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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Enter Stage Right

Perpetrating misery

By Christopher Coyle
web posted July 12, 2004

With much of the world's present focus concerning Africa concentrated on the
Darfur region in the Sudan, other senseless tragedies that are also
occurring on the continent are seemingly given less notice. One such example
is the ever-quickening economic collapse of Zimbabwe under president Robert
Mugabe, a man who is proposing even more reckless and disastrous policies
for a country he is desperately trying to keep under his tyrannical rule.
Following in the footsteps of other wildly successful economies such as the
former Soviet Union, Mao's China, Cuba, and North Korea, Mr. Mugabe now
wishes to finalize his "land reform" program by nationalizing all land in
the country and thereby abolishing private property. His original plan
called for the confiscation of all private land (without compensation) and
the leasing it back to the citizens with the proceeds obviously going to Mr.
Mugabe's state coffers. Backtracking slightly on this, the new plan calls
for the nationalization only of the land taken through the land reform
program, yet this slightly scaled back socialization of Zimbabwe will still
only hasten the destruction of what was once a breadbasket of the continent.

The land reform program, which took its current shape in 2000, involved the
appropriation of Zimbabwe's 4,000 white-owned farms and the eviction of its
white owners in order to redistribute the land to the native black
population to rectify the theft of lands taken by English colonizers in the
late 19th century. Despite whatever injustices that took place in the past,
the effects of the current policy have been only to impoverish this once
prosperous land and its people, both black and white. The process itself has
been a bloody one with scores of white farm owners and their black workers
having been beaten up or even murdered in some cases. Though 200,000 blacks
have received land from this program, they have been hard pressed to obtain
loans from the government agricultural bank to purchase to supplies they
need to farm the land. The revocation of ownership will do nothing to help
them obtain loans from any private sources. Furthermore, much of the prime
farm land has gone, not to poor blacks, but to the ruling ZANU-PF party
leaders and supporters in a blatant example of government cronyism, who lack
the knowledge or ability to utilize the land efficiently, resulting in
fallow fields devoid of crops.

Now with the nationalization of all confiscated white-owned farmed land, the
blatant intentions of Mr. Mugabe can readily be seen, if they were not
already. The land reform program, under the pretenses to help poor, black
Zimbabweans, was only one step by the leader of Zimbabwe to maintain his own
power and shore up his financial troubles at all costs, regardless of the
pain and suffering which ordinary Zimbabweans must go through in the
process. Just as he has used food as a political weapon in order in
influence elections (as well as endless intimidation of the those supporting
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change), land can now enter the realm
of political patronage to a more effective degree than before.

And there is no denying the costs of such a politicization of society.
Hundreds of thousands of black farm laborers employed by white farm owners
have been thrown out of work at a time when more than half of the population
is unemployed. Inflation is rampant, running at over 400 percent. In order
to combat this inflation, the government implemented price controls on basic
food stuffs, discouraging the growing of corn, the essential food for
survival in the country, in favor of tobacco, which was itself once a prime
export from the country, but has been stifled with the demise of property
rights in the country.

The obvious result of such a misguided policy has been massive shortages,
which has culminated in the making of a humanitarian crisis. Over the past
two years, half the population has had to rely of imported food aid in order
to survive. Yet this year, miraculously, Mr. Mugabe has declared that there
is no need for any humanitarian food aid. This is despite the fact that
farmers this year were unable to increase the planting of wheat compared to
last year's already low harvest, which in itself comes no where close to
meeting the country's needs. The United Nations believes that about 5
million Zimbabweans will need aid next year.

The Zimbabwe economy shows all the symptoms of a runaway, also known as a
crack-up, boom, the final stages of a complete monetary and economic
collapse, if they do not turn away from their massive credit expansion and
transition to complete socialism. Direct foreign investment, which reached
over $400 million in 1998, is now virtually naught. Investors are racing to
invest in any real assets they can as hyperinflation and artificially
depressed interest rates decreases demand for currency, which in itself is
extremely overvalued by decree in its exchange rate with the dollar. Others,
including the highly productive white farmers now without farm land, are
racing out of the country to the delight of Zimbabwe's neighbors.

Agriculture is not alone in feeling the effects of Harare's disastrous
economic policies. Industry in general is declining as fast as farm yields;
businesses, especially those who are not supportive of the ruling party,
find bankruptcy has their only option. National output and real incomes are
falling as the national government struggles with large budget deficits of
its own making.

Thus is the story, one sadly repeated too many times, of a once prospering
country thriving under market-oriented reforms crashing into the ground
under the foot of a dictator bent on strengthening the grip of his own power
at the expense of the people. It just provides further evidence, if it is
still needed, of socialism as a destroyer of economies and the people living
in them, yet a successful creator of government oppression with the means of
lording other those people. What is depressing is the fact that this
suffering is entirely unnecessary. What is frightening is the fact that
America (or anyone else for that matter), if it follows Zimbabwe's example
of turning its back on free markets, private property, and economic law, can
just as easily follow the same path towards economic destruction.

Christopher Coyle is the president of The Liberty Coalition at the
University of Virginia.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Telegraph

ZCU donation shocks Carlisle
By Charles Randall
(Filed: 12/07/2004)

With Zimbabwean cricket in deep financial crisis, Stuart Carlisle, the
captain of the country's rebel players, expressed amazement yesterday at the
decision by the game's authorities in Harare to donate £1,000 to the
national bodybuilding and weightlifting association.

The money, ZW$10 million, will allow the Mr and Ms Iron Man contest to go
ahead as planned in Harare, according to a report in The Herald newspaper on

Carlisle said: "I find that very strange, as the Zimbabwe Cricket Union so
often talk about a shortage of money.''

The national league has been scrapped recently and funding assistance for
the Zimbabwean players' association has been consistently refused.

Nearly all the 25 or so cricket grounds in the countryside around Harare
have been closed or allowed to decay, with Harare South - a beautiful venue
familiar to international touring sides - the most notable casualty.

The final group of Zimbabwe players are due to fly into London today to
start their short fund-raising tour under the banner of Red Lions, with the
first match against Lashings, an evening game at Wimbledon, confirmed for

Carlisle and the players' lawyer, Chris Venturas, have an important date at
Lord's next week, a meeting with Malcolm Speed, the chief executive of the
International Cricket Council. The ICC gave the ZCU 14 days to start a
process for sorting out the players' grievances or face international
arbitration. With that term due to expire, Carlisle has a chance to present
his case for wider justice against what the 15 rebel players see as racism
and political bias.

Carlisle and several players still hope to return to play for Zimbabwe.
"Playing international cricket is still the No 1 prize, but it's hard to say
how many players would return as a few now have overseas contracts,'' he

Clive Field, a Red Lions organiser, said: "We have chosen England as the
destination for our inaugural tour because we have many friends and fans
there gained from our past touring experiences."

The Red Lions are due to visit Wimbledon, King's College Wimbledon, Stowe
School, Blossomfields in Birmingham, Cuckfield and possibly Weybridge.

Former Pakistan captain Intikhab Alam is set to become the first foreigner
to coach a domestic Indian team.

Punjab have announced Alam, 62, will be their full-time coach next season,
subject to visa clearance.

A former leg-spinning all-rounder, Alam was born in India before the
partition of the two countries and speaks the same language as his new
team's players. He coached the Pakistan team who triumphed in the 1992 World
Cup in Australia and takes up his new post in September.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Straits Times

Labour force to lose 28m
GENEVA - About 28 million working people will have died from Aids by the end
of next year, holding back economic growth and putting a massive strain on
other workers in some of the world's poorest nations.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) said yesterday that by 2015, the
number of deaths since the start of the Aids epidemic will have climbed to
74 million.

Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole will have lost 12 per cent of its workforce to
the disease by 2015, based on current infection rates, the ILO said.
Zimbabwe, the worst-affected country, is expected to have lost 40 per cent
of its labour force in that time.

The 99-page ILO report, HIV/Aids and Work, says the disease has infected
36.5 million people who would normally be making a contribution to their
nations' economies. -- AP
Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

Chimbetu, war vets in farm ownership wrangle

Herald Reporter
POPULAR sungura musician Simon Chimbetu is embroiled in a farm ownership
wrangle with two war veterans in Chegutu.

The dispute has now been taken to the High Court as the war veterans are
seeking the eviction of the musician.

Doddington Farm in Chegutu, which measures more than 400 hectares, is at the
centre of the controversy.

Cde Joseph Chivurugwi and Cde Bigo Jambwa, the two ex-fighters, are in
possession of offer letters signed by the then Minister of Lands,
Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Cde Joseph Made, while Chimbetu was
authorised to run the farm on a caretaker basis until the property was
required for resettlement.

According to the letter issued to Chimbetu in April last year, the lease can
be terminated at any time within a month's notice if the property is not
properly looked after or if it is needed for any other developments for the
benefit of the ministry or the community.

But the offer has since been withdrawn.

In withdrawing the letter, the chief lands officer in the now reconstituted
Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Rural Resettlement, a Mr E Makaza,
indicated that the purpose for which Chimbetu had been issued the letter was
to enable him to use the tobacco barns at the farm for curing his crop, a
claim Chimbetu has not disputed.

Mr Makaza wrote to the district lands officer, a Mr H. Kandemiri, to
withdraw the offer to pave way for Cdes Jambwa and Chivurugwi who, he said,
had been officially allocated the plot which encompassed a farmhouse and the
entire infrastructure on the farm.

Cde Chivurugwi has sought and obtained a court order to evict Chimbetu,
while Cde Jambwa has already instituted legal proceedings against the
musician in the High Court.

Cde Jambwa was allocated subdivision 8, while Cde Chivurugwi was apportioned
subdivision 9 on the plot.

The two war veterans have accused Chimbetu of frustrating their efforts to
occupy the farm. Chimbetu has allegedly refused to relinquish ownership to
make way for them.

They have also argued that their herd of cattle, numbering more than 60,
together with some other assets belonging to them were not safe at the farm
as Chimbetu's workers have not allowed them to either set foot at the farm
or exercise ownership of the farm.

The war veterans also contended that Chimbetu has another farm, Dendera,
that he had allegedly abandoned.

When contacted, Chimbetu admitted that he had no offer letter for the farm,
but insisted that it would not make any commercial sense for him to
immediately cease farming activities on the property in light of the
investments he has made.

"Imagine I have borrowed $100 million from Agribank (the Agricultural
Development Bank of Zimbabwe) to develop the property and right now I have
planted 48 hectares of tobacco and I am currently harvesting maize covering
more than 120 hectare. Furthermore, I am rearing more than 300 cattle at the
farm," said Chimbetu.

"What I am saying to these two fellow war veterans is that they are my
brothers and I am prepared to share with them because we waged the Third
Chimurenga together with them in the district, so I don't see why we should

"I was actually surprised to see them coming with the offer letters to my
farm because I was also waiting for the offer letter for the same property."

Chimbetu said he had already offered Dendera Farm, which he jointly owns
with other people, for resettlement purposes.

"I am not objecting to sharing with the two if they are seriously looking
for land. In fact, I did not take it as an anomaly for me not to have an
offer letter because many people, especially my fellow war veterans, do not
have those documents because we know very well that they might take long to
be processed."

High Court judge Justice Antonia Guvava issued an order in respect of Cde
Chivurugwi against Chimbetu. The order says Chimbetu should stop farming
activities at the property.

The musician, however, indicated that he was prepared to leave if his
continued stay at the farm amounted to a breach of the law, but said he
should be allowed to wind off his business.

In his letter to the director of lands in the ministry filed as part of the
court record, Cde Jambwa complained that Chimbetu had refused to vacate the

He said upon receiving the offer letter, he had transported his 26 cattle,
farm equipment, 400 litres of diesel, 1 500 kilogrammes of maize seed, 1 000
kg of sorghum and 50 kg of rapoko and three tonnes of fertiliser to the

"When I was preparing to plough the land, Mr Chimbetu then hired some farm
workers, including some political hooligans, to stop my preparations," said
Cde Jambwa in the letter.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Press Journal, Florida

Press Journal editorial: Weep for Zimbabwe
Socialistic dictator running African nation into the ground

July 12, 2004

Robert Mugabe seems determined that the country he leads, Zimbabwe, will die
a slow-motion death.

After running the once-prosperous African nation's economy into the ground,
Mugabe has decided to put the finishing touches on its ruin with a loopy
scheme to nationalize all farmland. Private ownership of land will be

An edict to confiscate land from white commercial farmers, who accounted for
most of Zimbabwe's agricultural exports, has now expanded to seize property
from everybody. That should make a bad situation worse, much worse. Once a
food exporter, Zimbabwe now grows only half the food it needs. Now it is
unlikely to grow even that.

Thanks to Mugabe's dictatorial mismanagement and socialist schemes,
Zimbabwe's once-vital mining and manufacturing sectors are moribund,
unemployment is rampant, foreign investment and aid nil and its currency
virtually worthless.

In confiscating white-owned land, Mugabe turned over the best of it to his
cronies, who have proved incapable of farming it, and the rest to small
farmers who are unable to farm it because they cannot afford to buy seed,
fertilizer, fuel and farm machinery. And without clear title to their land,
they are unable to borrow.

The latest scheme, which envisions no compensation for land nationalized,
calls for the farmers to be issued 99-year leases, which the government
feels will be collateral enough for lenders. This dismissal of the rights of
private property ensures that Zimbabwe's entrepreneurs will be unable to
raise capital.

But even if lenders trusted the Mugabe government, which they don't, "The
banks aren't going to lend to an individual against a lease that belongs to
the state," a local economist told the Associated Press. "It doesn't work
that way. You can't borrow on the strength of something you don't own."

The Mugabe government's explanation for the economic disaster is a plot by
the white nations to restore colonialism. That argument was bogus when it
was first made and is laughable now. If anything, Mugabe has probably made
colonialism seem a desirable alternative to his people.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

July 12, 2004

~~~ Newsletter 050 ~~~
Join hands

Peace and justice must join handsWe are in desperate need of another politics. But it is no longer the politics of the clenched fist, the power of the punch. Ours is the politics of interlaced fingers, a politics that develops when the "I" and the "You" come together as "We", when people clasp their hands, warm palms touching, fingers woven together, to build a rebellion that deeply interconnects us. A rebellion of relationships that embrace differences, a rebellion that desires to share rather than to take power.

~ From the book 'We Are Everywhere'

If you have any problem when registering to vote, please email us the details so that we can make sure to compile a list of irregularities -

Zvakwana mailing list
So many of our subscribers have written to us asking to be sent some occasional newsletters. Sometimes other people ask for their friends or colleagues to also get a copy of the Zvakwana newsletter. If you don't want just send an email with Unsubscribe in the subject line. Thanking you.

African Union slams abuses in Zimbabwe
The African Union has lambasted President Robert Mugabe's government for flagrant human rights abuses. It is Africa's most damning condemnation of Zimbabwe yet. A report adopted by the AU executive council on Saturday slams the government for the arrests and torture of opposition members of parliament and human rights lawyers, the arrests of journalists, the stifling of freedom of expression and clampdowns on other civil liberties. This is the harshest criticism Mugabe has had to bear from his continental peers. The report was adopted by the AU's executive council, which comprises foreign ministers of the 53 member states, despite strong opposition from Zimbabwe. Email your support and ask for a copy of the report to or

mugabe's motorcade forced to change course
It's loud and clear to those with eyesWe are sending a big pom pom to zvakawana activists who were very busy along Josiah Tongogara Avenue towards the National Sports Centre just before Independence Day. There was so much street art reminding the small dictator that his best before date has expired that his outriders made sure to guide him by way of a different route. However even in the grounds and around the turnstiles Get UP! Stand UP! messages could be seen so it was impossible for him to ignore these loud and clear warnings. Of course it is not surprising that the embattled authorities have used some paint to cover over this signage but Zvakwana activists will be keeping them busy all over the cities in the months to come. While we are speaking of this ever-increasing Zvakwana signage on the streets of our cities we ask the mushrooming tribe of Zvakwana activists to respect private property. Please don't be putting your messages there but rather aim for municipal and government places. State House durawalls might be a bit dangerous at this time though.

WOZA - participatory democracy, jambanja and love
Anyone remember that Zimbabwe place with that dictator mugabe who was chasing away all those white farmers? Used to be front page news in the corporate media until their event-focused, despair-mongering pens moved on to Iraq. All that suffering in Zimbabwe was quickly shoved to the bottom corner of page 12. So has all the repression ended then? No, it's actually increased with Zimbabweans living in an unofficial state of emergency. So is it the revolutionary robert mugabe and his party fighting against greedy white farmers? Not exactly. Land needed to be radically redistributed but the ruling party zanu pf ministers and fat cats are grabbing all the best farms. And perhaps the corporate media forgot to tell you that for every white farmer killed about 20 black opposition supporters are murdered too. So what does the resistance look like? Well, the resistance has taken all sorts of guises but by far the most revolutionary and fun are the grassroots groups. One such group is WOZA (Women Of Zimbabwe Arise), a network of community women that is action-focused while maintaining a healthy distrust of hierarchies. The ghetto women who built the network had had enough of seeing people given positions of power and then abusing them so they nurtured a network with a spontaneous spirit and a decentralised structure. No membership cards are necessary to be part of WOZA, all you need according to Jenni Williams, one of the fiery WOZA founders, are "two of these" - two breasts! WOZA has organised an avalanche of 'jambanja' (direct action) against the mugabe regime, from demonstrations against repressive security laws to actions against inflation. Recently, WOZA women organised an action on World Refugee Day to protest against Zimbabweans forced into being refugees by a violent state. 33 were arrested in the southern city of Bulawayo with a dozen more women adamantly making their way to the police station, arguing that they should be arrested in solidarity with their comrades! Slowly but surely grassroots groups like WOZA are spinning webs of freedom with their irresistible ideas of participatory democracy, jambanja and love.
- article submitted to Zvakwana newsletter

Get UP! and Stand UP! for women's dignity
For many of us who listen to the radio, watch TV and read the press often you must have noticed the way women are depicted in music videos, adverts, stories and songs. This has had a negative impact on the efforts we are putting in fighting gender disparities as the women's movement. Women's nude bodies have been used to advertise computers and tyres, women have been called all sorts of names in songs, stories, etc. One of the songs I have heard is one that goes 'bhebhi rangu toy yangu, toy, toy, bhebhi rangu toy yangu.' I am sure most of you have heard other worse songs, read bad stories, and seen bad adverts. I f you haven't I would encourage you to read the papers, listen to songs by such people as Maskiri, Extra large and Rocqui. Also follow studio 263 and adverts that come out on TV and even those in the print media. Are there any songs, adverts, stories, or suchlike that you have seen or heard that you find derogatory? What do you have to say about these? What strategies do you think we can employ to bring about changes in the media concerning their portrayal of women? Email Cleo at Women's Action Group

Our youth is our future
Zvakwana is pleased to share with you that we have made several hundred copies of the contentious documentary by Panorama about the youth militia camps in Zimbabwe. This is a no-holds barred graphic documentary that includes some interviews with youth that have undergone training by zanu pf. Our street activists have distributed these videos into public places including schools, clinics, police stations and fast food places thereby making sure we all know what is what.
It is up to all of us to Get UP! and Stand UP! Information is a right!

What lessons are we teaching our children?
Are we teaching them that old game of roll over and play dead? It is quite mind blowing to imagine at times 1000 people (parents and children) arriving at school for the start of the term and then they are turned away by sometimes as few as two zanu republic police officers. What's up people? Wasn't this a very good opportunity to exert some people power? Everyone is always saying "ah its up to those over there" what-what to get onto the streets. Meanwhile at the start of term all private schools should have immediately been turned into centres of resistance. There on site at schools there is an art room: make placards. There is a sports centre: blow whistles. There is a kitchen: make food. Can you imagine what a sight it would have been to see Zimbabweans asserting their rights. Education is a human right. This isn't about whether you belong to the MDC or zanu. Its about uniting as parents for the sake of your children's future. Isn't it time we stopped complaining about Mbeki's quiet diplomacy if we can't set our own example? Let's also not forget that zanu chefs are educating their children in prestigious colleges in those western countries that they love to bad mouth in the press. Even baba chatunga supports that private school in Borrowdale where they imported the sand for the playpit! Email zvakwana your views on civil disobedience

Win a free subscription!
Something's upZvakwana is offering 10 free subscriptions to either The Worker (ZCTU) or The Standard newspapers. All you have to do is look at this picture (you must be connected to the internet or visit and tell us what you think Morgan Tsvangirai has seen. Please make sure to email us your postal address and which newspaper you like along with your answer.

Gono Enters Zimbabwe's Murky Political Waters
Money makes my world go around.Gideon Gono, the Reserve Bank Governor of Zimbabwe while being upbeat about his recent campaigns to sell the Homelink programme in the United Kingdom, United States of America and South Africa has entered Zimbabwe's dirty political games following the disruption of the Homelink meeting by Zimbabweans. The Homelink programme was designed to lure Zimbabweans abroad to use official channels to repatriate their foreign currency back home. According to Gono, Zimbabweans in the Diaspora would get favourable rates for their money. The programme is meant to facilitate foreign currency inflows into the country thus facilitating economic growth, Gono told Zimbabweans abroad. It should be noted that Gono failed to answer legitimate inquiries by Zimbabweans abroad. Zimbabweans wanted Gono to explain why the government was asking for money from people it drove out of the country through political violence and economic instability. They also wanted to know why the government was only interested in their money and not their right to vote, which have been stripped away. While Gono thinks he is dealing with an economic question, he should note that the economic regeneration of any country is inseparable from its political regeneration. The two are intertwined. On Tuesday, Gono issued a statement claiming that his programme has been successful but failed to disclose to the nation the governance and legitimacy questions he was asked by his audiences abroad. The situation worsened in South Africa when Zimbabweans successfully disrupted his meeting. What should be noted is that while Gono's intentions to revive the economy are benevolent, he should understand that as long as he is perceived to be a messenger of the government, the opponents of the establishment would concertedly frustrate his efforts. Gono should make a clear distinction between his programmes and those of a government whose human rights record and electoral manipulations have became a great concern among civilised democracies. If he fails then he should be prepared to defend the government's political culture of intolerance, disrespect of the rule of law and the continuous onslaught against Zimbabweans' fundamental freedoms including the right to live.
From Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

And to add salt to injury, he sends his messenger to ask me to send my money to bankroll his regime when its policies drove me to exile!
- Joshua Rusere, a Zimbabwean, who disrupted a meeting in Johannesburg called by gideon gono governor of the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank, to persuade Zimbabweans to send money to relatives back home

Artists for change!
There are so many of these advertising boards going up here and there and everywhere. Zvakwana is calling upon those young, and also at times even older artists in advertising agencies around the country to send us some Get UP! Stand UP! art. And we will be distributing it all over the show. Send us your slogans and send us your ideas rolling over in your imagination by writing to But even on your own you can make a difference, get yourself some chalk or some pens and make your Zvakwana mark around the towns.

Invest in the future - join Zvakwana!

Zvakwana is everywhere
So of course people from all over the countryside as well as over the borders have been chasing us by email to find out what we think about that policeman chihuri looking here and there for us. The truth of the matter is that Zvakwana is everywhere. Zvakwana is on the lips of the majority of people who are enough with this tired old regime. We want new ideas, not old excuses. We want to live in dignity and with respect.

Zany zanu cannot see something before their eyes because they are power blind and it takes the wise to see Zvakwana inhaling and living. Zvakwana is everywhere, in the dark it gives light and in the morning it comes with the coolest breeze and in the streets it greets the down trodden faces. They always ask themselves difficult questions but Zvakwana enjoys ubiquity and we are too together to be divided. Zvakwana is in the heart but it manifests itself to those possessing the spirit of discernment. I am Zvakwana, you are too, as long as you feel kuti "Zvakwana". Keep it up until the regime sleeps in the river of demise.
- Kuda, Zvakwana subscriber

Nelson Mandela - real big name, right?
We hear you saying "but I could never be like that." You don't NEED to be like that. You don't need to give that much time and you don't need to be well known to help improve your country. The people who lick envelopes once a month, the people who put stickers on condoms, make Get UP! Stand UP! cds, attend a meeting or demonstration. The people who send a letter to the junior minister moyo, the people who sign a petition - these are the people that make a movement successful. Join Zvakwana today!

Please keep up the good work! I follow your struggles
and efforts in keeping the light of freedom burning
in spite of the evil regime that has turned us into
destitutes in the land of plenty. We are our own
liberators and should never give up.
- Similo, Zvakwana subscriber

Starting small, growing big
Zvakwana started with just a few people. Now there are Zvakwana activists all over the country. The movement is spreading on its own because Zvakwana activists are not waiting for any leaders to tell us what to do. We all have imagination and a desire to work for democracy in Zimbabwe. We don't need to wait to be told what to do. You too can pick up the banner of resistance.

Don't just hang in there - DO SOMETHING!
It is our country damn it and somebody has to stand up for it. Somebody has to help put pressure on the municipality regarding the water cuts, on Zesa regarding the power cuts, on politicians regarding law and order, human rights and democracy, on cell phone service providers regarding the poor customer service. In short, we get the government, the customer service etc we deserve if we create a laissez-faire attitude through our unwillingness to stand up and reject unacceptable service or behaviour. Do we not? I have argued before that the problem is not the bad guys because they are simply being true to self! The problem is the few good men and women who refuse to be true to self and choose cowardice and convenience over experience for the sake of peace and quiet. Well it has not worked has it? On the flight to Bulawayo, I read in the in-flight magazine about Nancy Wake. Look her up on the internet, I do not have the time and space to tell you about her except to say her personal contribution to the Nazi demise was immense. You should read her story and perhaps then we will understand that just like Rosa Parks, Ghandi and now the Greek team at Euro 2004, every individual must pull together for the collective's sake and then we will have no reason to debate whether we stay or not. Make that change in your attitude, hang in there and use your voice to help improve the situation around you.
- Albert Gumbo, Harare

Machingura - Singer, Songwriter, Activist
Machingura is a Zimbabwean mbira player and global justice activist living in Berkeley, California since 1999. Here is an extract from his song called Change.

There are rivers everywhere
Not a drop is there to drink
The gov'ment that sought my vote
No longer represents me

Public airwaves are colonized
Freedom of speech demonized
Ignorance and hatred
Are the seeds they sow

Our taxes buy guns and missiles
Don't have no money to hire teachers
Forget about schools and books
We've got prisons and more police

You would not believe it Mbuya Nehanda

But despair not Ambuya
We are still here Ambuya
Your bones your spirit
Working night and day
For a world with justice
But no, we won't forget

* Ancestral spirit "Grandmother" Nehanda. The woman who was her medium in the late nineteenth century inspired Zimbabwean resistance to European conquest in 1896-97, and was hanged by the British in 1898. She is famed for her saying that "my bones will rise again."

Watch out for Zvakwana papers on the streets!

Zvakwana, Sokwanele, Enough!!

Make sure you SPEAK OUT - keep discussion alive, keep information flowing.

Please remember Zvakwana welcomes feedback, ideas and support for actions.

Please help us to grow this mailing list by recommending it to your friends and colleagues.

Join our mailing list

Visit our website at

Enough is enough, Zvakwana, Sokwanele.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Catholic News

Brisbane Commission forges support link with Zimbabwe

†Brisbane's Archdiocesan Justice and Peace Commission has resolved to give a
helping hand to its sister Commission in Zimbabwe following a recent

A media release written on Friday said the Zimbabwe Commission had told its
Brisbane counterpart of its "great frustration" in working for justice and
human rights in Zimbabwe. It urges the Australian Government to continue its
strong opposition to the Zimbabwean Government's abuses of human rights.

The Brisbane Commission's Executive Officer Peter Arndt has been attempting
to establish links with the Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace in
Zimbabwe for over a year and has now established a line of communication
with the Zimbabwean Commission which will enable cooperation and support to
be offered from the Brisbane Archdiocese.

In his communication, the Zimbabwean Commission's National Director, Alouis
Munyaradzi Chaumba, expressed frustration in meeting the expectation of many
people that the Church would be the agent of liberation from the oppressive
practices of the Government of President Robert Mugabe.

"Mr Chaumba said that the Zimbabwean Commission was finding it very
difficult to carry out its advocacy and lobbying work," Mr Arndt said.

"He applauded the Australian Government for its strong stance in relation to
Zimbabwe and he thanked peace loving people everywhere for their action and
prayers," he said.

"The Zimbabwean Commission expressed the hope that more cooperation and
support from us in Brisbane would be possible," he added.

Mr Arndt said that he had written to Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander
Downer, on behalf of the Commission to ask for his assessment of the current
situation in Zimbabwe and what the Australian Government was doing to
promote change in the African nation.

The Commission would also consider at future meetings how it could give its
sister Commission greater support.
Back to the Top
Back to Index


††††† Zimbabwean president calls for protection of country from aggression

††††† 2004-07-12 04:40:28

††††††††† HARARE, July 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
on Sunday called on all members of the uniformed forces to protecttheir
country from any acts of aggression.

††††††††† He made the appeal while officiating at a prize giving ceremony
for the 2004 President's Medal Shooting Competition held at the Cleveland
Shooting Range in Harare.

††††††††† "If circumstances should arise for the defense and protection of
our sovereignty, it is the responsibility of all members of the uniformed
forces to ensure that the nation is protected from any acts of aggression,"
he said.

††††††††† Mugabe said events such as the Shooting Competition afforded
members of the uniformed forces an opportunity to sharpen their skills in
weapon handling.

††††††††† He said Zimbabwe's foreign policy is aimed at achieving world
peace and stability in all flash points across the globe.

††††††††† He said that his country is capable of protecting its national
independence and sovereignty at a time when the unipolar world is failing to
respect international laws and conventions.

††††††††† "Zimbabwe is a sovereign state, which should continuously enjoy
peace and stability," he said.

††††††††† Mugabe said the members of the uniformed forces have a
responsibility to prevent the abuse of weapons.

††††††††† The illegal movement of firearms, which usually found their way
into hands of seasoned criminals, is of major concern to peaceloving
citizens and undermined efforts to create a conducive business environment
in the southern African region, he said.

††††††††† The recent ratification of the Southern African Development
Community Protocol on Firearms, Ammunition and other related materials by
Parliament should come as a major setback to those unscrupulous elements
peddling firearms in the region in general and the country at large, he

††††††††† The competition began on June 24 and saw a large number of
participants fall by the way side, leaving 24 finalists.

††††††††† It is designed to develop a sense of pride and safety in the use
of firearms by the members of the uniformed forces. Enditem

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mail and Guardian

Nepad highlights infrastructure needs

††††† Moyiga Nduru

††††† 12 July 2004 08:10

"If you see a set of bright, shining lights at night, it's not a vehicle but
a giraffe that got stuck in a pothole in the middle of the road. So, watch
out," Zambians used to joke about the state of their roads a few years ago.

Now the country's main highways have been tarred, making it easier for
farmers and businesspeople to transport their crops and goods to market.

With a good regional road network, Zambia could also export more maize, a
staple food, to neighbouring countries.

But a considerable number of repairs need to be done to the roads that link
this Southern African country to Mozambique, Angola, Tanzania, Malawi and
the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The slow and erratic railway service
between Zambia and Tanzania, Tanzam, also needs a facelift.

Zambia and Tanzania are too poor to shoulder this burden, however. For now
then, the responsibility of doing repairs is falling on the New Partnership
for Africa's Development (Nepad), a blueprint designed by African leaders to
pull the continent out of poverty.

Nepad founders, who include South Africa's Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian
counterpart, Olusegun Obasanjo, have committed themselves to setting up and
improving infrastructure across the continent.

They have also identified needs in the transport, energy, communication
technology, water and sanitation sectors which should receive attention
first, in this regard.

"I think the priority should be roads, railways and ports, which are crucial
to Africa's development. Without them you can't move goods," Kurt Shillinger
of the Johannesburg-based South African Institute of International Affairs,
said on Wednesday, July 7. Shillinger specialises in Nepad-related issues.

But he warned that even improved roads would not accelerate Africa's
development if the continent's customs and immigration regimes remained out
of kilter.

"You can have good roads, (but) if you can't move goods around the region,
then the roads become useless," he argued.

Efforts to harmonise the customs regimes in the 14-member Southern African
Development Community (SADC) are underway. But, so far, only South Africa,
Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia have aligned their regulations.

Since it was adopted in 2001 by the former Organisation of African Unity
(OAU) (now the African Union, AU), Nepad's biggest challenge has been
raising the money to finance its ambitions.

The partnership is seeking $64-billion a year from the Group of Eight (G8)
industrialized nations and other foreign investors to rebuild Africa -- this
in return for good governance.

But the G8, which comprises Japan, Russia, France, Germany, Canada, Italy,
Britain and the United States, seems to be dragging its feet over funding.

This led a visibly frustrated Obasanjo to tell delegates to the AU's annual
summit held in Ethiopia, July 6 to 8: "The list of unfulfilled promises by
our partners is growing longer."

But, says Shillinger, "I don't think Nepad is doing enough to attract
investment to Africa. Business people always feel reluctant to invest where
there is corruption, no good governance and no property rights."

Observers say the seizure of land in Zimbabwe from 4 500 white commercial
farmers since 2000 has dented Africa's image as a continent where property
rights are respected.

While Harare claims the seizures form part of efforts to end racial
imbalances in land ownership that date back to the colonial era, critics
allege that relatively little of this land has been given to blacks.

"Whenever foreigners want to invest they first look at the conditions of
court, the independence of the judiciary -- and property rights," says

On June 30, South African Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel told a gathering
in the capital, Pretoria, that increased pressure should be brought on the
G8 to meet its commitments to Africa. The meeting focused on the Commission
for Africa, recently created by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to advise
him on the continent.

The Chairman of the Commission, Nick Stern, warned that it would "want
action plans with specifics, a plan that generates political will" in order
to provide increased assistance.

On its website, Nepad says that certain projects financed by the African
Development Bank have nonetheless gotten underway.

The bank, based in the Ivorian commercial hub of Abidjan, has funded
programmes worth $372,5-million -- while the World Bank has spent
$570-million since 2001 on Nepad-related work. The total budget required to
fund 16 or so infrastructure projects that have been given priority by Nepad
amounts to $8,1-billion.

These projects include the West Africa Gas Pipeline project and the West
Africa Power project. The latter will serve Benin, Burkina Faso, the Ivory
Coast, Ghana and Togo.

In East Africa, Nepad has embarked on setting up a road network measuring
5,102 kilometres, which the World Bank has agreed to fund to the tune of
about $500-million -- this over a three-year period. The European Union will
also plough $375-million into the project over a five-year period, according
to Nepad.

In SADC, the DRC, Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa have formed a
company to develop the Western Power Corridor Interconnection project. The
five countries have agreed an equity contribution of 20% to enable the
project, based in the DRC, to get underway. -- IPS
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Cato Institute

Self-inflicted Poverty
by Walter E. Williams

Walter E. Williams is an adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute and a
nationally syndicated columnist.

Did you learn the United States is rich because we have bountiful natural
resources? That has to be nonsense. Africa and South America are probably
the richest continents in natural resources but are home to the world's most
miserably poor people. On the other hand, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and
England are poor in natural resources, but their people are among the
world's richest.

Maybe your college professor taught that the legacy of colonialism explains
Third World poverty. That's nonsense as well. Canada was a colony. So were
Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. In fact, the richest country in the
world, the United States, was once a colony. By contrast, Ethiopia, Liberia,
Tibet, Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan were never colonies, but they are home to
the world's poorest people.

There's no complete explanation why some countries are affluent while others
are poor, but there are some leads. Rank countries along a continuum
according to whether they are closer to being free-market economies or
whether they're closer to socialist or planned economies. Then, rank
countries by per-capita income. We will find a general, not perfect, pattern
whereby those countries having a larger free-market sector produce a higher
standard of living for their citizens than those at the socialist end of the

What is more important is that if we ranked countries according to how
Freedom House or Amnesty International rates their human-rights guarantees,
we would see that citizens of countries with market economies are not only
richer but tend to enjoy a greater measure of human-rights protections.
While there is no complete explanation for the correlation between free
markets, higher wealth and human-rights protections, you can bet the rent
money the correlation is not simply coincidental.

With but few exceptions, African countries are not free, and most are basket
cases. My colleague, John Blundell, director of the London-based Institute
of Economic Affairs, highlights some of this in his article "Africa's plight
will not end with aid" in the Scotsman on June 14.

Once a food-exporting country, Zimbabwe is on the brink of starvation. Just
recently, President Robert Mugabe declared he's going to nationalize all the
farmland. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out the
consequence will be to exacerbate Zimbabwe's food problems. Sierra Leone,
rich in minerals, especially diamonds, with highly fertile land and home to
the best port site in West Africa, has declined into utter despair. It's a
similar story in nearly all of south-of-Sahara Africa. Its people are
generally worse off now than they were during colonialism both in terms of
standard of living and human-rights protections.

John Blundell says the institutions Westerners take for granted are entirely
absent in most of Africa. Africans are not incompetent; they're just like
us. Without the rule of law, private property rights, an independent
judiciary, limited government and an infrastructure for basic
transportation, water, electricity and communication, we would also be a
diseased, broken and starving people.

What can the West do to help? The worst thing is more foreign aid. For the
most part, foreign aid is government to government, and as such, it provides
the financial resources that allow Africa's corrupt regimes to buy military
equipment, pay off cronies and continue to oppress their people.

It also provides resources for the leaders to set up "retirement" accounts
in Swiss banks. Even so-called humanitarian aid in the form of food is often
diverted. Mr. Blundell reports Mr. Mugabe's thugs rip labels off of wheat
and corn shipments from the United States and Europe and relabel them as
benevolence from the dictator.

Most of what Africa needs the West cannot give, and that's the rule of law,
private property rights, an independent judiciary and limited government.
The one important way we can help is to lower our trade barriers.
Back to the Top
Back to Index