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

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Zim Online

State secret agents worm their way into schools
Fri 14 January 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's government has deployed secret service agents at
schools to spy on teachers sympathetic to the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party.

      Intelligence sources speaking on condition they were not named told
ZimOnline that agents and informers of the state's Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) have been seconded to state-run schools mainly as
teachers to prevent pro-MDC teachers from influencing communities to support
the opposition party ahead of March's general election.

      "Some are full time intelligence officers while others are simple
informers who have been incorporated into the education ministry and will
work among the teaching complement," said a senior CIO officer, who spoke
anonymously for professional reasons. He added: "Our target area is mostly
the rural areas where teachers enjoy a lot of influence."

      Teachers suspected of supporting the MDC will be suspended or fired
from government service, according  to the sources.

      State Security Minister Nicholas Goche in charge of the CIO refused to
take questions from ZimOnline saying he did not discuss intelligence
operations with the Press.

      Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere said his ministry was
discouraging teachers from getting involved in politics but denied that the
government had roped in the CIO to monitor teachers.

      He said: "Any teacher caught in the political web will pay for it. But
we have not tasked the CIO to do the monitoring for us."

      The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, one of two unions that
represent teachers in the country, said it was conducting an exercise to
warn teachers of the presence of spies at schools.

      A union official, MacDonald Maungazani, said: "Teachers are opinion
leaders and that is why the CIO has initiated this programme (to spy on
teachers) two months before the election. We are urging our members to be

      Teachers are viewed as community leaders particularly in remote rural
areas where they are also a vital source of information for illiterate
villagers. But many teachers, disgruntled by poor pay and working
conditions, have turned to the MDC, earning the wrath of the government and
ruling ZANU PF party. - ZimOnline.

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Zim Online

Fri 14 January 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's bickering ruling ZANU PF party is today expected to
announce its final list of potential candidates for March's general
election, party sources told ZimOnline last night.

      The party's inner politburo cabinet chaired by party and state
President Robert Mugabe met for more than eight hours yesterday but
apparently could not finalise the hotly disputed list.

      The state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation last night announced
that the list would be made available "in due course" before the party holds
an internal election to decide on the candidates. The party primary
elections are scheduled for tomorrow.

      ZANU PF national elections directorate chairman Elliot Manyika would
not say when exactly the party would make public the list and instead
referred ZimOnline to party spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira. His phone went

      Insiders however said the list was going to be released today and
indicated that information minister and propaganda chief Jonathan Moyo has
been left out of the list of prospective candidates to represent ZANU PF in
the election.

      Other senior party officials such as Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa, who helped Moyo in a failed attempt to block the appointment of
Joyce Mujuru as ZANU PF and Zimbabwe's second vice-president were also said
to have been omitted.

      Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri and ZANU PF chairman for Mashonaland
West province Philip Chiyangwa, who both have pending criminal cases, are
also said to be not on the list.

      Moyo and Chinamasa were members of Mugabe's Cabinet after he appointed
them non-constituency Members of Parliament under a constitutional clause
allowing him to appoint 30 members to the House.

      But the information and justice ministers, among the worst hardliners
in the government, could lose their positions should Mugabe stick to his
promise not to appoint anyone to Cabinet who is not elected in the March

      During his five-year tenure as information minister, Moyo crafted some
of harshest-ever press laws that have seen hundreds of Zimbabwean
journalists arrested and three newspapers, including the country's biggest
daily, the Daily News, banned.

      Chinamasa led the government's purge of independent judges from
Zimbabwe's bench replacing them with government supporters. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Lawyers attack judiciary for failing to protect own integrity
Fri 14 January 2005
  HARARE - The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights says the country's
judiciary has failed to protect its own integrity and independence by
standing up to defiance by the Executive.

      In a statement, the group, which brings together lawyers fighting for
human rights and democracy in Zimbabwe, said it was concerned by the high
level of defiance and disregard of court orders by the Executive especially
in high-stake political cases.

      The lawyers' group cited the cases of three parliamentarians Philip
Chiyangwa of the ruling ZANU PF party, Roy Bennet and Fletcher Dulini-Ncube
both from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party who were
at various stages held in police custody against orders by the courts that
they be released.

      "More disquieting has been the inability of the court to clamp down at
such despicable conduct (defiance of court orders) and protect its own
integrity," the lawyers said.

      They also bemoaned what they said were "inordinate and inexcusable
delays" in the setting down of matters and delivery of judgments in cases
involving human rights and political issues.

      The courts are still to conclude more than 30 petitions filed by the
MDC and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai against ZANU PF and President Robert
Mugabe's victories in the 2000 general election and 2002 presidential poll.

      Appeals by three newspapers including the country's biggest
circulating daily paper, the Daily News, that were closed down by the
government are still pending at the courts and so is Bennet's appeal against
his imprisonment by Parliament without a court hearing.

      Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku could not be reached for comment on
the matter. But earlier this week, Chidyausiku blamed the MDC for the delays
in the hearing of its petitions, a charge rejected by the opposition
party. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Suspected ZANU PF spies' bid to alter plea fails
Fri 14 January 2005

      HARARE - A magistrates' court yesterday refused to allow two senior
officials of Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF party accused of espionage to change

      ZANU PF external affairs director Itai Marchi, Zimbabwean
ambassador-designate to Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo, and bank executive
Tendai Matambanadzo last month pleaded guilty to charges of selling
intelligence information to foreign spies.

      The three, who are charged together with ZANU PF provincial chairman
Philip Chiyangwa and the party's deputy security officer Kenny Karidza had
applied to the court to be allowed to alter plea to not guilty.

      Chief law officer in the Attorney General's office, Florence Ziyambi,
told journalists in Harare yesterday: "The magistrate said the court is
satisfied that a plea of guilty was not brought about as aresult of fraud,
cohesion or undue influence. The
      application was a mere delay of process."

      The application was heard in camera with even close relatives barred
from the courts.

      Chiyangwa is expected in court today while Karidza is also due to
appear at a later date.

      The five men are being charged under the Official Secrets Act and face
up to 20 years in jail if convicted of supplying information to foreign
agents. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Government barred from shutting down private schools
Fri 14 January 2005
  HARARE - A Zimbabwean court has provisionally barred the government from
closing down private schools that charge fees higher than those stipulated
by the state.

      In a provisional ruling, the High Court ordered Education Minister
Aeneas Chigwedere, his permanent secretary Lisias Boora, Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri from interfering with schools that levy fees higher than
levels set by the government.

      The court order issued on January 4 reads in part: "Pending the
confirmation or discharge of this order, the Respondents (Chigwedere, Boora
and Chihuri) or their agents are hereby restrained from closing down or
ordering or threatening the closure of (private) schools."

      The government last year closed several schools for charging more than
the stipulated fees and had this year threatened to close schools and arrest
administrators who increase fees without state approval.

      The Association of Trust Schools, which brings together 60
privately-run schools, appealed to the  court to have the government barred
from interfering with the running of their schools. - ZimOnline
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Minister quits Parly race

Brian Mangwende and Constantine Chimakure
issue date :2005-Jan-14

THE Minister of State responsible for Policy Implementation in the President's
Office, Webster Shamu, has withdrawn his candidature for Chegutu
constituency to pave way for deputy Parliamentary Speaker Edna Madzongwe to
represent Zanu PF in the March general elections.

The minister's withdrawal reportedly sparked a chorus of angry voices in
Chegutu, resulting in hundreds of his supporters thronging the Zanu PF
headquarters to persuade the leadership to convince him to reverse his
In a letter dated January 12 2005 addressed to Zanu PF chairman of the
national elections directorate, Elliot Manyika, Shamu said he was
withdrawing from the race in observation of the party's decision to reserve
a third of the seats in the 120 constituencies for women.
The withdrawal letter was copied to Zanu PF secretary for information and
publicity Nathan Shamuyarira.
Wrote Shamu: "I hereby write to notify you of my decision to withdraw my
candidature from Chegutu constituency in Mashonaland West province in favour
of Amai Edna Madzongwe.
"I have had to revert to this decision in order to assist the province and
the party at large in fulfilling the 30 percent quota for women. This will
bring to four the number of seats reserved for women in Mashonaland West as
stipulated by the party. This will go a long way in fulfilling the
resolution of the fourth national congress.
"It is in the light of this development that I have decided to make way for
Amai Madzongwe, a Zanu PF Politburo and central committee member, deputy
Speaker of Parliament and thus a senior government official.
"This position is one I took even before the ongoing selection exercise
started. I subsequently put my name forward when recommendations were made
that Amai Madzongwe stands for the race in the Manyame constituency. This
fell through."
He added: "I am therefore by copy of this letter informing the Zanu PF
Mashonaland West provincial co-ordinating committee, through the acting
provincial chairman, Cde John Mafa and the party leadership in general
through Cde N (Nathan) Shamuyarira, a member of the politburo."
Efforts to get hold of Manyika proved fruitless last night as he was in
marathon meetings at the party's headquarters, while Mafa acknowledged
receipt of Shamu's withdrawal.
Mafa said: "The letter was faxed to my office in Chinhoyi, but there are now
other developments. Shamu and Madzongwe are going to fight it out in Chegutu
follwong this morning's demonstrations by Shamu supporters, saying that he
must stand in the primary elections. We have already forwarded our
recommendations to the national elections directorate."
On why Madzongwe retreated from Manyame, Mafa said: "Before the delimitation
exercise, she was campaigning in Chegutu, initiating projects. She has no
suuport in Manyame."
Madzongwe could not be reached for comment. Her phone went unanswered until
the time of going to print.
Zanu PF instructed its 10 political provinces to reserve a certain number of
seats for women, and in Mashonaland West four seats were set-aside for that
Highly placed ruling party sources said Shamu did not submit his curriculum
vitae (CV) when they were initially submitted to pave way for Madzongwe, but
only did so following the delimitation exercise and Madzongwe went to stand
in a newly created constituency - Manyame.
However, the sources said, Madzongwe reportedly met resistance there and
went back to Chegutu prompting Shamu to withdraw again.
Then, sources said, Mash West central committee members met at the party's
headquarters in the capital where Shamu said he would withdraw and inform
the leadership.
Madzongwe reportedly took the message of Shamu's withdrawal to Chegutu where
she announced herself as the candidate, prompting the minister's supporters
to throng the party's HQ where they were later addressed by Shamu.
As a result, sources said, Shamu conceded to the demands of his supporters
and is expected to battle it out with Madzongwe on Saturday.
Sources said: "It should also be emphasised that at this stage of our
revolution, we must avoid divisions and show unity of purpose in the party.
And with single mindedness, we must seek the realisation of the principles
and objectives of our revolution. The emancipation and empowerment of women
is one of them."
The source said it was against this background that Shamu decided to
withdraw his candidature and rally behind Madzongwe.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Police officers in court for demanding $25m bribe

Court Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-14

TWO members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) stationed at Harare
Central who allegedly demanded a $25 million bribe to withdraw a rape charge
were yesterday dragged to the Harare Magistrates Court.
Nyikadzino Madimbe (27) and Farai Mandemwa (24) appeared before provincial
magistrate Cremmah Chipere facing extortion charges and were not asked to
The pair was remanded on $1 million bail each to January 27.
Prosecutor Tambudzai Gonese alleged that some time in December last year and
early this month, Madimbe and Mandemwa demanded $25 million from an accused
The duo allegedly threatened to detain the suspect and publicise his case in
the press if he declined to pay them.
The suspect succumbed to the threats and paid the $25 million bribe before a
trap was set up to arrest the two policemen.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Soft drink shortage hits Bulawayo

From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo
issue date :2005-Jan-14

THE city of Bulawayo has been hit by an acute shortage of soft drinks,
forcing consumers to go without their favourite beverages particularly this
time of the year when temperatures are high.
Fanta, Pinenut, Sprite and Schweppes Oranges are said to be in short supply.
The beverages cannot be obtained easily in most retail outlets visited by
The Daily Mirror here yesterday.
A Fanta favourite, Cleopas Makusha said the shortages had forced him to take
other brands, which do not "agree with my taste".
"I am being forced to take Coke as it is the only one available. I do not
drink this beverage but because of the current weather, I have no choice,"
he said.
Most retail shops visited yesterday were fully stocked with Coca Cola and
not the other brands. The owner of Cambitzi, a leading supermarket in the
city, Brian Mushonga said the shortages had been experienced since
"Fanta and orange drinks are the most scarce of them all.  We haven't had
those varieties since Christmas and we have been trying to get them since.
"The suppliers have given us several reasons for the shortages but it all
comes down to the fact that they are not supplying the drinks," he said.
A saleslady with retail giant OK, said they had been experiencing shortages
since November last year.
"We have been having this problem since last year. There has not been much
delivery. . . we have been receiving the brands on and off," she said.
There was no official comment from Delta Beverages as the official
authorised to speak to the press was reported to be out of the country.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Air Force officers elevated

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-14

THE Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) commander, Air Marshal Perrence Shiri, has
promoted 15 officers to higher ranks and implored them to remain loyal and
serve the organisation and the nation.
Of the 15 officers promoted, four became wing commanders, while 11 were
elevated to the rank of squadron leaders.
Shiri said the nation expected and demanded only the best from the AFZ in
fulfilling its mandated role of defending the country's airspace and
He said the promoted officers were expected to work extra hard to achieve
the AFZ mandate.
 "The organisation has shown confidence in you by promoting you to higher
ranks but the promotion also means more responsibilities and it is incumbent
upon the promoted officers to meet the expectations of the organisation and
the nation," Shiri said.
The promoted officers are Charles Murongazvombo, Emmerson Kujinga, Sidney
Katsande and Cleopas Kapondoro who were elevated to the rank of Wing
Newlife Shoko, Clever Kungwengwe, Nyasha Zivumbwa, Callance Tinarwo,
Msongelwa Ndlovu, William Mothabi, Collen Rupiya, Kenneth Kunaka, Wilbrought
Chirau, Joseph Maseko and Benjamin Dzanya are squadron leaders.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Minister, MP in bitter row

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-14

INCUMBENT Murehwa North MP Victor Chitongo and the Minister of Health and
Child Welfare, David Parirenyatwa, are embroiled in a bitter war of words,
as they battle to represent Zanu PF in the constituency ahead of March's
parliamentary polls.
Chitongo and Parirenyatwa are expected to contest the ruling party's primary
elections tomorrow after Mashonaland East provincial co-ordinating committee
(PCC) successfully vetted them. The PCC had in turn forwarded the CVs to the
party's nation election directorate for endorsement.
Sources in Mashonaland East told The Daily Mirror that accusations and
counter-accusations between Chitongo and Parirenyatwa had been the order of
the day in recent weeks, as the two aspiring candidates wrestle for the
In separate interviews with this newspaper, Chitongo and Parirenyatwa
discredited each other.
Chitongo accused the Minister of Health for letting down people of Murehwa
by not using his influential cabinet position to improve health delivery in
the area.
"He is the Minister of Health, but Murehwa has only one mortuary that
accommodates less than five corpses. I am planning to build a very big
mortuary," Chitongo said.
The mortuary was established in 1946.
On the other hand Parirenyatwa claimed that the people in Murehwa North no
longer wanted Chitongo to represent them in Parliament because he had failed
to initiate socio-development projects in the constituency.
"This is the time the electorate must choose the candidate of their choice.
They have to choose those who are very strong in the party. If the people of
Murehwa elect me to represent them in the March election it would be an
advantage for them. As the Minister I would do everything possible to
address their concerns," Parirenyatwa said.
Sources said the Mashonaland East provincial executive initially wanted
Chitongo to step down from the race and pave way for Parirenyatwa because of
his seniority in the party.
The Health Minister is a member of the ruling party's central committee and
the politburo, the highest decision making board outside congress.
Provincial Chairman Ray Kaukonde confirmed last week that his executive at
some stage wanted to avoid primaries as "they divide the party."
"We had always wanted to avoid primaries in our province. People will now
choose the candidate of their choice," Kaukonde said.

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Zim farmers expect lowest tobacco crop
          January 14 2005 at 09:40AM

      By Peta Thornycroft

      Harare - There is disappointment that Zimbabwe's richest crop,
tobacco, which appeared set for a small recovery this year, will be the

      Until President Robert Mugabe began seizing thousands of white-owned
farms in 2000, tobacco underwrote the economy, supplying up to 40 percent of
foreign currency.

      In the year that Mugabe's loyalists started rampaging across millions
of hectares of some of Africa's most successful agricultural lands, Zimbabwe
produced 238 million kilograms.

      This summer season it will produce less than a quarter of that, even
less than last year's record low of 64 million kilograms when the crop only
earned $120-million (R717-million) and prices on the auction floors were

      The further slump is despite massive government support which has
bankrolled thousands of "new" farmers on land seized from white farmers.

       "It's a damn disaster," said Rusty Markham, a veteran regional
tobacco agronomist. "We will be lucky to see a crop above 50 million

      "It is unbelievable that the government is still urging new farmers to
plant in mid-January when the crop should be ready for reaping," Markham

      More than 80 percent of this year's crop and almost all of the quality
leaf will still be produced by about 250 to 300 white farmers who endure
daily threats of violent, illegal evictions.

      Those who have survived the ethnic purge have already surrendered up
to two thirds of their land to the government and many provide expertise,
financial help, and lend equipment to new, black farmers.

      Markham said in areas where the crop had been planted timeously there
were curing logjams as facilities previously used by one commercial farmer
were now shared by a few dozen.

      "These poor guys have borrowed money and they won't be able to pay
back as their crop is rotting before it can be cured."

          .. This article was originally published on page 2 of The Mercury
on January 14, 2005
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Cape Times

      Bob's selfish distortion of horrific revolution sullies beautiful
island's history
      January 14, 2005

      By Tony Weaver

      There are places in Africa that remain forever etched in my mind,
places of lyrical beauty, places I dream of and long for. Places like the
Simyen Mountains in Ethiopia, the plains of the Serengeti, the Mountains of
the Moon and the Bwindi Impenetrable forest in Uganda. And then there is

      I remember my first trip across the waters on the afternoon ferry from
Dar es Salaam: squalls of late monsoon rain sweeping through, closing down
the world.

      A swirl and a lift, and two ocean-going jahazi dhows drifted by,
another swirl and the mist began to rise, the sun broke through a hole and
the port of Zanzibar was suddenly there. I understood why the Arab slavers,
when they first saw this view, said "zayn za'l barr" - fair is this island.

      Yes, fair is this island, but it is a fairness and a beauty that hides
a terrible past. This was the island that once held power of life and death
over hundreds of thousands of souls living on the mainland, the robber
barons of Africa sending deadly slave caravans into the interior.

      They fed the appetites of the New World sugar plantations of the West
Indies, Brazil, Cuba, the Caribbean and the Americas, concubines and eunuchs
went forth as sex slaves to the Middle East and Arabia, entire clans were
sold for the price of a bolt of cotton.

      David Livingstone called the place "Stinkibar", outraged by the stench
of the slave trade. As the trade in human flesh spread around the world, the
merchants of misery stretched their claws deep into Africa, beyond Lake
Victoria into the rainforests of Zaire and the Congo.

      At any one time in the early 1800s, the slave markets of Zanzibar were
crowded with hundreds of terror-stricken slaves, "mere skeletons of skin and
bones, festering with sores and loathsome skin diseases", as the British
consul, Captain James Frederic Elton, put it.

      At the height of the trade, 50 000 slaves a year passed through
Zanzibar. Men and women, whose only life memory was that of the vast plains
and deep rainforests of east and central Africa, and of the shimmering
waters of Lake Malawi, were tossed into sordid underground pits, wet,
mouldy, insufferably hot and crawling with rats, to get them used to the
long journey ahead across the oceans, chained to the hulls of dhows and

      When the summer tradewinds blew from the south-west, they carried the
fragrance of drying cloves, the salt tang of the Indian Ocean, the acrid
ammonia of dried shark meat from the harbour, and the stench of rotting
flesh from the slave pits. Today, when the monsoons howl through the palm
groves of the east coast, the Zanzibaris say, "hush, listen to the dead
souls, listen to the slaves, they are talking".

      But it is not so much that history that is being marked in Zanzibar
today. The whole of this week, the people of Zanzibar are commemorating the
40th anniversary of the 1964 revolution which finally overthrew the Sultan
of Zanzibar and the Omani Dynasty.

      Blood flowed as executions and massacres rolled through the Stone
Town. Arabs and Indians were the target, as many as 5 000 died. A policy of
official rape was adopted against Arab and Persian girls, Shiva Naipaul
claims in North of South.

      In the wake of the revolution, Abeid Karume imposed an extreme,
hardline form of socialist rule on the island, so hardline that even his
mainland counterpart, Julius Nyerere, found it unpalatable. He invited in
Chinese, North Korean and East German advisers and planners, and one of the
legacies of their glum and dull planning are the horrendous blocks of flats
across Creek Road at the back of the old Stone Town.

      Before the last bricks were laid, the flats were already a slum, and
the complex should be photographed and reproduced in every urban planner's
illustrated guide to the world's worst mistakes.

      Today, the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba still smoulder with anger and
resentment about their stepchild relationship with the mainland. There is
grave trouble in paradise. There are tensions between the Arab, Indian and

      Muslim descendants of the previous rulers and the mainly black African
Christians. There is a strong secessionist movement that would like to see
Zanzibar break away from Tanzania and the mainland revert to being called

      It is in this context that the island commemorates the 40th
anniversary of the revolution. And it is in this context that the man who
would be Africa's revolutionary leader, Robert Mugabe, spoke on Wednesday at
the celebrations, and royally put his foot in his mouth.

      "In 1964, Zanzibar brought changes to its people by refusing to be
under colonists, the same with Zimbabwe later. You provided your land to the
majority people, as we did the same to our people, we must not reverse
back," he said.

      That would have gone down well with his hosts from mainland Tanzania,
but will go down in history as one of the most tactless speeches ever in the
minds of the majority of Zanzibaris. Bob's speechwriters need to read the
history books before he opens his mouth again.


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New Zimbabwe

South Africa dragged into Zimbabwe spying scandal

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 01/14/2005 11:00:21
AN unwilling South Africa was on Thursday sensationally dragged into the
Zimbabwe Spygate scandal in which several top officials face charges of
spying for foreign governments after it emerged the officials passed data on
economic and political developments in Zimbabwe to a South African agent.

The dramatic developments came as the ruling Zanu PF's legislator for
Chinhoyi and the party's Mashonaland West provincial chairman took his fight
for bail to the High Court which held a session in open court, providing
some details about the nature of the charges Chiyangwa and three others are

State attorneys accuse Chiyangwa who is Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's
nephew of receiving up to US$10 000 monthly from a South African agent to
supply information. It is not known where that information was sent from
South Africa.

The revelations that South Africa could be a possible destination for this
information, or that it was a conduit for data collected secretively in
Zimbabwe will cause embarassment for South African officials or even have an
effect on regional politics, observers said last night.

The South Aftrican government has insisted that it will not interfere in
Zimbabwe'sd political and economic difficulties under what is now commonly
known as that government's policy of "quiet diplomacy".

South Africa, observers say, will now almost certainly be forced to distance
itself from the spying scandal.

Advocate Chris Andersen contended at the High Court in Harare that passing
information on economic and political developments could not be interpreted
as a endangering national security under the country's Official Secrets Act.
He wants the High Court to reverse an earlier decision to remand Chiyangwa
in custody pending the completion of investigations.

"The failure of the State to particularise the information is futile to the
charge. Therefore, accused should not have been placed on remand," said Adv

Advocate Andersen argued that the underlying inference to South Africa as an
enemy to Zimbabwe could not be reconciled with the evident close cooperation
between the two countries.

Meanwhile Chiyangwa's co-accused, Zimbabwe's ambassador designate to
Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo, Zanu PF external affairs secretary Itai Mahachi
and former Metropolitan Bank company secretary Tendai Matambanadzo failed in
their attempt to change their guilty pleas which they said they entered
under undue pressure.

They will now petition the High Court to be allowed to alter their pleas. On
Thursday, Harare Regional Magistrate Peter Kumbawa said he was not satisfied
there had been any undue pressure applied on the trio. The three claim they
were tortured.

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

Thought of the Day:

"Petty larceny on behalf of the individual, is theft. When Government's
engage in grand larceny, it's economics."

(unknown from Alistair McLean's The Golden Rendezvous).


Letter 1: RE: CFU, received 12 December 2004
by Mike Carter

Dear Mr Shaw,

It seems that your appeal for donations to welcome the Vice President has
stirred up a hornets nest, and so it should.Perhaps it was your threatening
tone which got people going.I am glad that people still have the energy to
stand up for what is right.

The debate is not new.In fact the dilemmas and questions have not changed
in five years.

Should people do what it takes to survive in Zimbabwe and damn the
consequences? Or should they be guided by morality,their consciences and
the Rule of Law?  What are our actions teaching our children?

What is the legacy of ZanuPF going to be?Is it going to be an historic and
proud period which will benefit generations to come?Will the people of
Zimbabwe always look back to these years as a time when the foundations
were laid for future prosperity?Is this the way you see it Mr Shaw? You
appeal for unity without creating a vision under which people can unite and
so your appeal lacks sincerity.Are you committed to Zimbabwe or are you
looking for greener pastures?

It seems Mr. Shaw that you have learnt different history lessons than
me.Although I accept that the African people need to empower themselves,and
that colonial injustice required correcting I do not see that it should be
at expense of other Zimbabweans nor that one injustice can be rectified by
another. I see this period of land reform as a time of
shame,disrespect,destruction,and disgrace.The violence and injustice which
have become associated with the process are characteristics from which we
should seek to distance ourselves, and our children, for fear of
contamination. In saying that I am not suggesting that people should leave
the country. More it is a question of attitude.The situation in which we
find ourselves in Zimbabwe is morally, politically,socially and
economically unacceptable and change is required.

Maybe you see and judge things differently, and think that this is as good
as it gets.Get real, I can hear you saying; this is Africa.

Mr. Shaw if you do think you are just being realistic in your position, I
feel very sorry for your children and I suggest you think seriously about
moving to Aussie.

Michael Carter


Letter 2: RE: TREVOR SHAW'S RATIONALE, received 13 January 2005
by Bruce Gemmill

"KAPOS" was a name given by the inmates of the Nazi extermination camps to
those Jews who in return for better food and a postponement of their own
extermination loaded the living and unloaded the dead from the

I do not put Mr Trevor Shaw [Chicken Shaw - see OLF 323, Editor] in the
same category as the KAPOS, but the rationale is identical.

Bruce Gemmill.


Letter 3: RE: TREVOR SHAW, received 12 January 2005
by Johnny Rodrigues

Dear JAG,

It goes without saying that Trevor Shaw has either lost his marbles, or to
give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he's been in a coma for the past 5

Everything I wanted to say about Trevor's letter has already been said so
I'll just say that every cloud has a silver lining and the best part of
this whole fiasco is number of people who are openly outraged at Trevor's

This gives me hope and it proves that there are still a lot of courageous
people out there.

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force


Letter 4: ZIMBABWE SITUATION, received 13 January 2005
by Joyce Banes

Dear JAG

I am writing from UK. I am not Zimbabwean but have very dear farmer friends
still living and working in Zimbabwe albeit under great stress.

I have followed the events of all the white ( and now black) farmers for
over 4 years, and wept many days for them and felt so inadequate in my
support to them, e-mail is not the same as personal support.

I am writing to object on their behalf to the letter enclosed below from
Trevor Midlane, he sounds like a very bitter man towards the ones who are
fortunate enough to still live on their farms, even though struggling to

I can say with absolute confidence that no way, as devout Christians, would
my friends collaborate with the ruling (for the moment) party. They are
still on their farm because they would not leave their workers to starve
while moving to a safer country themselves when the opportunity arose.

I hope that now the mistake has been pointed out by other letters regarding
"Chicken" Shaw and "Beef" Shaw there will be an apology coming soon from Mr
Midlane to those farmers whom he aimed his angry insults at. !

We were all angry and bemused by the request but the only one who suffers
by this angry attack is you Mr Midlane, what have you gained by it. ?



Letter 5: DISPOSSED FARMERS, received 18 December 2004
Wynand Breytenbach

Dear Sir,

As a follow up to the letters written by Bruce Gemmel and Kevin Grant I
wish to add the following:

I am also a farmer that left Zimbabwe three and a half years ago. As a
matter of fact, Bruce's son and my son-in-law were two of the five farmers
abducted from the Murewa police station and severely tortured without the
police lifting a finger. This happened on the day David Stevens was
murdered by the same gang of "political activists".

Living in Australia now, and also having extensive contacts with people in
other countries, what struck me like a bolt of lightning is that the
outside world does not care a hoot about what is really happening in
Zimbabwe. Don't be fooled by the window -dressing of half-hearted protests
by some governments. Just look at their trade and investment figures with

The only solution, I think, is to forget trying to claim compensation from
the Zimbabwe government but rather instigate international claims for
compensation against the tobacco and other agricultural merchants who are
buying produce from our stolen farms.

Wynand Breytenbach
Ex ZTA Councillor


by Derek and Margaret Henning

Dear Jag

We would like to warn everyone against roadside stops at "Layby's".

Just before Christmas, my wife and I were travelling South, and at the
155km (Nuanetsi) peg on the Beitbridge Road we stopped for a snack at a
Lay-by which seemed to be completely free of "hangers on" who normally
occupy the table and chairs.  After a few moments, two men appeared from
nowhere, obviously having been hidden in the bush across the road.

In brief, we were unpleasantly robbed at knife point, of all our cash, cell
phones, and were about to be stripped of other belongings when I managed to
catch the eye of the driver in a passing car.

The kindly couple in the car realized there was a problem and turned back
and in no time took chase after our assailants who fled into the bush.

We reported the incident to the police at a roadblock some 10kms on, who
informed us that an African family were robbed at the same site the week

Since our return we have heard of so many other incidents from roadside
stops, and from lifts given to strangers.  It is very sad to think that yet
another traditional pleasure is a thing of the past.

Please would you warn all your readers of the danger of stopping almost
anywhere on the road!

Derek and Margaret Henning

Letter 7: ROY BENNETT UPDATE, received 9 January 2005
by Eddie Cross

Dear JAG

Heather has seen Roy several times recently. Whatever Prison they put Roy
in he immediately becomes a problem as the prisoners treat him as a hero
and help him as much as possible. The petitions are coming in and we meet
shortly to decide what to do next. Keep the pressure up - contact your
local MP - even here in Zimbabwe, all politicians are susceptible to
pressure from the public. Write to your local media and use the stuff we
send out to you. Keeping Roy in the limelight may keep him alive.

MDC may be able to retain Roy as a candidate in Chimanimani - he would win
I am sure and that would be one for the books! His team in Chimanimani are
very despondent - they need money and local support, if you are up there -
go and see them. Try to help with the transport problems if you live in
Harare. Dave Coltart went to try and see Roy but was refused permission.
Heather and the kids are fine - just struggling with the pressure and the
emotional situation.

Eddie Cross


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 (JAG).


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