ZIMBABWE VOWS TO UNLEASH FULL WRATH OF STATE POWER ON
COSATU Tue 25 January 2005 JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe will arrest and
deport Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) leaders who plan to
visit that country on a fact-finding mission next week, Labour Minister Paul
Mangwana said yesterday.
Vowing not to tolerate COSATU's "big
headedness", Mangwana told ZimOnline that the union's leaders will meet with
the full wrath of Zimbabwe's laws should they proceed with what he described
as a "subversive mission."
Asked if Harare, which last year
harassed and threw out another COSATU delegation, would do so again in
February, Mangwana responded: "They can come if they choose to defy us. This
country has law enforcement agencies that are capable of dealing with any
case of intrusion and see to it that those who come on subversive missions
are dealt with.
"COSATU should expect the same treatment if it
violates our laws . . . we will just not tolerate COSATU, big-headed as they
seem right now."
The South African labour movement's secretary
general Zwelinzima Vavi promised at the weekend to lead another fact-finding
mission to Zimbabwe next week to assess the situation in that country ahead
of a key general election in March.
The powerful COSATU has in
the past threatened to blockade Zimbabwe's lifeline Beitbridge border post
with South Africa if its officials are mistreated by Harare. Vavi at the
weekend refused to say whether COSATU will carry out the threat only saying
the union will "cross the river when it gets there."
which has publicly declared that Zimbabwe's March poll will not be free and
fair because the political playing field in that country remains uneven,
plans to meet government officials, the ruling ZANU PF and opposition
Movement for Democratic Change parties and other stakeholders if allowed
into Zimbabwe. - ZimOnline
MDC legislator spends night in cell littered with human
waste Tues 25 January 2005 BULAWAYO - An opposition legislator, arrested
at the weekend for meeting with supporters without police permission,
appeared in court yesterday after spending the night in a cell littered with
Thokozani Khupe, who is the Movement for
DemocraticChange (MDC) party Member of Parliament for Makokoba constituency,
was remanded to February 10 on charges of breaching the government's Public
Order and Security Act (POSA). She was also ordered to pay Z$100 000
Sixty MDC activists who were also arrested for attending the
meeting at Khupe's restaurant here were all released without being
Under POSA, it is illegal for Zimbabweans to meet in
groups of more than three people to discuss politics without permission from
The MDC accuses the government of using the security
law to hamper its campaign ahead of a general election in March and wants it
repealed as part of measures to level the political playing field before the
opposition party can agree to take part in the poll.
the police have used the law to cancel MDC meetings and have never prevented
meetings by President Robert Mugabe or his ruling ZANU PF
Commenting on the conditions under which she was held,
Khupe said: "There was litter and human waste all over and toilets are
blocked. The situation is really bad and I think something should be done.
That (condition of cell) is a violation of human rights of great magnitude."
Anxious weekly paper waits for media watchman's next
move Tues 25 January 2005 BULAWAYO - Top management of Zimbabwe's Weekly
Times community newspaper yesterday appeared before the government's Media
and Information Commission (MIC) to explain why the paper's licence should
not be cancelled.
A lawyer for the paper, Kucaca Phulu, told
ZimOnline that he and officials at the paper met MIC chairman Tafataona
Mahoso and his officials who he said would now decide on the fate of the
"Indeed, we met the MIC officials, including
Mahoso himself and we explained our position as a mass medium. But I am
afraid I am not at liberty to say what we discussed because the MIC is yet
to make a ruling," said Phulu.
Mahoso could not be reached for
comment on the matter. But the MIC chairman has threatened to close down the
paper accusing it of inciting anti-government feelings.
government media watchman also accuses the Weekly Times, which largely
circulates in Bulawayo and surrounding areas, of publishing political
commentaries instead of general news which he says it was licenced to
Mahoso, who is a former journalism trainer, has already
closed three newspapers including the country's biggest circulating daily,
the Daily News, after accusing them of breaching provisions of the
government's Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. -
Spain throws spanners into jailed finance minister's
probe Tues 25 January 2005 HARARE - Spain has refused Zimbabwean state
investigators permission to visit that country to probe claims by jailed
Finance Minister, Chris Kuruneri, that the foreign currency he is accused of
siphoning out of Zimbabwe was earned from a Madrid company,
ZimOnline learnt last night.
The failure by state prosecutors to
travel to Spain could weaken their case against Kuruneri.
finance minister, in jail since last April, is accused of externalising more
than 5.2 million rands, 34 371 pounds, 30 000 euros and US$582 611.99
between 2002 and 2004. The state claims he used part of the money to buy and
build luxurious homes in South Africa's Cape Town city.
who is the ruling ZANU PF party's Member of Parliament for Mazowe West
constituency, denies externalising forex claiming that the money he used to
buy properties in South Africa is money he earned from consultancy work for
a Spanish-based company.
No comment was available from the Attorney
General's office on Madrid's refusal to allow Zimbabwean investigators into
Spain and how this was going to affect the state's case against
Kuruneri's lawyer George Chikumbirike said: "I have heard
about it today that they (state investigators) were not given the permits
(to travel to Spain)."
Apart from allegedly siphoning scarce
hard cash out of the country, Kuruneri is also accused of holding a Canadian
passport in breach of the Citizenship Act which prohibits Zimbabweans from
holding passports of other countries.
No trial date has been
set for Kuruneri as the state had indicated it wanted more time to carry out
investigations inside the country, in South Africa and in Spain. -
Zimbabwe Cricket officials in frantic bid to woo back
rebels Tues 25 January 2005 HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket officials are
making frantic efforts to bring back 15 rebel white players following the
country's embarrassing Test defeat by lowly-ranked Bangladesh, sources said
The rebel players, who stopped playing for Zimbabwe
last year after clashing with Zimbabwe Cricket over selection policy, could
even be recalled for the tour against South Africa in March, according to
"Representatives of the rebel players and Zimbabwe Cricket
met last week and came to an agreement which will see the rebel players once
again returning to the field. They are definitely needed back in the squad
because the boys who are on tour in Bangladesh at the moment cannot play at
the highest level," a Zimbabwe Cricket official said.
official, who did not want to be named, said fear of losing Test status for
good if Zimbabwe continued losing with even wider margins against more
powerful teams such as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand had forced
Zimbabwe Cricket to reconsider bringing back the white cricketers.
He said: "What particularly awakened cricket officials was losing to
Bangladesh in the Test series. If they could lose by 226 runs to Bangladesh,
what would happen against Australia or New Zealand? Zimbabwe's Test status
is also under threat and that is why they had to plead with the rebel
According to the officials, most of the white players
had indicated they wanted to return to the national side with some of them
already resuming playing club cricket to ensure they were in shape should
they be recalled for national duty.
Former captain, Heath
Streak, has always maintained that he is prepared to return to the Zimbabwe
national team as long as conditions allow him to do so.
is one of the best all rounders in the game and his experience is being
missed in the current team made up of boys still trying to get to grips with
the rigorous demands of international cricket. - ZimOnline
Suspected ZANU PF spy's trial postponed to today Tues 25
January 2005 HARARE - A magistrate's court yesterday postponed to today the
trial of ruling ZANU PF party deputy security director Kenny Karidza, who is
accused of espionage.
The court postponed the matter after
defence lawyers said they wanted more time to go through court papers which
they were only given yesterday.
Karidza, who has been in police
custody since December, is accused together with three other senior ZANU PF
officials of selling intelligence information to South African
The other accused are ZANU PF chairman for Mashonaland West
province Philip Chiyangwa, party external affairs director Itai Marchi,
Zimbabwe's ambassador-designate to Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo and banking
executive Tendai Matambanadzo.
The men were severely tortured
by agents of the government's Central Intelligence Organisation with Karidza
reportedly unable to walk or talk properly for several weeks while Chiyangwa
suffered a mild stroke because of torture.
If convicted of
spying, the five men face jail terms of up to 20 years. - ZimOnline
funding for small tobacco farmers is likely to hamper Zimbabwe's tobacco
crop in the 2004/05 season, with output seen far off the bumper levels of
2000, a senior industry official said yesterday.
production, a mainstay of Zimbabwe's economy, which traditionally accounts
for about a third of export earnings, has plunged from a high of 237 million
kg in 2000 to 69 million kg last season.
Association (ZTA) chief executive Rodney Ambrose said yesterday that tobacco
output this season was likely to rise at most just 30 percent from that
Critics point to disruptions to agriculture linked to
President Robert Mugabe's controversial seizure of white-owned commercial
farms for redistribution to landless blacks.
Last year the
state Tobacco Industry Marketing Board said the industry had targeted output
of 230 million kg this year, citing a bigger hectarage in
But Ambrose said small scale farmers who benefited from
the land reforms had been affected by delays in securing money to finance
the current crop.
"The finance came in late for the smaller
guys because they have no track record, having been in the business for only
a short while and the banks are still reluctant (to extend money to them),"
Ambrose told Reuters.
"At the most we are looking at a crop of
about 85 to 90 million kg," he said, adding that delays in preparations
meant the bulk of small scale producers, who account for 40 percent of
national tobacco output, would produce mostly low-grade filler tobacco for
which there was little global demand.
"A lot of merchants have
written off Zimbabwe and taken their financing to countries like Zambia and
a lot of work still needs to be done to increase not just the quantity of
our crop but also the quality," Ambrose said.
It would take
Zimbabwe about five years to regain the ground lost over the past few years
and match the year 2000 peak, he said. (Reuters)
EDITORIAL January 24, 2005 Posted to the web January 24,
If it is true that young school children from Rusitu secondary
school in Chimanimani were allowed to vote in the primary elections held by
the ruling Zanu PF party over the week-end, then the elections can be
described as a sham.
According to insiders, the children were coerced
by one of the three candidates for the Chimanimani constituency, Samuel
The use of the children is one of the reasons that the losing
candidates, Munacho Mutezo and Misheck Beta have cried foul and are
demanding a re-run of the election.
The candidates are also claiming
that voters at Muusha polling station did not cast their votes and if they
had done so, the results would have been different from the final count
which gave Undenge 4 139 votes against 4 074 for Mutezo and 1 631 for
More important, the two incidents in Chimanimani clearly indicate
that the primary election results might not be the correct picture of the
voting pattern of the people.
It is evident that there is corruption
within the ruling party and the hope is that this does not spill to the
March election. It is cause for concern for other parties that will take
part in the national election in March.
It is also a big challenge to the
election directorate to put its house in order so that March election is not
yet another farce.
Makwanya Last updated: 01/25/2005 14:05:11 WHILE it is not yet clear at
this point in time as to who was actually using who, Professor Jonathan Moyo
seem to have used Zanu PF to hit back at the independent media for
embarrassing him when he failed to sell the government sponsored draft
constitution in 2000.
I remember the hilarious cartoons by the Daily
News' Tony Namate of the Professor's egg-shaped head which I think induced a
serious inferiority complex in the mad Professor. This explains his
excessive self-promotion in the government media.
personal superiority became Jonathan Moyo's major pre-occupation and had
Zanu PF not stopped him, he was already eying the big office in the land.
Psychologically unhealthy individuals strive for personal superiority with
little concern for other people. Although they may appear to be interested
in others, their basic motivation is personal benefit and Jonathan Moyo is a
good example. It is not that he loved Tsholotsho so much, No! He needs a
constituency to shake-off the "political appointee tag" that many people in
political circles continued to wave each time he was crafting his
Being a Professor is synonymous with being
intelligent and successful or respected yet Professor Moyo had failed to
convince even the rural folks about the goodness of the constitution that he
was hired to sell. The Professor realized or felt that his appointment by
President Mugabe to the cabinet was more of saving his (Moyo's) face for
risking his credibility as a respected political scientist. Deep down in his
heart Moyo knew that he did not deserve to be rewarded for failing to sell
the draft constitution and so he became desperate to uproot everything that
stood in his way to become a recognized politician with a
Jonathan also mastered the crude Machiavellian tactics
according to the book and reduced Zimbabwe into a political science
laboratory where he conducted his political experiments, closing down The
Daily news and its sister papers and throwing diplomatic caution through the
window. Professor Moyo was involved in diplomatic gaffes with South African
when the South African press exposed his self indulgence when he was on
holiday in South Africa while the people of Zimbabwe suffered.
a paradox that Jonathan Moyo now says that he does not subscribed to the
"one ticket to heaven" philosophy when he closed down alternative sources of
information in Zimbabwe. During his tantrums triggered by his exclusion from
contesting as an MP in Tsholotsho Moyo made his views clear. "In any event,
Cdes Nkomo and Dabengwa should know that there is no one ticket to heaven;
there are many such tickets and that's why there are many churches and many
religions and all with tickets to heaven," said Prof Moyo.
whether Moyo understands what qualifications one needs to go to "heaven".
The MDC's Paul Themba Nyathi has some advice for Jonathan Moyo luckily for
him, "repent and campaign for democracy". Is it ever too late to get into
heaven, one wonders?
In his attack on John Nkomo, Moyo had some rare
advice manifesting itself as a genuine concern for Zanu PF. He said of John
Nkomo, "Now that he wrongly thinks the MDC has been defeated, he has the
scheming political guts to go to Tsholotsho to desperately seek to link me
with the MDC in vain!.
"Where will the two thirds that the party needs to
defeat Blair come from if the Matabeleland constituencies are lost as
happened in 2000?"
But is Moyo really concerned about Zanu PF or himself?
It looks more like Moyo is double-thinking and double-speaking just to
A diagnosis of Moyo's personality shows that he may be
now psychologically unstable and his attempt to assert his superiority
complex over the independent Press has back-fired. Like in all his past
failures dating back from Mgagao in Tanzania where he deserted his comrades,
to his last Waterloo in Tsholotsho where he has been disqualified from
standing as a mere MP, he has to find someone to blame.
Professor Moyo now has to go back to the drawing board knowing too well that
the very media that he destroyed is the remaining option to tell the world
that, Zanu PF Chiwororo, you have to play it carefully. The very
retrogressive media laws that he crafted will be waiting for him should he
attempt to write or express his views like he used to do prior to his
Damascus experience. Then more importantly, Professor Jonathan Moyo will
need to register with Media and Information Commissioner if he is to write
for the Zimbabwean press again at least he knows his media laws better.
Rakazvirova rikazhamba! Msekiwa Makwanya is a Zimbabwean social
commentator based in London, England
Tucked into a low range of
hills east of Pretoria, and bristling with radar dishes, lies a modern
complex where visitors are not allowed to take their cellphones. Named
Musanda ("lookout point"), it is the home of the most covert and least known
of South Africa's four state intelligence services - the SA Secret Service
(Sass). This service inadvertently drew the spotlight to itself this week
when it was revealed that early last month one of its field agents was
arrested in Zimbabwe for allegedly recruiting five high-ranking Zimbabweans
- including Zanu PF security director Kenneth Karidza - to pass sensitive
party information to South Africa. Siyabonga Cwele, who chairs the Joint
Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI), which has parliamentary oversight
of all four intelligence agencies, said yesterday that the committee was
waiting for the authorities to establish whether the arrested agent was
indeed working for Sass. "We don't get involved in matters of [intelligence]
collection unless there is an obvious breach of the law - of international
law or of human rights law," Cwele said. "If an agent breaches the rules of
diplomacy, then they get expelled, but if they breach the [host country's]
internal law, they may have to be arrested."
denials by such leaders as ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe that
diplomatic ties between the countries would not be disrupted by the arrest
of the Sass agent, political analyst Chris Maroleng of the Institute for
Security Studies said the incident had "serious implications" for South
Africa's strategy of clandestine engagement with Zanu PF progressives to
ensure a smooth succession to President Robert Mugabe. But senior South
African intelligence sources say the role played in the alleged spy ring by
the Sass agent, who is accused of having paid one suspect - Zanu PF central
committee member Philip Chiyangwa - up to US$10 000 (R60 000) for
information, amounted to normal practice in the intelligence "game". With a
budget allocation for the 2005-06 financial year of R554,5-million, Sass
fields an undisclosed number of intelligence officers across the globe. The
senior officers, usually stationed at SA diplomatic missions, are given
discreet accreditation by their host nations and assigned to liaise with
friendly governments on issues affecting mutual security. Sass collects
economic as well as political and counter-intelligence
But a former director-general of the agency, Mike Louw,
has told this newspaper that, while accredited officers operate with the
permission of their host nations, Sass operates a network of unaccredited
clandestine field agents - in effect, a parallel chain of command - even
within "friendly" nations whose policies could directly affect South African
interests. Zimbabwe was a case in point, Louw said. "Declared officers
stationed with embassies ... are the official line of communication between
the services ... but then you get a few agents in the field and that is
something that is never agreed on [by the a host nation]," Louw said. "To a
dyed-in-the-wool intelligence agent, there is no such thing as a friendly
nation, although there may be some you have more in common with ... I'd be
very much surprised if the CIO [Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence
Organisation, which arrested the Sass agent] does not have agents and
sources in South Africa." Professor Gavin Cawthra, director of the Centre
for Defence and Security Management at Wits University, said it was
interesting that Zimbabwe had chosen to expose the matter. "Everyone knows
this game goes on and it's done as much with regard to friendly as
unfriendly countries because a lot of it these days is trade-related,"
Cawthra said, adding that "these things are usually swept under the carpet,
with the person who is detected quietly asked to leave the country".
Maroleng said the arrests were likely to be part of the current purge of
Zanu PF progressives and that the Sass agent whose role had been exposed had
remained unnamed because he or she was not the CIO's primary target. He said
that such activities could properly be considered "espionage" only when the
intentions behind them were hostile to the host state. But this was not the
case with Zimbabwe as South Africa merely needed good inside information on
the country's internal dynamics. He said the very seniority of the Zanu PF
members supposed to have been recruited as sources indicated a Sass strategy
that was "very risky - but not stupid".
Sass was established in
1995, in tandem with the internal National Intelligence Agency (NIA), with
which it shares the Musanda complex east of Pretoria. The two bodies
amalgamated the old apartheid external espionage service and the
intelligence services of the ANC, PAC, Transkei, Bophuthatswana and Venda.
Both agencies were founded in what the first published Sass annual report
last year described as "politically turbulent" times when "the security
situation was volatile" because of resistance to transformation among the
old security Establishment. This resistance was defeated by a mix of
factors: retrenchment packages in 1995 and 1997 for the recalcitrant old
guard; a series of new acts establishing civilian oversight of the
intelligence community; and a new esprit de corps forged between agents at
the SA National Academy of Intelligence (Sanai), founded at Mafikeng in
2003. Eventually, NIA felt bullish enough to set up its own website and take
the unprecedented step of running a television advertisement proclaiming
that South Africans had NIA to thank for "another ordinary day" because of
its role in defusing taxi violence and terrorism in the Western
Now Sass itself has gone online, proclaiming its mandate
publicly for the first time - "to gather intelligence on foreign threats to
the security and interests of the country and its people" by "placing
accredited operatives in foreign countries". No mention was or is made of
covert, unaccredited operatives. "Sass receives reports from all over the
world through a secure communications system on a 24-hour basis," the annual
report continues. Foremost among Sass's clients are the Presidency and the
Intelligence Minister, Ronnie Kasrils, but departments such as foreign
affairs and trade and industry are also numbered among them. The service
receives its instructions from cabinet via an interdepartmental group of
international relations, peace and security specialists. That group feeds
analyses to the National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee (Nicoc), which
unites all four intelligence services - Sass, NIA, SAPS Crime Intelligence
and SANDF Defence Intelligence - and sends "national intelligence estimates"
to the Presidency and cabinet which use them to inform their decisions. Paul
Swart, the Democratic Alliance's sole representative on the JSCI, said the
unacknowledged mess created by the arrest of the Sass agent in Zimbabwe
would probably be dealt with through diplomacy. "We expect to be briefed on
this incident two Wednesdays from now, but we are not informed on day-to-day
operational stuff and only get involved if there is a deviation [by Sass]
from its legislative mandate," Swart said. That mandate, Wits professor
Cawthra pointed out, has few statutory limitations on activities outside the
country, other than to uphold South Africa's own constitutional principles -
to the extent that the realpolitik of espionage allows.
Makiwa Last updated: 01/25/2005 13:40:18 PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's
British-based public relations exponent, Ugandan David Nyekorach-Matsanga is
exultant that his chief nemesis Zimbabwean Information Minister Jonathan
Moyo has finally been humbled but warns that the beleaguered spin doctor may
emerge as a Western-backed opposition leader.
Matsanga told New
Zimbabwe.com that he was palliated to see Moyo wallow in his current
problems and charged that Mugabe's spin doctor was now reaping the rewards
of the "seeds of hatred" he sowed.
"Its sometimes pointless on the
'would-haves', but had Zanu PF and President Mugabe reined in Moyo in good
time, some of the crises Zimbabwe finds itself in would have been skirted
easily," Matsanga claimed.
"The point now is to glean into the future and
make sure that similar mistakes are not repeated. And I am afraid that if
Moyo chooses to abort Zanu PF and successfully win the sympathy of the West,
President Mugabe will now be up against a very strong opposition armed with
information from within his administration. It may seem like a far fetched
thought but remember that Moyo is an American-trained intellectual who went
to college with Condolezza Rice (US President George W. Bush's chosen
secretary of state)...hence some of these Stalinist-like purges going on in
Zimbabwe could yield sour fruits if they are not well managed."
May last year, Matsanga alleged that Zimbabwe's dreaded secret service
operatives loyal to Moyo had abducted him while attempting to enter Zimbabwe
at Harare International Airport with the British SKY News journalists to
interview Mugabe. Matsanga says the security details assaulted him before
robbing him of money and an expensive watch.
"He (Moyo) abused his
power, as he has done through out the past five years, to torture me and
cowardly humiliate me but I forgive him now. And now that he is out in the
world, I will truly forgive him if he returned the watch that his people
stole from me. Its an expensive heirs loon which I treasure so much and I
should have it back by any means necessary," said Matsanga who was friends
with Moyo until they clashed on ideologies to prop Mugabe's
"Moyo clearly engineered an impressive pre-election manifesto
for Zanu PF before the 2002 Presidential election in which Mugabe won. He
however, ran out of ideas to execute conventional and transparent mechanisms
in the period after winning the election hence he opted for repressive means
to black-out Zimbabwe from the rest of the world. He should have allowed
foreign journalists and the independent media to operate in the country and
accept criticism. Now he is doomed," Matsanga said.
Moyo fell out of
favour with Mugabe last month after organising a clandestine meeting to
scuttle the election of Joyce Mujuru as the party's vice-president and has
since been on a freefall from grace. He was a fortnight ago barred from
contesting the primaries in his home province of Matabeleland North after
the ruling party reserved the Tsholotsho seat for a woman
Darlington Moyo Last updated: 01/25/2005 14:35:22 ZIMBABWEAN President
Robert Mugabe has dispatched his Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge on a
fire-fighting mission to South Africa as tension between the two countries
threatened to boil over following the seizure of a South African spy in
Mudenge's trip is also being seen as a counter-diplomatic
offensive to neutralise the opposition Movement for Democratic Change's own
initiative following weekend talks between Morgan Tsvangirai and top South
African officials and trade unionists.
Although the daily early
morning Air Zimbabwe and South African Airways flights are 20 minutes apart,
typical of Zanu PF's disdain for things local, Mudenge boarded the SAA on
Wednesday morning. Looking tired and spotting a blue suit, he trudged
through the State protocol lounge door on arrival at Johannesburg
International Airport at 8.50am, with a brown-suited aide de camp in
It is expected that he will meet with South African Foreign Affairs
Minister Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma. It is thought that the spy scandal and the
implementation of Sadc election guidelines would be high on the agenda of
the official talks.
Mudenge will seek to give a rose-tinted view of
the recently appointed Zimbabwe Elections Commission, and also request the
South African government to persuade or arm-twist the trade union federation
COSATU away from sending another fact-finding mission to
The MDC, meanwhile, has been busy ratcheting-up pressure,
insisting that Mugabe's government has refused to implement Sadc election
guidelines, or take steps to lift the climate of fear ahead of parliamentary
elections in March. The party says it plans to boycott the
COSATU said on Sunday it would send a fact-finding mission to
Zimbabwe next month in defiance of Mugabe's government that says the team is
COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said after meeting
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) chief Wellington Chibebe the team
would highlight Zimbabwe's political problems.
"The issue is to
highlight what Zimbabweans have to go through. We must ... taste the
medicine that they have to swallow almost every day," Vavi told a news
conference in Cape Town, adding he expected his team to be denied
The Zimbabwe government expelled a team from the Congress of
South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in October, bundling union leaders over
the border at night after accusing the group of unauthorised meddling in
Zimbabwe's domestic affairs.
UN fears Zimbabwe food shortages By David
White Published: January 25 2005 02:00 | Last updated: January 25 2005
A senior UN official voiced concern yesterday about the prospect of
food shortages in Zimbabwe as a result of the decision by President Robert
Mugabe's regime to refuse further food aid. James Morris, executive director
of the World Food Programme, challenged the Zimbabwe government's claims of
a bumper 2004 crop of maize, the staple food.
Following a harvest
of less than 1m tonnes the year before, such a turnround would be
"staggering" if true, he said.
"If the projections are not correct, a
great number of people would be very much at risk," he said. "I don't know
what the evidence is that things would be any better [than last year]. The
next 90 days are going to be critical."
Harare - Zimbabwean Information Minister Jonathan Moyo,
already accused of plotting against President Robert Mugabe, is now under
investigation for corruption as his political future crumbles.
The independent weekly Standard yesterday quoted from official documents
claiming that Moyo was given free government labour, electricity, water
supplies and farm equipment on a former white-owned farm occupied by his
Another probe established that Moyo's wife illegally
leased an elite hunting lodge, seized by ruling-party militants, to a
state-owned hotel chain.
Moyo - nicknamed "Zimbabwe's
Goebbels", a reference to Hitler's propaganda minister Josef Goebbels - was
regarded as exercising considerable influence over Mugabe until November,
when he was barred from contesting elections and threatened with expulsion
ANC gives okay to Cosatu's Zim trip January
By Karima Brown
The ANC yesterday gave
Cosatu's planned visit to Zimbabwe a cautious thumbs up, suggesting a
greater convergence of views within the tripartite alliance about that
"We, as the ANC, have no objection to Cosatu
going to Zimbabwe to meet the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU),"
said ANC spokesman Smuts Ngonyama.
"Cosatu will have to consult
with the ANC on the details of the trip, so that we can develop a common
programme of action," he said.
Cosatu had the right to network with
any organisation,including the ZCTU.
But Cosatu's visit should
not "exacerbate tensions" in Zimbabwe, Ngonyama said.
Cosatu's visit is to promote peace then of course we support that. However,
the visit has to happen within the confines of the law and with respect for
the Zimbabwean government."
Ngonyama stressed the need for
Zimbabweans to be at the centre of finding a solution to the country's
Cosatu's last visit to Zimbabwe in October last
year resulted in a public war of words with the ANC who accused union
leaders of playing to the gallery. Cosatu's members were expelled from
Zimbabwe in a blaze of publicity.
Some ANC leaders, notably
from the Youth League, even suggested that Cosatu's visit amounted to
support for colonialism and the agenda of imperialist forces.
Cosatu decided to make a second visit to Zimbabwe, but that it would only
meet trade unionists and other civil society organisations.
would not seek a meeting with senior government ministers.
Cosatu believes it may again be refused entry, it says it will cross that
hurdle when it reaches it.
The federation also plans to continue
its picketing of the Zimbabwe High Commission in Pretoria.
Speaking after talks with his Zimbabwean counterpart Wellington Chibebe,
Vavi said Cosatu's decision to press ahead on the mater was fuelled by
concerns that the playing field was far from level ahead of the March
election in that country.
Vavi echoed the concerns
expressed by ANC secretary general Kgalema Motlanthe last week when he
called on the ruling Zanu-PF to allow the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) to campaign freely and openly.
The call on Zanu-PF
to allow free political activity has been growing louder and has now gained
ground within all sections of the tripartite alliance.
confirmed yesterday that Zimbabwe would feature high on the agenda of this
week's tripartite alliance secretariat meeting. It is expected that the
ANC and its allies will emerge more united over the issue of
Meanwhile, the South African Communist Party (SACP)
yesterday welcomed the "greater convergence" within the alliance over the
The SACP held talks with key MDC leaders including Morgan
Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube.
SACP deputy secretary-general
Jeremy Cronin said the MDC leaders were in the country at the invitation of
a policy think tank to explore "policy challenges" on Zimbabwe's political
situation. Cronin, who remained tight-lipped over the nature of the
discussions with the MDC, said the SACP believed the March election should
not be viewed in isolation to Zimbabwe's overall democratisation process
"The priority of such contact is to create multilateral
connections, for example, within the alliance and the South African
government we all bring different strengths and play different roles in this
"However, Zimbabweans themselves must lead the dialogue
on democratisation," Cronin said.
Cronin said the
elections should be the start of a longer term process involving all
"patriotic forces" to help create the conditions for political change and
"A narrow electionist position can end up in a
cul-de-sac, which would spell disaster and solve nothing," he said. -