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

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Today, Sunday 15 June 2003, the Manager of Bulembe Estates., Mr Piet Van der Riet, was arrested and taken into custody by the Police at Fort Rixon, approximately 37 km East of Bulawayo, because he defied an order by a bunch of thugs and "Green Bombers" to vacate his home so that a mugabe lacky may steal it for his own use. Green Bombers is a colloquial name for youths who have been indoctrinated by mugabe's regime into beating up anyone considered to be remotely opposed to the total mayhem that is going on in Zimbabwe at the present time. They will beat up or even murder their own parents or grandparents should mugabe's cronies decide that it is necessary for their own survival. They are somewhat similar to the Hitler Youth of the Nazi era.
Mr Jimmy Goddard the owner of Buleme Estates,  was busy trying to salvage as much of Mr Van der Riets possessions as he could before  these thugs moved their beds into and settled themselves into Mr Van der Riets home. 
Mr Van der Riets mother in law is totally blind. The only home she knows is the one she lived in with her daughter and son in law. She has had to be moved to totally unknown surroundings. This is Fathers Day, which should have been a happy day for Mr Van der Riet, and his poor family and mother in law have been totally distraught by the days happenings.
Eye witnesses have stated that the thieves of the property were seen to be driving a cream Land Cruiser, registration number, 597 703 B.
This incident, amongst many others, comes months after mugabe assured the World that the land grabbing is over, and that no more will take place! Many influential people were taken by these lies including the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki.
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Washington Post

Pull the Plug on Mr. Mugabe

Monday, June 16, 2003; Page A22

AS THE DEBATE continues over the ouster of Saddam Hussein, several countries
in Africa are offering further tests of the tenet that dictators deserve to
be left alone so long as they brutalize only their own citizens. The
starkest example may be Zimbabwe, where a corrupt, criminal, 79-year-old
man, Robert Mugabe, has dragged a once-promising land into a nightmare of
violence, famine and disease.

Once a revered fighter for majority black rule in his country, Mr. Mugabe
never really tolerated his democratic opposition. But since losing a
referendum on a new constitution three years ago, he has chosen to
systematically destroy his own country rather than yield to opponents. Last
year he blatantly stole a presidential election and drove the most
productive farmers off their land. Now he presides over a nation where
millions are at risk of starvation, where AIDS ravages the countryside,
where once-rich farms lie fallow and once-bustling markets are bare. His
regime has been ousted from the British Commonwealth, sanctioned by the
European Union and United States, suspended from the International Monetary
Fund. Yet still he hangs on to power.

His formula is simple: brute force by the coterie of corrupt thugs in the
army and security forces who still have a stake in his survival. This month,
for the third month in a row, a large part of Zimbabwe's workforce stayed
home in a protest strike, closing up to 90 percent of businesses in the
cities. But an attempt by the opposition to stage a climactic protest in the
streets of the capital, Harare, was stifled by a flood of armed men, who
beat and arrested hundreds. Among those swept up was Morgan Tsvangirai, head
of the Movement for Democratic Change and the man who probably won last
year's presidential election. Last week one of Mr. Mugabe's courts extended
his detention for a month; he and his top deputy already face trial for
treason on the ludicrous charge of attempting to murder the president.

Mr. Mugabe's ability to get away with criminality that threatens the lives
of millions is mostly due to his location. Neither the Bush administration
nor any other Western power has been willing to take more than token action
against him. Despite an official ban on travel by Mr. Mugabe to the European
Union, French President Jacques Chirac recently invited him to a summit
meeting in Paris. The single largest hope for Zimbabweans lies with their
neighbor South Africa, which supplies 15 percent of the country's
electricity. South African President Thabo Mbeki has tried to talk Mr.
Mugabe into negotiating with his opposition or holding honest elections,
with no success. Now Zimbabwean exiles and human rights groups are urging
South Africa to cut off their country's power. Mr. Mugabe has already proven
that he prefers to scorch his own earth rather than give in, but a power cut
may peel away enough of his supporters to make a regime change possible. Mr.
Mbeki should try that approach.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company
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Minister admits land policy gave her a farm

      June 15 2003 at 08:42AM

Olivia Muchena, the Zimbabwean cabinet minister whose ban-busting invitation
to a Commonwealth science conference in South Africa was withdrawn after
being exposed by The Sunday Independent last week, has confirmed she got a
farm under Zimbabwe's land grab policies.

"I got a farm and perhaps was one of the last few leaders to get a farm,
only last year in November, through the appropriate procedures."

These procedures, she said, were that after people from overcrowded communal
lands had been settled on confiscated commercial farms, people with skills
and access to resources were next on the list. As an author on indigenous
trees and a former lecturer in agriculture at the University of Zimbabwe,
"technically, I qualify".

The science and technology development minister is a Sunday Independent
reader - if perhaps a reluctant one.

      'Zimbabwe's position is that we are not suspended'
"I want to say I read the Independent and the way it portrayed me was
totally false," the former agriculture minister complained this week. She
returned to Zimbabwe on Tuesday when South Africa did an about turn on her
invitation, which was in contravention of the Commonwealth's suspension of

Muchena seemed determined to view her invitation to a few days of hobnobbing
with world-acclaimed scientists and engineers at the Commonwealth Science
Council meeting in Sandton as a slap in the face for the Commonwealth.

"Zimbabwe's position is that we are not suspended. We have not been
suspended since two out of the troika [Nigeria, South Africa and Australia]
voted against it in March," she told a press conference in the presence of
Ben Ngubane, South Africa's science minister who had invited her to the
conference. She also told reporters that she would send a deputy to any
Commonwealth events off limits to ministers.

The next day the department of foreign affairs overruled the department of
arts, culture, science and technology and had her invitation withdrawn,
calling it "erroneous". She attended the Commonwealth Science Council as a
Southern African Development Community representative.

Now the Commonwealth Science Council has decided that for as long as
Zimbabwe is suspended, Malawi will have to represent the southern African

      'There are bound to be some wayward things happening'
Ngubane, who is the head of the Commonwealth Science Council until the end
of the year, was clearly taken aback by the amount of attention focused on
his Zimbabwean counterpart.

"You know, the issue of politics may be there but here we are dealing with
the needs of the region," he told a Sandton Sun press conference. "We have
invited Angola and they're not even a member of the Commonwealth and so
please, let us not be sidetracked into other difficulties."

Asked about The Sunday Independent's report that she had jumped the land
queue to get a farm, Muchena said in an interview: "All of those words were
put into the mouths of war veterans."

Why, then, did war veteran leader Joseph Chinotimba stand up at a Zanu-PF
rally last year and accuse her of stealing the commercial farm? "In a
revolution like we had, there are bound to be some wayward things happening
but they are the exception rather than the rule."

Muchena also took issue with this Sunday Independent's coverage of the
Zimbabwe high court order to vacate her legislature seat two years ago in
favour of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), due to
widespread electoral fraud.

"What the paper did not tell you was that the results in my constituency
were 19 220 in favour of me and Zanu-PF and only 1 777 in favour of MDC,"
said Muchena.

"And four days after the judge made that judgment, he resigned because of
the public outcry," she noted, confirming that she has taken the case on
appeal to the Zimbabwe supreme court. Two years later, the court has yet to
set a date for her hearing.

The MP for Mutoko South denied allegations that she had had MDC members
abducted and brought to her Zanu-PF campaign rallies in handcuffs, stating
"that is utterly false. It did not happen".

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Daily News

      Zimbabwe voted among the worst

      6/16/2003 8:00:43 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ZIMBABWE has been ranked by the World Economic Forum (WEF) among the
worst governed and most corrupt countries in Africa, only scoring better
than countries such as Nigeria and Chad.

      The crisis-hit country was ranked 16th out of 21 African states polled
and scored the lowest for the independence of the judiciary and second
lowest for the neutrality of government public decisions.

      Neighbouring Botswana emerged as the top-ranked country, according to
the WEF ratings based on the quality of public institutions,
corruption-busting efforts and the rule of law.

      Tunisia came second, followed by Gambia and South Africa. Nigeria and
Chad, countries ravaged by military coups and armed conflict in the past,
anchored the list.

      The key WEF list is consulted by every international investor before
they decide where to put their money.

      Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa, who led Zimbabwe’s delegation to the
WEF summit held last week in South Africa’s port city of Durban, where the
world body announced the performance of African countries on good
governance, protested the southern African nation was being penalised again
for its controversial land reforms.

      The government in the past year seized land from white Zimbabweans
without compensation and parcelled it out to landless blacks, many of them
its supporters, under controversial fast-track land reforms it said were
meant to correct an unequal land tenure system imposed on the country by

      Zimbabwe is facing one of its worst food shortages because of
disruptions wrought on agriculture by the often violent land reforms.

      Murerwa, who told the South African media that the WEF could have
found better candidates for delinquent states in the strife-torn Democratic
Republic of the Congo or Burundi, said Zimbabwe was a victim of bad
international Press coverage opposed to the chaotic land reforms.

      Once a showcase economy for Africa, Zimbabwe has seen its rating on
human rights, good governance and economic performance plummet in the last
three years.

      Zimbabwe, which is grappling with its worst economic crisis since
independence from Britain 23 years ago, was two weeks ago also suspended by
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) because of long-running differences
over fiscal policy and other governance issues.

      Suspension by the IMF sealed the country’s pariah status on the
international financial stage.

      The country’s judiciary was largely reconstituted after the government
openly clashed with the respected Bench led by former chief justice Anthony
Gubbay, largely because of differences on property rights and the rule of
law on commercial farms that pro-government militants were seizing for

      Political rights in Zimbabwe have also waned as the government resorts
to iron-fist tactics to keep mounting public discontent with its rule in

      Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is in jail after being charged
with treason for allegedly calling for Mugabe’s unconstitutional removal
from office.

      Tsvangirai is already standing trial for treason over allegations he
and two other senior Movement for Democratic Change party officials plotted
to murder Mugabe ahead of last year’s controversial presidential election.

      Analysts yesterday told The Daily News the latest negative rating of
Zimbabwe would only help scare away the few foreign investors that were
still remaining in the country.

      Human rights lawyer and political commentator Brian Kagoro said: “This
means investors now fear to use their money here.

      “The politicians have nullified all the gains made when Zimbabwe
attained independence. We are now moving backwards.

      I cannot believe we should be anywhere near Nigeria, which had
military coups, ethnic clashes and is located in a war-torn region.

      “We have the natural resources and we have intellectual capacity
Botswana cannot match. But we have no one to direct the country.”

      Economic commentator Eric Bloch said Zimbabwe had done little to fight
corruption or restore the rule of law in the country.

      He said: “We now have the rule of men and not the rule of law. So many
arbitrary decisions have been made over the last three or so years.

      Laws have been broken right, left and centre.

      “There is so much corruption, even in the private sector, the rate of
crime is rising at an alarming pace and no effort is being made to address

      Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told Parliament last week that the
government was working on establishing an anti-corruption commission to
spearhead the fight against white-collar crime in Zimbabwe.
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Daily News

      History will certainly judge them harshly

      6/16/2003 7:56:18 AM (GMT +2)

      Maxwell Sibanda

      FORTUNES could soon turn around at the cash-strapped Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) because of the new government sponsored
advert, Rambai Makashinga.

      The Chave Chimurenga advert dubbed Rambai Makashinga is costing the
taxpayer close to $2 billion per month on radio and television alone.

      The marketing department at ZBC said it costs $40 000 to advertise for
a minute on radio, but as for the Rambai Makashinga advert it costs double
because it plays for one minute 45 seconds.

      The advert is being played approximately 288 times a day which amounts
to 2 016 times a week and 8 064 times per month on all four radio stations.

      The estimated total cost per month for radio is $654 120 000.

      It costs $190 000 per minute to flight an advert that includes moving
footage on television. Since the advert is more than a minute, it is costing
the taxpayer $380 000 per inset.

      The advert is flighted approximately more than 120 times a day on
television which amounts to 840 times per week and 3 360 per month.

      The estimated total cost per month for television is $1 276 800 000
while the total estimated cost for both radio and television is $1 921 920

      And government is paying for this advert. ZBC chief executive
Munyaradzi Hwengwere is on record as saying government was paying for these
Chave Chimurenga adverts. He said early this year: “The ZBC will play the
pro-land Chave Chimurenga advertisements because government is paying for
them. It would be criminal for the national broadcaster to limit people’s
freedom, ideas and creativity.”

      But which people is Hwengwere alluding to on the new ‘hit’ jingle
Rambai Makashinga?

      The advert’s characters, whom Hwengwere gives the freedom and does not
want to limit their “freedom, ideas and creativity” are none other than
Minister Jonathan Moyo and Zanu PF prodigal son Last ‘Blair Toilet’

      Undoubtedly Tambaoga is the singer in the latest jingle which emanated
from the Ministry of Information and Publicity in the President’s office.

      But Moyo and Hwengwere should explain to the licence holders where all
that money raised from the Chave Chimurenga adverts is going.

      An estimated $1 921 920 000 per month should cushion ZBC from its
debts, buy the urgently required equipment and yes, pay pensions for the
retrenched workers.

      One day Hwengwere will be made to account for all this money which he
claims government is paying because from the look of things the ZBC is still
to meet its financial obligations.

      The new Chave Chimurenga advert is not the first that ZBC has flighted
and as Hwengwere claims government has been paying for them. We hope, yes we
hope that this is true for the truth shall set Hwengwere free one day.

      And to Hwengwere I say: Do you notice that genuine advertisers are
running from ZBC because of these propaganda adverts.

      As it stands now and like a bully, the Chave Chimurenga adverts have
chased away all the other adverts. They are ruling. They are the only bulls
left in the kraal.

      Who in his right senses can advertise on radio and television stations
where there is a glut of propaganda adverts.

      It is sad when musicians – some of them highly prominent – go into bed
with Zanu PF to manufacture such propaganda material which in itself is an
insult to Zimbabweans. Shame on these musicians.

      History will judge them harshly!

      Send your comments to:
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Daily News

      Report chronicles how villagers survived food crisis

      6/16/2003 7:58:38 AM (GMT +2)

      JOHANNESBURG – Eating floor sweepings bought from maize millers and
keeping a death watch over family members who consumed poisonous wild foods
is what some families in a remote area of Zimbabwe have had to do to survive
the country’s food crisis.

      As food security experts gathered this week in South Africa to discuss
the regional crisis, a Save the Children report focusing on the remote
communities of Binga and Nyaminyami in the north-west of Zimbabwe,
documented the harrowing measures some families took to pull through.

      Binga and Nyaminyami in the western Zambezi valley, where the majority
of the population were resettled during the construction of the Kariba Dam,
are two of the least developed districts in Zimbabwe.

      The area has low rainfall, which hampers agricultural production, and
is far from major markets.

      With high transport costs, the community pays more for limited
supplies and receives less for goods they try to sell outside the area.

      The report said that April 2002 to March 2003 was one of the worst
periods in recent memory for the communities, due to the countrywide drought
and the national shortage of maize.

      At times they faced inflation of 800 percent and food aid became vital
for their survival.

      A study in one area of Binga found that everybody fell short of their
minimum food needs, with only two deliveries of maize by the Grain Marketing
Board (GMB) in the whole year.

      A “disturbingly large” amount of money was spent on maize husks and
floor sweepings from local millers.

      To buy food, expenditure was switched from other necessities like
school fees and health care.

      Wild foods played an important role in a diet that already had very
little diversity.

      However, in addition to “normal” wild foods, soup made from a root
with sedative powers was also eaten.

      Because of these sedative properties, families reported having a
dedicated person to wake other family members every half an hour to ensure
they had not died, the report said.

      Thehe most sacred. It is the position through which we can talk to the
gods.” Vera is working on a new novel she hopes to complete within the next
six months.
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Daily News

      Anglican flock stages demo against Kunonga

      6/16/2003 8:01:35 AM (GMT +2)

      By Precious Shumba Staff Reporter

      DISGRUNTLED Anglican church parishioners last Saturday held
demonstrations at the Bernard Mizeki shrine in Marondera against one of the
church’s senior bishops, Nolbert Kunonga, whom they accused of politicising
the ministry and neglecting his pastoral duties.

      The parishioners, numbering about 40 and from the church’s Cathedral
of Saint Mary’s and All Saints in Harare, held placards denouncing Kunonga
for preaching hatred and breaking the church’s rules.

      Some of the placards read: “Kunonga preaches sermons of hate and bans
choir and councillors” and “Kunonga is a law unto himself: breaks church

      A Daily News team which witnessed the protests could not reach Kunonga
for comment on the matter, with two priests who dismissed the demonstration
as a “non-event” constantly shielding the clergyman from reporters.

      A spokesman for the demonstrators said they had resorted to
demonstrating because Bernard Malango, who is head of the Anglican flock in
Central Africa, had allegedly failed to resolve their dispute with Kunonga.

      “The Anglican Bishop for Central Africa, Bernard Malango, has failed
to resolve our dispute with Kunonga and the situation is getting very
desperate,” the spokesman said.

      He added: “We held the demonstration because we wanted the other
bishops and other Anglicans to know that there are serious problems at the
Cathedral that need urgent attention.

      “Our bishop continues to tell Zimbabweans that we have mended our
differences but he continues to preach hatred. His politics has destroyed
our once good church. The bishop has continued to attend ruling party and
government functions, abandoning his spiritual role, home and hospital
visits, church services and even the burial of parishioners which he is
being paid for.”

      Other senior Anglican bishops who were present at the church service
to mark the death of pioneer Anglican evangelist Bernard Mizeki 107 years
ago included Bishops Sebastian Bakare from Manicaland, Ishmael Mukuwanda
from Central Zimbabwe, Godfrey Tawonezvi from Masvingo and Mozambican cleric
Denise Singulunae.

      The only clergyman included by the United States of America and the
European Union under punitive visa and financial sanctions imposed on
President Robert Mugabe and his lieutenants over alleged human rights
violations, Kunonga is widely regarded as pro-government.

      He has had a troubled relationship with some of his followers since
taking over in 2001 as the bishop of Harare, which is one of the Anglican
church’s biggest provinces.

      Kunonga took some of his parishioners to court last year, seeking to
ban them from attending service at the Saint Mary’s Cathedral. He later
withdrew the case.

      But some of the Anglican parishioners castigated the anti-Kunonga
demonstration saying it was a diversion from the purpose of visit to the
shrine, which was meant for the pilgrims to rededicate themselves to their

      “The bishop (Kunonga) has repented and actually called for unity at
that meeting and asked for forgiveness in a polite way. There is no reason
why they should continue holding demonstrations against him,” one of the
pilgrims said.

      Meanwhile, pilgrims at the shrine criticised the church leadership for
its failure to upgrade the premises of the Bernard Mizeki shrine, which have
no toilets or a protected water source even though millions of dollars are
said to be collected annually from pilgrims.
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Daily News

      Deputy Sheriffs’ association to discipline wayward members

      6/16/2003 8:02:46 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      DEPUTY Sheriffs and Messengers of Court Association (DSMC) chairman
Bonny Nhamburo said the Justice Ministry had given the organisation
permission to discipline its members, some of whom have been accused of
defrauding widows and orphans of benefits from deceased estates.

      Nhamburo said the DSMC would now be able to discipline any deputy
sheriff or messenger of court who flouted rules during execution of duty, in
much the same way other professional bodies such as the Law Society of
Zimbabwe can discipline its members.

      Previously, the Justice Ministry, which appoints deputy sheriffs and
court messengers, was the one responsible for disciplining them once they
violated the rules.

      Nhamburo said: “The minister also dealt with disciplinary issues but
now he has given us the powers to deal with our members.

      “We will be able to deal with our wayward members like what the Law
Society of Zimbabwe does with its members.”

      He said the organisation was going to set up its inaugural
disciplinary committee at its annual general meeting scheduled for next
month in the Midlands city of Kwekwe.

      The decision to set up the disciplinary committee comes amid reports
from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) that some
unscrupulous messengers of court and bogus estate agents were dubiously
selling properties belonging to widows and orphans.

      The human rights organisation is representing about 50 people in the
courts who have lost properties worth about $20 billion to some of the
dubious messengers of court and estate agents.

      ZimRights director Munyaradzi Bidi yesterday said welcomed the
proposed setting up of disciplinary committee by DSMC, saying it would help
improve transparency and accountability in the justice delivery system.

      “We have particular cases we know of where there was corruption and we
are more than happy to assist the disciplinary committee in its endeavours,”
Bidi said.
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Daily News

      Government should disband youth militias, says US group

      6/16/2003 8:04:17 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      BULAWAYO – The United States of America-based Human Rights Watch (HRW)
group has called on the government of Zimbabwe to disband youth militias and
withdraw the military from residential areas and re-establish the rule of
law in the country.

      In a paper released in New York last week, Peter Pakaimbudde who is
executive director for Africa at HWR, said the human rights situation in
Zimbabwe had deteriorated in the last few months with some state security
forces and pro-government militias allegedly committing violence against
suspected supporters of the opposition.

      Pakaimbudde wrote in the paper: “The direct involvement of
high-ranking government officials and state security forces marks a new and
worrisome trend in Zimbabwe’s ongoing political crisis.

      “Not only has the army and police personnel failed to protect people
from human rights abuses, but they are now carrying out abuses themselves.”

      Zimbabwe army soldiers and youth militia who were deployed in
residential areas ostensibly to maintain law and order during a recent mass
protest organised by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change were
still allegedly patrolling the residential areas and assaulting residents.

      According to the HRW report, political violence that was prevalent in
rural areas since 2000 had now become common in urban centres and
non-political actors such as civic organisations and church leaders were
also being increasingly targeted.

      “The majority of the violence in recent months has been committed by
state security forces and youth militias. Systematic arbitrary arrests and
other abuses of human rights violates Zimbabwe’s obligation under
International law,” Pakaimbudde wrote in the paper entitled: Under a Shadow;
Civil and Political Rights In Zimbabwe.

      Zimbabwe, grappling with its worst political and economic crisis since
independence in 1980, has seen its human rights rating slide as the
government resorts to iron-fist tactics to keep swelling public anger in

      Two weeks ago the government deployed a combined army and police force
to crush mass protest called by the opposition MDC against President Robert

      MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is awaiting ruling this week on his bail
application after the police arrested him accusing of calling for Mugabe’s
unconstitutional removal from office.

      The opposition leader said his party was only pushing for Mugabe to
either voluntarily step down or agree to talks with the MDC to resolve the
country’s deepening crisis.
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Daily News

      Zimbabwean exiles petition Mbeki over Tsvangirai’s imprisonment

      6/16/2003 8:05:05 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      SOUTH African President Thabo Mbeki’s spokesman, Bheki Khumalo, said
Mbeki’s office had received a petition from Zimbabweans living in that
country calling on Pretoria to exert pressure on President Robert Mugabe to
release jailed opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

      Khumalo, who spoke to The Daily News while Mbeki was in Durban
attending the just-ended World Economic Forum summit there, said: “We have
seen the petition and we are waiting for the President to come to office and
consider it. He is attending a meeting in Durban.”

      About 45 Zimbabwean exiles had temporarily staged a hunger strike
about 500 metres outside Mbeki’s Union Building office in Pretoria.

      Police later told the protesting Zimbabweans to disperse after
allowing them to hand over their petition to Mbeki’s officials.

      Leader of the group calling itself Concerned Zimbabweans Abroad, Jay
Jay Sibanda, said:

      “We are now back in Johannesburg after we were escorted out of
Pretoria by the police on Wednesday afternoon.

      “We were told by an official from President Mbeki’s office that our
grievances will be addressed.’’

      Sibanda said his group had wanted to hold an indefinite hunger strike
until Mbeki prevailed on his Zimbabwean counterpart to release Tsvangirai or
until the High Court of Zimbabwe granted the opposition leader bail.

      Tsvangirai is in prison until the court rules on an application for
bail he lodged last week.

      Tsvangirai was arrested on the last day of mass protests by his
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party two weeks ago aimed at
forcing Mugabe to step down or to agree to negotiations with the MDC on a
solution to Zimbabwe’s deepening political and economic crisis.

      The former trade unionist-turned-opposition politician was slapped
with fresh treason charges over allegations he called for Mugabe’s
unconstitutional ouster from power.

      Tsvangirai, who is the biggest threat yet to Mugabe in 23 years, is
already facing trial for treason over allegations he and two members of his
party plotted to murder Mugabe ahead of last year’s presidential election.
He has denied all the charges of treason.

      Mbeki, who together with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has so
far unsuccessfully tried to push Mugabe and Tsvangirai to talk over their
differences, last week called for the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis
through dialogue.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Zimbabwe: a basket case

      6/16/2003 8:07:46 AM (GMT +2)

      THE World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked Zimbabwe among the worst
performers in Africa on good governance, democracy, the rule of law, human
rights and anti-corruption efforts. Not that this is surprising at all.

      But that Zimbabwe could be ranked 16th from the bottom on the list of
the most corrupt and worst abusers of human rights on a continent where in
many countries justice is not what the courts say but what some deranged
dictator decrees, surely shows how low we have sunk as a nation.

      According to statistics released by the WEF at its summit held last
week in South Africa’s port city of Durban, the Zimbabwe government, which
two weeks ago ruthlessly crushed protests by the country’s opposition and
has, as we write, the main opposition leader in prison, scored the lowest
for independence of the judiciary and second lowest for the neutrality of
government public decisions.

      Neighbouring Botswana, which was ranked the best performer, scored the
high marks for upholding a stable and transparent democratic system, with
even a special anti-corruption directorate to help fight white-collar crime.

      Of course it is rather expecting too much to ask the government of
Zimbabwe to establish a truly independent anti-corruption commission, just
as it would be asking for the impossible to ask President Robert Mugabe and
his ruling ZANU PF party to allow the creation of a truly independent and
impartial electoral commission in this country.

      As if to rebuke her Zimbabwean neighbours for their intolerance of
divergent political views, the governor of the Bank of Botswana, Linah
Mohohlo, told the summit her country’s political system allowed for a
vibrant opposition and media and, more profoundly, that no member of the
opposition or Press had ever been arrested in that country.

      Needless to say, Mohohlo’s thinly veiled comments expose the
government’s claim that all in Southern Africa support its retrogressive
policies for the shameless lie that it is.

      And instead of the government hastening to borrow a leaf from its
prosperous neighbour and ditching the ruinous policies that have reduced
Zimbabwe to a pauper and pariah state, it predictably reacted with its usual

      Finance and Economic Development Minister Herbert Murerwa, who led the
country’s delegation to the Durban summit, recited to the world the same
tired lie that Zimbabwe had done no wrong but was an merely and innocent
victim of unfair and negative publicity in the international Press.

      Murerwa, usually a sensible man, even childishly protested that the
WEF should have found another country, not sovereign Zimbabwe, to use as an
example of a delinquent state.

      He asked the Press in South Africa: “Why don’t they (WEF) use the
Democratic Republic of the Congo or Burundi to show what’s wrong?”

      Back home the government mouthpiece Sunday Mail newspaper further
ventilated government’s thinking and reaction to the WEF summit and its
rating of Zimbabwe, celebrating the whole event as some strange victory
because, according to the State-controlled paper, organisers of the summit
had refused alleged attempts by Britain to have Zimbabwe put on the agenda
of the meeting.

      Yet even the government should know by now that these diversionary
tactics will fool no one.

      That all Zimbabweans and the rest of the progressive international
community know that the chief reason why Zimbabwe has crumbled into this
economic and political mess is because of the reckless and mad policies of a
dictatorship that wants to cling to power at all and whatever costs.

      By choosing to believe its own propaganda and persistently refusing to
see reality, the government is only hastening its own demise.
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Leader Page

      Zimbabwe breeding generation of traumatised children

      6/16/2003 8:08:30 AM (GMT +2)

      By Cathy Buckle

      A 10-year-old boy was riding his bicycle down the main road to school
recently, when he had to stop because there were a lot of people screaming
and shouting on the road in front of him.

      The little boy wheeled his bike behind a tree and what he saw will
give him nightmares for a long time.

      There was a Land Rover and a lot of men and they were beating people,
right there in the middle of the road, in broad daylight.

      He said the people were crying and groaning, lying down on the tar
road and begging the men to stop hitting them.

      The little boy told me he was very scared and he didn’t know what to
do so he just stayed where he was, hoping nobody would see him.

      His eyes wide with fright, his speech fast and garbled, the little boy
asked me why people were being beaten with rubber sticks and pieces of wood
with wire tied on the end.

      I didn’t have any answers for the little boy who was witnessing the
strong arm of the law reaching out and forcing people to go to work during
the recent national stayaway.

      Zimbabwe’s political mayhem of the last 41 months has bred yet another
generation of traumatised children and what a 10-year-old boy saw a
fortnight ago is the tip of the iceberg of what Zimbabwe’s children are
having to live with every day now.

      At the end of the liberation war in 1980, Zimbabwe had a generation of
traumatised children. It took 15 years for those children to go through our
educational systems, learn to accept each other’s differences, learn to live
side by side, forget the awful horrors they had witnessed and become
functional human beings.

      What shame upon Zimbabwe and her leaders that those same traumatised
children of 1980 are being forced to expose their own children to the same
horrors. With the knowledge that our own President has young children, it is
beyond belief that he can allow this to be happening to the children of what
he so proudly calls “his” Zimbabwe.

      It has taken 23 years for Zimbabwe to come full circle. In 1980,
President Robert Mugabe picked up the pieces of a shattered nation.

      His government, with the help of foreign donors, built schools,
colleges and universities, filled libraries with books and promised
education for all by the year 2000.

      They sat black children next to white, removed all educational
restrictions based on skin colour and, using the best teachers, they guided
a generation of children into the 21st Century.

      For the first 20 years after independence we taught our children
tolerance and unity, pride in their country and humility in themselves.

      In that awful moment in February 2000 when Mugabe and his Zanu PF
party realised for the first time that they had lost the respect and votes
of the people, they took us decades back in time.

      There are now thousands of children roaming the streets, begging for
food, scrabbling in dustbins and with absolutely no idea what the inside of
a school looks like.

      There are at least 10 000 more children who have been indoctrinated
with a creed of hatred, given green uniforms and boots and been sent out to
intimidate, beat and harass innocent people.

      Zimbabwe’s children are no longer being taught that hard work pays
dividends, but that physical violence and humiliation are acceptable forms
of behaviour – as long as they are done in the name of the ruling ZANU PF

      Last week there were 57 boys and men, some as young as 18, on a
Russian plane heading from Harare to Libya. When the plane was forced to
land in Kenya, it was discovered that these Zimbabwean boys did not have
passports or any other travel documents.

      Why were they going to Libya? Have they too been indoctrinated? Are
they, along with the Green Bombers, going to be the backbone of Zimbabwe’s
child army?

      Five years ago, Zimbabweans laughed at the state of Zambia, joked
about the value of the kwacha and never dreamed such shambolic deprivation
could happen here. Now, in 2003, it is us.

      Today we look in horror at pictures of 12 year-old boys and girls
carrying rifles and killing people in the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Liberia and a handful of other African countries and think it will never be
like that here. Will we be wrong again?

      Perhaps Zanu PF can tell us just exactly what it is we are supposed to
say to our children when they ask us why men in uniforms are beating
innocent people with rubber sticks and whips with wire tails.

      All Zimbabwean parents, whether they are 18 or 78, should be very,
very worried about yet another generation of traumatised, confused children
growing up in our beloved country.

      Cathy Buckle is a housewife based in Marondera.
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      Leaders need to repent to lead the nation well

      6/16/2003 8:04:16 AM (GMT +2)

      I wish to respond to the letter Clergy must take the lead in street
demos, dated June 9 2003.

      I asked myself: “Is it enough to be there for the people when they
have been hurt? Is it enough to support the hungry? Is it enough to take
care of the widows and orphans? Is it enough to preach and bring hope? Is it
enough to stand for righteousness and speak against the evil that has
overtaken many in the government and those in authority?”

      My heart’s cry for years has been from Jeremiah Chapter 9, that I
might weep a fountain
      of tears for the nation of Zimbabwe. The rest follows “ . . . brother
against brother, neighbour against neighbour, deceit and lies. Judgment will
come in God’s time”.

      I was in the city on 2 June looking for “The March”.

      I walked the streets of Harare and found no marchers. I wanted to
identify myself with the people and not just talk about doing so.

      I have a right to raise a voice in this nation where I was born. I am
a Zimbabwean and have given my life to developing the next generation. I
have served as chairman on school boards, was Provincial Scout Commissioner
in two provinces and worked in different churches throughout the country for
almost 30 years.

      I have raised four married children, three of whom qualified as
teachers and who in turn are pouring their lives into the youth of today. I
have now been robbed of my birthright and am unable to renew my passport
simply because my father was born in South Africa 93 years ago.

      My son is teaching on contract in Botswana. His wife, also a
Zimbabwean, is forced to carry a British passport.

      She has had her residence permit cancelled and has to pay an
exorbitant fee every time she visits the family.

      My son’s words to me were:

      “I feel like a man with no place to go. I have lost my country that I
love so much.”

      Do we have a reason to march? Yes.

      Do we have a reason to lead the people? Yes.

      Do we have a reason to die for this country? Yes.

      We want to restore our birthright in this nation. We want to uphold
the hopes and dreams of the people of Zimbabwe. We do not want to have the
future for our children and grandchildren destroyed by the constant lies and
deceit, greed and corruption, violence and murder.

      As Jeremiah Chapter 9 says: “Let us repent as leaders and lead our
people to truth and righteousness.”

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      Mugabe must make way for fresh ideas

      6/16/2003 7:57:21 AM (GMT +2)

      By Kuthula Matshazi

      IN POLITICS, no lead is insurmountable. That is particularly true for
incumbent governments.

      Once an issue gels in voters’ minds, (be it a strong desire for
change) the nature of the opposition starts to matter less than its
readiness to provide an anti-government vehicle.

      These words were written by Chante Herbert, national affairs columnist
for Canada’s largest daily paper, The Toronto Star.

      She was describing how young and much liked Canada’s New Brunswick
province Premier, Bernard Lord, 37, narrowly won the province’s elections
for his second term.

      Going into the elections, favourite, Lord was expected to easily win

      However, at the end of the day, Lord’s provincial Progressive
Conservatives won a thin majority of 28 seats while the provincial liberals,
with a new leader, gained a relatively substantial number of seats, 26, in
the 55 legislative chamber.

      Leading towards the election period, support for the Tories was strong
until car insurance premiums emerged as a big election issue.

      Voters were punishing the Tories for the high rates.

      What could have worked in Lord’s favour was that the people of New
Brunswick have a tradition of giving ruling political parties two terms in

      The Zanu PF government has had five terms of uninterrupted rule and
still wants more.

      There have been several protest votes in various areas at different
times to register to the government people’s discontentment with some of its

      The most significant issues include failure to deal with corruption,
killing the economy, marginalising the Matabeleland region and its people,
killing and intimidating opposition members.

      What is happening now in Zimbabwe is a replica of what was happening
in Matabeleland in the years before the 1987 Unity Accord.

      It’s a regional issue that is manifesting itself on a national scale.
All the above-mentioned issues have been experienced in Matabeleland.

      In spite of the killings, beatings and harassment, the Matabeleland
people rejected Zanu PF before the Unity Accord. Like the people of
Matabeleland, Zimbabweans have decided that they do not want Mugabe as their

      Zanu PF should allow for political tolerance. Why can’t Zanu PF, and
specifically President Robert Mugabe, appreciate political competition?

      If he says that MDC is a creation of the West, whose creation was

      As a result of this intolerance exhibited by Mugabe and his desire to
remain in his post until he retires voluntarily, the desire to change (read
oust) him has gelled with the electorate.

      The people of Zimbabwe want a new person to lead them. Their will must
be respected.

      However, Mugabe has expressed that he has the people’s mandate to

      Giving him the benefit of the doubt, does he not feel that he has
overstayed in the position? Suppose in the next election the people still
want him to rule, would he go on or another six-year term, which he would
finish at 90 years of age?

      Knowing him as someone who would not want to retire when he has been
mandated, through an election, to govern, he would go all the way.

      Also, unfortunately, as Mugabe once declared, there is no one in Zanu
PF who would be able to rule the country as he has done.

      It is true in a different way.

      So this leaves us with an immensely popular President determined to be
loyal to fulfilling his mandate, rather than tackling current pressing

      Mugabe defies the conventional. He defies all political formulae, he
defies age, and he ignores the state of the economy.

      Mugabe and Zanu PF must accept political change. I think it is also
very important that the country agrees unanimously to forgive any misdeeds
that Mugabe committed in return for his retirement. The President needs to
hear this well.

      He says he was born in Zimbabwe and he will die in Zimbabwe. To fulfil
his dream, he has to make sure that he remains in power for as long as
possible to prevent him from being impeached for his various crimes.

      However, with an assurance of a secure future, I think the President
would consider retiring sooner.

      Frankly, Mugabe, people no longer want you as their President.

      The people do not want to harm you but they just want you to make way
for a fresh, younger mind that could pursue other avenues.

      You still have a very useful advisory role to play.

      Kuthula Matshazi is a Zimbabwean writer based in Canada.
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