Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
May 31st – Sunday June 6th 2004
Media Update 2004-22
BANNING OF TRIBUNE
LAND AND THE POLITICS OF POWER
HARARE CITY COUNCIL CIRCUS
Banning of Tribune
Media Monitoring Project condemns the cynical and unconstitutional banning of
The Tribune newspaper by the government-controlled Media and Information
Commission. This latest onslaught against free expression, and particularly the
privately owned media, demonstrates precisely why so many of the provisions of
the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act are clearly
anti-democratic and grossly repressive. Laws that allow government to destroy
private enterprises and so many livelihoods for essentially relatively minor
regulatory offences should be struck off the statute books. This gagging of one
of the few remaining alternative sources of information in Zimbabwe once again
clearly illustrates government’s underlying intention of introducing this
legislation to silence all media institutions beyond its
authorities’ obsessive fear of alternative sources of information manifested
itself again at the beginning of the week under review with news that government
is trying to force Internet Service Providers (ISP) to monitor individual
e-mails and ‘shop’ all sources of
messages (The Standard, 30/5).
The Standard reported initial
resistance from the country’s ISPs, the government media simply ignored this
important development towards the entrenchment of a police
Zimbabwe Independent (4/6)
followed up the story quoting information technology (IT) consultants as saying
government could only interfere with e-mails originating from or destined for
local ‘zw’ domains. IT expert Robert Ndlovu was quoted saying it would be
impossible for government to snoop into e-mails that used international domains
such as Yahoo and Hotmail. Said Ndlovu: “As long as you use international
e-mails to send sensitive information, there is no way government can open them,
unless of course you give them your password”.
views appeared on the radio stations, Studio 7 and SW Radio Africa
(3/6) reported that ISPs had no capacity to implement government’s
private media also viewed government’s attempt to gag the electronic
“information highway” as part of its campaign to stifle all alternative news and
example, the Independent’s
Editor’s Memo pointed out that the government’s
move “reflects a
heightening of paranoia felt in the upper echelons of power”
adding that “instead
of regarding the Internet as an instrument of knowledge and
freedom” the authorities saw “it as a tool of
evident intolerance of alternative sources of information also prompted the
World Association of Newspapers (WAN) to adopt a resolution condemning the
country’s media laws, which it observed were meant “to protect President Mugabe from
criticism while he is able to make unrestrained attacks on civil society and his
critics in the media” (the Independent). WAN was also reported
calling for the “elimination of the repressive
provisions of AIPPA, together with POSA” and that “other attempts to silence
independent media” should cease
the government media ignored this latest condemnation of the country’s
repressive media environment.
Land and the politics of power
chaotic nature of government’s land reforms, always dismissed by the authorities
as a lie being peddled by government opponents to discredit the programme,
resurfaced this week following the emergence of alleged eviction notices served
on newly resettled farmers by the Lands Ministry headed by John Nkomo. Notable
however, was the simplistic way in which the government-controlled media,
particularly ZBC, The Herald and The Sunday Mail, covered the matter. They neither
viewed the problem as arising from the general chaos that has characterised the
reforms since their inception, nor a vindication of the results of government’s
own land audits undertaken in the past two years. Instead, they personalized the
matter by accusing Nkomo and his office of plotting to derail land reforms by
handing back expropriated land to evicted white commercial farmers. This aroused
the curiosity of the private media over a possible political motive for such an
its initial report on the issue, The
Herald (31/5) accused “a group of civil servants and
some unnamed politicians as the protagonists in this despicable
scandal”, an allegation that was echoed by ZTV that same evening.
ZTV also reported that the development had precipitated new farm invasions by
“scores of land hungry
Zimbabweans” in protest against “government bureaucrats trying to
return land to the whites” thus derailing “an otherwise
successful land reform”. No analysis was made on the
legality of such invasions. Instead, it quoted liberation war veterans and war
collaborators’ groups as having “vowed to do all they can,
including going back to war if some people are still bent on returning land to
the white minority.”
veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba accused those behind the eviction notices as
the same people who “played a part in suppressing the
first land demos”. But he was not seen revealing their names.
However, he was more categorical in The Herald the next day (1/6) where he accused
Nkomo and his permanent secretary, Simon Pazvakavambwa, of complicity in the
purported withdrawal of offer letters to the new farmers. He also claimed that
Nkomo had, during the height of farm invasions, ordered the “arrest of our members …carrying
out land occupations and also demolished our houses when he was the Minister of
even issued an ultimatum to Nkomo saying the minister should urgently convene a
meeting to explain the deeds of Pazvakavambwa “or risk being hauled before a
meeting that would be convened by war
and Pazvakavambwa were not given an equal platform to defend themselves. The
paper merely cited Nkomo as having dismissed the eviction notices as “fake” during an
ZTV (31/5, 8pm) and that Pazvakavambwa could not be reached for
the issue took a political twist with The
Tribune (4/6) reporting that “tempers were high this week
during the ZANU PF Cabinet and Politburo meetings” with some
members saying there might now be “fifth columnists”
in the party who were trying to destroy the ruling party from within after
having failed to do so from outside. The Zimbabwe Independent (4/6) reported the same
Radio Africa (2/6) quoted Zimbabwe Liberators’ Platform official Wilfred Mhanda
speculating that Chinotimba was being used by some senior ZANU PF officials to
attack Nkomo. The Sunday Mirror
(6/6)’s Behind the Words column
reflected a similar view saying Chinotimba was being used by “worms” within ZANU
PF who espoused “policies that make Zimbabwe a
laughing stock of the world” and spoke “destructive venom each time they
open their motormouths”.
in his interview with The
Tribune, Nkomo alleged that the
attacks on him and his ministry were calculated to divert attention from the
irregularities bedevilling the land reform programme that his office had
unearthed. For example, the minister claimed that the presidential land
implementation team had uncovered several anomalies while verifying land
allocation and ownership. These included multiple ownership, multiple
allocations, double allocations and people on land without offer letters. Nkomo
was quoted by the paper as saying they had since discovered that about 63
individuals owned multiple farms totalling 102 427 ha, which some of them had
started parcelling out to relatives when they realised that the ministry’s net
was closing in on them.
the paper did not ask him to divulge the identities of the 63, it claimed that
its independent investigations had revealed that among them were ministers,
deputy ministers and senior government officials. In fact, The Sunday News (6/5) revealed that some of these
government officials were refusing to hand over their extra
was further quoted in The
Tribune saying his ministry had
discovered that there were 3,212 people issued with offer letters although they
were not on the land. Said Nkomo: “This suggested that this land is
hidden somewhere or …that there were some beneficiaries that had not been given
(offer) letters and … that some could be ghost
addition, Nkomo said, there were 1,513 vacant A2 plots compared to 99 971
applicants on the waiting list, a situation which “did not make any
sense” because government still held so much derelict land that
had been offered but remained unoccupied.
Daily Mirror (2/6), the Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard (6/5) carried an IRIN report
alleging that several small, medium and large commercial farms given to
resettled farmers under land reforms still remained fallow. In
fact, serious economic repercussions arising from land resettlement were clearly
indicated in a Daily Mirror (2/6)
report, which claimed that despite government claims of a bumper harvest, the
authorities were actually spending “hundreds of billion of dollars on maize imports with
the assistants of US-based companies”. The story, based on
the London-based Africa Confidential, alleged that about 400 000
tonnes of maize had been imported between April and May this year. This was
confirmed by the chief executive officer of the Grain Marketing Board, Col.
Samuel Muvhuti, who stated that the importation of the food was “intended to feed the
nation” during harvesting time.
The Sunday Mail (6/4) would not debate these issues at all.
Instead, it followed in the footpath of its stable-mate, The Herald, in personalising the problems
besetting the agrarian reforms.
For example, the paper’s faceless columnist Lowani Ndlovu diverted
public attention from the real issues at hand by carrying personal attacks on
The Tribune owner and ZANU PF MP,
Kindness Paradza, for having allowed his paper to “trap” Nkomo into
accusing some ZANU PF insiders of scheming to discredit his regularisation of
the land reforms.
noted that it was “simply
for Paradza to attack ZANU PF policies or programmes outside the
However, Ndlovu conveniently ignored how The
had provided Chinotimba with an unrivalled stage to attack Nkomo and his
officers. In fact, Chinotimba, whom private media reports (The
4/6) claimed was due for disciplinary action over his outburst against Nkomo,
was quoted by The
(3/6) as saying he would apologise to the minister “because
we got to know he was unaware of the letters”.
government media ignored this. Instead, The
added a conspiracy theory to the whole issue by implicating the MDC and the
shadowy pressure group, Zvakwana. The MDC was accused of allegedly bribing some
government and ZANU PF officials to produce documents purporting to withdraw
land offered to new farmers in an operation aimed at restoring acquired land to
former white farmers.
authenticated evidence was provided.
the week drew to a close, The
(4/6) and ZBC (4/6, 8pm) reported that the Supreme Court had passed a
judgment” that would bring relief to the new farmers who have
been receiving eviction letters after the superior court ruled that an order to
acquire land for resettlement could not be withdrawn six months after it has
been issued. The ruling also empowered the Lands Ministry with the sole
authority to either revoke or withdraw an acquisition order. This was a result
of an appeal by Airfield Investments (Pvt) Ltd challenging the dismissal by the
High Court of an application to bar the State from acquiring its property
pending the determination of the constitutionality of sections 8, 9 and 10 of
the Land Acquisition Act.
these media failed to fully examine the consequences of the ruling on the rights
of the white commercial farmers, prime targets of the government’s land
private Press missed this story.
Harare City Council circus
government’s ongoing efforts to hound the MDC-led Harare city council out of
office by directly interfering with the running of the municipality reached
alarming extremes after Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo suspended 13
MDC councillors for allegedly interfering with the management of council
affairs. The move followed the councillors’ decision to ignore a directive by
Chombo barring them from meeting as a full council so they could elect a new
deputy mayor and standing committees for the city.
the minister also suspended the MDC executive mayor of Chegutu, Francis
Dhlakama, for allegedly failing to resolve the town’s
while these issues generated interest in the private media, they did not get the
attention they deserved in the government media. SW Radio Africa and Studio 7
(1, 2 & 3/6), The Financial Gazette (3/6), The Standard and The Sunday Mirror (6/6), tried to put
Chombo’s latest action into context, viewing it as a clear subversion of the
democratic rights of the electorate that voted the councillors into
fact, Chombo’s determination to undermine the democratic will of the electorate
was further exposed by revelations on Studio 7 and SW Radio Africa (1/6) that he
had used heavily armed riot police to forcibly evict the newly elected deputy
mayor, Christopher Mushonga, from Town House. Some councillors and Mushonga’s
lawyer were reportedly assaulted during the police raid.
government-controlled media simply ignored this. Instead, The Herald subhead (2/6) “Defying government directive costly for
13…” implied that the councillors deserved the punishment. In
addition, the paper, including the Chronicle of the same day, failed to
question how the 13 councillors could be suspended “for interfering with the
management of council affairs” when they were elected to run the
council. Neither did they provide further details on the provisions of section
114 (1) of the Urban Councils Act, Chapter 29/1, from which Chombo claims to
have derived his powers to suspend the councillors.
The Financial Gazette sourced comments from lawyers Kay
Ncube, Beatrice Mtetwa and Lovemore Madhuku arguing that the councillors’ move
to defy Chombo’s directive was legal. Said Mtetwa: “Chombo has been abusing the Urban
Council’s Act…The minister does as he pleases with council…(Sekesai) Makwavarara
was voted to that position by councillors and she can be voted out through a
vote of no confidence.”
7 (03/06) quoted the Combined Harare Residents Association lawyer condemning
Chombo’s decision as illegal because the councillors had acted within the
provisions of the Urban Councils Act.
comment in The Standard described the suspension of
Dhlakama and the 13 Harare councillors as “the latest in a series of bizarre
escapades” by ZANU PF “to make it impossible for all
MDC-headed local authorities to operate”. It further questioned
Chombo’s declaration that the suspended councillors would not be returning to
Town House or contesting elections in the next 10 years saying he had
“subverted the wishes
of Harare ratepayers with impunity and ridden roughshod over the will of
none of the media linked Harare City Council’s poor service delivery to the
incessant meddling in the management of council by government. It was not
surprising therefore that the weeks-old strike by council health workers, which
has crippled clinics throughout the capital, scarcely got any attention. The
media failed to report the extent and effects of the industrial action. They
also failed to query how, because of the suspensions, future council budgets
would be formulated since only a full council can do these
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Zim 70 magistrate 'held'
10/06/2004 23:28 -
Harare - The magistrate who has to decide
the fate of the 70 alleged
mercenaries being held in Zimbabwe got a taste on
Thursday of the
unpredictable nature of the country's security
He was "held" for a while by prison personnel when he and two
prosecutors arrived at the maximum-security prison.
report that magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe and the two state
Lawrence Phiri and Stephen Musona, were searched before they
Chikurubi Prison, and their entry was then obstructed "on
Court proceedings were delayed by three
During the hearing, it was determined the state had until June 24
to set a
date for the trial.
Guvamombe said this was the last time he
would postpone the case.
Several questions arise after
The men, who are charged with planning a coup in Equatorial
arrested on March 7 and have been held in Harare since
An attempt in Pretoria High Court to have the men extradited to
and have the hearing take place there failed this
The incident with Guvamombe at court on Thursday spurred several
although he is seen as being well disposed towards the
Judges and magistrates often have been
threatened in the past or withdrawn
from cases if the government felt they
didn't have the state's best
interests at heart.
the men's legal representative, said the men's families
would be able to
visit them on Friday.
Future of troubled banks bleak
Deputy Business Editor
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe might be forced to take over
which are struggling to pay back funds loaned to them under
Bank Fund (TBF).
The central bank has to date disbursed
over a trillion dollars to the
liquidity stricken financial institutions
under the TBF and chances that
they will recover the money in the foreseeable
future are quite slim given
that earnings for financial institutions are
expected to be quite slim with
their return to core business.
commercial banks have accessed the TBF facility and The Herald
understands only two have managed to successfully repay the loans
rest still struggling to reimburse the funds, which attracted an
rate of 300 percent.
The assisted financial institutions were
also directed to find sound
partners to merge with if they were to survive
the new highly regulated and
competitive environment, but to date only one
institution seems to be on the
verge of sealing a concrete deal.
question that stands now is what will happen to those banks that would
totally failed to pay back the loans that were forward to them by the
using depositors funds?
Will the RBZ turn the debt into equity and take
over the institutions or
will it be patient and see the banks through their
This will all depend on what terms and conditions were
agreed on by the two
parties when the loans were given out and this reminds
us all of the
Zimbabwe Building Society (ZBS) and the RBZ
ZBS received $700 million liquidity support from RBZ in 1998,
building society failed to repay for over four years.
2002, the RBZ then began to claim that they owned over 98 percent of ZBS
virtue of them having bailed out the institution, a case they lost at
informal arbitration because the initial agreement did not state that
liquidity assistance would be turned into equity in the event that the
was not paid on time.
It was finally agreed that the ZBS
shareholders pay $1,6 billion to the RBZ
and the loan would be
As of this month, the RBZ is now owed over a trillion dollars
by at least
five institutions with Trust Bank owing more than half of the
amount with a
staggering $648 billion debt.
If the RBZ did not learn
from their previous mistake, a repeat of the ZBS
case is likely to be
witnessed once again.
This would result in the central bank losing large
amounts of money most of
which belongs to the depositors through the
statutory reserves system.
Some commercial banks have not survived the
chop and they will not be able
to keep their heads above the water for long
if they do not find sound
financial institutions to merge
Century Bank could very well be safe and sound, as their
join hands with CFX Merchant Bank are almost complete with
approval to the deal the only hurdle left before it can be
On the other hand, Trust Bank is back on the hunting ground again
their talks with Old Mutual's Nedcor collapsed.
market rumours, the central bank is reported to have vowed that
never let the bank collapse.
Trust is still in a huge financial mess with
negative shareholder equity of
over $150 billion and a negative capital
adequacy of 17,59 percent.
The Reserve could be justified in its
determination to see the revival of
Trust Bank as they have invested so much
in the institution and a collapse
of the bank would result in a big loss to
Metropolitan and Royal Bank are two other banks that accessed the
and were instructed to find marriage partners to merge with more
To date, there seems to be no concrete talks
that these banks are involved
However, the RBZ has since announced
that the TBF, which was initially
expected to run until March this year, is
still available to troubled banks
until further notice.
African Leaders Discuss G8 Summit
Joe De Capua
Jun 2004, 00:35 UTC
On the final day of the Sea Island Summit
Thursday, G-8 and African leaders
held a brief luncheon meeting. While a
number of Africa-related initiatives
were announced during the summit, there
appears to have been little time for
any in-depth discussions among the
It was a meeting that started late and ended early -
after which the
presidents of Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, South Africa
and Algeria met
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo
says the African leaders did not come
to the summit looking for a "handout"
from the G-8.
"The issue is not the issue of one group begging the other.
The issue is not
the issue of one condescending to the other. The issue is
the issue of
mutual interest, mutual security, common prosperity," he
President Obasanjo says, "It is for the enlightened self-interest
of all the
leaders - rich and poor - to have a world that is equitable and
eradicate poverty - knowing full well there are enough resources
world to deal with this issue."
"We appreciate, as African
leaders, and as Africans, that in the past there
are areas where we have
failed. The area of peace and security, the area of
good governance, which
are basic for us to be able to have the foundation
for security and
prosperity," he says.
The issues of peace and security were bolstered by
a G-8 plan to train and
equip 75-thousand peacekeeping troops by the year
2010. That's 25-thousand
more troops than was discussed during summit
Nigeria and the G-8 announced an agreement to promote
combat corruption. A statement reads, "Nigeria and the G-8
share the view
that corruption is a threat to democratic institutions,
and trade and investment."
US officials indicated
during the summit that Zimbabwe might be discussed.
However, South African
President Thabo Mbeki says time constraints prevented
As you know the meeting lasted two hours and you had something
people th"ere. So it wasn't possible to discuss any particular
the African continent," he says.
However, speaking as the
leader of South Africa, Mr. Mbeki did comment on
"The essential point about Zimbabwe is that the political
Zimbabwe, the ruling party, the opposition are meeting. They're
discussions among themselves to find a solution to the problems of
And the rest of us support that process and encourage Zimbabwe to
solutions to their problems," he says.
John Kufuor says Africans agree with the G-8 that good
essential for prosperity.
"The days of warlords and coup makers are
passing. Even in troubled West
Africa, what we have there to me is just the
lingering relics of those times
when constitutional democracy was thrown
overboard," he says.
There was no major announcement on debt relief,
except that the IMF's Highly
Indebted Poor Countries Initiative - or HIPC -
could be extended until
The G-8 also announced an
action plan to break the cycle of famine in the
Horn of Africa and increase
agricultural activity. As part of the plan the
G-8 is working with the
Ethiopian government to create a "safety net" to
promote land tenure, drought
and pest resistant crops, and enhance the
functioning of food
New Straits Times
'Malaysia did give timber to
KUALA LUMPUR, June
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today confirmed
gave timber to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe for the
construction of his
£5 million (about RM34 million) mansion in a suburb
He said there was nothing extraordinary about
the gift, as this
was the usual practice to promote Malaysian
"Yes, we did give Zimbabwe timber, but what's wrong
he said adding that there were no irregularities
The former premier was responding to allegations
that the timber
donation amounted to misuse of public funds. He said this
the autobiography of the late Datuk Dr Alijah Gordon at
Carcosa Seri Negara
today. It was earlier reported that DAP chairman Lim Kit
Siang had called
for a ministerial statement to clarify if the Government had
the 25-bedroom mansion. This follows a British Sky News
interview last month
which reported Mugabe as saying that Malaysia and China
had funded his
At the launch were many close
friends and acquaintances of the
late Dr Gordon, an American by birth who
became a Malaysian citizen several
months before her death last year. They
came together to pay tribute to her
memory and to testify how she changed
their lives and those of many
unfortunate people. Dr Gordon was well-known
for her tireless humanitarian
work, especially in fighting for the rights of
A friend to many, she baffled those closest to
her on where she
drew her strength from, and how she kept alive the spirit to
Her autobiography, On Becoming Alijah, focuses
on the American
Revolutionary War through Burma. It gives some insight into
her fight for
The book was put
together by the Malaysian Sociological Research
Institute, of which Dr Gordon
was the former chairman.
ECB dilemma as Zimbabwe lose Test status
11 June 2004
England's cricketers still face a dilemma over
whether to tour Zimbabwe this
autumn despite the African nation's decision to
withdraw from Test cricket
for the remainder of the year.
taken under pressure from the International Cricket Council
boycott of the Zimbabwe team by senior players, does not apply
internationals, of which England are scheduled to play at least
the tour, originally due to take place in October and November.
the ICC is prepared to launch an investigation into claims of
Zimbabwe's selection policy, which could lead to Zimbabwe being
from all international cricket.
Last night, a spokesman for the England
and Wales Cricket Board, insisted
that the ECB could "not take a definitive
position" until after the ICC's
Executive Board meets at the end of this
Within the England dressing room, it was clear that players would
developments before commenting. Contracted spinner Ashley Giles said:
heard about it after we came off the field but we will have to wait and
what the board says. It is out of our hands at the
Meeting in emergency session in Dubai yesterday, an Executive
sub-committee recommended that Zimbabwe's remaining fixtures for 2004
deferred amid fears that fielding inexperienced players in Test
would damage the integrity of the game. It follows a dispute between
players and the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, which led to a Test series
Australia being cancelled.
Zimbabwe had to field raw
youngsters, mainly black, in a home series against
Sri Lanka and three
one-dayers against Australia, losing every match.
The ICC president,
Ehsan Mani, stressed, however, that Zimbabwe's withdrawal
was only temporary.
"Zimbabwe will continue to play Test matches according
to the ICC's 10-year
programme from January 2005 onwards," he said.
The ECB has been wrestling
with the moral issues linked to touring troubled
Zimbabwe since before the
2003 World Cup, when concern over the policies of
president Robert Mugabe led
to England failing to fulfil their scheduled
fixture in Harare.
of heavy ICC penalties for failing to tour has put the ECB off making
decision despite the Government's view that England should not go.
night the ECB maintained its ambivalence. "This is merely a
which will go before the ICC Executive Board on 30 June for
discussion. It is too early for the ECB to take a definitive
spokesman said. "David Morgan, our chief executive, will be
there as a
representative and will listen to the debate and take part in
What the ECB will want to establish is whether withdrawal from a
one-day matches would trigger the same level of punitive action by
as it feared would result from failing to fulfil Test
The ECB had been worried about possible crippling financial
loss of September's ICC Champions Trophy, and even a ban from
should England not go to Zimbabwe, although it had indicated
players decide as individuals not to take part, their own futures
Zimbabwe have been forced to pick a second-string
team since 2 April when 15
white players made themselves unavailable over
what they see as racially
driven selection policies. Their stand was sparked
by Heath Streak's removal
from the captaincy after he questioned the make-up
of the selection panel.
An ICC statement issued last night said that
"allegations of racism against
the ZCU had been addressed directly" and that
a recommendation would be made
to the Board to appoint "an eminent person or
persons to fully investigate
the claims made by the players."
* Forwarded from 'mango market** '
WARNING: ARMED ROBBERIES -
KENSINGTON AND ALEX PARK
I know that this is not the right medium.
However, there are more
on Market than on Social, so here
We had a really nasty experience last evening at about 7.15 pm - 5
armed with a hand gun and one with bolt cutters, broke into
our house in
Kensignton and stole cell phone and wallet, tore watches off my
arms, stole my land lady's handbag, with her car keys,
gate zapper, cheque
etc. Not pleasant, especially being manhandled
and having a gun and a pair
bolt cutters stuck up your nose!
Fortunately the alarm went off, so they
not have much time but still
managed in about 5 minutes to make off with
and stuff worth over $4
An hour and a half later while the police were taking my
statement, one of
received a call by cell phone - same gang of 5
robbed a house in Alex Park!
So be vigalent - keep your doors carefully
locked and bolted and put your
alarms on early!
Today we have had to have
cell phone blocked, cancel cheque books and bank
cards, report medical aid
cards stolen, deal with the CID who wanted to
print, have the gate
zappers changed, etc, etc. No fun at all and we are
shaky about the whole thing.
AFRICA: Respecting property
Robert Mugabe has
dropped the other shoe.
The dictator of Zimbabwe has abolished private
property and will
"nationalize" (steal) all private farms.
Chesterton would have understood perfectly. "Thieves," he said,
property. They merely wish the property to become their property
may more perfectly respect it."
Since assuming power in 1980, Mugabe has
lost what respect he had at the
outset, as he became increasingly a bully. In
2000, he began
"redistributing" land and that so infuriated the majority of
voters in his
country that he had to steal an election to remain in
The European Union has said it would sanction Zimbabwe because of
policies, which have destroyed the economy and caused rampant
shortages. Moreover, the damage is harming other African countries,
Respect for private property actually is one of
the keys to bringing
prosperity, or at least a sustainable economy, to many
Mugabe has said he would step down in 2008.
Zimbabwe may not be able to wait
We are not racist, says ZCU chief Chingoka
By Our Sports
11 June 2004
DUBAI - Peter Chingoka, head of the
Zimbabwe Cricket Union, yesterday denied
that they were racists when it comes
to selecting the national team.
"The selection of the national's team
captain and panel of selection
committee is our prerogative and we have been
maintaining this stand since
day one," he said.
"We will welcome the
rebels to join the team since our policy is an open
one," he said.
am reasonably happy with the outcome of the meeting.
"There are three
main issues involved: The selection of the captain, the
constitution of the
selection committee and the allegations of racism.
"The selection of the
captain and the constitution of the selection
committee is the prerogative of
the ZCU and the players can't dictate who
the captain or the selectors will
"As for the allegations of racism, it is totally unfounded. We have a
of integration of players without consideration for race.
the players return, we will accept them with open arms. We have
open-door policy right through the past nine weeks."
ZIMBABWE POLL CHALLENGE DISMISSED
A high court in Harare has dismissed a court
application by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to have
the results of
Zimbabwe's 2002 presidential elections declared
The one-page ruling handed down seven months after the
hearing did not
contain any reasons for the dismissal of the application by
Justice Ben Hlatswayo dismissed
"with costs the relief sought by the
took the petition to court to push for a rerun of the March
2002 polls which
returned President Robert Mugabe to power but which was
condemned by some
Western observer groups for not being entirely free and
The opposition leader launched the court action in April 2002 seeking
aside the results arguing that the election was neither free
Tsvangirai cited at least 15 grounds on which he
wanted the poll
William Bango, said this was only the first
part of the opposition's court
challenge to the elections.
"It was presenting the legal and
constitutional arguments - the use of
the army in the electoral process and
the electoral commission was not duly
part of the challenge would look at allegations of abuse,
intimidation and the opposition being prevented from
"Now that they have rejected the first part, we
are now going for a
full hearing," he said.
Mugabe was declared
the winner of the March 2002 election with 56.2
percent of the votes against
41.9 percent for the opposition leader.
groups to the election were divided in their
assessments. Some African
observer groups, including South Africa, concluded
that the vote was free and
But others, including one from the Commonwealth and others
Western nations, condemned the poll as flawed, resulting in the
of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth.
Will end be swift or
AND ZIMBABWE/Jonathan Katzenellenbogen
MOVEMENT towards a political accord in
Zimbabwe has stalled, with growing
dangers to the country and the region as a
whole. The reasons for the
impasse are President Robert Mugabe's current
confidence in his omnipotence
and the lack of external pressure on him and
With the opposition curbed, SA sticking to quiet diplomacy,
and the Group of
Eight (G-8) not about to ask Pretoria to toughen its stance,
Mugabe may have
good reason to simply stay and wait.
Mugabe says he
does not see any point in talks, and President Thabo Mbeki is
unable to convince him he should. While Mugabe may say he will
his current term ends in 2008, his words are not convincing.
one plan, he should be out of office by now. But staying in
power is the
The best solution would be talks leading to an even
playing field ahead of a
free and fair presidential election. That, however,
is not the most likely
scenario. Clearly this would take internal and
external pressure to achieve
and that's not about to happen.
prolonged government of national unity under Zanu (PF) is also not a just
a practical solution.
A possible boycott of next March's parliamentary
elections by the main
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), does not offer a
solution in itself. Mass action can ratchet up the
pressure, but will have
to be different from last year's "final
The main uncertainty is at what stage security forces would switch
loyalty. Whether this would be through a palace or a military coup
refusal to carry out orders by the police is an open question.
the options for peaceful democratic change narrow, the likelihood of a
or a military coup could be rising. That would have serious
regionally, as would any mass violence.
The Zimbabwe saga has entered its
endgame. But how drawn-out will it be, and
will it end in violence or
Reading Mugabe's mind on whether or not he will negotiate
consumes hours of fruitless speculation. He has evidently made his
or Mbeki would not have been so convinced last year in June that
settlement was a year away or that talks were in the offing.
however, feigns interest in a settlement when there is pressure on
him to do
so, and then changes tack when he sees it abating.
no chance that SA will follow the lead of the European Union and
the US, and
push for the international isolation of Zimbabwe.
Zanu (PF) recently won
a by-election, albeit in all probability neither
freely nor fairly, in an MDC
stronghold. It is now within two seats of
winning a two-thirds majority which
would allow the party to change the
constitution at will.
changes in the electoral act will all but ensure Zanu (PF) does
two-thirds majority in parliamentary elections scheduled
These changes will make it all but impossible for the
opposition to campaign
as they will not have access to the voters' roll, and
putting up posters
will be a tortuous process.
Mugabe has another
option, which could cripple the MDC. With his control
over the judiciary, the
Zimbabwean leader is probably well-positioned to
call the timing of Morgan
Tsvangirai's verdict and sentence for treason, for
which the ultimate penalty
Should he wish to do so, he could jail Tsvangirai during an
campaign and he can always trade clemency for something he may want
The current anticorruption campaign
may be more about political intimidation
to exclude possible successors than
a clean-up. But the very process is
intimidating the business community into
not giving donations to the
Dissenters, doubters, and even
those who dare to tell the truth do not
survive long in Mugabe's
Zimbabwe recently ordered the United Nations (UN) to halt its
assessment mission, and stated that a bumper harvest was expected. The
forecast, the halting of the UN's food assessment mission and a deal for
government to import grain will allow Zanu (PF) to use food as a
As the crop forecast and the expanding economy prove
ephemeral, the economic
contraction will worsen and with that new pressures
might arise on Mugabe
and he could again show a willingness to
And as the economy contracts, so the avenues for patronage also
The loyalty of a diminishing number can be bought as the Zimbabwean
declines in worth. Zimbabwe is headed towards dangerous
Where does this leave SA?
After Mugabe's rejection of talks
earlier this month, Pretoria insisted it
was sticking to its policy as it
said there was no alternative. Pretoria may
well have lost control of
The policy of the regional power not to exercise pressure has
left it a
bystander that can be cunningly played by Mugabe. Now the message
should be: take a deal while you can.
Should SA wish to show
real interest, it needs to ensure there are enough
resources, as it did in the Great Lakes region.
The G-8 gave SA and the
region a mandate to fix the problem. Although they
have failed to do so, the
mandate remains open, but with a price. With the
US and the UK building
support for the interim government in Iraq and the
war on terror, Zimbabwe is
a worry but not a high priority.
Zimbabwe is, at this stage, simply not
important enough for the G-8 to
exercise pressure on SA as the main regional
power. However, the
deteriorating situation will mean a loss of South African
prestige. After all, the regional power is acting like a regional
Katzenellenbogen is international affairs editor.