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Sunday Times

June 20, 2004

Uncovered: plot to drive whites from Zimbabwe
RW Johnson, Durban

EVIDENCE that President Robert Mugabe’s regime is considering a plan to rid Zimbabwe of most of its white population has come as little surprise to an embattled and dwindling community.
But the stark language used in a document apparently drawn up by advisers to the director-general of operations in Mugabe’s Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) has intensified concern that after four years of land seizures, Zimbabwe’s whites may soon be facing a new threat.

The paper, which has been leaked to the British embassy in Harare and The Sunday Times, describes a sequence of events that would set the scene for the ethnic cleansing some analysts have long predicted.
It would start with a bomb attack on a strategic economic target in Zimbabwe. British explosives would be used and South African experts called in to verify this.
The outrage would then be blamed on “British funded terrorists”, says the document, which is dated June 8, 2004, and headed, “Solution to the White Problem”.
It seizes on a recent warning by Peter Tatchell, a former Labour parliamentary candidate who once tried to make a citizen’s arrest of Mugabe in London, that the president’s opponents in an underground group called the Zimbabwe Freedom Movement might resort to force.
Since Tatchell has threatened sabotage on British television, and the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is shifting from passive to active resistance, the paper reasons an attack on a fuel depot, bridge or power plant using British-made explosives and detonators could also be blamed on the MDC.
The MDC could then be portrayed as a British-sponsored terrorist movement and the rationale would be in place for withdrawing Zimbabwe’s ambassador from Britain, expelling British diplomats from Harare and ordering out British nationals.
They would be given 48 hours to leave, their relatives who had given up British citizenship would probably accompany them and intimidation at roadblocks would encourage many other whites to go too, the document says. It suggests that up to 90% of all whites would be gone after six months.
The paper, which British officials are working to authenticate, weighs up the likely risks and repercussions of expelling the whites. The chief worry outlined is that Britain might intervene militarily or that neighbouring Botswana might serve as a base for an Anglo-American operation. However, that is deemed unlikely: the advisers believe Britain would eventually accept what had happened.
It argues that the MDC could be virtually exterminated, leaving Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF to score an easy victory in parliamentary elections next year.
The document acknowledges that there are problems with a scheme to nationalise land, which was announced by Mugabe’s regime two weeks ago. This was interpreted as a measure to get rid of more whites following the seizure of thousands of white-owned farms since 2000.
But it has prompted objections from black Zimbabwean farmers and from President Thabo Mbeki, Mugabe’s ally in South Africa. Many South African companies and individuals own property in Zimbabwe.
The secret service plan suggests that the “white problem” could be tackled more directly if British citizens were targeted.
It all rings ominously true to Jim Sinclair, 66, a former president of the Commercial Farmers Union. “There’s no question the regime wants to get rid of whites,” he said. “Whites like good governance, they demand honesty, they don’t like corruption. It makes them a serious hindrance.
“People used to say the regime would never be mad enough to get rid of the white farmers because the population would starve. But they did exactly that. They could steal our houses tomorrow just like they stole my farm.”
Zimbabwe’s white minority has shrunk to around 50,000 — down from a peak of nearly 300,000 in the 1960s.
The hopes of many that Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, would take over from Mugabe came to nothing after elections marred by allegations of vote-rigging. Tsvangirai now faces a possible death sentence in a show trial on apparently trumped-up charges of having plotted to assassinate Mugabe. The CIO plan would see him branded a terrorist leader.
Run directly from the president’s office, the CIO is more than just Mugabe’s eyes and ears. It is also the implementer of his bloodiest policies.
Nicholas Goche, 57, the minister of national security who runs the CIO, is one of Mugabe’s closest colleagues. Although he has maintained a low profile, Goche is as ruthless as his predecessors, who played a leading role in the Matabeleland massacres of the 1980s in which some 15,000 people were tortured or killed.
Although the dispossession of the white farmers was carried out by a ragged army of war veterans and settlers, farmers frequently reported that their attackers were directed by men in suits with sunglasses and mobile phones — the giveaway signs of CIO operatives.
A source privy to discussions within the CIO said Mugabe believed the removal of the whites would draw the international spotlight away from Zimbabwe. “This comes right from the top,” the source said.
“The feeling is that whites are the root of the problem: they support the MDC and give money to it, and campaign about human rights. Moreover, they are so good at networking, getting information and spreading it. And they guarantee an uncomfortable degree of world attention.
“In Mozambique, where there are no whites, the government can get away with whatever it likes and the world doesn’t bother. Mugabe would like Zimbabwe to be like that.”
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Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 4:16 AM
Subject: David Coltart's mid year report




Dear Friends,                                                                                                                             June 2004


In my last half year report sent to you in December I wrote of the great hardships being experienced by Zimbabweans. Sadly, these hardships have not diminished this year despite the propaganda being pushed out by the regime that the economy is improving.  For all the talk of Reserve Bank Governor Gono’s economic “miracle” the harsh reality for most Zimbabweans, except the rich ruling elite, is that life is getting tougher.


The other propaganda story of the regime is that the MDC is “ready for burial”. With the ongoing closure of the Daily News, the theft of the Lupane by-election and the use of POSA to silence the MDC (just last weekend I was banned again from addressing a resident’s meeting in Nketa) you may well wonder what the truth is. The truth is that the MDC, despite being subjected to an unrelenting assault in the last 4 years and especially in the last year, much in the same way that ZAPU was in the 1980s, is still very much alive and well. If any party is in great danger of falling apart it is ZANU (PF). This letter is to report to you what I, as your MP, have been working on as a small part of this larger effort being made by the MDC to bring democracy, freedom and a new beginning to Zimbabwe. I thank each of you for the part you have played, for your courage and for your continued commitment to work together to save our Beloved nation.




As was the case last year Parliament has hardly sat this year. We had a two -week session in January, followed by a similar one in late March and for the last few weeks we have been sitting. As was the case last year, very little progressive legislation has been debated and much of the legislation is designed to clamp down even further on basic freedoms. For example, a new Electoral Bill has recently been tabled seeking to remove existing rights (such as to have access to the Voters’ Roll). We in the MDC have continued to fight hard to stop these Bills from going through. If Zanu (PF) is as strong as it claims to be one wonders why it is necessary for them to have these oppressive laws to keep them in power.


As you may have read, a special Parliamentary Committee has been set up to investigate whether I am guilty of breaching Parliamentary Privilege and whether I should be punished. In January in a Parliamentary debate I raised a point of order arguing that certain MPs should not debate or vote as it appeared as if they had a pecuniary interest in the matter. In terms of Zimbabwean law it is a criminal offence for any MP to debate or vote in a matter in which he or she has a pecuniary interest. I tabled a list of MPs who had been reported (in some cases in the Herald and Chronicle!) as receiving farms and argued that as they would appear to have an interest in the matter (the debate was about ways of speeding up the process of acquiring farms) they should not participate in the debate leaving only those MPs who had not received farms to debate. This action deeply angered many Zanu (PF) MPs and I was accused of tabling a false document with the intention to deceive Parliament. As a result a Committee of Enquiry has been set up. It would be improper for me to discuss the operations of the Committee as it is still sitting. However suffice it to say that I am confident that I acted in your best interests and in terms of the law and Constitution of Zimbabwe. It is always important to shine light into dark places and that was what I was doing.


I continue to sit on the Parliamentary Justice Committee. Most of our work involves an examination of Bills which are coming before Parliament. Unfortunately space does not allow me to go into great detail about these Bills but a lot of time has been spent trying to ensure that we improve important pieces of legislation including the Administrative Justice Bill and the Electoral Amendment Bill. I have done considerable work on the Electoral Amendment Bill and will be arguing in the near future for substantial changes to the existing Bill to bring it in line with SADC standards. Without a fair, just and transparent electoral process we will never know true freedom in Zimbabwe. Without freedom our children will never realise their full potential. Without freedom, we cannot join the community of nations seeking to bring opportunity and prosperity to improve the lives of all their peoples.


The Bulawayo South Parliamentary office has now been opened for several months under the efficient and watchful eye of Nomakosi Nabanyama. We will shortly be installing a computer and refurbishing the offices to make it a better resource centre for the Constituency. I remind you that it is located in the Nketa 6 Housing Offices and is open during normal business hours Monday through to Friday. If you have concerns, suggestions or complaints please do call in, or drop off a letter, and I will do my best to respond to the issues you raise. I very much appreciate any ideas or suggestions you would like to share.




Over the first few months of the year you may have seen a few teams of young people in orange overalls digging holes along Nketa Drive. They have been preparing the first stage of our “Mustard Seed” project which I hope will ultimately result in Nketa, Umgwanin and Nkulumane being transformed into beautiful treed suburbs. The Bulawayo South Development Trust has bought some trees and shortly before the next rainy season they will all be planted. The Trust has put in a funding proposal to a donor to greatly expand the project and the initial response has been very positive. If the proposal is successful I hope that the Trust will be able to employ a lot more young people to plant trees throughout the high density areas of the Constituency. Once again I pay tribute to the hard work put in by the teams of young people who have worked so hard preparing the holes and to the Trustees. Thanks to each and all.


I am pleased to report that we have had positive responses from both the Swiss and Japanese Embassies regarding the Umgwanin Aids self help centre initiated by Clr. A.G. Ndlovu and Toc H and I look forward to seeing the completion on this worthy project.


MDC Legal Affairs Department


I had the great honour of presenting the MDC’s Justice policy document to the MDC’s National Conference held at the Harare Showgrounds just before Christmas. The document was ratified by the Conference and contains far-reaching and progressive justice policies that will transform Zimbabwe from the police state that it now is to a country in which everyone will be free. Included in the policies adopted by the Conference are proposals to enact a new constitution following an inclusive process, to establish a Truth Commission (to enable the victims of human rights abuses to have an opportunity to tell what has happened to them and to establish who has been responsible for the serious human rights abuses that have occurred in Zimbabwe over the last few decades) and to introduce major changes to our anti corruption legislation to ensure that all the guilty are brought to justice.


This year has seen us score significant victories in the Courts. The Treason trial of President Morgan Tsvangirai has concluded and whilst we still await the judgment I am confident that he will be acquitted of these spurious charges. As Advocate George Bizos (also Nelson Mandela’s lawyer when he was charged with treason by the apartheid regime) said in his closing address: “the State has failed to prove any conspiracy to assassinate Mugabe or to bring about a coup d'etat”.


Similarly the State case in the Cain Nkala murder trial has fallen apart. As you know several MDC members, including Treasurer General the Honourable Fletcher Dulini MP, were accused by the regime of murdering Cain Nkala. They have always protested their innocence.  On the 3rd March 2004 Madam Justice Mungwira handed down her judgment regarding whether the State was allowed to use the “confessions” extracted from two of the accused. In ruling that the statements could not be used she found that the accuseds’ allegations that the statements had been beaten out of them were “likely to be true and that the police officers “conducted themselves in a shameless fashion and displayed utter contempt for the due administration of justice to the extent that they were prepared to indulge in what can only be described as works of fiction “. The Judge also stated that the “story of the existence or presence of a third force (being involved) cannot be discarded”. These are very damning words from a Zimbabwean Judge and completely vindicate both the MDC and the accused persons who have always protested their innocence. We now await the conclusion of the case and the acquittal of all the accused. I am pleased to report that following the judgment the remaining MDC members who had been in prison for over two years were released on bail.


We still await the judgment of Justice Hlatshwayo in the first stage of the Presidential Election challenge case (which dealt solely with legal and constitutional issues) that was argued in November 2003. Our legal team is pressing for this judgment to be handed down as soon as possible. If we obtain a favourable judgment then the election of Robert Mugabe as President will be set aside. If the judgment is unfavourable we will proceed to the second stage of the trial that will introduce the massive evidence we have of electoral fraud and violence which characterised that election.


You will appreciate that the coordination of these matters has taken up a lot of my time but it has been rewarding. The MDC is committed to using peaceful and non-violent means to achieve democratic political objectives, which is so different to the violent methods employed by Zanu (PF) ever since its formation in 1963. An important part of those tactics is to use the legal system even although the regime has tried to subvert it. Although these legal battles have been time consuming they are establishing an important example for future generations and have had the additional benefit of exposing the unlawful actions of the regime.


Finally, I have been involved with my colleagues in the MDC Legal and Election Departments in the formulation of the 15 minimum conditions necessary for a free and fair election to be held. These are recorded on the last page of this letter. I encourage you to debate these conditions. I believe that unless they are implemented a free, fair and legitimate election cannot be held. We are greatly encouraged by the recently held elections in South Africa which complied with every single condition. We congratulate South Africa and see no valid reason why Zimbabwe, in its third decade after white minority rule, cannot enjoy the same democratic standards enjoyed by our neighbour in its first decade following white minority rule.


International Work


As part of the MDC’s drive to explain to the international community what is going on in Zimbabwe I have made several trips to South Africa so far this year together with a visit to Britain, Denmark and Germany in March. The main thrust of these visits has been to speak to a new human rights report released by the Zimbabwe Institute in South Africa in March called “Playing with Fire”. The MDC Legal Department played a major role in assisting in the preparation of this report which documents all the human rights abuses perpetrated by the regime against MDC MPs and candidates since 2000. In the course of my visits I spoke to Judges, Lawyers, Universities and met leading politicians including the former Prime Minister of Denmark, the Honourable Poul Rasmussen MP, German government Ministers the Honourable Claudia Roth MP and the Honourable Dr. Uschi Eid MP and the leader of the CDU party the Honourable Angela Merkel MP (who may well be the next Chancellor of Germany). In all the meetings I held I was impressed by the deep awareness and concern about what is happening in Zimbabwe. The regime thinks that it can fool the world about what is going on in Zimbabwe but in that it is woefully mistaken; indeed the regime does not appreciate just how much trouble it is in with the international community.


Divisions within Zanu (PF)


For all the propaganda in the regime’s media that the MDC is falling apart the real story is that it is Zanu (PF) that is in increasing disarray. Zanu (PF) started to fall apart publicly at their conference held in Masvingo in December when the basic contradiction in the party was exposed again. Zanu (PF) has two very different groups of supporters – poor rural people who provide the bulk of the party’s votes in elections but who have been intimidated over the years and who have believed the regime’s propaganda – and the super rich ruling elite who control the party. These two groups do not often meet but one occasion is at the party’s annual conference when the poor arrive in broken down buses and the ruling elite arrive in their brand new Mercedes Benz vehicles. The stark gulf between the poor and rich has forced Robert Mugabe to act against those in the party who flagrantly display their wealth and that has led to the arrest of several high ranking members of the party this year. But that in turn has caused deep anger and concern within the party because not all those guilty of corruption in the party have been arrested.


But there are yet further problems for Zanu (PF). In the last few months we have witnessed serious divisions emerge between the old guard and the mafikazolos, with Msika and Shamuyarira openly falling out with Jonathan Moyo and Made. In the last two weeks we have seen in the arrest of Treger directors, the arrest of Mawere and the refusal to give Mnangagwa an honourary doctorate at the Midlands University, an indirect attack on Speaker of Parliament, Mnangagwa. All these incidents have a connection to Mnangagwa and are directed by powerful forces within Zanu (PF) who are seeking to undermine him. These divisions will become more acute as the Parliamentary election looms.


In contrast, for all the nonsense spewed out by the regime’s media about divisions within the MDC, and for all the regime’s attempts to divide us along racial or ethnic lines, the MDC is as united as ever. Indeed it is ironic that the oppression of the regime against us has created a deep bond within the MDC. In our common trial we have developed a united vision of how we would like a new democratic Zimbabwe to be run.


The Way Ahead


We are now about nine months away from another general election. There is no doubt that if the electoral process were free and fair the MDC would win decisively. But of course the electoral process has been badly subverted and we are not under any illusions in that regard. Does this mean that we should just give up? President Tsvangirai said at a meeting just this past weekend that we must separate our preparations for the election from our decision whether or not to participate. As he pointed out, a soccer team must practise as hard as possible prior to a match and the decision whether to play or not must only be made shortly before the match once the team has considered the state of the ground and who the referee is. The same applies to the election. We must as a party practise and prepare as hard as possible in the run up to the election. Everyone has a role to play. Closer to the time when the election is due to be held we can then assess whether we should participate.


Every person must make sure they are registered to vote. Any person turning 18 this year must register in Bulawayo South. We have no doubt that the low key campaign to register voters in urban areas is designed to ensure that as few people register in towns and cities. If that is the case the regime will try to reduce the number of constituencies in urban areas because it knows that it is more difficult to rig the elections in these areas. So we must not fall for this trick. The current exercise ends at the end of June. I urge all of you with children to make every effort to get them to register and all adults must make every effort to ensure they are registered.


We, for our part, will continue to work with our partners in civil society, in Parliament and in the region and in the international community to force the regime to change the electoral process so that it complies with SADC and international standards. When that happens, we pray our beloved Nation’s nightmare will draw to a close. Together then we can begin the road to rebuild our nation – protecting democratic freedoms and creating the environment for sustained and fair economic opportunity for all.


Each of you have suffered and contributed in your own ways and I am heartily grateful for your support. As the writer Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote: “It isn’t for the moment you are struck that you need courage, but for the long uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security.”


Best wishes,


The Honourable David Coltart MP


Fifteen minimum conditions for the holding of elections

1.        the establishment of a genuinely independent electoral commission that will be responsible for running the entire election and the entire electoral process

2.        the undertaking that partisan officials such as the present Registrar General of Elections and members of the military should not be involved in the running of the elections

3.        a completely fresh voter registration campaign done by the UN or some other neutral and professional body

4.        supply of an electronic (computer data base) copy of the voters’ roll to all political parties

5.        the repeal of those aspects of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) that curtail media freedoms

6.        the reversal of administrative decisions that have resulted in the closure of the Daily News and the removal of all obstacles preventing the Daily News and other newspapers from operating freely

7      the liberalization of the broadcasting media and the opening up of state media to carry equal amounts of coverage of all parties’ electoral messages pro rata to the percentage of votes they secured in the last general Parliamentary election

8.     the disbanding of the Youth Militia

9.     the repeal of those aspects of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) that curtail the freedom of political parties to campaign

10.  the amendment of the Electoral Act to bring it into conformity with those aspects of the SADC Parliamentary Forum’s Electoral Standard and Norms not referred to specifically elsewhere in this document

11.  the use of translucent plastic ballot boxes of secure, single-piece construction

12. voting on one day, subject to sufficient numbers of polling stations being established and changes being made to the electoral process to enable all citizens and residents (entitled to be registered as voters in terms of section 3 (1) of Schedule 3 of the Zimbabwean Constitution) to vote

13. unhindered access to the entire electoral process by international, regional and domestic election observer missions

14. counting of ballots at polling stations in the mandatory presence of polling agents and observers

15. the use of visible indelible ink to identify those who have voted

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Making a Point.

I struck a blow against the Mugabe regime this weekend - I pruned my roses.
This may seem a bit facetious but you see - by pruning my roses and then
giving them a shot of good goat manure from Beitbridge I am signaling to
anyone who cares to look, that I am here for the spring and summer.  If for
no other reason than to simply enjoy the wonderful flush of blooms that will
follow my winter care.

On the main road to Harare from Beitbridge - about 60 kilometers from the
Bridge, there is a sign on the side of the road "Kleinbegin - Sam Cawood".
Behind that sign is a road that leads to a farmhouse where Sam Cawood and
his wife Janet live. Local Zanu thugs have invaded them, all they hold dear
has been lost to them. Decades of dedicated cattle breeding has been swept
away by the vandalism, but Sam took the time to go and put his sign back up
after it had been knocked down. The name of the ranch "Kleinbegin" - "small
beginnings" says it all.

What small thing did you do this week to show that you are not going to just
lie down and give up to the thugs and bullies of Zanu PF? Yesterday 200
young Zimbabweans went to a meeting in Johannesburg scheduled to be
addressed by Gideon Gono. They heckled and jeered and told him to "go home".
They told him that until their own rights at home were respected - they were
not going to tolerate his presence, or that of the Zimbabwe Ambassador at a
meeting in a hotel in Johannesburg. He and the ambassador had to be escorted
from the hotel by the Police.

Today 70 women are in jail in Bulawayo - sitting, singing their songs on a
cold concrete floor, 7 of them with babies, just because they wanted to
march in support of World Refugee Day. They will be both hungry and cold
tonight as temperatures drop to near zero, but their hearts will be warm and
their courage and determination encourage us.

Last Monday the Kidd's, Birgit and Shane went down to the local MDC office,
cleaned it up and painted the walls - then painted on the walls that this
was the "MDC Chimanimani Office". For their trouble they were beaten -
Birgit has stitches in her head and a dislocated shoulder; Shane was badly
beaten about the head. Today they are back in their home - still determined
to carry on with their legitimate support for Roy Bennett and the MDC in the

Last night a small team went out onto the streets and furtively began
putting Zakwana symbols on lampposts - then quietly disappeared to the fury
of the local Police.

Tonight the SW Africa team plus the team at Studio 7 and the Voice of the
People will broadcast news and views to the people of Zimbabwe - small teams
of people who love their country and are just doing what they can in their
own way.

What will you do today and tomorrow to encourage others to fight on, to
spread the word that change is coming. That Zanu is finished - those who are
guilty must prepare for the worst.

Our men's fellowship from the Church is preparing to stand with one of our
number who will be in Court shortly - facing charges which any one of us
could be facing - we want him to know he is not alone - we want the
authorities to also know that. His legal fees will be Z$25 million - we need
to make sure he is not alone with that either, and we will.

It could be something very small - fix the potholes in your road, paint the
sign of your house so that all can see it is not for sale - you are in
residence and intend to stay so. Write a letter to your local Headmaster and
encourage him or her to keep up the good work they are doing. Go to the
rugby at Falcon next Saturday - take a packed lunch and shout support for
the team you support. Take your surplus vegetables to the local old folk's
home and ask them to see that they get to someone who need a bit of help.

Let me tell you - there is no power on earth so powerful as the combined
weight of a united people, caring and working for each other and to change
their country for the better. If you live outside Zimbabwe then do your part
if you care - write to your paper, your MP, your Church leadership, demand
action. Send a small donation to the nearest MDC Trust Fund or simply to an
MDC office in Zimbabwe - small donations in hard currency go a long way
here. Try to do something every week - every day if you can.

On their own each of these actions is small and insignificant, but together
they will make a roaring torrent which will sweep away the tyranny and wipe
the slate clean for a new beginning. I know we all want the grand finale -
the quick fix, but often that route is not just dangerous but also
destructive. Be on the side of those who are working for a better life for
all Zimbabweans. Support change by changing your own universe.


Where there is despair, let me be an example of hope.
Where there is anger, let me be an example of love and care.
Where there is need, help me to commit the means to do what I can.
Where there is fear, let me be an example of courage and commitment.
Where there is no hope, make my life and my actions an example to others.
Where there is injustice and persecution help me to stand with those so
Where there is no vision, let me set an example of faith, expectation and

Warm African greetings,

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 20th June 2004.

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The Scotsman
      Sun 20 Jun 2004

2:24pm (UK)
Mugabe Supporters 'Given Fake Papers to Enter Uk'

By Tom Whitehead, PA News

A British-based Zimbabwe help group is allegedly channelling hundreds of
fake asylum seekers into the UK, undercover reporters claimed today.

The BBC investigation claims Birmingham-based Zimbabwean Community UK
provides fake documents to allow members of the African nation's ruling
party to illegally claim refuge in this country.

But the chairman of the organisation, set up with a lottery grant, said the
allegations were false and his group provided support and traditional
medical assistance for Zimbabweans in Britain.

Albert Matapo said he was considering legal action but the BBC said it had
documentary proof and hours of secretly recording conversations with him.

Mr Matapo, 37, told PA News: "Whatever the BBC is saying is absolutely

"Most of our people here, what they come for is traditional help. We offer
traditional assistance.

"I cannot just let this go. I am telling them to come along and prove beyond
reasonable doubt. If I am guilty I must go to jail.

"Whatever they are saying is not correct. I am prepared to challenge this in

BBC Radio 5 Live alleged ZCUK provided hundreds of members of the country's
ruling Zanu PF party with fake documents and national insurance numbers.

It said party members are coached on how to falsely claim asylum and
undercover reporters were sold a Home Office letter granting refuge here.

Members of president Robert Mugabe's government and senior members of Zanu
PF are banned from entering the European Union.

The BBC said clients included adult children of members of Mugabe's cabinet
who were instructed to pose as members of the opposition MDC party.

It claimed clients are believed to have paid up to £1,000 for coaching
sessions on how to dupe the asylum system, from the base in a terraced

ZCUK was set up with a £5,000 lottery grant last year and Mr Matapo said he
moved to the UK in 2002 after working as an agriculture consultant in

He said ancestors play a very powerful role in the lives of Zimbabweans and
people will approach ZCUK for ancient remedies.

"They may need to get some traditional medicine, go through some traditional
ritual, that is part of the assistance we give," he said.

He said it was a case of giving "each other support, advising one another,
empowering one another".

Mr Matapo said money is traditionally offered as a gift for medical
assistance and is usually a maximum of £1,050 per family.

A spokesman for the BBC said they had in their possession several fake
documents, including Home Office papers and a fake National Insurance number
as well as several hours of undercover recordings.

A Home Office spokesman said: "We will be looking into this as a matter of

"We are constantly looking at networks like this and taking action against
the people trafficking.

"We have had some significant success in cracking down on these networks and
are involved in ongoing training of our staff to provide guidance on how to
identify and check forged documents."
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The Telegraph

Alleged asylum fraud linked to Mugabe regime
By Chris Boffey and David Blair
(Filed: 21/06/2004)

Police and immigration officers are investigating an organisation, set up
with National Lottery money to help immigrants, after claims that it forged
documents and provided false life histories for 1,000 Zimbabwean asylum

Detectives have also been given information allegedly showing that Albert
Matapo and his wife Grace, the founders of the Zimbabwean Community in the
UK (ZCUK), have provided National Insurance numbers and fake passports to
help immigrants get jobs. Last night Mr Matapo rejected the claims and said
he was considering taking legal action against his accusers.

ZCUK, which was set up in Birmingham last year after receiving a £5,000
lottery award to help immigrants, allegedly charges £1,000 a time to coach
asylum seekers. Among those who have used the service are relatives of
senior members of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party.

Details given to officials show how a Zimbabwean posing as an asylum seeker
approached ZCUK asking for help.

He was allegedly told how, for £1,000, a false passport would be provided
and there would be coaching on how to dupe immigration officers "by lying to
the white man" by claiming to be persecuted because of membership of
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Mr Matapo allegedly told the undercover investigator, who was working for
BBC Radio Five Live, that he would "be able to live here [in Britain] for
donkey's years".

Mr Matapo came to Britain two years ago and was granted asylum after
claiming his life would be in danger from the government if he returned to
Zimbabwe. The reality, claims the BBC, is that he fled after conning
would-be immigrants out of their savings while running a travel agency in

He admits to helping relatives of four government ministers close to
President Robert Mugabe, who has called Britain a "vicious, racist and
vengeful" country, run by "Mr Blair's imperialist, neo-colonialist

Among those who have abandoned Zimbabwe is Stalin Mau Mau, once a Zanu-PF
parliamentary candidate, and the leader of a gang accused of forcing white
farmers off their land.

He says he entered Britain legally, but his status is now being investigated
by the Home Office, as are his businesses, which include a supermarket in
Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Mr Mau Mau, a former boxing promoter, stood for Harare East in the elections
four years ago and was heavily defeated. Like most Zanu-PF candidates, he
roused his supporters at campaign rallies with one consistent chant: "Down
with the whites!"

Official figures issued by the Reserve Bank in Harare suggest that 3.4
million people - about one quarter of Zimbabwe's population - have fled Mr
Mugabe's rule. About 1.1 million Zimbabweans live in Britain, according to
an official estimate from the Harare regime. Another 1.2 million have fled
to South Africa, while 100,000 have taken refuge in Australia. A further
million or so are scattered throughout the world.

Few other modern dictators have forced so much of their populations to flee.
Among recent comparisons are Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Afghanistan under the
Taliban, where both countries lost about a quarter of their people to an
exodus of refugees and economic migrants.

Last night Mr Matapo said he was considering legal action after rejecting
the BBC's claims. "Whatever the BBC is saying is absolutely false," he said.
"Most of our people here - what they come for is traditional help. We offer
traditional assistance.

"I cannot just let this go. I am telling them to come along and prove beyond
reasonable doubt. If I am guilty, I must go to jail. Whatever they are
saying is not correct. I am prepared to challenge this in court."

The BBC claimed that it had documentary proof and hours of secretly recorded
conversations with Mr Matapo.
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'Mugabe's madness forces us out of Harare'    Basildon Peta
          June 20 2004 at 11:12AM

      The South African Police Service had to call in reinforcements to
protect the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono, and
disperse hundreds of irate Zimbabweans who broke up a meeting called by Gono
at Gallagher Estate in Midrand on Saturday night.

      Gono is in South Africa as part of his world-wide roadshow to persuade
Zimbabweans abroad to repatriate their income to relatives back home through
the central bank and avoid the black market.

      He had planned to address thousands of Zimbabweans resident in South
Africa at Gallagher Estate to raise awareness of the new official foreign
currency repatriation channel, called Homelink.

      The facility, one of a cocktail of measures designed to eliminate the
black market for foreign currency, encourages Zimbabweans to send their
money back home through the central bank at a favourable exchange rate.

            'It's because of Mugabe's madness that I am here'
      But Gono did not get the opportunity to explain the facility.

      The central bank governor and his team had to abort their mission and
leave the conference hall with the assistance of a police escort as irate
Zimbabweans disrupted the proceedings.

      They sang and chanted slogans urging Gono to go home, saying they did
not want to bankroll the Zimbabwe government after Mugabe had driven them
into exile.

      "I want to be home, I don't want to be in South Africa. It's because
of Mugabe's madness that I am here," said Joshua Rusere.

      "And to add salt to injury, he sends his messenger to ask me to send
my money to bankroll his regime when its policies drove me into exile!"

      Pandemonium started soon after the packed conference hall was called
to order and Simon Khaya Moyo, Zimbabwe's high commissioner to South Africa,
was asked to make a few introductory remarks outlining Gono's mission.

      In what looked like a carefully pre-arranged ambush,
Johannesburg-based supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) rose up and burst into song, denouncing Moyo as "the
representative of Robert Mugabe, the oppressor and the devil".

      They were followed by dozens of other MDC supporters who had taken
seats around tables in the conference hall. The entire hall then burst into
song and dance.

      Placards denouncing Mugabe, which had been surreptitiously smuggled
into the conference hall, were produced and waved around as a hapless Khaya
Moyo tried to read his speech.

      Khaya Moyo was then pelted with everything from Homelink t-shirts and
caps that had been distributed before the event to salt and pepper shakers
and cutlery that had been arranged for Gono's after-speech dinner.

      Gono himself took to the podium and tried to calm his countrymen, but
to no avail.

      "Go back home, go back home," the protesters shouted at him.

      At one stage Gono retorted: "Yes I am going home tomorrow, you have
made your point, but can you listen to me now."

      The few police officials present to oversee the event were outnumbered
as Gono's countrymen approached the podium.

      Soon reinforcements arrived and started dispersing the Zimbabweans
both inside and outside the conference hall.

      Gono's officials had hoped the police would calm the rowdy scene and
allow the function to go ahead.

      However, there was no possibility that the proceedings could be
resumed as the protesters noisily continued their action, forcing Khaya Moyo
and Gono finally to abort the mission.

      No comment could be obtained from the men as they were whisked away to
safety. Police Captain De Bruin blamed organisers of the event for the
chaos, saying they had failed to arrange appropriate security. - Independent
Foreign Service

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Zim backtracks on land
20/06/2004 15:50  - (SA)

Harare - President Robert Mugabe's government said it would honour ownership
rights to land bought on the property market, backtracking on previous
announcements it would nationalise all farmland, a state newspaper reported
on Sunday.

Citing a letter by foreign ministry official Joe Bimha to Zimbabwe embassies
abroad, the Sunday Mail reported that the government would be nationalising
only the land it had seized under its land reform programme.

"The correct position is that all land acquired under the current phase of
the land reform programme now reposes to the state," Bimha was quoted as

The report clarifies a June 8 statement by Land Reform Minister John Nkomo
that title deeds to all productive land were being abolished and replaced
with 99-year state-issued leases.

Nkomo's statement raised fears of massive new seizures of farms, industrial
holdings, private properties and even homes.

"In the end, there shall be no such thing as private land," Nkomo had said.

Confiscated farms

But Bimha said only land seized by the state, including more than 5 000
farms confiscated from former white owners for redistribution to new black
farmers, was being nationalised.

"With respect to land falling outside this category, the applicable
constitutional provisions (of ownership) remain valid," he was quoted as

The often violent land seizures, combined with erratic rains, have crippled
the country's agriculture-based economy and sparked political clashes.

Zimbabwe, once a regional breadbasket, now suffers acute shortages of food,
hard currency, fuel and other imports. United Nations crop forecasters
predict the country will produce only half its food needs this year.

Mugabe argues redistribution is needed to redress British colonial
injustices, when much of the best farmland was settled by whites.

About 200 000 black families have been allocated land under the government
programme, most for small-scale farming. Scores of others have bought
commercial farms.

Critics of the redistribution programme say much of the best farmland has
been allocated to Mugabe's supporters and is currently under-utilised or
lying fallow.

Production on many other farms has dropped sharply as new owners lack
financial resources, seed, fertilizer, fuel and farm machinery.
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New York Times

The Best of Times, and the Worst, for Two Tourist Towns

Published: June 21, 2004

ICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe - With a name like that, one would think this town
would have no trouble attracting tourists.

After all, Victoria Falls, the town, is cheek-by-jowl with Victoria Falls,
the waterfall - a jaw-dropping, heart-stopping torrent one mile wide and 300
feet high, its constant roar audible for a mile or more, its towering cloud
of spray visible from the farthest horizon. Mere words do not do justice to
Victoria Falls. One must see it to appreciate it.

Where better to start to see the waterfall than Victoria Falls, the town?

Until lately, the answer was "nowhere." In the contest for falls-hungry
tourists, Victoria Falls towered over its only rival, Livingstone, just
across the broad Zambezi River in Zambia. Lively Vic Falls embraced everyone
from backpackers to jet-setters; bungee-jumpers to golfers. Livingstone,
disheveled and sedentary, had some historic cachet: it is named after the
explorer David Livingstone, the first European to see the falls. But for
tourists, it was an afterthought.

Then Zimbabwe imploded. And the tables turned.

Suddenly, prosaic Livingstone is hot, jamming visitors into new four-star
hotels and river's-edge lodges, bursting with upscale craft and souvenir
shops, clubs and casinos.

Victoria Falls is not. "There's just no one coming here," a disconsolate
businessman said, a conclusion quickly borne out by even a brief stroll
through the deserted shopping district.

Since early 2000, when squatters began occupying that nation's white-owned
farms in what would become a wholesale seizure of commercial farmland,
tourism in Zimbabwe has hit the skids. Things grew worse in 2002, after
President Robert G. Mugabe was re-elected in balloting marred by widespread
violence. It deepened further last year, as inflation roared past 600
percent and fuel shortages became pervasive.

In truth, Zimbabwe's violence and repression have largely passed by Victoria
Falls. The region is so solidly in the camp of Mr. Mugabe's political
opponents - and such an important source of scarce hard currency - that the
government has avoided measures seen in other opposition centers, such as
the invasions of pro-government youth militia, which might scare tourists

But Zimbabwe's reputation has grown increasingly ugly, especially among
tourists from members of the Commonwealth nations, mostly former British
possessions. Mr. Mugabe quit the Commonwealth in December after it refused
to lift its suspension of Zimbabwe in protest of the nation's human rights

One hotelier in Victoria Falls, who refused to be named for fear of
retaliation, said that tourist traffic from Europe and the United States has
been little affected by Zimbabwe's turmoil, but that visits from
commonwealth nations have all but dried up. Some tour agencies in some
commonwealth nations have removed Zimbabwe from their lists, one South
African agent said, and replaced it with package trips to Zambia.

During a recent visit to the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, Mike Carter, a
New Zealand appraiser on holiday with his family, emerged raincoat-clad from
the falls' drenching mist and said, "We never considered coming to Victoria
Falls," the town. "We wouldn't bother going 'til they sort things out."

Zimbabwe's loss has indisputably been Zambia's gain. Livingstone's hotel
occupancy has jumped since 2000, to 50 percent from an average of 36
percent, despite a brace of new hotels. During a recent stop, a check of
three hotels and campgrounds produced only one available spot in each.

The South African air carrier Nationwide has increased its flights since
2001 to 10 weekly, from 3, and the demand has surged since British Airways
started three-day-a-week service from Johannesburg in March. Along the
town's main street, Mosi-o-Tunya Road, rows of stucco buildings that
recently housed laborers have been converted to chic shops.

At Kubo Crafts, one of the road's larger shops, business has jumped by 60
percent in three years, said Bhavna Parbhoo, a saleswoman at the store.

The contrast with Victoria Falls could hardly be more stark. Zimbabwe
businessmen say average hotel occupancy runs between 20 and 30 percent, and
some of the bigger four-and five-star resorts have severely pared their
staff to keep from closing. The world-famous grand dame of local hostelries,
the Victoria Falls Hotel, marked its centennial in June with hallways of
empty rooms despite a determined effort to lure celebrants with a
100th-birthday package.

The plight of merchants is, if anything, bleaker. Souvenir shops on the main
street to Victoria Falls sometimes pass the entire day without ringing up a
single sale, one vendor said. Some wholesalers and street vendors have given
up and moved their operations to Zambia, prompting a government minister to
denounce them as unpatriotic in a recent meeting with the town's beleaguered

"Vic Falls used to be such a buzzing, booming little village, it was
frightening,'' said Gail McMurray, a sales consultant for the South African
tour firm UTC, who added that most of her clients now go to Zambia instead
of Zimbabwe. "It used to be that you couldn't get a hotel or anything
without booking way ahead. It's not half as busy as it used to be."

That could change, of course: longtime residents remember that Vic Falls
prospered most in the 1970's, when Zambia's ill-advised economic policies
drove that nation and its Livingstone tourism business close to ruin.

Mr. Mugabe is trying to help, too: the government said recently that it
would train Zimbabweans in Mandarin Chinese and Chinese cooking in an
attempt to fill the European tourism drought with a flood of visitors from
China and Southeast Asia.

In the meantime, merchants and hotel operators might take a tip from a
Zimbabwe tourism Web site,, and try to turn their
bitter plight into tourism lemonade.

Zimbabwe's national parks "are completely safe to visit, as they are far
from the cities where the instability exists," the site says. "Game lodges
are desperate for occupants, so prices are extremely competitive.

"And low lodge occupancy means you'll have thousands of hectares of pristine
game country virtually all to yourself."
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The Herald

Refugees opt for Zim

By Alfred Chagonda
ZIMBABWE now hosts more than 10 000 refugees, mostly from troubled central
and east African countries.

In an interview, the Director of Social Services, Mr Sydney Mhishi, said the
country was now looking after 10 282 refugees, almost all from Africa
although there were about 80 from Near East countries like Afghanistan and

By end of the week, another 14 asylum-seekers were awaiting vetting at the
Waterfalls Transit Centre in Harare.

Zimbabwe's prolonged years of peace, tranquillity and stability, coupled
with a good human rights record since independence in 1980, has seen the
country attracting the refugees.

Mr Mhishi said while asylum-seekers go to all countries in the region, those
that came here said they preferred Zimbabwe because it was a peaceful

Mr Mhishi said the refugees in the country come from Rwanda, Ethiopia, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo, Bangladesh, Sudan, Sierra Leone,
Burundi, Liberia, Congo Brazzaville, Angola, Bosnia, Cameroon, Tanzania,
Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Armenia, Kenya, Eritrea, Pakistan and Mauritius.

"Asylum-seekers go to all countries in the region. Those who come here say
Zimbabwe is a peaceful country,'' said Mr Mhishi.

He said Zimbabwe, being a signatory to the Geneva Convention, adheres to the
international law on refugees in all aspects of reception, screening and

Responding to Press reports that thousands of Rwandan refugees were
resisting repatriation, Mr Mhishi said the voluntary repatriation of Rwandan
refugees goes through various laid-down stages.

The first stage was the signing of a tripartite agreement between the
Government of Zimbabwe, Rwanda and the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees in Kigali on December 9, 2003.

"We are currently in the second stage, that of information dissemination to
all Rwandan refugees in Zimbabwe. This will be followed by a visit by
Rwandan officials to Zimbabwe, hopefully at the end of June 2004, to explain
the situation in their country," said Mr Mhishi.

He said a registration exercise would then be conducted for those who want
to voluntarily return to Rwanda.

"At that stage, it will be assessed if there is resistance or not," he said.

World Refugee Day is marked on June 20 every year. In Zimbabwe, it will be
commemorated on June 24 at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge District.

The UNHCR says the number of refugees worldwide was estimated to be about
9,7 million, the lowest level in at least a decade.

The UNHCR defines refugees as people who have fled their home countries to
seek shelter in another country.

It said Afghans remain the largest single nationality seeking asylum with an
estimated 2,1 million people looking for refugee status in 74 countries,
followed by Sudan, where a total of 112 000 people fled the country last
year alone, and then Burundi. All the three countries have been experiencing
civil wars.

Pakistan tops the list of countries for asylum, with 1,1 million people
seeking refuge there.

Next on the list are Iran, Germany, Tanzania and the United States, which
has 452 000 asylum-seekers.
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New Zimbabwe

Zanu PF at war over Mugabe successor

By Bonny Schoonakker
Last updated: 06/21/2004 01:08:10

The trading of insults among leading political figures in Zimbabwe belies
the serious battle for the presidency, writes Bonny Schoonakker
THE following outburst may sound petulant but its pique reveals something of
the intellectual quality of the in-fighting among contenders to succeed
Robert Mugabe, 80, as president of Zimbabwe. "I have widely consulted with
many real men of higher offices," said Ugandan David Nyekorach-Matsanga,
following an ill-fated stint in Harare as a personal spin doctor to the
president, "and I have been advised not to react impulsively to the
statements of gay rants." Students of Harare's palace intrigues interpret
this as meaning that Mugabe himself ("real men of higher offices") has
advised his hagiographer not to take too personally defamatory remarks made
by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, dubbed the "Rasputin of Zimbabwe" in
the local press. Nyekorach-Matsanga - who fell from favour after arranging
Mugabe's damaging interview with Britain's Sky TV last month - was furious
after the Herald news paper highlighted the fact that he was a former PR
consultant to the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), the Ugandan insurgents
notorious for abducting, raping, murdering and conscripting schoolchildren.
"If Moyo has any material left in his ugly gay face he should know that [the
LRA] was proscribed as a terrorist organisation in 2003, four years after my
quitting," he wrote in a statement sent to the Herald but never published by
it. "I am convinced from what I have gathered within Zanu PF that Moyo is
heading a traitor [sic] clique of ambitious and overzealous individuals who
want to put a total blackout on Zimbabwe from the international world in
order to acquire power."
Nyekorach-Matsanga (author of a book entitled Why I Support Mugabe ) was
outed as an LRA tout by Herald columnist "Nathaniel Manheru" (officially
Pikirai Deketeke, the newspaper's editor, as he testified in court on
Monday, but widely believed to be Moyo himself). "Manheru" chose to
embarrass London-based Nyekorach-Matsanga in vengeance for using his
connections at Sky TV, which made Mugabe look old, tired and ill-informed
about his own country, someone long overdue for retirement. After the
interview, Moyo went into action against those responsible, using his usual
weapons of defamation and insult. But instead of gratitude for his devotion
to Mugabe, he was rewarded with public allegations of homosexuality as
Zimbabwe's newspapers this week circulated Nyekorach-Matsanga's response -
with the approval of "real men of higher offices". Gay or not, Moyo should
count himself lucky to have got off lightly in the backstabbing and
in-fighting among the candidates for Comrade Bob's job. Other pretenders and
their allies, including businessmen who have used their cash to dabble in
politics, have paid more severe penalties.

Foremost among these is businessman Mutumwa Mawere. Acting on information
received from Zimbabwe, SA police may have done the enemies of Zanu-PF
politburo member Emmerson Mnangagwa, the front-runner for Mugabe's job, a
favour by arresting Mawere, a director of 22 companies in South Africa, last
month. He was released on R50 000 bail after a weekend in a Randburg,
Johannesburg police cell. This arrest is seen as the work of a group of
power-brokers centred on retired General Solomon Mujuru, several of whom
have ambitions to take over from Mugabe. According to Harare-based political
commentators, this group includes Sydney Sekeramayi, Dumiso Dabengwa,
retired Air Marshal Josiah Tungamirai and General Constantine Chiwenga, the
current head of the Zimbabwe Defence Force. Mnangagwa is a member of the
Zanu PF politburo and Speaker of Parliament and is regarded as a tough man
worthy of the nickname "Ngwenya" (Crocodile) within Zanu PF's inner circles.
But more importantly, as the Financial Gazette reported on Thursday,
Mnangagwa "is key to Zanu PF's complex and secretive investments". As such,
he would be held accountable for any wrongdoing by Mawere, whose companies,
according to the news paper, were mostly financed with Zanu PF money.

However, a five-member committee investigating Mnangagwa's role in Mawere's
SA operations had "failed to come up with anything that constitutes a
crime", the Financial Gazette reported. Significantly, this committee
included Mujuru, considered to be Zanu PF's kingmaker because of the loyalty
he retains in the armed forces. Among the Mujuru clique's preferred
successors is Zanu PF chairman John Nkomo. Within the party, he comes second
to Vice-President Joseph Msika, whose presidential aspirations were made
more realistic by the death last year of his co-Vice-President, Simon
Muzenda. Nkomo, however, has similar chances of succession as Mnangagwa, the
two front-runners as things stand now. Others who have landed in jail or
been arrested for doing no less than their colleagues in the Zimbabwean
elite have done for decades include Jane Mutasa, a businesswoman held for
forex fraud, among other charges. If she is found guilty of dealing on the
parallel market she should be joined in jail by Gideon Gono, now the
governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. He did parallel-market deals when
he was chief executive of Jewel Bank, Zimbabwe's second-largest commercial
bank. He too could face arrest but for the fact that he gave himself amnesty
soon after taking the helm at the Reserve Bank. Others whose arrest on
corruption charges could be politically motivated include James Makamba, the
chairman of the cellphone network Telecel Zimbabwe. If anything, Makamba's
rumoured friendship with first lady Grace Mugabe has deepened his troubles
rather than alleviated them.

James Mushori, the fugitive director of the failed NMB Bank, also has
powerful political connections, but his flight to London in March has
exposed the limit s of the influence wielded by his uncle, General Mujuru.
The tricky nature of being a presidential candidate is further illustrated
by the fate of Eddison Zvobgo, who for years was considered the heir
apparent. Ill-health, however, has reduced his chances, along with the
ethnically influenced marginalisation of his constituency in the Masvingo
area. Simon Khaya Moyo, now Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa, was also
once a presidential candidate "because of his brilliance as a minister" and
his connection to late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo. Khaya Moyo was to Nkomo
what Mnangagwa is to Mugabe - a close lieutenant, but since Nkomo's death in
1999 his star has waned, according to a political commentator in Harare. The
ethnic connection can also be decisive. Another political commentator in
Harare (a journalist who once served Zanla during the liberation war),
regards Sydney Sekeramayi, a Swedish-trained doctor, as having the best
chance to succeed Mugabe because he is a Zezuru, as is Mugabe. The Zezuru
are the most influential of the four ethnic groups - along with the Karanga,
Manyika and Korekore - that make up the loosely defined Shona nation, in
turn the overwhelming majority in Zimbabwe. The distinctions are not rigid,
with members of one group accepted as members of another, particularly
Mujuru, who was born to the Korekore (one of the least influential of the
Shona nations) but is now considered a member of the Zezuru. At least partly
due to his Zezuru background, Sekeramayi has held some of the most important
positions in Zimbabwe's power structures since independence, including
serving as head of the Central Intelligence Organisation when he was
Minister of State Security.

John Nkomo, who comes from Zimbabwe's Ndebele minority, which makes up only
15% of the population, however, exposes the limitations of ethnic politics.
His political ascendancy, as the second most senior politician in Zimbabwe,
has introduced a new phrase, "an Ndebele Shona", a variation of a term now
often used in state media to describe those who have been assimilated into
the Zanu PF hierarchy from Zapu/Ndebele backgrounds. Among them is the
loudest of Mugabe's loyalists, Jonathan Moyo, who began to find himself
isolated in battles before this week's one. Early signs of damage to his
cause became apparent after his run-in with Vice-President Msika last month.
Msika opposed the acquisition of a highly productive horticultural farm in
Manicaland province to which Agricultural Minister Joseph Made had taken a
liking. Moyo, however, managed to prevail in his belief that the farm would
be taken over by a parastatal, "come sunshine or rain". This led to a
warning from Msika that "little immoral boys" - probably another public
reference to Moyo's alleged homosexuality - should best be careful about
their political ambitions. The spat over the farm spilt over into The Voice,
the Zanu PF party publication, with John Nkomo accusing someone fitting
Moyo's description of "indiscipline and insubordination".

Instead of taking the hint, the Herald gave war veteran leader Joseph
Chinotimba space in which to accuse Nkomo of obstructing the redistribution
of confiscated farmland. Merely inky words on newsprint, the spat
nevertheless drew the kingmaker into the fray. Though unable to help his
absconding nephew, Mujuru stands between the post-Mugabe presidency and the
ambitions of any successor, thanks to the loyalty he retains among the
country's military elite. At a politburo meeting this month, Mujuru warned
"undisciplined cadres" that respecting one's elders was the party way. Moyo
should have felt isolated then, particularly as Mugabe issued a statement
soon afterwards saying that MPs who were "unprocedur ally nominated" would
not be allowed to contest next year's general election. But this week there
he was again, the indefatigable Jonathan Moyo, taking up cudgels on behalf
of Mugabe in the fallout over the Sky TV interview. Perhaps Moyo knows that
the old man knows that he was right, after all, about the Ugandan's silly
proposal to appear on Sky TV.

With additional reporting and insight from the Sunday Times Foreign Desk and
Torevei Charumbira in Harare

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   Zvakwana builds up steam
      by STAFF EDITORS (6/20/2004)

 A clever and daring under-ground movement has sprung up in Zimbabwe that is
stoking public opinion against Robert Mugabe's government.

Zvakwana -- which means 'enough' in the Shona language -- has launched a
bold campaign expressed through graffiti, e-mails and condoms to encourage
the Zimbabwean people to rise up.

The clandestine campaign is building up steam just as the progress of
Zimbabwe's opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, has stalled
under the burden of torture of its leaders and state violence against its

A black Z on a bright yellow handprint is appearing mysteriously on the
walls of bus stations, on busy streets and over billboards across Harare and
other cities. Thousands of 'revolutionary condoms' have been distributed,
emblazoned with the letter Z and the double-entendre message 'Get up! Stand

Matchboxes stuffed with resistance messages are left in public places to be
picked up by unsuspecting citizens. Thousands of Zimbabweans are led to the
Zvakwana website.

Zvakwana has compiled a CD of resistance songs featuring Bob Marley, Hugh
Masekela, Thomas Mapfumo and many Zimbabwean musicians, which it has managed
to distribute across Zimbabwe. The messages are often humorous, but the
Mugabe government is taking Zvakwana seriously. Now a team of senior
investigators from the Law and Order section, notorious for torturing scores
of opposition politicians and civic leaders, has been assigned to track down
the activists. The unit has in the past few weeks raided the offices of the
MDC and other civic groups and has arrested and interrogated opposition
politicians, civic leaders, journalists and musicians.

'We are not linked to Zvakwana,' said MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi.
'But to the extent that the group fights for political change, democracy and
human rights, we share the same values and we support its efforts. Police
have raided our offices hunting for Zvakwana because they believe any group
that advocates change and democracy is linked to the MDC.'

A police spokesperson said: 'These people have been spreading material and
literature aimed at inciting members of the public to lawlessness.'
Zimbabweans report irate police making house-to-house searches for tell-tale
yellow paint or piles of matchboxes. 'They kept asking me, "Who is Zvakwana?
Who is Zvakwana?"' said one Harare resident who was arrested and later

Speaking to The Observer through the anonymity of the internet, Zvakwana
responded: 'It is no surprise that they are hunting for us. This is because
we are living under a dictatorship. If we were living under a democracy,
then the government in power would allow voices of dissent. It is clear that
Zanu-PF wants to suffocate any glimmer of hope or resistance. Hope is
considered most dangerous by tyrannies.'

There is plenty to protest about. Inflation has hovered at 600% for most of
the year; unemployment is at 70%. Last week, the government closed the
Tribune newspaper, the third to be shut down in less than a year. The
Zvakwana spokesperson said: 'The current situation in Zimbabwe is bringing
up the right conditions for revolution.'

Zvakwana carried out one of its trademark 'non-violent civic actions' in
Harare just before Zimbabwe's Independence Day events on 18 April. Activists
spray-painted lampposts and the large pipes next to the main Tongogara
Avenue, used by Mugabe's 27-vehicle motorcade when he travels to the
National Sports Stadium, and 'Get UP Stand UP' appeared on stadium
turnstiles and walls. 'There was so much graffiti,' crows the group, 'the
regime couldn't repaint it before Mugabe's trip, so he had to take a
different route.'

The group also claims to distribute videotapes of a BBC documentary exposing
the government's militia camps, where youths are trained in torture
techniques to be used against Mugabe's opponents.

Zvakwana's main methods of communication have been the internet and e-mail.
It sends out regular newsletters about events in Zimbabwe. In addition to
encouraging anti-government slogans, its website offers 'activist tips',
such as: 'Organise yourself in pairs. Keep an eye out for your partner at
all times. Make sure that you know their personal details and who to contact
in the event that they are hurt or arrested.' It also advises on how to cope
with tear gas: 'Stay calm and focused ... When your body heats up (from
running or panicking, for example), irritation may increase.'

Its success in using the anonymity of the internet to spread its message has
made its website one of the most popular in Zimbabwe. The government's
frustration with Zvakwana has resulted in draconian action to force all
internet service providers to censor all email correspondence.

'We are encouraging Zimbabweans to make that shift from lives drenched in
fear to a future where we can all live more positively and with dignity,'
said the group. 'Zvakwana is asking Zimbabweans to stop waiting, and to Get

Source: Mail&Guardian
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Financial Mail

      18 June 2004

      Zimbabwe & the Net


      By Vincent Kahiya

      The Internet poses an insurmountable threat to authoritarian rule. And
Zimbabwe, now in totalitarian mode, has not disguised its intentions to
control information spawned by the electronic and print media.

      Since initiating the "land reform" programme, President Robert
Mugabe's government has gone on a propaganda drive to sell the move as the
best thing that has happened in Africa, and Mugabe as an icon of black

      The mantras have, however, been countered by an active free press and,
increasingly, by cybertechnology, which has managed to capture the story of
Zimbabwe and disseminate it throughout the world. The best way to deal with
this, government believes, is to control that key communication resource.
But this could turn out to be futile .

      China, which has over the past five years seen exponential growth in
the use of the Internet, has taken a proactive approach to control: its
government has become dominant in developing the medium, which it puts to
good use.

      But Zimbabwe has failed to get a grip on the Internet as a tool of
governance and control. The official government web page,, is
dysfunctional, while Zanu-PF's website,, is not up to

      Media legislation since 2000 has been designed to control the
apparatus of dissemination and quality of information. The state has also
tried to pry into all forms of private mail through the Post &
Telecommunication Services Act. The provision in the act that enabled
government to force Internet service providers (ISPs) to divulge details of
private mail was declared unconstitutional by the s upreme c ourt in March.

      There has recently been another attempt to control e-mail through the
state-owned telephony company, which is seeking to amend its agreement with
ISPs to make them reveal the source of material deemed to be politically
offensive. The ISPs have resisted the move.

      Experts believe government's attempts are bound to fail because the
state does not have the capacity to pry into e-mail. IT experts have said
domain names, and are the only ones that government
can interfere with. They say all e-mails with foreign domains such as .net,
.com, and cannot be accessed because the e-mail servers are
either in Johannesburg, Los Angeles, New York or London and are owned by big
corporations such as Microsoft' s Yahoo or Hotmail.
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Sunday Times (SA)

Service remembers Zimbabwe torture victims

Monday June 21, 2004 07:22 - (SA)

A prayer service for victims of torture in Zimbabwe is to held in Bulawayo
and the United Kingdom simultaneously on June 26, Amnesty International said
in a statement received in Johannesburg on Sunday.
The service would take place at St Mary's Cathedral in Bulawayo and St
Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, in London.

Both services would focus on the plight of youth and children.

Zimbabweans tortured by their government would be among the speakers.

"We ask all denominations throughout Zimbabwe and the world, to pray for
Zimbabwe and for all those other nations throughout the world which suffer
similar oppression," the statement said.

Other organisation that were involved in organising the service were the
Zimbabwe Association and the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.

The service in London would be followed by an informal procession to
Zimbabwe House where flowers and tributes would be laid in support of
torture victims and in memory of those who had died.

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Taipei Times

Destination countries expel Zimbabwean refugees

Monday, Jun 21, 2004,Page 7
Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans who have left their
economically-ravaged homeland for neighboring countries either legally or
illegally are not seeking refugee status but only a means to earn a

The migration is huge and the exact numbers are hard to ascertain, but
according to official figures in Harare, more than 3 million Zimbabweans
live overseas.

Meanwhile, illegal Zimbabwean immigrants are expelled from South Africa,
Botswana or Mozambique every day, countries where they had gone to seek a
chance to feed themselves and their families.

Many return only to be re-expelled.

Zimbabwe, led by President Robert Mugabe since its 1980 independence from
Britain, is facing the worst crisis in its history.

It has in recent years been in the throes of political, economic and social
instability with sky-high inflation, recurring food shortages and an
unemployment rate of nearly 70 percent.

South Africa, Zimbabwe's southern neighbor and the economic powerhouse of
the continent, has since the end of apartheid in 1994 attracted immigrants
in hordes, including people from its northern neighbor.

Last year, 55,000 Zimbabweans living illegally in South Africa were expelled
to their country.

"Those people who claim asylum among all the Zimbabweans that come into the
country are a small minority. Most of the people say they have come to make
some money to go back to feed their family," said Melita Sunjic from the UN
High Commissioner for Refugees.

Refugee status is hard to obtain.

Uptil September last year, only nine Zimbabweans had been granted refugee
status. There have been a total of about 1,500 applications seeking asylum
and these are being examined.

Similarly, in Mozambique, the number of Zimbabweans with refugee status is
close to zero.

According to some observers, the low numbers of those seeking asylum or
refugee status could be linked to the perception that many of the
neighboring countries would be unwilling to grant Zimbabweans refugee status
as it might be construed as their disapproval of Mugabe's authoritarian

"The South African government has been unwilling to consider [Zimbabwe] as
presenting the conditions that would warrant refugee status being granted to
its nationals," Graeme Gotz and Loren Landau said in a study published
Thursday on Forced Migrants in the New Johannesburg.

"Nationals from Zimbabwe have, therefore, almost always been regarded as
economic migrants and ineligible for asylum, even when they have been
victims of systematic rape, torture and economic deprivation," they said.

The economic migrations have sparked tensions in countries such as
impoverished and sparsely-populated Botswana, where according to estimates
some 125,000 Zimbabweans have been arriving every month to escape economic
problems at home.

They have been blamed by authorities for an upswing in crime.

Zimbabwe in May condemned the "barbaric" use of corporal punishment by
Botswana against Zimbabweans caught on the wrong side of the law following
reports that Zimbabweans are harassed, flogged or attacked.

But Harare, knowing that it can do little to stem the tide of nationals
leaving the country, has tried to put the situation to its advantage,
overtly asking "economic migrants" to send money to their families through
the official channel.

Zimbabwe sorely lacks foreign currency reserves and there is a huge gap
between the official and black market exchange rates.
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Business Report

      Zimbabwe forecasts an end to six-year recession in 2006
      June 21, 2004

      By Godfrey Mutizwa

      Johannesburg - Zimbabwe's central bank governor, Gideon Gono, who has
slashed inflation by a quarter since coming to office in November, forecast
the country's six-year recession would end in 2006 as falling interest rates
boosted corporate investment.

      The economy would contract about 4.5 percent this year, compared with
13.2 percent last year, Gono said last week, and hoped to slow annual
inflation to near single digits next year, from 449 percent last month.

      Gono has slowed inflation from a record 623 percent in January by
raising interest rates and halting the six-year slide in the Zimbabwean
dollar. He aims to return the country to growth by offering concessionary
interest rates of 30 percent to companies for investment, while consumers
pay 120 percent at present.

      "We have managed to find a working formula," Gono said.

      Gono allowed the overnight interbank lending rate to jump as high as
900 percent in December from 50 percent when he took over, crimping spending
and slowing inflation.

      But Standard Bank economist Robert Bunyi said: "Achieving single-digit
inflation could damage the economy because it would be too restrictive too

      The economy had shrunk by 30 percent in five years, according to the
International Monetary Fund, after President Robert Mugabe intervened in the
Democratic Republic of Congo war and seized farms for redistribution.

      Farm production has slumped, leaving as many as 6 million Zimbabweans
at times dependent on food aid.

      The Economist magazine described Zimbabwe's as the world's
fastest-declining economy.

      "We are hoping to wipe out this negative growth in 2005 with positive
growth starting in 2006," Gono said.

      On the land issue, Gono said the bank was focusing its efforts on
getting the new black farmers to use the farms productively.

      "What has happened, has happened. We would like to adopt a
forward-looking posture, which begins to address issues of productivity."

      Gono abolished the fixed exchange rate system, replacing it with
twice-weekly currency auctions, ending the black market. The currency
currently trades at 5 346.17 to the US dollar, after reaching a record 10
000 on the black market last year.

      Rising commodity prices and increased remittances from about 3.4
million Zimbabweans working abroad have helped halt the slide in the local

      Foreign exchange inflows in the first three months reached $383
million (R2.484 billion), more than the $333 million realised in the whole
of last year, Gono said.

      "We recognise the infancy of our turnaround. But we believe that where
we demonstrate consistency in policy implementation ... there is always
capital that will come our way."

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