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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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      Ncube arrested

      6/10/2003 7:59:29 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      POLICE yesterday arrested opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party secretary-general Welshman Ncube on fresh treason charges as
party leader Morgan Tsvangirai was further remanded in custody pending the
outcome of his bail application at the High Court today.

      Ncube’s arrest came as High Court Judge President Paddington Garwe
dismissed an application by the State to alter bail conditions for
Tsvangirai in another treason case already before the courts.

      In the first treason charge, Tsvangirai, Ncube and MDC legislator
Renson Gasela are charged with plotting to murder President Robert Mugabe
ahead of last year’s presidential election.

      Ncube is the second key MDC figure to face two treason charges in the
last five days as the government intensifies a crackdown on the opposition
party following mass protests organised by the party that shut down Zimbabwe
last week.

      Tsvangirai was last week slapped with second treason charges over
allegations that he called for Mugabe’s unconstitutional removal from

      Treason carries the death penalty under Zimbabwe’s law.

      A police spokesman told the State-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation that Ncube had been arrested for treason because he allegedly
incited Zimbabweans to revolt against the government during the mass
protests last week.

      The police could not be reached by the time of going to print last
night to give specific details pertaining to the latest treason charges
against Ncube.

      MDC director of information Nkanyiso Maqeda last night told The Daily
News that Ncube had told him that he was being held overnight and that he
was facing same allegations as those pressed against Tsvangirai.

      Maqeda said: “He (Ncube) has indicated to me that he would be detained
overnight. He is facing similar charges to those of the president

      Ncube was picked up by the police outside the High Court after
attending the morning session in the ongoing treason trial in which he and
his two MDC colleagues are accused of planning to assassinate Mugabe.

      He gave a warned and cautioned statement at Harare Central Police
Station before returning to court for the afternoon hearing. Ncube was
hauled back to Harare Central after the court session for further
questioning and, according to MDC officials, overnight detention.

      Mugabe, the target of the MDC-marshalled protest last week, vowed to
fight it out with the increasing band of his opponents, telling South
African public television last weekend that he still had punching power.

      The charges against Tsvangirai, Ncube and Gasela in the ongoing
treason trial at the High Court stem from allegations that the trio engaged
Canadian political consultancy firm Dickens & Madson to assassinate Mugabe
ahead of last year’s presidential election controversially won by Mugabe.
The three opposition leaders deny the charges.

      Garwe yesterday dismissed an application by the State to bar
Tsvangirai from addressing rallies or allegedly making statements likely to
incite violence and revolt by the public against the government until his
treason hearing was concluded at the courts.

      Garwe ruled: “It’s clear that the activities giving rise to the
current application are not part of the charges being faced by the three

      ”They are activities that could give rise to separate criminal
allegations against the accused. No formal charges had been preferred
against the accused at the time of the application and in these
circumstances, I am not persuaded that the procedure adopted by the State is
the correct one nor am I persuaded to take up charges that can make up
separate criminal charges.”

      Public prosecution director Joseph Musakwa had in his application
against Tsvangirai told the court told that the opposition leader should be
gagged because he was “making inflammatory statements amounting to treason
which he is currently being tried for”.

      South African advocate George Bizos, who is leading the defence team,
argued that the latest allegations levelled by Musakwa against Tsvangirai
were part of a ploy by the State to interfere with the ongoing treason

      Bizos intended to submit an affidavit which he said would show the
connection between threats made by some ruling ZANU PF political leaders and
Tsvangirai’s arrest on what the lawyer said were “spurious charges to keep
him in custody and deprive him of his fundamental rights as an individual
and as a leader of the opposition”.

      “We will urge Your Lordship to keep control of the court proceedings,”
Bizos said. “We submit that Your Lordship should not be unduly influenced by
the utterances of politicians on who should be in custody and who should not
be in custody during the course of the trial.”

      The defence said it was not challenging Tsvangirai’s remand, but said
it would instead this morning apply to the High Court for his release on

      There was confusion at the magistrates’ court yesterday where hundreds
of MDC supporters had converged as early as 8 in the morning only to be told
that their leader would not be appearing because he was attending trial at
the High Court.

      Even court officials, including magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe, were by
5pm still waiting for Tsvangirai to come to court for initial remand on his
second treason charge only to be told he was no longer coming.

      Heavily armed police bolstered by water cannons kept guard at the
courts all day.
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Daily News

      Masvingo has no money for polls

      6/10/2003 8:06:22 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Masvingo

      THE Masvingo City Council has no money to run the August urban council
elections and is battling to raise $12 million required for the exercise.

      Masvingo executive mayor Alois Chaimiti said the local authority was
battling to raise the money to run the polls in the city’s 10 wards.
Chaimiti said although the elections were budgeted for, the money was
inadequate because of budgetary constraints.

      Said Chaimiti: “We have to raise the money because elections have to
be held. We hope by the time the polls would be conducted, we would have
raised the required amount of money.” Local authorities have been directed
to meet all expenses of the elections. The money will be used to pay
election officials and other expenses needed during the voting exercise. The
Masvingo City Council is facing financial problems due to inflation,
prompting the local authority to reduce its operations by about 50 percent.
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Daily News

      Demand to see corpses before selling fuel condemned

      6/10/2003 8:07:03 AM (GMT +2)

      By Precious Shumba Staff Reporter

      FUNERAL parlours in Harare have condemned demands by many service
stations in Harare to see dead bodies in coffins before they can sell them

      The funeral parlours have called on the government to intervene
urgently to protect them against the unbecoming practice.

      Most service stations visited yesterday had no fuel and the attendants
would not comment on the issue.

      Amos Midzi, the Minister of Energy and Power Development, said
government policy was that essential service providers like funeral parlours
and ambulance services should get enough fuel for their business.

      Midzi said: “That’s all administrative and that can be solved easily.
Funeral services are such essential services that they must receive due
attention. This is a critical area which government cannot afford to ignore.
They can put their issues in writing so that it’s resolved immediately.”

      Mizeki Kazinge, the manager at Foundation Funeral Services, told The
Daily News on Saturday that his company was finding it difficult to get fuel
to take their clients’ bodies for burial due to the inhumane demands by some
service stations.

      “Service stations have been making strange demands before they can
supply us with fuel,” he said.

      “They initially demanded burial orders from us. They later demanded
that we bring them the coffins. We are not getting the fuel for free but
paying for the commodity like everyone else. What we need is preferential
treatment so that the dead are not subjected to this harassment at service

      Kazinge said now the service stations have requested that the funeral
parlours actually bring the body to them before they can give them fuel.

      “A police officer who usually accompanies us when we have the bodies
would open the coffin to show the body,” he said. “Even if they might have
their suspicions about our business, that’s unheard of for service stations
to force us to open coffins every time we need fuel for our hearses.”

      He questioned the motive behind the demand by the service stations,
saying funeral service providers should be the last to suffer from the fuel
crisis bedevilling the nation, because death was natural and unavoidable.

      Service stations have resorted to endorsing the back of each burial
order, indicating the hearse’s registration numbers, the name of the drivers
and the dates of buying the fuel.

      Funeral parlours have urged the government to make provisions for
funeral service providers to get fuel at designated service stations as it
did for commuter omnibus operators and taxis.

      At one of the leading funeral parlours, undertakers took four bodies
to a service station but they were told that only one of their vehicles
could be re-fuelled. Sources at the parlour said they were forced to take
the other three bodies back into their mortuary.

      Funeral service providers that have suffered this set-back as a result
of the demands at service stations for them to bring bodies include
Kuwadzana Funeral Services, Perpro, Last Respect, Life Care, Geora and
Talkshire Funeral Services.

      There was no immediate comment from Moonlight Funeral services.
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Daily News

      Nkala murder suspect assaulted:defence

      6/10/2003 8:08:16 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      Police officers investigating the kidnapping and murder of Bulawayo
war veteran Cain Nkala beat up a suspect while his hands were handcuffed
behind his back, the High Court in Harare heard yesterday.

      Cross-examining Superintendent Martin Matira, defence lawyer Advocate
Deepak Mehta told Justice Sandra Mungwira that on the evening of 12 November
2001 the police officers, led by Matira who was then a detective inspector,
had beaten Sazini Mpofu in his house.

      Mehta said the beating had temporarily stopped after a Detective
Inspector Ncube intervened.

      He said: “This was the only time that he was allowed to dress up
before he was handcuffed, hands behind back. He was then assaulted by you,

      Mehta said a Detective Constable Ndlovu held Mpofu’s arms to prevent
any reaction while Matira had an “open season” on Mpofu’s stomach.

      “After this assault you then strangled him with your bare hands around
his neck. After this strangulation he was escorted out while being
assaulted,” he said.

      Matira denied the allegations.

      He said: “I never assaulted the accused, neither did I witness him
being assaulted by anyone.”

      Mehta said Mpofu was still handcuffed when he was put in the police
vehicle and further assaulted. He said the assaults continued as
investigations were carried out in various places.

      He said the handcuffed Mpofu was taken to Nkulumane Police Station
early the next morning and was assaulted by three police officers.

      Mehta said Matira had threatened Mpofu that his home would be burnt
down and his brothers and sisters would be “dealt with”.
      Matira said he had not witnessed Mpofu being assaulted.

      He said: “On that morning the accused was taken by a different team
for indications. I never witnessed him being assaulted by any police officer
during those proceedings.”

      Nkala was allegedly abducted from his home in Bulawayo on 5 November
2001. His body was exhumed from a grave on a farm near Solusi University a
week later.

      The others on trial for his murder are Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, the MP
for Lobengula-Magwegwe (Movement for Democratic Change), Sonny Masera, the
opposition party’s director of security, and party activists Army Zulu,
Kethani Sibanda and Remember Moyo.

      The trial continues today.
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Daily News

      War vets, councillors clash over elections

      6/10/2003 8:08:49 AM (GMT +2)

      By Precious Shumba Staff Reporter

      WAR veterans in Rusape have clashed with ruling ZANU PF councillors in
the town over the pending August urban council elections after it emerged
that the former freedom fighters were campaigning to oust the sitting
councillors, accusing them of incompetence and mismanagement.

      On Saturday, the differences between the two sides came to a head when
Mike Madiro, the ZANU PF provincial chairman for Manicaland, convened a
meeting at Vengere Hall which was boycotted by most war veterans.

      Residents, however, accuse the war veterans of engaging in illegal
deals involving the sale of sugar on the black market and denouncing sitting

      The war veterans have already started campaigning against the sitting
councillors whom they accuse of inefficiency, corruption and mismanagement.

      A senior member of the ZANU PF women’s league told The Daily News at
the weekend that war veterans in Rusape did not deserve the support of the
town’s residents.

      “The meeting was convened because we had raised grievances against the
war veterans,” the official said. “People were particularly angered by the
monopoly of the war veterans in the buying and distribution of sugar.”

      Didymus Mutasa, the ZANU PF secretary for external affairs in the
party’s politburo and MP for Makoni North, who also attended Saturday’s
meeting, yesterday confirmed that the Vengere residents, particularly women,
criticised the manner in which sugar was being distributed.

      He said: “We had a meeting on Saturday attended by all residents. The
problems raised by women in Vengere was the corruption involved in the sugar
sales. The militant group was saying we are refusing to give them sugar.
This election will be a sugar election.”

      Mutasa said he met four of the sitting and aspiring councillors but
denied there was any wrangle between the war veterans and councillors.

      ”It’s the war veterans who are actually exposing these corrupt
practices in the council.

      “In Rusape, I don’t think there will be anyone to contest against ZANU
PF. There is no MDC to talk of here,” said Mutasa.

      A war veteran, Tymon Tandi, the headmaster of Shangwe Primary School,
a senior ZANU PF activist in Makoni district and happy Mafuratidze, another
party activist, are jockeying for the Mabvazuva Ward seat left vacant by
Richard Nyasango, who has stepped down.

      Retired Major James Kaunye, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War
Veterans’ Association chairman for Makoni District, has allegedly set up
structures that are spearheading his election campaign to unseat Councillor
Jethro Kuwana.

      Another war veteran, Gilbert Mutasa, will battle it out with Andrew
Nyahwata in the VE section in the party’s primary elections whose date is
yet to be announced.

      Didymus Mutasa confirmed that Gilbert Mutasa, Kaunye and two other war
veterans would contest in the August elections.

      He said there was a document circulating in Rusape written by the
residents’ association led by Bernard Dipura which alleged that sitting
councillors were corrupt.

      The document highlighted several cases of mismanagement in the

      Didymus Mutasa said one of the sitting councillors in Vengere had been
awarded a contract to build a primary school in Mabvazuva township without
going to tender and the building was sub-standard.

      One of the sitting councillors, who spoke on condition he was not
named, said the conflict between the two sides emerged after residents
sought their intervention in the alleged corrupt sugar deals in which war
veterans were heavily involved.

      “There is a small group of war veterans which is fighting us,” he

      “This group got angry with us after one of the war veterans, a council
employee, was suspended by the secretary, Obert Muzawazi, for negligence of

      The war veteran was last week suspended by the council after he
absented himself from work for several months.
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Daily News

      ESC mum over alleged election irregularities

      6/10/2003 8:09:59 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC), which has a constitutional
responsibility to monitor and supervise Zimbabwe’s elections, yesterday said
it would not respond through the media to allegations by the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that it was using State security agents
to prepare for the August urban councils elections.

      On 23 February 2003 Remus Makuwaza, the opposition party’s director of
elections, wrote a letter to the ESC chairman, Sobusa Gula-Ndebele,
demanding that the body investigate allegations that war veterans, ZANU PF
officials and members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) were
involved in supervising the inspections of the voters’ rolls for the local
government elections.

      But Thomas Bvuma, the ESC spokesman, yesterday said it was not their
practice to answer requests made by political parties through the media.

      Bvuma said: “We do not conduct our business through the media. Were
you asked by Makuwaza to seek that response?’’

      However, Makuwaza yesterday said nothing had changed since that letter
was written to the ESC. “The ESC has not responded yet and as we speak the
situation remains the same. The security agents are supervising the process,
’’ he said.

      He said that the administration of elections in the country should not
be done secretly and that there was no need for the ESC not to respond to
Press inquiries about national elections.

      In his letter Makuwaza wrote: “The MDC is distressed over the manner
in which the current voter registration and inspection exercise for the
August 2003 urban council elections are being conducted with reports that
most centres are being administered by members of the security agencies.

      “There are indications that members of the CIO and war veterans whose
loyalty to ZANU PF has been assumed to be solid were selected and deployed
at various inspection centres, thereby creating and ensuring an atmosphere
of fear which will result in psychological torture and compliance.’’

      The opposition leader said in Hwange’s ward six, a named war veteran
and CIO operative were supervising the process.

      The MDC has cited the ESC as a respondent in its High Court election
petition in which it seeks to have last year’s presidential election,
controversially won by President Robert Mugabe nullified over allegations of
massive vote rigging and intimidation.

      It alleged that the ESC used members of the Zimbabwe National Army to
supervise the poll contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.

      In August, ZANU PF and the MDC will fight it out for the mayoral
positions of Gweru, Mutare and Kwekwe.

      In the past two years, ZANU PF lost to the MDC in mayoral elections in
Harare, Bulawayo, Chegutu and Masvingo.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Could crackdown herald peace talks?

      6/10/2003 7:54:33 AM (GMT +2)

      THE government’s harsh crackdown on opposition protests last week
could ironically signal President Robert Mugabe’s readiness to open dialogue
on Zimbabwe’s deepening crisis with his chief political foe, Morgan

      Strange as it might seem, Mugabe’s chequered political history shows
that he always prefers to bludgeon his opponents into submission before
sitting down with them to “talk peace”.

      Those who have followed Mugabe’s ascendancy in the leadership of the
independence war will know only too well how he ruthlessly crushed
“rebellions” by former colleagues who sought to challenge him. Typically,
these dissidents were later rehabilitated, but then only on Mugabe’s terms.

      Then after independence, Mugabe violently suppressed an armed uprising
by Joshua Nkomo’s then opposition ZAPU party, Mugabe’s former ally in the
umbrella Patriotic Front, forcing Nkomo to flee the country for the United

      The crackdown on ZAPU did not relent until Nkomo

      returned home to agree to an unequal unity pact with Mugabe’s
governing ZANU PF party, which subordinated the veteran nationalist to

      Edgar Tekere, a leader of the independence war and once a rising star
within ZANU PF, saw his political fortunes nosedive in the post-independence
era after he showed signs of threatening Mugabe’s hold on power.

      Tekere, although spared a jail term for the shooting-to-death of a
white commercial farmer, was subsequently thrown out of ZANU PF and sent
packing into the harsh political wilderness, where he languishes up to

      A proud and principled man, Tekere preferred to tough it out than to
bow to the Big Man’s whims, a cardinal sin for which ZANU PF’s former
secretary-general is still paying dearly.

      Make no mistake, Tekere would have been re-admitted into the ranks of
the governing party had he come full circle to talk Mugabe’s talk and walk
his walk.

      After fighting political skirmishes with Tsvangirai’s Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), which nearly toppled Mugabe but for strong-arm
tactics used by the government in the 2000 and 2002 elections, Mugabe now
knows full well that the opposition leader commands the high moral ground
and the support of the majority of the population.

      Mugabe knows that he cannot, on his own, resolve the heightening
political and economic crisis which he has dug himself into and that he
desperately needs Tsvangirai’s help.

      The repeated shutdowns of the entire nation at the instigation of a
mere opposition party have driven this point more than anything else.

      But instead of throwing in the towel, Mugabe an ever calculating
political survivor used his very last trump card, the security forces, to
bring the point home that there could be no political settlement without

      The jury and history are still out to judge the wisdom of this latest
act of Mugabe’s bravado.

      But even if the crackdown eventually led to “peace talks” between the
MDC and ZANU PF, what sort of peace would this be?

      Many would say that this would be the peace of the dead, which is not
particularly different to the 1987 merger of ZAPU and ZANU PF under terms of
virtual surrender by the former.

      Reports this week that senior government officials had visited the
imprisoned MDC leader tend to lend credence to the theory that Mugabe may
indeed want talks, but on his own terms.

      Mugabe’s strategy is simple enough: a weakened and imprisoned
Tsvangirai’s first concern is to get out of prison and then only talk about
the future of Zimbabwe.

      Even then, the terms of the talks are likely to be set by the victor,
whose demands are known to include guarantees on his and his family’s
personal safety and that he is not prosecuted for any political crimes of
the past.

      Could Zimbabweans be about to see history repeat itself?

      Or, are we seeing a determined Mugabe who wants to go down with the
country, fighting?
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Daily News

      Massive fuel price hike looms

      6/10/2003 8:00:24 AM (GMT +2)

      By Chris Goko Deputy Business Editor

      THE private sector, which was asked by the government to help import
fuel, has indicated that it can only do so at a price of nearly $700 a litre
amid strong rumours that the government might this week officially announce
a new fuel price regime.

      This is despite denials by Energy and Power Development Minister Amos
Midzi, who told State television on Monday that Zimbabwe was not reviewing
its fuel prices.

      But fuel industry sources told The Business Daily that new fuel prices
would be announced later this week.

      The sources said Midzi was supposed to officially sanction the
$700-per-litre fuel price last Thursday, but this was put on hold because of
the mass stayaway called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

      “An announcement on the issue is expected later this week,” an
industry executive said yesterday.

      The sources indicated that the $700 per litre price would be based on
an effective exchange rate of $1 700 per one United States dollar.

      There has been a trickle of liquid fuels into the country of late,
with industry sources saying most of the commodity was coming from
beleaguered National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM) because it was being
pumped at the current fee structure of $450 a litre.

      Zimbabwe, needing US$40 million (Z$32,96 billion) monthly for 67
megalitres of fuel, has been in the throes of a fuel crisis for the past
three years because of foreign currency shortages precipitated by a decline
in exports.

      And in its quest to find a lasting solution to the problem, the
government is considering a number of realistic scenarios based on the
actual cost of the exchange and other procurement factors.

      The government has offered an exchange rate of $3 000 against the US
dollar, which would push the price of fuel to averages of $1 200 per litre.

      The government has also drawn up a list of exchange rates ranging from
$1 400 to the highest possible, meaning its official $824 exchange to the US
dollar is not workable.

      It also proposes monthly reviews in line with exchange rate

      In meetings with oil procurers, bankers, exporters and other relevant
parties on 2 June, the government embraced a two-tier pricing regime, where
the NOCZIM price would benefit “special customers” such as agriculture,
essential services, government institutions, the public transport sector and
other designated industries.

      Documents seen by this paper and restating a 29 May resolution show
that the stakeholders deliberated four key elements, including availability
of foreign exchange, pricing build-up structure and chiefly transaction
exchange rate.

      The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe meeting, previously addressed by Special
Presidential Affairs Minister John Nkomo, his finance and energy
counterparts Herbert Murerwa and Midzi respectively, heard that while
exporters had not ruled on an exchange rate, oil consortiums had worked out
a $1 700 per US dollar rate.

      This would effectively kick the price of petrol to $690, 24 per litre
and $651,95 for diesel.

      “While exporters could not immediately provide the expected price for
their foreign exchange, given the need to consult other exporters, the oil
importers consortium indicated an exchange rate of $1 700/1US$,” read the

      “This, according to their price build-up structure, would result in
petrol pump prices of $690,24 per litre and diesel at $651, 95 per litre,”
it added.

      Exporters had all along been represented by Godfrey Gomwe, Anglo
American Corporation Zimbabwe chief executive and whose company has bailed
out the embattled government with a US$30 million fuel financial injection.

      Oil importers are mainly indigenous and multinational oil firms.
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Daily News


      Can anyone support ZANU PF with a straight face?

      6/10/2003 7:53:29 AM (GMT +2)

      By Tanonoka Joseph Whande

      WHEN young Charles Majange was sworn in and finally took his seat as
the ZANU PF Member of Parliament for Chivi South, I was admittedly pleased.

      I did not care much about which faction he belonged to, although it
was unfortunate that Vice-President Simon Muzenda, in frustration at the
small crowd his own presence had attracted, urged people to even vote for
baboons if ZANU PF offered any as candidates.

      I am quite sure Majange did not appreciate this being said at his
campaign rally!

      Anyway, what pleased me about Majange ascending to MP and even
flirting with a Cabinet post is that the young man simply got what he
deserved. Those who were in the UK in the 70s will bear witness to the
amount of work and time Majange put in as a student and ZANU PF activist.

      He deserved it. I consider it a just reward for the loyalty and hard
work he contributed. It was commendable for ZANU PF in general to
acknowledge the work performed on its behalf by a dedicated student.

      Meanwhile, those of us who were in the United States at that same time
can also vouch that one other person who worked harder on party issues than
most was July Moyo, now Minister of Labour, Manpower and Social Welfare.

      I still remember the meetings we held in Massachusetts. Moyo, with his
trademark broken clipboard, would always attend and avail himself even
though he had to travel all the way from the southern states.

      His naturally tired-looking demeanour belied the energy and zest he
threw into party politics. He enjoyed what he was doing because he believed
in ZANU PF. At that time, it was a party that was easy to like and subscribe
to; it had beautiful promissory rhetoric that was being churned out by
highly educated academics who were dedicated believers in the party.

      But then this ZANU PF of today is not the same ZANU PF we supported
and were so euphoric about. So, is it just a job or has his view of ZANU PF
not changed?

      Recently, when President Mugabe was asked if this is the Zimbabwe he
envisaged 23 years ago, he replied “Yes”. Of course, it’s not. Editorials in
issues of the Zimbabwe News from the late 70s can easily confirm that.

      But today can my colleague Moyo employ some honesty, look me in the
eye and pronounce that this is the same party we belonged to with such
effervescent enthusiasm way back then? As a leader then and now, does he
remember the flowery, promissory and uncompromising rhetoric which has now
become the reverse of the actions?

      But I do concede that he, like Majange, deserved to be honoured by
ZANU PF. What I fail to understand is why he has not changed when ZANU PF
itself has. ZANU PF no longer has any doctrine; it badly needs a complete
overhaul, starting with its melodramatic president and first secretary, who
has shamelessly destroyed this once vibrant party.

      One person who puzzles me is the avuncular Claude Mararike of the
infamous National Ethos television programme. We worked together at the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) in the early 80s. The man is
intelligent and is very well-informed. It is clear to me that the ZBC was
too confined
      a work environment for him and that he would not be able to utilise
his knowledge and foresight if he remained there.

      When l journeyed across China with him and the late Godwin Mbofana, l
learned to listen because my two senior colleagues had so much history,
tradition and politics between them and l had them all to myself.

      So l was really glad when l learned he had joined the Social Studies
faculty at the University of Zimbabwe. l do not know what happened next but
there he was, anchoring an unintelligent programme called Nhaka Yedu on TV.
The delivery was vintage Mararike, but the content truly dismayed me.

      Mararike is a democrat, a bit on the conservative and traditional
side, but still a democrat.

      l know him personally, that is why l felt betrayed. He must have
sensed my confusion and so, to remove all doubt, he doubled his appearances
and bonked my head again, this time with National Ethos.

      l do not know how he feels about his two programmes, but l need to
find excuses for him.

      l hope he is being used. l hope it is not his idea. What l find
difficult is to accept that his contributions on these programmes are as a
result of honest intent.

      I still admire the man for his knowledge. Even his eloquence betrays
his intelligence. Unlike Mahoso, Mararike is an intelligent man, if only he
could exorcise ZANU PF from himself.

      Yet another man who presents me with a moral conundrum is musician
Dick Chingaira (aka Comrade Chinx). Chinx is nowhere near the mean man who
sings about devils with tails of barbed wire.

      He minds his own business, laughs a lot, is very social and friendly,
has time for anyone and is quite a joker. But then what happened? Again, for
me to clearly see which side is up, l need to find excuses for him so as to
patch up my shattered former beliefs.

      ZANU PF is now a destroyer, not a builder. The heart of the matter is
that today, ZANU PF, or what’s left of it, is destroying well-meaning
people, academics and professionals alike. It accepts and perpetrates malice
if the malice somehow benefits the party and the leader.

      It destroys its own people and others if that can promote the party
and the leader.

      ZANU PF is now more like a supermarket stocked full of stolen goods,
and the goods are free as long as you ignore the truth and sing false
praises to the leader. Once we had a doctrine, clear-cut codes and our
expectations were high.

      Today, the only doctrine that remains is Mugabe. Even the war veterans
’ group led by Patrick Nyaruwata cannot think for itself any more and
declares they will support whoever Mugabe picks as his successor.

      What made Herbert Murerwa, an academic of repute in his profession,
decide to risk slipping on the same banana twice and continue to humiliate

      Simba Makoni has been badly burned by ZANU PF and its votaries. More
than three times, he was fired from the Cabinet and other government
appointments but instead of taking a public stand, he continues to pace the
perimeter, not sure whether to go back inside or to just hang around.

      We hear occasional bursts of eloquence from Eddison Zvobgo but in the
end he declares he is ZANU PF till the end of his natural life. And young
Nicholas Goche? He does not resemble the man I have known for years. And the
academic Nathan Shamuyarira?

      ZANU PF no longer has any credibility of its own and is only hanging
on by cannibalising the integrity of some of its members, whose reputations
are suffering because of their association with the ruling party.

      The people I mentioned here are part of a large crowd whom I
personally know as individuals but whose actions contradict their

      They are clever and good people in every sense of the word. But it’s
no longer enough nor is it prudent of them to watch in silence while a
party, their party, is being destroyed and is destroying the country.

      Since these people have the courage to remain in ZANU PF, they must
have the courage to save their party. And if only ZANU PF could go straight,
the country would take a first step towards sanity. Simba Makoni beware, for
ZANU PF cannibalises its own revolutionaries.

      Tanonoka Joseph Whande is a Zvishavane-based writer.
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Leader Page

      People, not government, define national interests

      6/10/2003 7:55:18 AM (GMT +2)

      By Kuthula Matshazi

      GOVERNMENT spin doctors are falling over each other in the battle for
public opinion.

      The secretary in the Information Ministry, George Charamba, and head
of the Harare Polytechnic’s Mass Communications Division and Media and
Information Commission, Tafataona Mahoso, are two such who are proving to be
great ideologues as opposed to pragmatists.

      Their weekly columns in The Sunday Mail provide interesting academic
information, which is unfortunately irrelevant for practical purposes.

      Ironically, their editorials are a lethal weapon against them because
they articulate principles and practices that their government fails to
practice or if it does practice them, does so clandestinely. Based on their
philosophical editorials, they would not find much difficulty in
administering the country’s communications portfolio. My basic reason in
justifying my statement is the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act (AIPPA), which happens to be under Charamba’s portfolio.

      Charamba’s Information Ministry administers the communications Act, a
file it has failed dismally to administer. Mahoso has been fumbling in
issuing operating licences to media houses and journalists.

      The AIPPA has been amended, some sections repealed or deemed
unconstitutional. While it is normal practice for legislation to be repealed
or amended, what is of concern is the blatantly flawed or malicious sections
included in the legislation that makes it dismal.

      If Charamba wants us to believe that they are providing competent
leadership in communications, why is it that his ministry is failing to draw
up a communications legislation that does not infringe on the Constitution?
Instead, Charamba and Mahoso are meanwhile spin-doctoring to convince people
that the privately owned and international media are causing havoc to the
interests of Zimbabwe.

      Ironically, the majority of times the media seems to be reflecting the
interests and mood of the Zimbabwean people. The people and not the
government officials define the national interests.

      The people know what they want and government must serve those
interests. However, Charamba and Mahoso seem to be bent on defining national
interests. In defining national interests, Charamba and Mahoso border on

      Yes, undoubtedly sovereignty underpins our nationhood, but there are
also pressing and immediate issues that need to be solved.

      We cannot harp on that forever. Even if we are sovereign to make our
choices, are the people of Zimbabwe being afforded the chance to make their
own choices? Or have they ever been given the opportunity at any point in
our history?

      Rather than concentrating on academic debates, I suggest that Mahoso
and Charamba, in their respective official capacities, open up the
broadcasting sector for potential investors. They have to grant potential
investors broadcasting licences and build tough policies that enable
broadcasters to undertake broadcasting in the best interests of the country.

      However, the policies need not infringe on the constitutional rights
of the potential broadcasters, as has been the case in other areas of
communications. In a short time, these investments would contribute
significantly to the shrunken government tax base and provide employment.

      It is these institutions that would also help keep the government
accountable to the people. If our government is governing well while the
media is not fulfilling its role in a responsible manner, then the
government can deal with the transgressors under the laws of the country
with the support of the people.

      But if the government is disregarding the laws of the country willy
nilly or applying them clandestinely, then dealing with transgression among
the media would be difficult. It is partly for this reason that
transgressions by several media practitioners have gone insignificantly
noticed by the Zimbabweans because they do not identify with the government
nor rally around it.

      In fact, Zimbabweans celebrate prejudice to the government.

      I would like to challenge Charamba to apply those principles he
advocates in his weekly columns to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation,
for instance, or any other media for that matter. Then in the spirit of
national interest, the public broadcaster would be allowed to ask various
issues as a means of government accountability. For instance, enquire what
happened to the civil servants housing scheme or the draft constitution the
people of Zimbabwe indicated they wanted implemented.

      That would be a classical case of the media serving the interests of
the nation. Would they be prepared to go that far? So instead of Charamba
demonising the media, they should undertake self-examination.

      The problem with the government is that it is averse to criticism.
Unfortunately, the government has to appreciate the presence of the media in
the political spectrum and they have to contend with it. Part of the media’s
functions is to scrutinise the government.

      Apparently, Charamba and Mahoso want the media to focus solely on
ideological issues like sovereignty, nation-building and national interests.
Yes, these are crucial and indeed one of the main functions of the media,
but let us not pick and choose which among the range of functions the media
shall undertake.

      The media should extend its function beyond those areas that the
government feels comfortable with. They must hold the government to account
and champion the interests of the nation.

      To do less would be tantamount to abrogation of duty. Charamba and
Mahoso would probably agree with me, but practically they would not provide
an environment for this principle to flourish.

      Kuthula Matshazi is a Zimbabwean based in Canada
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      Security forces, don’t be used against the people

      6/10/2003 8:02:38 AM (GMT +2)

      I was in the police force and left in 2001 basically because I did not
want to be used by President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF to beat up

      I refused to be used against my own people who were/are suffering
under the rogue regime.

      I left because I did not want my illustrious 20 years of service
tarnished by a political leader who wants to cling to power by intimidating
the very people he liberated. Mind you, I am a former liberator.

      I left the police because I did not want to be dragged before the
courts once the process of change is finalised. Look at what is happening in
Iraq and Yugoslavia. Remember that the crimes against humanity will haunt
you to your grave. Remember that you will not plead compliance to
instructions, because it is each man for himself when it comes to facing the

      Remember your bosses are protecting the fortunes they have accumulated
corruptly and they know Mugabe’s demise is their demise too.

      Remember some of your bosses were involved in the Matabeleland
massacres and they face possible criminal charges when Mugabe is removed
from power.

      Mugabe himself is fighting for his own personal survival and it’s not
about you and me but himself and a few of his close associates.

      Are you prepared to fight their war and do you think they will worry
about you when eventually they are removed from power?

      Do you think Mugabe has you and me in his heart when he has been
protecting your corrupt bosses?

      Are you proud of yourself and can you walk down First Street in Harare
or Lobengula Street in Bulawayo and feel you are wanted as a policeman,
soldier, or Central Intelligence Organisation operative?

      Don’t you long for a day when you can mingle with the public and have
a sense of belonging? You and me want the best for Zimbabwe and our
children, but that will not be possible if we fight a Mugabe war.

      Let’s put Zimbabwe first and by so saying I mean Mugabe, Augustine
Chihuri, Perence Shiri, Constantine Chiwenga, Vitalis Zvinavashe and the
rest are not Zimbabwe but mere citizens who are using you to protect their
personal interests.

      They are using public institutions to protect their interests.

      There is a better life after Mugabe and remember that when some of us
were fighting, we did not fight for Mugabe or Joshua Nkomo but for your
freedom as a people, so I urge all of you to realise that we all have one
enemy, that of hunger and suffering and that enemy can only be tackled if we
stand united.

      Ex-Police Officer
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