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
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
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
Eye witnesses have stated that the thieves of the
property were seen to be driving a cream Land Cruiser, registration number, 597
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.
Pull the Plug on Mr. Mugabe
Monday, June 16, 2003;
AS THE DEBATE continues over the ouster of Saddam Hussein,
in Africa are offering further tests of the tenet that
dictators deserve to
be left alone so long as they brutalize only their own
starkest example may be Zimbabwe, where a corrupt, criminal,
man, Robert Mugabe, has dragged a once-promising land into a
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
Fund. Yet still he hangs on to power.
formula is simple: brute force by the coterie of corrupt thugs in the
and security forces who still have a stake in his survival. This month,
the third month in a row, a large part of Zimbabwe's workforce stayed
a protest strike, closing up to 90 percent of businesses in the
an attempt by the opposition to stage a climactic protest in the
the capital, Harare, was stifled by a flood of armed men, who
arrested hundreds. Among those swept up was Morgan Tsvangirai, head
Movement for Democratic Change and the man who probably won last
presidential election. Last week one of Mr. Mugabe's courts extended
detention for a month; he and his top deputy already face trial for
on the ludicrous charge of attempting to murder the president.
Mugabe's ability to get away with criminality that threatens the lives
millions is mostly due to his location. Neither the Bush administration
any other Western power has been willing to take more than token
against him. Despite an official ban on travel by Mr. Mugabe to the
Union, French President Jacques Chirac recently invited him to a
meeting in Paris. The single largest hope for Zimbabweans lies with
neighbor South Africa, which supplies 15 percent of the
electricity. South African President Thabo Mbeki has tried to talk
Mugabe into negotiating with his opposition or holding honest
with no success. Now Zimbabwean exiles and human rights groups are
South Africa to cut off their country's power. Mr. Mugabe has already
that he prefers to scorch his own earth rather than give in, but a
may peel away enough of his supporters to make a regime change
Mbeki should try that approach.
© 2003 The
Washington Post Company
Minister admits land policy gave her a farm
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.
got a farm and perhaps was one of the last few leaders to get a farm,
last year in November, through the appropriate procedures."
procedures, she said, were that after people from overcrowded communal
had been settled on confiscated commercial farms, people with skills
access to resources were next on the list. As an author on indigenous
and a former lecturer in agriculture at the University of
"technically, I qualify".
The science and technology
development minister is a Sunday Independent
reader - if perhaps a reluctant
'Zimbabwe's position is that we are not suspended'
to say I read the Independent and the way it portrayed me was
the former agriculture minister complained this week. She
Zimbabwe on Tuesday when South Africa did an about turn on her
which was in contravention of the Commonwealth's suspension
Muchena seemed determined to view her invitation to a few
days of hobnobbing
with world-acclaimed scientists and engineers at the
Council meeting in Sandton as a slap in the face for the
"Zimbabwe's position is that we are not suspended. We have
suspended since two out of the troika [Nigeria, South Africa and
voted against it in March," she told a press conference in the
Ben Ngubane, South Africa's science minister who had invited her
conference. She also told reporters that she would send a deputy to
Commonwealth events off limits to ministers.
The next day the
department of foreign affairs overruled the department of
science and technology and had her invitation withdrawn,
"erroneous". She attended the Commonwealth Science Council as a
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
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
"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
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.
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,"
"And four days after the judge made that judgment, he resigned
the public outcry," she noted, confirming that she has taken the
appeal to the Zimbabwe supreme court. Two years later, the court has
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
Zimbabwe voted among the worst
8:00:43 AM (GMT +2)
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
Neighbouring Botswana emerged as the top-ranked country,
the WEF ratings based on the quality of public
corruption-busting efforts and the rule of law.
Tunisia came second, followed by Gambia and South Africa. Nigeria and
countries ravaged by military coups and armed conflict in the past,
The key WEF list is consulted by every international
they decide where to put their money.
Minister Herbert Murerwa, who led Zimbabwe’s delegation to the
held last week in South Africa’s port city of Durban, where the
announced the performance of African countries on good
the southern African nation was being penalised again
for its controversial
The government in the past year seized land from
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
Once a showcase economy for Africa, Zimbabwe has seen its
human rights, good governance and economic performance plummet in
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
over fiscal policy and other governance
Suspension by the IMF sealed the country’s pariah status on
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
rights in Zimbabwe have also waned as the government resorts
tactics to keep mounting public discontent with its rule
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is in jail after
with treason for allegedly calling for Mugabe’s
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
Human rights lawyer and political commentator Brian Kagoro
means investors now fear to use their money here.
“The politicians have nullified all the gains made when Zimbabwe
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
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
Laws have been broken right, left and centre.
“There is so much corruption, even in the private sector, the rate of
is rising at an alarming pace and no effort is being made to
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
History will certainly judge them harshly
6/16/2003 7:56:18 AM (GMT +2)
FORTUNES could soon turn around at the cash-strapped Zimbabwe
Corporation (ZBC) because of the new government sponsored
The Chave Chimurenga advert dubbed Rambai
Makashinga is costing the
taxpayer close to $2 billion per month on radio and
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
The advert is being played approximately 288 times a day
to 2 016 times a week and 8 064 times per month on all four
The estimated total cost per month for radio is
$654 120 000.
It costs $190 000 per minute to flight an advert that
footage on television. Since the advert is more than a
minute, it is costing
the taxpayer $380 000 per inset.
advert is flighted approximately more than 120 times a day on
which amounts to 840 times per week and 3 360 per month.
estimated total cost per month for television is $1 276 800 000
total estimated cost for both radio and television is $1 921
And government is paying for this advert. ZBC chief
Munyaradzi Hwengwere is on record as saying government was paying
Chave Chimurenga adverts. He said early this year: “The ZBC will
pro-land Chave Chimurenga advertisements because government is
them. It would be criminal for the national broadcaster to limit
freedom, ideas and creativity.”
But which people is
Hwengwere alluding to on the new ‘hit’ jingle
The advert’s characters, whom Hwengwere gives the freedom and does not
to limit their “freedom, ideas and creativity” are none other than
Jonathan Moyo and Zanu PF prodigal son Last ‘Blair
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
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
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
And to Hwengwere I say: Do you notice that genuine
running from ZBC because of these propaganda
As it stands now and like a bully, the Chave Chimurenga
chased away all the other adverts. They are ruling. They are the
left in the kraal.
Who in his right senses can
advertise on radio and television stations
where there is a glut of
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
History will judge them harshly!
comments to: email@example.com
Report chronicles how villagers survived food
6/16/2003 7:58:38 AM (GMT +2)
JOHANNESBURG – Eating floor sweepings bought from maize millers and
death watch over family members who consumed poisonous wild foods
some families in a remote area of Zimbabwe have had to do to survive
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
documented the harrowing measures some families took to pull
Binga and Nyaminyami in the western Zambezi valley, where
of the population were resettled during the construction of the
are two of the least developed districts in
The area has low rainfall, which hampers agricultural
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
At times they faced inflation of 800 percent and food aid
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
A “disturbingly large” amount of money was spent on maize
floor sweepings from local millers.
To buy food,
expenditure was switched from other necessities like
school fees and health
Wild foods played an important role in a diet that already
However, in addition to “normal” wild
foods, soup made from a root
with sedative powers was also
Because of these sedative properties, families reported
dedicated person to wake other family members every half an hour to
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
Anglican flock stages demo against Kunonga
6/16/2003 8:01:35 AM (GMT +2)
By Precious Shumba Staff
DISGRUNTLED Anglican church parishioners last Saturday
demonstrations at the Bernard Mizeki shrine in Marondera against one of
church’s senior bishops, Nolbert Kunonga, whom they accused of
the ministry and neglecting his pastoral duties.
The parishioners, numbering about 40 and from the church’s Cathedral
Mary’s and All Saints in Harare, held placards denouncing Kunonga
preaching hatred and breaking the church’s rules.
Some of the
placards read: “Kunonga preaches sermons of hate and bans
councillors” and “Kunonga is a law unto himself: breaks
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.
added: “We held the demonstration because we wanted the other
other Anglicans to know that there are serious problems at the
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
clergyman included by the United States of America and the
under punitive visa and financial sanctions imposed on
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
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
(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
Meanwhile, pilgrims at the shrine criticised the church
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.
Deputy Sheriffs’ association to discipline wayward
6/16/2003 8:02:46 AM (GMT +2)
DEPUTY Sheriffs and Messengers of Court Association (DSMC)
Bonny Nhamburo said the Justice Ministry had given the
permission to discipline its members, some of whom have been
defrauding widows and orphans of benefits from deceased
Nhamburo said the DSMC would now be able to discipline any
sheriff or messenger of court who flouted rules during execution of
much the same way other professional bodies such as the Law Society
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
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
disciplinary committee at its annual general meeting scheduled for
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
The human rights organisation is representing about 50
people in the
courts who have lost properties worth about $20 billion to some
dubious messengers of court and estate agents.
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,”
Government should disband youth militias, says US
6/16/2003 8:04:17 AM (GMT +2)
BULAWAYO – The United States of America-based Human Rights
group has called on the government of Zimbabwe to disband youth
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
Pakaimbudde wrote in the paper: “The direct involvement
high-ranking government officials and state security forces marks a new
worrisome trend in Zimbabwe’s ongoing political crisis.
only has the army and police personnel failed to protect people
rights abuses, but they are now carrying out abuses themselves.”
Zimbabwe army soldiers and youth militia who were deployed in
areas ostensibly to maintain law and order during a recent mass
organised by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change were
allegedly patrolling the residential areas and assaulting
According to the HRW report, political violence that was
rural areas since 2000 had now become common in urban centres
non-political actors such as civic organisations and church leaders
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, grappling with its worst political and economic
independence in 1980, has seen its human rights rating slide as
government resorts to iron-fist tactics to keep swelling public anger
Two weeks ago the government deployed a combined army
and police force
to crush mass protest called by the opposition MDC against
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
The opposition leader said his party was only pushing for
either voluntarily step down or agree to talks with the MDC to
country’s deepening crisis.
Zimbabwean exiles petition Mbeki over Tsvangirai’s
6/16/2003 8:05:05 AM (GMT +2)
SOUTH African President Thabo Mbeki’s spokesman, Bheki
Mbeki’s office had received a petition from Zimbabweans living
country calling on Pretoria to exert pressure on President Robert
release jailed opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Khumalo, who spoke to The Daily News while Mbeki was in Durban
just-ended World Economic Forum summit there, said: “We have
petition and we are waiting for the President to come to office and
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
“We were told by an official from President
Mbeki’s office that our
grievances will be addressed.’’
said his group had wanted to hold an indefinite hunger strike
prevailed on his Zimbabwean counterpart to release Tsvangirai or
High Court of Zimbabwe granted the opposition leader bail.
Tsvangirai is in prison until the court rules on an application for
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
The former trade unionist-turned-opposition politician was
with fresh treason charges over allegations he called for
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
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
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
As if to rebuke her Zimbabwean neighbours for their
divergent political views, the governor of the Bank of
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
Needless to say, Mohohlo’s thinly veiled comments expose
government’s claim that all in Southern Africa support its
policies for the shameless lie that it is.
instead of the government hastening to borrow a leaf from its
neighbour and ditching the ruinous policies that have reduced
Zimbabwe to a
pauper and pariah state, it predictably reacted with its
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
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
Republic of the Congo or Burundi to show what’s wrong?”
the government mouthpiece Sunday Mail newspaper further
government’s thinking and reaction to the WEF summit and its
Zimbabwe, celebrating the whole event as some strange victory
according to the State-controlled paper, organisers of the summit
alleged attempts by Britain to have Zimbabwe put on the agenda
Yet even the government should know by now that these
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.
Zimbabwe breeding generation of
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
and shouting on the road in front of him.
little boy wheeled his bike behind a tree and what he saw will
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
He said the people were crying and groaning, lying down
on the tar
road and begging the men to stop hitting them.
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.
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
strong arm of the law reaching out and forcing people to go to
the recent national stayaway.
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
At the end of the liberation war in 1980, Zimbabwe had a
traumatised children. It took 15 years for those children to go
educational systems, learn to accept each other’s differences,
learn to live
side by side, forget the awful horrors they had witnessed and
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”
It has taken 23 years for Zimbabwe to come full circle.
President Robert Mugabe picked up the pieces of a shattered
His government, with the help of foreign donors, built
colleges and universities, filled libraries with books and
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 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
There are now thousands of children roaming the streets,
food, scrabbling in dustbins and with absolutely no idea what the
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
Zimbabwe’s children are no longer being taught that hard
dividends, but that physical violence and humiliation are
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.
were they going to Libya? Have they too been indoctrinated? Are
with the Green Bombers, going to be the backbone of Zimbabwe’s
Five years ago, Zimbabweans laughed at the state of Zambia,
about the value of the kwacha and never dreamed such shambolic
could happen here. Now, in 2003, it is us.
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
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
innocent people with rubber sticks and whips with wire
All Zimbabwean parents, whether they are 18 or 78, should be
very worried about yet another generation of traumatised, confused
growing up in our beloved country.
Cathy Buckle is a
housewife based in Marondera.
Leaders need to repent to lead the nation
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
I asked myself: “Is it enough to be there for the people
have been hurt? Is it enough to support the hungry? Is it enough to
care of the widows and orphans? Is it enough to preach and bring hope?
enough to stand for righteousness and speak against the evil that
overtaken many in the government and those in authority?”
heart’s cry for years has been from Jeremiah Chapter 9, that I
might weep a
of tears for the nation of Zimbabwe. The rest follows “ . . .
against brother, neighbour against neighbour, deceit and lies.
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
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
She has had her residence permit cancelled and has to pay
exorbitant fee every time she visits the family.
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
Do we have a reason to lead the people?
Do we have a reason to die for this country? Yes.
We want to restore our birthright in this nation. We want to uphold
and dreams of the people of Zimbabwe. We do not want to have the
our children and grandchildren destroyed by the constant lies and
greed and corruption, violence and murder.
As Jeremiah Chapter 9
says: “Let us repent as leaders and lead our
people to truth and
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
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
These words were written by Chante Herbert, national
for Canada’s largest daily paper, The Toronto
She was describing how young and much liked Canada’s New
province Premier, Bernard Lord, 37, narrowly won the province’s
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
Leading towards the election period, support for the
Tories was strong
until car insurance premiums emerged as a big election
Voters were punishing the Tories for the high
What could have worked in Lord’s favour was that the people
Brunswick have a tradition of giving ruling political parties two
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,
the economy, marginalising the Matabeleland region and its people,
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
However, Mugabe has
expressed that he has the people’s mandate to
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
Knowing him as someone who would not want to retire when he
mandated, through an election, to govern, he would go all the
Also, unfortunately, as Mugabe once declared, there is no one
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
Frankly, Mugabe, people no longer want you as their
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
You still have a very useful advisory role to
Kuthula Matshazi is a Zimbabwean writer based in Canada.