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The Scotsman
Banned party on way back to haunt Mugabe


THE long-banned Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) is to be re-formed to set up in opposition to Robert Mugabe immediately after elections in March.

Zapu, the original freedom fighting movement led by the late Joshua Nkomo, was disbanded and outlawed in 1987 after four years of brutal fighting in Matabeleland.

When Mugabe ordered the notorious Fifth Brigade of the Zimbabwe National Army into Matabeleland in 1983 he thought that meant the end of his hated rival Nkomo and Zapu.

Arthur Molife, a leading light in the UK Zimbabwean diaspora and a bitter opponent of Mugabe, said yesterday: "The re-formation of Zapu is certain. We’re working to a timetable.

"We are keeping out of the March general election so as not to split the anti-Mugabe vote. But the moment those elections are over, we will hold a Zapu congress inside the country, elect a new leadership and then go for Robert Mugabe."

One Mugabe confidante admitted last week: "Mugabe knows there’s growing grass-roots support for Zapu."

During the four-year Matabeleland campaign, Mugabe authorised the slaughter of 20,000 to 25,000 Ndebeles, an offshoot of the Zulu Nation. Thousands of children died in the violence.

Mugabe told the world that he was facing a dissident uprising planned by apartheid-ruled South Africa and, in December 1987, he forced Nkomo to stand beside him at State House while he grabbed all of Zapu’s properties and investments.

Nkomo joined Mugabe’s government to the cries of shame from millions of ordinary Zimbabweans.

But Mugabe has never felt safe in Matabeleland. He dislikes visiting the province and sources close to him say he is increasingly alarmed at low turnout at elections and rumours of massive civil unrest in the sprawling townships.

Many of the estimated 400,000 Zimbabweans in Britain say they are delighted that the new US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, recently described Zimbabwe as "an outpost of tyranny".

Molife said: "Because of that, Mugabe will never again be able to go into Matabeleland and wipe out civilians who oppose him. He knows the world is watching."

Molife told Scotland on Sunday: "Zanu (PF) has always been humiliated at the polls in Matabeleland and the people there vote for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change [MDC] because there's no-one else around.

"But the leadership of the MDC is ineffectual, weak and discredited and everyone voting for the MDC today will vote for Zapu tomorrow. They know our record and understand we never really packed up."

The re-formation of Zapu is news that will disturb the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. Most whites in Zimbabwe and South Africa see him as the only man who can restore law and order.

But the most powerful man in the region, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, has little respect for Tsvangirai, whom he calls an upstart.

A resurgence of Zapu will not mean a reversal of Mugabe’s policy of confiscating prime farmland from whites. Molife said: "We will never give back the land to whites. But we will let them lease farms owned by the state and supply black growers with fertilisers and tractors so they can once again feed the people.

"The MDC will be defeated in March. But then Robert Mugabe will have a real fight on his hands because most of the three million Zimbabweans in exile in South Africa, the one million in Botswana and the 400,000 who have made the UK their temporary home will turn to us for leadership."
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Zimbabwe asylum removals protest
Zimbabwean president President Robert Mugabe
President Robert Mugabe: Defiant despite widespread criticisms
Protesters are gathering in London to urge ministers to stop deportations of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe.

Campaigners say the government is putting lives at risk after it reversed its policy of not sending people back to the country.

One of US President George W Bush's top team has described Robert Mugabe's regime as an "outpost of tyranny".

But the Home Office says it has resumed removals to Zimbabwe to tackle a rise in unfounded applications.

In November last year, immigration minister Des Browne ended a two-year suspension on removals, put in place because of the security situation in the country.

Large numbers of Zimbabwean opposition activists have fled the country, saying their lives were in danger. BBC reporters are banned from entering Zimbabwe.

Some 14,000 Zimbabweans have claimed asylum since 2000. The most recent figures show that only 55 of 650 cases considered were considered genuine, although a further 110 won the right to stay on appeal.
We believe they are removing Zimbabweans by any means possible so they can meet their removal targets
Brighton Chireka

The Home Office will not confirm any figures but community sources estimate up to 100 failed asylum seekers and visa over-stayers may have already been put on planes out of the UK.

Zimbabwean campaigners are fighting the returns, saying people are being sent back to an uncertain fate amid growing tension ahead of elections in March.

Brighton Chireka, spokesman for the Zimbabwean campaign, said removals were contradicting the government's own statements on the situation in the country.

"The Foreign Office says there is a crisis in Zimbabwe and that there has been no change [in the risks to opposition activists] so the question we ask is why has the Home Office changed its policy to send people back?" said Dr Chireka.

"We believe they are removing Zimbabweans by any means possible so they can meet their removal targets, yet you cannot hand these people over to the Zimbabwean authorities."

Genuine refugees, including members of opposition parties, will continue to be protected
Home Office spokesman

A spokesman for the Home Office said the returns were justified because of the increased proportion of unfounded claims from the region.

The suspension of removals had become a "pull factor" for fraudulent applicants posing as Zimbabweans, said the spokesman.

"This change in asylum policy is entirely about operating a firm and fair asylum system. It does not reflect any change in the Government's categorical opposition to human rights abuses in Zimbabwe," she said.

"Genuine refugees, including members of opposition parties, will continue to be protected.

"We will also continue to push the government of Zimbabwe to end human rights abuses, and restore democracy so that all Zimbabweans can in time return safely to build a prosperous and stable country."

BBC News contacted the Zimbabwe High Commission in London for comment but a spokesperson was not available.

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Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2005 7:48 PM
Subject: Nightmares

A Week is a long time in Politics.

Mr. Mugabe must be feeling very uneasy in his bed these days - the
comfortable scenario mapped out for him and for Zanu PF has steadily
disintegrated in recent weeks. It all started when they held their
much-heralded Zanu PF Congress in Harare.

When pigs call a congress in the feeding trough, it's not a pleasant sight.
Squeals and honks abound and there are the odd fights while the strong
simply elbow the weak out of the trough to make way for themselves and their
protégés. Remember these guys had been on the gravy train for a long time so
they expected the best - and they got it; 5 star hotels were booked out and
gala dinners and cocktail parties were too numerous to count. The bash cost
Z$28 billion (US$6 million) and I understand that bills for the majority of
this remain outstanding.

But when the party was over it became clear that there had been some major
casualties. The majority of the key players who had held the Zanu PF ship
afloat in the past 5 years found themselves ousted from power. The reason, a
South African funded attempt to get the Speaker of the House of Parliament
(Munangagwa) into a position where he could take over from Mugabe and start
to pull the strings. He was supported in this perceived coup by a whole
coterie of senior Zanu politicians - Moyo, Chinamassa, Chombo and many

Mugabe held onto his post at the helm - but only just and at the cost of
most of the team that had held his Party together in the previous 5 years.
When you take these people out of Zanu - who are you left with - Made,
Mutasa and Shamuyarira! A collection of ineffectual people in terms of the
actual skills needed in this fight to the finish with the MDC.

But the fight was not over when the mob left the feeding trough in Harare -
it continued in every constituency because now Mugabe had to eliminate his
enemies in the Zanu PF primaries. This hangover has split the Party and left
it in tatters in many districts. Right now - with only 6 weeks to go to the
Zanu PF target date for the election of the 18th of March, they do not have
nearly half their candidates selected. The Party structures in Matabeleland
are in a shambles and are having difficulty in even finding candidates - as
is the Party in Manicaland.

And when pigs party - there are no rules in the pen! We have seen every
trick in the book. Children lined up to vote for candidates. One story where
farm workers, who all hold Zanu cards (but are in fact MDC supporters) got
hauled to a meeting where they were told to write their names on a form with
their ID numbers and then they were told they had voted for Sabina Mugabe -
the Presidents sister. They were then loaded back onto lorries and taken
home where they recounted their story with glee to the farmer.

Then came the spy story. A senior CIO operator had lured a South African
spymaster from his den in Zambia and was in custody. 5 Government and Zanu
PF officials were taken into custody and one diplomat simply disappeared
from his post in Europe. What had they been doing? They had been working for
the South African secret service and were supplying information to the South
African government. These poor guys have appeared in one form or another in
court (why do they bother) and have been badly beaten and interrogated.
Philip Chiyangwa - the flamboyant Zanu PF chairman of Mashonaland West was
one of the players and had been taking US$10 000 a month for his services
(Z$85 million), not bad for a days work. I wonder what the whole scam cost
South Africa?

The nation was stunned - they had been fed the story that Blair was the
enemy and the MDC his stool pigeon. Now it turns out that actually it was
Mbeki and his stool pigeons were too numerous to count and all came from
within Zanu PF.

Then there was the aftermath of the release from travel restrictions of
Morgan Tsvangirai. This has been an ongoing nightmare for Mugabe. Tsvangirai
has not only traveled, he has been to see the great majority of the key
African leaders and has been making progress. Unlike Mugabe, he was able to
travel without restriction to Europe and was able to strengthen his position
there as well.

As a consequence the status of Morgan Tsvangirai has risen while Mugabe's
own star has begun to set. There has been a significant improvement in
African understanding of the struggle here. Today there is less criticism of
the West's position that Mugabe is a tyrant and has destroyed his country
and more understanding of the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans.

This was demonstrated by a number of shifts on the African continent - the
AU demands that Mugabe explain a negative report on human rights in
Zimbabwe. The decision by the SADC States to set up standards for elections
to which Mugabe would be required to comply.

Then came George Bush's victory in the States, Blair's election to head the
G8 and the EU Presidency. Mauritius and Botswana to the Chairmanship of the
SADC, the exit of his remaining friend in the region when Namibia changed
drivers. His isolation is nearly complete. The final straw was the
nomination of the American "steel magnolia" Ms. Rice, to the post of
Secretary of State. Mugabe can well remember that time in the late 90's when
Ms. Rice came to Harare to see him and was given a very rude reception and
dismissal. He must now squirm at the thought.

Mugabe now faces another test, elections for the Zimbabwean Parliament. Just
a few months ago he thought he had it all wrapped up - the rigging in place
and I am told they had even agreed how many seats they would allow the MDC
to win. Since then his team has disintegrated, his Party is in disarray and
the region is starting to talk tough - comply with the SADC protocols or
else! He thought that he had the full support of Mbeki only to discover that
in fact Mbeki wanted change - not in Zimbabwe, but in Zanu! Now even that
relationship is under strain.

In the meantime, MDC has nearly finished the appointment of its 120
candidates - most are already in the field campaigning. The initial reaction
from the ground is encouraging. We meet next Wednesday and Thursday to
decide what to do about the elections. At this stage it looks like all
systems go despite the present non-compliance with the SADC standards. The
main reason being that our ordinary members across the country have said
they want us to contest the elections.

If we do agree to fight the election then we expect the new Electoral
Commission and the SADC leaders to deliver free and fair conditions in
advance of the elections. These simply do not exist at present. I hear that
the Courts will hand down a decision on the Daily News on the 7th of
February and have heard a whisper that it will be in favor of the newspaper.
This will be another political decision by the Courts - not a legal one, but
all the same, it opens up the playing field just that little bit more.

Even the much vaunted food weapon may yet rebound on Zanu PF. They planned
to control food supplies to the country by March 2005. It now looks as if
they may have misjudged this and are actually running out of food stocks.
Zanu may well have to face a very hungry and angry electorate when they
finally drag themselves up to the ballot box hopefully in a delayed election
held in June 2005.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 28th January 2005

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Leeds Today
Don't send me back to regime of terror
Friends campaign for asylum reject
By Peter Lazenby
A MAN who fled the regime of Robert Mugabe has been arrested in Leeds and faces removal to almost certain imprisonment or even death in Zimbabwe .
Immigration authorities say he has been refused permission to stay in Britain and has exhausted asylum seekers' appeals procedures.
The man is afraid that the Zimbabwean authorities will be alerted if his name is publicised. He said his family in Zimbabwe was persecuted after he was pictured in a South African newspaper taking part in a demonstration outside the Zimbabwean consulate in London. He wishes to be known only by his initials PK.
Friends in Leeds are campaigning for him to be allowed to stay.
PK is being held at Lindholme detention centre, outside Doncaster. He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "I was active in the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe. The MP in the area where I was living died. We believe he was poisoned. There was a by-election. I was involved in voter education, and reported incidents – beatings, harassment.
"First I was arrested and detained for two days and was beaten up.
"I was a teacher. I used to teach sport. They stopped me doing that. I went to Swaziland to train a team. When I came back I was accused of having undergone training in South Africa for sabotage. I was arrested and beaten again and tortured. I was supposed to appear on TV and confess a lot of things, denounce the MDC. Some MDC supporters arranged my escape from detention.
"I stayed with friends who made arrangements for me to come here."
He arrived in Britain in October, 2002, leaving behind his wife, and two daughters now aged nine and three.
"I applied for political asylum, but they did not find credibility in my story."
He has been staying with friends in Leeds and has been involved in refugee and asylum support work.
He was living in Beeston, but was stopped by immigration officials and was arrested coming out of his house.
"They told me the process was finished," he said. "They said my Zimbabwean passport had expired. They are making arrangements for me to be removed to Zimbabwe."
He said he believes he will be killed if he goes back.
The Home Office has twice changed the rules affecting asylum seekers from Zimbabwe. First if suspended the removal of failed asylum seekers from Zimbabwe because of the oppressive nature of the Mugabe regime.
Then in November, last year, it reverted to returning asylum seekers who failed to get permission to stay.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: "Genuine refugees, including members of opposition parties, will continue to be protected."
Leeds Asylum Support Network said PK was a valuable helper and volunteer.
29 January 2005
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Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2005 5:06 PM
Subject: We have no voters roll here

Dear Family and Friends,

For more than a month we have been watching the goings on in the ruling
Zanu PF party with more than a little bemusement. Some government
ministers are in prison, high ranking officials are facing charges of
spying and selling state secrets, others have been suspended from the
party and still others have been barred from standing as candidates in the
coming parliamentary elections. Zanu PF primary elections which should
have been completed in a weekend, were still going on two weeks later and
the process was littered with allegations of vote buying, rigging and
irregularities with losing candidates refusing to accept the results in a
number of cases.

With such obvious confusion and so many irregularities in Zanu PF's
primary elections, it is tragic to know that this same party is entrusted
with holding national elections in Zimbabwe in a few weeks time. As we
entered the second and final week of checking the voters roll for
parliamentary elections, a dozen Zimbabweans tried to check the voters
roll at the embassy in London. What happened to them is unbelievable and I
quote in full from a letter written by an eyewitness:

"They locked the Embassy all afternoon, refused to let us in, wouldnt send
anyone to talk to us and called the police on us. The police said we had
every right to stay there, which we did, without any joy.

"All they would do was have a junior official talk to us through the
intercom. They said they have no voters roll in there and we asked them to
send someone to talk to us, but everyone was in a "long long meeting"
apparently.  However we persisted and made the point, staying there for a
couple of hours. A courier turned up with something from Immigration for
them.  Much to his frustration, they refused to let him in too. A workman
carrying out repairs inside came back from his lunchbreak to find he was
also refused entry and told to take the rest of the day off.

"We asked if we could just get into reception and if they could send
someone senior to explain to us why they dont have the voters roll and why
we were being treated like that.  Again the answer was negative.

"We weren't surprised they had no roll for us to inspect, but we were
surprised that they should lock the whole Embassy because a small handful
of their own citizens are politely asking for their rights!  And in London
this weekend the Iraqi's will quietly vote in their election, but not us,
we are too dangerous!! "

To all Zimbabweans who continue to raise their voices and demand their
constitutional rights, wherever you are in the world, from those of us
here whose voices have been silenced, thank you. Until next week, with
love, cathy

Copyright cathy buckle 29 January 2005.
"African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available outside Africa from: ;
;  in Australia and New Zealand:
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Mail & Guardian
Zimbabwe tells Cosatu to mind its own business
29 January 2005 11:26
Zimbabwe on Friday warned the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) to stop meddling in its internal affairs.

A statement by the country's top envoy, Simon Khaya Moyo, said reports that the African National Congress had changed its mind about Cosatu's planned fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe and was supportive of it, were contrary to what they had learned from the party itself.

On Thursday, the Alliance Secretariat, made up of the SA Communist party, the ANC, the SA National Civic Organisation and Cosatu, said the union's planned visit was part of efforts to create a dialogue that would ensure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

"Zimbabwe is not for sale," the ambassador said in a statement.

"Zimbabwe is currently too busy with preparations for the March elections, which will be conducted within the SADC (Southern African Development Community) principles and guidelines on elections.

"These SADC protocols were crafted for all SADC member states and the notion being projected that they apply to Zimbabwe only must be dismissed with the contempt it deserves," Moyo said. - Sapa
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The Washington Times

Aid crackdown facing legal test

By David R. Sands
Published January 29, 2005

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is trying to quash a last bastion of opposition with harsh legislation targeting private humanitarian and charity groups, a leading democracy activist said.
    Lovemore Madhuku, founder and president of the Harare-based National Constitutional Assembly, said the bill awaiting Mr. Mugabe's signature was an "unprecedented maneuver to undermine the case for democracy" just two months before expected parliamentary elections in March.
    In Harare this week, a coalition of nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, announced plans for a legal challenge to the bill, calling it an unconstitutional attempt to suppress dissent.
    "Such a law has no place in a democratic society," Mr. Madhuku said during a visit to Washington this week. He was in the United States to accept an award for his efforts to propel constitutional reform in Zimbabwe in the face of increasing political repression by the Mugabe regime.
    The government has jailed Mr. Madhuku repeatedly for his criticism and for demanding an overhaul of the constitution. In February, police beat him so savagely that it was feared he had died.
    Mr. Madhuku told a gathering at the Woodrow Wilson Center on Thursday that he opposed new economic or political sanctions against the government.
    Mr. Mugabe, in power for a quarter-century, has successfully labeled sanctions as foreign interference in the country's affairs, he said.
    Mr. Madhuku praised Condoleezza Rice's statement in her Senate confirmation hearings for secretary of state last week that named Zimbabwe as one of six global "outposts of tyranny" to be opposed under U.S. foreign policy.
    "Such support for basic democratic rights inspires us," he said.
    The Herald, Zimbabwe's state-run daily newspaper, bitterly denounced Miss Rice's comments, calling her "a black who washes away the sins of white power as it bludgeons non-white states."
    Zimbabwe's often-divided opposition, including the Movement for Democratic Change, the main nongovernmental party in parliament, will need to regroup after the March elections, Mr. Madhuku said. He predicted Mr. Mugabe's governing Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party would manipulate the vote to secure an even larger majority.
    The NGO bill would require private groups to register with the government, identify their leaders and funding sources, and describe in detail their planned areas of work for the next three years.
    It was introduced after the enactment of legislation to crack down on press freedoms and on the right of Zimbabweans to hold political rallies.
    A government position paper said the NGO law was needed because the private humanitarian and charity groups were "deviating from their core business" to criticize the government, often using foreign funds.
    "Some NGOs were now being used as conduits by external forces bent on destabilizing the country," the paper charged.

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Khaleej Times Online
Iran offers help to Zimbabwe in $250m power plant upgrade

29 January 2005

HARARE - Iran will help Zimbabwe to upgrade one of its power stations at a cost of $250 million to increase electricity output as President Robert Mugabe’s government moves to bolster ties with Muslim and Asian nations.

State power utility ZESA said Iran would provide 60 per cent of the project funds as a loan to be repaid after 10 years, while the utility would contribute 40 per cent.

ZESA has failed to import enough power from its neighbours in past years. This has led to frequent power cuts that have disrupted industrial production as the southern African country battles its worst economic crisis in decades.

ZESA wants to increase output by 40 per cent from 750 megawatts at its second largest power station, the Kariba hydro-power plant in northwestern Zimbabwe, which produces 39.5 per cent of the country’s power.

“In three weeks’ time we will start the upgrading of Kariba Power Station with the help of the Iranian Government at a cost of $250 million,” ZESA said, responding to questions from Reuters.

Iran’s President Mohammad Khatami paid a three-day visit to Zimbabwe last week and pledged to stand by the country, which is battling international isolation over Mugabe’s land policies and his controversial re-election 2002.

Zimbabwe, like its neighbours, is pushing up power output, with household electricity usage expected to rise and industrial demand outstrip supply.

Zimbabwe imports 35 percent of its electricity from South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo but has battled to pay for imports as a result of biting foreign currency shortages.

The government has been shunned by the West after disputed parliamentary elections in 2000 won by the ruling ZANU-PF party and the 2002 presidential poll won by Mugabe.

But Mugabe, 81 next month, is forging ahead with a “look east” policy to strengthen economic and political ties with Asian and Muslim countries, some of which backed his liberation party to win independence in 1980 from colonial power Britain.

ZESA says it has secured loans from China under a US$2.4 billion investment deal signed last year to upgrade the country’s power plants.

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Central Chronicle

Black, Ullyett win Aus Open doubles title

MELBOURNE: Zimbabweans Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett upset second seeds Bob and Mike Bryan 6-4, 6-4 to win the Australian Open men's doubles title.

The fifth seeds broke the Bryan twins once in each set to clinch their second grand slam title together, completing victory with- out dropping a set in the tournament.

It was the second Grand Slam title for the Zimbabwe pair, who also won the 2001 US Open title in their only other appearance in a Grand Slam final.

For the Bryans, it was a second defeat in two years after they were beaten in the 2004 Australian Open final by Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro.

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The Guardian
Warning on Zimbabwe food crisis

AP in Harare
Saturday January 29, 2005
The Guardian

Nearly half of all Zimbabweans are facing hunger as the country's food emergency deepens, a monitoring group said yesterday.

Urgent action is required to help 5.8 million people out of a population of 12.5 million who are now at risk from food shortages, the US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network said in its latest report.

It ranked Zimbabwe's food emergency second in Africa to Ethiopia's, where 8.2 million people are at risk from hunger.

The report contradicted Harare's assertion that the country had harvested more food - mainly staple corn - than it needs. "Staple food availability is declining as market prices continue to rise," it said. Malnutrition and related illnesses were forecast to peak in March, before the next harvests.

In many areas, families were forced to reduce food consumption drastically, while projects to help the old, the sick, orphans and other vulnerable groups were said to be grossly inadequate.

The report echoed concerns voiced this week by James Morris, the head of the World Food Programme, over Harare's refusal of international food aid.

Agricultural production has collapsed in the five years since Robert Mugabe ordered the seizure of about 5,000 white-owned farms for redistribution to black Zimbabweans.

In what was once a regional breadbasket, about 5.5 million people received food handouts from international agencies in 2003. But most food aid agreements were cancelled last year as the government said they were no longer necessary.

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