free up funds for land redistribution.

            Changing the government will only bring about hostility and
"entrench hostile engagement. Let us work with the Zimbabwean people to
reach a common solution," Mbalula said.

            The ANCYL will not be the "shop-steward" of those wanting a
change of government.

            A more pressing problem is that of polarisation between the
rural poor and those living in urban areas, said Mbalula.

            It is this that needs to be addressed "for the best interests of
the Zimbabwe people themselves". -- Sapa

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Hunting Rakes in $12bn

The Herald (Harare)

February 7, 2005
Posted to the web February 8, 2005


ZIMBABWE earned $12 billion from the last hunting season, Parks and Wildlife
Management Authority public relations manager Retired Major Edward Mbewe has

Rtd Major Mbewe said out of all the game, the elephant was the most
expensive hunt at US$6 000 per beast, raising the highest amount, whilst the
baboon fetched the cheapest price.

He went on to dismiss rumours that the authority had increased all its
charges, saying it was only the elephant whose cost had gone up.

"The elephant is the only one that had its charges hiked from US$6 000 to
US$8 500 because it is the animal that most hunters target," said Rtd Major

He said Zimbabwe has 545 registered hunters, the majority of whom were white
who were taught professional hunting by their parents.

Rtd Major Mbewe said the authority planned to assist blacks enter the
hunting industry.

In May last year, the authority established its own hunting safari firm,
Mgundumu Safaris, at Matetsi near Victoria Falls as part of measures to
increase its revenue base.

"The Mgundumu initiative went on quite well, especially so for an
experimental programme," he said.
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While Kofi Annan was ignoring Zimbabwe crisis, his son was building Harare's
by Judi McLeod,

February 8, 2005

While United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan was patently ignoring a
President Robert Mugabe oppressed Zimbabwe, his son, Kojo was making money
building the Zimbabwean capitol's airport.

Mugabe runs the ZANU-PF, a regime that Condoleeza Rice labels an outpost of

Why Kojo Annan's business activities in Zimbabwe have not surfaced in the
ongoing probe of the Oil-For-Food Program should surely raise concern about
both the integrity and sincerity of the investigation.

It's a global village as far as Kojo's business agenda is concerned.

First came West Africa where Annan's youngest son was working for the
Swiss-based Cotecna with ties to the Oil-For-Food Program. While the world
was led to believe that Annan Junior came off the Cotecna payroll in 1999,
he continued to cash Cotnecna's cheques until 2004.

Morocco came next when it was revealed that Kojo Annan and Hani Yamani, bona
fide Saudi national were negotiating the sale of $60 million worth of oil to
a Moroccan company. Yamani is the businessman son of the powerful Sheikh
Ahmed Yamani, former Saudi oil minister and OPEC founder.

In Zimbabwe, Kojo Annan and his friend and business confrere Yamani were in
bed with Leo Mugabe, nephew of President Robert Mugabe.

Present for key meetings, Kojo Annan was flown to Morroco to close the big
oil deal, which for reasons unknown was ultimately abandoned by Yamani.

Here's how the Zimbabwe deal went down.

In the wayward way in which the Zimbabwe government sometimes conducts its
business affairs, it was a Cabinet Order that awarded the tender for
construction of the Harare Airport to a little-known company, called Air
Harbour Technologies (AHT). AHT is owned and run by Hani Yamani.

The contract to build the Harare airport was awarded to AHT by Mugabe's
ruling ZANU-PF government despite its fourth place ranking by the tender

Yamani had made contributions to the ZANU-PF Party, but whether that was a
factor in landing the contract must be left for speculation.

The tender was eventually awarded to AHT from Cyprus, whose local agent is
President Mugabe's nephew, Leo, contemporary chum of Kojo and Yamani.

Even with Zimbabwe caught up in the kind of political strife that sees its
own people starving, the contract to build the new Harare airport was going
to make somebody rich.

Estimated to cost Z$5 billion, by the time of its completion in April of
2001, the airport terminal had cost Z$7 billion.

Kojo Annan, Kofi's youngest son, only 26 years of age at the time, served on
the AHT board with Yamani, with whom he was also negotiating the sale of two
million barrels of oil in 2001, in the same timeframe the airport project
was coming to an end.

In Harare, President Mugabe was being linked to the payment of unauthorized
commissions during construction of the airport. As the project was about to
wrap up, serious rifts were also developing between AHT, the main contractor
and local representatives and government officials.

Before it was over, the airport project had become a tale of cronyism that
leached all the way back to over to Manhattan's United Nations via Kofi
Annan's son Kojo, Mugabe's nephew, Leo and Yamani, the jet-setting son of
the famous and powerful former Saudi oil minister, Sheikh Ahmed Yamani.

It all added up to a powder keg waiting for the strike of a match.

In July 1999, Yamani wrote a letter to Mugabe, complaining about excessive
kickbacks. His letter was leaked to an independent newspaper in December,

That lit the match.

Following publication of the letter by the newspaper, the newspaper's
printing works were destroyed by a massive explosive. No arrests were made
among widespread speculation that state agents were involved in the bombing.

While the international arena has paid scant attention to Zimbabwe while it
struggles under the firm boot of Mugabe, Zimbabwe's ruling party was in
proactive drive with the Intelligence Agency of one Saddam Hussein.

Indeed, Hussein's Intelligence Agency had a section dedicated solely to
Zimbabwe, although thus far no one has ever been able to explain why.

Zimbabwe recently ordered $200 million worth of military equipment from
China. No one can figure out how Mugabe's paying for it.

Meanwhile, Oil-For-Food investigator Paul Volcker, who has stated that he
intends to table another interim report on Kojo Annan, has his homework cut
out for him.

Canada Free Press founding editor Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist
with 30 years experience in the media. A former Toronto Sun and Kingston
Whig Standard columnist, she has also appeared on, the Drudge
Report,, and World Net Daily. Judi can be reached at:

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A paper in exile

This week sees the launch of a paper without a home.

The Zimbabwean, a new tabloid paper aimed at "Zimbabweans in the diaspora"
will be published in the UK and South Africa weekly, and distributed
primarily on the streets of London and Johannesburg.

Aimed primarily at Zimbabwean exiles - there are estimated to be over one
million living in the UK, and two million outside Zimbabwe in Southern
Africa - the paper aims to "give a voice to the voiceless", building links
between Zimbabweans forced to live in exile and encouraging them to share
their stories and articulate their fears and frustrations about the issues
that they face.

Announcing the launch, the paper's founder, Wilf Mbanga, said the project
would seek to harness the energies and synergies of exiles, many of whom
were isolated, marginalised and voiceless, yet constituted Zimbabwe's
professional, skilled and intellectual cream.

"They are hungry for news about home and effectively cut off from their
families and each other. Many do not have access to the internet at work or
at home and are dependent upon internet cafes and e-mail," he said.

The Zimbabwean will focus on news from Zimbabwe as well as life in exile.
The content will obviously have a heavy emphasis on Zimbabwean politics, but
will also include arts and culture, business, sports, gender issues, social
issues and news analysis. Letters to the editor will be a key feature, as
will classified advertisements.

Current legislation in the country makes it difficult to operate as an
independent journalist in Zimbabwe. Many bright, young journalists have been
forced out of the country into hardship and unemployment abroad. Some of
these have teamed up with Mbanga, founder of the now-silenced Daily News,
Zimbabwe's only independent daily from 1999 to 2003.

"I have been deeply touched and encouraged by the willingness with which
Zimbabwean exiles have responded to my call to get involved," said Mbanga.
"Obtaining independent news from Zimbabwe will be a challenge, as foreign
correspondents are banned from entering the country. The various on-line
resources, together with some radio stations, have done an excellent job in
keeping the story alive since the silencing of the Daily News. We will be
maximizing synergies with them."

Mbanga said the newspaper would be dedicated to freedom of expression and
access to information for all the peoples of Zimbabwe, founded on the sacred
principles of journalism - fairness and honesty.

"We believe the paper can play a role in drawing attention to so much that
is offensive to basic human decency and hostile to peace in our beloved
Zimbabwe. Such exposure may help the country to return to the path of
wisdom, democracy and the rule of law. We believe those in positions of
authority and power should be held accountable to those they are supposed to
serve and that a free media is fundamental to ensuring such accountability,"
he said.

"The Zimbabwean will be an authoritative and accurate newspaper of record
and a reliable source of information to all those individuals, agencies and
governments with an interest in Zimbabwe. A news blackout is dangerous for
any society. The forthcoming general election scheduled for March adds
urgency. We will ensure that our coverage is accurate, fair and balanced. We
will be accountable to our readers. We will endeavour to give all
viewpoints, and everyone - including the government of Zimbabwe - will have
the right of reply. In short, we will do everything the government
newspapers in Zimbabwe are not allowed to do!"

Mbanga said his research had led him to believe that a physical newspaper
was essential - but The Zimbabwean would also be available online soon after
the middle of February, at
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