From ZWNEWS, 14 January
An entire farming district has become the target of a systematic looting
spree by war veterans and Zanu PF supporters. Commercial farms in the Hunyani
valley, north-west of Harare, are having their crops stolen by mobs of ruling
party supporters using farm vehicles they have commandeered. One farm lost
seventy tonnes of wheat destined for delivery to the millers over the weekend,
and another mob took forty five tonnes of maize. Cattle and goats have been
slaughtered. Farm workers have been severely beaten and evicted and farmers have
been driven from farm to farm ahead of the
Amnesty warns of ''civil war'' in
JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 14 —
Amnesty International warned on Monday of ''civil war'' in Zimbabwe if
opposition to President Robert Mugabe is repressed.
Mugabe faces re-election in
''The deteriorating human
rights situation in Zimbabwe places in real jeopardy the possibility of free and
fair elections... and raises the spectre of such violent repression of political
opposition degenerating into civil war,'' Amnesty said in a statement issued in
The British-based human
rights pressure group appealed to Zimbabwe's neighbours, whose leaders were
attending a regional summit in Malawi on Monday, to take a tough stand against
what it said were state-sponsored killings.
''The time has come for SADC to send a
strong and consistent message that the situation in Zimbabwe has grown worse,
that the Zimbabwean authorities should not allow human rights to be violated
with impunity,'' Amnesty in a memorandum to the 14-member Southern African
Development Community (SADC).
year, Amnesty said Zimbabwe human rights organisations had reported about 50
politically motivated killings since early 2000, some of them during
parliamentary by-elections in 2001.
Most of these, it said, were carried out by self-styled veterans of the 1970s
war against white rule. For the past two years, black war veterans have been
occupying white-owned farms with the support of the government.
In its latest report, Amnesty said over
the past few weeks it had received reports of up to 10 people killed in violent
repression by state-sponsored militias.
Last week, Zimbabwe's parliament passed legislation granting Mugabe sweeping
security powers ahead of the March 9-10 voting.
Monday, 14 January, 2002, 17:21 GMT
Zimbabwe asylum rethink signalled
Mugabe's clampdown has worried Blair and
The government has signalled a possible change of heart over
its determination to send failed asylum seekers back to Zimbabwe amid mounting
criticism of the policy.
Downing Street conceded that a new assessment of the
situation in Zimbabwe would be issued "shortly".
There are precedents in the past where countries got
into a chaotic state and the Home Office has got a policy of not
Labour MP Neil Gerrard
Such a move might improve the prospects for political opponents of Zimbabwean
president Robert Mugabe trying to remain in Britain.
The move comes after Prime Minister Tony Blair discussed the troubled
situation in Zimbabwe with South African President Thabo Mbeki.
Downing Street says both Mr Blair and Mr Mbeki, who spoke by telephone on
Saturday, are taking the matter very seriously.
The government has previously dismissed calls for a freeze on deportations by
saying individual cases would be examined on "merit".
Neil Gerrard, Labour chairman of the Commons all-party
group on refugees, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There are precedents in
the past where countries got into a chaotic state and the Home Office has got a
policy of not returning.
Amnesty International has always urged that there is
the need for extreme caution in deporting Zimbabweans in the present
"I think that is exactly what we should be doing in the case of Zimbabwe."
Responding to fears that opposition supporters faced violence if they were
returned to Zimbabwe, The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has asked the
government to suspend deportations.
Home Secretary David Blunkett is meeting his Conservative counterpart, Oliver
Letwin, to discuss the issue on Monday evening.
Earlier on Monday, Mr Letwin told: "What is going on is
"The Home Office is maintaining that being a member of an opposition party in
Zimbabwe is not dangerous if they are returned there."
Mr Letwin has expressed concern that British immigration officers have made a
number of attempts to deport a man who says he is a member of one of Zimbabwe's
Those supporting the application say the man, known only as "Paul", was put
on a flight out of the country on Friday even though lawyers had successfully
applied for an injunction against his immediate removal.
In the end he was taken off the flight by officials.
The caseworkers who decided his fate were working on the basis that he had
not proved "a well-founded fear of persecution".
The Home Office review now under way could change that assessment.
Downing Street's apparent change of heart was welcomed by Amnesty
"Amnesty International has always urged that there is the
need for extreme caution in deporting Zimbabweans in the present climate," a
spokesman told the BBC.
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Simon Hughes said he had received
assurances from the Home Office that there would be no further deportations
until the revised assessment had been produced "in the next two days".
The new document would, he hoped, allow the government to suspend
deportations until after Zimbabwean elections in March.
"People who fear for their lives and their safety should not go back to a
country where clearly democracy is not thriving and is far from well," he told
BBC Radio 4's World at One.
He called for future country assessments to be compiled by an independent
The crisis in Zimbabwe is expected to dominate a summit of southern African
leaders being held in Malawi on Monday.
Both Mr Mugabe and Mr Mbeki are attending the meeting about regional peace
The situation in Zimbabwe will also be on the agenda for the South African
Development Community at the end of the month.
New laws have given Mr Mugabe powers to suppress opposition and activists
fear violence and intimidation in the run-up to elections.
The UK has been at the heart of efforts to pressure Zimbabwe to allow
Meanwhile human rights groups have stepped up calls for a change in the way
the UK's asylum system works.
Alasdair MacKenzie, of pressure group Asylum Aid, said the Home Office did
not have "adequate information" on countries to make informed decisions on
Calling for an independent documentation centre for asylum claims, he said
the Home Office only updated its assessments every six months and tended to put
a positive gloss on events.
|MONDAY JANUARY 14 2002|
|Briefing: African nations and Zimbabwe|
|BY LOUISA MCLENNAN|
President Bakili Muluzi of Malawi began the one-day meeting of the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) today with a call for
President Robert Mugabe to resolve Zimbabwe's crisis. He said:
"As the date for the presidential elections in Zimbabwe has been
announced, we are very hopeful that the elections will be peaceful, free,
fair and transparent.”
- The leaders of the 14 southern African states in the SADC are
meeting in Blantyre, Malawi to discuss peace and stability. The SADC has
been under pressure from critics to condemn Mr Mugabe and even consider
sanctions on Zimbabwe.
- South Africa reiterated its policy over the weekend that quiet
diplomacy was the best way to deal with the Zimbabwean issue.
- Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Zimbabwean opposition, says
that the SADC is aggravating his country's situation by not speaking
loudly enough against Mr Mugabe.
- The members of SADC are Angola, Botswana, Congo, Lesotho, Malawi,
Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland,
Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- The group was founded in Arusha, Tanzania in 1980 to improve living
standards for people in the region and to decrease dependence on South
Africa, the regional superpower.
- It has previously expressed concern about events in Zimbabwe, but it
has been hesitant about taking action against Mr Mugabe and even issued
a communique of support for him last August. Its member
states tread carefully as the SADC constitution requires that
states respect each others' sovereignty, and many do not want to be seen
to support what Mr Mugabe has called “a white-driven, Western-sponsored
- Zimbabwe, a founding member of the SADC, has taken a key role
in the organisation's decisions. It still hosts the SADC food
security programme in Harare, which organises seed distribution
programmes in the region and manages donations from overseas.
- As well as discussing the problems in Zimbabwe, today's meeting will
consider the conflicts in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo,
which have both been embroiled in civil war for since they gained
independence over twenty-five years ago.
- The SADC has recently taken a mediating role in the conflict. The
leaders meeting in Malawi will be joined by the presidents of Rwanda and
Uganda, two countries that still have troops in the Congo.
- At their meeting in Windhoek, Namibia,
in August 2000, the SADC reached a landmark agreement on the sharing of
water. Ambitious plans to divert water from the Congo, Orange and Vaal
rivers were agreed for countries such as Botswana and Namibia,
which suffer from perennial drought.
Talks bring EU Zimbabwe sanctions
BRUSSELS, Jan. 14 — Last
week's frosty -- and largely fruitless -- talks with Zimbabwe on political and
media freedoms have taken the European Union closer to imposing ''smart
sanctions'' on Harare, European diplomats said on Monday.
The EU gave
President Robert Mugabe's government a week to send a letter spelling out how it
would act on vague commitments to accept international observers and independent
media coverage for a presidential election due on March 9 and 10.
''The EU's member states must now look
at Friday's meeting and the situation on the ground with a cool head and then
make some call on what they want to do,'' one European diplomat said.
''But I feel we are probably moving
closer to sanctions than we were before Friday.''
Diplomats said it was too early to
assume that the 15 EU foreign ministers would opt for sanctions when they
discuss Zimbabwe at a meeting on January 28 in Brussels.
The action the ministers take, if any,
will depend on the contents of the letter which has been sought from Harare and
on political developments there.
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said after last
week's meeting that the EU had already left it too late to ensure a free and
''The state media is
still closed...for campaigning and thousands of our supporters have been
disenfranchised and it's too late to get them back on the voters' roll,'' MDC
Secretary-General Welshman Ncube told Reuters at the weekend.
The EU has come under pressure to
impose economic sanctions on Zimbabwe and suspend development aid -- worth 128
million euros in the period 2002-2007 -- but fears harming the poor and perhaps
destabilising the whole southern Africa region.
An official at the EU's executive
Commission, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said ''smart sanctions'' such
as a visa ban or asset freeze on Zimbabwean leaders were the more likely option
as it would hurt those in power rather then the poor.
The United States has threatened travel
and investment sanctions against Mugabe and the close supporters of the
president, who has run Zimbabwe since its independence from Britain in 1980 and
has lately moved to tighten his grip.
Seizures of white-owned farms and government attempts to tighten control of the
media and opposition in the face of a collapsing economy have created a crisis.
Zimbabwe's parliament banned
independent monitoring of the poll and denied voting rights to Zimbabweans
abroad as well as making criticism of Mugabe a crime. It also gave sweeping new
security powers to the government.
EU said after its talks with five Zimbabwean ministers on Friday that the
country had gone some way towards answering its concerns over the election and
independent media coverage.
expressed doubts about whether Harare would follow up its words with ''concrete
''The Zimbabweans were
annoyed. They thought they could win us over with words. But they didn't,'' the
Foreign Minister Stan
Mudenge, accusing former colonial ruler Britain of using its influence to
''poison'' its European partners against Zimbabwe, rebuked the EU for its
''This almost makes our
consultations worthless,'' he said after the meeting.
``If you don't believe
in us, why do we bother?''
Monday, 14 January, 2002, 18:29 GMT
Neighbours fear Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's problems are driving its neighbours into
South Africa's leaders are struggling with a paradox.
Their neighbour, Zimbabwe, is experiencing political turmoil as its leader -
Robert Mugabe, president for more than two decades - faces a difficult election
On the political level, the tradition in the region is that internal matters
are a country's own affairs.
Added to that, Zimbabwe represents one of the front-line states, those who
faced down apartheid-era South Africa on their southern borders and lived to
tell the tale.
But the old custom of support through thick and thin is starting to break
down, because however much Zimbabwe wants to continue defining its problems as
domestic ones, their effects are felt throughout the area.
So the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the 14-member grouping
now meeting in the Malawian capital Blantyre, finds itself in a tough spot.
After three years of taking land from white farmers and redistributing it,
Zimbabwe's economy is a mess.
Inflation tops 100% a year, the Zimbabwean dollar is tumbling - a problem
exacerbated by a ludicrously overvalued "official" rate and a thriving parallel
market - and its output is collapsing.
The last budget, in October, acknowledged that three quarters of the citizens
of what was the breadbasket of the region are now living in poverty, while the
economy shrank by as much as 8% in 2001.
Inevitably, when this happens to the second largest economy in the region
after South Africa, the knock-on effects are huge.
One hurts, all hurt
The country's dearth of foreign currency means it cannot pay its bills or
import goods from its neighbours.
Malawi's foreign minister, Lilian Patel, is under no illusions.
"To begin with, we are landlocked, and that makes us very vulnerable," she
said, reflecting on Malawi's status as one of the poorest of SADC's members.
"Anything that happens to our neighbours happens to us."
The long tradition of border-crossing to trade and look for work also plays
Malawians in particular work in large numbers in Zimbabwe, many of them now
in the second or third generation.
But while the farm seizures in Zimbabwe take the land from white farmers and
give it to government supporters, they also eject the existing workforce, all of
whom are black and some of whom are Malawian.
Some return to Harare, the Zimbabwean capital. Others try to go back to
Malawi, often with little idea where their relatives and roots are to be found.
And meanwhile, the distortion of cross-border trade and commerce continues.
In Malawi, the kwacha is now seriously overvalued against the Zimbabwean dollar,
encouraging massive smuggling, damaging exports and hurting local industry.
No end in sight
But beyond the "quiet diplomacy" which has thus far been the rule - and the
admittedly exceptional experience of overt criticism which Mr Mugabe has so far
had to sit through - there seems little prospect that the Blantyre meeting will
produce practical benefits.
Officially, SADC members believe that sanctions - even the smart sanctions
advocated by opposition leaders on Mr Mugabe and his cohorts rather than the
country as a whole - will hit ordinary Zimbabweans too hard.
Behind the scenes, the real worry is that any further action could trigger a
full-scale meltdown - which would not only exacerbate the knock-on effects, but
bring millions of economic migrants flooding towards the borders.
Opposition party office burned down and activists beaten as
violence rumbles on in Zimbabwe
HARARE, Zimbabwe, Jan. 14 — Government-backed militants beat and
critically injured several opposition activists in Zimbabwe over the weekend and
an opposition party office was burned down, officials said Monday.
unrest, which reportedly included police tear gassing an opposition rally and
militants from President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF spraying several homes
in Harare with gunfire, capped a week marred by violence.
Last week government-backed militants
embarked on a fresh looting campaign of white-owned farms, forcing 23 landowners
from their homes. International observers have said Mugabe is using the land
issue as a screen to bolster his support and crush dissent ahead of March
With the tacit
support of the government, militants have invaded hundreds of white-owned farms
since early 2000. Mugabe has called their actions a justified response to the
legacy of inequitable land ownership left by colonial rule.
The possibility of free elections is
considered remote, since Mugabe has cracked down on dissent through legislation
and government-sanctioned violence.
disintegrating rule of law in the country has also sparked concern in the
international community. Western governments have condemned the violence. The
United States has imposed sanctions and the European Union is threatening to do
Late Saturday night, the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change office was set fire to by ruling party
militants in the town of Kwekwe, 200 miles southwest of the capital Harare,
opposition officials said.
Saturday, a rally held in Buhera, 80 miles south of Harare turned violent when
police fired tear gas on the crowd of 5,000 opposition supporters, opposition
officials said. Seven opposition supporters were beaten by ruling party
militants and admitted to a hospital in Harare and listed in critical care.
Opposition party lawmaker Roy Bennet
who was scheduled to address the crowd said the police told him that opposition
party rallies were now illegal.
other developments, 34 activists from MDC were arrested over the weekend, the
opposition said, but the police had no comment.
The police did say however, that ruling
party activists sprayed several homes in Harare with gunfire over the
Zim ruling party escalates violence
HARARE - Militias of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's ruling
Zanu-PF party have stepped up their campaign of violence against opponents ahead
of Presidential elections due in eight weeks, the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change reported on Sunday.
An "orgy of violence" erupted in the
central city of Kwekwe on Friday and continued on Saturday where a mob of
militiamen burnt down the MDC's provincial offices, and also one of the
pro-democracy party's pickup trucks.
The attack was watched by uniformed policemen "who appeared helpless", said
a statement. However, state radio reported Sunday that 22 MDC supporters had
been arrested for questioning over an attack on ruling party supporters.
Human rights organisations say police are following orders not to interfere
with ZANU(PF) as they wreak havoc on the opposition, and to harass MDC
In the village of Murambinda in the eastern province of Manicaland about
300 km southeast of Harare, seven MDC officials were wounded when militias
stormed the opposition party's offices and attacked staff with knives and axes.
At the village Mutoroshanga about 100 km north of Harare, a local MDC
official had his home destroyed by a rampaging mob of so- called guerrilla war
veterans and ruling party youths.
He was one of several in the district to be made homeless by similar
attacks in the district since Wednesday, the statement said.
The report follows a meeting in Brussels between Zimbabwean ministers and a
delegation of European Union officials.
Spanish envoy Javier Conde de Saro said after the meeting that
Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge had failed to allay EU concerns.
On Saturday the Commercial Farmers' Union, whose 4 000 members, nearly all
whites, have suffered almost two years of constant violence and harassment by
ruling party militias invading their farms, said 23 farmers had been driven off
their farms in the first nine days of the year.
One had been forced to flee within five minutes, while another was
barricaded in his home.
CFU spokesman Jenni Williams said that the farmers were told, "tell your
brothers, (United States president George) Bush and (British prime minister
Tony) Blair to remove sanctions, and then you can return home."
SADC's last hope
BHEKI Khumalo, President Thabo Mbeki's spokesman, says the statement by
Zimbabwean generals suggesting that they will only accept a Zanu (PF) government
is "unacceptable". Now the question is: what should SA and partners in the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) do to fully convey their
displeasure at this development in Harare?
The remarks from the generals show that President Robert Mugabe expects to
lose the March elections, but does not intend to leave office in spite of this.
Coming days before today's extraordinary SADC summit in Blantyre today, the
statement also shows that Harare has thrown down the gauntlet to its neighbours.
After all, it knows that SADC is a toothless bulldog.
Hand-wringing by the international community, distracted by America's war
on terrorism, has encouraged Mugabe to resort to even more repressive ways to
ensure an electoral victory.
In the 1980s, there was silence from the international community, including
Zimbabwe's neighbours, when the Matabeleland massacres took place. Part of the
cost of this silence can be seen in today's unfolding crisis.
Ironically, it was, in part, the international isolation of SA's oppressive
white rulers that hastened the collapse of apartheid.
There is very little that western nations can do to help ordinary
Zimbabweans. The European Union and the US have threatened sanctions. But these
measures have very little hope of success.
Chief among the reasons why sanctions may not work is that they lack
Africa's support. The other reason is that Mugabe still feels he can outwit the
EU. The continued co-operation Stan Mudenge, Mugabe's foreign minister, gives to
the EU, as happened on Friday, illustrates this logic.
The last hope, though, lies with the SADC leaders today. Last August in
Blantyre, they showed signs of wanting to shore up their credibility when they
refused, for the first time, to back Mugabe publicly. This was partly due to
But the SADC leaders, or at least their ministers, have since gone back to
supporting Mugabe's chaotic land reform policies.
Today, they have another opportunity to redeem themselves. As happened
during apartheid, the SADC leaders must take the side of ordinary Zimbabweans
something they have hitherto shied away from.
It would be naive to expect them to support, let alone impose, sanctions on
Minimally, they must demand a public pledge from Mugabe that he will allow
free political activity before the March poll: independent press and the
opposition must be allowed to operate and observers should be invited.
As commanders-in-chief, they must publicly distance their armies from
political statements like that of Zimbabwe's military. Crucially, they must stop
all cooperation with Zimbabwe's army if it continues to be partisan.
Blair, Mbeki agree on Zim crisis
London - British Prime Minister Tony Blair has spoken to President Thabo
Mbeki about the situation in Zimbabwe, and both agreed that its crisis is
deepening, an official said on Sunday.
"It is clearly deteriorating in a way that is giving everyone cause for
concern," Blair's spokesperson said while describing the two leaders' telephone
conversation on Saturday night.
Blair and Mbeki spoke ahead of Monday's meeting in Malawi of southern
African leaders, the 14-nation Southern African Development Community. The
special one-day summit will discuss Zimbabwe.
In the southern African country, militants have invaded hundreds of
white-owned farms since early 2000, with the tacit support of Mugabe, who called
their actions a justified response to the legacy of inequitable land ownership
left by colonial rule. Most of Zimbabwe's commercial farmland is owned by whites
who make up less than half a percent of the population.
Human rights groups and opposition parties say Mugabe is using the land
issue as a smoke screen to bolster his support and crush dissent ahead of March
presidential elections. Polls indicate Mugabe is in danger of losing power, but
the possibility of free elections is considered remote.
Western governments have condemned the violence. America has imposed
sanctions, and the European Union has threatened to do the same.
Last week, Zimbabwe's parliament passed legislation granting Mugabe
sweeping security powers ahead of the elections.
Members of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group are expected to
discuss the possibility of taking measures against Mugabe during its meeting in
London at the end of the month.
On Saturday, a farmers' organisation in Zimbabwe said government-backed
militants recently embarked on a new looting campaign of white-owned farms,
forcing 23 landowners from their homes.
In another development, Blair denied claims at home that Britain has been
unfairly deporting Zimbabwean asylum seekers to their country, where they face
the possibility of being killed or tortured by Mugabe's secret police.
In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday, Blair
said each case is considered on its merits and that British officials are taking
the crisis in Zimbabwe into consideration.
However, Britain's Observer Newspaper reported on Sunday that about 180
Zimbabweans are stranded in British detention centres, including members of its
opposition Movement for Democratic Change who are sometimes sent home with no
consideration of the risks they face. - Sapa-AP
Calls for fair Zim poll
Blantyre - The regional summit on conflicts in southern Africa opened
on Monday with a call from Malawian President Bakili Muluzi for Zimbabwe to
ensure that its upcoming presidential elections are free and fair.
"As the date of the presidential election in Zimbabwe has been announced,
we are all very hopeful that the elections will be peaceful, free, fair and
transparent," Muluzi said in opening the summit of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC).
"We hope that will be so by allowing every Zimbabwean to participate
effectively in the elections in the spirit of democratic principles and values,"
Muluzi said free and fair elections are not determined only by the
conditions on the days of voting, because the entire process in the run-up to
balloting is important.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will brief the summit on the situation
in his country, Muluzi said.
"I believe that our duty as SADC will be to listen and offer advice where
we feel it is necessary to do so," he added.
Muluzi also urged the assembled leaders to consider ways of ending the wars
in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which he said were
hindering economic development in the region.
Mugabe last week set Zimbabwe's presidential elections for March 9-10, and
then muscled through parliament two bills aimed at cracking down on the
opposition while bringing out top military leaders to publicly support him.
Tsvangirai dismisses summit as 'useless'
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai urged South
Africa on Monday to impose sanctions against Mugabe and dismissed the summit as
"Unfortunately there have been double standards and hypocrisy in the
actions taken by the whole body," Tsvangirai told the BBC, when asked if SADC
could help resolve the political and economic crisis gripping Zimbabwe.
Analysts said the SADC summit in Malawi was unlikely to act against Mugabe.
Tsvangirai said the only way forward was for South Africa, the region's
main diplomatic and economic power, to impose sanctions unilaterally - something
it has consistently refused to do in the past.
"South Africa, which is the most influential regional partner for Zimbabwe,
I think will have to go it alone," he said, urging it to cut fuel supplies and
"Those kinds of measures, even if implemented at a low level, send the
right signals," he added.
Tsvangirai said he understood South Africa's reluctance to impose sanctions
on its neighbour.
"They are in a no-win situation," he said.
"If they initiate sanctions themselves they will be accused of betraying
their own brothers. On the other hand they cannot be seen to be engaging Mugabe
without any result while the situation deteriorates any further." -
Zimbabwean Human Rights Group detained and deported from Malawi ahead
of SADC Summit
... in unprecedented step legal SADC visitors get the
Four Zimbabwean members of the Zimbabwe Crisis Group, a coalition of about
200 Zimbabwean civil society organisations concerned about the current crisis in
Zimbabwe, are awaiting deportation from Blantyre after being arrested by
Malawi's police commissioner within hours of arriving for the SADC Summit
Brian Kgoro, a lawyer for the group based in Harare, said, "the four appear
to have been arrested at the request of the Zimbabwean government. They had
informed the Malawian ambassador in Harare of their intended visit. They then
invited the High Commissioners to a breakfast meeting on Friday last week in
Harare. The High Commissioners from Zambia, Malawi and Botswana came, South
Africa, Mozambique and Angola had already sent their commissioners to Blantyre
and they could not attend. The group informed the commissioners they would be at
the summit, in the corridors distributing pamphlets and available to respond to
The four, Brian Raftopolous, a well known civil rights campaigner in Zimbabwe
who chairs the Zimbabwe Crisis Group, Munyaradzi Bidi, Theresa Mugadza, and
Kumbirai Hodzi had barely arrived in Blantyre and were resting at their hotel on
Sunday evening "when the police commissioner arrived and interrogated and then
detained them. They are booked out of Malawi on an 11am SAA flight and will
arrive in Harare at 1pm.
"After meeting them at the airport we will have a meeting of them and other
Zim Crisis members at their offices," Kgoro said.
The Movement for Democratic Change notes with deep concern these
developments. We await to hear the full version of this situation from the
Malawian government. It is bad enough that the voices of Zimbabweans have been
repressed at home, we hope these bars on freedom of expression for Zimbabweans
do not extend to the region.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Brian Kgoro, lawyer
Zimbabwe Crisis Group, 96 Central
Avenue, Harare (+27)(4)793246/8
STATEMENT ISSUED BY MOVEMENT FOR
Office address: 6 Floor, Harvest House,
cor Angwa st and Union Avenue, Harare
Telephone: (+263)(4)781138/9 or
Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC
Learnmore Jongwe: Publicity and Info
department head (+263)91240029