This is Essex
Southend: Stalin accused on radio
businessman who now lives in Southend will be accused of land
invasions in a BBC radio broadcast on Sunday.
Stalin Mau Mau, who runs
the Zim-Link shop, in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff,
will be one of two
Zimbabwean nationals now living in Britain investigated
in the programme for
BBC Radio Five Live.
Controversy has followed Mr Mau Mau since he stood
as an MP for Mugabe's
Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
party. He denies the
Published Friday June 18,
MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC
17 June 2004
For Further Information Please
Nkanyiso Maqeda, MDC Director of Information: 00263 11
James Littleton: 00 27 727 310
554 or 0027 21 447 9587
“I am happy to inform the nation that as the MDC we are happy to
report that we have united the entire nation against tyranny. Tribalism has
never been and is not an issue in our party. Our concern is democracy and space.
This was amply demonstrated at the last two meetings I had with the people in
Matabeleland. They all spoke about democratic change and unity to remove Zanu PF
from power”, said President Morgan Tsvangirai (15 June
“The decision by the government controlled Media and Information
Commission to close down the Tribune newspaper is not only a politically
motivated strike it also signifies yet another attack on citizens’
constitutional right to receive and impart information of their choice”,
Themba Nyathi (11 June 2004)
- 13 Harare Councillors
In yet another politically
motivated attack, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo recently suspended
13 MDC Harare City councillors following a meeting in which MDC councillor Dr
Christopher Mushonga was popularly elected to replace the discredited Sekesai
Makwavarara as Deputy Mayor. This latest move by Chombo against the MDC
dominated Harare council demonstrates once again that the interests of the
people are subordinate to Zanu PF’s political agenda. By suspending the
councillors Chombo has effectively stopped the council from operating.
“The suspension of legitimately election Harare councillors by
[Minister of Local Government] Ignatius Chombo further exposes the regime’s
disregard of the citizens who voted them into office”, said Paul Themba Nyathi (2
- Councillors Blocked From
Last week two MDC councillors,
Voice Chinake and Sipho Gumede were blocked by a Zanu PF mob from attending a
council meeting in the town of Norton. This was the second consecutive meeting
from which they had been prevented from attending.
- Another MDC Mayor Forced From
Following the forced
removal of the popular MDC Mayor of Harare, Elias Mudzuri, the Zanu PF
government proceeded to dismiss the MDC Mayor of Chegutu, Francis Dhlakama.
Dhlakama was elected by an overwhelming majority in 2001. Following the Urban
Council Elections in August 2003 the MDC controlled all 12 major cities and
towns in Zimbabwe. The concerted attempt by the Zanu PF government to remove
popularly elected mayors and councillors on spurious grounds represents a clear
violation of the sovereign wishes of the people.
Political Violence Report
Cumulative Totals: 1 Jan 2004 – 30 April
Assault – 191
Murder – 7
Murder – 3
Torture – 115
Arrest – 42
- MDC Supporters Attacked in
At least 30 MDC supporters and
their families recently had to flee their homes in Chipinge after they were
attacked by a marauding gang of Zanu PF supporters. The attack left two people
seriously injured whilst another 20 were treated for minor injuries. No arrests
In yet another assault on freedom
of speech, and in an attempt to further curtail the flow of information, the
government has announced plans to compel all Internet Service Providers in
Zimbabwe to sign a contract requiring them to divulge the source or block
individual email messages deemed politically sensitive, objectionable,
unauthorised or obscene.
This politically orchestrated
move is clearly aimed at limiting the amount of objective and alternative
information that voters are able to access ahead of the parliamentary elections,
leaving them increasingly at the mercy of government propaganda.
Twice in the past three weeks
emails sent out by the MDC Information Department have been blocked on the
spurious grounds that they contain sensitive content, such as the announcement
of a press conference (see below)
eManager Notification *****************
The following mail was
blocked since it contains sensitive content.
Content filter has detected a sensitive e-mail.
******************* End of
Subject: Invitation to Press
Date: Fri, 4 Jun
2004 11:29:28 +0200
On 10 June 2004, Justice Ben
Hlatwayo dismissed the first part of Morgan Tsvangirai’s Presidential election
On 12 April
2002, President Tsvangirai launched an election petition in the Zimbabwe High
court to set aside the results of the March 2002 Presidential Elections. The
hearing of this election petition was seriously delayed and only heard on 3-4
November 2003, that is some 19 months after the election petition was filed in
the High Court.
At this hearing,
detailed and weighty legal arguments were advanced by President Tsvangirai’s
legal team, headed by Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett S.C from South Africa, that the
conduct of the presidential election was fatally flawed.
One of the main
legal arguments concerned the considerable powers vested in Robert Mugabe, as
the incumbent President, in terms of the Electoral Act, to alter the Electoral
Act as he sees fit.
Prior to the
Presidential Election, Mr Mugabe used these considerable powers in many material
ways with the object of promoting himself as a Presidential candidate and
placing at a severe disadvantage Mr Tsvangirai as a presidential candidate. It
was strongly argued, on behalf of Mr Tsvangirai, that these powers, apart from
being blatantly unfair, were against the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
further delay from 3-4 November 2003 until 10 June 2004, that is some seven
months, before an order was given by the High Court. In terms of this order, the
High Court has dismissed Mr Tsvangirai’s legal arguments. No reasons have as yet
been produced by the Court.
The next phase
of the Election Petition will be to lead factual evidence of the serious and
sustainable abuses committed by or on behalf of Mr Mugabe to have himself
elected as President of Zimbabwe in March 2002.
remains adamant that the Presidential election held in March 2002 was neither
free nor fair and intends to persist with his election petition in order to
“We are producing it[food] this year, definitely. Our estimates are
there and they are showing us we will have enough food for the country and with
a surplus…we are not hungry…Why foist food upon us? We don’t want to be choked,
we have enough’, Robert Mugabe (Sky Interview, 24 May 2004)
MDC Shadow Agriculture Minister,
Renson Gasela, has produced a detailed assessment of crop forecasts for the next
12 months. Hon Gasela estimates that Zimbabwe will have a shortfall of at least
600,000 tones of grain, perhaps as much as 900,000.
- 8 Million Face Food
Research commissioned by the
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation, estimates that eight million Zimbabweans
face severe food shortages this year due to the dramatic drop in grain
production. The report pointed out that the food deficit is being made
deliberately worse by the policies pursued by the Zimbabwe government and its
statutory monopoly, the Grain Marketing Board.
Despite claims by Robert Mugabe
that Zimbabwe has sufficient food and no longer requires food aid, 38 people in
Bulawayo have died from malnutrition in the past two months. These deaths were
contained in a report by the Bulawayo City Council’s health department.
In its latest food security
emergency report, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) has warned
that access to food will be a major challenge for ordinary Zimbabweans in the
2004/05 consumption year.
“Zimbabwe continues to face a severe food security crisis,
characterised by high levels of unemployment and inflation, poor agricultural
production over the last four years, drought, and poor government policies,
exacerbated by crippling levels of HIV/AIDS,” said
A recent study conducted by
UNICEF, examining nutrition in Southern Africa, revealed that malnutrition
levels in Harare had doubled over the past four years and had significantly
worsened in Bulawayo. The report also stated that at least one-quarter of
districts in Zimbabwe had high levels of severe acute malnutrition in children
under five whilst in one-third of all districts the mortality rates were
approaching ‘emergency’ levels.
BASIC COMMODITIES ARE INCREASINGLY UNAFORDABLE/UNAVAILABLE TO MOST
Price as at 25/09/03
Price as at
Price as at
Jade bath soap
Not in stock
Not in Stock
Not in stock
Premier fine salt
Not in Stock
According to a recent report
published by the Food Security Network (FOSENET), only half of the health
clinics in three Zimbabwean provinces (Mashonaland West, Midlands and Masvingo)
have access to safe water and that the majority of districts face shortages of
essential drugs. FOSENET also found that the availability of antibiotics had
also dropped with currently 58% of districts having access, compared to
two-thirds in March. The research carried out by FOSENET further revealed that
provinces such as Matabeleland North did not have adequate medical staff and
that only half of its clinics had a nurse.
Foreign Debt Continues to
According to recent newspaper
reports, Zimbabwe’s external debt has soured to a record US$4billion. In 2002
the debt stood at US$3.3 billion. The failure by the government to service its
principle debt means that arrears are estimated at US$1.8 billion.
JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
firstname.lastname@example.org with "For Open Letter
Forum" in the subject
Is there any hope at all for wildlife in Zimbabwe? I remember herds
buffalo at Mana Pools numbering into the many hundreds, having to
Impala & Zebra in the same area only 30 years ago.
this insanity and the slaughter of the innocents end?
Alan Paton would
surely lament and "Cry the Beloved Country" on the
devastation of Zim's
economy, agricultural infrastructure, loss of
employment for millions of farm
workers, rape, terrorism, beatings and
murder [by the Green Bombers];
starvation and AIDS; lack of Primary Health
Care; closure and censure of
Private Schools because their fees have had to
increase to try and keep up
with rampant inflation caused in the main by a
Government of Desperation...
desperate to cling to power and enjoy luxury,
fabulous homes, 4X4's and all
that money can buy while the electorate is
beaten into abject poverty and
starvation and forced to vote a megalomaniac
back into power by the Party
Faithful [living in the lap of luxury & stolen
farms] & local Chiefs
[bought by ZANU PF] who will instruct their people
who to vote
CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY for the harm and damage done by the
its people, National Heritage and Agricultural
2: Dorothy Nicely
Perhaps you should have a place on your site in which
could contribute to your cause. Something easy to use
and secure like
My heart goes out to the farmers and families
who's land and lives are
I am an American who visited Zimbabwe back in 1995 and met and stayed
the Edgar Family on their farm in Tengwe. I am wondering if they are
in Zimbabwe or if they went to England. I also wonder if there is a
get in touch with them.
I am trying to find the address of Mrs. Jean Rimmer, husband of the
John Rimmer and father of Clive Rimmer who is my godson.
thanks for any help you can give me.
Lift required for 100 blankets from Byo to Mutare, for dispossessed
their belongings farm workers in the Chimanimani area. May I say
Donations for more blankets would be appreciated. People in Chipinge
also had their homes burnt to the ground and left with
Regards in hope of response
letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
JAG Urgent Legal Communiqué 18th June 2004
Today's Herald of Friday 18 June 2004 contains LOT 147 of
Notice of Intention to Compulsory Acquire Land under the Land
Act (Chapter 20:10). Lot 147 lists 408 properties for
will be sent out on Monday 21 June's Communiqué. Any
immediate confirmation or otherwise before then as to his
listed should contact the JAG office on 799410 or email us
of property and owner.
Property owners are reminded
that the amended act obviates the need to
serve these notices or any Section
8 order on either the owners or any
registered real right holders over the
property. Property owners still
have thirty days within which to register a
letter of objection and we
recommend that all farmers should continue to do
so as a matter of course
to prevent conceding the property by
Paradza sues Mahoso, MIC
politician and publisher Kindness Paradza yesterday filed an
application to get his newspaper, the Tribune, back on
The Tribune was closed last week by the Media and
(MIC) on the grounds that there had been
irregularities in the change of
ownership of the paper.
closure came after a series of attacks on Paradza, a former journalist
now Zanu PF MP for Makonde, in the state media accusing him of
with directors of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe,
publishers of the
currently banned Daily News, and criticising government's
media laws in his
maiden speech to parliament.
Paradza is the major shareholder in
Mayzone Investments which bought Africa
Tribune Newspapers (ATN) - publishers
of the Tribune - from UKI Investments
in March. He is viewed as having fallen
victim to the current power struggle
in the upper echelons of Zanu PF which
has seen unprecedented attacks on
senior Zanu PF officials in the pages of
the official press.
Paradza yesterday filed an urgent High Court
application seeking interim
relief to be allowed to publish.
night it was not clear when the case would be heard. The paper's
operations director Nevanji Madanhire said the paper would be published
soon as the interim relief had been granted.
with four co-directors, filed the suit against the MIC and
In his founding affidavit, Paradza averred that the
cancellation of the
paper's licence was ultra vires provisions of the Access
to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act and was biased.
application will show the cancellation of the applicants' lice-nce
manifestly unlawful, unjust, excessive, irrational, grossly unreasonable
irregular on account of self-evident bias," he said.
the paper employed 60 permanent staff who had been immediately
the closure of the paper. He said as of Friday last week the
paper had debts
amounting to $1,73 billion.
Explaining the shareholding structure,
Paradza said at the time UKI decided
to sell its shareholding in ATN the
publishing company had a share capital
of 20 000 shares of which only 100 had
been issued. He said the new
shareholders then bought the available 100
shares "which translate to 100%
control of ATN".
"The (other) 19
900 shares remained and remain unissued as was the case when
UKI (Pvt) Ltd
owned the controlling interest," he said.
In a statement yesterday,
the MIC said the new directors owned just 0,5 % of
the company by virtue of
the 100 issued shares.
"Therefore, failure to produce board
resolutions on the fate of the 19 900
shares was one among the several
reasons for the cancellation of the
licence," the MIC
Paradza said problems for the papers started after an article
in the Sunday
Mail on April 25 which stated that he wanted to bring back the
clandestinely by seeking funding from ANZ major shareholder Strive
"I respectfully believe that the chairman of the
commission, Dr Mahoso, was
excited by this false and defamatory article into
confusing himself with its
"It is from there that
problems started," Paradza said in the affidavit.
Paradza said the MIC
had expressed its intention to cancel the Tribune
licence, saying the paper
had violated Section 71 of Aippa. The section
deals with change of
"The commission was grossly in error on both the facts and
more so the law
in its approach to the issues which supposedly were of
concern to it.
"The commission was mistaken because a failure to
notify the commission of
any changes is not a contravention which qualifies
for a cancellation or
suspension of a licence," he
Meanwhile, the Southern Africa Editors Forum (SAEF) has blasted
editor, Stephen Ndlovu, for "distorting the truth" and "conducting
in a manner unworthy of a journalist and editor".
statement issued yesterday, SAEF sharply criticised an article authored
Ndlovu that appeared in the Chronicle last week purporting to
presentations at a forum jointly hosted by SAEF and the Institute
Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) in Windhoek, Namibia,
In the article, Ndlovu alleged that Gugulethu Moyo, who was
one of the
panellists, had proposed war as a solution to the Zimbabwe
Moyo, formerly a legal representative for the banned Daily News,
is now a
media law and policy programme manager at the Media Institute for
Africa (Misa) in Windhoek.
"SAEF has noted with dismay
that the article written by Ndlovu and carried
in the Bulawayo Chronicle ...
is in fact riddled with blatant fabrications,
distortions and mischief," the
"SAEF does not intend to address each of the false
fabrications by the Bulawayo Chronicle, except to state for the
the articles are a total distortion of the truth, contain
obvious fabrications and therefore an unprofessional act
unworthy of any
journalist and editor."
Council paves Mugabe's Way
City Council has embarked on a multi-billion-dollar project to
roads which form a link to President Robert Mugabe's mansion
Major civil works have already started to widen Carrick
Borrowdale Brook roads which link the mansion to Crow-hill
It is understood the project has not been discussed in council.
who spoke to the Zim-babwe Independent were surprised that there
was such a
project taking place.
"I am hearing this for this first
time," said suspended Ward 32 councillor
Last Maengehama. "I do not remember
coming across that project."
Suspended Ward 17 councillor Chris
Mushonga, who was a me-mber of the
executive committee, said council had no
capital project on its books as
government had not given it borrowing
Councillor for the area Xavier Vengesayi last Wednesday said
the decision to
construct the road was not the product of a council
"I think funding could have come from government through
the Road Fund," he
said. Town clerk Nomutsa Chideya referred all questions to
the Ministry of
Transport and Communications before switching off his
cellphone. Council PR
manager Leslie Gwindi did not respond to written
questions sent to his
office last week.
Engineers this week said
the road could cost anything from $1,5 billion to
$3 billion depending on the
finish, the amount needed to repair private
driveways affected by the
construction work and relocating water pipes and
Construction of a tarmac road costs at least $80 000 per
Council has been struggling to raise money for water treatment
to repair damaged equipment. The precarious posi-tion at Town
resulted in more than half of the city going without water in some
The road works, covering a five-kilometre stretch, begin at
of Crowhill and Carrick Creagh and then turn left into
Borrowdale Brook Road
where the mansion is located. The works appear to end
at the intersection on
Borrowdale Brook Road and Daimpre Road, about 150
metres from Mugabe's gate.
The Independent visited the area last
Wednesday where council earthmoving
equipment and com-pacters were at work.
Council has subcontracted
earthmoving to a private company with blue
Mugabe's oriental-style mansion has been under construction
for over five
years. It recently saw controversy when Mugabe said in an
interview with Sky
News that Malaysia had donated timber used in the
opposition in the Malaysian parliament hascalled for a
probe into the
The area around Mugabe's home was
recently gazetted as a security zone.
Zanu PF ropes church into poll campaign
THE ruling Zanu PF has resolved to use church leaders, mostly pastors
pentecostal denominations, to spearhead its campaign in next year's
A confidential report presented to the politburo by
the Zanu PF commissariat
said the ruling party - which is desperate to win
the critical election -
will use church leaders to mobilise
"As part of our campaign effort towards the 2005
parliamentary election, the
commissariat is identifying and meeting with
various interest groups which
are helpful in mobilising their following to
support the party," the report
"The church in Zimbabwe is
one of the sectors that have been identified to
be quite helpful in this
respect. To date the commissariat has identified
and is already networking
with over 600 pastors from pentecostal churches
and over 200 church leaders
from African apostolic sects."
In the past Zanu PF has used
traditional leaders to mobilise voters in
communal areas. Already chiefs and
headmen have been given massive
incentives in the form of allowances and a
scheme to purchase vehicles as
part of luring them to the ruling party's
Many chiefs have also had their homes electrified under
Mugabe's rural electrification programme.
report said Zanu PF's mobilisation through the churches was going
"The response of the church to our programmes is
massive," it said. "The
commissariat is set to strengthen its contacts with
the church and use it as
an important campaign vehicle."
report said the ruling party commissariat had designed an
programme" for a "massive campaign" trail at provincial and
to recapture seats lost to the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change in
"In order to drum up general awareness
and readiness for a massive campaign
programme, the commissariat has designed
an outreach programme," the report
said, "to visit all the provinces in order
to meet with the provincial,
district coordinating committees and district
leadership in their respective
programme shall start with the national secretary visiting all
where we lost to the opposition during the 2000
Zanu PF national political commissar
Elliot Manyika was scheduled to tour
Manicaland province from June 3-6 to
meet the local political leadership in
Chipinge, Chimanimani, Nyanga, Mutare,
"After Manicaland, the programme will continue
with other provinces in the
following order: Matabeleland North, Matabeleland
Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Masvingo, and
Mashonaland Central," the
report said. "It will then end with the urban
provinces of Harare and
Zanu PF will also use
"political orientation workshops as a campaign tool".
national workshop held for provincial commissars in Rowa National
Centre in Mutare in March, the department has requested all
organise similar commissariat workshops," the report said.
Manicaland and Mashonaland East provinces have already done their
The commissariat is liaising with the rest of other provinces to
provinces get the same political orientation and training."
report said Zanu PF, currently entangled in confusion over primary
would accelerate the restructuring of its provinces to strengthen
structures to win next year's crucial poll.
Chihuri ordered to enforce eviction
THE High Court has ordered Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri to
an earlier High Court ruling to evict Zanu PF militia who are
occupying offices of the opposition MDC in Chimanimani.
Court judge Justice Yunus Omerjee issued the order on Tuesday following
filing of an application by Birgit and Shane Kidd, the owners of the
that houses the MDC district offices, to have the invaders
Cited as respondents are New Ziana chairman Munacho Mutezo,
Chihuri and a
Misheck Beta who is said to be leading the
Mutezo has been actively campaigning to represent Zanu PF
in Chimanimani in
next year's parliamentary election.
month ago, militant ruling party supporters attacked and occupied
offices in response to an incident in parliament involving local MP
Omerjee instructed Chihuri to evict the invaders in the
event that they
ignore the order to vacate the premises
"Respondents and all persons acting in concert with them
forthwith possession or occupation of applicants' (the Kidds)
Chimanimani village, failing which the 17th respondent (Chihuri)
ordered to evict them and restore possession to applicants,"
Omerjee also ordered Mutezo and 15 other respondents
not to harass, assault
or threaten the Kidds and to meet the costs of the
High Court application.
In a High Court affidavit Birgit Kidd, a
Finnish citizen, said she was
abducted and assaulted on Monday allegedly by
Zanu PF supporters.
"On May 28, respondents and Zanu PF supporters
numbering about 2 000 forced
their way to our house chanting slogans against
me and my husband as well as
denouncing Bennett," Birgit Kidd (60)
"The group said they did not want us in Chimanimani anymore
building houses the offices of the MDC."
that the mob said it was exacting revenge for Bennett's alleged
Patrick Chinamasa and Didymas Mutasa in parliament.
Kidd said she was
then force-marched to their building, which was
In an interview yesterday, Kidd said she was going to the
offices with her husband when war veterans and Zanu PF youths
fresh attack on Monday.
"Men claiming to be war
veterans and Zanu PF youths claiming to be working
on instructions from
Joseph Mwale, a CIO operative, attacked us,'' Kidd
people beat me up with sticks and 'smashed' my head with a rock,
people attacked my husband."
Kidd claimed that she sustained a
dislocated shoulder and has 16 head
provincial information secretary Pishai Muchauraya confirmed
claiming soldiers illegally camped at Bennett's Charleswood farm
40 women activists arrested in Bulawayo
POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested 40 members of Women of Zimbabwe
(Woza) for holding a meeting in the high-density suburb of Matshobane
Woza spokesperson, Jenni Williams, confirmed the arrest
of the 40 women but
said they were arrested before the start of the
"The women were arrested on Wednesday while they were still
before the start of the meeting at Matshobane Community Hall in
suburbs," said Williams.
"They were bundled into
several trucks before being taken to Western
Commonage police station where
they were detained."
Some of the women were released later on
Wednesday evening and ordered to
report back to the police station yesterday
while the rest were still
detained at the time of going to
A police spokesperson confirmed the arrest of the 40 women and
will be charged with contravening Section 24 of the Public Order
Security Act (Posa) that requires organisers of public gatherings to
police clearance first.
"The women are being charged under
Section 24 of Posa and are expected to
appear in court as soon as all the
paper work on their case has been done,"
said the police
This is not the first time that police have swooped on the
group. Last year police arrested and beat up several women who
congregated to celebrate International Women's day on May 3.
Sweden deplores worsening crisis in Zimbabwe
Dzamara recently in Sweden
SWEDISH state secretary Annika Soder last week
said her country was deeply
concerned about the deteriorating political,
social and economic situation
After she was asked to
explain her country's position regarding the
situation in Zimbabwe, Soder
said as a member of the European Union (EU)
Sweden subscribed to the position
adopted by the economic bloc.
The EU has imposed targeted sanctions
on President Robert Mugabe and his
close allies. It has also castigated
Mugabe's policies and condemned human
rights abuses in the Southern African
"There is a European Union position to which we subscribe.
We are deeply
concerned with the situation in Zimbabwe," said Soder. "As an
old friend of
the Zimbabwean people, we believe that Zimbabweans should sort
problems without violence and through debate."
denied charges that Sweden had not been forthright about its
the Zimbabwean crisis compared to other EU members such
"There is agreement about the position on Zimbabwe in
both our government
and parliament. The sanctions imposed by the EU should be
implemented on the
listed individuals effectively. There should be an end to
repression, media restriction and the subsequent economic meltdown
Zimbabwe," she said.
It was regrettable from Sweden's point of
view that immense investment
contributed to Zimbabwe's liberation is going up
in smoke under the Zanu PF
government, she said.
disappointment on the part of Sweden. If we look back to the 1970s
80s a lot of political investment was done through Zanu and other
But now the situation is discouraging. This investment has failed
to help the
people of Zimbabwe. It has gone to waste. We think as a result
of that, we
are obliged to actively respond to the situation in Zimbabwe."
said her government has in the past several months been putting
Sadc leaders to seek solutions to the Zimbabwe crisis through
Anna Brandt, the head of the Africa Department in the
Affairs ministry, noted the worsening situation in Zimbabwe
people from her country from investing or visiting Zimbabwe
"Our relationships have deteriorated drastically due to
the situation in
Zimbabwe," Brandt said. "We don't have Swedish companies
willing to invest
in Zimbabwe as was the case before. Even visits to Zimbabwe
by Swedes have
become very few."
She added: "We are trying to work
with non-governmental organisations on
matters that can improve
democratisation. Unfortunately, we are not seeing
improvements regarding the
situation in Zimbabwe.
"We are very concerned about the possibility
of violence ahead of general
elections. We were discouraged by the decision
to kick out a UN crop
assessment team. We are trying to advocate for the UN
to be able to monitor
the elections, from the campaigning period up to the
announcement of results
in order to ensure a level playing field."
Veteran writer urges Mugabe to go
WORLD renowned Swedish writer and journalist Per Wastberg, a former
friend of President Robert Mugabe, believes the Zimbabwean leader
direction after the death of his first wife, Sally.
became jealous of the rise to power and popularity of former
President Nelson Mandela in 1994, Wastberg said during a
interview in Stockholm last week.
"The Mugabe I had known for more
than 20 years was a simple, honest and
straight-forward man," said Wastberg.
"He had Sally as a good adviser. I was
surprised to read later in the 1990s
that he had developed a penchant for
power and a luxurious
Wastberg first met Mugabe in 1959 when he came to the
University College of
Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
"I became interested
in the struggle for Independence as soon as I arrived
at the university in
1959. That is how I quickly came to know Joshua Nkomo,
George Nyandoro and
other Zapu leaders who were subsequently detained. Later
on I met Robert
Mugabe and we became very close friends. I used to smuggle
newspapers to him when he was in detention and helped him study
degrees," said Wastberg.
The 73-year-old author and journalist - who
has published 55 books - had
close contacts with several nationalist leaders
in the region. These
included Julius Nyerere, Samora Machel and Sam
Wastberg said he helped Sally move to Sweden where she stayed
at his home
for three years in the early 1970s whilst teaching in elementary
Mugabe also visited Sweden several times after his release in 1974
visit Wastberg's home.
"My last meeting with Mugabe was
in 1994 when I visited him at State House
in Harare. I expressed my concern
over his policies, particularly in the
field of edcuation and in relation to
Matabeleland, which I made clear to
him were destroying the country," said
Wastberg, who had been invited by
Mugabe to the Lancaster House Conference in
1979 and the subsequent
Independence celebrations in Harare.
reminded him that he should have stepped down after serving at most
terms. A deeply worried Mugabe opened up and told me that he felt
about the rise of Mandela, particularly the popularity he had
said. He was clearly uncomfortable with the direction Mandela was
"This meeting was my last with Mugabe. We parted in a stiffly
polite way. I told him that our friendship of over 30 years was over
we no longer had any common views and approaches. He said 'Is that so?'
gave me a cool handshake. He told me he had to proceed without me.
then the Christmas cards and messages of solidarity that had been
consistent thing have ended."
Wastberg noted differences in the
personalities of Mugabe and Mandela.
Zimbabwe joins Sadc arms race
ZIMBABWE'S current order of US$200 million worth of advanced fighter
from China to bolster its national armoury is part of an arms race
under way in southern Africa.
Despite an economy in a deep
crisis, shortages of foreign currency, power,
fuel, food and basic
commodities, Zimbabwe has ordered 12 fighter jets and
military vehicles to
strengthen its arsenal.
The country is understood to be waiting to
take delivery of the FC-1s from
Chengdu Aircraft Corporation developed to
replace the Chengdu F-7 supersonic
jets. The cost of each plane is estimated
at US$20 million.
The FC-1 is a lightweight multipurpose fighter
based on the design of the
The Defence ministry has
traditionally had one of the largest budget
allocations in Zimbabwe. The
country has now resorted to buying arms from
China because its fleet has been
badly depleted by Western sanctions.
The European Union, Switzerland,
the United States and Canada have imposed
an arms embargo on
The army is currently phasing out vehicles, planes, guns
and other arms
manufactured mostly in Europe and North America as a
In a bid to enhance military capabilities and outdo countries
in the region,
Zimbabwe over the past few years has been rearming
Military sources said it had bought Russian-made MiG 23
multi-role fighters, currently the most advanced planes
in its armoury.
"The MiG-23 is a highly manoeuvrable, principal
attack fighter capable of
flying faster and higher than any planes currently
flown in the region," a
"It can operate in different
weather conditions, day and night."
The MiG-23s replaced the 1960s era
British-made Hunter FGA Mk-9s retired and
put on sale last year. They are
flown from Thornhill Airbase in Gweru,
together with the Chengdu F-7 and BAe
Zimbabwe has also acquired Mi-35 'Hinds', a
massively built and heavily
armed helicopter gunship.
The Mi-35 -
which experts say is a flying tank due to its heavy armour - is
deemed one of
the most effective attack helicopters flying in the region.
said to be only comparable to South Africa's Atlas CSH-2 Rooivalk
sophistication and efficiency.
The helicopter is part of a
fleet that includes the Aloutte IIIs, Augusta
AB-412s, and Eurocopter AS-532
Cougars, at Manyame airbase in Harare.
South Africa has also been
massively rearming. It has ordered 28 Saab JAS-39
Gripen multi-role fighters
from Sweden to replace 120 ageing Mirage and
single-engine JAS-39 Gripen - whose operational capability is very
competes aggressively against the US-made F-16, the most lethal
The plane costs between US$35 million to US$40 million, a
more than the F-16 but less than the French Mirage 2000. SA
has also bought
24 advanced BAe Hawk-200 fighter/trainers from Britain and 30
light utility helicopters from Italy.
fighters have all been taken delivery of and put into operation,
will become the undisputed lord of the skies in the region," a
"It will have by far the most sophisticated and biggest
airforce in Southern
Africa, if not in Africa."
Botswana and Namibia are also in the rearmament race. The two
said to have recently bought Nanchang F-8 fighter/trainers
Botswana has also bought a dozen CF-5 fighter-bombers from
Other countries in the region, in particular Angola and DRC, are
said to be
also enhancing their military capabilities.
Delegates in security sweep
what appear to be growing concerns about President Robert Mugabe's
were dramatically illustrated on Wednesday when more than 700
attending a three-day national HIV/Aids conference at the Sheraton
subjected to intrusive body searches before the arrival of Mugabe
Mugabe officially opened the conference which ended
Visiting South African Health minister Manto
Tshabalala-Msi-mang and Angolan
deputy Health minister, José Van-Dunem, were
among those searched.
Cabinet ministers, members ofthe diplomatic
corps, heads of international
organisations, invi-ted guests and delegates
were thoroughly frisked by
state security personnel in an unprecedented
Some 200 law-enforcement agents were deployed to the
conference venue on
Wednesday, in addition to special support and response
Chemical and biological sensors were strategically positioned
entrances to the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) where
delivered his keynote address. The sensors were complemented by
equipment, including radiation pagers on the belts of some law
The CIO is understood to have provided
intelligence support while Zimbabwe
National Army bomb disposal teams,
including sniffer dogs, were part of the
security set up.
not possible to obtain comment from the CIO and the army.
spokesperson, Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka, said: "Sorry, I cannot
anything about that."
Delegates who spoke to the Zimbabwe
Independent complained of the
unprecedented security at an Aids
"It's as if there was some terror threat from somewhere
yet it was just a
head of state supposed to address an Aids conference," said
a member of the
organising committee who declined to be named.
Independent was told that last week all agencies with an operational
security participated in an hour-by-hour run-through of the
According to a security official, all vehicles leading to the
were swept for explosives.
Sources in the ruling party
confirmed heightened security fears surrounding
Mugabe adding that they were
now subjected to searches before entering
Three youth camps closed
has shut down three of the country's six national youth training
camps due to
acute food shortages, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.
camps, Kamativi in Matabeleland North, Vumba in Manicaland and
Masvingo, closed last month due to poor food supplies.
Independent was told this week that the camps were closed because
had run out of money for food, uniforms and other basics.
also unable to pay the support staff employed at the camps.
reportedly gobble millions of dollars in the upkeep of recruits
for the trainers.
Kamativi is one of the country's biggest camps set
up to drill the youths in
various martial skills and Zanu PF
Youth director in the Ministry of Youth Development, Itai
on Wednesday the closure of the three camps but denied that
anything to do with food shortages.
allegations made by jealous people who don't want to see us
"Those camps were closed for renovations, otherwise there was
There was no shortage," he said.
however under-stands the closures followed a damning report
Parliamentary Portfolio Commit-tee on Youth and Gender and
Creation produced after a tour of the camps.
committee slammed the living conditions and poor sanitary facilities at
Chihuri appointment stirs hornet's nest
THE British Foreign Office has ordered a full probe into how
police chief Augustine Chihuri was appointed Interpol
Chihuri's appointment to the honorary position of
Interpol vice-president by
the executive committee stirred a hornet's nest in
the House of Commons last
week with Michael Ancram, the shadow foreign
secretary, calling on Foreign
Secretary Jack Straw to give a statement to
parliament explaining "why
Chihuri was rewarded in this way".
is an insult to the people who have suffered at the hands of the
police and other state security apparatus in that country,"
However, Straw said there was no British
representation on the committee
that installed Chihuri.
appointment to the honorary position of vice-president was made by
existing executive committee," said Straw.
"There is no British
representation on this committee and we were not
involved in the appointment.
However, I believe that the decision to reward
Chihuri in this way was
Chihuri, who was educated at Brunel University, Uxbridge,
earned the mistrust of Zimbabwe's opposition and civic society
in his 13
years as commissioner.
Under his leadership the police
have ignored court decisions and his
officers have been accused of torture of
At the height of farm invasions between 2000/2 police often
refused to help
people under threat from Zanu PF gangs on the grounds that it
Although the mobs operated from a network
of well-known base camps across
Zimbabwe, the police failed to act against
them, critics say.
Straw said Britain was very worried about the
reported partisanship and
continued brutality of the Zimbabwean
"The UK continues to protest at the violations of human rights
there and we
were at the forefront of preparing the resolution on Zimbabwe at
UN Commission on Human Rights," said Straw.
resolution condemned the climate of impunity, incidents of arbitrary
and violations of key freedoms, and called upon the government of
put an end to impunity and to fulfill its responsibility to
ensure that those
responsible for human rights violations are brought
The British Foreign Office has now ordered an enquiry
appointment and indicated that it will seek an explanation
president Jesus Espigares Mira and Interpol secretary-general
NRZ hands upkeep of wagons to clients
THE financially troubled National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has
maintenance and refurbishment of its wagons and locomotives to its
the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.
which include Zimbabwe Sugar Sales, Zimasco, Bindura, Nickel
Valley and Triangle Sugar Estates, have accepted the deal to
The NRZ last month failed to pay its workers their
May salaries citing
cashflow problems. The company last month also deferred
increments agreed with the workers'
The companies, which require rail for the bulk
movement of inputs and
products, have entered the partnership with the NRZ to
ensure the usability
Some of NRZ's clients in the sugar
industry have made available foreign
currency to the parastatal for the
Contacted for comment, the NRZ's corporate
affairs manager, Misheck
Matanhire, said the company had invited local
customers to become partners
as part of its turnaround strategy. He confirmed
that foreign currency had
been availed to the parastatal to enable it to meet
"The NRZ as part of its turnaround strategy
has invited local customers to
become partners, by funding the refurbishment
of NRZ locomotives," said
He said the parastatal had
begun to refurbish locomotives and wagons under
the self-finance scheme for
companies that have made funds available to the
confirm that Zimbabwe Sugar Sales financed the refurbishment of 135
and two locomotives in a partnership arrangement that will improve
supply, as well as improve the movement of sugar to the export
He said this was necessary because the company lacked the
funds, but was
willing to form strategic alliances with
He confirmed that the country's largest sugar producer,
Hippo Valley and
Triangle Sugar Milling, had provided funds to the company
for that purpose.
"Hippo Valley and Triangle Sugar Milling have also
refurbishment for 235 cane wagons in order to expedite the
movement of cane
from the estates and processed sugar for distribution," said
Mugabe's shadow dogs Gono in diaspora
AS Zimbabwe stumbles on without balance-of-payments
government and the central bank are banking on Zimbabweans in
to bring in hard currency to supplement flagging export
A Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe team currently on an
international drive to
woo the exiles to remit their forex back home has been
up-beat about the
prospects of the initiative which has helped other
countries to save their
economies from collapse.
Gideon Gono believes exported labour can be the tonic
needed for the
country's economic revival.
"The country's foreign currency
reserves would improve significantly
if more people went to work abroad,"
Gono was recently quoted as saying.
"The exportation of labour has helped
many countries in earning foreign
currency as citizens use official channels
to send money back to their
families at home. I encourage Zimbabweans to seek
jobs outside the country,"
The benefits Zimbabwe has
derived from the diaspora have generally
been in the form of individual
remittances and concomitant spin-offs into
the informal sector. In other
countries communities in the diaspora
represent a significant source of
For example, financial transfers from Lebanese
expatriates to their
country average about US$1,6 billion a year, making
Lebanon the eighth
largest recipient of workers' remittances in the world
relative to the size
of its gross domestic product. Remittances from Lebanese
become a pillar of the national economy, growing at a faster
rate than any
other source of foreign exchange revenues such as exports,
investments or tourism receipts.
as India, Ghana and Egypt have also tapped into such
In 2000 Ghanaians in the diaspora, whose remittances
US$400 million to the national economy a year, constituted
fourth highest foreign exchange source.
Remittances by overseas Indian IT professionals, doctors and students
a beeline to Western and Gulf countries in pursuit of career
have helped in the sustenance of their communities in the
Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. In 2000 the
20-million strong Indian
diaspora remitted US$160 billion back home - that
is an average US$8 000 per
If each of the estimated 3,4 million Zimbabweans abroad
were to bring
in US$8 000 a year, there would be no need for
from multilateral lenders such as the
International Monetary Fund or the
World Bank. But Zimbabweans abroad cannot
manage that since most of them eke
out a living as general hands or other low
RBZ team leader Herbert Nkala in London last week said
earn between US$600 million and US$1 billion from the diaspora
alone. That is on average US$295 per Zimbabwean per annum.
exported labour cannot at the moment substitute for other exports
chief forex earner.
Government policies over the past
five years have seen a marked
decline in export receipts from US$1,9 billion
in 1999 to US$1,5 billion
last year due to the decimation of the agricultural
sector and the near
collapse of downstream manufacturing industries which
rely on farming.
Zimbabwe's annual foreign currency requirements total US$2,4
Tourism arrivals and earnings from mining have also taken a plunge
in response to imprudent macro-economic policies and government's
for the rule of law.
The official excuse for the
demise of the country's industrial base
has been that the country has been
losing foreign currency through the
parallel market. There is therefore the
belief that the economy can be
resurrected if all the foreign currency
remittances are channelled through
official lines, hence the birth of the
In May the Homelink scheme brought into the
country US$30 million,
which is enough to meet the country's fuel import
needs for a month. The
foreign currency auction system is currently trading
about US$76 million a
But analysts have cautioned that
the optimism should be watered down
with the reality that there are adverse
factors, which will militate against
the success of the Homelink
They say the biggest threat to the concept will always be
how those in
the diaspora view the country and its leadership. The majority
Zimbabweans abroad left because they saw no future for themselves under
current order. Many fled the repression of President Robert Mugabe's
Some had to sell their key assets like houses and cars to get money
airfares and sustenance.
Analysts have said such people will
send money to support relatives
left back home but will not invest in any key
sector of the economy as along
as they do not agree with Mugabe's
Zimbabweans who left because they had had enough of
are willing to take up any job - mostly menial work - whose
income is barely
enough to make them survive. They cannot therefore remit
much back to
An informal survey by banks last month
said Zimbabweans abroad were
prepared to channel more funds into the country
if Mugabe was to leave
office. Mugabe also stands accused of disenfranchising
Zimbabweans in the diaspora in the last presidential
Anti-Mugabe demonstrations have greeted the teams
the Homelink concept in the United States and in the United
Mugabe's ghost has shadowed them at every turn. The air has been
for Gono's emissaries who are confronted with political questions
"Why should we fund the cleaning up of the mess which forced us to
But economic commentator and chairman of the RBZ
taskforce set up to
harness foreign currency from locals in the diaspora,
Eric Bloch, said
political considerations would have a limited impact on the
"The ghost (Mugabe's) is a very
pale one," said Bloch. "There has been
a very, very good response. There were
demonstrations here and there but
there were more people in support of the
Homelink than those against."
He however said forex remittances
from the diaspora could never
substitute for earnings from
"It can only complement current exports. Even tobacco
current levels are much larger. There are also inflows from
manufacturing and a little from tourism," he said.
teams on roadshows in the United Kingdom and the United States
imploring Zimbabweans abroad to invest in key sectors of the
economy such as
agriculture, manufacturing and the money market. Economic
said there will be no takers for this offer as long as
there is no internal
political settlement on the country. The country's two
parties, Zanu PF and the MDC, have failed to come to the
over the past 18 months and they are most unlikely to do
so as they have now
trained their attention on the general election next
the absence of dialogue, political tension has remained high, which
with the air of uncertainty wrought largely by the flawed agrarian
process, has scared away new investors and forced industrialists to
shop or scale down. Inflation, which is slowly creeping south but
the high side of 448%, and astronomical interest rates, won't
While Gono has loomed large and is regarded
with Messianic fervour in
official circles, his policies - including the
quest to draw funds from the
diaspora - face myriad hurdles. Zimbabweans in
the diaspora need a sweetener
of a political nature to play ball. There are
many who are bitter that they
were forced to leave home and there are no
prospects of the situation
improving any time soon, especially ahead of an
election next March.
The view of many economists is that confidence
needs to be generated
at home first, then word will spread into the diaspora.
That's not happening
Gono faces tough call over
RESERVE Bank governor Gideon Gono is due in Johannesburg this
weekend at the
conclusion of his roadshow which took him to the United
Kingdom this week.
He flew into London last Saturday after four days in
Washington on what
would appear to be a less-than-fruitful visit to the
Fund. While he has managed to keep open a door there,
there has been no
progress in terms of balance-of-payments support which the
more than anything else.
We don't know what the final
figure will be for the Homelink scheme but Gono
's estimation that US$60
million a month is already flowing from the
diaspora, of which he hoped to
capture 40%, cannot represent a sustainable
long-term substitute for exports
in terms of forex inflows.
Zimbabweans obviously wanted to know to what
ends their hard-earned funds
would be put. Gono may have been able to offer
reassurance as to the
attractiveness and security of the scheme.
with the government boasting of an economic turnaround, without much
of one, it is already apparent that Gono is being used as grist to
However impressive the revenues from Homelink, they are
hardly likely to pay
for more than a limited supply of food, fuel and
Gono will be the first to appreciate the limited nature of the
foray. Hence his excursion to Washington last week.
IMF reflects the view of all key donors that there will be no money on
table until there is a domestic consensus in Zimbabwe on economic
That in turn will require a political settlement that President
turned his face against.
Despite some of the more preposterous claims
being made by the Homelink team
in London, Gono at least takes a sober view
of the economy.
Gross domestic product, which one state paper insisted
last weekend was
"surging" (on the basis of IMF predictions), would continue
to fall this
year, the RBZ governor told the Financial Times.
silver lining to this particular cloud is that the decline would
between three and four percent. The rate would be closer to zero
he thinks, with real growth returning in 2006.
Many economists would
regard this as a tad optimistic. So is the hope of
bringing inflation down to
200% by December. But both estimates are
distinctly conservative when placed
alongside the sort of claims of an
African miracle modelled on China being
peddled at his roadshow.
Gono refused during his UK visit to be drawn on
issues of democracy and
human rights. But he did say he had taken on board
IMF concerns about
economic distortions caused by government's dual foreign
interest rate systems.
This is where things become a bit
unstuck. President Mugabe's view of the
IMF is a matter of public
How can Gono guarantee stability in monetary policy when fiscal
susceptible to populist pressures as an election approaches? And
how can he
deliver the economic consensus donors require when the main
is excluded from all consultative processes? Even the
business community is
not listened to.
As the election looms it is
probable Gono will be asked to assume a more
prominent role on Zanu PF's
election platform. That would be a fatal blow to
week's visit to Britain has revealed the enormous scepticism
deals that involve the government. If Gono is to do his job
must keep his distance from the desperate opportunists who
sought to make
political capital of his trip.
That is going to be a tough call.
Eric Bloch Column
Land nationalisation another
LAST week Minister of Special Affairs in the Office of the
Cabinet responsible for Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement
John Nkomo told
the state-controlled media that the government intends to
productive farmland, from crop fields to conservancies,
wherever that land
exists in Zimbabwe.
In effecting that
nationalisation, all title deeds are to be abolished and
leases. In the case of leases of land used for farming, the
leases would have
a 99-year tenure, while land utilised for wildlife and
have a tenure of 25 years only.
The minister stated that 99-year leases
would, in all material respects, be
"leases in perpetuity" - which tenants
may well believe at the inception of
the leases, but will their descendants
feel likewise 90 years hence?
The relevant legislation has yet to be
placed before parliament and, in
fact, has not yet even been issued as a Bill
for consideration and comment
by the appropriate parliamentary portfolio
committee, the community at large
and, in particular - as they will be the
most affected - the farmers.
The government said this week that it was
not contemplating any changes in
But already large
swathes of farmland have been taken into state ownership.
And more are bound
The government has consistently sought to justify its land
policies on a
spurious contention that the entirety of the land that is
"stolen" by the colonialists of the 1890s. It has repeated that
that by now it believes its own lie.
The hard facts, no
matter how much the government may dispute them and
contend otherwise, are
that most of the land in the country was unoccupied
and unutilised. At that
time, the total population of Zimbabwe was between
250 000 and 400 000, with
the greatest numbers living in proximity to what
are now the cities of Harare
With a total area of 390 245 square kilometres, if all the
possessed by the then residents of the country, each of those
whether man, woman or child - would have been occupying at least
kilometre. The mind boggles at the thought of one man, one woman, or
child being able to own and use productively such an area - and that
The government also conveniently disregards that
almost all lands, other
than in the commercial areas and established state
lands, were purchased by
those in occupation when the government embarked
upon its draconian,
catastrophically harmful land policies.
the lands were acquired in the late 19th century and the first
decades of the
20th century, most lands passed into new ownership over the
following 70 or
80 years through negotiation of sale and purchase on a
commercial basis. The
new owners utilised their lawfully acquired capital to
buy the land, or
committed themselves to borrowings which they serviced and
decades of sweat, tears and hard labour.
But the government being devoid
of resources, mainly because it had
frittered away much of the largesse
forthcoming from the international
community after Independence, had to
fabricate a justification not to pay
for the land it intended to steal - and
steal it was and is, no matter how
much the government may prevaricate to the
Because the government is determined to displace whites, and
many as possible to leave Zimbabwe, and because it is even more
to use land as the tool to assure support from the populace and
authoritarian domination of the country, but does not have the
pay for land, it seeks to justify non-payment and to transfer
Britain, which was the colonising power more than a 100 years
But now, with the government's reported intent to nationalise all
is not only depriving whites of that which they had developed,
for their own good, but also for the benefit of the economy and,
of all who live - or lived - in Zimbabwe, many of the non-white
are to be so deprived.
There are numerous who, since
Independence, acquired farmlands - including
almost all of the hierarchy of
Zanu PF - some paying for them from
hard-earned income. And, in the last few
years, since the government
actively started to pursue its land reform,
redistribution and resettlement
programme, many were allocated farms as A2
Having been told they would own the land, now the
government is about to go
back on its own word, with a makeshift
"consolation" of a lease to replace
Over four years the
government has successfully brought most of agriculture
to its knees, and in
the process, has reduced the entire economy to a like
circumstance. It has
been the catalyst of mass poverty, misery, malnutrition
president disputes any contentions of death by malnutrition, and
if voiced by Archbishop Pius Ncube in his distress at witnessing
suffering, and yet the city of Bulawayo had to bury 38 last month
of death was malnutrition. Extrapolate that number across all
urban and rural areas, and the conclusion is horrifying in
It is nought but the government's actions that have
reduced the tobacco crop
by 75% in three years, that has resulted in maize
production being, at best,
one-third of the national need, no matter how
extensively the government may
pretend a sufficiency of food production, and
that has decimated the
national herd by two-thirds.
government's task is not complete. There is still some
production, so further measures are needed, if total destruction
is to be
wrought, and hence recourse to land nationalisation. Compounding all
state's political motivation for further dogmatic ruination of
and the economy, the government misguidedly also perceives
nationalisation as a further source of revenues, for the lessees of
farms will be required to pay rent to the fiscus.
imminent blunder by the government will have other disastrous
effects. Nkomo enunciated an outright contradiction when he said
"99-year leases will act as good enough collateral", but thereafter
land may not be sold or leased to third parties.
If leases are not freely
transferable, capable of being ceded and assigned
to third parties, how can
they constitute valid collateral to provide
lenders with security that their
loans will be fully and timeously serviced
adverse economic consequence of the intended nationalisation of
land is that
even the very few intending investors into the economy as still
foreign and domestic, are already seriously re-evaluating the
investment in Zimbabwe. The government's recurrent
endeavours to deprive many
of their ownership of land have long had negative
impacts upon investor
confidence, but the latest pronouncement has shaken
the limited remaining
There is now a wide-ranging fear that the nationalisation of
prove to be the precursor of future nationalisation of mines,
resorts, of manufacturing industries, of financial sector and
enterprises, and of urban lands. The precedent being set by
nationalisation can well suggest to the government future avenues of
to conjure up national electorate support by promises of great
This latest governmental move must discourage
existing enterprise from
expansion, and investors from investing. So new jobs
will not be created,
exports will not increase, economic activity will not be
stimulated and the
fiscus will not enjoy increased revenue
Instead, the economy will decline further, hardships for the
intensify, more will face starvation, and Zimbabwe will soon
poorest state, if not the poorest worldwide.
Zanu PF's grand inquisition on the
KINDNESS Paradza seems to have learnt the hard way that there is no
for freedom of expression in Zanu PF. In his maiden address to
committed the unpardonable crime of criticising the Access to
and Protection of Privacy Act and the Broadcasting Services Act.
Now he is
paying the price.
Zanu PF's Mashonaland West provincial
disciplinary committee has recommended
he be expelled from the party for
undermining government policies. He is
accused of "serving foreign interests"
by, among other things, giving an
interview to the VoA's Studio 7, "a
critical radio station that broadcasts
negatively against the party and
government of Zimbabwe".
His allegiance could not be confirmed, it was
reported, because he could not
produce a party card.
It obviously did
not occur to anybody in Zanu PF to ask to see his party
card before he stood
as MP for Makonde! And is the Mash West inquisition not
aware that senior
ministers have been interviewed by the same foreign radio
Paradza is accused of having spoken to?
Do they not recall the "Yes, I
kicked him very hard" interview between
Didymus Mutasa and the VoA not so
But the most serious of the charges levelled against Paradza,
it would seem,
is that he showed "disrespect for the party and president". He
did this "by
attacking the person of the provincial chairman, Cde Philip
the Zanu PF deputy secretary for information and publicity,
Jonathan Moyo, who are senior members of the ruling
And it doesn't end there.
"It is known when he served as
deputy editor of the Financial Gazette he had
a feast on most political
figures including the First Lady Cde Grace Mugabe
whose Borrowdale house he
Actually it was the Zimbabwe Independent which
did that in 1996 when it
exposed the VIP housing scheme.
charging Paradza are evidently not too fussy about getting their facts
And are Chiyangwa and Moyo so "senior" that they cannot be
long has Moyo been a party member?
We are surprised Chiyangwa has allowed
himself to be associated with such
pomposity. A party that does not permit
its members to criticise measures
that damage the nation's reputation and
investment prospects, such as Aippa
and the Broadcasting Services Act, is a
party with no future.
Zanu PF is doing to itself what it is doing to the
country: chasing off its
best and brightest.
Who exactly are the
"bankers, industrialists, war veterans and lecturers"
who are threatening to
set up a radio station to counter what they claim is
beamed from Botswana?
Because we would hate to think this story was
invented by the Disinformation
and Propaganda department to intimidate a
visiting Botswana minister!
The consortium of local businessmen, we were
told, have been "pestering" the
government for a licence to set up a station
that will "tell the true
Zimbabwean story to the outside world".
we can safely assume, will reflect the view expressed by UZ economist
Clever Mumbengegwi last weekend that negative GDP growth rates "were a
of some negative factors beyond the country's control".
It's all to do
with drought you see. But who are the so-called bankers and
behind this radio scheme? Strangely not one of them was
identified. Don't we
have enough deceitful radio stations churning out
"Studio 7," one of these anonymous businessman was quoted as
Sunday Mail, "has made us suffer for too long and it's time to
So it's Studio 7 that's making us suffer?
Glad we're clear on that!
We thought government would latch on to such a
patriotic initiative to tell
its story until we realised that if those
patriots pushing it can't come out
of the shadows, why should they be
entrusted with such a task?
Why would bankers, industrialists and war
veterans be afraid to be
identified with such a noble undertaking if Joseph
Chinotimba can so easily
be roped in by Newsnet to publicly attack the
party's national chairman John
Nkomo over the land issue? Sounds like a cabal
trying to promote some
inflated egos in Zanu PF.
Anyway, what is this
Zimbabwean story that cannot be told on national radio
with all four radio
stations singing the same "local content" 24 hours a
genuine banker would be so naïve as to think that Studio 7 is
Zimbabwe's economic decline in the past four years and
believes setting up a
propaganda station targeting Botswana listeners will
be the solution to the
The government media has had a field day with Tony
setbacks in the local government and European parliamentary
has also been much satisfaction over the alleged tampering
Blair has been an outspoken critic of electoral
conduct in Zimbabwe, it is
Perhaps he needs to learn a
thing or two from Zanu PF if he is to avoid
defeat in future. Banning
newspapers, unleashing local militias, and
preventing opposition meetings
might do the trick!
It is understandable that there should be some
official elation when there
are reports of torture in Iraq or vote-tampering
in Britain. The difference
is of course that shortcomings or wrong-doing are
exposed and dealt with in
Britain and the US. They become issues, thanks to
media exposure, which
governments cannot ignore. Can the same be said of
Zimbabwe where electoral
manipulation is routine and human rights abuses
persist despite court
Lands minister John Nkomo appears
to have stirred a hornet's nest with one
apoplectic and familiar-sounding
media agent Lowani Ndlovu by announcing
that government would nationalise all
farmland and conservancies. He is now
accused of scaring away potential
investors, as if we have seen any of those
since the likes of Ndlovu embarked
on a crusade to abolish property rights
four years ago!
Minister Nkomo's statement on nationalisation vulnerable to the
the anti-Zimbabwe lobby," opined Ndlovu sagely just a few days
Information department announced there would be no change of
policy, "is that
it was a mere political pronouncement, that is empty talk,
not supported by
any administrative instrument or administrative action, let
So Nkomo is now given to idle talk and opening up opportunities for
anti-Zimbabwe lobby, whoever that is? And Ndlovu wants us to believe
contentious land reform issue has been carried out according to the
Does he not know how many orders MDC MP for Chimanimani Roy Bennett
from the courts against the seizure of his Charleswood Estate?
Eight, by our
last reckoning. All of them were studiously ignored by the
party that are giving Ndlovu a licence to fight his
Kondozi Farm was also seized against a lawfully issued court
order and it
was "immoral little boys" of Lowani's ilk who went to town
there would be "no going back on Kondozi".
But it is now
convenient to talk about the law because it suits Ndlovu to
kick the chairman
of the party from behind, Mutasa-style.
This is part of the rottenness
which has been eating away at the ruling
party in the recent past. But more
telling is the metaphor of "vultures in
the anti-Zimbabwe lobby". Perhaps
Ndlovu can already picture himself
feasting on Nkomo's carcass even before
the party's congress in December
when new leaders will be chosen! Because we
are not aware of any
anti-Zimbabwe lobby, apart from that invented by the
professors. So we are not sure how the image of vultures
crept into Nkomo's
pronouncement if not because Ndlovu thinks Nkomo is dead
Talk of insubordination and a party riven to the core by
and vaulting ambitions!
With this in mind, a reader
called in to ask if the ban on Kindness Paradza
criticising his seniors
applied to Chiyangwa and Moyo.
"Is this the same Jonathan Moyo who has
reportedly been attacking John
Nkomo, Nathan Shamuyarira over the Sky News
interview, and Vice-President
Joseph Msika over Kondozi Farm and other 'coup
plotters' in the party?" our
reader wanted to know?
"Are they not all
his seniors in the party? And why is that not gross
good question. It does look like certain definitions belong to those
control the media and can deploy them like missiles against
Alongside the Paradza indictment, the Herald last
Saturday ran a story on
President Mugabe's mansion: "Nothing wrong with
giving president timber:
This followed revelations by
Mugabe in an interview with Sky News that he
had received building materials
from China and Malaysia. He said former
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohamad had donated some timber, which
provoked calls for an inquiry by the
opposition in that country.
"What's wrong with that?" Mahathir was quoted
as saying. Giving gifts of
timber was "usual practice".
is far from satisfied by Mahathir's latest explanation.
But are we not
missing an issue here? What about local content: does it only
Malaysia is said to have donated timber while China gave Mugabe
his villa. Have the first family's tastes so changed in the course
sojourn at State House that Zimbabwe can no longer satisfy their
kind of timber was it? What kind of flooring that Zimbabwe cannot
And what of all the other accessories that were sourced
It is not just a land audit that we need!
were sorry Supa had to go running to a London "bobby" to get
his camera back
last Saturday when Zimbabwe House was invaded by MDC
policeman, instead of rushing to Supa's rescue, should have just said
couldn't help because it was "a political matter".
Youths should shape up or shut up
MANY youths have
approached me alleging that we the war veterans are to
blame for the current
chaotic state of virtually everything in the country.
They claim that we
are guilty of propping up a crumbling autocratic system.
should understand that each generation has a right to shape its
left school to join the war after being politicised and convinced
system in place was oppressive.
The major issues that drove most of
us were inequality and failure to
exercise one-man one-vote among others.
Many people were comfortable under
that system. They were paid very little
but they survived. The heavens were
always generous with the rains. The
little joy that we experienced until
around 1985, before the moments of
"madness", was in actual fact left-overs
from the previous
The bottom line is that things have gone wrong, very wrong
indeed. In one
meeting addressed by our late commander, he stressed that our
not people but the system.
He stressed that the
system had to be changed to be all-accommodating.
It is a known fact that
power corrupts. As much as I hate to admit, the core
values that drove both
Zanu PF and PF-Zapu have been laid aside as
individuals rush to enrich
themselves. Look at the land reform programme.
The official claim is that
more than 300 000 people have been resettled yet
the records indicate that
slightly above 100 000 have been resettled and on
the ground only close to 60
000 have been resettled. Nearly 30% of these are
senior politicians, their
families, girlfriends and their children.
Now the youths should
understand that their future is being designed by
people who will not be in
the future, people who have nothing to lose,
people who have politicised
every national institution, people who will do
anything to stay in power,
people who will take every profitable farm, mine
or company just to leave it
in the names of their children.
When the dust settles Zimbabweans
will not have anything and the politicians
will have everything. This is a
country that is isolated, a country where
greed has destroyed whatever
national pride there ever was.
The youths should realise that over
80% of the current leadership will be at
the Heroes' Acre 20 years from now,
but their problems will be in their
At 54 years, all I
can say is that it is the youths' future that is getting
messed up - not
ours. Whites could have been our enemies but they do not
have to be their
The ANC chose to forgive and forget but we have chosen to
revenge and not to
forget, that is why one day youths will beg to be a South
With close to two million Zimbabweans already resident
there including our
key industrialists, there is no going back.
is the youths who should sit down, strategise and organise their
objectives. All I can say in this matter is that during our time we
challenges and we stood up against them.
Going to Britain or
South Africa is not a solution; it is like being afraid
to take an Aids test
when you have lived your life in multiple
relationships. It is true that the
current leadership has failed but if the
youths cannot stand up then they
should keep quiet.
Retired Army Captain,
We stand in solidarity with Tutu/Ncube
WE are an
ecumenical group of church leaders based in Bulawayo and
representing a wide
diversity of Christian traditions.
We have a common concern for the
kingdom values of truth, justice and peace
and are committed to working
together and supporting one another to this end
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, is
a respected and
valued member of our group.
We note with deep
concern the recent personal attacks by President Mugabe
upon Archbishop Ncube
and other church leaders.
When interviewed on Sky News he made a
scathing attack on Archbishop
Emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize
laureate Desmond Tutu, labeling
him "an angry, evil and embittered little
He proceeded to belittle the enormous contribution Tutu had
made towards the
ending of apartheid in South Africa. Later in the interview
he linked him to
Archbishop Ncube with these words: "That's another Tutu, the
unholy man. He thinks he is holy and telling lies all the day,
We have to say that we find these words so offensive and
insulting that we
cannot think any true national leader would ever utter
them. Moreover, it
goes beyond a personal attack upon the revered church
because within the church, the body of Christ, "if one part
part suffers with it" (1 Corinthians 12/26).
therefore take President Mugabe's words as a direct attack upon the
itself. We feel the pain and share the offence of these harsh words
at both Archbishops Tutu and Ncube. If they are "angry", "evil" and
lies" then, in Christian solidarity, so are we.
In reality what we
are witnessing here is a serious attack upon the church
itself - or rather
upon that part of the body of Christ which the ruling
elite has not been able
either to cow into silence through fear or to
neutralise through the promise
of patronage. It is an attack upon what we
might call the "Confessing Church"
in Zimbabwe, alluding to the group of
Christian leaders of that name who
would not be cowed into silence or
"bought" by the Nazi regime in Germany,
but who bravely resisted that evil
tyranny at great personal
If we are attacked or threatened then so be it. We are proud to
stand alongside Archbishops Tutu and Ncube. Our mandate as church
resisting an evil tyranny and in witnessing to the truth, justice
of the gospel is derived from the scriptures
Specifically here we might quote the divine word given
through the prophet
"This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
'Woe to the shepherds of Israel who
only take care of themselves! . As surely
as I live . because my flock lacks
a shepherd and so has become plundered and
has become food for all the wild
animals .I am against the shepherds and will
hold them accountable for my
flock. I will remove them from tending the flock
. I will rescue my flock
from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for
them" (Ezekiel 34/2, 8,
Let the Church of Christ stand
together against all slanders and threats. We
have a divine mandate to
challenge and confront sin, especially the sin of
the rulers which causes
untold suffering to the children of God. Our
allegiance is not to any human
ruler but to the King of kings and Lord of
for Justice and
Homelink a lie!
LET me alert all Zimbabweans who
wish to send and receive money through
Homelink that the scheme is a
I have received money twice through Homelink. On both ocassions it
than three days to arrive and I was charged £10. They refused to
forex. Therefore let all Zimbabweans beware!
Mourning the death of Mazowe Valley
ON May 22, a
wake took place to mark the death of the Mazowe Valley.
gathering was organised to record the hundredth annual
general meeting of the
Glendale Farmers' Association which was inaugurated
at the Mazowe Hotel in
All the trimmings for a wake however were evident - scores of
comprising evicted valley farmers were present with their families,
and historical stories were told about incidents which took place
long life of the dearly departed and there was a bountiful supply
food and drink.
After three years of agrarian reform the
following conditions now prevail in
the valley: a few sparks of profitable
production still shine where the
original holders of horticultural and dairy
enterprises hold on tenuously
against the rapacity of the ruling
It must also be recorded that a small number of A2 "new
farmers" with the
necessary skills and capital are showing signs of success
and some have even
made payments for part of the seized assets.
general however the valley is becoming unproductive and derelict.
unfortunate A1 "new farmers" are the worst off. They were allocated,
approximately, six hectares of arable land plus communal grazing
Many of these settlers have other full-time jobs, commute from
holdings in communal lands, attempt to operate multiple plots located
different farms, or live and work in towns leaving relatives to hold
In many cases these plots are regarded as a place to
make a quick buck while
owners carry on their old activities. Most A1s cannot
afford to pay the
trade union wages for labour nor can they afford to buy the
expensive herbicides with the result that weed growth on their
uncontrolled and spectacular and many hectares lie
Without annual subsidies these holdings are totally
unsustainable and are
being subjected to dreary degradation caused by axes,
uncontrolled fires and grazing. This situation signals the end
bio-diversity and the end of profitable production from A1
The A2 "new farmers" are the elite of the land-hungry.
Many of them are in
full-time employment in parastatals or are ministers and
people in big business.
There are no six-hectare
plots here for they have been allocated what are
considered to be the plums
of agricultural enterprises.
Since agricultural expertise and
training was not a requirement for
qualification, these would-be farmers need
large unsecured state loans while
poor management and low yields drag them
into insolvency. They are also
subsidised by virtue of all the farm
improvements which have been acquired
free of charge including equipment and
inputs such as fertilisers, chemicals
and full fuel tanks left by
Many A2s have discovered that their allocations are beyond
and agricultural capabilities to manage and have contracted
to run their estates for them. Such arrangements may achieve
production but constitute the most capitalistic system of land-use
contractors have only a cursory regard for the long-term care of the
Between the years 1960 and 2000 every
commercial farmer in the valley, with
the help of the donor-funded and
revolving Farm Irrigation Fund, had
contrived to develop a viable scheme for
summer supplementary irrigation,
winter cropping and horticultural projects
as an insurance against the
Water supplies from
rivers and dams were carefully metered and responsibly
allocated to urban and
agricultural users at minimum cost. Due to lack of
finance and expertise
together with the theft and vandalisation of equipment
most of the schemes,
particularly on A1 settlements, are no longer
operational. In addition, most
of this valuable equipment has been
commandeered and not paid
Farm workers, many of whom were evicted, returned to their rural
others have clung on and been excluded from the land reform
now rely on the World Food Programme for their food supplies.
little chance of employment and have no cash for school fees and
While they were in employment with commercial
farmers their national
security contributions were paid half and half by them
and their employers.
When their employment ceased their contributions
were no longer paid.
NSSA holds billions of their dollars but so far has
made no effort to help
its unemployed members.
The health worker
scheme and farm clinics paid for by commercial farmers no
which means that both settlers and the remaining farm
workers have long
distances to travel to gain any sort of health care.
Many of the
boreholes which supplied clean water to the workers no longer
both settlers and farm workers are forced to resort to open
domestic supplies. In addition, settlers on A1 allocations are not
much enthusiasm for building proper toilets.
All the improvements
comprising dams, irrigation equipment, dwelling houses,
storage sheds, tobacco processing facilities, green houses,
fencing, woodlots, telephone lines etc, essential for modern
becoming derelict and they have not been paid for.
All the stud
animal breeding enterprises have ceased and the animals have
up in abattoirs. The lack of security of land tenure is
surely the weakest
aspect of the reform exercise. Neither the A1s nor the
A2s have secure land
tenure but hold land on a lease basis and therefore
have no collateral for
Can the valley and Zimbabwean agriculture be
resurrected? Yes, in the
All seized farms to revert
back to the title holders or fair compensation
paid to those who no longer
wish to farm in Zimbabwe;
Land-use should be left to trained and
dedicated individuals regardless of
race, colour or creed on holdings which
are economic and appropriate in size
to each ecological
Sustainable land-use is only feasible if it is kept free of
interests of politicians. It should be based on sound,
experimentation and low-interest short and long-term
The narrow, embittered, racist xenophobic outbursts in
the state media
should cease; and
The state should be obligated to
provide its exiled citizens with postal
votes for the 2005 general election
as is the practice of democratic
Media and Information Commission put out a statement this week
"patterns of misrepresentation" that it claimed had emerged in
regarding the cancellation of Africa Tribune Newspapers' licence
There was an assumption that mass media services were "sacred
should be allowed to operate outside the law, the MIC said. The
been subjected by the same media to "an endless song about
transparency and the rule of law", it said.
2002 when Aippa was passed government had given the mass media
opportunity to demonstrate that they really believe that everyone
Zimbabwe must be subject to the same requirements, it claimed. But when
are challenged to show that they are accountable and law-abiding,
"resort to an entirely different song": that they should not be required
obey the same rules as other citizens because they happen to be
watchdogs of press freedom.
"It is the commission's view
that there is no self-respecting society
anywhere in the world which allows
the two sets of values to be kept and
used as mutually
The MIC also deplored "the tendency to personalise the
enforcement of media
laws in order to make it possible to demonise and
individuals". The enforcement of Aippa was a statutory,
institutional responsibility, the MIC
"Journalists must therefore desist from the immoral habit
sensationalising national laws as expressions of personal whims and
vendettas of particular ministers."
I accept that the MIC
must sing for its supper by putting out disingenuous
statements of this sort
that appear to be shielding ministers from
the media on how it should report on the political and
legislative process is
well beyond the regulatory body's competence.
Where a particular
minister has identified himself indelibly with Aippa, has
through its various readings and amendments in parliament,
used it to
threaten newspapers, and attempted to justify it to the country
world, it is unsurprising that he should be held responsible for
There is a widely-held view, expressed in the
Daily News case last year,
that the MIC is biased and that it is the
instrument of an intolerant and
increasingly repressive regime. Its chairman,
who should be exercising his
duties in an impartial and professional manner,
has referred to this
newspaper in abusive terms (Sunday Mail, April 18) and
described one of our
advertising clients as "illegal" when it is acting
entirely within the law.
The MIC claims it is concerned with issues
of media professionalism and
ethics. In which case it should be an
independent and even-handed body.
But there is no sign that it is
tackling the lack of professionalism in the
state sector, giving rise to the
obvious charge that it is not permitted to
interfere with certain "sacred
One very recent example can be cited. A report in the
Thursday said "divisions" had "rocked" the Southern African
(SAEF) ahead of a meeting of African editors in
The report followed Chronicle editor Stephen Ndlovu's
exclusion from a SAEF
meeting in Windhoek. He had attempted to have the
Association of Editors (ZAE) recognised as
representative of Zimbabwean
The report, carried
alongside Ndlovu's byline on another story from
Windhoek, contained the
following: "The move (to exclude the ZAE), strongly
opposed by three
countries, was initiated by the US-bound editor of Beeld,
Henry Jeffreys, a
South African, at the behest of Zimbabwe Independent
editor Iden Wetherell.
The two have strong Boer links, said sources."
The same article
stated that: "All editors in Zimbabwe were invited and only
a few from the
private media did not attend. One editor who was eager to
attend the meeting
disclosed that he had been stopped by Wetherell.
Wetherell was in direct communication with Jeffreys who
promised him that he
would ensure that Zimbabwe would be thrown out."
In fact I have never
met or communicated with Henry Jeffreys in any way at
all. I was not invited
to the SAEF meeting and I did not discourage anybody
from attending the
When the Chronicle called me ahead of the meeting I made it
clear I had not
been invited. I was not asked if I had been in touch with
Jeffreys or what
my view was on the ZAE. But fictitious quotes from me were
included in the
Deliberate falsehoods of this sort persist
at every level of the state
Idasa this week denied claims made
by Ndlovu in his other front-page report
from Windhoek that Misa's media law
and policy programme manager Gugulethu
Moyo, who was one of three speakers at
a SAEF discussion forum, had proposed
"taking the Saddam route" in dealing
with Zimbabwe's errant regime.
"The article in the Chronicle contains
factual errors about Ms Moyo's
presentation and misrepresents her responses
to questions from the floor
during discussion time," Idasa
"Neither she nor Richard Calland of Idasa promoted war as a
solution for the
challenges facing the people in Zimbabwe."
clear from this that the Chronicle's report on Ms Moyo's comments were
inventive as its account of my own.
Contrary to the MIC's claim that
there cannot be two sets of media values in
any socie-ty, we have clear
evidence from this episode that there already
are. The state media is allowed
to fabricate stories with impunity.
So long as these "patterns of
misrepresentation" persist without censure
while the independent press is
under constant siege, the MIC will have
difficulty getting its statements
From SW Radio Africa, 17 June
Women arrested, activist
Four activists from Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) who were
detained overnight by the police in Bulawayo have been released
charge. The four, Magodonga Mahlangu, Patricia Khanye, Siphiwe Maseko
Emily Mpofu were arrested together with forty other WOZA women during
meeting at Machobane community Hall in the Western suburbs of the
Wednesday. The other forty were released Wednesday but the remaining
were charged with contravening section 24 of the Public Order and
Act (POSA). National co-ordinator of WOZA, Jenni Williams said the
appeared in court this afternoon and were released after the
prosecutor conceded that they lacked evidence to convict the activists.
police in the Rhodesville suburb of Harare have been accused of shooting
MDC activist who was relaxing at home in the garden with some friends
Saturday afternoon. Ringson Mutandagai opened the gate for 2 policemen
had knocked. Without provocation, one of the policeman, a
Mufurutsa, allegedly pulled out his gun and shot the 51 year-old
member and activist in the abdomen. Shocked witnesses in the garden
an ambulance and report that the police continued talking to their
about personal matters on their mobile phones while the victim lay
bleeding. The police version is of course very different. They allege
the victim attempted to escape while in police custody for an
incident. The other policemen who were present are not even
mentioned in the
report. Ringson Mutandagai is now at Parirenyatwa hospital
recovering from a
very serious operation on his stomach.
AIDS activists complain conference ignored them
[ This report does not
necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
HARARE, 18 Jun
2004 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's first national AIDS conference ended
in acrimony on
Friday, with AIDS activists complaining that they had been
sidelined from the
In a statement circulated among delegates at the
People Living with AIDS (PWAs) accused the National
AIDS Council (NAC) and
the Ministry of Health, the co-organisers of the
event, of ignoring their
inputs while giving medical experts and dignitaries
the opportunity to air
their views uninterrupted.
"We have long said
that HIV and AIDS is not a health issue, but a
developmental issue. We are
tired of panellists ... [and] doctors telling us
acronyms - "scientific"
evidence that has nothing to do with the reality we
are living under," said
"Without the positive voice, without the women and men
living with the
virus, where would they get the specimens for their
so-called evidence?", it added.
Dzotizeyi, who managed to bulldoze his way into the
conference after being
denied entry, said those who were supposed to have
been at the forefront of
the event had been marginalised by the organisers.
"What we want are ways
in which we can live positively with the scourge, and
not what we have
experienced here," said Dzotizeyi.
Activist Softain Moyo of the
Pan-African Access to Treatment Campaign
Movement said the real work on
prevention and care was being done at the
grassroots level. "There was a need
to mobilise community groups to say what
they are doing," she argued.
"Programmes can only be sustainable if they
However, health minister Dr David Parirenyatwa
said the conference
represented all stakeholders, and was not aware that PWAs
had not been given
a platform to speak.
The conference ended with
recommendations urging government and civil
society to build on and intensify
prevention efforts. It was important to
involve PWAs in all aspects of the
response, and improve access to
antiretroviral therapy. The conference also
acknowledged that training and
skills development in all aspects of the AIDS
response needed to be
Action plan set to help orphans
[ This report does not necessarily
reflect the views of the United Nations]
HARARE, 18 Jun 2004 (IRIN) -
In an effort to respond to the ballooning
orphan crisis, the Zimbabwean
government is set to launch a national plan of
action for orphans and
vulnerable children (OVCs), officials told a national
conference on HIV and
AIDS this week.
As the growing number of children losing parents to AIDS
overstretched communities and extended families, the plan
aims to provide a
framework for interventions for OVCs to ensure that laws
The main areas of focus are
education for OVCs, support to child-headed
households and issues around
Presenting the findings of a UNAIDS-sponsored rapid
assessment on OVCs to
the conference, Joyce Makufa said one of the major
realisations was that the
national response had so far been inadequate in
addressing "the scale and
level of needs and rights of vulnerable children.
Even at government level,
the data on orphans and vulnerable children is
inadequate to make informed
decisions." Government figures of over a million
orphans are believed to
under-estimate the extent of the crisis.
orphans face huge problems of poverty and stigma, and are often
school fees, food, clothing and sometimes shelter by their
Children who have lost parents to AIDS also suffer
and are vulnerable to physical, psychological and
sexual abuse, experts
Ron Pouwels, a paediatrician working with the Ministry of Health and
Welfare, welcomed the government's action plan. "Programmes on orphans
vulnerable children in Zimbabwe have been largely uncoordinated and
and at last we are seeing government efforts to respond to the
Makufa pointed out that the government's initiative
should be anchored
within the community as a more sustainable way of caring
for orphans. With
over 98 percent of orphans in the country looked after by
family, she said the national response should strengthen
"The national plan of action should provide a
mechanism to channel small
amounts of funding to formal and informal
community groups working with
orphans," Makufa suggested.
Union Network International
ILO tells Mugabe to stop arresting union
The Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation
has backed a
call to the Zimbabwe government to stop arresting or detaining
The ILO also called on the Zimbabwe government not to
interfere in the
legitimate trade union activities of the Zimbabwe trade
union centre, the
UNI submitted a complaint to the ILO following the
dismissal by Zimpost of
ZCTU President Lovemore Matombo along with the
dismissal and suspension of
his colleagues in UNI communications affiliate
The Governing Body approved the report from its Committee on Freedom
Association, which has been studying no fewer than 108 complaints in
number of countries.
The Committee has dealt with complaints about the
Mugabe regime in the past.
This time the Harare government told the ILO that
union action over the
economic crisis in the country last October and
November was "motivated by
political elements within the ZCTU".
Committee on Freedom of Association decisively rejected this
findings, endorsed by the governing Body, say that: "trade union
cannot be restricted solely to occupational maters since
and choices are generally bound to have an impact on
workers. This was
particularly true in this case as the demonstrations were
on issues related
to the high cost of living and trade union rights."
Inflation in Zimbabwe
recently peaked at over 600% and unemployment is
rampant as a result of the
regime's economic policies.
The Guardian - extract
Yesterday in parliament
Friday June 18, 2004
Britain should lead
the way in extending sanctions over Zimbabwe, Labour
former sports minister
Kate Hoey urged. Welcoming a debate to be opened by
the foreign secretary,
Jack Straw, next month, she demanded: "Will he be
bringing to the house some
extra sanctions that this country might be able
to go ahead with in terms of
Zimbabwe rather than waiting for the European
responded: "I am with you all the way in my opposition to Mugabe's
know the foreign secretary is extremely concerned to make sure
change in Zimbabwe for the better for the people of Zimbabwe."
Zim 70 clutch ConCourt straw
18/06/2004 16:50 -
Pretoria - The 70 men being held in Zimababwe as suspected
to apply on Monday for leave to appeal to the Constitutional
Court after a
Pretoria judge refused to order their extradition
Their lawyer Alwyn Griebenow said on Friday the men would contest
Judge-President Bernard Ngoepe's ruling on the grounds that a
African's constitutionally-entrenched rights had to be enforceable in
The application would be lodged on an urgent basis
on Monday, after which
the South African government would have seven days to
file an opposing
"We are hoping for our case to be heard
within three weeks," said Griebenow.
Ngoepe turned down an application
last Wednesday for an order compelling the
South African government to seek
the men's extradition. They are suspected
of plotting a coup d'etat in
Have denied being mercenaries
South African authorities did not have adequate evidence to
prosecute the men
at home, and dismissed the application with costs.
The men want to be
extradited to South African to stand trial at home for
Foreign Military Assistance Act, which outlaws mercenary
they have denied being mercenaries.
The men claimed they would not have a
fair trial in Zimbabwe or Equatorial
Guinea and feared being put to death if
deported to the west African
They sought to compel their
government to make submissions to Zimbabwe and
Equatorial Guinea for the
protection of the constitutional rights they
enjoyed in South Africa to a
fair trial, and not to be sentenced to death.
Arrested when their plane
But, Ngoepe said the men failed to make out a case for court
The men were arrested at Harare International Airport more
than two months
ago when they apparently landed to refuel and pick up
Authorities believed they were on their way to join
mercenaries - among them eight South Africans - arrested in
Guinea for allegedly plotting to overthrow the west African
leader, Teodoro Obiang Nguema.
The men held in Zimbabwe
claimed they were on their way to the Democratic
Republic of Congo to do mine