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

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                                                                                                            EX.CL/109 (V)






Annex II




Executive Summary of the Report of the

Fact-finding Mission to Zimbabwe

24th to 28th June 2002






Following widespread reports of human rights violations in Zimbabwe, the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (African Commission) at its 29th Ordinary Session held in Tripoli from 23rd April to 7th may 2001 decided to undertake a fact-finding mission to the Republic of Zimbabwe from 24th to 28th June 2002.


The stated purpose of the Mission was to gather information on the state of human rights in Zimbabwe. In order to do so, the Mission sought to meet with representatives of the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, law-enforcement agencies, the judiciary, political parties and with organised civil society organisations especially those engaged in human rights advocacy. The method of the fact-finding team was to listen and observe the situation in the country from various angles, listen to statements and testimony of the many actors in the country and conduct dialogue with the government and other public agencies.




1.       The Mission observed that Zimbabwean society is highly polarized. It is a divided society with deeply entrenched positions. The land question is not in itself the cause of division. It appears that at heart is a society in search of the means for change and divided about how best to achieve change after two decades of dominance by a political party that carried the hopes and aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe through the liberation struggle into independence.

2.       There is no doubt that from the perspective of the fact-finding team, the land question is critical and that Zimbabweans, sooner or later, needed to address it. The team has consistently maintained that from a human rights perspective, land reform has to be the prerogative of the government of Zimbabwe. The Mission noted that Article 14 of the African Charter states “The right to property shall be guaranteed. It may only be encroached upon in the interest of public need or in the general interest of the community and in accordance with the provisions of appropriate laws”. It appears to the Mission that the Government of Zimbabwe has managed to bring this policy matter under the legal and constitutional system of the country. It now means that land reform and land distribution can now take place in a lawful and orderly fashion.

3.       There was enough evidence placed before the Mission to suggest that, at the very least during the period under review, human rights violations occurred in Zimbabwe. The Mission was presented with testimony from witnesses who were victims of political violence and others victims of torture while in police custody. There was evidence that the system of arbitrary arrests took place. Especially alarming was the arrest of the President of the Law Society of Zimbabwe and journalists including Peta Thorncroft, Geoffrey Nyarota, among many others, the arrests and torture of opposition members of parliament and human rights lawyers like Gabriel Shumba.

4.       There were allegations that the human rights violations that occurred were in many instances at the hands of ZANU PF party activists. The Mission is however not able to find definitively that this was part of an orchestrated policy of the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe. There were enough assurances from the Head of State, Cabinet Ministers and the leadership of the ruling party that there has never been any plan or policy of violence, disruption or any form of human rights violations, orchestrated by the State. There was also an acknowledgement that excesses did occur.

5.       The Mission is prepared and able to rule, that the Government cannot wash its hands from responsibility for all these happenings. It is evident that a highly charged atmosphere has been prevailing, many land activists undertook their illegal actions in the expectation that government was understanding and that police would not act against them – many of them, the War Veterans, purported to act as party veterans and activists. Some of the political leaders denounced the opposition activists and expressed understanding for some of the actions of ZANU PF loyalists. Government did not act soon enough and firmly enough against those guilty of gross criminal acts. By its statements and political rhetoric, and by its failure at critical moments to uphold the rule of law, the government failed to chart a path that signalled a commitment to the rule of law.

6.       There has been a flurry of new legislation and the revival of the old laws used under the Smith Rhodesian regime to control, manipulate public opinion and that limited civil liberties. Among these, the Mission’s attention was drawn to the Public Order and Security Act, 2002 and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2002. These have been used to require registration of journalists and for prosecution of journalists for publishing “false information”. All of these, of course, would have a “chilling effect” on freedom of expression and introduce a cloud of fear in media circles. The Private Voluntary Organisations Act has been revived to legislate for the registration of NGOs and for the disclosure of their activities and funding sources.

7.       There is no institution in Zimbabwe, except the Office of the Attorney General, entrusted with the responsibility of oversight over unlawful actions of the police, or to receive complaints against the police. The Office of the Ombudsman is an independent institution whose mandate was recently extended to include human rights protection and promotion. It was evident to the Mission that the office was inadequately provided for such a task and that the prevailing mindset especially of the Ombudsman herself was not one which engendered the confidence of the public. The Office was only about the time we visited, publishing an annual report five years after it was due. The Ombudsman claimed that her office had not received any reports of human rights violations. That did not surprise the Mission seeing that in her press statement following our visit, and without undertaking any investigations into allegations levelled against them, the Ombudsman was defensive of allegations against the youth militia. If the Office of the Ombudsman is to serve effectively as an office that carries the trust of the public, it will have to be independent and the Ombudsman will have to earn the trust of the public. Its mandate will have to be extended, its independence guaranteed and accountability structures defined.

8.       The Mission was privileged to meet with the Chief Justice and the President of the High Court. The Mission Team also met with the Attorney General and Senior Officers in his office. The Mission was struck by the observation that the judiciary had been tainted and even under the new dispensation bears the distrust that comes from the prevailing political conditions. The Mission was pleased to note that the Chief Justice was conscious of the responsibility to rebuild public trust. In that regard, he advised that a code of conduct for the judiciary was under consideration. The Office of the Attorney General has an important role to play in the defence and protection of human rights. In order to discharge that task effectively, the Office of the Attorney General must be able to enforce its orders and that the orders of the courts must be obeyed by the police and ultimately that the profession judgement of the Attorney General must be respected.

9.       The Mission noted with appreciation the dynamic and diverse civil society formations in Zimbabwe. Civil society is very engaged in the developmental issues in society and enjoys a critical relationship with government. The Mission sincerely believes that civil society is essential for the upholding of a responsible society and for holding government accountable. A healthy though critical relationship between government and civil society is essential for good governance and democracy.




In the light of the above findings, the African Commission offers the following recommendations -:


On National Dialogue and Reconciliation


Further to the observations about the breakdown in trust between government and some civil society organisations especially those engaged in human rights advocacy, and noting the fact that Zimbabwe is a divided society, and noting further, however, that there is insignificant fundamental policy difference in relation to issues like land and national identity, Zimbabwe needs assistance to withdraw from the precipice. The country is in need of mediators and reconcilers who are dedicated to promoting dialogue and better understanding. Religious organisations are best placed to serve this function and the media needs to be freed from the shackles of control to voice opinions and reflect societal beliefs freely.


Creating an Environment Conducive to Democracy and Human Rights


The African Commission believes that as a mark of goodwill, government should abide by the judgements of the Supreme Court and repeal sections of the Access to Information Act calculated to freeze the free expression of public opinion. The Public Order Act must also be reviewed. Legislation that inhibits public participation by NGOs in public education, human rights counselling must be reviewed. The Private Voluntary Organisations Act should be repealed.


Independent National Institutions


Government is urged to establish independent and credible national institutions that monitor and prevent human rights violations, corruptions and maladministration. The Office of the Ombudsman should be reviewed and legislation which accords it the powers envisaged by the Paris Principles adopted. An independent office to receive and investigate complaints against the police should be considered unless the Ombudsman is given additional powers to investigate complaints against the police. Also important is an Independent Electoral Commission. Suspicions are rife that the Electoral Supervisory Commission has been severely compromised. Legislation granting it greater autonomy would add to its prestige and generate public confidence.


The Independence of the Judiciary


The judiciary has been under pressure in recent times. It appears that their conditions of service do not protect them from political pressure; appointments to the bench could be done in such a way that they could be insulated from the stigma of political patronage. Security at Magistrates’ and High Court should ensure the protection of presiding officers. The independence of the judiciary should be assured in practice and judicial orders must be obeyed. Government and the media have a responsibility to ensure the high regards and esteem due to members of the judiciary by refraining from political attacks or the use of inciting language against magistrates and judges. A Code of Conduct for Judges could be adopted and administered by the judges themselves. The African Commission commends to the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe for serious consideration and application of the Principles and Guidelines on the Right to Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa adopted by the African Commission at its 33rd Ordinary Session in Niamey, Niger in May 2003.


A Professional Police Service


Every effort must be made to avoid any further politicisation of the police service. The police service must attract all Zimbabweans from whatever political persuasion or none to give service to the country with pride. The police should never be at the service of any political party but must at all times seek to abide by the values of the Constitution and enforce the law without fear or favour. Recruitment to the service, conditions of service and in-service training must ensure the highest standards of professionalism in the service. Equally, there should be an independent mechanism for receiving complaints about police conduct. Activities of units within the ZRP like the law and order unit which seems to operate under political instructions and without accountability to the ZRP command structures should be disbanded. There were also reports that elements of the CIO were engaged in activities contrary to the international practice of intelligence organisations. These should be brought under control. The activities of the youth militia trained in the youth camps have been brought to our attention. Reports suggest that these youth serve as party militia engaged in political violence, The African Commission proposes that these youth camps be closed down and training centres be established under the ordinary education and employment system of the country. The Africa Commission commends for study and implementation the Guidelines and Measures for the Prohibition and Prevention of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Africa (otherwise know as the Robben Island Guidelines) adopted by the African Commission at its 32nd Ordinary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia in October 2002.


The Media


A robust and critical media is essential for democracy. The government has expressed outrage at some unethical practices by journalists, and the Access to Information Act was passed in order to deal with some of these practices. The Media and Ethics Commission that has been established could do a great deal to advance journalistic practices, and assist with the professionalisation of media practitioners. The Media and Ethics Commission suffers from the mistrust on the part of those with whom it is intended to work. The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists could have a consultative status in the Media and Ethics Commission. Efforts should be made to create a climate conducive to freedom of expression in Zimbabwe. The POSA and Access to Information Act should be amended to meet international standards for freedom of expression. Any legislation that requires registration of journalists, or any mechanism that regulates access to broadcast media by an authority that is not independent and accountable to the public, creates a system of control and political patronage. The Africa Commission commends the consideration and applications of the Declaration on The Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa adopted by the 32nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission in Banjul, October 2002.


Reporting Obligations to the African Commission


The African Commission notes that the Republic of Zimbabwe now has three overdue reports in order to fulfil its obligations in terms of Article 62 of the Africa Charter. Article 1 of the Africa Charter states that State Parties to the Charter shall “recognise the rights, duties and freedoms enshrined in the Charter and shall undertake to adopt legislative or other measures to give effect to them.” Article 62 of the Africa Charter provides that each State Party shall undertake to submit every two years “a report on the legislative or other measures taken, with a view to giving effect to the rights and freedoms recognised and guaranteed by the present Charter.” The African Commission therefore reminds the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe of this obligation and urges the government to take urgent steps to meet its reporting obligations. More pertinently, the African Commission hereby invites the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe to report on the extent to which these recommendations have been considered and implemented.

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The Herald

Zimbabwe holy land, says President

Herald Reporter
ZIMBABWE is holy land that should be defended and preserved for future
generations, the President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF, Cde Mugabe, said

He commended war veterans for initiating the repossession of land and urged
the youths to start the party's campaign for the March 2005 parliamentary

"This is holy land. It is not only Palestine that is holy land. It's our
holy land and we must leave it for our children, generation after
generation, after generation, after generation," he said.

The President said this when he opened the Fourth Zanu-PF National Youths
Congress in Harare.

He said the present generation should not fail to defend the country against
the machinations of the British who still harboured a return to Rhodesia.

"You, who are here, are defenders of the holy land, defenders of our
rights," he said.

President Mugabe told the youth delegates to be proud owners of the land
because they were not comers to Zimbabwe and Africa.

"We are here, we were here, we shall always be here. The answer is we are
the sons and daughters of the soil. You don't differ in identity with the
trees rooted in our soil only that they are botanical and you are human."

He encouraged the youths to fight for land and not to renege, adding that
the fight for land started with their forefathers who unfortunately were

"We are the owners of the land. We must fight for it. This is the reason why
we went to war. We are not the ones who started the war, it is our
forefathers," he said.

President Mugabe said the forefathers did not tolerate newcomers who wanted
to take their land hence the First Chimurenga.

"If a visitor comes to your house and says you Nyoni and Amai Nyoni move out
and I stay here, you chase him away. There has to be a distinction between
you and the foreigner. It is you who have to give him land and not vice-
versa," he said.

Cde Mugabe said foreigners should not be allowed to dictate the pace of
developments on the ownership of the land.

A number of nationalists died in prison while fighting for the country's
liberation and these included the likes of national hero Cde Leopold

"We said this cannot go unpunished. It infuriated us more. Those of us who
survived (death in jail) said let it be bullet for bullet. We had friends
who provided us with bullets. We said to Smith let's go to the bush, we know
our forests and caves. We fought and fought. We lost many thousands who
perished but did not perish in vain," he said.

The nation worshipped the sacrifices of the heroes and if the land remains
in the hands of the whites, then the heroes died for nothing, Cde Mugabe

"Thank you war veterans for starting the Third Chimurenga. Thank you all war
veterans and all who supported them," he said.

He dismissed as unsubstantiated claims that the land repossession exercise
was lawless, did not uphold the rule of law and does not observe property

The President blamed the British government of Mr Tony Blair for what
happened because it reneged on the promises of the 1979 Lancaster House
Conference. The conference agreed that Britain would provide funding for
land reforms but when Mr Blair came into power he breached the contract.

"It was disobedience on their part and why did they expect us to obey. It's
our land, not Mr Blair's."

He said now that the land had come there were other areas of the economy to
look at but for that to happen the youths together with the elders should
combine their capabilities, skills, moral fibre and intellect.

"I am happy many families are accommodated. Now is the time to move to other
sectors of the economy like mining."

The mining sector needed to be reorganised to accommodate more blacks while
the activities of gold panners should be monitored to ensure that the
environment is not destroyed.

It was necessary for the Government to take a stake in mining because the
present set-up favoured foreign companies, he said.

The President lamented the closure of industries in Bulawayo, which he said
used to be the industrial hub of the nation.

"Now it's a sleeping city. Even here (Harare) some factories have closed.
Some are operating at 30 percent or below. We must get in and do away with
those who want to sabotage us," said President Mugabe.

Government assisted in the recapitalisation of some of the companies like
Merlin before they were closed down.

"We have a duty to revitalise our economy, others have to add value to the
goods we produce on land. It is only when we have greater capacity, skills
to add value to primary products that we can speak of our country
developing, our economy transforming and our country getting

Zimbabwe had shifted its focus from the West to the East because it was
where the majority of people were.

"The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Do you want to set with the
sun? You are young, let us who have seen the sun rise and set with the sun."

The whites, said Cde Mugabe, manipulate events on the ground to suit their
own machinations. When the politics of the day failed to meet their
requirements they began to produce less and refused to co-operate with

He said with the youths in control, the country would never go down on its

Cde Mugabe took a swipe at corrupt tendencies saying corruption stifles

"The country will not develop. Mobata mabriefcases okuisa mari dzisi dzenyu
(holding briefcases to put money that does not belong to you). You must
maintain moral principles that make you human beings. You must deserve
leadership, that is, if you are upright, truthful and listen to others," he

Cde Mugabe said if leaders become self-opinionated they go blunderous Blair
or Bush way, whether they are right or wrong.

"Kungofunga kuti isu tirivaviri we can crush Saddam Hussein."

He said instead of targeting the alleged weapons of mass destruction in
Iraq, Britain and the United States should have destroyed the huge
stockpiles of the destructive weapons in their countries.

He said Saddam displayed astute leadership qualities by not fighting the
British and Americans in a conventional war because doing so would have been
a vain attempt.

Mr Blair "with his little experience" was now trying to use similar tactics
on Zimbabwe.

"The British have been making threats. Let them come. They will not conquer
us. We know our bushes, caves and hideouts. We know some people will die.
Just imagine how he will do it, remove me and put Tsvangirai there and you
think the people will accept it. A stupid man can do stupid things. Let him
do it and he will regret."

But he said Zimbabwe does not want to go to war with anyone. He said the
country fought a justified war that resulted in independence from colonial

"The trajectory of our guns was political. We never hit targets that were
wrong. We could have hit many white children schools but we said, 'Let's go
for the enemy, the white man resisting'," he said.

When Zanu-PF came into power in 1980 it extended the hand of reconciliation
to the whites and that is why former Rhodesia prime minister Ian Smith is
still alive.

"That is the reason why Smith still wears that head. We have allowed him to
wear his head. But in Europe they are still looking for Nazis to hang them.
We lost thousands of people at the hands of Smith. Smith deserved to be
hanged. In other words, the State should have said we take that head from
you," he said.

The President also lashed out at the behavior of whites, most of who shunned
national events choosing to alienate themselves.

He said such whites refused to unite with blacks, and that their behaviour
affected those other whites whose behaviour was accommodative.

To most of the whites, blacks still remained baboons and monkeys while
Mugabe was destroying the economy. They had an indifferent attitude towards

The President said such whites were free to leave the country and go to

The same behaviour, he said, had manifested itself in some blacks who
behaved as whites.

"Be vigilant. There are others like them but wear black heads, vane hurungu
mukati. Hamuhuone. Vakawanda. Some dine with us during the day and at night
with the whites. Zvimbwasungata, two-headed creatures, worshippers of the
white man. The whiteman is God to them."

The delegates at the congress are today expected to elect new office bearers
for the posts of deputy secretary for youth affairs and others. The
secretary is appointed by the President of the party.

Cde Mugabe said the elections should reflect the diversity of the provinces.

"Our oneness should be demonstrated by you. Spread positions. Each province
should leave with people appointed to the leadership of the league," he

He challenged the youths to emulate him by living decent lifestyles that
allow them to reach at least 80 years of age.

"If you take to drinking you won't get there. If you are a heavy smoker you
go before that age. And, of course, there are lots of diseases within your
power to prevent and these include the mighty HIV and Aids. Hupenyu
hwakareba. Life is also sweet but some sweet things turn into poison. Sweet
poison," he said.

He encouraged the youths to abstain from sex, adding he would not advocate
for the use of condoms because it had never been his way of life.

Cde Mugabe said next year's parliamentary elections were against Tony Blair
and should therefore be won at all costs.

"It's an anti-Blair election. We must win it and demonstrate that Zimbabwe
shall never be a colony again," he said.

Several senior Zanu-PF, Government and representatives of political parties
from Greece, Sudan, Portugal, Lesotho, Malawi and China attended the
congress which ends tomorrow.
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The Telegraph

Mugabe forces more whites out of Zimbabwe
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 10/07/2004)

The exodus of whites from Zimbabwe is gathering pace, with most heading for
Britain or Australia.

Many of those leaving had put up with four years of persecution in the hope
that President Robert Mugabe would relent. But last week, when he ordered
the closure of private schools for a week for raising fees, some lost their
Jeremy Callow, 55, a solicitor, said: "It was a painful decision because
this is the only home we know. I love Zimbabwe, love the people, but can't
take it any more."

Mr Callow said he succumbed to the "relentless" grind of trying to help
white farmers fighting to recover possessions through the courts - and then
struggling in vain to get the orders enforced.

"I spent 80 per cent of my time with farmers counselling them," he said. "I
am not trained for that, nor can I cope any longer with seeing grown men

Under a law introduced before the flawed presidential elections in 2002, Mr
Callow had to renounce his British citizenship to vote. "It is costing an
arm and a leg to get it back," he said.

Among about 350 white farmers who remain on the land are some who had
previously avoided the attentions of militants from the ruling Zanu-PF
party. They, too, are now abandoning their homes.

Hendrik Olivier, director of the remnants of the once 4,000-strong
Commercial Farmers' Union, said: "We have recently noticed quite a number
who have been left alone the past four years but are leaving."

John Winward, 57, spent Monday night in police cells in Karoi, a village 120
miles north of Harare.

Under pressure from Zanu-PF invaders to leave his farm, Mr Winward went to
the police with court orders stating that he was allowed to remain until
September to process his crops.

"The policeman didn't believe or understand the court order and locked me up
for the night," he said. "I wish now we had quit when the heat was on a
couple of years ago."

Chris Shepherd, 38, a father of four forced off his Karoi farm 21 months
ago, had hoped to remain in Zimbabwe and await a calmer future. But, now
struggling financially, he will travel to Australia to seek work. "I do this
with a heavy heart," he said.

David Coltart, an MP from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change,
said: "This is ethnic cleansing, not in the Bosnian sense of the phrase, as
they knew they couldn't get away with wholesale murder.

"It's more subtle, designed to drive out whites because Mugabe believes
whites provide funding and administrative support to the MDC.

"The laws were changed to deprive whites of land. Private schools were
closed to get at whites even though most pupils are black. Mugabe said
whites were 'enemies of the people' and he is still hammering away at them."

Rose McCullum, 39, owns Ocean-Air Packers and Removals. "Top businessmen are
going in droves," she said. "Most go to Britain, Australia or New Zealand. A
few go to South Africa but they won't stay there as they worry about the
future there as whites.

"My two best friends are leaving and we are unsettled ourselves."

. The International Monetary Fund has granted Zimbabwe a temporary reprieve
from expulsion, giving it six months to prove it can turn around its

The IMF said it was doing this in recognition of reforms which have reduced
inflation and progress in repaying debts.

But it said it felt "grave concern over the continued and sharp decline in
economic and social conditions" and "the widespread HIV/Aids pandemic
remains largely unchecked".
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The Scotsman

Zimbabwe finds millions to launch minister's album


CASH-STRAPPED Zimbabwe might be dogged by chronic food shortages, power
blackouts, water cuts and fuel queues, but the government is putting its
money where its mouth is - into its latest propaganda album.

Back2Black, a CD of pro-land reform songs written by Zimbabwe's outspoken
information minister, Jonathan Moyo, is being launched today amid pomp and
fanfare at the country's once-buzzing Victoria Falls luxury resort.

Guests, many of them from president Robert Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African
National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party, and approved reporters are
said to be booked on flights this morning from Harare to Victoria Falls.

Mr Moyo's Department of Information and Publicity is believed to be footing
much of the cost of the launch, estimated at several million Zimbabwean

Guests are being offered lunch and dinner at the five-star Elephant Hills
Hotel, one report said.

The 26-song double album, featuring tracks supporting Mr Mugabe's
controversial land reform programme, will be launched during a river cruise
at noon, the privately owned Standard newspaper reported, with the video
being launched at 8pm.

State-run television, which Mr Moyo controls with an iron grip, has been
gushing in its praise of the new release.

The album is a "delight and should capture the ear and heart of a wide
audience", the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said in a news bulletin on

Regular viewers of Zimbabwean television might beg to differ. During his
four-year stint as information minister, Mr Moyo has churned out numerous
propaganda songs - and, it seems, charmed his way into Mr Mugabe's heart.

The catchy tunes are usually aired every half an hour on state radio, up to
72 times a day.
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Sent: Saturday, July 10, 2004 3:52 PM
Subject: Total bombardment

Dear Family and Friends,
Almost since the beginning of Zimbabwe's land seizures in late February
2000, we have been bombarded with propaganda jingles on the state run
radio and television. I don't just mean the odd jingle here and there, I
mean total bombardment, every half hour, day and night, telling us that
now the land has been taken away from white Zimbabweans, life is just
wonderful. The irony is that throughout the four years of jingles about
land and prosperity we were hungry. We were standing in food queues,
waiting for hours for just one loaf of bread and traipsing from one shop
to the next desperately searching for a kg of sugar or a bag of maize

About a month ago the airwaves went blissfully quiet making us realise for
the first time the meaning of that old saying :"silence is golden." This
week a new propaganda jingle started up again and every half hour, day and
night, it is being played on state owned TV and radio. This time the new
jingle is not about land but about electricity. According to the jingle it
doesn't matter where you are, be it a castle or a cave, in a city or under
a tree in the middle of nowhere, electricity is going to be available for
all Zimbabweans. The irony of this jingle is that in the same week as it
was launched, the electricity supplier ZESA announced that due to chronic
power shortages, load shedding was being introduced across the country.
Even more ironic is the fact that ZESA can afford to advertise over 50
times a day on TV and radio and yet it has an outstanding debt of US$ 51
million to electricity suppliers in South Africa, the DR Congo and
Mocambique. So while we sit in the dark with candles waiting for the power
to come back on and women stream out of the bush with firewood on their
heads because they can't afford electricity, the jingles go on and on and

Zesa do not often talk about the massive amounts of money they owe to our
neighbours but say that power cuts are due to "regional imbalances."
Perhaps I've gone mad but I must admit to wondering if there isn't, at
long last, a shift in our neighbours policies towards Zimbabwe. This week,
after a lot of stormy debating, the AU almost got to talk about electoral
and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. Even though the report was already 2
years out of date and even though it never actually got publicly debated
by the AU, it seemed for a brief moment that someone turned the
accountability lights on in the AU.

There is a distinctly different tune beginning to emerge. It is a tune
which holds promise and gives hope, unlike the ZESA jingle which has been
on the radio 4 times since I began writing this letter, typing faster and
faster, praying that the power wouldn't go off in the middle. Until next
week I leave with you the closing line of the ZESA jingle which I am sure
doesn't mean to, but has a strangely appropriate message for the
Zimbabwean crisis: "Power to the people"!
With love, cathy.
Copyright cathy buckle 10th July 2004.
My books on the Zimbabwean crisis, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are
available outside Africa  from: ; ; ;  in Australia and New Zealand: ;  Africa:
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Zimbabwe AIDS Program Off to Slow Start
Tendai Maphosa
09 Jul 2004, 12:57 UTC

Zimbabwe's first HIV case was diagnosed in 1985. Today, the estimated
national HIV and AIDS infection rate stands at close to 25 percent, one of
the highest in the world. But because of cost constraints it has taken the
government until this year to initiate an anti-retroviral program.
AIDS related diseases kill about 3000 Zimbabweans every week. Health experts
believe this figure could be much lower if anti-retroviral drugs were made
available to HIV carriers.

According to the Head of the HIV and Tuberculosis unit in the Ministry of
Health, Dr. Owen Mugurungi, the recently launched anti-retroviral program
can only benefit up to 10,000 HIV patients. Dr. Mugurungi says while the
local manufacture of generic drugs has brought prices down considerably, it
costs the government much more to dispense the drugs.

"What we often forget are the other hidden costs, the costs of testing a
patient to find whether they are HIV positive or not, doing the basic
laboratory tests to make sure that this patient does not have anemia which
would make it impossible for them to take these drugs, the test to make sure
that their liver, their kidneys are functioning well. The hidden costs per
patient are nearly the same as the cost of the drug," Dr. Mugurungi said.

Anti-retroviral drugs are available free of charge to those who cannot pay.
It costs about $10 a month for those who can pay.

Dr. Mugurungi said in a bid to further reduce the cost of the drugs, his
ministry is trying to have import duties on raw materials used in the
manufacture of anti-retrovirals lifted. He also said the roll out of the
program will be affected by the low tech of some of the country's hospitals
and inexperienced medical staff.

Zimbabwe's health system, considered one of Africa's best during the early
years of independence, has been hit hard by years of economic hardship and a
shortage of foreign currency to import essential machinery and drugs. It has
also suffered from the brain drain the country is experiencing as doctors
and nurses leave for better jobs abroad.

President Robert Mugabe recently acknowledged that cost is a big problem.
Addressing the country's first national AIDS conference last month, he said
because the majority of Zimbabweans still rely on traditional medicine, it
should compliment modern medicine in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

The president of the Zimbabwe Traditional Healer's Association, Professor
Gordon Chavunduka, said his organization welcomes the president's statement
and is eager to cooperate with the health ministry. He said, just like
modern medicine, some traditional healers can cure the symptoms of AIDS.

But so far, he said, there has been no response from the ministry.

"Traditional healers are waiting for the minister now to come and say, 'Let
us co-operate in this particular area'. They have not done that yet,"
professor Chavunduka explained.

Given the constraints facing the ARV roll-out, some advocates of those who
are HIV positive believe that a healthy diet can make a difference for the
infected. One of these advocates is Lynde Francis, who has known that she is
HIV positive since 1986. She runs The Center, an HIV and AIDS counseling
organization, and believes that eating traditional foods can boost the
immune system and delay the onset of AIDS.

"I think that if people were nutritionally adequate, if they were taught how
to eat a healthy diet and live a healthy lifestyle, they may have HIV or
they may not, but they will not need to progress to AIDS," Ms. Francis said.
"I have been 18 years HIV positive and that is what I have done and I am
still healthy. I have hundreds and hundreds, thousands actually of patients
and clients who have been doing that and who are still well and health and
don't need ARVs."

She blames modern processed foods for a range of diseases affecting people
today, and advises her clients not to eat anything that their
great-grandmother did not eat.
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AU Summit Closes

The Post (Lusaka)

July 9, 2004
Posted to the web July 9, 2004

Joe Kaunda
Addis Ababa

THE African Union heads of state and government summit closed yesterday with
Zimbabwe narrowly surviving expected condemnation on its human rights record
following a damning report by the African Commission on Human and People's
Rights tabled before the leaders.

The report which has been withdrawn from circulation, highlights the
activities of the Commission on Human Rights for the period 2003 to 2004
stating that a mission was sent to Zimbabwe from June 24 to 28, 2002 on a
fact finding assignment to establish reports of human rights violations.

"There was enough evidence placed before the mission to suggest that, at the
very least during the period under review, human rights violations occurred
in Zimbabwe" the report states. "The mission was presented with testimony
from witnesses who were victims of political violence and other victims of
torture while in police custody."

The report further highlighted what was termed arbitrary arrests that took
place of president of Law Society of Zimbabwe, Peta Thorncroft, human rights
lawyer, Gabriel Shumba, including journalists among them former Daily News
editor Geoffrey Nyarota.

There were allegations that human rights violations that occurred were in
many instances at the hands of the ruling ZANU-PF party activitists.

"The mission is, however, not able to find definitely that this is part of
an orchestrated policy of the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe," the
report read in part. "There were enough assurances from the head of state,
Cabinet ministers and the leadership in the ruling party that there has
never been any plan or policy of violence, disruption or any form of human
rights violations, orchestrated by the state. There was also an
acknowledgement that excesses did occur."

The African Commission Mission stated in the report that it was ready and
prepared to rule that the Zimbabwean government could not wash its hands
from responsibility for all the happenings.

The mission acknowledged that it was evident that the political situation in
Zimbabwe was highly charged, especially with the taking of illegal actions
by land activists who grabbed land with the hope that government would
support them as they were war veterans and also party loyalists.

The mission stated that government did not act soon enough and firmly enough
against those guilty of gross criminal acts.

"There has been a flurry of new legislation and the revival of old laws used
under the Smith Rhodesian regime to control and manipulate public opinion
and that of civil liberties," the report stated.

And African Union Commission's acting head of communication Desmond Ojiako
justified the withdrawal of the report stating that it was one sided.

Ojiako said there was no justification to accept the report on Zimbabwe when
the government was not given an opportunity to give its side.
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Zim agrees to arbitration
09/07/2004 19:08  - (SA)

Harare - The Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) has agreed to take part in an
arbitration process to resolve the three-month impasse caused by the sacking
of captain Heath Streak.

Chairperson Peter Chingoka told AFP that the ZCU was ready to engage in a
"dispute resolution tribunal" to resolve the problem with 15 white players
who went on strike after Streak's sacking.

"We have been working on this for six weeks. We are suggesting a chairperson
who would be agreed by both parties and one person appointed by each side,"
explained Chingoka.

He denied that the offer had anything to do with a 14-day deadline given to
ZCU by the International Cricket Union, beginning on June 30, which requires
them to resolve the issue domestically or face ICC intervention.

The offer was discussed on Wednesday by Alwyn Pichanick, lawyer for the ZCU
and Chris Venturas, legal representative of the players.

Venturas referred to the surprise ZCU suggestion as an independent
arbitration process.

"It amounts to the same thing as a tribunal, for its decision will be
legally binding and it will examine all the factors of the dispute together
with everything that led to it," he explained.

Charity cricket tour

"This has been a long drawn out, stressful, volatile and unproductive
business. Consequently many of the players have created new lives for
themselves. I don't know their reaction yet," added Venturas.

The ZCU had for two months resisted the players' call for independent
arbitration - or a tribunal. In their turn the players refused the Union's
preference for internal mediation.

Seven former Zimbabwe players left Harare on Friday to join seven others
from different parts of the world for a three-weeks charity cricket tour of
England. They call themselves the Red Lions.

The party of 14 - fast bowler Andy Blignaut is not available - will be
joined there by Venturas on Monday.

They will formally discuss the offer and decide whether to accept it.
Afterwards they are scheduled to talk to ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed.
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      Zimbabwe battles to generate forex

      July 10, 2004, 17:22

      Zimbabwe is battling to raise forex by mending relations with the
international community. With inflation at 450% and dwindling exports, it
could be a mountain to climb for Zimbabwe. This week an export conference
bringing together the private sector and government was convened to map out
a quick strategy. It was clear though that a lot needs to be done.

      Zimbabweans living in South Africa are among the first to be earmarked
to help improve the situation. However, last month, Gedion Gono, Zimbabwe's
Reserve Bank governor, failed to get them to respond to his programme which
aims to encourage them to send money home through registered money transfer
agencies. They say the country's political leadership has failed.

      Many feel it is not just Zimbabweans that can boost the forex coffers.
The companies that are still managing to export say they are being squeezed
out of business by an unfavourable exchange rate. Tobacco production, the
major forex earner experienced a 60% slump last season. Unemployment has
risen to 80% and with no aid from the IMF and World Bank - the country is

      The IMF has given the country six months to put its house in order or
face suspension. Gono says the country will continue paying its arrears. The
road to economic recovery is likely to be a long one. With the manufacturing
sector shrinking - hopes remain pinned on those abroad to boost forex

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Comment from The Mail & Guardian (SA), 9 July

Saying 'no more' to bullies

Many of us would feel a lot better if President Thabo Mbeki, the most
credible and influential leader in the region, would phone Zimbabwe's
President Robert Mugabe and give him a firm and irrevocable deadline to move
out of office. It would enable us to feel that the fundamental human rights
values,for which we fought in the struggle against apartheid, are alive and
well. The problem is that South African foreign policy does not work like
that. There nevertheless comes a time when one needs to say to those
responsible for sustained and vicious abuse of their own people, "No more" -
even where the person responsible has the kind of support that Mugabe has in
parts of Africa, not least because of his capacity to exploit the residue of
anti-colonial feeling. He needs to be told: "Hear the cry of your own
people." The difficulty is that Mbeki is probably not sure if loud diplomacy
will work any better than quiet diplomacy. What could he reasonably do to
back any publicly declared ultimatum? How much support would Mbeki get from
other African leaders if he were to take unilateral action against a senior
African liberation leader?

Opposition forces in Zimbabwe are being terrorised and this threatens to
render the Zimbabwean elections unfree and unfair before they are declared.
It will be difficult for South Africa to suggest that elections are credible
in the present climate. Some talk of the need to turn off the electricity,
close the border and impose economic sanctions. "Don't talk to us about
civil war, famine and political chaos, we will take our chances," a senior
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader noted. It is all a bit like the
South African debate between liberation movement supporters, who bore the
brunt of government jackboots in the townships and neighbouring countries,
and those in more comfortable places who counselled restraint and
constructive engagement. Clearly, there are differences between the
situation that prevailed in South Africa and the one presently unfolding in
Zimbabwe. These need to be taken into account in any initiative devised to
assist Zimbabweans in dealing with their crisis. Opposition forces, for a
variety of reasons, are simply not as organised there as they were in South
Africa in the 1980s. Their strategic goals to counter government domination
are simply not clear to all who would like to offer the kind of solidarity
that is needed. The threatening famine, resources crisis and the apparent
divisions within Zanu PF are not being exploited to the benefit of the

The MDC has not managed to convince Mbeki or other African leaders that it
is a government-in-waiting. International support for the forces of
opposition is not (again for a variety of reasons) anywhere near the level
anti-apartheid movements enjoyed in the countdown to the beginning of
political change in South Africa. The "ifs", "whys" and "buts" of all this
can be debated. The question is how to intervene meaningfully in the
situation to effect real change, rather than simply to ensure that we all
feel morally vindicated by Mbeki giving Mugabe an ultimatum. The June 30
deadline Mbeki cited to end the Zimbabwean impasse a year ago at the World
Economic Forum summit in Durban has produced no results. This has been
publicly acknowledged by presidential spokesperson Bheki Khumalo. The recent
talks between MDC leaders and Mbeki in Pretoria suggest an adjustment to the
president's Zimbabwe strategy, although clearly his contacts with opposition
leaders have been maintained. The most significant development in this
regard is the report presented to the African Union executive council on the
Zimbabwean situation.

After a strong indication that the report had been adopted by the full
executive, its adoption was apparently blocked as a result of a Zimbabwean
government intervention. The report slams the government for arrest and
torture of opposition members of Parliament, human rights lawyers, the
arrest of journalists, the stifling of freedom of expression and clampdown
on other civil liberties. The words of the report leave little doubt as to
the views of its drafters: "By its statements and political rhetoric, and by
its failure to uphold the rule of law, the government failed to chart a path
that signalled a commitment to the rule of law. "The land question is not in
itself the cause of division. It appears that at the heart is a society in
search of change, and divided about how best to achieve change after two
decades of dominance by a political party that carried the hopes and
aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe through the liberation struggle into
independence." The hand of the South African government in the drafting of
the report can be discerned. The nature of the intervention suggests
Mbeki-style foreign policy, not least regarding the African continent. It is
one that is multilateral, regional and inclusively African. To the extent
that the report promotes the beginning of regional consensus (despite the
apparent wavering response to its adoption), it is a signal of mounting
African frustration with Mugabe. The report suggests a growing realisation
that Zimbabwe is an increasing threat to political stability in the region,
capable of undermining the credibility of the African Charter and the
capacity of the AU to deal with rogue nations.

There are indications that Mbeki is feeling the need to change tactics.
African leaders are frustrated, maybe even a little embarrassed. Several
Zanu PF leaders are increasingly unsure whether Mugabe can give them a few
more years in the comfort of material and political power. The MDC has got
to know that it is, perhaps, now or never. The political landscape in
Zimbabwe could be about to undergo a shift that will demand adjustment from
all the players involved if progress is to be made. For this to happen, it
is time for Mbeki and other African leaders to provide the kind of regional
leadership that is required before Zimbabwe takes the final tip into the
abyss that desperate people are often unable to prevent. It is time for
African leaders to take a stand.

Charles Villa-Vicencio is executive director of the Institute for Justice
and Reconciliation
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The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe

Monday June 28th – Sunday July 4th 2004

Weekly Media Update 2004-26












CIVIL society and opposition’s fears that next year’s 2005 parliamentary elections will not be free and fair as long as government refused to uphold the rule of law and create a conducive environment for all parties to campaign freely were confirmed by the violent attack on MDC leaders over the weekend. 

SW Radio Africa, Studio 7 (2/7) and The Standard (4/7) reported that suspected ZANU PF militia had attacked them in Mvurwi, Mashonaland Central. 

According to these media, unprovoked ZANU PF supporters, wielding iron bars, stones, knobkerries and some guns, pounced on MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and senior members of his party during a provincial assembly meeting.

Several MDC supporters were reportedly injured and property belonging to opposition activists was destroyed during the attack.

Radio Zimbabwe (2/7, 8pm) and The Herald (3/7) also reported the incident.

However, the version of the circumstances leading to the incident differed from those reported in the private media. They quoted the police blaming the MDC for the violence by claiming that the incident started when “MDC youths provoked ruling party youths who were on their way to Guruve by throwing two tear smoke canisters at their car”.

MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi’s claim that the alleged ZANU PF attack was an attempted assassination on Tsvangirai and that some MDC supporters had been seriously injured during the attack were only reported as part of the police’s denial of the allegations. To portray the MDC as a violent party, The Herald then selectively used two old episodes in which the opposition party allegedly perpetrated violence against ruling party supporters in Matabeleland.

However, while the government media tried to give the impression that the MDC was violent, SW Radio Africa and Studio 7 revealed otherwise. They carried about seven stories, including three fresh incidents, on human rights abuses and political violence allegedly perpetrated by ZANU PF activists against the opposition.

Predictably, the government media ignored such reports.

Rather, ZBC drowned its audiences with reports exalting the late vice president Joshua Nkomo as the architect of the unity and peace, which it claimed was prevailing in the country.

For example, ZTV allocated about 29 minutes or 16 percent of its 2 hours and 57 minutes allocated to its 8pm bulletins (excluding business, sport, and weather segments) to reports commemorating the life of Nkomo.

Further, its programmes were punctuated with excerpts of speeches made by Nkomo during the liberation struggle and after independence. In fact, this has been a feature of ZTV’s programmes for the past month.

In addition, ZTV broadcast live a government-sponsored 12 hour-long musical show held in Gweru as part of the commemorations.


2. Controversial Bill exposes government media


THE government-controlled media’s obsession with peddling the official line while smothering critical viewpoints on issues of national importance continued during the week.

This was demonstrated by the way the government Press continued to gloss over the controversies surrounding government’s promulgation of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill, which largely re-enacts a presidential decree issued in February, as well as plans to reform the country’s electoral system.

ZBC totally ignored the issues.

In their coverage, the government Press merely endorsed government’s justification for such actions without balancing it with critical views from members of the civic society and the opposition MDC.

These only appeared in the private media.

In fact, the government media’s unwillingness to accommodate dissenting voices was summed up by the way they conveniently failed to divulge the reasons behind the ruling party MPs’ unprecedented refusal to endorse the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill the previous week.

Besides reporting the final passing of the Bill through the committee stage, The Herald (30/6) glossed over this rebellion and simply reported ZANU PF MPs as having “supported the improvements made to the Bill”.

The Bill, which finally sailed through parliament on July 1 after ZANU PF used its parliamentary numerical advantage to out-vote the opposition, mainly empowers the police to detain suspects accused of economic crimes under government’s new anti-graft drive for up to 21 days without trial.

Moreover, The Herald paid scanty attention to the MDC’s protests that the Bill would violate Zimbabweans’ basic rights such as the presumption of innocence.

Instead, it gave Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa more space to defend the proposed law, saying it was necessary “to stamp out corruption in our society”.

Said Chinamasa: “Unless we put the fear of God in our people, our country will be affected by corruption. 

While the government media remained reticent on the reasons behind the ZANU PF legislators’ sudden ratification of the Bill, The Zimbabwe Independent and SW Radio Africa (2/7) revealed that they only did so after being whipped into line by President Mugabe.

The Independent quoted an unnamed cabinet minister saying the rebellion by ZANU PF MPs took “centre stage” at a cabinet meeting where President Mugabe had then issued a “stern warning that anyone who opposed the Bill risked facing disciplinary action”.

In fact, the paper and The Financial Gazette (1/7) revealed that President Mugabe finally issued the ultimatum because the MPs had resisted earlier efforts to force them to toe the party line by boycotting an emergency caucus meeting called by the party’s chief whip, Joram Gumbo, to discuss the approval of the Bill.  

Nevertheless, all private media did not fully scrutinise MDC legislators’ objections to the passing of the Bill especially their contention that it would also be used to stifle the activities of the opposition.

For instance, MDC MP David Coltart was merely quoted in the Independent saying, “The laws … would widely affect freedom of political activity in the run up to parliamentary elections in eight months.”

Coltart expressed similar views on Studio 7 (1/7).

Like the Independent, the station did not challenge Coltart to elaborate on the issue or independently establish the veracity of his claims.

The Daily Mirror (28/6) comment, For whom the bell tolls, was equally unhelpful on the matter. It simplistically attacked those opposed to the Bill as doing so because they were people “who do not have so clean consciences and hands” but failed to ask why the provisions of the Bill “would also be applied to security related crimes”.

Meanwhile, the government media’s passive endorsement of every government initiative was also evident in the manner they handled government’s proposed electoral reforms. They narrowly presented the proposed reforms as the only tonic for Zimbabwe’s electoral problems.

To reinforce this impression, they depicted civic organisations and the MDC’s tentative reception of the intended changes as unconditional acceptance of the reforms.

For example, while the Chronicle (30/6) quoted chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) Lovemore Madhuku as saying the proposed changes to the electoral law were “what we have been clamouring for”, it did not allow him to explain his assertion that the proposals did not “address key issues in the constitution”.

An elaboration of this point appeared in The Daily Mirror (2/7). It quoted the NCA’s Fungayi Majome as saying the proposed changes were “meaningless” unless there was a comprehensive review of the Constitution, “which had to broaden the human rights discourse”.   

One such Constitutional defect, pointed out Majome, was the fact that the “Executive Presidency can continue to appoint 20 percent of the MPs in Parliament in terms of Section 38 of the Constitution”.

Similar criticism of government’s planned electoral law reforms was also carried by The Financial Gazette, which cited several commentators describing the changes as incomprehensive because they did not address the “broader picture”.

Repressive laws such as POSA and AIPPA came under attack from the commentators. They believed that these laws “clearly violated basic human rights” and any electoral changes effected without addressing them would be “meaningless”.

For example, director of Women in Politics Support Unit Janah Ncube argued that setting up an independent electoral commission in itself did not translate to anything when POSA can still be used to bar people from meeting and while AIPPA still denied people the right to speak and to be heard.

MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi agreed. He was quoted on SW Radio Africa (28/7) saying  “…Where POSA doesn’t allow people to meet freely wherever they want to and whenever they want to, a translucent ballot box is not the answer…”

But The Herald (3/7) remained gullible to government’s proposals.

It merely glorified the anticipated reforms by claiming that “Zimbabweans” had congratulated government for “taking the lead” in coming up with the proposals. In addition, it reported ZANU PF’s Central Committee members as saying its approval of the changes showed “the commitment of the party to the reforms, which are in line with the draft SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections”. 

However, the paper failed to tell its readers what the SADC guidelines specifically entailed and to what extent the proposed reforms fell short or matched the guidelines.

Equally passive was The Sunday Mail (4/7). Like The Herald, it failed to relate the irony behind government’s purported good intentions to democratise the electoral laws in relation to President Mugabe’s reluctance to accept the MDC as a legitimate homegrown opposition party and his announcement that the government would not invite European and American election observers.     

But while the official media implied that government had embarked on the reforms on its own volition, the Independent contended that it was actually pressure from “SADC that has almost certainly prodded the ruling party to accept the (electoral) changes that it has hitherto refused to contemplate”.

And as noted by civic and political analysts, the paper believed that the “poisonous political climate in Zimbabwe…renders any electoral reform pointless”.

In fact, such observations were vindicated by SW Radio Africa, Studio 7 (2/7) and The Standard (4/7) reports that ZANU PF supporters had attacked the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other top party officials in Mvurwi, Mashonaland Province, during a provincial meeting with the party’s local leadership.

Indeed the attack provided a higher moral ground for the MDC to demand more changes with its secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, telling The Standard: “There cannot be a likelihood of free and fair elections…when the situation is like this.”   


3. Confusion over food security


THE confusion over Zimbabwe’s food security continued to hog the limelight in the media, with government officials and independent assessors still sending contradicting signals on the country’s food situation.

The private media continued to express the international donor agencies’ scepticism over government’s optimistic projections of a bumper harvest, especially after it barred UN agencies from making independent assessment of the country’s food production.

But instead of disproving the donor community’s fears of yet another poor harvest with scientific evidence, the government used its media to divert public attention from this critical issue by accusing the donor agencies of meddling in the country’s internal affairs using food as a political tool.

In fact, the Chronicle (28/6) and The Herald (29/6) merely carried a Press statement by the Social Welfare Ministry reaffirming an estimated harvest of “2,5 million tonnes of maize this year” by the country following “internal assessments” by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee. Thus, the country had “no need for continued food assistance from the international community”.

The Sunday Mail (4/7), ZTV (28/06, 8pm), Radio Zimbabwe and Power FM (29/06) did not fare any better.

For instance, the government weekly claimed that “contrary to reports in the media” people in Chiredzi West, one of Zimbabwe’s most drought-prone areas, had harvested enough maize this year “to see them through to the next season”.

The paper claimed to have seen “huge stocks of maize at almost every household” during a recent trip to the area. Two villagers and an unnamed Arex official were quoted lending credence to the story.

To further reinforce government’s claims of a bumper harvest, ZBC’s stations quoted the government run Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Chief Executive Officer, Samuel Muvhuti, saying the volume of maize delivered to the parastatal was increasing daily and that they were receiving more than 5,000 tonnes every week. Thus, Muvhuti claimed, his Board had increased the number of maize collection points countrywide in order to cope with the increased delivery.

ZTV then quoted GMB Chairman Enoch Kamushinda saying, “We (GMB) want to make sure that never again will we have to ask for food from donors, we want our country to be self sufficient”.

However, a report by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet), carried by The Zimbabwe Independent (2/7) dampened such optimism. The paper quoted the group saying a number of southern African countries would face critical food shortages despite improved crop forecasts.

Fewsnet revealed that Zimbabwe was “a serious challenge” for food analysts because of its refusal to let UN agencies make crop assessments, and added that only South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique “expected to enjoy exportable surpluses”.

However, the government media ignored the report, choosing rather to politicise international humanitarian NGOs’ willingness to alleviate any possible food shortages in the country.

The Chronicle (28/6), for example, quoted Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo as directing provincial governors to “kick out” NGOs operating without permission, saying some of them were interfering with the country’s “internal affairs”.

Without providing any evidence to substantiate this claim, the paper (29/6) simply expanded on it saying some NGOs “have in the past been caught red-handed using food aid to coerce people into voting for opposition Movement for Democratic Change”.

In fact, government hostility towards food aid agencies seemed to reach a new level with revelations by The Daily Mirror (1/7) that Social Welfare Minister Paul Mangwana had told Parliament that government did “not intend to renew the memorandum of understanding” with the World Food Programme (WFP) because of “a surplus in grain production”.

The government media surprisingly ignored it.

Rather, they continued with their relentless bashing of NGOs. The Herald (3/7), for example, quoted President Mugabe accusing the country’s “detractors” of wishing to see the country in perpetual need of food assistance so that they “could profit politically from the much predicted collapse of the economy, which they calculated would lead to the collapse of government”.  

Said Mugabe: “They insist we are or should be hungry and insist that they must feed us. They regard it as their right to feed us willy-nilly.”

The Zimbabwe Independent however highlighted some of the contradictions in government policy over the food issue when it reported the authorities as having asked WFP “to continue with targeted assistance for the foreseeable future”, saying 500,000 disabled people required assistance.

This confusion seemed to have rubbed off the Chronicle (28/6).

While the paper initially cheered government claims that it no longer needed food aid from the international donor community, it lamented that World Vision, one of the biggest charity organisations operating in the country, was scaling down operations and therefore exposing “ordinary people” to suffering.

It now claimed that World Vision was the “latest victim of sanctions” since it is “allegedly funded by the British and Americans, who have slapped Zimbabwe with the so-called targeted sanctions”.



The MEDIA UPDATE was produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 703702, E-mail:


Feel free to write to MMPZ. We may not able to respond to everything but we will look at each message.  For previous MMPZ reports, and more information about the Project, please visit our website at




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Zim: 'Dustbin' report not work of AU

          July 09 2004 at 01:27PM

      By Angus Shaw

      Harare - Zimbabwe has alleged a damning report on its human rights
record was not produced by the African Union but by anti-Zimbabwe groups who
foisted it on the body.

      The body's Commission on Human and People's Rights said the report,
tabled at a ministerial meeting on July 3, was the result of a fact-finding
mission it sent to Zimbabwe after disputed presidential elections in 2002.

      But Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge alleged the report's
claims of a crackdown against government opponents were part of
"machinations" by Britain, the former colonial power, to smear Zimbabwe.

            'It is not an AU report'
      Mudenge said the report acknowledged the AU human rights commission
had received funding from Britain and other donors known for their criticism
and hostility toward Zimbabwe, the state Herald newspaper reported on

      The foreign minister also said a Tunisian former member of the
commission told him the report was not drafted by commission members but by
a British-backed non-government human rights organisation in Zimbabwe that
pushed for its endorsement with the help of one unnamed member of the
commission, according to The Herald, an official mouthpiece.

      "It is not an AU report. It is fit for the dustbin," the paper quoted
Mudenge saying.

      Mudenge said the report did not acknowledge the need for the
redistribution of land owned by a few thousand whites to blacks as the core
of nation's current economic and political crisis.

      "The AU has acknowledged the issue, but the so-called African
Commission on Human and People's Rights does not recognise this. It shows it
was written by British agents in Zimbabwe," he said.

            'It is fit for the dustbin'
      The report said during the often-violent seizure of white-owned farms
since 2000, the government did not act firmly or quickly enough to show a
commitment to enforcing the rule of law.

      It said there were arrests and torture of government opponents,
pro-democracy activists, lawyers and journalists at the time of disputed
presidential polls in 2002.

      The report was tabled at the AU ministerial meeting in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, on Saturday.

      It was not adopted by the ministers and was also omitted from the
agenda of the summit of African leaders held on Tuesday and Wednesday after
Zimbabwe complained it did not have time to study its allegations and make a
formal response.

      The Herald reported Mudenge first saw the report on his arrival in
Addis Ababa although it had been delivered to the justice ministry in Harare
in February.

      The newspaper said diplomatic protocol called for the report to be
sent to the foreign ministry so Mudenge could arrange his country's

      Political violence has claimed at least 200 lives since the government
seized about 5 000 white-owned farms in a programme that has crippled the
agriculture based economy.

      The country is facing it worst economic crisis since independence from
Britain in 1980, with soaring inflation and unemployment and acute shortages
of hard currency, food, petrol, medicines and essential imports. - Sapa-AP

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East African Standard

      with John Mulaa
      Price of democracy in developing countries


      Is the spread of democracy hitting inevitable bumps and does democracy
have serious unintended consequences in some places where it has been
hastily planted? These and a number of other questions have been the central
preoccupation of a Yale University political scientist, Amy Chua.
      Chua has established a reputation as something of a contararian. At a
time when most academics and think tanks were churning out opuses and
treatises claiming how wonderful democracy would be for all societies at all
times, Chua, an American of Philippine-Chinese descent, published her
contrary book World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds
Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability.In the book, Chua claimed that the
world was refusing to scrutinise the consequences of exporting liberal
democracy to ill-prepared societies, all in the hope that it will turn out
right in the end. They might indeed, according to Chua, but in the meantime,
mayhem has been sown all over the globe. I have listened and watched Chua at
length on C-Span, a public affairs television channel and she has repeatedly
made what she means clear. Her thesis is by no means a defence of the
dwindling band of autocrats across the globe. She is a liberal democrat to
the core, but a cautionary one who believes more thought and care needs to
go into some ideas before they are foisted on unsuspecting places that end
up paying a very heavy price.

      Chua's book is wide ranging in scope and is well argued complete with
necessary statistical regressions. Her conclusions are startling if rather
obvious in hindsight: the spread of laissez-faire capitalism and democracy
can hasten political and economic instability at least in the short run. She
notes that across developing countries that have recently embraced democracy
either willingly or through a combination of outside and internal pressures,
the democratic road once embarked upon ushers a host of countervailing
factors that threaten the very existence of the countries.

      In combination with the liberal market orthodoxy of urging the
stripping of functions from states, the result has been severely
circumscribed and weak states that can barely stand. Gurus of free-markets
and unbounded liberalism such as Milton Friedman and Francis Fukuyama are
reportedly having second thoughts after witnessing the social wreckage that
have been partly blamed on uncritical application of the much fangled ideas.

      In Venezuela, for instance, democratic elections propelled Hugo Chavez
to the presidency but in the process widened the country's social and
economic fissures. The traditional ruling elite, Venezuelans of European
ancestry who have long dominated the society, initiated intense and well
orchestrated opposition to their nemesis. As a result, democracy has almost
been stopped in its tracks in Venezuela. The country is preparing for a
referendum on possible recall of Hugo Chavez who still enjoys wide support
among the pardo - Venezuelans of non-European ancestry. There is talk of
violence in the air.

      Reports also suggest that aside from Venezuela, there is a nascent
backlash against and disillusionment with democracy across a swathe of Latin
America. In Bolivia, an ardently pro-market president was driven out of
office by a proletariat enraged by his tendency to privatise everything in
sight. Peasants and urban workers in several Latin American countries are
reportedly talking nostalgically of strong man rule that they claim at least
maintained a modicum of order.

      According to Chua, what is transpiring in Venezuela and Bolivia are no
exceptions. It is a global phenomena - almost never acknowledged - of the
democratic process being used by majorities to dislodge affluent ethnic
minorities who, for a variety of reasons, tend to do well under market
conditions and to dominate economically the indigenous majorities. (Chinese
in Indonesia and Malaysia, whites in Zimbabwe and Indians in Kenya, for
example). A cocktail of democracy and simmering ethnic hatred has produced
only one known outcome so far: stunted countries unable to move ahead or if
they have done so, it has been by jettisoning the tenets of liberal
democracy. Malaysia simply enacted into law a stringent quota system in
almost every sphere of life to dilute the power of its citizens of Chinese

      The democratic experience of several African countries in the past
decade or so would seem to confirm Chua's central point, that it is not
enough to unload democracy on societies and expect them to make a successful
go at it. Success has been the exception rather that the rule. What is
clearly emerging is that the successes stories cannot be replicated
elsewhere because of their unique causes.

      The majority is flailing about, neither stable nor democratic, minus
the order that sometimes accrues from strong man rule. Zambia was among the
first African countries to take the plunge at the outset of the democratic
"wind of change" in Africa. Kenya and Malawi were stragglers whose ruling
elites were dragged screaming to the guillotine of democracy. Both countries
are struggling to keep their footing along the democratic path and, so far,
the evidence is mixed as to which way they will go.

      Uganda, the holdout that is still enmeshed in a no-party democracy,
will inevitably be pushed onto the precarious path of liberal democracy.
Given the country's history, there is no telling how it will all turn out,
but it is not unreasonable to suggest that it could all go wrong and force
the country back to a state of nature where it was not too long ago.

      Is Chua suggesting that democracy stands little chance in developing
countries? Her answer is a qualified No. Democracy, she maintains, has to be
built bottom up by first spreading as widely as possible the benefits of the
hoped for system of government.

      In other words, the revolution must come from below, with genuine
international assistance. As long as rapacious elites are kept in check,
their power can be destroyed over time by strengthening the economic means
of the populations. Revolutions of the kind the world has witnessed lately
may be easier to make but are not likely to produce lasting positive

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New Zimbabwe

Mugabe challenges Britain to war

By Agencies
Last updated: 07/11/2004 02:28:23
ZIMBABWE President Robert Mugabe made an extra-ordinary speech Friday,
challenging Britain to war and vowing: "Sure, some people will die. But they
can never conquer us. Never."

Mugabe, 80, is said to be increasingly paranoid and believes Britain and
America are bent on regime change in the southern African country.

"They (Britain) have been making threats against us," Mugabe said to

"Let them come. We have said, sure, some people will die. But they can never
conquer us. Never."

Mugabe also told hundreds of young supporters of his ruling Zanu-PF party
that the parliamentary elections due next year would be a "fight" against
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, state television reported.

"We are fighting Blair. It is an anti-Blair election and we must win it and
demonstrate to him that Zimbabwe shall never be a colony again," Mugabe told
a youth conference in Harare.

Zimbabwe was a British colony between 1923 and 1980.

The ruling party was angered recently when Blair told the British parliament
his government was "working closely" with Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

Last week the Zimbabwean party, which is dominated by Zanu-PF, approved a
motion to investigate the MDC's alleged "treasonous" links to Britain.

The opposition denies the charges.

Friday's conference was held at the University of Zimbabwe and reportedly
attended by 2 500 ruling party supporters from around the country.

The party's deputy youth secretary, MP Saviour Kasukuwere, earlier told
state radio the youth wing was already preparing for next year's
parliamentary elections.

"We want to be ready and to make sure that once and for all we lay this MDC
ghost to rest," he said.

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The Herald

Ministry gets ox-drawn ambulances

By Beatrice Tonhodzayi
THE Ministry of Health and Child Welfare yesterday received nine ox-drawn
ambulances and three regular ambulances worth about $550 million from the
United Nations Children's Fund.

The ox-drawn ambulances, an idea initiated by the ministry based on the
commonly used scotch-carts for rural transport, would be distributed to
Makoni, Wedza, Seke, Mwenezi, Mberengwa, Umguza, Zvimba, Gwanda and Guruve

The three regular ambulances - purchased with the support from the Swedish
government - would be used at Chipinge, Mberengwa and Beitbridge district
hospitals to strengthen outreach and clinic referral operations.

While all community members would have access to the carts, priority would
be given to pregnant women and children.

In a speech read of his behalf at the handover ceremony of the ambulances at
Gilstone Farm in Seke by the deputy director of disease prevention and
control in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Dr Stanley Midzi on
Thursday, Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said the carts were expected to
make a great impact in reducing avoidable deaths.

He said various studies conducted in Zimbabwe had demonstrated that a
significant proportion of maternal deaths were caused by avoidable factors,
which included delays in making a decision to seek assistance, lack of
transport to the nearest health facility and failure to get immediate
attention after arrival there.

"Although avoidable, these factors greatly contribute to deaths particularly
of the pregnant woman and the unborn child.

"I hope that the cart ambulances will provide an effective way to assist
women get to the clinics in a way local communities can manage and ensure
they receive assistance at the time of delivery," Dr Parirenyatwa said.

The communities themselves, with a carts minder responsible for maintenance,
would manage the ox-drawn ambulances. The carts would be based at the
homestead of the headmen.

Dr Parirenyatwa appealed to the communities to look after the cart
ambulances as their own personal property and guard them against abuse.

He urged the carts minders to ensure that they are well functioning at all

Speaking at the same ceremony, Unicef acting programme co-ordinator and head
for health nutrition and environment section, Dr Colleta Kibassa said the
ambulances were part of a collaborative effort with the Ministry of Health
and Child Welfare, World Health Organisation and United Nations Population

The effort was meant to improve the provision of reproductive health
services in Zimbabwe and address the urgent need to reduce maternal

Each year, about 515 000 women die of pregnancy and childbirth complications
worldwide and of these deaths, almost 99 percent occur in the developing
world, Dr Kibassa said.

In Zimbabwe, there was an increase in maternal mortality from 283 per 100
000 births in 1994 to 695 per 100 000 live births in 1999.

"The combination of the current economic crisis combined with the Aids
pandemic has increased the urgency to address reproductive health,
especially in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals to reduce
maternal mortality ratio by three quarters by 2015.

"We know that most of the complications related to childbirth are
preventable if quality obstetric services are available and accessible. As
such we must do more work together to ensure that all women have their right
to a safe pregnancy and delivery guaranteed," she said.

Dr Kibassa said if funding was available, Unicef would also want to focus on
the improvement of antenatal care, improvement of nutritional status of
pregnant women to prevent low birth weight and the promotion of the
prevention of parent to child transmission of HIV/Aids.

Close to 200 people from Gilstone, Kimcort and Dartmoor farms as well as the
surrounding Seke communities were on hand to see the ox-drawn ambulance
being launched.

While they expressed gratitude at getting an ambulance, they said the
immediate challenge was to have a clinic in the immediate vicinity.

The nearest clinic is Marirangwe while others have to travel to Harare
Hospital or Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital.
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