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Court dismisses independent candidate's petition

Zim Online

by Cuthbert Nzou Wednesday 11 June 2008

HARARE - The Electoral Court has dismissed a petition by an
independent candidate challenging the outcome of elections in Mutoko South
constituency, in its first ruling out of 105 petitions filed by ruling ZANU
PF party and opposition candidates after the March 29 elections.

The independent candidate, Hilary Simbarashe, wanted the Electoral
Court to set aside ZANU PF candidate Mabel Chinomona's victory in Mutoko
South alleging that there were irregularities in the voting process.

However, Justice Samuel Kudya on Monday threw out the petition because
Simbarashe had failed to provide security for the costs of witnesses and
himself as the petitioner.

In addition, Kudya said that Simbarashe's petition was defective and
therefore invalid because it named the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)
as a respondent in the matter - a finding certain to have far reaching
implications on other petitions pending before the court.

Under the Constitution, the ZEC cannot be sued and can only be
summoned to court to act as a witness giving evidence pertaining to itself
or clarification on matters affecting it.

Aggrieved candidates should instead, cite ZEC's chairman, Justice
George Chiweshe, as a respondent but not the commission itself.

Several petitions already before the courts are believed to
erroneously cite ZEC as one of the respondents.

Fifty-three ZANU PF candidates and 52 MDC candidates are challenging
the outcome of elections in their respective constituencies and want the
court to set aside the results.

High Court Judge President Rita Makarau has told judges and lawyers
involved in the electoral petitions that she wanted the cases heard within
the six-month period prescribed under the law.

The Electoral Court can order the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to
hold fresh polls in some or all of the disputed constituencies, a
development that could see ZANU PF regain control of Parliament if it wins
most of the constituencies where new elections are held.

ZANU PF lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since
Zimbabwe's 1980 independence from Britain when it won 97 seats against 109
garnered by the MDC in the March 29 polls. - ZimOnline

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MDC not in unity talks with Zanu PF: Tsvangirai

 10th Jun 2008 23:00 GMT

By Patrick Chikwande

HARARE - Opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai
has denied media reports that his party is having secret talks with Zanu PF
to forge a way for the creation of a government of national unity before the
presidential run-off set for June 27.

Addressing a press conference in Harare,Tsvangirai said: "We wish to state
that the Kenyan model of a government of national unity is not an option
because here the people have clearly spoken and our circumstances are
different. The people's choice must be respected."

The MDC is focused on the run-off and is confident of winning the upcoming
poll despite widespread political violence that has claimed 66 lives of its
supporters and officials while displacing more than 25 000 people, said

Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe "is effectively being run by a military junta"
because of election-related violence which has led to people fleeing from
their homes with over 50 opposition activists and supporters being killed
for standing with the MDC.

The MDC leader said he has been encouraged by the people's determination and
their desire to vote for change in the coming poll.

"Inspite of the conditions on the ground the MDC is focused on the run off
and has developed counter strategies of campaigning. I am encouraged by the
people's determination and their desire to ensure that we finish it and we
dismiss hunger, poverty, loss of dignity and suffering on June 27, 2008.
This is the change you can trust. Our victory is certain," said Tsvangirai.

The opposition leader said the people of Zimbabwe have already decided on
how they will vote adding that campaigning will only be a 'formality'.

"Its just a formality to go out and campaign. The people are already decided
on how they will vote," he said.

Tsvangirai said President Mugabe has condoned the widespread post-March 29
election violence.

The MDC leader said 66 people have been killed by Zanu PF supporters since
March, adding 200 people were missing with 25,000 having fled the country.

Opposition rallies were banned soon after the March 29 elections and
Tsvangirai has been arrested twice since returning home from his
self-imposed exile in South Africa.

Meanwhile Tsvangirai has condemned the role of the Commissioner General of
the Police, Augustine Chihuri, for protecting Zanu PF supporters who are
unleashing violence on his supporters.

He said; "We want to condemn the role of Commissioner General Augustine
Chihuri who has refused to carry out his duties. Chihuri is accountable for
protecting Zanu PF thugs and creating a partisan culture of policing."

"We sympathize with those members of the police who have been humiliated,
beaten, and violently tortured simply because they had refused to act on
unlawful instructions."

Zimbabweans are going to vote on June 27 to decide who will lead the country
that is facing the highest inflation in the world of over one million

President Robert Mugabe is facing a stiff challenge from Tsvangirai, who
started his political career as a trade union leader and won the March 29
vote but came short of the required 51 percent to take over the country.

Tsvangirai and the MDC claim he is the outright winner and should have been
allowed to run the country and form the next government.

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ZANU-PF violence will pay off on June 27

By Trymore Magomana & Virimayi Moyo | Harare Tribune Staff | Comment |
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 17:11
Zimbabwe, Harare -In recent days, ZANU-PF has increased attacks
against the civilians, the bulk of them in rural areas, who came out on
March 29 and voted for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Nevertheless, in the face of such violence, Morgan Tsvangirai, the
leader of the MDC, has gone on record repeating his assertion that his party
will 'bury' Mugabe at June 27.

It is folly for Tsvangirai to assume that ZANU-PF will be shaken off
the throne that easily. ZANU-PF, after its terrible looses, always finds a
away to rise up and live for another day.

The past abounds with many instances when ZANU-PF survived after
pundits had believed the MDC had given it a fatal marling. Take year 2000
for example. After Mugabe's damage during the referendum, he rallied he
cadres and survived.

Of course, Mugabe's survival rested squarely on the liberal use of
violence at that time. Like then, the use of violence by Mugabe will pay

If violence didn't pay, why then is it Mugabe's first weapon whenever
he is staring defeat in the eye?

The current campaign of violence by Mugabe will likely have its
greatest impact in the rural areas. The fact that, as recent reports have
shown, the violence against unarmed civilians is now being coordinated,
implemented and provisioned by army, will make it difficult for Tsvangirai

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It is a given that nobody can win an election and waltz into State
House without appealing to the rural folk.

Statistics show that more than 60 % of the voters currently reside in
the rural areas.  Mugabe and his henchmen understand this simple fact, hence
the reason why they have concentrated their campaign of terror in the rural

Rural folk, at the least, abhor war. ZANU-PF thugs/units operating in
the rural areas, like here in Mwenezi District, are moving around telling
people that if they vote for Tsvangirai, there will be war.

Combined with the ever present ZANU-PF units moving from village to
village assaulting and torturing supporters of the MDC that the villagers
see everyday, this message is enough to convince the village folk that
indeed if they vote for the MDC they will be war.

I might come off as pessimistic but, despite the inflation sitting at
1 950 000 %, 90% unemployment, collapsed social services like the healthcare
service; it is palpable that Mugabe will see the light of day after June 27.
In fact, with the help of strategic cheating, plus violence, the rural folk
will likely push Mugabe to victory.

Tsvangirai and his advisers appear to be aware of this fact and these
past two weeks he has been out and about in the rural areas trying to assure
the rural folk that it is okay to vote against Mugabe.

The question is, will Tsvangirai assurances assuage the fear instilled
in their minds by Mugabe's hired thugs?

When push comes to shove, it's safe to bet on fear winning against
hope. Like in the past, violence will likely deliver Mugabe enough votes to
beat his arch foe on June 27.

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Zimbabwe NGOs Say They'll Ignore Harare Ban On Humanitarian Aid


By Patience Rusere
10 June 2008

Leaders of some 65 Zimbabwean non-governmental organizations agreed Tuesday
to brush off a government order barring them from providing humanitarian
assistance, resolving to proceed with caution while providing food and other

Spokesman Fambai Ngirande of the National Association of Non-Governmental
Organizations said the NGOs concluded that they cannot halt their efforts to
assist the hungry, the homeless and the sick given the scope of the
humanitarian crisis.

The NGOs also resolved to call upon international organizations such as the
United Nations, the African Union and the Southern African Development
Community to bring pressure on Harare to reverse its order to such groups to
halt "field operations."

Labor and Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche last week issued a circular
barring such activities, sparking international outrage. The government has
accused NGOs of carrying out their humanitarian missions on behalf of the
political opposition.

Ngirande said that contrary to a recent report in the state-run Herald
newspaper that the registration of NGOs would be revoked, no NGO has
received such an order.

Ngirande told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
in the meantime NGOs have agreed not to submit applications for

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Mbeki delays Observers, hopes for a settlement

By Gerald Harper ⋅ ⋅ June 10, 2008 ⋅

President Thabo Mbeki is alleged to have asked the SADC secretariat to delay
deployment of election observers. The approach is two pronged, Mbeki is
hoping for a settlement before the 27th of June that would avoid the run-off
election while on the other hand if he fails to make a breakthrough, he has
informed Mugabe to dismantle the ZANU PF militia and get the army out of the
rural areas before the observers arrive.
Mbeki was reportedly told by his team of investigators that indeed they army
has been deployed in the rural areas and is terrorizing villagers. He raised
the concern with Mugabe through his minister Local Government Minister
Sydney Mufamadi who jetted into Zimbabwe on May 26, 2008.

Mufamadi discussed the Violence report that was presented to Mbeki by his
investigation team. According to a source the damning report blamed ZANU PF
militia and the Central intelligence Organisation for the post election
violence and also accused police of political bias in arrests.
Mufamadi, Mbeki’s confidante was one of the members in the South African
team broking talks between Zanu PF and the Movement for Democratic Change.

Mugabe told Mbeki’s envoy that he is not in control, and he personally
prefers a settlement and would not campaign for the run-off.

President Thabo Mbeki and the African National Congress (ANC)’s leadership
is also supportive of a negotiated settlement arguing that the run-off could
not be a mechanism for conflict resolution.
Mbeki is hoping for a breakthrough before the June 27.
An advance team of SADC observers is reported to have arrived, comprised of
the technical staff headed by Thanki Mothae, the director of SADC’s organ on
politics, defence and security.

Mothae was supposed to be booked at the Sheraton Hotel, upon investigations
a staffer at the hotel said the suites booked by the team are vacant. Metro
could not immediately verify if they booked into a different hotel.

SADC gave a clean bill of health to the 29 March poll, which was won by the
MDC and was relatively peaceful.
The 50 Pan African Parliament observers mostly parliamentarians were
scheduled to be deployed on 4 June,but by Wednesday 11 they had not arrived.

MDC spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa,MDC-Kuwadzana., said the delay in inviting
observers was one of the strategies by the “illegitimate government to cling
onto power as much as possible”.

“There are so many pits and hurdles in the electoral field and more delays
will just worsen the situation. There is no way in which we can have free
and fair elections when voters are being killed, our rallies are being
banned, we are not getting space on national television and the official
papers and our leaders are being arrested, all this out of the sight of the
very crucial observers,” .

Mugabe has denied European Union and other observer missions from Western
countries admission to monitor the elections, and diplomatic missions
resident in the country have been harassed by the authorities after
investigating claims of election violence.

Mugabe has said the government would invite observers from the African Union
(AU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market
of Eastern and Southern Africa - a trade-based bloc - the Economic Community
of West African States and representatives from Asia, Latin America and NGOs
from developing countries. However, there is no indication as yet if all
those apparently permitted to monitor the poll would do so.

Contact the writer of this story,Gerald at

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'No place for lawyers in Zim'


10/06/2008 15:02  - (SA)

Johannesburg - Rights lawyer Andrew Makoni hopes he is safe now as he sits
in his new office here, but he remains shaken after packing up and leaving
Zimbabwe recently out of fears he would be killed for his work.

"My departure was so sudden I had to leave my family behind," said Makoni,
who had represented Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. "They will
be joining me once their visas are sorted."

Activists said Zimbabwe might be facing an exodus of human rights lawyers
like Makoni because of a crackdown by President Robert Mugabe's regime.

The last couple months had been especially perilous, the activists said,
with Mugabe's 28-year reign over the country in jeopardy ahead of a June 27
presidential run-off.

Lawyers had been routinely threatened or arrested, testing even the most
hardened among them, they said.

"State institutions are being used to carry out atrocities against innocent
civilians and those defending them," said Beatrice Mthethwa, president of
the Zimbabwe Law Society.

Politically-motivated tortures

Makoni represented Tsvangirai, who faced Mugabe in the upcoming vote, when
the opposition leader was beaten up and arrested in March last year. The
lawyer said working in Zimbabwe had become almost impossible.

"If you represent a political or human rights abuse case you are
automatically associated with the cause of your client and subjected to
intimidation and arrest," he said.

Makoni claimed he fled after security forces assigned to a police station
near his home in Harare hatched a plan to kill him.

"Areas outside Harare like Muthoko, Murewa and Guruve are notorious for
politically-motivated tortures, disappearances and killings, and lawyers are
often ambushed when they visit these areas," he said.

Last year, Makoni and his partner Alec Muchadehama made headlines when they
were detained after trying to obtain bail for members of the opposition

They were charged with obstruction of justice and later released on bail
following an uproar by rights lawyers and organisations.

In the last two weeks, four of Makoni's clients who were members of the
opposition party were mysteriously killed, he said.

He claimed the situation was so bad that the number of human rights lawyers
throughout the country had dropped to about 10.

Political climate

Irene Petras, director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, said only a
handful of the bravest lawyers were willing to take on the government.

"We are not letting the biased and volatile political climate undermine our
work," said Petras.

The Johannesburg-based Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) said
Makoni's flight was likely to be followed by others.

The organisation in recent months spearheaded a Durban court bid to prevent
a Chinese ship from offloading its cargo of arms intended for Zimbabwe.

SALC director Nicole Fritz said it is a deeply troubling sign of the
situation in Zimbabwe when the best and most courageous human rights lawyers
were targeted and forced to flee.

"South Africa and regional leaders need to put human rights monitors on the
ground now because the Zimbabwean authorities who refuse to relinquish power
cannot be trusted to secure the lives - let alone the interests - of their
citizens," said Fritz.

Lawyers in Zimbabwe said working conditions had been deteriorating for
several years, but the situation had worsened for the past couple of months.

"These days being a lawyer means you are also an MDC member," Mthethwa of
the Zimbabwe Law Society said, referring to the Movement for Democratic
Change opposition party.

"Perpetrators often get off the hook as incidents of abuse go unreported.
Even if they are reported nothing much gets done about it."

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Attacking the Last Line of Defence: Lawyers Defending Human Rights Defenders



ZLHR Press Statement: 10 June 2008

Regrettably it has become commonplace to hear of regular and increasingly frequent attacks against members of the legal profession, both in the private sector, and those within the public service in Zimbabwe. The incidents - which have ranged from denial of entry into police stations, denial of access to clients, verbal and physical attacks on lawyers and prosecutors attending police stations, pointing of weapons at lawyers, surveillance of lawyers, their homes and activities, arrest and detention of lawyers, threats and attacks against the families of lawyers, death threats, and public physical assaults on lawyers amounting to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment - have been well documented and are a matter of public record.

However, in recent weeks, the operating environment for members of the legal profession, more particularly human rights lawyers, has been shrunk to the extent that it is becoming almost impossible for them, as officers of the court, to perform their professional duties and functions.

On Friday 30 May 2008, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) was advised by its network partner, the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), that it had received Mr. Andrew Makoni in its offices in Johannesburg, South Africa. He had fled the country after receiving credible information to the effect that he was on a list of human rights lawyers targeted for imminent assassination for representing members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). This information had allegedly been independently verified from two separate sources to two other lawyers, and has also been publicized by the African Bar Associations (incorporating the SADC Lawyers’ Association, the East African Law Society and the West African Bar Associations, as well as the global legal body, the International Bar Association). He, or other human rights lawyers, were to be “made an example” to dissuade other lawyers from taking up the defence of targeted human rights defenders in the run-up to the presidential election run-off, and in the face of escalating human rights violations in several provinces.

SALC further advised that it had addressed urgent letters to the Minister of Justice, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs, the Commissioner-General of Police, the Director of the Central Intelligence Organization, and the Acting Attorney-General, setting out the allegations, reminding them of their constitutional obligations to protect lawyers, and requesting a response and action to protect all lawyers in the country. SALC has not yet received a response. Mr. Makoni represents a wide range of human rights defenders, with leaders and members of the MDC forming the foundation of his legal practice.

A week later, reports reached ZLHR that human rights lawyer, Mr. Harrison Nkomo, had also been forced to leave the country after receiving the same information and believing that his life was under threat. He is also currently reported to be in South Africa. Mr. Nkomo represents media practitioners as well as leaders and members of the MDC.

On 9 June 2008, ZLHR was advised that various individuals had gathered around the vehicle of Mr. Alec Muchadehama outside his legal practice in Harare, and were waiting for him to emerge from his office. Vehicles were parked at the exits of the building, as well as outside his home. Realizing that these were not ordinary police officers sent to arrest him, he immediately went into hiding. He, too, represents a significant number of human rights defenders, including MDC leaders and members, and assorted civil society organizations, including the National Constitutional Assembly, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, and the Christian Alliance (whose case he was attending when his office and home were surrounded).

These are the most recent examples of a deeply disturbing clampdown on the legal profession, but are not the only cases to have been reported recently to ZLHR. Lawyers who have left the jurisdiction have also been reported to have alleged that “mass arrests” are being planned in the final weeks before the election run-off, and that human rights lawyers are considered as being a “barrier” to ensuring that targeted individuals remain in custody while the election is ongoing.

The Constitution of Zimbabwe in its Declaration of Rights, section 13(3), guarantees a person who is arrested or detained the right to “obtain and instruct without delay a legal representative of his own choice and hold communication with him”. The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (to which Zimbabwe is a State Party), and the African Union’s Principles and Guidelines on the Right to Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa (”the Principles and Guidelines”), both reaffirm these rights.

The Principles and Guidelines further stipulate that every accused person has the right to an effective defence and representation, and that the independence of lawyers shall be guaranteed. In particular, the state is obliged to ensure that lawyers:

  1. are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference;
  2. are able to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad;
  3. shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics

Lawyers also “shall enjoy civil and penal immunity for relevant statements made in good faith in written or oral pleadings or in their professional appearances before a judicial body or other legal or administrative authority”, and “shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ cause as a result of discharging their functions” (our emphasis). Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities.

Similar safeguards have been laid out in various United Nations (UN) instruments (to which Zimbabwe is a State Party) and expanded particularly in the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, of which the state is well aware as a member of the UN.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) wishes to warn of the dire consequences ahead for human rights defenders, civic organizations and legitimate political party leaders and members as a result of the clampdown on lawyers. Such targeting of lawyers - even the mere allegation that there exists a “list” of lawyers for elimination - has a chilling effect on all members of the legal profession and, by implication, on the affected individuals whose rights they seek to protect.

We urge our members to remain committed to the representation of all human rights defenders, no matter their political persuasion, in compliance with their constitutional obligations. At the same time, we urge them to exercise vigilance and extreme caution in relation to their security, and to immediately report all threats of attack and/or actual attacks to the responsible authorities, to the Law Society of Zimbabwe and to ZLHR, as well as SADC diplomatic representatives and regional observers in Zimbabwe.

ZLHR further issues an urgent call for the following, as a matter of extreme urgency:

  1. An immediate cessation by members of the police, army and central intelligence and/or other individuals or organs acting on their behalf or with their knowledge or acquiescence, of plans to commit acts and/or ongoing acts of intimidation, threat, attack, abduction (enforced disappearance) and/or extra-judicial execution of members of the legal profession, their families, or work colleagues.
  2. That the Minister of Justice, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs, the Commissioner-General of Police, the Director of the Central Intelligence Organization, and the Acting Attorney General provide a public undertaking that all members of the legal profession will be properly protected by the authorities in compliance with their constitutional, regional and international law obligations, and will be allowed to continue representing all and any clients who call upon their services without fear or favour.
  3. That the authorities respond immediately to the claims made by SALC, other regional and international law bodies, and affected human rights lawyers and advise of what action is being taken to ensure that members of the legal profession are guaranteed their constitutional rights, including the right to life, and safety and security of their person.
  4. That regional observer missions currently in the country, and those following, urgently take up this grave matter with the relevant authorities and provide public assurances and information of their interventions to the legal profession in this regard.
  5. That the SADC mediator, President Thabo Mbeki, immediately and diligently investigates this state of affairs and makes a public statement on action taken, information received, and steps which will be taken to ensure the safety of the legal profession and their clients, as well as reduce the threats to peace and security in Zimbabwe and the region in the run-up to the presidential election run-off, and beyond 27 June 2008.

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It hasn't begun - but Mugabe is winning!

Zimbabwe Today

How Mugabe is already ahead in the June 27 poll

Those who fear for the survival of democracy in Zimbabwe will be gratified
to know that Mugabe's Zanu-PF are so keen on the process of one-man,
one-vote, they've started already. Yesterday thousands of police and
associated uniformed thugs voted in the run-off presidential election set
for June 27. And, amazingly, they all voted for Robert Mugabe.

Employing the notoriously unreliable postal voting system, the top cops
lined their men up and gave them strict instructions on how to fill in their
ballot papers. In Bulawayo it was Senior Assistant Commissioner Lee Muchemwa
who addressed the ranks.

"He told us we would vote for Mugabe whether we liked it or not," my police
source told me. "We voted in front of members of the Police Internal
Security Intelligence (PISI), who checked our ballot papers."

The tone of this "vote" was set previously by Assistant Police Commissioner
Nyakutsika, who told his men: "You will all do as you are told. Zanu-PF is
the only party allowed to rule this country. We cannot surrender to puppets
like Tsvangirai. We fought the whites, and we do not want them back here

Another police source, an Inspector, confirmed to me that all the police
voting had been conducted without the presence of any officials from the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) or any other monitors.

"We carried the process out now, to get it done before international
observers start arriving next week. All the officers have now voted.
Tomorrow it will be the turn of their wives."

Just to boost figures, some civilians have also been appointed temporary
police officers in order to cast their votes correctly. And similar
procedures are said to be occurring within the army and other militia.

Let me finish with another quotation from Assistant Commissioner
Nyakutskikwa. Speaking to his men before they voted, he told them:

"Even if you tell the foreign press, even if you tell the western
governments, we do not care. They will do nothing."

You have to agree, he's got that right.

Posted on Wednesday, 11 June 2008 at 07:18

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Operation 'Where Did You Vote?' Comes to Harare

Zimbabwe Gazette

            By Lee Shungu, on June 10 2008 21:17

      Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU PF party has intensified its violent
campaign of intimidating main opposition MDC party members and supporters
ahead of the June 27 presidential election run-off, as violence comes to

      The party's operation, code named, 'Where Did You Vote' has
reached the capital Harare, where many people are being verbally and
physically assaulted by the notorious youth militia.
      Information gathered by The Zimbabwe Gazette reveal politically
motivated violence is slowly creeping into the urban areas, which are the
MDC strongholds.

      Eyewitnesses also confess to some intimidation and assault by
groups of 'young men' clad in new completely blue police uniforms.

      A resident in the uptown suburb of Chisipite- who preferred
anonymity said some strange people stopped him by placing barricades on the
road whilst he was driving.

      "They ordered me to stop, and I complied."

        "One of them who seemed to be their leader then said to me,
"We know where you voted last time. We know you and we also have your
details including your vehicle registration plates. We will track you, if
you don't vote wisely this time," he said.
      President Robert Mugabe, who is in power since 1980 is vying for
another term in office against MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

      Mugabe lost to Tsvangirai in the first round of the elections in
which the latter failed to avoid a run-off.
      In his new campaign strategy, Mugabe recently inco-operated war
veterans, youth militia, the chief intelligence teams and uniformed forces
in clamping down on the MDC mainly through beating up and murdering key
party members and supporters.

      "The youth militia is camped at a location just outside the
suburb of Chisipite," he added.

      Another eyewitness in the capital indicates she saw a heavily
bleeding white man around the Chisipite shops.

      "The man just hinted he was assaulted by ZANU PF thugs," she

      Mugabe has come under pressure from SADC and the international
community for human rights violations especially through unleashing violence
on opposition supporters.

      According to the MDC, more than 50 of its supporters have been
killed in politically motivated violence.

      Recently, the United Nations has been pressurising Mugabe to
have international observers to monitor the upcoming elections. Human rights
groups have also indicated the environment is not conducive to hold the

      In an incident which occurred in Harare's high-density suburb of
Kuwadzana during the weekend, ZANU PF youths invaded and interrupted a
church service.
      An eyewitness who is a member of the church (Roman Catholic)
said whilst in the middle of the weekend service, the church building was
suddenly surrounded by people in ZANU PF regalia, with posters and pamphlets
in their hands.

      "They started sticking the posters on the church building,
including on doors and windows."

      "They accused the church leaders of celebrating and 'preaching'
about the MDC recent poll victory. They shouted, "We shall see what you are
going to vote with. We are going to remove those fingers."

      A Peace for Justice pastor is said to have urged the church
members to remain calm and not react to the 'crazy' and unholy acts.

      The eyewitness added the pastor tried to negotiate with the ZANU
PF thugs so they leave, but the hooligans refused citing the church had for
long supported the opposition whilst also housing MDC supporters.

      According to SW Radio, a wife and son of Harare South MDC
official were murdered in what is believed to be political violence. ZANU PF
MP- Nyanhongo has been implicated.

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Mugabe can no longer speak of Zimbabwe as his

10th Jun 2008 22:52 GMT

By Chenjerai Chitsaru

IT'S probable that not too many Zimbabweans protested loudly enough after
President Robert Mugabe made the notorious declaration that Zimbabwe was
his, as Britain was Tony Blair's.

"Let me keep my Zimbabwe", he said at an international conference in South

In essence, this was one of the most arrogant declarations any head of state
could make. It could have been a play on words or a taking of liberties with
language, but it stuck in the throats of many Zimbabweans.

It was particularly galling for citizens already disgusted with Mugabe's
autocratic style of government since 1980.

Soon, he would be speaking of "my people", as if we were so much

In March, as majority of the people sought to disabuse him of that notion
once and for all, they voted against him in the presidential election and
whatever spin Zanu PF wants to put on that open declaration, not one of
their propaganda could turn it into an endorsement of the man with many
degrees in violence.

Mugabe has been rejected by the people and must now muster enough dignity
and  decency to make a quiet exit.

If enough Zimbabweans had protested at his declaration of the country being
"his", perhaps even his sycophantic handlers would have had the wisdom to
remind him that this constituted an insult to the collective intelligence of
the people.

But we now know that Mugabe's advisers and handlers seem more interested in
taking care of their personal interests than those of either the country or
those of the man whose future they are sworn to safeguard.

There can be little doubt that in conspiring to impose a run-off
presidential election on the nation, they are hoping against hope that
Mugabe will be given another term of office.

This is presumptuous rubbish. As a whole, the people, including previously
intellectually challenged Zanu PF zealots, now believe Mugabe is no longer
of much use to them as a leader, at least not the kind of leader to lead
them out of the darkness into which his policies have thrust them.

If they insist on tempting Fate, then they'd better be prepared to reap the
whirlwind. Even if they managed to somehow engineer
a win for Mugabe in the run-off, there will still be the future to be
confronted. The people are hoping for a transformation in their lives.

They are hoping for peace and prosperity; they are hoping for jobs, shelter,
an efficient  health delivery system and as political dispensation that
guarantees them a decent chance of choose their own leaders and the dignity
to be viewed by the rest of the world as responsible citizens wise enough
not to allow their destiny to be determined by people who believe diesel can
gush out of a rock.

If Mugabe and Zanu PF still believe that they can swing the vote in their
favour by repeating the litany that the people must vote against Britain and
the rest of the Western "devils", then we are all in for a
terrible, and perhaps bloody time.

The determination to hang on to power has intoxicated Zanu PF into believing
that no outrage can be too extreme to show the West that they are prepared
top "hang tough" until they have their way.

Their "way", presumably, is to force the United Kingdom, the United States,
the European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to back off from
continuing to punish Zimbabwe for its impunity in ignoring most fundamental
requirements of a democratic state,
particularly the respect of its citizens' lives.

This was the state of mind in which Mugabe made his declaration of Zimbabwe
being "his". All this has rubbed off on his wife, whose incredible statement
recently of Morgan Tsvangirai not being allowed to step into State House,
even if he wins the 27 June plebiscite meant that she, her husband and Zanu
PF are ready to plunge this country into possibly its bloodiest mess since

What they seem to be determined to do is to try the patience of the people
until it reaches breaking point. Nobody, including Mugabe and Zanu PF, has
yet succeeded in doing this. So, in fact, they can have no idea of what an
angry population is capable of when it decides it
has nothing to lose but its chains.

What must be asked of Mugabe and the rest of the Zanu PF hierarchy is
whether they are prepared to leave such a legacy to future generations, a
Somalia-type of country, in which the prospects
of a return to a normalcy of acceptable levels can be ruled out for all

For many Zimbabweans, the pain will be almost unbearable: a country which
was almost universally expected to emerge as the economic and political
powerhouses of the continent degenerating into a backwater.

The regime is now so desperate it is resorting to extreme measures to incite
the people to vote for Mugabe. Television footage of the evils of
colonialism is clearly intended to fix in the minds of the gullible the idea
that voting for the MDC would be tantamount to returning the country to the

References to the story of King Lobengula and the Rudd commission are
probably designed to remind the people of Matabeleland not to vote for the
MDC, as if any of that party's leaders had ever pronounced in favour of what
he white settlers tried to do with the Rudd commission.

There is also a racist element in the propaganda. Riot scenes from the
height of the agitation against white supremacy are obviously intended to
heighten the anti-white campaign, which is hoped to be translated into an
anti-MDC vote.

None of this is likely to work because the evidence of Zanu PF culpability
is so heavy, even people in the rural areas now know IMF - It's Mugabe's

But there is no denying the logic of Zanu PF's attempt to reverse the 29
March verdict. There is so much the party has to answer for that it cannot
just let go of the power to determine its own destiny.

But the hope is fading and what remains is only the chance to accept that
Zimbabwe will never be "Mugabe" again.

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Zimbabweans appeal to South Africa



PRESS RELEASE – 10th June 2008



Exiled Zimbabweans are to demonstrate outside the South African High Commission in London on Thursday 12th June in protest at the South African government’s policy on Zimbabwe.  They will present a petition expressing horror at the recent xenophobic violence in South Africa in which more than 60 foreigners were killed and thousands chased out of South Africa.


A copy of the petition was handed to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel peace laureate, at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in London on Monday 9th June.  Archbishop Tutu described the situation in Zimbabwe as a nightmare and asked forgiveness on behalf of the people of South Africa for the violence against foreigners.


The petition reads: “A Petition to Thabo Mbeki: Following the recent attacks on Zimbabweans and other foreign nationals in South Africa we, the undersigned, call on President Mbeki to take action to ensure the safety of these endangered people and bring the perpetrators to justice.  We urge President Mbeki to end his support of President Mugabe, allowing a resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis and the return home of exiled Zimbabweans. Zimbabwean blood is at your door.”


The petition was signed by people passing by the Zimbabwe Vigil on Saturday 7th June and by people attending the St Martin-in-the-Fields church gathering attended by Archbishop Tutu.


The text of the letter to Thabo Mbeki reads: “We have been horrified by the recent xenophobic attacks on Zimbabweans and other foreigners in South Africa and enclose a petition signed on Saturday 7th June by people passing by the Zimbabwe Vigil, which has been demonstrating outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, London, every Saturday for the past 6 years The situation can only get worse if Zanu PF is allowed to cling to power.  More and more Zimbabweans will have no choice but to flee.  We believe there is a crisis in Zimbabwe and that you can help resolve it.  We pray to God you will rise to this challenge.”


Event:                            Protest against South African government’s policy on Zimbabwe

Venue:                           Outside the South African High Commission, Trafalgar Square, London

Date / time:                     12 noon – 2 pm, Thursday 12th June 2008

Photo Opportunities:       Zimbabwean singing and drumming

Further information:        Contact Rose Benton (07970 996 003, 07932 193 467) and Dumi Tutani (07960 039 775)


As well as the Saturday Vigils, the Zimbabwe Vigil’s plans include.

·    Service of Solidarity with Torture Survivors of Zimbabwe, Thursday 26th June 4 – 5.30 pm on UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum supported by the Vigil. Venue: St Paul's Church, Bedford Street, Covent Garden WC2E 9ED.  All welcome to join the service and post-service procession to lay flowers on the steps of the Zimbabwe Embassy. 

·    Zimbabwe Vigil’s mock Presidential Run-off. Friday 27th June 10 am – 4 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. 

·    Mandela 90th Birthday Concert. Friday 27th June, 4 pm in Hyde Park.  Vigil supporters to attend the event with banners reading “Speak out Mandela” and “What about Zimbabwe?”


Vigil Co-ordinators


The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.


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US State Dept Daily Press Briefing: June 10, 2008

Wednesday, 11 June 2008, 7:29 pm
Press Release: US State Department

Daily Press Briefing
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 10, 2008


QUESTION: -- how goes the effort to get the [Security] Council to rate

MR. MCCORMACK: We're continuing to work that. I would expect it's - the
Secretary is focused on the issue. She has spoken with a couple of people in
the international system and I expect she's going to have more discussions
about how we can highlight what is happening in Zimbabwe and by way of doing
that, see if there's any - if there are any practical steps that the
international community can take to try to (a) have a real runoff - runoff
election there and (b) to ensure, going forward, that Zimbabwean citizens
can witness a broadening and deepening and opening up of their political
system, as opposed to the kind of contraction that we are witnessing.

QUESTION: So who has she spoken with?

MR. MCCORMACK: She spoke with Foreign Secretary Miliband over the weekend,
she also - on, you know, that as well as other topics. She also spoke over
the weekend with Burkina-Faso President Compaore. I would expect that over
time, in the coming weeks, that she'll have more - more conversations. And
she also asked Under Secretary Bill Burns, who is in Japan, for a meeting of
the G-8 political directors to raise this issue. I think you also saw this
issue raised as part of the U.S.-EU Summit that has just taken place. So it's
 - we as well as others are focused on this in trying to do things that may
have some practical effect on the situation there. It's hard to do, but we're
committed to trying.

QUESTION: South Africa is supposed to be meeting - making a new mediation
bid this week. Have you talked with them about the mediation efforts? This
is according to a South African newspaper.

MR. MCCORMACK: Right. Not at the - not at the cabinet, level. I think that
we have had contacts with them on a regular basis at the working level to
include Assistant Secretary Jendayi Frazer, but I don't have any new reports
for you.

QUESTION: So will she - do you expect her to raise Zimbabwe at all on the
19th, considering the election? Will there be --

MR. MCCORMACK: It could well come up. Again, we do - we know definitively
that she is going to talk about these thematic issues of women's empowerment
and trying - working to prevent violence against women. That discussion does
not preclude a discussion on other items as well.

QUESTION: Right. And then the - yesterday and it may - forgive me if I'm
wrong, but I don't think we ever saw the - there was supposed to be a TQ on
election and monitors? Do you --

MR. MCCORMACK: Right. The kind of aid that we're providing. Yeah, folks -
folks in our building asked me not to get into any more detail about it.
They said it would just make their - make the work of those recipients of
that election aid -- make their work a little bit more difficult. So I'm
going to abide by those wishes and not get into more details about it.

QUESTION: I'm sorry. Had you identified any recipients?

MR. MCCORMACK: No. No, but that was the open question. There is - there was
a question of the specific numbers, as well as --

QUESTION: Well, at least my question was (inaudible) - you said that seven
million for the runoff, but I was looking for --

MR. MCCORMACK: I said several - several million. I didn't say seven.

QUESTION: Are you sure?


QUESTION: I'm pretty sure you said -

QUESTION: I heard seven.

QUESTION: -- seven.

MR. MCCORMACK: No, I said several.

QUESTION: Well, then is it fair to say that it was several million for the
original election?

MR. MCCORMACK: A combination of the two.

QUESTION: Okay. So it was several, not seven, and it was for both, not
just --


QUESTION: -- the runoff?

MR. MCCORMACK: Right, right.


QUESTION: Morgan Tsvangirai has rejected calls for a national unity
government. And former Finance Minister Simba Makoni said that the runoff
should be called off. I just wonder what you think is the best way forward.

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, you know, ultimately, that's going to come down to the
parties on the ground and we haven't - as I have said before, we haven't
heard the call from Mr. Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC, for calling off
the runoff election. We are continuing to focus on trying to make this
runoff election one that can be as free and fair as possible, that will
reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people. Whether or not that can happen is
an open question. But we are proceeding along that pathway absent any
qualitative change in the situation.

Yes, ma'am.

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Eric Matinenga, a prisoner in Mugabe's jail

By Farai & Tafadzwa Matinenga | Community Reports | Biography |
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 19:23

From Editor: As we reported this week, the ZANU-PF government has seen
it fit to deny bail to anybody arrested on charges of inciting violence. One
of those people behind bars is Eric Matinenga, who was arrested in
accordance with an order from Chiwenga, the commander of the Zimbabwe
defence forces. In a new series, we let the family tell us what they think
of their loved ones gaoled in Mugabe's filthy prisons. It's our effort here
at Harare Tribune to put a face on the hundreds of law abiding Zimbabweans
thrown in jail by Mugabe because they threaten his power.

I would like to thank you for running the story on my dad, Advocate
Eric Matinenga regarding his arrest in Zimbabwe. I would like to reiterate

that the allegations that have been brought against my father are
false allegations, allegations which the judge has dismissed but the
Zimbabwean police decide to disregard the judges court orders by rearresting
him and keeping him detained in contempt of court.

Advocate Eric Matinenga has been a human rights lawyer for countless
of people and a proponent of justice to all in Zimbabweans irregardless of
which background a person comes from and which political party one belongs
to. Indeed it is ironic that the police decided to take him simply because
he was insisting on seeing his clients who had been detained, and like him,
were also being denied their basic constitutional human right to
representation, access to court and the justice system.

His stance has always been on standing for what the truth is. It is
the truth that will suffice. It is for this reason that even though he
decided to run for the Buhera West parliamentarians, he did not intend to
leave his profession as he intended and believed that his duty was also to
remain in representing the defenseless.

Brief overview

Advocate Matinenga started studying law after he had gone home to
Murambinda and saw how his father had been battling with the unfair tax laws
that had been enacted when his father was still alive. Infact, he had been
accepted for economics at the University of Zimbabwe but after seeing this
disparity and injustice he went back and changed his major to law.

He has since worked with various organizations including the Msasa
Project which works at protecting women's rights especially those in
domestic violence as well as being one of Zimbabwe's top human rights

He worked in the government sector for many years before moving to the
private sector as Advocate. In government he quickly rose to ranks where he
was promoted from magistrate to being president of the administrative court.

He was also responsible for the change in the now new water bill. He
has also been a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and has served on
numerous boards and organizations including representing the Zimbabwe
Advocate sector.

His intention was  not political per say but as events started to
unfold the people of his home town asked him to stand for them as MP as they
saw in him a man of integrity, strength, truth and someone who could be able
to serve them and their needs.

As MP for Buhera West, he was looking forward to rebuilding the
infrastructure in Buhera and especially improving the road, hospital and
school system Together with my mum, they had started on a gardening project
and had got some doctors to volunteer at the hospital.

As a family we are distraught at what is happening and the current
events in Zimbabwe. Not only are we concerned about the future of our father
we are also concerned at the lives of children who have had their parents
abducted, killed, imprisoned or displaced due to these elections.

It should not be murderous that a person decides to believe in a
different political party. I believe that is what they call freedom of
association and speech.

We are proud of our father and continue to believe and support him in
his cause despite the unfortunate events and ask for his immediate release
and safety.

He is currently married to his wife Miriam Matinenga and they have
three children 1girl and 2 boys, Tafadzwa, Farai and Takudzwa Matinenga.

He is an avid squash player and dedicated to his family and work.

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WOZA activists remain in custody

10th Jun 2008 23:50 GMT

By a Correspondent

WOZA Update June 10, 2008

The 13 WOZA women and one man are spending another night in custody in
remand prisons in Harare.  The State's appeal against bail awarded in the
magistrates court May 30 was due to be heard today.

However, the State only filed their arguments late yesterday afternoon,
which meant the ZLHR lawyer representing WOZA could only submit their
arguments this morning.

Judge Hlatshwayo said that he needed time to read them and postponed the
hearing until tomorrow. If the State's case fails, the members should be
released tomorrow.

If it succeeds, WOZA will continue to press for their freedom. They are
being unjustly punished without trial for exercising their constitutionally
guaranteed right to freedom of expression and assembly.

         Statement by Women of Zimbabwe Arise - June 8, 08

13 WOZA women and one man remain in custody ten days after being arrested on
May 28th. They were participating in a demonstration calling on the
government of Zimbabwe to stop the orchestrated violence in the run-up to
the presidential run-off election.  The women are being held at Chikurubi
Prison, in the women's remand section, while the man is held at Harare
Remand Prison.

On May 30 they were admitted to bail in the magistrate's court, but the
State immediately indicated that they would appeal, and were given seven
court days to file.  The appeal will now be heard on Tuesday, June 10.
However, the State has still not filed their papers, saying they will be
filed on Monday, with the result that the lawyer from Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights acting on their behalf has not been able to view the State's
arguments opposing bail.  Meanwhile all the accused appeared in the
magistrate's court on Friday June 6 and were routinely remanded until June
20.  It is our hope however, that the State's case against bail will fail
when it is heard on the 10th, and all will be released.

The demonstration for which they were arrested took place in the context of
escalating state-sponsored violence against the opposition MDC, a campaign
designed to destroy party structures and intimidate voters not to support
the opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai when the run-off election is held
June 27th.  More than 50 opposition activists have been killed, thousands
have been tortured and injured and tens of thousands have been displaced
from their homes, making it impossible for them to vote.  WOZA was
protesting against this violence when they were arrested.  Since their
arrest the violence has increased and many more victims have poured into
clinics, hospitals, and morgues, homes have been burned and families

All of the arrested face charges of participating in a public gathering with
the intent to provoke public violence.  Jennifer Williams faces two
additional counts of causing disaffection among the police and publishing
false statements prejudicial to the state.  The charges are based on
legislation clearly in breach of the Zimbabwean constitution, which
guarantees freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.  If they are
brought to trial, the constitutionality of these sections of the law will be

In spite of the stringent conditions which exist in Zimbabwean prisons, all
the WOZA members are in good spirits and strong in their commitment to
resist oppression and work for social justice.  They continue to be visited
and taken food.  When at the prison they are permitted to eat, but on the
day they were taken to court they were refused food while other prisoners
were eating, because they are "political".

WOZA believes that in the current conditions no election can fairly reflect
the will of the Zimbabwean people. ZANU PF was the clear loser in the March
29th elections but they continue to hold the people hostage. WOZA calls on
the international community to recognize the need to find ways to stop the
violence, and introduce a healing period under the auspices of an
internationally-authorised transitional government.  Only then will it be
possible to return to a viable electoral process to determine the genuine
wishes of the Zimbabwean people.

We also call on the international community to lend support to those WOZA
and MOZA members brave enough to stand up publicly in their own terrorized
nation to protest the violent actions of a ZANU PF government which has lost
the mandate to rule.

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US Dollar 'Officially' Used in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Gazette

            By Lee Shungu, on June 10 2008 21:15

      Crisis-torn nation of Zimbabwe is now using the United States
dollar for pricing, quotations and making general transactions, The Zimbabwe
Gazette can reveal.

        Businesses now peg their prices according to the US$ rate
whilst others resort to asking clients to pay for services in the greenback
or the South African Rand.

      Though the move is illegal, the government has not yet
intervened in any way besides issuing warnings to offenders despite
widespread disgruntlements from the public.

      In a survey, across the country, prices of goods and services
are currently being pegged at the US$ prevailing that day, therefore
resulting in the consumer being affected the most as the Z$ continues to
lose value on a daily basis.

      One consumer, Edmore Chikanya said it is of no use to earn Z$

      "Take for example; I am earning a salary of Z$50 billion per
month. Before I go to the bank, prices would have gone up dramatically."

      "When I have the money in my pocket, it cannot take me to the
next pay day, if not the next week," he said.

      A stroll in Harare's CBD revealed prices are going up everyday.
For example, a 2 litre bottle of Orange Crush which cost $1.7 billion last
week, now costs $3.5 billion. A litre of Coke which cost $200 million is now
at $1.4 billion. A kg of beef which was at $1.5 billion, now costs $7
billion. A bar of washing soap which was at $1.2 billion is now at $3
billion. A 2 litre bottle of cooking oil which cost $3.5 billion is now at
figures exceeding $5 billion.
      The National Incomes and Pricing Commission (NIPC) boss,
Goodwills Masimirembwa recently warned businesses who are pegging prices in
the parallel market US$ rate citing they should follow the Interbank rate
(which is also rising everyday.)

      On Tuesday this week, the Z$ was pegged at $2.2 billion against
the greenback on the Interbank rate. However, it was reported to be around
$2.5 billion on the parallel market.

      Chikanya adds those who earn foreign currency have a great
advantage as their money maintains value.

      This paper can also reveal most property prices and rentals are
now being charged in foreign currency.

      This reporter came across a number of people flocking to the
parallel market to buy the much sought-after hard currency so as to pay
their rentals at the end of the month.

      Against a problem of lack of accommodation, many tenants though
aware that the practice is illegal, accept such terms for fear of being

      One tenant, Brian Pasipamire says the rental being asked for by
his landlord is unsustainable and far outweighs his monthly earnings.

      "I pay US$50 every month. This means I have to source this money
from elsewhere."
      "I earn Z$, and it is a huge expense to fetch US$ on the
parallel market every month," he said.

      Transactions in local currency in the property market are now
almost non-existent as sellers and landlords try to get the true value of
their real estate investments.

      The Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe (EACZ) and the Tenants
Association of Zimbabwe have reportedly condemned Estate Agents who indulge
in charging rentals in hard currency.

      A local property analyst says the continued weakening of the
Zimbabwean dollar has resulted in transactions in the property market being
carried out in foreign currency particularly the US dollar.

      "It is this dwindling number of properties that has resulted in
serious competition and the continued rise in the prices for these

      "The responsible authorities should do something about this
situation where everything is quoted in hard currency, but paid in local
currency," he said.

      Last month, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, Gideon Gono
liberalized foreign currency trade in the country in an effort to get rid of
the illegal parallel market. However, the black market rates are always
higher than the bank rates therefore minimising the probability of a single
forex trade rate.

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Mugabe simply not prepared to share power

June 11, 2008

By Tendai Dumbutshena

THERE have been calls from many quarters for a government of national unity
(GNU) in Zimbabwe to end the economic crisis and political impasse. The
presidential run-off scheduled for June 27 is seen by advocates of a GNU as
a recipe for deepening the crisis regardless of the outcome.

A fervent advocate of a GNU or transitional authority, as he prefers to call
it, is Simba Makoni a losing candidate in the March 29 poll. He argues that
not only would the run-off not solve the political crisis; the violence
accompanying it would deepen divisions in an already polarized society.

Moreover, so dire is the current economic situation that the country simply
cannot afford another election. Makoni quite correctly points out that
conditions for a free and fair election do not exist because of violence and
a compromised Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). He sees the transitional
authority's mandate as stabilizing the economy and creating an environment
conducive to a free and fair election in two to five years.

The view that a run-off would be a costly exercise in futility is shared by
the International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels -based think tank. In a
recent report it argued that regardless of the result of the run off,
Zimbabwe's political and economic woes would deepen and persist.

A victory for incumbent Robert Mugabe would mean continued internal
political conflict, rapid economic decline and international isolation. The
report predicts a coup by the military should MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
win. The only sensible solution according to the ICG is a negotiated
political settlement between the MDC and Zanu-PF.

In theory there is nothing wrong with the two parties agreeing to form a
transitional coalition government to arrest Zimbabwe's calamitous decline.
Arguments advanced by Makoni, ICG and many others in favour of this
proposition make sense. But are they realistic? Are conditions on the ground
conducive to a pact between the MDC and Zanu-PF to put the national interest
above all else?

Political analysis and strategy should not be made in a vacuum. If that
happens it loses credibility and relevance.

Facts on the ground in Zimbabwe militate against the two parties working
together. An undisputed truth is that Zanu-PF, so used to monopolizing
power, is not interested in any coalition. It simply will not share power.
To Mugabe the idea goes against every instinct in his body. The
self-proclaimed apostle of a one-party state will not for a fraction of a
second entertain sharing power with even God himself.

Mugabe through Patrick Chinamasa now peddles the falsehood that a GNU will
be considered after the run-off. This assumes of course that Mugabe wins.
Should he win the only item on the agenda would be the destruction of the
MDC and Tsvangirai. To think that a victorious Mugabe would entertain any
accommodation of the MDC is sheer madness. How can there be serious
discussion of a GNU when Zanu-PF has embarked on a systematic elimination of
MDC activists? How can there be national reconciliation when livelihoods of
defenceless innocent people in rural areas are wantonly destroyed even now?

Zimbabwe's election must be the only one in the world in which a party has
to seek intervention by courts of law to hold campaign meetings and rallies.
There is a determination to ensure that people are thoroughly intimidated
not to be able to make a free choice. Access to state-owned print and
electronic media is denied to the MDC. Instead a crude and vicious
propaganda against the MDC has been unleashed under the direction of the
Ministry of Information. The entire state machinery has been mobilized to
ensure that Mugabe wins on June 27.

Yet proponents of a GNU talk glibly about this notion oblivious to the
mayhem that prevails in the country. To succeed national unity or coalition
governments must be predicated on the bona fides of all participants. They
must be premised on a sincere desire to promote national interest. Mugabe is
no fool. He knows the composition of a GNU before the run-off must reflect
the results of March 29.This means it must be led by Tsvangirai whose party
won both parliamentary and presidential polls. Any other arrangement would
be a negation of the will of the people and certainly not acceptable to the

A Tsvangirai led GNU is equally unacceptable to Mugabe. Having lost the
first round Mugabe realised the risks inherent in a run-off. It is, however,
a risk he is willing to take, given the unpalatable alternatives on offer.
Mugabe is convinced that the current orgy of violence in rural areas coupled
with crude propaganda will reverse the March 20 result. He certainly is not
prepared to entertain the idea of a GNU, even with Tsvangirai as junior

Tsvangirai and his party must just be destroyed. The MDC leader has met
every significant African leader concerned with the Zimbabwean issue over
the past nine years. Yet Mugabe has steadfastly refused to meet him. Given
this reality how can the idea of a GNU be seriously canvassed?

Mugabe and the clique that surrounds him will not allow any sharing of power
to happen even in transient form. There is talk of reasonable people in
Zanu-PF prepared to walk the path of national unity and reconciliation. If
they exist their views are irrelevant as they lack courage within structures
in their party to forcibly express them. Cowardice and opportunism combine
to make them impotent spectators as their party plunges Zimbabwe on the road
to ruin.

There is talk of South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki being in favour of a
GNU in Zimbabwe in his role as SADC appointed mediator. Media speculation
said as recently as last week Mbeki's officials met with MDC and Zanu-PF
representatives to convince them to forego the run off in favour of a GNU.
Little credence should be given to such speculation. Mbeki wants Zanu-PF to
remain the ruling party in Zimbabwe. He will support whatever strategy
Mugabe believes can best advance his agenda. At present core to this
strategy is winning the run-off by whatever means necessary.

Mbeki is fully aware of the murder, torture and rape sponsored by the state
that has devastated lives in Zimbabwe's rural areas. Credible reports say a
fact-finding mission commissioned by Mbeki to look into allegations of state
sponsored violence presented its report to him two weeks ago. Composed of
retired generals of South Africa's defence forces it reportedly confirmed
reports of state-sponsored violence.

Characteristically, there is no mention of the report by Mbeki. Its findings
were too unpalatable for his agenda to protect Mugabe from international
censure. Not a murmur of protest about the murder, rape and torture of
ordinary Africans Mbeki and his ilk claim to speak for. Instead of raising
these issues of life and death of Africans he claims to love and represent,
Mbeki found it more important to write to US President George Bush to leave
Zimbabwe alone.

Those who believe a GNU or transitional authority is what Zimbabwe needs are
well meaning. But they must be realistic. Zanu-PF is not interested in such
a solution. It wants to bludgeon the MDC and its supporters to submission.

Commanders of the defence forces have repeatedly said they will not accept a
Zanu-PF defeat. People are being murdered and rendered homeless by a regime
that does not value their lives and well being. African leaders watch
helplessly as Zimbabwe and its people are sacrificed at the altar of Zanu-PF

Whenever Mbeki is cornered on his Zimbabwe policy he says it is up to the
people of Zimbabwe to solve their problems. He may well be right. But he
should not abuse his position as mediator to protect Mugabe's regime. It is
a cop-out for a man who has given support to Mugabe. He is however right to
say ultimately it is up to Zimbabweans to resolve their problems.

They should do so by voting Mugabe out on June 27.

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Zimbabwe Must Lift Suspension of Humanitarian Aid

June 10, 2008
2:01 PM

     CONTACT: Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)
Kate Krauss
(617) 395-4198 Cell: (215) 939-7852

Minister of Health Accused of Violence against Opposition

CAMBRIDGE - June 10 - Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today urged
the government of Zimbabwe to end its ban, issued last Friday, on
humanitarian work. The ban will prevent many of the country's 1.3 million
People with AIDS from receiving badly needed AIDS medications and home-based
care. The ban will also prevent some 314,000 people from receiving food
under the World Food Program, possibly triggering widespread famine.

PHR also called for an independent inquiry into reports that
Zimbabwe's Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr. David Parirenyatwa, who
is planning to participate in the United Nations General Assembly 2008 High
Level Meeting on AIDS to take place June 11-12 in New York, has been
directly engaged in threats of assault and murder to individuals if they do
not vote for ZANU-PF candidate and incumbent Robert Mugabe in the
presidential run-off election.

According to an affidavit made before a commissioner of oaths, on
April 10, 2008, Dr. Parirenyatwa, came to the town of Murewa for a rally on
behalf of ZANU-PF and, brandishing a gun, threatened members of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change with death if they voted for MDC.
Residents of Murewa, which despite electing Dr. Parirenyatwa to Parliament,
has also shown strong support for the MDC, were forced by armed militias
affiliated with ZANU-PF to attend the rally, on pain of beating or arrest.
According to other reports, Dr. Parirenyatwa also broke up meetings of the
MDC with threats of violence.

Dr. Parirenyatwa has denied involvement in the incident, claiming to
be against use of violence in politics. SW Radio Africa (London), on June 2,
however, reported on another incident in which Dr. Parirenyatwa was
allegedly involved in assaults on opposition members in late May or early
June that led to the deaths of two individuals who were severely beaten.

"Such serious allegations of violence directed by a government
official against people who exercise their rights of free expression and
voting, much less one charged to protect health and well being of the
country's citizens, need to be investigated," said Frank Donaghue, CEO of
Physicians for Human Rights.

PHR urged states participating in the High Level Meeting and the media
to ask questions about the suspension of humanitarian aid and also the
political violence in Zimbabwe, including actions by officials of the
government and the ZANU-PF party to attack and intimidate its opponents in
the run-up to the election.

The allegations take place as the government of Zimbabwe and the
ZANU-PF party has been engaged in violence and intimidation against
political opponents that has led to killings of dozens of people and the
infliction of severe injuries among thousands.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) mobilizes the health professions to
advance the health and dignity of all people by protecting human rights. As
a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, PHR shared
the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

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When economic disaster strikes

June 11, 2008

By Business Correspondent

HARARE - Zimbabwe's currency is worthless from hyperinflation, its financial
institutions in total disarray while its world-class farming estates lie
idle and the tourist infrastructure is grossly underutilized.

Zimbabwe, the spirit of whose citizens has been shackled by the
short-sighted economic and other policies of incompetent cabinet ministers,
has for long been riding on the highway to total disaster.

According to information gathered by The Zimbabwe Times, Zimbabwe is a
perfect example of the sort of economic and political disaster that can
destroy any country that pursues populist Marxism and engages in the
short-sighted and ad hoc plugging of holes by policy makers.

The country now boasts of an unprecedented inflation of 1 700 000 percent
for the month of May.

With inflation at 4 percent it takes 18 years for currency to lose half of
its value. By using the rule of 72 recommended by the International Monetary
Fund we can calculate that with inflation at 100 000 percent it takes about
6 hours and 20 minutes for $100.00 to be reduced to $50.00.

And with inflation at 1 700 000 percent if you delay your shopping by half
an hour you have effectively lost 50 percent of the value of your money.

If you go out to buy a loaf of bread and you are ten cents short, by the
time you have rushed home to collect the 10 cents and returned to the shop,
the price of bread will probably have doubled.

The International Monetary Fund has declared the situation in Zimbabwe an
economic crisis.

"The economic crisis calls for urgent implementation of a comprehensive
policy package comprising several mutually reinforcing actions," the IMF
said in its 2007 recommendations for redressing  Zimbabwe's economy.

The reforms included structural reforms, public enterprise and civil service
reform, agricultural sector reforms and the strengthening of private
property rights.

Zimbabwe last month introduced a new half-a-billion dollar bank note in a
desperate bid to tackle cash shortages being fed by rampant inflation.

The parlous situation is aggravated by President Robert Mugabe's fight
against the laws of supply and demand, and recommendations by the IMF.

Mugabe has been threatening to imprison shopkeepers who increase commodity
prices. Inability to adjust commodity prices to reflect costs is tantamount
to forcing shops to close, forcing them out of business and rendering supply
even more incapable of meeting demand.

The country's chronic economic crisis has condemned millions to grinding
poverty with an estimated 80 percent of the population now effectively
living below the poverty threshold amid acute shortages of basic consumer
goods in the shops.

Economist John Robertson says while President Robert Mugabe has been
printing off new currency at increasingly rapid rates to help pay
governement costs, such production has only served to hasten the decline of
the value of the Zimbabwe dollar, while driving up commodity costs and

"They're printing money so fast but it's getting to the point that it is not
fast enough," Robertson said.

"The crunch is going to come when local money is eroded to the point it is
no longer acceptable in commercial activities or as earnings, especially by
longtime Mugabe loyalists," said Robertson.

Already, many ordinary transactions are being conducted in U.S. dollars,
both openly and in secret. Even cultural traditions have not been spared the
ravages of hyperinflation. Payment of lobola (marriage dowry) is
increasingly now being demanded and tendered in foreign currency.

Manufacturing companies running at below 30 percent capacity, report
escalating absenteeism among workers who can no longer afford soaring
transport costs.

Mugabe claims the seizure of commercial farms starting in 2000 has benefited
poor and landless blacks. Most of the more prosperous farms seized have,
however, been allocated to Zanu-PF loyalists, while the rural peasants
continue to wallow in abject poverty.

With the recent suspension by government of distribution of relief food
supplies by aid organisations the poor will become poorer while the four
million beneficiaries face starvation.

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Lloyd Msipa Convicted

Zim Daily

By Staff Reporter

Published: Wednesday 11 June 2008

UK - An adviser from Barking, Essex, became the first OISC (Office of the
Immigration Services Commissioner) regulated adviser to be convicted of
providing immigration advice and services that he was not authorised to

 Lloyd Msipa, 38, was approved by the OISC to work as a voluntary
organisation in March 2007.

Msipa, originally from Zimbabwe, and with strong ties to Zanu-PF through his
uncle Cephas Msipa was only authorised to provide Level 1 immigration
advice, which includes basic applications for entry clearance.

However, evidence showed he had been engaged in Level 3 work.

In addition during a search of his premises evidence was found which showed
Msipa had charged clients hundreds of pounds for his work, despite only
being authorised as a 'not-for-profit' organisation.

This included, representing clients at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal
(AIT). He had also been submitting judicial reviews applications, which OISC
advisers are not permitted to do.

Msipa at one point threatened to sue ZimDaily after we had him for
practising Law without accreditaion in the UK. The Story published on
ZimDaily in January led to an investiagtion by UK immigaration authorities.

Trading under the name 'Virtaluk & Co', Msipa was registered to work from
his home address in Barking, Essex. But the OISC discovered he was carrying
out his illegal operations from a different address, which he had not
informed the OISC about.

When faced with the allegations, Msipa claimed that people had been coming
into his office and using his company paper, and computer, to prepare and
submit their own application and Judicial Reviews without his knowledge.

However, documentary evidence from the AIT, and statements from his clients,
revealed it was Msipa who had been carrying out the work.

Msipa pleaded guilty to six counts of illegally providing immigration
advice. He was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on June 9, 2008 to 9
months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to pay £1,450
in compensation to his victims.

Lloyd Msipa's is also believed to be linked to a Zanu-PF funded company
Angwa Associates registered in Wallsall UK, which duped thousands from
Zimbabweans in the diaspora through the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe.

Angwa Associates had been contracted by Gideon Gono to provide stands and
sell properties to Zimbabweans abroad.

Lloyd Msipa who has never hidden his Pro Zanu-PF views is the latest victim
of the Fair Deal campaign ran by ZimDaily last year. The campaign meant to
target beneficiaries of Zanu-PF thievery has seen Gono's and Chihuri's kids
deported from Australia.

The conviction leaves Msipa with a criminal record and faces jail if he
practises Law in the UK in any form.

The OISC currently regulates almost 4,000 advisers across the UK and
provides a list of those allowed to give advice on its website -

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) is an independent
public body set up under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Since 30 April 2001 it has been a criminal offence for an adviser to provide
immigration advice or services unless their organisation:

- has registered with the OISC;

- has been exempted from registration by the OISC or ministerial order; or
is otherwise qualified under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

The OISC is responsible for ensuring that all immigration advisers fulfil
the requirements of good practice. The OISC is committed to the elimination
of unscrupulous advisers and the fair and thorough investigation of
complaints. Whilst it does not regulate solicitors it does take complaints
against solicitors.

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Makoni must choose between the two candidates

June 11, 2008

By Musekiwa Makwanya

CALLING off the blood and thunder Presidential run off in favour of the
Government of National Unity (GNU) now appears to be very late in the day
and probably against the mindset of the majority of the people of Zimbabwe.

It is now three weeks to go to June 27. While there are serious concerns
about reports of political violence in Zimbabwe at the moment, and the
expense involved in the run off, Zimbabweans know that violence is a
double-edged sword and democracy is expensive. The friends of Zimbabwe could
assist with the money to run the election if they have it.

It is difficult to expect the candidates who have already committed their
resources to the campaign to simply go back home when they are convinced
that they can win the elections and wait for uncertain dialogue. President
Mugabe and his campaign team feel strongly that some of their members did
not vote on March 29 and they would like to do so on June 27, President
Morgan Tsvangirai and his campaign team feel that they have to finish the
job they started on March 29.

Both candidates in the run-off seem to believe that they need to derive
their mandate to rule Zimbabwe from the people of Zimbabwe, and each
candidate's team is using tactics and strategies that they believe will work
for them. Simba Makoni, the losing presidential candidate may have a point
about calling off the run-off. It appears, however, that the earlier he
chooses the candidate to support the better for him and everyone else. The
presidential run-off has been irrevocably agreed between the candidates and
it is going ahead.

I am one of those who felt that it was best not have a run-off but once the
date was set and campaigning started, it does not make sense to call off an
election with only three weeks to go. In any case, we do not wish to set a
record for calling off an election because of pre-election. How can we call
ourselves a democracy thereafter.

This will set a very bad precedent in the world, The Kenyan example should
be the last curse of Africa. Simba Makoni is best advised to work towards
ensuring that the elections will be free and fair since he recognises the
fact that the hope for a free and fair is now next to zero.

While it is accepted that the run-off will not solve the problems that
Zimbabwe faces at the moment, an election and negotiations are not mutually
exclusive. We will therefore have the election first on June 27 and
negotiations later. In any case, some negotiations have already started but
violence has not stopped. Reports from South Africa indicate that Ministers
Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche of Zanu-PF met with Tendai Biti the MDC
Secretary General in Pretoria last week. In any case previous negotiations
between Zanu-PF and the MDC have taken too long and did not solve the
Zimbabwean problems.

The presidential run-off is therefore meant to decide the leadership issue,
not necessarily to solve all our problems. The negotiations will facilitate
power transfer or distribution which ever is required.

To quote Admiral Lord Nelson on the eve of the battle of Trafalgar, October
20, 1805, ".now that we have decided why it cannot be done, let us determine
how it will be done".

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Mugabe's campaign of fear in Zimbabwe

Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Jun. 11, 2008

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is trying desperately to win reelection
in a country he has brought to the brink of ruin, and he seems determined to
stop at nothing to get his way. Since a close vote count in April forced a
June 27 runoff, Mr. Mugabe has embarked on a campaign of terror against
opponents, including intimidation, beatings and scores of murders.

Stop the violence

Leaders in neighboring South Africa have been reluctant to condemn the
violence or to get involved, but President Thabo Mbeki and other regional
leaders no longer can afford to stand by as mute witnesseses to a travesty.
Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa must lead efforts to steer their neighbor
to allow a fair contest. They are best positioned to demand and enforce a
cessation of violence.

Mr. Mugabe, 84, still holds much cachet in the region as a liberator and
leader who helped bring majority rule to Zimbabwe. Perhaps that is why South
Africa's Mbeki has been reluctant to challenge Mr. Mugabe, even though
thousands of Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa, creating a humanitarian
crisis there in the process.

At least 50 people have been killed since voting began in March, and
thousands of supporters of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai have been
threatened, harassed, beaten or forced from their homes. Mr. Tsvangirai
himself has been harassed and detained for hours as he has campaigned around
the country. Even U.S. and British diplomats have been harassed and

Mr. Mugabe has been president since 1980, and his destructive policies have
brought a once proud and prosperous country to near starvation. Since 2000,
he has engaged in a ruthless campaign to take land from white farmers and
subdivide the parcels among native blacks. The results have been
catastrophic, destroying both commercial and subsistence farming. Zimbabwe
once could feed itself and other countries but now has become a beggar
nation. Whites have fled en masse and inflation has increased to such
preposterous levels that only a fraction of the wealthiest people can afford
basic necessities.

Delusional autocrat

Mr. Mugabe blames the West for his country's troubles and, in particular, he
blames Britain for failing to follow through with promised support. However,
Britain withdrew support only after Mr. Mugabe showed himself to be a
delusional autocrat. In November, for example, Mr. Mugabe ignored former
South African President Nelson Mandela's plea for him to resign.

In the March vote, at least half the country voted against Mr. Mugabe. The
terror campaign has been Mr. Mugabe's response. The United Nations and
Zimbabwe's neighbors must insist on fair elections monitored by as many
independent observers as they can get into the country.

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Political Differences Divide Zimbabwe


In the face of violence and intimidation, is change possible?

Isaac Hlekisani Dziya

     Published 2008-06-11 14:29 (KST)

Strange as it sounds, since the presidential election of March 29 there has
been a heightening of differences in contemporary Zimbabwean politics
fuelled by divergent ideology.

In that election Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic prevailed
over a field of ZANU-PF zealots, including President Robert Mugabe.

Simba Makoni, a former finance official, dared to voice public criticism by
challenging Mugabe as an independent candidate. This long-time top ZANU-PF
official is now branded a "traitor" like other opposition leaders.

Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe in a wide-open presidential race in which both
staked out opposite ground from each other. By helping to inflict a dramatic
defeat on Mugabe, Tsvangirai won an aura of credibility.

Tsvangirai, a charismatic speaker, is a brave man. He has run the risk of
arrest or assassination since emerging several years ago as Mugabe's first
credible challenger since the 1980s. Tsvangirai has risen from working in a
mine to becoming the symbol of resistance to repression in Zimbabwe. In the
late 1980s, Tsvangirai became head of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions,
which had been set up at Zimbabwe's independence.

In 1999 Tsvangirai helped to create the MDC. He has capitalized on economic
discontent. In 2000, the new party had defeated the government over its
referendum on constitutional reform, which included clauses allowing the
seizure of white-owned farms without compensation. It was the most dramatic
political setback for Mugabe since independence. Its nationwide structures
were crucial in helping the young party campaign for the June 2000
parliamentary elections, in which it won 57 seats of the constituency-based
seats, against 62 held by ZANU-PF -- as of then the best opposition showing
in the country's history. Opposition parties had never held more than a
handful of seats.

Morgan Tsvangirai says he can get Zimbabwe working again.

There is a broad clash of familiar product lines: the MDC's democratic
pluralism vs. ZANU-PF's socialistic autocracy. The clash had been obscured
by the eliminated presidential hopeful Simba Makoni. But the huge stakes it
carries for a discontented electorate ensure it will dominate the general
election runoff campaign.

The differences extend to every area of national policy: job creation;
macroeconomic and sectoral strategies; housing; tourism; agrarian reform;
public works and assistance to small-scale enterprises; reconstruction;
stabilization; recovery and transformation; land redistribution and
macroeconomic programs to reduce inflation, stabilize the exchange rate,
meet immediate social needs and restart growth; levels of taxes and
spending; strategies for expanding health coverage; and the shape of the
judiciary and social policy. As Zimbabweans focus on the Tsvangirai-Mugabe
contrast, and millions of hitherto uninterested voters begin tuning in, the
resulting crosscurrents could have unpredictable consequences.

Zimbabwe Today

Mugabe is extending his outreach, but the rural populace are still wary of
the Joint Operations Command (JOC), as violent and property crime has soared
in 2008. After he suffered defeat with the 2000 referendum, Mugabe unleashed
his personal militia -- the self-styled war veterans -- which used violence
and murder as an electoral strategy. History is painfully repeating itself
after the March 29 defeat.

Mugabe is riding an ebbing tide that has given ZANU-PF candidates the lower
hand in recent history. Tsvangirai is surfing a wave that has crested in
opposition to the Mugabe presidency over an unpopular land reform full of
cronyism and over a defunct economy. Mugabe claims to be fighting on behalf
of the rural poor but much of the land he confiscated has ended up in the
hands of his cronies.

To be sure, each of the presidential participants diverges from the
traditional partisan mould in important respects. As a former trade unionist
and with no liberation credentials, Tsvangirai literally spans the nation's
political and racial divide. He has cast himself as a "change maker," a
bridge builder, and he broke with the prevailing ZANU-PF sentiment by
backing democratic change. Tsvangirai opposes Mugabe's haphazard land reform
and undisciplined financial policies and has supported freedom of speech and
association, tenets of human rights that Mugabe continues to reject.

Both men, in different ways, have challenged the establishment of their
parties and they must win over internal skeptics who had voted for Makoni.

At the same time, each man will highlight positions that converge with his
party's policies and try to cast himself as a results-oriented reformer,
while bidding to win over Makoni's intelligentsia supporters -- socially
moderate, affluent suburbanites and culturally highly educated class voters.
The expanded education of Zimbabweans, in fact, dug part of Mugabe's grave,
as the young beneficiaries are now able to analyze the country's problems
for themselves. Most of them blame government corruption and mismanagement
for the lack of jobs and rising prices.

Both parties harbor a mix of ideological types. Great Economic liberals such
as Simba Makoni flew under the splinter MDC-Mutambara banner with liberation
war veterans such as Dubiso Dabengwa. Even as Arthur Mutambara led the rise
of the splinter MDC formation, the MDC main group led by Tsvangirai managed
to get concessions from Mugabe that made it tough for election rigging from
the beginning.

By shaking the splinter MDC-Mutambara, which incidentally won 9 percent of
the vote from their traditional partisan moorings, MDC-Tsvangirai helped
clarify partisan differences with clear electoral consequences. In the
scuttled presidential election of March 29, MDC nominees drew an average of
47 percent support among voters identifying themselves as democrats, while
ZANU-PF garnered 43 percent. In the 2002 elections MDC averaged 43 percent.
ZANU-PF drew an average of 57 percent of the county's vote in 2002
elections. The current shift is largely favoring MDC.

There are no credible polls to indicate which way the populace will vote.
There is currently a culture of fear instilled following the retributions by
the ZANU-PF machinery for their losses in March. Fear notwithstanding, it is
still possible for Tsvangirai to win the election, as the electorate is very
tired of the economic malaise and the political decadence of ZANU-PF.

Tsvangirai's task over the next three weeks is to hold that partisan

In the rural battlegrounds, formerly ZANU-PF strongholds, Tsvangirai will
use his support of change for the benefit of all. Mugabe will use his
anti-West rhetoric, a warrior cry for sovereignty, to maximize his
ideological edge and reshape the partisan terrain.

The state-controlled media never tires of reminding voters that Tsvangirai
did not participate in the guerrilla war against white minority rule. In the
same vein, Mugabe will argue that Tsvangirai's support for land reform and
liberalization is bent on selling out the national sovereignty to the West.

Mugabe's stances could strengthen his brand of socialism by distinguishing
it from that of Tsvangirai's brand of capitalism, even though the greater
populace and even some of Mugabe's supporters prefer the latter. Despite the
country's enduring and unheard of inflation of more than 100,000 percent,
Mugabe has while campaigning been able to bestow tractors and plough
implements on village chiefs whose gratitude is expected to be a reciprocal
harvest of votes.

The resistance to Tsvangirai's bid to become the first president who isn't a
war veteran will prove greater with the general electorate than the out of
step ZANU-PF stalwarts.

Another wild card is the effect of personal contrasts that are as stark as
policy contrasts. At 56, Tsvangirai boasts star power and soaring oratory
that attracts mammoth crowds. His background as a fiery trade union
organizer and ties to fiery former trade unionist Thokozani Khupe, however,
are difficult for to stifle, and in fact some of Mugabe's supporters now
silently relate to this.

Mugabe, by contrast, would become, at age 84, the oldest candidate elected
to a presidential term; no longer witty and not as sharp as he once was in
public meeting settings, Mugabe is now faltering at a podium. (The FAO
meeting in Rome is a recent case in point.) Yet his liberation war
background and liberation detention heroism still allow him to tap the
time-tested political vein of Zimbabwean patriotism.

As the three-week march to June 28 begins, many grapevine sideline polls
show Tsvangirai's edge within the margin of error.

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Climate not right for election in Zimbabwe: Ugandan president


LONDON, June 10 (AFP)

The current climate in Zimbabwe was "not at all" the proper one for an
election, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said in an interview broadcast

Speaking to the BBC while in London for a Commonwealth summit, the veteran
leader was asked by the broadcaster if the current situation in the southern
African nation was right for an election, to which he responded: "Not at

"They (Zimbabwe) will have to depend on (African Union election) monitors,"
Museveni added.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled the country since its
independence from Britain in 1980, faces a run-off presidential election
later this month against Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai claimed on Tuesday that 66 of his Movement for Democratic
Change's supporters had been killed since the first round of presidential
voting on March 29.

In addition to the violence, Tsvangirai has faced other major obstacles in
trying to campaign, with police detaining him twice last week and barring
MDC rallies.

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England players in Zimbabwe boycott threat

The Telegraph

By Nick Hoult
Last Updated: 3:03am BST 11/06/2008

The England team will consider boycotting next summer's Test and one-day
series against Zimbabwe if Robert Mugabe's regime is still in power.

Zimbabwe are due to play two Tests and three one-day matches in England next
year as precursor to the Ashes series, but opening batsman Andrew Strauss
last night admitted the players will have to examine their own consciences
and might refuse to play.
Strauss, speaking during a question and answer session following Archbishop
Desmond Tutu's Colin Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's, also criticised the previous
handling of the Zimbabwe issue by the England & Wales Cricket Board.

He said: "Two previous tours have been very difficult and the players have
been left in the lurch by the ECB and the government. It has come down to
personal preference and some tough decisions have been made."

When asked about a players' boycott, he said: "It is something we are going
to have to talk about. We have felt in the past that there have been great
opportunities for the government to show the strength of feeling that there
is among the whole population. There was a general feeling that the last
tour should not have gone ahead."

Strauss' stance was warmly received by Archbishop Tutu, who also called on
the authorities to make a stand. "It is fantastic and I hope they do, but it
should not be left to players to make that decision," he said. "It really
should be administrators, and even more so governments, even at a time when
they are chary of appearing to intervene in a sporting matter like this.

"When you have egregious violations of human rights and governments saying
this is something we will not is difficult for the ICC
[International Cricket Council], but it is because it is difficult that the
nettle has to be grasped.

"I think they are more aware of how people are incensed by what is happening
and they will be totally out of step if they do nothing." Tutu also called
on the British public to make a stand if the Zimbabwe tour goes ahead with a
boycott of one day's play.

The result of the second round of Zimbabwe's presidential vote is due in two
weeks' time and the ECB are hoping the issue is resolved by a victory for
Morgan Tsvangirai.

If not, the Zimbabwe issue will again hound the ECB, although the government
are likely to take direct action.

Zimbabwe's Test status is currently suspended and that is unlikely to change
next year. But the one-day series is due to go ahead and Zimbabwe will also
be a part of the ICC Twenty20 Championship in England.

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