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

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Extract from
International Information Programs
Washington File

Washington File
10 June 2003

Transcript: State Department Noon Briefing, June 10, 2003

QUESTION: The second's on Zimbabwe. The opposition leader Tsvangirai's
been jailed for a month. Can you give us an update and maybe some
details on who you've been talking to or what you -- how you'd
characterize how things are going forward?

MR. REEKER: Well, as you know from statements we've made here, from
other comments we've made for a long time, we deplore the Government
of Zimbabwe's harassment and provocation of the political opposition.
This is a time when a dialogue between the government and opposition
is urgently needed and the government should immediately cease its
assault on the opposition and pursue such a dialogue.

We are deeply concerned about the ongoing detentions of Morgan
Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, which are clearly intended to deny the
political opposition its rights to freely express their views and
their right to peaceful assembly. We note that the opposition leaders
have been accused of treason for their efforts to organize peaceful
protests, and, in reality, the violence and coercion that have been
propagated by the Mugabe regime-threatened Zimbabwe have inflicted, as
anyone can see, overwhelming hardship on the people. These have been
inflicted by the government and its supporters and they have disrupted
civil society. They've devastated the economy.

And the political opposition has simply sought to organize peaceful
marches. We noted at that time last week when they attempted to
organize such marches there were beatings of opposition supporters.
Hundreds were arrested by Zimbabwe's security forces. And we, as well
as other international observers, have called for urgent dialogue
between the government and the opposition.

And it's time for the government to think about the people of Zimbabwe
as well as the region that this is affecting. Their continued
recalcitrance, I think, in the face of the situation there represents,
really, a self-defeating repression of the opposition, and this stands
in the way of a process forward to improve life for Zimbabweans and to
put the country back on the course of democracy and stability and

QUESTION: Phil, actually, I think that the second guy was actually
released and the charges against him dropped, but you don't --

MR. REEKER: I had not seen that. I think yesterday we noted the arrest
-- that would be Mr. Ncube?


MR. REEKER: Well, clearly, we think they should both be released and
these spurious charges dropped and that practice should end.

QUESTION: Are you getting the help that you need from the region to
solve this problem?

MR. REEKER: Oh, we're in continuous contact with other countries in
the region who clearly have an interest in seeing this situation
resolved and seeing order and prosperity, democracy, stability
returned to Zimbabwe. This type of situation, the rampant inflation,
the food shortages which have, in large part, been caused by the
politicization food supplies by the government -- these are all things
that lead to instability throughout the region, and so the countries
of the region have a real interest. We would think that everybody
would want to support the Zimbabwean people in pursuing their own
freedom, their own prosperity, and democracy will mean a lot for the
whole region.

Zimbabwe should be a model, and it should be a breadbasket for the
entire region. And all you have to do is look at the situation there
and realize that Mugabe's government has led the country down a
terrible path to ruin.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site:

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Straw denies ignoring Zimbabwe crisis
By Michael Kallenbach, Parliamentary Correspondent
(Filed: 11/06/2003)

The Government yesterday acknowledged the pain and anger felt by people over
the situation in Zimbabwe, but gave assurances that maximum pressure was
being put on Robert Mugabe, the country's president.

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, told MPs that short of taking military
action, the Government was doing what it could by exploring other avenues.
He said: "What we have done is to secure sanctions by the Commonwealth,
sanctions by the European Union, sanctions by the IMF and the increasing
international isolation of Zimbabwe."

During a series of heated exchanges at Foreign Office Questions, Michael
Ancram, the Tory foreign affairs spokesman, blamed the Government for not
doing enough and said ministers were "walking on the other side." He said
the policy of quiet diplomacy was "nothing more than a cover for

Mr Ancram asked if the Foreign Secretary knew how many people had been
murdered, tortured, imprisoned and beaten since he endorsed South Africa's
policy of quiet diplomacy in May.

"In the last week alone more than 800 people have been arrested, 400 treated
for injuries, 10 hospitalised, three on the critical list, two murdered and
the leader of the opposition and his deputy arrested and charged with

"All we have from you is more gestures and more platitudes. When will you
finally accept that quiet diplomacy and dialogue are nothing more than a
cover for appeasement and it encourages Mugabe to ratchet up his oppression
and is a shameful betrayal of the suffering people of Zimbabwe."

Mr Straw asked Mr Ancram: "So instead of ranting, tell me what you would do
in this situation?"

Mr Ancram said: "We need to ask why, when we were so ready to take effective
action against the abuse of human rights and ethnic cleansing in the
Balkans, are we apparently paralysed in the face of similar atrocities in

"When will you go to the UN Security Council to seek a resolution to
internationalise the crisis in Zimbabwe and put observers on the ground. In
short, when will you stop walking by on the other side?"

Mr Straw said he would go to the UN for a resolution, when he believed he
could win one; it would be folly to go with the prospect of failure.

"I'm not in the business of providing gratuitous victories to President
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How much will Zimbabweans tolerate?

Perhaps the demonstrators were naive. Perhaps they underestimated the old
dictator's determination to hang on to power. In any case, the strikes and
protests called in Zimbabwe last week disrupted the country and paralysed
the capital but did little to weaken President Mugabe's grip on power or the
loyalty of his henchmen and police. By deploying troops swiftly and in large
numbers and by encouraging them to use whatever force was necessary --
beatings, water cannon, tear gas and firing above the crowd -- Mr Mugabe
showed, if nothing else, that he has lost none of his powers of

The situation in Zimbabwe is serious. But whether this crisis is worse than
the last crisis remains unclear. The figures are striking: inflation is
running at 269 per cent a year, unemployment has reached 70 per cent, food,
medicine, fuel and even banknotes are in critically short supply. In many
parts of the country, especially in areas where support for the Movement for
Democratic Change is strong, food shortages are so acute that many people
face the threat of starvation. Were it not for the generous distribution of
international aid, thousands might die. Zimbabwe is sinking into political
and economic ruin.

Yet somehow life goes on. People scrape by, though business has come to a
standstill, trade has almost ceased and almost all the achievements of a
once prosperous economy -- schools, hospitals, transport and civil
administration -- are in decay.

Zimbabweans are clearly suffering, but they have shown themselves to be
extraordinarily able in finding ways to survive amid dreadful conditions.
The breaking point is therefore hard to predict. Zimbabwe has been
crisis-ridden for five years, yet Mr Mugabe is still able to reward his
cronies, intimidate his opponents and rely on his "veterans" and the army to
stay in power.

The only tactic available therefore to Mr Tsvangirai and others outraged by
the theft of the 2000 presidential election is to step up their call for
direct action and confrontation on the streets. Only by making the country
ungovernable, they hope, is there any chance of turning Mr Mugabe's key
supporters against him. So far it has not worked. But nor, for years, did
the street demonstrations against another dictator have much effect:
Slobodan Milosevic was able to deploy his police, divide his opponents and
brand his enemies as traitors until, one day, Yugoslavia turned against him.

The crucial difference is that Milosevic was under continuous international
pressure. Mr Mugabe, by contrast, can count on the pusillanimous refusal by
South Africa to confront him over his misrule, the reluctance of other
Africans to criticise him, the indifference of much of the world and the
disgraceful indulgence of countries which have still been willing to allow
him a platform abroad.

Mr Tsvangirai has paid a high price for his opposition. He is already facing
a charge of treason on trumped-up accusations that he plotted Mr Mugabe's
death; he has now been rearrested and charged with further treason in
instigating last week's strikes. Both charges carry a possible death
penalty. His supporters have been beaten, tortured and shot. His courage has
won him admirers throughout Zimbabwe and in the West; it is his only
protection against officially sanctioned assassination. And yet he is
willing to compromise if this will help to remove Mr Mugabe. Until then, he
will keep up his lonely fight. Like Nelson Mandela, he deserves, one day, to

The Times, June 10, 2003
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Zimbabwean opposition leader in freedom bid

By Cris Chinaka
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is making
a fresh bid for freedom after five days in detention over new charges of
trying to overthrow President Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai leads the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
and poses the biggest challenge to embattled Mugabe's 23-year rule, which
has seen the once prosperous nation descend into chaos since forceful land
seizures began in 2000.

In an opposition crackdown, Tsvangirai was arrested on Friday after calling
a national strike last week that paralysed trade and industry -- even though
heavy security and roaming gangs of pro-Mugabe youths effectively thwarted

Tsvangirai was hauled before a court on Tuesday under heavy guard to face
new charges of treason over the strike, and was remanded in custody for a
month. His lawyers said they would request bail but were forced to wait
until Wednesday.

The opposition leader, who was not required to enter a plea, already faces a
possible death sentence for treason in a separate trial on charges he and
two party officials plotted to assassinate Mugabe.

One of his co-accused in that trial, MDC Secretary-General Welshman Ncube,
was released from custody on Tuesday after prosecutors dropped fresh treason
charges against him, his defence team said.

Mugabe branded last week's protests an attempt to spark a coup d'etat and
his security forces dispersed protesters with tear gas, water cannon and
rifle butts.

The MDC says hundreds of people have been arrested and others hurt in a
crackdown on opposition to Mugabe.

State prosecutor Stephen Musona said Tsvangirai had been charged with
treason, inciting public violence and contravening Zimbabwe's strict
internal security laws.

The MDC has threatened new protests if the former trade union leader is not
released soon.

Like several Western governments, Tsvangirai and his MDC accuse Mugabe of
rigging his re-election last year. The party called last week's protests a
"final push" against Mugabe.

They say Mugabe has stepped up political repression and ruined the economy
of Zimbabwe, which is grappling with food and fuel shortages, soaring
inflation and rising unemployment.

But Mugabe says he will not buckle in the face of the opposition challenge,
which he says is organised by his enemies in London and Washington.

Britain and the United States have led condemnation of Mugabe's government,
and particularly its policy of seizing white-owned farms for distribution to
landless blacks.
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Daily News

      Spate of resignations hits Harare magistrates’ court

      6/11/2003 8:47:06 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      FIVE magistrates or about half of the total compliment of presiding
officers at the Harare Magistrates’ Court have resigned in protest against
poor remuneration and conditions of service, it was learnt yesterday.

      The resignations, which The Daily News could not yesterday confirm
with either the Ministry of Justice or the Chief Magistrate, could severely
cripple the justice system already choked by a huge backlog of cases because
of a shortage of magistrates countrywide.

      There are a total of 12 magistrates at Harare magistrates’ court but
only seven are working there while four others are on study leave at the
University of Zimbabwe and one is on suspension facing corruption charges.

      If the five magistrates who are said to have handed in their
resignations leave there would be only one magistrate left to man the
country’s biggest magisterial court.
      “I am definitely going. At the moment I am only here to serve my three
months notice,” one of the magistrates who is leaving the judicial service
said yesterday.

      Court officials also told this newspaper that the magistrates were
disgruntled by their paltry salaries and wanted to leave.

      “These people are actually serving their notices. They are complaining
that their earnings are peanuts despite being highly qualified,” said one
official, who spoke on condition he was not named.

      Justice permanent secretary David Mangota and chief magistrate Samuel
Kudya were not available for comment, as they were said to be out of their

      Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs yesterday said he was not aware of the spate of resignations by the

      “This is news to me, I know nothing about this issue. Anyway, I am now
doing my own investigations,” Chinamasa said.

      In Bulawayo unconfirmed reports say two regional magistrates tendered
their resignations from the magistrates’ courts in the country’s second
largest city.
      Two of the magistrates, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed
that they were leaving at the end of July.

      “There is no way I can work for something like $160 000. This is too
paltry and meagre that I cannot put all my hope on this meagre salary,” one
of the magistrates said.
      The sources said the spate of resignations and the general shortage of
magistrates had adversely affected the delivery of justice in the country,
which has a backlog of more than 60 000 cases countrywide.

      Chief magistrate Kudya in April said the backlog of cases kept rising
because there were about 59 magisterial posts that were vacant throughout
the country.

      Resignations as people leave the service and long study leave for
others wishing to improve their qualifications had only helped worsen the
situation, Kudya said.

      By mid-March this year the backlog of criminal cases in Harare alone
stood at 3 200 while pending civil cases stood at 12 000.
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Daily News

      Police flouted procedure in Nkala murder suspect’s arrest: defence

      6/11/2003 8:47:39 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ONE of the six opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
activists accused of kidnapping and murdering Bulawayo war veterans leader
Cain Nkala never gave a warned and cautioned statement to police
investigating the case as is required under procedure, defence lawyers said
in court yesterday.

      Cross-examining police superintendent Martin Matira, defence lawyer
Happias Zhou quizzed the police officer, who is a State witness, whether
Army Zulu had been warned and cautioned before giving a statement to the

      Matira told the court that he was not directly involved in recording
the statement from Zulu but said another policeman, a detective sergeant
Shumba, had taken down the statement from Zulu.

      But Zhou disputed Matira’s explanation, telling the court that the
warned and cautioned statement, which police as a matter of routine take
from any accused, was never recorded from Zulu.

      According to the State, Zulu allegedly supplied the handcuffs that
were used on Nkala by his murderers when they kidnapped him in November 2001
from his home in Bulawayo.
      Zhou also pointed out inconsistencies in the police’s record of when
and why they arrested Zulu.

      The Harare lawyer pointed out that Matira had in his evidence-in-chief
said that Zulu had been arrested solely in connection with the murder of
another ZANU PF activist, Limukani Luphahla.

      Luphahla was murdered two years ago in Lupane, a few weeks before
Nkala was murdered.
      Matira said it was the duty of the police to investigate all leads and
bring the facts to the courts.
      Zhou also challenged the five different dates recorded by the police
indicating when they arrested Zulu.

      He said police records initially showed that Zulu was arrested on 7
November 2001. But according to Zhou, Matira had in his evidence-in-chief
indicated that the MDC activist was arrested on 8 November.

      The policeman then went on to tell the court under cross-examination
that Zulu was arrested at midnight on 7-8 November.

      Meanwhile, an entry in the police diary log indicated that Zulu was
picked up by the police on 14 November. Yet another entry in the police
diary shows Zulu’s date of arrest as 16 November. And Zulu himself said he
was arrested on 9 November at about 4am.
      Matira said there were other police records to support his own version
of Zulu’s arrest.
      Asked if he was abandoning the contents of the police diary, Matira
said he was not the one who had authored the diary.

      He said: “I am giving you the version I gave in my evidence-in-chief.”
      Asked what Zulu had been interrogated for after he was arrested on 9
November, Matira said: “I assume it was the Lupane case.”

      Zhou said: “Your assumption is not correct. He was alleged to have
undergone military training in South Africa. Would it surprise you to know
Army Zulu was being asked where the MDC kept their arms of war?”

      Matira said that was not the feedback he got from the team that
interviewed Zulu.
      He said: “The feedback was that he was denying the charges in the
Lupane case.”

      Zhou told the court that Zulu was assaulted and denied food for three
days by the police acting on Matira’s instructions. Matira denied the
      The trial continues today.
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Daily News

      Crackdown could lead to violent confrontation

      6/11/2003 8:48:33 AM (GMT +2)

      By Luke Tamborinyoka Chief News Editor

      THE government this week intensified a crackdown to break the back of
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, but analysts
yesterday told The Daily News that increased State repression could instead
nudge crisis-weary Zimbabwe towards more violent confrontation.

      Police earlier this week arrested MDC secretary-general Welshman
Ncube, stepping up a countrywide swoop to decapitate the opposition party
that has also seen its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, and about 800 activists of
the party arrested in the last 10 days.

      Tsvangirai and Ncube were slapped with fresh treason charges for
allegedly calling for President Robert Mugabe’s unconstitutional removal
from office.

      The two opposition leaders are already standing trial for treason for
allegedly plotting to assassinate Mugabe ahead of last year’s presidential
ballot. The two, who face the death penalty if convicted, deny the charges.

      Human rights lawyer and political commentator Brian Kagoro said the
ruthless clampdown on the MDC, which followed mass protests organised by the
party that shut down Zimbabwe last week, was meant to warn not only the
opposition party, but the entire nation on the dire consequences of opposing
the government.

      He said: “All dictatorships want to create an impression among people
that all struggle is futile, risky and reprehensible. The arrests are not a
message to the MDC leadership, but to its supporters and the general
populace that if government can clamp down on their leaders, it could do
more to them.”

      But Kagoro was quick to point out that the iron fist flaunted by
Mugabe and his government could never quell public discontent against his
rule fuelled by the economic crisis.

      “When political discontent is a result of social and economic malaise,
you cannot deal with it by arresting political leaders because by so doing,
you create a vacuum for new leaders to emerge who will radicalise the
strategy,” said Kagoro, who is also co-
      ordinator of Crisis in Zimbabwe, a coalition of non-governmental
organisations, human rights and civic groups working to end the country’s
deepening crisis.

      The MDC, the most potent threat yet to Mugabe and his administration
in 23 years, last week brought Zimbabwe to a standstill in mass protests the
party said were aimed at forcing Mugabe to resign or to concede he had
failed to run the country and agree to negotiations with the opposition
party on a solution to a burgeoning economic, social and political crisis
gripping the nation.

      Most Zimbabweans stayed away from work and business and industry shut
down across the country in response to the MDC’s call for mass protests, but
anti-Mugabe street marches the opposition had planned faltered in the face
of a massive show of military force by the government.

      Tsvangirai has been in police custody since being arrested on Friday,
the last day of the mass protests by his party. The opposition leader was
slapped with fresh treason charges for allegedly calling for Mugabe’s
illegal ouster while addressing MDC rallies last month. Party
secretary-general Ncube was also nabbed on Monday for allegedly inciting
people to revolt against the government during the week-long protests.

      And Mugabe vowed to crush the opposition telling South African public
television last weekend that he still had lots of punch left in him while
the spokesman for Mugabe’s ruling ZANU PF party, Nathan Shamuyarira,
ominously warned that the party was gearing up for the final showdown with
the MDC over the protests.

      But University of Zimbabwe political scientist John Makumbe said the
harsh crackdown on the MDC leadership and supporters would, in the face of
acute economic hardships, never cow Zimbabweans into permanent docility, but
could instead prompt the government’s opponents to adopt more radical and
confrontational strategies leading to a more violent and bloody resolution
of the Zimbabwe crisis.

      Makumbe said the incarceration of Tsvangirai and his top lieutenant
Ncube would not put the fear of God in Zimbabweans.

      “What the government will reap out of this is a bad human rights
record, a reified, respected and credible leadership of the MDC and an
emboldened populace ready to defend its space,” he said.

      Kagoro said Mugabe and his government were better served addressing
      the economic crisis fuelling the anti-Mugabe sentiment on which
Tsvangirai and his MDC were riding high.

      He noted that white supremacist Ian Smith who ruled Rhodesia (Zimbabwe
’s name before independence in 1980) had attempted using force by detaining
nearly the entire leadership of the black nationalist struggle including
Mugabe, but had ultimately failed to snuff out the quest for independence.

      Zimbabwe’s economy, in a free fall since 1999, has in the last few
months gathered momentum towards total collapse. Inflation shot up to an
all-time record high of 269,2 percent in April and economic analysts say the
rate will hit 300 percent by August.
      The local Zimbabwe dollar, its value greatly reduced by ballooning
inflation, is now also in short supply in a country where hard cash has been
in severe scarcity for the last four years.

      Fuel, food and essential drugs remain in critical short supply because
the government does not have hard cash to pay foreign suppliers, while
joblessness is beyond 70 percent.

      Kagoro said: “The solution is simple in the present political
scenario. Instead of arresting the leaders of the present struggle, Mugabe
must arrest the declining economic malaise – or risk going down in history
as the dictator who expedited his demise by emboldening people towards
direct confrontation with his key pillars of strength – the police and the
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Daily News

      State withdraws charges

      6/11/2003 8:49:52 AM (GMT +2)

      Own Correspondent

      THE State yesterday withdrew charges of contravening the draconian
Public Order and Security Act against opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party legislator for Masvingo Central Silas Mangono and 19
other activists of the party yesterday.

      The charges were withdrawn after the prosecution failed to come up
with a trial date for the prosecution of the MDC members or to produce a
line-up of the witnesses it intended to summon to court. Mangono and his
colleagues were arrested during the mass job stayaway on 18 and 19 March
that was called by the MDC to register discontent against President Robert
Mugabe and his government.

      The mass protest crippled business and industry across the country. It
was the State’s case that on 18 March Mangono and his group gathered along
Makuva Street in Masvingo’s Mucheke high-density suburb from where they
proceeded around residential areas in the city, waking up people and
allegedly forcing them to participate in the job stayaway. The MDC activists
were spotted by thepolice and arrested while allegedly participating in and
inciting others to take part in the mass stayaway.

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Daily News

      7 MDC councillors hand themselves over

      6/11/2003 8:50:20 AM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      SEVEN Bulawayo city councillors who are members of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and wanted by police yesterday handed
themselves over to the police who detained the councillors for five hours
but later released them without pressing any charges.

      The seven councillors are Albert Mhlanga, Angilacala Ndlovu, Albert
Ndlovu, David Ncube, Peter Mangena, Samuel Khumalo and Alderman Charles
      They were questioned for more than five hours and released after being
warned not to participate in any future mass protests organised by their MDC

      Bulawayo Executive Mayor and also a member of the opposition party,
Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, was briefly detained by the police during the mass
protests called by the MDC last week to press President Robert Mugabe to
step down or agree to negotiate with the opposition party for a solution to
Zimbabwe’s deepening economic and political crisis.

      Mpofu had to scale the perimeter wall of his home after police raided
his home as part of a campaign by a joint police and army crackforce to
stifle the mass protests by arresting the MDC’s local leadership and

      The councillors said the police told them that they were looking for
them, only to tell them they should appeal to residents not to be violent
during stayaways in future.

      However, they said they found it strange that police should be looking
for them in the middle of the night just to appeal to them to calm down

      Two of the councillors, Cornelius Dube and Litshe Kheswa, were
arrested last week while the rest of the opposition councillors had been on
the run from police.

      The Bulawayo City Council has 11 MDC councillors, 13 from Zanu PF and

      The police allegedly told the councillors that they were not
interested in questioning Stars Mathe-Thebe, the only female MDC councillor,
because she is a woman.

      The MDC councillors said they decided to hand themselves over to the
police since they had not committed a crime.

      Another MDC councillor, Matson Hlalo, is already facing charges under
the Public Order and Security Act for allegedly organising the previous
stayaway on 18 and 19 March this year.

      “We had been hounded out of our homes and are failing to perform
duties at home and in the council,” said Mpofu.

      Last week all the MDC councillors failed to attend a council meeting
because of fear they would be picked up by the police.

      Mhlanga, who is also the MDC provincial secretary, said he told the
police that he was not going to obey their order because he had a right to
belong to the MDC.

      “I told the police that I cannot stop doing anything for my party
because I take instructions from my bosses and not from the police,” he
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Daily News

      Mobs destroy newspapers worth $1,6m

      6/11/2003 8:50:55 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (Private) Limited (ANZ), publishers
of The Daily News and The Daily News on Sunday, last week lost about $1,6
million after suspected ZANU PF youths and self-styled war veterans
destroyed copies of the newspapers accusing them of backing mass protests
organised by the opposition MDC last week.

      ANZ Chief Executive Samuel Sipepa Nkomo yesterday said 11 168 copies
of The Daily News alone were confiscated and destroyed by hooligans, some of
whom also assaulted vendors of the newspaper.

      Nkomo said ANZ had filed reports with the police but none of the
suspects, some of whom tore copies of ANZ newspapers in full view of the
public, had to date been arrested.

      “The institutions of law enforcement have so far failed us,” said
Nkomo, whose titles have survived countless attacks by pro-government and
ruling ZANU PF groups uncomfortable at the newspapers’ robust and unbiased
coverage of national events including maladministration by the government.

      Nkomo said the flagrant destruction of newspapers in open defiance of
the law was a threat to Zimbabweans’ right to freedom of the Press and of
expression guaranteed by the country’s Constitution.

      He said: “We view this situation as a calamity for Press freedom.
Quite clearly, in order for freedom of expression to flourish there must be
a conducive environment.
      “The environment must be such that institutions such as newspaper
businesses, like our own, which are fundamental to the freedom of expression
equation, can function without criminal or political interference.”

      The destruction of ANZ newspapers is the latest in a series of attacks
against the company’s titles in the last few years that also saw its
printing press bombed by still unknown people two years ago. Journalists
working for the newspaper group have also been beaten up and attacked while
covering news.

      Vendors selling The Daily News or its sister publication, The Daily
News on Sunday, have also not been spared from abuse and attack.

      Nkomo said: “As a business, we feel very vulnerable in this
environment because we are not being afforded the full protection of the law
in going about our normal business activity.”

      Nkomo said a vibrant and progressive newspaper industry could only
exist in an environment where the rule of law was impartially enforced. He
said a police force and judicial system that supported legitimate
journalistic and Press activity was critical to the advancement of good
journalism in the country.

      “What we witnessed last week was the complete opposite of this. ANZ
could do nothing but watch helplessly as criminals went openly about
destructive mission – thousands of copies of The Daily News were destroyed
in broad daylight,” said the publishing executive.

      Ministry of Information permanent secretary George Charamba in an
interview with this newspaper earlier on last week said that the destruction
of ANZ newspapers showed that people were rejecting the titles.

      “I am making a valid editorial point. Readers are fed up with your
paper, which is packed with news of the final push,” Charamba said.

      The Daily News is Zimbabwe’s largest circulating newspaper and the
country’s only independent daily. The Daily News on Sunday, launched last
month, is the latest title on Zimbabwe’s news stands and has been gaining
popularity by the week.

      In Mutare ZANU PF youths and war veterans say they have banished The
Daily News from the city’s Dangamvura high-density suburb because the
newspaper was too critical of the government.

      The paper’s circulation manager in the city, Martin Zimudyi, said the
youths working in cahoots with war veterans were seizing copies of the paper
and destroying them.
      He said reports had been made to the police but the law-enforcement
agents had so far failed to stop the youths from their illegal activities.

      A ZANU PF official in the city, Charles Pemhenhayi, also denied that
youths aligned to the party were destroying copies of the independent daily

      Meanwhile Reporters Without Borders, (RWB) an international Press
freedom group, yesterday condemned the destruction of copies of The Daily
News by government supporters.

      RWB secretary-general Robert Menard said the climate of repression and
lawlessness in which independent journalists were forced to work under was

      “We deplore the physical attacks of Daily News readers by ZANU PF
supporters despite that Section 20 of the Zimbabwean Constitution guaranteed
freedom of opinion and expression,” Menard said.

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Daily News

Leader Page

      Wanted: A state built on respect for human dignity

      6/11/2003 8:58:52 AM (GMT +2)

      Fr Oskar Wermter

      WHEN her 42-year old son died in her little wooden cabin in Joburg
Lines, the old woman did not know what to do. She had no money to hire even
the cheapest undertaker. For two days she sat paralysed with grief and fear
next to the dead body of her son whose wife had died first.

      Finally her church intervened. And the neighbours, almost as poor as
the old widow, collected $ 5 000 for a coffin. On a grey, cold, windy day,
we laid the father of two sobbing teenagers to rest.

      Living in those shacks is life-threatening. Just before Easter, the
Harare City Council managed to remove most of our rubbish heaps, but now
they are growing again. What is bad for humans is good for rats. They thrive
on refuse. And carry dangerous diseases. They even nibble at people,
especially small children.

      That refuse collection has collapsed again has not by any chance
something to do with the mayor’s suspension?

      The wilful destruction of the economy and collapse of administrative
structures, overcrowding and unemployment, AIDS and TB, crime and violence
have hit those people all at once.

      Churches are pushing for dialogue between the ruling party and the
opposition, for a total commitment by both parties to a transparent and
all-inclusive process of dialogue without undue call for preconditions.

      Fine. If that were to succeed it would certainly be a beginning and a
step in the right direction. But it would not be enough. Political leaders
may eventually manage to strike some sort of compromise and share the
national cake, or what is left of it, in line with the power and influence
they currently wield.

      But would such a deal take into account at all the interests of the
people in those cardboard dwellings, dirt-poor and powerless?

      Would they not also need a place at the conference table? Can we ever
leave politics to the politicians? Do we not need a round table with room
for all groups of society, not just for professional politicians?

      The fundamental failure of the people currently in power for the last
23 years is that they merely formed a regime, but did not build a state.

      They merely used the structures of the state they inherited for their
own advantage, changing them here and there to tighten their grip on power.
They occupied somebody else’s house, but were unable to design and build a
new one themselves.

      It will not be enough merely to change the names on the doors in the
corridors of power. A completely new house has to be built, not merely for
the new chefs, but for the entire nation and all its various sections, with
doors and windows open to the region and the continent as a whole, not shut
up by national sovereignty.

      The State is permanent, while governments come and go, like lodgers.
The foundation of this house is the Constitution. Laying this foundation
must involve all who will live in this house, not just the party that wants
to occupy the top flat for some time to come.

      All players in society must sit at the round table to work out this
common foundation on which all must agree, however much they may squabble
afterwards over individual policies.

      In the past we had to borrow somebody else’s design. In the meantime
we have learnt from experience, unfortunately mostly negative experience,
what a constitution must entail.

      Never again do we want this country to be run like an infant school by
a headmaster who believes in corporal punishment as the instrument to
enforce his beloved discipline (actually his personal power).

      Never again do we want to concentrate unlimited power in the hands of
one person or a small clique.

      The constitutional device to ensure this is called separation of
powers. We have now learnt from our own unfortunate, short national history
why separation of powers must be the basic structure of our Constitution.

      The three arms of the State, government, Parliament and law courts,
must control each other. No one arm has all the power. There must be checks
and balances between the legislative, executive and judicative powers of the

      There have been blood-thirsty despots in the African past, tyrants who
could send people with a flip of their fly-whisks to their deaths, just as
dictators were able to push malfunctioning constitutional governments in
Europe aside.

      But limiting authority through sharing power is not a completely new
concept in Africa. The chief had to listen to his counsellors, and he was
reminded by the well-known saying Ishe vanhu (the chief is the people),
where his power came from.

      Since the party in power since independence has never understood the
vital difference between the State, which is lasting, and the government of
the day, which has “best before” stamped on it. A return to a system whereby
a non-political President represents the State and a Prime Minister
answerable to Parliament leads government, may be indicated.

      Such a President would personify the State and through his presence
and personality enhance the common values that hold the nation together. He
would be the Commander-in-Chief of police and army, and not an Executive
President who, as a politician, is likely to misuse the armed forces for
partisan political purposes.

      The civil service would be loyal to the President as the
representative of the State, not the head of government. They would swear
loyalty to the State and its Constitution, not to ever-changing party

      But even putting these various constitutional devices in place will
not be enough to protect us against despotism. All this remains mere paper
unless respect for the human person created in the image of God, expressed
in a freedom charter of personal and communal rights, becomes the one common
value we all internalise and make our own.

      “About 150 injured people were brought to the Avenues Clinic between
last night and this night. I personally spoke to about seven of the victims
before the riot police and other plainclothes details of the force stormed
onto the hospital premises and into the wards, causing such a panic as
patients, the injured and even hospital staff were scurrying in different
directions for safety.

      “Most of the victims are from Highfield, Glen View, Dzivaresekwa and
Budiriro. In most situations the groups of vigilantes beating up people
stormed into the victims’ houses at night, dragged people out of bed and
beat them up.”This anonymous report shows the utter contempt in which the
current regime holds human beings. Respect for human dignity is unknown to
it. This must change radically and fundamentally.

      Fr Oskar Wermter is a Jesuit priest who writes on social and political
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Daily News

      NOCZIM needs $3,6 billion to settle debt

      6/11/2003 8:40:03 AM (GMT +2)

      MacDonald Dzirutwe

      THE State-owned National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM) plans to
      $3,6 billion annually, or $300 million every month, from motorists
until it clears its foreign and domestic debt, The Business Daily has

      Sources close to the plan said the government would introduce a $5 fee
for every litre of fuel sold by NOCZIM and private companies, which would
come into effect as soon as private firms began importing fuel into the

      They said $5 would be added to the price of fuel sold by the
parastatal and private companies.

      The money raised will be used to retire NOCZIM’s foreign debt, which
is owed to Libya’s oil company Tamoil Trading, and to make repayments on $60
billion the parastatal is raising on the domestic market to buy foreign
currency for fuel imports.

      The national oil procurer has so far raised $5 billion from petrofin
bills it floated in the market. It was however not possible to ascertain the
parastatal’s total debt yesterday. NOCZIM chief executive Webster
Muriritirwa was unavailable for comment on the matter yesterday.

      His secretary promised he would return calls from this newspaper but
he had not done so at the time of going to press. But sources privy to the
NOCZIM plan said a consortium of private fuel importers had been tasked with
working out the logistics of how private firms would import fuel to
alleviate Zimbabwe’s severe liquid energy crisis.

      The consortium, which is represented by FSI Holdings, Caltex and
Comoil, has agreed to the $5 levy, which would be passed on to motorists,
the sources said. It was not possible to secure comment yesterday from
Caltex head Simba Kambarami, who was said to be out of the office until next
Monday, while representatives of FSI Holdings and Comoil were unreachable.

      However, sources said representatives of the fuel importers’
consortium, exporters, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministries of
Finance and of Power and Energy Development had endorsed the NOCZIM plan at
a meeting held on 2 June.

      “The new price structures will see a $5 fee being charged by NOCZIM on
every litre of fuel, which will basically amount to $300 million every month
that will go towards the repayment of debts,” a source privy to the plan
told The Business Daily yesterday.

      Private oil companies have told the government that they will be able
to import fuel if they can sell it at nearly $700 a litre, inclusive of the
$5 levy, which will be reviewed every month in line with exchange rate

      The 2 June meeting is said to have agreed that the private sector
would need US$24 million (Z$19,776 billion) every month to import fuel.
Zimbabwe needs to import 60 million litres of fuel every month at a cost of
US$40 million, but serious foreign currency shortages have led to NOCZIM
managing to procure less than half the domestic requirements since the end
of last year.

      The government has already attempted to levy motorists to clear NOCZIM
’s debt, introducing a fuel levy in 2001 amounting to $7,69 a litre. The
money raised was supposed to be for the amortisation of NOCZIM debts,
estimated at $23 billion at one point.

      Motorists opposed the charge, saying they were being forced to
subsidise mismanagement at the parastatal. The levy was abolished at the end
of last year.

      Local analysts said motorists were likely to oppose the $5 fee on
fuel, especially since it was not clear how long it would take to clear
NOCZIM’S debt. They said the levy would further burden Zimbabweans. Kingdom
Financial Holdings economist Witness Chinyama said: “It is now a burden to
the motorists, worse still because we don’t know when it will end. It is as
if they (motorists) are the only ones benefiting from the fuel.”
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Daily News

      Zimbabwe one of three countries with bleakest prospects – survey

      6/11/2003 8:42:00 AM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      ZIMBABWE has been named as one of three African countries with the
bleakest economic prospects in the next five years, according to a survey by
the World Economic Forum (WEF).

      The survey was conducted last month and polled 600 participants of the
WEF’s economic summit in Durban, which begins today. Those polled were asked
to name countries with the brightest and bleakest economic outlook in the
next five years.

      Zimbabwe was named along with Cote d’Ivoire and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo as one of the African countries with a grim economic

      As the African countries with the brightest future over the next five
years, the participants singled out Angola, Botswana and South Africa.

      “South Africa, Angola and Botswana were the stars. Zimbabwe, the
Democratic Republic of Congo and Cote d’Ivoire were the three countries that
respondents felt had the bleakest future,” the report on the business
confidence survey said.

      In a statement, the WEF said 80 percent of the participants, who
include global business and civil society, however supported the New
Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and were optimistic about
Africa’s recovery.

      NEPAD is the brainchild of Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa, which
seek to promote economic and political reform on the continent. It is being
executed under the auspices of the African Union, of which South African
President Thabo Mbeki is chairman.
      Zimbabwe is one of the African states that have yet to endorse NEPAD’s
peer review mechanism, a critical component of the African renaissance blue

      The pre-Durban summit poll discovered that three-quarters of the
participants were critical of NEPAD’s implementation and called for concrete
action. Meanwhile, local business executives said Zimbabwe’s participation
at the Durban meeting was unlikely to be overshadowed by Harare’s worsening
economic, social and political problems.

      Banker William Nyemba said NEPAD could significantly benefit local
      Nyemba said the rapid expansion of Zimbabwean businesses on the
continent gave local industries leverage and a chance to harness commercial
opportunities through the NEPAD project.

      Nyemba, insisting business representatives would not delve into
politics at the Durban summit, added that it was vital to “just attend in
order to listen to what they (international community) say and ensure that
we are not left out in whatever initiatives take place worldwide”.

      The government has also sent a delegation led by Finance Minister
Hebert Murerwa.
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Daily News


      They are so right – fear can drive you bananas

      6/11/2003 8:45:35 AM (GMT +2)

      IN the end, there is nothing to fear but fear itself, even in

      But politicians like President Robert Mugabe – being as mortal and
fallible as the lonely vendor unable to sell his only cabbage at Mbare
Musika in Harare and fearing his wife would kill him if he came home
empty-handed – are just as likely to be driven bananas by a dose of real
fear. As potent as confronting a young hungry lion in the middle of
Gonarezhou Game Park, in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter.

      So, Mugabe was confronted by his worst enemy – fear or the MDC (for
him they are one and the same thing) – from 2 June to 6 June.

      How many would be headed for State House? How would Chatunga react?
“Daddy, why are these people not shouting the ZANU PF slogan? Why are they
so angry?”

      Was the President wondering if Ferdinand Marcos’ fate awaited him –
being driven out of power by People Power? What would Grace Mugabe do with
her shoes? Donate them to charity or take them with her as Imelda Marcos did
with hers?

      Mugabe daren’t contemplate a fate as ghastly or as chilling as that of
his old ideological comrade-in-arms Nicolae Ceausescu.
      By the time he drove to Mashonaland West to speak at a rally of his
own relatives, the fear had almost overwhelmed him.

      He spoke with such incredible levity, some listening to him on
television wondered if he had taken a dangerous substance. Or had the fear
finally driven him bananas?

      He had not heard what some of the demonstrators had called him as they
ran away from the soldiers and the policemen, or as they sheltered in the
gutters, waiting for these agents of fear and terror, to leave their
townships and return to their foul-smelling lairs.
      If Mugabe had heard what they called him, he would have cried an old
man’s tears of rejection.

      The MDC stayaway was no laughing matter, but Mugabe laughed, which
made some people wonder even more about the effect of the fear on his

      The sight of seven military vehicles outside Makoni shopping centre in
Chitungwiza convinced me the government and the people operating its
apparatus of fear and terror had succumbed to The Fear of the Unknown.

      The government media went absolutely berserk with the fear. They
denied that which could not be denied, they created the positive out of the
negative, they expropriated the true meaning of bad and replaced it
unashamedly with good, they killed someone in their news bulletins if that
someone had been killed by the MDC, or persons unknown. They would pin any
crime on Morgan Tsvangirai – a friend wondered when they would blame him for
the murder of John F Kennedy or Leon Trotsky.

      Who was really plagued with fear during the five days of the mass
action? Tsvangirai was all over the country, addressing the rallies that the
Public Order and Security Act would allow him to, without charging him with
treason or falsehoods or putting the President’s name into political
disrepute. Where was Mugabe? Mostly at State House or Munhumutapa building,
meeting this or that dignitary. He did not join the mass action, unless we
are being generous and saying that since the results of his day’s labours
have hardly improved our livelihood one whit, he has been on a stayaway for
a long time.

      But seriously, any of his spokespeople would be lying to us if they
told us he was not the least bit curious about how the mass action was
proceeding. By now he cannot be one of the few intelligent people left in
the country who would believe anything he hears on his own radio or
television station.

      Mugabe must have a hotline to Nicholas Goche, the final boss of the
government’s spook agency. But is Goche likely to come clean with him? Is he
likely to tell him that on the first day of the mass action Harare resembled
something of a ghost town in the Old West? That if you walked blindfolded in
the centre of Second Street from one end to the other, the chances of being
warned off the road by the blast of an angry motorist’s hooter were
      almost zero?

      Where had all the people gone?
      There has always been the suspicion, among Mugabe’s mildest critics,
that he has been ill-informed about many things: his popularity with the
people, the state of the economy, the corruption in high places and the
decline of the stature of the party he leads among ordinary people.

      Not many serious analysts have swallowed this garbage. Mugabe knows
exactly what the people think. If he didn’t, before February 2000, then
during that month the truth was revealed to him, in its ugliest
manifestation: most people didn’t like him.

      His reaction to the rejection of a constitution in which he had set
such great store had its own palpable ugliness.
      “The people have spoken and I respect their decision” or words to that
effect. We now know that deep down inside his soul he was seething with
anger. How dare they kick him in the teeth like that?

      People who believe it is unprofitable to dwell so much on the past in
politics may be the victims of their own amnesia.

      Politics teems with falsehoods, and the peddlers of falsehoods are
princes and princesses, but they are the most dangerous and the most
rapacious in that jungle, They will eat you alive if you are not careful.
They will rob you blind too.

      But if, once in a while, you can scare the wits out of them, with a
strategy as consummate as the mass action, then what a delicious sensation
of achievement!

      Mugabe and ZANU PF will insist that they were not frightened of the
mass action, that they knew from the beginning that it would end with a
whimper and not the roar of the conquering lion.They will tell you they knew
that at the end of it all, it would not make a shred of difference to their
original plan of action – to keep socking it to the masses with murder,
rape, price increases and shortages of everything from matches to grinding
      But your huge consolation is that you saw the whites of their eyes as
the fear set in.

      You saw their gasp for breath as the shock of it hit them. You saw
them go bananas as the fear overwhelmed them. You know you would like to see
that spectacle again, again and again.You know it in your heart that wiping
that arrogant smirk from their faces is one of the glorious sights you would
like to see all over again. Taming the bully into a pussycat is every
underdog’s dream.
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South Africa To Crack Down On Zimbabwe's Representation At A Commonwealth
Staff Reporter
Johannesburg 11 June 2003
A Zimbabwe deleate attending a Commonwealth conference in definace of the
organisations ban on her country has been threatened with eviction by SA
government representatives.

JOHANNESBURG: The South African government has decided to crack down on
Zimbabwean representation at this week's Commonwealth Science Council in

The Commonwealth has tough restrictions in place against Zimbabwe and the
country is banned from all council participation. South African Arts,
Culture, Science and Technology Minister Ben Ngubane says he will throw out
any Zimbabwean government representative who attends tomorrow's meetings.

Zimbabwean Minister Olivia Muchena says she will send her deputy to formal
events today and tomorrow.

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       'Mugabe spat in Mbeki's face'

            June 11 2003 at 03:16AM

         By Jeremy Michaels

     Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe had "spat in President Thabo
Mbeki's face" by arresting opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and
secretary-general Welshman Ncube.

      Speaking in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Democratic Alliance
leader Tony Leon said Mbeki had either misled himself or he was misleading
the country with his recent statement that Zimbabwe's government and
opposition were engaging in dialogue.

      Leon noted that Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change had denied Mbeki's assertion that they were talking,
despite the turmoil in that country.

      "And yet the president told parliament 'they are having a dialogue'.
Either he was misled, or he was misleading the South African public."

            'Either he was misled, or he was misleading the South African
      Leon said Mugabe had launched a "decapitation strike" against the MDC
leadership, just as the apartheid government used to do when faced with mass

      The DA leader repeated his calls on the South African government to
introduce a "road map to democracy" in Zimbabwe, similar to the latest
version of a peace plan for the Middle East.

      Mbeki last week shrugged off opposition charges that the government's
"quiet diplomacy" strategy had failed to influence Mugabe, suggesting
instead that he (Mbeki) remained optimistic about a negotiated solution.

      "The Zimbabweans are talking to one another, they are negotiating, and
I'm quite certain that out of that process will come an agreement that will
take the country forward."

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Business Day

Our development path must take national interest into account

THE debate around human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and the political conflict
between Zanu (PF) and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change has
muddied the waters around a crucial concept of public life: national
We saw the same concept being used by one nation defying a legitimate body
of other nation states in the war against Iraq. It is also raising its head
in the same nation's justification for its involvement in the Middle East.
But what exactly is national interest?

A nonacademic definition would be the process of harnessing the resources
that a country (nation) has at its disposal for the common good of its
people, its environment and the ultimate sustainability of that nation
deployment of resources for the common good being the operative word.

Machiavelli, as cited by Michael G Roskin in his 1994 PhD thesis, is said to
have once declared: "You may have splendid moral goals, but without
sufficient power and the willingness to use it, you will accomplish
nothing." Machiavelli could not have known that in the 21st century, the
capitalist economy would face a deep crisis of legitimacy, and that on the
African continent, for many despots the only mode of survival would be
through clinging to power by any means.

We need to take a balanced view of Zimbabwe if a lasting peaceful solution
is to be attained one that is in the best national interest of its people
and natural resources.

Zanu (PF)'s tactics of clamping down on the opposition are increasingly
comparable with those of a tyrant that once ruled SA, a force and
dispensation that many in the corridors of business have amnesia about.

The complexity in Zimbabwe lies in the fact that the Movement for Democratic
Change like our Democratic Alliance and New National Party is part of the
governance system of Zimbabwe, with seats in parliament and significant
political equity in Harare and Bulawayo.

Tyranny is tyranny. There is no excuse for the manner in which Zanu (PF)
uses state power.

The key is to apply potential solutions that deliver sustainable growth in a
balanced manner. The average Zimbabwean needs to know the power of the
ballot will ensure that Zimbabwe's national interest is not compromised by
party political and individual leaders' anxiety about their own continued
enjoyment of luxury.

On the other hand, western political powers and the business community
cannot carry on saying to both our government and the Zimbabwean government
look out, your side of the boat is leaking. All stakeholders must unpack
their baggage and create a platform of meaningful engagement on these

Roskin, in his doctoral study of national interest, says: "While not as
explicit as ideologies, the culture, values and convictions of a country can
also warp definitions of the national interest. Every country has national
values, but the statesperson (head of state) who acts on them without
reference to the national interest risks damaging the nation. Elites the top
or most influential people pay far more attention to foreign affairs than
the public at large; therefore they are instrumental in defining national

The question to be raised about Zimbabwe and President Robert Mugabe is
particularly insightful in respect of the position held by Roskin.

Besides the average Zimbabwean, whose interests are at stake in Zimbabwe's
land reforms given that a better approach, centred more on human rights,
could have been applied and meaningful socioeconomic transformation? Is this
not the same Mugabe whom Margaret Thatcher once described as a perfect
African gentleman?

The same questions must be asked in SA. The slow pace of transformation of
the economic sector and the types of funding formulae that black
entrepreneurs are subjected to in black economic empowerment transactions
raise questions about whether we are indeed on a correct path of
transforming our own economy, in its best national interests. Or are the
invisible hands of the elite steering this economy in their own best

Lessons from north of the Limpopo suggest that we have a lot still to
achieve in our own country to ensure that we create a genuine spirit of
growth and development. If the 21year-olds of 1994 still find themselves
called a previously or historically disadvantaged individual in the
corporate SA of 2015, a "Zimbabwe" will be inevitable in our own back yard.

So, as we criticise government's position on Zimbabwe and whether or not
quiet diplomacy is working, we do need to stop and ponder because where do
Zimbabwean refugees go for a new beginning?

It is to be hoped that we will all now say: "Ask not what your country's
president can do for Zimbabwe, but put together your wealth and brains and
offer some apolitical business solution to Zimbabwe." After all, business is
supposed to be the most resilient part of civil society isn't it?

Makwana is CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi SA.
Jun 11 2003 07:40:54:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition
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