HARARE - The MDC has fingered Zanu (PF) as the hidden hand behind the
Mabvuku violence in which MP Trudy Stevenson and some of her colleagues from
the Mutambara faction of the opposition party were brutally assaulted.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa the police and Zanu (PF) were fumbling for
evidence in a desperate attempt to implicate his party and its members in
the assault, which has been widely condemned by the President of the MDC
Morgan Tsvangirai, the secretary general Tendai Biti, as well as the women's
and youth leagues.
"The police are now fumbling to get to the bottom of this matter and we
believe it is only because the perpetrators of this heinous and shameful act
belong to Zanu (PF). They are using propaganda to derail our focus.
"Since the event, a number of MDC members including the MP for Mabvuku,
Timothy Mubawu, have been tried, condemned and sentenced by The Herald," he
Chamisa said the inordinate amount of publicity given to the assault by the
"state-owned propaganda machine" was in itself a cause for suspicion.
"There has been a story and photos every day in which The Herald has flouted
all journalistic norms in its attempts to implicate the MDC," he said.
"For the record, MDC members Tererai Todini, Tonderai Ndira, Ernest Gengezha
and Tendai Chidziva, who were arrested last week for allegedly attacking Mrs
Stevenson were released on Saturday for lack of evidence linking them to the
case. But The Herald continues to peddle lie that they are in police custody
and will appear in court."
Chamisa said that while the five men were in custody, the police seemed far
more interested in finding out more about the planned mass protests than the
"They were surprised that the police focused mainly on finding out which
members of the armed forces were in touch with the MDC leadership and
exactly when the protests would begin."
When the men asked why they were being arrested, the police told them they
were 'getting instructions from above'.
Chamisa said the events surrounding the assault were reminiscent of the Cain
Nkala murder case of 2001, when MDC members were arrested and spent nearly
two years in jail before the courts eventually acquitted them. The judge
confirmed that they had been tortured and the police had doctored evidence
to incriminate them. Fletcher Ndulini-Ncube, MP, lost an eye while in
"The state media had a field day - they tried these men and found them
guilty. The true murderers are still at large," added Chamisa.
"We are convinced that Zanu (PF) was the author of the violence in Mabvuku.
Trudy is a member of the MDC and the party has an obligation to protect its
membership. It is the responsibility of the police to protect citizens and
we note that the police failed to protect innocent and defenceless citizens,
particularly women and children. To date, 400 members of the MDC have been
killed at the hands of Zanu PF and the assailants are still roaming freely
and continue to commit other crimes with impunity."
He said state security agents had launched an unprecedented terror crusade
on MDC members in Mabvuku.
"The police continue to mislead the nation that the MDC has "safe houses" in
Greendale and Mabvuku without providing any shred of evidence. Zanu PF
vigilantes, state security agents and one Gabriel Chaibva are moving around
the houses of all known MDC members in Mabvuku, terrorizing them and
accusing them of attacking Mrs Stevenson.
"We also note with concern that Mubhawu is now being implicated in this case
for allegedly being the owner of the 'blue truck' that was used by the
assailants. For the record, he does not have a blue truck and he was
attending a church service at the time the alleged assault was carried out."
BY GIVEMORE CHARI
I decided to flee to South Africa after continued persecution and torture in
Zimbabwe by the government. I was abducted and nearly killed by state
security agents who aimed to thwart the efforts of Zimbabwean student
leaders. We were trying to make the government of Zimbabwe address bread and
butter issues and also restore democracy to the country.
Last year in October, I was suspended at college for the whole semester as a
result of having called for the government to address the issue of payouts
and student welfare in the country. Baseless allegations were created to
justify my suspension. At this time, along with other students, I formed a
student movement - Radicals for Delivery. We clashed with Zanu (PF) youth
over the party's effort to establish its youth ranks throughout the student
representative council. We are of the view that there is a thin line between
student activism and national politics. We should not have students gate
crashing the student body, riding on political connections to further the
interests of certain political gurus; especially at the expense of
addressing the plight of students. As a result we were labeled members
of the opposition, put under surveillance by state security agents and
received death threats. We were arrested and beaten during student protests.
The persecution got worse when I attended the ZINASU congress two months ago
in Harare where, among other resolutions, we resolved to carry out mass
action against hiking of fees and the continued suffering of students, which
the government is failing to address.
When we arrived at the venue of the congress, there was a portrait of Mugabe
in the conference room. The delegates agreed unanimously that it should be
removed because we believe he rigged the elections and is not the legitimate
president of Zimbabwe. As a result 48 students, including myself, were
arrested and charged with stealing Mugabe's portrait and denigrating the
highest office in the land. We were threatened in the process. Some female
students had male police officers taking advantage of them and some of us
were beaten under the soles of our feet by the police and denied access to
food until after our lawyers intervened. We spent a night in police cells
but this did not destroy my fighting spirit.
Barely two days after my release, Bindura University was rocked by massive
student demonstrations against the hiking of tuition fees beyond the reach
of many students. The police pounced on the students' peaceful
demonstration. They brutally attacked students, arresting 18 and injuring
many others. One student sustained a broken jaw after a ruthless police
officer stepped on his head deliberately. Those arrested were severely
tortured so much that they could not stand by themselves or speak. Many of
them were tortured to reveal my hideout and were asked what I said in
This made many students bitter and resulted in violent clashes between
students and the police. During these protests I was abducted by suspected
CIO members who were driving a brown Toyota pickup. I was punched in the
head several times. My captors told me how they were going to kill me. I
could tell they meant what they said but I managed to jump off the car after
having seen that we were approaching a bushy area near Mazowe road and
managed to out-sprint these three guys. I was hit by a beer bottle and
sustained a minor head injury with a swollen eye.
I hastily left Bindura and the police search for me intensified, to the
extent that secret intelligence personnel beat my parents to get them to
reveal where I was. The demonstration at the University continued and a
building was burnt down and about 58 students were arrested and detained.
I believe this bombing was the work of the intelligence guys in order to
fabricate criminal charges around their prey because any peaceful protest by
university students in Mashonaland Central was accompanied by state
sponsored violence on college property. This violence was perpetrated by
Border Gezi militia masquerading as students, in order to create grounds for
subsequent torture unlawful detentions and incarcerations. I do not regret
my clashes with the regime because we were fighting for a just cause in a
very democratic way. I will fight even although I am in exile because I have
not run away from the struggle but have only relocated strategically. I will
only stop the struggle when I am dead.
But for now I need to continue with my education but the biggest hurdle is
Givemore Chari was the SRC president at Bindura University of science
education. Anyone willing to assist him to continue with his education in
South Africa can contact +27 (0) 783920363 or +27 (0) 768480753.
BULAWAYO - A former political prisoner and war veteran who split from the
ruling party has accused the government of favouring ex-detainees who
support Zanu (PF) and rewarding them financially. Ernest Malandu said all
former political prisoners in the country were supposed to be receiving
monthly payments from the government as stipulated in the Ex-Detainees Bill,
which became law last year. But he has not been paid at all and neither have
many other ex-detainees in Matabeleland. Malandu said the vetting exercises
to determine who gets benefits were held at Zanu (PF) offices and
ex-detainees in the rural areas of Matabeleland were never told.
He believes they are targeted on many levels because it is no secret they do
not support Mugabe. - Tererai Karimakwenda
CHINHOYI - The former mining town of Shackleton has been without running
water for weeks now and a health crisis is looming. Without running water
the toilets cannot flush. Many residents have built Blair toilets but there
are piles of waste in many places. An outbreak of measles has already hit
the town but something more serious could develop if no running water is
made available soon. The residents of Shackleton were moved there from a
nearby farm where cholera had started to spread. At the time the small
mining compound was owned by The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.
There was running water when the Chinhoyi council took over but no
maintenance work has been done on the pipes. The council has told the
residents there is no money for spare parts either. - SW Radio Africa
BY TATENDA MOYO
GABORONE - The Zimbabwean Embassy here has responded to intensified pressure
from the Botswana Civil Society Solidarity Coalition for Zimbabwe (BOCISCOZ)
by attacking it in a statement.
The recently-launched coalition has been conducting awareness campaigns on
the crisis in Zimbabwe through rallies, marches and prayer vigils.
"As it turned out, the church service, demonstrations and rally were
platforms for the non-governmental organisations and individuals who were
linked to opposition political parties in Zimbabwe, to preach the usual
anti-Zimbabwe rhetoric about good governance, the rule of law and human
rights, and to plot their next actions against the Government of Zimbabwe,"
read part of the statement that was sent to Ditshwanelo, a human rights body
The statement also attacks Britain and the western countries for causing
social unrest in Zimbabwe in order to attain regime change and for
manipulating developing countries in Africa.
"One wonders whether the remarks made by a local priest at the so-called
solidarity church service that the church should support the weak whether
right or wrong; do not apply here, where a small country is being victimized
by the rich and powerful.
It has become so obvious that Britain and her allies are trying heir best to
use the issue of governance, rule of law and human rights in their campaign
to isolate Zimbabwe in order to effect regime change ."
The ambassador to Botswana, David Mandigora, has turned down an invitation
from the coalition to attend a seminar on Zimbabwe was held on Thursday in
Gaborone where representatives of WOZA, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and
Professor John Makumbe were in attendance.
BY MAGARI MANDEBVU
I have heard a lot of people rushing to condemn 'those responsible' for the
assault on Trudy Stevenson. It is important not to rush to conclusions about
who is responsible.
Seven of the attackers have been named, but who are they? And who put them
up to this brutal attack?
There are three possibilities: they were sent by the leaders of the main
branch of the MDC, or they were paid agents of Zanu (PF) or they were
unwitting agents of Zanu (PF).
I find the first hard to believe. Even after what we have seen happening in
the NCA, I have more trust than that in the integrity of the leadership of
either faction of the MDC. The leaders may not be able to control their
followers completely, but that is another question which I will deal with
The second doesn't seem likely, either. Zanu (PF) members are not all
stupid. They know that a willing ally is better than a paid agent, which is
really only another name for a mercenary. I feel they would avoid anything
this crude if they could find an alternative that serves their purpose.
My bet is on the third alternative. We have an atmosphere of violence. That
being so, it would be surprising if any organisation was completely free of
people with violent tendencies. If Zanu (PF) has done anything beyond
creating that atmosphere of violence, it might use subtle means such as
making sure that some of the assailants' drinking companions plant ideas
about who to attack when those assailants have drunk enough for the violence
bottled up inside them to start bubbling to the surface. Actually, it would
be truer to say they found an atmosphere of violence, learned to play that
game more effectively than Smith's gang and emerged with 'degrees in
A member of the former ZAPU, said recently about the political violence of
earlier times: "Yes, we all did it. That is what the situation drove us to."
That man is one of the least likely among all my acquaintances to believe
violence solves anything, but he admits that there were situations in the
past where "we all did it" and he was carried along by that tide of
violence. Who can guarantee that he or she won't be carried by the next
surge of that tide? Could we expect the MDC leaders to be able to discipline
That is the real evil that faces us daily now. We have been hating our
opponents for 40 years or more until we all became uncomfortably like what
we hated. Yes, violence is 'the Zanu way' but they didn't start it and it
doesn't end with them. It is a poison in the air we breathe.
Of course we must demand that those who are guilty of murder, arson, torture
and rape repent and make what reparation they can, but we persuade them
better if we show we are concerned that they have made themselves into evil
people and we want to help them overcome that evil. If we set out to grind
them down in revenge, we would become like them and what good would that do?
Remember the wise words of Mahatma Gandhi: "An eye for an eye only leaves
the whole world blind."
BY MARICO SOKO
BULAWAYO - Billowing smoke can be seen in broad daylight, but it is not
because winter has arrived in Bulawayo's high-density suburbs.
Residents of this city of more than 2 million have trained themselves to use
firewood as the country battles acute energy shortages with constant
The power utility calls it load shedding, a strategy intended to save
electricity, amid reports the country owes neighbouring countries supplying
it million of United States dollars.
The Central Business District, the city's commercial hub suddenly comes to a
stand still as load shedding comes to town despite previous efforts by the
power utility to spare industrial areas and other centres of commerce.
60-something year old Susan Chisale says firewood has become her lifeline,
though she complains she still has to pay her monthly electricity bill to
the power utility.
She stoops by the fireplace each morning to prepare food for her extended
family, and she says this reminds her of days she spent as a child at her
"But what can we do," she sighs as smoke assaults her old eyes.
Firewood has become the source of livelihood for many here as it has become
the cheapest source of energy as many families cannot afford the previously
cheaper alternative, paraffin.
But this commodity has also disappeared from service stations and now to be
found for an arm and a leg in what is now referred as the black market where
virtually all scarce commodities can be found.
As Zimbabwe's energy woes continue stalking the country with the nation
having learnt to live with daily powercuts, the environment has become the
latest casualty with trees fast disappearing.
Families in urban areas have turned to firewood despite concerns by
environmentalists that no trees are being planted for posterity.
With the country's energy crisis in full swing, families have turned to
firewood, as many here cannot afford alternative but expensive fuels like
Mrs Chisale is one among millions here who have turned to trees for
survival, but Portia Mdumbu of Environment 2000, an environment watchdog
here, says this has been at a huge cost to the environment.
Ms Mdumbu says trees in urban areas are fast disappearing as families cannot
afford paraffin with many also not able to afford what are popularly known
here as primus stoves which use paraffin.
She says though conservation of natural resources has always been emphasised
by environmentalists and other concerned groups, this has become difficult
as families have little or no choice in the absence of electricity.
Her sentiments were echoed by Bulawayo City Council spokesman Mr Pathisa
Nyathi who says though the council has by-laws which seek to protect the
environment, this has become difficult to enforce considering the continuing
Titus Mlotshwa sells firewood outside a council beerhall. He says he gets
this vital source of energy which has found ready buyers with urban
residents from a farm along Gwanda Road just outside Bulawayo.
He says this farm, occupied by veterans of the liberation war during the
height of the farm invasions, has seen trees dwindling as demand has grown
in urban areas.
Zimbabwe faces an unprecedented major energy crisis as the country's foreign
currency crunch and recession now into its seventh year continues stalking
Meanwhile, the country's ministry of environment is yet to come out in the
open with any position on the conservation of natural resources as
deforestation threatens to leave large tracts of unprotected earth across
Each year on the first Saturday of December, the country observes National
Tree Planting Day, but during the course of the year there has not been any
emphasis from the authorities, though the parastatal Forestry Commission
proclaims that trees are life.
PRETORIA - The innovative Zimbabwe Pastors Forum (ZPF) has been offered a 10
hectare farm in Hamaskraal, some 30 kilometres north of Pretoria, to start
income generating projects for asylum seekers, refugees, unemployed and
people living with HIV/AIDS.
The offer was made by a non-governmental organisation called the Cross-Over
Projects (COP), which is being administered by United Nations (UN) expert
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony on Sunday, Gordon said the farm would
help ease economic suffering among the Zimbabwe refugee community living in
"This farm is enough to cater for several hundreds of the Zimbabwean and
other refugees communities if fully utilised.Viable projects such as
piggery, poultry, animal husbandry and crop farming would help create dozens
of jobs for the disadvantaged people," she said.
A tour of the farm revealed a huge dam, full of water and a lodge that could
be used for hosting seminars and conferences in order to generate income.
Speaking at the same function, the Zimbabwe Pastors Forum (ZPF) Vice
President, Freddy Chinanga of the Family of God (FOG) Johannesburg, thanked
God for bring the forum into contact with COP. - CAJ News
BY DR FARAI MADZIMBAMUTO
'Politicians have no respect for the opinion of health professionals'
Have you ever wondered why it is that when you hear about a humanitarian
health disaster somewhere in the world, you hardly ever hear what the
doctors there have to say about it? This is specially so in Africa where the
are many heart rending goings on in Darfur, Congo, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe
and many others. One is more likely to hear from Medicines sans Frontiers,
or Save the Children Fund or some other.
Last month medical associations from Canada, Thailand, Malaysia, South
Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Sudan and the British Medical
Association met to discuss 'improving health in the developing world: what
can national medical associations do?' Also present were a number of
The UN Rapporteur on 'right to highest attainable health', Paul Hunt said
every country in the world was a signatory to the international conventions
that enshrine 'health' as a human right. As a result every country
government has obligations to fulfil. The problem is 'who' is going to be
seeing to it that these are fulfilled? It is the responsibility of citizens.
It is the coming together of the demand on governments to fulfil their
obligations and civil society to monitor that constitutes the 'right to
National Medical Associations [NMAs] represent and consist of citizens who
are informed and influential. They have a duty to watch the government on
behalf of their patients and ensure that it is fulfilling its obligations.
They also have a duty to inform the citizens so that people can participate
and make informed decisions about the health choices they have.
One of the medical association delegates asked why it is that the leaders of
medical associations sometimes become government ministers, and then often
do more damage to the health system during their tenure than a non-medical
person. The irony was heightened when it was pointed out that medical
associations are often set up with lofty aims of doing social good and
maintaining standards, but actually when they meet they discuss only forms
of personal gain.
Many medical associations cosy up to government thinking they can influence
it, but in reality politicians have no respect for the opinion of health
professionals with regard to health policy or administration. This is not an
African phenomenon only.
There are many diseases in the world that are found among communities that
do not represent potential profitable markets for drug companies. The
research and development resources for drug multinationals represent
hundreds of millions of dollars per drug to reach the market.
This can only be recouped in high cost and large volume markets. More money
still is then spent registering the drug in all the countries of the world.
This all tends to marginalize drugs that cannot attract large markets at
high prices for a long enough patent period. This is a health human rights
However, private public partnerships [PPP] in drug development can and do
make potential drugs [or compounds] developed through public finance in
universities and other establishments available to companies to develop for
the market. However, they need funding support through public funds or by
That some diseases are neglected or that health needs of some communities
are marginalized should be on the agenda of the NMAs. They could use their
international lobby potential to press for international funding.
Dr Titiola Banjulu, who is director of Africa Recruit, pointed out that from
data collected from African professionals in the diaspora including health
professionals, over 70% of want to continue to have professional contact
with Africa including returning for periods of time, but there are no
mechanisms that permit such a relationship to continue.
There is a large gap of unfulfilled need existing in the community, for
which health professionals have an ethical responsibility, which the
associations are not addressing because they are trying to cosy up to
government. The governments are very hard bedfellows. They take but don't
In Zambia all the junior doctors were sacked when they took industrial
action to support pay demands. The medical system has never recovered with
very few local doctors wanting to stay after qualifying. In Sudan over 50%
of the population has no access to a health facility at all. In Ghana 90% of
doctors are in Accra and Kumasi regions of the country. However, there is
some movement. The health human rights agenda is slowly creeping up the 'to
During the first week of November, 12 medical associations from Africa are
meeting in South Africa to set up the Africa Region of the World Medical
Association [WMA]. The WMAs main arena is medical ethics and health human
rights. In May several health human rights associations from Eastern and
Southern Africa met in Nairobi. So, maybe, in the future it will be African
health professionals championing the health of their people.
By a Correspondent
HARARE - Despite its criticisms, the parliamentary committee which reported
on the state-run media failed to address the key issues of turning the state
broadcaster into an independent public broadcaster, or the myriad of laws
suppressing freedom of expression, MISA-Zimbabwe said.
In a detailed critique, the local chapter of the Media Institute of Southern
Africa said the recommendation by the Parliament Portfolio Committee - see
second extract on this page - that Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings be
restructured into the former ZBC would not guarantee the emergence of a
Rather than structural changes, new laws are needed to establish an
"independent public broadcaster, which carries the voices of all sectors in
society regardless of economic, political, language or racial differences,"
Similarly, in its examination of the state-run newspapers, led by The Herald
and The Chronicle, the committee made no mention of notorious anti-press
laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The
Mass Media Trust board, supposed to act as buffer against state interference
when the government bought the newspapers after 1980 independence has failed
to work. The committee focused instead on issues such as journalists' pay.
"Zimpapers has remained, as it was when Cecil John Rhodes formed The Herald,
newspapers that serve the ruling elite at the expense of the rest of
society," said MISA-Zimbabwe. It then added a recommendation that the Mugabe
regime is certain to ignore: that the authorities divest their shareholding
In a contradictory stance, too, sections of the state-run media testified to
the committee that foreign publications should be banned, while trying, for
example, to sell The Chronicle in Botswana.
"MISA-Zimbabwe sees no positive gain of restricting and prescribing what
citizens of Zimbabwe can read or not read, see or not see, listen to or not
listen to. In any case, in this day and age, such foreign publications can
be accessed through the Internet including foreign television and radio,"
said the critique, submitted to Parliament. "What, in fact, Hon Members
should encourage is an increase of diverse media products, opening up of
banned Zimbabwean newspapers, and the decision on what and which newspaper
to read has to be made by the respective reader."
Well, that would be the day in Mugabe's Zimbabwe.
In similar no-chance recommendation, MISA-Zimbabwe urged that the second TV
channel, National Television Station, should once more be leased to private
broadcasters. It noted that the former ZBC had been successfully leasing
this channel to independent TV stations, including LDM, MABC and Joy TV.
"As noted by the committee, the ZBH has no competition hence the lethargic
approach to business," MISA-Zimbabwe added.
Last week we published the first extract from a report by a Parliament
Portfolio Committee on the state-run media which was highly critical of
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH). In this second extract, the Zanu
(PF)-dominated committee concludes that the state media is poorly organized
and run, its journalists are badly paid, and it lacks both capital and
Management felt that the General Manager (of The Chronicle, Bulawayo) was
not adequately empowered to make decisions that matter as even small
decisions had to be referred to Head Office. He was there just to pass
reports on to the headquarters and be instructed on what to do. Management
also felt that the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. J. Mutasa was wielding too
(At The Herald) the Committee was informed that there was no workers
committee in place as the previous committee had abandoned its duties due to
threats from the management.
Management was accused of corruption, physical and sexual abuse of female
workers and that management was not following the laid down procedure when
they dealt with such issues. The Committee also learned that Zimpapers
management was misappropriating company resources by either buying them
below their market value or personalising its function, for example cars,
fuel coupons or overseas trips.
Mutasa stated that the issue of the Workers Committees plight had to do with
corporate governance. In the past they used to have it their own way and
that in essence had brought the company to its knees.
OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Committee recommended that restructuring at ZBH should be done in terms
of the old Zimbabwe Broadcasting Company structure and have top structure
with four tiers headed by: A Chief Executive Officer (first tier), a
Directorate (4); Human Resources, Administration and Finance, Broadcasting
Services and Business Development (second tier), Heads of Departments: News
and Current Affairs, Radio Services, Zimbabwe Television Services,
Information Systems, Engineering and Technical Services, Corporate Services,
Production Services, and Marketing and Business Services (third tear), and
editorial Staff (fourth tear). Transmedia should be incorporated in the new
ZBH structures as part of the Engineering department.
The Committee recommends that BAZ should focus on issuing out licences in
2006 especially the Community radios in every district. BAZ needs new
monitoring Transmitters, as the current ones are obsolete. BAZ must come up
with a strategy to combat the pirate stations, which are deliberately over
spilling into Zimbabwe. The government allocation for BAZ should gradually
be reduced, as it will become self-sustaining when more broadcasters are
The Committee observed that there were newspapers that flood the Zimbabwean
market a day or two before the elections. The Committee recommends that
there should be a regulation that prohibits the coverage of elections at
least 48 hours prior to the elections just as in the United Kingdom and the
United States of America they have compliance laws
On the matter of the Media and Information Commission (MIC) controlling
foreign distributors of newspapers and magazines, your Committee noted that
this was a matter of public policy, which should be referred to the public.
The Committee identified the following problems that are universal in the
media industry; poor organizational structures that are not in line with the
government thrust to make the parastatals self-sustaining entities. These
organizations are fraught with administrative short comings, for instance;
unclear authority demarcations, low remuneration of personnel resulting in
the resignation of most of the qualified personnel, lack of capitalization -
either in the short term or long term and in some cases organizations had
foreign debts that are increasing year after year due to inflation.
The Committee recommends that the government should either streamline these
organizations by reducing them into a leaner structure with a few Strategic
Business Units or to serious consider recapitalization or to consider other
sources of investment.
Committee members: L. Mugabe (chairperson), L. Chikomba, G. Chimbaira, S.
E. Mdlongwa, T. Mubhawu, J. Moyo, D. .M. Ncube, C. Pote, E. Porusingazi, J.
Sikhala, Z. Ziyambi and M. Zwizwai. Senators: E. Jacob, F. R. E. Magadu, J.
Moyo, R. Ndlovu, S. Sai
We are not tribalists
EDITOR - We wish to raise our concern on the reports and insults that have
been peddled on CAJ news and reprinted in your newspaper on our organisation
and the Ndebele people in general.
For the last 26 years the people of Matebeleland have had the worst
treatment coming from the genocidal Mugabe Regime. We are deeply saddened by
reports based on rumours, half-truths, lies and forged documents.
It is mischief on the part of journalists not to seek our comment since we
disassociated ourselves from any form of tribalism during the Umdala Wethu
Gala. None of the reports are based on comments from our office bearers.
While we note that Mugabe has excluded Ndebele people from the mainstream
economic and political activities we do not take kindly to stereotypes that
Ndebele people are uneducated as reported by CAJ news on Friday June 30.
Such kinds of treatment by media vindicates our position that the rights of
the Ndebele as a minority group are being trampled upon hence the need to
advocate for a free society in Zimbabwe where people are not judged by their
village of origin but by their qualities.
How on earth could a self-respecting news agency concentrate on tribalism,
ignoring the overwhelming success of the Gala where Zimbabweans rekindled
their quest for freedom which is the hallmark of Joshua Nkomo's legacy.
The Nkomo commemoration brought the two warring factions of the MDC to share
a platform when Nqabutho Dube and Sox Chikowero represented their different
factions. I think this was an achievement! What does CAJ news think?
Africa is in turmoil today in the DRC, Uganda and Sudan because of group of
individuals who mistakenly think by virtue of their numerical superiority
and access to resources they are ordained to speak and act on behalf of
As Mthwakazi Forum we wish to give a platform to Zimbabweans to chat a way
forward in pursuit of their freedom and democracy.
Mlamuli Mhlaba Nkomo, Director, Mthwakazi Forum, SA
Mapfumo - ever inspiring
EDITOR - I would like to thank Thomas Mapfumo for his "all season" music.
His music is ever inspiring to the suffering Zimbabwean masses. During the
colonial era he fearlessly stood against oppression and a lot found solace
and inspiration from his songs. After attaining what we believed was
independence, he helped us celebrate by such songs as CHITIMA
CHERUSUNUNGUKO. That time no doubt everyone hoped rosier times were
beginning to unfold. With the passage of time and the Zanu (PF) government
beginning to show its true colours, he came up with timely hits like
CORRUPTION. And since then he has refused to be cowed into toeing the party
line and has never sung praises were there were not due. He has steadfastly
maintained his true revolutionary spirit. Listening to his song "Vanoita
Sevanokudai" one cannot help but get a clearer picture of the relationship
between Mugabe and his ministers. MAGOBO sums up the daily struggle by the
masses for survival in very difficult circumstances. I hope in the near
future we will dance to his song PIDIGORI after the fall of the current
dictatorship. Dr Mapfumo is one person I think should finally rest at The
National Heroes Acre, although I also believe that those who have polluted
the national shrine must be exhumed should an accountable government take
C NGAIRONGWE, UK
People Power does work
EDITOR - Because of total mismanagement of the country by our leaders we are
now in an extremely critical state, with, among other things, erratic to
zero fuel supplies, an inflation rate topping the 1200% mark, unemployment
at over 80% and the Zimkwacha losing value daily, even over the Mozambican
metical. What are we to do?
The ballot-box doesn't work, dialogue doesn't work, international pressure
doesn't work, so let's get up on our hind legs and show that people power
Those who have ridden roughshod over us for so many years, murdering, raping
and looting with impunity, cannot be left to go free in a post-Zanu (PF)
Zimbabwe under the auspices of the United Nations - this would be condoning
grand larceny and murder, but to name a few crimes committed in tenure of
office. Exchanging a return to sanity for amnesty should not be an option -
the guilty must be punished, no matter who they may be.
The leader of the pack hates failure at whatever he does; I'm afraid, my
friend, you have failed dismally to manage what was once a pristine country
with everything going for it. You have failed the people; you are a failure
and will leave behind a legacy of ruin. What a shame for your family and
totem (if you have one). You fulfilled a very small part of your dream by
getting rid of a few Whites. I wonder what it'll be like going to the grave
We need 2 Heroes Acres
EDITOR - Your 15-21 June edition under the headline "Jokonya threatens the
media" reported him as saying traitors would die: "The end of traitors is
death". Well, it has happened.
Unfortunately, he was unable to distinguish Zimbabwe from Zanu (PF) and was
terrified of alternative opinions which opposed his prostituted totalitarian
(The Voice seems to have met a traitor's end as well.) He was a Hero, which
he never was in life. Those who opposed him often were. We need two Heroes'
Acres: one for Zimbabwe and one for Zanu (PF).
His prophecy reminds of his boss's threats to people power advocates
.Nowhere has that led to violence. 99% of violence in Zimbabwe since the
Gukurahundi pogrom has been perpetrated by supporters of the government. If
the opposition decides to operate outside the forbidden areas of state media
and police-enforced invisibility.
TITCHY JOKE, Harare
Wake up Britain
EDITOR - "Wake up, Britain, it's pay-back time" had its omissions, half
truths and errors. Anyhow, it's a little late!
Britain did not capture a "number" of "magnificent countries" because of the
ruthlessness of Rhodes. He had nothing to do with Swaziland, Lesotho,
Botswana, Malawi becoming British , or South Africa for a few years; he
died, having lost power, just after the start of the Anglo-Boer War, and in
a decade S A was independent. The Boers had been the liberal world's
heroes -Britain should pay them back, as Mashonaland should pay Matabeleland
for the Gukurahundi Pogrom...etc.
What is now Zimbabwe (roughly) wasn't a 'magnificent' country, except for
its animals. Not a good word has ever been said about the Matabele
Ascendancy of 50+ years. When Lobengula died only a few "Zimbabweans"
mourned. The Mfecane had spread nastiness up to Nyasaland. I recall a letter
in the "Bulawayo Comical", which congratulated "indigenous" Zimbabweans on
making room for these refugees fleeing Tshaka. It was actually ethnic
cleansing. Oddly the Ndebele are now called Indigenous. Are Turks in
The population was about one to a square kilometre. By 1980 (in 90 years) it
had multiplied by about 40 times. (France's at that rate would have doubled
At least twice in the early 70's the UN put S Rhodesia top. Yet the
missionary Moffat once reported that he had travelled 100 miles without
seeing one human being.
Peti Nyemba is right about Rhodesia's magnificent civil service, efficient
and, of course, incorruptible. It was dismantled in1980 when whites were
told by the PM that they had no chance ever of promotion. Corruption wasn't
mentioned before 1980. Soon it showed itself in the theft of vets' pay, the
BCCI, the Sandura Commission, etc.
Pioneers had expected gold; disappointed, they introduced farming - Africa's
In the 80's, of course, the new regime spent all its money on education and
health, but by Marxist folly destroyed industry and the economy, so by 1990
we were in the hands of the IMF. Well, you know the rest...
THE OBSERVER, by E mail
EDITOR - I read with great sadness reports of the attack on Harare North
Member of Parliament, Honourable Trudy Stevenson, Linos Mushonga, Simangele
Manyere and Others by youth suspected to be loyal to the MDC.
I want to thank the MDC leadership for the commitment they have demonstrated
by quickly appointing a commission of inquiry, a commission made up of
people outside the party structures. This is the first time in Zimbabwean
politics I have heard a commission composed of lawyers who are not senior
officials in a political party being appointed to investigate an incident
While officials from Honourable Trudy Stevenson's party have been quick to
accuse the MDC President on this latest incident, it is quite sad to recall
that when some MDC activists were equally seriously injured in Bulawayo by
youth suspected to belong to the Professor Mutambara lead party, we didn't
hear that party's leadership blame the incident in the same manner as has
been expressed by MDC officials. Not only have they condemned the act, but a
commission of inquiry comprising a lawyer from the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Lawyers Association has been put in place to investigate the incident.
I am also happy that ZIMCET will also investigate the incident. Any claims
by anybody that the MDC tolerates violence is therefore very unfortunate,
especially juxtaposed to the deafening silence by the same officials when
MDC activists were attacked in similar fashion in Bulawayo, and when
President Tsvangirai narrowly escaped an attack by people suspected to be
activists of the Professor Mutambara-led party.
Whoever the culprits are, and whichever party they belong to, they should be
brought to book. If they are found to be members of the MDC, then the party
should deal with them accordingly.
For peace and stability, all political parties are encouraged to discourage
their youths from violent activity, and to condemn acts of violence, even
when they could have been carried out by their own activists.
I wish them all a speedy recovery.
BENJAMIN CHITATE, New Zealand
Behave, or go home
EDITOR - I am appalled to read in the D/Mail of 6th July of the behaviour of
student Dexter Hungwa from Abbey Manor College in Lewisham, who assaulted
his headteacher on being asked to close a door. The lady suffered facial
injuries in the violent attack.
His actions may be regarded as normal back where he came from today, he
do well to remember that there are rules to live by in UK. An apology from
his mother would be more apt than the excuses she offered the press. He
should behave or go back "home".
Britain gained most
EDITOR - I agree with Peti Nyemba that the African continent and its people
should have been allowed to develop naturally, at their own pace and
following their own proven way of life.
Today, Mugabe has been clever enough to exploit the race card and jump into
the international 'no man's land' where black cannot be questioned or
brought to justice. However, I believe that even the uncontrolled violence
and corruption that is encapsulated within Mugabe and Zimbabwe today is a
result of Britain's hasty and poorly planned retreat from the country.
Sadly, the old British pensioners are still waiting for Lord Carrington's
promises to safeguard their pensions and civil rights, to be fulfilled.
The truth is that Britain is the prime culprit where the collapse of
Zimbabwe is concerned. Britain gained the most benefits out of the country -
therefore Britain should pay the price of retribution and restoration.
EDITOR - Apart from smart sanctions against the Politburo, etc., here is a
complete list of sanctions against Zimbabwe:
Of course, firms and people shun a failed state and tyranny, but that's
their choice, not sanctions. As with North Korea also.
FACT & FIGURES, Harare
No dream of returning
EDITOR - Like Jackie Robinson (The Zimbabwean 29 June - 5 July) I also left
homeland two years ago. Unlike her I know who to blame. She has the great
advantage of the resilience of youth and she will adjust and adapt to life
so much quicker. At my age trying to adjust to a culture which, although of
my forefathers, is so alien and whose standards, principles, behaviour and
'socialising' are so very different are, to say
the least, very difficult for me and it is slow going.
The life I knew in Zimbabwe is dead and gone and I mourn it's passing but I
appreciate and am very grateful for what I have here - so much more and
better than 'back home'. Although I yearn for my 'home' I do not dream of
returning - I know I never will. If everything miraculously 'came right'
it would take decades to get the country back to what it was like even at
the end of the UDI war!
S.I.R-Behn, (a lot older than 14!) Scotland
Where is our moral fibre?
EDITOR - What is it about Zimbabweans that takes them so long to make a
decision? Ever since I can remember, it has been a case of "let's wait and
see". Now we've waited so long we can hardly see a way forward.
In days gone by, if inflation hit 15-or-so% more than GDP (in Zimbabwe's
case probably just about zero!), there was unrest - now we're in excess of
1,000% inflation and still we just whine - where is our moral fibre? Our
gangster government just walks roughshod over us, and like happy whores we
just roll over and take it. We seem to think that the UN will maybe solve
our woes, or Britain, or China or the United States - but it is only us who
can get ourselves out of the mess we've put ourselves in.
So what if 30,000 of us die in the process? Those 30,000 will save the
remaining 12-odd million - and we'll bring attention to ourselves, because
the lily-livered "free world" only takes cognisance when thousands are
killed, not only a few hundred, as is the case in Zimbabwe. Plus we've got
no oil, so the West couldn't give a damn for us.
The only way out as I see it is, like the majority of African states, we
need a good old-fashioned bit of civil strife. And all you cowards in the
diaspora, come back and shout the odds from your home turf instead of from
the safety of faraway shores.
All forced to be middle-men
EDITOR - We wish that the country would go back to the old days where you
would be rewarded even if you did not have any qualifications. My father
only had a grade seven education, but he managed to get a clerical job which
enabled him to buy a house and send us three children to a good boarding
school. We spent two years at that school, this is something you can only
achieve today with the help of someone in the diaspora.
During this time the art of being a middle-man commodity broker was a
sophisticated job, today almost everyone is forced into this role. The life
we lead is not good at all. We spend the whole day at our official work
places and after work, or in our lunch times we try and sell goods to make
ends meet. On the weekends we go across the Limpopo and even fake sick leave
as a way of getting by.
We no longer have time to visit relatives and friends and are often unable
to go to funerals because we are only worried about where our next meal is
coming from. If we do visit someone it is for strategic reasons, perhaps he
can buy what you are selling or perhaps he has something to sell which you
need. How do those who have not mastered the art of the middle-man survive?
It is now a laughable matter to keep your savings in Zim dollars. Are these
the benefits of black empowerment? You can change this situation if you
really want to, where there is a will, there is a way.
JAMES MOYO, Harare
July 13, 2006,
By ANDnetwork .com
An Indian firm, Steelmakers (Private) Limited, will soon start coal
mining in Gudo communal lands in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe.
The area is believed to have an estimated 500 millions tons of coal.
The coal deposits cover over 2 500 hectares. Steelmakers will mine the
mineral primarily for use at its Masvingo plant where the company
manufactures sponge iron.
Feasibility studies at the new mine have been taking place over the
past six months.
Steelmakers operations manager, Bade Prabhakar, said they expected to
start full-scale coal mining in the next month.
Prabhakar said the anticipated lifespan of the mine was 100 years with
initial monthly coal production expected to be 20 000 tons before
significantly rising in relation to demand.
"We have completed feasibility studies and the estimated reserves of
the coal deposits at this mine is 500 million tons which will take us 100
years to exhaust.
"We hope to start fully-fledged mining next month and we hope
everything will be in place by then and our initial monthly production
target is 20 000 tonnes," said Prabhakar.
He revealed that his company was going to venture into coal mining
specifically for use at its Masvingo plant where it produces sponge iron.
Board approval was necessary for the company to go into commercial
The Chiredzi coal was one of the best in the country as it was low in
sulphur, making it ideal for the manufacture of liquid fuel.
Chiredzi could become a major producer within the next decade while
another company - Verify Engineering - also on the verge of resuming coal
mining at another site in Gudo communal lands.
Once fully operational, the Chiredzi coal mines were expected to go a
long way in meeting the national coal demand which presently exceeds supply,
with Hwange being the major producer of the "black stones that burn".
Chiredzi is also believed to be home to vast deposits of diamonds and
natural gas which have the potential of turning the district, better known
for its sugar plantations, into a mining hub.
Mining experts on Tuesday revealed that although the presence of coal
in Chiredzi was public knowledge, there was need for more exploration work
to determine its suitability for different purposes.
"Coal deposits in Chiredzi are at the moment only known to be fit for
general use such as firing boilers and further studies need to be done to
determine whether it can be used for specialised purposes like for
metallurgical purposes where coking coal is used and that coal at the moment
is found at Hwange," said a mining expert in the ministry of mines and
mining development who refused to be identified.
He also added that besides the question of quality, Chiredzi coal was
discovered at a later date than those at Hwange.
There was also need for further exploration work to determine whether
the Chiredzi deposits could sustain full-scale commercial production.
By Dennis Rekayi
MUTARE - PATRICK Chinamasa, the Justice Minister risks being issued
with an arrest warrant if he fails to appear before the Rusape Magistrates'
Courts on July 17 to answer charges of attempting to obstruct the course of
justice, an official from the Attorney General's (AG) office said yesterday.
The official from the AG's office, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, said Chinamasa was served with summons to appear in court on July
Should Chinamasa fail to appear at the courts this time around a
warrant of arrest will be issued against him, the official from the AG's
The minister was due to appear in court on July 3 but did not do so
after the AG's office failed to serve him with summons.
Chinamasa was, however, served with summons on July 6 by an officer
from the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
"He was served personally with the summons on July 6 and we now expect
him to come to court without any problems," said an official from the AG's
office. "If he does not attend then a warrant of arrest will be issued
The charges stem from an incident in which the justice minister
allegedly tried to influence key witnesses to withdraw charges arising from
incidents of political violence that rocked Makoni North, which initially
linked Didymus Mutasa, the powerful Minister of State Security.
Chinamasa will be tried together with Innocent Chibaya, head of the
dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) in Manicaland, Cosmas
Chiringa, the district administrator for Makoni, Dennis Masiya, a senior
state intelligence officer, Simba Muzariri and Robson Makoni.
Chibaya, Masiya, Muzariri and Makoni appeared before the Magistrates'
Court in Rusape and were remanded on free bail to July 17.
It is alleged that on December 18 2005 and January 25 this year
Chinamasa and the four attepted to entice James Kaunye, Leavence Kaunye,
George Mukundu, Fred Dube, Pedzisai Samanyanga, Wilson Kuwasekera, Emma
Kapundanga, Nurse Zonke and Idah Chiparange not to give evidence on charges
of political violence that rocked Makoni in the run up to the 2005
He is alleged to have approached them during the Zanu PF People's
Conference in Esigodini in December last year and persuaded them to drop the
Ruling party supporters loyal to Mutasa went on a rampage and beat up
war veteran leader, Kaunye and his supporters for daring to challenge the
powerful Zanu PF secretary for administration in the constituency.
Several of Kaunye's supporters were seriously assaulted apparently at
the behest of Mutasa and his campaign manager Albert Nyakuedzwa.
Mutasa was later absolved but 23 of his supporters were dragged to
court over the violent attacks.
The Herald, Scotland
ROB ADAMS July 13 2006
Banjo players, accordionists and drummers may feel they get a raw deal in
western society, being the butt of constant jokes. For the mbira players of
pre-independence Zimbabwe, however, playing their instrument had much more
serious possibilities - including jail sentences.
For a woman, playing an instrument that was regarded as a male preserve, and
which was viewed by local missionaries as Satan's work, presented further
problems, as Stella Chiweshe quickly discovered.
Now a major star of world music, Chiweshe is known as the Mbira Queen of
Zimbabwe. Although, unlike her uncle, she was never thrown in jail for
playing the thumb piano, as the mbira is also known, she was initially
stigmatised and forced to play underground at all-night ceremonies to avoid
"Why did they feel they had to ban the mbira?" she echoes my question. "I
could ask the same of you. But with traditional, music people can express
themselves and be more grounded. To be able to rule over us, they had to
stop us from any cultural activities. This happened in the whole of Africa,
of course, and to other countries outside of Africa as well."
Chiweshe grew up in the Mhondoro forest region some 45 miles from Zimbabwe's
capital, Harare, and as a child she was, she says, "always drumming, on the
door, on a dish ... I couldn't stop making rhythms".
She attended her first mbira ceremony aged 16, in 1962. After listening to
this hypnotic, chiming sound created on a series of metal tines housed in a
gourd, she was smitten.
"That sound just kept ringing in my head," she says. "For two years I
carried that sound around with me until I finally got an mbira to play."
This was easier said than done. You couldn't just go to a shop and buy an
mbira and, when you found someone who made them, if you were a young woman,
you might well be considered insane. It was also dangerous to own an mbira -
Chiweshe recalls one incident when, warned of a police raid, her family
buried all their instruments and other traditional symbols in a pit in a
field so that when the police arrived, they found nothing.
"Since only men played it, my desire to play made my people think I had lost
my mind," she says. "If there had been a clinic for mentally disturbed
people, they would have locked me in - just because I said I wanted to play.
I still didn't have one at this point."
Eventually, the mbira elders relented and reluctantly agreed to teach her,
but because Chiweshe had to sit with these men to learn from them, the women
around about began calling her names, saying that she was loose.
"They were ashamed of me and very uncomfortable with me playing," she says.
"But two things enabled me to keep on. The first was that the more strongly
they refused to see me play, the more courage they gave me. And I had a
burning desire which became more and more painful. So to heal myself, I knew
I had to play mbira."
Chiweshe had to lead a double life - playing at mbira ceremonies by night
and working as a maid by day. She made her first recordings of traditional
music in the early 1970s for the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation, still
using a borrowed mbira.
Then one day in 1974, at a football match, she heard music coming over the
public address system and, seeing the crowd's response, she decided she had
to record a particular song. Kasahwa became her first single. It sold well -
going gold - as did the 20 or so singles that followed, but the financial
rewards didn't seem to match the sales.
Disillusioned, she took a break from recording until the late 1980s.
Meanwhile, she toured as an actress with the National Dance Company of
Zimbabwe and when the group visited Germany, she decided to set up home
there, at least for part of the year. She still uses Germany as her base for
touring and business and returns to Zimbabwe to play music, as she says,
"for my elders and for my ancestors in the countryside".
As well as communing with the spirits, she has also passed on her skills to
her daughter, Virginia, now known as the Mbira Princess of Zimbabwe.
For Chiweshe, the appeal of the instrument remains its sound, which she
likens to the sound of water and is thus readily familiar to people across
the world, and the healing quality that she recognised it having early on.
"The mbira, for me, is so comforting each time I play," she says. "No matter
where I play it, it heals troubled minds, it soothes, it promotes meditation
and, above all, it reduces stress. These things, along with a sense of
togetherness, are what I want the audience to take from my music. There's
sustenance in it too, so don't come with a full stomach because mbira music
is food and drink in one."
Stella Chiweshe plays The Tolbooth, Stirling, on Saturday