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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Scotsman

Zimbabwe: 'An Outpost of Tyranny'

"PA"

A government crackdown against dissent is deepening Zimbabwe's climate of
fear ahead of parliamentary elections due in March.

Security forces shut down bars and businesses perceived as hotbeds of
opposition. Police punish a careless remark about the nation's autocratic
leader with a stint in jail. Undercover police eavesdrop on conversations in
cafes and buses.

"What we are seeing is undeclared martial law," said Alouis Chaumba,
director of the Roman Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace. "It is
tearing whole communities apart."

Ever since he took power in this southern African country in 1980, President
Robert Mugabe has tolerated little dissent. Now, with the elections looming,
the government has been tightening its control apparatus. Opposition
politicians say they are being hounded out of existence.

At least 45 opposition party rallies and civic group meetings were banned
last year, human rights groups say. Government critics are now routinely
jailed, and the only independent daily newspaper was recently shut down.

In Senate hearings yesterday, US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice
cited Zimbabwe as one of several countries that remain "outposts of tyranny"
in the world.

At least 200 people have died in political violence and tens of thousands
have been chased from their homes since Mugabe's government began seizing
white-owned farms for redistribution to black Zimbabweans - many of them
presidential cronies - in 2000.

The often-violent campaign helped plunge the country into its worst
political and economic crisis.

Mugabe has used his parliamentary majority - secured in elections which
independent observers said were marred by intimidation and vote rigging - to
pass sweeping security and media laws.

Police and soldiers, once seen as protectors, have become "tormentors,"
Chaumba said.

The Human Rights Forum, a coalition of 17 human rights and advocacy groups,
has documented 7,591 cases in which they say government opponents were
tortured last year. At least 12 people died in political violence, and
thousands more were threatened or assaulted, the forum said in its annual
report.

Now even this group is under threat. Parliament has approved a new law that
bans human rights groups and other non-governmental organisations from
receiving foreign funding or engaging in "issues of governance."

When Mugabe signs it into law, it is expected to destroy groups seen as "the
last protection, the last referee" of accountability, Chaumba said.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Financial Times

Ministers admit Zimbabwe's land resettlement drive is in deep crisis
By Financial Times Reporters
Published: January 19 2005 02:00 | Last updated: January 19 2005 02:00

Five years after the launch of Zimbabwe's fast-track land resettlement
programme, the country's agricultural industry is in deep crisis - a state
acknowledged even by ministers and senior officials.

Local government minister Ignatius Chombo, chairman of the Cabinet Taskforce
on Input Supplies for agriculture, said last month that less than a quarter
of the targeted 4m hectares of land had been prepared for cultivation. Only
330,000 hectares had been planted out.

The figure implied that the projection by Herbert Murerwa, finance minister,
of a 28 per cent increase in agricultural production in 2005 was wildly
optimistic.

Since 2000, an estimated 124,000 black families have been resettled on land
taken over from 5,000 white farmers and corporate owners.

Official figures show that agricultural production has since fallen by a
quarter and 200,000 black farm workers have been retrenched, while
agricultural exports have halved from $855m (460m, ?654m) in 2000 to less
than $400m last year.

Much of this export decline reflected the collapse of flue-cured tobacco
production from a peak of 230mkg in 2000 to 64mkg in the current year.

Tobacco, which used to be the country's largest foreign currency earner, has
now been overtaken by gold.

Zimbabwe used to be virtually self-sufficient in foodstuffs with annual
imports of about $70m a year, but is currently spending four times that on
food imports.

This is additional to massive food aid from the World Food Programme which,
in the first half of 2004, was feeding about 40 per cent of the population.

Until recently ministers were claiming that production of maize reached 2.4m
tonnes in 2004 but a parliamentary committee estimated production at about
one-fifth of this. Consumption is put at about 1.8m tonnes annually, forcing
the country to import the food staple from Zambia and South Africa.

The outlook for 2005 is poor. Last month the Famine Early Warning Systems
Network (Fewsnet) warned that "a large proportion of rural households" had
run out of food stocks and were increasingly unable to buy maize in the
market because of limited supplies and high market prices.

With parliamentary elections scheduled for March, the ruling Zanu-PF party
is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the fiction that land
reform has been successful and that resettlement has created a platform for
sustained growth.

In April the Zimbabwe vulnerability assessment committee forecast that 3.3m
people would need emergency food assistance in the first quarter of 2005.

Fewsnet says the country needs to import about 250,000 tonnes of maize to
meet rural shortages before the next harvest comes in from May onwards.

It says also that the country experienced lower-than-normal rains in October
and November and, while December was a much wetter month, delays in the
arrival of inputs and a shortage of tractors to plough land means that
plantings will be lower than expected.

Because of late plantings, farmers are likely to get below-average yields
and a second dry spell in the first half of January has reinforced fears of
a below average harvest.

According to Edward Mkhosi, a member of the parliamentary committee on
agriculture, "there is no prospect for a good harvest".

Another poor farming season for Zimbabwe in 2005 would have a devastating
impact across the economy. Gross domestic product growth targets will be
missed, inflation will be higher than projected because of food price rises
and the currency will come under intense pressure from the need to import
foodstuffs.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

JONATHAN MOYO PUMPS IN MORE MONEY IN TSHOLOTSHO
Wed 19 January 2005
THSOLOTSHO - Embattled government Information Minister Jonathan Moyo this
week donated $69 million in school fees for poor children in his Tsholotsho
home area, signalling he might ditch ZANU PF to stand as an independent here
in the March election.

Moyo, who arrived in the country last week from a holiday in Kenya,
was back in Tsholotsho yesterday and toured the area with the local ZANU PF
leadership here.

He later donated the money through his Jonathan Moyo Tsholotsho
Scholarship Fund which pays schools fees for about 2 000 children from poor
families in the area.

Moyo, out of favour in ZANU PF and the government after he secretly
attempted to block the appointment of Joyce Mujuru as vice-president, set up
the scholarship fund in 2001 as part of a protracted campaign to wrestle the
Tsholotsho parliamentary seat from the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change
(MDC).

Many local people here also credit Moyo with luring commercial banks
and the Grain Marketing Board to open up branches in Tsholotsho, previously
a forgotten backwater. Locals are also grateful to Moyo for "working hard"
to ensure the highway linking Tsholotsho and Zimbabwe's second largest city
of Bulawayo was widened and tarred.

But Moyo, who appeared in with a more than fair chance to reclaim
Tsholotsho from the MDC, fell foul with ZANU PF's top leaders after he
convened a meeting here to plot how to block plans by President Robert
Mugabe to appoint Mujuru vice-president and place her ahead of others to
succeed him if and when he retires in 2008.

Moyo was dismissed from ZANU PF's key politburo and central committees
and his bid for Tsholotsho thwarted when the party decided at the eleventh
hour to reserve the constituency for women under a plan to increase female
representation in Parliament.

Six ZANU PF provincial chairmen and two deputy ministers who attended
the meeting convened by Moyo were suspended from the party and also barred
from contesting the March poll.

And Moyo will certainly lose his job if Mugabe sticks to his word not
to appoint anyone to his Cabinet not elected in March.

Apparently frustrated at not being able to stand for ZANU PF in
Tsholotsho, Moyo last week attacked and ridiculed party chairman John Nkomo
and another senior member Dumiso Dabengwa in a newspaper article, blaming
the two for his political misfortunes by lying to Mugabe about him.

In a clear indication he might defy ZANU PF and stand as an
independent in Tsholotsho, Moyo told Nkomo that there were "many churches in
the world all with tickets to heaven."

"He is defiant. Indications are that he will stand as an independent
because there is no way he can continue pumping money when he knows he
cannot stand on a ZANU PF ticket," said a source close to Moyo. Moyo himself
could not be reached yesterday for comment on the matter.

If Moyo, an arch-critic of the government before changing sides in
1999 to become its fiercest defender, contests the March poll as an
independent, he risks being expelled from the party.

A political science lecturer before turning to politics, Moyo will
forever be remembered for crafting some of the harshest ever press laws
under which hundreds of journalists were arrested and three newspapers
including Zimbabwe's biggest circulating
daily, the Daily News, were shut down.

Meanwhile, ZANU PF has dismissed its district co-ordinating committee
for Tsholotsho apparently because of its close links with Moyo. - ZimOnline
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Mugabe to kick-start 'anti-Blair' election campaign
Wed 19 January 2005
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe will on Saturday officially launch an
"anti-Blair" (British Premier Tony) campaign in a bid to sway Zimbabweans to
re-elect his ZANU PF party in a general poll in March.

Mugabe and ZANU PF, who routinely blame Zimbabwe's former colonial
master Britain for the country's current woes, always step up anti-Britain
and Blair propaganda ahead of elections, in what critics say is a cynical
tactic to draw voters' attention away from a grinding economic crisis and
abject poverty.

ZANU PF political commissar Elliot Manyika told journalists in Harare
last night that Mugabe will preside at a ceremony in the capital to
"officially launch (the) 2005 anti-Blair campaign on 22 January 2005. Over 3
000 delegates are expected (to attend the ceremony)."

Meanwhile, Manyika also announced that ZANU PF had lifted suspensions
on Deputy Transport Minister Andrew Langa and his Foreign Affairs
counterpart, Abednico Ncube and that the two were now free to take part in
an internal election to choose candidates for the March general poll.

The two had been barred from the poll for allegedly working with
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo in a failed bid to prevent the
appointment of Joyce Mujuru as second vice-president of ZANU PF and
Zimbabwe.

Had the two been barred from the poll, they would probably have lost
their jobs in the government as well after Mugabe said he will not be
appointing anyone in his government not elected in March.

Manyika also announced that ZANU PF had suspended its former chairman
for Manicaland province, Shadreck Beta, following charges that he printed
his own party membership cards to enable his supporters to vote for him in
the party poll last weekend. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Zimbabwe appeals for help to buy food, drugs
Wed 19 January 2005
HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has asked the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) to set up a basket fund for donors to contribute money to
buy food for hungry Zimbabweans, farming inputs and essential medical drugs,
ZimOnline has learnt.

Sources in the donor community, who did not want to be named, said the
appeal for help was submitted by Social Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana to
UNDP's Harare office last month.

"The government last month appealed to donors through the UNDP for
help in agriculture and in critical social areas," said one source.

No comment was available from the UNDP yesterday. The organisation has
handled similar appeals by Harare in the past.

Mangwana yesterday denied that the government had made a fresh appeal
for help saying the only food that non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
were distributing in the country was left over from last year.

He said: "There was an arrangement between the Zimbabwe government and
donors to distribute excess food but apart from that, we have not placed any
new appeal."

But the sources said for example, the Ministry of Agriculture and
Rural Development has asked for help to import crop seed, fertilizers and
chemicals, all in short supply in the country.

The Health Ministry wants help to import nearly all essential drugs
that are out of stock at government hospitals, the source of health services
for more than 80 percent of Zimbabweans.

President Robert Mugabe last year told international donors to take
their food elsewhere because Zimbabwe had harvested enough to feed itself, a
claim later proved false by a parliamentary committee that probed the
country's food security situation three months ago.

The government has made amends importing the main staple maize from
Zambia, Malawi and South Africa but has been unable to buy enough quantities
because it has no hard cash to pay foreign suppliers. - ZimOnline.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Women protesters arrested
Wed 19 January 2005
HARARE - The police yesterday arrested 11 members of the Women of Zimbabwe
Arise (WOZA) group after demonstrations here by the organisation.

Two of the women were later released without being charged but after
severe beatings by the police.

A journalist, Frank Chikowore, who was picked up by the police while
covering the protest by the about 300 women in Harare city centre was also
released yesterday.

WOZA co-ordinator Jenni Williams told ZimOnline: "It appears those of
our members who were arrested arrived for the demonstration late when we had
already dispersed and they were picked up by the police who had been slow to
react to our protest."

The WOZA women were protesting against plummeting standards of
education, skyrocketing school fees and prices of school uniforms.

The local chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa and the
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists condemned the arrest of Chikowore, who is
accredited with the government's Media and Information Commission to work as
a journalist in the country. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zim Online

Mbeki postpones Harare trip
Wed 19 January 2005
HARARE - A team of regional leaders led by South African President Thabo
Mbeki that was scheduled to visit Zimbabwe this week is now only expected in
Harare early next week.

Well-placed sources told ZimOnline Mbeki, Botswana President Festus
Mogae and Lesotho's Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili are now "tentatively
expected on January 24" in Harare to assess whether conditions in the
country comply with regional guidelines for democratic elections.

"The dates have been tentatively set for next Monday, 24 January. But
the South African team has not given us a clear picture yet on the exact
date," said one source, who did not want to be named.

It is understood that the three leaders will meet the ruling ZANU PF
and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties as well as civic
society groups to gauge the situation on the ground, two months ahead of
Zimbabwe's general election in March.

Both ZANU PF and the MDC were mum on the visit. Mbeki's spokesman
Bheki Khumalo was not available for comment while Ronnie Mamoepa, who is the
spokesman for South Africa's Foreign Affairs Minister, Nkosazana
Dhlamini-Zuma, said he was not aware of the mission to Zimbabwe.

The MDC has threatened to boycott the parliamentary election alleging
conditions and Zimbabwe's electoral laws do not conform with standards
agreed by Southern African Development Community leaders when they met in
Mauritius last year.

The leaders agreed that independent commissions must run polls while
electoral laws and processes should be fair and transparent. They also
agreed to allow all political parties access to public media and to uphold
human rights and the rule of law during elections. - ZimOnline

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Zanu PF lifts Langa, Ncube's suspension

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 01/19/2005 11:19:23
ZANU PF on Tuesday averted a revolt in Matabeleland when it went back on an
earlier decision to suspend two MPs and deputy ministers from the party, and
barring them from taking part in the March parliamentary elections.

Gwanda South MP and deputy minister of Foreign Affairs Abednico Ncube and
the Insiza MP and deputy minister of Transport and Communications Andrew
Langa were suspended from the ruling party on Monday for their alleged role
in the so-called "Tsholotsho Declaration".

The move sparked a volley of protests from Zanu PF activists in Matabeleland
stunned by the suspension of two of the only three Zanu PF MPs in the two
Matabeleland provinces.

Their suspension also attracted the interest of the controversial
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo who has also been banned from contesting
in Tsholotsho, apparently as punishment for organising the Tsholotsho indaba
to allegedly plot a palace coup and block the nomination of a woman, Joyce
Mujuru, for Vice President.

"As a result of John Nkomo's (Zanu PF national chairman) selfserving
approach to discipline, we are witnessing attempts to block committed and
hard working people like Langa in Insiza and Ncube in Gwanda from contesting
primary elections or from running for elections on Zanu PF tickets. What is
going on? This is only happening in Matabeleland and not in other provinces
across the country where senior leaders in the party have been more
accommodating and understanding despite the existence of obvious political
differences," blasted Moyo.

"Abednico Ncube is one of only two comrades in Zanu PF who won a
parliamentary seat in 2000 in Matabeleland when all the others, including
many who now see themselves as heroes, were tumbling down. Cde Andrew Langa
had the guts and leadership to win back Insiza from MDC and has since then
shown what can be done to bring development in Matabeleland as a Member of
Parliament," he said.

After a meeting in Gwanda on Monday, a Zanu PF politburo member, Naison
Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu emerged to announce the two MPs has been suspended.
Ndlovu, a former MP in Insiza, said the decision had been taken by the
Matabeleland South provincial executive.

The State-run Chronicle newspaper said the meeting "nearly degenerated into
a war of words". The paper said it also received calls from irate supporters
of the two men.

By evening on Tuesday, Zanu PF buckled under pressure and the party's
elections director Elliot Manyika announced the suspension of the two men
had been overruled.

"We have looked at the merits and demerits of their case and their level of
participation and decided that it did not warrant further suspension,"
Manyika said at a press conference.

Like Moyo in Tsholotsho, Langa has been behind several development projects
in Insiza (Filabusi), using his influence as the deputy Minister of
Transport and Communications to push telecoms companies to expand their
networks to the district and also upgrading roads.

Most headmasters have been provided with free mobile phones and the rural
electrification project speeded-up. Moyo has been on hand to donate tens of
computers to schools in the province.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Tsholotsho owes Moyo no cent!

By Hlalelo B. Nkiwane
Last updated: 01/19/2005 04:01:09
THE Chronicle newspaper has been giving the impression that Tsholotsho would
not be what it is without Jonathan Moyo.

In the past, the paper has been running stories linking the failure by Moyo
to represent Zanu PF as a setback to the development of what could be
Zimbabwe's next capital if Moyo were to represent the constituency.

As a resident of Tsholotsho, I find this insinuation quite insulting and
belittling of the people of Tsholotsho. Much of the development that is
being attributed to Moyo is funded from tax-payers money (e.g. GMB depot,
tarred roads e.t.c) save for a few projects that will vanish (for reasons of
sustainability and viability) soon after the elections scheduled for March.

While it is clear that Moyo's puppets are trying to indoctrinate the people
of Zimbabwe with pure pro-Moyo diatribe, it is unclear why he is
indespensable in the whole developmental process. What his stunts have
shown, if at all, is how much tax payers' money can benefit the people if
channeled to developmental projects, full stop. We owe Moyo no cent.

Why has the Lupane University project been stalled, even in coverage? We all
know that it is because Moyo is no longer interested in representing Lupane,
which was his original target.

If Moyo is really serious about developing Tsholotsho and Zimbabwe, he
should disclose the sources of his funding to the public. In addition, he
should account for tax-payers' money used to charter the plane that was used
to fly delegates to the so- called "Tsholotsho indaba". Of what public
benefit was this meeting to deserve Government support?

And how much has he spent on private lawyers trying to defend AIPPA, despite
the existence of a fully-fledged Attorney General's Office? We demand that
he accounts for all these before he can come to our constituency. Johannes
Tomana should also be investigated in this scum -- he was not chosen
transparently to defend these laws and receive those handsome payments. And
it was no coincidence that he was being touted as the Attorney General
designate by Nathaniel Manheru, who thinks exactly like Jonathan Moyo. And
Terrence Hussein? He got the dollars too!

Our consciences remain focused, despite the many donations we receive. We
know how unclean and superficial the sources of these funds are. Ask the
Kenyans, South Africans and the Americans, and you will get the same cry,
for they were conned by those who pretend to be our saviours today.

Whatever Zanu PF decides on Moyo, people should remain focused that once
repression is overcome, those that abused our hard earned taxes will be
brought to account.
The writer is a Tsholotsho resident

Back to the Top
Back to Index

New Zimbabwe

Moyo epitomises battle for soul of Matabeleland

By Bekithemba Mhlanga
Last updated: 01/19/2005 04:34:04
THERE can be no denying the fact that following the death of Joshua Nkomo
the political spirit and soul of Matabeleland has hovered aimlessly with no
direction It remains unappeased and so that it can rest peacefully ,
providing the people of this region with direction, guidance and wise
counsel.

Enter Jonathan Moyo. From his political cradle to his political grave it
could never have been assumed that one of Moyo's intentions was to take over
the political mantle in Matabeleland.

Last week's spate of tough talking however leaves one in no doubt Jonathan
Moyo's big picture.

Professor Moyo appears to harbour deep resentment for the old Zapu
leadership that was co-opted into Zanu PF after 1987. To him they have
failed the people of and the only benefits have been for the individuals
concerned. For Moyo, in blocking his attempts from standing as a member of
parliament, the old guard is trying to maintain the status quo by any means
necessary including peddling primitive lies.

Indeed Moyo can argue that he has achieved more for Matabeleland during the
short space of time that he was in a position to abuse his office (a charge
similar to that which he lays on John Nkomo). The evidence can only be
described as spectacular. Two seats violently reclaimed from the MDC in
Matabeleland and in both instances he was the ring leader. Probably no such
number of computers have been donated to so many schools without electricity
and even syllabi on integrated computer technology as has happened in the
last twelve or so months. Of course one cannot forget the University of
Wilderness somewhere in Lupane.

The truth of the matter is that this has been nothing more than protection
fee by a party trembling at the thought of another electoral drubbing by the
opposition at the next election.

So for an individual who believes he has done so much to belittled by
individuals who for the past decade failed to donate even a single computer
to any school, or worse still have failed to get the Matabeleland Zambezi
Water project moving by an inch, must be annoying.

Out of these accusations and counter accusations has surfaced the issue at
heart of the quarrel - question of who will assume the mantle of the
political spirit of Matabeleland .In his tirade against John Nkomo last
week, in one stroke, Professor Moyo was clear that he was interested in
having this as an agenda item and that John Nkomo and Dumiso Dabengwa should
not fool themselves into believing that Matabeleland is there for the
taking.

While the public could have been stunned by Moyo's outbursts against Nkomo
and Dabengwa, Moyo had probably calculated that this was an opportune time
to raise the subject and remove any myth about the leadership question in
Matabeleland as far as Zanu PF is concerned.

To Jonathan Moyo his position and those of John Nkomo and Dumiso Dabengwa
are no different -- they are unelected members of any constituency whose
only claim to political office is through the generosity of Robert Mugabe.
Jonathan Moyo knows that he has exhausted his generosity quota with Mugabe
so he might as well have a go at creating a life of his own in Matabeleland
where he perceives there is a political leadership vacuum, as far as Zanu PF
is concerned.

What Moyo may want to bear in mind on this next adventure of his is that the
constituency in Matabeleland has traits of an elephant - a long memory and
does not forgive.
The writer is a Zimbabwean journalist now based in England

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

Anthrax cases in humans soar

From George Maponga in Masvingo.
MORE cases of anthrax in humans continue to be reported in Gutu and Chivi
districts of Masvingo with 120 cases having been reported by yesterday.

The disease has, however, not claimed any lives in the affected areas where
more than 50 new cases were reported.

Last week 70 cases of anthrax in humans were reported in the two districts
of Chivi and Gutu.

The acting Masvingo provincial medical director, Dr Charles Sandy, yesterday
expressed concern over the increasing cases of anthrax in humans in Chivi
and Gutu saying the disease would only be contained if cattle were treated.

"We continue to receive more cases of anthrax in humans in Chivi and Gutu
but so far no lives have been lost. The hardest hit area is Chivi where 53
cases were reported last week but the figure has almost doubled to 96 by
yesterday. In Gutu, there has only been a marginal increase in the number of
cases from 20 to 26.

"We, however, feel that the disease can only be contained if cattle were
vaccinated as people contract the disease from eating the infected meat.
Vaccines for cattle should thus be made available," said Dr Sandy.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

Water cuts loom for western suburbs

Herald Reporter
RESIDENTS in parts of Marimba Park, Mufakose and Budiriro in Harare should
brace themselves for water supply disruptions owing to low levels at Marimba
High, Ridge Road and Hogerty Hill reservoirs.

This is due to persistent power outages in the area serviced by the
reservoir.

In a statement to The Herald, director of works Mr Psychology Chiwanga said
the power outages were caused by the prevailing wet conditions.

"The City of Harare wishes to advice residents of the above areas that they
will experience water supply disruptions. This is due to persistent power
outages which are being caused by the prevailing wet weather conditions,"
said Mr Chiwanga.

There is no pumping to the Marimba High reservoir due to power outages, a
situation that has led to levels dropping to zero.

Meanwhile, most of the City's reservoirs are above 50 percent full with only
Ridge Road, Borrowdale Brooke, Hogerty Hill, Greendale and Marimba High
having levels under half their capacity. However, the department of works
will continue to choke the outlets at Greendale at night to boost levels.

Residents of Glen Lorne and Greendale have been experiencing erratic water
supplies with others going for days owing to low levels in the levels that
are serviced by the reservoir.

Mr Chiwanga said efforts to restore normal supplies were underway. Harare
has been bedevilled by unreliable water supplies; a situation that has often
resulted in residents going for days without water posing health threats in
the affected areas as a solution seems elusive.
Back to the Top
Back to Index