THE Urban Councilsı
Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) has recommended that local government
elections scheduled for August be postponed to next year because there is no
money to administer the polls, it was learnt yesterday.
According to the Urban Councilsı Act, elections for local authorities are
supposed to take place after every four years. But at its annual conference,
held in Victoria Falls last week, UCAZ recommended that the polls be
Officials who attended the meeting said some mayors and
councillors were lobbying for the rescheduling of the elections, saying most
councils were broke and could not afford to administer the
It was not possible to establish yesterday from Local
Government Minister Ignatius Chombo how the government would respond to the
A secretary in Chomboıs office said the
minister was not in the office yesterday and could not be reached for
comment. Calls to Chomboıs mobile phone were being diverted to a landline in
Chitungwiza Executive Mayor Misheck Shoko told The
Daily News that UCAZ had resolved that unless the government funded the
administration of the local government elections, the polls should be
postponed to next year.
He said after a heated debate over the
issue, the matter was put to a vote and about 56 mayors and councillors voted
in support of delaying the polls, while 14 opposed the resolution. There were
He said: ³It was felt that local authorities did
not have the money to run the elections unless the government could assist.
People voted overwhelmingly to suspend the elections. But some of us felt
that the decision did not lie with us.²
president of UCAZ, Gwanda Executive Mayor Rido Mpofu, yesterday said
officials who attended last weekıs meeting in Victoria Falls had indicated
that local authorities did not have enough money on their budgets to
administer the polls.
He said: ³It was not a resolution as such but
representations were made that local authorities were to meet the cost of
running the elections. But what was budgeted or is inadequate to run the
³We do not have the money. If we get the money, the
elections will go ahead. If we can get some loans from the government, the
elections will go on. We are not against the holding of
Some opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
councillors who attended last weekıs meeting yesterday claimed that most of
those lobbying for the postponement of the August elections were ruling ZANU
PF officials, who they said felt that holding the polls this year would
jeopardise their partyıs chances of victory.
councillors are presently from ZANU PF and their terms of office expire in
In Chitungwiza, Shokoıs council is made up of ZANU PF
councillors whose terms expire in August and the same applies to Masvingo,
where the executive mayor, Alois Chaimiti of the MDC, has been operating with
a ZANU PF council for the past two years.
In Kwekwe, Mutare and
Gweru, elections for both the mayor and councillors are due in
The ruling party has lost much of its support in Zimbabweıs
urban areas, which have become a stronghold of the labour-backed MDC.
The opposition party won most of the urban seats in the 2000
parliamentary elections and has also won several urban mayoral polls in the
past three years.
Bulawayo city councillor Charles Mpofu said:
³They are trying to use delaying tactics so that they stay as councillors for
as long as possible.²
David Coltart, the MDC secretary for legal
affairs, yesterday said it was not up to councillors to decide to extend
their terms of office.
Coltart said: ³In terms of the Urban
Councilsı Act, it is mandatory that local elections be held after every four
years. There is no discretion given to the minister or existing councillors
to vote to extend their term of office.
³If ZANU PF seeks to
amend the Act to enable it to extend the term of office, that will establish
an appalling precedent for democracy in general and send a signal to the
people that it is scared of running elections because it fears to
However, Coltart said in terms of section 103 (k) of the
Urban Councilsı Act, the minister can postpone elections for one year in
order to enable proper administration of the process, which includes
preparation of votersı rolls.
The UCAZ meeting also recommended
the merger of the Urban Councilsı Act and the Rural Councilsı Act into one
piece of legislation that would administer all local
³It was felt that Chombo should facilitate the merging
of the two acts, but some of us objected to that because it means that cities
like Harare and Bulawayo will have equal voting powers during meetings
with institutions like Mutoko Rural District Council.
It is not
acceptable,ıı said a councillor who attended the Victoria Falls
HOSPITAL doctors in Bulawayo yesterday went on an indefinite strike and
others around the country are expected to join the industrial action today to
protest against a new salary structure announced by the government two weeks
The doctors' strike comes amid reports that some teachers
around the country went on a go-slow last week, saying that a regrading
exercise undertaken by the Public Service Commission (PSC) last year had
elevated them to the same level as other civil servants but did not meet
their monetary expectations.
Representatives of the doctors -
who according to labour laws are not allowed to strike because they provide
an essential service - said the regrading exercise, which resulted in the
introduction of the new salary structure, was flawed.
demanded an immediate review of salaries for medical personnel.
Under the new structure introduced after the regrading exercise, the lowest
paid doctor will earn $167 000 a month, far below the $2 million demanded by
representatives of the doctors.
Bulawayo Hospitals Doctors'
Association (BHDA) chairman Elias Phiri said: "We held a brief meeting early
today (yesterday) and we resolved to resort to job action to press the
government to recognise us as professionals who deserve better. Doctors are
now equated with non-professionals and we feel this is not reasonable. We
feel that we are being overworked and underpaid."
This is the
second time in six months that doctors have gone on strike to press for
In January, they embarked on an industrial action
to demand a review of their salaries.
Association (HDA) president Phebion Manyanga said efforts to engage both the
Health and Child Welfare Ministry and the PSC in talks over the matter had
failed, resulting in doctors deciding to strike.
He told The Daily
News: "We have been negotiating since 16 May and our patience has run dry.
There seems to be a lack of seriousness on the part of government. Doctors
are bitter because what they got is not what they expected.
example, the lowest paid doctor will be earning $167 000 and that is
ridiculous. Doctors in Harare are meeting tomorrow (today) to endorse
the strike, which will start immediately."
He said other members
of the HDA around the country were also expected to join the industrial
The HDA represents about 300 doctors on whom
Zimbabweĵs embattled public health sector relies.
There was no
comment on the doctors' strike from Health and Child Welfare Minister David
Parirenyatwa, who was said to be attending meetings yesterday.
Meanwhile, several teachers interviewed by The Daily News yesterday said they
had embarked on a spontaneous go-slow last week because they were unhappy
about the new salaries announced by the government.
Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe confirmed
yesterday that teachers in some parts of the country had gone on a go-slow
after the announcement of the new salaries.
"Teachers feel betrayed
by the government and they have decided to take matters into their own hands.
You might choose to call it a go-slow but the truth is that teachers are not
teaching. What the government is offering teachers can best be described as a
big joke," he said.
A teacher from Bocha in Mutare added: "We are
not teaching. There is general disgruntlement and people are not teaching. We
are spending the whole day sitting and chatting in the staff
Some students in Harare said most of their teachers were
not conducting lessons.
A snap survey carried out by The Daily
News in Mutare, Bulawayo and some parts of Harare showed that lessons were
In Mutare, students spent the better part of yesterday
milling around the city centre, claiming that their teachers were not
conducting regular lessons. It was, however, business as usual at
several Mutare schools.
Zimbabwe Teachers' Association chief
executive Peter Mabhande said his association was not aware of the
"I am not aware that there are teachers who are on a
go-slow. We were in Kariba last week to discuss this issue of the new
salaries," he said.
Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere could not
be reached for comment yesterday.
Under the new salary
structure, teachers will now earn at least $138 000 a month.
teachers' unions had demanded a minimum salary of $268 000
Commentators said the doctors' strike and the
teachers' go-slow could be disastrous for the country's public health and
Zimbabwe's public health sector has already been
hit hard by the mass exodus of doctors and nurses, who have left the country
in the past three years in search of better pay and working conditions abroad
and in neighbouring countries.
The impact of serious staff
shortages has been worsened by deteriorating health facilities and the lack
of drugs and other materials, partly the result of a declining health budget,
inflation and a severe foreign currency crunch.
public educational sector has also been affected by staff shortages and a
decline in government funding, which analysts say is jeopardising the
country's once high educational standards.
A go-slow, coming after
a nationwide strike over pay in May, could also jeopardise this year's public
examinations, commentators said.
OPPOSITION Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Harare
North Member of Parliament Trudy Stevenson yesterday made an urgent
application in the High Court to bar the police from disrupting a
constituency meeting scheduled for this evening.
application follows a letter written on 17 June by the police in reply to her
request to have a meeting at Mount Pleasant Hall, which the law enforcement
agents said they would not sanction.
Under the controversial Public
Order and Security Act (POSA), organisations planning to hold public meetings
must first seek permission from the police.
According to the
letter sent to Stevenson, signed by a Chief Superintendent Matutu of the
Harare Suburban district, it is not convenient to the police for the proposed
meeting to be held in the evening.
Matutu said in the letter: "I
write to advise that I can only approve your meeting if you reschedule the
times since I feel I should have policemen to cover this event. It is not
convenient for us to provide security for political meetings held at night.
May I be appraised of new developments regarding the proposed
This evening's meeting was supposed to be addressed by
MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, Isaac Matongo, the party's national
chairman, Nelson Chamisa, the national youth chairman and Morgan Femai, the
Harare provincial chairman.
In her affidavit, Stevenson said she
had in the past held report-back meetings in her constituency without any
incident and there were no reasonable grounds to stop her from holding
today's proposed meeting.
"I do not need the officer commanding's
approval, not even under the notorious Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
It is accordingly lawful for our planned meeting to proceed without the
consent that he is withholding, but I am concerned that the police may then
unlawfully and violently interrupt and disperse the gathering because they
appear to be under some misapprehension as to the law," Stevenson
Several meetings have in the past been violently disrupted by
the police because the organisers had not sought permission as required by
POSA. Armed riot police last week broke up a school debate meeting in
Bulawayo because no permission had been sought from them before the event
School children gathered at the meeting were supposed
to discuss HIV/AIDS and the role of the youth in combating the
In her court papers, Stevenson said in the absence of any
indication of any outside threats, Matutu's reasons for prohibiting the
holding of this evening's meeting appeared to be to allow the police to
monitor and probably record what was said at the meeting or to search for
evidence of some alleged crime to allow more arrests of government
Several people have been arrested for allegedly holding
meetings in violation of the repressive POSA.
most people in her constituency were not available during the day and it was
therefore necessary to hold meetings during the evening.
THE treason trial of
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai and two senior
party officials was yesterday postponed to this morning because one of the
High Court assessors was said to be attending a funeral.
President Justice Paddington Garwe adjourned the high-profile trial last
Friday after discharging Central Intelligence Organisation director-general
Happyton Bonyongwe from the witness stand. The trial was scheduled to resume
yesterday with Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Perence Shiri giving
Tsvangirai, MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube and
Renson Gasela, the opposition party's shadow minister of agriculture,
allegedly hired a Canadian-based political consultancy firm to assist them in
assassinating President Robert Mugabe in the run-up to last year's
presidential poll and overthrow his government.
company is headed by principal prosecution witness
MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) legislator for
Chimanimani Roy Bennet this week claimed that ruling ZANU PF provincial
leaders in Manicaland were making fresh attempts to seize his farm in the
Bennet said two senior ruling party officials, names
supplied, in Manicaland were spearheading the moves against his property,
known as Charleswood Farm.
Bennet told The Daily News yesterday
that the ruling party officials were mobilising ZANU PF supporters within the
Chimanimani constituency against him and had indicated that the farm now
belonged to them.
He said the two had sent advance teams to the
The opposition party legislator alleged that the two
officials wanted to split the property between them, with one taking over
Mawenche Lodge, which is situated at the farm, and the other occupying the
"I have very reliable information that these two
guys will be moving in on my farm any time," Bennet said.
added: "They are already moving around campaigning against me and announcing
that the farm now belongs to them. They have also been sending advance teams
to the farm, who have been telling my workers that these guys now owned the
He said a group of 10 war veterans, ZANU PF supporters and
suspected members of the Central Intelligence Organisation visited the farm
on Saturday and fired shots in the air before arresting six
They also announced that the farm no longer belonged to
Bennet, the MP said.
The farm has already been occupied by
several settlers, who have barred Bennet from visiting the
Contacted for comment on the alleged fresh moves on
Charleswood, ZANU PF Manicaland provincial secretary for administration
Munacho Mutezo, who has been linked to Bennet's farm, said the government was
responsible for ta king over the property.
He however would not
"I have no response because I am not the land
authority. The government is the land authority and is responsible for taking
over the farm," he said.
Asked whether he was interested in the
farm, Mutezo said: "Look, the issue is not about whether I am interested or
not. The issue lies with the authority that allocates land in
"Bennet should confront the government if he has problems
with whoever would have been allocated land at his farm. So I don't see why I
should respond to that question."
It was not possible to secure
comment on the matter from the Ministry of Agriculture.
rally held in Nyanga two weeks ago, President Robert Mugabe challenged the
Manicaland provincial leadership to take over Bennet's property even though
it has export processing zone status and does not qualify for compulsory
MDC Manicaland provincial spokesman Pishayi Muchauraya
said it was worrying that Mugabe was promoting fresh farm
"We are worried and concerned that a head of state is
agitating for people to grab farms and property belonging to a Member of
Parliament. It seems that Mugabe is setting the tone for a violent take-over
of MP Bennetĵs property and that is unfortunate," said
Soon after Mugabeĵs remarks in Nyanga, several ZANU PF
supporters invaded a farm leased by Bennet in Ruwa, where they allegedly
But Bennet yesterday said the move by ZANU PF
provincial leaders to take over his Chimanimani property was mooted before
Mugabe's visit to the province.
"The plan was already in place
before Mugabe's utterances. My informants tell me that when Mugabe asked why
the party was not performing well in Manicaland, the provincial leadership
told him that I was their biggest challenge in the province and that the MDC
would die if they took away my farm," he told The Daily News.
"They did this to get Mugabe's blessings to grab the farm. And now they have
been going around in Nyanyadzi, Rusitu and Chipinge to mobilise people
against me," he added.
Bennet has constantly clashed with ruling
ZANU PF supporters and the government over his property since he won the
Chimanimani parliamentary seat in the 2000 general elections.
of Movement for Democratic Change economic adviser Eddie Cross, convicted
under the Insolvency Act for failing to attend meetings with his creditors,
was yesterday further postponed to today.
Garikayi Churu postponed the matter because the magistrate who presided over
the matter, Stanley Ncube, was not present. Ncube's whereabouts were not
given in court.
Churu assured Cross that Ncube would definitely
deal with all his matters this week. Anthony Brooks, Cross' lawyer, had
expressed dismay at the continued postponement of his client's sentencing.
"Ncube has been instructed to deal with all his matters this week, so we
expect him to arrive today. I want to assure you that Ncube is definitely
coming because there was direct correspondence with him,"Churu
Cross was convicted in January last year. He was supposed to
have been sentenced on 18 January last year, but the sentencing has been
postponed several times. Cross was declared insolvent in June 1997 after
failing to repay $5.7 million he owed mostly to banks. He initially faced a
second count of failing to submit financial statements for August to December
2000 to his estate's trustees, but this was dropped.
ZVISHAVANE - A major disease outbreak is looming in the
Midlands town of Zvishavane, where residents have gone for eight days without
Zvishavane town secretary Alfonce Munyaradzi
Chimombe attributed the water shortage to a major breakdown at the town's
main pump station. He said the pump station, which is located about 20
kilometres outside the town near Dadaya Mission, broke down last
"Our system has malfunctioned since Sunday last week and
the situation has been worsened by the fact that some of the equipment has
outlived its lifespan," said Chimombe.
He said some schools in
the town had been forced to suspend classes while hospitals and clinics drew
water from bowsers provided by the council and surrounding
Some residents said they had resorted to fetching water from
nearby streams and unprotected wells.
"It is a major breakdown
but we are trying all we can to bring back normal supplies into the
At present, we are operating at half capacity and some
residents in low-lying areas have already started receiving little quantities
of water," said Chimombe.
Zvishavane has an estimated population
of about 50 000 people. The residents have threatened to boycott paying rates
until normal supplies have been restored.
"We have endured this
problem for years with no permanent solution in sight, so I think the best is
for us to boycott paying rates to force the authorities to urgently address
the matter," said Peter Hakutangwi, a resident of Makwasha suburbs. Mary
Mugabe, a resident of Mandava suburb added: "Diarrhoea is likely to break out
in these conditions."
Chimombe said the town had failed to
refurbish its water reticulation system, built in 1979, because of cashflow
"We applied for borrowing powers to the government last
year to enable us to raise enough money for the project, but got no response.
We knew we were going to encounter that problem and that is why we had made a
provision of $104 million in our last yearĵs budget. But that is too little,"
years of refusing to act on Zimbabweıs deepening political and economic
crisis, the South African government is increasingly showing where its
loyalties lie: with the Harare government.
At almost every
international forum where the crisis is debated and solutions to it are
sought, it is none other than Pretoria which always comes forward to blunt
international pressure for tough action to be taken against a rogue
government that has rightly become a pariah in the world.
Africaıs Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana once again at the weekend
highlighted his governmentıs position that runs counter to demands for
democracy by Zimbabweans when he sought to block a mission to check
on Harareıs human and labour rights by the International Labour
While we accept that it is South Africaıs right to
chart a foreign policy of its choice, it is unacceptable that Pretoria
should, on one hand, refuse to act against naked and widening injustices
while, on the other hand, it also undermines every effort by others who want
to end the madness.
Time and again, the Zimbabwe government has
shown that it cares little about diplomacy, often going against promises that
it gives to leaders of neighbouring countries that it is working to end the
Examples of these U-turns have been amply demonstrated by
the governmentıs firm refusal to purge from the statute books undemocratic
and unconstitutional sections of its two foremost draconian laws, the Access
to Information and the Protection of Privacy Act and the Public Order
and Security Act, despite promising regional leaders that this would be
The effect of this has been that regional leaders, perhaps
believing that Harare is righting its wrongs, keep urging the international
community to act with restraint on Zimbabwe, when the government itself is
unmoved even an inch in its determination to crush any voice of dissent and
thus hang onto power against the wishes of Zimbabweans.
African President Thabo Mbeki, who should by now know that President Robert
Mugabe remains as defiant as ever in pursuing his destructive policies, has
even gone to the extent of evoking useless and unenforceable rules of his pet
project, the New Partnership for Africaıs Development (NEPAD), to try to head
off growing international pressure against Harare.
Zimbabweıs continuing crisis dramatised once more by the violent crushing of
opposition protests by the government which even called up its illegal youth
brigades to act against innocent citizens for two weeks underlines NEPADıs
uselessness, or the refusal of the planıs authors and implementors to act
against their own simply because of African solidarity.
wants to be taken seriously by anyone on NEPAD, he must begin to show
resolute and impartial action in resolving a long-festering problem right on
his doorstep, or simply let those who have the wherewithal to get on top of
an intolerable situation that is worsening by the hour.
cannot tolerate and will certainly not forget a situation where a head of
state of a democratic neighbouring country should be the one who becomes the
chief stumbling block in ending their long suffering purely because that head
of state is worried about the domino effect of opposition-led political
change in Zimbabwe on his own country.
We say this because it is
common knowledge that Mbeki, facing growing opposition on a range of policies
from his labour and communist allies in the umbrella African National
Congress (ANC), is worried that labour-led political change could yet take
place in South Africa because of the ANCıs failure to deliver on its election
Mbeki must decide and do so soon because of palpably
increasing public anger in Zimbabwe over his so-called quiet diplomacy on
Harare whether he is for or against the struggle for democracy by the people
In any struggle against tyranny and dictatorship,
there should never be fence-sitters, and Mbeki would do well to decide where
he belongs. The choice on what to do next is his and his alone. We just hope
that he will make the right choice, otherwise history will judge him
Our children deserve the truth about
6/24/2003 9:35:20 AM (GMT +2)
Tanonoka Joseph Whande
The sequence was natural: 15 June was
Fatherıs Day and then 16 June was the Day of the African Child. Obviously as
both an African child and a parent, I celebrated both as I thought about the
one person who forcibly dominates every minute of my life no, not my wife,
but the President of my country!
Tucked away and completely lost
at the very end of that infamous television interview with Supa Mandiwanzira,
President Mugabe told the nation that he and his wife never discuss politics
with their children.
But the President immediately added that a Mr
Chatunga B Mugabe ran to his daddy and told him that he hated Morgan
Tsvangirai because ³Tsvangirai wants to kill my dad². In just one innocent
outburst, the youngster regrettably managed to refer to hate and
I wonder where Mr Chatunga had heard it from. It surely
couldnıt have been from that preposterous figure at the centre of national
lies, Jonathan Moyo, could it? The youngster surely could not have heard it
on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporationıs Newshour!
let their children watch Newshour have a lot of explaining to do after the
bulletin as they pick out the discrepancies. If Chatunga heard this from his
mom and dad, that is bad. Very bad. If he heard it from someone else, like
other kids at school, even worse.
The President did not tell us
what he said to his son in response to this statement. But from the wide beam
and proprietary pride reflected on his face, I could tell he had missed an
opportunity to sit Junior on his knee to give pointers and talk to him
about the words ³hate² and ³sub judice².
Maybe Junior can claim
that it was a private conversation with his family and that it was Senior who
repeated the remarks on national TV.
Anyway, if the President does
not talk to his children about how he spends his day, then they and all
others are deprived. Their father is the first freely elected President of
Zimbabwe and he has held that post for 23 years (most of them unwarranted)
and this father does not want to talk to his children about it?
Why does he deny them his intellectual generosity?
inquisitive and always proud of their parents, especially ones who are in the
spotlight all the time. Joseph Kabila was inquisitive enough to enable
himself to sit in his fatherıs chair after someone decimated his dictator
Whoever said ³like father, like son² was a very cruel
sociologist. How do the President and his wife sidestep questions from their
children? And, if so, why?
Is it because they really do not have
anything to say about daddyıs emetic politics? What would the President say
to Chatunga if the youngster wanted to know what ³immunity² is and why daddy
wants it so badly?
Would the President be honest enough about it
and start explaining to the young man right from the beginning? How does
Grace Mugabe explain to daughter Bona the revolting amounts of cash spent on
inhabitable houses and extravagant shopping every time mom crosses the
border? She canıt really tell her, like she told us, that it is income from
her haberdashery efforts.
I feel sorry for the Mugabes because they
cannot afford to be honest with their children since the truth might be too
negative and depressing for the children. But again, they canıt afford to
tell them anything but the truth about daddyıs day at the
Just because the President is hardly honest with
Zimbabweans does not mean he would let his children memorise history and
events as espoused by Jonathan Moyo and ZANU PF. A father is the satisfying
end product of his childrenıs dialectic.
ZANU PF in general and
Jonathan Moyo in particular wanted to make so much out of Morgan Tsvangiraiıs
speech at Rufaro Stadium (³. . . we will remove you violently²). They have
their muzzles so deep in the feeding trough they canıt think of violence as
anything but physical.
Tsvangiraiıs statement was accurate except
for the timing. He should have said it much earlier or he could have said ³.
. . we are removing you violently,² because the psychological violence
against the President had been in motion since the rejection of the draft
The rejection took him by surprise and we are still
paying for that surprise. The mental pressure, most often being of a negative
nature, that is brought to bear on Mugabe, his wife and children is
And here we are not talking about the Mugabes alone.
We are talking about families of other presidents, film stars, international
figures, the rich and the famous, who all have this nightmarish experience to
the extent that some hire psychologists and psychiatrists to help them and
The Mugabe children mingle with other children.
Once in a while a rude or cruel remark will escape, maybe even an innocent
accusation will reach the childrenıs ears. They will definitely seek
clarification, encouragement or assurance from mom or dad.
President and his family hear people talk very unkindly about them almost on
a daily basis, both locally and internationally. The children see insulting
newspaper cartoons of their parents. How do they cope? How do they handle it,
if the parents do not impart enough information to them?
President referred to ³the rubbish Press² at Mombeshoraıs funeral, I was
convinced he was referring to The Herald, The Chronicle and The Sunday Mail.
You see, I cannot visualise Miss Bona Mugabe writing a scholarly research
paper quoting either The Herald or The Chronicle as a work of reference and
her dad, an alleged bookworm in his younger and less busy days, approving ³as
Dr Tafataona Mahoso exposed in his masterly piece on neo-colonialism in The
Sunday Mail of . . .².
No, I would not consider that scholarly,
would her dad?
And does our President quote Mahoso, Moyo or Mandaza
at times? Itıs a serious question.
I am sure the President and
his wife, like any other parents, spend time with their children, listening
to their concerns and advising them or answering their questions. It is a
very beautiful time that I myself enjoy with my children.
only thing is that it is also a dangerous time if it is not spent carefully.
Parents compete with their childrenıs schoolmates and friends. Schoolmates
have all day to convince our children while parents, unfortunately, can only
afford minutes or an hour daily. Children know more than their parents do and
the parents are always the last to know.
The heart of the matter is
that parents must talk to their children about whatever subject the children
bring up. Censorship triggers curiosity that is always difficult to control.
And how do we answer a child who asks: ³Why are you hiding this information
from me, dad?ı
If the President avoids talking politics with his
children when he has been nothing else but a professional politician since
before their mother was born, then he is depriving them of the generosity of
his knowledge and experience.
Isnıt this why his government
sanctions the child President and Parliament? We parents should not treat our
children like children. We should trust them with the responsibility of
handling the truth. Truth is not fragile; falsehoods are.
can only be feared by liars. l have therefore come to believe that the truth
protects children all the time. And l have heard, and these are not my own
words, that error and lies are boundless, just like hope
l have read that all of them are groundless and will
average out. So l can confidently say, in my own words, that the children
come first and no stones shall fly. Let them know what they want to know.
Talk is never cheap when one talks with children.
Joseph Whande is a Zvishavane-based writer.
HARARE magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe yesterday dismissed the refusal of remand
application made by Andrew Ndlovu, the former Zimbabwe National Liberation
War Veteransı Associationıs projects secretary, who is facing fraud charges
involving about $13 million.
Guvamombe said when he scrutinised the
Stateıs outline, he was convinced that there was reasonable suspicion that
Ndlovu committed the offence.
³The accused is alleged to have
written cheques to himself from the company, therefore there is no basis for
refusal of remand,² Guvamombe said.
David Drury, Ndlovuıs lawyer,
argued that it was not a judicial exercise to just put persons on remand and
that there were numerous factual errors and misrepresentations in the Sate
He said since allegations against his client were
inaccurate and false, there was no need for him to be placed on
The State led by Mehluli Tshuma opposed the application,
saying there was reasonable suspicion that Ndlovu had indeed swindled the
Tshuma said there was clear evidence linking Ndlovu to the
commission of the offence.
³There are bank cheques Ndlovu wrote
in his favour and he would then convert the money to his own use. It is
therefore unjustified to say there is no complainant since the company was
owned by many people.
³The state will prove its case against the
accused and issues to do with directorship and the formation of Sankorp
Investments will be dealt with during the trial,² Tshuma said.
The war veteransı leader, already serving a three-year jail term
for corruption, is accused of defrauding Sankorp Holdings (Private) Limited,
a firm owned and run by war veterans.
The state alleges that
Ndlovu sent cheque books to Sankorpıs provincial administrators in Harare,
Bulawayo and Mutare, instructing them to sign blank cheques that he would
He allegedly abused his position as
Sankorpıs managing director and converted $12 756 846.92 to his personal use
between 17 August 2001 and 7 June 2002. Ndlovu was remanded to 31 July.