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

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Daily News

Dealing with crisis a show of patriotism

1/20/2003 9:33:50 AM (GMT +2)

TWO stories making the headlines last week dealt with the crisis in Zanu PF
and its government.
The first concerned the extraordinary holiday in South Africa of the
Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the President's Office,
Jonathan Moyo.

The South African media followed him and his family closely as they did
their shopping. It was a good story: the minister of a country famously
short of foreign currency, fuel and food, shopping in another which the
majority of his people could obviously not afford.

Moyo's comments on the conduct of the South African media raised hackles
among journalists down south. Politically, his comments on the African
Renaissance, which President Thabo Mbeki has promoted assiduously, came in
for harsh criticism as well, some journalists accusing him of insulting
their president.

But the most bizarre story concerning Zanu PF and the government was the
reported overture made to the leader of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, by an
emissary of top Zanu PF officials, among them Emmerson Mnangagwa, the party'
s secretary for administration, and the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence
General Vitalis Zvinavashe.

Denials to both stories came in thick and fast, as both Moyo and President
Mugabe realised they had lit a fuse under their political images.

If not handled with care, the fuse could blow their political careers into
smithereens. So the damage-control had to be swift but it was not swift
enough to remove the egg on both their faces.

Retired Colonel Lionel Dyke did meet Tsvangirai and did put to the MDC
leader proposals made at the highest Zanu PF level.

But what could be said to have clinched the story was the statement by
Zvinavashe in The Business Tribune, that the country was in a crisis and
there was no sense in hoping that nature would take its course.

There was another denial, this one alleging the story was concocted by a
Zimbabwean journalist now working in South Africa.

But, by then nobody doubted that something was afoot, that there was no
smoke without fire, that the crisis had been recognised, albeit belatedly by
the Zanu PF leadership.

It is possible, knowing the byzantine nature of Zanu PF politics, that there
is subtle jockeying for power as Mugabe's leadership inches slowly towards
its climax, whether he likes it or not.

It is not improbable, as Tsvangirai hinted, that the MDC might be dragged
into a government of national unity which will be that in name only. It
could be a ruse to legitimise another Zanu PF government without Mugabe and
even without Tsvangirai.

All this is a great pity, of politicians playing dirty games of
one-upmanship as Zimbabwe drifts inexorably towards political and economic
This is not the time for scoring political points, but a time for true
patriots to stand up and be counted.

It is time for people like Zvinavashe, having recognised the crisis and that
only the people and not benevolent nature can deal with it, to act out of a
deep love for and loyalty to their country and its great potential as a
truly African economic and even political miracle.

The cynics will scoff at this, remembering Zvinavashe as the man who
declared, in so many words, he would stage a military coup if Mugabe lost
the 2002 presidential election.

The ball is clearly in the little general's court.
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Moyo blasts coup plotters and cowards'

HARARE The Zimbabwean government's spin-doctor, Jonathan Moyo, says the
ruling Zanu (PF) party lieutenants allegedly plotting to unseat President
Robert Mugabe should be brought to book for their "treasonous" actions.
In an interview with the government media at the weekend, Moyo stoked the
succession fires by lashing out at Zanu (PF) secretary for administration,
Emmerson Mnangagwa, and Zimbabwe Defence Force commander Gen Vitalis
Zvinavashe, who were named in manoeuvres to ease Mugabe out of power.

Referring to the once powerful Mugabe followers turned rivals Moyo said
Mnangagwa, a potential successor until recently and Zvinavashe were "coup
plotters and electoral cowards".

Moyo, who often reflects Mugabe's mind, said they should be prosecuted for
their actions.

But despite a barrage of denials and a clumsy scramble to suppress the
succession issue, it appears Mugabe loyalists are determined to challenge
their leader in a high-stakes succession battle. Dumisani Muleya
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One killed in Zimbabwe bomb attack
By Cris Chinaka

HARARE (Reuters) - One man has died and seven others have been injured after
attackers lobbed petrol bombs at an office of Zimbabwe's ruling party,
ratcheting up tension in a country gripped by a political and economic
Police blamed Monday's attack on the ZANU-PF office in Kuwadzana outside
Harare on supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
which is waging a tough parliamentary by-election battle in the district.
But MDC officials said on Tuesday the attack appeared to be the work of
militant supporters of President Robert Mugabe, who has tightened the screws
on his opponents amid a growing outcry at home and abroad over political
repression in the country.
Police said the attack occurred when four truckloads of about 50 youths
drove into Harare's Kuwadzana township on Monday night, smashing vehicles
and houses and assaulting pedestrians before heaving petrol bombs at the
local ZANU-PF office.
Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said on Tuesday one man died of his
injuries this morning, and two of the seven injured were still in critical
"Those who were injured are in hospital and some of them have very deep
facial wounds," he said.
Bvudzijena said 16 MDC supporters were arrested, and police had identified
one of the vehicles used in the attack, which he said appeared to be aimed
at "provoking political violence on a wider scale".
The MDC -- which won a majority of the urban seats in parliamentary
elections in June 2000 -- says ZANU-PF has stepped up a violent campaign to
get hold of the Kuwadzana seat as proof that it still has support in urban
The seat became vacant last October after the death in police custody of an
MDC legislator. The government has not set a date for the election but
officials say the poll will be held in the next few weeks.
A senior MDC official said they suspected some ZANU-PF youths had attacked
their own colleagues and were blaming it on the opposition to justify action
against the MDC.
"Our supporters and party people have not been involved in any violence in
Kuwadzana. They are the victims of violence, and have been attacked
regularly by ZANU-PF (supporters)," he said.
Zimbabwe police have accused the MDC of planning civil unrest ahead of World
Cricket Cup matches in Harare next month.
The MDC, which poses the strongest challenge to Mugabe's rule since he led
the country to independence from Britain in 1980, says the government wants
to crush political opposition.
Last week, MDC legislator Job Sikhala said he was tortured by police after
being arrested for allegedly possessing "subversive" documents.
The opposition has accused ZANU-PF officials of depriving MDC supporters of
emergency food supplies amid a hunger crisis threatening nearly half the
country's 1.4 million people with starvation.
The government has denied the charge and labelled the MDC a pawn of foreign
interests seeking to oust Mugabe, who won re-election in controversial March
polls condemned as fraudulent by the opposition and several Western

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Sunday Times (SA)

Zimbabwe claims plot to disrupt cricket

HARARE - Police said Tuesday they had found a cache of ammunition on a farm
south of Harare which could be part of a "plot" to disrupt the World Cup
cricket matches being held in Zimbabwe.

The state-controlled daily Herald quoted police spokesman Assistant
Inspector Paul Nyati as saying that nearly
2,000 rounds of ammunition and 25 bayonets had been found on a chicken farm
in the Beatrice area south of Harare.

He was quoted as saying that the discovery was "suspected to be a plot to
cache arms which would be used to cause anarchy in the country" ahead of
next month's World Cup matches.

Nyati said police wanted to interview a farmer, named only as Connolly, who
had been staying at the farm after he lost his own farm north of Harare to
President Robert Mugabe's "land reform programme", under which about 3,500
white farmers have been forced off their land.

However, said the Herald, Connolly was believed to have left the country.

Asked to confirm the report, chief police spokesman Bvudzijena said any link
to a conspiracy to disrupt the World Cup matches "could be just

The six World Cup matches being played in Harare and Bulawayo from February
10 have assumed major political importance, with the International Cricket
conference as well as the English and Australian teams going ahead with
their matches in defiance of the British and Australian governments'
pleadings to boycott their

The two governments insist that playing in Zimbabwe, where Mugabe is patron
of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, will give legitimacy to his government after
he "stole" presidential elections through fraud and violence last year.

The International Cricket Conference (ICC) says it is monitoring the
security situation in the two cities and may call off the Zimbabwe matches
if they become anxious about security.

The opposition MDC has warned the ICC of possible unrest during the
tournament as economic collapse accelerates and the country's worst ever
famine threatens seven million people.

Pro-democracy groups have also warned they plan to hold mass demonstrations
around the time of the tournament.


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Transport Crisis Cripples Food Distribution in Binga

The Herald (Harare)

January 21, 2003
Posted to the web January 21, 2003

Spren Mutiwi Recently in Binga

The current transport crisis, coupled with the fuel shortage, has hit hard
the distribution of food aid in the drought-prone Binga district.

The situation has exacerbated hunger in the district, one of the areas which
receives the least amount of rainfall in the country.

Matabeleland North provincial administrator Mr Livingstone Mashengele told
The Herald at the weekend that the available vehicle fleet was not adequate
to cover the seven districts, including Binga.

"There are major setbacks in food distribution in the province, particularly
in Binga, as a result of the transport and fuel shortages.

"These factors have worsened the transportation of food aid to the
beneficiaries. In most cases our vehicles break down before reaching their
intended destinations," he said.

As a result, villagers were receiving their food allocations at break down
points that were far from their homes.

Villagers said that they were normally receiving their food allocations
after a long time.

One villager said the persistent fuel shortage had worsened their problems
as most drivers told them that they spent more time looking for fuel.

"Drivers also encounter difficulties whenever they ferry grain to our
villages, the gullies and poor roads have caused damage to vehicles,
resulting in break downs," he said.

The villagers said that they were relying on food aid from Save the Children
(UK), which has been operating in the area with other two non-governmental
organisations over the past year.

The distribution is done monthly and each person gets 10kg maize-meal, 750ml
cooking oil and 2kg of sugar beans.

"The area is drought-prone and people have been subjected to the hardship
for long, so each person gets a share to ease the problem," said Save the
Children (UK) emergency manager Mr Chris Bowley.

Last week the organisation distributed 27 tonnes of maize-meal, 2 500 litres
of cooking oil and three tonnes of sugar beans in Mutorashanga.

Save the Children's country director Mr Chris Mclvor said their aim is to
target the vulnerable groups in the community, like children, orphans and
the aged.

The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Cde July Moyo,
visited Binga at the weekend to assess food distribution by Save the
Children (UK) in the area.

He called upon non-governmental organisations to be transparent and neutral
when distributing food to the needy.

"The assessment is a follow-up of the operations of non-governmental
organisations and is meant to establish whether the organisations were
conforming to the code, which guide their operations," Cde Moyo said.

"We make assessments on the quality of food and the manner in which it is
being distributed.

"My ministry shall continue visiting different areas and would continue
assessing so as to make sure that non-governmental organisations do not
deviate from the code of conduct as was done by others last year," the
minister said.

There was concern that some non-governmental organisations were violating
the code of conduct and were venturing into politics.

The minister commended the good work being done by Save the Children (UK) in
alleviating hunger in Binga.
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Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 16:24 GMT
Mugabe party office firebombed
Riot police in Harare
The police blame the opposition
Attackers have thrown petrol bombs at a ruling party office in a suburb of the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.

One person died and seven people were hurt, several seriously, say police.

Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said about 50 young men drove into Harare's western Kuwadzana township on Monday night, smashing property and assaulting pedestrians before throwing petrol bombs at the offices.

Learnmore Jongwe
Police say the former MP committed suicide in custody
"It's a political attack. We suspect that it is related to the by-election to be held in the suburb," Mr Bvudzijena said.

A parliamentary by-election is expected to take place soon, following the death in police custody last year of an opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) MP, Learnmore Jongwe.


Police are blaming the attack on opposition supporters and have made 16 arrests.

Zimbabwean women
Zimbabweans are facing famine

Mr Bvudzijena said the attack appeared aimed at "provoking political violence on a wider scale".

MDC officials say it is the work of militant supporters of President Robert Mugabe.

They say Zanu-PF is waging a violent campaign to win the seat in the Kuwadzana constituency by trying to intimidate voters. The MDC won almost all urban seats in parliamentary elections in June 2000.

Widespread political intimidation and persecution of opposition supporters has been reported in recent months.


Last week, MDC MP Job Sikhala and human rights lawyer Gabriel Shumba said they were tortured by police while being held in police custody.

Both appeared in court over the weekend and were then released on bail.

At a news conference in Harare, Mr Sikhala said he was severely tortured all over his body "for a solid eight hours" including having electrodes attached to his genitals.

"They also used planks to beat under my feet and over the entirity of my body... I am still in pain."

He said he was then forced to drink poison which they said was urine.

Zimbabwe is in the grip of a major food crisis affecting more than half of the country's population.

President Mugabe's government is accused of withholding food aid from opposition supporters.

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Zimbabwe U-turn possible
England players sit down during training
Some England players have doubts about Zimbabwe

The International Cricket Council has left the door open for a possible U-turn on cricket World Cup matches being moved from Zimbabwe.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed is returning to the southern African country on Wednesday with Dr Ali Bacher, who is chief executive of the World Cup organising committee.

The ICC gave Zimbabwe the all-clear in November but now want to make sure a comprehensive security plan is in place before giving six World Cup matches the final go-ahead.

Cricket's governing body will move matches from the country, which is in political and economical turmoil, only if it believes the safety of players is in doubt.

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Daily News

      MDC slams Mbeki

      1/21/2003 10:03:16 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE MDC has lashed out at the inconsistencies of Thabo Mbeki, the
South African President, for his alleged dishonesty and hypocrisy when
dealing with Zimbabwe's crisis under President Mugabe.

      Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general was quoted in the Sunday
Times of Johannesburg on Sunday, as saying Mbeki's ANC was not an honest and
neutral arbiter on Zimbabwe because of the way it embraced Zanu PF at its
national conference in Stellenbosch in December.

      "The South African government, frankly, is dishonest. It is not
surprising, really, because it is the same government which is saying to the
rest of the world: OEDon't do anything about Zimbabwe'. Let Zimbabwe's
Mugabe go on with his torture and abuse. Let bygones be bygones." Ncube was
quoted in the Sunday Times.

      Mbeki's office said the statements were "incoherent". His spokespeson,
Bheki Khumalo, told the paper that when the troika meets in March, it will
assess what action it can take, if any.

      Ncube said the MDC believes that Mbeki is protecting Mugabe from
further sanctions and is undermining the powers of the troika, which
suspended Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth after the flawed presidential
election in March 2002.
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Daily News

      Zanu PF disrupts UNDP projects

      1/21/2003 10:07:34 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      ZANU PF supporters in Manicaland have stopped a United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) from setting up communication offices for MDC
MPs in Mutare South and Mutasa constituencies.

      Sydney Mukwecheni is the MP for Mutare South while Evelyn Masaiti
represents Mutasa.

      Through the UNDP, about 76 offices for MPs are being set up in their
respective constituencies to co-ordinate development programmes. On
Saturday, a group of Zanu PF supporters demonstrated at a Pentecostal Church
in Zimunya where Mukwecheni was setting up the office.

      They accused him of "not representing the constituency but furthering
his own interests".

      Earlier, a separate group of Zanu PF members stopped Masaiti from
setting up her offices in Mutasa.

      Ahead of Saturday's demonstration, Mukwecheni said another group of
so-called war veterans visited the parish and threatened to harm Pastor
Chipondeni, the leader of that church, forcing him to flee together with his

      Mike Madiro, Zanu PF's chairman in Manicaland, accused the legislator
of not taking his job seriously as he continuously walked out of Parliament
whenever President Mugabe was speaking.

      "That place is not central. The MP wants to benefit from a
government-initiated programme to further his own interests and those of his
party at the expense of the people in his constituency," Madiro said. "He
constantly walks out Parliament when the President is speaking."

      Madiro confirmed the abrupt departure of Chipondeni saying: "He ran
      Pishai Muchauraya, MDC's provincial spokesperson, said of the
demonstration: "It was totally unwarranted. Mukwecheni was elected to office
by MDC supporters, so I don't see any reason why Zanu PF supporters want to
frustrate his efforts to develop the constituency. He was not elected to
Parliament to go and listen to Mugabe's rhetoric, but to contribute to the
bread-and-butter issues of the country including Mutare South. Besides, the
place is the only one that has access to telephone communication in Mutare
South. In Mutasa, they chased away Masaiti."

      Under the programme Zanu PF will have 43 offices in constituencies
throughout the country, the MDC, 32, and one for Zanu led by Wilson Kumbula,
the MP for Chipinge South.There was no immediate comment from UNDP officials

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Daily News

      Police tortured Nkala murder suspects, say defence lawyers

      1/21/2003 10:02:29 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      FOUR suspects in the murder of Bulawayo war veterans' chief, Cain
Nkala, were tortured during interrogation by the police in Bulawayo, forced
to make indications and sign confessions which were dictated to them by
their torturers, the High Court heard yesterday.

      "Neither the confessions nor the indications made by the accused were
genuine," the lawyers for Army Zulu, Remember Moyo, Khethani Augustine
Sibanda and Sazini Mpofu told Justice Sandra Mungwira at the start of their
trial at the High Court.

      Advocate Eric Morris said of Sibanda, one of the youths shown in a ZBC
news footage indicating to the police the shallow grave where Nkala's body
was found buried: "The accused states that the indications were extracted by
coercion and consisted of information that was given to the accused by
members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police for his regurgitation in the form
desired by the members."

      Sibanda, Zulu, represented by Advocate Happius Zhou; Moyo, represented
by Advocate Edith Mushore; and Sazini Mpofu, represented by Advocate Morris,
are jointly charged with Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, the MP for
Lobengula-Magwegwe, and Sonny Nicholas Masera, both represented by Advocate

      Nkala's widow, Sikhumbuzo Mguni, could not identify her husband's
abductors among the suspects. "The State has demonstrated a propensity and
willingness to manufacture evidence which is disgraceful and is blatantly
amateurish," the lawyers said.

      "The propensity appears with blatant clarity in the documentary and
pictorial evidence presented by the State itself." Advocate Zhou said his
clients were "not involved in the plot to murder or in the murder itself".

      "The accused persons believe this indictment before this court is an
unjustified act of political persecution through the use of State
 machinery." Nkala's widow told the court that on 5 November 2001, the day
her husband was subsequently abducted, a stranger who identified himself as
Moyo called at their Magwegwe home asking for Nkala.

      Nkala was away at the time and Moyo waited for him, watching
television with Mguni and her children. She said Nkala arrived around 8pm
and about 15 minutes later a car pulled up and hooted.

      "My husband went out to check and he was in the company of our
four-year-old son," Mguni said. "I later heard our son crying as he rushed
back into the house and at that stage I heard my husband crying out saying:
OEHere are the people who want to kill me'."

      She said upon checking she saw about eight men drive off with her
husband in a "whitish" truck. "I tugged at one of the occupants, but his
colleague hit me on the head with a metal object and I fell down," the widow

      She said she passed out and when she came to, she rushed to a
neighbour's house and went to report the incident to a police post in the
neighbourhood. Asked whether Moyo helped her at any stage during the
kidnapping ordeal or thereafter, Mguni said Moyo did not come out to help
when Nkala was being kidnapped and she remembered him being among a number
of people, including the Nkalas' neighbours, who came to assist the family.

      She said she later saw Moyo on 6 November 2001 at a war veterans'
meeting in Entumbane to discuss Nkala's abduction and has not seen him
      The trial continues today.

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Daily News

      Search for couple still fruitless

      1/21/2003 10:05:53 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE search for a Harare couple missing after leaving their Marlborough
home for a dinner party on 8 January has so far proved fruitless, prompting
relatives to meet regularly to discuss ways of finding them.

      Kenneth and Hilary Allanson were last seen leaving a restaurant at
Avondale shopping centre accompanied by an unidentified couple. The
unidentified couple has not been reported missing.

      The family has run a series of advertisements for almost two weeks now
offering $100 000 for information leading to the discovery of the couple's
whereabouts. Colin Rawson, the family spokesman, said the couple were
invited to a dinner party by an unidentified couple who they appeared to
know and went away in their hosts' car.

      "We don't know much and what we are telling you is what the housemaid
told us happened on that day at around 8pm," Rawson said. "I received a call
from Mr Allanson's housemaid saying her employers had not returned."

      He said they were concerned that there were no reports that the couple
that invited them to the party was also missing.
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Daily News

      World trade union body backs ZCTU

      1/21/2003 10:05:15 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      the international trade union movement will continue supporting the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) until trade union and human rights
become a reality in Zimbabwe.

      The pledge was made last week by Annie Watson, the director of the
Commonwealth Trade Union Council (CTUC).

      She was giving written evidence on Zimbabwe to the United Kingdom
Government Foreign Affairs Committee this month.

      The CTUC is the umbrella body for trade union national centres
throughout the Commonwealth. It makes representations to Commonwealth
institutions and national governments on issues of particular concern to
trade unionists and organises education and training programmes with trade
union partners in the developing countries of the Commonwealth.

      In the CTUC's evidence on Zimbabwe, Watson said: "Since the elections
in June 2000 when opposition candidates won all the parliamentary seats in
the main urban centres of Harare and Bulawayo, there has been a consistent
intimidation campaign against trade unionists and workers. This has
continued following the presidential election in March 2002."

      She said that although the opposition MDC grew out of the trade union
movement, there was a distinct separation between the MDC and the ZCTU,
which represents workers across the political spectrum and has no political
      "Despite this, the (President Robert) Mugabe regime perceives normal
trade union activities as political. The government has registered splinter
unions in an attempt to split the labour movement and form a rival Zimbabwe
Federation of Trade Unions," Watson said.

      She gave examples of continued government harassment of the ZCTU,
including a failed attempt by the police to force their way into a meeting
of the ZCTU general council meeting in March last year, saying the Public
Order and Security Act gave them the right to monitor the meeting.

      The High Court ordered the police not to interfere with the ZCTU's
      Watson said: "Following a complaint about this incident to the
governing body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the ILO
reminded the Zimbabwe government that entry by police into trade union
premises without a warrant constituted a serious and unjustifiable
interference in trade union activities and that respect for the principles
of freedom of association required that the public authorities exercise
great restraint in relation to intervention in the internal affairs of trade

      She said nine trade union leaders, including the general secretary of
the ZCTU, were arrested on 9 December 2002 while attending a ZCTU symposium.

      Watson said: "The secretary-general, Wellington Chibhebhe, was beaten
with a broomstick and one police officer pointed a gun at him and told him
he could be history in a short space of time.

      "All nine were detained for 48 hours and charged under the POSA, with
police stating they wanted to overthrow a constitutionally-elected
      The Attorney General's Office refused to prosecute, however, saying
there was insufficient evidence and all nine were released.

      On 19 December 2002, Watson said, Kele Zidana, the director of Human
and Trade Union Rights at the International Confederation of Free Trade
Unions African Regional Organisation, arrived at Harare International
Airport where he was due to have meetings with the ZCTU but was refused
admission by the Immigration department.

      Earlier in the year, a Norwegian trade unionist who was due to meet
the ZCTU was denied entry, she said.

      "These denials of international trade union contact with the ZCTU are
seen as further examples of harassment. "The Zimbabwe government has now
passed the Labour Relations Amendment Bill which seeks to stifle
demonstrations and strike actions by workers. It has been condemned by the
ZCTU and also by the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe who voiced their
concern that it would lead to an unstable macro-economic climate and further

      "It is another example of the Zimbabwe government's efforts to
undermine and eventually destroy the ZCTU."

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Daily News

Leader Page

      Sabina's sons add more terror to land reform

      1/21/2003 9:55:35 AM (GMT +2)

      THE land reform programme has been chaotic and marked with terror even
the government and Zanu PF have had to admit this.

      The greatest anomaly is that the people who should benefit the
genuinely landless have not gained the advantages so self-righteously
pronounced by the government at the beginning of the programme.

      Instead, "resource-endowed" citizens, who happen to have cast-iron
connections with the ruling elite, are grabbing all the prime land. Sabina
Mugabe's sons are among the latest to acquire farms which had been allocated
to war veterans.

      Last year, Reuben Barwe of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation had a
much-publicised clash with another group of war veterans again in
Mashonaland West, President Mugabe's home province over land.

      The war veterans, it must be remembered, were the first to launch this
bloody, violent and incredibly haphazard campaign in 2000. Many people were
killed and many others maimed and raped.

      Their campaign was actively supported by both Zanu PF and the
government. So far, nobody in an influential position has apologised to the
victims for what was done to them and their properties.

      The war veterans, in a sense, have no claim to the farms strictly on
the basis that they invaded them and frightened the life out of their former
owners. Their actions garnered for this country the reputation of
lawlessness for which it has been punished by a number of nations and

      But the war veterans are not the genuine landless people for which the
programme was originally intended. Neither are the fat cats who are now
elbowing them out and occupying the well-appointed farmhouses built by the
owners over the years they occupied their farms.

      The chaos and terror with which the reform programme started is bound
to get worse, as the war veterans warn of a "Fourth Chimurenga".

      Meanwhile, as productivity is adversely affected by the stand-off
between the war veterans and, for instance, Sabina Mugabe's sons, food
production is bound to suffer.
      Many Zimbabweans, unimpressed with the Zanu PF and government
propaganda accompanying the land reform programme, have always felt that
there was never a well-thought-out plan designed specifically to bring order
to the land grab.

      In many speeches, Joseph Made and Ignatius Chombo, the two Cabinet
ministers most directly involved with the implementation of the programme,
have tried to sound as if they knew exactly what was happening.

      Unfortunately for them, most of what they have said has not been
confirmed on the ground. The chaos has continued and with relatives of
President Mugabe allegedly driving out war veterans from farms in Zvimba
communal lands, a new element of terror has crept into the programme.

      What all this has done is to vindicate the long-held suspicion by
critics that the whole plan was political from start to finish. To starve
millions of people and to cause the country to be turned into a pariah
state, Zanu PF and the government were prepared to launch a disorganised
land reform programme.

      South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said last year
the government of President Mugabe had made a mistake in launching the land
reform programme.
      There was never any acknowledgement from Mugabe or any of his Cabinet
colleagues that this was a fact they ought to acknowledge, albeit at this
late hour.

      An old friend, the former Zambian president, Kenneth Kaunda, seemed
equally forthright in his criticism of Mugabe's land grab.

      The meeting between South African President Thabo Mbeki and British
Prime Minister Tony Blair this week could provide an opportunity for both
men to spell out to Mugabe that the time has come for him and his colleagues
to face reality and plead for help from the rest of the world.

      It would be the most honourable step for them to take in the interests
of the hungry, angry people of Zimbabwe.

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Daily News

Leader Page

      People without shame are beyond redemption

      1/21/2003 9:56:24 AM (GMT +2)

      By Tanonoka Whande

      My late father incessantly reminded me of the virtues of shame and

      "People without shame are beyond redemption," he would say, "so if you
are capable of being ashamed of yourself, you will be fine."

      The absence of shame, he said, can be catastrophic.

      After literally scavenging for diplomatic loopholes to facilitate
entry into foreign countries, how does a president feel to be in the midst
of presidents, prime ministers and hordes of honourable diplomats he knows
would rather have preferred he had not come?

      Not to be outdone, the intransigent police commissioner delved into
the same bin and fished out a loophole also to enable himself to enter a
foreign country to mingle with Interpol's finest and thumb his nose at us.
Really, to whom can Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri lecture about
crime, law and order?

      Recently, I watched in awe as Jonathan Moyo strutted across the stage
before an international television audience presumably to give Miriam Makeba
an award. The fact that he was "a round peg in a square hole" did not deter

      You see, shame is supposed to moderate behaviour while humility
refines it.
      Clearly, some people have no shame. What a shame!

      Every time I see the President grinning, smiling or laughing on TV, I
feel embarrassed and ashamed on his behalf.

      Does he really understand or doesn't he care about the pervading mood
of sadness in the country? Is he aware of the resigned feeling of despair
imbuing and reigning over the citizens he perfunctorily purports to lead?
With all the unremitting political and economic drudgery, what's there to
smile about in Zimbabwe right now? Even his puny subaltern, Moyo, hardly
smiles. Maybe he is ashamed of himself. And I declare myself astounded. Did
you see what I saw last year during Mozambique's "Ten Years Of Peace"

      With Mugabe attentively watching from the same platform, I saw
Mozambican President Joacquim Chissano embrace Alphonso Dhlakama, leader of
that country's opposition.

      And then (please pinch me!) I saw Mugabe hug and embrace Dhlakama in
public! In front of a beaming Chissano. It was a dream on top of a fantasy
but quite an anathema to Robert Mugabe. Wasn't Mugabe ashamed (that word
again!) to be allowed the freedom to do with Dhlakama in Mozambique what he,
Mugabe, would not allow Chissano to do with Morgan Tsvangirai or Gibson
Sibanda in Zimbabwe?

      Did the old man learn that the opposition is not an enemy; that he
needs to work with (not kill) members of the opposition for the sake of the
country and for the social betterment of the citizens?

      No. The old man didn't learn anything because within a few days of his
return from Mozambique, striking teachers were assaulted by his police,
opposition MDC parliamentarians were being marched into courts on frivolous
      and he set Moyo on the non-governmental organisations who he
threatened with deregistration and spouted some verbal torrent of filth and
accusations that forced me to switch off the TV. What a shame.

      We are all responsible for our contribution to history. It is sad to
watch Mugabe wiping away his otherwise commendable historical performance
and soiling his contribution to the birth of our independent nation. (Did I
hear a "Don't be silly" out there?)

      As it stands, history is not going to be kind to Robert Mugabe. What a

      There is a brouhaha about Mugabe's numerous academic degrees, but I
still remain unconvinced. Is the way he runs the country and the way he
treats us an indication of what education does to people? His other
self-confessed degrees in violence notwithstanding, can't he put to better
use his other degrees whatever they are?

      It further puzzles and confuses me that my own alma mater, the
University of Massachusetts at Amherst, conferred upon him an honorary

      But then, it was the Westerners and the Europeans who mooted his name
for the Nobel Peace Prize soon after independence. Don't we all wish we didn
't know now what we
      didn't know then?

      Now this president spends his time and national resources seeking not
only to imprison us physically, but to imprison both our human spirit and
our national conscience in a catatonic, closed nation overseen by an inept,
scared and biased judiciary; a nation administered by a police force that
has been turned into connoisseurs of rape, murder and violence; and a nation
closely monitored by an army that has not hesitated to shoot dead the
citizens it's supposed to protect.

      I, for one, do not see how the likes of Shuvai Maprojects Mahofa can
sit down to "deliberate" on any matters beneficial to this country. The
economy of this country cannot and will never be sustained by so-called

      It, therefore, follows that Zimbabwe is today inhabited by a petrified
populace that is being served by a pinioned cabinet of comics aided by a
barren, unnecessary and useless politburo.

      And yet we pay for these excesses. We pay with our monies. We pay with
our lives. What a shame.

      Does an educated man watch while people are being murdered in his
name? Doesn't an educated Christian protest, not reward, a subaltern who
compares him to Christ?
      What we need now is an intelligible political process that governs the
installation and maintenance of commonly accepted political, legal and
social standards.

      We need a process that supports the adoption, assimilation,
transformation and implementation of these standards along parallel or
divergent paths. No handcuffs, please.

      Paradoxically, we can only achieve this if or when Zanu PF leaves the
scene or reforms.
      And Zanu PF can neither change nor be reformed because Zanu PF is an
individual, not an organisation.

      Zanu PF is neither people-oriented nor user-friendly. It is a failing
but tragic and dangerous one-man show.

      The cabinet . . . government . . . the party . . . the politburo . . .
the Chief Justice . . . Police Commissioner etc, are all euphemisms for one
man. What a shame.

      But a circus that employs only one clown will one day have to close
down when the clown falls sick. And that would be a shame!
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Daily News

      Zimbabweans wallow in poverty

      1/21/2003 10:32:55 AM (GMT +2)

      By Chris Mhike Business Reporter

      MORE than 80 percent of the country's population now lives in abject
poverty due to the adverse effects of the prevailing harsh economic
conditions, economists said yesterday.

      Unemployment, the negative impact of inflation on disposable income
and the price of goods and services, as well as the general poor performance
of the economy, as occasioned by bad governance of the nation, has accounted
for the retrogressive trend.

      Statistics on the gravity of the poverty problem varied from one
source to the other, depending on numerous factors, especially the formula
used for calculations.

      All sources contacted were, however, unanimous that poverty had
reached alarming levels.

      An official from the Central Statistical Office (CSO) referred The
Daily News to the latest CSO report on destitution Poverty in Zimbabwe.

      The document, compiled in 1998, reads in part: "There has been an
unambiguous increase in poverty in Zimbabwe between 1990 and 1996. Poverty
among households varies significantly across and within provinces of

      According to the report, to the end of the period reviewed, the
prevalence of household poverty ranged from a low of 17 percent in urban
Bulawayo to almost 81 percent in Matabeleland North.

      The main index referred to by economists, for measurement of people's
standards of living was the concept of the Poverty Datum Line (PDL).

      The PDL represents the cost of a given level of living which must be
attained if a person was to be deemed not poor.

      Another internationally recognised indicator often cited in measuring
poverty levels, was the American dollar concept.

      People living on less than US$1 (Z$55 at the official rate) a day were
generally considered to fall into the category of extreme poverty.

      The CSO estimated then that an individual would need a 12-month
average of $2 059,59 or above, to fall out of the extreme poverty bracket.

      This figure was, however, way below the statistics provided by other
economists, who conducted independent surveys.

      Eric Bloch, a leading economist and chartered accountant, gave a much
higher figure.
      He said as at the end of October last year, the PDL for an average
family of six members was $30 030, meaning an average of about $5 005 every
month for each family member.
      "By now (January 2003) the poverty datum line for an average family
must be around
      $36 000, that is about $6 000 for each family member," Bloch said.

      He said these figures translated into the sad probable reality that
more than 80 percent of the country's population had been reduced to abject
poverty, thereby effectively turning Zimbabwe into a nation of paupers.

      The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) economics department
estimated that the poverty datum line stood at $35 000 a month for a family
of five.

      This reality, said the ZCTU, left the majority of Zimbabweans in
abject poverty with unemployment levels estimated to be around 70 percent.

      Ironically, the CSO's unemployment figure is 6 percent.
      Bloch said 6 percent could not be correct because about 500 000 farm
workers who lost their jobs under the chaotic land acquisition programme,
constituted about 7,5 percent of the country's total employable population.

      In the past 12 months, thousands of workers have also lost their jobs
as a result of company closures, retrenchments and corporate streamlining.

      The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe said their calculations for household
requirements this month showed that a low income urban family of six, needed
at least $77 768 every month for basic sustenance.

      A majority of Zimbabwe's working population do not earn anything near
$77 000 a month.

      "You can be certain that the section of the Zimbabwean population that
earns a salary below a living wage is around 80 percent. The fact that even
teachers earn something like $30 000 a month is significantly indicative of
how deep the problem of poverty has become in Zimbabwe," said another Harare
economist who said he was still compiling his statistics on both urban and
rural poverty.

      The US dollar index, in terms of the unrealistic official exchange
rate, renders people who live on less than Z$55 a day, extremely poor.
Realistically, however, the index means that people living on less than $1
200 Zimbabwe dollars a day are absolutely poor.
      Several surveys carried out in the past 12 months show that multitudes
of Zimbabweans live on far less than Z$1 200 a day. Few families even spend
that much a day.

      In the latest issue of The Zimbabwe Chartered Accountant, a bi-monthly
professional publication, Bloch said the indicators of widespread poverty in
society were many.

      "With the majority of the population living in abject poverty,
malnutrition has become the order of the day for vast numbers of people, and
their circumstances have been exacerbated by a rapidly collapsing health
delivery system," he said.
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Zimbabwe: Binga Families Depending On Food Aid, Farmers Waiting for Rain

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

January 21, 2003
Posted to the web January 21, 2003


Almost all the 150,000 people living in Zimbabwe's western district of Binga
are receiving food aid while the community's farmers anxiously wait for
rains to save their life-saving crops, Save the Children Fund (SCF) told
IRIN on Monday.

"One of our concerns is that there might not be crops because the rains have
been bad," SCF Zimbabwe director Chris McIvor said.

He said SCF, which in November received government permission to resume
activities in the country, recently conducted an assessment and noted an
increased disposal of household assets to raise cash for food, children
being taken out of school, and the percentage of wild food in daily diets

SCF was currently providing food aid to 125,000 people in the region and had
decided to provide for individuals instead of households because of the
increased need and to prevent individual beneficiaries from feeling
compelled to share their ration with the rest of their equally weakened

Binga is situated in an area of the country that frequently suffers from
adverse weather conditions but a succession of bad weather, economic
shocks - inflation was pegged at 198 percent in December - and HIV/AIDS had
worn families down, McIvor said.

The organisation had also extended its programme to about 6,500 people
living and working at an informal chrome mine in Zvimba, north west of
Harare and to 1,000 people in Nyaminyami, in the northern part of the
Zambezi valley

One reprieve for the struggling communities was that SCF did not anticipate
distribution delays due to the countrywide fuel shortages.

"We are able to purchase fuel with foreign exchange and have reserves in
other areas. Yes, we have had problems, but we have maintained our
pipeline," McIvor said.

Ironically, the lack of rain was making distribution easier on the dry roads
but the state-controlled Grain Marketing Board, which delivers supplies for
sale to the public, was having transport constraints, McIvor added.

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Mail and Guardian

SA 'kicked Zimbabwe in the butt'


21 January 2003 21:24

Zimbabwe's state press Tuesday stoked the diplomatic row over Zimbabwean
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo with a warning to the South African
government that a formal protest over his alleged slur against South African
President Thabo Mbeki had set "a dangerous precedent".

The state-controlled daily Herald said it was "unfortunate" that the South
African foreign ministry had been "sucked in" to "kick Zimbabwe in the butt"
in a furore over revelations in the Johannesburg Sunday Times last week of
Moyo's recent shopping trip to South Africa, and his subsequent
invective-laden reaction.

The newspaper revealed that Moyo filled three luxury vehicles and a trailer
with food and electronic goods to take home when half of Zimbabwe's
population of 14 million faces starvation.

The Zimbabwe government had to issue a public reassurance to South Africa
that Moyo, when he used the expression "dirty, filthy and recklessly
uncouth" in his attack, was referring not to Mbeki or South Africans in
general, but to the South African "apartheid" press.

The South African official protest quoted another reported
remark from Moyo: "If these people, in the name of South Africa, believe
they can lead an African Renaissance, then god help them".

Zimbabwe claimed Moyo had directed his comments at the South African press,
and not at Mbeki.

However, Tuesday's Herald accused the South African government of backing
"the view that government business is transacted through newspapers.

"It is indeed a dangerous precedent for governments to start holding each
other accountable for views published by the media, instead of relying on
the official diplomatic channels."

It said that senior South African officials -- including central bank
governor Tito Mboweni and Defence Minister Patrick Lekota -- had previously
made "scurrilous allegations at no lesser a person than President Mugabe,"
but the Zimbabwe government had never protested.

"Does this make Zimbabwe a lesser sovereign state than its
brotherly neighbour?" asked the Herald. "We think not," it asserted.

The incident is the latest in a series of clashes between Moyo and the South
African government in recent years, and occurred as Mbeki's government has
embarked on a policy of "quiet diplomacy" with Mugabe's regime in an attempt
to end the country's crisis and rescue it from international isolation. -
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