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Are Zimbabwe's Opposition Fighting It Out?


A machete attack on an MDC MP betrays the growing tensions in the effort to
beat President Robert Mugabe


Saturday, Jul 8, 2006
Trudy Stevenson is by no means the first Member of Parliament from
Zimbabwe's opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (mdc), to
suffer political violence. Stevenson and four colleagues were leaving a
political gathering outside Harare earlier this month when, they say, they
were attacked by about 40 youths wielding sticks, stones and a machete. "I
knew they wanted to kill me," Stevenson later told a London Times reporter
from her hospital bed, while recovering from head injuries, a broken arm and
multiple bruises. "They kept hitting my head with rocks. I could feel the
blood running down my neck."

Normally in Zimbabwe, such violence is blamed on supporters of President
Robert Mugabe. But Stevenson insists that she recognized some of her
assailants as belonging to a rival faction of her own mdc party. The
incident has added an ugly new dimension to the infighting that has lately
plagued the opposition, perhaps weakening it to the point of collapse.
Stevenson is one of several high-ranking party officials who broke ties with
founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai late last year, citing autocratic leanings
and a growing tendency for violence by his supporters.

Tsvangirai promptly condemned the attack on Stevenson, and promised to expel
anyone found to be responsible. His detractors in the mdc and Mugabe's
ruling zanu-pf party both seized on the incident to claim he has brutal
ambitions. Stevenson said she was attacked because she had been working in
an area known to be a Tsvangirai stronghold.

But Roy Bennett, a former M.P. with close ties to Tsvangirai who is
currently trying to seek asylum in South Africa gave a different
explanation. He told Time that members of zanu-pf had infiltrated the mdc
and orchestrated both the attack on Stevenson and the split within the party
in order to undermine the opposition. "We believe they orchestrated the
attack on Trudy to make it look like it was us," he said. Bennett said that
the mdc had launched an independent investigation into the attack, and
remained committed to resolving differences within the party peacefully.

Even so, to some observers the incident suggests how the mdc, which has
renounced violence, has been corroded by Mugabe's rule. "The attack confirms
that all Zimbabweans are victims of a political culture of violence," says
University of Zimbabwe political scientist John Makumbe. "This should be a
wake-up call for both factions. We are now eating each other instead of
focusing on the real crisis in this country."

With zanu-pf itself riven by political infighting and economic meltdown, and
some analysts predicting that Mugabe's rule will collapse before the end of
the year, the turmoil within the mdc raises further questions about
Zimbabwe's prospects for future stability. "I hope the two sides will come
back together in the end, but in the short term I don't see that happening,"
says journalist Andrew Meldrum, author of a recent memoir on Zimbabwe. "At
this point it's the Zimbabwean people who are the losers, because they are
looking for an effective opposition against Robert Mugabe, and they don't
have that."

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Mkapa mediation mission doomed

Zim Standard


MEDIATION efforts by former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa
over a dispute between Zimbabwe and Britain are doomed to fail and may be a
ploy by President Robert Mugabe to buy time, it emerged yesterday.

After stubbornly spurning advice to engage the international
community for some years, Mugabe made a dramatic policy shift, telling
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan last week that he wanted his
dispute with Britain resolved through a mediator.

Annan was due to visit Zimbabwe on a fact-finding mission on the
widely condemned "Operation Murambatsvina".

Annan, who met Mugabe on the sidelines of a Seventh African
Union Summit in Banjul, the Gambia, said he had decided to cancel his visit
because: "We both agreed that he (Mkapa) should be given the time and space
to do his work."

This effectively let Mugabe off the hook. Annan's visit would
have, once again, put under the international spotlight the plight of
hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans who are living in the open after their
houses were destroyed in the clean up operation in May last year.

It could have been yet another major embarrassment for Mugabe
who had promised the world that his government would build houses for the

Analysts were last week quick to say that, apart from preventing
Annan from seeing the humanitarian catastrophe in Zimbabwe, the Mkapa
initiative could only benefit Mugabe whose term of office expires in less
than two years. Mkapa's diplomatic manoeuvres would take months, giving
Mugabe much-needed breathing space, they said.

Brian Raftopoulos, a former professor of political science at
the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, now
heading the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, said
Mugabe might be making calculated manoeuvres.

"Kofi Annan is a lame duck. Mugabe knows that his term in office
ends at the end of this year," he told IPS.

Raftopoulos said the former Tanzanian president would also not
be an impartial intermediator. "Mkapa is an ally of Mugabe. He will not be
an effective mediator but an effective messenger of Mugabe internationally,"
noted Raftopoulos.

But University of Zimbabwe political scientist, Eldred
Masunungure, said Mugabe was now desperate for any forms of talks that can
prevent the "dormant uprising" that could unseat him from power.

He said Mugabe - singled out as the architect of the people's
misery - has taken "a conciliatory approach" with almost everyone because he
is fast-losing control of the country as the economic crisis worsens.

"Mkapa would be assisted by the state of the economy to persuade
Mugabe to shift from his ruinous policies. The economy is Mugabe's soft
belly," Masunungure said.

Keen to be seen to be addressing the Zimbabwean crisis, Mugabe
has not only invited Mkapa to mediate but has also roped in churches.

"They may come together one day to persuade Mugabe to see
commonsense," he said.

Masunungure believes Mkapa's mandate was not limited to thawing
the frosty relations between Harare and London but also encompassing talks
with the European Union, which imposed smart sanctions on Mugabe and his
cronies. EU diplomats were not immediately available for comment but Britain
also announced that it was not interested in the so-called mediation

A senior British diplomat last week poured cold water on Mkapa's
intended moves saying there was no bilateral dispute between the two

This made it meaningless for anyone to engage in mediation
efforts, Gillian Dare, the first secretary in charge of political and public
diplomacy, at the British Embassy in Harare said. "This is not a bilateral
dispute, so no mediation is required between Britain and Zimbabwe," Dare

She added: "No-one will be able to help, unless President Mugabe's
policy evolves in different and sustainable direction."

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Mugabe praise singer dumped

Zim Standard

By Foster Dongozi

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's bid to control churches was dealt a
severe blow last week when one of his praise-singers, Bishop Peter Nemapare,
was kicked out of office at a bi-annual assembly of the Zimbabwe Council of
Churches held in Harare on Wednesday.

Nemapare was the president of the ZCC, an umbrella body of
traditional churches.

He was voted out by more than 55 bishops and heads of
denominations that attended the meeting as delegates.

He had not served his full term of office.

According to insiders who attended the meeting he was accused of
working in collusion with the ruling party to avail Christians to Zanu PF.

Nemapare is the bishop of the African Methodist church in

Matabeleland Anglican Church Bishop, Wilson Sitshebo, replaced

The atmosphere was so highly charged that although Nemapare
tried to contest for the posts of deputy president, treasurer and committee
member, delegates snubbed him.

Delegates were particularly annoyed that Nemapare and ZCC
secretary general Denson Mafinyane were captured on television making
statements declaring their support for Zanu PF.

The government stands accused of committing gross human rights
violations including genocide, destroying people's homes in the middle of
winter and electoral fraud.

Nemapare and Mafinyane were part of a group of church leaders
who laughed uncontrollably when Mugabe made comments about Bulawayo Catholic
Archbishop Pius Ncube.

Mafinyane survived the purge during the week because he is
employed by the ZCC although calls for his ouster have started.

The ZCC together with the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference
and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe met Mugabe at State House where
it was agreed that the National Day of Prayer held every year on May 25
would be scrapped and replaced with the Zanu PF-backed Zimbabwe National Day
of Prayer.

The Zanu PF commissariat and information departments played key
roles in preparing for the prayers where the President warned church leaders
that they would be dealt with "viciously" if they strayed into the political

After Nemapare, attention could now focus on the Evangelical
Fellowship of Zimbabwe, led by Bishop Trevor Manhanga, which will also hold
its bi-annual assembly in November to choose a new leadership.

Manhanga and Nemapare were summoned by Harare and
Chitungwiza-based pastors to explain who had mandated them to speak to

Contacted for comment Nemapare confirmed that he was no longer
the president of the ZCC. "Yes I am no longer the president. I have serviced
the council for quite a number of years. My term had expired and I contested
the elections and lost."

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Heavy fines for NUST students

Zim Standard

By Nqobani Ndlovu

BULAWAYO - Authorities at the National University of Science and
Technology (NUST) have slapped students who took part in February
demonstrations against fee increases with fines of between $30 and $50
million each.

Scores of protesting NUST students who were dragged to a
disciplinary hearing have been given up to the end of July to settle the

NUST students, demonstrating against fee increases in February,
destroyed property worth billions of dollars at the institution's
administration block.

Beloved Chiweshe, the NUST Student Representative Council (SRC)
president, confirmed that they had been slapped with fines of between $30
and $50 million for taking part in demonstrations.

Chiweshe said: "All of us dragged to the disciplinary hearing
have been told to pay admission of guilt fines imposed by the college."

Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) president, Promise
Mkwananzi, also confirmed that their colleagues had been slapped with fines
for demonstrating against fee increases.

Mkwananzi urged students not to pay the fines noting that they
would drag NUST to court over the fines.

"As ZINASU we condemn that. We are saying that the students
should not pay these ridiculous fines," Mkwananzi said.

"First they (fines) are illegal as the disciplinary committee
was not properly constituted. We will challenge that in the courts," he

NUST Director of Information and Publicity, Felix Moyo,
professed ignorance on the fines slapped on students by the disciplinary
committee when contacted for comment.

"Whoever released that information must be one of the students
that were brought for disciplinary hearing," Moyo said.

He added: "I was not part of the disciplinary committee but as
soon as I get the official information on Tuesday during the management
meeting, I will be able to talk about it."

Moyo could not disclose the number of students dragged to the
disciplinary hearing as "initially it was a group but some were vetted out
after they proved their innocence".

An increase in tuition fees sparked a wave of demonstrations at
tertiary institutions in the country early this year.

Most students were arrested and dragged to court for taking part
in the demonstrations. Twenty-four students were arrested at NUST.

Efforts to obtain comment from the Minister of Higher and
Tertiary Education, Dr Stan Mudenge, on the unprecedented move by the
college authorities were fruitless.

But recently he said the students should

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Beitbridge closed as Mugabe visits

Zim Standard

BY Caiphas Chimhete

SECURITY FORCES closed Beitbridge Border Post for nearly one and
half days when President Robert Mugabe visited the town recently.

Mugabe was touring development projects.

No vehicles were allowed near the border post by Wednesday
afternoon although Mugabe only arrived in the small town the following day.

Soldiers, who roamed the town even before Mugabe's arrival,
restricted movement of people and vehicles to the dusty locations of the
town, a gateway to South Africa.

A car dealer who had gone to pay duty for his imported vehicle
said he arrived at the border on Wednesday in the afternoon but was only
attended to late on Friday.

"It was closed for the better part of Wednesday and for the
whole of Thursday because the President was there. For a person like me, it's
a great inconvenience because I could not do any business for two days,"
said the dealer, who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation.

Analysts said the closure of the country's largest border
delayed visitors, imports and exports as well as prejudiced Zimbabwe of
billions of dollars worthy of business.

Independent economic analyst, John Robertson, estimates that
border generates about US$100 million worth of business a day for the

"The closure could just have delayed some imports or exports.
But if there were perishable goods such as horticultural products then that's
where can talk of serious losses," Robertson said.

Officials from the Horticultural Promotion Council refused to
release loss statistics as a direct result of the closure of the border. The
country's horticultural products are exported via South Africa by road then
airlifted to markets such as Holland.

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) spokesperson, Priscilla
Sadomba, could not be reached for comment.

The closure of the border is contrary to the idea of promoting
trade and developmental projects, which Mugabe said were being done under
the instigation of the National Economic Development Priority Programme

The government said it had launched the Beitbridge Town
Re-development Programme where it made a huge injection in investment.

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Veteran nationalist Mandizvidza dies

Zim Standard


YET another veteran of Zimbabwe's liberation struggle accused of
trying to block the ascendancy of Robert Mugabe to the leadership of Zanu in
Mozambique over 30 years ago died three weeks ago and was buried without any

Zimbabwe honours its luminaries by declaring them heroes of the
liberation struggle. They are buried at the Heroes' Acre.

But Crispen Mandizvidza, another veteran nationalist from
Masvingo province, was buried at his farm, Binga Estates, in Mvuma three
weeks ago.

Mandizvidza was detained for 10 years at Sikombela and Hwa-Hwa
prisons together with Mugabe, Edgar Tekere, Enos Nkala and the late Vice
President Simon Muzenda.

Together with other veteran nationalists, Dzinashe Machingura,
the late Henry Hamadziripi, Mukudzei Mudzi and Rugare Gumbo were labelled
coup plotters in the 70s and thrown into the pits.

The group composed largely Karanga-speaking politicians were
accused of rebelling against the leadership of Mugabe.

Left to rot in the infamous pits after being sentenced to death,
the group was saved following the intervention of the late Samora Machel,
the former president of Mozambique.

After independence, Mandizvidza maintained a low profile but
took an active interest in Zanu PF affairs during the 90s in Masvingo. He
worked with the late Muzenda, Eddison Zvobgo and other Masvingo politicians.
Thereafter he again maintained a low profile until his death three weeks

His death received a total black out from the public media and
Zanu PF. This was in spite of the fact that senior Zanu PF and government
officials were aware of his death.

Masvingo governor, Willard Chiwewe, Stan Mudenge, Higher and
Tertiary minister, Samuel Mumbengegwi Zanu PF provincial chairperson, Gumbo
and Mandizvidza's long time ally during the struggle were at the funeral.

At his burial, Mumbengegwi, Zanu PF Masvingo provincial
chairperson, was booed by the mourners when he tried to downplay the
blackout by the party.

Mumbengegwi said they was no difference in a hero being buried
at his home or at Heroes' Acre.

Mourners felt Mandizvidza deserved hero status but had been
sidelined the way many other Masvingo politicians had been denied the

Femias Chakabuda, a prominent Masvingo politician said: "There
was a deliberate attempt not to report about his death, contribution and
role he played in the national Press. It is our view that some selected
national heroes and heroines like Mandizvidza, Samuel Munodawafa, Henry
Hamadziripi and Sheba Tavagwisa Gava, the first Zanu woman commander who
trained Joice Mujuru, vice president of the country have been buried by
their personal friends and relatives at their rural homes in a country they
sacrificed their lives. One day history will reveal the volumes of the lies
we tell our people."

Mandizvidza's friends who attended the burial included Solomon
Marembo, Patrick Kombayi, Machingura and MDC official, Dr Mudzingwa.

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Mugabe jibe trial fails to take off

Zim Standard


BULAWAYO - The trial of a Gwanda man in Matabeleland South who
allegedly insulted President Robert Mugabe failed to take off last Monday
because the presiding magistrate was unavailable.

Bassanio Chikwiriri was set to appear before Gwanda provincial
magistrate, Douglas Zvenyika, to answer charges of allegedly making
derogatory statements about President Mugabe.

Chikwiriri was also set to face charges of accusing President
Mugabe of causing the worsening economic crisis in the country.

The case has been postponed to 18 July. Chikwiriri was arrested
in October last year and last appeared in court on 29 May this year. He is
out on free bail.

Thomson Mabhikwa of Mabhikwa, Likhwa and Nyathi Legal
Practitioners confirmed that the case had been pushed to 18 July.

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Hunting firm denies fraud allegations

Zim Standard

By our staff

BULAWAYO - Inyathi Hunters, owned by former Governor for
Matabeleland North and ex-Zanu PF provincial chairman, Jacob Mudenda, has
been hauled before the courts on charges of fraud for allegedly tampering
with hunting documents leading to the killing of a lion.

Mudenda's company, represented by Richard Ndove of Marondedze
and Partners, pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud when the firm appeared
for a trial recently before Hwange magistrate Ellen Munamate.

The State, represented by Clifford Nkomo, alleges that Shamrock
Holdings, trading as Inyathi Hunters, was granted authority on 24 October
2005 by the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management to hunt at Katsetse
Lot A in Matabeleland North.

The State claims that between 24 October and 26 November 2005,
the company inserted the words 'Kusile Rural District Council (KRDC)' on its
Tourism Return (TR) 2 Form, meaning that it had the authority to extend its
hunting safari to KRDC farms.

Inyathi Hunters tendered the TR2 Form, issued by the Tourism
Section of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe through a commercial bank and Parks
Department, to Eisteron Ncube, a secretary of Chimwara Farm in Gwayi,
alleges the State.

Ncube, says the State, was led to believe that the TR2 Form was
genuine and as a result, allowed Inyathi Hunters to hunt wild animals at
Chimwara Farm.

"Using the forged document," the State alleges, "Inyathi Hunters
killed a male lion at the farm," resulting in suspicions by the management
of the farm that the company was illegally hunting lions since the hunting
of such animals was banned two years ago.

A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of the
directors of the company.

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Refugees revolt, accuse UNHCR of 'neglect'

Zim Standard

CHIPINGE - Refugees in Zimbabwe last week boycotted the World
Refugees' Day celebrations held at Tongogara Refugee Camp accusing the
United Nations' refugee agency of neglecting their welfare.

Out of about 2 500 refugees staying at the camp only about 200,
mostly children, attended the celebrations which were graced by Cabinet
Ministers, senior government officials and officials from the refugee
agency, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

The refugees are mostly from troubled countries such as Rwanda,
Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.

They allege the UNHCR office in Harare had failed to provide
them with adequate blankets during this winter period and that they do no
have sufficient food.

Esther Kiragu, the UNHCR protection officer in Zimbabwe, said at
times her office fails to cope with the needs of the foreign nationals.

"At times we do not have it all," Kiragu said when asked to
comment on the refugees' complaints.

The refugees alleged the UNHCR always provide plenty of
foodstuffs during the annual World Refugees' Day celebrations but at the
same time fail to cater for their basic everyday needs.

"We have boycotted the celebrations because we have not been
given blankets yet it is very cold here," said a 28-year-old man from

Another refugee from the DRC said: "Food is just not enough so
what is there for us to celebrate when we are starving?"

Minister of Public Service, Nicholas Goche, Manicaland Governor
Tinaye Chigudu, Morris Sakabuya, Deputy Minister of Local Government and
Isaac Mukaro, the commissioner for refugees in Zimbabwe attended the

This is not the first time refugees stationed at Tongogara
Refugee Camp have rebelled against authorities. Three years ago armed police
were called in to intervene and quell disturbances sparked by refugees from
the DRC who wanted their Rwandan counterparts removed from the camp accusing
them of having had participated in the 1994 genocide which left about a
million Rwandans of Tutsi origin and politically moderate Hutus dead after
100 days of bloodshed.

Zimbabwe is home to about 11 000 refugees. Most of them are in
urban centres.

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Shumba speaks on his political ambitions, future of TeleAccess

Zim Standard

In this Question and Answer (Q & A) with The Standard News
Editor, Walter Marwizi, Daniel Shumba, the Interim President of the United
People's Party (UPP), gives an insight into the challenges confronting his
party and the options at his disposal. He also hints that it could be time
for someone to lead the troubled TeleAccess.

WM - What has been the outcome of UPP's membership drive so far
and do you see the UPP being able to topple Zanu PF in general elections?

DS - The UPP has been and will continue to build party
structures countrywide. This is a party-building process and must be
undertaken all the time.

The UPP has had a massive response countrywide. Zimbabweans have
been waiting to find a party that understands the people's needs and has an
effective strategy of defeating Zanu PF.

We do not intend to topple Zanu PF, Zanu PF has long toppled
itself and therefore simply needs a credible exit from government.

WM - What are the chances of UPP gaining political ground given
the existence of an uneven playing field?

DS - The playing field has never been level nor do past events
give us an expectation of a fair electoral process. Therefore,
the choices are simple, either you remain captive or you
liberate yourselves. Zanu PF has been effective in turning Zimbabweans into
poor people easy to manipulate, dominate and overwhelm.

The UPP is committed to bringing true freedom and stop this
national and democratic decay. Other opposition parties are giving Zanu PF
an excuse for unleashing the security forces on ordinary Zimbabweans or an
over-dependence on externally driven political programmes.

Let us not use undemocratic means to try and remove an
undemocratic party.

WM - Since UPP's entry in the political arena, what gains has it
achieved and what are the challenges?

DS - The UPP has been preoccupied with the party building
exercise. We have now got a countrywide representation. Our launch was on 24
June 2006 when broad party milestones were set.

The challenge is to save the country from further decay and
bring hope to the whole country, in the face of Zanu PF's propaganda,
threats and other forms of victimisation.

WM - How is the UPP surviving, who funds it?

DS - The Political Parties Finance Act is deliberately designed
to re-enforce Zanu PF's dominancy over other political parties and to ensure
that no new political party would be able to financially sustain itself. In
this regard, the founders of the UPP, members, well wishers (friends of UPP)
and corporates will support the party's critical requirements in a legal and
discreet manner. As UPP's support base grows so will its resources.

WM - Turning to your company, TeleAccess, there are concerns
that the telecommunications project could suffer a stillbirth because of the
Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ)'s decision to
cancel its licence. Could the coincidence be political?

DS - TeleAccess struggled to be awarded the licence having been
granted authority to operate in 2000. The licence was only granted in 2003
after four years of incurring high pre-operating overheads. By the end of
2003 when the Regulatory Authority complied with some of the requirements of
the licence the exchange rate had moved from 57 to over 4 000 to the USD.

Foreign exchange remained immovable; inflation shot-up and many
fundamentals changed leading to the delays. When we started making progress
the so-called cancellation was done. This is the same time that UPP'S
preparations were taking place after the so-called Tsholotsho meeting. The
nation can draw its own inferences.

WM - Your entry into politics has been heavily criticised
workers from TeleAccess. They say it's illogical for a man to venture into
politics when his workers are starving. How is it possible that workers have
gone unpaid yet you have managed to fund the UPP?

DS - I was in politics long before even getting in to business,
I also do not get approvals from employees as to what I need to undertake.
Whatever I have financed or funded, I have not used TeleAccess money. It is
a fact, that I have been using my own funds in the business.

The funding of UPP is not a matter for TeleAccess employees to
be concerned about. It's not part of their conditions of service. The
company, not Daniel Shumba, pays the employees. The company is not
operational yet and is fighting to restore its position and prepare for
service. Delays in paying salaries are being experienced and the company is
working at number options to resolve this issue. The plight of the workers
is a major concern for us.

WM - There are reports you have not set foot on Kopje Plaza
office fearing the wrath of angry workers. Does it mean that you have
abandoned TeleAccess? Does the company have any future under your

DS - I am on leave, but still engaged in resolving the
outstanding issues at the company. I should be back in the office at the end
of August.

The companies is working at launching service and soon after,
re-structure and appoint a new CEO, while I take up new responsibilities.

We have very good employees who are committed to making sure
that TeleAccess operates, however, there are others who are being used by
external forces to try and undermine the business and myself. Why they are
still with the company is a wonder. You do not burn a house while seating
inside it.

WM - What processes are you undertaking to get this important
project going?

DS - The TeleAccess matter is now in court and we therefore
cannot comment on the legal processes or any prospects, save to say the
equipment acquisition process and rollout is continuing. Announcements will
be made as soon as the switch-on date has been established.

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RBZ eyes gold mine

Zim Standard

By our staff

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is reportedly eyeing a controlling
stake in Globe and Phoenix Mine in a desperate bid to improve Zimbabwe's
dwindling foreign currency reserves, Standardbusiness can reveal.

Sources told this paper that the Kwekwe-based gold mine was one
of the projects that the Central Bank was eyeing with monetary authorities
already having begun talks with unnamed horticultural producers for possible

"The RBZ is doing feasibility studies at the mine at the moment.
They have been working there for
three months now and should do a geological study soon to
evaluate resources and infrastructure at the mine," said the source.

Globe and Phoenix mine was closed two years ago and the RBZ is
looking to revive it after concluding talks with its former owner, Lee

Zimbabwe's foreign currency inflows declined by 0.46 % in 2005
to US$1,70 billion from US$1,70 the previous year while gold production is
reported to have dropped by 33 % in production to 2 864,6 kilograms.

The RBZ, sources said was hoping to rescue the declines under
the guise of the ambitious National Economic Development Programme, which
seeks to raise by US$2,5 billion the end of July.

Analysts said that the central bank was out of its jurisdiction
but admitted that "necessity had become the mother of invention".

"We all know the role of the central bank and it's to regulate
financial institution. Mining gold is non-core and that's something that
should get their fingers burnt but we all have to admit that the situation
is desperate," said the economist who declined to be named.

"They are not getting what they think the country should be
getting from the mining sector and feel no one is more capable of harnessing
the mineral resource than them and we are desperate for foreign currency,"
he said.

RBZ PRO, Tonderai Mukeredzi, was still to respond to questions
from this paper.

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Masunda faces 12 years jail for poaching baboon

Zim Standard


BULAWAYO - businessman, locked in a land dispute with Zanu PF
chairman and Speaker of Parliament John Nkomo, has appeared before a Hwange
magistrate facing charges of illegally hunting wildlife worth $123 million
and if convicted faces up to 12 years in jail.

Langton Masunda (41), granted $2 million bail, was not asked to
plead to six charges of contravening provisions of the Parks and Wildlife
Act when he appeared before Ailene Madzorera for an initial remand.

If found guilty of illegally hunting a baboon worth $3 million,
two buffalo ($20 million), elephant ($60 million), sable ($20 million) and
zebra ($20 million) at the disputed Lugo Ranch owned by Nkomo, he may be
jailed for a period not exceeding two years on each charge.

Masunda may be alternatively fined not less than $2 million for
each count or face both imprisonment and fine, according to provisions of
the Parks and Wildlife Act.

The State, represented by Sifelumusa Fuzane, claims that on six
occasions between April and May this year, Masunda allegedly hired three
professional hunters John Marira, Elliot Nobula and Andrea Trivella to hunt
various animal species at Lugo Ranch.

The three, allegedly instructed by Masunda, hunted and killed
six animals at the ranch without permits from the Department of Parks and
Wildlife Management thereby contravening Section 38 (1)(a) as read with
Section 2 of the Wildlife and Parks Act (Chap:20:14), claims the State.

Acting on a tip off, alleges the State, Nkomo's employees
informed the police leading to his arrest.

Meanwhile, Masunda whose farm was repossessed by government last
week, has filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking the
reversal of Minister of State for National Security, Lands and Land Reform
and Resettlement Didymus Mutasa's decision to evict him from Volunteer Farms
in Gwayi, Matabeleland North.

According to his lawyer, Vonai Majoko of Majoko and Majoko Legal
Practitioners, his client is also seeking an urgent hearing of the matter as
Masunda allegedly expects trophy hunters from Italy who have already paid
US$34 000 for a hunting safari.

Masunda and Nkomo have, over the last two years, been locked in
a dispute over the ownership of Jijima Lodge - sited on Lugo Ranch owned by
the Zanu PF chairman.

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Homeless policemen sleep in horse stables

Zim Standard


ZIMBABWE'S police force is not adequately equipped to fight
crime, an enquiry by a Parliamentary Committee into the operations of police
stations around the country has concluded.

Presenting its report to Parliament recently, the Portfolio
Committee on Defence and Home Affairs said there was a massive shortage of
resources at police stations visited.

This, said the committee, compromised the ability of the police
to react promptly to criminal incidents.

As part of its inquiry, the committee visited Matapi, Highlands,
Marondera, Rusape, Mutare, Masvingo, Gweru and Harare Central Police

The report notes that there is a shortage of transport at most
police stations and at times victims are told to come and pick up police
officers so that they can investigate crimes.

The Committee also expressed concern over deteriorating
conditions of service and poor remuneration that has led to an acute
shortage of manpower in the police force.

"At times the situation has been so bad that staff have been
known to be officers by day and vendors by night. You cannot expect a poorly
paid officer to investigate a high profile corruption case without being
tempted," said one member of the Committee.

In terms of manpower shortages, Gweru Central Police Station was
one of those hardest hit. It had 175 officers out of the required 300 needed
to maintain law and order in the province.

It also emerged that police officers had not been given new
uniforms over past two years and some were going to work wearing torn
uniforms, resulting in loss of confidence.

The Committee also discovered that there was a serious shortage
of accommodation with married police officers at Gweru Police Station being
accommodated in former horse stables.

In Harare, it was established that some of the officers had been
victims to "Murambatsvina". "They conducted the Operation and at the end of
the day they found themselves going back to those people whose structures
they had destroyed to seek accommodation," the report points out.

In some instances the Committee discovered that police stations
were operating without basic stationery, such as pens. Matapi Police
Station, according to the report, did not have its own typewriters or

"The one typewriter which was being used was said to belong to
an individual, who had loaned it to the station. Stationery was also in
short supply," reads part of the report.

During the committee's proceedings and site visits, it was also
established that conditions of holding cells at police stations were below
standard and "unsatisfactory".

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Matonga in fresh row over disputed harvest

Zim Standard


DEPUTY Minister of Information and Publicity, Bright Matonga,
has a penchant for attracting controversy. He allegedly harvested and sold
200 tonnes of Soya beans belonging to a white commercial farmer in Chegutu.

Speaking to The Standard last week Tom Beattie the previous sole
owner of Chigwell Estates said the deputy minister who was allocated part of
the farm allegedly harvested 300 tonnes of Soya beans and sold about 200
tonnes to the Grain Marketing depot in Chegutu.

"I had planted about 140 hectares of Soya beans and the deputy
minister just came and harvested the crop. We wrote a letter to the GMB's
Chegutu depot and advised them not to pay the deputy minister (Matonga)
because the ownership of the produce was in dispute," said Beattie.

However, according to Beattie, Matonga allegedly evaded the GMB
officials at Chegutu and went straight to Samuel Muvuti, the acting chief
executive officer of the GMB, to facilitate the payment.

"He was finally paid and we have to challenge it through the
courts. His workers have been causing a lot of problems at the farm from day
one," he said.

A tonne of Soya beans is selling for more than $65 million and
this means Matonga might have received over $10 billion from the proceeds.

Matonga last week could neither confirm nor deny the allegations
but accused The Standard of trying to destroy his career. "Asi maakungo
specializa naizvozvo zvangu, every week vakomana? Surely it can't be every
week," he said promising to get back for further explanations. He did not.

Beattie said he recently wrote to Minister of Lands, Land Reform
and Resettlement, Didymus Mutasa, complaining about the situation at the
farm as a result of the "attitude of Matonga's employees".

"The situation at the Estate is becoming progressively volatile.
All my staff have been threatened and told to vacate their houses," wrote
Beattie in a letter which was also copied to a number of Zanu PF officials.

He also states in his letter that deputy minister Matonga had
taken over irrigation pipes and had declined to return them. "I require
these excess pipes for my winter wheat irrigation. I am appealing to your
office to help facilitate the return of these pipes."

There have been a lot of problems at Chigwell Estate, since
Matonga moved on to take part of the farm after he successfully obtained an
offer letter from the ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement.

Recently, according to Beattie, Matonga's workers forcibly
evicted more than 60 families from staff houses at the farm. Most of those
evicted were working for Beattie and were only given 12 hours to vacate
their houses. Matonga's workers have also, on several occasions, defied
court orders at the farm. A few weeks ago they prevented the messenger of
court from collecting farming equipment belonging to Beattie.

Meanwhile more than 100 families at Lionsvale farm in Chegutu,
who say they were evicted from their homes by Matonga, are now living in
tobacco barns.

According to Edward Dzeka, the Mashonaland West organising
secretary for General Agriculture Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe
(GAPWUZ) the families are packed in barns with 10 families sharing one

Agricultural union officials say the situation is unhygienic and
deprives the families of privacy. For many of the families life is
unbearable during this cold winter.

Dzeka said the issue has been handed over to Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights. When contacted for comment the Legal aid group said it is
awaiting a full list of names of those affected to make a formal application
to the courts.

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Companies flout safety regulations as profits beckon

Zim Standard


BULAWAYO - Most companies and industries in Zimbabwe are
violating laws governing their operations, because they are only interested
in making profits, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) has said.

The authority said about 75% of industries and companies in the
country are not implementing health and safety management standards for the
benefit of their employees.

Speaking at a health and Safety Workshop recently, Stanley
Muchemedzi of NSSA, said: "From our research, we found out that at least 75%
of local companies in the formal and informal sector are not implementing
the (OHSMS) Occupational Health and Safety Management Standards."

"Most of the companies are after making profits and this has
resulted in high injuries and fatalities at workplaces over the past few

Muchemedzi added: "That is why we are calling on companies to
have internal OHSMS at their workplaces in order to comply with the law
without inspections."

The health and safety regulatory authority says failure to
conform to laws and regulations governing the running of companies has
manifested itself in the high number of injuries and fatalities being
recorded at workplaces.

Operations of factories and other related industries are
governed by the Factories and Works Act, which attracts heavy penalties if
not implemented for the health and safety of workers.

NSSA Occupational Health Services director, Benjamin Mutetwa,
says 8 247 injuries and 82 fatalities were recorded last year compared to
131 deaths and 10 227 injuries recorded in 2004.

Most of the fatalities were recorded in the mining sector. In
the first quarter of this year, at least 1 935 injuries and 22 deaths were
recorded compared to 2 290 injuries and 31 deaths during the same period
last year.

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Mugabe shuts out Aussie investor

Zim Standard

By Deborah-Fay Ndlovu

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe (pictured) has declined to sign a
special grant allowing Lowenbrau, an Australian company, rights to mine
uranium in Kanyemba.

Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba said last week that
the government would only give "preferential" treatment to countries that
have been friendly to Zimbabwe.

"The issue here is who is well disposed to others. No country is
foolish enough to arm its opponents. Countries which have declared their
hostility to us have no reason to expect preferential treatment from us,"
Charamba said.

While he denied that President Mugabe had refused to give
approval to the Lowenbrau grant, Charamba said Zimbabwe is "not inclined to
sign" it.

The spokesperson said Amos Midzi, the Minister of Mines and
Mining Development, could not have signed the grant because it required
clearance from the Cabinet first. However this paper has it on good
authority that Midzi rushed to sign the Special Grant (No 10/05 HM) after
The Standard published a story that he was dragging his feet on giving
approval for major projects.

"The President cannot sign a non-existent agreement. Of course,
Australia is hostile. I actually wonder why we would give them the grant,"
he said.

Lowenbrau has been battling for the grant since last November
when it won the approval of the Mining Affairs Board. It had to contend with
Midzi who was a hurdle to the endeavour but finally relented in April. The
company could just walk away empty-handed again after it lost its bid with
State House.

Lowenbrau was formed as a partnership between Omega Corp
Limited, an Australian company with 70 % shareholding and locals who include
Robert Zhuwao, Roderick Mlauzi, Nkono Chikosi and Charles Matezu. The mining
concern planned to invest US$5 million for initial exploration.

Sources told Standardbusiness last week that the special grant
was returned unsigned from the State House after President Mugabe said he
would only cater for "friendly nations".

When pressed to comment on the impact of such a decision on
investment, Charamba said: "An investor is any one with capital and our
preference is for those with capital. In our search for investors we do not
surrender national interests but balance."

Midzi refused to comment on the issue saying he would release a

"I will be issuing a statement on that issue," he told

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Chamber of Mines warns of decline in gold production

Zim Standard


THE Chamber of Mines has said high production costs and an
unfriendly exchange rate will see gold production declining to 11 175
kilogrammes this year.

In a motivational letter for the review of the gold support
price and retention levels for gold producers the Chamber said the 2006 gold
production represents a decline of 2 847.73kg as compared to 2005 figures.

The letter was copied to Mines and Mining Development permanent
secretary Thabani Ndlovu, Finance permanent secretary Willard Manungo,
Economic Development permanent secretary Andrew Bvumbe and Chamber of Mines
executive committee members.

The Chamber said: "Gold production volume has been declining
since 1999. Production for the first four months of 2006 at 3 725.25kg is
32.14% lower than that of the same period last year."

"Production for April at 822.19kg is the lowest record for the
year to date. In contrast, average production for the first four months of
2005 was 1 372.39kg."

The Chamber said that the decline in gold production spelt doom
for the gold mining sector.

"While the Chamber of Mines has repeatedly advised the relevant
authorities of the need to liberalise gold trading arrangements in line with
other exporters, these calls have not received any consideration and
production had continued to fall," the Chamber said.

The Chamber said that the fixed exchange rate and the static
gold price of $2.5 million per gramme had been a handicap on revenue
notwithstanding the robust performance of gold on the international markets.

The Chamber said: "Since 1 January 2006 salaries and wages have
gone up by 238.35%, electricity has gone up by 280.25%, spares and machinery
have gone up by 350%, and services have gone up by about 148%. This has
resulted in a 265% overall increase in production costs."

The Chamber said the costs come against a background of revenues
having increased by 92.3% for producers who opt to be paid wholly in
Zimbabwe dollars, based on support price, and by 44.78% for those on the
US$/Z$ revenue split.

"Gold being a reserve asset and strategic mineral should ideally
have more favourable conditions than other exporters to incentivise
increased production. Because of the lower retention levels at 40%, gold
producers are struggling to meet import requirements to sustain business,"
the chamber said.

"While the Z$ revenue from the 60% of value of gold lodged is
sufficient to cover Z$ costs, producers are not able to build sufficient
resources for replacement of capital equipment."

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Meddlesome Chombo's costly blunders

Zim Standard


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe does not understand why residents of the
country's urban areas do not like his ruling party or why they prefer the

Two recent developments offer cogent reasons for the rejection
of Zanu PF.

When Dr Tichaona Jokonya, the Minister of Information and
Publicity, who died at the beginning of this month, was due for burial, Zanu
PF committed two errors that explain why urban dwellers vote against the
ruling party.

Two engines of the informal trade in Harare - Mbare Musika and
Mupedzanhamo - were ordered closed. This is despite the fact that the loss
of a day's business can mean the difference between success and failure to
provide for the immediate needs of a family during these hard times.

Applicants for a market stall at the two sites must produce a
ruling party membership card. There is no room for non-ruling party members.
Zanu PF only wants its members to be able to support their families, even if
they are surrounded by a mass of starving Zimbabweans.

The second development is that people were asked to be at the
"usual" pick-up points as early as 5.30AM in the biting winter cold for
something that was going to take place at 11AM. Obviously such times were
thought up and arrived at by bureaucrats, who are so removed from the
hardships that the ordinary majority Zimbabweans encounter daily in their

If the times for the pick-up points were set at a more
reasonable hour, say 8AM people would have come in their hundreds and there
would have been no need for closure of the Mbare Musika and Mupedzanhamo
markets. More people would have found their way to the National Heroes'

The third example that offers an explanation why residents in
cities have turned against Zanu PF is that everyone in the capital city
agrees that Sekesai Makwavarara, the chairperson of the commission running
the affairs of Harare, has been an unparalleled human disaster ever to
blight the capital. Even members of the ruling party in Harare are unable to
find explanations for her continued tenure at the helm of the capital city.

But the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban
Development, Ignatious Chombo, decided to reappoint her and her fellow
commissioners, "for a job well done!" But the minister can't enumerate
Makwavarara's achievements at Town House ever since she has been there.

What is evident to Harare ratepayers is that Makwavarara has
presided over a worsening decline in refuse collection, which has given rise
to cholera outbreaks that have claimed more lives than at any one point in
the history of the city. Makwavarara has presided over neglect of street
lighting, earning Harare the title of the Dark City. Makwavarara has
presided over an escalation in burst water pipes, which apart from costing
council vast amounts has transformed the capital into a trench city because
of lack of commitment to see through tasks undertaken by workers at the
Department of Works. It is during her tenure that Harare lost its status as
Sunshine City.

Cases of overflowing sewage have reached unprecedented levels,
with scores of houses ring-fenced by effluent.

Yet Chombo is convinced: "So far we have done what we think is
the best for the city..."

Someone needs to explain because it is this kind of arrogance
and total disregard of ratepayers' concerns that explain why urban residents
reject the ruling party.

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Sanctions against Zanu PF justified

Zim Standard

Sunday opinion By Phillip Pasirai

IN 2004 a national think tank was held under the auspices of the
Crisis Coalition which among other things sought to reflect on the impact of
the sanctions imposed against Zanu PF and to dissect, elaborate and proffer
recommendations on the role of the international community regarding the
Zimbabwean crisis.

The think tank was attended by various people from a diverse
section of the Zimbabwean society including representatives from the
academia, the diplomatic community, churches, students, civic leaders and
political party spokespersons. There was no representative from government
and the ruling party as they turned down invitations extended to them.

As is also true of the mainstream media, there was no consensus
at the Crisis Coalition think tank deliberations whether or not the
sanctions against Zanu PF should be lifted. Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei,
who presented a paper entitled The Impact of Sanctions and Role of the
International Community in the Zimbabwean Crisis at the same meeting,
asserted that sanctions are having an unintended negative impact as they are
affecting the ordinary Zimbabwean than they do to Zanu PF members, who are
the targets.

Through this article I want to dispel the myths that has largely
emanated from government that the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe are economic
sanctions and illegal as they were not discussed and imposed by the United
Nations. I also locate this debate within the context of the latest
overtures by members of the clergy who have launched a campaign programme
meant to have the sanctions lifted.

The sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe are smart sanctions targeted
at members of the ruling Zanu PF party.

Contrary to what we have always been told through State
propaganda outlets that the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe are illegal; these
sanctions have been imposed on the ruling elite and not ordinary
Zimbabweans. It is to the discretion of members of the European Union or the
countries that have imposed the sanctions such as the United States to
define their international relations in a manner that does not seem to
compromise their values or in this case seem to endorse barbarism,
chicanery, vote-rigging and the atrocities that the Zanu PF government has
been associated with.

Through sanctions, the international community defines the
boundaries of that community and the bounds of what is acceptable behaviour.
The reason why it is wrong to call for the lifting of sanctions imposed on
Zanu PF at this juncture is that such a move could be misconstrued to mean
that the ruling party is reforming and now prepared to embrace democracy. As
long as human rights violations continue at such an alarming level, it does
not make much sense to lift sanctions against members of the ruling elite.
If anything the sanctions against Zanu PF must be further tightened to force
Zanu PF to embrace democratic values and respect the rule of law.

The sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe are not economic sanctions but
smart or targeted sanctions that have a specific objective or target, in
this case to force Zanu PF to embrace democracy.

The international community has sought to assist Zimbabwe
recover from her current crisis through imposing targeted sanctions which
include a travel ban against the ruling elite. The idea of smart or targeted
sanctions as argued by international law expert, Antonio Cassese (2003) is
meant to avoid having the sanctions affect unintended people as blanket
sanctions would do. Smart sanctions are carefully designed and they in most
cases include a travel ban, a freezing of assets held in foreign lands and a
ban or boycott of selected businesses linked to those that are meant to feel
the pinch of the sanctions.

On the other hand, economic sanctions normally entail
restrictions on commercial relations with a target country such as trade,
investment and other cross-border activities. Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe
do not fit this category because they are not blanket sanctions imposed
against Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe continues to export its agricultural products
such as beef and tobacco to the EU.

In order to understand the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and
their consequences, it is best to analyse them through an incisive piece
written by Adeno Addis (2003) "Economic Sanctions and the Problem of Evil",
Human Rights Quarterly Vol. 25. Addis cogently argues that sanctions "are a
means through which the international community or any sanctioning community
imagines itself because they are instruments of behaviour modification".

Apart from this instrumentalist or behaviouralist perspective,
sanctions are also imposed in order to define the boundaries of the
sanctioning community and to disassociate itself from "the evil other". This
is called the identitarian perspective.

When the EU slapped the Zimbabwean government with sanctions,
targeting President Robert Mugabe and a coterie of those that surround him,
the US followed suit and targeting those "who formulate, implement, or
benefit from policies that undermine or injure Zimbabwe's democratic
institutions or impede the transition to a multi-party democracy."

In other words, the sanctioning community is defining its values
and at the same time using sanctions as an instrument to effect change in
the formulation and implementation of policy.

The paradox with the smart sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe is that
instead of hurting Mugabe and his cronies they are hurting the ordinary
people, the majority now living below the poverty datum line (PDL).But the
fact that the smart sanctions have not led to the anticipated behaviour
change on the part of the ruling regime, is no sufficient justification to
campaign for the removal of those sanctions.

It is in this light that the members of the clergy who are
campaigning for the removal of sanctions against Zanu PF are ill-informed.
Addis underscores the same point arguing that it could be a mistake to
assume that sanctions do not serve any meaningful purpose if they do not
lead to immediate behaviour change.

As long as the government of Zimbabwe continues on its
self-destructive path and being the main instigator of human rights abuses,
denying people their electoral rights, there is no justification to campaign
for the lifting of the sanctions.

The sanctions against the rouge Zanu PF regime should only be
suspended when airwaves have been opened; newspapers that were shut down are
allowed to operate; electoral rights are respected; democratically-elected
opposition mayors are unconditionally reinstated and above all a new
constitution is put in place.

This is the message that our men-of-cloth who met Mugabe
recently should have told him.

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AU, a toothless bulldog in resolving Africa's conflicts

Zim Standard

Sundayview By Tom Odhiambo

AFRICAN Union must get serious about the Horn of Africa and the
rest of the continent. The founding fathers of the Organisation of African
Unity (OAU) eager to protect their newfound powers and privileges saddled
the continent with problem that will take centuries to resolve.

The organisation's reluctance to "interfere in the internal
affairs" of a member state is at the root of much of the civil strife and
conflicts in Africa. The political and social instability in the Horn of
Africa provides the starkest example of how this self-serving clause in the
OAU's founding charter has been a curse to the continent. Somalia has
provided political scientists with the perfect data to theorise about "a
modern government-less state".

Post Mohammed Siad Barre Somalia has defied all kinds of
interventions from the UN, the AU and the Intergovernmental Authority on
Development (IGAD) a grouping of six eastern African countries, which
spearhead the much celebrated Somalia Reconciliation Process that resulted
in the formation of some kind of a government. However that government
cannot relocate to Mogadishu, the traditional capital city of Somalia,
because it is under the control of warlords and their militia.

Now there has emerged Somalia Islamists intending to impose
Islamic law and rule not only over the city but the country too. Added to
the mix is Al Qaeda. Also in the mix is the rumoured involvement of Eritrea
promoting Ethiopian rebels. Which brings us to the Eritrea/Ethiopia
conflict; a simmering jostling over a dry and barren peace of land which
camouflages the true source and nature of the conflict.

Eritrea definitely fears Ethiopia's big-brother attitude and
rightly so. On the other hand Ethiopia is unhappy at having been left
without access to the Red Sea anymore. However, the completely insensible
wars between the two countries have spawned hundreds of refugees in the
region, been the cause of hunger and starvation in the two countries and
consumed resources that would otherwise have been employed to spur
development. All this for nationalistic pride! The AU wrings its hands in
impotence and sublets responsibility to the UN. The AU and UN continue to be
pacific towards the Sudan government and the murderous militia in the Darfur
region whilst thousands of women are raped thousands of men killed and
thousands of children orphaned.

The political instability in these countries has spread to their
neighbours. Chad accuses Sudan of sponsoring rebels who in the past few
months have attempted to overthrow Idriss Deby. Some of the Lord's
Resistance Army guerrillas who have made northern Uganda ungovernable and a
humanitarian disaster still operate from Southern Sudan whilst others have
now shifted to the Democratic Republic of Congo - a volatile country on its

A majority of the weapons used in criminal activities in Nairobi
are sourced from Somalia. Al Qaeda operatives in East Africa either arrive
or leave via Somalia. All these and the AU continue to behave like "sweet
mama" pacifying its recalcitrant and delinquent children. It is time the AU
walked the talk. What are such organs of the AU like the Pan-African
Parliament, the Executive Council or even the Peace and Security Council

In the preamble to Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the
Peace and Security Council of the African Union, there are such declarations
as: concerned about the continued prevalence armed conflicts in Africa and
the fact that no single internal factor has contributed more to the
socio-economic decline on the continent and the suffering of the civilian
population than the scourge of conflict within and between states; concerned
also by the fact that conflicts have forced millions of our people,
including women and children, into a drifting life as refugees and
internally displace persons, deprived of their means of livelihood, human
dignity and hope . the heads of state agreed to set up the Peace and
Security Council that shall be supported by the Commission, a Panel of the
Wise, a Continental Early Warning System, an African Standby Force and a
Special Fund.

All these would help to promote peace which would lead to
economic development and progress. But how comes the AU is incapable of
realizing such noble objectives? The inertia at the AU is leading to the
suffering and deaths of millions of Africans annually. It is time someone at
the AU headquarters and within its structures got serious about addressing
civil strife on the continent; especially in the Horn of Africa which has
not enjoyed peace since the decade of the 60s (Eritrean People's Liberation
Front fought the Ethiopian government for 30 years till the 1990s). As
matters stand now, even South Africa which has been expending huge amounts
of resources on peacekeeping on the continent will reach a point of
exhaustion. Africa's reliance on United Nations and its several humanitarian
organizations and its former colonizers is indeed worrying.

I would like to see an AU that issues ultimatums to Sudan,
Somalia or Eritrea/Ethiopia the way NATO did in the former Yugoslavia. This
can be done via the UN and other powers including America, the European
Union, RUSSIA, China and Middle East countries such as Yemen, Saudi Arabia
and Iran - since some of these recalcitrant regimes have support from such
states. Trade embargoes, bans on arms supply, and freezing of accounts held
in foreign countries would force some of these countries to rethink their
actions. Otherwise, the whole of eastern Africa and the Great Lakes region
will not know peace; the regions will never experience economic growth and
development and will perpetually experience political instability.

The African Union cannot afford anymore to procrastinate over
institutionalizing democracy in Africa. It is one thing to proclaim that
African problems have to be resolved using African solutions but another
thing to put such pronouncements into practice; but Africans must start to
try out homemade solutions if we are to arrest the perpetual state of crisis
that haunts most of the continent.

The AU must realize that the main losers in this drama of
continuous conflicts are the millions of civilians, who as the organization
itself acknowledges in the founding document for the Peace and Security
Council, have become stateless, homeless and futureless!

Tom Odhiambo, PhD, Researcher, Wits Institute for Social and
Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand.

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Zim Standard Letters

MDC Women's Assembly condemns barbaric attack
THE MDC Women's Assembly is deeply shocked by the shameful,
dastardly and barbaric attack by thugs on Trudy Stevenson MP for Harare
North; Simangele Manyere, the Provincial Treasurer for Harare; and the
Provincial Organising Secretary, Councillor Linus Mushonga.

We are disappointed that the principles that gave rise to the
formation of the MDC which among other things were to create a platform for
the articulation of issues associated with gender equity and the fight
against gender violence, have now been discarded and some leaders in the
opposition are now taking this opportunity to gain personal glory instead of
fighting to defend the rights of the vulnerable groups.

MDC Women's Assembly calls upon all legislators especially women
parliamentarians who belong to the Tsvangirai group to resign, as they no
longer have the moral authority to claim to be fighting for the rights of

Women leaders in the group that Tsvangirai purports to lead must
also resign as they have failed to defend the rights of the women. They have
all along been aware of the barbaric acts committed by these thugs and were
even defensive of the militia created after the National Council expelled

Condoning this barbaric act is like Mai Joice Mujuru, the Vice
President, leading a party that is notorious for violating the rights of
vulnerable groups such as woman and children but has not openly voiced her
condemnation of the inhuman acts perpetrated on these groups.

On our part we reiterate our commitment to democratic values and
principles of unity in diversity, right to free association and tolerance to
divergent views. We have adopted a zero tolerance to intimidation and
violence in all its forms, overt or covert.

Hilda Sibanda

Chairperson of

the MDC Women's Assembly

A case of the have reaping where they did not sow
      I am a regular reader of your newspaper. I was shocked by
the Chikore farm saga in Masvingo.

      My letter is directed at Dr Stan Mudenge: Let us reap
where we sowed. I know money is scarce that end of the world so much so that
I could help if need be.

      But let the unemployed cadres reap their crops and then
let them leave the farm. Don't bring misfortune on the whole clan. God has
already smiled on you imagine a tax-free salary, company car, house, driver,
bodyguards, businesses, a farm and, of course, many others.

      You have had the best of Zimbabwe. Would you not wish all
this wealth on the poor people at Mahoto? The next time you are on your
stop-over ask them what they had for breakfast because whoever encourages
you to hold your electorate by the collar does not want you in office next

      You could gain respect by allowing the former freedom
fighters to reap what they sowed then throw them away where they belong, or
alternatively reap the anger of the masses. Forewarned is forearmed.

      Muzukuru Mawedzere


      United Kingdom

Anyone counting on 'lame duck' Annan was dreaming
      ANYBODY who thought that Kofi Annan, the United Nations
Secretary-General, would ever make one iota of difference to the Zimbabwe
situation must have been hallucinating.

      To many, Annan is considered to be a lame duck, which is
well-past, his sell-by date. After his "too many years in power" it is hard
to itemise any successes of his on the back of a postage stamp. His
failures, including Rwanda Genocide and the Darfur crisis are too numerous
to tabulate.

      Much like a typical despotic African country, the UN is a
dysfunctional organisation. It is corrupt, ineffective, and incompetent. It
cannot even understand or apply its own charters. Most of its member states
do not even have democratically elected leaders, yet they expect "democratic
rights" at the UN.

      The UN seems to specialise in employing the otherwise
unemployable. To survive, it specialises in leeching off the wealthy
civilised nations of the West. It begs money and aid from these same nations
to support other tyrannical and failed states in the world - typically in
Africa. Hypocritically they frequently criticise civilised nations yet
remain silent or supportive of pariah states.

      One of the few successes that the UN has had is the
extension of a culture of begging and dependency. Why should any deadbeat
state provide healthcare and grow crops whilst the UN is around to shore
them up?

      There is reasonable justification to the allegation that
the UN actually aids and abets the propagation of bad-governance and evil
around the world.

      As one wise UN diplomat recently noted: "If 30% of the UN
buildings (upper floors) were removed, nobody would know the difference."

      In many quarters one can expect celebrations at the year
end when Annan leaves office.

      Unless fabricated, his legacy will not be good.

      Kevin Blunt


      South Africa

      Sabelo's defence of Mugabe blind and insensitive
            I write in response to the letter, which appeared in
The Standard of 25 June 2006, written by Sabelo, who claims to be a student
at Fort Hare University in South Africa.

            Sabelo seems to be grateful for himself for
obtaining a scholarship from President Robert Mugabe's Presidential
Scholarship programme. Sabelo was overwhelmed by the scholarship such that
he went on to praise Mugabe to the extent of describing him as "caring".

            I was moved by Sabelo's praise antics. If the
President is as caring as Sabelo suggests, why would a caring person have
embarked on "Operation Murambatsvina", which saw the destruction of hundreds
of thousands of houses belonging to the disadvantaged in our society?

            If he was as caring as Sabelo suggests, he would
have embarked on "Operation Garikai" before unleashing "Murambatsvina".
Where in the world have you ever seen birth preceding or taking place before

            Most students at schools but with ambitions of
proceeding to university dropped out because of this unplanned
"Murambatsvina". I like to think Sabelo is quite insensitive because he even
went to the extent of wishing to have 24 hours with "His Excellency" because
I wonder what Sabelo would be discussing with a man who is behind the social
and economic rot of our country.

            I would like to ask Sabelo when he left Zimbabwe for
South Africa. I believe when he left inflation stood at a high of 650%. I
therefore think he should visit Mugabe not to praise him but to ask him why
inflation is now at 1 500%.

            One big favour when you meet Mugabe: Kindly ask him
to step down. I am a Form VI student and my parents are struggling to pay my
school fees. The future is bleak for most of us. How can we manage
university fees that are now pegged at $150 million? And yet Sabelo believes
Mugabe to be caring!

            Sabelo, your letter was an insult to a lot of
students who are trying to come to terms with the injustices of school and
college fees. Your letter demonstrated all the arrogance of all those
privileged to live in glass houses while the rest of us on whom you pour
scorn wallow in abject poverty.

            M A N


            Zimpost workers query termination of deal
                  AS Zimpost employees, we would appreciate it
if this letter is published for the benefit of readers and in the hope that
the responsible government officials will respond. We do not mean to offend
anyone but have chosen this form of appeal to show how committed we are to
the success of our company and Zimbabweans in general.

                  In October 2005, Zimpost entered a strategic
alliance with Econet Wireless. The alliance entailed the sale of Top up
/Subscription cards at all post offices and Sim Packs at selected offices as
advised by Econet.

                  This alliance was further extended to include
the installation of YourFone phone shops at all post offices where there was
network coverage and where this was not in competition with TeOne phone
shops with two pilot sites at Epworth and Highfield post offices.

                  Up until the cancellation of the deal in March
this year, Zimpost had received $40 billion from Econet in sales commission
and the projections indicated that Zimpost was going to receive billions a
week in sales commission alone by May this year.

                  This projection was arrived at after the
extension of the deal for Zimpost to move from being a retailer to a
distributor of Econet products. Retailers were going to make their orders
from Zimpost outlets and because the Zimpost wide network coverage, it made
a lot of business sense. The Zimpost core business - that of letters is on
the decline due to electronic substitution and competition.

                  But then enter the scourge of Zimbabwe -
politics. The hierarchy at Zimpost were called to the parent ministry at the
end of March this year and advised in no uncertain terms that the alliance
between Zimpost and Econet had to be cancelled forth with, sadly on the
flimsy allegation that the majority Econet shareholder was a suspected
opposition MDC supporter.

                   There was no way a parastatal could do
business with the MDC, was the allegation the Zimpost hierarchy was told.

                   As workers, what we know is that Econet is a
company quoted on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and has emerged as a major
telecommunications outfit in Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius,
New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

                  The following is our plea to influential
officials in government: Econet is providing great service to this nation by
providing communication services to the population. As workers, we
understand that the total number of subscribers on the three cellular
network providers, including TeOne is less than one million. It means
therefore, that the market is highly under-serviced.

                  The impact of the loss of Econet business on
Zimpost is that the company sustained deficits in April ($36 b) and May ($16
b) although the company had posted surpluses between January and March 2006.

                  Zimpost operates as a commercial company that
should be self-sustaining and receives no subsidies from the government. As
a result of the deficits, Zimpost management deferred refurbishment of
targeted offices and the purchase of capital items until the cash flow
situation improved. This is obviously to the disadvantage of the company.
The same activities will have to be carried out in future at a very high
cost because of the spiralling inflation and interest rates.

                  The Zimpost board is blaming management for
failing to generate enough revenue but they forget that the government
cancelled the strategic alliance with Econet. Any sensible person will agree
that the government's decision was wrong because it was based on ill-advice.

                  The painful truth is that the restriction on
dealing with Econet only applies to Ministry of Transport because other
government-owned entities have relationships with the same company that the
ministry says should not partner Zimpost.

                  If all in government share the same policy,
then it should apply equally to all other government entities that deal with
Econet for the sake of transparency.

                  The Herald and The Sunday Mail rake in
billions of dollars through advertising from Econet's full-page
advertisements. ZBH in turn racks in billions through radio and television
advertising revenue from Econet.

                  The National Social Security Authority has
gone to court to force Kingdom Stockbrokers to release trillions of dollars
worth of Econet shares that it says it is entitled to. The same Econet pays
taxes to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, while it has also donated toll-free
lines to police stations. Whoever advised the ministry got it all wrong.

                  The fact that Zimpost, a government company
that was making losses, could enter into a partnership with an inspired
organisation like Econet demonstrates how much the management at Zimpost had
transformed the company so much so that it was able to attract successful
companies like Econet.

                   Zimpost's achievements had by far surpassed
the performances of other State enterprises such as ZBH, ZESA, Zinwa and

                  We appeal to the responsible authorities to
withdraw the directive cancelling the alliance between Zimpost and Econet.

                  Concerned employees



                  Tertiary education fee hikes
                    THE beginning of 2006 saw massive hikes of
tertiary education fees to unprecedented levels.

                    The exorbitant increases are not only
counter-productive but also contradict the government's mission of making
education not only a priority but a basic human right.

                    Negating government policy on education, the
sudden increases in tertiary fees will force students from poor backgrounds
to withdraw from their studies.

                    Although the government increased the intake
of students in 1980, there will be a sharp decline by 2010. The current
trend has seen eligibility to enter a tertiary institution being based on
the financial well-being of students rather than on merit.

                    To any rational person, this scenario is
counter-revolutionary, considering the number of less qualified students who
enrol at these institutions at the expense of very bright students who fail
to get a chance because of their poor backgrounds.

                    The above scenario is likely to compromise
the standards of education, which seem to replicate the colonial system in
which African education was devalued in the hope that a docile, servile and
subservient black population would be the outcome.

                    The only difference between the two systems
is that while colonial education aimed at perpetuating unequal distribution
of skills along racial lines, the current system promotes disparities on the
grounds of class because there is denial of accessibility to education of
the poor yet the rationale for taking up the armed struggle was total
removal of such imbalances, among other things.

                    Writing about colonial education Dr Henry
Moyana and Dr Misheck Sibanda noted thus: "In a dictatorship or oppressive
society, education policy desires to produce meek submissive and dependent
citizens whose docility can prolong the life of dictatorship."

                    Can one be found likening the current system
to the one described above? I wonder. But in my view the current system of
education is a clear replica of the colonial system which was dual in
nature. The dual system of education was inherited to eliminate the
possibility of economic competition between the top brass and the less
fortunate people on the other hand.

                     It is common knowledge that education policy
should seek to produce responsible citizens, capable of independent thought
and whose work ethic is assimilated in such a way that they can make
meaningful contributions to national development.

                    Shepherd Mararike



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Not on my watch

Saturday 8th July 2006

Dear Family and Friends,
It has been a very sad week for Zimbabwe. After two months of hints,
whispers and promises, yet another opportunity to help Zimbabwe has come to
nothing. They were all there at the AU meeting in the Gambia, all Africa's
Big Men. They were joined by the leaders of Iran and Venezuela and UN
Secretary General Kofi Anan was there too. Between them all, however, none
was able to step forward with empathy, compassion and courage to speak out
and stand up for ordinary men, women and children of Zimbabwe.

Just a few months from the end of his term of office, and despite having
agreed to be a mediator for Zimbabwe, Kofi Anan went back on his word at the
last moment. A few weeks ago South African President Thabo Mbeki also backed
away from standing up for his next door neighbours. Mbeki, christened by
America as the Point Man on Zimbabwe, and after years of exceedingly Quiet
Diplomacy, said he was looking forward to Kofi Anan taking the lead in
assisting Zimbabwe. Now, tragically, it is all over before it even began.

UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, speaking from Gambia, neatly passed the buck
on to ex Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa. He said: "I told him (Mugabe) I
was committed to helping Zimbabwe and the people of Zimbabwe and would
support the work of the mediator." Kofi Anan had the chance to show real and
heroic leadership as his term of office comes to an end but he chose
otherwise. Anan concluded by saying: "We both agreed that he (Mkapa) should
be given the time and space to do his work." It is beyond belief that Anan
could talk about time and space six years into Zimbabwe's crisis. It was
Anan's own office that said 700 000 homes were destroyed and two and half
million people lost their livelihoods just a year ago in the Zimbabwe
government's Operation Murambatsvina.

There is no time left in Zimbabwe - that is plain for everyone to see. Eight
out of every ten people here are unemployed; we have the lowest life
expectancy and the highest inflation rate in the world. Four hundred and
eighty people die in Zimbabwe every single day from AIDS. This figure is the
bare minimum and to my knowledge is now at least a year out of date. It does
not include needless deaths from inadequate food, shelter or medical care.

There is no space left in Zimbabwe either - emotions are at breaking point,
frustration and anger is uppermost and democracy is being taught with
sticks, stones, machetes and fists. This week we heard with shock that five
members of the Mutambara led faction of the MDC had been brutally attacked
by a mob. Four people were hurt, worst of all 61 year old MP Trudy Stevenson
who was left with a deep gash to the back of her head, broken arm bones and
a fractured cheek bone.

What hope is there for Zimbabwe when the Big Men keep stepping back and
saying Not On My Watch.
Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy.

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Justice Garwe promoted to Supreme Court

From The Herald, 7 July

News Editor

Judge President Paddington Garwe has been promoted to the Supreme Court and
was sworn in yesterday by President Mugabe while Justice Rita Makarau takes
over as head of the High Court. Justice Garwe becomes the seventh judge on
the Supreme Court bench. He took his oath of loyalty and judicial oath
before President Mugabe at State House yesterday. Present at the occasion
were Justice Garwe's family; the Minister of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Patrick Chinamasa; Chief Secretary to the
President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda; Secretary for Justice Mr David
Mangota; Secretary for Information Mr George Charamba; Chief Justice Godfrey
Chidyausiku; Justice Makarau; the Commissioner of Prisons, Major General
Paradzai Zimondi; Supreme and High Court judges, chief magistrate Mr Herbert
Mandeya and other senior Government officials. Justice Garwe holds an LLB
degree from the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and joined Government service as
a magisterial assistant before his promotion to magistrate in 1979. He
worked in Karoi and Chinhoyi before being promoted to provincial magistrate
in the Midlands in 1983. The following year he was promoted to regional
magistrate of the western division based in Bulawayo and became chief
magistrate in 1989. Justice Garwe was later appointed Secretary for Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs before becoming a High Court judge. He
became Judge President upon the elevation of Chief Justice Chidyausiku.

As judge president, Justice Makarau takes charge of the administration of
the High Court in addition to her duties as a judicial officer. She did not
have to be sworn in because her appointment is an administrative post and
one does not take an oath for such a post. She joined the High Court bench
in 2000. Prior to her appointment, Justice Makarau worked as a lecturer in
the Faculty of Law at the UZ. She was a member of the Law Development
Commission, a senior partner at Makarau and Gowora Legal Practitioners and
non constituency Member of Parliament serving on the Parliamentary Legal
Committee. She is a founder member of the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers'
Association and a member of the International Association of Women Judges
and International Association of Women Lawyers. Justice Makarau is also the
chairperson of the Council for Legal Education, a member of the High Court
Rules Committee, chairperson of Msasa Project Trust, deputy chairperson
Women and Aids Support Network, patron of Justice for Children Trust and
deputy chairperson of Zimbabwe Women Judges' Association.

Cde Chinamasa said the Government would continue to identify suitable and
experienced lawyers for appointment to the High Court. He said presently
there was room for three to four more judges because there was a shortage at
the Harare and Bulawayo High Courts. Cde Chinamasa said he was happy with
staffing levels at the Labour Court but was concerned about failure to
secure courts. He said in Gweru the Labour Court was operating from
unsuitable places because they could not find a place to rent or buy. Cde
Chinamasa said his ministry would continue to fight for the improvement of
conditions of service for judges.

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Corruption is a state of mind

Washington Times

July 8, 2006

Here's an unexpectedly telling window into poor governance in the Third
World: the Egyptian or Chadian diplomat who racks up hundreds of parking
tickets. As the Web site reports, two American economists
recently discovered in New York City ticket records from 1997 to 2002
demonstrating that diplomats from the world's most corrupt governments also
tend to be the likeliest to scoff at New York's parking rules. If ever there
were social-scientific evidence that bad behavior in government may be a
state of mind, not just a set of bad incentives or institutions, this is it.
    As Washingtonians and New Yorkers know, diplomatic immunity shields
foreign officials from things like costly parking tickets for blocking fire
hydrants or traffic lanes. Diplomats are free to disregard the rules as they
see fit: They face no real repercussions for breaking them. To economists
Ray Fisman of Columbia University and Edward Miguel of the University of
California this was a golden opportunity. Ticket records, they posited, are
a good laboratory to watch world diplomats' behavior in a single
environment. With no incentive to follow the rules, the numbers should
reveal a thing or two about the behavior -- the "culture," if you will -- of
a government.
    Diplomats from African and Middle Eastern countries dominate the list of
repeat offenders. Of the 20 worst scofflaw missions, 17 represented
countries in those regions. Kuwaitis were by far the worst, with an average
of 246 tickets per diplomat over five years. Egyptians and Chadians were
second- and third-worst with 140 and 124, respectively. Zimbabwe, Nigeria
and Sudan were also top-20 offenders (The three countries outside the
regions were No. 5 Bulgaria, No. 7 Albania and No. 20 Serbia and
Montenegro). With a few exceptions, these countries occupy the lower ranks
of Transparency International's 2005 International Corruption Perceptions
Index, a leading world benchmark for disreputable government.
    Interestingly, the most rule-observant diplomats tended to hail from
democratic countries in other parts of the world. Twenty-two countries,
including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Israel, Japan and
Sweden, did not incur a single recorded ticket in New York during the period
of study. Italy, Spain and France were notable exceptions. Their respective
totals of 15, 13 and six tickets per diplomat place them in the middle with
countries like Libya, the Philippines and Rwanda.
    It's a good bet that cavalier attitudes in New York City bear some
relation to political disarray at home when it's the same officials or their
friends pulling the levers. At the very least, disregard for the law by the
powerful is an attitude -- one which manifests itself even in places like
parking records.

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JAG Open Letter Forum No 429 dated 7 July 2006

Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1

Dear JAG,


The latest Damages Survey Questionnaire (see attached) was sent out by Jag a
few months ago. The response from the Karoi and Tengwe communities has been
poor. We feel it is essential for all who believe in their rights to
compensation and restitution should fill in this essential Damages
Questionnaire and remain involved.

It only takes half an hour and needs to be filled in to the best of your
knowledge and you will be surprised at how easy it is.

We need to quantify our Damages Losses and use this information for future
initiatives including African Union meetings, lobbying and advocacy of
foreign governments and their respective donor agencies as well as being in
a position to bring a legal case.

As we do not have everyone's addresses we ask that you pass this chain on to
your ex neighbours and friends and/or send us their addresses so that we can
compile an address list from replies.

We urge everyone to participate in this very important initiative.  Not just
the Karoi Farming Community.

Best Regards

Chris Shepherd and Ian Cochrane


Letter 2

Dear JAG,

Walking on Water.

Eddie Cross's letter really struck a cord - he could have been writing about

Just before Easter we were evicted from our farm and homes - three
families - in a matter of hours.   Everything happened so quickly.  Our
house was first.  To have people swarm in, grab your furniture and dump it
outside unceremoniously is quite a shock to the system.

These things are happening today, may not be possible, and sound like
fiction.  By the time the second and third homes were under attack we were
more organised and had friends and family who rallied around to help us.
Also the fact that they were asked to wait outside and that, we will do our
own packing.  At the third home things turned a bit nasty and we were under
verbal attack.  I retaliated, but my daughter came  to my side and said Mom
"lets go".  To literally have the carpet pulled out from under your feet,
after 50 years of hard work.!!   Nothing was handed to us on a plate ...

The fact is that the order was totally illegal and that we had until the 8th
May to appeal against the eviction, but they would not allow us to read that
far and wanting to prove a point.  It just so happened (God is Good) that a
friend had just gone down South for a couple of months and offered his home.
To have fourteen adults and children crowded in one place, although the
house was roomy and could contain us, it did have its moments. And then to
have people wandering around asking the same question, "Have you seen - do
you know where I can find".   How is any one to know where everything and
anything is, just that we are safe and together really mattered.  Of course
there were the questions, why Lord, what have we done, and what is it that
you want"?   As it happened during the school holidays the children were
involved.   They were a tremendous help and I think because the adults kept
strong (at times) they were able to cope for a while

Legal action was taken and of course this took its time.  Finally we
received a Provisional Order to move back - but for how long?   To have to
pick up the pieces, to decide what you want to keep, and what options are
open to you.   Just today I was wondering, "What on earth are we still doing
here".  It is obvious that they do not want us here.   Just to see the
desecration, theft and general break down of everything is not a pretty
sight, and as the eldest son said "There is no life left in the place"

So now what.   Can only wait on God to show us what/where he wants us to be.
I can assure you about one thing though, it has brought us down from our
high pedestal and showed us what really matters in life .........and also to
know, that all those responsible will have to answer for their actions, one

Patsy Oosthuysen


Letter 3

Dear JAG,

In my opinion, the CFU are showing total naivety in even trying to collude
with the government - do you not know they are devious and just playing for
time, kicking for touch when it suits them and basically playing games with
everybody, while doing what they know best - dividing and ruling? What has
happened has happened and for the time being is out of our control. In the
meantime, those who have supped with the devil during the past traumatic
six-or-so years will go down with the devil when the time comes. Do not deal
with gangsters; rather wait for the new order, which is not long in coming.
Cheers, have a good day. Stu Taylor


Letter 4 (Tongue and Cheek)

Dear Jag,

Has John Tiffin checked with Plumtree, these guys are probably still

Just joking, Ex Umtali

Rusty Markham

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

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JAG Damages Survey Questionnaire dated 7 July 2006



Many thanks to all those who have completed their Damages Survey Forms and returned them to this office it is much appreciated by the JAG Trustee’s.  For those of you having difficulties with this Survey please contact the JAG office on telephone no 799410 or email direct to request a more user friendly electronic version or for advice and help.  For those farmers who never received the forms, likewise please request through email from the JAG office.  For those farmers not on email, hard copy versions are available through the JAG office for collection.


The collection and compilation of data from the Survey has started and is going well.  We would like to press on with this Survey initiative for advocacy and lobbying purposes as soon as possible, we are beginning to generate reports and we need to get a good percentage return from you to improve our credibility and statistical base for extrapolation purposes.


Please send a few moments filling the Survey Form in this week if you have not already done so.


Thank you all


The JAG Team




The questionnaire attached to this letter is a very important document.


This is a questionnaire on the experiences of farmers and their workers, and is the first stage of a three-stage research process being undertaken by JAG. The data from this questionnaire will be supplemented by some interviews with people who are available in Zimbabwe. This stage of the research process aims at being able to give a complete overview of what has happened for farmers and farm workers over the past 5 years. It is the simple story of what happened, and is similar to the kinds of research studies done recently on Operation Murambatsvina.


The second stage will involve the compilation of a dossier for submission to various human rights bodies in the world. After receiving back your completed questionnaire, JAG’s  lawyers will reconfigure your submissions into the form of an affidavit.   This affidavit will be returned to you, for you to attach your signature in the presence of a lawyer, who will then attach his/her stamp and signature.


These affidavits will be used by JAG as supporting evidence when we present our demands for compensation for damages to various international human rights bodies.


The final stage is the ongoing completion and compilation of the Loss Claims Document, which will aim at the longer term and the possibility of a compensation/restitution process for the loss of land and damages.


Nothing in this questionnaire is meant to contradict or supplant the Loss Claims Document, and it is only meant for advocacy and lobbying purposes only.


All the findings from this first stage will be compiled into a detailed report on the experiences of farmers and their workers. The report will be as widely circulated as possible so that all relevant bodies and parties are aware of the extent of the damages and losses incurred by farmers and their workers over the past 5 years. All names and farm identities will be protected and held in the strictest confidence.


Please read the instructions for completing this questionnaire. We do not believe that it is a very difficult questionnaire, and we have tried to keep it as simple as we can without losing important material. It does not ask for the detail of your experiences – not because we believe that these are not important, but because it would make the questionnaire into a Loss Claims Document, which is designed to follow this initiative.


With your support this is a challenge we will win.  This is the first stage in the battle in the war for justice and restitution

Instructions for completing this Questionnaire.


Firstly, remember this is a survey and not a loss document, so you merely give answers to the best of your memory. You do not need to refer to any documents or records that you have.


Secondly, just rely on the best memory that you have about events and losses and amounts of money.


Thirdly, when it comes to estimating damages in money, just work with the best “ball-park” US$ figures of the value at the time that things were stolen or lost or whatever. Use your memory as best that you can and do not try to go to records. This is what will be done in the Loss Claims Document, and any views that you express in this questionnaire will not conflict or invalidate statements that you make in the Loss Claims Document.


Personal information:

If you wish all this information to be confidential or anonymous, please leave blank the sections relating to your name and the name of your farm.  This information will be kept confidential anyway.


Section 1:


This section deals with the human rights violations experienced by you, and your family. It is meant to get statistical information about the events, and is not meant to be a human rights report in the sense of the details of what happened to you. This will enable us to compare the experiences of the farmers with similar experiences of other victim  groups in Zimbabwe over the same time period.


Section 2:


This section deals with the human rights violations experienced by your employees. It is meant to get statistical information about the events, and is not meant to be a human rights report in the sense of the details of what happened to them. This will enable us to compare the experiences of farm workers with similar experiences of other victim groups in Zimbabwe over the same time period.


Section 3:

This section deals with the various ways in which you attempted to get the support of the courts and the law enforcement agencies in dealing with various illegalities. Again, it is an attempt to get a statistical overview of what happened and not a human rights report. This will leave out many very important personal details about your experience, but these details will be compiled later in the Loss Claims Document.


Section 4:

This section deals with the losses and damages that you incurred. As indicated above, you should rely on your memory and not see this as requiring either the detail or the exactness required in the Loss Claims Document. Here we are trying to get an economic estimate of the damages as a whole, but only an estimate, as the full details of the losses and the damages will emerge in due course from the Loss Claims Document.


Remember, as we said in the covering letter, we are primarily trying to tell the story of the experiences of farmers and farm workers over the past 5 years. The information will fill in the gaps in the international community and public’s knowledge of what happened, and tell the most complete story of what happened.













ID Number:








Telephone Numbers:


Cellphone Numbers:






Were you forced to renounce your previous Zimbabwe citizenship?





Name of farm:











Are you still living on the farm?




What number of full-time employees did you have?


What number of part-time employees did you have?


What number of employees family members lived on the farm?






Do you know who currently occupies your farm?



Was this person directly involved in any actions involved in taking over your farm or in evicting you?





1. Personal:


1.1     Have you or any of your family experienced any of the following?




No of people affected













Unlawful arrest [arrest without a charge]



Unlawful detention [detention longer than 48 hours]



Abduction or kidnapping






Death threats



Forced attendance at political meetings



Political intimidation



Held hostage



Forced to join ZanuPF or make contributions to ZanuPF



Had pet animals killed or maimed



Deliberate killing or maiming of wildlife







1.2     Perpetrators:


Were any of the following involved in the above?




No of people involved




Uniformed Branch



Riot Squad



Support Unit















War Veteran

Youth Militia



ZanuPF member



Farm employee



Member of Parliament



Provincial Governor



Provincial Administrator



District Administrator



Member of President’s Office



Other [specify]






Do you know the names of any of the perpetrators?



2. Workers:



2.1     Have any of your employees or their families experienced any of the following?




No of people affected













Unlawful arrest [arrest without a charge]



Unlawful detention [detention longer than 48 hours]



Abduction or kidnapping






Death threats



Forced attendance at political meetings



Political intimidation



Held hostage



Forced to join ZanuPF or make contributions to ZanuPF



Young persons forced to join ZanuPF Youth



Denied food relief if not member of ZanuPF



Specific intimidation of workers in authority on the farm

















2.2.     Perpetrators:




No of people involved




Uniformed Branch



Riot Squad



Support Unit















War Veteran

Youth Militia



ZanuPF member



Farm employee



Member of Parliament



Provincial Governor



Provincial Administrator



District Administrator



Member of President’s Office










    Do you know the names of any of the perpetrators?



3. Legal actions:





Did you object to the designation of your farm?



Did you contest your designation in the Administrative court?




Date that legal challenge made






Did you acquiesce or concede under duress to the acquisition of part or the whole of your farm?



Were you forcibly evicted from your farm?








Did you ever obtain a court order to continue using your farm free from interference?



Date of court order(s)




Number of court order(s)




How much in US$ have you spent on legal fees and lawyers?








Did you ever try to get the police to enforce a court order?



Number of times






Was it successful?








Did you ever try to get the police to stop violence or intimidation against yourself or your workers?



Number of times






Were the police ever helpful?



Number of times








Did you ever see the police intimidated themselves?



Were sympathetic or professional policemen transferred away or removed from duties?





4. Damages suffered:


4.1   Farm owner:


Loss of property

Value in US$

Estimate in US$ the value of all moveable property stolen,  or damaged beyond repair  by illegal actions. Include forced sales due to extortion.





Loss of property from burnings

Value in US$

Estimate in US$ the value of all immovable and moveable property burned completely or damaged beyond repair by illegal actions.



Loss of livestock

Value in US$

Estimate in US$ the value of all livestock stolen or killed illegally.





Value in US$

Estimate in US$ the value of all crops stolen or destroyed.



    Loss of earnings

Value in US$

Estimate in US$ the amount of total income lost in the time that you have been unable to conduct normal farming operations.



NOTE: This should be purely profits before tax and should be based on the last full and unaffected farming year. It should also include anticipated increases in profits were you able to have continued farming.


Costs of medical treatment

Value in US$

Estimate in US$ the amount of medical expenses incurred by your family or your workers from injuries due to violence.




4.2 Farm workers:





Were any of your employees forced to renounce their citizenship?





Redundancy pay

Value in US$

How much in US$ did you pay out to your former employees when you had to leave your farm?




Wages lost

Value in US$

Estimate the total amount of wages in US$ that your full-time and part-time employees have lost since you had to discontinue farming.


Note:    This should be based on the last full farming year.





Did your employees lose their homes due to illegal destruction or burning?



Did your employees lose property due to theft or extortion?




Social amenities Lost




Did you provide any of the following for your workers?



Solid structure housing [brick]



Toilet facilities



Piped water



Electricity and/or  lights



Vegetable gardens



Farm store






Orphanage or orphan care



Adult education



Sponsored sport








Social benefits Lost




How many pupils?

Did you provide a school on your farm?




Did you subsidise children attending another school if you had no school on your farm?




Has the school been downsized?




Has the school been closed?




Social Benefits Lost


How much in US$ did the school cost per year?


Did you have a school on your farm?





Social Benefits Lost


How much in US$ did the clinic & medical cost per year?


Did you have a clinic & medical care on your farm?







How much in US$ did this cost per year?


Did you provide AIDS awareness training/teaching on your farm?





Number died


Do you know how many of your former employees have died since losing their jobs on the farm?



Do you know how many direct family members of your former employees have died since losing their jobs on the farm?






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