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

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Zimbabwe Raises Mugabe, Cabinet Salaries
Sat July 5, 2003 01:26 PM ET
By Stella Mapenzauswa
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has raised the salaries of President Robert
Mugabe and senior government members by nearly 600 percent -- almost double
the inflation rate, the official Herald newspaper reported on Saturday.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) condemned the
increase and said it amounted to tacit acknowledgment by the government that
inflation could be much higher than the official figure of 300 percent.

"But while Mugabe looks after Mugabe, he is unable to do anything for the
ordinary, suffering people of Zimbabwe," MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi
told Reuters.

Zimbabwe has been hit by a series of strikes for higher pay -- the most
recent by junior doctors -- because of surging consumer inflation, ranked as
one of the highest rates in the world. Companies struggling in a harsh
business climate have failed to increase wages to match rising costs.

Critics say Mugabe has ruined the economy through 23 years of mismanagement,
causing chronic food and foreign currency shortages and record unemployment
of more than 70 percent.


The Herald said Mugabe's salary would rise to Z$20.2 million a year (about
U.S.$11,222 at black market rates or $25,250 at official rates) from Z$3
million. His two deputies would earn Z$18.4 million a year, up from Z$2.7

In addition, Mugabe would receive more than two million Zimbabwe dollars in
allowances, the Herald said, citing a government gazette notice. A copy of
the gazette was not available on Saturday.

The Herald said cabinet ministers' salaries would rise to Z$16.5 million
from Z$2.4 million. Salary increases were also awarded to members of
parliament, some of whom are from the MDC.

The Zimbabwe dollar trades at around 1,800 against the U.S. dollar in a
thriving black market -- more than double the official rate of 800.

Last month, the MDC led a five-day strike against Mugabe's rule that shut
down industry and commerce in the capital Harare.

The U.S. administration of President Bush has urged African states to step
up pressure on Mugabe to allow political change before Zimbabwe was ruined.

Nyathi, speaking by telephone, was in South Africa where the MDC has sent a
team to lobby senior U.S. officials during Bush's visit to Africa next week.

The opposition says another team will travel to an African Union summit in
Mozambique next week to ask African leaders to apply more pressure on
Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980.

Mugabe denies responsibility for the country's economic malaise and blames
it on sabotage by local and international opponents angry over his seizure
of white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.
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The Scotsman

Bush billions designed to buy stability

Fred Bridgland

SURELY no more symbolic site can be imagined for the beginning of the first
visit to Africa by a Republican president. The "Door of No Return", on the
tiny Senegalese offshore island of Gorée, is the oak one through which
passed many of the 20 million black African men, women and children who were
sold into slavery.

Yet it is here, amid the memories of chains and shackles, at the door that
was carved and erected in the same year as the United States’s independence,
1776, that George Bush has chosen to make a major speech on Tuesday. The
White House hopes it will set the tone for his week-long swing through five
key African states, and perhaps begin to soften the cynicism that questions
the motives behind his safari through Africa, summed up by a rash of
cartoons showing a puzzled White House chief studying a book entitled Africa
for Dummies.

He has already won over one convert. Bob Geldof, the rock star behind Live
Aid, has written of Mr Bush’s programme: "You’ll think I’m off my trolley
when I say this, but the Bush administration is the most radical - in a
positive sense - in its approach to Africa since Kennedy."

The Gorée Island speech, being previewed as a "Message of Compassion", was
crafted long ago to show the US cares about Africa, not least because the
ancestors of many millions of Americans passed unwillingly through the Door
of No Return - and next year there is a US presidential election, nod the

However, Mr Bush’s African agenda is much bigger than whether he can swing a
few black American votes in 2004.

The events of 11 September, 2001, triggered a realisation in Mr Bush and his
more percipient advisers that a chaotic Africa can breed and nurture
American enemies. US policy-makers have learned that poverty-stricken
states, with weak institutions and brutally corrupt rulers, can pose as
great a danger to American national interests as strong ones.

The Twin Towers disaster cast the August 1998 bombings of the US embassies
in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam - in which more than 200 Africans and 12
Americans were killed and thousands of people injured - in a sharper
retrospective light in Washington. The dangers lurking in Africa were again
emphasised just seven weeks ago, when al-Qaeda bombers launched an attack on
Casbalanca in which 24 people died.

Mr Bush entered the White House after a campaign in which he seldom spoke
about Africa and failed to include it in the "areas of strategic importance"
he argued were central to US foreign policy.

The airborne terrorist attacks of 11 September changed all that and
convinced Mr Bush that Africa, with its huge potential as a key terrorist
base and battleground, had become crucial to national security and that
Washington needed to exercise its influence there.

So, as well as fine words, Mr Bush will arrive in Africa with a sack
containing the most generous aid package ever for the world’s poorest
continent; a separate offer worth $15 billion to fight AIDS that has
infected, and will kill, 30 million Africans in addition to the 15 million
who have already died; a determination to achieve "regime change" in at
least two states; a $100 million plan to fight terrorism in East Africa; an
agenda to secure US oil supplies; and a controversial plan to end hunger in
Africa with magical genetically modified seeds patented by technological
wizards in America.

The aid package, which will total some $5 billion a year by 2006, is tied to
a Marshall Plan for Africa devised by the presidents Thabo Mbeki and
Abdoulaye Wade of South Africa and Senegal.

The core idea of the plan, ponderously titled the New Partnership for Africa
’s Development (NEPAD), is a trade-off with the world’s aid-weary major
powers. Africa, in an effort to shake off its persistent begging-bowl
disorder, commits itself to democracy, good governance, financial discipline
and market-oriented policies in return for more help from the developed
countries, especially in the form of better access to their markets for
Africa’s exports.

The intricate plan has obvious merit. It was drafted by Africans for
Africans and so is free of any imperialist taint. Presidents Olusegun
Obasanjo of Nigeria and Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria are also co-authors.

NEPAD’s godfathers know the developed countries are sick of pouring their
taxpayers’ money into Africa only to see it end up in the pockets and
offshore accounts of corrupt leaders while the ordinary people - Franz Fanon
’s "wretched of the Earth" - sink into ever deeper poverty.

NEPAD’s ultimate grand ideal is to end Africa’s conflicts, encourage
accountable government and achieve growth rates that can at least absorb
into employment the millions of African children who leave school each year,
let alone the many millions who get no education at all.

Mr Bush intends putting his stamp on NEPAD and the five states he will
visit - Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Botswana and Nigeria - have been
selected as those nearest to achieving NEPAD standards.

But Mr Bush will also turn up the pressure on Africa’s leaders to deliver on
their side of the bargain if they want to obtain $65 billion in Western
investment to kick start the African Marshall Plan.

Nowhere will talks be more tough and tense than in Pretoria on Wednesday,
when, despite huge public bonhomie and thousands of yards of red carpet, Mr
Bush will tell Mr Mbeki that NEPAD will be dead in the water unless he
seriously helps to topple Robert Mugabe, in neighbouring Zimbabwe, from

Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, this week ratcheted up the pressure
on both Mr Mugabe and Mr Mbeki by demanding, on Mr Bush’s behalf, that Mr
Mugabe step down from power.

"Robert Mugabe and his cohorts may cry, ‘Blackmail’, but we should ignore
them. Their time has come and gone," said Mr Powell.

"If leaders on the continent do not do more to convince President Mugabe to
respect the rule of law and enter into a dialogue with the political
opposition, he and his cronies will drag Zimbabwe down until there is
nothing left to ruin."

Mr Mbeki endorsed Mr Mugabe’s fraudulent election last year and has refused
to criticise the Zimbabwean president’s increasingly oppressive and
economically destructive rule. Mr Mbeki recently said: "The reason Zimbabwe
is such a preoccupation in the UK, in the US and in Sweden is because white
people died and white people were deprived of their property. All they say
is Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe."

If Mr Mbeki repeats that mantra, Mr Bush and other G8 nations will quote a
line in their Africa Action Plan, the developed world’s necessary twin to

That line goes: "We will not work with governments which disregard the
interests and dignity of their people."

If Bush has to say that, Africa’s renaissance with Western help will have to
wait a while yet.
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The Herald

‘I’m ready for presidency’

By Nomsa Nkala
MUCH of his adulthood was spent under the guidance of the late veteran
nationalist Dr Joshua Nkomo.

Together they dreamt, endured and watched with pride the fruits of their
toil as Zimbabwe was born.

A spirited, outspoken and selfless character, Vice-President Cde Joseph
Msika — a key player in the liberation struggle — says he will call it a day
only in response to the wishes of the people.

"The question of me leaving right now does not arise since I am still
serving my term and servicing important national issues as chairman of the
national land committee. But after finishing serving my term it would be up
to the people to decide what I should do next."

And if chosen to succeed President Mugabe?

"Personally, I have no presidential ambitions, what I have gone through in
my life, with the time I spent in the liberation struggle, is enough. But if
the people choose me (to lead the country) I will have no option but to

"I will do anything that people ask of me. I'm neither a tribalist nor am I
a regionalist or racist.

"I love to see the manifestation of the general welfare of our people
especially uplifting their standard of living by developing our national

"I have made my contribution to the country to my personal satisfaction and
I believe to the satisfaction of the people I lead," confided Cde Msika.

Born in Mazowe almost 80 years ago, others may say Cde Msika is too old to
assume a role of that significance.

But does age really matter?

"It’s up to the people to decide. What does age matter?"

As a young man Cde Msika had big dreams even as he herded cattle in Mazowe.

His Shangani father and Shona mother lived by their sweat as peasant

His father’s four daughters from his first marriage also herded cattle under
Cde Msika’s guidance.

"My sisters loved me a lot because I was the only boy. We were a farming
family and my father was a transporter. He had a wagon and a lot of cattle
so he used to transport crops for other people.

"You see, there were no lorries for transporting people's produce from the
reserve to the market. We saw the first lorries called Central Services in
1931 owned by white transporters. These took over the wagon business
confining them only to moving goods within the community.

"As a herdboy, I used to get up very early in the morning even earlier
during ploughing time to start ploughing before sunrise . . . Then, I used
to think that my father was a cruel person. Only when I grew up did I
realise that what my father had done was to prepare me for adult life."

Cde Msika did his schooling at Howard Institute and later enrolled for
carpentry at Mount Silinda.

It was there that he acquired a junior certificate through private studies.

He first worked as a teacher at Usher Institute in Matabeleland.

At the time, he managed to do his matric by correspondence.

It was while at Usher that Cde Msika met his Tswana wife who had been a
student there.

"She was preparing to go to South Africa for secondary studies but that did
not happen as we decided to get married."

In 1950 Cde Msika left teaching and went to Bulawayo where he first worked
for a furniture removal company before joining a ladies' wear factory.

When the firm shut down, he joined Consolidated Textile Mills now known as
the National Blankets Limited.

There he rose through the ranks to become the most senior black person in
the company after rising from doing clerical work to dealing with human
resources matters at managerial level.

Having lost his father at the time, he took the responsibility of educating
his siblings.

That period also saw the visionary take an interest in politics.

In 1952 he had taken part in trade unionism and become the national
president of the Textile and Allied Workers Union.

"It was there that I got political background.''

Together with his peers, Cde Msika was inspired by the many African
contemporary leaders, including former Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah, who
were studying overseas but communicated through writing books.

"We used to read a lot . . . These people inspired us. It was then that I
made a commitment to fight the colonial regime. I felt that if other people
could liberate themselves why couldn't we?''

Inspired by the youth league of the South African National Congress, Cde
Msika alongside others formed a youth league for Matabeleland for which he
was chairman.

As they became bigger and more vocal, they were regarded as a militant

Their seniors in the struggle even considered them as mad youths with
impossible ideas.

To reinforce the struggle, Cde Msika's group invited on board its seniors
who included late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo.

Cde Msika had first met Dr Nkomo while the late nationalist was working as a
trade unionist for National Railways.

While others turned down the invitation to join Cde Msika's group ruling
them out as mere radicals, Dr Nkomo came on board and was subsequently
unanimously elected president having been the only one in the group who had
acquired a university degree then.

Cde Msika became the treasurer-general of the African National Congress.

At that stage the whole country had become politically charged.

The group became even more vocal, openly criticising the colonial regime.

"For the first time we promulgated a policy based on nationalism and one of
our basic principles was that the black people should have adult suffrage in
order that they rule themselves and achieve self-determination.

"The white colonialists were bitter about this policy and did not want to
accommodate us. They wanted to remove us from the political scene. That saw
the banning of the ANC. So as we were fighting colonialism and attempted
federation we found ourselves bundled together behind bars at Khami Prison
in Bulawayo while others were imprisoned in Gwelo (now known as Gweru).

"(Dr) Nkomo was in Ghana attending an All African Convention conference when
we were arrested. So while in prison we wrote to him on a toilet paper and
smuggled the note out through the prison warders telling him not to come

"We were then transferred from Khami to Gweru and then Marondera prisons.

"It was in Marondera that President Mugabe visited us.

"A prison warder called me and told me that a man from Ghana wanted to see
me. I went to see him and was surprised when the man from Ghana said to me
'makadii VaMsika' (How are you Mr Msika). I asked him where he knew me from
and he told me that he was a Zimbabwean from Zvimba teaching in Ghana.

"He said he got to know me when he was teaching at Hope Fountain in Bulawayo
and used to come to our meetings.

"He was in the country on sick leave. He told me that he was impressed by
what we were doing and intended to resign from his job as soon as he went
back to Ghana and come and join the struggle, which he did.

"I went and called my colleagues who included my best friend (the late
national hero) Jason Moyo to come and meet (President ) Mugabe.''

While the other inmates who were considered less violent were released, Cde
Msika and his colleagues were viewed as unrepentant and kept in jail. They
were in turn given three stars, which symbolised the category they belonged

"But that did not deter us, we were ready to give up our lives for the
struggle. Our slogan was 'forward ever backwards never'. We were fearless
and prepared to die. When I think about it now I don't think I can ever be
like that again. We were militant.

"We urged those who were released to go and form another party which they
did. They formed the National Democratic Party (NDP) which was led by Cde
Michael Mawema. When the annual conference was called, Dr Nkomo was elected
president in absentia.

"When we were released from prison we found President Mugabe already in the
executive of NDP, fulfilling the promise he made to us while we were in
prison. Like the rest of us, Mugabe was stung by this nationalism bug and
found himself adopting the slogan 'forward ever backward never.'

He has remained a true nationalist.''

Cde Msika was in prison at different times for a total of 15 years while
others spent 20 years behind bars.

Before his arrest, Cde Msika operated a shop in Bulawayo.

"In my absence my wife was running that shop. That’s how she managed to look
after and educate our children.''

The couple had six children, all degreed but two of them are deceased,.

Although Zapu later split resulting in the formation of Zanu, the two groups
co-ordinated and fought together to overthrow the colonial regime under the
Patriotic Front.

"The whites were frightened of nationalism and were panicking. It was very
clear that they were going to declare Unilateral Declaration of Independence
(UDI) to blot out nationalism but this failed dismally. We didn't want to be
caught napping so we arranged that some go outside the country and organise
the struggle while others remain behind and face the possibility of

It was at the height of the war that Cde Msika and others were arrested and
taken to Gonakudzingwa Dentention Camp now the Gonarezhou Game Reserve.

"Vice-President Nkomo, (late hero) Josiah Chinamano, his wife Ruth and
myself were the first people to be taken to Gonakudzingwa.

"They took us there because they had realised that we now had the support of
prison warders. It was a bush with nothing except animals. You could hear
lions roaring, it was terrible, more frightening than prison. We lived there
for 11 years. We were isolated for too long that we even forgot how women
looked like. I remember we used to argue whether they had eyebrows or not,
we got confused until the time when our families were allowed to visit us.''

And prison was no fun either The group was subjected to various forms of
torture and inhuman treatment.

"When I first went to prison I was very frightened because this was my first
time but two to three months later I got acclimatised to the environment and
that removed all fear. We were determined to achieve our goal and liberate
our country. What I learnt from that experience is that if you want someone
to repent don't put them in jail for too long.''

As the war intensified several attempts were made by Britain "to get us into
agreement with several conferences they were proposing and we resisted.
(Former British Prime Minister) Harrod Wilson visited Rhodesia and the top
leadership including myself was taken from prison to meet him. He tried to
talk us into agreeing to his country's proposal that we should abandon our
policies and work with them. He told us in no uncertain terms that the
British government would not send its army to remove UDI. We were surprised
but determined to go on fighting in prison and outside the country.''

The liberation struggle was carried out in several stages.

"While in the country, we were throwing petrol bombs and sabotaging the
infrastructure. The second phase included the armed struggle.

"We managed to get arms from friendly countries. The western countries
refused to either give us or sell us arms. We intensified the war and
fighting was really raging between whites and blacks in Zimbabwe. It was
after they realised that the war had intensified and losses were heavy on
whites that they panicked.''

Again several talks were held in an attempt to resolve the issue but all was
in vain. After the talks had failed the group was sent back to prison.

"Britain and America convinced frontline states that we should abandon the
struggle and attend the Lancaster House conference.''

The fighters were forced to the negotiating table but the meeting broke down
on the land question.

The Zimbabwean issue was finally resolved when Britain agreed to the
distribution of land but on condition that it was implemented 10 years after

"One of the major goals of the struggle was to acquire land which had been
forcibly taken away from blacks. That we have now done through the Land
Redistribution Programme.

"We have managed to give this very important resource to its rightful
owners. In doing so we didn't remove all whites from the land, our aim was
to share land equitably leaving whites with an agreed maximum size. This was
an achievement on which there can be no going back whatever the price, there
is no price too high to pay for the land redistribution.''

While other things may change, Cde Msika and other liberators will forever
remain the heroes and architects of Zimbabwe's independence.

"We have achieved national unity, peace and tranquility all due to the
foresight of our leadership especially Dr Nkomo and President Mugabe and all
those who supported them.''
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From The New York Times, 5 July

Criticism of a hero divides blacks

By Rachel L. Swarns

Washington - When the TransAfrica Forum decided to speak out last month
against Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, for condoning the jailing,
beating and killing of black opposition party supporters, it shouldn't have
been all that surprising. After all, for decades, TransAfrica, a research
and lobbying group based here, has been speaking out on the struggles of
Africans on the continent and elsewhere. In the 1980's, for instance, it led
the anti-apartheid marches that helped press the American government to
change its policy of "constructive engagement" with the white government of
South Africa. In the 90's the group protested against the repressive black
regimes in Haiti and Nigeria. In this latest action TransAfrica's president
and other prominent black Americans from Africa Action, an advocacy group
here; Howard University; and church and labor unions wrote a public letter
to Mr. Mugabe, assailing what they described as the "increasing intolerant,
repressive and violent policies of your government." But the decision to
condemn Mr. Mugabe publicly - which was hailed as long overdue in some
quarters - has also touched off an outcry among some black intellectuals,
activists and Africa watchers. Mr. Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since white
rule ended in 1980, is still considered a hero by some African-Americans.
And in some e-mail messages and on radio talk shows, the signers of the
letter have been described as politically naïve, sellouts and misguided
betrayers of Africa's liberation struggle. Angry critics have sent e-mail
messages to those who signed the letter, saying in one instance that they
"do not represent African-Americans." On a left-leaning radio station in New
York City, WBAI-FM, several people have called to complain. "Whatever black
Africans in Zimbabwe decide to do," said a caller who identified herself as
Missy from Queens, "I think black Africans here, we should join them." The
furor has highlighted a long-simmering debate about how to respond to
authoritarian leaders in Africa when those leaders happen to be black.

Bill Fletcher Jr., the president of TransAfrica, says black Americans cannot
afford to romanticize African leaders if they hope to remain relevant to the
struggles on the continent. They must be willing to condemn wrongdoing, he
said, even if that means criticizing some revered leaders. When the enemy
was evil white people in South Africa, that was easy," Mr. Fletcher said in
an interview at his office here. "But when the enemy becomes someone who
looks like us, we're very skittish about taking that on. "It's very
difficult to accept that a ruling class has emerged in Zimbabwe that is
oppressing its own people, but you've got to face the reality," he said. "I
felt like we had to speak out." Mr. Fletcher said African-Americans had
often been on the right side of history, supporting African leaders who
fought against white rule and then worked for their people, including Nelson
Mandela of South Africa, Julius K. Nyerere of Tanzania; and Samora Machel of
Mozambique, among others. Mr. Mugabe, who expanded access to education and
health care, was also praised for more than a decade by Western governments
as well as by blacks for building one of Africa's most prosperous nations.
But when white governments began to fall away, thorny questions began
emerging. In the 70's some blacks quietly questioned whether they should
continue supporting Uganda's violent despot, Idi Amin, but decided against
criticizing him publicly. In the 80's some Africa watchers made a similar
decision about Angola's government, which was dogged by complaints of
corruption. In 1996 Carol Moseley Braun, an Illinois Democrat who was a
senator then, stirred a furor when she flew to Africa to visit Gen. Sani
Abacha, Nigeria's corrupt dictator. By then TransAfrica and other prominent
black individuals and organizations had already launched a public campaign
to criticize and isolate Nigeria's government, which was detaining and
killing its critics. In the criticism of Zimbabwe, Mr. Fletcher was joined
by Salih Booker, director of Africa Action; William Lucy, president of the
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists; Horace G. Dawson Jr., director of the
Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University; the Rev.
Justice Y. Reeves of the Progressive National Baptist Convention; the
coordinating committee of the Black Radical Congress and others. "We view
the political repression under way in Zimbabwe as intolerable and in
complete contradiction of the values and principles that were both the
foundation of your liberation struggle and of our solidarity with that
struggle," the group said in its letter to Mr. Mugabe.

Critics complain, however, that Mr. Fletcher and his colleagues are playing
down the importance of the ongoing struggle for land in Zimbabwe. They say
Mr. Mugabe has been demonized in the West because he decided to seize
white-owned farms on land stolen from blacks during British colonial rule.
Zimbabwe's tiny white minority - less than 1 percent of the population -
owned more than half of the fertile land until the government began seizing
most of it in 2000. "I'm not on his side with respect to his repression of
the opposition," Ronald Walters, a professor of government and politics at
the University of Maryland, said of Mr. Mugabe. "But I am on the side of the
people who claim there's a justice issue in terms of the land. You can't
escape the racial dynamic, and you can't escape the political history." Some
critics say the violence in Zimbabwe has mostly occurred between supporters
and opponents of land redistribution. They also fear that the Bush
administration, which has already signaled that it might intervene in
war-torn Liberia, might use the letter from TransAfrica and Africa Action to
suggest that prominent black Americans favor an American intervention in
Zimbabwe. Mr. Fletcher and Mr. Booker say they would vigorously oppose an
American-led military intervention in Zimbabwe. TransAfrica also opposes the
idea of sending American troops to Liberia, saying an African peacekeeping
force financed by the American government would be preferable. "I'm
sympathetic to it," Mr. Walters said of the stance taken by TransAfrica and
Africa Action. "But this letter makes them sound like the guys who simply
want to beat up on Mugabe just because he took land from some white people."
Mark Fancher, who heads the international affairs unit of the National
Conference of Black Lawyers, raised similar concerns. He said Mr. Mugabe's
critics neglect to note that he still has support among some Zimbabweans,
even though he has been widely accused of rigging last year's presidential
election. "The one thing nobody disputes is that, whether he won or not,
Mugabe got a lot of votes," Mr. Fancher said. "This is an African problem, a
Zimbabwean problem. For people who are really disconnected from the
day-to-day lives of people in Zimbabwe to reach these kinds of conclusions,
we don't feel that's appropriate."

But Mr. Fletcher and Mr. Booker of Africa Action say Mr. Mugabe's supporters
are not paying attention to what is happening on the ground. Much of the
seized farmland that was intended for the poor has actually ended up in the
hands of Mr. Mugabe's friends and political allies. Mr. Mugabe emphasizes
the importance of redistributing land now, but during much of the 90's it
was not a priority for his government, some of his supporters acknowledge.
He focused on the issue, which resonates with many black voters only when it
became clear that a powerful black opposition party was threatening his grip
on power. And despite rhetoric to the contrary, the majority of victims of
political violence in Zimbabwe are not white farmers, the police and human
rights groups say. They are mostly ordinary black people who dared to
support or vote for the opposition. Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, a senior member of
Zimbabwe's opposition party, hailed the statement from TransAfrica and the
others as an important step. But he wondered why it took so long for the
groups to speak out. Mr. Booker said he, Mr. Fletcher and others had first
tried to work behind the scenes, meeting with Zimbabwean diplomats and
urging them to respect human rights and to initiate formal talks with the
opposition to improve the deteriorating political situation. When that
failed, he said, they wrote their letter. "Mugabe was my hero," said Mr.
Booker, who worked at TransAfrica in the 80's and helped arrange Mr.
Mugabe's first visit to the White House. "He was a liberator, the defiant
hero. Zimbabwe was a country where we had a lot invested emotionally and
politically." "But we had to ask ourselves: `Who are we in solidarity with
in southern Africa? The aging heroes or the new African civil society?' he
said. "It's not just about Zimbabwe. We have to be clear who our allies are.
We should not be standing shoulder to shoulder with African governments who
are abusing their own people. The time had arrived for us to take a public
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Mugabe warns Bush to stay out of Zimbabwe's affairs
Sat July 5, 2003 03:52 PM ET

By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE, July 5 (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on
Saturday southern African states would reject any attempt by U.S. President
George W. Bush to interfere in Zimbabwe's affairs when he visits Africa next

"If he's coming to dictate to us as to how we should run our countries, then
we will say: 'Go back, go home Yankee'," Mugabe told supporters at a rally
in the southern province of Masvingo. His remarks were carried by state

Last month, the United States urged southern African states to put more
pressure on Mugabe to allow political change, warning that unrest and
economic chaos in Zimbabwe would carry on threatening stability in the
region if they did not act.

Bush will visit two of Zimbabwe's neighbours, South Africa and Botswana,
during his July 7-12 trip to Africa.

Washington has taken a hard line against Mugabe since he won presidential
elections last year that Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) and several Western states denounced as fraudulent.

Bush has said Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in
1980, is not a legitimate leader.

The Bush administration has been trying to isolate Mugabe's government
internationally, but Zimbabwe's neighbours have been reluctant to do so.
Botswana and Angola said last month public criticism of Mugabe would only
make him more intransigent.


The MDC, which has accused Mugabe of violence against its supporters, on
Saturday condemned a government decision to raise the salaries of the
president and senior government members by nearly 600 percent -- almost
double the official inflation rate.

"While Mugabe looks after Mugabe, he is unable to do anything for the
ordinary, suffering people of Zimbabwe," MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi
told Reuters.

Zimbabwe has been hit by a series of strikes for higher pay -- the most
recent by junior doctors -- because of surging consumer inflation, ranked as
one of the highest rates in the world. Companies struggling in a harsh
business climate have failed to increase wages to match rising costs.

Critics say Mugabe has ruined the economy through 23 years of mismanagement,
causing chronic food and foreign currency shortages and record unemployment
of more than 70 percent.

Mugabe denies responsibility for the country's economic malaise and blames
it on sabotage by local and international opponents angry over his seizure
of white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

The official Herald newspaper said Mugabe's salary would rise from Z$3
million a year to Z$20.2 million (about U.S.$11,222 at black market rates or
$25,250 at official rates).

In addition, Mugabe would receive more than two million Zimbabwe dollars in
allowances, the Herald said, citing a government gazette notice. A copy of
the gazette was not available on Saturday.

The Zimbabwe dollar trades at around 1,800 against the U.S. dollar in a
thriving black market -- more than double the official rate of 800.

Last month, the MDC led a five-day strike against Mugabe's rule that shut
down industry and commerce in the capital Harare.
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Business Day

Bush pressures Mbeki on Zim

President Thabo Mbeki must push harder for new elections and democratic rule
in Zimbabwe, says United States President George Bush.
Speaking during an interview with SABC television filmed at the White House
and broadcast in South Africa on Friday evening, Bush said Mbeki should
insist the conditions necessary for Zimbabwe to become prosperous again were
in place.

"Insist that there be elections. Insist that democracy rule. Insist that the
conditions necessary for that country to become prosperous again are in
place," Bush said.

The US president was responding to a question on "what you would like to see
President Thabo Mbeki do in Zimbabwe that he's not already doing?".

The interview comes ahead of Bush's visit to South Africa and four other
African countries next week. He will be the first sitting Republican
president to make such a tour.

His comments on Zimbabwe follow a recent call by US Secretary of State Colin
Powell for South Africa to "play a stronger and more sustained role" in
resolving matters in that country.

Bush told the SABC he agreed with Powell's call.

"I certainly don't want to put any pressure on my friend (Mbeki). But
Zimbabwe has not been a good case study for democracy in a very important
part of the world.

"And we hope that not only Mr Mbeki, but other leaders, convince the current
leadership to promote democracy."

Asked if he thought "quiet diplomacy" could work, Bush said he hoped any
diplomacy would work, but so far it had not.

He said Zimbabwe was a "bad example".

"Let me give you one reason why. There are a lot of starving people in
Sub-Saharan Africa, yet Zimbabwe used to be able to grow more than it needed
to help deal with the starvation.

"We're a nation that is interested in helping people that are starving.
We're going to spend a billion dollars this year on programmes to help the

"It would be really helpful if Zimbabwe's economy were such that it would
become a breadbasket again, a capacity to grow more food that's needed so
that they could help deal with the hunger.

"And yet the country is in such a condition that the agricultural sector of
its economy is in shambles right now".

Questioned about the war against Iraq, and the reaction this had drawn from,
among others, former president Nelson Mandela, Bush said: "I did the right

"My job is to make sure America is secure. And if some don't like the
tactics, that's the nature of a free world where people can express their

"I admire Nelson Mandela ... I just happen to disagree with him on his view
about how best to secure America.

"But you can be rest assured that if I think America is threatened, I will
act," he said.

On speculation the US is poised to send troops to join a multinational
peackeeping force in strife-torn Liberia, Bush said he had not yet made a
decision on this.

"We're in the process of determining the course of action necessary to see
that peace and stability reign in Liberia, and some of our people are
meeting with Ecowas (Economic Community of West African States) leaders
today, and I haven't made a decision yet.

"The one thing that must happen is that Charles Taylor has got to leave. The
condition for any kind of operation that stabilises the country is for Mr
Taylor to leave the country, and hopefully we can achieve that objective

"Colin Powell is working closely with (United Nations Secretary-General Kofi
Annan and others at the UN to prepare the groundwork if possible for Mr.
Taylor's departure," Bush said.


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Zimbabwe court orders date for vote challenge

HARARE, July 5 — Zimbabwe's High Court has ordered its registrar to set a
date by next week to hear the main opposition leader's challenge to
President Robert Mugabe's contested 2002 re-election, one of his lawyers
said on Saturday.
       Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai filed
his challenge 15 months ago and his lawyers applied last month for a date to
be set, suggesting the state had delayed the case for fear Mugabe's victory
would be overturned.
       ''The judge ruled yesterday that the registrar must set a date within
seven days,'' Tsvangirai's lawyer Adrian deBourbon told Reuters, saying the
hearing was likely to start within about 45 days.
       Tsvangirai wants a new election. The opposition and several Western
countries said Mugabe won in 2002 through fraud.
       Tsvangirai, who faces two separate charges of treason for alleged
activities against Mugabe, says he lost the 2002 presidential poll because
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party harassed MDC supporters, blocked hundreds of
thousands of voters and used corrupt methods to steal the election.
       Mugabe says he won the March vote fairly and accuses the West of
trying to impose Tsvangirai as leader of the southern African state, now
gripped by its worst political and economic crisis in more than two decades.
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National Post, Canada

Mugabe close to running out of gas

      Kelly McParland
      National Post

Saturday, July 05, 2003
There is a cheerfulness to Zimbabwe's Herald newspaper, as loyal an organ of
state boosterism as Africa enjoys, which breezily observed one day this week
that many of the capital's workers hadn't made it to work on time.

The problem was the "unavailability of transport." There are no buses
because there's no gas. There hasn't been gas in Zimbabwe for months, so
people spend hours standing at bus stops waiting for a ride that isn't going
to come, eventually giving up and going home, or setting off for a long trek
on foot.

The gas dried up about the same time Libya realized it wasn't going to get
paid for the fuel it's been sending under a deal signed two years ago.

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, an old revolutionary friend of Zimbabwe's Robert
Mugabe, used to provide 70% of the country's supply and was supposed to
receive sugar, beef and tobacco in return. But Zimbabwe, once among Africa's
more reliable agricultural producers, can't feed itself, much less send food
to Libya.

No gas is one thing. The bigger problem is decrepitude. Rot is contagious,
and tends to work its way through the system until pretty soon nothing works
at all and can't be fixed because no one has any money. And no one can get
any money because nothing works. Zimbabwe has it in spades.

Recognizing the danger, and the possibility that even people accustomed to
23 years of Mr. Mugabe's rule may have a limit to their patience, the
government has been trying, in its own special way, to remedy the shortage.

Mainly it is doing so by restricting supply. For a time, funeral operators
had ready access to fuel, funerals being more or less necessary once people
die. But suddenly there was a rash of hearses turning up at fuel depots,
many of them -- once attendants began to check -- noticeably lacking in
corpses. Now if there's no body, there's no gas.

Long-distance travellers suffered a similar fate. With relatively few gas
stations between towns, people commonly carry spare fuel in containers. But
the black market opportunities were obvious to everyone, so the government
banned gas being dispensed to any container other than the actual vehicle

Still, scams proliferate. Old cars are towed to gas stations to be filled at
the official rate, then the fuel is resold at a higher rate.

Similarly, bus owners discovered they could make far more money by reselling
their allotments at a mark-up than they ever could by ferrying around
passengers. So they do a couple of runs, then quit for the day and sell off
the surplus.

Some gas dealers simply claim they have run dry, then sell to "bulk"
suppliers. Gasoline bought at the official price can be sold for four or
five times the price on the "parallel" market.

The government sought to counter this with a system of coupons. Buses, which
are by far the main source of transport, would get gas coupons only if they
produced certificates of fitness, road permits and other documents.

But most of the buses couldn't pass the fitness test. A shortage of spare
parts meant they couldn't make repairs, and the currency crisis -- did I
mention the currency crisis? -- meant they couldn't buy more parts.

The government tried again. The energy ministry ordered oil companies to
import more fuel and bus companies raised fares to offset repair costs. But
fewer people could afford the fares, so traffic declined and bus operators
lost money.

"The commuters that are here today are those who were not aware of the new
fares, and I can assure you there will be a reduced number of people
boarding buses when they know of this," one bus operator grumbled.

With few other options, Mr. Mugabe has been turning to friends for help.

Reports in Zimbabwe indicate he approached France, the only western country
which, for reasons fathomable only to President Jacques Chirac, has remained
on amicable terms with his decrepit regime. Zimbabwe would like a piece of
the action in Angola, where French interests have multi-billion dollar oil
projects. He is also said to have tried Kuwait, Sudan, Iran, South Africa,
Botswana and Nigeria, so far without much luck.

So this week Mr. Mugabe set off for Libya to try and talk Col. Gaddafi into
being more reasonable. Unable to produce even a few crops to meet Zimbabwe's
existing gas bill, Mr. Mugabe has apparently taken to bartering away
national assets.

Col. Gaddafi is driving a hard bargain. Zimbabwe's Independent newspaper
says he is demanding the government's shares in Petrozim, whose assets
include an oil pipeline running to the capital, Harare. He'd also like some
service stations and Petrozim's oil depot.

That may have been a bit rich even for Mr. Mugabe's blood. When the talks
ended, the two sides issued a report indicating their energy ministers had
met to "review the bilateral co-operation path and the ways to reinforce
that co-operation in oil and investment in various economic fields." There
was no reference to any firm agreements.

That doesn't sound too promising for the folks down at the bus stop, waiting
for the rides that won't come.

Not to despair though. Mr. Mugabe, in one of his regular diatribes against
his foreign enemies, noted that at least Zimbabwe doesn't have to worry
about being invaded by the United States because, unlike Iraq, it doesn't
have any oil.

That ought to cheer things up.

© Copyright  2003 National Post
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            Seven SA citizens arrested in Zim released
            July 05, 2003, 20:45

            Seven of the eight South African men who were arrested in
Zimbabwe in connection with poaching have been released. Ronnie van Zyl, the
leader of the hunting party, is however still in police custody. He
organised the hunting trip, and apparently has concessions to hunt in

            Andries Botha, the spokesperson for the group, says the released
men are on their way to Beitbridge and are expected to return to South
Africa tomorrow. At this stage it is not clear on what charges Van Zyl is
been detained.

            The group of 12, including four young boys between the ages of
10 and 13, were arrested in a roadblock near Beitbridge on Thursday. The
four boys were released earlier, and are already reunited with their
families in Pretoria.

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Daily News

      State withdraws attempted murder charge against farmer

        MASVINGO – The state has

      withdrawn charges against Brian Andrew Cawood, a white commercial
farmer accused of trying to kill a war veteran on his farm in Masvingo.

      Cawood, 46, whose trial was supposed to start on Thursday at the
Masvingo Magistrate Court, was charged with the attempted murder of Sack
Maranda, whom he allegedly tried to hit with a car.

      The charges against him were withdrawn before plea.

      Withdrawing the charges, the state, led by Benson Taruvinga, cited
lack of sufficient evidence against the farmer.

      “The evidence to show that the accused tried to kill this man is
insufficient so we have decided to drop the charges levelled against him,”
he said.

      The state said the police officer who investigated the matter did not
do a thorough job.

      Cawood was accused of trying to kill Maranda, one of the farmers
resettled under the government’s controversial land reform programme, by
running him over with his Land Rover.

      The state alleged that Cawood tried to hit Maranda with his motor
vehicle while he was in a donkey-drawn scotch cart heading for his plot.

      However, Cawood denied the charges, saying he did not intend to kill
the new farmer and that the incident was the result of an accident.

      The court heard that the police officer who investigated the case did
not attend the scene of the accident and based his investigation on the
statement given to him by the complainant.

      “The police officer was supposed to attend the scene of the accident
and would have drawn a sketch plan of the scene. He was also supposed to
treat this matter as an accident,” said Taruvinga.

      Own Correspondent

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Daily News Saturday 5 July

      Police reserve decision to ban NCA’s all-party convention

        POLICE yesterday backtracked on an earlier decision to bar the
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) from holding a meeting of opposition
political parties in Masvingo and instead allowed meeting to go ahead.

      The law enforcement agency, which has in the past prevented several
meetings by civic and opposition political groups, had said the NCA meeting
could not go ahead because President Robert Mugabe would be addressing a
rally in Chivi communal lands, about 70 kilometres west of Masvingo, today.

      According to NCA officials, the police had also indicated that they
were not happy with some of the people invited to speak at the convention
who included NCA chairperson Lovemore Madhuku and opposition Movement for
Democratic Change party youth chairman Nelson Chamisa.

      Under the government’s draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA),
Zimbabweans must seek permission from the police before holding political

      But the NCA had vowed to defy the police ban saying it would go ahead
with its meeting with or without police permission.

      Madhuku yesterday told the Daily News that the convention was
proceeding at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel after he had secured an agreement
with the police for the convention to go ahead as planned.

      “I have personally written to the police advising them that we were
going ahead with the meeting despite their order, so they finally phoned and
we reached an agreement,”

      “I told them that even under the POSA, there was no legal basis for
them to arrest us for holding that meting,” he said.

      Madhuku said all the expected guests and participants had come just on
time to prepare to face the police.

      He said although two police officers were sent to also attend the
convention, this would not deter them or even affect the contents of their

      Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka yesterday refused to comment on the

Staff Reporter

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Daily News Saturday 5 July

      Tsvangirai vows to keep up pressure on Mugabe

        OPPOSITION Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party leader Morgan
Tsvangirai yesterday vowed to intensify internal pressure to force change in
the country saying regional powerhouse South Africa neither had the will nor
courage to pressure President Robert Mugabe to agree to negotiate a solution
to Zimbabwe’s crisis.

      Tsvangirai, who was last month jailed for two weeks after organising a
mass protest in a bid to pressure Mugabe to the negotiating table, yesterday
told the Daily News that it was misguided to believe that South Africa’s
President Thabo Mbeki would ever pressure Mugabe to leave office.

      He said: “To expect the South South African government to openly
criticise Mugabe is to expect too much.

      “The international community should continue to exert pressure in
order to bring Mugabe to the negotiating table but Zimbabweans must know
that all the efforts to resolve the crisis in the country will only bear
fruits when the internal forces continue to be visible. Our strategies to
exert internal pressure will continue.”

      Tsvangirai was speaking ahead of talks between Mbeki and United States
of America President George Bush next week at which Bush is expected to
pressure Pretoria to use its economic leverage to pressure Mugabe to leave

      Bush and his senior advisors have openly called on Mugabe to step down
and allow a transitional government to take over and organise a fresh free
and fair election.

      The Americans say Mbeki, who is Mugabe’s most important ally, must do
more to ensure the Zimbabwean leader agrees to leave office.

      But Mbeki has publicly said Pretoria will not prescribe a solution to
its northern neighbour preferring to continue with his policy of quiet
diplomacy, which critics say has dismally failed to achieve meaningful

      Tsvangirai said that while South Africa had the necessary economic
muscle to influence change in Zimbabwe, the strong ties forged between that
country’s ruling African National Congress and Mugabe’s own ruling ZANU PF
party were such that Pretoria would sympathise with the Harare

      The Zimbabwean opposition leader said he could not dictate what role
South Africa should play in helping resolve Zimbabwe’s crisis but said he
could only urge Mbeki and his government to play a “constructive role”
because the two Southern African nations are intricately linked to each

      Once a showcase African state at independence in 1980, Zimbabwe is
mired in its worst economic, political and social crisis, which critics
blame on Mugabe’s 23-year rule.

      A controversial land reform plan under which the government seized
productive farms from white farmers without paying compensation and
redistributed the farms to landless blacks is largely blamed for causing
food shortages in the country because the government did not provide the
peasants with inputs or skills training to maintain food production.

      The International Monetary Fund, other key trading and development
partners have, meanwhile, abandoned Zimbabwe because of differences with the
government on fiscal policy and governance issues.

      Meanwhile, High Court judge Ben Hlatshwayo yesterday granted an order
sought by the MDC compelling the Registrar of the High Court to set a date
for the hearing of an application by the opposition party challenging Mugabe
’s controversial re-election last year.

      Tsvangirai filed the election petition 15 months ago disputing Mugabe’
s victory citing what he termed “massive electoral irregularities and
pre-election violence.” The court is still to set a date for the hearing.

      South African lawyer Jeremy Gauntlet, who represented Tsvangirai, told
the court that his client had requested a preliminary five-day sitting for
the hearing to deal with legal and constitutional issues relating to the MDC
’s election petition.

      Gauntlet said an election petition was a matter that should be heard
urgently and the delays in hearing the MDC’s election petition were
tantamount to denying Tsvangirai his right to justice.

     Staff Reporter
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Daily News Saturday 5 July

      Civil society needs to challenge party talks

        There is a blind side to the manner in which civil society in
Zimbabwe has begun to operate. Gone are the times of concerted action
towards a common democratic objective. There is the occasional historic
pride about how civil society strongly influenced the “No” vote during the
constitutional referendum in 2000.

      There is the regular pointing of fingers at which civic organisation
is doing the right thing and which one is in pursuit of individual agendas
that do not serve the people of Zimbabwe. And as all this is going on, the
newspapers scream headlines of “exit plans”, “transition plans” and on how
ZANU PF and the MDC are talking about “talks”.

      Civil society is in a quandary that is tantamount to self-betrayal.
Like the citizens of the country, civil society has relegated itself to the
role that Zimbabweans are so akin to when they watch the national football
team fail again and again to qualify for the African Cup of Nations or the
World Cup.

      There is no public engagement by civil society about the transition
talk that is currently going on in Zimbabwe. The various interests that
civil society organisations (CSOs) represent are rarely a talking point
within the ambivalent talk about President Robert Mugabe’s exit.

      The latter has been focused solely on power sharing agreements between
Zanu PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and not on the
principles of democracy that civil society is meant to uphold.

      At best, civic organisations will issue paid-for Press statements in
the private media to comment around the issues of the arrests of political
leaders as well as in pursuit of the usual individual organisational

      It is no longer playing its crucial role of always keeping the people’
s interests above the political battlefield and addressing issues of
political principle. Because of this, some important points need to be
raised around the role of civil society in the purported political
transition that the media has been overplaying to the Zimbabwean populace on
a daily basis.

      The first point relates to the impressions that CSOs have been
creating around the issue of transition. The position of the majority of
CSOs is that there shall inevitably be some form of political transition
settlement between ZANU PF and the MDC.

      So convinced are some CSOs that they do not envision a role for civil
society in the whole transition fray. Observer status is good for election
supervision but it doesn’t begin to address as critical an issue as
political transition.

      There is no need for one to go into the superlatives of what occurred
in South Africa as the situation there does not apply to Zimbabwe. Neither
is there need to prioritise matters of international networking in order to
acquire a desired transition.

      The essential question is: what does civil society want out of the
transition, if ever it is to occur? This is a question that touches at the
core of the values that civil society has been espousing for the last 23

      All the principles that are the bedrock of civil society must be
brought to the fore in this current political opportunity that is presenting
itself, even if there is no confidence in transition ever really occurring.

      The assumption that the talk of political transition is about the
sharing of power between two political parties is a misleading one. The
people of Zimbabwe are fighting for democracy. This must be the basis of the
entrance of civil society in the transition talks.

      It is an entrance which must of necessity generate public
participation in drafting some of the terms and the anticipated changes to
the political environment in our country. If there is no public
participation, then the transition process is unsustainable.

      The second point that follows closely on the heels of the first, is
that of the failure of civil society and the opposition to build a
mass-based social movement.

      From the formation of the MDC to present, the call as well as the
anticipation was that now there would be a people-based mass movement that
would consistently act in defence of the democratic wishes of the people.

      That did not occur. The opposition went the way of elections, thus
taking upon itself the burden of translating the struggle for democracy
through the acquisition of positions of influence in society, ie Members of
Parliament and President.

      In retrospect this can be argued to have been a strategic move at the
time because of the assumed resilience of the Zimbabwean people to electoral
violence and in their willingness to go to the voting booth in order to
effect democratic change.

      The essential and oft overlooked issue, however, is that there is no
organic mass movement in the country at present. Indeed, civil society has
structures and so does the opposition, but most of the time these structures
are inactive. They rise out of their slumber to effect demonstrations,
organise workshops and attend rallies on behalf of the leadership. There is
a limited sense of ownership of the mechanisms of bringing about the
struggle for democracy.

      There is also limited political consciousness on the part of the
everyday person about strategies of struggle to the extent that there is no
sense of ownership about ethodologies of effecting the struggle.

      As a result, there is no willingness to put the struggle before self
within the Zimbabwean populace, even though it remains conscious of the need
for democratic change.

      Civil society must have felt that its role had been played out to the
full after the formation of the MDC. The mobilising strength of the MDC was
all but too obvious and civil society began to ebb in its community-based

      At the same time, there was the shrinking political space because of
numerous repressive laws that were brought through Parliament and,
therefore, civil society felt the real battle was now left to the opposition
to challenge for political space and if successful, the latter would then
create a conducive environment in which civil society would operate.

      This, in our view, was a mistake that has contributed to the diluting
of the struggle for democracy to one of bread and butter as well as one of a
false anticipation of the power of spontaneity in Zimbabwe’s citizens.

      Civil society still has its work cut out. It has to demand certain
principles to be observed in as drawn a process as transition. Instead of
applauding these talks as a solution, there must be engagements of the two
powerful political parties by CSOs on issues relating to reform of the
constitution and creation of independent regulatory authorities for the
media, elections, reconciliation and education.

      If the talks are left to the opposition and ruling parties alone, then
the people’s struggle for democracy would have been negated and true to the
sceptics, our struggle would never be recognised as a struggle for democracy
but one for power as an end.

      Takura Zhangazha is a member of the Media Institute of Southern Africa

    By Takura Zhangazha

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Daily News Saturday 5 July

      Doctors resume strike action

        ZIMBABWE’s junior and middle-level doctors yesterday resumed
industrial action to press the government to review their salaries after a
one week period set by the Labour Court for the government and the doctors
to resolve their salary dispute expired yesterday.

      Hospital Doctors’ Association president Phibeon Manyanga told the
Daily News yesterday that members of his association were downing tools
because the Public Service Commission (PSC) had not addressed complaints by
doctors that a job evaluation exercise by the government had left them
earning less than before.

      Manyanga said: “The doctors are back on strike with immediate effect
as our employer the PSC has not offered us anything.” The PSC is the
employer of all government workers except those serving in the armed forces.

      The Labour Court had last month given the PSC up until 4pm yesterday
to find a solution to the doctors’ grievances.

      PSC chairman Mariyawanda Nzuwa could not be reached for comment on the
matter by the time of going to press last night.

      Health Minister David Parirenyatwa could also not be reached for
comment on the issue.

      Doctors last month went on strike complaining that the job evaluation
exercise that the government says was meant to rectify salary distortions
affecting its 140 000-plus workers had seen some doctors’ salaries being
slashed, while those of the junior doctors had remained stagnant.

      The Labour Court directed the PSC to work out a new salary structure
for the junior and middle doctors, who are the backbone of Zimbabwe’s ailing
public health sector.

      Manyanga accused the PSC of failing to act on the court’s order. He
said: “It is also sad to note that the PSC officials have not bothered to
communicate to us what their position is concerning the delay in announcing
the new structures. And as a result we cannot take them seriously.”

      Under the new government salary structure, the lowest paid doctor will
earn $167 000 a month, which is far below the minimum $2 million junior
doctors are demanding.

      The current industrial action by the doctors is likely further strain
operations at all public hospitals that are facing serious staff and drug

     Staff Reporter
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Daily News Saturday 5 July

      Divisions rock ZANU PF over candidate

        THERE is division within the ruling ZANU PF party over the choice of
a candidate to represent the party in the forthcoming Makonde parliamentary
by-election with rival party stalwarts said to be backing their own
political allies to represent ZANU PF in the poll scheduled for next month,
The Daily News established this week.

      ZANU PF sources told this newspaper on the sidelines of a meeting of
the party’s Central Committee meeting held in Harare this week that senior
politicians from Mashonaland West province were making frantic moves to
impose candidates on the constituency but were facing stiff resistance from
the local Chief Makonde, who is said to be insisting that his people be
allowed to select a candidate of their choice.

      Both ZANU PF national chairman John Nkomo and the party’s political

      Elliot Manyika could not be reached for comment on the emerging split
in the party over who should represent it in the upcoming poll.

      Mashonaland West, in which Makonde constituency lies, is the home
province of President Robert Mugabe and had until now not seen factional
fighting that has weakened the ruling party in other provinces such as
Manicaland and Masvingo.

      According to the sources, Mugabe’s sister Sabina was trying to push
for her son Leo Mugabe to represent ZANU PF in the by-election.

      Leo is the former chairman of the Zimbabwe Football Association where
he was booted out over alleged maladministration.

      Another faction allegedly headed by ZANU PF’s information and
publicity secretary Nathan Shamuyarira was said to be backing another party
activist for the seat ahead of Mugabe’s nephew.

      Local government Minister Ignatius Chombo and Parliament deputy
speaker Edna Madzongwe were reportedly canvassing for Lashiwe Murefu, an
administrator at the government provincial hospital in Chinhoyi, to stand
for ZANU PF in the ballot in which the ruling party battles it out with the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) .

      ZANU PF chairman for Mashonaland West Phillip Chiyangwa is meanwhile
said to have thrown his weight behind yet another candidate ,Artwell
Seremani. The outspoken Chiyangwa, who is also the Member of Parliament for
Chinhoyi constituency, is said to be close to Seremani.

      The seat for Makonde constituency fell vacant following the death
early this year of Swithun Mombeshora, who in the run-up to the 2000
Parliamentary elections was imposed on the constituency after the politburo
forced journalist Kindness Paradza to step down.

      Paradza, who sources yesterday said enjoys the support of Chief
Nemakonde, has no godfather in the province

      Paradza is however seen as a dark horse in the race to represent ZANU
PF in the by-election because of his perceived close association with the
party’s secretary for administration Emmerson Mnangagwa.

      One of the power brokers in ZANU PF, Mnangangwa is widely seen as the
leading candidate to succeed Mugabe when and if Zimbabwe’s ageing leader
steps down. ZANU PF insiders say the split on the choice of candidate to
represent the ruling party in one of its safest constituencies was also
linked to the battle to succeed Mugabe quietly raging within the party.

      Competing camps were battling to ensure their allies occupy
influential posts throughout the party structure, the sources said.

      A rural constituency that has overwhelmingly voted for ZANU PF in
previous elections, Makonde is relatively safe for the ruling party with
whoever is chosen to represent ZANU PF in the by-election almost assured of

      The sources said senior party politicians were expected to sent a team
to Makonde next week tasked with coming up with a candidate through
consensus but several other ZANU PF party members from Mashonaland West
expressed fear the party chiefs would merely impose a candidate of their
choice without consulting ordinary party members.

      According to the findings by the provincial team dispatched to Makonde
in May with the task of building a consensus over who should represent the
party in the by-election, the people in the constituency are said to have
made it clear they wanted to be allowed to select a candidate of their

      Sources said the MDC was closely watching the infighting in the ZANU
PF camp before they field their own candidate in the by-elections.

      Staff Reporter

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Daily News Saturday 5 July

      Zvishavane proposes massive tariff hike to meet local polls bill

        ZVISHAVANE – The Zvishavane Town Council has proposed a 100 percent
hike in rates and tariffs in order to raise money to fund local government
elections scheduled to take place sometime next month.

      Town chief executive officer Alfonce Chimombe said the local authority
required about $13 million to cover the cost of running elections in the
small mining town.

      The new rates and tariffs would be effective from 1 July if there are
no objections from residents, Chimombe said.

      “Any objections must be lodged in writing not later than 30 days of
publication of this notice,” a statement released by the town council
yesterday read in part.

      Local government authorities are this year expected to finance
elections of mayors, councillors and board chairpersons in their areas. In
the past the government has provided funds for the holding of the elections.

      But several of the local authorities, who are failing to provide
adequate services to residents because they have no money, have indicated
they might be unable to fund the elections.

      For example in Zvishavane the town council is battling to raise money
for the refurbishment of the town’s overstretched water reticulation system.

      Residents had to go without clean drinking water for about eight days
after the town’s ageing water pump stations broke down and cut supplies to
several parts of the town.

      The council’s water reticulation system was installed in 1979 and most
of the equipment has outlived its lifespan.

      “We inherited an old system which needs to be totally revamped if we
are to provide quality service to residents,” said Chimombe.

      In the proposed budget, water charges are expected to increase from
$51 per cubic metre to $99.45 per cubic metre while fines for residents
found tampering with water metres are expected to increase from $8 000 to
$15 000.

      Licences for wholesale shops are also expected to double from $5 000
to $12 500 a month.

      The council also plans to increase cemetery fees from $200 to $500
while burial fees for weekends will be pegged at $6 000.

      Hardest hit is the town’s lifeline, Shabanie Mine, whose monthly fixed
water charge was pegged at $500 000 up from $120 000. The asbestos-producing
Shabanie Mine is the largest employer in Zvishavane.

      Own Correspondent
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Daily News Saturday 5 July

      Majority struggle as poverty rises

        ‘A combination of two successive years of drought, the government’s
fast-track land acquisition programme, the impact of HIV/AIDS and a collapse
in social services left more than half the population in need of food aid in
2002 . . .’

      JOHANNESBURG – The tide of statistics marking Zimbabwe’s economic
decline – inflation at 300 percent, 6.5 million in need of food aid, 70
percent unemployment, “the world’s fastest shrinking economy” – eventually
blur into incomprehension.

      But behind the figures is the struggle by ordinary families to put
food on the table, send their children to school, and look after elderly

      The hardships seem a far cry from when Zimbabwe was the bread basket
of Southern Africa, its infrastructure and skilled workforce the envy of the

      According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe has been experiencing an
economic and social crisis since 1997, induced by declining prices for its
key exports, poor economic policies, a large fiscal deficit and loss of
investor confidence arising from uncertainty about domestic policies.

      A combination of two successive years of drought, the government’s
fast-track land acquisition programme, the impact of HIV/AIDS and a collapse
in social services left more than half the population in need of food aid in

      Recovery has been delayed this year due to another season of erratic
rainfall. In addition, the limited availability of seed and fertiliser as a
result of foreign exchange shortages, and the newly settled farmers not
being able to utilise all their land due to a lack of adequate capital and
inputs has worsened the situation, according to a Food and Agriculture
Organisation/World Food Programme (FAO/WFP) assessment mission.

      The agencies estimated that 4.4 million people in rural areas and 1.1
million in urban areas would require food assistance in 2003/04.

      The urban poor have been largely overlooked in Zimbabwe’s food
emergency. UN agencies and NGOs are now in the process of preparing an urban
vulnerability assessment to map and monitor poverty levels outside the rural
areas. “Food security within the urban and peri-urban areas continues to be
an issue of major concern due to the rapidly declining economy,” noted the
latest Zimbabwe Humanitarian Situation report by the UN’s Relief and
Recovery Unit.

      “What’s clear is that the urban vulnerable definitely need to be
included in humanitarian relief efforts this year.

      “The indications are that the coping mechanisms, which are generally
more robust (than in rural areas), are being eroded, and some of the effects
we’ve seen in the rural areas – children dropping out of school and child
labour – we’re seeing in the towns,” Chris McIvor of Save the Children Fund

      “The million dollar question is, how this can be done? I would imagine
it would be a mix of ensuring that for those that can afford it there is
enough maize in the shops, as part of a joint exercise between the private
sector and the government, and a social safety net programme for the most
vulnerable, but it would be a complex exercise.”

      Among the challenges would be the identification and targeting of
beneficiaries in communities with much less cohesion than rural areas, the
issue of government price controls on the staple maize-meal, and the
distribution monopoly of the Grain Marketing Board.

      The last vulnerability assessment undertaken in Harare was in May 2001
by the US-funded Famine Early Warning Network and the Consumer Council of
Zimbabwe (CCZ).

      At that time, the assessment team calculated the Food Poverty Line
(FPL), the minimum expenditure to ensure that each member of a four-person
household received 2.100 calories, as $2 650. Roughly 10 percent to 20
percent of households in Harare fell below the FPL.

      The CCZ priced a low-income “food basket” for a family of four at $11
000. Between 60 to 70 percent of households could not afford to meet those
costs, the assessment report said.

      The poorest households in May 2001 were regarded as those earning less
than $4 000 per month. They, characteristically, had only one income source,
either because there was only one able-bodied person of working age in the
household, or because of a lack of capital to start up an informal sector

      Some households in this group included formal sector workers at the
lowest salary levels, such as security guards, shop assistants and factory

      They often had only two meals per day and most of their calories came
from maize-meal, with a small amount from cooking oil, sugar and,
occasionally, dried fish. The households typically said that they could not
afford health care or transport.

      “Households were clear about the types of shocks that cause them
problems. Everyone complained about inflation and the fact that they are
constantly battling to keep up with rising prices.

      “Associated with this were specific complaints about devaluation,
increases in owners’ rates on housing and electricity costs, and rising bus
fares,” the assessment report found.

      “For those working in the formal sector, the threat of retrenchment
and unemployment is a constant worry. In the informal sector, households
fear a crackdown by the local authorities on ‘illegal’ businesses, which can
result in businesses losing goods, tools and/or capital.

      “Households in both the formal and informal sectors are vulnerable to
the illness or death of, or divorce from, the main income earner, and this
tends to result in a major drop in standards of living.

      “AIDS is a particular threat in this regard. Large, unexpected
expenditures – such as on funerals or medicines – also cause major problems
for poor households, often forcing them into debt,” the report noted.

      Since the 2001 assessment, there has been a significant deterioration
in the economy. The large-scale commercial farming sector now produces only
about one-tenth of its output in the 1990s, the FAO/WFP mission report said,
which has had serious knock-on effects for the agriculture-dependent

      Most basic products and services are in short supply – bank notes,
fuel, electricity, and the foreign exchange to allow the country to import
the goods and inputs it needs.

      Production of the main staple, maize, is estimated at 803.000 mt this
season, 61 percent up on last year, but 46 percent lower than in 2000/01,
said the FAO/WFP report.

      In May this year inflation reached 300 percent. The government had
projected that it would fall to 90 percent.

      According to the CCZ, the cost of a food basket for a family of four
has jumped to $125 000, but an estimated 80 percent of formal sector workers
earn less than $20 000 a month.

      The government introduced price controls in November 2001 in a bid to
protect consumers from rising costs on basic commodities.

      In November 2002 price controls were extended to cover a wider range
of goods, despite protest from manufacturers who complained that they could
not cover their production costs.

      The authorities, however, were unable to enforce the regulations, and
the result was a boom in the black market and shortages in official retail

      Under the National Economic Revival Programme introduced earlier this
year, price controls have been eased and an unofficial devaluation allowed.

      New minimum wages are to be introduced, along with periodic utility
cost adjustments. The measures are expected to further fuel inflation in the
short term.

      At the beginning of June, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
suspended Zimbabwe’s voting rights over differences with the government on
economic policy and arrears in debt repayments.

      “The Zimbabwean authorities introduced some policy measures since
early 2003 to arrest the decline in economic activity, including a
devaluation of the exchange rate of the Zimbabwean dollar from $55 to $824
per US dollar for most transactions, adjustments in fuel and electricity
tariffs, rolling back price controls, and raising interest rates
 moderately,” an IMF statement said.

      “However, the authorities have not adopted the comprehensive and
consistent policies needed to address Zimbabwe’s serious economic problems.”

      – IRIN

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Daily News Saturday 5 July

      Hunt for Chipangano fugitives

        POLICE have launched a manhunt for 10 members of the notorious
Chipangano vigilante group that has been terrorising residents in Harare’s
Mbare high-density suburb, The Daily News learnt yesterday.

      The 10 fugitives escaped arrest during a raid last Sunday on their
base in Mbare in which 20 other gangsters were nabbed by the police’s
anti-terrorist Support Unit squad.

      The police, who in the past have virtually stood by while Chipangano
harrassed members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party, acted against the group following repeated reports by residents that
they were being harassed, robbed and sometimes tortured by members of the

      A Zimbabwe National Army soldier was also severely attacked and
wounded allegedly by the Chipangano gangsters, a development some residents

      believe could have led the police to crack down on the group.

      Chipangano, whose members have assaulted MDC supporters and forcibly
evicted some from their homes, claims to have strong links to the ruling
ZANU PF party.

      The ruling party denies links with the group.

      According to witnesses, armed police swooped on Chipanagano’s Magaba
Hostels headquarters early last Sunday morning, surprising the gangsters,
several of whom were

      arrested on the spot.

      A Mbare resident, who spoke on condition he was not named, said: “They
(Chipangano) were taken unawares and they were surprised when the police
made a go at them.

      “They tried to seek cover in the public but one woman who was with the
police seemed to know them very well and she kept pointing them out as they
were flushed out from the


      Police spokesman Andrew Phiri yesterday refused to take questions on
the police crackdown on Chipangano. Phiri

      referred this reporter to another police officer, Oliver Mandipaka,
who in turn said he was too busy to entertain questions on the issue.

      But a police officer at Harare Central police station said the
law-enforcement agency, which had been heavily criticised for inaction
against Chipangano, had stepped up efforts to arrest the remaining 10
members of the group in a bid to cripple its reign of terror.

      The policeman said: “We are looking for 10 others. Once we get those
then we know the group is crippled. Those arrested are still locked up.”

      Some residents expressed relief yesterday that the police had finally
moved against Chipangano but many said they were afraid of reprisals once
the gangsters were released from police custody.

      Last Saturday, before the police pounced on Chipangano, 20 families
that were accused by the group of belonging to the MDC were thrown out of
their homes at Nenyere flats.

      In typical fashion, the gangsters allegedly demanded a minimum of $10
000 from each of their victims before they could allow them to return to
their homes.

      Members of the Chipangano group are also said to have disrupted last
month a funeral wake for Tichaona Kaguru.

      He was an MDC activist who was allegedly abducted and murdered by
state security agents during mass protests organised by the opposition party
last month.

      Staff Reporter
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Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2003 2:24 PM
Subject: Quiet Diplomacy

Dear Family and Friends,
All Zimbabwe's eyes, hearts and hopes will be directed towards South Africa in the coming week as US President George Bush meets with President Thabo Mbeki. Everyone here is talking about the visit, wondering what the American President can possibly say to Mbeki to persuade him to abandon his  so called "quiet diplomacy" over the horrific state of everything in Zimbabwe.
For nearly three and half years Zimbabweans have felt so utterly betrayed by the South African president. Mbeki has not once condemned the seizure of land which resulted in over half a million destitute farm workers and 70% of the country's population dependant on World Food Aid. When it became common knowledge that the main beneficiaries of land grabs were Zimbabwean ministers, politicians and army, police and security personnel, Mbeki said nothing. While over 200 people have been murdered for their involvement in opposition politics (only 12 of whom were white people) Mbeki has said nothing. When evidence was given that people were beaten and tortured by police and state officials, when members of the opposition were prevented from holding rallies or even openly wearing MDC T shirts, Mbeki said nothing. When presidential elections were condemned by the international community as being flawed last year, Mbeki said nothing. When legislation was introduced which severely restricts Zimbabweans' freedom of speech, movement, association and even worship, Mbeki did nothing. As Zimbabwe has slowly sold or given our farm land, hotels, hunting concessions and fuel stations to Libya, whose own President has been in power for a staggering 33 years, Thabo Mbeki has sat back and watched, saying that Zimbabweans must resolve their own problems. Thabo Mbeki has clearly forgotten who helped him get to power. He has forgotten that apartheid was not only broken by South Africa but by massive help from almost every country in the world. President George Bush and his team have an awesome task ahead of them and there are 11 million Zimbabweans who will be hanging on his every word and move. We feel like Bush is our last hope to talk sense to Africa's leaders. At the very least we want Mbeki to be openly honest about our horrors and admit that his black brothers over the border are dying and being tortured while he does and says nothing.
Ordinary Zimbabweans are not the only ones who will be watching President George Bush this coming week. Our government are already bracing themselves for what may be about to happen. Addressing his closest support group in the form of members of his politburo this week, President Mugabe said: "When Bush visits it shouldn't send tremors to your spines. I understand there are shivers in some of our circles. Would he dare do to us what he did in Iraq? Of course not, he knows that the situations are different. And anyway we don't have the oil that Iraq does, nor do we have the weapons of mass destruction... ."  
How I wish that Presidents Mbeki and Bush could have been with me this afternoon as I went to visit Jane, the woman who was tortured with a hot steel bar when she worked on our farm in 2000. Jane was burned across her upper lip because she could not produce a membership card for the ruling party. The scars from her horror will be with Jane forever and it is always very humbling to visit her, witness her mental healing and perhaps give her something to ease her burdens. After reading about Jane in "African Tears" a woman in South Africa sent me a small wrist watch to give to her. Jane's hand shook as she opened the parcel, her smile split her face and she danced, ululated, sang and wrapped her arms around me saying again and again that she hadn't been so happy for 3 years, since that dreadful day. The people like Jane are the ones who have lost so much in Zimbabwe's hell, they are the real people, the ones whom these world Presidents need to meet if they are ever to understand what's been going on here. If only they could, they would see it has not been about land or race, just political power.
We are hanging on to a thread of hope. We are praying for guidance for George Bush, Colin Powell and Thabo Mbeki. Whatever they do and say will determine our future. All eyes are upon you President Bush. Until next week, with love, cathy. Copyright cathy buckle, 5th July 2003.  "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available in Africa through Exclusive Books or and www.kalahari,net ; in Europe and Canada from and in New Zealand and Australia from
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