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

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      31 May 2003 18:10:34 GMT
      Police get order calling off Zimbabwe protests


By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, May 31 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's police got a high court interdict on
Saturday ordering opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to call off street
protests next week or face arrest.

The order was issued by High Court Judge Ben Hlatshwayo after the police
filed an urgent application in which they claimed the planned protests would
undermine law and order and challenged the country's constitutional

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on Friday it would
press ahead next week with protests against President Robert Mugabe and
warned that militant government supporters could turn the demonstrations

Chief Inspector Andrew Phiri confirmed police had got a provisional order
from the court outlawing the protests.

"It is declared that the respondents (MDC and Tsvangirai) have acted
unlawfully in calling for demonstrations intended to oust a legitimately
elected president.

"Accordingly it is ordered that the respondents be indicted from organising,
urging or suggesting, or setting up the demonstrations intended to remove
the lawfully elected president and government," the order said.

The order gave the MDC the right to argue its own case.

MDC legislator and lawyer David Coltart complained that they had received
the order only at the time police served it but they intended to appeal
against it on Sunday.

"The MDC is not organising violent protests, but peaceful protests,"
Tsvangirai spokesman William Bango said.

Earlier, thousands of people jammed supermarkets and banks around Zimbabwe
to stock up for the protests designed to drive President Robert Mugabe from

The MDC is demanding Mugabe's resignation, accusing him of mismanaging the
economy. Mugabe, 79, denies the charge.

The government has put its security forces on full alert, deployed troops in
some restive townships and set up roadblocks.

"The time has come for a showdown with the MDC. They must be confronted and
taught a lesson...," the ruling ZANU-PF party's chief spokesman, Nathan
Shamuyarira, said.

Zimbabwe is in a severe economic crisis, with record inflation and
unemployment, and shortages of food, fuel and foreign currency.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, blames the crisis
on opponents of his seizures of land from the tiny white minority for
redistribution among landless blacks.
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Zimbabwe braced for violence at mass rallies
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 31/05/2003)

"Pray for us tonight. Pray for us next week," said a man in his early 40s in
Harare yesterday. "We will go to the streets, and maybe they will kill us.

"But there is no difference between being dead as we are already, and being
shot by the police or army on Monday."

The man is one of thousands who will risk brutal treatment by the security
forces when they gather next week for a mass demonstration against President
Robert Mugabe.

The protests are illegal under draconian new security laws, and Patrick
Chinamasa, Mr Mugabe's justice minister, said participants will be
committing high treason.

He said: "The clear intention behind such threatened actions is to effect a
coup d'etat against the legitimately elected government of Zimbabwe."

Thousands are expected at rallies across the country after Morgan
Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, urged
people to "rise up in your millions" to force Mr Mugabe to the negotiating

Mr Tsvangirai rallied his supporters last night in the face of threats from
the security forces to crush the protests under the slightest provocation.
"Nothing will deter us from this action," he said.

"Without risk there are no opportunities. There's no riskier business than
to allow this country to collapse." But he added: "The potential of this
degenerating into shooting cannot be underestimated."

As soldiers and riot police deployed across the country, MDC activists and
middle class supporters were making gas masks to protect civilians from the
riot police's South African-made tear-gas. The Zimbabwe Defence Forces are
believed to have handed out weapons to many so-called war veterans and
members of the militia known as the Green Bombers.

Political analysts believe that the by-product of the call for millions to
go out on to the streets will be a national strike, larger and longer than
any before it, as Zimbabwe's dispossessed, unemployed and hungry vent their
anger at the country's collapse.

"If there are many out on the streets, we may have a bloodbath," said Brian
Kagoro, a human rights lawyer. "If the people are too scared and don't show
up on the streets, or run away after the first shots, there will anyway be a
massive stayaway.

"We are not sure of the national psyche. People are really fed up, but none
of us knows how far they will go, and it will be the poor who will, once
again, take the pain.

"The regime is preparing its response by giving gangsters guns. We are used
to the riot police, but not the army, and so the situation is unpredictable.

"The MDC have called this a final push, but maybe that is an overloaded
message. This is certainly the beginning of the end, and the MDC has had the
courage to go for this, but we don't know what the costs or the gains will

Scores of heavily-armed members of the Zimbabwe National Army and riot
police moved into a poor township close to Bulawayo last night. A
well-placed source said: "There has been a full deployment of all the
security forces in Zimbabwe as of today."

. Augustine Chihuri, Mr Mugabe's police commissioner, has resigned as
honorary Vice-President of Interpol just weeks after his appointment was
hailed by Harare officials as an endorsement of Zimbabwe's police force.
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Talks Between Zimbabwean Government, Oil Companies at Stalemate
Tendai Maphosa
30 May 2003, 20:54 UTC

International oil companies are ready to import fuel into Zimbabwe to
alleviate the country's fuel shortage, but there is serious disagreement
between the companies and the government over the pricing of oil products.

Zimbabwe has had no fuel delivered for over a week now and talks between the
government and the oil companies have reached a stalemate. An oil company
official who spoke on condition of anonymity says the government insists on
a controlled pump price, while the oil companies want the price converted
from the U.S.-dollar cost of importing the fuel plus whatever markup that
would make it profitable for them.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing intermittent disruptions in fuel supplies
since 1999, but it has never, until now, gotten to a point where the state
fuel distribution authority has failed to deliver supplies to at least some
gas stations.

The situation began seriously deteriorating last year when a deal with Libya
to supply fuel to Zimbabwe collapsed after the Zimbabweans defaulted on
payment. At his ruling ZANU-PF party annual conference last December,
President Mugabe said he would personally involve himself with efforts to
end the fuel crisis.

The country has seen two fuel price hikes this year. The most recent one was
in April. This resulted in increases in the prices of just about everything,
making the situation worse for the majority of Zimbabweans. The Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions called a three-day strike to force the government
to reverse the increase but the government refused to back down.

For the oil companies getting the price they need to make a profit is a case
of pure economics, but for the government, the political and social fallout
of approving another price increase now would be devastating. The Congress
of Trade Unions is already threatening another strike to protest the last
price increase.

Some oil companies are already importing and selling fuel in foreign
currency to those with the money, but this excludes the vast majority of
Zimbabweans, some of whom have had their cars parked in lines at gas
stations for the past two weeks in anticipation of fuel that might not be
coming any time soon. However, some people are getting their fuel on the
black market, where it is available for as much as six times the pump price.
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Globe and Mail, Canada

G8 turns to Africa

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Still more rhetoric than reality, an ambitious plan to channel billions of
dollars a year toward prosperity for Africans will get a fresh airing at the
Group of Eight summit beginning Sunday.
Just in time for the summit, African leaders named a high-level panel this
week to oversee evaluations of countries seeking trade concessions and
support for new investment under the plan.
That will boost the efforts of the summit host, French President Jacques
Chirac, to make aid to Africa a key theme of the meeting in the resort town
of Évian. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien did the same as he welcomed G8
leaders to Kananaskis, Alta., in June of 2002.
But since then, progress has been halting on both sides of the huge divide
that separates the industrial world from the poorest continent.
While some countries - including Canada - have earmarked more foreign aid
for Africa, there are few signs of significant investment in African
projects under the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development.
With the sluggishness of the global economy and the rebuilding in Iraq
threatening to suck up foreign-aid funds, Mr. Chirac says the "first duty"
of major world powers is to boost economic growth.
African leaders, meanwhile, have struggled to reach consensus on a key
feature of the NEPAD plan that would make the provision of new funds by G8
members and other rich countries conditional on transparent government and
the rule of law.
The plan's image in Africa is starting to suffer, said Nthabiseng Nkosi, a
researcher at the Africa Institute in Johannesburg.
"People are saying that African governments need to stop making a lot of
talk and issuing papers and documents," she said. "We need to see them being
translated into concrete policies. The only way we will know if NEPAD is
succeeding is if there are concrete improvements for people at the grass
NEPAD, whose chief backers include South African President Thabo Mbeki and
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, seeks to attract more private
investment and foreign aid as well as to win debt relief and better access
for African products to European and North American markets.
It sets a goal of attracting $64-billion (U.S.) a year in order to achieve
annual continental economic growth of 7 per cent.
Last year, the G8 promised support for NEPAD goals but did not commit itself
to specific aid totals. In a statement, the group said members would be
guided by the plan's "peer review" process in deciding which countries to
Under peer review, African experts are to evaluate governments on steps to
fight corruption, to ensure an independent court system and to follow sound
economic policies.
But it has taken a year to set up a peer-review structure, partly because
some leaders balked at undergoing outside scrutiny. Namibian Prime Minister
Theo-Ben Gurirab recently called the idea neocolonialist and said it should
be tossed into "the dustbin of history," according to press reports in
The six-person peer-review panel appointed this week includes
children's-rights activist Graca Machel of Mozambique, who is married to
former South African president Nelson Mandela.
But critics of the process note that it remains voluntary. They also ask how
much credibility it can have in the hands of leaders such as Mr. Mbeki, who
has resisted calls to ostracize Zimbabwe over human-rights abuses committed
under President Robert Mugabe.
"Outside Africa, I think most people have written [peer review] off," said
William Reno, a political scientist and specialist on Africa at Northwestern
University in Chicago.
Canada is moving ahead with NEPAD-related spending despite the slow progress
on peer review, said a government official who requested anonymity. "It's
taking longer than they thought but it appears to be slowly, slowly moving
Canada has spent about $70-million of a $500-million, five-year Africa fund
announced in 2001. That includes $35-million on polio-eradication programs a
nd research into HIV-AIDS vaccines, as well as $13-million on agricultural
The federal government has pledged to double Canadian foreign aid by 2010
and to spend at least half the increase in Africa.
Development advocates say that if G8 members want to help Africa they should
not only embrace NEPAD but agree to eliminate obstacles to African exports,
including tariffs and agricultural subsidies.
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Zvakwana Newsletter #26 - Power concedes nothing without a demand

May 31, 2003

Zvakwana street activists target robert mugabe road
People usually say that the writing is on the wall. In this case people are talking about the bright red writing on Harare’s street signs. Zvakwana stickers are covering over the dictator's name in preparation for his departure to the Libyan desert.

When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
~ Audre Lorde

Week of action

Monday 2 June to Friday 6 June has been declared a week of action by the MDC. The party calls upon all the suffering people of Zimbabwe, including workers, women, students, civic organisations and youths to peacefully demonstrate against the way mugabe is destroying this country. Get involved in democracy marches that will be held in all cities of Zimbabwe. March for your country and for your children’s future. Follow your local leadership.

This is an excerpt from a message disseminated to business by the MDC.

Dear Business Colleague

You have no doubt gathered by now that the MDC has called for a stayaway and demonstrations during the week of June 2 - 6, 2003, subject to review in the light of developments. Your usual co-operation is greatly appreciated and you are urged to co-operate 100% with this request by understanding that your workers will stay away and that there must be no victimisation. It is important that your workers receive your support to allow them to participate in demonstrations and democracy activities. This is a national cause in which we are all expected to play our part until the objective of installing a democratically elected government is achieved. This is the only guarantee for long-term stability and the business confidence that allows the re-establishment of economic and social disciplines in the country.

During the week of action send in reports and information

Next week you might witness police brutality or know of someone who gets arrested or harassed. Please email and keep us informed.

Read our tips on how to deal with the riot police on our website at

Watch your email closely this week for updates from Zvakwana.

Don’t be fooled by zanu pf infiltration
It has become known that zanu pf is busy printing MDC t-shirts in order to cause trouble on the streets with a view to blaming any violence on the opposition. Be aware of this. The MDC is committed to non-violent action.

Poking fun at the old man

We all know that most of us are just sitting near our homes passing by the time of day because there are no jobs to be found. Zvakwana has been pleased to see that street soccer games are helping to ease boredom. Kick mugabe out! has become the name of the game. Yes, youths all around are making mugabe’s head roll.

If you can’t view the pictures in your email please visit Remember that you need to be linked to the internet via your modem in order to view the pictures.


The repressive regime is panicking and it shows

It is known that when dictatorships find themselves with their backs against the wall and are in no further doubt that the people have turned against them, they crack down even harder. We are now witnessing this through the mugabe regime’s recent banning of opposition rallies and meetings. Morgan Tsvangirai was due to address a rally in Gweru on Sunday but the zanu republic police have banned it from taking place. And then David Coltart in Bulwayo had his usual MP’s feedback meeting banned by the authorities on Friday 30th May.

Local and international pressure has caused Chihuri to be dropped from Interpol

Zvakwana would like to congratulate all the Zimbabwean and international activists who determinedly responded to our call to protest Chihuri’s Interpol appointment. Because of your pressure he has been dropped. Keep up the strength and continue to respond to requests for active participation – applying pressure does work!

Lyon, France - The head of the Zimbabwean police force has resigned an honorary position at the international police agency Interpol after criticism that the appointment was an endorsement of the regime of President Robert Mugabe, the agency said on Friday. Augustine Chihuri informed Interpol President Jesus Espigares Mira in a letter dated May 28 that he would step aside as honorary vice president of Interpol's executive committee because of the continuing controversy over the title and to avoid politicising the agency, it said. "Chihuri has done the correct thing. The appointment was not meant to endorse the actions of the Zimbabwe Republic Police or Chihuri's work as Commissioner," Espigares Mira said. Like other of Mugabe's close associates, Chihuri is subject to a European Union and United States travel ban because of allegations of vote-rigging and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. He served on Interpol's executive committee for six years from 1996, and on stepping down received the honorary position for a three year term in accordance with standard Interpol practice. Interpol's secretary-general Ronald K Noble said he regretted that a Zimbabwe police (ZRP) spokesperson had interpreted the appointment as a sign of support for the actions of the force. "That statement was inaccurate. The fact that a ZRP spokesperson attempted to use Interpol to fight off political criticism has caused Interpol to be unfairly and unnecessarily attacked," he said. Interpol was founded in 1923 to enhance police co-operation and with 181 members is now the largest international police organization in the world.

Deported journalist will sue Air Zimbabwe

Journalist Andrew Meldrum was recently deported. Air Zimbabwe proceeded to fly Meldrum out of the country despite the fact that a High Court order barring it from doing so had been served on it. Beatrice Mtetwa the lawyer representing Meldrum plans to sue Air Zimbabwe on behalf of her client and will refer the matter to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). PROTEST! We urge you to write to William Gaillard, IATA’s director of communications to demand that Air Zimbabwe be called upon to explain their illegal behaviour in the face of being a member of IATA and subscribing to its rules and regulations. It is up to each one of use to demand accountability and transparency. Email William Gaillard on


The Herald
Telling the truth for once!





Reclaiming democracy

The battle to reclaim democracy is going to be a difficult one. Once we surrender our freedoms the battle to retrieve them is called a revolution. The only institution more powerful than the illegitimate mugabe government is Zimbabwean civil society. We have a rich tradition of resistance. Hundreds of thousands of us have survived the relentless propaganda and misrule and are actively fighting the mugabe regime. If you join next week’s democracy actions and marches, in your thousands, you will be greeted joyously by the rest of the world. And you will see how beautiful it is to be gentle instead of brutal, safe instead of scared. Befriended instead of isolated.

History is giving you the chance.

Seize the time.



Liberating ourselves
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. -
Marianne Williamson

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      Panic-buying grips Zimbabwe

      Zimbabweans are panic-buying in preparation for next week's opposition
street protests designed to drive President Robert Mugabe from power.
      Soldiers are patrolling populous areas of the capital Harare,
reportedly to discourage people from taking part.

      The leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
Morgan Tsvangirai, has urged Zimbabweans to "rise up in your millions".

      The government has pledged to crush the protests which it describes as
a coup attempt and has put security forces on high alert.

      In the capital Harare, shoppers stocked up on essentials while
thousands queued up at banks to withdraw cash.

      Police have set up roadblocks on major routes leading into the city

      One resident of the low-income suburb of Mabvuku, in eastern Harare,
told the AFP news agency that police were moving around beer halls telling
people to go home.

      An unnamed MDC official said the army "is trying to intimidate people
by going into high-density suburbs in their trucks, with guns".

      "It's to scare people so people won't come out of their homes."

      'No going back'

      The ruling ZANU-PF party's chief spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira has said
the time has come for a showdown with the MDC and that they must be
"confronted and taught a lesson".

      However, the opposition says it will press on with the week of
"democracy marches".

      Mr Tsvangirai was quoted in the privately-owned Daily News as saying
"no threats of whatever magnitude" would deter the MDC.

      The official Herald newspaper reported on Saturday that the
state-owned bus company had gone to the high court to try to block the
protests, saying that some of its buses had been torched in previous MDC

      The MDC organised one of the biggest demonstrations against President
Mugabe two months ago.

      However, it is not clear if ordinary Zimbabweans will want to be
involved, given the harsh treatment meted out to protesters last time.

      Zimbabwe is in a severe economic crisis, with record inflation and
unemployment, and shortages of food, fuel and foreign currency.

      President Mugabe, in power since the country gained independence from
Britain in 1980, blames the crisis on opponents of his seizures of land from
the tiny white minority for redistribution among landless blacks.

      Zimbabwe is under sanctions from the Commonwealth over the land
seizures and alleged vote-rigging by the ruling party.
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Daily News

      Battle lines drawn

      5/31/2003 11:57:54 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      OPPOSITION Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai yesterday vowed to press ahead with mass demonstrations to force
President Robert Mugabe to leave office, disregarding threats by the ruling
ZANU PF and the armed forces to crush the marches.

      Tsvangirai, addressing journalists in Harare two days before the
planned protest marches, said: "We are going ahead with the street marches.
Nothing will deter us. No threats of whatever magnitude would deter us from
the action."

      Several smaller opposition parties yesterday also declared they would
back the mass protest called by Tsvangirai.

      Ruling ZANU PF party spokesman, Nathan Shamuyarira, immediately
responded with a warning to the opposition that the planned marches would be
ruthlessly crushed, setting the stage for what political analysts say might
turn out to be a violent but defining week for crisis-hit Zimbabwe.

      Accusing the MDC of wanting to stage a coup through the anti-Mugabe
marches, Shamuyarira said: "The time has now come for a showdown with the
MDC. Their activities can no longer be tolerated. They must be confronted
and taught a lesson that Zimbabwe is a sovereign nation."

      Shamuyarira said security forces would be deployed in the streets and
at all strategic national installations. The forces would also man public
buses to ensure public transporters can ferry people to and from work.

      Several buses belonging to the State public transporter, the Zimbabwe
United Passenger Company, have been burnt in previous mass protests
organised by the MDC.

      Private businesses that failed to open next Monday when the planned
marches begin would "face the full wrath of the law" Shamuyarira warned.

      The MDC has called the mass protests to force Mugabe to negotiate his
exit and press him to agree to a fresh presidential election. The MDC, which
is challenging Mugabe's March 2002 re-election in the courts, says he stole
the ballot from Tsvangirai. Mugabe denies the charges.

      Tsvangirai denied the planned marches would amount to a coup, saying
the protests were intended to force a resolution of Zimbabwe's deepening

      "People should know that marches are not events and they are part of
an attempt to ensure that the Zimbabwean crisis is resolved as a matter of
urgency," the MDC president said.

      "We are saying the state of affairs cannot be left to go on just like
that. We cannot leave Mugabe to destroy the country while we watch".

      The opposition leader said the marches would be peaceful. But he said
his party had information that ZANU PF was planning to send its youths
dressed in MDC regalia to cause violence and chaos.
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Daily News

      Kabila lifts envoy's suspension

      5/31/2003 12:07:12 PM (GMT +2)

      From Kelvin Jakachira in Mutare

      DEMOCRATIC Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila has
lifted the suspension of DRC ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mwanananga Mwawapanga,
who will resume his post in Harare, it was learnt this week.

      Mwawapanga was suspended last year after he was named in a United
Nations report as one of the key figures from the DRC government who
plundered that country's natural resources during a four-year war against
rebels sponsored by Rwanda and Uganda.

      He was restricted from moving out of Kinshasa to facilitate
investigations into his alleged involvement in the plunder of timber and

      Mwawapanga, who was the DRC Minister of Finance at the time of the
alleged plunder, is expected to resume duty next week.

      Five other top Congolese government officials, including Mwenze
Kongolo, the Minister of Security and Public Order, were also named in the
UN report.

      Information from Kinshasa says Kabila pardoned the officials following
an inquiry by the country's attorney-general, whose report was submitted to
him two months ago.

      Richard Biladi, the acting DRC Ambassador to Zimbabwe, this week said:
"I do not know about the pardon but what I know is that the ambassador has
been released to come back to Harare. His suspension is now over and he is
coming back to work."

      However, another official at the embassy said: "President Kabila
pardoned all the guys who were involved in the alleged looting as a way of
bringing people together. Most people who committed certain criminal
offences during the war have been pardoned by the president."

      The source said even some individuals who incited Congolese to kill
perceived government opponents, particularly those of Tutsi origin, were
also pardoned.

      Top military and government officials from Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda
have also been named in the detailed UN report.
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Daily News

      UK-based trade unionist denied entry into country

      5/31/2003 12:08:09 PM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      CATHERINE Philips, an official with the United Kingdom-based
Commonwealth Trade Union Council (CTUC), was yesterday denied entry into
Zimbabwe for unexplained reasons, The Daily News has established.

      Philips arrived from London at about 6am on a British Airways flight
and was turned back soon afterwards.

      She had come to evaluate the Botswana-based Southern African Trade
Union Co-ordinating Council's child labour project in Zimbabwe.

      Wellington Chibhebhe, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)'s
secretary-general, said his organisation had written to the Ministry of
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on 20 May advising it of her

      Chibhebhe said: "Yesterday ministry officials met with Annie Watson,
the director of the CTUC, to prepare for Philips' visit. When Watson went to
Harare Airport this morning to receive Philips, she was told by Immigration
officials that there was a problem."

      Chibhebhe said when the acting permanent secretary in the ministry,
Sidney Mhishi, intervened he was told that Philips had already left the
airport and was on her way to her hotel.

      "In the meantime, they had forced her back on the plane and deported
her," he said. "This does not help Zimbabwe's situation at all. Perhaps they
want to show they can challenge the international community but this is just

      Neither Mhishi nor Elasto Mugwadi, the Chief Immigration Officer,
could be reached for comment yesterday afternoon.

      On Friday last week, Watson herself was almost deported, again for
unexplained reasons.
      However, she was allowed to remain in Harare after the ZCTU pointed
out that her deportation would strain Zimbabwe's relations with Commonwealth
trade unions and the International Labour Organisation.

      Watson is evaluating ZCTU's informal sector training programmes funded
by the CTUC.
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Daily News

      MDC legislator sues State

      5/31/2003 12:12:04 PM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      DAVID Mpala, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Member of
Parliament for Lupane, has filed a $5 million lawsuit against the State and
two police officers in Bulawayo for illegally detaining him for about three

      The two police officers are being sued in their individual capacities.
They are Superintendent Martin Matira, the officer-in-charge of the Law and
Order Section at Bulawayo Central Police Station, and an Inspector Gumbo,
the officer-in-charge of the Criminal Investigations Department.

      The notice of intent to sue, which was sent to the Ministry of Home
Affairs (Finance and Administration), has also been served on the Director
of the Civil Division of the Attorney-General's Office.

      Lawyers from Coghlan and Welsh, who represent Mpala, said they had
been instructed to institute legal proceedings in terms of Section 6 of the
State Liabilities Act and the Police Act.

      Mpala was leaving a parliamentary committee meeting last month when he
was given a lift by fellow MDC parliamentarian Jealous Sansole. The two were
stopped at a police roadblock.

      Police questioned Sansole about ballot seals in his car and the two
MPs were taken to Bulawayo Central Police Station.

      Mpala's lawyers said in court documents: "Although our client had
obviously been given a lift in Sansole's vehicle and had nothing to do with
whatever was in that vehicle (which is not to say carrying ballot seals is
in itself an offence), he was kept at Nkulumane Police Station from about
10am on 9 April 2003 to 12 April when he was released without charge."

      The lawyers said Matira asked Mpala whether he had slept in police
cells before.

      "Upon responding that he had not, Matira advised that he was to put up
at the police cells and then ordered that he be detained for no apparent
reason," reads part of the lawsuit.

      Mpala was detained during what the MDC has called a blitz against its
supporters, several of whom were arrested following the opposition party's
successful work stayaway in March.

      During the week of Mpala's arrest, police also detained MDC
vice-president Gibson Sibanda and the party spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi.
They were charged under the Public Order and Security Act for organising a
mass stayaway.
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Daily News

      Commonwealth agrees Mugabe must step down by September

      5/31/2003 12:12:40 PM (GMT +2)

      By Farai Mutsaka Chief Reporter

      COMMONWEALTH countries have reached a consensus that President Robert
Mugabe should leave office by September this year and his exit worked out as
part of efforts to resolve Zimbabwe's economic and political crises, it was
learnt yesterday.

      Officials of the club of former British colonies said British Prime
Minister Tony Blair has also been advised to call for an aid package for
Zimbabwe to be worked out by the G8 countries, which will meet in France
next week.

      Conditions such as the restoration of democratic governance would be
tied to the package, the officials said.

      Speaking from the Commonwealth's headquarters at Marlborough House,
the officials said members of the organisation, including African countries,
had agreed that Mugabe's early exit would save them from having to deal with
the Zimbabwe situation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in

      "That Mugabe has to go for the Zimbabwean crisis to be resolved is not
in question, even among African states. What is left to work out are
modalities on how and when he should leave but September has been tossed
around as the deadline," a Commonwealth official said.

      "He is a very proud man, so the issue at stake now is to work out an
honourable way out for him."

      It was not possible to secure comment yesterday from the director of
the Commonwealth's communications and public affairs division, Joel Kibazo.

      But sources said there was consensus that Mugabe, who faces mounting
international and local pressure to leave office, should step down to
facilitate a lasting solution to Zimbabwe's crisis.

      They said even though the Zimbabwean government was still clinging to
the notion of African solidarity, many countries on the continent now
considered Mugabe a liability.

      One official said: "A good example is what happened in March. When we
issued out our statement, we had actually consulted widely in Africa and
apart from Nigeria and South Africa, most African nations wanted Zimbabwe to
remain suspended while the issue was being discussed.

      " It would have been crazy for us not to consult African leaders or to
pass a resolution that went against the majority of Africans because that
would have split the Commonwealth."

      Meanwhile, the officials said advisers to Blair's government had told
the British leader to ask his G8 colleagues to consider an aid package for

      "It (package) is meant to show the people of Zimbabwe that the Western
world is solidly behind them in their struggle. In fact, it is supposed to
work as an incentive to push doubting Thomases into action," a source said.

      The package, they said, would be similar to that offered by the
Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, passed by the United States
government last year as an incentive for Harare to uphold the principles of
good governance.
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Leader Page

      When the iron fist no longer works

      5/31/2003 11:55:12 AM (GMT +2)

      WHATEVER happens next week during the mass protests called by the
opposition, it is clear that the government's policy of using the iron fist
to keep harassed Zimbabweans in check has run its full course and will no
longer work.

      Virtually all Zimbabweans, even those in the payroll of the
government, now agree that President Robert Mugabe's experiment with
hardline nationalist policies which alienated Zimbabwe - however well-meant
initially - have come unstuck, and that now is the time to reverse the

      In many ways, Mugabe's endgame mirrors the futility of a self-made
revolutionary who sought to damn the world, including well-meaning criticism
back home, and tragically became entrapped by his own policies which
crucially failed to deliver.

      For the simple man and woman in the street, the only policy that they
understood and wanted - and still yearn for - was the one that would bring
bread and butter to the table and nothing else, and that's where Mugabe
misread the national mood.

      As Zimbabweans dramatise their prolonged plight during the protests
rolling out on Monday, it would be folly for those in charge of the
stewardship of the nation to merely dismiss the demonstrations as cheap
politicking by power-hungry opposition politicians.

      The stark reality is that so many in the land are angry and hungry
that we, as a nation, can no longer go on doing business this way,
notwithstanding the painful, if useful, lessons of hard survival that most
Zimbabweans have now learnt.

      There is thus no point in invoking threats of dire action against the
protesters, as was done this week by several government ministers and the
security forces. The destitute have nothing else to lose.

      The government should instead pay serious attention and act on the
burning concerns of many who, in a short 23 years of independence, have
found it necessary to confront their national leaders in this way.

      After all, peaceful protests are not only an acceptable means of
pressuring those in charge in a democracy, but are entrenched in the
national constitutions of all nations which claim to uphold their citizens'
basic freedoms.

      The very fact that the government found it necessary last year to
virtually outlaw such protests is a telling statement on Zimbabwe's sickly
condition, which needs to be addressed not by the brute force of arms, but
by action which results in normalcy.

      Those staging the protests must guard against infiltration by elements
bent on triggering mindless violence which destroys life and property.

      No one but common thugs and thieves benefit from anarchy. Sadly, there
are many such rotten elements in our midst these days, including some who
are regularly hired simply to cause trouble.

      No doubt, the international community will follow next week's events
in Zimbabwe with more than passing interest, if only to see if Zimbabweans
will indeed be allowed to exercise their God-given and democratic right to
protest and chart a future which they want.

      Not that the international community wants to intervene in Zimbabwe's
affairs, as has been suggested by some within the government, but because
all want to see a stable and prosperous Zimbabwe play an active and positive
role in the global community that humanity now lives in.

      Needless to say, instability in Zimbabwe is bound to have a
debilitating contagion on its neighbours - as it already has done -
condemning the entire Southern Africa as an unstable region where no one
wants to visit as a tourist or invest in.

      So let no one with Zimbabwe's true interests at heart muffle or stifle
the people's voice of protest, but again we urge that the demonstrations be
carried out peacefully.
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      We have no option but to confront the regime head-on

      5/31/2003 11:56:24 AM (GMT +2)

      By Eddie Cross

      It has been three years in the making. The final push, is what it is
being called here, or as the MDC said on Thursday, a march for democracy.

      After many delays caused by attempts to persuade the regime led by
President Robert Mugabe to see common sense and accept the inevitable by
agreeing to negotiate its way out of the present impasse, the MDC has now
decided enough is enough!

      We are taking to the streets on Monday 2 June. The demonstrations will
be backed by a week-long strike, which will be observed by all who do not
hold down jobs in sectors deemed as an essential service.

      The atmosphere in the country is difficult to describe but there can
be no doubt in anyone's mind that this is the finale to the current scene
being enacted on the Zimbabwe stage. There is also no going back - for
either side, this will be a struggle to the end - whatever that is going to

      This is not another stayaway from work - it's a direct challenge to
the authority and power of the Mugabe regime by the people. The dangers are
plenty - if the Zimbabwe regime decides to make a last stand, there will be
casualties. If these escalate, then the situation could get out of control
and it will be difficult to negotiate our way back to some semblance of
order and stability.

      It could have been different - if South Africa had used its
overwhelming influence and economic power in the region to force Mugabe to
talk, but they have simply not been willing to do so. It could have been
different if the West had stepped in with some form of force and said that a
"road map" back to legitimacy must be followed, but that was never even a
possibility. So we are left to our own devices.

      What are we up against? There are about 45 000 men in the army, 25 000
regular policemen and another 7 000 paramilitary police. There are also
several thousand men in the airforce, only a handful of operational aircraft
but a fairly large number of armed vehicles of one description or another.

      The so-called war veterans have threatened to take action but the
majority of these no longer support the government of the day and those that
do are a rather pathetic gaggle of old men numbering about 5 000, of which
only about 1 000 are probably able to operate effectively.

      Nevertheless, this is one of the better armies in Africa and if they
stand with Mugabe and accept the role they are being asked to play, then the
people who go onto the streets on Monday morning will be confronted with
more than tear-gas.

      But let's not forget, these 100 000 men and women in the armed forces
are also Zimbabweans. It is their brothers and sisters who will be out there
and their own mothers and fathers who are saying that enough is enough. The
current shambles affects them as much as anyone else. I estimate inflation
(annualised) in May at 450 percent. Bread is selling for $550 a loaf, beef
for $3 000 a kilogramme, maize-meal for $300 a kilogramme and prices of
other staples have trebled in the past few weeks. Liquid fuels are simply
not available, informal sector prices are anything from $1 200 to $1 500 a
litre. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority is load-shedding and this
is creating chaos in the already strained productive sectors.

      Now there is insufficient cash in the system to run the economy. With
prices rising by over 50 percent in a month, the volume of cash being used
is now beyond the ability of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

      They stated this week that they were considering issuing a $1 000
bill, but this will cost them as much to print as it is worth and they need
billions in new bank notes every day.

      After claiming that the current maize crop was 1,4 million tonnes and
that wheat stocks were adequate, we are running out of both. Quietly, the
government has started to admit it has a food problem. A state of emergency
was declared in Matabeleland South on Friday and the World Food Programme
has been asked to continue assisting needy folk in affected areas .

      So, finally we set out on an adventure that we have tried hard to
avoid, avoid, not because we are timid or fearful, but because we wanted to
be able to control a process of transition back to democracy. On Monday,
Morgan Tsvangirai issued what I regard as one of the most important policy
statements that he has made recently. He rejected the proposal that we set
up a transitional authority to guide the country back to democracy.

      We no longer have the time for such an experiment and in any event,
external forces that were trying to engineer continued ZANU PF domination of
the process were manipulating the proposal.

      What the MDC has stated is that it now simply wants Mugabe to resign,
for the government to put in place an acting President as prescribed in the
Constitution and then new elections for President in 90 days. The details
can be negotiated, but that is now the MDC "road map" back to democratic

      In reality we have no alternative. Mugabe will not go voluntarily and
we cannot go on like this. To do so would be to accept that Zimbabwe has
become the "North Korea" of Southern Africa - unable to feed itself, a
delinquent state that exists by blackmail and intimidation.

      Tsvangirai asked us all to pray for the country and its leadership
this week, to devote tomorrow to prayer and to then support an all-out
effort to force the ruling elite to accept that there was no other way out,
except across the negotiating table.

      For Zanu PF this is not surrender; it is simply giving way to history
and acknowledging their own inability to find solutions to the crisis we all

      For the rest of us, this could be the dawn.

      Eddie Cross is an economic advisor to the MDC.
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      Nation needs brave men and women at this crucial moment

      5/31/2003 12:02:00 PM (GMT +2)

      Without doubt, this is the best opportunity to confront the old
dictator once and for all. It has to be now or never because fortune knocks
once at a man's door.

      All Zimbabweans, young and old, rich and poor, must come out in full
force for the long-awaited final push.

      Robert Mugabe and his rogue regime must stop ruining this country now!

      It is clear to all and sundry that Mugabe has failed to manage the
resources of this country and as a result, the country's economy is fast
disintegrating into ruins.

      At this crucial and trying moment of the indefinite mass action, the
nation needs courageous men and women to stand up and defend their country
from Mugabe's daylight robbery.

      It is disgusting to note that a once vibrant and promising economy has
virtually been strangled by one old and tired dictator who blatantly refuses
to see sense in his departure.

      The message for Mugabe is loud and clear: Zimbabweans and the rest of
the world have lost confidence in you and this is the time to quit.
Long-suffering Zimbabweans must embrace this opportunity to repeat the
message to Mugabe that we are tired of his dictatorship.

      He must go.

      It is sad to note that one who should have had a wonderful and
historic sendoff is now being chased away like a dog.

      I congratulate the Movement for Democratic Change president Morgan
Tsvangirai and the entire leadership of the main opposition party for
steadfastly mobilising the people of Zimbabwe in their protracted search for

      It is the duty of all Zimbabweans of goodwill not to allow evil to
triumph over good.


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      Mass action is the only option for the voiceless

      5/31/2003 12:03:00 PM (GMT +2)

      It is extremely provocative to have some of our fellow Zimbabweans
like "Concerned Proletariat" in The Herald of 15 May, condemning recent mass
action and stayaways as economically destructive.

      This is at a time when poverty is wreaking havoc, cash is elusive,
fares of unavailable transport are astronomical and prices of unavailable
basic commodities are shooting through the ceiling.

      This is really a myopic perception, underestimating the net effects of
the much needed mass actions and stayaways.

      Initially, did "Concerned Proletariat" ever ask himself if we still
have any tangible economy either to protect or destroy?

      Worse still, do we still have anything to lose except "Sovereignty
Handiende" and his accomplices?

      We have already lost our dignity, pride and direction. We have lost
our jobs. We have lost our rights and voices, let alone friends and
relatives under this brutal regime.

      I think it is also justified for us to lose our patience and
tolerance. All we now have in abundance is poverty, misery and hunger,
repression and alarming moral degradation.

      These socio-economic burdens overwhelmingly subdue the negative
repercussions of mass actions. Moreover, is it not wise to lose one and gain

      Under this insensitive regime, mass action is the only remaining
alternative voice of the now voiceless ordinary Zimbabweans.

      It is the sole prescription at our disposal for this pandemic disease
called ZANU PF.

      Mass action means freedom.

      Through collective demonstrations, Indonesians freed themselves from
Suharto, the Congolese from the plundering Mobutu Sese Seko and the Chileans
from Augusto Pinochet.

      Discouraging mass action could be as good as accepting and
legitimising the current state brutality and unendurable socio-economic
burdens we are being exposed to by ZANU PF.

      Precisely what we are crying for is the removal of this regime so that
we can revive our once vibrant economy, the restoration of our bleeding
dignity, pride and moral values.

      Paul Makanyisa Mhofu
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      Patriotism does not equate to training murderers

      5/31/2003 11:59:01 AM (GMT +2)

      By Dr T Mangwende

      In an unusual offering the Herald (24/5/2003) reported on a sobering
message from one Ray Kaukonde (Zanu PF MP) to the President at a rally
(Wenimbi in Marondera).

      Kaukonde had this to say: "Some are now sitting on the fence because
they think the MDC might take over. You have to be careful, President,
otherwise you might find you are the only one in the top hierarchy who is
still committed to the people while others are giving up."

      I hope they are still sitting on the fence!

      I am sure the President was listening and underlined the words "the
MDC might take over" and "you are the only one in the top hierarchy".
Whatever Kaukonde wanted to say, the clear message is that no one in his
party cares about the people anymore (Hapana inokumira isiyayo) and this
includes the President. It is encouraging that even the "dyed-in-the-wool"
loyalists are seeing things differently.

      At the same rally the President castigated businessmen and young black
professionals who have forgotten that it was Zanu PF that liberated the
country. The President was wrong in failing to acknowledge that it was a
people's war against Ian Smith spearheaded by Zanu PF (Zanu PF and the then
Zapu). For Zimbabwe's liberation, be assured that the black professional (me
included) is forever grateful to the thousands of selfless sons and
daughters who made independence possible. In addition, I am not blind to the
splendid efforts in education during the early 1980s. This education of
which I was a beneficiary (deserving and grateful because I am a citizen) is
helping me see through your ruinous policies.

      What is abominable is to accuse other people of being lesser
 "patriots" as if you were number one. In Zimbabwe there is no one - and I
mean no one - who is the number one "patriot". All of us as citizens of
Zimbabwe are number one when it comes to "patriotism". It is a sheer waste
of time and resources to set up colleges to supposedly teach "patriotism" to
the youth when the teacher needs intensive lessons in "patriotism". It is as
vacant as it is hollow for anyone (the President included) to talk as if he
or she is the inventor of "patriotism".

      We need not be told how much we should love our country because we
love and cherish being Zimbabweans. Instead, we should question our leaders
whether their confessed love for Zimbabwe is genuine or it is fake
"patriotism". The President knows more than anyone else that the country is
in a mess and there is no point in touring the ruins to assess damage - sit
down and ask yourselves how and why this happened!

      This is how Dr Johnson Leo Tolstoy (probably white professional!)
defined patriotism:
      "Patriotism, sir, is the last resort of scoundrels." In his
elaborations, Johnson acknowledges that "patriotism" is a principle that is
used to justify the training of wholesale murderers and some such vermin.

      Rubbished patriotism is marked by "conceit, unbridled and brittle
arrogance, and egotism" (the dai pasina vanhingi style). Those who still
have a sane definition of "patriotism" see it as the love of one's country
typified by connections to the land and people, customs and traditions,
pride in its history and, above all, "devotion to its welfare".

      Given all this characterisation, it is not desirable to hear one who
heads a government that has forgotten to take care of its people accusing
others of being unpatriotic! Yes, you might have been a patriot in 1980, but
money (lots of it-scoundrelly amassed), disproportionate comfort and
greediness (unequalled) are known to eat the soul of most people.

      Still on the subject of "patriotism", some young Zimbabweans referred
to the other half of the recently returned bird as "just a piece of stone".
Yes, it is patriotic to refer to this "half" as just a piece of stone given
the situation that Zimbabweans find themselves in. If a country is ravaged
to the point that it cannot provide basics for its citizens, cultural
symbols are the first to lose their value and meaning. These symbols do not
need a newspaper or a government minister to speak on their behalf, they
speak for themselves!

      If nationals are adequately provided for by those that they entrusted
to manage their resources, then there is no need for "changing the
 curricula" to learn more about the "Zimbabwe Bird". It is only a matter of
time that people will start referring to the Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo as a
"heap of stones". The symbols that are fast assuming national significance
and a place in our history are queues for commodities that the country
cannot provide. This is what the government should be dealing with every day
(how not to have the history and cultural values of a country replaced by
queues and the blue-black market) and, yes, it is acceptable for the
president of a country to have stomach ulcers because the government that he
is heading cannot provide for its citizens.

      I salute the President for encouraging an open debate on succession,
but also take back the salute because he makes it a party instead of a
national issue. If it is the presidency of Zanu PF, then there is no need to
make it national because that is not in Zanu PF's nature - the politburo
will discuss the issue! The national Presidency is a matter for all citizens
exiled or "locally exiled" and the Constitution is clear on this matter.

      I wish the President well in his tour of man-made ruins. There is
always hope for a brighter tomorrow for they always say "the hours before
dawn are the darkest!" I also wish all the patriots from the independent
media (whether sponsored by the British, ZANU PF or the MDC), the MDC, Zanu
PF, ZCTU, NCA, ZIMTA, PTUZ and the people of Zimbabwe spirited resolve in
the fight for a better life for all by the year . . . ! The situation in
Zimbabwe is akin to a hypothetical country that has erased or suspended all
its history (including the "Zimbabwe Bird") and is in a hurry to find a
replacement (we are making a new history - the country of long queues).

      Dr Mangwende is a Zimbabwean professional based in the United States
of America

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Comment from The Mail & Guardian (SA), 30 May

Calm before the storm

Jean-Jacques Cornish

The diplomatic quiet three weeks after the African troika's visit to Harare
is seen by Zimbabwe watchers as the calm before the storm. "If we were not
sure that Zimbabwe is into its endgame, you would be hearing a lot more
disappointment," said a Western ambassador. "There is nothing worse than
being let down after having your hopes raised - worse still after raising
the expectation in your capital. Remember the aftermath of the Rubicon
speech in South Africa. Luckily for presidents Thabo Mbeki, Olusegun
Obasanjo and Bakili Muluzi, events in Zimbabwe seem to have overtaken their
initiative. Perhaps they will claim sometime in the future that they caused
this change. They will have to do something like that because they certainly
did lead us to expect some movement soon." There was overt criticism of the
troika this week from Zambia's Deputy Finance Minister, Mbita Chitala, who
reportedly told journalists the presidents were not putting enough pressure
on the Zanu PF government to adopt policies that would revive the economy.
Chitala's interest is obvious. Zimbabwe's slide into oblivion is hurting the
whole region.

Like a lock forward under pressure, President Robert Mugabe sought the
support of the pack at Obasanjo's inauguration as African Union leader in
Abuja this week. Diplomats here insist that he will not be made excessively
comfortable. "His fellow presidents will ask when he is going," said a
European envoy from Harare. "They could not get an answer from him when he
was here three weeks ago, but Mugabe has been talking about leaving ever
since then. South Africa and Nigeria will be particularly concerned over who
will succeed [him]. They want him either to name someone or to have the
party do so. I think they realise, as we do, that if he doesn't move
quickly, events will overtake him." Professor Tony Hawkins told a security
seminar at Pretoria University this week that "Zimbabwe is on the edge of
the volcano. One push could bring the government down within months, if not

Western diplomats say opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai looks increasingly
like the man most likely to achieve this. Tsvangirai greatly impressed G8
ambassadors whom he met in Harare this week. "Tsvangirai was organised,
motivated and determined, which he clearly was not a year ago," said one of
the envoys. "He was excessively concerned then about the welfare of his
followers - and probably overestimated the repressive capacity of the
government forces." Tsvangirai, having repeatedly demonstrated his ability
to bring the country to a standstill, is now rejecting any talks about
entering into a government with Mugabe. He told the ambassador in Harare
that Mugabe simply had to negotiate his exit. "We don't know if South Africa
has prepared for this eventuality," said a veteran diplomat in Pretoria. "We
are all very sensitive to the notion of African solutions to African
problems. We expect to be reminded of this after the presidents' meeting in
Abuja. But African solutions are as fraught and fallible as any others - we
only have to look at the Democratic Republic of Congo to see this. We would
like to see a speedy solution in Zimbabwe. Estimates of economic recovery
time after a change of government there range from two to five years, so we
have no time to play with. We believe South Africa will inevitably continue
to exert enormous influence across the Limpopo river. That is why we are
pleased that the Harare meeting at least served to improve relations between
Mbeki and Tsvangirai."

Developments in the Commonwealth further reflected the conviction that
Mugabe is on his way out. After a meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial
Action Group (CMAG) - the body that Mbeki helped set up to address problem
areas within the club of former British colonies - Zimbabwe's suspension was
extended until the Commonwealth heads of government summit in December.
Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon acknowledged that this went
against the express wishes of Mbeki and Obasanjo, who had wanted the
suspension to end in April. They did not even want to discuss the matter
with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who had joined them in imposing
the suspension a year earlier. Australia kept the pressure on by presenting
CMAG with a dossier of human rights violations in Zimbabwe. "The broad view
is that Zimbabwe's suspension should be sustained," said McKinnon. "This did
not meet with everyone's best wish. But it is the best decision we could
get. We don't want to see the Commonwealth divided over this." A
Commonwealth high commissioner added: "Given that Zimbabwe has, over the
years probably been the most divisive issue that the Commonwealth has had to
deal with, we wonder how the secretary general can say this. The answer is
that like many of us he does not believe Mugabe will be at the Commonwealth
summit in December."
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      31 May 2003 13:53:37 GMT
      Nervous Zimbabweans brace for opposition protests


By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, May 31 (Reuters) - Thousands of people jammed supermarkets and banks
around Zimbabwe on Saturday to stock up for next week's opposition street
protests designed to drive President Robert Mugabe from power.

The government has vowed to crush the protests, denouncing them as a coup
attempt. The opposition says it will press on with its "final push" against
Mugabe but warns that militant government supporters could resort to

In the capital Harare, nervous shoppers stocked up on food and other
essentials while thousands queued up at banks to withdraw cash.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is demanding Mugabe's
resignation, accusing him of mismanaging the economy. Mugabe, 79, denies the

The government has put its security forces on full alert, deployed troops in
some restive townships and set up roadbocks.

"The time has come for a showdown with the MDC. They must be confronted and
taught a lesson...," said the ruling ZANU-PF party's chief spokesman Nathan

The privately-owned Daily News, dismissed by the government as an opposition
mouthpiece, quoted opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as saying "no threats
of whatever magnitude" would deter the MDC.

The official Herald newspaper reported on Saturday that the state-owned bus
company had gone to the High Court to try to block the protests, saying some
of its buses had been torched in previous MDC demonstrations. The case will
be heard on Monday.

Two months ago, the MDC organised one of the biggest protests against
Mugabe. It wants to drive him from power or at least into talks about
Zimbabwe's future.

Zimbabwe is in a severe economic crisis, with record inflation and
unemployment, and shortages of food, fuel and foreign currency.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, blames the crisis
on opponents of his seizures of land from the tiny white minority for
redistribution among landless blacks.

Zimbabwe is under sanctions from the Commonwealth, a group of mostly former
British colonies, over the land seizures and alleged vote rigging by the
ruling party.

Mozambican officials said on Saturday that Commonwealth Secretary General
Don McKinnon had held talks on Zimbabwe with Mozambique's President Joaquim
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