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

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Zim Online

Sat 8 January 2005
  GWERU - Parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa is forcing white
commercial farmers here to bankroll a party to celebrate the appointment of
his rival Joyce Mujuru as Zimbabwe's second vice-president.

      In a move insiders say is an attempt to placate rivals in a raging
power struggle within the ruling ZANU PF party, Mnangagwa wants to throw a
lavish party for Mujuru, to whom he lost the critical vice-presidency, when
she visits the Midlands next week.

      Mnangagwa - long perceived as President Robert Mugabe's heir apparent
until he was dumped for Mujuru - is arm-twisting the few remaining white
farmers here to "donate" a tonne of mealie-meal and potatoes, five steers
and 100 chickens for slaughter at the party.

      Alternatively, farmers can give their donation in cash of at least Z$1
million per head. Mnangagwa could not be reached for comment.

      But in a letter urging farmers to donate, Midlands Commercial Farmers
Union chairman Trevor Shaw reveals the involuntary nature of the gifts,
ominously warning farmers to, "think hard" before refusing to contribute.

      "Each individual's name will be on the list of donors when we present
the donations (to ZANU PF) so think hard before you do nothing," Shaw's
letter reads in part.

      Mnangagwa appears increasingly isolated within ZANU PF with several
members of a faction that backed him to take the vice-presidency, a key
stepping stone to the top job, banned from the party or barred from
contesting March's general election.

      Four other Mnangagwa supporters led by ZANU PF provincial chairman for
Mashonaland West, Philip Chiyangwa, are charged with espionage for allegedly
selling state secrets to foreign agents, a matter which party insiders say
is an extension of infighting over Mugabe's succession with Mnangagwa
himself the ultimate target in the case. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Government ropes in 20 000 pro-ZANU PF militias into police force
Sat 8 January 2005
  HARARE - The government plans to incorporate more than 20 000 of its
controversial youth militias into the police force ahead of March's
parliamentary election, ZimOnline has established.

      The recruitment of the youths, accused by churches and human rights
groups of committing violence and terrorising government opponents, will
double up police manpower which at the moment is about 21 000 officers.

      The recruitment is set to be completed by the end of next month,
according to police sources.

      "Initially there were concerns of indiscipline among untrained
reserves but the highest authorities sanctioned the move (because) we are
racing against time. It takes six months to train a regular policeman and
the election is just around the corner," said a senior police officer, who
did not want to be named.

      Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, in charge of the police, defended
the recruitment of the pro-ruling ZANU PF youths saying the exercise would
go ahead despite objections that the youths victimised opposition

      Mohadi said: "All government departments have a duty to give priority
to national youth service products when recruiting and the Zimbabwe Republic
Police is no exception. We will not abandon this policy simply because Press
people think those guys (youths militias) are violent."

      The youths, trained by the government under its national youth service
training programme, have been accused of hunting down opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) party supporters in remote rural areas, raping
and torturing them as punishment for backing the opposition party.

      The youths have also been accused of preventing MDC supporters from
receiving government-sourced food aid to punish them for not supporting ZANU

      The government denies the charges, instead insisting that its youth
training programme is meant to inculcate patriotism and discipline in
Zimbabwe's younger generation. - ZimOnline
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to: with subject line "For: Open Letter Forum".

The important thing is this:

To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.

Charles Du Bos


Letter 1: RE: Joe Whaley's letter (OLF 320), received 6 January 2005

by Brian Ruff

Dear Jag,

I am not a farmer but have worked with the community for a number of years
and have good friends there. Even if this were not the case I would be
equally as appalled at the cringing letter from Trevor Shaw. His naivete is
astounding - to say the least! No wonder the commercial farmers lost their
battle and with it, their livelihoods - though, I hope, not the war.

I have no idea who this Trevor Shaw is, or who the office staff he appends
in support of his viewpoint, might be, but if the CFU commands any degree
of support from self-respecting followers I suggest they get their heads
together and kick him out - fast.

Brian Ruff


Letter 2: RE: CFU for donations for Joyce (OLF 320), received , 6 January

by Jill Hunter

To All farmers affected by the request from CFU for donations for Joyce

I read about the request for help from the remaining farmers to entertain
Joyce with disbelief. If a farmer thinks this will appease the people
leading a revolution I feel they should look to history and understand what
the result of collaboration with the oppressor can lead to. You only have
to go back to the Second world war and read what happened to Nazi
collaborators after the war ended. Most revolutions are just to get rid of
the people who are considered the wealthy elite and replace them with
another group of wealthy elite who have supported the leader of the

I feel the world is changing and our revolution hopefully will be the last
as it is always the poor who suffer in a revolution due to the selfishness
and greed of the new elite.

I suggest that the farmers who want to give should suggest to the CFU that
they start a fund for people in the drought stricken areas of the country
and let the fat cats be fed by those who truly back them.  After all, their
supporters are the new farmers who are at the forefront of the successful,
highly productive, land reform program.

All our lives are governed by cause and effect, I implore you all to be
careful and thoughtful before carrying out any act in connection with the
revolution. Make sure you understand what the results will be in the
future. If you need to support Joyce there are other ways of doing it,
letters of congratulations and private donations I think are alternatives.

This comes with compassion for you all.
Jill Hunter.


Letter 3: RE: CFU Midlands Office (OLF 321), received 6 January 2005

by Debs + Jeff White

Dear JAG

Thanks for the news - did you know that Trevor Shaw was here in Lameroo (S.
Australia) a couple of weeks ago looking for somewhere to buy and settle
?Makes one wonder on where he is coming from in the UNITING bit ?

Hope you are all well and had a good Christmas and that the New Year will
not be so testing!!

We think of you all often and are still miserable out here !!

Take care

Debs & Jeff


Letter 4: RE: CFU (OLF 321), received 7 January 2005

by Simon Spooner

Dear Mr Shaw,

Whilst appreciating your own specific circumstances, I am aghast at your

This nation has suffered ethnic cleansing of Balkans proportions
perpetrated by a monster in the form of an illegitimate and ruthless

It has brought death, destruction and dreadful trauma to the lives of
thousands of innocent people and gravely damaged a whole nation.  Those
that masterminded this onslaught are the leadership that you propose to
fete with your colleagues.

"Appeasement is feeding the crocodile hoping that it will eat you last".

Evil will never prevail and someday, hopefully sooner than later, this
tyranny will end and we will all have to reconcile ourselves with the fact
that we will have to live the rest of our lives with our consciences.

I implore you to reconsider.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Spooner

Taken from Original Message.....

To:Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 6:12 AM


We have received a request to donate cattle, chickens and mealie meal to a
welcoming reception next week for the new Vice President, Joyce Mujuru.

This request has come to us through the Midlands Leadership (E.D) whom I'm
sure you know.

I suggest that each member pay in 1 million in cash to Bob at the CFU
office by the end of business hours on Monday the 10th January 2005, as we
need to secure these donations from our sector by Wednesday the 12th. Each
individuals name will be on the list of donors when we present the
donations so think hard before you do nothing.  It is a strategy that I
believe will ultimately lead to benefits of sorts in the future.  But it is
like gambling.

I urgently request your attention and support in this endeavour.  I hope
you will have the faith needed at this time and support us at the office in
our varied efforts to bring relief and forward motion to our current

I feel I must clarify and stress again that I only have the mandate of
members to work on your behalf to the best of my ability with all good
conscience. For those non-members I say to you all that unity is our best
defense.  This we are not, we all are to blame as we now find ourselves
divided and ruled.  To change this we must change - unite and stick
together and speak with one voice.  When the time comes for significant
changes to the current situation we have been pushed into kicking and
screaming foul play, then more than ever the voices of the divided will not
be heard clearly and negotiations will be held from a point of weakness. Is
this what we want, choose for yourselves.  Give me your mandate that I want
from all, each and everyone with all your individual strengths and
weaknesses together.  I will represent you as the Midlands in Harare and
push for what you want, which I'm confident will be peace,
security,prosperity and to be allowed to farm as we love doing.

To end all I can safely say is that there is some activity currently in
progress and I'm sure you will understand that this is at present too
sensitive to disclose.

Faith in your leadership is what I am asking for and believe that those
with faith and the will to go forward, will support us in all we try and do
for you as individual members and also as a farming community in its

Actions speak louder than words.  We trust you had a good Christmas and
take this opportunity to wish you all a prosperous New Year.

Yours sincerely,

Your Chairman


P.S. Cash or Kind 1 ton Mealie Meal or Potatoes etc, 5 Steers for
slaughter, 100 Chickens.  We need about 30 million for this.  Excess money
will be refunded to each person.  That is one of the reasons for the cash


Letter 5: RE: The Weather, received 5 January 2005

by E. Cross

I have often stated that when people think about agriculture in this part
of the world they must take into account the huge mean variation that
exists here in rainfall from one year to the next. We suffer from a mean
variation in precipitation of about 40 per cent - one of the highest in the
world. In much of the Midwest of the USA for example, the same calculation
brings up a mean variation of about 5 per cent.

What this means is that you can never be sure of just how much rainfall you
are going to get, and more particularly, how it is going to fall. Most of
Zimbabwe gets between 450 and 850 millimeters of rain a year - mainly
between the 15th of November and the end of March. In this period of about
145 days we have to grow whatever we need to live on for the rest of the
year or store water so that we can extend the growing period with

I live in the south of the country and we generally consider that three
years stored water is about enough to carry us through a difficult patch.
At present we have about 30 months supply of water in the dams that serve
Bulawayo - not bad by recent standards, but not enough.

Right now we are well into the traditional wet season and in Matabeleland
we have had about two weeks of actual wet weather. Our rivers have run once
for a couple of weeks and are now dry again. It is unseasonably hot and
this is reducing the effectiveness of any small rainfalls.

Normally we say that crops must be in the ground by the 15th of November.
Research shows that after this date the maize crop will loose about 5 per
cent of its potential yield every week. The reason being daylight hours,
temperature and rainfall. Other crops can be planted much later and even
into the New Year but only if the growth cycle is very short.

What are the prospects so far in the current season in Zimbabwe? Not very
good I am afraid and the situation is deteriorating daily. The reasons are
quite simple: -

1. The crop was planted very late due to shortages of just about every
input item that is involved, from financing to fertilizer. Of particular
importance is that seed of the specific varieties needed was in short
supply - actually, was not obtainable in many cases.

2. The area under cultivation is tiny - even in the Communal Lands. The
reasons for this are not hard to see. On commercial farms there is simply
no security for anyone and nobody is doing much beyond subsistence. In the
Communal areas the shortage of manpower for ploughing and other heavy tasks
is a major problem. If your breadwinner lives in Johannesburg he cannot
come home to plough as he might have done in the past.

3. Germination rains have been very poor and the current hot dry weather is
doing a lot of damage - in many cases we are seeing a total write off of
the crop in the ground. The situation is especially bad in the south and
east of the country. The northwest and the Gokwe area seems to be a bit
better but not much.

Conditions are in fact much worse than last year and people are saying they
do not even have any prospect for green vegetables or maize in mid season.
Hunger looms over thousands of homes throughout the country.

In South Africa a similar crisis is developing and they have scaled back
estimates of their maize crop to 5 million tonnes - half of last years crop
on a similar area under cultivation. Bad news for South Africa and the
region as a whole as we have used South Africa as a backstop for maize
supplies in recent years. Just this past week I saw a trainload of 37 bulk
grain wagons on the rail line to Bulawayo.

A similar picture is emerging for other key sectors. Cotton normally
handles dry periods better and has a much longer growing season. The
tobacco crop is declining in potential as commercial growers are still
being dispossessed by the Government and the new growers struggle with a
myriad of problems and inexperience. I personally would think that we will
be lucky to get a crop of 60 000 tonnes this year - less than last year and
only a third of current "official" estimates. As for the maize crop - if we
grew 700 000 tonnes last year, I cannot see us growing anything like that
this year, conditions are much worse.

This is of course exactly what Mugabe wanted - and the timing of the next
election in March this year is absolutely spot-on. Elections will hit
communities across the land at a time when food stocks and availability
will be at their lowest level of the year. Zanu will control all basic food
supplies and will use this power to coerce communities to vote for them.
There is little the MDC can do to change this situation. We cannot even
explain to the people what is happening.

How did the old system overcome these problems in the past? Well for a
start the commercial tobacco farmers used to plant about 125 000 hectares
of tobacco and then to grow maize as a following crop to pick up fertilizer
residues. This made tobacco growers an important source of maize - growing
about 600 000 tonnes in a poor year and more in a good year.

It was estimated that the original 6000 commercial farmers could irrigate,
if required, up to 268 000 hectares of land. This meant that if water was
available in farm dams and rivers, farmers could plant early (the best
yields of both tobacco and maize are with crops planted in October) and
when a hot dry spell struck - like now, they could put a couple of inches
of water on their lands. This would save the crop and enable the commercial
farmers to produce something when others saw their crops fail. Average
yields on commercial farms were very high - (average of 3500 kgs Editor)
per hectare of tobacco and 6 tonnes of maize were common.

All of this has gone - swept away by a tide of reckless, politically driven
hooliganism. Now we face the elements without a safety net and the
consequences for all our people are dire. Mugabe's proud boast of a record
harvest has been swept away by a tide of new data. His prediction of a 28
per cent recovery in agricultural output this summer now looks more like
yet another year of hunger and a still further decline in total output. But
it puts a new weapon in his hands, and after all - that is what counts with
Zanu PF. The welfare of the people is the last thing on their mind

Eddie Cross Bulawayo.


Letter 6: Tracing Nicholas O'Connor (Grandfather), receivd 6 January 2005

by Brett O'Connor

Dear JAG

Thank you for your time recently relating to my query about tracing my
grandfather, Nicholas Mc Dougal O'Connor.

As referred the last we knew he was residing in Rhodesia in 1958,
thereafter the trail is completely cold (we are not sure whether Mc Dougal
is a middle name or part of a double barrel name, interestingly his two
brothers Patrick and Brian both have the same name).

I have attached a word document summarising the main chronology of
documents along with a pdf of my grandparents marriage certificate from
1933, they seperated in around 1940.

Any advice you have would be good, particularly with respect to Rhodesian
records from the 50/60's and I guess with respect to more recent Zimbabwian

Look forward to hearing from you.


Brett O'Connor.
Tel 01235 468 630
Mob 0788 079 44 6


All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.


JAG Hotlines:
(091) 261 862 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374?
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to help!
263 4 799 410 Office Lines
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Zim Online

MDC rejects spy links
Sat 5 January 2005
  HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition party yesterday rejected claims by
state newspapers that some of its leaders were being investigated for
involvement in an espionage case in which four ruling ZANU PF party
officials were arrested.

      Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party secretary general Welshman
Ncube told ZimOnline that the party's  officials had no access to government
intelligence information which they could pass to foreign agents.

      Ncube said attempts to link the MDC with the alleged spy ring were a
mere excuse to victimise it and jail its leaders ahead of March's general

      Ncube said: "We know nothing about spying. How can our members be
involved in spying when they do not have access to confidential government

      "We are confident that no MDC member has access to state documents.
This is a question ZANU PF must deal with and not involve the MDC."

      ZANU PF chairman for Mashonaland West province Philip Chiyangwa, party
external affairs director Itai Marchi, party deputy security officer Kenny
Karidza, Zimbabwe's ambassador-designate to Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo and
banking executive Tendai Matambanadzo are in custody on allegations that
they traded intelligence information to foreign spies.

      The government-controlled Herald newspaper said in yesterday's edition
three prominent members of the MDC were also under investigation in
connection with the espionage case. It did not name the officials.

      Meanwhile, Karidza, who state prosecutors had indicated would appear
in court yesterday in an application to change his initial guilty plea, did
not come to court. Officials from the Attorney General's office did not say
why Karidza failed to come to court but indicated that he was now going to
appear on January 13.

      Magistrate Peter Kumbawa is expected to rule on the same day on
applications by Marchi, Dzvairo and Matambanadzo to be allowed to change
pleas from guilty to not guilty.

      Sources this week told ZimOnline that the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) was keeping Karidza away from the courts because he could
hardly walk or talk because of injuries he incurred during severe torture by
the organisation's agents. - ZimOnline
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Zim Online

Botswana, Zimbabwe business leaders forge closer ties
Sat 8 January 2005
  GABORONE - Botswana and Zimbabwe business leaders have agreed to set up an
office and a warehouse in Botswana's Francistown to facilitate trade between
the two countries.

      Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM)
chief executive officer Elias Dewah this week told the Press that the move
was also meant to help curb smuggling and illegal trading, rife along the
two neighbouring countries' border.

      Dewah did not say when exactly the office and warehouse would be

      Zimbabwe and Botswana are major trading partners. But relations
between the two countries have soured in the last three years with Zimbabwe
accusing Botswana of ill-treating its citizens visiting that country.
Gaborone denies the charge. - ZimOnline
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The Year of Joyce Mujuru As Zanu PF Goes Spy Hunting

The Daily News (Harare)

January 7, 2005
Posted to the web January 7, 2005

Munodii Kunzwa

IN 1974, at the peak of the Cold War, an elite spy of the East German
government was exposed as working in the office of the most powerful
politician in West Germany.

Willy Brandt, the former mayor of West Berlin and one of the most brilliant
politicians in post-war Europe, resigned as chancellor when one of his top
aides turned out to be a spy for the enemy.

Espionage was also responsible for the downfall in the 1960s of the Tory
government of Harold Macmillan. As the British prime minister at the peak of
the agitation against colonialism in Africa, Macmillan virtually
immortalised himself in African history with his timely warning to the white
regimes of a "wind of change" on the continent.

His war minister, a rather colourless man called John Profumo was involved
in a dalliance with Christine Keeler who, at about the same time, was giving
her talents to another man.

If this man had been another Tom, Dick or Harry, it probably would not have
raised such a storm. But he was a "Sergei" or a "Yurin" - a spook of the KGB
or some other such shadowy agency dealing in the deadly cloak and dagger
business in which all so-called civilised governments engage.

When the scandal first blew up, the British reputation for a cool head in
times of crisis, as some times portrayed on celluloid by the fictional James
Bond (particularly by Sean Connery) was fully justified.

But the British media can be as tenacious as the bulldog of that nation.
Everybody had to come clean, including Profumo himself. In the next
election, Macmillan's party lost to the Labour Party, which brought in
Harold Wilson as prime minister.

Unlike Macmillan, Wilson's handling of the second most protracted African
crisis at the time - apart from apartheid - Rhodesia's UDI, lacked the
urgency which would have fitted into the category of a "wind of change".

Espionage, therefore, can ruin governments and political careers. For
President Robert Mugabe, the recent arrest of number of Zanu PF small-time
luminaries may not presage an upheaval on the scale of the last two.

But it ought to upset all citizens already sickened by that party's
propensity for throwing up characters with a manifestly selfish political

Philip Chiyangwa and his friends may not be called spies at the moment, for
they have yet to be convicted of the crime. But people who engage in
espionage when they are not officially in the pay of the spy agency of their
country do it for one or two reasons.

They are either driven by an ideological conviction in the correctness of
their dirty work, or they are driven by plain greed. So far, no spy has yet
been found who could convincingly explain his motives with: "I was bored. I
had to find something to do."

What many law-abiding, genuinely patriotic citizens worry about now is: how
far does the rot go? Most of them will be remembering that when the probe
into the 1980s motor vehicle scandal that Geoff Nyarota's Chronicle
newspaper called "Willowgate" was officially guillotined, there had been
rumours of very top level politicians being involved.

Again, there might be an attempt to throw' the whole thing out for fear its
continuation might bring out the really big worms out of the woodwork.

But the likelihood of Mugabe being forced to resign, as Brandt did, over the
revelation of so many spies in the pay of his worst enemy, the West might
not occur.

Mugabe did not resign over the horrific revelations of the 1980s massacres
in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces. There were reportedly 20 000
deaths in that conflagration: other leaders might have felt guilty enough to
give up power after that.

Even over the Willowgate scandal, in which some of his most trusted
lieutenants were exposed as small-time crooks, Mugabe would not even
contemplate the final capitulation.

Zanu PF has other serious problems. Although 2004 could be appropriately
called The Year of Joyce Mujuru, it could just as easily be called The Year
of Crisis for Zanu PF.

People who have followed Zanu PF's history, from the murky circumstances in
which Ndabaningi Sithole was ousted as leader to the courage with which
Edgar Tekere challenged Mugabe for the presidency in 1990 will know that
this party has been heading for a fall since its formation as a splinter
from the original Zapu led by Joshua Nkomo.

At the centre of it all has been the tough, autocratic style of Robert
Mugabe. Emmerson Mnangagwa thought he had the job in the bag when Mugabe
seemed to back him to the hilt. But then there was the rather messy affair
involving Colonel Dyke. This brought in The Daily News, in a role which to
this day remains amorphous. So, Mnangagwa was once again outflanked by the
old-timer, who appears to have enlisted the aid of such seasoned campaigners
as Kumbirai Kangai, a master of the "tamba wakachenjera" political strategy
which has served his party so well. But if Mujuru is the true
heiress-apparent, then this will be very untypical of Mugabe. Mujuru doesn't
have the grit that Margaret Dongo has. Dongo, cast out of the party for
being as tough as the members of the oligarchy that has run the party since
before independence, is someone who must inspire Mugabe's admiration. The
problem is that her campaign against corruption might have, in the end,
targeted Mugabe himself. Also, Dongo, having worked closely with the key
leaders of the party, must have realised there was no democracy at all in
the party. She might have concluded - as Wilfred Mhanda (aka Dzinashe
Machingura), another Mugabe critic who was once a member of the inner circle
of the party, did - that Mugabe is no democrat at all. Evidence of this is
abundant in the way the country has been run so far. A country where a
citizen can be arrested and charged for telling his relative "not to be as
thick-headed as Mugabe" cannot be a true democracy in any interpretation of
that word. But perhaps the most promising result of the Zanu PF crisis might
be the realisation by most voters that this party does not deserve victory
in 2005. Anyone believing otherwise has to be so naive and spineless they
probably deserve to be ruled by Zanu PF.
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Are School Uniforms Really Necessary?

The Daily News (Harare)

January 7, 2005
Posted to the web January 7, 2005

THERE is an urgent need for the government to look into the pricing of
school uniforms.

Right now the price of uniforms is uncontrolled and has more than doubled
during the last 20 months. The issue of school uniforms should be discussed
from two perspectives.

The first one is whether or not uniforms are necessary while the second
issue is on the pricing. Because of our colonial past, we still cling to the
British system of uniforms at all schools as one way of differentiating
school children and pupils from various schools.

The merits of this cannot be debated but for a poor country like Zimbabwe
whose people are groaning from poverty, is school uniform really a
necessity? This is the one question that the government should discuss

If the feeling generally is that school uniforms are a must, then the next
issue is on quality and pricing. Wouldn't it be ideal to have the government
taking full charge of the sewing and selling of school uniforms?

That would reduce the cost on the parents and guardians of school children.
At the moment some parents have to pay as much as $3 million for school
uniforms alone before they think of school fees which have more than doubled
during the last 12 months.

These are very important matters which need the full attention of the
government and parents. It would be folly for anyone to keep quiet as if
everything is in order while most parents scrounge around for money to buy
uniforms for their children.

The starting point would be to look at other countries within and outside
the region and continent and see how they tackle the issue of uniforms.

Maybe the government should legislate on uniforms to cushion the low income
group of parents who are the majority against high cost which is exacerbated
by inflation.
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Mugabe tightens media laws
07/01/2005 20:59  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has enacted changes to media
laws that will see unlicensed journalists jailed for up to two years, the
government gazette announced on Friday.

The amendment to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Amendment Act which was passed by parliament early November, after weeks of
intense debate and resistance from opposition lawmakers, is now effective,
according to a notice posted by Mugabe's chief secretary.

In the government gazette notice, the secretary Misheck Sibanda said the law
"which has been assented to by ... the president, is published."

Under the new regulations journalists who work without a government licence
now face a two-year jail sentence or a fine or both. A state-approved media
commission has powers to accredit journalists.

Zimbabwean Information Minister Jonathan Moyo last year defended the
amendments as intended to "protect the state from attacks by enemies of the

The new provisions tighten a law originally passed in 2002, just days after
Mugabe's victory in presidential polls.

Two independent newspaper groups have been shut down and scores of
journalists arrested under the 2002 media law.

The media law also bars foreign journalists from working permanently in the
southern African country.
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New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean murder suspect dies in British jail

By Mduduzi Mathuthu
Last updated: 01/08/2005 12:43:25
A ZIMBABWEAN man awaiting trial for the knife killing of a Nigerian love
rival outside a London nightclub has mysteriously died in his prison cell,
we can reveal.

Godfrey Moyo, 25, who lived in Handsworth, Birmingham, was rushed to
hospital from his shared cell at HMP Belmarsh Prison early Monday -- 
apparently suffering breathing problems.

Moyo, who denied murder, was taken to an intensive care cell. Staff found he
had stopped breathing and he was pronounced dead on arrival in hospital.

Moyo was awaiting trial for the fatal knife attack on Fifi Mwenya, 28,
outside a nightclub in Canning Town in June last year.

Witnesses at the time said the dispute was over a girlfriend. They said Moyo
had suffered "extreme provocation" as he was followed by Mwenya for about
200 meters to his car which was parked near the nightclub known among the
Zimbabwean community as Emaplankeni.

The Prison Service could not confirm the cause of Moyo's death, but it is
not believed he hanged himself.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: "Mr Moyo's behaviour in his shared cell
early Monday morning led to his removal by trained staff to an intensive
care cell in healthcare, where he was treated.

"He was subsequently found to be not breathing. CPR was administered
immediately by staff and emergency services were summoned."

She added that an investigation had been launched by the Prisons and
Probation Ombudsman.

Moyo, who had been awaiting trial at the Old Bailey, was pronounced dead at
Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Woolwich, at around 0540 GMT on Monday.

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New Zimbabwe

Sling your hook Charamba!

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 01/08/2005 11:56:10
NEW readers have told President Robert Mugabe's blundering
spokesman George Charamba to sling his hook after he fired a volley of
direct threats aimed at this website.

Our readers wasted no time telling the sanctimonious British-trained
government apologist what they thought of his "serious consequences" threat
tio their favourite online Zimbabwe newspaper.

We received tens of e-mails from our loyal readers telling Mugabe's minion
to zip it and willing us on.

"Charamba and his Department of Misinformation should be told to sling their
hooks," our reader from the UK Brighton Musonza said.

"Zimbabwean people have had enough of these muppets. New must
refuse to be shoved around by an old school "Cde" salvaging a sinking boat
wrecked by a Tsunami wave. I urge you to keep reporting fearlessly as you
have always done," he added.

Another reader Farai Majuru said: "Charamba wants to treat Zimbabweans like
mushrooms - i.e. kept in the dark and fed on manure. I sincerely hope that
New will not be intimated."

Charamba launched a savage tirade aimed at New after our scoop
revealing that State Security Minister Nicholas Goche and his Local
Government counterpart Ignatius Chonbo were the two ministers under
investigation over the Spy-gate scandal.

Charamba warned of "serious consequences, including legal ones".

"Ignore Charamba," our reader Nyarai Masunda, wrote from Montreal, Canada.

New editor Mduduzi Mathuthu said last night: "George Charamba
should be devoting his energy to fighting spies whose fingerprints are all
over this pointless press statement he sent out. He should expect more of
the same."

Charamba said journalists should stick "strictly to court proceedings as
briefed to them by those in the know or handling the case", claiming there
were national security concerns.

"The recent spate of speculative pieces on the matter, some of them quite
incriminating and defamatory to individuals who include Government
ministers, was needless and certainly contrary to the requirements of the
law and good journalism," Charamba railed.

President Mugabe's nephew and Chinhoyi legislator Phillip Chiyangwa,
Zimbabwe's Ambassador-designate to Mozambique Godfrey Dzvairo, Zanu-PF
director of external affairs Itai Marchi, the party's deputy security chief
Kenny Karidza and former banker Tendai Matambanadzo have appeared in court
charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act.

They are accused of selling State secrets to unnamed foreign governments.

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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!



“Mauritius Watch”


The Zimbabwean Elections:

(Monitoring SADC Protocol Violations)


Issue 10.   3 January 2005


On 17 August 2004, SADC leaders meeting in Mauritius adopted the SADC Protocol – Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.  Zimbabwe, as a member of SADC, also signed the Protocol and committed itself to implementing its standards.


“Mauritius Watch” provides a regular, objective and non-partisan assessment of Zimbabwe’s compliance with the Protocol.  In the run-up to the 2005 Parliamentary Elections we note any significant failures to adhere to the SADC standards.






SADC standards breached




On December 16 the European Parliament passed an important resolution on Zimbabwe which bears directly on the forthcoming elections and in particular on compliance with the SADC electoral standards.  The resolution reads, in part:


“The European Parliament:


1.      Insists that all political interference in the distribution of international food aid is halted without delay to prevent the ZANU PF government from using food as a political weapon.

2.      Insists that repressive legislation such as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) is repealed and the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe are held in accordance with the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections, including those agreed in Mauritius on August 17 2004, with unimpeded access for international observers and an end to intimidation of opposition supporters.


3.      Demands the immediate release (from prison) of Roy Bennett MP (opposition party MP for Chimanimani) and the cessation of all violence and intimidation towards his family and employees.


4.      Calls upon Zimbabwe’s neighbours and in particular President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, who recently addressed the European Parliament, to engage on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe to bring about change for the better and to ensure that the Zimbabwean Government fully cooperates with SADC and the wider international community to guarantee free and fair elections and a robust and timely international monitoring presence …


(For the full text of the resolution see











State security agents and ruling ZANU PF party militias stepped up terror and violence, displacing 69 opposition supporters from their homes in October alone, according to the Zimbabwe Human Rights’ Forum (ZHRF).


The ZHRF, which is now itself under threat because of the repressive Non Government Organisations (NGO) Act, brings together 17 of the biggest human rights NGOs in Zimbabwe and regularly reports on political violence and human rights abuses in the country.


In its latest report released just before Christmas, the group said at least four people were tortured in October, either by state agents or militant supports of Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF party. This brings to 169 the number of torture cases recorded since January 2004.


Four people suspected of being supporters of the country’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), were kidnapped during October and their whereabouts was still unknown at the time the ZHRF report was produced. The October abductions brought to 61 the number of politically motivated kidnappings since the beginning of 2004.


(See the report on Zim Online –




2.1.3        Political tolerance


4.1.1        Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens


4.1.2        Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections


7.4.            (Government to) safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens, including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression and campaigning … during the electoral process …


7.5        (Government to) take all necessary measures and precautions to prevent the perpetration of fraud, rigging or any other illegal practices throughout the whole electoral process








Youth militias trained by the Mugabe regime who are helping the state’s Grain Marketing Board (GMB) distribute food at the resort town of Kariba, are demanding that hungry people produce ruling ZANU PF party membership cards before they are given food.


The youths, who were trained under the state’s national youth service training programme, were seconded by the GMB to help the parastatal distribute maize at a subsidized rate to starving people in the town on Zimbabwe’s border with Zambia.


“I have queued for mealie meal for the last four days without success,” said a father of six who admitted to being a member of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party. “Each day the youths insist that only ZANU PF members get mealie meal,” added the father who did not want to be named for fear of further victimization.


More than three million Zimbabweans need food aid between now and the next harvest in March, despite earlier claims by Mugabe that the regime had produced enough food to feed itself – and indeed that there was a “bumper harvest” on the way.


(For the full report see Zim Online:




4.1.1.      Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens


4.1.3        Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections


7.5              (Government to) take all necessary measures and precautions to prevent the perpetration of fraud, rigging or any other illegal practices throughout the whole electoral process, in order to maintain peace and security







It was reported in the Zimbabwean Standard that soldiers from the Zimbabwean army (which takes its orders from the Mugabe regime) beat up at least 10 opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) supporters, seriously injuring one.


The attacks took place at the Sharenza Shopping Centre near Mayo in the Makoni North province during mid December.


The soldiers accused the MDC supporters of attending an “illegal” rally.  According to Elton Mangoma, the aspiring MDC candidate for this constituency in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, the matter was reported to the police but (typically) no arrests were made.


Mangoma said an MDC activist, Elias Sithole, was seriously injured after being assaulted by the soldiers, who insisted he take them to his home where they found MDC party membership cards and T-shirts. 


“They forced Sithole to wear all the T-shirts and force-marched him to the shops where they made him swim in a small pond with dirty water while chanting ZANU PF slogans.  They kicked him until he could not defend himself and left him for dead,” said Mangoma. 


It is understood that Sithole was taken first to the Macheke hospital and then transferred to a hospital in Harare for treatment.


(See the full story in The Standard:  December 19 …)



2.1.2        Freedom of   association


2.1.3        Political tolerance


4.1. 2    Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections


7.4                (Government to) safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression and campaigning …


7.7(Government to) ensure that adequate security is provided to all parties participating in the elections





The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party’s primary elections set for the Marondera constituency had to be abandoned just before Christmas after young thugs from the ruling ZANU PF party started beating delegates who had assembled for the meeting.  


Two huts belonging to the MDC youth district chairperson, Tapfumanevi Maketo, were burnt down while the parents of the MDC’s organising secretary, Edward Dzeka, were assaulted for hiding their son from the mob.

The drama began after the police moved in to block the meeting, alleging ZANU PF had booked the hall before the MDC. This was despite the fact that the police had initially granted permission to the opposition to hold the meeting.


The police also insisted on taking down the names of all the delegates to the meeting, a tactic said to be used to intimidate people in the rural areas.


It is alleged that the sitting (ZANU PF) member of parliament for the area, Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri, ordered the disruption of the MDC meeting.


(This report was carried on SW Radio Africa …..)



2.1.1        Full participation of the citizens in the political process


2.1.2        Freedom of association


4.1.1        Constitutional and legal guarantees of freedom and rights of the citizens


4.1.2        Conducive environment for free, fair and peaceful elections


7.4        (Government to)  safeguard the human and civil liberties of all citizens, including the freedom of movement, assembly, association, expression, and campaigning …


7.7(Government to) ensure that adequate security is provided to all parties participating in the elections









Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has accused Robert Mugabe of rigging the 2005 elections even before a single vote has been cast.  According to MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi, ZANU PF has achieved this by reducing the number of voting constituencies in the MDC strongholds. 


He said that the decision of the Delimitation Commission (whose members were hand-picked by Mugabe) to cut down constituencies in areas supporting the opposition party, while adding three new ones in ruling ZANU PF strongholds, was a part of a strategy to reduce his party’s chances of winning the ballot scheduled to take place in March.


The Delimitation Commission justified its proposals on the grounds of migration of voters.  In his response, Nyathi said: “It beats all logic that Harare, a city whose population has increased by 500 000 people according to census figures that were released in 2004, is supposed to have lost 50 000 voters”.   He added: “Where on earth under modern civilization do you see people migrating from an urban set-up environment to rural constituencies in such large proportions?”


The MDC spokesman cited the decision to reduce constituencies in MDC areas as further evidence of the regime’s unwillingness to uphold SADC electoral guidelines. He called on regional leaders to pressure Mugabe and ZANU PF to abide by the regional standards for democratic polls.


  (See the report in Zim Online: December 21 and 22 …)

2.1.6        Equal opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for


2.1.7        Independence of the Judiciary and impartiality of electoral institutions


4.1.4        Existence of updated and accessible voters’ roll


7.3              (Government to) establish impartial, all-inclusive, competent and accountable national electoral bodies staffed by qualified personnel, as well as competent legal entities including effective constitutional courts to arbitrate in the event of disputes arising from the conduct of elections.





On the basis of these and numerous other daily breaches of the SADC Protocol on Democratic Elections, it can be seen that the Mugabe regime has yet to show any serious intent to change its ways or to begin to prepare for anything resembling fair and free elections.  In fact, a new raft of oppressive legislation rushed through Parliament recently will result in a situation even worse than that which prevailed during the Parliamentary Elections of 2000 and Presidential Election of 2002, both of which were heavily criticized by observer missions from the international community.


And the March Parliamentary Elections are now a matter of weeks away …..


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