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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index


            Mugabe heads to Libya for fuel talks
            June 25, 2003, 21:30

            Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe president and several government
officials left for Libya this afternoon, to hold discussions about the
supply of fuel to the country, state radio said.

            "Negotiations with Libyan authorities are expected to centre on
the provision of more fuel to Zimbabwe," the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (ZBC) reported.

            Libya supplied Zimbabwe with 70% of its fuel needs before the
supply line was cut after Zimbabwe failed to keep its side of a bargain to
supply Libya with sugar, tobacco and beef in
            return. Since then fuel of all types has been critically short.
However, this month, the government claimed that the fuel deal had been
resumed, and that Libya was going to continue supplying Zimbabwe with fuel
at the end of June.

            The radio said Mugabe was leading "a high-powered delegation" to
the north African country, and that he would hold talks with President
Muammar Gaddafi ahead of the African Union summit due to take place next

            Zimbabwe has been experiencing erratic fuel supplies for the
past three years due to a shortage of foreign currency needed to import it.
The situation has become worse in recent months, with most fuel stations
unable to serve the scarce commodity. The Zimbabwe government has come up
with restrictions to try and curb the sale of existing scarce supplies on
the black market at exorbitant rates.

            Yesterday it banned motorists from carrying fuel in containers,
and today it said public transporters would now have to obtain fuel using
coupons. - Reuters

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Government Introduces Fuel Coupons

The Herald (Harare)

June 25, 2003
Posted to the web June 25, 2003


GOVERNMENT has introduced coupons for commuter omnibus operators to curb the
trading of fuel on the black market, the Minister of Energy and Power
Development Cde Amos Midzi announced yesterday.

Some commuter omnibus crews were no longer servicing their routes preferring
to resell fuel which they bought at designated filling stations, to
motorists at exorbitant prices of up to $2 000 per litre.

Cde Midzi said the coupons would restrict operators to refuel once a day and
also get quantities enough for the business of the day.

Some commuter operators had virtually abandoned their core business of
carrying passengers and resorted to selling fuel.

The coupons would first be introduced in Harare and later to other urban
areas with filling stations designated for commuter omnibus operators.

Each book will carry serialised coupons enough to last a month.

Cde Midzi told a Press conference in Harare that since the facility of
designating filling stations was being abused, his ministry had decided to
introduce coupons as a way of reducing fuel leakages while it continued to
explore initiatives to improve the supplies.

"The fuel supply situation in the country has remained very critical.
Because of the gravity of the situation, my ministry has found it necessary
to take measures to manage the available fuel," he said.

Cde Midzi said fuel would be available daily at the designated filling

He said commuter operators in Harare had already started receiving coupons
and the system would be introduced in Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare shortly.

The facility would be restricted to genuine operators with roadworthy

To get coupons, operators would be required to produce an operator's
licence, route authority, certificate of fitness and vehicle registration

"As already pointed out, this facility is supposed to assist the commuting
public, and it is therefore their facility. I therefore call upon the public
to co-operate and make sure that their facility is not abused," he said.

Cde Midzi reiterated that it was unlawful to sell fuel without a requisite
licence and on unlicensed premises.

"The provision to allow Zimbabweans to bring fuel for own use from
neighbouring countries with the usual customs clearance remains in place,"
he said.

Cde Midzi said fuel supplies should improve at the end of this month
following a deal struck with Libya oil suppliers.

The agreement requires the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe Noczim to pay
US$5 million per month to Libyan oil suppliers.

After the first installment, Noczim will make monthly payments of US$10
million with half of the amount going towards servicing a debt for fuel
already supplied.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Comment from ZWNEWS, 25 June

Mugabe in reckless mood may risk a new rigged election

By Michael Hartnack

Signs are that Zimbabwe may be headed for a parliamentary election within
the next few months, creating serious dilemmas for opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai and for South African President Thabo Mbeki. An election would
also present Robert Mugabe with grave problems, but in his present
devil-may-care mood he may not grasp the risks of calling a third
consecutive national ballot. Mbeki has made unguarded remarks about Mugabe’s
possible retirement before the end of his term in 2008, and Mugabe has been
warning supporters at rallies to prepare now for polling for the 120 elected
seats. He nominates a further 30. A parliamentary general election is not
due until mid-2005, but Mugabe has the legal right to call one at any time
before then. The attraction of a snap election for Mugabe and his Zanu PF
party would be the chance of getting Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change down below the threshold of 50 of the 150 parliamentary seats, at
which it is currently able to veto constitutional change. If the level of
rigging and naked intimidation at the June 2000 general election and
subsequent by-elections, and at the March 2002 presidential election is
anything to go by, this reduction seems to be eminently feasible -
superficially. Mugabe may also feel an increase in Zanu PF seats would
silence claims he lacks a moral mandate to govern. Principally, Zanu PF
wants constitutional amendments so if 79-year-old Mugabe dies, resigns or is
incapacitated, it does not have to hold a fresh presidential election within
90 days, but may appoint a successor to complete his six-year term.

The first point worth noting is that Mugabe has a subtly different agenda
from his politburo and party. He has kept himself in power for the last 23
years by dangling carrots of patronage. Refilling his store of patronage and
destroying civil society were the twin motives for seizing 5 000 white-owned
farms. If the constitution is amended, he will be able to dangle the
juiciest carrot of all - the succession. Given half a chance, he will behave
like some will-wagging Victorian dowager pretending to favour first one
child then another. The independently-owned Daily News last week reported
that Parliamentary Speaker Emmerson Mnanagagwa - a former head of the secret
police and justice minister - is in line to take over within a year, with
Mugabe's approval. It would be wise to regard both this time scale and the
suggested heir with great scepticism. Mnangagwa comes from the southern
Karanga section of the Shona people. Their feuds with northern clans go back
long before the arrival of the whites. It would be in keeping with past
tactics for Mnangagwa to be strung along until he has steered the amendment
through Parliament, then dumped. At one time, Mugabe’s favourite seemed to
be Sydney Sekeramayi - now, significantly, Minister of Defence - who is
linked to a powerful faction including former army commander Solomon Mujuru.
Sekeramayi has with brutal thoroughness turned his Marondera home area into
a virtual one-party state.

If they are allowed any say, party rank and file will eschew an autocrat for
an apparently amenable personality whose weakness might guarantee consensus
politics. Another faction of reckless ultra-sycophants who know they are
expendable want Mugabe to cling at any cost. Mugabe himself believes that
while he has health and strength, he has complete power to control - or
suspend - the selection process. However, a general election would set all
these factions at each others' throats. All the speculation about Mugabe’s
choice of successor underlines that he and Zanu PF probably do not grasp the
scale on which the MDC might mobilise the nation on one single, simple,
overriding issue: selection of the next president not being left as an
internal Zanu PF matter. The MDC may tell voters their one chance of
escaping 25 years of Mnangagwa, Sekeramayi, or worse, is to cast their
ballots against Zanu PF. Passions might be roused to such an extent that the
election result becomes unriggable. If polling takes place amid another
epidemic of intimidation and blatant fraud, Mbeki's election dilemma will be
whether or not lamely to recognise the result as "a legitimate reflection of
opinion", as he did the March 2002 vote for Mugabe. Every travesty of
democratic norms in Zimbabwe embarrasses Mbeki more and more with the
international community. Another chaotic election will remind bankers and
finance ministers that South Africa has what they see as a satellite state,
which according to the World Economic Forum meeting in Durban last week is
one of the worst examples of misgovernance.

The MDC’s dilemma would be whether to fight with their funds depleted, their
leaders locked up and harassed by the security police, or to boycott the
whole sordid business. Some MDC members strongly advise a boycott, declaring
that the certain loss of life and waste of money cannot be justified while
the police, the youth militia, the ex-guerilla "war veterans" and
Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede continue inventing and breaking the rules
with complete impunity. Others in the MDC tell me they have evolved
strategies which, they believe, would enable to party to make a good showing
regardless of dirty tactics. They feel that, whatever happens, Mugabe and
his heirs must not be able by default to turn the country into a
self-perpetuating dictatorship. They want to show the world there is a voice
of protest trying to be heard, even if the voice is strangled into a scream.
Mugabe appears in utterly reckless mood and indifferent to the perils of
holding an election. The detention of Tsvangirai, on flimsy new charges, and
the stage-managing on June 13 of four hangings in the prison complex where
he was being held indicate a regime that is immune to reason. MDC justice
spokesman David Coltart believes the hangings were a calculated show of
brute force to warn Tsvangirai what may happen to him if the state can
contrive to have him convicted on either of the treason charges he now
faces. However things turn out – and we are entering a time of dangerous
instability – Mugabe will conceive a general election as a crafty delaying
tactic, a rear-guard action.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Comment from The Daily Nation (Kenya), 25 June

Everything's in short supply but hope

By Wilf Mbaga

At the beginning of this year, I would queue for three hours to get fuel. A
few months ago, I often had to leave my car in the queue overnight. Last
week, my car was in the queue for five days – and I never got a drop. Like
most Zimbabweans, I am now grounded, unable to move further than I can walk,
ride a bicycle or find a rickety, overloaded, dangerous commuter omnibus to
carry me. And those are few and far between – the majority of them having
been parked in fruitless fuel queues since the beginning of May when
Zimbabwe ran out of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel. This is just one more
nail in the coffin of life as we used to know it in this beautiful, once
prosperous and promising bread-basket of Africa. Annual inflation is
currently estimated by economists at 450 per cent, although the official
figure is 270 per cent. any salaries have remained static, while most have
not increased more than 60-70 per cent at the most. What does that mean at a
personal level? The quality of life has deteriorated considerably, leading
to a mass exodus of literally millions of Zimbabweans. Whoever has been able
to wangle a visa or slip past the authorities in many countries, mainly
Britain and South Africa, has gone – most in tears, reluctant to leave the
land of their birth but compelled by economic realities and survival
instincts. For me, still living in Zimbabwe, it means petrol was Z$74 a
litre last year. The pump price is now Z$450. But it is unavailable. So the
black market flourishes and petrol goes for around Z$2,000 a litre – if you
are lucky. It means that a loaf of bread, which last year cost Z$60, now
costs Z$550 – and I have to wait in an unruly queue for several hours to get
it. A kilogramme of beef was Z$200 before Christmas, 2002. It now costs
Z$3,000 a kilogramme. Our staple diet, maize meal, is also unobtainable in
the shops. On the black market street corners, a 10kg bag that used to cost
around Z$100 now sells for Z$3,000.

The list of shortages is endless. It includes water, electricity, matches,
soap, flour, sugar, margarine, cooking oil, bread, drugs, transport, spare
parts, skilled personnel, coal, political tolerance, etc. Although this list
comprises daily essentials, two of the most alarming recent additions are
seeds and cash. The seed shortage, occasioned by the haphazard and chaotic
land reform programme, is ominous for the future. If we don’t have seeds to
plant today, what shall we eat tomorrow? The last few weeks have seen an
unprecedented shortage of cash. Long queues snake their way out of banks and
building societies as people queue for hours to withdraw the limited cash
available, which is now rationed to between Z$5,000 and Z$30,000. depending
on the institution. Last week, the Central Bank announced a plan to start
printing Z$1,000 bills. But, with the shortage of foreign currency to import
the paper and ink, it will cost them as much if not more to source the raw
materials as the notes will be worth when they come into circulation. How
has Zimbabwe, with its sophisticated infrastructure, educated population,
rich natural resources and good soils, ended up as a basketcase in so short
a time? For starters, there has been economic mismanagement, serious
corruption and lack of political will to legislate for an open economy.
Politically – plain bad government is to blame. President Robert Mugabe’s
2002 election victory has been widely challenged as fraudulent. Dr Mugabe
has aged and is widely believed to have run out of ideas about how to fix
the problems. He uses draconian legislation and his still loyal police and
army to bludgeon the people into line and keep a lid on any discontent. A
fortnight ago, 2,000 women praying peacefully in the centre of Harare were
accosted by baton-wielding police and beaten mercilessly. Police brutality
and State-sponsored violence have increased since 2001.

So there is a shortage of everything in Zimbabwe – including solutions to
our problems. The only things increasing in supply are unemployment,
inflation, arrests of human rights activists, journalists and lawyers,
wild-cat strikes and heightened political frustration and discontent. In the
economic meltdown, shortages of electricity, water and coal, many industries
have been forced to close down or operate a short week, putting more hungry,
and angry, people onto the streets. But ironies abound. Supermarket shelves,
instead of being laden with local, affordable produce, as they always used
to be, are now stocked with imported luxury substitutes, such as powdered
milk and tinned cream, Australian butter and French perfumes – way beyond
the reach of any ordinary Zimbabwean. With the foreign currency to procure
these items being obtained on the black market at around Z$2,500 - Z$3,000 a
US dollar, the prices in Zimbabwe dollars inevitably have many zeros. I
certainly have never been able to purchase these goods. Zimbabweans,
however, are a resilient bunch and the current problems, although of tragic
proportions, have given rise to a certain "graveside" sense of humour. There
is the one about a guy who goes shopping with a wheelbarrow full of Zimbabwe
dollars. On the way to the shop, he is mugged – the muggers overturn the
barrow, tip out the cash and make off with the wheelbarrow! Or the one about
the fellow who used to go shopping with a wallet in his pocket and would
come out pushing a trolley full of goods. Now he has to take a trolley full
of money and can fit the few groceries into his pocket! However, Zimbabwe’s
increasing problems are no laughing matter. As the saying goes, "The darkest
hour is before dawn." And the one thing in plentiful supply in Zimbabwe is

Mr Mbaga is a veteran Zimbabwean journalist
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Star (SA), 25 June

SA spurns Powell's plea to do more to end Zim crisis

By Basildon Peta

South Africa will maintain its policies on Zimbabwe despite a strong appeal
by US Secretary of State Colin Powell for President Thabo Mbeki's government
to play a "stronger and more sustained role" to achieve change in Zimbabwe.
Writing in The New York Times yesterday, Powell said South Africa should
play a stronger and more sustained role that fully reflected the urgency of
the crisis in Zimbabwe and help to achieve change in that country. He also
likened opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who spent two weeks in jail
recently, to Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who has spent her
life fighting the military junta in Myanmar. But Department of Foreign
Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said the final solution to the
Zimbabwean crisis lay in the hands of Zimbabwe's people themselves. He added
there was no need for South Africa to change its policy of quiet diplomacy.
"There are well-known, ongoing efforts by South Africa and regional leaders
to help the people of Zimbabwe. Those will continue, but in the end the
solution to the problems there lies with the Zimbabwean people themselves,"
said Mamoepa. But Powell made it clear in his article that he wanted to see
more African pressure applied on President Robert Mugabe. Declaring that
Mugabe's time had "come and gone", Powell said American and European efforts
to help achieve change in Zimbabwe would not succeed until South Africa and
other African countries applied more pressure on Mugabe. "If leaders on the
(African) continent do not do more to convince President Mugabe to respect
the rule of law and enter into a dialogue with the political opposition, he
and his cronies will drag Zimbabwe down until there is nothing left to
ruin," said Powell. He said Mugabe's government was illegitimate and he had
no authority to rule after rigging last year's election.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

From The Scotsman (UK), 25 June

Powell attack on 'tyranny' of Mugabe

Two weeks ahead of President George Bush’s first visit to Africa, the US
Secretary of State, Colin Powell, yesterday unleashed a blistering public
broadside against Robert Mugabe. Mr Powell, writing in the opinion pages of
the influential New York Times, condemned the "violent misrule" of Zimbabwe’
s president and pledged to back the "brave men and women" resisting his
"tyranny". He urged Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF party and neighbouring South
Africa to bring Mr Mugabe to the negotiating table and ease the transition
to a new government. In the wake of the Iraq war, where Mr Powell was often
at odds with the hawkish policies of the American Right, he appeared to be
reasserting his own agenda yesterday. Mr Bush is to visit South Africa for
the first time in early July, also stopping in Senegal, Botswana, Uganda and
Nigeria. Ahead of that trip, Mr Powell - as the first black US Secretary of
State - used a highly public forum to put Zimbabwe squarely at the top of
the agenda.

It was not the first time Mr Powell had criticised Mr Mugabe’s government.
Washington has followed Britain’s lead with visa restrictions barring travel
to the United States by members of Mr Mugabe’s inner circle. In recent days,
the state-run Herald newspaper has run a series of leaders criticising the
US. It said "lies" to justify aggression in Iraq were on the same footing as
"lies" about Zimbabwe. Mr Powell described how Zimbabwe’s agricultural
sector collapsed after Mr Mugabe confiscated commercial farms, "supposedly
for the benefits of poor blacks". "But his cynical ‘land reform’ has chiefly
benefited idle party hacks and stalwarts, not landless peasants," Mr Powell
wrote. As a result, Zimbabwe’s most productive land has been occupied by
Zanu loyalists, military officers, "or their wives and friends". Mr Powell’s
verdict - that the entire Zimbabwean economy is near collapse, the victim of
"reckless governmental mismanagement and unchecked corruption", with
unemployment of 70 per cent and an inflation rate of 300 per cent - will not
come as news to Zimbabweans. For weeks, most petrol stations have lacked
supplies. Queues of rusting cars sit abandoned outside garages. Yesterday,
the Mugabe government announced that anyone found carrying jerrycans of
petrol would be arrested. The measure was justified "to curb the selling of
the commodity on the thriving black market". Zimbabwean car owners with
enough cash buy containers of fuel on the black market whenever they can,
typically for about four times the official pump price. Last year, the
government banned foreign exchange bureaux in a bid to stifle the currency
black market. Rates for scarce foreign currency have since nearly doubled.
This month, carrying large quantities of cash also appears to have become a

The Bush administration - particularly in the wake of the 11 September
attacks - had opted to repeat the Clinton administration’s hands-off
attitude to Zimbabwe. But Mr Powell seemed to signal growing impatience with
South Africa’s long reluctance to put serious pressure on the Zimbabwean
government. Mr Bush, on the heels of approving a multi-billion AIDS funding
package aimed partly at Africa, now seems likely to take that message to the
South African president, Thabo Mbeki. South Africa and other African
countries "can and should play a stronger and more sustained role that fully
reflects the urgency of Zimbabwe’s crisis", Mr Powell said. "If leaders on
the continent do not do more to convince President Mugabe to respect the
rule of law and enter into a dialogue with the political opposition, he and
his cronies will drag Zimbabwe down until there is nothing left to ruin, and
Zimbabwe’s implosion will continue to threaten the stability and prosperity
of the region." He firmly threw his weight behind the leader of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, whom he
compared to the Nobel prize-winning Burmese dissident, Aung San Suu Kyi.
Rescuing the people of Zimbabwe, Mr Powell said, was "a worthy and urgent
goal for us all".
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Zimbabwe witness says Tsvangirai tape not doctored

By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE, June 25 — A state witness in the trial of Zimbabwean opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on Wednesday he had found no evidence that a
videotape in which Tsvangirai allegedly plots President Robert Mugabe's
assassination had been tampered with.
       Tsvangirai and two senior members of his Movement for Democratic
Change could face the death penalty if convicted of the treason charges,
which they all deny.
       The state's case against the three rests mainly on a videotape of a
meeting in Montreal between Tsvangirai and Canadian-based political
consultant Ari Ben-Menashe during which the state alleges that Mugabe's
''elimination'' was discussed.
       The defence says the videotape was doctored to discredit the MDC, but
Edward Chinhoyi, a technical expert at state broadcaster ZBC, said he had
found no evidence of interference when police called him in to examine the
       ''On the number of times that I watched the video I did not see any
evidence of any break in the recording and in my opinion the picture flow
was continuous,'' Chinhoyi told High Court judge Paddington Garwe. ''I did
not see any time when there was a jump in the clock time (on the video)
which would mean that it had been broken by editing,'' he added.
       The defence team will have the opportunity to cross-examine Chinhoyi,
and is likely to call its own technical experts.
       Ben-Menashe, challenged as an unreliable witness by the defence,
denies entrapping Tsvanirai but admits he taped the meeting solely to obtain
evidence for the government -- with which he consequently signed a political
lobby contract.
       Tsvangirai is currently on bail and faces a second treason charge
that he tried to instigate the overthrow of Mugabe's government through mass
protests staged by the MDC this month.
       The MDC leader has mounted a court challenge to Mugabe's victory in a
2002 presidential poll which the opposition and Western governments
condemned as fraudulent.
       Zimbabwe has chronic shortages of fuel and foreign exchange, one of
the highest rates of inflation in the world and a food crisis affecting half
of its population.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Yahoo news

Zimbabwe heads toward second famine crisis
      Wed Jun 25, 1:12 PM ET

By ANGUS SHAW, Associated Press Writer

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Almost half of all Zimbabweans will need food aid at
least until next year's harvest in April to avoid starvation, the United
Nations  food relief agency said Wednesday.

Crop assessments by the World Food Program and the U.N. Food and Agriculture

U.N. officials said the dire forecasts raised concerns about whether the
country's crumbling economy could pay for vital imports even if renewed
international humanitarian aid shouldered much of the burden.

Zimbabwe will need to import an estimated 1.27 million metric tons of
cereals — corn, the staple, and wheat — to feed 5.5 million people, or 47
percent of the population.

WFP Country Director Kevin Farrell said shortages of hard currency in
Zimbabwe already have led to food, fuel and transportation shortages, record
inflation and unemployment, and a burgeoning black market that has taken
staple foods off the shelves of most regular stores.

"The availability of foreign currency for the coming season for the
importation of food is going to be the big concern for the year," said

International aid was likely to provide just under half the imports, leaving
it to the government to buy the rest at a cost of at least US$150 million,
Farrell said.

There are also acute shortages of seed, fertilizer and agricultural
equipment in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is facing its worst economic and political crisis since
independence in 1980. Some humanitarian groups already have accused the
embattled government of President Robert Mugabe of using food as a political
weapon against its opponents.

Some aid workers and Western diplomats said earlier this year that about
200,000 metric tons of government-purchased food was unaccounted for and may
have been diverted to the black market. They said up to a third of the
country's production of fertilizer was missing or had appeared on the black
market in Zambia.

Farrell said an international donor appeal will be launched to fund WFP food
aid once the government has provided its official countrywide crop forecast.

The release of the government's forecast, originally scheduled for early
May, was now "imminent," he said.

No reasons have been given for the delay.

The food agencies estimate a corn harvest this year of 803,000 metric tons,
higher than last year but still less than half annual consumption.

In the past year, 350,000 metric tons of food aid were delivered. In the
coming year, it was estimated about 610,000 metric tons of food aid would be
required, Farrell said.

Of that, 120,000 metric tons were already "in the pipeline," Farrell said.

Current food stocks and harvests were expected to last until mid to late

Mass famine was avoided this year only by foreign humanitarian aid.

Zimbabwe's once impressive agricultural production helped feed much of
southern Africa. Food production, however, has been wrecked by erratic rains
and the state's often violent seizure of most white-owned commercial farms.
Many large farms that were given to ruling party elite and favored
supporters are lying fallow. Others have been carved into subsistence plots.

An estimated 70 percent of Zimbabweans are unemployed and inflation has
soared to 300 percent.

Recent anti-government strikes called by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change shut down much of the economy but street protests
demanding democratic reform were thwarted by a massive show of force by
police, troops and ruling party militia backed by armored cars, water
cannons and helicopters.

The farm seizures and political violence since 2000 have disrupted
production of tobacco, the main hard currency earner, and slashed hard
currency earnings from mining, industry and tourism.

The black market currency exchange rate rose this week to 2,200 Zimbabwe
dollars to the U.S. dollar, dealers said. The official exchange rate is
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mail and Guardian

Evidence in Zimbabwe treason trial 'inaudible'


      25 June 2003 15:54

Key evidence produced in the treason trial of Zimbabwe opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai was "inaudible", a government recording expert told the
court on Wednesday.

Constantine Musango, a court official tasked with making transcripts of
recorded evidence, was appearing as a state witness in the ongoing treason
trial of Tsvangirai and two other senior Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) officials accused of plotting to kill President Robert Mugabe.

The evidence against the three hinges on secretly recorded tapes of meetings
Tsvangirai had with Canada-based political consultant Ari Ben Menashe at
which Tsvangirai allegedly requested Mugabe's "elimination" ahead of 2002
presidential elections.

Musango said he was not given an original copy of an audiotape of a meeting
Tsvangirai held with Ben Menashe in London, while the images on a videotape
of a meeting he had with him in December 2001 were unclear.

He said he had brought his concerns about the inaudibility of the tapes to
the attention of the government's law office, which is representing the
state against the MDC trio.

"I just wanted to explain to them the tapes were inaudible," Musango said.
"The impression I got from the attorney general was that I should go ahead
in transcribing."

Defence lawyer Chris Andersen claimed police had suppressed information. He
said an original, clearer audiotape had not been turned over to Musango or
the attorney general's office.

Tsvangirai, MDC secretary general Welshman Ncube, and senior party official
Renson Gasela deny they plotted to kill Mugabe, and claim they were set up.

They face the death penalty if convicted. - Sapa-AFP
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Combined Church Service

You are again invited to attend the following Service to lift up your prayers for Zimbabwe in an attitude of combined fellowship. Should you not be able to join us physically please be with us spiritually and take time at 08.30 to think and pray for the relief from suffering of all Zimbabweans and the deliverance from the evil that pervades our nation at this time.
Combined Church Service
                                                                          Saturday 28th June, 2003
   Time - 08.30 Hrs
                                                                              Christ the King Church
                                                                                   Matopos Road
                                                    The Theme - "DELIVER US FROM EVIL" !

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mail and Guardian

Robert Mugabe's 'ruthless regime'


      25 June 2003 10:23

African nations need to put strong pressure on Zimbabwe's government to end
its authoritarian rule, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Tuesday
as the main opposition leader returned to court to face the first of two
treason cases.

Opposition officials say President Robert Mugabe's government has targeted
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai as part of a
desperate bid to cling to power despite political and economic chaos roiling
the nation.

An estimated 70% of Zimbabweans are unemployed, inflation has soared to
269%, hunger is rife and recent opposition protest efforts were thwarted
only when police and soldiers fired tear gas and live bullets at assembling

Writing in Tuesday's New York Times, Powell called the government "a
ruthless regime," accused Mugabe of "violent misrule" and predicted he and
his cronies would eventually lose their fight for power, "dragging their
soiled record behind them into obscurity". However, Zimbabwe's neighbours in
Africa have to step up pressure on Mugabe to ensure a swift end to his
dictatorship and save their region from further instability, he said.

"If leaders on the continent do not do more to convince President Robert
Mugabe to respect the rule of law and enter into a dialogue with the
political opposition, he and his cronies will drag Zimbabwe down until there
is nothing left to ruin," he wrote.

Powell also bemoaned the treatment of Tsvangirai, comparing him to Myanmar
pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate imprisoned by
her government.

For now, Tsvangirai is a free man, having been released on bail on Friday in
the second of two separate treason cases he is fighting.

Treason is punishable by death in Zimbabwe.

Those charges accuse Tsvangirai, jailed for two weeks after calling for
anti-government strikes and protests earlier this month, of advocating
Mugabe's violent overthrow.

In the earlier charges, which he faced in his ongoing trial on Tuesday,
prosecutors say he and two other opposition leaders planned to assassinate
Mugabe and sought the help of air force head Perence Shiri in a planned

The three deny the charges, saying they were framed by the government to
weaken the opposition.

Shiri told the Harare High Court on Tuesday he was approached by opposition
officials in January last year and offered Z$10-million (US$182 000 at the
former official exchange rate) only to "pacify" the military.

Defence attorney Eric Matinenga said Shiri held two meetings with the
officials, including the opposition's shadow defence minister, Giles
Mutsekwa, a former army officer. He said the meetings did not deal with a
possible coup and were called ahead of last year's presidential election to
clarify a televised statement made by police and military chiefs that they
would not work with Tsvangirai if he were elected.

Shiri said armed forces chief General Vitalis Zvinavashe wrote that
statement, which said the military would not follow a leader who had not
fought in the bush war that led to independence in 1980 and swept Mugabe to

"For us to maintain discipline, I cannot question what my superior said. He
is a four-star general, I am a three-star general," Shiri said.

The discussion at Shiri's Harare home with opposition officials "was not
mainly about the elections. It was whether I would cooperate with the
[opposition] once it assumed power," he said.

Shiri, a senior ruling party official, said he knew the Constitution
required the military to remain non-partisan.

Tsvangirai was arrested and charged two weeks before the March 2001
election, which Mugabe narrowly won.

Independent observers said the election was swayed by state-orchestrated
political violence and vote rigging.

Charges in the trial are based on a secretly recorded video tape made in the
offices of Canada-based political consultant Ari Ben Menashe. He claims
Tsvangirai asked for help in an assassination plot and coup.

Prosecutors say Tsvangirai again tried to topple Mugabe through this month's
protest action.

The opposition blames Mugabe for crippling the economy and creating acute
shortages of fuel, food, medicine and essential imports. Mass famine was
avoided this year only by foreign humanitarian aid. - Sapa-AP
Back to the Top
Back to Index


Tourist: Zim slams SA media
25/06/2003 15:08  - (SA)

Johannesburg - Zimbabwe's High Commissioner to South Africa Simon Moyo has
accused the local media of being "unAfrican" in the way they reported the
murder of a South African tourist in Zimbabwe on Sunday.

"It is unfortunate that some media in South Africa have found it appropriate
to exploit the incident and bring in their usual obsession with Zimbabwe, by
bringing in extraneous issues," he said on Wednesday.

"Such conduct is deplorable in the extreme. It is insensitive, unAfrican and

Moyo, however, was not immediately available to elaborate.

Thomas and his girlfriend, Megan, her father and her two youth sisters were
approached by three gunmen at Hillside Dams, a family resort in Bulawayo.

One of the men shot and killed Thomas before robbing his girlfriend and her
family of items to the value of Z$12m (about R11 760). Four men had been
arrested in connection with the killing.

A South African newspaper reported that Megan's father, Leon Bezuidenhout,
who witnessed the killing, said there was no hope of a revival of the
tourism industry in Zimbabwe.

He said Thomas's murder was typical of the violence common in that southern
Africa country.

"It is so pathetic that tourists who bring in the much-needed foreign
currency in Zimbabwe can be murdered like this. Zimbabwe's tourism industry
has ground to a halt because of the rampant lawlessness and if the
government cannot stop it then there is no hope for its revival at all,"
said Bezuidenhout, who is an official at a South African tourism company.

Tourism in Zimbabwe has fallen off sharply over the past three years due
partly to political tensions in the southern African country.

On Wednesday Moyo also conveyed his condolences to relatives and family of
Thomas, saying the killing was regrettable.

"The city of Bulawayo, where the incident occurred, is known for its peace
and tranquillity, let alone the hospitality of its citizens."

He said although the incident was viewed as isolated, the speed with which
the police have moved to arrest those allegedly involved was commendable.

They are: Sikhumbuzo Moyo, 26, Wiseman Ncube, 39, Judas Misheck, 23 and
Ezekiel Ncube, 28, all of Old Pumula township.

Three suspects were initially picked up, and their capture led to the arrest
of a fourth on Tuesday.

The Bulawayo-based newspaper, the Chronicle, reported on Wednesday that the
four suspects have been linked to other crimes in the city.

Inspector Langa Ndlovu described the act as purely criminally-motivated and
said the suspects will be dealt with accordingly.

He said one of the suspects was found in possession of a pocket knife, a
spark plug and a hyenas tail.

"He said he was given the hyena's tail by an Inyanga to protect him from
police detection for other crimes he had committed," Ndlovu told the paper.

A Sapa correspondent in Zimbabwe has reported that Thomas's body was flown
to Johannesburg on Tuesday for burial.

The body was ferried by an SOS International plane which was chartered from
South Africa by an unnamed medical aid company for which Thomas' mother

This was after Air Zimbabwe had told the deceased's family that they had no
commercial flights to South Africa.

Denise Bezuidenhout, Megan's mother, said he would be buried in Boksburg on
Saturday after a service at Boksburg's Trinity Church.

"SOS International came on Tuesday to collect the body and went back the
same day. We are supposed to be leaving Zimbabwe today (on Wednesday) for
the burial on Saturday morning," said Bezuidenhout.
Back to the Top
Back to Index




June 24, 2003
Freeing a Nation From a Tyrant's Grip

A brave man recently met with me and described how life in his country has
become unbearable. "There is too much fear in the country, fear of the
unknown and fear of the known consequences if we act or speak out,"
explained Pius Ncube, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Yet Archbishop Ncube speaks out fearlessly about the terrible human rights
conditions in Zimbabwe, and is threatened almost every day with detention
or worse.

For hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, the worst has already come.
Millions of people are desperately hungry because the country's
once-thriving agricultural sector collapsed last year after President
Robert Mugabe confiscated commercial farms, supposedly for the benefit of
poor blacks. But his cynical "land reform" program has chiefly benefited
idle party hacks and stalwarts, not landless peasants. As a result, much of
Zimbabwe's most productive land is now occupied by loyalists of the ruling
ZANU-PF party, military officers, or their wives and friends.

Worse still, the entire Zimbabwean economy is near collapse. Reckless
governmental mismanagement and unchecked corruption have produced annual
inflation rates near 300 percent, unemployment of more than 70 percent and
widespread shortages of food, fuel and other basic necessities. Is it any
wonder that Zimbabweans are demanding political change, or that President
Mugabe must rely on stepped-up violence and vote-rigging to remain in

On June 6, the police again arrested Mr. Mugabe's most prominent opponent,
Morgan Tsvangirai. They paraded him in a courtroom in shackles and leg
irons before releasing him on bail on June 20. His offense? Calling for
work stoppages and demonstrations to protest economic hardship and
political repression.

Like Myanmar's courageous opposition leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Mr.
Tsvangirai wages a nonviolent struggle against a ruthless regime. Like the
Burmese junta, President Mugabe and his Politburo colleagues have an
absolute monopoly of coercive power, but no legitimacy or moral authority.
In the long run, President Mugabe and his minions will lose, dragging their
soiled record behind them into obscurity. But how long will it take? How
many good Zimbabweans will have to lose their jobs, their homes, or even
their lives before President Mugabe's violent misrule runs its course?

The United States ^× and the European Union ^× has imposed a visa ban on
Zimbabwe's leaders and frozen their overseas assets. We have ended all
official assistance to the government of Zimbabwe. We have urged other
governments to do the same. We will persist in speaking out strongly in
defense of human rights and the rule of law. And we will continue to assist
directly, in many different ways, the brave men and women of Zimbabwe who
are resisting tyranny.

But our efforts are unlikely to succeed quickly enough without greater
engagement by Zimbabwe's neighbors. South Africa and other African
countries are increasingly concerned and active on Zimbabwe, but they can
and should play a stronger and more sustained role that fully reflects the
urgency of Zimbabwe's crisis. If leaders on the continent do not do more to
convince President Mugabe to respect the rule of law and enter into a
dialogue with the political opposition, he and his cronies will drag
Zimbabwe down until there is nothing left to ruin ^× and Zimbabwe's
implosion will continue to threaten the stability and prosperity of the

There is a way out of the crisis. ZANU-PF and the opposition party can
together legislate the constitutional changes to allow for a transition.
With the president gone, with a transitional government in place and with a
date fixed for new elections, Zimbabweans of all descriptions would, I
believe, come together to begin the process of rebuilding their country. If
this happened, the United States would be quick to pledge generous
assistance to the restoration of Zimbabwe's political and economic
institutions even before the election. Other donors, I am sure, would be
close behind.

Reading this, Robert Mugabe and his cohorts may cry, "Blackmail." We should
ignore them. Their time has come and gone. As Archbishop Ncube has said,
"Things in our country can hardly get worse." With the perseverance of
brave Zimbabweans, strengthened commitment from their neighbors, and the
strong support of the international community, we can rescue the people of
Zimbabwe. This is a worthy and urgent goal for us all.

Colin L. Powell is secretary of state.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Delays in Finalising Farm Acquisitions

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

June 25, 2003
Posted to the web June 25, 2003


Zimbabwe's administrative court is "hopelessly clogged" with a backlog of
contested cases under the government's land reform programme, the Commercial
Farmers Union (CFU) has warned.

Of the 6,001 farms gazetted by the government for acquisition, ownership of
only 245 properties had been legally transferred by the administrative court
by the end of last month, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)
reported on Wednesday.

"It goes to show how few farms have been legally occupied," CFU executive
officer Jerry Davison commented.

He told IRIN that under the government's land law, the court transfer of
ownership should have preceded occupation of the farms. But instead, farms
were occupied by new settlers first, often supported by the police, in a
process marked by considerable coercion.

"That is the basis for our general statement that land reform was not
legal," Davison said.

Ruling ZANU-PF party members who recently attended a seminar on agrarian
reform were reportedly dismayed over the slow progress by the administrative
court, ZBC reported, suggesting that civil servants could be responsible for
sabotaging the government programme.

Davison said the state's lawyers and officials in the ministry of
agriculture had often presented their cases very badly, allowing for
effective legal challenges. As a result of the backlog, the government was
being forced to relist farms already designated for acquisition because a
two-year window for confirmation by the court had expired.

He said one way to clear the backlog was for the government to pay
compensation to farmers for their seized property.

"Farmers are contesting because they have nothing to lose. They would take
the money and run, but because there is no compensation, it's creating a
stalemate in the litigation," Davison explained.
Back to the Top
Back to Index



Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1: Ben Freeth


For some time I have thought on this question.  The question centres on
whether we believe that the Union is, at this time, an asset to farmers and
ex-farmers or a liability.  If the Union is a liability and looks to remain
a liability working outside the ethos and the constitution with which it
was set up then the Union needs to be brought into line.  Attempts through
resolutions appear to have failed.  What about litigation?

There are without doubt strong grounds to sue the CFU. The CFU constitution
provides for this in stating, "it is a body corporate - capable of suing or
being sued".  Section 2.

The Union was set up with a set of 17 "objects". The overall object as laid
out in its constitution is to "protect and advance the interests of those
persons engaged in farming activities in Zimbabwe*" The questions are: -
a) Has the CFU protected and advanced its members' interests?
b) Should the CFU be held accountable for not doing so if it is found it
has not protected and advanced its members interests?

There are 5 main issues where the CFU has failed to protect and advance its
members' interests as spelt out in the objects of its constitution.

1) It is clear that the Union has on a number of occasions spelt out its
requirement to be "politically acceptable" to the ruling party so that
dialogue can take place. It has gone to great lengths to ensure that it is
politically acceptable.  Its whole policy since March 2001, if not before,
has revolved around this concept. It was stated to me by President Cloete
when I was given two days to resign that we had to be "politically
acceptable" (to the Party).  It is my contention that this is in direct
conflict with the last point in the CFU's constitution under object (q),
which says "the Union shall not participate in nor concern itself with
party politics". If this is a difficult thing to achieve in Zimbabwe at
present there has been ample time to change the CFU constitution at any one
of the 4 Congresses since February 2000.

2) The Union has been well aware that there has been strong opposition from
its membership against the policy of becoming "politically acceptable" and
following what has amounted to the appeasement line. There have been a
number of calls for a referendum on the issue but they have fallen on deaf
ears in the Union building.  In an attempt to have the Union's membership
voice heard in a survey in early 2002 I put in a question regarding whether
members wanted the Union to litigate or not.  The question never went out
as the hierarchy vetted the survey before it went out.  The whole spirit of
the Union's constitution is to allow the democratic view to prevail and the
grass roots voice to be heard and to become policy.  Under object (g) the
Union is mandated to "*express the views of those engaged in the farming
industry*" No referendum has taken place regarding the critical issues of
whether laws like the "protection of eviction act; SI 6; Amendment number
6 to the Land Acquisition Act etc., should be challenged or not. This has
led to tremendous hard feeling which again under object (i) runs counter to
the constitution, which aims to "promote cooperation amongst its members."

Further to this the Union hierarchy have actively broken down democratic
regional structures against its constitution, which states in (11.3) "The
principle function of the Regional Council shall be to foster grass root
support for and participation in the affairs of all farmers' associations".
By not allowing representation on regional Council from Regions like
Mashonaland West (south) and from which the composition of the regional
council should be derived "The regional council shall consist of the
Chairmen of each of the regional executives with funds".

(Section 11.1). The Union also has an obligation "to provide funds for the
maintenance of offices and staff for the Regional Council and all regional
executives.  Such expenses shall include provision for salaries, rent,
general office expenses and all travelling and subsistence allowances."
Pulling out of funding some of the regions is unconstitutional.

The reason that the Union has destroyed some of these structures is surely
to attain "political acceptability" by "muzzling" some of its regions.

3) In April 2002, just ahead of amendment no. 6 to the Land Acquisition
Act, the farmer magazine was closed under very dubious circumstances after
being deemed "politically unacceptable".  The editor wrote in the leader
article, "History will judge critically those who believed, for whatever
reason, that there was merit in burying the truth."  "Critics said we made
life difficult for the Commercial Farmers Union.  Well, for us the Union is
its members, * To us victims like Terry Ford are far more important than
the people in Agriculture House."  (Who closed the magazine down
unexpectedly in a most devious manner, without any consultation with the
readership).  In speaking with one of the trustees the political
unacceptability of the editorials was voiced in no uncertain terms. Since
then the sitreps which broadcast to the nation and the world what was
taking place on our farms with our members being dispossessed etc. also
stopped. The public relations post was terminated as well.  A politically
acceptable newsletter was then launched by one of the former trustees of
the Farmer magazine but no views of members were allowed to be printed and
the true injustices taking place were severely toned down or not printed at
all in line with the prediction by the Farmer's editor in April 2002 that,
"We sense, but do not know that the new paper will give less attention to
the appalling plight facing farmers and farm workers."

Object (c) in the CFU constitution states that the Union should "collect,
provide and disseminate among its members and other persons, advice,
information and statistics relating to the farming industry through the
Union's own or any other newspaper or in any other manner".  The spirit of
this object is surely to publicise anything serious that is happening in
the industry. The industry's complete destruction should surely have
warranted extra public relations channels particularly in view of the
international media interest in our plight.

4) The crux of the issue is the Unions failure to protect its members from
the law. Regarding the most critical amendment to the land acquisition act
in May 2002 when 60% of members were given 45 days to stop farming and 90
days to leave their homes the Union through Mr. Cloete put out a statement
on the 12th June which stated "CFU will continue a non confrontational
approach seeking to resolve issues through dialogue".  Their withdrawal
from any litigation had been complete even with the introduction of laws
that were likely to, and extensively did, destroy the commercial farming
sector. This was again in conflict with the Unions constitution under
object (d).  The object was "to sponsor, oppose or support, any
legislation, the introduction of which is likely to affect beneficially or
otherwise as the case may be, the interests of its members or the
agricultural industry generally".  Under object (l) the Union aimed to
"assist financially or otherwise in any movement or action which the Union
may consider to be in the interests of the farming community and, so far as
is consistent with the law of Zimbabwe, to assist financially in the
bringing or defending of any case or action at law which the Union may
consider should, in the interests of the farming community be brought or
defended".  The Unions failure to support the "Quinnell case"; its
failure to put funding towards the S.I.6 cases until farmers had been
prejudiced of over $Z3 billion its failure to support "the Rule of Law"
case to date despite Justice for Agriculture having asked for affidavits on
January 7th 2003 have shown a complete disregard for object (L) of the
Union's constitution.  On the 6th September the President, Mr Cloete, in a
memorandum to Councillors stated, "The legality of section 8 compulsory
acquisition orders is not being challenged by the Union at this time as the
Council has preferred to mandate the President and Vice President to enter
into dialogue with the Government to alleviate the effects of section 8
orders".  He goes on to parrot the regime and destroy confidence further by
stating, "It is certain that this land reform process is irreversible."  It
was out of this attitude that JAG was formed and I was suspended from the
Union, and remain suspended 9 months later, without ever having received my
leave pay let alone anything else.

5) The Union has stubbornly refused to coordinate or set up any meaningful
avenues for gaining compensation and restitution for its members who have
been dispossessed. One of the reasons for Justice for Agriculture being set
up by disgruntled Union members was to get this organised.  JAG negotiated
the setting up of the Valuation Consortium, which has so far saved farmers
in excess of Z$1 billion.  JAG designed and initiated a Loss Claim Document
involving consequential losses and accountability, which the Union, 12
months later, has still not put its weight behind (because it involves
being politically unacceptable I imagine). Object (L) of the CFU
constitution is to "negotiate, consider, discuss and advise*..on all
question and matters relating to**compensation for loss of any improvements
and for any disturbance arising from the acquisition of property".  Where
billions of dollars and millions of livelihoods are at stake CFU's inaction
is unacceptable.  A lot of the compensation issue involves showing how the
State and ZANU (PF) has created the lawlessness, dispossession, loss of
income, loss of jobs etc. so that in the future individuals, through an
organised structure can hold the State and ZANU (PF) liable for
compensation and restitution. If the Union continues to resist helping with
this process it is failing to serve the best interests of the members who
formed and have kept the Union going.


It is clear to me from the above that the Union has not fulfilled its
constitutional obligations "to protect and advance the interests of those
persons engaged in farming activities in Zimbabwe".  In my own mind the
Union is merely part of the establishment which involves big business and
big money.  The establishment has rarely in history been a potent force for
what is right.  The establishment, traditionally, does not stand up against
the establishment because there are too many links, too much complicity,
too many agents of influence looking towards pockets rather than
principles; money rather than morality.

The question remains
"Should the CFU be held accountable for this?


Letter 2:

Dear Simon,
I enjoyed your submission to JAG re the distortions and false information
circulated about land in Zimbabwe. As you say most land has been registered
and taxed by Mugabe himself.

How many farmers like us bought a farm through Govt. finances (AFC) and
then stocked it with cattle bought on Govt. money (CSC)? How many heirs
paid estate duty to Mugabe's Government? He was quite happy to spend the
taxes paid in good years when we made a profit.

How many farmers joined the Police Special Constabulary to help the
Government fight off the dissidents? We shared a common interest, we were
one people.

I have always believed that in 1979-80 when the various parties got
together and Zimbabwe was born it was agreed that it was a new start and
that the past was no longer important. We were all Zimbabweans regardless
of colour. Those who were not happy left.

Mugabe himself toured the farming areas to reassure the farmers that they
were an integral part of the country, the economy and society in general. I
was in Nyamandlovu in 1980,the day he flew in and told the farmers that:
"Some of my people are settlers too." and "You must be part of us."

I don't know how many times the farming community went on record as
accepting the need for resettlement and the relief of the poor. Many
meetings were held and many miles travelled in an effort to identify land
available and suitable for resettlement. All these well meaning efforts
were spurned.

I wish I had kept a record of all the things Mugabe said in the early
years. On many occasions he was really positive about the whites.....that's
why we stayed/continued. Surely there must be a record of all the speeches
ministers made at CFU congresses etc. I'd love to rub some of their noses
in the fine words they said. These are the sorts of things that should be
shown to the world at large to put today's rhetoric in perspective. i.e.
why were commercial farmers welcome then but are now living on stolen land
? Why did Government issue certificates of "no present interest" over the
years and now claim that whites own all the best land ?

I am sorry to say our CFU has been fast asleep right throughout the
exercise. They have missed so many tricks and chances to put the record
straight. The first time I heard our current CFU President speak I was
embarrassed for him.... it was as though he had never been part of the
farming scene in this country.

Right now I have a sense of unease about the farming scenario...there is
just too much fragmentation and division. This is not healthy. Those that
are still on the land are eyed with suspicion and those who have suffered
the trauma of losing everything are being labelled "freeloaders" because in
their bitterness they have not renewed their CFU licences. Divide and rule!
Where to next?

The world needs more understanding. Our leaders need to lead and we need
the faith and courage to carry on.

I don't think the end can be that far off.




All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

The Herald

China donates computers, accessories to Parliament

Herald Reporter
Parliament yesterday received computers and accessories worth US$120 000
($99 million) from China to effectively implement its programmes and deliver
quality service.

The equipment included 75 computers, 13 printers and 75 sets of software

The Speaker of Parliament, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, said the computers would
enhance the operational capacity of Parliament.

He said Parliament was in the process of carrying out an audit of its
information technology equipment to ensure optimal use.

"This donation will also enable Parliament of Zimbabwe to effectively
implement its reform programmes," he said.

"As you may be aware, Parliament began a process of reforming its practices
and procedures in 1999, after adopting the recommendations by the
Parliamentary Reform Committee."

Cde Mnangagwa said among the recommendations was the need to strengthen the
information delivery system for both members and staff of Parliament.

"The use of internet and e-mail will enable members to create networks and
linkages with other Parliaments," he said.

He said the level of debates in the House was going to improve significantly
as a result of the availability of information and the increased use of
modern research techniques.

Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Hou Qingru said Zimbabwe always regarded
China as a reliable friend.

He said considerable achievements were made in the fields of trade,
investment, contracting and technological co-operation between the two

"All these have contributed a lot to the further development of our
relations," said Mr Qingru.

China has consistently supported Zimba-bwe since the liberation struggle for
independence from British colonial rule by providing arms of war and
training liberation fighters.

It is also supporting the land reform programme through the provision of
agricultural equipment.

Parliament is in the process of establishing 120 constituency information
centres that would be fully equipped with information technology equipment.

Early this month, Parliament received a television set, a video cassette
recorder, a still camera and a video tape from Konrad Adeneaur Foundation to
implement youths outreach programmes.

The project was designed to enhance the involvement of the youths in
parliamentary activities and there are plans for each province to have a
computer, video and a television set.

Cde Mnangagwa said the donated computers would not be used in the
constituencies, but would replace the old equipment at Parliament.
Back to the Top
Back to Index