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

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I'm not going anywhere, says defiant Mugabe

      June 19 2003 at 02:45AM

     By Basildon Peta

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has dismissed as an "elaborate and hollow
fib" a report that he told South African President Thabo Mbeki he wants to
step down in the next 12 months to enable speaker of parliament Emmerson
Mnangagwa to take over.

Mugabe said he had no intention to retire barely a year and three months
after winning a presidential election.

Mugabe's denial comes after Mbeki's statement at the World Economic Forum
Africa in Durban last week that a political settlement would be found in
Zimbabwe within a year.

The Daily News, Zimbabwe's largest daily paper, had reported that Mugabe had
told Mbeki that he was considering stepping down in the next 12 months and
that he wanted Mnangagwa to take over from him.

Mugabe's office said his views on succession were not only an "open book but
consistent with the democratic principle that only the people alone reserve
the inalienable right to decide who shall govern them through the ballot

  .. This article was originally published on page 6 of The Cape Times on
June 19, 2003
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Washington Times

Opposition party fears for jailed leader's life

By Geoffery Hill

    Zimbabwean opposition officials say they fear for the safety of their
leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who is being held in "terrible conditions" at a
Harare jail where another opposition member died last year under mysterious
    For more than a week, Mr. Tsvangirai, who leads the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), has been held without bail at the prison after
being arrested on charges of organizing a five-day national strike earlier
this month.
    The government of President Robert Mugabe has charged him with treason,
a crime that carries the death penalty in Zimbabwe. Mr. Tsvangirai is
already on trial in another treason case, in which he is charged with
plotting to have Mr. Mugabe assassinated.
    MDC Deputy President Gibson Sibanda told The Washington Times that he
had visited Mr. Tsvangirai in jail and was appalled at what he saw.
    "He is being kept in the most terrible conditions in a room that has no
beds," he said. "It is winter here now and, at night, temperatures fall
almost to freezing point, but the prisoners sleep on a cement floor and the
few blankets they have are riddled with fleas. The cell was designed to hold
at most 40 people, but there are 75 men cramped in there, and we have to
take food to the jail every day because the rations are not even enough to
feed a child. It is a living hell."
    Yesterday, Mr. Tsvangirai appeared in court in the continuing trial
based on his first arrest last year. The state charges that he and other
members of the MDC approached a Canadian public relations firm, Dickens and
Madson, and asked the firm to kill Mr. Mugabe. One of the company's
directors, Ari Ben Menashe, made a videotape of the meeting.
    However, Mr. Tsvangirai's defense attorney, George Bizos — who defended
Nelson Mandela on a treason charge in South Africa 40 years ago — has since
shown the court evidence that the Canadian firm had been paid by Mr.
Mugabe's government.
    Excerpts of the videotape played to the court have been of such quality
that transcripts were offered to explain what was being said. At no time in
the recording does Mr. Tsvangirai ask for Mr. Mugabe to be killed.
    Mr. Sibanda said Mr. Tsvangirai's life could be in danger if he remained
in custody.
    "Only last year, one of our members of parliament, Learnmore Jongwe,
died in the same prison while awaiting trial, and we fear greatly that, for
as long as he is at the mercy of the state, Mr. Tsvangirai's life could be
in danger," he said.
    The MDC was formed in 1999 and came close to ending the 23-year rule of
Mr. Mugabe in general elections in 2000 and in a presidential contest last
    The party has refused to accept the result of last year's vote, which
observers said was marred by government-sponsored violence and intimidation.
Many Western countries, including the United States, also rejected the
outcome and have called for new elections.
    Mr. Tsvangirai's latest treason charge followed the third nationwide
strike in as many months.
    The United Nations estimates that more than 60 percent of Zimbabwe's 12
million people live under conditions of famine.
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Andy Meldrum was a guest on Fresh Air (on NPR) last Thursday. He was
interviewed at length by Terry Gross, and it was interesting. You can hear
it via the web at:

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Daily News

      New deal for Ben-Menashe

      6/19/2003 8:25:46 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      THE government has signed a new business contract with controversial
Canadian-based political consultant Ari Ben-Menashe, the director-general of
the state’s spy Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) Happyton Bonyongwe
told the High Court yesterday.

      Bonyongwe, who revealed the new contract during cross-examination by
defence lawyers in the ongoing treason trial of three senior opposition
leaders, said the contract was similar in terms and conditions to a previous
deal under which the government contracted Ben-Menashe to spruce up its
battered image abroad and lobby for investment in Zimbabwe by American and
European companies.

      The government’s top spy also revealed that Harare paid US$10 000
(Z$8.24 million at the official rate) to Ben-Menashe’s personal assistant
Tara Thomas to compensate her for injuries she sustained in a freak bicycle
accident which Ben-Menashe said was caused by MDC supporters.

      Bonyongwe, who was responding to a question by South African advocate
George Bizos, said: “We are under a new contract which was entered into on
10 January this year.”

      Bizos is leading a team of lawyers defending opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, secretary-general
Welshman Ncube and legislator Renson Gasela charged with treason over
allegations they hired Ben-Menashe to help murder President Robert Mugabe
ahead of last year’s presidential election.

      The charges arise from a grainy video-tape produced by Ben-Menashe’s
Montreal-based Dickens & Madson firm purportedly showing Tsvangirai and his
lieutenants requesting help from the firm to assassinate Mugabe.

      Tsvangirai, who is also facing a second and separate charge of
treason, has together with his colleagues denied plotting to kill Mugabe and
say they were set up by Dickens & Madson at the instigation of Zimbabwean
intelligence officials.

      Responding to a question by Bizos, Bonyongwe indicated the government
had entered into a fresh contract with Ben-Menashe about three weeks before
the controversial political consultant, who is the state’s star witness in
the trial, flew to Harare to testify in court.

      Bonyongwe attested he did not know how much the cash-strapped Zimbabwe
government paid Ben-Menashe under the new contract, only saying: “Basically
it’s the same terms and conditions as the contract before this court.”

      Zimbabwe’s chief spy said Security Minister Nicholas Goche had
authorised the payment of US$10 000 to Thomas on the advice of the CIO’s
legal advisers.

      Bonyongwe said Ben-Menashe had told the CIO that Thomas had been
injured in the accident because of the work she was doing for the

      He said: “Tara Thomas was injured in Canada and it was attributable to
the work she was doing for us. Mr Menashe made the submission to us. The
story which was given to us was that someone put an obstacle in her way
while she was cycling.

      “When she fell down there were two people and as she was lying in
agony, one of the people said: ‘Let your Zimbabwe help you.’”

      Ben-Menashe also claimed in his evidence-in-chief that Thomas was
injured in an accident caused by people hired by the MDC after she said she
would testify in the trial, although Thomas herself when she testified in
court earlier this year said she had fallen off a bicycle and that the
accident had nothing to do with the Zimbabwe case.

      An Iranian Jew born in Iraq, Ben-Menashe, who also claims to have
worked for the feared Israeli spy organ Mossad, is a controversial figure
accused of fraud in Zambia while a United States of America Congressional
inquiry described him as “an unmitigated liar”.

      A commodity broking firm, Carlington Sales, for which Ben-Menashe was
president, allegedly received US$7.2 million (Z$5.92 billion) from former
Zambian president Frederick Chiluba’s government to supply maize but failed
to deliver the consignment.

      The same company also allegedly received US$300 000 (Z$247.2 million)
from the government of Belarus for the supply of wheat but never delivered
the commodity.

      Bizos yesterday accused Bonyongwe of using the cover of the
confidentiality nature of his and the CIO’s work to prevent the defence from
ascertaining the veracity of his evidence. This was after the CIO boss had
said he had no access to the organisation’s accounting records.

      Bonyongwe, who earlier on Tuesday said the CIO had enlisted
Ben-Menashe’s help partly because the spy organ wanted information on a
“diplomatic offensive” Tsvangirai had launched in West Africa, conceded
yesterday that there was nothing to suggest the opposition leader’s West
Africa initiative was subversive.

      But he said the CIO’s keen interest in Tsvangirai’s forays in West
Africa was justified because “security is multi-faceted, so it also involves
furthering the interests of the government, covering economic, political,
social and environmental issues”.

      Bonyongwe said the government engaged Ben-Menashe so he could help
“influence events against the damage the accused (Tsvangirai) had done
during his diplomatic offensive in West Africa.

      “Ben-Menashe’s greatest contribution in terms of this was not about
information he gave us but the access we gained to certain places through

      The trial of Tsvangirai and his MDC lieutenants continues today.

      Ncube and Gasela are out on bail while Tsvangirai remains in jail
awaiting a ruling on bail application on the second treason charge in which
he is accused of calling for Mugabe’s unconstitutional removal from office.
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Daily News

      Harare hikes rates up to 600 percent

      6/19/2003 8:31:39 AM (GMT +2)

      Precious Shumba

      THE Harare City Council has adopted a $59.5 billion supplementary
budget that officials yesterday said had forced the municipality to hike
tariffs for services by between 100 and 600 percent with effect from 1 July.

      The supplementary budget was approved at a special full council
meeting held at Town House yesterday evening.

      Falls Nhari, the chairman of the council’s finance committee, said the
Harare municipality had no choice but to pass on the cost of the
supplementary budget to ratepayers because central government had not
responded to a request to subsidise the budget.

      The Harare City Council submitted a request to the Local Government
Ministry requesting central government to subsidise its supplementary budget
because it was responsible for the economic conditions that had put the
municipality in the position of having to come up with the supplementary

      At the time it submitted its request, the city council pointed out
that its original budget was drafted at a time the government had indicated
that it had no plans to devalue the Zimbabwe dollar, which it however
subsequently did.

      The local currency was devalued from $55 against the American
greenback to $824 in February, pushing up the Harare City Council’s
operating costs and forcing it to resort to a supplementary budget that it
could not fund without significantly hiking rates.

      Nhari said: “The government’s reluctance to give us borrowing powers
has worsened our plight and our delivery of service has deteriorated.”

      Council officials announced that rates for low and high-density
residential areas would increase from $530 to $1 430 a month with effect
from 1 July.

      Industrial and commercial rates will increase from $2 080 to $2 780 a

      Water rates for the first 13 cubic litres used in residential areas
were increased from $19.60 to $117.60 for every cubic litre.

      Between 14 and 39 cubic litres, water rates will now cost $301.20, up
from $50.20. More than 300 cubic litres used will now cost $545 for every
cubic metre, raised from $90.90.

      Sewerage charges in residential areas will increase by 160 percent
from $530 to $1 450 a month from the beginning of next month, while
industrial and commercial rates will rise from $1 000 to $2 700 a month.

      Reserved parking at the council’s garages is increasing from $4 000 an
hour to $28 000, while those parking in unreserved areas will have to fork
out $350, up from $50.

      The cost of Harare City Council ambulances is rising by 300 percent
for every call from $1 500.66 to $6 000. Adult membership fees at the city
council’s libraries have been hiked from $840 to $2 520.

      Those wishing to register on the city council’s housing waiting list
will be required to pay $1 200 from 1 July, up from $800.

      Renewal of the waiting list will now cost $800, up from $400.

      The council said its sewerage account was expected to have an
operating deficit of $1.4 billion before the new tariff increases.

      The Harare City Council said because of lack of finance several
crucial projects had not been implemented for a long period of time,
affecting service delivery.

      The municipality said these projects included the Chisipite and
Budiriro water pump stations, Chizhanje Sewerage Reticulation and
Crowborough Outfall Sewers.

      In his presentation at yesterday’s council meeting, Nhari said: “An
additional income amounting to $5.7 billion will accrue to council this
year, which will transform the operating deficit of $4.3 billion for 2003 to
an operating surplus of $252 million.

      “On waste management, additional income amounting to $1.2 billion will
accrue to council this year. This will result in an operating surplus of
$436.4 million and accumulated surplus of $696.2 million.”

      In its supplementary budget highlights, the council said the city
would now take tough measures to recover arrears owed to it by the
government, residents, industry and commerce, for services provided.

      The Harare City Council is owed millions of dollars by ratepayers,
which has also affected its ability to provide some services
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Daily News

      State to tighten pension laws

      6/19/2003 8:32:22 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE government is working to tighten regulations governing Zimbabwe’s
pension funds because of continued abuse of loopholes in the rules,
according to Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa.He told The Daily News
yesterday: “Certainly, we are looking at more than that issue. We have had
several cases in the past of the continued abuse of pension funds.

      “We are also setting up a regulating authority that will govern the
administration of all pension funds.

      “That is a very important topic and the ministry is giving it the
attention it deserves. It is in the national interest that we should tighten
the rules and regulations.

      “The objective is to tighten the supervision of the pension funds so
that those who contribute to the fund should get a return to their

      Pension industry officials said there had been several incidents where
directors co-opted into pension funds were faced with conflict of interest
issues because regulations did not specify who could or could not sit on the

      A senior official in the Finance Ministry said apart from proposing
changes to pension fund regulations, the government was also in the process
of finalising a syllabus for trustee training programmes to ensure that
trustees understood matters relating to the administration of pension funds.

      “We are realising that education programmes are a priority in the
administration of pension funds where some of the people managing the funds
do not really understand what they are really supposed to be doing according
to the act and regulations,” the official said.

      “We need to take upon employers and trustees to see to it that whoever
goes onto the board goes for trustee training programmes first and the
ministry is doing something about it, but resources have slowed down

      The officials said Zimbabwean pension funds were administered under
Statutory Instrument 323 of 1991, which did not specify the minimum
qualifications of trustees.

      Section 6 (c) of the Statutory Instrument says of trustees “at least
one half must be elected or appointed by the members and the remainder shall
be appointed by the participating employer”.

      The Finance Ministry official said this section of the regulations had
caused problems in several of the 2 030 pension funds in Zimbabwe.
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Daily News

      Detective says accused admitted murdering Nkala

      6/19/2003 8:33:04 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ONE of the six opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
activists accused of kidnapping and murdering Bulawayo war veterans’ leader
Cain Nkala in November 2001 voluntarily confessed and made indications to
the police, Harare High Court judge Justice Sandra Mungwira heard yesterday.

      Cross-examined by prosecutor Charles Kandemiri, detective inspector
Lewis Maphosa said he had interviewed Sazini Mpofu at Nkulumane Police
Station on 13 November 2001 and recorded a warned and cautioned statement
from him.

      Maphosa said Mpofu had not been assaulted, had no complaints against
the police and had freely admitted that he and others had kidnapped and
murdered Nkala.

      Nkala was kidnapped from his home in the Bulawayo high-density suburb
of Magwegwe on 5 November 2001. His body was exhumed from a shallow grave on
a farm near Solusi University a week later.

      Maphosa said: “Sazini said they kidnapped Cain Nkala because they
wanted to know the whereabouts of Patrick Nabanyama.”

      Nabanyama, an election agent for the MDC, was kidnapped in the run-up
to the June 2000 parliamentary election and has not been seen since.

      Maphosa said Mpofu told him that he and the other alleged Nkala
abductors were paid $5 000 each by Sony Masera, the MDC’s director of
security, who is also on trial.

      He said he and other officers had taken Mpofu for further indications
at Norwood Farm, where Nkala’s body was exhumed from a shallow grave on 13

      Maphosa said: “I asked him if Nkala was alive when they brought him to
the grave site.

      “He indicated that he was dead. He said he was strangled by Matshobana
and the others using his (Mpofu’s) shoe laces.”

      Maphosa alleged that Mpofu had said he held Nkala’s feet while he was
being strangled.

      Asked by Kandemiri what he had observed at the scene, Maphosa said
Nkala’s toes were protruding from the shallow grave and there were tree
branches and a broken shovel handle on top of the grave.

      Mpofu and Masera are facing trial with Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, the
Lobengula-Magwegwe MP, Army Zulu, Kethani Sibanda and Remember Moyo.

      The trial continues today.
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Daily News

      Armed police disperse striking ZESA workers

      6/19/2003 8:33:48 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ARMED riot police yesterday dispersed striking Zimbabwe Electricity
Supply Authority (ZESA) workers gathered at the parastatal’s Workington
offices in Harare.

      The workers went on strike on Monday to press ZESA management to
reinstate nine colleagues who were suspended for participating in another
industrial action undertaken by the power utility’s employees last month.

      Workers’ representatives said management yesterday refused to talk to
them, prompting the ZESA employees to gather at their Workington offices to
discuss their next course of action.

      The meeting was broken up by the police, although none of the workers
were assaulted. Several striking ZESA employees sustained injuries during a
meeting that was broken up by riot police last month.

      An official with the Zimbabwe Electricity Energy Workers’ Union
(ZEEWU) yesterday said there seemed to be no solution to the current
industrial action because management was insisting that the strike was

      Under Zimbabwean labour laws, ZESA workers are not allowed to go on
strike because they are said to be providing an essential service.

      “Workers were meeting to deliberate on the latest developments and the
police arrived on the scene and everyone immediately left for their homes
because they were afraid,” the workers’ representative said.

      “The strike action will continue until management treats us as equal
partners in ZESA’s development,” the representative added.

      Asked to comment on the matter, ZESA spokesman Shepherd Mandizvidza
said: “The police as a law enforcement agency are in a position to clarify
their course of action”, adding that channels of dialogue between management
and workers’ representatives were always open in the interest of industrial

      “The workers are urged to utilise these existing channels to address
any pertinent issues since they are important stakeholders of the power
utility so that their concerns are known.”

      ZESA workers last month went on strike demanding a pay hike as well as
the immediate dismissal of Sydney Gata as executive chairman of the

      The workers submitted a petition to the Energy Ministry in which they
accuse the ZESA chairman of mismanaging the ZESA Pension Fund.

      Meanwhile, ZEEWU officials and management were still in a meeting by
late yesterday, the details of which were unavailable.

      A ZEEWU official said workers would meet today for a briefing on the
outcome of yesterday’s discussions.

      The official however said workers from Karoi, Kariba, Chinhoyi and
Mhangura had joined in the strike to also demand the immediate reinstatement
of their colleagues.
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Daily News

      Ndlovu hearing deferred

      6/19/2003 8:34:21 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      A HARARE magistrate yesterday postponed to tomorrow a hearing on an
application by former Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association
projects secretary Andrew Ndlovu for refusal of remand.

      Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe said the police should check the
shareholding structure of Sankorp Holdings (Private) Limited, which Ndlovu
is accused of defrauding, at the Registrar of Deeds and Companies and
provide the information to the court on Friday.

      “The police must search for the company’s directorship,” he said.

      David Drury, who was representing Ndlovu, said Mthwalo Nkomo, who
brought fresh fraud charges against his client, was not a director or
shareholder of Sankorp and did not have the mandate to represent it.

      The State alleges that Ndlovu sent cheque books to Sankorp’s
provincial administrators in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare, instructing them
to sign blank cheques that he would subsequently countersign.

      He allegedly abused his position as Sankorp’s managing director and
converted $12 756 846.92 to his personal use between 17 August 2001 and 7
June 2002.
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Daily News

      MDC officials go into hiding

      6/19/2003 8:34:52 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      OFFICIALS of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in Manicaland
yesterday said the opposition party’s leadership in the area had gone into
hiding after they were told that state security agents were looking for

      MDC Manicaland spokesman Pishayi Muchauraya said most members of the
provincial leadership were being hunted down by state security agents in
what he described as “a clandestine operation to weed the MDC activists out
of Manicaland politics”.

      “We are in hiding right now because the police and the army are
hunting us down. But what is ironic is that when they are approached by our
lawyers, they deny that they are looking for us yet they continue to visit
our homes at night.”

      “There is something fishy about the whole operation,” added

      Police in Mutare yesterday refused to respond to the MDC’s claims.

      But Timothy Mubhawu, the MDC Manicaland provincial chairman, said
virtually all officials in the party’s Manicaland structures were in hiding,
while the whereabouts of several others were unknown.

      “Provincial members are still on the run. I do not know about their
whereabouts since the mass action. We are now fearing for their lives,” said

      MDC Manicaland women’s league secretary Christine Dube said unknown
people had visited her Dangamvura home several times since the mass action.

      “People were knocking at my door every day threatening me so I was
left with no choice but to run away,” said Dube.

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Daily News

      Tsvangirai files urgent petition

      6/19/2003 8:35:31 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      LAWYERS representing Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader
Morgan Tsvangirai have filed an application asking the High Court to
urgently set a date to hear the party’s challenge of President Robert Mugabe
’s 2002 presidential election victory.

      The election petition was filed 15 months ago and no date has been set
for a hearing.

      MDC shadow justice minister David Coltart said Tsvangirai’s lawyers
had last Friday filed a mandamus, a court petition asking the High Court to
urgently set a date for the hearing.

      He said the opposition party expected the petition hearing to be set
within the next few weeks following the filing of the mandamus.

      In their heads of argument, the lawyers, led by Advocate Adrian de
Bourbon, said Registrar of the High Court Jacob Manzunzu ignored an order by
Judge President Paddington Garwe to set a date for the hearing.

      According to the High Court application, Justice Garwe on 15 January
ordered that Manzunzu was to liaise with the judge assigned to hear the
petition and was “as soon as possible” to give notice of a hearing not less
than 30 days from that date.

      In last week’s application, Tsvangirai’s lawyers submitted that the
people of Zimbabwe were entitled to know whether Mugabe was fairly and
lawfully declared as the winner of the 2002 presidential election.

      “Equally, the people of Zimbabwe are entitled to know whether or not
Tsvangirai ought to be serving as their president,” de Bourbon said in the

      “It is regrettably the case that delays in determining this dispute
may lead some to the perception that this Honourable Court is taking sides
in the dispute.”

      He said any delay served neither the interests of justice nor those of
the people of Zimbabwe.

      He said a delay served only the interests of Mugabe’s supporters,
adding that urgency in electoral petition matters was paramount.

      Tsvangirai’s lawyers noted that Mugabe had already gone through a
fifth of his term while the case remained unresolved.

      “The law requires that his entitlement to continue serving be subject
to scrutiny through the trial procedure of the election petition. If he
considers that he was properly elected, then he can show in court that the
challenge to the election by the applicant (Tsvangirai) is misplaced,” part
of the petition reads.

      “If he was not properly elected, then the people of Zimbabwe have the
right to be represented by the person who was duly elected, or to have
another election to determine who should be president of this country. The
delay in setting down the election petition merely interferes with those

      The MDC has assembled a defence team led by South African senior
counsel Jemmy Gauntlet, who will be assisted by Zimbabwean advocates de
Bourbon and Pearson Nherera.

      Coltart yesterday told The Daily News that the state and the MDC had
agreed that the hearing of the petition would be in two phases.

      He said the first phase would be to deal with legal issues, mainly
concerning the Electoral Act, which the MDC wants to prove were flouted,
resulting in Mugabe’s victory. The second phase would involve oral and
physical evidence which the MDC believes contributed to Mugabe’s flawed

      “The fact that Mugabe wants Tsvangirai to withdraw the case before
talking to us shows that he knows that the case will be very damaging to
him, as there is overwhelming evidence against him,” said Coltart.

      He was referring to statements by Mugabe that the MDC should recognise
him as the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe before dialogue can resume between
the country’s main political parties.

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Daily News

Leader Page

      Justice delayed is justice denied

      6/19/2003 8:42:06 AM (GMT +2)

      THE threatened exodus of magistrates from Zimbabwe’s primary courts
could just be the last nail into the coffin of the country’s justice
delivery system.

      The departure of the magistrates, if they are eventually allowed to
go, would come at a time when Zimbabwe’s judicial system, once one of the
most professional in the Third World, is under the spotlight for the wrong

      Its reputation sullied by allegations of interference in the judicial
system by powerful government officials and politicians, Zimbabwe’s
judiciary was this month categorised the least independent out of 21 benches
in Africa reviewed by
      the globally respected World Economic Forum (WEF).

      The government’s spin doctors predictably rejected the WEF’s verdict
as yet another attempt by a Western-dominated organ to demonise the regime
for its revolutionary land reforms.

      But even these apologists of the regime, blinded as they are by their
own propaganda to be able to distinguish truth from falsehood, could never
deny that Zimbabwe’s justice delivery system is choking almost to a
standstill because of a serious shortage of staff at all levels.

      The time-honoured principle upheld by any justice system in the world
worth its salt that justice delayed is justice denied, is trashed and
trampled upon every day in Zimbabwe as thousands of unconvicted suspects rot
in the country’s over-crowded remand prisons, all because there are not
enough magistrates to expeditiously preside over their cases.

      In Harare alone, the backlog of criminal cases stood at 3 200 by
mid-March this year while pending civil cases stood at 12 000.

      The total backlog of untried cases countrywide is an alarming 60 000
cases, with the figure rising by the day as about 57 magisterial posts
remain unfilled.

      And now, as reported earlier by this newspaper, five out of the seven
regional magistrates currently presiding over cases at the country’s biggest
magisterial court, the Harare Magistrates’ Court, are said to have tendered
their resignations because of poor conditions of service.

      It can only be a matter of time before the remaining magistrates at
the court and others elsewhere across the country take the same step and
quit the service to go to greener pastures, in the process crippling the
magisterial division, the very bedrock of Zimbabwe’s justice delivery

      The government is, of course, reacting to the emerging crisis in the
justice system with the same deplorable lack of seriousness and urgency
which have always marked this administration’s misrule, the trigger of
Zimbabwe’s wider economic and political crisis.

      Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa even professed ignorance of the
looming crisis when contacted over the issue by this newspaper last week.

      Needless to say, there has been no public explanation so far by
Chinamasa as to what he is doing to ensure the magistrates’ department does
not collapse.

      Chinamasa’s permanent secretary, David Mangota, was on Monday this
week running helter-skelter at the Harare Magistrates’ Court, almost
paralysing work there as he held last-ditch talks with the court officials
in a bid to convince them to stay.

      We wonder when he first knew that the magistrates were leaving.

      Surely Zimbabweans deserve better than this from both Chinamasa and
Mangota. In normal societies where public officials are held to account, the
two gentlemen would have resigned in shame over the way they have handled
the magistrates’ grievances.

      But in Zimbabwe, where officials and the leadership are determined to
hang on to power even when it is clear they are no longer wanted by the
people, these officials stay on in office and tend to be promoted.
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Leader Page

      Zimbabwe needs new breed of politicians

      6/19/2003 8:42:52 AM (GMT +2)

      Marko Phiri

      In many societies in the history of Man, different kinds of
revolutions were born through the efforts of men who, using their intellect,
managed to change the course of history, and others who, by stupendous
genius, also changed how the world thinks.

      From Copernicus to Isaac Newton, from Karl Marx to Sigmund Freud, from
Mohandas K Gandhi to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, these men and women managed
to impress upon mankind different and new ways of viewing the world.

      But while the world celebrates these exceptional individuals, one
province of our lives remains tainted by sorry tales that would impart
brilliant ideas to a wannabe Stephen King.

      Politics, since the beginning of Africa’s independence from colonising
powers, has remained an occupation where rules of propriety are by tradition
jettisoned seemingly for a higher ideal, which for the ruling elite would be
election into public office.

      Sadly, and almost invariably,

      a powerful bout of amnesia about the concerns of the people they are
ruling follows their election into public office. In politics, some men in
Africa have changed how we think, and they could have revolutionised the
whole idea of gladiatorial politics, where one literally throws down the
gauntlet and is ready for a fight to the death.

      If you are looking for anything egalitarian and altruistic, this is
the wrong place to start looking and we use Zimbabwe as our reference point!

      When Africa’s own Hall of Fame to honour the great men of the
continent comes to be erected, it would be encyclopaedic in that it would be
one voluminous compilation. Why is it that Africa, despite being the
so-called cradle of civilisation, has nothing to show of that polished
manner of behaving synonymous with that claimed civilisation?

      Unfortunately for the man in the street, his character is adjudged by
outsiders on how his leaders conduct themselves. It would be folly to
continue on that trail where we find some pseudo-intellectuals fervently
pleading the case for the continent – in the fashion of Vimbai Chivaura and
others – for strides in some spheres millennia ago when the present sorely
lacks those “virtues” that gave claim to that greatness.

      What is extolled has been taken over by 21st Century barbarism. As the
gunfire continues in the Great Lakes region, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other
trouble spots, the world still receives reports about rebels who decided
that amputating the limbs of unarmed civilians is not gruesome enough and so
decided to make a meal out of fellow human beings – literally.

      Reports have emerged in the past few months about cannibalism in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo and they have to be the worst as we journey
into the 21st Century, the supposed age of enlightenment.

      And as we recall the contributions that Africans have made in the
history of Mankind for the continent to be celebrated for various
contributions since the Egyptians built those mighty pyramids, and the Shona
erected the great stone walls at Great Zimbabwe, later generations have had
nothing to show of the great thinkers as presented to the world by those two

      From being endowed with vast mineral resources – which in itself seems
to have been some kind of curse – instead of manifesting that wealth in the
form of better lives for the millions here, the poverty has been so abject
it has to be something far from a blessing to find that kind of wealth here.

      Are Africans so inherently greedy that they want everything for
themselves, in contradiction of that great African virtue called in other
lands esprit de corps? So, what is it really that the 21st Century
inhabitant of this continent has to show of the greatness of this place when
millions have fled the continent to other lands where black people still
have to contend with the evil of racism but merely grit their teeth, knowing
that at least they will earn a better living?

      It seems to make sense anyway: why take abuse from a fellow African
brother who is your leader and live a miserable existence when you can live
in a foreign land and have to deal with racism from a few bigots but still
be able to feed the whole extended family with just a month’s pay cheque?
African governments have reduced their people to that level of

      Our government obsesses about the racism of the white commercial
farmers and that of the countries up North, but obviously the millions who
have fled the country would rather opt for racism than brutal punches from
this regime.

      And these punches they take because all they demand is respect for
their electoral rights. Ask yourself just one question: how many people do
you know who were in the UK or the USA just five years ago?

      It is a just a pointer of how hideously this regime has treated its
own people? The truth remains that, given half a chance, this country’s
citizens would flee the repression here en masse and Zanu PF would be left
to rule the trees.

      As we take stock of African politics and the manner in which political
business is conducted here, the only greatness that will remain in many
people’s minds about this continent is its vast geographical space.

      Unfortunately, Zimbabwe has in the past few years made strenuous
efforts to ingrain that stereotype of all things African by hogging the
international headlines for the wrong reasons. The country has become for
some in the West a yardstick of what goes on in Africa.

      As long as the continent has leaders who force their popularity on the
people, the begging bowl will for a long time remain a permanent feature of
the continent’s identity.

      And this because more often than not, the insistence on staying on in
power is informed by their unwavering yearning for lining their nests, such
that exit from power also means saying their valedictions to the good life.
What this continent desperately needs is a new breed of political leadership
and people-oriented constitutions.

      Only then will the continent have contemporary great men, not those we
have to consult in history books, who have gone on to another world.

      Marko Phiri writes on social and political issues.
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      Private sector talks state out of Libya oil deal

      6/19/2003 8:38:38 AM (GMT +2)

      MacDonald Dzirutwe

      ZIMBABWE’S private sector, which is attempting to secure foreign
currency for fuel imports, is believed to be trying to talk the government
out of a joint venture with Libyan oil company Tamoil Trading, it was learnt
this week.

      Sources close to the matter said local banks, private oil firms and
exporters feared that the oil deal could mortgage National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe (NOCZIM) assets to Libya.

      The sources revealed that during ongoing consultative meetings between
the government, oil companies and bankers, the private sector had encouraged
the government to shelve the deal.

      The officials argued that with the $5 levy the government will charge
on every litre of fuel sold in Zimbabwe, NOCZIM would be able to repay its
local and foreign debt, which would make a deal with Tamoil irrelevant.

      The government last month announced that a new fuel deal with Tamoil
had been struck and would result in fuel supplies resuming from the north
African country at the end of the year.

      Oil industry officials said Tamoil was interested in using the
proposed joint venture to gain access to Zimbabwe’s prized Feruka pipeline
and to establish fuel outlets before the government deregulated the fuel

      The sources said once Zimbabwe’s fuel sector was deregulated, this
would make the joint venture – which was supposed to create a joint venture
firm called Tamoil Zimbabwe Limited – uncompetitive.

      By jointly running the Feruka pipeline with NOCZIM, Tamoil would be
able to monopolise the pipeline and sideline other competitors from using
it, the sources added.

      They said if the government was to suddenly liberalise the fuel
sector, Tamoil’s fuel would not be able to compete with that provided by
multinationals and some local oil companies.

      They said the multinational companies and local firms had the
advantage of having at their disposal extensive fleets of fuel tankers to
transport fuel and service stations to sell it from.

      “At the moment, Tamoil only has fuel but it does not have any
transportation mechanism or fuel outlets through which it can sell it. That’
s why the sudden rush to sign a deal with NOCZIM,” a well placed source told
The Business Daily.

      The source added: “Their major problem is that they will not be able
to sell the commodity. If you look at multinationals like BP Shell, Mobil or
Caltex, for example, they can transport the fuel and also sell it through
their various service stations.

      “So what it means is that under the present circumstances, the Libyan
oil will not have a market and will be more expensive. That is why they are
running around to clinch a deal.”

      Libyan Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mahmoud Azabbi, who has been involved in
negotiations with the Zimbabwe authorities over the joint venture company,
yesterday referred all questions to NOCZIM.

      NOCZIM managing director Webster Muriritirwa promised to return calls
from The Business Daily but had not done so at the time of going to print.

      Energy and Power Development Minister Amos Midzi was said to be
attending an urgent meeting yesterday afternoon and was not available for

      According to the Petroleum Marketers’ Association of Zimbabwe, which
is seeking an initial exchange rate of $1 700 for fuel imports, fuel pumped
through the Feruka pipeline would be $16.39 cheaper than that imported by
road through Beitbridge.

      Although NOCZIM has said it now intends to import fuel only for
central government and strategic sectors, it is understood that Tamoil also
wanted the joint venture company to supply fuel to private customers.

      NOCZIM figures show that out of 2.2 million litres of diesel consumed
by Zimbabwe a day, the private sector accounts for 70 percent and also
consumes 85 percent of the 1.4 million litres of petrol used in the country
every day.

      Fuel industry officials said this would make it more lucrative for
Tamoil to supply fuel to private clients.

      But the officials said even after securing the pipeline, Tamoil would
still have a distribution problem, hence efforts to quickly seal a deal with
NOCZIM to enable it to speedily acquire existing fuel service stations.

      If a deal is signed, Tamoil wants to introduce mobile service stations
to reach out to customers in remote parts of the country.

      In the past year, more local oil companies have been setting out
distribution points in preparation for the liberalisation of the fuel

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      Look into plight of security guards

      6/19/2003 8:45:46 AM (GMT +2)

      Recently, we had occasion to need a security guard for a few nights.

      A thin, hungry, young man arrived. He had had no training in self
defence, he carried no baton and he had no radio link.

      We asked what he would do if a group of six healthy, young, armed
thieves arrived, and he said: “Run, and try to attract attention, in order
to phone for back-up.”

      With the high walls, electric fences and the guard dogs common in most
parts of the northern suburbs, I am not sure that he would be very lucky,
and by the time he did have access to a telephone, the thieves would be well

      For the services of a guard, we paid a well-known company $13 000 a

      The guard, however, receives a little less than $2 000 a night (i e
$30 000 – $26 000 after tax – for sixteen nights’ work).

      After he has paid bus fare to and from Chitungwiza – $1 400 daily – he
is left with $600, which will scarcely buy him a loaf of bread.

      Here we have an honest worker trying to earn his living by honest
means, who doesn’t earn enough to pay for food, clothes, rent, school fees,

      As we all know, the Zimbabwean economy is in free-fall and the very
fabric of society is crumbling under the strain.

      There are, however, two very fast-growing, presumably lucrative,
industries: security companies and increasingly professional theft.

      Since the police are unwilling or unable to provide their citizens
with normal policing services and have merely become the clerks of crime,
those who can afford protection turn to private companies.

      Can we, however, expect deliverance from thieves when the young men
who work as security guards, trying to do an honest night’s work, are so
poorly paid, have so little professional training, and do not even carry

      I M
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      Crisis strips women of their motherhood

      6/19/2003 8:29:43 AM (GMT +2)

      Margaret Chinowaita

      THE current social, economic and political woes besetting Zimbabwe
have made life difficult for mothers as they struggle to fend for their

      The hardships have taken away mothers’ precious gift of nurturing and
providing for their children.

      Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga, the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change(MDC) member of parliament for Glen Norah constituency,
said the crisis in Zimbabwe had stripped women of their mothering nature. As
a mother she is no longer able to provide fully for her children.

      Mushonga said: “I think this is why we are saying this struggle is
more of a female problem. There has been a feminisation of poverty because
you are no longer able to provide things that you are expected to provide
for your children. Indeed the current chaos has stripped women of their

      Mushonga said it becomes a nightmare every time you think of what to
cook for your children. There are shortages of virtually every basic
commodity ranging from mealie-meal, sugar, salt, milk, soap and cooking oil.

      Mushonga said gone are the days when mothers used to escort their
children to school because there is no fuel or enough money to catch public
transport to do so. Primary school going children who attend school far away
from their homes are now travelling on their own and risk being victimised
or robbed along the way.

      Mushonga said: “It is a mother’s wish to provide tea or porridge to
her children before they leave home for school but this is no longer
possible because there is no mealie-meal to prepare the porridge or sugar to
make tea.”

      Renowned singer, Busi Ncube said she can no longer afford to feed her
children. She used to make money from live shows but she said it is no
longer possible because her fans are either out of cash or have no fuel to
attend her shows.

      Ncube said: “I can’t afford to feed my two children because I am not
making money at all. There is no fuel for the band to travel to shows, so I
am stuck at home. We are only surviving by the grace of God.”

      Ncube said she can no longer afford to drive her children, Angela and
Tendai to school because of the fuel problem.

      Dadirai Matewere, 30, a hairdresser said she was now finding it
difficult to provide for her son, Leonard who is in grade two. She said
times were hard such that her salary was no longer enough to see her through
the month.

      Matewere said of particular concern was the ever rising transport
costs she had to meet everyday. She lives in Budiriro and commuter omnibus
fares to the city were $300.

      “While I am working, I am failing to make ends meet. My child has to
queue for bread every morning before going to school and this is bad for
him. I also can’t provide bread for him everyday because it has become so
expensive. A loaf of bread costs $500,” said Matewere.

      Paurina Mpariwa, the MP for Mufakose constituency, said women were
bearing the brunt of basic commodity shortages and the political abyss that
the nation had sunken into.

      Mpariwa said: “There is no money for mothers to take care of their
children. Most of them are single mothers with noone to fall back on while
some have husbands but the men are so frustrated that they would be away
from home all the time.”

      Mpariwa said the HIV/Aids pandemic had left a lot of women taking care
of families.

      She said women’s role of nurturing, caring and loving for their
children had been taken away.

      Nelly Mutize, 66, thought her troubles were over when she successfully
raised her children a long time ago but the problem has recurred as she has
to look after her three grandchildren whose parents died.

      Mutize said she is struggling to look after her grandchildren. She
cannot provide them with sufficient food every time they go to school. She
said she does not remember when she last provided her grandchildren with
bread. It has become difficult for her to even provide them porridge in the
morning because there is no sugar.

      Song bird Chioniso Maraire said life has become difficult for her as a

      Maraire said: “It’s difficult for me as it is difficult for any other
mother. President Robert Mugabe and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
should sit down and talk things over between them. There is a lot of lying,
greed and selfishness that is going around such that the man in the street
is the one suffering.”

      Maraire said as a single mother her problems were profound. She
however said the father of her two children Andy Brown is supportive.

      Catherine Machina from Mufakose said she is the one who provided for
her family because her husband is unemployed. She works as a cook for a
woman who prepares sadza and relish for sale at a market place in Harare.

      Machina said she is struggling to make ends meet.
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      All-encompassing national convention needed

      6/19/2003 8:52:41 AM (GMT +2)

      Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu

      The current socio-economic crisis in Zimbabwe has reached such
alarming proportions that it is not possible for any normal thinking person
to pretend that it can be resolved by either the governing party, ZANU PF,
alone or by that party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) in consultation with ZANU PF.

      The crisis has entered the much feared destructive stage whereby the
entire nation is facing dire want and immense suffering.

      The warning stage of the Zimbabwean tragedy occurred in about 1992
when the International Monetary Fund’s Economic Structural Adjustment
programme (ESAP) was introduced in spite of reservations by several
prominent Zimbabwean economists.

      That period was characterised by repeatedly increasing inflation and a
sharp decrease of investments throughout the country.

      Unemployment rose and the national standard of living fell drastically
as a result of that development. Industrial production fell and so did the
value of the Zimbabwean currency vis-a-vis those of neighbouring countries
such as South Africa and Botswana.

      That development produced the MDC. We can quite correctly say that
that labour-backed political organisation was born of the socio-economic
mismanagement of the government of Zimbabwe.

      It is a distortion of the situation for anyone to say that the MDC was
created by the British government, or that it is controlled and guided by
that administration. If anything, the MDC was created by the nation’s
socio-economic discontent.

      That fact has been acknowledged by every right-thinking political and
social commentator in Zimbabwe. The fact that the present British government
led by Tony Blair is also disillusioned with Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF
administration just as many other governments are, does not imply that it
created the MDC.

      The hungry, unemployed people of Zimbabwe do not have to be told by
British politicians that their government has failed them politically,
economically and socially.

      This plain truth should be borne in mind by all Zimbabwean leaders if
the current crisis is to be resolved.

      Every leader has a solemn duty to accept the truth, and it is that the
crisis started several years before the MDC was formed in September 1999.

      What the nation needs to do now is to craft a formula to put things
right. Since the crisis is national in character, the formula must be
national in its content and thrust.

      It is obvious that involving only ZANU PF and the MDC in resolving the
crisis cannot take Zimbabwe further than recriminations and
counter-recriminations. That has already happened.

      What is needed is a national convention involving traditional,
cultural, political, industrial, commercial, professional, trade union and
civic organisations’ leaders.

      Chiefs have a role to play since their status and voice are highly
respected by most of the rural folk.

      Church organisations have a very compelling duty to create a just,
peaceful and tolerant environment throughout the country. They should play
their role as cultural peacemakers.

      Zimbabwe, as a multi-party state, should resolve its socio-economic
problems on the basis of multi-partyism. Every party should be represented
at such a convention.

      It is vital that industrial and commercial organisations such as the
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and the Zimbabwe National Chamber
of Commerce (ZNCC) be involved in the search for solutions to the national

      We must always bear in mind that the CZI and the ZNCC represent the
national investment sector, and that without that investment, there could be
neither employment nor production of goods and services.

      Civic organisations represent a very important public sentiment in
this country. As part of the national socio-economic boiling cauldron, it is
necessary to involve them in the search for solutions to the problems of the

      What the nation needs is a level-headed political leadership that puts
people, and not power, first. The convention could bring together
representatives of a wide spectrum of ideas and aspirations that could,
through a process of cross-fertilisation, put Zimbabwe back on an even keel.

      The alternative to this is the tragic situation we are presently
experiencing. No patriot would like to see this abominable situation
continue. It is imperative for the ZANU PF hierarchy to understand and
accept that they have a very urgent moral duty to facilitate and accelerate
the resolution of the national crisis.

      They should also acknowledge that neither death nor imprisonment can
deter a determined, suffering people from achieving their democratic goals.

      They should also realise that the nation is more important than
individual leaders.

      The sooner this fact sank in their heads the better for the nation of
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