Messages of support and prayer for Zimbabwe and her people are flooding in from all over the world. Here is a typical one:
"To all the people of Zimbabwe and The M.D.C.our hearts and thoughts are with
you all in the days that follow for the final "push". CHENJA! Bring us home
where our hearts and children belong!"
Below are points raised by the MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai
in response to the order yesterday by a High Court Judge ordering the MDC and
the MDC President to call off the mass action which starts tomorrow.
1 June 2003
Order to stop mass action invalid, and
- Neither the MDC nor myself received a proper notice of a hearing;
- The purported notice handed to me by a police officer does indicate the date
for the hearing;
- The purported affidavit filed by the Commissioner of Police is irregular; it
was not signed by the said Commissioner of Police;
- Even assuming that the order is binding on me, which I deny, it has no
effect as it merely interdicts me and the MDC from holding demonstrations. It
does not interdict members of the public from participating in any form of mass
- In addition, and in any event, the call for mass action was not only made by
me and the MDC. Various organizations, including ZCTU, the NCA, Student
movements, and other civil society groups called for mass action, but have not
been enjoined to the so-called order. In effect, the mass action may proceed
without the MDC or me;
- The order was not served on me in terms of the rules of the court. I merely
received a copy from a police officer in circumstances, which I believe to be a
matter of courtesy.
- Our lawyers have been informed of this development.
Zvakwana Newsletter #27 - All for one, and one for all
Harare - The march starts in the city centre.
You will see where people are
gathering. The march is for everybody. It is not somebody else's march.
It's YOUR march.
PLEASE forward this message to your
cell phone networks, email contacts and tell your family, friends, colleagues
We are many. They are few.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Week of Action - helplines
If you need information or have information to pass on relating to the
forthcoming week of Mass Action for Democracy, these helpline numbers will try
to assist you. Print this out and put it by your telephone, on your desk, in
your diary, in your car . . . and pass on to others also.
Harare Helpline Numbers
(email incident details to: email@example.com )
- 091-924 029
- 091-924 030
- 091-209 202
- 091-924 151
- 091-918 937
- 091-319 297
- 091-925 008
Bulawayo Helpline Numbers
(email incident details to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 091-408 026
- 011-430 746
- 023-514 895
- 091-274 664
- 091-294 951
- Econet Help line -
- Net-One Help line -
- Ambulance Municipal -
- General Emergency -
Sokwanele, Enough is enough!
Mail and Guardian
Roadblocks in place ahead of Zimbabwe
Ryan Truscott | Harare
01 June 2003
Amid growing economic hardship and heightened political tensions,
main opposition leader has urged his supporters to defy the law
and take to
the streets on Monday to protest against the government of
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) has
called for a week of "democracy marches" and
strikes to force Mugabe to
discuss the country's economic and political
problems with the opposition.
He has urged Zimbabweans to "rise up in
your millions" defying strict new
security laws under which demonstrations
have to be given police clearance.
But the government has reacted
angrily, saying the opposition is planning a
coup d'etat aimed at forcing
Mugabe out of office.
Security forces have been placed on high alert and
several cabinet ministers
and the Zimbabwean army have threatened to
forcefully crush any outbreak of
Veterans of the country's
war against white minority rule have said they
will not stand by and watch
MDC supporters march on State House, where
action would lead to "casualties", warned war veterans leader
Nyaruwata on Friday.
Tsvangirai has assured the government the marches
will be peaceful, but
Mugabe's government says opposition mass action is
always laced with
"banditry and terrorism."
Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa was quoted in Saturday's state-run Herald
newspaper saying the MDC
"speak peace when they actually plan to wage war".
Police had on Saturday
already set up roadblocks on major routes leading
into the city centre, while
hundreds of people queued outside banks in
central Harare to withdraw
There has been frenzied buying in shops this week ahead of the
to last from Monday to Friday. A "stayaway" in March called by
the MDC was
widely followed in major cities.
Hundreds of MDC
supporters were arrested or assaulted by the police after
that stoppage, the
opposition and human rights organisations have claimed.
handed out in
Fifty-one year-old Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist, has
Mugabe's victory in last year's presidential elections. He wants a
the poll, and has gone to court to petition the result. It is not
ordinary Zimbabweans will be discouraged from taking part in the
showdown because of the treatment
The opposition leader and his
party have dubbed next week's mass action the
"final push" for
Tsvangirai is due to appear in court on Monday as part of his
treason trial, but may try to lead the action ahead of his court
The MDC blames Mugabe's government for the intense economic
gripping the country.
Inflation stands at more than 269%,
and Zimbabwe is experiencing chronic
shortages of food, fuel, bank notes and
electricity, while hospitals are
desperately short of drugs, staff and
emergency blood supplies.
Tsvangirai has been holding rallies across the
country in the past few weeks
to drum up support for anti-government
More rallies are planned for this weekend.
riskier business than to allow this country to collapse," he
on Friday. - Sapa-AFP
Week of anti-Mugabe protests set
Sunday, June 1, 2003 Posted: 7:12
AM EDT (1112 GMT)
HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe faces one of
the biggest challenges of his 23-year-old rule
during a week of protests
called to drive him from power.
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has vowed to press ahead
demonstrations against Mugabe starting on Monday despite warnings
forces will crush them.
The MDC demands Mugabe resign, accusing him of
mismanaging an economy now in
crisis, with record inflation and unemployment,
and shortages of food, fuel
and foreign currency.
79-year-old former guerrilla leader and one of Africa's "hard old
denies the charge.
He might win the street combat, but political analysts
said the protests
would refocus world attention on him, undermine morale in
his ranks and
could push him into early talks with his rivals.
government has put its security forces on full alert, deployed troops in
restive townships and set up roadblocks.
"The government is saying it is
going to play tough...but even if it manages
to contain the situation this
time round, in political terms Mugabe will
still emerge the loser," said
Brian Kagoro, lawyer and co-ordinator of
rights group Zimbabwe
"Mugabe is under the spotlight, and even some of his people are
persuade him to compromise, to talk, because they must know that
unsustainable," he told Reuters.
In an unprecedented action,
Mugabe's police chief on Saturday won an interim
High Court order that MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai call off the protests or
the opposition viewed the appeal to the court as a sign of
nervousness, political analysts said Mugabe had been empowered to
Tsvangirai and other MDC leaders legally if they defied the court
The MDC, insisting the order was against violent protests, said
demonstrations would be peaceful and they intended to challenge the
In a weekend editorial, the privately owned Daily News
called on Mugabe to
allow peaceful protests, saying he was facing his
end-game and force would
not help his case.
"Whatever happens during
the mass protests called by the opposition, it is
clear that the government's
policy of using the iron fist to keep harassed
Zimbabweans in check has run
its course and will no longer work," it said.
On Saturday, thousands of
people jammed supermarkets and banks around
Zimbabwe to stock up for the
Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980,
blames the crisis
on opponents of his seizures of land from the tiny white
redistribution among landless blacks.
Zambia News Agency
Commonwealth says it will not leave any stone unturned
in remedying the
Lusaka, JUNE 1, ZANA - The
Commonwealth says it will not leave any stones
unturned in pursuing a lasting
solution to the problems in Zimbabwe.
Head of the Commonwealth
Secretariat Donald Mckinnon said today that the
Commonwealth was committed to
finding a lasting solution to the Zimbabwe
problems but the Zimbabweans had
to meet the organisation half way.
Mr Mckinnon said the Commonwealth
expected Zimbabwe to do something about
the groupings suggestions to that
country on how the issue of land could
best be handled.
press briefing today, Mr Mckinnon said from the beginning the
had wanted to assist Zimbabwe and its people but these have
by officials in Harare.
" I have sent special envoys toZimbabwe in the
hope that we could diffuse
the situation but all my endeavours have been
unsuccessful." He said.
He said the need to find a solution to the
Zimbabwe problem was long
overdue, and the cost the land issue has had on the
Southern African country
He admitted that a better
way could have been used to overcome the problems
in Zimbabwe, but efforts by
the Commonwealth to do this were frustrated.
Mr Mckinnon however said the
suspension of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth
was not done to punish the
He mantained that Commonwealth Member states
suggested that Zimbabwe be
suspended from the Council of ministers until
He said as the situation stands, the Robert Mugabe led
Zimbabwe was still
suspended until the Commonwealth meets to review
Sanctions have been slapped on Zimbabwe following the March 2002
which saw President Mugabe retain power as Zimbabwe's
The Land grabbing issue is another exercise that has further
relationship between Mugabe and the West as the latter are not
the way it has been handled by authorities.
countries and institutions including the United States of
America, and the
European Union have since slapped economic sanctions on the
The sanctions have however had the worst impact on innocent
have to queue for literally everything, as most of the
including fuel are in short supply.
which is a former British colony has accused British Prime
Blair of interfering in domestic matters, while the Blair
accused the Zimbabwean government of not handling the
sensitive land issue
The Zimbabwean leader however enjoys tremendous support from
countries in the region.
Tsvangirai to lead march
By Henry Makiwa and
MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) President
Morgan Tsvangirai will
lead tomorrow's mass protests dubbed "the final push"
in Harare contrary to
government claims that the opposition leader would be
participating by his appearance in court.
secretary-general Welshman Ncube yesterday confirmed the
Tsvangirai and that he will lead the marches in the capital
tomorrow before attending his court case at the High Court that
begins after 9 am.
He is on trial for allegedly plotting to
assassinate Mugabe together
with his party's secretary general, Welshman
Ncube and Gweru rural
legislator, Renson Gasela.
will lead the protests before 10 am and then leave for the
High Court. He
will join the protesters again after his trial at 4 pm in the
said Ncube, who will also participate in the marches.
in Harare would march from their different locations to
town where they would
gather at a venue to be decided by the march leaders.
It is at this
venue, which The Standard understands to be Africa Unity
Tsvangirai and several other opposition party leaders would
In apparent signs of panic and anxiety, the government
desperate and frantic decampaigning exercise against the weeklong
Apart from an urgent court application by the parastatal Zupco to
MDC to call off the mass action, the police last night secured yet
court interdict to stop the opposition party from participating in
In spite of the legal manovures, there
were heavy troop movements in
the country yesterday.
capital, heavy police and military presence swarmed much of the
some anti-riot vehicles were spotted making rounds in the
People living near Cranborne Barracks yesterday said several
vehicles carrying heavy equipment were spotted heading toward the
dozens of soldiers and police officers were deployed at Zanu
headquarters, Munhumutapa Building and at the State House, Mugabe's
There were several roadblocks at most roads
leading into Harare's
central business district.
passed near the State House were yesterday being
subjected to thorough body
searches and asked to produce identification
claimed that police and army officers beat them in Chitungwiza
night accusing them of organising the street protests.
tense with Zimbabwe's second largest city teaming up with
police and military
There were reports of intimidation by the police in the
trying to cow residents from participating in the
In Mutare, heavily armed police officers, some on
a meeting of the opposition party's women's league at
the Beit Hall.
MDC's provincial chairman, Timothy Mubhawu, said
this would however
not deter them from taking part in the march
Residents of the eastern border town are expected to
meet at the
Meikles Gardens before proceeding to the Provincial Governor's
hand a petition demanding that Mugabe leaves office.
In Masvingo, the small town was awash with soldiers and policemen who
around beating people in Mucheke suburb.
Heavily-armed Support Unit
police reportedly ransacked houses of MDC
activists in the Ma "R" section of
Masvingo's Mucheke high-density suburbs
and assaulted them in full public
glare at the city's central bus terminus.
Home Affairs minister
Kembo Mohadi yesterday told The Standard that
government would deal firmly
with the protestors.
"We will not tolerate any stupid things, we
will just deal with all
mischief makers accordingly. And I will not tell you
of how we plan to do it
because you may alert your colleagues at the MDC,"
"We are ready for whatever is coming ... the police
are mine, I am
their general. We are ready!" he added ominously.
l Meanwhile, police in Gwanda yesterday refused to allow the entry of
of the South African-based regional weekly newspaper, The Sunday
has been a persistent critic of the Zimbabwean government.
Nyamangara, an official from the paper's publication and
yesterday said Zimbabwean police had detained the
delivery van in Gwanda that was headed for Bulawayo.
However copies for
Harare were flown in.
The paper's headline today reads: "Mugabe
faces final push".
War veterans' faction demands Mugabe ouster
By Caiphas Chimhete
AN independent group of war veterans, the
Zimbabwe Liberators Platform
(ZLP) has called on President Robert Mugabe to
step down and an urgent
amendment of the Constitution to pave way for a
The ZLP, which has refused to be used by
the Zanu PF regime, said
Mugabe, accused of rigging the 2002 Presidential
election, has ruined the
country's economy and "must quit office as soon as
possible" if the current
political and economic problems are to be
ZLP national chairperson, Anthony Mukwendi said the
nature and extent
of the political, economic and humanitarian crisis requires
all-stakeholders' conference to deliberate on the issues affecting
"Everyone must be involved from political parties,
churches to NGOs. We can't leave the future of this country
parties because they are pre-occupied with amassing political
He said after the conference, Parliament
would then be urged to
initiate debate on the amendment of the Constitution
to make way for a
"What we need now is
to amend the Constitution, force Mugabe to go and
put in a transitional
government that comprises civic organisations," said
Mukwendi, who says his
organisation boasts of a membership of 10 000
However, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairperson,
Madhuku, said to amend the Constitution both Zanu PF and the
Democratic Change (MDC) needed to forge a "political agreement"
requires the approval of at least two-thirds of the members of
Under the current constitution, if the President steps
vice-president who last acted as President will take over and
elections would be held after 90 days.
The ZLP also
blasted the chaotic land reform programme, saying there
was need to revisit
the exercise when Mugabe goes.
"Mugabe was just parceling out land
to friends and his supporters
without taking into account the usage. In any
case why should people endorse
a Zanu PF land reform programme that was
designed to prop up its waning
support," said Mukwendi.
government claims it has resettled 54 000 new farmers under the A2
while at least 300 000 have been allocated land under the A1 scheme.
ZRP slammed for human rights abuses
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)'s credibility as one
of the most
respected forces on the continent, has been shattered because of
involvement in politically-related human rights violations over the past
years, a human rights activist has said.
director of the Human Rights Trust of Southern Africa
Matsheza, said although the local police were well
trained, they had become
too partisan in their dealings "on orders from the
Commissioner Augustine Chihuri was last week forced to
honorary vice president post at Interpol after complaints
international police organisation had awarded him the position as
recognition of its endorsement of the ZRP's actions in
The ZRP had claimed, after Chihuri's appointment, that
was recognition of the local police force's professionalism,
Matsheza said: "I would not say they (the
ZRP) are ignorant of laws
when violating people's rights because they are
well trained. It is because
they get directives to act in the way they do
from the top."
The police have been accused of selective
application of the law,
targeting mainly members of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change
Several opposition members have
been illegally detained and tortured
with some of them dying as a result of
wounds sustained in the hands of the
One of the victims
of police brutality, Tonderayi Machiridza, died on
Independence Day after
being heavily tortured at St Mary's police station
Matsheza said in Southern Africa, the ZRP were
among the most prepared
force in the region to implement policing in a human
rights environment, if
they wanted to.
"Because we are in a
different and difficult political environment,
they are not doing what they
are supposed to do," said Matsheza, whose
organisation, is doing consultancy
work for the police on how to improve
ZRP's general conduct.
According to the report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
this year, there was an increase in organised violence and
torture as the
campaign for the presidential election took off a year ago.
violence generally increased, so did the number of cases in
which the members
of the police, the CIO and the army were alleged to be
said the report, "Torture by State Agents in
Zimbabwe: January 2001 to August
A recent dossier by a member of the Zimbabwe Human Rights
recorded 36 cases of police brutality out of a total of 180 cases
The dossier alleged that the police, the Central
Organisation, and to lesser degree, the army, were all involved
human rights violations.
The United Nations has in the
past invited the ZRP, whose reputation
is unfortunately on the wane, on
numerous international peacekeeping
Zimbabweans pledge massive support for
By Henry Makiwa
MANY Zimbabweans have indicated
that they will take part in tomorrow's
proposed weeklong mass street protests
but have under`lined the importance
of the Movement of Democratic Change
(MDC's) leadership to take principal
roles in the marches.
snap survey conducted by The Standard, most people said for the
demonstrations to be successful, the MDC leadership needed to take
roles in the mass action to show communion with the
They said the protests presented a good
opportunity for crisis wracked
Zimbabweans to vent their anger at the
government in the face of a political
and economic crisis that has spiraled
out of control.
Tendai Mumuti of Harare's Budiriro high-density
suburb said: "The MDC
leadership now has to put up a show of courage because
the people are behind
them. The people are definitely tired of this
government more so because we
are not allowed to speak out our problems. They
see us all as threats to
their political survival.
"Most of us
now realise that with this government, we cannot go
anywhere if we fear
repression. What has been done by this regime has not
been done anywhere in
the world. They have relentlessly instilled terror in
the people so much that
discontented as the people may be, they will never
say it out."
Civil anger at the shortages of food, fuel and even bank notes,
frequent electric power cuts, have scaled new heights.
country's economic malaise continues to worsen, banks were
reported to be
buying local currency on the parallel market in a development
was a first in world financial history.
Farai Mutamba of Belvedere
said: "The streets of Harare are littered
with signs that show that time is
fast running out for the Zanu PF
government largely because they have failed
to address our problems.
"Even soldiers, the police and ordinary
Zanu PF supporters themselves
can now see that the government is bereft of
any clues to save the comatose
"I believe many people
will take to the streets and register their
anger at the Zanu PF regime and
probably oust Mugabe once and for all."
In most towns and cities,
panic-stricken consumers were for most of
the week frantically snapping any
available food at retail outlets while
thousands of workers complained that
they had not been paid monthly salaries
because of the shortage of cash at
Observers however noted that the government would resort to
and draconian legislations such as the Public Order and Security
to try to crush the protests.
Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa
warned on Thursday that the
protests were tantamount to an attempt to a
stage a coup d'etat.
* Meanwhile, the National Constitution Assembly (NCA), which is also
an active part in the street protests, has urged people to go out in
force to show their anger.
Ernest Mudzengi, NCA's advocacy officer
said people should realise
that the cause for freedom of expression far
outweighed the threats from the
police and the army.
Bidi, a human rights activist, said the people have the
right to stage the
protests without fear of state condoned repression.
Bidi said: "The
government's greatest undoing has been the lack of
tolerance. The people have
been calling for attention and change but the
government has been unheeding
"Tomorrow's protests, if conducted peacefully, are
a way of expression
that is universally recognised in the Universal
Declaration of Rights and
even in our Constitution. So the government is
urged to desist from using
brute force in dealing with the protesters and
should uphold the right of
freedom of expression which is the cornerstone for
national unity and
Zanu PF Politburo gags Moyo
By our own
THE Zanu PF Politburo has ordered junior Information Minister
Moyo to withdraw television advertisements that show opposition
Morgan Tsvangirai warning President Robert Mugabe to go peacefully or
risk a violent overthrow, it emerged yesterday.
close to the government's Department of Information and
Publicity told The
Standard yesterday that the Zanu PF supreme decision
making body had also
forced the withdrawal of another advert in which
Tsvangirai warned people
that they would face severe food shortages.
The Politburo, the
sources noted, felt the adverts that were
incessantly repeated on national
television during prime time viewing, were
actually popularising the
"The adverts had intended to paint Tsvangirai
badly but they instead
portrayed him as a visionary who had predicted what
was actually now
happening," said the source.
In one of the
adverts, an upbeat Tsvangirai is shown telling people:
chikafu muchashaisisa", a prediction that is now
generally accepted given the
current severe shortages of essential food
commodities like maize meal,
cooking oil, bread, sugar, milk and others.
Tsvangirai made the statement
during the run up to the March 2002
government naively hoped the advert would portray Tsvangirai as a
and uncaring leader of the opposition.
The wretched life of a civil
ALLOW me space through your widely read paper to
reflect on the life
of the civil servant of our beloved country-
The majority of civil servants are leading a miserable
life as their
incomes are unrealistic considering the macro-economic
conditions that are
prevailing at the moment. Who in his right senses can
justify a family man
being given a meagre salary of say $50 000 and be
expected to provide family
requirements such as food, transport and other
welfare needs like medical
Inflation is now pegged at
269% but this is a fictitious figure from
the statistics office because their
figures are based on the controlled
prices but who in this day and age dreams
of finding goods with controlled
prices. The truth is inflation is way ahead
of the official figures. The
recent transport increments by government smack
of hypocrisy. In fact, all
it ammounted to was "we want to see you at work
attitude" attitude of the
authorities and certainly not a genuine concern for
the peoples' welfare.
The general civil service should take a cue
from the teachers' union
who have expressed their genuine concern by taking
an industrial action.
Action is the only language the oppressed should use
and that which the
For how long should we
continue to nurse this bleeding and arrogant
government? Who would continue
to sympathize with this government in the
guise of patriotism as if anyone
has ever been invited for dinner where
patriotism was served as desert or
Planning for a new Zimbabwe must start
now, not tomorrow
THERE is no doubt in my mind that one of the
main reasons why those
who have brought down Zimbabwe down to its knees are
refusing to leave is
that they are sitting on something foul that will
Zimbabweans when eventually they are forced to leave
What they fear most is the reaction of Zimbabweans who when
thought they owned a country, realise that in actual fact they now
nothing and everthing has been personalised. I mean everything from
people's land to national assets: Zesa, Noczim and to Zimbabwe
Industries and everything else having to do with public funds and
We have a huge task in rebuilding the country
after Mugabe and Zanu PF
are evicted from the government. Mutoro mukuru
unorema.As we speak I am sure
the fat cats in Zanu PF are busy covering their
tracks. Records are being
destroyed and assets being moved and hidden. The
next government will have a
mammoth big task of putting information together
to find out how these guys
have been running our country but most records
will be missing.
The real challenge after the people's revolution
will be how to make
sure all government structures are deZanunised in a
manner that does not
compound our problems. For example, how are we going to
make sure that these
guys will not carry out S-O-W(Sabotage on withdrawal)
tasks just to make
things tough for the next government? How are we going to
rehabilitate a police force that has been turned into a
against its own people? Will the people of Zimbabwe respect
such a police
How are we going to reorient an army that
is permanently intoxicated
with a liberation war and has clearly failed to
transform itself from a
liberation front into a national army? How are we
going to transform a
public service that has slid into a culture of
corruption into a committed
service dedicated to serving the country without
engaging in clandestine
deals during the conduct of their duties? How are we
going to steer back our
agro-economy into production without further
aggravating the situation that
has been created by Ndini Chete through his
greed for power?
In my opinion, any future government must
seriously start mapping out
detailed strategic plans to address the issues I
have raised. The time to do
is now. That incoming government must not wait
until the political goals are
achieved, otherwise it will be confronted by a
serious vacuum soon after
taking over. It is impractical to evict everyone
senior in the public
service soon after taking over, no matter how much such
members may have
been aligned to Zanu PF. That future government has to start
now to consult
with senior people in the public service about how it intends
to proceed and
to have their views.
The MDC shadow ministers
must not underestimate the task that lies
ahead of them, and they must not
adopt the fatal "I know it all" syndrome,
which has been the hallmark of Zanu
Zhakata ban shows government
THE banning from the airwaves of Leonard Zhakata's
offering cannot simply be dismissed as another quarrel between
the arts. It is a manifestation of the government's increasing
awe at the
power of the media in Zimbabwe.
In a democracy, art
and politics are in fierce competition for the
people's hearts. Both compete
to project, as accurately as possible, the
people's dreams and aspirations.
Politicians and artists quarrel
ocassionally, but still respect each other's
right to exist. The Mugabe
regime has a pathetic record in this natural
arrangement. It is not
difficult to understand why it regards artistic
expression as a corrupting
influence on politics.
conscious artists often project the prevailing political
mood. They intepret
the people's collective political vision against the one
always try to impose. We have seen the musician's power to
motivate in Thomas Mapfumo's Chimurenga and Lucky Dube's
Zhakata's popularity is testimony of his ability to
touch hearts. To silence
him is tantamount to silencing the people-a futile
attempt. At this critical
moment in Zimbabwe's history, it makes sense that
art should despair at the
prevailing anarchy and defy the tyranny. Zhakata
or any other musician would
betray the public mood if they sang solely of
roses and castles in the
Instead of silencing musicians, Zanu PF should urge its
compete with the like of Zhakata on the music scene. Let them
in praise of the violence, corruption and purging of the
we'll see who sells the most copies.
Zimbabwe reneges on IMF debt
By our own
THE Zimbabwean government has reneged on its pledge to make
repayments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) heightening
its executive board will strip Harare's voting and related
rights from the
fund when it meets in Washington on Friday.
major test case that is likely to hand another blow to the
tattered image on the international arena, the Bretton
board will discuss a report drawn by its staff mission
which was in Harare
two months ago.
In March, Chris Kuruneri, the Deputy Minister of
Finance and Economic
Development, assured a visiting IMF delegation which was
annual Article IV consultation talks that government had
debt to make quarterly payments of $1,5
However, in an interview with Standard Business, Finance
Development Minister Herbert Murerwa disclosed that the
failed to meet its pledge because of the chronic scarcity of
The decision to suspend Harare's voting and
related rights in the fund
depends on the executive board's assessment of a
member country's policies
and on payments made to the fund. Policy measures
taken and payments made
until Friday will be taken into account.
"We are still in arrears with the IMF and other lenders. We had
our debt but we have not been able to meet that because of
problems," said Murerwa.
If suspended, Zimbabwe joins the league of
Sudan, Ethiopia and
Liberia, which was stripped of its voting and related
rights from the global
lender in March.
A suspension of voting
and related rights would mean that Zimbabwe
would no longer be able to
participate in the election of an executive
director and to cast its vote on
the executive board on policy and country
"We are in
dire straits. If you don't pay your creditors you will be
in trouble," said
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions chief economist,
"The possibilities of suspension are there. It
is very possible for us
to be suspended purely on the basis of non-servicing
of debt. If you don't
see us suspended, it will be politics," said Daniel
Ndlela, an analyst with
MDC unveils economic blueprint
By our own
THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is set to unveil its
blueprint code-named "Restart" this month as the party positions
to assume power, Standard Business has gathered.
"Restart which is an acronym for Reconstruction, Stabilisation,
Transformation, is an overhauled version of the party's Bold,
and Innovative while being oriented to Development, Growth and
(Bridge) crafted in 2001.
Party insiders said "Bridge" had been
dumped following an audit and
options exercise carried on it by the party's
economic affairs department in
April. It was rejected as a neo-liberal
On Wednesday, Tapiwa Mashakada, the MDC's shadow minister
said the party's economic affairs department was finalising the
salvage the country from the ongoing economic
He said they were consulting business, labour, academics and
society in drawing up the economic plan.
revealed that the economy had actually deteriorated so
much. We realised that
we must move away from stabilisation to
reconstruction," said Mashakada.
Why Government is losing the propaganda war
Chido Makunike on Sunday
THE Mugabe government's propaganda
machinery has the very difficult
task of trying to portray it in favourable
light at a time few things are
going right in Zimbabwe.
hardship, deprivation and uncertainty are the result of a war
support, or a natural disaster the government can show itself
to be managing
to the best of its abilities, difficult times can actually
opportunities to rally public opinion. They do not
automatically mean trouble
for the rulers, as is the case in Zimbabwe today,
if information is managed
Domestically, one task of the information department
run by Jonathan
Moyo and George Charamba is to make the ruling party and
good to the electorate so that they can continue to win
hearts and minds,
and be retained in power. The positive element of this is
whatever achievements the government can claim, while the
negative side is
to play up the weaknesses of the opposition.
Apart from this narrow partisan end, it also has a responsibility to
Zimbabweans appreciate the challenges facing them as a nation. When
well done, it fosters national cohesiveness, strengthening our
Zimbabweans, rather than primarily as members of our particular
racial or political groupings.
Good "information and publicity" is
not merely relating what the
government said or did. It must be put in a
context that helps citizens to
understand what impact it has on their lives
individually and collectively,
and what choices or sacrifices may be needed
to achieve national goals.
Effective communication could make the
public understand the need to
accept higher prices for fuel or electricity,
even as people grumble about
it. It helps if the fuel is readily available to
buy at those higher prices
of course! If it not, as is the case in Zimbabwe
now, the information
department's task then becomes explaining the
so that the public understands and is soothed,
as well as convinced to make
the necessary sacrifices.
Internationally, the propaganda department must put the country's best
forward by complementing the work of all other departments of state.
facing the world, any partisan slant should be avoided, recognising
are seen as Zimbabweans more than as members of one political party
another, no matter how strongly held our party affiliations.
the country is not doing something very well, the information
the state should explain the reason for our poor performance
and show the
efforts we are making to improve, thus minimising whatever
might be caused.
The Minister of Finance will soon make a trip to
the US to plead with
the IMF for more time to pay off overdue debts, as well
as presumably ask
for additional credit for many critical needs such as the
food to feed the many hungry.
If one or more
officials there has read an effective report by the
explaining the country's predicament in some newspaper
or on the Internet, he
is likely to be more receptive to the visiting
This report could be in the form of a good
interview in which the information
minister acquits himself with friendly
dignity, answers questions truthfully
and lays his government's cards
clearly on the table. Can you imagine this of
If, on the other hand, the last report he saw on
Zimbabwe was of a
propagandist of that broke, impoverished government
haughtily talking about
how his government didn't need anybody, and insulting
his race and way of
life, do you think that official is going to be
favourably disposed to the
visiting finance minister?
propaganda minister might feel very good at having got things off
but his outburst impacts directly and negatively on the work of
minister and other officials who have the responsibility to
produce more than
just hot air for the country. In a system that works
competently, the propaganda department should always be
productive or service departments of state, and should
coordinate with and
complement their work, rather than make it more
Another key information function of state is to win more friends than
for the country. You may demonise your foe at a time of war, but
speaking a key function of the propaganda department is to try to
opinion to one's way of thinking, or at least gain sympathy for it,
to score rhetorical and debating points, even at the cost of the
To do this it is important to engage even those you do
not think of as
natural allies. Effective propaganda is not just about
preaching to the
converted to ensure they do not stray from the faith, it is
winning over new converts to one's side as a political party or a
good propagandist must be readily accessible to those who seek him
hope of selling his "product" to them, not haughty and
The propaganda department should be involved in lobbying
departments of state to "act right". It should explain to the police
there is no way images of Zimbabweans being beaten and bloodied by them
with their cooperation, can be explained to the world in a way that
the government look good. They should not be trying to justify and
atrocities to the world. That is not clever propaganda.
The propaganda machinery serves the national interest more when it
the immigration department to respect the country's judiciary, than
seeks to defend flagrant violations of the country's laws. The world
marvel at the rhetorical gymnastics of clever, well spoken
they will still wonder why a country bothers to have laws
if they are not
applied with any consistency or fairness. Why have judges if
can be ignored on a vice president or bureaucrat's whim with
The information and publicity department of Moyo and
Charamba seeks to
limit our freedoms by cynical use of the legal process and
have caused the
arrest of Zimbabweans lawfully going about their jobs. They
are at the
forefront of spreading hate speech, and inciting Zimbabweans
other. Foreign leaders and countries whose good relations we
need have been insulted and are no longer willing to come to our
help at a
time we need all the friends in the world.
protesting the ill treatment of Zimbabweans by organs of
state, so that they
can more effectively sell the image of a peaceful
country in which the rule
of law prevails, they have sought to justify those
abuses. The propaganda
department under Moyo and Charamba has taken the
unprecedented step of
undermining the ministers and other officials of the
government they serve
together in, presenting an image of chaos and lack of
The result? The ruling party that once
completely dominated public
affection continues to lose ground to an upstart,
novice opposition party.
The people are alienated from their leaders and
government as never before.
Internationally, even those we claim to be our
friends are not willing to
come to our material aid, a few limiting their
"support" to rhetoric as
puerile and empty as that of our
Readers and fellow Zimbabweans, it is my submission
that by every
measure of propaganda that should serve the national interest,
department of information and publicity has failed Zimbabwe
The madness that surrounds us
This week, The Standard launches a new column,
Sundaytalk with Pius
Wakatama. Mr Wakatama, a prolific and respected writer,
has joined our team
of regular contributors.
I would like to say
thank you to so many people who wrote to The Daily
News and those who phoned
me, with concern, because they missed my weekly
contribution to the
Your words of encouragement are much appreciated. I want
to assure you
that I have not defected from those who are fighting for the
injustice, intolerance, corruption, lack of transparency,
human rights, bad governance and other evils which beset our
I will, as of today, continue the crusade through The
Standard, which has
continued to be a beacon of hope to many.
Many people have asked me why I stopped writing for The Daily News.
am not like some people, we all know, who constantly dwell on the
glories of the past. I would rather learn from the past, forget it
about the future which seems to offer a ray of hope at this time.
By the look
of things, it will not be long before we have a new incumbent at
All of Zimbabwe is now looking towards that day when we can all
rebuilding our destroyed country.
However, I do have some words of
advice, for what they are worth, to
The Daily News. To that noble newspaper I
say; 'Do not forget your humble
beginnings and the small men and women who
worked hard under tough
conditions to make you what you are today. It is
worrying that they now seem
to be so dispensable. Remember, 'pride goes
before a fall.'
Many people were rather anxious when the founding
editor Geoff Nyarota
was unceremoniously fired. Their fears proved to be
unfounded when the paper
continued on the same unwavering track with John
Gambanga as editor. Now the
anxiety has returned again with the replacement
of Gambanga by Francis
Mdlongwa. This anxiety, which I share, is not
necessarily out of emotional
concern for individuals. While staff changes are
sometimes necessary for any
organisation, it is also true that people need to
be treated fairly. At The
Daily News, the large number of people leaving
certainly raises eyebrows.
The anxiety stems from the fact that The
Daily News has been such a
source of information and, indeed, inspiration for
Zimbabweans that they
would not like it to change. It has been a truly
independent paper, owing no
allegiance to the opposition, the ruling party or
to any sectional
interests. Its allegiance has been to the people of Zimbabwe
as a whole even
though the government tried to stick all kinds of labels on
My own hope is that The Daily News does not lose its focus and
elitist and detached. I hope that it does not get drunk with success
taken up with grandiose social, political and economic issues which
nothing to do with the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.
Daily News has been focused on the plight of the down-trodden. It,
with The Standard and The Zimbabwe Independent, awoke the people to
realities around them and smote their consciences that today they
fearlessly saying "Enough is enough". Lets hope The Daily News will
true to its founding spirit and even be better.
My intention was
not to dwell so much on The Daily News but, in this
my maiden contribution to
The Standard, to write about the madness around
us, which I will now proceed
A professor once said to me, in a psychology class; "Pius,
difference between mental normalcy and absolute madness is the degree
which one wanders off from speech or behaviour considered normal
In other words it depends on society (the majority)
to decide whether
one is mad or not. The standard of measurement is the
degree by which one is
considered to have veered from ordinarily accepted
speech or behaviour. If
the degree is overwhelming we are regarded as mad and
institutionalised in some asylum. If the degree is rather
acute, we are referred to as 'eccentric' but not mad. If
the degree is small
we are considered normal. A few moments of madness are,
I too, have had my moments of madness.
One such moment was when I was
listening to Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC
leader, on television. He had just
said; " We say to Mugabe, please, go
peacefully. If he does not want to go
peacefully, we shall remove him
I responded by saying, 'Bravo, Morgan. That is the only
way to do it."
After a while, I realised this was madness. I am
sure Tsvangirai later
regretted his words just like our President regretted
his own "moment of
madness" when he unleashed the Fifth Brigade on
What is worrying is that our President's
moments of madness seem to be
so many. However, it depends on the Zimbabwean
society as a whole, to
determine whether the number of his moments of madness
go over the
acceptable degree or not. I am sure it will do no harm to take a
what most normal people in Zimbabwe seem to consider to be our
moments of madness.
Many commentators concluded that
the awarding of $50 000 each (which
was unbudgeted for) to war veterans and
the sending of our army to the
Democratic Republic of Congo were acts of
madness which set us firmly on the
road of economic ruin. Another moment of
madness was the illegal and violent
seizure of white owned farms which
brought poverty for this once rich
country. Yes, another moment of madness
was when our president said to the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the
World Bank (WB) "go to hell".
Today, he is secretly sending emissaries to
those institutions to ask for
forgiveness and to beg for financial assistance
because our situation is
Unfortunately that chances
of those institutions coming to bail out
Zimbabwe are nil. They are
controlled by the United States, Britain and
other western countries which
President Mugabe has insulted ad infinitum.
They will only come to our aid
when President Mugabe is no longer in charge.
It was also a moment
of madness when the president sanctioned the
imposition of a blanket price
control regime on all basic commodities. The
result was as predicted by all
sane realists, yours truly included. There
were immediate shortages and a
robust black market emerged. It sent prices
soaring to levels unaffordable by
the ordinary citizen.
Yet another moment of madness was when the
president fired the
Minister of Finance, Simba Makoni, for daring to suggest
that the Zimbabwe
dollar be devalued to a realistic level. The president as
Makoni of attempting to sabotage the economy. Actually it was
who had sabotaged the economy. He had fueled the black market
maintaining the exchange rate at US $1 to Z$55.
a result, the Reserve Bank has no foreign currency for the country,
this does not mean there is no foreign currency in Zimbabwe. It is
traded on the black market and the government recognises this and has
banks and its own institutions to source foreign on the illegal
If this is not madness then tell me what it is.
He who has ears to
hear, let them hear.
Do or Die
THE week we
have just begun could mark a turning point in the 23-year
independent Zimbabwe as ordinary citizens make the choice between
quo and a new political dispensation.
It is a sad indictment those
who have enjoyed the privilege of leading
this country over the past 23 years
that today, a once prosperous beacon of
hope in Africa, has been reduced to
another basket case in a much maligned
mass stayaway that the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) and its
leadership has called for is a result of what has gone
terribly wrong in our
country. Everything around us has crumbled like a deck
Life has become virtually impossible for most Zimbabweans. We are
instinct and by the grace of God only. The people of Zimbabwe are
by a single impulse: to get a crumb, even just a crumb of
something to put
into their stomachs to sustain life and limb.
As Zimbabweans either
march in their cities and towns or simply stay
at home, it will not
necessarily be about the removing the de facto
President and the government
from power but to say 'Enough is Enough. The
tide of feeling about the
tragedy that has gripped the country is running
very high and this could be
the opportunity for Zimbabweans to shake off a
label now being bandied
around-that we are a docile people.
We know that the police and
soldiers will be looking for any excuse to
use their weapons. They have been
drilled to believe this is their duty and
that if they shoot demonstrators,
they will be protecting Zimbabwe's
sovereignty and constitution. This is the
nonsense they have been told. Yet
we believe many of them understand that
sovereingty is not a preserve of the
ruling class. The constution is there to
protect the rights of all
Zimbabweans regardless of their tribe, colour,
religion or political
Firing indiscriminately into a
crowd of unarmed demonstrators is a
negation of the most basic tenets of
civilised governance. If they decide to
turn their water on, thereby wounding
the whole nation, Zimbabweans must
react by kneeling in the streets and
For they would have declared an unwinnable and
The Fire This Time
IT is no exaggeration to say that no demonstrations since
the 1950s in
Zimbabwe will be as popular as the ones planned for this week.
desperately in need of everything: food, fuel, cash-the whole
The circumstances are cruel enough. Zimbabwe is a country in
grip. The destruction of the country by Zanu PF has sparked an
upheaval in the country's politics, culture and
We hold no brief for the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC). But we
do know for sure that the economic and political calamity that
is facing has nothing to do with the MDC. Zimbabweans are
escape the poverty and suffering that has been caused by Zanu
mismanagement of the economy.
Just to keep the record
straight: MDC does not want to stage a coup
through the anti-Mugabe marches.
There is no intention whatsoever on the
part of the MDC to unconstitutionally
remove the President and the
Government of Zimbabwe from power. In saying
this, we are not being
spokespersons of MDC but merely putting the correct
perspective to the
forthcoming demonstrations. We owe it to our readers to
provide the proper
context to what may rank as one of the significant
political events in
Zimbabwe this year.
The ruling party in its
panic over the real possibility of Zimbabwe's
streets being filled with
demonstrators is using the lie of overthrowing the
government as one of its
chief propaganda arguments against the planned
marches. The MDC has neither
the capacity nor the intention of unleashing
violence on the public and
against government institutions and property. For
that will be as unwise as
it is ignoble.
MDC or no MDC, Zimbabweans are simply fed up.
Everybody knows that for
international support and assistance to flow into
the country, there has to
be the political solution to our problems and that
begins with the
realisation that President Mugabe has become a liability. And
in the heart
of their hearts, Zanu PF knows this. The final push must be
the context of putting pressure on President Mugabe to enter
into a serious
and genuine dialogue with the MDC that will culminate in his
office to save this country. How this is done legally and
timeously, is a
matter for the negotiators. Zimbabweans are heartily
ratifying the mass
action in this context, no matter what consequences. Such
further the aim of lifting the country out of its hideous
Nobody believes the Zanu PF propaganda arguments
anymore. For the
Shamuyariras and Goches to talk about the motive behind the
being to effect a coup against the legitimately elected
Zimbabwe is laughable. The truth for the ruling party's cadres,
as we have
continually shown in our pages, remains an alien concept. In all
speeches, advertisements in the press and elsewhere and in all the
that the MDC has been holding countrywide in the past few weeks to
support for the final push, not once was the word 'coup'
Knowing Zanu PF as we do, it is predictable that they
the whole situation in their drive to remain in power at all
know that their defeat is imminent and all they are trying to do
is to delay
the inevitable. The Zanu PF edifice is collapsing around them.
marches are the beginning of the end. They know that.
It is obvious that Zimbabweans are poised collectively to enter the
Even if MDC were to do nothing, the end for Zanu PF as it is
constituted is about to be reached. Hope and confidence is about
restored in Zimbabwe. The 'final push' fever has caught on.
fact, there is now no option at all. That is why the government is
scared. They are trying all sorts of tricks to block the marches.
threatening the demonstrators, the police late Saturday obtained a
interdict to stop the popular demonstrations. If this is not confusion
desperation on the part of the powers that be, we do not know what
Clearly, the ruling party is in for the fight of its life.
This week's demonstrations are not the sort that split society and
Zimbabweans of all races and creeds fully support these peaceful
want to be fully involved in them and if uniformed forces try to
mow down the
marchers. they will never be forgiven. Be that as it may,
week will prove equal to the challenge. The demonstrations
this time appear
to usher a new Zimbabwe.
No money to buy nothing
IN a bizarre twist of economic management a new shortage has
troubled central African nation.
Not content with
shortages of everything from food to fuel, last week
money ran out.
Economists said that while this might not be deliberate
policy on the part of
the almost ruling Zany Party, it was certainly a
result of Zany
"What it means is that you now have no money to buy all
that aren't available," an economist told Over The Top. "And if
make sense, tell me what does," he added.
lengthy queues of angry and troubled citizens of the
troubled central African
nation grew in leaps and bounds outside banks and
building societies as tens
of thousands waited impatiently for their pay.
"We need the money that isn't
there to buy the things that aren't in the
shops," said a confused central
Still, just where the money had gone remained a mystery.
for the More Drink Coming party said he suspected it was being
cupboards by Zany Party leaders who were stockpiling it in
While Zany bankers have
admitted that the central bank had run out of
money to print money, it still
didn't explain where the money already
printed had gone.
Diplomats with wide-ranging experience of tin pot regimes and
also said it was a mystery. "We've seen inflation of over
before, but we've never seen a country run out of bank notes,"
The strange development means the troubled
central African regime now
has no foreign currency or local currency, a
unique feat of economic
mismanagement thought to be unparalleled even by such
corrupt and decadent
governments as Albania.
The latest shortage
means cash joins a long list of unobtainable items
in the troubled central
African kleptocracy. These include such basic
necessities as mealie meal,
bread, sugar, cigarettes, coal, diesel, petrol,
tyres, butter, cooking oil
and many more items than a column of this length
has room to
Meanwhile a Zany spokesman told OTT that the whole thing was
blown out of proportion and made into a propaganda issue by the
More Drink Coming Party and its British sponsors. "I really don't
people are complaining about because there's nothing to buy, so who
money?" He said. "This is just the sort of thing the lackeys of
would make a meal of. Besides, we have it on good information
that they and
their neo-colonialist masters have hidden all the
Asked whether there was any merit in the suggestion, a
diplomat laughed. "It would be a very silly man who buys the
central African country's currency," he said. "That would be a bit
investing in Bulgarian technology."
But an unnamed
political analyst warned that the shortage of money
could be the spark that
ignites the troubled central African bonfire. Mixing
his metaphors, he said:
"This could be the spark that breaks the camel's
while hundreds of thousands of people were queuing for their
money, the most
equal of all comrades was preparing to travel to distant
Nigeria to attend
the inauguration of another leader who recently won a
election. Close aides said it was unlikely the most equal
of all comrades
would have to queue for anything, except perhaps a seat at a
also scheduled in the continent's capital of corruption.
shortage also came a week before the More Drinking Party called
demonstrations and strikes. Analysts said the strikes were likely
successful, but only if the More Drink Coming Party leaders actually
in this time.