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

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Cape Times 

     Service providers resist Mugabe's move to censor internet and e-mail
      June 1, 2004

      By Basildon Peta

      All internet service providers in Zimbabwe are soon to be obliged to
block or divulge the source of e-mail messages deemed politically sensitive,
objectionable, unauthorised or obscene, reports have said.

      The measure is part of efforts by President Robert Mugabe's government
to gag internet and e-mail communication after it successfully implemented a
law that shut down most of the private media.

      Under the new regulations, all internet service providers will have to
sign a contract requiring them to co-operate with the government in tracing
the sources of e-mails deemed offensive. It also forbids the use of service
providers "for anti-national activities" construed to be an offence
punishable under Zimbabwean law.

      The internet service providers are resisting the government's
censorship drive.

      An employee of one service provider said most had resolved to refuse
to sign the controversial contract as it not only infringed on the freedom
of expression, but could drive them out of business.

      "We are saying 'No' because it is illegal," a senior service provider
employee told the Standard.

      An information technology expert was quoted as saying it was possible
for the government to eavesdrop on e-mail messages as most were routed
through TelOne, the state-owned telecommunications company.

      In the past few weeks, internet users have complained about blocked
e-mail messages, mostly those that carried political information. One was
from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change's information department
to several subscribers.

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Experts: Only Fraction of Zimbabwean Wheat Planted
Peta Thornycroft
01 Jun 2004, 17:45 UTC

AP Photo
A farm in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's wheat-planting season has ended, but because of delays in the processing of loans for seed and fertilizer by the government's land bank, experts say only a fraction of the acreage has been planted.

Crop forecasters say they have no idea how much wheat has been planted this year, but express doubt whether it will be more than last winter or a quarter of the country's needs.

About 90-percent of Zimbabwe's wheat crop, which needs irrigation in the country's dry winter months, was traditionally grown by white commercial farmers. Following the eviction of most of them over the last four years, the land is now in the hands of the so-called new farmers.

The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers' Union, which largely represents new farmers, says many of its members did not get loans from the government's Agribank in time for planting winter wheat. The organization says the land bank has failed to process applications for loans in time.

Agribank was one of about half a dozen Zimbabwe banks that were unable to honor checks earlier this year. However, the bank says it has restructured and the government has injected enough money for it to finance production of most cereal crops in future.

Statistics published in state-controlled media report Zimbabwe harvested 220,000 tons of wheat last winter, but grain traders and importers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, say the actual figure is less than half of that.

President Robert Mugabe has said Zimbabwe harvested enough wheat last winter to feed itself and will not need to depend on food donations or imports for the foreseeable future.

During the past two years, international food donations fed as many as 5.5 million people in Zimbabwe or nearly one-half of the country's population.

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From The Times (UK), 1 June

Zimbabwe's once-proud schools face ruin

Jan Raath in Chegutu

There are no books, no chalk and little hope as children are forced out of

Deep in the Zimbabwean bush, 65 miles west of Harare, four teachers start
each day by washing goat droppings from their primary school's concrete
floor. They have no textbooks, no stationery and no chalk; marks on a
blackboard show where a teacher has tried to write with charcoal. There are
benches and tables for only ten children: the rest are told to bring sacks
for seating. In the winter, a cold wind sweeps through the broken windows.
Three quarters of the 176 pupils have been sent home until their parents can
pay the 50p term fees. "The school has no money. Without the fees, we can do
nothing," said the headmaster, who asked not to be named. A teacher added:
"We ask the children to give us their chewing gum so we can stick pictures
on the wall." This school serves the children of peasants who have settled
on white-owned farms seized during President Mugabe's chaotic land reform
programme, but there are schools in an equally parlous state all over a
country that once boasted the best education system in Africa.

Five years of economic collapse, political oppression and rampant
lawlessness, compounded by the scourge of Aids, are threatening to deprive
an entire generation of Zimbabwean children of any meaningful schooling. In
1979 there were 893,000 schoolchildren in white-ruled Rhodesia. At
independence a year later Mr Mugabe, himself a former teacher, launched a
remarkable expansion drive that saw three million children attending school
by 1987. As recently as 2000, primary school enrolment was 93 per cent, the
highest in Africa. But the figure had slumped to 65 per cent by last year,
according to Unicef. Literacy among schoolchildren, once 86 per cent, is
plummeting and drop-out rates are soaring. In addition, the land seizures
have forced 121,000 children of commercial farm workers out of school. "If
the current situation continues, we will lose a whole generation," Cecile
Baldeh, Unicef's project officer in Zimbabwe, said. Mr Mugabe has just
awarded himself a 2,500 per cent pay increase and offered tribal chiefs £2.7
million and free cars in return for their loyalty in parliamentary elections
next March. Yet the Government can barely pay its 109,000 teachers and has
abandoned the maintenance and development of urban state schools, let alone
those in the bush.

Cranborne High School, in a middle-class area of Harare, was built in the
1960s as a model British comprehensive school, with a large assembly hall,
fully equipped gymnasium, competition-standard swimming pool and an art and
design centre. Today it is a desolate place, reeking of urine. The pool is a
yard deep in algae, the rugby posts are buckled and all the gym equipment
has been stolen. In the woodwork rooms, only the vices remain, bolted to the
tables. The hall is coated in dust and grime. Classroom windows have been
smashed and doors torn off their hinges. "It only started getting like this
five years ago," a senior teacher said. Most ordinary Zimbabweans can no
longer afford to educate all their children. Faced with a 500 per cent
inflation rate, many parents have withdrawn their daughters from school and
are skipping meals to pay for their sons. Ephrage Ndzinga, 49, has put three
children through their O levels by hawking vegetables in suburban Harare,
but has four more to go. "One of them is doing O levels this year, so I have
to make sure his fees are paid up, otherwise he cannot write the
examination," he said. "The younger ones are not paid, so they were chased
from school. It is the same for my four brothers and their children."

The impact of the Aids epidemic is increasingly felt in the classroom.
Unicef says that 25 per cent of teachers are HIV-positive and in six years'
time 38,000 will have died. At Mhuriimwe school in Seke, a seething
dormitory township just south of Harare, almost 100 of the 600 children are
Aids orphans, and most of the rest have only one parent, said a teacher, who
asked not to be named. A £380,000 state programme to keep 800,000 Aids
orphans and other disadvantaged children in school for the rest of the year
ran out in March. Teachers have been blamed for infecting 11 and 12-year-old
pupils with HIV and heavy drinking and serial absenteeism have become
widespread in the profession. Political repression makes the job even
harder. "Teachers are conceived of as the opposition," Macdonald Mangauzani,
treasurer of the Progressive Teacher's Union, said. Shortly before the
presidential elections in 2002, 30 schools around the country were closed by
supporters of the ruling party. Stan Mudenge, the Foreign Minister, told a
teachers' meeting: "You can even be killed for supporting the Opposition."
Hundreds of teachers fled as their colleagues were abducted and tortured.
Raymond Majongwe, the union's leader, led a strike for higher pay in October
2002. He was arrested, detained illegally for a week, assaulted and
tortured. He says that secret police are deployed in disguise as teachers in
most high schools. "You have to be careful what you say in the staffroom,"
he said. Even Zimbabwe's 80 private schools are under threat. Last month
Aeneas Chigwedere, the Education Minister, closed them all, even though most
have an 80 per cent black enrolment. He had a dozen head teachers arrested
on the grounds that they were "racist" and were trying to exclude black
pupils by charging high fees. Most reopened after dropping their fees to
unsustainable levels. "The impact [of Zimbabwe's economic collapse] is worse
on children than it is in any other sector of society," Mrs Baldeh said.
"For the child to be bearing the brunt of it all is shameful."
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1 June 2004

An international consensus has emerged in the past decade on the definition and conduct of legitimate elections. Foreigners have the same rights as the citizens in ensuring the observance of certain standards in the way ordinary people choose their representatives.
Both local and international observation of elections today carry equal weight and complement each other in assessing the legitimacy of any poll. A flawed election creates a regime without the faith and trust of the majority while foreigners are wary of ballot thieves because of their effect on peace and security.
Since 2000, Zimbabwean elections have sparked immense political controversy and divided the SADC region, Africa and the international community. The divisions are clearly visible between political parties, civil society and governments. The guilty are quick to raise wild accusations of external interference. They whip up emotions in an attempt to revive selective memories of racism, colonialism and victimisation.
Disputed winners only want to hear praises and congratulations from fellow African rulers, ignoring the full story whose effects could be as far reaching as to drive entire nations into civil strife.
Zimbabwe is due for another election next year. While we are doing as much as we can to campaign for review of our electoral standards, it is important for international observers to help us to achieve our goals in this national assignment. Our electoral standards are still very backward. They are a source of instability.
I was particularly impressed with the recent Indian elections when the losers became the first ones to inform the nation that they respected the people's verdict. Such a situation obtains when all political players have confidence in the electoral process. That is what the MDC desires and what Zimbabweans deserve.
We are disturbed by the conduct of official observers from the SADC region who are quick to find adjectives to puff up public explanations in an attempt to justify what could clearly be a fraud. They choose to blame administrative bottlenecks, which they conveniently assume to be natural, instead of condemning openly questionable electoral practices in their own backyards. When confronted privately, the same official observers admit their mistakes, but raise spurious arguments about stability, solidarity, the liberation struggle and the fact that it is normal for elections to present difficult challenges in Africa.
You will recall that election observers from South Africa, Nigeria and SADC governments generally legitimised the 2000 Parliamentary election and the 2002 Presidential election. Local independent observers disagreed with them - justifiably because we lost  close to 300 lives and billions of dollars in destroyed property, assets and time to Zanu PF thuggery and lawlessness during the ill-fated exercise. Other African observers, the European Union and those from the Commonwealth, led by a Nigerian, condemned the election. 
Equally, loud voices of criticism came from Africa's civil society.  Sadly, nobody listened to those voices of reason.  Now, what has happened to Zimbabwe in the past two years? The country was allowed to collapse although at the time Africa and the world knew and accepted that the dispute was caused by the country's murky electoral standards.
What Zimbabweans and Africa assumed to be elections here during the past the past five years were happenings that merely bolstered the general perceptions and negative stereotypes about Africans. The failure and inability of African leaders to stop the rot has serious consequences for our people.
Presidents Bakili Muluzi, Joachim Chissano, Olusegun Obasanjo and Thabo Mbeki visited Zimbabwe in an attempt to find a solution to what they clearly saw as a crisis from Robert Mugabe's self-proclaimed victory. Still nothing significant happened to assist Zimbabweans, or better still to push the Mugabe regime to change the nation's electoral standards. The regime has even tightened the democratic space, promulgated repressive laws, pushed the political environment to a stage of heightened internal tension, and closed off all avenues for principled political dialogue.
Our behaviour as African leaders, our failure to restrain each other or merely to acknowledge evil intentions against the people, makes it possible for dictators to burgeon their way into office using sham elections. The collective embarrassment, the self-humiliation we bless and entrench in Africa affects the world's potential support for continental initiatives like NEPAD.
Zimbabweans took note of the latest report of the African Union criticising the election in Malawi. The report signalled a radical departure from the norm. That must be encouraged by all political parties, winners and losers.
Bingu wa Mutharika was declared the winner and sworn in immediately in the presence of his new SADC colleagues who included Mugabe. The SADC official observation team saw nothing improper with the election. The aggrieved opposition has posted a legal challenge to the result. This could lead to nothing because Bingu wa Mutharika is recognised by SADC governments.
We eagerly await the AU's next move. William Shija of neighbouring Tanzania led the AU's observer mission. The AU was not alone in making such an observation. Strident voices of condemnation emerged from the Commonwealth delegation, headed by Justice Joseph Warioba, the former Prime Minister of Tanzania, the European Union and several local monitoring groups.
Manipulation of state power institutions undermines electoral processes and systems. Among the concerns of the AU and those of other groups were the abuse of the state machinery, especially the media and the voters roll in the Malawi election. Justice Warioba said: "Because of the problems with the (voters) register, the bias of the state media and the abuse of incumbency, the process prior to Election Day was unfair."
The official SADC observer team chose to ignore glaring infringements, declaring the election "free and fair and credible" apart from "some minor, isolated administrative incidents, which were promptly handled". I think the time has come for civil society and the people of SADC to act.
The SADC parliamentary forum, meeting in Windhoek, Namibia in 2001 developed specific benchmarks and standards for all elections in the region. The SADC governments later ratified these election standards and accepted the system as the sole method of conferring legitimacy to elections.
There is a negative belief among Africans, especially nationalists, when they refer to their own elections. They speak of African notions of democracy, which in reality are nothing other than autocratic and tyrannical inclinations to cling onto power. We must apply universal values for elections, or at least, we must make every effort to achieve the barest minimum levels, such as the SADC norms and standards.
The fact that voting is peaceful and orderly on the balloting days cannot be the only measure for a free and fair election. We believe international observers need to move into the country early enough to watch through the process right up to the counting of ballots. We recommend a period of at least 90 days before the Election Day. Observers and monitors, as stakeholders, must put pressure on Mugabe and his regime to open up political activity to all interested parties and individuals in Zimbabwe. They must impress upon the regime that for a democracy to be seen to be effective everybody, or at least the majority, must recognise an election, and an election result.

In 2002, our partisan Electoral Supervisory Commission accredited, at the last minute, only 400 local independent observers to cover the whole country. This was a joke as it severely curtailed the ability of Zimbabwe Election Support Network to observe the election. We must work hard to avoid such setbacks.

Those wishing to monitor and observe the 2005 Parliamentary election must debate the electoral standards here if their observations are to assume a measure of relevance to the Zimbabwean people. We need a single voice when we decide whether to participate in the election or not. If Zanu PF and Mugabe refuses to accede to local and international challenges to our electoral standards, how do we proceed? Voters, monitors and observers must adopt a common position on this crucial matter.
Zimbabwe's pariah status has deepened. We need to pull the country out of that image. Mugabe and the regime are showing signs of fatigue. The pressure has been so overwhelming that the instruments of power have begun to slide away. There is chaos everywhere: in government ministries, on the former commercial farms, in the mines, in the manufacturing sector, in commerce and industry and in Zanu PF.
The patronage system is crumbling fast, as beneficiaries scurry for cover, many have gone underground and a few have since tasted the effects of a subverted criminal justice system. The patronage system has backfired, consuming those who enjoyed the spoils over the years.
We are continuing with our efforts to mobilise people for change. Our programme for electoral standards is gaining momentum. Free and fair elections, without killings, violence, intimidation and open rigging are possible in Zimbabwe.  We are getting there. Zanu PF is now so weak that it can do nothing to assuage the anxieties of a nation believing itself to be on the brink of change.
Together, we shall win.


Morgan Tsvangirai

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Independent (UK)

Letters from Zimbabwe: Dear family and friends... we can't even afford to
die now
One year ago, we published extracts of weekly e-mails from Zimbabwe by Cathy
Buckle. She started sending them after her farm was seized and her marriage
fell apart. This update - as President Mugabe acts against internet firms to
block such e-mails - reveals how the struggle to survive has become harder,
the tensions worse, the repression harsher
02 June 2004

Saturday 31 May 2003

The person at the supermarket till in front of me had 47,000 Zimbabwean
dollars worth of groceries and was paying the bill with huge blocks of $50
and $20 notes. The teller could barely cope. He told me he needed a new box
for every third customer and the manager's office looked a lot like a

Amazingly though, there is an incredible feeling in the air this week. A
mixture of excitement, anticipation and relief is palpable in the country as
we all know that at last the time has come for action. The opposition, trade
unions and civic society have united and called for a week of well-organised
and peaceful protests, street marches and demonstrations calling for the
resignation of President Mugabe.

Saturday 7 June 2003

The week began and ended with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai being
arrested. Hundreds of people were beaten by nervous police, army and state
agents, at least two were killed and we have felt much like a country at war
this week. After 40 months of mayhem, the events this week have again shown
the world that land and race are not the issues, but the survival of a
political party and its leader.

Saturday 12 July 2003

President George Bush said the situation in Zimbabwe was "sad", and then
left [South Africa]. This week President Mugabe awarded himself a 600 per
cent pay rise and now earns $2m a month. That's pretty sad when a Labour
official told me this week that the minimum wage for a house worker is still
just $3,457 a month [less than 5p a day].

Yes, Mr Bush and Mr Mbeki, what's happening here in our little country,
which has no oil or weapons of mass destruction, is pretty sad.

Saturday 19 July 2003

It was my son's annual school play this week and he handed me the slip that
asked parents to contribute to the half-time refreshments. I didn't know
whether to laugh or cry. If I made a cake, it would mean using my precious
reserve of flour, replaceable only on the black market. I would also have to
use the outrageously expensive block of South African margarine I'd had to
buy last week and black market sugar.

I turned my thoughts to the sandwiches option. Sliced bread is now $1,500 a
loaf if you can get it; again I'd have to use the precious margarine and
then I'd have to find something affordable to use as a filling. With
inflation having hit 365 per cent this week and a single egg now costing
more than $130, I soon scrapped that option too. Oh God, I thought, how can
something so simple as a plate of snacks become such a nightmare.

Saturday 16 August 2003

Maybe we are a nation of cowards. Maybe we are paralysed by fear. Maybe we
are waiting for someone to come riding in on a white horse to save us. Or,
maybe it's because we just don't want another war. We all keep hanging on,
turning the other cheek, trying to help others in worse positions than
ourselves and, if we can, making a stand. We are the moral victors and the
one thing this government can never take from us is our pride and dignity.

Saturday 30 August 2003

There are 11 wards in Marondera; five had been won by default by the ruling
Zanu-PF before today's voting even got under way. This was because
candidates for the opposition had been harassed, threatened, beaten, forced
to leave the town and been physically prevented from submitting their names
with the nomination courts. There have been no public meetings, no posters
or fliers, no maps showing people which ward they are in and basically a
massive information shut down about this election in Marondera. So I set off
to find out if I had the opportunity to vote. My first stop was the local
junior school where I usually vote. It was deserted. The next stop was a
senior school down the road where I talked to a security guard manning the
school gates. The man looked at me as if were an alien from another planet.
I phoned a friend who told me what I already feared: the ward I lived in had
already been won unopposed by Zanu-PF.

Saturday 6 September 2003

Sitting outside one of the main banks this week was a man who used to be a
worker on a farm just outside Marondera until it was taken over by war
veterans. The man had a doctor's prescription. He said the script was for a
cream. Behind his knee and on his calf were about 15 big blister encrusted
sores, seeping and oozing. He said he didn't have enough money for the
medication. It was going to cost $3,500. He showed me the two $500 notes he
had managed to earn towards the cost. I pulled out my wallet and gave him
the balance and the man's eyes filled with tears.

Saturday 13 September 2003

On a dusty siding near the main Marondera railway station, eight children
were playing soccer. All were wearing tattered clothing and none was wearing
shoes. The football was not a ball at all but plastic bags wrapped around
each other. The children danced and waved at me as I watched, showing off
like crazy and I waved back and smiled at their dirty, thin little faces,
wishing they were sitting in classrooms.

Saturday 4 October 2003

Recently a friend's mother died. Burying his mother was a nightmare.
Collecting her body from the hospital and moving it to his rural home cost
$20,000, the coffin cost $80,000 and then there was the question of feeding
all the mourners. He had no choice but to slaughter one of his two ploughing
oxen and borrow from friends. Now he has a debt equivalent to more than a
year's wage and can no longer plough his land and grow food for his family
this year.

Saturday 15 November 2003

I am white and was born here long before Zimbabwe's independence. I did not
approve of the repressive rule of Ian Smith and his Rhodesian Front and I do
not approve of the repressive rule of Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF. In 1990
when we legally bought a farm with government approval in Marondera it was
because we wanted to live in the countryside and try to make a living from

Having the farm seized by drunken government supporters in 2000 and living
side by side for seven months with what became a war veterans' headquarters
and later a torture camp, was any mother's worst nightmare.Zimbabweans,
regardless of their sex or colour, are again preparing to try to make our
government hear our desperate calls. A weekend of national prayer and
fasting is in progress and on Tuesday the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions,
has called for a national protest. Black skin or white, brown or beige, we
are proud and determined Zimbabweans looking to the future.

Saturday 29 November 2003

This week, a young black woman came to my car window carrying a large enamel
basin filled with wild mahobohobo fruits. The woman smiled at me. "I am
Chipo's sister," she said. "Chipo died." I nodded and said how sorry I was.
I asked about Chipo's baby son. The last time I had seen the boy he had been
a fat, gorgeous baby who smiled and dribbled in my arms and his mother had
clapped with cupped hands when I gave her all my own son's baby clothes. The
woman said quietly: "I am sorry, Chipo's baby also died."

Aids is ravaging Zimbabwe. Official estimates are that 3,000 people are
dying from Aids here every week. In almost every shop you see young men and
women as thin as skeletons, with sunken eyes, grey hair, swollen feet and
sores on their faces and necks.

Since October 2000 when government supporters chased my family off our farm,
three of our seven employees have died of Aids. Two others are HIV positive.
The daily assistance I used to be able to give to those employees with milk,
fruit and vegetables from the farm, stopped in 2000. The free condoms I used
to give out every month stopped too.

Saturday 27 December 2003

In the days leading up to Christmas we began stretching and sharing the
bounty, making a little go a very long way and the simplest of things gave
such joy. One woman who we gave toothpaste to, clapped her hands with
delight, saying she could not remember when she had last been able to afford
to clean her teeth. To someone else a tennis ball was the first real toy his
3 year old son had ever received. This youngster was born just after
Zimbabwe's political madness began, and struggle and strife is all he has
ever known. To another man, who writes the most amazing personal diaries
about his struggle to survive in Zimbabwe's hell, two simple exercise books
and a ball point pen were treasured gifts.

On Christmas Day the son of a neighbour arrived with a small enamel pot
containing four home-made scones and four muffins. With much thanks and
laughter the pot was returned to the boy's parents with six eggs and four
little chocolates inside it.

Saturday 17 January 2004

I watched a child and knew for sure that she would soon be dead. Standing
barefoot and in a filthy and torn dress, a wild-eyed and desperate girl of
perhaps 11 stood in the middle of four lanes of traffic. Her hair was matted
and had the characteristic orange colour that indicates malnutrition. On her
back, wrapped in a towel, was a baby. It was perhaps her brother or sister.
The girl just stood, counting filthy $20 notes in the middle of the road as
luxury cars streamed past her. Perhaps she was trying to work out that she
would need 100 of those dirty bills to buy the baby one litre of milk, or
125 of the notes to buy herself one loaf of bread. For an 11-year-old girl
begging on the highway, a loaf of bread or litre of milk would represent a

The $30m that Hear the Word Ministries (formerly Rhema Church) gave to
President Mugabe could have bought 12,000 loaves of bread or 15,000 litres
of milk and saved the lives of hundreds of little begging girls.

Saturday 7 February 2004

Shortly after returning from watching football in Tunisia, the Minister of
Education announced that headmasters from 35 schools across the country were
to be suspended and prosecuted for raising school fees without government
permission. In Marondera, my rates have gone up by 1,615 per cent. Water has
gone up by 1,650 per cent and refuse removal by 1,150 per cent.

Saturday 14 February 2004

This week I visited a new supermarket. In the aisle where female sanitary
products are displayed a group of six men stood in a bunch. As I and other
women looked at the prices of sanitary towels, the men passed crude
comments, made jokes and laughed loudly.

Women who grit their teeth, ignore the taunts and count their dollars to see
if they can afford to keep themselves clean this month. There were neither
tampons nor cotton wool to buy and a pack of 10 sanitary towels was $17,000.
This is the equivalent of almost seven loaves of bread, so for a woman with
hungry children at home, the decision about what to buy is non-existent. The
same applies to even soap.

Standing next to me in the supermarket was a pretty young woman who picked
up the small packet of sanitary towels, looked at the price, sighed, shook
her head and then put them back and left.

Saturday 28 February 2004

The end of February marks the end of Zimbabwe's fourth year of chaos, and it
is a month which will always be remembered as the time when the madness
began. Shortly after the referendum in 2000 in which the people voted
against constitutional changes, I described the invasion of our Marondera
farm. "The war veterans had come. 'Hondo, Hondo, Hondo' (war), the war
veterans shouted, again and again. Then they started whistling and singing.
The dogs were going mad, barking and howling and scratching at the doors to
get out. I closed all the curtains and locked myself in my study, sat down
on the floor and put my hands over my head, sobbing and shaking."

In February 2001, journalists protested against the bombing of the printing
presses of The Daily News. While this was happening, I was witnessing the ag
onising death from Aids of my ex-farm employee, Emmanuel. Neither he nor I
could afford anti- retroviral drugs and Emmanuel's quality of life had
collapsed since we had been forced to leave our farm. Saying goodbye to
Emmanuel is not a day I want to remember. As I embraced him, I could feel
every rib and hear his gasping struggle for breath. I knew I would never see
him again. 'Go well Manuel,' I said, as his father and I lifted him into the
car. 'Stay well, Mrs Cathy,' he whispered in response. Although he died
shortly afterwards, his memory will always be a part of me.

In February 2002, two weeks before the presidential elections, political
violence engulfed the country. One night my neighbour's house was petrol
bombed because he was an opposition activist, and I wrote: "I ran out of my
back door to see a huge fire consuming the house three doors away. A massive
orange glow lit the sky and there were continuing explosions for the next
hour as windows and other items heated and exploded. I ran inside to call
the police and the fire brigade, but they would not come."

In February 2003, the shops were empty of staple food and the petrol
stations were dry. Queuing was a part of everyday life, as were attempted
protests, riot police and tear gas. World cup cricket matches began in
Harare and I wrote about the death of 29-year- old Edison Mukwasi who was an
opposition supporter and had been beaten and tortured while in police

That takes me to February 2004. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe is now 37. Well
over half of the population needs food aid, inflation is over 620 per cent,
the daily free press has gone and every month judges resign from the bench.
President Mugabe has just turned 80 and when asked how close talks were with
the opposition he said: "The devil is the devil, we have no idea of supping
with the devil." Looking back, I can hardly believe Zimbabwe has survived.

Saturday 4 April 2004

The most depressing thing about the elections now is the tired resignation
with which people accept the results and the almost non-existent outrage.

Saturday 10 April

In January 2003, Gabriel was a human rights lawyer. He was called to defend
an opposition member of parliament who was in trouble. Whilst consulting
with his client, Gabriel was seized by armed police. He was held in a prison
cell but then he was removed, shoved into a yellow vehicle, had his head
covered with a black hood and was taken away to an unknown place. Gabriel
was taken down three flights of stairs, stripped naked, had his hands and
feet shackled and was abused, assaulted and interrogated for many hours.

He was forced to drink his own urine and lick his own vomit off the floor.
He was hung upside down and beaten on the soles of his feet, he had wires
attached to his toes and genitals and was repeatedly tortured with electric
shocks. Gabriel was forced to write and sign documents implicating himself
and other senior members of the opposition. Three days later the High Court
ordered that Gabriel be released. Charges of trying to destabilise the
government were thrown out of court, but then came the death threats that
finally made Gabriel flee for his life to South Africa. Gabriel knows of at
least 13,000 Zimbabwean asylum-seekers and torture victims in Johannesburg
alone that need urgent humanitarian assistance. Asylum seekers arrive hugely
traumatised, have no relations, money, accommodation or jobs. The South
African government admits it has given asylum to only 11 people and that
thousands have been rejected on the grounds that "there is no civil war in

Saturday 24 April 2004

I must admit to finding it increasingly difficult to find or see any hope in
Zimbabwe's situation. This week I could write about the farmer who was
"roughed up" in my home town or about thousands of farm workers living in
the bush after being violently evicted from Kondozi farm in Odzi. I could
also write about the violent assault that took place at the University of
Zimbabwe, but there are just no words left to describe these horrors.
Instead I sit here on a Saturday morning listening to music and my eyes are
filled with tears.

Saturday 29 May 2004

There has been a blatant whipping up of rhetoric and anti-white sentiment in
the media. "Racist, racist, racist" are the screams. In a country of 11
million people, generous estimates put the number of white people still here
at about 70,000 - it is a minuscule proportion of the population but for
four years and three months people with white skins have been blamed for
everything that has gone wrong. We have become the easy targets, the
incessant and obvious scapegoats.

The opposition offices in Harare have been attacked, windows smashed and
property destroyed. A 35-year-old white farmer has been abducted, tortured
and beaten black and blue on his back, legs, arms and buttocks. Another
white farmer lies in hospital with two broken arms, stab wounds and a charge
of murder hanging over him. A white woman has had her house stoned and been
paraded through the streets, publicly humiliated and traumatised.

After the horrific events in Rwanda, the United Nations and the world said
that never again would they sit back and watch genocide and ethnic
cleansing. My message to them now is: "Are you sitting comfortably, ladies
and gentlemen?"
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in
a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
thoroughly used and totally worn out, proclaiming....''Hell's teeth, what a

Author Unknown.



Letter 1.  Subject Open Letter Forum

Has anyone thought of writing to the papers in South Africa, Europe and UK
to point out that buying produce from organisations such as Kondozi amounts
to receiving stolen property? Or even writing to the buyers direct (I have
heard Sainsbury's mentioned)?

The supermarket chains are very sensitive to public perception of
themselves as "good guys", and will shy away from any and all negative

Probably the best approach would be an official letter from JAG pointing
out that all produce bought from businesses on the following list is stolen

This I think would be far more effective than trying to take legal action
in Zimbabwe, which is pretty well pointless

C. Frizell


Letter 2.  Subject Immoral Big Boys

Dear Editor,

It appears that the Government is now turning on "its own" - possibly those
they now view as "Immoral Big Boys." Mr. Mutumwa Mawere, who appears to
control a number of large Zimbabwean companies, is reported to have been
arrested in South Africa.

Of significance to farmers is the fact that Mr. Mawere was apparently
commander-in-chief of FSI Agricom - the company that managed to lease over
630 farms that had in many cases been illegally seized from commercial
farmers. But it seems that Mr. Mawere is no longer the flavour of the
moment - and with speculation as to what the reasons are. When the farms
were leased by FSI, Mr. Mawere obviously had Government's blessing at the

The probable answers are not difficult to summise - power or money, or
both. Is it just possible that the Nazi script is being strictly adhered

Pro Justice.


Letter 3.  Subject Watch Your Gate Parts


How did they gain access to the property, considering we have electric
fencing?  The gate is slightly lifted off the rail, which disengages the
drive cog from the drive rail.  The gate is then pushed open.  They then
enter the property.  They work under the light that I diligently installed
at the gate, to compensate for the lack of street lights!!  They managed to
break open the cage.  The FULOY lock was left behind.  They managed to
unscrew all components, and leave without dogs even barking.  Inside
assisted job??  Expertly done?? By who??


*Automated/manual gates
*Garage doors -tip ups
*Electric fence/razor wire
*Automation for existing gates
*Upgrading system
*Window frames, door frames

Minimum labour $30 000
Transport $30 000

Contact No 04 771703

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.
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JAG CLASSIFIED: Updated 1st June 2004

Please send any classified adverts for publication in this newsletter to:
JAG Job Opportunities <>


1.  Advert Received 25th April 2004

Holiday accommodation available on the south coast, Kwazulunatal between
Margate and Port Edward...
gorgeous beaches, the weather in Winter is glorious...temp. early
twenties...low humidity.
Two, two bedroomed self-contained flatlets...fully equipped with linen,
crockery cutlery, t.v., microwave
....just bring your own beach towels.  Property has own beach path...5
minutes walk and sea views.  Discounted rates
for Zimbabweans.  Contact

2.  Advert Received 27th May 2004

Are you stressed, lacking energy, over weight, not feeling up to the
pressures of life. We can put some spring in your step and make you look
and feel much better, phone Liz 091-913-460


3.  Advert Received 29th May 2004

BMW R850R motorcycle for sale.
1997 Model
Contact Wendy for further details
091 236 317

4.  Advert Received 31st May 2004

1991 Peugeot 405 Sedan Automatic White in colour.  One owner imported
direct from France.  152000kms in excellent condition with new tyres.  $25
million negotiable.
1981 Brockhouse 6 tonne Dropside Trailer Blue in colour in good condition.
$20 million negotiable.
Sony 27" Trinitron Colour TV in good condition. $2.5 million.
Oak veneered TV Cabinet. $1 million.
Display cabinet. $1.5 million.
Lounge Suite 2 x 2 seater couches plus 2 x singles in navy, maroon, emerald
green & beige imported upholstery in excellent condition. $3 million
Fantasy Diana single base and mattress in excellent condition x 4.  $400
thousand each
Brand New Echo Roof top tent with adjustable rack too fit twin cab Rand
Contact Stella Ferreira on Cell: 011 408213 or Tel/Fax: 490007 for any of the above.

ALL NEW for Sale
Numerous Filters
Various Bearings
UV Joint 4.41 x 4
UV Joint GU1100 x 2
UV Joint GU1000 x 4
UV Joint KY1100 x 3
Oil Pressure Gauge Mech. CH2430 x 1
Water Pressure Gauge Mech. CH2431 x 1
Redmile plates x 8
2' 11" Fire Ends x 24
Vee Belts A48 x 2, A58 x 4, A59 x 4, A67 x 4, B51 x 3, B63 x1, B68 x8
Tobacco Planting Hose 38mm x 48mtrs
Tobacco Barn Thermostats x 18
Kurt tieing machines x 23
Kurt tieing machine wheels x 3
Plough Discs 24" 5 hole x 2
Plough Bolts & nuts x 10
Irrigation 5" AC Joint Rubbers x 6
Irrigation 3" Bands x 20
90mm x 1" Saddle clamps x 18
90mm Class 6 PVC Pipes (6mtr lengths) x 7
Seals 2312 x 2,100881 x 11, 106355 x 10, 106038 x 10, 108979 x 5 & 109432 x
Pick Heads x 6
Axe Heads x 9
Various quantities & sizes V Bolts, Pop rivets, Self tapping & Wood screws,
Wire nails, Hex Bolts & nuts, Flat washers
Cattle Metal Ear tags 100's x 2 boxes
Cattle Ear tag applicator
Cattle top tags asst. colours 25's x 13 pkts
Various Dulux 1ltr varnishes
Various Dulux PVA Tinters
200lts Stable 60 x 4
Contact Stella Ferreira on Cell: 011 408213 or Tel/Fax 490007 email re any of the above

A Rhapsody portable AM/FM Stereo Radio Cassette recorder and CD player in
excellent condition $800'000.00

Hoover washing machine front loader new motor in good condition

3 x grey metal Laziman single garage doors $800'000.00 each.

2 x pairs as new Courtney Boots Style 415 Size 4 & 5 $600'000.00 each.

1 x single brass & white bed with mattress, sidebed table, chest of draws
and mirror in good condition $2'000'000.00

For any of the above please contact Stella Ferreira on 011 408213 or 490007

1 x Sony PS1 Play station chipped with 12 copied games plus memory card in
good condition $1'500'000.00 please contact Stella Ferreira on 011 408213
or 490007 Email:


JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
(011) 205 374
(011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
(011) 431 068
                                we're here to help!
263 4 799 410 Office Lines
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The Herald

Agribank's delays in disbursing loans rile wheat farmers

MEMBERS of the cereal industry are up in arms against the Agriculture
Develop-ment Bank of Zimbabwe (Agribank) over delays in disbursing loans
under the $50 billion winter wheat production loan facility.

Members in the industry yesterday said that bank was yet to process the loan
applications despite the fact that the season is already in full swing.

There are fears that the delays in disbursing the loans in time would result
in fewer hectares being put under wheat, translating to a lower harvest.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers, Union director for marketing Mr Andrew Jiri
said farmers were concerned over the delays in loan disbursement.

"This is a setback to the winter wheat programme which needs to be urgently
redressed by the responsible authorities as more farmers are keen to venture
into wheat production," said Mr Jiri.

He said the organisation had long given the financial institution a list of
farmers who needed assistance.

Cereal production continues to drop due to lack of financing.

Mr Jiri said the crop was cost-intensive and scarcity of funds would result
in the continued fall of output.

Statistics show that production has fallen from 420 000 tonnes in 1999 to
220 000 tonnes last year, resulting in Government introducing the $50
billion facility in April this year.

The facility is aimed at assisting newly-resettled farmers with various
inputs, but farmers say Agribank has adopted stringent lending conditions
after farmers failed to pay back most of the $60 billion from last year.

It is understood that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has instructed the
institution to recover the money from beneficiaries.

Unscrupulous individuals, some masquerading as newly-resettled farmers,
prejudiced the bank of large sums of money.

However, Agribank managing director Mr Sam Malaba last week said the
financial institution would speed up loan disbursements to the cereal
industry. He said the bank was moving towards accountability on loans.

Experts say the successful restructuring of Agribank depended on a
transparent loan provision system.

Meanwhile, the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority says the
distribution of inputs has started with more than 500 out of the 1 700
hectares earmarked for this season's winter cropping having already been
planted in Matabeleland North.

Arda agronomist Mr Vusa Moyo told Business Chronicle that the targeted area
for this year's winter wheat in Matabeleland will cover 1 795,2 hectares.

"If the target area of 1 795,2 hectares is achieved, we expect 7 181 tonnes
of wheat," he said. "The planting has started, with 535 hectares planted so
far, mostly at Arda's Balu Estate and around the Nyamandlovu Aquifer area,"
said Mr Moyo.

Arda has previously indicated that a number of irrigation schemes can be
urgently rehabilitated to enable more land to be put under irrigation for
wheat production.

Some irrigation farmers were asking for a pre-planting wheat producer price
of $2,1 million per tonne from the present $776 000 to cushion them against
high electricity and water tariffs.

Mr Moyo, however, said his office had not yet been informed of the new
producer price for wheat.

Agribank was supposed to provide loans to individual farmers under the
productive sector facility to kick-start the winter preparations.

Zimbabwe requires 400 000 tonnes annually for consumption, but farmers have
been producing an estimated 300 000 tonnes a season resulting in a deficit,
which has been covered through imports.

Nationally, this year's winter crop is expected to cover around 100 000
hectares with more than 420 000 tonnes expected to be harvested.

Numerous irrigation water schemes, inputs and equipment have been made
available under various Government programmes. - Bulawayo Bureau.
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Independent (UK)
Mbeki welcomes deposed Haitian leader to £30,000-a-month stay in South
By Basildon Peta Southern Africa Correspondent
01 June 2004

The deposed Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide arrived in South Africa to
a red-carpet welcome yesterday amid strong opposition protests over how
President Thabo Mbeki has warmed to the former dictator.

Mr Mbeki, who rarely greets heads of state at airports, and who was not at
the airport when the President George Bush or the German Chancellor Gerhard
Schröder visited his country, was at Johannesburg airport to meet Mr

Most of his cabinet were also present as well as diplomats, members of the
US Congressional Black Caucus, who have denounced the US "coup" against Mr
Aristide, and Mozambique's foreign minister, representing the African Union
(AU). Mr Mbeki said: "I want to say welcome to President Aristide, Madame
Aristide and the children. Welcome to the African continent and to South

This has outraged the opposition Democratic Alliance, which argues that Mr
Mbeki's warm relationships with disgraced dictators including Mr Aristide
and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe are costing South Africa its international

Mr Mbeki was the only world leader present at Haiti's bicentennial
celebrations, hosted by Mr Aristide before he was ousted last year. His
government also tried to ship arms to Mr Aristide while he was in power and
has backed a UN investigation into allegations that America drove him from
power as part of its "regime-change" philosophy. The Democratic Alliance
(DA) is particularly incensed by the huge budget the South African
government will allocate for Mr Aristide's upkeep. It has argued the money,
which it claims will be more than £30, 000 a month, could be better used to
cater for the poor homeless in South Africa. Douglas Gibson, a DA spokesman,
said in a statement: "Haiti is far beyond our sphere of influence. Aristide
should go home." He added that South Africa had no business to worry about
Mr Aristide.

While in Jamaica, Mr Aristide was gagged from speaking to media, but the
government has hinted that this will not be the case here as "South Africa
is a free country".

Mr Aristide, who flew to South Africa accompanied by Kingsley Mamabolo, Mr
Mbeki's envoy on African affairs, and representatives from Jamaica, the
Caribbean Community (Caricom) and the US Congressional Black Caucus, thanked
his hosts in English and Zulu. "How grateful we are for the opportunity to
thank President Mbeki, the government and people of South Africa," said Mr
Aristide, adding his family was happy to be on the "mother continent of
Africa" until it becomes possible for them to return to Haiti.

Mr Aristide, who insists that he remains his country's elected president and
has accused Haiti's new government of harassing and killing his supporters
on the Caribbean island, is in South Africa for an indefinite period. He
will initially stay in an official guest mansion in Pretoria at taxpayers'

Mr Aristide fled an armed revolt in Haiti on 29 February and was flown to
the Central African Republic on a flight arranged by the US amid speculation
he hoped to settle in South Africa. He travelled to Jamaica to be reunited
with his children and to arrange exile elsewhere. South Africa approved his
asylum request two weeks ago after a request from Caricom and following
talks with the African Union.

Mr Mbeki's opponents say he has turned a blind eye to Mr Aristide's
deplorable human rights record.

But Aziz Pahad, the South African Deputy Foreign Minister, said Mr Mbeki had
agreed to host Mr Aristide temporarily "as a contribution towards
stabilising the situation in Haiti". He added: "South Africa has a
responsibility as an African country and as part of the international
community to ensure that democracy and peace prevail in Haiti and that the
people of Haiti are able to choose who their leaders should be."
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From SW Radio Africa, 31 May

Shooting survivor insists Manyika shot friend

In March, MDC youth Francis Chinozvinya died, after he was shot during the
Zengeza parliamentary by-election, allegedly by a high-ranking government
official. In the same incident another man, Arthur Gunzvenzve was shot and
injured. Although eyewitnesses say they saw Minister Elliot Manyika firing
the shot that killed the MDC youth, Zanu PF has since maintained that
Chinozvinya's death was neither their responsibility nor that of Elliot
Manyika who is also the Zanu PF national political commissar. Police have
since arrested a man they allege was behind the fatal shooting. We spoke
with one of the shooting victims, Arthur Gunzvenzve, who was shot in the leg
on that fateful day. He maintains that he saw Minister Elliot Manyika fire
the shot that killed his friend. Arthur Gunzvenzve was shot in the leg
whilst another MDC youth, Francis Chinozvinya died after he was shot in the
chest. Arthur says he saw Minister Elliot Manyika fire a shot at the youths
who were guarding the MDC candidate's home. Zanu PF supporters went to the
house and started throwing stones. Some ruling party youths had come by foot
while others came in three truckloads, resulting in clashes. Arthur says he
saw Manyika get out of his car and fire a shot, killing Francis Chinozvinya.
He says that he was shot by another Zanu PF official who was with the gang.
He reported the matter to the police but says they have been trying to make
him change his statements about seeing Minister Manyika shoot Francis. He
says Zengeza is still tense and he has not been able to stay there because
of victimisation and intimidation from state agents.
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Health Ministry Moves to Bond All Professionals Beginning Next Year

The Herald (Harare)

May 31, 2004
Posted to the web June 1, 2004


BONDING, adopted by Government last year to arrest the crippling exodus of
nurses, will from next year be extended to all professionals in the health
sector, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa, has

He said the move was part of efforts being pursued by his ministry to
improve the country's health system, which has been beset by a shortage of
skilled personnel, most of whom are leaving for other countries.

The minister was speaking at the graduation of 99 nurses in Masvingo

The bonding of health professionals trained by Government would see them
being obliged to work in the country for a stipulated period before they are
free to resign.

Dr Parirenyatwa said it was saddening to note that the country has become a
nursery of health professionals for other countries.

"We have been bonding nurses only in the past, but from next year all other
health professionals will be bonded because we cannot continue to train
professionals for others. We will also continue to review the working
conditions of health professionals as part of our efforts to make sure that
they are not tempted to leave for other countries," he said.

Dr Parirenyatwa exhorted nurses to stay in the country, saying that it was
disturbing to note that some locally trained nurses were relegating
themselves to doing menial jobs in countries like Britain.

He added that Government had introduced the primary care nurse's course as
an innovative measure to train nurses who were in high demand in developed
countries as was the case with state registered nurses.

The establishment of the Health Service Commission, Cde Parirenyatwa said,
was going to usher in a new epoch for health professionals in the country as
their problems would be expeditiously attended to.

The creation of the Health Services Commission, which is still awaiting
Parliamentary approval, will see health professionals being removed from the
Public Service Commission under which all civil servants fall.

The country's health delivery system has been teetering on the verge of
collapse for the past few years arising from the massive exodus of skilled
manpower prompted by concerns over working and living conditions.
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Mystery Over Mawere's Citizenship

The Herald (Harare)

May 29, 2004
Posted to the web June 1, 2004

Fidelis Munyoro

Mystery surrounds the status of businessman Mutumwa Mawere's citizenship
after it emerged yesterday that while he holds a South African passport, he
has a pending application at the South African embassy in Harare for
permanent residence in that country.

Mawere was arrested in South Africa this week on allegations of fraud
involving more than US$18 million allegedly committed in Zimbabwe.

He was granted R50 000 bail when he appeared before a Randburg magistrate on
Thursday and remanded to June 29 when a hearing on whether he should be
extradited to Zimbabwe would be held.

The head of the security department at the South African Embassy in Harare
Mr Sean Mongale confirmed that Mawere holds dual citizenship.

"It is true that Mawere is a citizen of South Africa but he never applied
for the citizenship through here," said Mr Mongale in an interview yesterday
morning. "We don't know the circumstances under which he got it."

Mr Mongale said the embassy currently has an application by Mawere seeking
permanent residence in South Africa, which is yet to be approved.

However, later in the afternoon Mr Mongale, who had asked this reporter to
phone him later for more details on Mawere's permanent residence
application, sought to water down the information he had given earlier.

He said Mawere's name did not appear in their records in Harare and asked
this reporter to contact him on Monday, when he is expected to have
contacted the responsible office in South Africa.

On Thursday, Mawere told The Herald that he holds a South African passport
and is a permanent resident in South Africa.

Police wish to question Mawere on allegations the State may have been
prejudiced of more than $300 billion by African Associated Mines, in which
the businessman has interests, through non submission of foreign currency
declaration forms and externalisation of foreign currency.

Mawere attacked Reserve Bank governor Dr Gideon Gono for allegedly
"displaying venom".

But industry sources said it was surprising that Mawere was shifting the
blame on the governor for his misfortunes.

They queried why he was afraid of pointing the finger at the Commissioner of
Police Cde Augustine Chihuri who is at the centre of the anti-corruption

"Gideon Gono does not have any authority to arrest anyone but the
Commissioner of Police has the power to do so," said an industry source.

Yesterday, police spokesman Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka confirmed the
Criminal Investigations Department Special Investigations Unit was probing

"Mawere is suspected to have defrauded the Zimbabwe economy of substantial
amounts of foreign currency and it is intended to prefer fraud charges and
alternatively contravening the Exchange Control Act," said Supt Mandipaka.

"It is our understanding that he was the non-executive chairman of Africa
Resources Limited, a multinational corporation founded in Zimbabwe in 1996
and has subsidiaries - SMM Holdings, Zimre Holdings, UKI Ltd and SUFH."

Supt Mandipaka said the police would also investigate issues pertaining to
any unscrupulous dealings the businessman was involved in.

Mawere is denying involvement in the day to day operations of the companies
saying the charges defy logic.

As part of his bail conditions, the businessman was ordered to surrender his
travel documents and to reside at his Bryanstan home in Johannesburg.

He was also ordered not to leave Johannesburg without permission from
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Royal Father Endorses Zimbabwean Farmers

This Day (Lagos)

June 1, 2004
Posted to the web June 1, 2004

Tunde Sanni

Emir of Gwanara, Alhaji Sabi Idris has endorsed the partnership agreement
between the Kwara State government and farmers from Zimbabwe.

The Emir who yesterday led a delegation of eminent indigenes of Baruten
Local Government Area to government house Ilorin, described the decision to
invite the commercial white farmers as a courageous and wise decision.

He said "Nigeria must adopt a new agricultural policy to meet the challenges
of the new order."

The Emir, advised the state to continue to give impetus to agriculture so
that more people can go into large scale mechanised farming.

He praised Governor Saraki's administration for the revolutionary changes
introduced especially on prompt payment of salaries and pensioners
allowances, erection of a new airport terminal building, a motorcycle
assembly plant, Back-to-Farm and Clean and Green programmes which have
provided employment to a large number of unemployed youths.

Thanking the Waziri of Ilorin, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki for providing able
leadership, he said for the first time, Baruten has produced a Senator of
the Federal Republic and Speaker of the State House of Assembly.

While expressing appreciation to the governor for the inclusion of competent
indigenes of Baruten in his cabinet.

Dr Saraki assured the people of Baruten Council that the
Chikanda-Ilesha-Benin Republic border road will be completed during the life
span of his administration and sought their continued prayers, support and
cooperation to facilitate the early completion of the road
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No Solution in Sight for Harare's Water Problems

The Herald (Harare)

June 1, 2004
Posted to the web June 1, 2004

Nelson Chenga

CASTING a weary gaze across the street, Amai Kabona seems resigned to

It is now exactly six hours since water taps ran dry in this densely
populated township of Mabvuku, a sprawling suburb 12 kilometres west of

For the past five years or so, the more than 200 000 residents of Mabvuku
and neighbouring Tafara have probably borne the brunt of the worst water
supply problems to affect Harare, currently struggling to meet its domestic
and industrial water demands.

"There is a major water problem here and worrying about it is a waste of
time," said Amai Kabona as she casually rearranged some tomatoes into small
neat piles at her vending post by the roadside.

When taps run dry for long periods, which often run into days, Amai Kabona
and other residents descend on the vleis east and west of the suburb and
collect water from shallow wells.

But that lifeline too is fast drying up due to massive deforestation and
poor agricultural practices that are fast draining the plains.

The disappearing trees, grass and reeds have considerably reduced the
wetlands' water absorption capacity.

More ominous, however, is the reality that the rapidly drying-up vleis are
slowly impacting negatively on Harare's major water supply reservoirs of
Lake Chivero and Lake Manyame.

Already suffocating under heavy sewer and industrial pollutants from the two
cities of Harare and Chitungwiza, the reservoirs, especially Lake Chivero,
are dying fast as fresh water supplies from these wetlands continue to

Despite warnings by ecological researchers since 1980 that because Zimbabwe
was a drought-prone country with a very low water resource replenishment
capacity, severe deforestation has continued unabated, also effectively
exhausting underground water resources - another critical alternate water
supply source for Harare.

The alternate water supply line is, meanwhile, also being silently depleted
by thousands of residents sinking boreholes and deep wells to escape the
inconvenience of the city's erratic water supplies.

Plans to build other water supply sources like the Kunzwi Dam, some 40km
east of the capital, to relieve pressure on current dams and reduce
purification costs, have largely remained a pipe dream.

Harare, one of Southern Africa's rapidly growing metropolises with an
exploding population exceeding two million people and an aging water
reticulation system, faces enormous water challenges as environmental
degradation takes its toll on its 2 136 square-kilometre water catchment
area bounded by the Upper Manyame Basin.

The catchment's "self-purification capacity has been lost through various
stream-bank and stream-bed degradation processes as well as land fills that
have obliterated areas with extensive reed growths", says one research paper
in a book titled Lake Chivero - A Polluted Lake, published in 1997.

Another article in the same book says: "The argument is that, the capacity
of rivers to purify themselves should be recognised and managed to allow
rivers to absorb the pollution load before discharging into Lake Chivero."

The fast unfolding crisis has firmly anchored Zimbabwe among the 48
countries whose 2,8 billion people face water stress or scarcity conditions
by 2025.

"Many African countries, with a population of nearly 200 million people, are
facing serious water shortages. By the year 2025, it is estimated that
nearly 230 million Africans will be facing water scarcity and 460 million
will live in water-stressed countries," says the United Nations Environment

The Harare City Council, barely managing to meet the 700 megalitres per day
requirement of water for domestic and industrial use, is only able to
provide 575 megalitres a day of treated water.

The council, which had budgeted $815 billion, about three-quarters of its
2004 budget, for water reticulation, is using about $360 million daily to
buy a cocktail of seven water purification chemicals to cleanse water from
the city's heavily polluted Lake Chivero.

In the long run, with millions of dollars already being required to
rehabilitate purification waterworks at Morton Jaffray and Prince Edward
Dam, the effort is unsustainable.

Environmentalists point out that as long as little attention is given to
protecting wetlands as well as creating other wetlands along the city's main
supply rivers of Manyame, Mukuvisi and Marimba, the future of Harare's water
resources is precarious..

"We encourage Harare, as the country's most complex city, to give more
serious thought to the environment and put the environment at the centre of
planning," said Mr Percy Toriro, the president of the Zimbabwe Institute of
Regional and Urban Planners, (ZIRUP) in an interview.

Despite the gazetting of the country's Environmental Management Act (Chapter
20:27) of 2002, the high demand for accommodation across the country has
also resulted in many private housing developments sprouting up in vleis
without any apparent environmental impact assessments.

The Act, which seeks to, among other things, provide for the sustainable
management of natural resources and protection of the environment; the
prevention of pollution and environmental degradation, demands that every
local authority should prepare an environmental action plan for the area
under its jurisdiction.

"We realise that with the enactment of that legislation there is now more
need for stricter assessment of the impact of all developments on the
environment," said Mr Toriro. "As forerunners in land development, planners
should be fully aware of the environmental impacts of developments which are
capable of drying up vleis," he added.

"So we are encouraging all land developers and local authorities to go back
and audit past developments for any negative impacts and make
recommendations for environmentally friendly measures."

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) notes: "A change in the amount of water
which infiltrates into the soil will affect the amount of water that flows
into streams and also affects the amount of water available to vegetation
and groundwater."

The IUCN further observes that water in Southern Africa has become such a
vulnerable resource as a result of increasing degradation of water resources
due to unsustainable water and land use practices such as over-pumping of
ground water, water pollution and loss of and encroachment on wetlands.

Many of Harare's pristine savanna woodlands, including the exotic trees that
flourished on its outskirts and along many of the city's main roads, have
vanished, plundered by firewood merchants and residents alike.

A recent study carried out by environmental watchdog, Environment Africa,
revealed that one of the city's water catchment areas of Cleveland, just
west of Mabvuku, has lost 90 percent of its trees since 1965 to firewood

Coupled with the unsustainable land use practices such as ploughing on
slopes in the catchment area, the source of Mukuvisi River is, fact, turning
into desert.

Although research has indicated that well-managed cultivation can increase
infiltration, the Cleveland wetland has, however, been severely drained and
the water table drastically lowered through cultivation, effectively
disturbing the area's ecosystem.

Other environmental researchers have found out that between 1955 and 1994
the percentage of spaces that had been opened up to cultivation in Harare
increased from 1 percent to 36 percent. More than 67 percent of the land is
in vleis.

Describing Cleveland as both a catchment and wetland, Environment Africa
said: "Zimbabwe is not a wet enough country to have many such areas.

"The Cleveland catchment area is bestowed with many varied habitat types
such as the extensive grasslands, riverine and lake-shore, woodlands, reed
beds and wetlands which in turn support a large number of different species,
making it a special area of nature."

The catchment's reeds and grasslands act as crucial sponges that naturally
purify the water flowing into the Cleveland Dam and stream through
absorption, oxidation and microbial degradation.

As Zimbabwe commemorates the June 5 United Nations World Environment Day at
the weekend under the theme "Wanted: Seas and Oceans - Dead or Alive?", the
country has placed special focus on the "Catchments and Rivers" as the
sources for life not only for the seas and oceans, but also for the country.

Recognising that rivers, streams and waterways are a "life-blood of an
ecosystem" which need to be kept healthy and balanced, Environment Africa is
working hard with Mabvuku and Tafara farmers to arrest soil erosion and
reclaim the Cleveland catchment.

But meanwhile catchments and wetlands elsewhere around the city continue to
be degraded as communities like Epworth, just close to Mabvuku and Tafara,
have remained virtually unaware of the environmental havoc they are causing.

Epworth, a former squatter camp without formal planning, electricity or
tapped water supplies, has been one of the biggest silent killers of not
only the Cleveland catchment area, but also much of the Upper Manyame Basin
as residents of the area seek wood fuel.

The fuel crisis that started around 2000, which affected Zimbabwe's paraffin
supplies, a major domestic fuel, saw thousands of people chopping down trees
as a ready domestic fuel substitute.

A countrywide electricity energy crisis, which resulted in load shedding,
also affected Zimbabwe's forest reserves along watersheds where many of the
country's urban settlements are located.

As the chronic shortage of paraffin persists and a winter forecast to be
exceptionally cold approaches, time is indeed ticking away not only for the
environment in Zimbabwe, but also for the nation as a whole.
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Rhodies Snub Reconciliation

The Herald (Harare)

May 31, 2004
Posted to the web June 1, 2004

Caesar Zvayi

"I WISH to assure you that there can never be any return to the state of
armed conflict which existed before our commitment to peace and the
democratic process of election under the Lancaster House Agreement. Surely
this is now time to beat our swords into ploughshares so we can attend to
the problems of developing our economy and our society . . . I urge you,
whether you are black or white, to join me in a new pledge to forget our
grim past, forgive others and together, as Zimbabweans, trample upon
racialism, tribalism and regionalism, and work hard to reconstruct and
rehabilitate our society as we reinvigorate our economic machinery."

This is part of the address to the nation by the then Prime Minister-elect,
Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe, on March 4, 1980 as he proclaimed the policy of

This was also the theme of his inauguration address, after he was sworn in
on April 18, 1980 at Rufaro Stadium.

Tears were shed.

On the part of the hitherto repressed black majority, the tears were washing
away decades of sorrow as the bright green, red and yellow bands on the
national flag formed rainbows on tear-stained cheeks.

They wept tears of joy as they welcomed the nation and looked to the future
with hope.

The Rhodesians, including Ian Douglas Smith, the former Prime Minister of
rebel Rhodesia, openly wept as the Union Jack was lowered, folded and handed
over to the former Governor of Rhodesia, Lord Soames, and the Zimbabwean
flag rose in its place.

The folding of the flag symbolised the folding of Rhodesia and all it stood

Rhodies' tears were tears of anger at the "sacrilege" of a black government,
and Smith, in particular, was choking on his "not in a thousand years"
declaration about prospects of black majority rule.

Even the powerful message of reconciliation in Cde Mugabe's address sounded
like a death sentence, for Godfrey Huggins, another former Rhodie Prime
Minister, had earlier on laid the parameters of Rhodesia's race relations
when he said that the relationship was that of a horse and a rider - the
white man being the rider and the black man the horse.

It is unheard of that a rider can get off his horse and shake its grimy
hoof! This explains the Rhodies' refusal to accept the policy of

Among the weeping Rhodies at independence was the then 21-year-old Peter
Spero-Landos, whose frustration culminated in the alleged gruesome murder of
a newly-resettled farmer, Cde Mike Mufambi, at Riverside Farm in Odzi on May

Spero-Landos allegedly shot and killed Cde Mufambi and injured another black
farmer, Cde Tichaona Mafuruse.

Both these farmers were resettled on Riverside, and had hoped to co-exist
with Spero-Landos in the spirit of co-existence that was stressed by
President Mugabe way back in 1980, and which spirit he has always called for
at various fora to date.

Reports from Riverside Farm indicate that Spero-Landos had all along
expressed his displeasure at sharing "his" farm with the three
newly-resettled farmers, and had at every opportunity reminded them that
Riverside was Rhodesia and he was going to kill them if they did not leave.

This brings in the chilling element of premeditation to the killing of Cde

It is important to note that Spero-Landos had not been left landless, but he
wished the three black farmers to remain landless in the land of their
forefathers, while he - a descendant of economic refugees - underutilised a
vast estate!

It is the same racist greed that led Roy Bennett, the neo-Nazi MDC
legislator for Chimanimani, to assault two Cabinet ministers on the May 18
after he had been categorically reminded that Charleswood Estate was gone
for good as it has been earmarked for the resettlement of landless black

It is also important to note that Bennett has also not been left landless as
his Ruwa farm has not been acquired.

So why do these foreigners wish to keep our country to themselves and only
accept us as sources of cheap labour?

The answer can be found in Cecil John Rhodes' statement quoted in John
Flint's 1976 book, Cecil Rhodes, where he, Rhodes, said: "I contend that we
are the finest race in the world and the more of the world we inhabit, the
better it is for the human race."

"Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable
specimens of human beings, what an alteration there would be, if they were
brought under Anglo-Saxon influence, look at the extra employment a new
country added to our dominions gives . . .

"Africa is still lying for us, it is our duty to take it. It is our duty to
seize every opportunity of acquiring more territory - more territory simply
means more of the Anglo-Saxon race, more of the best, the most honourable
race the world possesses."

The whole issue, thus, is about racist contempt for the "despicable" black
race, and acquiring more territory for the white race.

The same contempt that made another white farmer in Manicaland, Phillip
Bezuidenhout, run over another new farmer, Febian Mapenzauswa, in July 2001,
killing him instantly.

The cases cited above are by no means the only incidents of the racist abuse
and murder of black people by Rhodie farmers.

These are mere tips of the iceberg.

Readers will remember how the Zimbabwean flag was flown without the central
black band at Lilfordia Farm two years ago.

This was an expression of the racist farmer's perception of the
"irrelevance" of black people in the economic affairs of Zimbabwe.

This explains why the hand of reconciliation which has been extended for the
past 24 years is still to be shaken, if it will ever be taken, yet we always
continue hoping that one day the Rhodies will accept us as human beings.

The launch of the MDC in September 1999 was the most explicit statement of
the rejection of the policy of reconciliation.

Through this party, the Rhodies hoped to preserve the status quo under the
guise of a black political party.

The MDC was formed primarily to safeguard white sectarian interests, the
same way Bishop Abel Muzorewa's United African National Council was used
during the short-lived Zimbabwe-Rhodesia quisling regime.

When one really looks at it, it is the whites who are supposed to be
pressing for reconciliation for they are the ones who wronged us through the

The statements by the Conservative Alliance of Zimbabwe (CAZ) MPs, including
the unrepentant Smith, throughout the 10 years the Lancaster House
Constitution provided for their representation in Parliament were clearly
contemptuous of the black man's wish to co-exist with the "most honourable
race the world possesses."

The role of the CAZ has since been taken over by the MDC.

It is high time we as black people stopped offering the other cheek.

Racists who are not prepared to accept the privilege of sharing our
resources must pack and go back to their tiny countries were they will be
nothing but mere commoners.

Their presence has not benefited us in any way.

To this end Bennett and Spero-Landos' remaining farms must be acquired, as
they have shown their utter contempt for our wish for peaceful co-existence.

There are a lot of black farmers who still need land.

The Rhodies have to realise who is in control, with that realisation they
will know how to behave.

As long as they feel we need them more than they need us, they will always
hold us in contempt.

We have since beaten our swords into ploughshares but they have kept theirs
razor sharp, and are repeatedly stabbing us in the back with fatal

How else can we deal with people who never listen till they are shaken with
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Clip Wings of Mischievous Land Officers

The Herald (Harare)

May 31, 2004
Posted to the web June 1, 2004


WEEKEND reports suggest that the future of some newly-resettled farmers is
in jeopardy following the emergence of letters seeking to return the land on
which they were settled to white former commercial farmers.

Fingers are being pointed at a group of civil servants and some unnamed
politicians as the protagonists in this despicable scandal whose objective
can only be to reverse land reform in Zimbabwe.

Some of the affected new farmers have vowed that they will not take this
affront lying down and have hinted rather darkly that they might eventually
turn to the courts for recourse if the Government does not move to protect
them from these turncoats.

They say they have invested heavily on the land with assistance from
Government institutions.

Others are up to the ears in debt.

Now some officials in the Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement
have penned letters which seek to have them kicked off the land and some
white ex-farmers reinstated, they say.

Cde John Nkomo, who is in charge of that ministry, has said he has no
knowledge of the existence of such letters.

We cannot put it past these corrupt officials to be operating behind the
minister's back.

Whatever the case, the point is that there is a problem and it has to be
resolved before it develops into an elephant in the room.

We propose that an investigation be launched and that those caught trying to
perpetuate unequal access to land be dealt with firmly and decisively.

As we have said before in this and other columns, land is an emotive issue
over which there has been some bloodletting throughout the world since time
out of mind.

It was primarily for land that thousands of Zimbabweans waged an armed
struggle leading to independence in 1980.

But that independence was only political as land was still in the hands of a

Land and activities done on it form the backbone of the economies of most
African states.

Now, thanks to the vision of President Mugabe and the determination of
millions of Zimbabweans, land is now in the hands of the majority.

Zimbabweans can now walk tall as proud sons and daughters of a truly
independent and sovereign nation.

Yet somewhere somehow some unscrupulous officials and civil servants are
frantically trying to reverse this historic process.

They must not be allowed to succeed.

Steps must be taken to reassure the new farmers and to stop these
mischievous officials in their tracks if peace is to prevail on the farms.

The letters that they are alleged to be issuing can cause friction between
the new farmers and the white former landholders.
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Theft, Vandalism Cost Zesa $1bn

The Herald (Harare)

May 31, 2004
Posted to the web June 1, 2004


ZIMBABWE Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) Holdings has lost more than $1
billion through theft and vandalism of its equipment over the last three
months, the company's public relations officer Mr Shepherd Mandizvidza said
last week.

Mr Mandizvidza told The Herald that the power utility had from February this
year lost property, including conductors, cables and transformers.

"Since February this year, we have lost more than a billion dollars to theft
and vandalism of our equipment. It's pure sabotage and not only domestic
users are affected, but also the productive industry, telecommunications,
emergencies such as ambulances and so on," Mr Mandizvidza said.

He said the power cuts that were hitting some areas were not because of
load-shedding but due to theft and vandalism of Zesa property.

"The thieves mainly target conductors made of aluminium or copper cables.
They also drain oil from transformers and sell it to motorists on the black
market," Mr Mandizvidza said.

He said the thieves also stole MCBs and overhead and underground cables,
which they sell to legal and illegal scrap metal and copper dealers who
export the copper to other countries illegally.

Meanwhile, two Harare men have been convicted for stealing a Zesa
transformer worth $40 million by a regional magistrates' court.

The two - Tapiwa Moyo (30) and Prince Goko (22) - were convicted on their
own plea of guilty by regional magistrate Mrs Sandra Nhau.

They were remanded to next week when they will be sentenced.

Prosecutor Ms Phillipa Muchemwa said on May 9 this year, the two went to a
bushy area near Kambuzuma's Section 6 where there is a Zesa transformer.

They cut off the transformer and removed copper cables.

Moyo and Goko sold the cables worth $328 000 to one Silas Tsuna of Rugare
industries in Harare who later made indications to police that led to the
recovery of the cables.

Zesa, which lost property valued at more than $670 million last year, has so
far put in place measures to guard against acts of vandalism and theft.

The power utility has joined hands with the National Railways of Zimbabwe,
TelOne, Harare Municipality, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the police to
form an anti-vandalism and anti-theft taskforce to reduce the losses.

The joint security operation, code named Public Utilities Anti-Vandalism
(Pavu), has managed to recover materials and equipment worth more than $45
billion from various scrap merchants, leading to 59 arrests.

Most of the property was recovered in Mbare.

Members of the public have been urged to support the operation and provide
leads to the taskforce by reporting any miscreants seen tampering with the
infrastructure of public utilities.
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The Herald

Explosion rocks Zesa substation

By Jonathan Mbiriyamveka
A HUGE blast blew up a Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority substation near
Southerton Police Station early yesterday morning, rocking parts of
Highfield, Southerton, Lochinvar and surrounding areas.

An electrical fault caused the explosion, which resulted in power cuts in
most western suburbs.

Residents said after the blast, they saw a huge ball of fire rising up in
the sky.

The fire could be seen from as far as Machipisa Shopping Centre in
Highfield - about three kilometres away.

"A technical fault occurred in a substation in Highfield which resulted in
the interruption of electricity services," said Zesa public relations
officer Mr Shepherd Mandizvidza.

The Fire Brigade was called in and quickly put out the fire.

Some power cables and equipment worth millions of dollars were destroyed.

Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company engineering manager Mr Milton
Munodawafa said technicians were still to decide whether or not to overhaul
the equipment.

The explosion occurred at around 6am and affected 90 percent of the
industries in Willowvale, according to Mr Mandizvidza.

Other suburbs that were affected are Highfield, Lochinvar, Ardbennie and
Southerton as well as their surrounding areas.

Also affected were traffic lights along Willowvale Road that went out of
order after the explosion.

When The Herald visited the substation, a technical team from the power
utility was on site to establish the extent of the electrical fault as well
as repairing the system to restore service.

Power was restored in all the affected areas around 10am.

Mr Mandizvidza, however, said the affected areas should expect power
interruptions during peak hours.

"The Zimbabwe Electricity Distribu-tion Company is making back-feed
arrangements while repair works continue," he said.

A similar explosion occurred in 2003 near Highlands Shopping Centre after
vagrants using the substation as their home started a fire.
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The Herald

Chombo suspends Harare councillors

By Michael Padera
GOVERNMENT yesterday suspended 13 Harare city councillors without benefits
for interfering with the management of council affairs.

The suspension comes after the councillors defied a Government directive
staying the holding of elections to choose a new deputy mayor and standing

The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde
Ignatius Chombo, yesterday told The Herald the suspended councillors faced
possible dismissal.

Last year, six councillors were fired for conduct inconsistent with the
governance of the city.

The suspended councillors are Christopher Mushonga, Peter Chikwati,
Shingirayi Kondo, Last Maengahama, Betty Suka, Peter Karimakwenda,
Tapfumaneyi Bangajena, Wendy Dehwa, Tichanzii Gandanga, Elijah Manjeya,
Wellington Madzivanyika, Linus Paul Mushonga and Oswell Badza.

"It has come to my attention that certain activities on your part continue
to interfere with the management of council affairs, thus hindering the
efficient operation of council and subsequently the delivery of services to
the people of Harare," read the letter of suspension written by Cde Chombo.

Cde Chombo said the suspension was with immediate effect and was done in
terms of Section 114 (1) of the Urban Councils Act, Chapter 29:13.

He said the councillors were not allowed to conduct any council business
within or outside council premises during the period of suspension.

He said a thorough investigation would be conducted within 45 days.

Cde Chombo said a committee to investigate the councillors' conduct would be
appointed soon.

Clr Mushonga had yesterday defied a Government directive setting aside the
elections that made him deputy mayor by reporting for duty at Town House.

However, he was forced to leave Town House at around 1430 hours when he
found the office locked after returning from lunch.

"I found the office locked when I returned from lunch," he said.

He said police officers told him that there was a directive that he should
vacate the office.

Clr Mushonga said council was seeking a court interdict barring the police
from interfering. He was elected deputy mayor, which effectively made him
acting mayor, at a full council meeting on Monday.

The move was immediately rejected by the Government, which said Clr
Makwavarara remains the deputy mayor and acting mayor.

Clr Makwavarara did not report for duty yesterday, saying she could not do
so as there was a new deputy mayor in place.

"I am not at work. I am not going there. (Town House) There is another
deputy mayor," she said.

Harare has no substantive mayor following the dismissal of Engineer Elias
Mudzuri on allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

Cde Chombo said any councillor who acted contrary to directives deferring
elections would be deemed to have resigned from council.

Clr Makwavarara has been deputy mayor since 2002 when the opposition MDC-led
council assumed office.

Clr Mushonga arrived at Town House driving his Pajero four-wheel-drive
vehicle around nine in the morning and spent the greater part of the day
conducting business in the deputy mayor's office and receiving fellow
councillors who were congratulating him.

He parked his vehicle in Clr Makwavarara's parking bay.

During his brief stay in office, Clr Mushonga said he would engage
Government within the parameters of the Urban Councils Act only.

"We follow the Urban Councils Act which says that the minister can give
policy directives and not administrative directives.

"As long as we both stay within the law, there will not be any collision,"
he said.

Clr Mushonga said council would not accept working with committees set up by
the Government, which were not provided for in the Urban Councils Act.

He said whoever wanted any committee to assist the city should lobby for the
amendment of the Act to include such committees.

"We are lawful (as a council) and we want to keep the rule of law. Anything
outside, we do not do. If anyone is aggrieved that person should go to
Parliament and amend the Act and we will comply," he said.

He said he was looking into ways of how best he could divide his time
between council business and his medical profession.

Clr Mushonga is a medical doctor at Parirenyatwa Hospital and is also into
private practice.

"I will discuss with my employers --- council and the hospital," he said.

Asked what he would do if Clr Makwavarara came to work, Clr Mushonga said
there was no way he could co-exist with her.

"She is the former deputy mayor and that is it," he said.

He said his immediate task was to improve the administration of council and
to resuscitate dialogue with residents.

Pressed to comment on allegations that his refusal to stay in a
council-rented house, drive a council vehicle and move with security
personnel was like back-stabbing Clr Makwavarara, Clr Mushonga said he
proposed the benefits on her behalf knowing she needed them.

"But I do not need those benefits. Council has no money," he said.
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The Herald

Support Unit relaunches service charter

Herald Reporter
ZIMBABWEANS have a right to express themselves freely but not at the expense
of other people's rights, a Government official has said.

Speaking at the relaunch of the Police Support Unit service charter in
Harare yesterday, the Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Melusi Matshiya said the
use of minimum force in policing of public disorders was a legal requirement
in the country.

"Throughout the world, the maintenance of public order ensures peace and
tranquility, which are prerequisites for economic development to take
place," he said.

He said the Support Unit would not hesitate to use minimum force to restore
order where disorder seems to prevail.

Mr Matshiya said they would use that amount of force sufficient enough to
overcome resistance by the rioters.

"I have gathered that the greatest controversy arises out of public disorder
management where you have received a barrage of accusations of brutality and
of being inconsiderate of human rights when you use force in your endeavours
to restore sanity during disorders," he said.

He said the Support Unit had also been portrayed in some media circles as a
force of Government to be unleashed on the citizens exercising their
democratic rights through peaceful and authorised demonstrations.

The role of police Support Unit was clearly demonstrated and duly
appreciated during the initial stages of the land reform programme when they
restored law and order in the farms.

"We get very worried when some learned citizens of our country decide to
tell blatant untruths through the pen about alleged absence of the rule of
law in Zimbabwe," Mr Matshiya said.

He assured that the Support Unit would not let anyone, no matter their
social status, incite public violence, saying nobody was above the law.

Officer Commanding Police Support Unit in Harare Senior Assistant
Commissioner Garikayi Barara said it had always been their belief that it
was the people's constitutional rights to enjoy their hard won liberty
without the slightest hindrance.

"We have stood by your side, through thick and thin and have managed to
maintain public order, an essential ingredient of the social and economic
development of our country, Zimbabwe," he said.

Snr Asst Comm Barara said the Support Unit would discharge its
constitutional obligations without fear or favour.
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