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

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In 1787, a Scottish history professor by the name of Professor Alexander
Tyler had this to say about "The Fall of the Athenian Republic" over 2,000
years previous to that date:

 "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.  It can only
exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse
(generous gifts) from the public treasury.  From that moment on, the
majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from
the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over
loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."

 "The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been two
hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:"

From bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance,
from abundance to complacency;
from complacency to apathy,
from apathy to dependence,
from dependence back into bondage.
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      Senior Zimbabwe Journalist Arrested
      Peta Thornycroft
      10 Jan 2004, 17:29 UTC

      One of Zimbabwe's most senior journalists was arrested Saturday and
accused by officials of defaming President Robert Mugabe.
      The editor of the weekly newspaper, Zimbabwe Independent, Iden
Wetherall, was arrested Saturday, after his paper published a frontpage
report saying that Mr. Mugabe had diverted an Air Zimbabwe aircraft from its
normal route this week, to fly him around Indonesia and Malaysia.

      Quoting unnamed Air Zimbabwe sources, the newspaper said the
presidential trip had inconvenienced many passengers, and caused the
struggling national carrier substantial financial loss.

      Mr. Wetherall was arrested shortly after Information Mnister Jonathan
Moyo accused him of publishing a falsehood and insulting the president.

      Mr. Wetherall was taken by detectives to Harare Central police
station. His lawyer, Linda Cook, said police said he would be charged with
criminal defamation.

      Also on Saturday, police refused to allow staff of The Daily News to
enter the plant.

      On Friday the country's only independent daily newspaper won yet
another court decision ordering police to allow the newspaper to resume
operations. It has been banned since September.

      The state-controlled newspaper, the Herald, quoted officials as saying
they planned to appeal the high court order and, in turn,Daily News
executives said they will charge the police with contempt of court.

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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Independent journalists arrested

By Staff Reporter
POLICE arrested the editor of Zimbabwe's leading independent weekly
newspaper on Saturday and two of his journalists after the paper allegedly
insulted President Robert Mugabe, the editor's lawyer said.

Iden Wetherell of the Zimbabwe Independent, a respected business and
political weekly, was expected to be charged with criminal defamation of
Mugabe, said their lawyer Linda Cook.

The paper reported on Friday that Mugabe commandeered one of the heavily
indebted national airline's wide-bodied jets for a vacation with his family
and a small party of aides in Asia.

Cook said Wetherell, 55, was arrested at his Harare home and taken to the
main Harare police station. She said reporters Dumisani Muleya and Vincent
Kahiya were arrested later and police were looking for a third Independent
reporter, Itai Dzamera.

Headed "Mugabe grabs plane for Far East holiday", the report said many
passengers booked on the Boeing 767's scheduled flights to London were
stranded in Harare while alternative flight arrangements were being made.

Mugabe has taken several vacations in Southeast Asia with his young wife and
children since he and other ruling party leaders were barred from visiting
Europe and the United States under visa restrictions imposed after disputed
presidential elections in 2002.

Independent election observers said the polls, narrowly won by Mugabe, were
swayed by political violence, corruption and vote rigging.

Mugabe was in Indonesia on Wednesday and paid a courtesy call on President
Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Zimbabwe Information Minister Jonathan Moyo described the Independent's
report as "blasphemous", the state Herald reported Saturday.

Moyo, who is also acting transport minister, denied Mugabe personally phoned
Air Zimbabwe, as implied in the report, but did not deny the airplane was
diverted from its regular schedules for more than five days.

Moyo said "this was not the first time the paper has written lies that are
blasphemous and disrespectful of the president".

Last month, the paper reported Mugabe took an airliner for nine days for a
UN meeting in Geneva and a visit to Egypt, forcing the national airline to
charter another jet for more than US$1m.

Mugabe does not have his own presidential jet and has often thrown the
national carrier's schedules into disarray by commandeering its planes.

Moyo said Wetherell and his two reporters faced up to two years'
imprisonment for allegedly defaming Mugabe.

Meanwhile, police in Harare on Saturday continued to defy a High Court order
issued on Friday to allow the only independent daily newspaper, banned in
September, to resume publication.

Police blocked entry to the Daily News offices and printing plant for a
second day.

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Police Refuse To Leave Offices Of Banned Zimbabwe Paper

      Copyright © 2004, Dow Jones Newswires

      HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP)--Police refused to leave the offices of
Zimbabwe's only independent daily newspaper, even after it won its fourth
court ruling Friday ordering the government to allow it to resume
publication after having been banned in September.

      High Court Judge Tendai Uchena ordered the government to "cease
interfering with the operations of the paper and to vacate (its) premises."

      But when newspaper staff arrived at their offices in the capital,
Harare, police refused to leave the premises, witnesses said.

      The government has ignored three similar orders since police shut down
The Daily News and occupied its offices and printing factory on Sept. 12.

      "All depends on whether they are interested in obeying the law or
not," said Guguletu Moyo, a lawyer representing the paper's owners,
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe. "We have the backing of the court - but
what will happen on the ground?"

      Information Minister Jonathan Moyo didn't immediately respond to
Friday's ruling. But he described the last court order allowing the paper to
resume publishing on Dec. 19 as "academic," saying the judge had no
jurisdiction over the case.

      Since its launch in 1999, The Daily News has been a platform for
criticism of President Robert Mugabe's 23-year rule. The state controls the
country's two other dailies, and the only television and radio stations.

      In January 2001, its presses were destroyed in a bomb explosion hours
after Moyo called the paper "a threat to national security which had to be

      After its shutdown in September, the newspaper launched an Internet
edition in neighboring South Africa.

      (END) Dow Jones Newswires

      January 09, 2004 14:42 ET (19:42 GMT)

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ABC Australia

Last Update: Saturday, January 10, 2004. 10:15am (AEDT)
Zimbabwe Opposition leader remanded on treason charges
Zimbabwean Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai appeared briefly before a
Harare magistrate on Friday, for a routine remand hearing on treason charges
arising from mass anti-government protests he organised last year.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader was remanded to March 19 on
accusations that he urged Zimbabweans to oust President Robert Mugabe during
the June protests.

Mr Tsvangirai told AFP he had been further remanded but would not elaborate.

The state accuses Mr Tsvangirayi of inciting his supporters to overthrow the
government and inciting public violence.

The Opposition leader, who faces other treason charges, denied that the
strikes and street marches were aimed at removing the long-time leader from

He said they were a demonstration of public anger toward economic and social
strife that people were going through last year.

Zimbabwe last year experienced acute shortages of food, fuel and bank notes.

Mr Tsvangirai faces another treason charge arising from his meetings with a
Canadian political consultant, Ari Ben Menashe, in which he is accused of
plotting to kill Mr Mugabe ahead of presidential elections in 2002.

That case, which adjourned last month, resumes on January 19, when the
Opposition chief is expected to take the witness stand for the first time
since the high-profile trial began in February last year.

Treason carries a death penalty in Zimbabwe.

-- AFP
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From the February 2004 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 51, No. 2)
Zimbabwe: Mounting Isolation

Sarah Coleman
World Press Review associate editor

“There are many other clubs we can join,” said President Robert Mugabe on
Dec. 6, as he confirmed that Zimbabwe would withdraw from the Commonwealth,
a group of nations comprising mostly former British colonies. “If the choice
was for us to lose sovereignty, or be a member of the Commonwealth, let the
Commonwealth go.”

Mugabe’s bravado belied the fact that he had been lobbying hard for the
Commonwealth to revoke its suspension of Zimbabwe, imposed as a result of
the country’s flawed 2002 general election. Prior to the Commonwealth Heads
of Government Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, from Dec. 5–8, Mugabe had put
pressure on the meeting’s host, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, to let
him attend the meeting. When the Commonwealth rebuffed both men’s efforts
and voted to uphold Zimbabwe’s suspension, Mugabe was forced to pretend that
he no longer valued the membership.

The government-owned press wasted no time putting a positive spin on the
pull-out. “Quitting the Commonwealth is the best decision Zimbabwe could
have made in pursuit of total political and economic independence,” said
Donald Charumbira in The Herald (Dec. 11). Caesar Zvayi, writing in the same
paper on Dec. 17, called the decision an “affirmation of the nation’s
resolve for total emancipation from all forms of colonial bondage.”

The few independent newspapers left in Zimbabwe told a different story. The
Standard (Dec. 15) compared Mugabe’s actions to “the last kicks of a dying
horse,” asking, “How else can one explain the crazy decision on the part of
the government of Zimbabwe to pull the country out of the Commonwealth?”
Reacting to Mugabe’s statement that some African nations “hesitate to
express solidarity with us,” the Zimbabwe Independent wrote (Dec. 5), “Of
course they do….Which African country wants to be associated with the racist
demagoguery and suppression of democratic rights Zimbabwe has earned
notoriety for?”

Other editorialists in Africa expressed similar criticisms. “For us, the
real issue is all about the suppression of opposition in Zimbabwe,” said an
editorial in Ghana’s Independent (Dec. 11). “Mugabe has virtually gone
berserk in his attempts to prevent the growth of opposition in Zimbabwe.”
Uganda’s The New Vision (Dec. 9) suggested that “Zimbabwe is in free-fall”
and wondered, “Why then have the leaders of Southern Africa been so
reluctant to condemn the political leadership of Zimbabwe?” (The South
African Development Community, consisting of 14 Southern African countries,
issued a statement on Dec. 9 disagreeing with the Commonwealth’s decision.)

In Nigeria, there were mixed feelings about the suspension. In Vanguard
(Dec. 9), Chuks Iloegbunam complained that the Commonwealth had double
standards, since Nigeria’s last elections were just as flawed as Zimbabwe’s.
“Did not the European Union, the Carter Center, and all the international
human-rights monitoring organizations pronounce [Nigeria’s elections] deeply
flawed and riddled with irregularities, intimidation, and rigging?” he
asked. In the Daily Trust (Dec. 9), Ujudud Shariff saluted Mugabe “for
calling the bluff of the so-called Commonwealth by pulling out of the
colonially rooted, imperialist-inspired and driven organization.”

Three days after its suspension from the Commonwealth, Zimbabwe faced
expulsion from another organization when the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) began procedures to expel it for having arrears of US$273 million.

The decision “could only fuel negative perceptions,” predicted The Financial
Gazette (Dec. 11), which urged Mugabe to “knuckle down to the IMF conditions
to help reverse the country’s flagging fortunes.”

Other commentators hoped that Zimbabwe’s growing isolation would hasten
Mugabe’s political end. As the Zimbabwe Independent put it on Dec. 5, “The
world is becoming a less safe place for even the most plucky tyrants.”
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Archbishop:Hunger,Disease Killed 10,000 Zimbabweans In 03

      Copyright © 2004, Dow Jones Newswires

      HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP)--The Roman Catholic archbishop in Zimbabwe's
western Matabeleland said Friday that at least 10,000 people died of hunger
and diseases hastened by malnutrition across the southern African country
last year.

      Mike Huggins, a spokesman for the U.N.'s World Food Program, said he
would be "highly surprised" if Archbishop Pius Ncube's estimate was correct.
But he said that scale of hunger was a "very real prospect for this year" in
the drought-stricken country, also in the throws of political and economic

      Ncube, an outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe's rule, said the
figure was compiled from information collected by church groups and
charities involved in distributing emergency food aid.

      "The situation is very bad because there are people who sit four or
five days without any food, and there is no rain in Matabeleland yet," Ncube
said in a telephone interview from Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo. "Some
people are only plowing now, and the normal time is November."

      Malnutrition was exacerbating AIDS-related diseases, which accounted
for a third of the 10,000 deaths, Ncube said. Up to a third of Zimbabwe's 12
million people are infected with HIV.

      "I can't believe we wouldn't have known if that number of people had
died," Huggins said. "And church groups should have come forward if that was
the case."

      The national government doesn't provide figures for hunger-related
deaths, and the Health Ministry refused to comment on Ncube's allegations

      Zimbabwe is facing its worst political and economic crisis since
independence from Britain in 1980, with record unemployment, rampant
inflation and acute shortages of food, gasoline and other essentials.

      The often violent seizure of thousands of white owned farms for
redistribution to blacks, coupled with erratic rains, have crippled the
agriculture of a nation that was once a regional bread basket.

      Foreign loans, development aid and investment have dried up in protest
against human rights and civil liberties abuses.

      The World Food Program cut its maize meal rations for 2.6 million
hungry Zimbabweans by half at the end of last year because of insufficient
donations. Oil and pulses have been cut out altogether, Huggins said.

      But the number of people requiring food aid is increasing as Zimbabwe
enters its traditional "lean season" where rural granaries become depleted
ahead of the March harvest period.

      As many as 6 million people could need food aid in the first three
months of the year, according to the independent Famine Early Warning

      For the first time, hunger is also increasing sharply in urban areas.

      City health authorities in Bulawayo reported Thursday that 65 people
had died of malnutrition-related diseases in the city in the past five
months. Most of the victims were children between 9 months and 5 years old.

      Mayor Japhet Ndabeni Ncube said 45 hunger-related deaths occurred over
the same period in 2002.

      Distressed families were bringing children into the city from
surrounding districts in hopes the opposition-controlled municipal council
was distributing aid more fairly than in ruling-party areas, where there
have been reports of food being used for political gain, the mayor said.

      (END) Dow Jones Newswires

      January 09, 2004 14:19 ET (19:19 GMT)

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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe to defy High Court over Daily News

From The Herald
ACTING Attorney- General Bharat Patel has instructed the Civil Division of
the AG’s Office to appeal against a High Court decision which granted an
order barring police from interfering with the operations of Associated
Newspapers of Zimbabwe shut down for operating without a licence in
September last year.

Patel said his office intended to appeal against the ruling by Justice
Tendayi Uchena ordering police to stop interfering with the paper’s

"I have instructed the civil division to file the appeal at the Supreme
Court," Mr Patel said adding, "the appeal should be filed as soon as

By last night it was not clear whether the civil division filed a notice of
appeal, as the police referred all questions to the AG’s Office.

Media and Information Commission lawyer Mr Johannes Tomana said the order
granted yesterday did not say the paper should resume operations.

"It’s a question of looking at the order itself. Nothing in the order says
it should resume operations. It’s about the police being asked to vacate ANZ
premises," said Mr Tomana.

He said the Supreme Court would determine whether ANZ had complied with its
judgment, which said it should not operate outside the law.

"The question of compliance is still to be determined by the Supreme Court.
The position of MIC could not be interfered with," he said.

"Our position remains. As long as the appeal against the exercise of the
jurisdiction which led to the order of which is still pending they (ANZ)
cannot publish."

Mr Tomana said if the ANZ proceed to publish on the basis of Justice Uchena’
s ruling they would find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

In his ruling yesterday, Justice Uchena granted ANZ an order stopping the
police from interfering with its operations and end their occupation at the
newspaper group’s premises in the city centre and the industrial site.

He said the court found that the police had no reasonable grounds to
blockade the premises of the troubled newspaper group.

In an urgent chamber application yesterday, ANZ wanted the police to be
barred from its premises and interfering with the normal business activities
of the media house and its employees.

Through their lawyer Advocate Eric Matinenga, ANZ argued that police
occupation of its premises was clear act of spoliation, which was unlawful.

Adv Matinenga said the ANZ was simply denied the right to exercise its
rights in terms of the judgment lawfully obtained in October last year to
have it resume operations.

The police, he said, had shown an open defiance to the order granted by the
Administrative Court.

Mrs Fatima Maxwell who represented the police had denied that the action
taken by her clients was unlawful.

Mrs Maxwell said police were deployed at the ANZ premises after receiving a
complaint from the MIC, which feared the newspaper group, would breach the
law and publish.

In her submissions, Mrs Maxwell echoed the sentiments of the MIC Chairman Dr
Tafataona Mahoso that "it is a common law position that an appeal suspends a
judgment appealed against."

The police in their papers filed in court said the deployment of the police
force at the ANZ premises was meant to ensure that the Daily News was not
printed and not to prevent its employees from entering the building.

"Police has a constitutional obligation to deal with, by taking the action
being challenged," read one of the affidavits filed in the record of

The ANZ, police argued, had not founded its claim on a clear legal right.

Last month Bulawayo- based Administrative Court president Mr Selo Nare gave
ANZ leave to execute a judgment, which allowed them to publish.

Mr Nare allowed the ANZ to carry into effect the judgment of the
Administrative Court sitting in Harare on October 24 last year, pending the
appeal by the MIC at the Supreme Court.

In his ruling, Mr Nare said, the order should remain in force and effect
notwithstanding the filing of any notice of appeal against it by MIC.

But the Government said the ruling by the Administrative Court to allow the
paper to resume publishing did not mean the paper could resume operations
because the ruling was academic and could not be enforced.

MIC immediately, appealed at the Supreme Court against Mr Nare’s judgment
saying he had erred in holding that its appeal over the jurisdiction of the
Administrative Court had no prospect of success - Herald

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The Herald

Independent story on President absurd, criminally false: State

Chief Reporter
ACTING Minister of Transport and Communi-cations Professor Jonathan Moyo
yesterday said the British-controlled Zimbabwe Independent should be
prepared to face the wrath of the law for writing lies about President
Mugabe "commandeering an Air Zimbabwe plane to ferry him around the Far

Prof Moyo, who is also the Minister of State for Information and Publicity
in the Office of the President, said the claim that the President called and
demanded a plane to Malaysia was not only absurd but also criminally false.

"Those behind this deliberate falsehood calculated to bring the Office of
the President into disrepute must be held accountable.

"Accordingly, the relevant authorities are looking at the issue in terms of
the law and the British-controlled paper which calls itself Zimbabwe
Independent when there is nothing Zimbabwean about it should prepare to meet
the law and this means its editor and the two writers will be held to
account for their lawless and fictitious claims," said Prof Moyo.

The Minister said it was a reckless falsehood to say that the President
called Air Zimbabwe, as there was no record of him doing that anywhere.

He said the story was worse than fiction and that is why it should be
treated as a criminal act.

In its latest edition, the Zimbabwe Independent led with a story titled:
"Mugabe grabs plane for Far East."

The authors of the article, Itai Dzamara and Dumisani Muleya wrote that
sources at Air Zimbabwe had said that the President called the airline while
still in Malaysia "to send the 767-200, which had to be dispatched
immediately to take him to Jakarta."

"He called on Monday and demanded the plane and it was sent to Malaysia
immediately. The plane left with a number of containers in it apparently to
carry goods and was due to be away for five days.

"A lot of passengers travelling between Harare and London who use that plane
were left stranded," read part of the story.

Prof Moyo said it was now obvious that there were true criminal-minded
people at Air Zimbabwe who have no respect for business ethics and who have
a political agenda which makes them collude with British stooges at the
Zimbabwe Independent.

This is not the first time that the paper has written lies that are
blasphemous and disrespectful of the President.

They wrote a similar story when President Mugabe attended the world summit
on the Information Society in Geneva last month.

The Minister said there was an established pattern of criminal collusion
between the some Air Zimbabwe officials and reporters at the paper.

"The time has come to bring the conspiracy to an end. Whoever has been doing
this at Air Zimbabwe has run out of time and we will not tolerate the rot
anymore," he said.

Section 80 of the amended Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act states that a journalist who abuses his or her journalistic privilege by
publishing "(a) information which he or she intentionally or recklessly
falsified in a manner which-

"(i) threatens the interests of defence, public safety, public order, the
economic interests of the State, public morality or public health; or

"(ii) is injurious to the reputation, rights and freedoms of other

"A. knowing the statement to be false or without having reasonable grounds
for believing it to be true; and (B). recklessly, or with malicious or
fraudulent intent, representing the statement shall be guilty of an offence
and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a
period not exceeding two years."

Prof Moyo said normal civilised people expect better than the rubbish
published by the paper and said those responsible at Air Zimbabwe knew too
well that there has never been any time that any of the planes at the Air
Zimbabwe had been commandeered.

In a statement, Air Zimbabwe managing director Mr Rambai Chingwena said the
airline was deeply disturbed by the article.

"The President never commandeers any aircraft. Rather, the Office of the
President gives ample notice to the airline whenever there is a charter and
in this instance we were given two weeks notice.

"The airline was more than happy to oblige since this is low season when the
airline generally has excess capacity," said Mr Chingwena.

He said there had been no schedule disruptions as a result of the President’
s commercial charter to the Far East.

Mr Chingwena said it was disappointing to note that the authors of the
article did not seek official comment from Air Zimbabwe.

Chairman of the Media and Information Commission Dr Tafataona Mahoso said
the commission would look into the Act and see how the law provides in terms
of dealing with such cases.

"We will look at what the law provides and see what can be done," said Dr

He said on the face of it was clear that there was something wrong with the

"The story is suggesting that the President is reckless. The people there
are very sensitive about protocol and that is not the way the Government of
Zimbabwe behaves," said Dr Mahoso.

He said even if the President was on leave, his visit to the Far East was
crucial in that it was part of the new economic re-orientation of focusing
on the East rather than the traditional West.

Dr Mahoso said it was obvious that the purpose of the story was aimed at
protecting the interest of the old orientation.

Air Zimbabwe like any other airline charters theirs plane and when a charter
is booked it is always paid for even when it is used for Presidential trips.

The airline also said it was given adequate notice by the protocol office
for the commercial use of its aircraft for the President’s visit to Geneva
last month.

It denied that the President phoned to arrange his travel plans.

"It is unreasonable to suggest that a national President would phone an
airline in order to arrange his travel when he has an office of protocol to
handle such issues.

"The fact of the matter is that the office of protocol gives adequate notice
for a Presidential flight. The suggestion that the President demanded an
aircraft is a complete distortion of the amicable relationship that exists
between the airline and the office of protocol," the airline said.

It also denied that it had lost $3 billion in revenue as a result of the
Presidential charter.

"Infact Air Zimbabwe turns to charter out aircraft to increase revenue
during the low season.

"For example the airline managed to get charter business to Ghana and
Cameroon in the recent past and earned additional revenue."

Air Zimbabwe also dismissed the Independent’s claims that it had a depleted

"It’s not true that the airline’s fleet had depleted but rather the airline
has enough aircraft to meet its volume of business. The aircraft used by the
President on his current trip to the Far East was not scheduled to operate."
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[Refer to the article published by the Herald "President has no properties
outside Zim" - ]

From ZWNEWS: The following article appeared in the print edition of the Mail
& Guardian of 1-8 January, in the section entitled Not the Mail & Guardian.

From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 1-8 January

Luxury wine estate for Bob

Not the M&G reporter

Sources close to Not the Mail & Guardian have revealed that a luxury wine
estate near Stellenbosch, including it's winery and classic Cape Dutch
homestead, has been acquired by the Department of Foreign Affairs. The
estate and it's building are being prepared and will be set aside as a
retirement home for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. It is understood
that certain alterations and additions, mainly to do with increased
security, are being installed. These are believed to include the erection of
a 6 metre high-tension electric fence and armed sentry posts. The reported
cost of the estate Rust Ain Kalmheidt (Original High Dutch for rest and
calmness) was in excess of R32-million. The purchase was approved by the
Cabinet as a "gesture of goodwill to one of Africa's bravest fighters and
most strident voices against the evils of colonialism". It is believed the
Cabinet was unanimous in it's decision to purchase the property.

By the time the Not the M&G went to the press there had been no response to
questions put by fax to the Department of Foreign Affairs. One of these
questions was whether the purchase of a retirement residence for Mugabe was
necessary in the light of his already having commissioned a R72 - million
rand luxury retirement palace outside Harare. A Not the M&G reporter
telephoned the Department of Foreign Affairs. A man identifying himself as a
junior member of the department, said he had picked up a phone entirely by
mistake when he heard it "going on and on ringing". Asked about the purchase
of the wine estate he said he had no clearance to speak on behalf of the
department or the minister. "all the important foreign affairs people are
overseas on another one of Thabo Mbeki's state visits. We haven't see them
for months."

Pressed, he said that, speaking entirely off the record, he understood that
the opinion in the department was that in Zimbabwe there would always be a
threat to the personal safety of Mugabe from "those traitorous elements in
Zimbabwe society who refuse to acknowledge the statesmanlike and visionary
leadership of Mugabe", Who he describes as "a titan of the African soil."
There had to be somewhere completely safe for him, and of a style
appropriate and fitting for his eminence among world leaders. The foreign
affairs staff member refused to give his name. Asked to comment on the
purchase of the wine estate, Douglas Gibson of the Democratic Alliance said
he would do so as soon as he'd got in a new supply of Extra Strength Prozac.

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  Zimbabwean ruling party politician arrested 2004-01-11 01:48:10

           HARARE, Jan. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Phillip Chiyangwa, the flamboyant
ruling Zimbabwean African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF)
politician, was arrested Saturday on allegations of obstructing the course
of justice.

          Police Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said the chairman
of the Mashonal and West Province of the ZANU-PF was picked up at his house
in the morning.

          "We picked him up this morning on allegations of obstructing the
course of justice," said Bvudzijena.

          Bvudzijena said the date when Chiyangwa would appear in court
would depend on progress of investigations.

          He said police had been investigating allegations against the
Chinhoyi Member of Parliament. His appearance in court as a witness in the
ENG Capital Holdings saga was part of the process to ascertain his

          Bvudzijena said Investigations had now been completed and police
were satisfied that he had a case to answer.

          Chiyangwa got implicated in the ENG Capital Holdings for his role
in protecting the two directors of the asset management company who are
facing charges of defrauding investors of more than 61 billion Zimbabwean
dollars (about 74 million US dollars).

          Some vehicles belonging to the youthful directors were recovered
at his house.

          The ENG Capital Holdings itself collapsed after it failed to
payback 61 billion Zimbabwean dollars owed to investors.

          Its directors, Nyasha Watyoka and Gilbert Muponda, were
subsequently arrested and eight of their 18 luxury cars were seized by the

          Chivangwa was summoned to court to explain his involvement in the

          In his evidence Chiyangwa openly threatened to deal with the
police officer who brought the allegations that he had interfered with

          Chiyangwa refused to withdraw the threat when he was ordered todo
so by magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe. Enditem

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1:

Yes we are indeed praying and have contacted others to pray too. We are
praying that Kay may live and not die and show forth the Glory of God. Be
assured that prayer chains around NZ will be praying for Kay as they
receive the message. We intend to send a Bank Transfer to the clinic where
Kay is.

God bless you for your stand for righteousness and exposing works of evil.
In Jesus precious name

John and Bev Reid

Letter 2:

Dear Sir,

*Is it correct that the CFU leadership is trying to undermine the
democratically elected leadership of the farmers in Matabeland - there by
causing further problems of division for farmers, and Matabeleland farmers
in particular?

*Is this the ultimate step in attempting to destroy a cohesive group of
farmers that have stood by the law, and in this case have stood by their
own leadership - in keeping with Matabeleland tradition since Humphrey
Gibbs was at the helm?

*Has CFU leadership become a disciple of Robert Ardrey? "The possessor of
high dominant rank wields mysterious powers just as does the territorial

*If CFU leadership still believes that it possesses high rank in
Matabeleland, how is it that they only want to have meetings with little
groups rather than the whole troop?

*Do they only have mysterious powers with little groups rather than the
whole troop?

*Is this selected minority of troop members much more subservient in little
groups, perhaps?

*Is there perhaps an advantage for the dominant rank holder, where each
little group of subserviants does not really know what happened in the
other little group of subservient?- there by attempting to make the powers
seem even more mysterious?

*If CFU leadership does have any mysterious powers - is it not time that
they displayed them for the benefit of what used to be the whole troop?

*Finally, is this going to be a contest between imagined 'dominant' rank
and real territorial proprietorship - a new facet not really covered by
Ardrey, perhaps?

*Has this not been covered by The News (locally) when it was stated that
"America must realize that when our 'sovereignty is threatened it will come
ricoshitting' back at them?"

The troop is poised to watch a good final it seems.

Ricoshitting Trooper.

All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.
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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!


Sokwanele reporter

10 January 2004

Zodwa Sibanda

A Woman of Valour


Zodwa Sibanda died on December 24 after battling a long illness.  Her death marks the end of a life symbolized by a remarkable dedication to family, community and country.  This powerful and committed woman carried enormous energy into every facet of her life, as wife to Gibson Sibanda for thirty four years, mother to four children, political activist, community worker and entrepreneur.


Her husband, Gibson Sibanda, is vice president of the Movement for Democratic Change(MDC).


Born Ntombizodwa Elnora Mbambo on April 3, 1946 in Donkwedonkwe village in the Kezi District, Sibanda established her vigorous reputation in fighting for the rights of women, promoting self-help projects and developing business creativity at a young age.


She was a powerful political ally to Gibson, a former secondary schoolmate and sweetheart whom she married in April 1969. The Sibanda’s cut their political teeth early in the country’s struggle for independence against the oppressive Smith regime. She was a fighter who believed passionately in the liberation of her motherland and in the empowerment of society and especially women, as reflected in her work with non-government organizations and community groups that fought poverty, hunger and unemployment.


A dynamic source of creativity, Sibanda at her death was running her own consultancy and a shop trading in cultural arts and crafts. She is remembered for her deep seated respect for her cultural roots and dedication to the preservation of her heritage.


Her strong traditional roots are evident in the upbringing of her children, her relationships with relatives, friends and associates.  “She was a strong character driven by conviction and leadership in all spheres of her womanhood,” Gibson said of his wife of 34 years. “She was passionate about respect and she inculcated that virtue in everyone she was privileged to interact with. She was my right hand both in trade unionism and in politics.”


Growing up in rural Kezi, Ntombizodwa was the last child in a family of seven girls and one boy born to Sifunela and Janet Mbambo. Her family lineage has a sprinkling of royal blood through her grandfather, Jozana, the chief of Emambanjeni. Jozana served as regimental commander to King Lobhengula, the last of the Ndebele monarchs. But the chieftaincy of Emambanjeni did not pass on to Sifunela. Ntombizondwa  lost her mother while she was still on the breast, so her paternal aunts raised Zodwa through her early days at Donkwedonkwe and Mbembeswana Primary Schools. She attended secondary school at Tegwani Mission run by the Methodist Church, where she completed her GCE Ordinary level. It was at this school that she met her future husband, Gibson who was her senior.


Gibson proudly recalls that Zodwa was a sportswoman of note, never missing out on a game of netball and athletics. Their fate was sealed after high school when Gibson entered formal employment and politics. While Gibson entered the arena of trade unionism under the Railways, Zodwa was not far behind working underground as secretary of the Bulawayo district for the People’s Caretaker Council (PCC). Later she was invited to be the secretary for Bulawayo province under Joshua Nkomo who then led the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), a position that saw her being jailed for political activism.


She was detained, alongside her husband, for a year in 1977 by the Smith government. After independence in the mid-1980s, she was again detained, this time by the Mugabe government, for six months on suspicion of "political subversion". Those who did not know her would have concluded that the jail terms had killed her political zeal, but it was merely subdued temporarily.


She left the political limelight after Zimbabwe’s independence and entered the world of business as a leading innovator and consultant. Armed with a secretarial course and qualifications in the management of Boards, Decentralised Cooperation Programmes and Skills Training, Zodwa laid a solid foundation in a career in business. She was at one time President of the Women in Business in Bulawayo and sat on the boards of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), Matabeleland Development Foundation and Small Enterprises Development Corporation (SEDCO). She also played a leading role in her work as the Secretary General of Insiza Development Association, and the Indigenous Business Development Corporation (IBDC) for the Bulawayo region. Sibanda also served as President of the Professional Women of Matabeleland Region, an empowerment grouping. Her qualities as a businesswoman were recognized when she went to Nigeria to receive an award for outstanding leadership from the National Federation of Business and Professional Women.


For more than 15 years Zodwa Sibanda worked at Jairos Jiri Centre in charge of the Craft Shop which promotes crafts made by the handicapped and later she played an instrumental role in expanding the craft shop concepts to all major centres in the country. It was her love for crafts that gave birth to the Rural Cottage and Craft, a business that became her hallmark. Although Zodwa Sibanda expended much energy in her business pursuits, raising a family was a greater challenge. Sibanda raised her three girls, Sibongile, Zanily and Thandi and a son, Mbuso.


It was in 1998 with the birth of Zimbabwe’s first opposition party, the MDC, that the political embers in Sibanda’s heart were rekindled. She was back on familiar turf, supporting and encouraging her husband, Gibson who overwhelmingly won the Nkulumane Parliamentary Seat. Nkulumane residents reflect on Zodwa Sibanda’s determination to change the lives of many in her husband’s constituency by establishing social work programmes for the vulnerable and the aged. She sourced and donated clothing, food and blankets for those in need. It is not  surprising that when spouses of MDC parliamentarians sought a leader they chose her as the chairperson of the MDC’s Spouses Association.


Once again Zodwa Sibanda, a woman with three grown children, a "gogo" or grandmother in the local idiom of her Ndebele culture, was leading women to stand up against political oppression. "Women need to stand up and fight for themselves," she said, explaining why she joined Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)."Most women don't know how powerful they are," said Sibanda.


The Zimbabwe police threw her in jail on Feb. 14 2003 with 16 other women and two men for daring to protest. Their crime was walking on city sidewalks on Valentine's Day, passing out roses with notes calling for an end to Zimbabwe's state-sponsored violence.  This was her fifth time in jail, but the first where police showed so little respect to female arrestees that they forced them to strip in the presence of male officers.


It is not only the Sibanda’s who have lost a celebrated wife and mother but the country’s political, civic and business communities are robbed of the ever smiling Zodwa. Her legacy is an inspiration to all who believe in justice and action.

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