Mugabe invites foreign observers, but not British
Jan. 28 — Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has invited foreign
monitor presidential elections but will not allow in observers
which he accuses of backing the opposition, state radio said
Mugabe's decision was announced as the main opposition Movement
Democratic Change (MDC) said on Monday five of its members had been
in the last 10 days as political violence picked up ahead of
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp (ZBC)
said Mugabe told journalists
Harare would welcome observers from the European
Union (EU), the
Commonwealth, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the
African Development Community (SADC).
ZBC said Mugabe had
also invited regional African bodies, the
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the
National Association of Coloured People
(NACP) from the United
But the Zimbabwean leader -- who faces his greatest
challenge in 22 years of power on March 9-10 -- said the EU and
teams should not include Britain.
accuses former colonial power Britain of being
behind Zimbabwe's political
crisis which has been driven by a disupte over
the takeover of white-owned
Mugabe did not give a timetable of when the observers could
except for those from Nigeria and SADC whom he said could take up
BRITAIN CASTIGATES MUGABE
''Comrade Mugabe said these organisations had been invited... But
would not be included in both the EU and the Commonwealth team,''
after Mugabe's meeting with reporters from state-owned media.
Zimbabwe's state news agency (ZIANA) quoted Mugabe as saying: ''We
inviting the Commonwealth -- excluding the United Kingdom -- and
ACP/EU delegation, again excluding the United Kingdom.''
Mugabe had asked Nigeria -- which has been trying to help
end Zimbabwe's land
seizure crisis -- and the 14-member SADC to send their
The agency said Mugabe had said that foreign journalists
-- who have
largely been barred from the country in the last eight months --
to apply to cover the elections ''on the basis of the country's
Mugabe's government has brought before
parliament a controversial
media bill banning foreigners from working in
Zimbabwe as reporters and
requiring journalists and media houses to operate
only with a licence issued
by state-appointed body.
Britain said on
Monday Mugabe had made life ''wretched'' in Zimbabwe
and should be punished
with tough sanctions if he refused to allow in
observers or halt his
crackdown on free speech.
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he would
urge a meeting of EU
foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday to back
against Mugabe and his inner circle, such as travel
bans and freezes on
assets held abroad.
But the foreign ministers
were expected to stop short of approving
full economic sanctions such as
suspending development aid, for fear of
harming Zimbabwe's poor.
Wednesday, Commonwealth foreign ministers will gather in London
for talks on
Zimbabwe's suspension from the 54-nation group, which is mainly
made up of
former British colonies.
The opposition MDC said the presence of
foreign observers would not
help much unless Mugabe also abandoned laws
restricting its ability to
''In the last 10 days,
(ruling) ZANU-PF militia have murdered five
MDC supporters and yet not even
one of them has been arrested,'' MDC
spokesman Learnmore Jongwe said in a
He told Reuters that 98 MDC supporters had been killed in
violence that began before June 2000 parliamentary polls which were
won by Mugabe's ruling party. Police were not immediately available
Compulsory 'patriotism' camps for Zim youth
Zimbabwe's embattled government on Monday announced plans to make
service training and indoctrination compulsory, a move the opposition
was an effort to create a private army.
State radio said all high school
graduates would be required to undergo
youth training in government centres
to instill them with "patriotism" and
what it described as an unbiased
understanding of the country's history.
Because of high unemployment
there have been many youth volunteering to join
the national youth service
where they are paid, fed and clothed.
After almost 22 years in power,
President Robert Mugabe (77) is making every
effort to stay in office ahead
of upcoming presidential elections.
His brutal crackdown on the
opposition which has included tacit government
approval of violence against
opposition activists and legislation aimed at
silencing any dissent in the
southern African country has been criticised by
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change called on
to disband youth militias who have already graduated from a
camp in northeastern Zimbabwe.
The opposition blames the militias, many dressed in
green denim uniforms, of
disrupting its meetings and rallies ahead of
It said ruling party militants
including youth militias disrupted two of its
weekend campaign rallies in
Under sweeping new security laws passed earlier this month,
police must be
informed of arrangements for rallies four days in
Opposition spokesperson Learnmore Jongwe said the party
collaboration between police and official youth service members
militants enough time to plan disruptions and intimidate residents in
around rally venues.
"It is meant to stop our campaign.
Cancelling rallies is an option we could
have to consider," Jongwe said,
citing the safety of opposition supporters.
Youth militia camped out in a
stadium in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest
city, to prevent an opposition
rally there last week.
At least 18 people were injured in clashes between
rival supporters and the
opposition said one of its followers had died on
Saturday of injuries
sustained at the rally the week before.
brought to eight the official tally by police of politically
this month. Independent human rights groups have blamed
most of the violence
on militants from the ruling Zanu-PF.
Zim suffering its worst ever
At least 100 people died in political violence last year
and thousands have
been left homeless from the unrest.
said on Monday high school graduates would require youth service
qualify for jobs in government.
Zimbabwe is suffering its worst ever
economic crisis, with unemployment at a
record 60% and inflation at an all
time high of 112%.
Elliot Manyika, the country's youth minister, said the
programme was needed because teachers and parents had not
emphasised the importance of patriotism and the country's
struggle to Zimbabwe's young people, the state-run radio
Manyika said young people were leaving Zimbabwe because they
had not been
trained to fully appreciate their country and stand by it in
Manyika's remarks echoed a recent vow by military
commanders that they would
only support former leaders of the nation's
liberation war that led to
independence from white rule in
Presidential opposition challenger Morgan Tsvangirai did not
the war and has been described by Mugabe as a traitor to the
The new youth training centre near
Mount Darwin, 160km northeast of Harare
has deployed hundreds of uniformed
youths across the country on what Manyika
describes as "community service". -
|Mugabe moves to indoctrinate Zimbabwe's
Zimbabwe is to make youth service training and indoctrination compulsory.
The opposition claims it is an attempt to create a private army.
State radio says all high school graduates will have to undergo youth
training in government centres to instill them with "patriotism" and what it
described as an unbiased understanding of the country's history.
Because of high unemployment, many youngsters have volunteered to join the
national youth service where they are paid, fed, and clothed.
After almost 22 years in power, President Robert Mugabe, 77, is making every
effort to stay in office ahead of forthcoming presidential elections.
His brutal crackdown on the opposition which has included tacit government
approval of violence against opposition activists and legislation aimed at
silencing any dissent in the southern African country has been criticised by the
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change called on the government
to disband youth militias who have already graduated from a state training
The opposition blames the militias, many dressed in green denim uniforms, of
disrupting its meetings and rallies ahead of forthcoming presidential
It says ruling party militants including youth militias disrupted two of its
weekend campaign rallies in Harare.
Under sweeping new security laws passed earlier this month, police must be
informed of arrangements for rallies four days in advance.
Story filed: 15:16 Monday 28th January 2002
Insight: Why African states implode
as most people understand it, does not exist in many African
"Government" has been turned into a criminal enterprise, operated
gangsters to fleece, not to serve, the people.
What exists in most
African countries is "vampire state" - a government
captured by crooks and
bandits, who use the instruments of the state (or
government machinery) to
enrich themselves, their cronies and tribesmen,
excluding everybody else (the
politics of exclusion). The richest persons in
Africa are the heads of state
and their ministers. Quite often, the chief
bandit is the head of state
himself. To them, "development" means developing
their pockets and "foreign
investment" means investing their booty in a
vampire African state cannot and will not endure. It eventually
extractive and exploitative ethic is morally, philosophically
Africans fought against the relatively less rapacious form of
under colonialism. So too will they fight against mafia African
regimes - or
black neo-colonialists. Nor can that "state vehicle" be used to
on the "development" journey. Only a few live the charmed,
opulent life. The
rest of the population is excluded. But those excluded
will take the abuse
and the rape for only so long. They would eventually
resort to one of the
following three options:
Rise up and overthrow the ruling
elites. That leads to a rebel insurgency
and destruction of the country:
Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Liberia, Rwanda,
Somalia, Sudan, Zaire,
Secede, which the Biafrans tried to do in 1967 - from Nigeria.
residents of Cabinda, the northern part of Angola are up in arms
threatening to secede. They sit atop huge reserves of oil and, yet, have
schools or good drinking water. Their oil is instead tapped to fight
senseless civil war. Secessionist threats are also being heard from
Yorubas, Ijaws and other ethnic groups in Nigeria's delta
Flee and become refugees elsewhere in Africa. The continent's
population has exploded in recent years, with the number reaching
Forms of resistance
However, before recourse to any
of these options, angry peasants may mount
various forms of resistance
against the marauding pirate state. They may
withdraw from the formal
economy, limiting their exposure to rape and
plunder by the state, thereby
taking with them potential tax revenues. They
may also fight back, sabotaging
the property of the predatory state and
attacking its officials. Fed up with
incessant power interruptions, they
wreaked vengeance on "NEPA equipment in
protest against power failures
starting around the time of the World Cup
televised from the United States.
They also allegedly vandalised property
worth about 212 000 naira - about
$2,500 - at the water treatment plant in
the area to protest the perennial
water shortage" (African News Weekly,
November 4, 1994, 12). Government
officials may denounce these as "acts of
sabotage" and unleash security
forces against the perpetrators. But that
would only compound the problem.
In every society, there must be an
avenue for people to vent their
frustrations and release excess pressure. In
civilized societies, when
people are angry at their government, they may
protest, hold demonstrations,
lambaste the government in the newspapers, on
the radio, or toss out the
errant regime at the ballot box. But in most
African countries, the mafia
government has blocked each of these
Brutalities and blockage
In Ghana there has been a
pattern of brutalities and blockage. On March 22,
1993, university students
at Legon began a boycott of classes to press their
demands for an increase in
student loans. They were attacked and beaten up
mercilessly by thugs hired by
the ruling NDC regime. Libel suits were
another weapon. When newspapers tried
to expose corruption and wrongdoing by
NDC government officials, they were
slapped with criminal libel suits. "At
least 30 libel suits have been filed
against the independent press by
leading members of the government in what is
seen largely as an attempt to
stifle freedom of statement," said Kwesi Pratt,
Jnr President of the Private
Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana
(PRINPAG) (Free Press, December
20 - January 2, 1997, 8). By 1998, libel
suits filed by government officials
had reached 350.
In August 1998,
Kwaku Baako Jnr, editor of The Guide newspaper, and Abdul
editor of the Statesman, were jailed one month each for
contempt by the Court
of Appeal in criminal libel suits against them. The
court also fined their
publishers, Western Publications for the Guide and
Kinesic Publications for
the Statesman, 10 million cedis each for the same
Immediately, a group of journalists, media practitioners,
Members of Parliament and other media sympathisers bearing
singing staged a three-hour march to the Supreme Court buildings
in Accra to
protest against what they said was growing threats to press
freedom in the
country. Some of the placards read "Prison or no prison we
will write", "we
are not afraid of prison", "we will not surrender", and "How
fair is press
freedom in Ghana".
Kwame Karikari, the Acting Director
of the School of Communications Studies,
University of Ghana, leader of the
demonstrators presented a 5-page petition
to the Deputy Judicial Secretary,
George Afflah Aryeetey. In the petition,
the Friends of Freedom of statement
said since the return of constitutional
rule, there has been an emerging
trend from the decisions and sentences,
which show that the courts are using
the law to cripple the media.
The petition said the spate of sentences
and orders for arrest and detention
of journalists increasingly serve to cow
courageous journalists and a threat
to others. It said the "courts are now
becoming an institution to subvert
press freedom," adding that the fines
being slapped on journalists and
publishers over the months point to a
weakening of the media. The group said
the overwhelming majority of the
sentences, decisions, fines and damages are
from cases involving high public
officials or top functionaries of the
ruling government or people very close
to them. They pointed out that they
are not against the courts performing
their normal functions of interpreting
the law and upholding justice nor do
they intend to defend any act of
irresponsibility by any journalist if and
when that occurs. The group said
it is concerned with developments, which are
tending to weaken the judicial
system and the democratic
Attacked by thugs
On December 4, 1994 police raided the
premises of Charles Wereko-Brobbey,
seized the transmission equipment of
Radio Eye, and arrested five persons,
including two Britons. When supporters
of the radio station marched to
parliament on December 8 they were attacked
by thugs and beaten up. On May
12, 1995 over 80 000 Ghanaians marched through
the streets of Accra to
protest the unbearable cost of living and demand the
withdrawal of the VAT.
ACDR thugs opened fire, killing four of them. On
December 28, 1995 when Vice
President Arkaah went to a cabinet meeting, he
was beaten up. On June 1,
1996 the National Union of Ghanaian Students held a
demonstration to protest
deplorable conditions at the country's universities.
They were attacked and
beaten up government-hired thugs. It happened again on
Tuesday, August 25,
1998 when unarmed university students marched peacefully
to the Ministry of
Education to protest exorbitant fees being heaped upon
them. They were
confronted by hundreds of riot policemen armed to the teeth,
with naked violence, simultaneously spraying hot water on the
mercilessly beating them with truncheons and opening fire on
In all these provocations, Ghanaians were counseled to be patient
they would get their chance to throw out the vampire elites out of
the December7, 1996 polls. They turned out in massive numbers -
about 80% of
the registered voters - to vote. But the elections were rigged.
As a result,
a significant number of Ghanaians have lost faith in the ballot
box (or the
"They have vowed not to vote in any
future elections if the voting pattern
of Ghanaians remain the same. After
all, they know that even if the right
man is there, he will not be
'Truth does not matter in Ghana politics'
Mensah, a trader of Obuasi Central Market, and a host of other
in the market emphatically said in their remarks that they
would never vote
again in their lives because they had come to realise that
truth does not
matter in Ghana politics" (Free Press, December 13-19, 1996,
people lose faith in the ballot box, they may decide not to vote again or
seek alternate ways of removing a hated government from power. Several
options are available. People may decide to cheat the government, since
government cheated them of their vote. They may cheat on their taxes,
to recognize the regime or attend its functions. They may embezzle
sabotage government operations, generally make life miserable for
government, or render the country "ungovernable." Any of these methods
raise government expenditures and subsequently the deficit. They may
withdraw their services and refuse to deal with a government they regard
"illegitimate." Or they may resort to violence. Predictably on December
1996 supporters of the ruling NDC reveled in the streets of
celebrating their "victory" in the election. They taunted
members, who went home to fetch machetes and butchered several of
People will not tolerate injustice, brutality and
abuse indefinitely: "K A
Britwum, the Ashanti Regional Secretary of the New
Patriotic Party 'Ghana's
main opposition party', says it will not sit down
for the ruling NDC to
molest, intimidate and brutalise its supporters and
members. Referring to
the brutalities meted out by certain military and NDC
machomen to NPP
supporters during the Afigya-Sekyere parliamentary
warned that the NPP will in any future elections match
the NDC boot for boot
in all aspects of the game of brutalities and
intimidation, if need be,
adding that 'After all, violence is not the
monopoly of any one group or
group of persons'" (Free Press, June 25 ? July
1, 1997, 3).
Avenue for redress blocked in Nigeria
Nigeria, the military rulers have blocked every avenue for
political and social grievances and brutalities have been heaped
activists, who therefore resorted to violence. A group calling itself
United Front for Nigeria's Liberation (UFNL) claimed responsibility
January 18, 1996 plane crash in which head of state General Sani
first son and 14 others were killed" (The African Observer,
1-14,1996, 2). The next day, January 19, 1996, two bombs went off at
locations connected to Abacha: the Kaduna Hotel, which he allegedly
and Kano Airport, which was the major transit point for people
son's funeral. Since then, bombs went off intermittently in
the US State Department to issue an alert to Americans
traveling to Nigeria.
Resentment has steadily built up against northern
Nigerians who have
dominated the government and the military for 28 out of
Nigeria's 38 years
of sovereign existence. The sudden death of Chief Moshood
apparent winner of the June 12, 1993 elections, sparked riots in
Abeokuta and Ibadan, in which Hausa and other northern Nigerians
targeted. At least 60 people were killed. "We are fed up in the South,"
Christopher Abiodun. "I believe 50% of us want war. I believe it,
cannot send our children to school anymore. No food. No shelter.
continue" (The Washington Post, July 15, 1998,
Discontent brewing in six other countries
In several other
African countries, such as Cameroon, Gabon, Kenya, Libya,
Sudan and Zimbabwe,
political strife and discontent are brewing. As noted
earlier, on July 7,
1997 church leaders, opposition politicians, student
groups, and civic
organisations demonstrated in Nairobi, demanding
constitutional reform to
level the political playing field before elections
scheduled for later that
year. The opposition claimed that free and fair
elections could not be held
unless changes were made. President Moi, who had
been in power for 19 years,
controlled all the levers of power: the
parliament, security forces,
judiciary, and electoral commission. His police
shot, clubbed and tear-gased
the demonstrators, including Reverend Timothy
Njoya of the Presbyterian
Church of East Africa. Eleven people were killed.
"On April 8th, 1998 Amnesty
International described Kenya as a 'powder-keg
waiting to explode' and blamed
the government for its divide-and-rule
tactics in encouraging ethnic
conflict" (The Economist, April 18, 1998, 42).
The politics of exclusion
has been the basic cause of turmoil in Africa.
Eventually, those excluded
from the political spoils eventually will rise up
and set out to either
overthrow the system or secede. The Biafran War of
1967 is an example.
Another is the island of Anjouan, in the Indian Ocean
archipelago of the
Comoros. It broke away from the Comoran Islamic
Federation in August 1997. In
December 1998, clashes between rival militias
left 60 people killed (The
Washington Times, December 13, 1998, A10).
Secession degenerates into
Regardless, secession or insurgency degenerates into violence,
destruction. The Liberian civil war started in 1989 when the
(Americo-Liberians, Mandingos and Muslims) set out to remove
Samuel Doe and
his Krahnmen from power. Two years later (1991), the
Front (RUF) started a war that eventually led to the
complete destruction of
Sierra Leone. As The Washington Times (June 10, 1999)
explained: "In the
beginning, it was simply an insurgency under the control
of the political
party long out of power because the ruling party had set up
dictatorship and governed the country for three decades" (p.A16)
Rwandan massacre began when Tutsi rebels set off from Uganda to
Hutu from power. The disintegration of Zaire began with rebellion
Laurent Kabila in 1996 with easterners excluded from power by Mobutu.
war and strife, together with famine, have claimed the lives of at
million Africans since independence in the 1960s and have driven
more into exile.
But Africa's mafia governments have learned
nothing from all these civil
wars and carnage. They repeat the same foolish
mistakes again and again in
country after country. - George Ayittey,
President of the Free Africa
News24 does not necessarily
agree with the opinions stated by Free Africa
EU agrees on Zimbabwe sanctions
FOREIGN Secretary Jack Straw tonight warned Zimbabwe
president Robert Mugabe
to "call off the thugs or pay the price".
Straw was speaking after EU foreign ministers agreed sanctions against
Mugabe regime from next Sunday unless European observers are given
access to monitor presidential elections in March.
The EU is also
insisting that human rights abuses must end, that the
must be given free access to cover the elections to
ensure that polling is
"free and fair".
Mr Straw said three months of talks in a bid to persuade
President Mugabe to
alter his regime of oppression had failed. "Mr Mugabe now
has a choice:
either he calls of the thugs, allows the media to operate
freely, and lets
the population of Zimbabwe make a democratic choice, or he
and his key
ministers will pay the price."
Mr Straw, who had pushed
for decisive action from the EU in the face of
storming tactics from the
Mugabe regime, said tonight's decision was "clear,
It reflected concern felt right across the European Union
that Mr Mugabe and
the entire leadership of his Zanu PF Party were out to
Mr Straw said the threat of
sanctions left the Mugabe regime no option but
to accept effective
international observers in time to carry out an
unfettered assessment of the
The sanctions threatened tonight are tightly targeted
on Mr Mugabe and 20
top individuals in his inner circle and their
They will be banned from travel to the European Union member
their assets in the EU will be frozen. In addition the sanctions
ban on the export to Zimbabwe of arms and equipment which could be
EU gives Mugabe's inner circle last chance on poll
Jan. 28 — The European Union gave Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe one last
chance to ensure free and fair elections on Monday, vowing
to slap sanctions
on the country's ruling elite if he failed to comply by
The bloc's foreign ministers agreed that if Zimbabwe
deployment of EU election observers by February 3, a travel ban
imposed on the top 20 individuals in Mugabe's inner circle and
The foreign assets of these decision-makers would
be frozen and a ban
would be imposed on the export to Zimbabwe of arms and
other equipment which
could be used for internal repression.
decision which we've taken gives President Mugabe no option but
effective international election observers or to face
sanctions,'' British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told a
''He has until a week tomorrow to make up his
mind. Either he calls
off the thugs, allows the media to ooperate freely and
let the people of
Zimbabwe make a democratic choice or he and his key
ministers will pay the
Mugabe, facing his greatest
challenge in 22 years, has been accused
by the international community of
trying to rig the southern African
country's March 9-10 presidential
Zimbabwean state radio said on Monday that Mugabe had
observers but would not allow in observers from Britain, which he
backing the opposition.
European External Affairs
Commissioner Chris Patten said the EU
envisaged a team of 150 observers,
including a core team which would go out
early to prepare the ground, which
should have assurances on accreditation,
security and access.
want to ensure that the job is done properly and that we are not
stooges,'' he told a news conference.
Mugabe repeatedly accuses his
country's former colonial power of
being behind Zimbabwe's political crisis,
which has been driven by a dispute
over the takeover of white-owned
His decision was announced as the main opposition Movement
Democratic Change said five of its members had been killed in the last
The EU said in a statement that even if
its observers were deployed
by February 3, sanctions would still be imposed
the government prevented them from operating effectively
government prevented the international media from having free access to
there is a serious deterioration in terms of the human rights
attacks on the opposition
the election is ultimately assessed
as not free and fair.
Straw, asked whether a monitoring mission which
did not include
British nationals would satisfy the EU, said: ''We're not
going to get
involved in playing games.''
''What we're interested
in is an effective team of EU observers which
are not only able to go in by
the date which has been set but also are able
to do their job properly and
are not subject to tricks and subterfuges of
the kind that may have operated
in the past,'' he said.
The sanctions envisaged -- similar to those
imposed in the past on
Liberian President Charles Taylor and the military
leaders of Haiti -- would
fall well short of full economic sanctions such as
aid, and so leave the country's poor
The decision to threaten personal sanctions was unanimous
reservations of several EU members, including France, which
argued that the
move would give Mugabe an excuse to exclude foreign election
Poll violence claims MDC life
Harare - Another man has died in Zimbabwe's
worsening political violence,
one week after being injured when ruling party
militants blocked a rally by
the Movement for Democratic Change, says an MDC
Mthokozisi Ncube died on Saturday from inuries he received
during clashes at
White City Stadium in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's said MDC
Jongwe on Monday.
Ncube's death brings to 13 the
number killed since political violence flared
on December 24.
has escalated since the two main parties held their national
month, when they officially named their candidates for the
But, the MDC says that more than 90 of its
supporters have been killed since
pro-government militants began their
attacks almost two years ago, in the
wake of President Robert Mugabe's loss
in a constitutional referendum.
The March vote will pit Mugabe of the
ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front party against MDC's
Morgan Tsvangirai, in what is
expected to be the hottest race since
Zimbabwe's independence in 1980. -
War vets take over farmhouse before 90-day
1/28/02 8:30:17 AM (GMT +2)
From Sandra Mujokoro in
WAR veterans who have occupied Redwood Park Farm in Nyamandlovu,
the farmer's house into a school for the local villagers and
people before the expiry of the 90-day deadline for the farmer to
The farm fell under a recent government stipulation giving
months to leave as part of the fast-track land redistribution
face two years in prison if they fail to
Problems at Redwood Park started early last year when the war
leader, Moses Siphuma, led his group onto the farm to peg land and
The farm, owned by Peter Goosen who is now out of the country,
classified under section 8 which gave him until the end of March to
the property for the settlers.
But the war veterans have moved
into the farmhouse and removed all the
valuables, including a digital
incubator for ostrich eggs.
A caretaker looking after the farm for Goosen
said the war veterans said the
District Administrator's Office would provide
the teachers for the school.
He said the government had initially
indicated they would use the old house
for voting for ward nine.
war vets said after this they are moving into the main house which they
to turn into a clinic. The house is locked and if they break in they
breaking the law," said the caretaker.
"Since the farm was occupied in
October 2000, there has been a lot of
damage, with some of the permanent
hydrants that carry water underground in
the fields broken," he
He said the war veterans had ripped out the drip tap laid out on
destroying the tap and emitters.
Expensive drip tap
connectors have been crushed.
Crops ready for harvesting last year were
left to die and young planted
crops were left to wilt.
production carried out with the help of local villagers was halted,
the community of millions of dollars in revenue.
Maize wilts beyond recovery as dry spell
1/28/02 8:31:40 AM (GMT +2)
Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU) says it is worried by the current
dry spell, which has affected most parts of the country since
December, as it
will affect crop yields this farming season.
The Department of
Agricultural and Extension Services said this week that
most areas of the
south-west and extreme south-east were now less than 100
percent of the
long-term mean rainfall since the beginning of October to
director, Sylvester Tsikisayi, said last week the maize crop in some
Matabeleland South, mainly in Gwanda, had reached a permanent
due to the poor rains. If the rainfall situation does not
improve, the maize
crop in this area will not recover.
"In Masvingo, there were good rains
earlier in the season, but if the
current dry spell is to continue into the
coming week, the tasselling maize
there will be negatively affected,"
Other areas whose maize crop was reported to be wilting
include some parts
of Matabeleland North, some districts of Kariba, Buhera,
Guruve and Chivi.
The southern half of the country has been virtually dry
for much of January
except for showers on the 8 and around 14 and 15 January
when a westerly
cloud system gave some moderate falls.
areas have been relatively wetter though the rains were
Department of Meteorological Services said last week almost
the country had been under some dry conditions from mid-
January and these
conditions were expected to continue with the advent of
Tropical Cyclone Dina
from the Indian Ocean.
In a statement released last Tuesday, the
department said: "The anticipated
trajectory of the cyclone, which is
expected to touch the eastern coast of
Madagascar before it moves deeper into
the Indian Ocean from next Monday 28
January, is expected to facilitate
subsidence airflow thereby drying out
much of the southern half of
The department said pressure rises expected from Friday should
some moisture over the southern districts of Masvingo, the Lowveld,
and parts of the Midlands.
Daily News - Leader Page
Early arrival of observers could end loss of
1/28/02 8:35:24 AM (GMT +2)
THE government has
declared itself against violence and committed itself to
international observers during the presidential election.
However, if it
is sincere, it should invite these observers at least a month
before the 9
and 10 March voting days for them to make an informed opinion
of the poll and
to understand the context in which it will be taking place.
arrival of international observers will either see a sudden
violence, largely by the ruling party supporters and
militias, or if this
does not happen, the international community will then
have a balanced
appreciation of what will have determined the outcome of the
is a monumental tragedy that the Electoral Supervisory Commission has
called in all the parties intending to take part in the
election and demanded a pledge for zero tolerance to violence
and after the outcome of the election.
unrealistic for the Commission to assume that whatever message it has
exhorting voters to go and exercise their right to elect a candidate
choice, will have an impact when people are being daily terrorised
threatened with dire consequences should they not vote for a
Even at this hour, it is not too late for the
Commission to call in all prospective candidates and
their parties, and
extract total commitment that they will not tolerate
violence by their
If the government is genuinely committed
to allowing international
observers, and if it is not behind the current wave
of violence, then it
should have no problems in inviting them to come into
the country much
earlier so they can see what is really happening.
if it is assured of winning, the more reason it should be concerned
victory not being tainted by charges of intimidation, violence
But the government has developed a capacity at doublespeak:
the Minister of State for Security, the minister in charge of
Brigade and the police commissioner are shown repeatedly
violence, and in fact, one confessed to being tired of paying bail
youths, but the violence continues unabated.
has said, while it will seal off the rural areas to the
these are its constituency, the opposition can confine
itself to urban
However, for the second time in as many weeks, the law
have moved to prevent the opposition from holding rallies
even in areas
where it claims majority support.
This is a conspiracy
to prevent the voters from hearing what the opposition
has to offer, while
the ruling party has unfettered access to the public
opposition turns to the independent media in order to reach the
Zanu PF supporters and militias ban the independent newspapers
circulating in some areas of the country.
And this is despite the
Minister of Home Affairs informing Parliament last
week that independent
newspapers such as The Daily News, The Financial
Gazette, The Independent and
The Standard are not banned publications.
There is a precedent: people
have been arrested for confiscating copies of
the State-controlled Herald and
It is because of this doublespeak and duplicity that
must come in much earlier.
In the meantime, it
is hoped that diplomatic missions accredited to Zimbabwe
will endeavour to
travel around the country to gauge the mood and the
conditions to which
voters in this country are being subjected, so that
their capitals are not
hoodwinked by the government.
It is also imperative that the observers do
not fly out of the country
immediately the results of the election are
announced. Past experience has
shown the intensity of violence that follows
an election result.
International election observers should be here at
least for two months -
one month before, and another after the
This is critical because it will save the loss of more
Tsvangirai says Mugabe should disband militias
8:29:02 AM (GMT +2)
By Conrad Nyamutata Chief Reporter
Tsvangirai, the president of the MDC, has called upon President
disband his militia, particularly the youths from the Border Gezi
camp, accused of violence and demanding Zanu PF membership cards
Tsvangirai said there was no legal basis upon which the militias
constituted. He said there was no Act of Parliament or Statutory
which formed the basis of their existence and
"It is sad that the Zanu PF government has come up with an
programme producing unlawful products whose sole aim is to
violence sanctioned by the State," he said.
militias from the Border Gezi training camp, together with hundreds
PF supporters, have embarked on an orgy of violence.
They are moving
around all over the country beating up people they suspect
to be members of
The militias have been moving from door-to-door demanding Zanu
cards. The youths also mount illegal roadblocks where they
force the public
to buy Zanu PF cards before letting them through.
also understand that the peace-loving people of Zimbabwe are now
panic-buying of different party cards for fear of being victimised if
do not have such cards," Tsvangirai said.
"We as the MDC wish to
unequivocally state that we will never force people
to produce MDC cards now
or in the future. We wish to make it clear in no
uncertain terms that it is
the democratic right of all
Zimbabweans to belong to any political party of
Tsvangirai called on the Southern African Development
Community (Sadc) heads
of state and the international community to tell
Mugabe to stop operating
torture bases throughout the country.
the MDC mourned all victims of political violence, murder, torture
at the hands of the "outgoing Zanu PF government".
MP accused of leading war vets in torturing
1/28/02 8:26:14 AM (GMT +2)
LAZARUS Dangwa Dokora, the MP for Rushinga (Zanu PF), is alleged
to have led
a group of war veterans and party supporters to torture
his constituency last week.
approached for a comment at Parliament last Wednesday, said:
"What story are
you talking about? Try some other time. I need to go and
debate the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Bill in
from the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPO), visited Rushinga
opinion on the presidential election on 9-10 March.
26, an MPO researcher, alleged Dokora demanded to know
why they were in his
constituency. He ordered them to stop the exercise.
He said: "Dokora held
discussions with the war veterans and took us to
chambers where our teams
Mangongera led a team of seven men and three women, in
which ranks among the least developed in Mashonaland
Central, a stronghold
of Zanu PF.
He claimed Dokora branded them MDC
Zanu PF youths and war veterans then bayed for their
Mangongera said: "We told them we were not MDC supporters, but a
soldier and war veteran continued beat us."
He and the
others had lacerations on their backs and swollen buttocks,
caused by the
brutal force of the sticks used to beat them.
Mangongera said their
problem started when they came across a Zanu PF rally
at Rushinga business
He said war veterans and youths demanded their particulars and
but were furious when they did not produce them.
"They besieged our car and took us to the MP's office, where we
interrogated before being handed over to the war veterans, who
Mangongera said they stripped him of his trousers and demanded money
food before brutally assaulting him.
He alleged the war veterans
took $20 000 intended for fuel and allowances
for his team.
saved by one war veteran who ordered us to go to the police
station. We were
followed by our assailants," Mangongera said.
"They ordered us not to tell
the police we had been beaten but the police
could see this from our
Rushinga police last week declined to comment on the incident.
Masipula Sithole, the MPO director condemned the attacks.
said: "This is a total violation of the Abuja agreement and the
"Either President Mugabe is fooling us and the rest
of the world that his
government is committed to a free and fair election and
respect of human
rights, or he has unleashed a Frankenstein monster he can no
War vets' leader accused of robbery and
1/28/02 8:24:16 AM (GMT +2)
WAR veterans' leader and Zanu PF secretary for security, Mike
in court on Friday on armed robbery, attempted extortion,
and assault charges.
He was remanded on $10 000 bail
to 15 March.
Moyo was represented by Aston Musunga of Musunga and
Stephen Musona, of the Attorney-General's Office, said
on 10 January, Moyo,
40, went to Engen Service Station in Fourth Street,
Harare, and demanded
fuel on Zanu PF's account with the outlet.
attendant at the garage allegedly refused to give him fuel on the account
he did not have clearance from Joseph Chinotimba, Zanu PF's
commissar for Harare province.
Angered by the fuel
attendant's explanation, Moyo allegedly threatened to
allegedly had a pistol strapped to his waist.
The attendant, fearing for
his life, allegedly gave Moyo fuel worth $4 900.
A reportedly remorseful
Moyo turned up at the garage the following day and
paid for the
In the other charges, Moyo is alleged to have gone with
Pasipamire, the Zanu PF deputy chairman for Harare province, to
Farm in Mazowe and demanded 50 percent of the profits realised from
farm produce or $15 million from the farmer, Duncan
The farm had been allocated to Pasipamire, they
They allegedly grabbed Parkes by the collar, shook him violently
threatened him with unspecific action if he failed to pay up by 18
Pasipamire was arrested at a hotel where he had allegedly gone
On Christmas Day last year, the pair allegedly
drove to the farm with 12
youths and indiscriminately beat up farm workers
and occupiers on the farm.
In the confusion, the youths allegedly stole
eight chickens and ducks from
the farm workers and occupiers.
allegedly returned to the farm on 18 January and beat up everyone in
The farm workers and occupiers fled into the bush. Some of
them returned to
their homes two days later after the police assured them of
Republic of Botswana
Mugabe will only go after losing elections
The Zimbabwean High Commissioner to Botswana Zenzo Nsimbi
says members of
the Crisis in Zimbabwe Co-ordinating Committee are members of
for Democratic Change (MDC) hiding under the guise of civil
Nsimbi said President Robert Mugabe was democratically elected and
only if he loses the March Presidential Elections.
accusations that he was serving the interest of the ruling party,
is representing the government and not the party.
He also assured the
meeting, which was addressed by members of the crisis
committee, that as diplomats they serve the government and
that if Morgan
Tsvangirai wins they will serve and work under him.
He argued that
because Mugabe has been democratically elected he should not
be pushed out
before the coming march elections, a view that is shared by
the President of
MELS Movement, Themba Joina. Joina complained about the
foul language used by
committee members against Mugabe, which he said
vindicates their believe that
the committee is made of MDC members
masquerading as civil
"Why should you be so biased? Maybe you are the ones who have
army into saying that. I wonder if you would accept Mugabe if
he wins," he
However, the stance of the high commissioner and
Joina drew sharp criticism
from some people with reverend Dumi Mmualefe
accusing the high commissioner
of representing the ruling party instead of
the government of Zimbabwe.
"We have been under the impression that
diplomats are representing
governments and not parties," said Mmualefe.
Reverend Mpho Moruakgomo also
supported his clergy, adding that the fact that
somebody had mistaken Zenzo
for a ZANU-PF representative is enough evidence,
and that he should not be
seen to be partisan. Mmualefe said the Southern
Community (SADC) is showing double standards by refusing
to intervene in
Zimbabwe when it was quick to do so in Lesotho and in the
Republic of Congo (DRC).
But John Makumbe said Zimbabwe is
militarily powerful and no SADC country
could intervene militarily without
the blessing of Mugabe. Mugabe's troops
were in Mozambique for about eight
years where they stopped the rebels from
defeating the ruling party and are
now on their third year in the DRC, said
"If South Africa
tries, they will come out running," he said but added that
Mugabe should be
suspended from SADC.
Wilfred Mhanda said Mugabe has no tolerance for
different viewpoints and
that opposing some of his policies is viewed as
supporting the opposition,
but argued that people could still hold divergent
views even if they are not
"There is room for civil society, many
people are being killed, it is not
flies that are killed," he said, adding
that 20 000 people have been
tortured since 2000, but added that if Mugabe
runs and wins free and fair
elections they will accept him.
executive director of Transparency International, Botswana Chapter,
Hermans said the deteriorating political and economic situation in
has serious economic implications for the SADC region.
Hermans said that
although Zimbabwe has a diversified economy with an
educated and committed
work force the real per capita income is lower than
when she attained
independence in 1980.
"Can you blame the whites or Zimbabweans?" he
asked. Everybody agrees there
is serious mismanagement and the reality is
that it is hurting us," he said.
Hermans argued that the depreciation of
the South African Rand has to do
with the world perception on Zimbabwe and
that the region is suffering from
dis-investment and the tourism industry is
"Under these circumstances, we do have the right to speak; we
up and say; you are hurting us- stop it," he
Former Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leader, Michael Dingake
echoed the same
sentiments, saying that if the Botswana government is not
interested in the
welfare of Zimbabweans, it should at least be interested in
that of Batswana
who are suffering as a result of the situation in that
Dingake said the situation is bound to cause instability here
repercussions because of the problem of refugees and increased
He said the position of the Zimbabwe army not to accept a
liberation war credentials could signal a possible coup de
And if that were to happen, Batswana will be in the firing line as
case during the time of Ian Smith.
MPs flee militia
1/28/02 8:34:47 AM (GMT
By Luke Tamborinyoka
TWO MDC Members of Parliament on
Saturday fled the Chitungwiza town centre
when 150 armed Zanu PF youths
prevented an MDC rally scheduled for the
Two other MDC members
from Harare East are in critical condition in hospital
after they were
allegedly assaulted by officers from the police Support
Unit, also on
Job Sikhala (St Mary's) and Tafadzwa Musekiwa (Zengeza) drove
away with the
Zanu PF youths in hot pursuit.
Their supporters, who had
turned up for the rally, scurried for safety in
nearby houses in Unit D, but
the militia later beat up people, accusing them
of providing refuge to the
fleeing MDC supporters.
The MDC rally was scheduled for the afternoon,
but by 6am, drum-beating Zanu
PF youths had camped at the venue, with two
truckloads of armed riot police
John Nkomo, the Minister
of Home Affairs, could not be reached for comment
yesterday, but the last
time he commented on the behaviour of police who
stood by while violence
erupted in Kuwadzana Extension, he told The Daily
News: "Those beaten up
should report to the police".
When told the police were not taking any
action to protect residents who had
their houses stoned, Nkomo
"Write what you saw."
Inspector Mutanhiri, the member-in-charge
of the police post at the
Chitungwiza town centre, was unavailable for
This is the second time the police have allegedly
helped Zanu PF youths
prevent an MDC rally from being held.
Zanu PF youths disrupted an MDC rally at White City Stadium in
despite the police pledges for security.
A victim of Zanu PF violence
last weekend at the stadium, Mthokozisi Ncube,
died on Saturday
Yesterday, Musekiwa said he notified the police about the rally
but they stood by and allowed Zanu PF youths to take over the
venue and do
as they liked.
"It is an unholy alliance between the
militia from the Border Gezi training
centre and the police to impinge on the
people's right to assemble, which is
enshrined in the Constitution. The
police have clearly taken sides,"
The Zanu PF youths,
clad in white T-shirts some of them emblazoned with the
words Rima Tikunde
(Till the land and prosper), almost attacked a car they
had mistaken for
When Sikhala mobilised the MDC supporters to go ahead with
the rally since
they had permission, the armed militia chased the two MPs and
The Zanu PF youths were allegedly bussed in from
outside Chitungwiza early
in the morning and were provided with food an
drinks by Zanu PF officials in
Yesterday, Sikhala lashed out
at the police for not acting against the
He said: "It
confirms what we have always said before - that police officers
with Zanu PF hooligans to unofficially ban MDC rallies.
"But with or
without the unofficial bans, the people's verdict is clear:
this regime will
go after the next election."
On Friday, the police raided Musekiwa's
house and arrested six youths,
including his brother, Herbert, who earlier
drove around the constituencies
distributing pamphlets calling on people to
attend the rally.
The police accused them of violating the Public Order
and Security Act,
signed by President Mugabe last week.
The six are
expected to appear in court today.
In Harare East constituency on
Saturday, armed members of the police Support
Unit allegedly fired six shots
in the air and brutally assaulted supporters
of the opposition MDC in
Greendale, disrupting a scheduled presidential
driver, Jonathan Banda, and Noah Zhuwawo were seriously injured
They are under police guard at Parirenyatwa
An affidavit prepared by Dr T Dhobbie says Banda had "severe
haematoma, swollen testicles and an occipital scalp", caused by
objects such as truncheons and batons.
Zhuwawo is in the
neurosurgical ward, where he is on drip and cannot speak.
the police accused the MDC of holding the rally without police
citing the repressive Public Order and Security Act.
But Tendai Biti, the
Member of Parliament for Harare East (MDC), said under
the Public Order and
Security Act, the police would only be notified in
advance of rallies and no
permission needed to be sought from them.
Biti, a lawyer, said: "The
police were notified on Wednesday by my chairman,
Alex Maphosa. Nowhere in
the Act is it written that we should seek
permission. Giving notice is
different from seeking permission."
Biti said the MDC was well aware that the
government would use fascist laws
to prevent their gatherings.
amount of violence will stop the overwhelming winds of change,"
George Ferezhi and Stewart Kaireka, both MDC youths who
beatings, said armed police from Rhodesville police station
descended on the
rally to assault people indiscriminately.
Republic of Botswana
Zim NGOs criticise SADC solidarity with Mugabe
As political violence and human rights abuses continue
unabated in the
run-up to the March presidential elections in Zimbabwe, SADC
finding themselves at the receiving end for their soft stance on
The continued British government's condemnation
of Mugabe's crackdown on
political opposition is fast gaining momentum and
this week prime minister
Tony Blair vowed to push for Zimbabwe's suspension
from the Commonwealth at
the London a meeting next week.
stand, which is also gaining sympathy, has been backed by the
Zimbabwe Co-ordinating Committee, which was in Botswana to drum up
from government and civic organisations.
Some civic organisations,
including the Methodist Church of Southern
African, are also calling on SADC
leaders to adopt a tougher stance while
others are calling for sanctions to
be imposed on Zimbabwe.
However, the Crisis Committee, a coalition of
civic organisations in
Zimbabwe, says sanctions would hurt Zimbabwe and the
rest of the region and
are calling for smart sanctions, which include travel
Mugabe, his immediate family, cabinet members and senior
They say Mugabe's promise of a free and fair
election at the recent SADC
extra-ordinary Summit in Blantrye, Malawi, was
but an illusion as political
violence and human rights abuses are still
SADC leaders were accused of hypocrisy by shielding Mugabe and
acting in the
spirit of African brotherhood.
A member of the Crisis
Committee, Professor John Makombe told a meeting of
civic organisations in
Gaborone that SADC leaders know that they too have
skeletons in their own
"They do not want to rock the boat because they are birds of
feather," Makombe told the meeting, organised by Ditshwanelo, the
Centre for Human Rights. He emphasised that "Mugabe does not want to
the elections because he fears that he would be tried for corruption
human rights abuses in the country". he said and further called for the
Mission to Zimbabwe for the election to include government and civic
Another member, Wilfred Mhanda, said the
presidential election would not be
free and fair given the continuing
violence and human rights abuses. Mhanda,
who is also chairman of the
Liberator's Platform, said the recent stringent
bills introduced by Mugabe's
government only formalised the ongoing violence
in the country.
without bills, the violence disqualifies the elections from being free
fair," he said emphasising that the laws were aimed at ensuring that
retains power, at all cost.
The Public Order and Security Bill would make
it illegal to criticise Mugabe
and hold public rallies without police
sanction while the labour bill bans
strikes, stay-aways or the mentioning of
a strike which carries prison
sentences of up to 20 years.
added that Zimbabwe has no independent electoral commission and that
registrar general was a civil servant vulnerable to manipulation by
He stressed that the controversial media bill was aimed
at monopolising and
dictating what the people should hear and added that
government was already
making it impossible for people to access news other
than from the
state-owned publications, radio and television.
Mugabe's militia and war veterans terrorised people in the rural
deprive them access to independent newspapers.
Director of the Media
Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe chapter
Sarah Gumboh emphasised
that there can be no different standards for
democracy or human rights.Gumboh
warned that what is happening in Zimbabwe
could also happen in Botswana or to
any other SADC country and therefore all
must be concerned about the turmoil
The committee members, who were earlier this month arrested
and deported in
Malawi during the SADC heads of state summit, also called on
the SADC to
have an army on alert for the post election period in
They argued that Mugabe is not prepared to lose and hell would
break lose if
it were to happen. The army says it will not accept Morgan
leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), who is
seen as a threat.
"The army would go to the bush and the people, too,
would go to the bush and
nobody has the monopoly over the bush. If the army
fights the Zimbabweans,
they will lose," said Makombe.
"We do not know
what will happen after the elections, SADC should have put a
Makombe and urged the regional body to send election
Straw gets tough in week of reckoning for Mugabe
January 28, 2002
Britain has lost patience with Robert
Mugabe and is to begin a week of
concerted action against Zimbabwe's
president, including freezing his assets
in Europe, banning him from
travelling here and suspending Zimbabwe from the
Commonwealth, the foreign
secretary Jack Straw says today.
In an interview with the Guardian, Mr
Straw says he has decided to "put
Mugabe on the spot" after spiralling human
rights abuses and anti-
democratic thuggery in the run-up to Zimbabwe's
"The tragedy unfolding in Zimbabwe is driven by
one man's ruthless campaign
to hang on to power whatever the cost to others
in the process. He's
destroying his country's economy, damaging the rest of
southern Africa and
making wretched the lives of his people," Mr Straw says
in his most
outspoken attack yet on Mr Mugabe.
Mr Straw's stance has
hardened over the weekend. The Foreign Office was last
week backing away from
sanctions because it feared it would prevent
international observers being
allowed into Zimbabwe. Mr Mugabe's
determination to ignore pleas for change
has convinced the foreign secretary
that tough action is needed.
has spent the weekend garnering support for an agreement on
sanctions against Zimbawe at today's EU meeting of foreign
They will mean the freezing of the assets Mr
Mugabe holds in European banks
and a ban on travel for Mr Mugabe and his
fellow ministers. It may also
include threatening to cut aid by £78.5m over
five years. If Mr Straw has
his way, the sanctions will begin next
He had told the Commons that, if the situation continued to
Britain would recommend suspending Zimbabwe from the
Commonwealth at a heads
of government meeting in March. Mr Straw will now
tell the Commonwealth
Ministers' Action Group on Wednesday that he wants
"He [Mr Mugabe] will say that it's all down to
Britain being revanchist, the
former colonial power manipulating the world
media, but the pressure is
already having an effect on the politics here
leading to the very early
stages of public arguments by people inside
Zanu-PF," the foreign secretary
Downing Street yesterday
confirmed that Mr Straw had the prime minister's
backing. Mr Blair's official
spokesman said: "We believe it is time to focus
President Mugabe's mind more
sharply on the consequences of his repression."
Saints and sinners in Mugabe's Zimbabwe
Monday January 28,
As a black Zimbabwean working in London, I was
astounded at George Shire's
shameless blaming of whites for the current
crisis in Zimbabwe (The struggle
for our land, January 24). Much like Robert
Mugabe and Zanu-PF, he uses land
reformto justify political and economic
To suggest that the Commercial Farmers Union is responsible for
the redistribution of land is ludicrous. Mugabe's government knew
importance of the commercial farmers and realised that to replace them
take huge financial resources. Instead, he put the issue on the
only distributing land to his cronies and party faithful. When he
challenged in 2000 he used land as an issue both politically and
ously. What Mr Shire fails to realise is that a black government has
power for 21 years and has fallen at every hurdle - it is a cop out
a minority that now numbers only around 50,000 (and falling
Everyone has the right to join a political party of their
choice. Mr Shire
suggests the Movement for Democratic Change does not have
the right to run
the country because it includes Rhodesian whites - so what?
He suggests the
only future for Zimbabwe is in the hands of Zanu-PF. Only a
free and fair
election will prove him wrong.
· George Shire's account of political violence, blaming it
on Selous Scouts
remnants in the MDC leadership, echoes the daily propaganda
government media in Harare. Independent human rights monitors have
that more than 90% of violent acts are carried out by the ruling party,
veterans or police against MDC supporters, farm workers and other members
Shire's attacks on the MDC MPs David Coltart and Mike
Auret are off the
mark. Coltart was not "a prominent member of the Rhodesian
police". He was a
police constable and 22 at the time of independence. It was
not this role
that caused government displeasure, but his representation of
political detainees and the families of Matabeleland massacre victims
Mike Auret was a junior army officer before UDI, not a
senior police officer
at any stage. He spent most of the 1970s as a senior
official of the
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, documenting abuses by
Scouts and other Rhodesian security forces.
Oxford Media Research
Shire cites a good many real Zanu-PF achievements. No one doubts
achieved a great deal in its first 15 years: the problem is that
regime is now irretrievably corrupt, self-seeking and power-crazed.
and all its supporters are not saints: but they are the best hope
has of continuing the work Zanu began before the whole "house of
|Australia seeks Zimbabwe Commonwealth
Jan. 28 — Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer
called on Monday for Zimbabwe to be suspended from the Commonwealth but said
action was unlikely before a summit meeting in early March. |
|In an interview with Reuters, Downer said President Robert Mugabe's ruling
ZANU-PF party had violated the democratic principles of the organisation, made
up of mainly former British colonies, and was intent on rigging Zimbabwe's
presidential elections in six weeks' time. |
harrassment and violence and restrictions on freedoms of speech cause us
enormous concern and as far as we are concerned are clearly in breach of the
Harare Declaration,'' he said in reference to a 1991 Commonwealth commitment to
Downer will attend a meeting in London on Wednesday
of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), the organisation's
democracy watchdog, which will discuss suspending Zimbabwe.
ministers have the power to suspend Mugabe's government immediately from the
54-nation Commonwealth's decision-making bodies. But British sources have said
it is more likely to leave the decision to a March 2-5 summit.
Downer, whose country will host the Commonwealth summit, declined to say if he
would push for earlier action. ''But we would like to feel that either CMAG
itself suspends Zimbabwe from the councils of the Commonwealth, or that it
recommends that the heads of government do the suspension,'' he said.
MUGABE ''DEAF TO CRITICISM''
Mugabe will seek to extend his 22-year
hold on power in March 9-10 presidential elections. Britain has condemned his
pre-election crackdown -- which caps an often violent two-year campaign to
occupy hundreds of white-owned farms -- as a disgrace to his country.
Britain urged its European Union partners on Monday to back ''targeted''
sanctions against Mugabe, but EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels looked
more likely to give Mugabe one last chance to ensure the deployment of EU
Zimbabwean state radio said on Monday Mugabe had
invited foreign observers but would not allow monitors from Britain.
Downer said Mugabe appeared deaf to criticism, both the ''implicit and quiet
criticism'' of his southern African neighbours and the ''overt aggressive
criticism from other parts of the world.''
''Enormous efforts have
been made to try to persuade President Mugabe to try to desist from what has
been going on in Zimbabwe,'' he said.
Mugabe's government also
appeared unmoved by the economic crisis facing the country, he added.
''The economy is in freefall, the country is confronting really very serious
food shortages now (and) possible refugee movements out of Zimbabwe because of
''The situation could not be more dire for Zimbabwe
but still President Mugabe is intent on maintaining the same policy,'' he said.
''...The thing he cares the most about is winning the presidential election. And
that is clearly what he is determined to do, regardless of the consequences for
Zimbabwe of how that election is conducted.''
||Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited. |
Caterpillar pest plagues Zimbabwe's dwindling food
2002 at 12:08AM
Harare - An army worm outbreak in several parts of Zimbabwe had put more than
20 000ha of newly planted food crops and pasture under threat, the official
Herald newspaper reported yesterday.
An official of the state
agricultural technical and extensions services told the paper that the
department was battling to contain the outbreak, which had caused damage to many
Other officials of the service were not available for comment
Army worm is a migrant caterpillar pest that attacks pasture
grasses, cereal crops and sugar cane.
Drought, floods and economic
problems have reduced Zimbabwe's agricultural output this year while a
controversial, often violent land reform programme, has made it difficult for
thousands of people to access food.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP)
said last week that the first shipment of food aid for 330 000 Zimbabweans had
crossed the border from South Africa.
The WFP spent $1.8 million to buy
6 160 tons of maize, beans, peanuts and oil from South Africa to be trucked into
southern Zimbabwe to feed 330 000 people over the next month, a regional
Industry officials said Zimbabwe might need to import
up to 600 000 tons of maize to supplement domestic output, which fell sharply to
1.476 million tons in the 2000/01 season from 2.04 million tons previously.
Earlier this month Zimbabwe state television said the government had
bought 150 000 tons of maize from South Africa.
The government has also
seized 36 000 tons of maize from commercial farmers accused of hoarding the
staple grain. - Reuters
Blantyre, Harare Trade Imbalance Still Growing
January 28, 2002
Posted to the web January 28, 2002
TRADE imbalance between Malawi and Zimbabwe estimated at
K2.5 billion last year is shooting up and has reached a critical stage for both
governments, trade officials have said.
Zimbabwe which remains the second biggest regional economy
after South Africa despite of the land-triggered economic curfew in that country
is Malawi's long trading partner.
According to official figures, Zimbabwe towers over Malawian
trade by over ZIM$3.08 billion (K3.5bn) as opposed to Malawi's ZIM$292.34
Government trade officials said despite growth in business
transactions between the two in the wake of a renewed bilateral trade agreement
two years ago, the increase has been skewed in favour of Zimbabwe.
Geoff Mkandawire, Director of Commerce in the Ministry of
Commerce and Industry said joint efforts were on course to upset the current
trade transaction trend.
"One of the best measures is to enable our private sector to
increase their exports to Zimbabwe mainly in the items that the Zimbabweans do
not produce," he said.
Dr. Hubert Murerwa, Zimbabwe's Minister of Industry and
International Trade told Daily Times in Blantyre recently, the Zimbabwe
government was equally concerned with the increasing trade imbalance and through
the existing joint bilateral trade commission, the problem is bound to be
"Clearly what we need to put in place measures that would
iron out constraints that Malawi traders are facing," he said.
Murerwa also said Zimbabwe government was putting in place a
trade policy that will enable to stimulate Malawi's manufacturing and export
"At the end of it all we will need to have a win-win
situation. No any country among us should be indebted to the other," he
Figures by Zimbabwe government indicate that the volume of
trade between Zimbabwe and Malawi had climbed up 170 percent between 1997 and
1999 and exports to Malawi floating around 192 percent during the same
Malawi on other hand, her exports to Zimbabwe have only
grown by 56 percent hence still nursing a increasing trade imbalance.
Jan 28th 2002
From The Economist Global
Outsiders can help, but in the end it is up to Zimbabweans to shake
off their awful government
ON MONDAY, January 28th,
European Union foreign ministers threatened to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe’s
ruling clique. But not immediately. Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president, has
until February 3rd to allow EU election monitors into the country. If he
refuses, or obstructs them once they are in Zimbabwe, or continues to harass the
independent press, Mr Mugabe and his cronies will face a ban on travelling to
Europe. They will also have their overseas assets frozen, if European
investigators can find them.
The aim of these “smart
sanctions” is to ensure that Zimbabwe's presidential election, scheduled for
March 9th-10th, is free and fair. Fat chance. Mr Mugabe's regime is
impoverishing Zimbabwe with the speed and ruthlessness of a pack of hyenas
stripping the flesh off a buffalo, which has not made the 78 year-old despot
popular. Faced with the certainty that he would lose a free and fair ballot, Mr
Mugabe is using all the machinery of state to make it unfree and unfair.
Europe's warnings to Mr
Mugabe have been criticised as too gentle and too late. But there is no easy way
to influence events in Zimbabwe. A full-scale trade embargo is out of the
question: it would hurt the poor and the productive, not the wealthy parasites
who rule them. And his past record suggests that Mr Mugabe cares more about the
survival of his regime than the well-being of his subjects. In the past two
years, donors cut most aid to Zimbabwe’s government, which accelerated the
country’s economic collapse, but appears to have had no effect on Mr Mugabe’s
The “smart sanctions”
that the EU is now threatening to impose are similar to those that American
lawmakers have already authorised, but not yet implemented. Though desirable,
they will probably not be enough to persuade Mr Mugabe to allow a free and fair
election. He fears that if he loses his job, he may lose his liberty, or even
After 22 years of
corrupt and occasionally murderous government, many Zimbabweans are hungry for
justice. Mr Mugabe does not wish to share the fate of Augusto Pinochet, the
former Chilean dictator who was arrested in Britain, or worse, Nicolae
Ceausescu, the Romanian tyrant who was toppled and executed. So he may feel that
he has no choice but to persevere in his war against democracy. Every day, his
militia subjects more Zimbabwean peasants to tortures involving sticks, barbed
wire or molten plastic. After each beating or hut-burning, potential voters are
warned that their ballots will not be secret, and that if they vote against Mr
Mugabe, they will be killed along with their families. Meanwhile, police break
up opposition rallies before they can start, and arrest opposition leaders for
trifling or imaginary offences.
Smart sanctions might be
useful if they could persuade dissenters within ZANU to undermine Mr Mugabe. In
the past, Mr Mugabe has shown great skill at sidelining his rivals within the
party or, when that fails, using thugs with clubs to prevent them from voting at
party congresses. But in recent weeks, some ruling-party politicians have shown
that they are tiring of their leader. Eddison Zvobgo, one of ZANU’s most senior
cadres, has challenged a bill aimed at muzzling the press, and succeeded in
delaying its passage through parliament and watering down some of its more
But it is doubtful that
ZANU can really reform. Though the party has some moderate members, it has been
in power for 22 years, so long that all but a handful have been corrupted. In
any case, power in Zimbabwe is overconcentrated in the presidency, so the best
hope for better governance is a new president.
hired thugs are stopping buses and pedestrians on rural roads and breaking the
noses and teeth of those who cannot produce ZANU membership
Mr Mugabe’s opponent in
March is Morgan Tsvangirai, a former union leader. Although he has no experience
in high office, he is popular simply because he is not Mr Mugabe. But he is
finding it difficult to campaign. A law passed earlier this month made it a
criminal offence to “undermine the authority of the president”, which could
allow the police to arrest Mr Tsvangirai for making a normal campaign speech.
The government controls the broadcast media, which portray Mr Tsvangirai as a
front for white racists who plot to bring back colonialism and forced labour.
And Mr Mugabe’s hired thugs are stopping buses and pedestrians on rural roads
and breaking the noses and teeth of those who cannot produce ZANU membership
Mr Mugabe’s terror
campaign against white commercial farmers has caused the output of some cereals
to fall to a quarter of what it was two years ago. An estimated 500,000
Zimbabweans are on the verge of starvation, but the delivery of food aid has
been delayed by the government's initial insistence that all aid should be
distributed through official channels. Donors were worried that the grain would
be presented as a gift from the government, and withheld from suspected
opposition supporters. The World Food Programme finally won permission to
oversee the operation itself, using locally-hired workers, and aid is now
trickling in. Whether it will reach all those who need it without political
interference remains to be seen.
If Mr Mugabe “wins” in
March, the outlook for Zimbabwe is bleak indeed. But if he rigs the election too
blatantly, cities such as Harare and Bulawayo, where he has almost no support,
may explode. Mr Mugabe could even be toppled by street protests, as happened to
Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia.
If Mr Tsvangirai wins,
donors will rush to help him undo the damage Mr Mugabe has wrought. But the
military may not allow him to take office. Most of the top brass owe their
position, and their recent opportunity to loot the Congo, to Mr Mugabe. One
senior general hinted this month that he would not recognise Mr Tsvangirai as
president. But Mr Mugabe is far less popular among the rank and file, despite a
recent 100% pay hike. If ordered to open fire on unarmed protestors, would they
obey? No one knows.