Message for Australians:
The Story of the Kay family is to be broadcast on
the ABC's Foreign Correspondent program next Tuesday 17th June. Do try to watch
Here is some background - something we published in the early days of the
invasions... oh how long ago it seems and how long it has gone on
following is a poem written by Clive Kay (18), an A-level pupil at
School, rural area outside Harare on Tuesday this week - a day
when he was at
his lowest, when the prospects for returning to his home on
the farm, after
fourmonths away, seemed impossible, and where it seemed that
there was no
For those of you who don't know Clive's parents, Iain and Kerry
should appreciate that they work relentlessly for the people of this
both in AIDS awareness and other humanitarian good works - Kerry
the Commercial Farmers' Union, internationally acclaimed, AIDS
programme. We have worked together on this programme and it's
Farm Orphan problems for the last decade and Kerry's input has
beyond the limits of the average farmer's wife. Iain has given her
undivided support as have her three sons - they have two
children - one an adult male and the other the orphaned teenage
of great friends who were killed in an aircrash two years
Sadly for Kerry, Iain and their family their farm borders a
diverse communal area - one of the constituencies presently being
by the Movement for Democratic Change. From the moment
build up to elections commenced in Zimbabwe the Kay farm became one of
target areas for thugs/squatters/war veterans, culminating in Iain
badly beaten up on his farm in March this year and got away with
intact by swimming across the farm dam where he was rescued by
David. Since that time Iain and Kerry have been in hiding because
threats - their home has been ransacked and they have generally
nightmare of a life not knowing what to expect next and still waiting
return home. Iain is a fluent shona linguist and a very gentle,
spoken and lovable character.
Iain's now deceased father, Jock Kay, was a
ZANU PF member of
parliament at Independence in 1980.
gives us an insight into what effects the present situation is
having on our
calmness has returned
Day to day chores are carried out
The mind strays
little from work
Every so often a thought or two
Disturbs the tranquility
But stays only for a short while.
Seldom is there anything
One just drifts through time
Hoping and being ever
Coping is the hardest goal to achieve.
Never offer a glimpse of
As it will only dissolve what little
happiness there is left to
Like adrenalin injected straight into the heart
So the feeling
of violence erupts
The desperate desire to punish
The ultimate goal is to
the perpetrators without remorse
If only there was
A pure understandable meaning to the chaos
but there isn't
man to his own?
UNITY is the way forward
But not everyone wants to stand
Solutions emerge for a situation
Then a new situation arises
and clouds that solution.
Nothing is ever fixed or amended
Instead it is
thrown back into the
revolving pandemonium of recurring problems.
is to be trusted?
Who is and who is not?
The good men or the
confused are the good because
even they cannot trust each other
unity gone forever?
The idle winds are left alone
and profferers of truth
are relentlessly pursued and attacked
The story of
life according to God
those who stand up for what is right
will always be
Even though it is right.
The world is nothing but a
wheel of madness
Why can't the wrong see they are wrong?
do the good commit evil when
they know it is wrong?
Their abundance in every person are
only qualities of
a perfect being.
I have numerous faults, cracks
These cracks are continuously being widened
Driving me to
The point of no return
Soon I will commit murder
of myself or my enemies
Some turn to alcohol, some to God
disappear into a world of fantasies
the mind cannot cope
It is confused to a point
A place where it has no
You may think the solution is
waiting for things to be done
When there is no law.
Yes the country must UNITE
peace, stability and law
But individual interpretations are different
ultimate goal should be LOVE
Love is the only rational act.
one unite different religions
Different levels of literacy and
One does it by using love.
How do you love someone
has disrupted your life, stolen your home
Beaten your loved ones to
All in the name of land and politics.
The devil has blown
through your life
Like a wild fire, consuming what
little good you had
ever grown in your heart
Some may say he and the Lord do not exist
is so then why do you feel, touch, think,
fight, love, hate, live, die and
then live again?
Your home is where your heart is
And my heart is in
When someone threatens my home
they threaten my heart
I want to exist therefore I will fight.
Focus, don't let it
disrupt your work
the less affected say
They don't and can't feel what I
Keep drumming into my head
Conciously I am
Subconciously I am dying.
The time has come to rid
country of evil, to speak freely
Our thoughts on everything
concern our lives, our future
To denounce political wrong doing
repel evil and those who perpetrate it
There will need to be
but be not afraid.
I feel alone and isolated from
from those around me
They do not understand my pain
How do I
make them understand?
I am cornered and slipping down the
wall and falling
to my knees
I am fighting with myself
And drowning in my own
And in so doing losing my loved ones.
impatient and volatile
Trivial matters become
and I turn on those who care
Slowly my courage and
are being consumed and I am
retreating into darkness
I guess by giving up I am quitting
If so, I have
15 JUNE 22:15 - BBC
days in May *
Zimbabwe is in crisis. The country is on the brink of collapse.
no food, no fuel and now, no cash to buy anything with either.
is one of the highest in the world and industry has ground to a
Dissent is ruthlessly suppressed. Torture, beatings, and
arrest have become commonplace. The rule of law has been
elected opposition is under siege.
But for five days in
May the Zimbabwe national cricket team were
scheduled to appear at Lords as
the standard-bearers of this regime.
Reporter, Fergal Keane has interviewed
two of Zimbabwe's Test
cricketers, Henry Olonga and Andy Flower, who were
eliminated from the
national side and are now in exile because of their
about the state of their country.
And Panorama also sent
undercover teams into Zimbabwe to record the
lives of a handful of people who
have dared to be filmed protesting the
state of their nation over five days
in May. For most of them arrest,
beatings and torture are just part of the
grim reality of their everyday
lives. Two of them have since been detained
Life in Zimbabwe today is a far cry from the "nation of
Robert Mugabe said he wanted to create as President of the
British colony and Patron of the national cricket team.
As the rest
of the world condemns Robert Mugabe for quashing peaceful
Keane asks if the final push to remove the regime can
now only come from the
street. And if so, can the beleaguered people do
anything against a ruthless
government well practised in the art of
Tune in on Sunday to find
Mugabe foe Tsvangirai back in jail
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's high court has delayed a ruling on bail
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai after government lawyers said he
committed treason simply by "contemplating" the ousting of President
Tsvangirai, who heads the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC),
was sent back to a Harare jail cell for the weekend
after Justice Susan
Mavangira said she would not rule on his bail application
until next week.
The former trade union leader was arrested last Friday
and charged with
treason after the MDC organised a week of protests as a
"final push" against
Tsvangirai's defence lawyers
say the MDC leader did not advocate violence in
the protests and is being
held on trumped up charges.
MDC supporters packing Mavangira's Harare
courtroom broke out in muffled
laughter on Friday as prosecutor Morgen
Nemadire said Tsvangirai could be
charged with treason simply for thinking
about Mugabe's removal.
"It is not a question of personally or physically
participating in a
violent, physical manner," state lawyer Nemadire said.
"Merely to postulate,
and to contemplate even while sitting down, can be to
commit treason, which
is why there is no such thing as attempted
Tsvangirai has been ordered to be held until July 10 unless
granted bail by
the high court.
MDC spokesman Paul Themba-Nyathi said
the party, which has challenged
Mugabe's victory in disputed 2002
presidential polls, was disappointed
Tsvangirai had not been granted his
"We have already said, at a political level, this is a process
and intimidating the MDC. But we have put our case to the court
now and must
allow the court process to take its course," he
Lead defence attorney George Bizos said the
government had failed to sustain
its treason charge.
"It cannot be
argued that simple unlawful activity supports a case of
treason," Bizos --
who defended South Africa's Nelson Mandela in his treason
trial four decades
ago -- told the court.
Nemadire said Tsvangirai had broken laws requiring
police approval for
protests, and was likely to commit similar offences if
51, is already on trial for treason in connection with
an alleged 2002 plot
to assassinate Mugabe.
Mugabe, who on Thursday
threatened to expel Britain's ambassador in Harare
for allegedly assisting
the MDC, said the opposition should note his
response to the protests --
which included teargas and hundreds of arrests.
"We hope they've learned
their lesson. If they haven't they will learn it
the hard way," Mugabe told
supporters at a rally on Thursday near the
Zimbabwe's political troubles come as the country faces its worst
crisis since independence from Britain in 1980. Food and fuel are in
supply, unemployment is soaring and inflation is running at close to
Mugabe, who has vowed not to back down in the face of the
challenge, says his government is the victim of foes in London
Washington opposed to his policy of seizing white-owned farms
distribution to landless blacks.
High and dry Zimbabwe sells oil pipeline
2003 at 03:03AM
By Basildon Peta and Brian Latham
has mortgaged its key fuel facilities to Libya in a desperate
attempt to get
fuel, which has run out completely.
Senior oil industry officials said
Zimbabwe had mortgaged its key pipeline
and storage facilities to Libyan oil
company Tamoil under a fresh asset
management arrangement aimed at settling
its debt and securing fresh fuel
supplies from Libya.
stopped fuel supplies to Zimbabwe after the state-owned National
of Zimbabwe (Noczim) accumulated a $67-million (about
The officials said Tamoil was expected to start pumping fuel into
holding tanks at Mozambique's Beira port at the end of this month,
significant reprieve to President Robert Mugabe's administration,
battling its worst-ever economic crisis.
A ministry of energy
and power development official confirmed that an
agreement had been sealed
between Noczim's financial advisers, the
Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe and
He would not divulge any details. However, it is understood that,
Noczim's indebtedness to Tamoil's bankers - Libya Arab Foreign Bank
government will give Tamoil a shareholding of between 15 percent and
percent in state companies owning storage facilities in the Mabvuku,
and Feruka depots, the Feruka-Masasa pipeline from Mozambique and an
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is said to have
wanted Zimbabwe's oil
facilities as part of his plans to supply fuel to other
southern and central
The oil pipeline from Beira has
been his prime target. The pipeline is a
critical national asset as Zimbabwe
does not have the capacity to meet all
its requirements by road or
Although no official confirmation could be obtained of the value of
assets, it is understood that Tamoil will take more than
(almost R800-million). - Independent Foreign Service
From an anonymous source:
I am sure you are aware that Zimbabwe continues to suffer from a lack of law
and order, which is systematically destroying the fabric of the lives of the
majority of its citizens. This is because of the tyrannical greed and
power-grabbing attitude of the political party in power.
I would like to draw your attention to something that seems to have added a
new aspect to the saga. Our little town of Marondera had one source of
relaxation and recreation this is the Country Club. The members of this Club are
a majority of non-white citizens and have played sport, enjoyed different
facilities including a successful golf club which has contributed to many local
community enterprises, fund raising for schools, charities etc. They have always
encouraged the youth of the area to develop their talents and be involved in
healthy activities. Likewise the tennis section holds championships for local
young players as well.
In today’s stressful conditions, with a constant struggle to keep day-to-day
business going the club is a central point, which keeps Marondera alive. Without
it the certain dissolution of the entire community will occur.
For ten days the gates of the club have been sealed by a hostile group of
Youths on the orders of Zanu (PF). A lot of members have valuable personal
property inside the buildings, which they have not been allowed to remove. Any
attempt to negotiate, or enter these private premises has resulted in
intimidation and victimization. No reason has formally been given to the
committee for these actions. It is reliably reported that a higher authority who
wishes to "grab" the club for his personal gain.
There is no way this can be called part of the infamous "land grab", it is
just yet another example of the total lack of law and order in Zimbabwe. Do we
just stand by feeling angry and helpless? The Police Force is powerless or
reluctant to take any action, so who then will maintain LAW AND ORDER? What is
next? Businesses and private houses? Government has said that businesses, and
the club is a business as well, must remain open. Now THEIR party is closing it.
Where is the logic?
Can we ask that you use the influence you might have to at least make this
public and try to get some reaction, any reaction, to help save Marondera
Country Club from a greedy illegal act totally against human rights and laws of
any country in the world.
Have to sign my self,
A Marondera Citizen.
We have puiblished this before - just a reminder...
Reporters sans frontiers
After being in power for more than 20 years, and re-elected in 2002
through an electoral process challenged by both the opposition and the
international community, Robert Mugabe continues to target independent
journalists and foreign press correspondents. In terms of press freedom,
Zimbabwe is now viewed as the most repressive country in southern Africa. Each
year, over 20 journalists are interrogated, and foreign press correspondents
accused of "neo-colonialism" by Robert Mugabe's regime are expelled. The head of
State constantly repeats that the private press tells nothing but "lies" and
that the foreign media are trying to "destabilise the country."
They order violations of press freedom and have others do the
deed. They might be president, cabinet minister, army chief, Guide of the
Revolution or leader of an armed group. All have the power to jail, kidnap,
torture and even kill journalists. Because they have faces, we should learn to
recognise these predators the better to denounce them.
Mail and Guardian
Fear stalks Zimbabwe's streets
13 June 2003 15:37
The state has opposed Zimbabwe
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's bail
application, as he readies to
spend an eighth night in jail on Friday, but
his continued detention without
trial on treason charges has drawn no
reaction from ordinary Zimbabweans, who
live in fear of arrest and
repression by the security
Tsvangirai, head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was
on June 6, the last day of week-long nationwide protests called for
opposition against the government of President Robert Mugabe. The
Thursday refused his application for bail.
The MDC blames the
government for the severe economic and social hardships
gripping the country,
including food, fuel and money shortages.
Last week's protests took the
form of work stoppages, which brought many
Zimbabwean cities to a halt, and
were supposed to include peaceful marches
marches never go off the ground, as security forces turned out in
feared pro-government youth groups roamed the streets of the
Hundreds of opposition supporters, activists and officials were
assaulted by state agents during the week of mass
Tsvangirai was on Tuesday charged with treason as well as
violence. He was accused of urging Zimbabweans to oust Mugabe
government at rallies held before the week of protests.
latest treason charges, which can carry the death penalty on conviction,
the second to be brought against Tsvangirai.
He is currently on trial
with two other senior MDC officials charged with
high treason for allegedly
plotting to eliminate Mugabe ahead of the 2002
presidential elections, won by
The court that charged Tsvangirai on Tuesday also ordered that he
prison until July 10, but gave him leave to apply for
He was held at Harare central police station for four days before
moved to the capital's crowded, dilapidated jail.
lawyers filed for bail before Harare High Court on Wednesday,
application hearing went into its third day Friday, and the union
turned opposition chief looked likely to spend a second weekend
Meanwhile, there was no sign of protest on the part of opposition
show their anger at their leader's arrest and continued
But, says the MDC, opposition backers have been wise to hold
When Tsvangirai was arrested, the MDC accused the government of
provoke a popular outcry, which would then have been fanned until
violent protests, giving the government the ideal excuse to "ban
As recently as Thursday, when Tsvangirai's bail
hearing was into its second
day, the MDC urged its activists and sympathisers
to "remain calm in the
face of open provocation".
Memories are still
fresh in the minds of Zimbabweans of the repressive
measures taken to crush
last week's planned street marches.
At least one opposition supporter
died, another was shot and injured while
hundreds of others were arrested,
often under violent circumstances.
Would-be protesters were dispersed by
police firing teargas or charging them
and beating them with the butts of
their guns or batons. Students on the
University of Harare campus were
Adding to the misery endured last week by ordinary
Zimbabweans are the
obligatory long hours of waiting in line for even the
most mundane of
Almost every native of this southern African
country has for months had to
queue for hours for food, petrol, a bus to go
to work, and money from the
bank, as Zimbabwe continues its downward spiral
into unemployment – 70% are
out of work -- and inflation climbs ever higher.
It is now at nearly 300%
A food crisis sparked by
chaotic land reforms, which have seen farms seized
from whites and
redistributed to landless blacks, and a serious drought has
of the country's 11,6-million people in need of food aid.
president has continually denied holding any responsibility for
multi-pronged crisis. Instead, Mugabe, who has ruled the country
years, blames the country's woes on the MDC and its foreign
former colonial power Britain and the US, who have, he
says, but one
objective: to oust him and set up a pro-British
On Thursday, Mugabe threatened to expel the British
ambassador to Harare,
Brian Donnelly, accusing him of being behind last
protests. - Sapa-AFP
UK denies backing MDC
13/06/2003 19:33 -
Harare - The British government on Friday denied any role in
week's opposition-led protests in Zimbabwe, a day after
Mugabe threatened to expel the former colonial power's
"The British High Commission had no role in funding
or organising in any way
whatsoever last week's stayaway or protests," a
statement issued in Harare
On Thursday Mugabe accused Britain of
supporting mass action called by the
opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) in protest against his
He threatened to
"kick" Brian Donnelly, the British high commissioner to
Zimbabwe, out of the
southern African country "if he continues doing it".
government supports the fundamental rights of Zimbabweans to
expression and freedom of association," the British High
Hundreds of MDC supporters were arrested last week for allegedly
stayaway and street protests. The government said the mass action
tantamount to a coup.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested
and charged with treason in
connection with the protests. He is still in
police custody. - Sapa-AFP
Stop trying to humiliate opposition leaders
Congress of South
African Trade Unions (Johannesburg)
Posted to the web June 13, 2003
of South African Trade Unions condemns the Zimbabwe Government’
arrest and re-arrest of leaders of the opposition MDC. This
humiliate Morgan Tsvangirai other MDC leaders will solve nothing.
we urge the government to treat the opposition as partners in
reach a settlement of the country’s severe political and
The COSATU Central Executive Committee on 29 May 2003
resolved to support
the call by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
for an interim
government and the drafting of a new constitution on the basis
fresh elections should be conducted. It further resolved to support
by the international community for free political activity, the
the draconian laws that limit freedom of speech and free political
and the restoration of the rule of law.
government should learn from the history of apartheid South
Africa, where the
white minority government repeatedly used arrests, trials,
torture and the
abuse of human rights to remain in power, but were forced in
the end to reach
a negotiated settlement with the ANC and its allies.
The MDC, with their
substantial electoral support, will have to play a role
in any negotiations
on a settlement in Zimbabwe, and we therefore urge the
government to swallow
their pride, release all political prisoners and open
up talks with all
parties and civil society organisations, as proposed by
welcome the statement by President Thabo Mbeki at the World Economic
that membership of the African Union will bind governments to a code
governance. We urge him to bring pressure to bear on the government
Zimbabwe to apply the principles of good governance in that country and
the abuse of human rights.
France Appeals for Help in Resolving African Conflicts
13 Jun 2003, 17:34 UTC
French Foreign Minister
Dominique de Villepin appealed Friday for the
international community to do
more to resolve wars and other conflicts in
Africa. Mr. de Villepin spoke at
the start of a conference in the French
capital on ways to better manage
The two-week Paris conference gathers civilian and
from 46 African countries, along with international
experts. Their topic is
how to better manage and overcome crises in
A French-led multinational peacekeeping force is trying to
restore order in
the Democratic Republic of Congo, where ethnic fighting has
of people in recent months.
In Liberia, rebels are
attempting to topple the country's leader, Charles
Taylor. Further north,
Mauritanian President Maawiya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya
recently escaped a coup
attempt. And south in Zimbabwe, President Robert
Mugabe continues to crack
down on political dissidents.
In his address at France's top military
academy, Mr. de Villepin said
resolving African crises should be a priority
of the international
Mr. de Villepin said France's own
African policy would respect three
principles: the legitimacy of power,
national sovereignty, and territorial
integrity. For their part, he said,
African countries are faced with a
myriad of challenges: from globalization -
which risks increasing the gap
between rich and poor - to endemic poverty and
lack of democracy.
Mr. de Villepin called for regional and international
solutions to African
conflicts. Ivory Coast, Central Africa, Sudan and Congo
are all examples, he
said, where African countries have helped mediate local
crises. He outlined
new commitments toward Africa by the European Union, the
United Nations and
international financial institutions, and said France
would increase its
overall development aid to meet the United Nations' target
of 0.7 percent of
the national budget by 2012.
But some African
diplomats at the conference said they remain skeptical
about the level of
French and international commitment to the continent. One
Ambassador Joseph Mutaboba, said that when it came to
eastern Congo, for
example, the newly arrived peacekeepers had little grasp
of the complexities
of the strife.
Mbeki sticks his neck out on African peace
June 13, 2003, 16:00
The World Economic Forum's Africa summit has ended
with a bold prediction by President Thabo Mbeki about the
prospects. He mentioned various regions on the continent
progress is being made.
Mbeki said that
this year a transitional government is going to
be established in the and
that peace will be restored in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC). He
gave assurances about other parts of the
continent saying: "This year we are
going to have a conclusion, resolution,
of the negotiations about the future
of the Sudan. That'll happen. We will
have an agreement in Liberia that will
bring together all the various
political forces in Liberia into one
Mbeki was also optimistic about a resolution to
crisis in Zimbabwe, "We will have an agreement in Zimbabwe
ruling party and the opposition about all these various
challenges that face
He also referred to the
peace process in Burundi where South
Africa has been playing a leading role
in getting the government and the
rebels to talk to each other. He said, "The
peace process in Burundi will
continue leading in about just over a year from
now to the holding of
democratic elections in Burundi".
Mbeki said those who doubt the progress achieved so far will
evidence of large joint African development projects, funded in
some cases by
African companies themselves. He said, "Those who have been
have thought that something that effectively started two
years ago should be
producing results now will see those results.....results
that will give this
message....of the Africans doing something to take
charge of their own lives
with the support of the international partners".
The issue of
Africans putting their money where their mouth is,
was also raised by Sam
Jonah, chief executive of Ashanti, one of Africa's
largest mining companies.
He says 35% of African savings are held offshore
and that foreign direct
investment should be seen as only a complement
locally generated capital:
"There are things that we can do and must do to
give ourselves the confidence
that we need to put our moneys here. And time
is not on our side. I don't
want to come here next year ...and go through
the same palaver. Let's move
State will crush any moves to usurp power, says
From Bulawayo Bureau
President Mugabe yesterday warned that
the MDC would never again be allowed
to hold a mass action aimed at toppling
the legitimately-elected Government
of Zimbabwe as the State would crush any
moves to usurp power through
thousands of people at a rally at Esidhakeni Farm in Umguza
Mugabe warned people against supporting the MDC in its bid to
He said MDC leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai would never
achieve his dream of
marching to State House.
"They said by Friday,
MDC would be in power and Tsvangirai would be at State
House. I am glad he is
in State House now (prison). That’s the State House
he wanted," said Cde
Government would never watch while the MDC seized power through a
action. "We will never allow the MDC to hold another mass action. That
never happen again. So take care, know where you belong and go where
belong. You are Africans not British," he said.
Cde Mugabe said
whites in Zimbabwe had never accepted a black government
even though the
ruling party had extended a hand of reconciliation
Government's gesture of reconciliation was meant to
foster a spirit of unity
among blacks and whites. But whites "just wanted to
take and refused to
"They never accepted our rule. They never
accepted that Zimbabwe was an
independent country . . . they continued living
in Rhodesia in their
imagination. Up to now, they are still Rhodies but this
is Zimbabwe. They
should go to Rhodesia.
"They owe no allegiance to
us. They owe no loyalty. They despise our
Government and more than that they
want to destroy it. We refuse to be
destroyed. Instead we will destroy them,"
said President Mugabe.
He said whites did not deserve a share of the
country's land because they
continued to undermine the Government, especially
after it embarked on land
"Only yesterday, they were
organising mass action with the British. You saw
what they did. They closed
their industries, even schools were closed for a
week. So by Friday, MDC
would be in power.
"To fold our hands as they arrive at State House.
Befika besithi Mugabe suka
esihlalweni. Can that ever happen? Do they know
who we are? Where we came
from? They shouldn't play with fire," said Cde
He said MDC was agitating for change to reverse the land reform
"They say we will continue to stay away to change things.
maitiro. Isu maitiro edu ndeye independence. Giving back land
to the people.
We cannot change because change is to give back to the
"We are moving on the revolutionary path of satisfying our people
possible needs, the first being land.
"Who comes first on the
list, uKhumalo or Pilosoff. Mina owami nguKhumalo.
UPilosoff ngoka Tsvangirai," Cde Mugabe said.
He said young people in
Zimbabwe should safeguard and cherish their
revolutionary heritage so that
they can pass it on to future generations.
The young should guard against
being used by foreign-sponsored organisations
"If you embrace their ideas for the sake of money, you will get
what for?" said Cde Mugabe.
The Government would assist
people in times of need. Resettled farmers would
get tillage, fertiliser and
seed while dams and irrigation schemes would be
established to assist new
Salaries of civil servants had been increased while allowances
and other traditional leaders would also be looked
Cde Mugabe urged teachers to desist from engaging in strikes, as
detrimental to the education of children.
mastrikes please no. When you strike really, in your mind do you
are doing justice to your profession? Do you ever think of the
harm you are
inflicting to the little children?
"I was a teacher myself and so it’s a
profession I value above my current
one (politics)," he said.
Mugabe said Zimbabweans should cherish the legacy of the late
Joshua Nkomo and remain united in the face of an onslaught on
the country by
"Let us be one in the party. Remember the words of Umdala
wethu esithi yena,
remain united and let the land question be resolved in the
interests of our
people," the President said.
Cde Mugabe visited
Umguza district as part of his national tour to assess
projects, recovery from last season's drought, the
state of Zanu-PF and
explain the task of the land review committee.
Cde Mugabe, who was
accompanied by Zanu-PF national commissar, Cde Elliot
Manyika, and the
Minister of Agriculture, Dr Joseph Made, was met by the
Matabeleland North, Cde Obert Mpofu and other senior
Mnangagwa opens up MILLIONS have kept guessing the route of his political career
with speculation rife that he is the president-in-waiting. Is he really?
"I have no aspirations for presidency at all . . . I’m above average in
intelligence, how do you aspire for a position where there is no vacancy? My
only wish is to continue serving the country,’’ confided the Speaker of
Parliament, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, recently.
He is viewed, in some
circles, as a hard, ruthless man "very vicious when his path is crossed".
"People think that I’m a hard person but those close to me know that I’m
as soft as wool. But of course I stick to my principles. Maybe that’s where the
hardness comes from. I stick to principles no matter what it takes.
have gone through a lot of pain, suffering and torture in my life . . . I hardly
wish anyone any suffering which is why I have always been against the death
penalty because I myself missed it by a whisker. For instance I only use one ear
because the other one was injured through torture under the Rhodesian regime.’’
But would he kill if he had to?
"I’ve seen a lot of death in my
life, I don’t want to kill. War is not nice, I’ve gone through it.’’
During the Smith era, the Speaker — who was actively involved in the
liberation struggle — was at some point condemned to death and brutally tortured
at the then notorious "Butcher House 20A’’ a room at the Harare Central Prison
where he was detained.
War, as it was, the gruesome treatment he
describes to have been subjected to prisoners at the so-called Butcher House
makes one’s skin crawl.
"There was an iron bar with hooks — similar to
the ones used for hanging carcasses in most butcheries — Fixed across the roof
in that room. So we were chained in leg irons which were then hocked to the bar
so that we hung with our heads facing down. We were tortured whilst in those
Earlier during the initial stages of the war in 1965, Cde
Mnangagwa was arrested for blowing, in the previous year, a locomotive engine in
the then town of Fort Victoria, now Masvingo.
He was sentenced to death
but escaped with a 10-year-jail term on an age technicality.
He has ever
since strongly opposed the death penalty and during his tenure as the minister
of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs he reduced by six, the offences that
called for capital punishment.
A qualified lawyer and father of 12, Cde
Mnangagwa was born in Zvishavane in the royal family of the Mapanzure
chieftainship. Mapanzure is therefore his last name.
His did part of his
schooling in Zvishavane and then went to a school in Zambia where he was
expelled for complaining about the diet. He then enrolled for industrial
building and architecture at Hodgson Technical College, also in Zambia, but was
again expelled this time for burning some property at the school. He had then
become an activist of the Zambian United National Independence Party (Unip).
His academic life stopped briefly then and he became a full-time Unip
youth league member rising to the rank of secretary. When Unip came into power
in 1962 under the leadership of former President Kenneth Kaunda, Cde Mnangagwa
was recruited by Zapu.
He was posted to Egypt for military training in
1963 but that same year, he led a rebellion against the Zapu leadership and was
detained. He joined Zanu in Tanganyika and was among the first group of five to
undergo military training in China. Upon his return to the country the following
year, he began recruiting and sending young people to China and Ghana for
In 1965 he was captured and jailed for blowing a
locomotive engine, an offence he had committed the previous year.
gave him an opportunity to carry on with his studies and he did both his
ordinary and advanced levels before undertaking a law degree.
completion of his jail term he was deported to Zambia where he was received by
the late freedom fighter Cde Josiah Tongogara. He rejoined Zanla and was hosted
in that country by the Tongogara family.
In Zambia, Cde Mnangagwa
completed his law degree and was admitted to the bar as an advocate.
immediately after being confirmed as a lawyer he went to Mozambique to rejoin
He has ever since been an active politician and was in
charge of s ecurity as a Special Assistant to President Mugabe from 1977 to
He first met President Mugabe in 1963 in Tanganyika. "In 1964 I
used to guard his house in Highfield.’’
Cde Mnangagwa has worked closely
with the President for the past 40 years.
But doesn’t his kind of life
experience harden a person?
"My adulthood solidified me. . . I’m still a
simple villager with village upbringing philosophy.’’
Cde Mnangagwa met
his late wife Jayne, Cde Tongogara’s sister, during his stay with the family
soon after his release from prison.
"I met her through Tongogara when I
left prison. Tongogara was always very busy so most of the time it was just me
and her at home . . . She was my first girlfriend and I quickly married her.’’
Jayne died of cancer on January 31 last year.
Was he a good
husband? "As a husband you can’t assess yourself. I suppose if one had a normal
lifestyle they would become better husbands. But in politics it’s not like that
because sometimes you work until the early hours of the next day.
wife was very accommodating. She had come to accept my way of life.’’ Her death,
he says, was a big blow to him and his family.
"My wife, she was a
pillar. I miss her. We were very close and she was the solid one in the family,
more solid than I was. She was always solving most of the problems in the
The Speaker has 12 children, eight girls and four boys. Some
of his daughters are at universities in the US, Britain and South Africa, and
his sons are still at Prince Edward School.
As a father, "I haven’t been
a good father because I hardly found time to talk to my children. At times my
children would say to me ‘dad when did you come back’ when I hadn’t been away. I
would arrive home when they were sleeping and leave before they were up. I have
more time now that I’m Speaker but my girls are grown up now.’’
favourite food: "I still love my sour milk and mufushwa (dried vegetables).’’
Cde Mnangagwa describes his upbringing as having been fairly comfortable
in a rural set-up. His father is his role-model.
"I was quite close to
my father. He was anti-settlers because my family was moved from the better
productive areas in Zvishavane to rocky areas. He always said that if he had
been younger he would have gone to school and fought the white man. I always
felt that I had to correct that (the land imbalance).’’
The Speaker is
also a businessman with interests in dairy farming, horticulture and transport.
"I began dairy farming in 1983 and now I’m into horticulture. I also
have a cross-boarder transport firm run by my daughter. I do a lot of farming
with my brothers growing wheat and soya beans in Kwekwe. I also buy shares on
the stock market.’’
He has also been linked to other business interests
including the Tribune Newspaper partly-owned by businessman Mutumwa Mawere.
"I have nothing to do with that newspaper neither have I done business
"I only dealt with him when I was appointed head of a
committee of five Government officials which was set up to help indigenous
people acquire businesses. I helped Mawere acquire Shabane and Mashaba Mines,
from which I understand he has grown. That has nothing to do with me.’’
He was also cited, in a United Nations report, as one of the Zimbabweans
allegedly involved in the plundering of resources in the Democratic Republic of
However, the Security Council has since cleared Zimbabwe and the
Commenting on the allegations, Cde Mnangagwa said "I
was the co-chairman of a committee of the joint ministers of Zimbabwe and DRC
set to promote trade between the two countries.
"We agreed that we
should create economic arms owned by ZNA (Zimbabwe National Army) and FAC (Armed
Forces of Congo). We did form that and received concessions to deal in diamonds,
mining, timber and electricity. But when I left even the diamond project had not
begun operating. They were still in the process of establishing a mine.
"The allegations are of course false. I’m aware that the recent sitting
of the Security Council has cleared Zimbabwe and the individuals who had been
"Our involvement in the DRC was above board. The looters in that
country were Uganda and Rwanda.’’