The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
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      Bid to postpone elections

      6/24/2003 9:02:31 AM (GMT +2)

      Pedzisai Ruhanya

      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

      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 postponed.

      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 polls.

      It was not possible to establish yesterday from Local Government
Minister Ignatius Chombo how the government would respond to the UCAZ

      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 his office.

      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 eight abstentions.

      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

      The newly-elected 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 elections.

      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 elections.ıı

      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.

      Most urban councillors are presently from ZANU PF and their terms of
office expire in August.

      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 August.

      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

      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 lose.ıı

      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 authorities.

      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 meeting.

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Daily News

      Doctors down tools over new salaries

      6/24/2003 8:52:36 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      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 ago.

      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.

      They 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 better salaries.

      In January, they embarked on an industrial action to demand a review
of their salaries.

      Hospital Doctors' 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

      "For 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 action today.

      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

      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.

      Progressive 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 room."

      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 erratic.

      In Mutare, students spent the better part of yesterday milling around
the city centre, claiming that their teachers were not conducting regular
      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 go-slow.

      "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

      Under the new salary structure, teachers will now earn at least $138
000 a month.

      The teachers' unions had demanded a minimum salary of $268 000 per

      Commentators said the doctors' strike and the teachers' go-slow could
be disastrous for the country's public health and education systems.

      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.

      Zimbabwe's 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.
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Daily News

      MP seeks to stop police from disrupting meeting

      6/24/2003 8:53:23 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      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.

      Stevenson's 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 meeting."

      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

      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 said.

      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 went ahead.

      School children gathered at the meeting were supposed to discuss
HIV/AIDS and the role of the youth in combating the pandemic.

      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 critics.

      Several people have been arrested for allegedly holding meetings in
violation of the repressive POSA.

      Stevenson said most people in her constituency were not available
during the day and it was therefore necessary to hold meetings during the
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Daily News

      Treason trial postponed

      6/24/2003 8:54:39 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      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.

      Judge 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 evidence.

      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.

      The Canadian company is headed by principal prosecution witness Ari

      The three opposition leaders deny the charge.
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      Bennet's farm under fresh threats of seizure

      6/24/2003 8:57:11 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      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 constituency.

      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 farm.

      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 main farmhouse.

      "I have very reliable information that these two guys will be moving
in on my farm any time," Bennet said.

      He 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 farm."

      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 employees.

      They also announced that the farm no longer belonged to Bennet, the MP

      The farm has already been occupied by several settlers, who have
barred Bennet from visiting the property.

      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 comment further.

      "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 Zimbabwe.

      "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.

      During a 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 acquisition.

      MDC Manicaland provincial spokesman Pishayi Muchauraya said it was
worrying that Mugabe was promoting fresh farm invasions.

      "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 Muchauraya.

      Soon after Mugabeĵs remarks in Nyanga, several ZANU PF supporters
invaded a farm leased by Bennet in Ruwa, where they allegedly looted

      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

      "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.
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Daily News

      Cross' sentencing postponed

      6/24/2003 8:57:50 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      THE sentencing 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.

      Harare magistrate 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 said.

      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.
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      Diseases loom as Zvishavane runs out of water

      6/24/2003 8:58:26 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      ZVISHAVANE - A major disease outbreak is looming in the Midlands town
of Zvishavane, where residents have gone for eight days without running

      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 Sunday.

      "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 mines.

      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 town.

      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 problems.

      "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," he said.
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Leader Page

      Pretoria becomes chief stumbling block

      6/24/2003 9:34:30 AM (GMT +2)

      AFTER 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.

      South 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 Organisation.

      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 crisis.

      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 done.

      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.

      South 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.

      And yet 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.

      If Mbeki 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.

      Zimbabweans 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 promises.

      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 of Zimbabwe.

      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 accordingly.
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Leader Page

      Our children deserve the truth about their country

      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

      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 murder.

      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!

      Parents who 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?

      Children are 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 father.

      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 office.

      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 constitution.

      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 unavoidable.

      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 their

      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.

      The 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?

      When the 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.

      The 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

      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.

      Truth 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 and

      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.

      Tanonoka Joseph Whande is a Zvishavane-based writer.
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Daily News

      Ndlovu has case to answer: magistrate

      6/24/2003 9:42:14 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      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

      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 outline.

      He said since allegations against his client were inaccurate and
false, there was no need for him to be placed on remand.

      The State led by Mehluli Tshuma opposed the application, saying there
was reasonable suspicion that Ndlovu had indeed swindled the company.

      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 subsequently countersign.

      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.
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