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Zimbabwe presidential poll set for March 9-10
HARARE, Jan. 9 — Zimbabwe's presidential election will be held on March 9
and 10, President Robert Mugabe's office said on Wednesday.
Mugabe, aged 77 and in power in the southern African country since 1980,
faces the toughest battle of his political career amid a collapsing economy
and growing international criticism of his human rights record and the
violent seizure of white-owned farms.
       The presidential term of office is for six years.
       ''His excellency the president, Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe, has in
terms of powers vested in him by the constitution, set the date for the
presidential election on the 9th and 10th of March 2002,'' his office said
in a statement.
       The announcement came just hours after the country's security chiefs
signalled that they would not accept a victory by the opposition, headed by
former trade unionist Morgan Tsvangirai.
       The army's statement was the latest blow to hopes for a free and fair
poll in the country, which is locked in a deepening economic and social
       Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF has suspended regular parliamentary
procedures to pave the way for an extended sitting to push through a public
order and security bill that would give the government wide-ranging powers
against its opponents.
       The party has rejected a chorus of international criticism, including
threats by Zimbabwe's former colonial ruler Britain to seek to suspend the
country from the Commonwealth
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Tim Butcher


JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe lurched toward dictatorship
yesterday as President Robert Mugabe defied international
criticism by preparing to assume sweeping new powers.

Tough laws curbing the press, limiting election monitors and
allowing the police to clamp down on political opponents
could be enacted as early as today.

As 10 opponents of the ruling Zimbabwe Africa National Union
Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) were arrested and more white-owned
farms were seized, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
threatened to have Zimbabwe thrown out of the Commonwealth.

"If the situation continues to deteriorate, Britain will
argue for Zimbabwe's suspension," he told the House of

Mr. Mugabe's attempt to rush the package of draconian laws
through the Zimbabwean parliament was seen as a crude ploy
to try to secure victory in the coming presidential
election, expected in March.

Early indications showed that Morgan Tsvangirai of the
Movement for Democratic Change was posing Mr. Mugabe's
closest electoral challenge since he swept to power in 1980,
when Zimbabwe won its independence.

The package includes laws restricting election monitors and
giving the police additional powers to repress political

One measure, titled the "Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Bill," included dramatic curbs on the
press and freedom of expression.

"It seems to be part of a rather horrific buildup to the
election," said Anton Harber, journalism professor at
Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg.

"And it is clear that the bill is just one way the
Zimbabwean government will use to control criticism of the
president and to try to win the election.

"The threats of fines or jail sentences against journalists
do not have to be implemented to be effective. The threat of
them alone has such a chilling effect that it will freeze
out a lot of coverage."

In Zimbabwe, independent journalists said they would
challenge the law as soon as possible on the grounds that it
breached the constitution.

If that happens, the law could backfire for Mr. Mugabe, as
it could take until after the presidential election for the
Zimbabwean courts to make their ruling.

In the meantime, the law would be subject to an injunction
and unenforceable during the campaign.

Constitutional analysts described the Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Bill as "ill-conceived, badly
drafted and dangerous."

Others said the new regime for journalists imposed in
Zimbabwe is tougher than any other imposed in Africa or
elsewhere in recent times.

The bill outlaws all foreign journalists from working in
Zimbabwe. It says only Zimbabwean citizens can work as
journalists and only after being registered and accredited
by a new, powerful Media and Information Commission run by
officials appointed by Mr. Mugabe.

Foreign news organizations cannot even be represented by
local Zimbabwean journalists, as the only news organizations
allowed to function will have to be owned by Zimbabweans.

The law included petty attempts to defend the name of the
head of state, threatening two years in jail or hefty fines
for anyone guilty of "denigrating, bringing into hatred or
contempt or ridicule or exciting disaffection against the

But its most repressive element was its sweeping attempt to
create and control a register of all journalists allowed to
operate in Zimbabwe.

The government's critics said they were not surprised that
the laws would apply only to independent journalists.
Employees of state-owned organizations such as the Herald
newspaper are exempted from the restrictions.

Brian Crozier, who worked as a senior civil servant in
Zimbabwe's Justice Ministry until last year, said the bill
contravened Zimbabwe's constitutional commitment to the
freedom of expression.

"Most of the controls the bill seeks to impose are
unconstitutional," he said, "but their very
unconstitutionality is disturbing."

This suggested that the government "has decided to impose an
authoritarian control over the news media regardless of
constitutional restrictions," Mr. Crozier said.

Mr. Harber, the journalism professor, said he had never seen
more draconian rules for reporters, even during the
apartheid era in South Africa when the white government
considered but held back from creating a compulsory registry
of journalists.

The crisis in Zimbabwe began in the run-up to the 2000
parliamentary elections when Mr. Mugabe sought to win
popularity with poor rural people by giving them land on
white-owned commercial farms.

Militant supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party stormed the
white farms, attacking and in some cases murdering the

The land grab was completely outside the rule of law, but
Mr. Mugabe defied everyone - even judges - who criticized
the policy.

Mr. Mugabe painted the conflict as a clash between greedy
white colonialists and poor, exploited blacks, even though
thousands of black farmworkers lost their livelihoods.

The policy ruined Zimbabwe's once buoyant economy and
dragged one of Africa's few post-independence success
stories close to anarchy.

The European Union has threatened economic sanctions against

Britain's threat to suspend Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth
would have to be discussed at the next meeting of the
Commonwealth heads of government in Australia in March.

Jonathan Moyo, the Zimbabwe information minister, said,
"Britain is going a step further from funding the
opposition," repeating a long-standing contention that the
British government finances the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change.

Mr. Mugabe is attempting to secure a new six-year term.-----------------------------------------------------------
This article was mailed from The Washington Times
For more great articles, visit us at

Copyright (c) 2001 News World Communications, Inc. All
rights reserved.
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Daily News

This is a licence to kill, not build Zimbabwe

1/9/02 9:23:20 AM (GMT +2)bill saidi on wednesday

THESE are volatile times for Zimbabwe. A young man recognised me in a
restaurant the other day and said he read my column with interest.Then he said, rather enigmatically, but with force: "Baboons are all the
same." I was stumped and asked him for enlightenment. Whoever takes over the
government can do no better than Zanu PF, he said, confessing boldly that he
worked for the government.

During the two weeks I have not written the column, I have reflected on the
past, the present and the future of my country. Some of the reflections
brought me sadness. For instance, by the time I returned to Zimbabwe in 1980
and joined The Herald as an assistant to the editor, at the age of 43, I had
been fired by Kaunda, had interviewed Richard Nixon before he became
president and then covered his re-election as president in 1972 when
Watergate was born, a political word which spawned Muldergate, Irangate and

I spent two days unconscious in a hospital in Chipata, eastern Zambia, after
being beaten up by political thugs as I covered a referendum campaign for
The Times of Zambia. I had been beaten by a politician offended by what I
had written in a weekly satirical column.

Before that, in Highfield, I had been bashed on the head by a bouncer after
I had been identified as a reporter investigating a brothel and a former
South African beauty queen billed as the star attraction. I had worked for
two years as the de facto correspondent of Reuters news agency in Lusaka and
had been a stringer for other overseas publications.

Today, if the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill is passed
into law, I might have to apply for a licence to continue to practise as a
journalist. Under the proposed law, "no journalist shall work in Zimbabwe
without being accredited by the Commission (the all-powerful Media and
Information Commission).

"The Minister shall prescribe the form and manner in which journalists will
be accredited; "The commission shall, in consultation with journalists/media
houses develop a code of conduct for journalists." Someone born on 12
January 1957 may head the commission. On that date I was a few weeks away
from joining The African Daily News as a cadet reporter in Salisbury. I have
not needed a licence to work as a journalist since then. I am flabbergasted
that this person could decide my future as a journalist.

But after my brief incarceration, with three colleagues, at Harare Central
police station in August last year, over a story which I was accused of
"causing to be published" in The Daily News, nothing else can shock me about
this government's obsession with shutting down the voices of citizens,
journalists or not, who say or write anything remotely identical to the
The licence to work as a journalist could turn out to be a licence, not to
help Zimbabwe build a vibrant democracy, but to kill the concept of freedom
Taken in tandem with the other Stalinist measures the government has
launched recently, this potentially explosive piece of legislation confirms
our worst fears: Zanu PF intends to destroy Zimbabwe as we know it today
before anybody else can take it over.

Its naked campaign of murder and violence against the people is nothing less
than an act of defiance against everything the civilised world holds sacred:
human life. Many attempts are being made to justify this brutality: the
Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) seems strangely obsessed with
the notion that all the killings and mayhem against unarmed civilians can be
justified on the basis that the land reform programme is being resisted.

Then Lillian Patel, the Malawian foreign minister, now the chief apologist
of the government's carnage, must explain why the people of Kuwadzana
Extension in Harare, for instance, can conceivably resist land reform. They
are neither white nor farmers.

Why were they beaten up and their houses damaged by people ordering them to
vote for Zanu PF in the presidential election?
If Ms Patel can convince us that the green-uniformed youths beating up
people in Chitungwiza last week were defending the land reform programme,
then she will have convinced me that the Sadc leadership is not, as we have
begun to suspect, frightened of Robert Mugabe's reputation for fighting

By the time the presidential election is held in March, there may be so many
corpses littering the landscape, most voters may have to go to relatives'
funerals instead of the polling stations.

What the new media Bill proposes is in line with the Zanu PF view of this
new "concentration camp" Zimbabwe: a mealy-mouthed, boot-licking,
eunuch-like, gutless media singing praises to the government day in and day
out, unabashedly extolling the brutality of a system that condones the
murder of political opponents.

It's a media that will refuse to condemn the rape of women by political
gangs among whom may be some in the terminal stages of Aids.
It may turn out to be a TV news programme as stultifying in its content as
ZBC-TV's This Morning. All the gadgetry in the world cannot disguise this
show from what it is: a drab, lifeless, boring portrayal of what the
mandarins at Shake Shake building and Pockets Hill consider to be news.

They have shifted from focusing on broken-down lavatories in dilapidated
growth points to people pounding the earth impotently with their hoes. Most
of them look emaciated, their faces seamed as if their blood was starved of
Recently, they have hit upon a portrait of the children of the nouveau
riche, in their expensive designer clothes, climbing into a pick-up truck
(which is probably illegal) and singing Rap to lyrics on the land.

This is the most senseless, stupid and unrealistic advertisement to promote
the land grab campaign. The kids might be mindless, but not landless. Was it
one of Coltrane Chimurenga's ideas? It stinks. Throughout the world and
throughout history, governments have had to grapple with newspapers, before
radio, television and the internet came on the scene.

What role ought the media to play in society? Should it be simply part of
the government apparatus of controlling the people's views, especially what
they think of the government?
Or should it be independent of the government?
As recently as 1972, even Britain was still grappling with this problem.
The Press Council report of that year, called The Press and the People, says
in a chapter entitled "Parliament and the Press":

"During the twelve months under review, the relationship between the Press
of Britain and Parliament is best described as an uneasy truce, rather than
a period of any open hostility.

"Like a pair of Olympic boxers both sides have retired to their respective
corners, and are glaring at each other across the ring, waiting for the next
round. And there is no doubt when the bell will go for that round."
Parliament had before it the reports on four major committees of inquiry
affecting the freedom of the Press: Privacy, Defamation, Contempt and
Official Secrecy. All four committees had received what the Press Council
described as "voluminous" evidence from all the stakeholders, including the
The problem with the Zimbabwe Bill is that it contains no evidence from
anybody except the government and the mandarins in Shake Shake building.

Someone swore it was so monstrous it might even devour its creators. Serves
them right too.
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International Freedom of Expression Exchange

ALERT: "Wayward" journalists to be arrested, says President Mugabe
Originator: Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
Date: 2002-01-09
Target(s): journalist(s)
Source: MISA
Type(s) of violation(s): threatened
(MISA/IFEX) - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe told church leaders that
journalists who write what he termed "libelous reports" would be arrested.
Mugabe said this in a meeting with Zimbabwe's church leaders at his offices
on 16 December 2001.

The church leaders asked Mugabe to uphold press freedom, especially the
right to balanced reporting. However, Mugabe replied that journalists and
editors should not enjoy more rights and freedoms than other citizens. "The
media has been assaulting the integrity of private citizens and public
citizens. In my view, an assault on one's integrity is even worse than an
assault in physical terms," said Mugabe.

Mugabe made reference to "libelous" reports, which were not properly
attributed or attributed to "unreliable sources." "If these sources are
reliable, let them be reliable enough to come and rescue you when you are
arrested," boasted Mugabe.

Mugabe also made reference to foreign funding of the media that he said was
destabilising the country. He said this was not only peculiar to Zimbabwe,
but was happening in Zambia as well. Mugabe said he is particularly incensed
by media reports that he has properties in Europe, particularly Scotland.
"Why should I go and buy property there? I have not a single cent outside
the country. I have told them to take that money and give it to charity, if
they find it. If I have any money I would keep it here," said Mugabe.

The Zimbabwean government is in the process of enacting an Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Bill (see IFEX alerts of 8 January
2002, 14 and 3 December, 29 October, 2 August, 25 July, 26 June, 9 April and
13 March 2001) and a Public Order and Security Bill (see IFEX alerts of 29,
23 and 21 November 2001). These two bills will significantly limit and
restrict the operations of the media in Zimbabwe. Journalists and media
houses would have to be licensed, foreign correspondents would be banned and
a number of limitations put on what journalists can report on.More Information
For further information, contact Zoe Titus or Kaitira Kandjii, Regional
Information Coordinator, MISA, Street Address: 21 Johann Albrecht Street,
Mailing Address; Private Bag 13386 Windhoek, Namibia, tel: +264 61 232975,
fax: +264 61 248016, e-mail: or,

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Irish Times

Fine Gael calls for sanctions on Zimbabwe

By Kilian Doyle  Last updated: 09-01-02, 20:47
Fine Gael has called for the Government to push for sanctions on Zimbabwe
over President Robert Mugabe’s attempts at "stifling democracy" in the
African state.

The Fine Gael spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Mr Jim O’Keeffe said Mr Mugabe’s
attempts to have number of controversial bills, including one banning
independent election monitors, needed to be addressed by the EU and the UN.

He called for the "highest sanctions" to be imposed and described Mr Mugabe
as the head of a "tyrannical regime".

Mr Mugabe is attempting to push three bills through the Zimbabwean
parliament. His move is being fought by the opposition MDC party, which
claims they are an by the President to secure his victory in general
elections scheduled for March.

One of the bills will ban foreign and international election monitors from
the country.

Parliament is also considering a media bill banning foreigners from working
as correspondents in the country, and a public order and security bill that
will give President Robert Mugabe's government sweeping powers to clamp down
on the opposition.

The EU has already threatened to impose sanctions on Mr Mugabe over his
controversial land seizures, his drive against the media and the judiciary
and his supporters' campaign of violence ahead of the presidential

Britain and Canada have both hinted they will push for Zimbabwe to be
suspended from the Commonwealth if political violence in the country
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Independent (UK)

Journalists defy Mugabe's efforts to end free press
By Basildon Peta in Harare
10 January 2002

Zimbabwe's independent journalists, including this correspondent, vowed last
night to defy measures being rushed into law by the Zimbabwean parliament
that are aimed at shutting down what remains of the free press in the

President Robert Mugabe is poised to sign in to law the new legislation
being debated last night that would ban foreign correspondents, license
local journalists and give police sweeping powers to search and arrest
opponents. It is the most repressive law introduced since independence from

Journalists from four unions will meet today to confirm their united stand
in opposition to the legislation and will issue a statement informing the
government that the new restrictions are totally unacceptable and will be

Those determined to fight the measures include the Daily News, the Standard
and the weekly Financial Gazette, whose journalists have been harassed,
intimidated and thrown in jail as part of Mr Mugabe's crackdown on the press
as he attempts to secure a new presidential term in the March elections.

The law provides for hefty fines and two-year jail terms for those
journalists who fail to register with the government for a one-year
renewable licence from the Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, who deported
three foreign journalists last year. Journalists will face jail terms for
publishing stories on protected information such as cabinet meetings and
information held by different government departments.

A journalist can only publish information voluntarily released by a
department head. The Bill prescribes heavy fines and two-year jail terms for
journalists publishing stories likely to cause "alarm, fear and
despondency". However, the scope of these stories is not defined in the
Bill. Anything that offends Mr Mugabe might be interpreted as causing "alarm
and despondency", as we have seen in the past.

The Bill will also ban stories that discriminate on the basis of political
affiliation, sex, religion, beliefs, education and race. The scope of these
stories is also not defined. It threatens to jail journalists who practise
"unethical journalism" and it bans foreign correspondents from working in
Zimbabwe. Most of them have been refused entry into the country anyway.

My career has thrived on my ability to obtain information on Mr Mugabe's
confidential cabinet meetings and on exposing his ruling party's
distinguished career of misrule. The Bill contains very broad provisions
purporting to protect the privacy of individuals. It allows any corrupt
politicians to hide under the banner of privacy. Mr Moyo will have the power
to veto accreditation for any journalist he does not like.

The net effect of the new law is to reduce any journalist to an official
biographer, something I and colleagues such as Daily News editor Geoff
Nyarota and Standard editor Mark Chavanduka are not prepared to be.

It reduces all journalists in Zimbabwe to entertainment reporters who can
only cover music, films and other events that will guarantee copy that does
not cause "fear, alarm and despondency". Seasoned political writers might
have to cover Zanu-PF rallies in glowing terms to avoid being penalised
under the Bill.

The Zimbabwean government runs television and most radio stations. It is
anxious to keep anything but the government line from being publicised.
Coupled with the new media bill is the equally draconian Public Order and
Security Bill. This will impose life and death sentences on Zimbabweans
accused of assisting in terrorism, espionage, banditry, sabotage and treason
against Mr Mugabe's government. These offences are not clearly defined in
the bill either.

Last year, I was on a "hit list" of journalists drawn up by Mr Mugabe's
government, and along with five other reporters was accused of aiding
terrorism through our reports in the British press. Mr Mugabe has repeatedly
accused Tony Blair of hatching "terrorist" plots to oust his government. He
also accuses the British press of conspiring in these plots.

So writing a story for a British media when you are Zimbabwean will
inevitably be construed as aiding terrorism.

There is a small glimmer of hope, however. Even though Mr Mugabe has
packedthe judiciary with loyalists and has pushed many independent judges
into resigning, there is still a chance that no self- respecting judge would
actually jail a journalist defying this patently illegal and
unconstitutional bill. There is also the hope that the bill may in fact
expedite the political demise of Mr Mugabe if he implements its foolish
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Independent (UK)

Mugabe has army's backing even if he loses the election
By Basildon Peta in Harare
10 January 2002

Zimbabwe's army said last night that it would not recognise the result of
presidential elections in March if President Robert Mugabe loses.

The statement came as the Zimbabwean parliament all but rubber-stamped
draconian new laws giving President Mugabe the most sweeping powers yet to
silence and jail his critics.

Mr Mugabe has announced elections for the presidency would be held on 9 and
10 March. But, in a critical boost to his re-election campaign, he tightened
the clampdown on opponents and critics by securing a fast track procedure on
two repressive bills curbing the right to free speech and imposing death
sentences on anyone convicted of "aiding terrorism".

The parliament was still debating the contents of the bills late last night
but a vote yesterday by parliament suspending normal procedures paved the
way for the swift passage of the legislation by tomorrow.

When signed into law by Mr Mugabe, possibly as early as tomorrow, the
clampdown will ban foreign journalists from working in Zimbabwe. Local
journalists will have to apply for permits and face jail for stories deemed
critical of the Mugabe regime or liable to generate hostility towards him.

A public order bill gives police wider powers of search, arrest and
detention and broadens the range of crimes qualifying as terrorist acts.

Mr Mugabe's party enjoys a majority in parliament because the constitution
allows him to appoint 30 of the 150 MPs. All day yesterday state-run radio
urged MPs to turn up for the vote.

Tension rose dramatically with the announcement by Zimbabwe's military and
security chiefs that they would back no leader that had not fought in the
liberation struggle. That was clearly aimed at the opposition challenger,
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, who was a
civilian labour activist before Zimbabwe won independence.

The statement by Defence Force commander general Vitalis Zinavashe outraged
many who believe Mr Mugabe will use the army to stage a coup d'etat if he
loses the election.

Critics say the new laws exceed the worst excesses of Rhodesia's white
minority government or apartheid South Africa but the justice minister,
Patrick Chinamasa, told parliament the bills were needed to fight terrorism.

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has warned Britain will demand Zimbabwe's
suspension from the Commonwealth if the situation deteriorates.
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Daily News

Parliament throws out controversial Bill

1/9/02 8:43:15 AM (GMT +2)Political Editor

PARLIAMENT yesterday threw out the General Laws Amendment Bill that sought
to introduce controversial amendments to the Electoral Act to maintain Zanu
PF’s stranglehold on power.The electoral amendments, brought under the General Laws Amendment Bill of
2001, raised heated debate in Parliament with rival MPs calling each other
names. Leader of the House and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, counting on Zanu PF’s slim majority, steered the
Bill through to its third reading and agreed to the MDC’s call to divide the
House after they failed to reach consensus.

The House voted and the MDC, which opposes the amendments, won. Only 22 Zanu
PF MPs were in the House against the MDC’s 36, effectively throwing out the
Chinamasa said he would today suspend some Standing Rules and Orders to
allow the passage of the Access to Infor-mation and Protection of Privacy
and Public Order and Security Bills, described by the opposition and civic
society as fascist and draconian.

A Bill has to go through the first reading before being referred to the
Parliamentary legal committee. If it does not infringe the Constitution it
is then brought back for the second and third readings. All this will be
ignored today to allow Zanu PF to pass the Bills in one sitting.

Parliamentary sources said there were divisions in Zanu PF over the
electoral amendments with most MPs dead-set against them. Most boycotted
Parliament knowing they would be required to vote. The MPs may be whipped
into submission at the party’s parliamentary caucus today.

The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill will in effect ban
all foreign correspondents and require all newspapers outside State control
to re-apply for licences. All journalists and newspapers will require an
annually renewable licence, available only to Zimbabwean citizens, and at
the discretion of the Department of Information and Publicity.

The Public Order and Security Bill gives the government sweeping powers of
detention and seizure. Both are designed to boost President Mugabe’s
re-election chances. The electoral amendments are similarly intended to
ease Mugabe’s re-election, banning foreign observers and making an already
uneven electoral playing field even bumpier for the opposition.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports, that the British government said yesterday it
would press for Zimbabwe’s suspension from the Commonwealth if it did not
tackle political violence and human rights violations. “If the situation in
Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate, Britain will argue for Zimbabwe’s
suspension from the Commonwealth at the Commonwealth Heads of Government
Meeting in March,” Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told parliament. Heads of
government from the 54-nation Commonwealth bloc are due to meet in Brisbane
in early March.
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Daily News

Chipanga allegedly bans Daily News

1/9/02 8:39:06 AM (GMT +2)Political Reporter

SHADRECK Tongesai Chipanga, the Member of Parliament for Makoni East, has
allegedly organised and ordered Zanu PF youths in Nyazura and Rusape to
confiscate copies of The Daily News and ensure the paper is not sold to
members of the public.Sources yesterday confirmed the youths had been ordered by Chipanga, the
former Director General of the Central Intelligence Organisation, to
confiscate and destroy copies of The Daily News as soon as they are
delivered in the two towns.
Vendors in Rusape and Nyazura have since last week been harassed by the Zanu
PF youths who say the paper is too critical of their party and they cannot
stand the paper being sold to the public ahead of the crucial presidential

Chipanga immediately denied the allegations. “We were told to confiscate all
copies of The Daily News as soon as they are dropped from Harare and to take
them to the Zanu PF district offices in Rusape,” a youth who declined to be
named said.

Shop owners in Rusape and Nyazura have also accused Chipanga who yesterday
said he did not know anything about the issue. Zanu PF youth brigade members
abducted a vendor whose papers they confiscated on Monday. Police were
trying to mediate and secure the release of the vendor and his newspapers.
Asked what as MP for the area he was doing to stop the Zanu PF youths from
confiscating the papers, Chipanga said: “I will check and see what is
I had my meeting on Monday with the District Administrator and then met Mr
Nyarota on the road and he told me The Daily News papers were being
onfiscated. I will look into it.”

Chipanga said he could not do anything about it then since “I was hurrying
to go out of town”. “What they are saying is not true. I only heard about
that incident from Nyarota. I would have gone to the office to check were I
not in a hurry.” Nyarota, the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily News said the
youths had told him the papers were being dumped at the Zanu PF offices.

“Chipanga did not comment at all about the issue when I talked to him, but I
went alone to the Zanu PF offices and collected the papers from the youths
who even paid for the missing copies. One of the youths came when I was
standing with Chipanga but for some reason the MP never said a word to the
youth until he drove off,” said Nyarota
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Zimbabwe army delivers blow to Mugabe rival
HARARE, Jan. 9 — Zimbabwe's military and security chiefs dealt a blow on
Wednesday to President Robert Mugabe's leading opponent in March elections,
saying they would only back leaders who fought in the liberation wars
against white rule.

       ''We wish to make it very clear to all Zimbabwean citizens that the
security organisations will only stand in support of those political leaders
that will pursue Zimbabwean values, traditions and beliefs for thousands of
lives lost in pursuit of Zimbabwe's hard-won independence,'' Zimbabwe
defence forces commander General Vitalis Zvinavashe said in a statement.
       Mugabe has said that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is
expected to pose the biggest challenge to Mugabe's two decades in power, did
not fight in the liberation wars and has branded Tsvangirai a traitor.
       ''We would therefore not accept, let alone support or salute anyone
with a different agenda that threatens the very existence of our
sovereignty, our country and our people,'' Zvinavashe said.
       Zimbabwe's military and security units, including the police and
intelligence units, are headed by veterans of the 1970s bush war against
white-run Rhodesia which ultimately led to independence from Britain in
       Mugabe has pledged to win the election on a platform of
redistributing white-owned farms to blacks.
       The often violent seizure of white-owned farms has been accompanied
by the killing of opposition supporters and intimidation of the judiciary
and media.
       Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party moved in the country's parliament on
Wednesday to pass controversial legislation aimed at broadening the powers
of state security forces to deal with opposition.
       Parliament will also discuss legislation aimed at tightening controls
on independent monitoring of the election and restricting foreign
journalists' access to the country.
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New warning to Mugabe rivals
January 9, 2002 Posted: 1:48 PM EST (1848 GMT)
Mugabe is seeking sweeping new powersHARARE, Zimbabwe -- An election date has been announced in Zimbabwe as the
country's military chief dealt another blow to the opposition -- saying only
leaders who fought against white rule would receive backing.

The presidential poll will be held on March 9 and 10, President Robert
Mugabe's office said on Wednesday.

Mugabe is facing growing international condemnation of his human rights
records amid a collapsing economy.

But he received a boost with the statement on Wednesday from the country's
defence forces commander General Vitalis Zvinavashe. Mugabe says the main
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai did not fight in the liberation wars and
has branded him a traitor.

Zvinavashe's statement came as Mugabe's ZANU-PF government pushed ahead with
new laws to limit election monitoring and reduce access to overseas

"We wish to make it very clear to all Zimbabwean citizens that the security
organisations will only stand in support of those political leaders that
will pursue Zimbabwean values, traditions and beliefs for thousands of lives
lost in pursuit of Zimbabwe's hard-won independence," Zvinavashe said.

"We would therefore not accept, let alone support or salute anyone with a
different agenda that threatens the very existence of our sovereignty, our
country and our people," Zvinavashe said.

Tsvangirai, of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is expected to pose
the biggest challenge to Mugabe's two decades in power.

Zimbabwe's military and security units, including the police and
intelligence units, are headed by veterans of the 1970s bush war against
white-run Rhodesia which ultimately led to independence from Britain in

Mugabe has pledged to win the March election on a platform of redistributing
white-owned farms to blacks.

The often violent seizure of white-owned farms has been accompanied by the
killing of opposition supporters and intimidation of the judiciary and

Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party moved in the country's parliament on Wednesday
to pass controversial legislation aimed at broadening the powers of state
security forces to deal with opposition.

The Harare parliament was also discussing legislation aimed at tightening
controls on independent monitoring of the election and restricting foreign
journalists' access to the country.

The move to hurry through the controversial bills came despite a shock
defeat in parliament 24 hours earlier, the first for the ZANU-PF government
in two decades.

Opposition MDC politicians rejected the bill that called for restrictions on
independent monitors and voter education by churches and others groups.

The bill was voted down by 36 votes to 22 with the ruling party failing to
rally its MPs to the chamber to push through the vote.

The British government said on Tuesday it would press for Zimbabwe's
suspension from the Commonwealth at the next leaders' summit if Mugabe's
government did not tackle political violence and human rights violations.

But Mugabe's ministers said the British government's move had no backing
from African nations and that it was acting in support of the opposition,
the Movement for Democratic Change, led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said: "The British have never recognised
that Zimbabwe is a sovereign country."

Heads of government from the 54-nation Commonwealth (CHOGM) are due to meet
in March in Brisbane.

Mugabe has faced growing international pressure over the violent takeover of
white-owned farms in Zimbabwe, but says the redistribution of farmland to
landless blacks is a vital step towards redressing colonial-era injustices.
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Media Guardian

Journalists urge EU to isolate Zimbabwe

Lisa O'Carroll
Wednesday January 9, 2002Robert Mugabe

The world's largest association of journalists has called on the European
Union to take a lead in isolating Zimbabwe's government in response to its
efforts to restrict media freedom.

In a statement, the International Federation of Journalists said the EU
should "condemn, isolate and put into political quarantine" the government
of President Robert Mugabe.

The 15-nation EU has long threatened sanctions and plans on Friday to
discuss with Mr Mugabe's government its proposals for new curbs on
Zimbabwe's media and opposition ahead of the country's March elections.

The IFJ said the EU should break all links with Zimbabwe.

"The government in Harare has contempt for democracy and the rights of
journalists," said Aidan White, the general secretary of the IFJ.

"Now is a moment of truth for press freedom and for the international
community's commitment to democracy in the region."

Under the proposed legislation, foreign journalists would be banned from
working in Zimbabwe and local journalists operating without government
registration would face up to two years in jail.

The IFJ, which represents 500,000 media professionals in 106 countries,
described the legislation as a "scandalous assault on freedom of

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Manchester Online

Zimbabwe faces Games ban

ZIMBABWE could be forced out of Manchester's Commonwealth Games if political
violence there continues to worsen.
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says he will push for the African state to be
suspended from the Commonwealth if things deteriorate, which could mean it
missing the sporting spectacular this summer.

Mr Straw told the Commons that the actions of Zimbabwe president Robert
Mugabe were a ''serious and persistent violation'' of the Commonwealth's

He said: ''If the situation in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate, Britain
will argue for its suspension from the Commonwealth at our heads of
government meeting in March.''

There are different levels of Commonwealth suspension. A country can be
suspended from the councils, but for sporting sanctions to come into force,
a country would have to be subjected to full suspension, which is rare.

President Mugabe has come under fire from heads of state across the world
for his draconian methods as he aims to win the presidential elections due
in Zimbabwe before next April.

Electoral laws

Electoral laws have been proposed which will effectively deny the vote to
hundreds of thousands of young people without jobs, who are believed to be
mainly opposition supporters.

And he is bidding to gag the press and make it an offence to criticise the

The low-level campaign of intimidation against opposition activists,
especially in the exposed rural areas, is continuing - as is the
confiscation of land belonging to white farmers who are accused of
supporting the opposition.

Yesterday the country's opposition blocked a bill, put forward by Mr Mugabe,
which sought to ban foreign and local election monitors and outlaw election
posters and leaflets without prior permission.

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Wednesday, 9 January, 2002, 19:17 GMT
The perils of reporting in Zimbabwe
Bombed printing press of Daily News
A bomb destroyed the Daily News printing press in 2001
Joseph Winter

All journalists are used to working in stressful environments - fuming editors wondering why deadlines have been missed, conducting interviews in war zones, the list is endless.

But working in Zimbabwe in the past few years, and especially the past few months, has stretched the meaning of "stress" to new levels.

Long before I was forced to leave Zimbabwe a year ago, many parts of the country had become no-go areas for non-state journalists.

Newspaper billboards
Zimbabwe's media is sharply divided
From the beginning of the invasion of white-owned farms in February 2000, most of the self-styled war veterans refused to speak to us, wielding their clubs and machetes menacingly at the sight of our pens and microphones.

BBC guidelines state clearly: "No story is worth risking your life for".

I am not a hero and wholeheartedly agree.

News black-out

We had no choice but to speak to those who would speak to us - the farmers and government ministers or war veteran leaders based in Harare.

Then the Information Minister Jonathan Moyo introduced a "non-co-operation" policy.

Only the state-owned media were invited to government news conferences.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo
Moyo only speaks to the state media

When the body of the Congolese President, Laurent Kabila, was brought to Harare a year ago, foreign correspondents were not allowed to cover a major international story.

We stood waiting for hours outside the army barracks where he was lying in state, despite being invited by the Congolese ambassador.

One journalist with the Daily News managed to bluff her way through with an old press card from the state news agency.

But she was soon recognised and was given a military escort back to the front gate.


All requests for government comment or interviews now have to go through Mr Moyo's office.

But he and his officials never answer their phones.

Or if they do, it is only to bark: "Call me back later".

Of course, some ministers do still talk to the foreign and private press.

But even they are now wary of Mr Moyo's influence with President Robert Mugabe and most insist on remaining anonymous.

Protecting the source of information is important everywhere as "whistle-blowers" can face the sack.

But in Zimbabwe, it could spell death.

I only spoke to moderate Zanu-PF officials in person, never on the phone.


Colleagues still in Harare say they now use the state media - The Herald and ZBC radio and television - as their main source of government information.

And this means they are forced to sit through some of the most turgid broadcasting ever produced.

"His Excellency the president, Comrade Robert Mugabe has opened a dam in Mashonaland Central Province... "

'Kill the terorrists' placard
Journalists and the opposition have been threatened

"The opposition MDC have been denounced as traitors... "

"A British plot has been uncovered... "

At first, it can be quite amusing in an odd way.

But sitting through an hour of this each evening quickly drives you mad.

Especially when you become the target of the abuse.

"Western journalists have been criticised for giving a negative portrayal of the government... "

I tried to ignore this form of psychological pressure while I was there but after a few months it did start to wear me down.

Different route

More recently, six named journalists were called "terrorists" - to be dealt with like the United States was dealing with Taleban.

The on-going political violence provides ample evidence that this threat was very real.

One journalist said that he expected to see a mob of government militants waiting for him outside his house.

They never came but he has changed his daily routine and takes a different route home from his office every day.

Another is concerned that his car may be tampered with, by the feared Central Intelligence Organisation, seeking to liquidate an "enemy of the state".

He takes his car to a different mechanic every time it needs a service.

Internet revolution

Difficult as it is now, the government's proposed new measures would make it impossible to work as a journalist.

Publishing stories about cabinet meetings based on ministerial sources - the basis of political reporting the world over - could lead to a prison term.

One media organisation would not be allowed to quote another without permission - so The Herald could not be used as a substitute for government comment.

And journalists accredited with one news organisation could not work for another without the approval of the information ministry.

Mr Moyo is apparently hoping that the "information age" will pass Zimbabwe by.

But the internet and mobile telephones have already swept through Harare and so news will always seep out, whatever laws the government passes.

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'Whites behind anthrax scare'Harare - The Zimbabwe government has accused whites and the main opposition
party of being behind a suspected anthrax attack that was intercepted at a
Harare post office this week, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Health ministry officials said on Tuesday that two envelopes had been
discovered to contain a suspicious powder in the post office's sorting
department after two postal workers had fallen ill.

One of the envelopes was reportedly addressed to a senior government

The state-controlled Herald newspaper on Wednesday quoted home affairs
minister John Nkomo as saying: "Those responsible for these terrorist
attacks are people who formed the MDC [Movement for Democratic Change] and
supported it.

"It is obvious that former Rhodesians are involved in these dastardly acts,"
he said, referring to the country's former white minority rulers of the then
Rhodesia before Zimbabwean independence in 1980.

The government has accused the opposition MDC, which enjoys massive support
among urban blacks, of being a front for the country's minority whites.

The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) has
also accused the MDC of acts of "terrorism" as the country braces itself for
do or die presidential elections due in March.

The MDC denies the terrorism charges, claiming the government is using them
as a pretext for cracking down on its members.

Nkomo told the Herald that the government was taking "necessary measures to
counteract the terrorist activities".

He said this included a new law - the Public Order and Security Bill -
expected to be passed within the next two weeks, which has been condemned by
the MDC and human rights activists as tailor-made for stifling dissent ahead
of the March poll.

"The new law will enable the government to deal with acts of terrorism,"
Nkomo said. - Sapa-AFP

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UN Wire, Wed 9 Jan 2002

Daily Lauds Neutrality of U.N. Aid; WHO Official Praises Country

The Harare Daily News yesterday lauded the neutrality of the U.N. food aid
distribution program expected to begin soon, but warned in an editorial that
rural instability in areas controlled by government supporters could make it
"extremely difficult" for the operation.

The Zimbabwe daily also writes that a reason for the poor response to the
U.N. appeal for Zimbabwe "is not hard to find" because many donors have said
in the past that the government's November insistence that all aid be
channeled through "government structures" would mean "food aid could be used
as a political tool to drum up support for the ruling [Zimbabwe African
National Union-Patriotic Front, ZANU-PF] party in the run-up to the
presidential election."  Conversely, the government also in the past
expressed fears that food aid could be used by nongovernmental organizations
to turn the rural populace against ZANU-PF.

According to the Daily News, in that light, U.N. Resident Coordinator in
Zimbabwe Victor Angelo's pledge "that no political party will be allowed
anywhere near U.N. food aid distribution should be cause for all
Zimbabweans' collective sigh of great relief."

However, despite the U.N. attempt to maintain its neutrality in Zimbabwe's
internal political conflict by using, according to Angelo, "credible
nongovernmental organizations, churches and community-based groups," the
Daily News writes that since much of Zimbabwe has been turned into "virtual
war zones" by ZANU-PF supporters, "The U.N. might have no choice but to use
armed escorts to accompany its food aid distributors" (Harare Daily News,
Jan. 7).

WHO Official Defends Zimbabwe, Blasts White Foreigners
According to the government-owned Harare Herald, World Health Organization
regional director for Africa Ebrahim Samba has described Zimbabwe as one of
the safest and most peaceful countries in the world and has blasted white
foreigners for abandoning a WHO-supported orphanage.

Samba, who is to attend a WHO board meeting next week in Geneva said he will
present a report on Zimbabwe next week, which will deal with the contentious
land issue.

"I will tell them that Zimbabwe is one of the most peaceful countries in the
world," he told the Herald.  "I am a foreigner but I can drive anywhere
anytime in Zimbabwe without seeking clearance.  Nowhere in the world can a
stranger have the freedom to do that."  Samba also reportedly said that all
land in Zimbabwe belongs to blacks and that there is no "white men's land"
in the country.

According to the Herald, Samba also criticized "white foreigners" for
abandoning the WHO-supported Mother of Peace Orphanage in the town of
Mutoko.  "They said there was no place for whites in Zimbabwe and just
disappeared," he said.  "The problem with such people is that they come and
give instructions on how you should do things."

"They want to keep you poor and continue to beg from them.  Our problem as
Africans is that we lack faith in ourselves," he added.  "We always believe
that we are poor and need help" (Harare Herald, Jan. 7).
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Daily News

Hitler’s Brown Shirts in the making

1/9/02 8:48:40 AM (GMT +2)By Ray Matikinye Features Editor

AN elderly German tourist who witnessed a group of the Bindura-trained
militia looting a tuckshop of its entire stock of meat pies on New Year’s
Day at the Lion and Cheetah Park outside Harare likened their action to
Hitler’s Brown Shirts in the making.]
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Daily News

Disaster looms as sulphuric acid leaks into storm drain

1/9/02 8:37:19 AM (GMT +2)Staff Reporter

THERE were fears of a major ecological disaster yesterday as 30 tonnes of
concentrated sulphuric acid gushed out of a holding tank at Mirtle Chemicals
in Galloway Road in Norton.A valve in the tank failed, raising fears among residents as the acid
streamed down an open storm water drain leading to the nearby Darwendale
Dam. The incident occurred at about 4 am and a security guard at the company
near the Norton town council offices, raised the alarm.

Benjamin Mumba, the company owner, said it was the first time the valve had
failed. The acid escaped the premises into the storm water drain, flowing
for about 500 metres before it was contained by earth barricades erected by
workers who rushed to the scene. An exposed portion of a plastic water pipe
was eaten away by the acid, cutting supplies to houses, industries and
offices in the area. The Norton fire brigade sealed of the area until about
noon as a precaution.

Mumba, a chemical engineer who opened the company in 1996, said: “The acid
was in a temporary holding tank because we were doing our annual
“The acid was worth about $600 000. It’s good that no one was hurt.” Workers
from Zimbabwe Phosphate Industries (Zimphos) neutralised the acid with lime.
Mirtle Chemicals uses the sulphuric acid in the manufacture of sulphonic
acid, which is used in detergent manufacture.
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Daily News

Bank official commits suicide over $8 million

1/9/02 8:52:51 AM (GMT +2)From Mduduzi Mathuthu in Bulawayo

CORNELIUS Nhliziyo, a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) security officer
suspected of stealing more than $8 million from the central bank, allegedly
shot himself in the head at RBZ governor Leonard Tsumba's house in Bulawayo.He died instantly when he reportedly turned a gun on himself on 29 December.
The tragic incident happened two days after Nhliziyo was interviewed by the
police, together with other suspects in the theft which occurred in March
last year, the Bulawayo police said.

Yesterday, they could not shed more light on events leading to his death.
They confirmed the apparent suicide, but refused to comment until after the
investigations. Sources at the RBZ said Nhliziyo had complained of betrayal
by the RBZ management at the regional offices in Bulawayo following a
upplementary investigation instituted by management in addition to a police

Ignatius Mabasa, the central bank spokesman, confirmed the incident, but
said: "We cannot give any details as that would interfere with the police
investigations which are still underway." More than $8,2 million disappeared
in mysterious circumstances at the bank's offices on 23 March last year and
several employees, two of them vault custodians, were arrested.
The police launched investigations, but they seemed to hit a brick wall
until management resuscitated the issue late last year.

The police accused officers from the security department of involvement in
the theft, sources said. Semeon Sebata, Peter Kanoswamira and Nhliziyo were
held as prime suspects by management for having allowed a vault custodian to
park his car in the upper basement, normally reserved for senior officials,
in February.
t was suspected that the stolen money could have been carried in the car,
the sources said.

After being questioned by the police on 27 December, Nhliziyo and
Kanoswamira are said to have returned to work looking exhausted. Sebata was
reported not to have turned up for work the next morning, following intense
questioning by a management team. On the fateful day, Nhliziyo was sent to
guard Tsumba's plush Khumalo suburban home as the RBZ boss was expected in
from Harare to attend the
official renaming of Bulawayo Airport to Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport.

"When he got to Tsumba's house, he drove in and parked the car, but he did
not come out," an RBZ official said. After a few minutes, other security
officers heard a gunshot and when they rushed to the car, they found
Nhliziyo dead.
The RBZ regional manager, Davison Marape, was unavailable for comment as he
was said to be out of his office.
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Those who led Zimbabwe's struggle have lost vision
Daily News:  1/7/02 8:16:40 AM (GMT +2)

Why does Zanu PF love to insult our intelligence? All we ever hear on ZBC news these days is President Mugabe and the two Zanu PF mercenaries, Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Chinamasa's endless attacks on the MDC, the United States, the United Kingdom and the independent media.

What is wrong with Zanu PF? Don't they get the picture? We are in 2002 and they still think that Zimbabweans are going to fall for their old tricks. One man cannot claim to be right when the whole world sees crisis in a country whose citizens are tortured for expressing the wish to exercise their rights.

What does the US's passing of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Bill have to do with the land issue in Zimbabwe? The problem is that Zanu PF and its government are arrogantly not respecting the laws of the land, killing innocent people who are looking for nothing else but freedom. The President should be man enough to, please, tell the nation what he has failed to do and he will certainly be respected for that.

Land redistribution will still go on in Zimbabwe without Zanu PF because that's what we fought for. Zimbabweans appreciate that somebody led us through the struggle and conquered, but we are not going to let Mugabe's over-inflated ego ruin people's lives.

I will have to now address the President directly thus:
You have destroyed the Zimbabwean economy! You were the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, but you are now the president of Zanu PF responsible for maintaining power and killing those who are trying to break away from the yoke of poverty that you have tied around their necks.

Your Zanu PF government has lost direction by putting all its efforts on power consolidation. The more arrogant you get, the more resistance you get from the people. How about being a real man and go on and leave what you have failed to do for others to tackle?

The parks and the cities are perfect examples of what's going on in Zimbabwe because nobody cares about their cleanliness anymore. All the attention is being focused on Zanu PF and it determination to remain in power.
For one thing, Zanu PF should not think that they are the God of Zimbabwe, but a mere political party that can be challenged by any other if democracy reigns in this country.

Your tactics of suppressing the local Press and banning the international media by introducing laws of convenience show the panic that's in Zanu PF at the moment. What has really gotten into you, Robert, once the darling of the beautiful Republic of Zimbabwe and the whole wide world? Many have now labelled you one of the worst dictators and it makes all of us who used to admire you feel very sad.

The situation in Zimbabwe has gotten to a stage where people cannot democratically stand for what they believe in because many are losing their lives for merely pointing out that things are not what they ought to be.
Come on, Mr President, you have had the people's respect and I know you don't want to lose that respect. You have to respect what Zimbabweans want and not what Zanu PF wants. If Zanu PF can confront its political allies in a democratic fashion without intimidation and bigotry then they will regain the respect they enjoyed for 17 years. Zanu PF, MDC and/or any other political parties belong to one common name called Zimbabwe and they are for Zimbabweans. It is the duty of every Zimbabwean to choose whoever they want to lead them and not to be forced into following the wrong path.

All Zimbabweans saw the war and we all fought it one way or another and the fact that Zanu PF led us into independence should not be used to blackmail us into accepting that it is the only choice Zimbabweans have.
Most of us are products of Zanu PF, but I think the people of Zimbabwe have had enough and want to move on. I personally suffered as a result of colonialism. However, we are now at a stage where those who led us through the struggle have lost their vision and need to retire.


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