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Zvakwana Newsletter #28 - Change demands action!
June 02, 2003

Street activists were out trying their best today despite the zanu republic police force’s violence and intimidation. Spirits are high and people are determined to show the world their determination to fight for democracy. The picture above shows a small part of a march by pro-democracy supporters in Harare city centre.

The people must press on for the next four days with a complete stayaway from work. Local demonstrations and actions are now necessary to keep the police pre-occupied. People must all remain resolute. The end is in sight. Victories against this dictatorship must continue to multiply, and that can only happen if we remain courageous and with a unity of purpose. Every one of us has an obligation for a better tomorrow for our children. We must fight to remove hunger. We must fight to remove corruption. We must fight to remove violence.

We urge businesses to remain closed and to allow their employees to participate in localised demonstrations and actions for change.


Let us list some of Zvakwana’s initial successes:

Students fighting back

Morgan Tsvangirai detained on Monday morning
The MDC President was taken to Harare Central police station this morning and charged with contempt of court. He was released to attend his treason trial. Moves were made by the state to amend his bail conditions to obtain an order to bar him from issuing inflammatory statements. George Bizos, his defence in the trial, objected and asked for a postponement. The Attorney General’s office wanted to argue the matter right away. Bizos then met the Judge in his chambers immediately and he relented and the postponement was granted until tomorrow. Tsvangirai then marched from the High Court along Samora Machel Avenue, past Parliament, and was joined by others. They headed in the direction of Nelson Mandela Ave to Africa Unity Square. Harvest House, the MDC HQ, was surrounded by police.

Welshman Ncube’s staff beaten by police
Police visited the home of MDC Secretary General Professor Welshman Ncube at 1.00am this morning in an attempt to arrest him. Professor Ncube was not at home at the time. Instead the police applied their thuggery to Welshman’s domestic and security staff. They were made to lie on the grass and were beaten with hose pipe.

zanu pf has to engage youth militia because the police are no longer on their side
Zvakwana witnessed a massing of hundreds of youth militia at zanu pf headquarters in their shaking shaking building on Rotten Row in Harare. From mugabe’s headquarters the militia then dispersed in smaller groups using unmarked cars. They proceeded to the city centre were they unleashed violence on unsuspecting passers-by.

Harare city centre becomes a "no-go area" as zanu youth militia go on the rampage
It is advisable that all Zimbabweans avoid Harare city centre during this week of action. zanu pf militia are randomly picking targets off the street. It is unsafe to move about. Stay home. Stay safe.

State House sealed off; mugabe is shaking in his mansion

7th Street, and all other roads leading past mugabe’s soon to be empty big house were sealed off today by riot police.

Zanu pf army thugs go door to door beating people in high density areas

Today, being the first day of a concerted week of action for change, we witnessed the army betraying the people of Zimbabwe. Instead of upholding good professional standards they have turned into an enemy of the people. In Glen View, Highfields and Kuwadzana we have had reports that these thugs are moving around beating and intimidating. This is a sincere warning: thugs, your time will come. Things are on the move.

MP for Highfield is shot and injured and other MDC members arrested
Members of the army and police have opened fire on peaceful demonstrators in the Highfields district of Harare. The MDC MP for Highfield Mungofa was one of the injured. Harare East MP Tendai Biti has been arrested. MDC MP Edwin Mushoriwa was brutally attacked by the police and is currently being treated in hospital for the injuries he sustained.

Bulawayo’s MDC Mayor, Mr. Japhet Ndabeni – Ncube, was detained at Central Police Station. In Victoria Falls three people are missing after being picked up by the police in the town today. They are Ephraim Sithole, Siandebe and Nkululeko Nyoni, the younger brother of the MDC Member of Parliament for Hwange East.

moyo leaves his diarrhoea streaming in the streets of Harare
The pathetic professor and the cabinet of clowns are running so scared that they just threw thousands of leaflets on the ground in the early hours of Monday morning. Zvakwana saw some groups of people laughing and shaking their heads at zanu pf’s stupid propaganda. For example zanu pf says:

Moyo, however, is right about two things: rambai makashinga! Yes we are strong and we will overcome our troubles. And, we are certainly enough – enough of zanu pf.

ZUPCO aiding and abetting the mugabe regime
People have been informing us that policemen have been riding shotgun on the roof of Zupco buses.

zanu pf open fire during Harare city centre protest
As you can see by this picture, zanu pf are becoming increasingly brutal and unashamed of their inability to adhere to the rule of law. They fired live ammunition in order to stop democracy activists from protesting.


Do you recognise this thug?

See full size photographs on

zanu militia cling to the back of citizen’s vehicle moving around in Harare city centre
A man and wife travelling near Meikles Hotel were today jumped by zanu pf militia. The militia climbed onto the back of their truck and proceeded to pull off the petrol cap while threatening to set fire to their vehicle. One of the assailants had a long knife (bayonet) as a weapon. After travelling around for many kilometres he was finally thrown off the vehicle. Here is the face of the perpetrator. We are asking you all to send us the names and identities of anyone harming peace loving Zimbabweans.

Bulawayo launches name and shame campaign
In Bulawayo Zvakwana activists are moving around the streets making a mark on the walls of zanu pf thugs. We’re watching you.

List of companies and businesses that stayed open during the first day are listed on
Zvakwana activists have been looking to see which businesses remained open during the call for mass action and a nation-wide stayaway. We have gathered information from as far afield as Beit Bridge and Victoria Falls. Please check the list on the Zvakwana web site and boycott these businesses. We would like to congratulate Savanna Wood Factory who has resisted pressure and threats by the authorities to re-open. We have had information from most cities and towns that the army and the police are moving around forcing people to re-open their shops and businesses. In Harare Kwikspar at Rhodesville was closed early in the morning but is open now. Rhodesville police came and ordered them to open. Nothing else is open at Rhodesville Shops or Kamfinsa.

The Avondale Wimpy and the Italian Bakery in Harare do not support the stayaway
Will you continue to support these businesses? Let your money do the talking. While the Italian Bakery stays open and people sip their cups of coffee just some few kilometres away hundreds of your fellow country(wo)men in the high density suburbs are being beaten for actively supporting democratic change. BOYCOTT THESE BUSINESSES.

Litter with CHANGE - and idea from a subscriber – take part!
And what about some financial contribution for the ever hungry guys in State House? If people would make it a habit to get rid of their useless and worthless coins by dropping them out of their car windows every time they pass along State House on whatever road, the place would slowly get littered with CHANGE. Apart from the symbolic gesture, it could even attract beggars and street kids . . .

Remain committed – change demands action

Zvakwana, Sokwanele, Enough is Enough!

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US Condemns Use of Force in Zimbabwe
David Gollust
State Department
03 Jun 2003, 01:31 UTC

The United States Monday condemned the use of force against opposition-led
demonstrations in Zimbabwe, and urged that country's neighbors to join in
pressing the government of President Robert Mugabe for reforms and respect
for human rights.

The State Department condemned what it termed "heavy-handed intimidation and
suppression" of the protests in Zimbabwe, and expressed concern about the
temporary detention of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and the reported
mistreatment of other jailed members of his party, the Movement for
Democratic Change.

A spokeswoman here attributed the demonstrations and work stoppages under
way in Zimbabwe to widespread frustration over the Mugabe government's
"ruinous" economic policies and human rights abuses, and called on
authorities in Harare to respect peaceful protests and restore the rule of

She said it is important that Zimbabwe's African neighbors also take a
strong stand in defending human rights and reform there. She said without a
"more forthright" African role, political change and economic recovery in
Zimbabwe will be difficult.

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Chingoka refutes report that team vetted to avoid upsetting Mugabe

LONDON: Zimbabwe cricket chairman Peter Chingoka on Monday said it was a
slur to suggest that his team had been politically vetted to make sure none
of his players did nothing to upset President Robert Mugabe.

Chingoka was responding to a report in the Observer newspaper that the squad
had been "cleansed" so that players wouldn't follow the examples of Andy
Flower and Henry Olonga at the World Cup.

The two stars wore black armbands to represent the "death of democracy"
under Mugabe's regime, stating that opposition leaders were repeatedly
arrested and half the population - some 6.7 million - faced starvation.

Both Flower and Olonga have retired from international cricket but fast
bowler Olonga said he had to flee the country to get away from Mugabe's
secret police. Chingoka, chairman of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, refuted the
Observer story and said the squad was based on ability and potential.

"It is both insulting and inaccurate to suggest that this Zimbabwe squad has
been politically vetted, as has been suggested throughout the tour by
protest groups and now by the Observer newspaper,'' he said.

"I denied this slur when we arrived in the UK on the 1st of May and have
stated on many occasions since that the squads selection is based on the
identification of young talent and future cricketing potential.

"The ZCU would prefer not to dignify these unpleasant claims with a public
response of this nature. "But as the same misinformation continues to be
circulated it is important to set the record straight, for the benefit of
the team and the many thousands of fans who have followed this tour as
genuine cricket lovers,'' said Chingoka, whose team lost the first test at
Lord's by an innings at 92 runs and starts the second at Durham on Thursday.

"ZCU selectors were solely responsible for the makeup of this squad. It was
chosen without political intervention. Zimbabwe cricket is in a transitional
stage and the basis for selection was the identification of talent and
potential for the future, as has been the case with several other
international teams since the end of the World Cup. "The only player not in
the squad who we believe would have merited inclusion is Andy Flower, a
world class performer,'' Chingoka said.

"Recent players who have criticized the team should look at their own
performances over an extended period of time as the real reason they were
not selected.''
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Natal Mercury

      Tsvangirai closes in on Mugabe
      June 3, 2003

      Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, detained ahead of
anti-government protests yesterday, is a fiery trade unionist who poses the
first serious threat to President Robert Mugabe's 23-year grip on power.

      Tsvangirai, who is the head of the Movement for Democratic Change, is
considered by his supporters and some Western governments as Zimbabwe's only
immediate hope to end a spiral of economic decline coupled with escalating

      But analysts say the former union leader is woolly on policy and lacks
the experience to rebuild what was once a showcase African economy.

      His judgment has also been questioned in the wake of a videotape
controversy that led to his current trial on treason charges for an alleged
plot to assassinate Mugabe.

      A secretly recorded video purported to show him discussing Mugabe's
assassination with security consultants in Canada ahead of the 2002
presidential election. But Tsvangirai says he was framed and his comments
taken out of context.

      Tsvangirai was briefly detained yesterday as his supporters launched a
series of mass protests dubbed the "final push" to oust Mugabe from power.

      Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe of stealing the 2002 presidential election
and says the veteran African leader is the main impediment to the economy's

      "Please (Mugabe) why don't you go now? Because if you remain in power
this economy will never recover. And if you wait too long to go, it will get
too dark to find your way out," Tsvangirai said in the run-up to the

      Tsvangirai's working-class background could scarcely be more different
from his rival's track record.

      Seventy-nine-year-old Mugabe led the dominant military force of the
Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) in the long war against white rule.
He boasts a string of university degrees.

      Tsvangirai, 51, is self-taught beyond a basic high school education.
The son of a bricklayer worked in a rural mine to support his family and cut
his political teeth in the labour movement while working as a mine foreman.

      In 1988, he became full-time secretary general of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions. Under his leadership, the federation broke ranks
with Mugabe's Zanu-PF, a
      former ally.

      In December 1997, Tsvangirai led a series of strikes against tax
increases and twice forced Mugabe to withdraw announced hikes. With labour
backing, Tsvangirai helped to found the MDC in 1999.

      In February 2000, the movement showed its strength by engineering
Mugabe's first poll defeat - the rejection in a national referendum of
proposed constitutional changes that would further have entrenched his
presidential power.

      In June of that year, despite killings and police intimidation, the
MDC stunned the ruling party by winning 57 of the 120 seats at stake in a
parliamentary election.

      Tsvangirai captivated the public with powerful speeches, but political
analysts say he is weak on policy and detail.

      During a tour of European capitals after the MDC was born,
Tsvangirai's weak grasp of policy did not impress. Some doubts still remain,
analysts say, but Tsvangirai has worked hard to build relations with Western

      "He has grasped that Zimbabwe needs to co-operate, he's talked about a
more transparent land programme, repairing relations with foreign donors and
fighting corruption," said Ross Herbert of the South African Institute of
International Affairs.

      "The general view is that anyone would be better than the present
leadership in Zimbabwe."

      Tsvangirai says he would set up a land commission to review Mugabe's
land reform programme - seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution to
landless blacks without compensation - and correct "mistakes". But analysts
say whites should not expect a return to the status quo if Tsvangirai was in

      Mugabe has accused his rival of being a pawn of white farmers and
Western governments, who oppose the programme.

      Tsvangirai says land redistribution has mostly benefited Mugabe's
cronies, and exacerbated food shortages threatening nearly half the
country's 13 million people.

      Tsvangirai has long defied attempts by Mugabe's regime to sideline

      Tsvangirai was picked up at his house yesterday morning.

      The MDC has blamed the government for the southern African country's
crippling economic problems. Inflation is running at 269% and shortages of
food, fuel and bank notes are causing intense hardships for Zimbabweans.

      Tsvangirai took on Mugabe at polls in March last year. He lost them,
but the MDC has challenged their legitimacy, saying they were marred by
fraud and intimidation.

      In February 2002, Tsvangirai was accused of "treason" for allegedly
plotting to eliminate Mugabe.

      The charges against him were based on the testimony of a former
Israeli secret service agent, said to be "friendly" to Mugabe.

      Yesterday, the opposition leader was escorted by police to his
on-going treason trial, where he and two other MDC officials face the death
penalty if found guilty.

      The MDC leader in 1988 was elected secretary general of what later
became the militant Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.

      His persistent defiance of government policies has seen him previously
detained by the authorities, first in 1989 when he warned of "rising state
repression" over a university closure after campus clashes.

      Three years later, he was arrested for ignoring a ban on public
protests against economic reforms and new legislation limiting union powers.

      In 1997, Tsvangirai narrowly escaped death when aggressors burst into
his office and tried to hurl him from a 10th-floor window, according to his
official biography.

      He was also arrested several times ahead of last year's election, when
he became the most serious threat to Mugabe in the latter's then 22 years in

      Tsvangirai's power to mobilise the masses became apparent when, in
1997 and 1998, he spearheaded a drive to launch a series of general strikes
against the government. The job stoppages brought the entire country to a

      On a tide of popular support, he formed the MDC at the end of 1999.

      In less than a year, the MDC proved to be the first serious challenge
to Mugabe's regime, but the government accused it of being a tool of the
country's white minority and former colonial power Britain.

      During general elections in June 2000, the MDC took almost half the
seats in parliament, in spite of a violent
      electoral campaign in which about 30 of its supporters were killed.

      Tsvangirai played no part in the war of liberation from the white
minority in 1972 to 1979 - a point regularly played against him by Mugabe's
Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF).

      He was nevertheless a staunch member and official of Zanu-PF in the

      A member of the Shona ethnic majority who neither smokes nor drinks,
Tsvangirai is married and a father. - Sapa-AFP & Reuters
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Daily News

            NATIONAL NEWS  Tuesday   3  , June

            115 arrested in police clampdown on protests

            6/3/2003 5:54:16 AM (GMT +2)

            Staff Reporter

            AT least 115 people were arrested yesterday as security forces
swooped on demonstrators and officials of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) in a move to crush anti-government protests that are
expected to end on Friday.

            MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was briefly detained by the police
in the morning, while party legislators Tendai Biti, Job Sikhala, Milton
Gwetu and Silas Mangono were also arrested.

            Also arrested yesterday were senior opposition party officials
throughout the provinces, including the MDC chairman for Bulawayo, Abraham
Mdlongwa, party national executive member Joubert Mudzumure and Bulawayo
Executive Mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube.

            MDC officials said the whereabouts of Manicaland provincial
chairman Timothy Mubhawu and three other activists in Victoria Falls were
unknown last night after they were picked up by the police.

            Edwin Mushoriwa, the Member of Parliament for Dzivaresekwa, was
reportedly in critical condition after being assaulted by State security
agents in Harare.

            Several other protesters are also said to have been injured.

            Police details using teargas prevented demonstrators from
marching into city centres in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare. Most of industry
and commerce remained closed yesterday because of the mass action, aimed at
pressing the government to resolve the country's economic and political

            MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube said of yesterday's
protests: "The MDC would like to congratulate all Zimbabweans for their
stand against tyranny. Today's victory has been achieved against the
background of a fully unleashed State machinery that included the shooting
with live ammunition at a crowd of unarmed civilians."

            The situation remained tense in most urban areas, where heavily
armed security agents kept guard.

            The police also mounted roadblocks at roads leading into urban
centres, where they searched vehicles purportedly for weapons.

            In Glen View and Highfield, security agents fired live
ammunition into the air and released teargas to disperse people who had
gathered for the march. Similar incidents were reported in other
high-density suburbs, forcing many people back into their homes.

            Paul Madzore, the MP for Glen View, said about 15 000 protesters
from Harare suburbs such as Budiriro, Glen View, Glen Norah and Highfield
abandoned their march into the city when they encountered and were assaulted
by State security agents in Southerton, three kilometres from the city
centre. Madzore said the protesters had planned to converge at Harare's
Africa Unity Square.

            In Chitungwiza, residents said the police had ordered them to be
indoors by 6pm, while heavy army tankers patrolled Makoni shopping centre as
well Tichagarika shopping centre in Glen View.

            Pishayi Muchauraya, the MDC's Manicaland provincial chairman,
said 78 people had been arrested in Mutare while 25 people who were part of
a group of protesters were arrested as they marched through the city centre.

            About 2 000 protesters were dispersed by the police in Northend
suburb in Bulawayo, according to reports from Zimbabwe's second city.

            The protesters later regrouped in the Bulawayo city centre but
were again dispersed and several of them arrested. In Kadoma, Kwekwe and
Chitungwiza, several people were assaulted and injured.

            Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesman, was not available for

            Meanwhile, University of Zimbabwe (UZ) students clashed with
riot police and heavily armed soldiers when they attempted to march into the
city centre. About 5 000 students intending to march to State House were
stopped by teargas-throwing riot police along Churchill Avenue gate into the

            Teargas was also fired on students from a helicopter hovering
above the campus. The students threw stones at the police in a bid to break
their barricade.

            ''We met as a students' body and agreed at a general meeting to
march into town to press for the immediate resignation of President Mugabe
in solidarity with the MDC's call for final push,'' said UZ Student
Executive Council treasuer Tatenda Mungure.

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Daily News

      MDC defiant in the face of massive government repression

      6/3/2003 5:54:54 AM (GMT +2)

      PLANNED mass demonstrations by the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) to force President Robert Mugabe to relinquish power appeared
to have been blocked by the massive deployment of army troops and police by
the government yesterday.

      The security forces were backed by heavy armour as they patrolled
urban areas in a massive show of military muscle. MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai and several of his top officials were arrested yesterday and
later released as the government intensified the crackdown on the opposition
party. The Daily News' managing editor ABEL MUTSAKANI spoke to Tsvangirai to
gauge the party's mood and its possible next course of action in the face of
an uncompromising and iron-fisted reaction by the government.


      QUESTION: Zimbabwe has virtually come to a halt because of the mass
action called by the MDC, but the popular demonstrations that you promised
are not there. Why?
      ANSWER: I am sure you will notice that the demonstrations are not
there because of the State's reaction to those demonstrations. The State has
resorted to foul means to prevent the demonstrations, foul means in terms of
the use of heavily armed soldiers and police against unarmed and innocent

      I think we have seen in the past few hours the heaviest ever
deployment of soldiers and police in residential areas. It is, therefore,
natural that given the violent nature of the repression people get afraid.
Nevertheless, I must congratulate Zimbabweans for heeding the call to mass
action by staying at home. That in itself must send a signal to the

      Q: But you have staged these mass stayaways before and nothing much
appears to have been achieved. The question is: is staying at home in
protest the kind of action that is going to force President Robert Mugabe to
either resign or agree to talks as you are demanding?
      A: I want to say that one would have wished there was a conducive
environment for people to express themselves, but in the absence of such an
environment in which people can be able to hold demonstrations, then these
are the likely consequences (the stayaways).

      Q: Clearly the MDC should have anticipated that the government would
react in this manner. One would say you should have mobilised your
supporters to carry out demonstrations even in the face of repression or are
people not yet ready for direct confrontation with the government?
      A: I think you are underestimating the degree of anger amongst the
people. I believe that in all our consultations, the outcry from the people
was that they did not want stayaways. The feedback was very clear: that
people wanted demonstrations. But clearly many people must have
underestimated the extent to which the State was prepared to use repression
to suppress the masses.

      Q: Is it the people or rather their leaders such as yourself who
misread the State's likely reaction to the protests?
      A: You cannot blame the leadership. Look, the leadership can only do
so much, but If the people are afraid to take the risks to gain their
freedom, what do you expect the leadership to do?

      Q: If the State is saying it is not going to stop at anything to crush
popular discontent, so what next? How are you going to be able to force
Mugabe either to retire or to agree to negotiations?
      A: Let me tell you one thing, I think people are being
over-simplistic. People are looking at just one action and they expect it to
produce change immediately. In other words, people are looking at events
that are taking place as part of the whole struggle as events that should,
on their own, deliver change. But I want to caution people with such a
simplistic view of the situation in this country that what we are engaged in
is a long struggle.

      It is going to be protracted. What is happening now are just events
aimed at building the necessary confidence. There are so many events that
are going to take place in building a successful struggle. Any struggle or
process of democratic resistance is a very protracted process and along the
way there are going to be disappointments.

      Q: If the demonstrations today (yesterday) are part of a long process,
then how exactly is this process supposed to unfold? What were the
demonstrations supposed to achieve?
      A: The demonstrations were supposed to develop in a manner that they
would help build confidence in the people. But more critically, we wanted to
test the people's readiness to take this kind of action, which is why we
said on the first day people should come out and demonstrate and on the
subsequent days people were expected to demonstrate in their own localities.

      The point is that you need to gauge the extent of the people's
preparedness to sacrifice for their freedom. And we hope that by the end of
the week, we would have given a sufficient knock-on effect on the regime to
come to the negotiating table.

      Q: And if Mugabe and ZANU PF simply ignore your action and refuse to
      A: Then more action will be organised by the MDC.

      Q: But others would say by engaging in street demonstrations you are
actually blocking dialogue?
      A: No, we are not. We have always been consistent that dialogue is the
only viable option to resolve the crisis in this country, which is why this
action is meant to put internal pressure on this regime to realise that the
crisis cannot be postponed and that it needs to be resolved through dialogue
as a matter of urgency. We need an immediate solution, but it can only be
through dialogue between the two parties.

      Q: You were arrested by the police this morning and several other MDC
leaders and activists were also arrested. What are the MDC's options if the
government engages in retribution against the party?
      A: More repression is not going to deter us. They (the government)
have repressed us before and there have been worse reprisals before, but it
is not going to deter the people from their march for freedom.

      Q: And how about the economy? Surely this action by the MDC can only
help inflict more damage on an economy that is already on its knees?
      A: Well, there is really no economy to talk about. What economy would
one be talking about when the country's banks cannot even give you your own
local currency?
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Daily News

      Has mass action come too late?

      6/3/2003 5:56:03 AM (GMT +2)

      By Precious Shumba Staff Reporter

      FOR Regina Rice, the mass action called by Zimbabwe's largest
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has come too
late and could be too little because, she says, the country and her
livelihood have already collapsed.

      Just like most Zimbabweans, Rice - a 23-year-old vegetable vendor in
Harare's Hatfield suburb - was yesterday left counting the costs of the mass
action, which began throughout the country yesterday.

      Rice says the country's sinking economy might have been saved had the
MDC, formed three years ago, launched its protests then because, she says,
this could have forced the government to act.

      As she anxiously waited for customers at her meagre stall yesterday,
she made no secret of the fact that the protests had hit her business too.

      By mid-day, she counted her paltry earnings for the day - a mere $1
000 compared to $20 000 which she normally makes in the teeming suburb.

      "This is a collapse of my livelihood," she said ruefully.

      "I usually order vegetables worth about $14 000, which earn me $20 000
on a good day, but all this is gone because the country is going down.

      "I am not against the mass action, but l think the MDC should have
done it long back. Maybe this would have resolved some of our economic

      Rice said she desperately needed money to feed and educate her
six-year-old son Owen, but all she could see now were tough times ahead for
her and her child.

      Elsewhere across Zimbabwe, where absolute poverty affects 80 percent
of the population and unemployment runs at an unprecedented 70-plus percent,
many must also have been wondering aloud whether anything good would come
out of the week-long protests.

      Rice, like many of the poorest of the poor, are soldiering daily just
to have one meal a day. A few others have not been so lucky and have
succumbed to hunger, a result of severe food shortages caused by a drought
and the government's seizure of productive farms.

      Those Zimbabweans who count themselves better off - their numbers are
dwindling by the day because of hyper-inflation - have to brave long queues
in search of fuel, their own money which is no longer available from banks
and many other necessities which have disappeared into the secretive and
expensive black market.

      As the protests rolled out yesterday, there was no sign that the
shortages would ease any time soon.

      There were also signs that those who defend the status quo were not
about to give up. One Daily News newspaper vendor said militants of the
ruling ZANU PF party rampaging through the capital Harare early yesterday
impounded her newspapers and tore them before telling her to go home for
"selling a paper that incites public disorder".

      She said although she backed the mass action, she still needed to look
after her two school-going children.

      As the protests unfolded - most people stayed at home for fear of
being attacked by the militants and security forces who threatened dire
action against anyone caught demonstrating in the streets - schoolchildren
were caught up in the disturbances. Some schools immediately suspended

      A pupil at Prince Edward School said he felt demoralised by the fact
that he would miss vital classes after the school broke off earlier than
normal yesterday.

      "I am not sure if I will come to school tomorrow," he said, preferring
not to be named. "We saw police running after people and we are afraid it
might be dangerous for us if we come to school."

      Business ground to a halt as the protests kicked off. Factories in
Harare, Bulawayo and most major towns were shut as business heeded the

      Harare's normally teeming business and industrial area was deserted,
resembling a quiet Sunday afternoon when most people usually stay away from
the city's hustle and bustle. Some workers who had ventured to walk to work
because of the lack of transport could be seen heading back home after
finding factories and industries closed.

      For Rice and her two children, the week ahead could be a long one, not
particularly helped by the cold wintry days and nights now bearing down on
Southern Africa.
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Daily News

      State applies for tightening of Tsvangirai's bail conditions

      6/3/2003 5:56:57 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      THE High Court is today expected to hear an application from the
State, which is seeking to tighten bail conditions for opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) president Morgan Tsvangirai, who is on trial for

      Tsvangirai is jointly charged with MDC secretary-general Welshman
Ncube and secretary for agriculture Renson Gasela with plotting to
assassinate President Robert Mugabe in the run-up to last year's
presidential election.

      The three have denied the charges.

      The presiding judge, Justice Paddington Garwe, yesterday adjourned the
treason trial to today after the defence team, led by Advocate George Bizos
of South Africa, asked for time to prepare a response to the application.

      The treason trial has been running since February.

      Deputy Attorney General Bharat Patel, who is leading the prosecution,
said he would file the bail alteration application today.

      "We are applying to alter the conditions of bail. They (the defence)
have asked for time to prepare, so it will be heard tomorrow (Tuesday),"
said Bharat. He, however, would not indicate what changes he would seek to
make to the existing conditions.

      Tsvangirai has already surrendered his passport as part of his bail

      But Bizos said the State wanted the MDC leader to stop making alleged
inflammatory statements that were likely to "cause public disorder or incite

      The application comes in the wake of statements by Tsvangirai and
several senior MDC officials urging members of the public to take to the
streets in protest against Mugabe's rule. The anti-government protests are
supposed to last a week.

      Thousands of protesters yesterday engaged in running battles with
security agents around the country as they responded to calls to demonstrate
against Mugabe's government. In Harare, demonstrators attempted to march
into the city centre from several suburbs but were blocked by members of the
uniformed forces.

      Tsvangirai, Ncube and Gasela are being accused of contracting a
Canadian consultancy firm, Dickens & Madson, to assist them to assassinate
Mugabe and overthrow his government ahead of last year's presidential

      Details of the alleged plot were revealed last year by Ari
Ben-Menashe, the head of Dickens & Madison.

      The defence team insists that the trio was framed and have dismissed
Menashe as an international fraudster.

      Meanwhile, the police yesterday charged Tsvangirai with contempt of
court after the opposition leader defied a High Court order compelling him
to call off demonstrations which began yesterday.

      The provisional order, granted by Justice Ben Hlatshwayo on Saturday
night, instructed Tsvangirai and the MDC to cancel their week-long protests.

      The MDC, however, ignored the order yesterday, arguing that it was
defective and illegal.

      Innocent Chagonda, Tsvangirai's lawyer, said the police had charged
Tsvangirai although Ncube, who had also been ordered to report to the
police, was not charged.

      Chagonda said MDC lawyers were now challenging the validity of
Hlatshwayo's order in the courts.

      "They have charged him (Tsvangirai) with contempt, but they said they
will phone me when they are ready to take him to court," he told The Daily
News. "However, they later indicated that they no longer needed Ncube to
report to the police. We are now challenging the validity of the court
order, but you can only get more details on that from Mordecai Mahlangu
because he is handling the case."

      Mahlangu could not be reached for comment yesterday.
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Daily News

      ZANU PF supporters destroy newspapers

      6/3/2003 5:57:53 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) lost more than $375 000 in
revenue yesterday when ruling ZANU PF supporters seized and destroyed copies
of its flagship newspaper, The Daily News, around the country.

      ANZ circulation manager John Marira said initial reports indicated
that more than 2 500 copies were torn and burnt in Harare. He said he
expected to receive more reports of similar incidents.

      Vendors for the newspaper said ruling party youths confiscated and
burnt copies of The Daily News they had for sale to members of the public in
the morning, as Zimbabweans readied themselves for anti-government protests
called by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

      The mass action, which involves street marches, is aimed at pressing
President Robert Mugabe to resolve Zimbabwe's political and economic crises
or step down.

      Martin Neshamba, a 35-year-old vendor, said about 70 ZANU PF youths
descended on him in downtown Harare as he prepared to put copies of The
Daily News on the newsstand.

      "I lost all the 300 copies that had been allocated to me," he said.

      Another vendor, Timothy Timothy, said soldiers confiscated 50 copies
of yesterday's issue at the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Rekai
Tangwena Street.

      He said the three soldiers barred him from selling The Daily News.

      "They asked me what newspaper I was selling and I said The Daily News.
One of them said 'no, you cannot sell it here, this paper is actually
fanning the protests'," Timothy said.
      In Kwekwe, the ruling party youths are reported to have destroyed 121
copies of the newspaper.

      Vendors of The Daily News in Harare said soldiers and police officers
patrolling the streets of the capital city just watched as the ZANU PF
youths tore and burnt copies of yesterday's issue of the paper.

      The vendors said members of the uniformed forces who witnessed the
incidents accused the newspaper of aiding the MDC-organised mass protests
and encouraging members of the public to participate in the demonstrations.

      The anti-government protests, which began yesterday with protesters
fighting running battles with the uniformed forces, are supposed to last a

      They have been dubbed as the "final push" against Mugabe, whom the MDC
accuses of fraudulently winning re-election in last year's presidential

      Mugabe has denied the charges.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      The people's loud and clear voice

      6/3/2003 9:37:08 AM (GMT +2)

      NOT surprisingly, the besieged government yesterday kept its promise
to get tough with mass protests called by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) by deploying thousands of army troops and police
across the nation in a huge show of force.

      It then rounded up leading figures of the MDC in a dawn "decapitation"
swoop against would-be ringleaders of the protests.

      But the stunning shutdown of the entire nation, with the capital
Harare eerily deserted and resembling a ghost town, dramatically and
graphically underlined who now calls the shots in the power stakes in

      The overwhelming response of Zimbabweans to stay put at home after
dire threats from the government that it would crush the protests showed
that, while the administration had possibly won this phase of the battle, it
had significantly lost the war.

      The nationwide shutdown dramatised in no uncertain terms - even to the
government's praise-singers who have to work overtime for their lunch - that
the people will no longer be cowed and that people power is now on the

      This sort of people's response anywhere else in the world would have
automatically led to an immediate resignation of the government, which would
have been aware of an embarrassing loss of popular support.

      But in Zimbabwe, the government still believes that it can preside
over an increasingly disenchanted population by the force of arms.

      The question that many in the land are asking is simple: how long will
the guns keep the uneasy peace?

      The answer is equally simple: not for much longer, judging by the
lessons of history.

      But perhaps peace-loving - many would say docile - Zimbabweans needed
to go through this painful phase of history to make them learn that freedom
is so precious it must never again be subjected to the whims of one-person

      That life without true freedom is but an empty shell and that the cost
of regaining your freedom could be very high indeed.

      As the booming sounds of military planes repeatedly broke Harare's
uneasy calm yesterday, it would not have been lost on many Zimbabweans who
lived through the terror years of the white minority government that the
country had come full circle in many ways.

      The same strong-arm tactics used against black nationalist guerrillas
in the 1970s were now being employed once more and the country itself was
again under international sanctions for rebelling against all civilised
norms and values.

      The siege mood of then Rhodesia had come back once more, only that in
Zimbabwe many more of the black majority no longer had any means of
survival, in addition to their daily tribulations of searching for
hard-to-find fuel and foreign currency, jobs and medicines, among many
essentials which have gone underground into the black market - the country's
only working market.

      That any government in the brave and digital 21st century could
attempt to run a country through a black market is really instructive of how
things have fallen apart.

      Despite all this and the dark clouds which menacingly hang over
Zimbabwe, there is no denying the fact that the country is at the
crossroads, frenetically searching for a formula that could restore the land
and its people to their former glory and prosperity.

      Wherever one goes in the land these days - from the gloomy slums of
Harare's Mbare to Bulawayo's Makokoba, and from Sakubva township in Mutare
to Chinotimba township in Victoria Falls - the sweet and unmistakable smell
of true freedom is everywhere.

      All signals point to one certainty: freedom is coming tomorrow.
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Daily News

Leader Page

            Dictators are weapons of mass destruction

            6/3/2003 9:38:01 AM (GMT +2)

            By Tanonoka J Whande

            ZANU PF's curriculum vitae can now be commendably written even
by a grade seven pupil. This party worked harder than any other to bring us
numerous exotic conditions. My compatriots, it's only fair that you stand up
and applaud our dear leader Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF for unselfishly
bringing to us vice, blackmail and corruption.

            Who, except the gallant ZANU PF, could have had the courage to
bring to us chaos, tribalism, lies, false arrests, greed, factionalism,
police brutality, intimidation and violence? And which other
non-governmental organisation can afford to employ and parade an array of
stooges, professional liars and paranoid propagandists such as Jonathan
Moyo, Ibbo Mandaza, Tafataona Mahoso and others we have right in and outside
the President's Office?

            ZANU PF is a non-governmental organisation yet it has outdone
the whole government when it comes to service delivery. No organisation has
reached or touched the people in the manner or depth that this party has.
Yet it survives on public funds not on popular donations. Because there is
deliberately no distinction between the party and the government - the two
are practically one and the same - the party uses government property and
has access to public funds.

            No wonder people such as the ones we just mentioned outdo each
other in throwing a couple of bucketsful of lies to the yokels before going
to bed every day. Are they the party faithful? It appears quite a number of
people have faith in ZANU PF in spite of its record. Is it for the money or
is it faith? Among other explanations, my dictionary explains faith as a
firm belief in something for which there is no proof. l take great exception
to this because l have always believed that faith is solid and survives on
proven beliefs. l have always viewed faith as something that is evident in
itself. But in the end, l had to admit that to ignore evidence is one of the
characteristics of faith. l had been reluctant to accept this because l was
looking at faith from a religious point of view. l did not want to weaken my
faith nor did l want my faith to be a fantasy of sorts.

            l do not know about other religions, but in Christianity our
faith is nurtured by a proven belief: Jesus lived, died and still lives. But
when l transferred the word faith to the ardent votaries of ZANU PF, l
discovered why multitudes of academics, professionals and even clergymen
have faith, obviously blind, in ZANU PF.

            Decent men and women worship and have faith in this violent
party and its aged, incapable lame-duck leader simply because they are all
able and willing to ignore prohibitory, accusing and damning evidence
against ZANU PF. That is the only way they can maintain their faith in it.
If followers did not ignore evidence, there wouldn't be any party faithful
in ZANU PF; for no one really needs to belong to this vigilante group. Our
President sees and knows the evidence against himself and his party but
ignores it, why?

            Because dictatorships can only thrive in a society in which the
people ignore evidence or are forced to. This provides a false blanket of
calm while the masses are simmering underneath. Surprisingly, dictators
believe the false atmosphere they created and will not tolerate anyone who
attempts to wake the people up. Dictators are hazardous to our health, hence
it is everyone's duty to remove a dictator wherever the dictator may be.

            Zimbabwe made a lot of noise about the invasion of Iraq. hey
tried to label it a political and a legal issue, but Bruce Wharton, a United
States Embassy spokesman, rightly pointed out it was neither but that it was
a security issue.

            Whether the war in Iraq uncovered the weapons of mass
destruction or not is irrelevant to my argument, but l have yet to come
across a tyrant who does not have mass graves of his people in his country.
As far as l am concerned, the heart of the matter is that every tyrant is a
weapon of mass destruction so the removal of dictators is every citizen's
imperative. Whether we call it a regime change or anything else, it still
demands that dictators, like aching teeth, be removed. They no longer have a
place in today's society.

            Russia, France, Britain, and the US all have nuclear and
hydrogen weapons and bombs. They all have weapons of mass destruction but as
long as these weapons are there somewhere under lock and key, they do not
destroy anyone. But when you get a tyrant who is prepared to kill his own
people like Saddam Hussein did and other tyrants have done, then these men
are themselves weapons of mass destruction.

            People have long memories. Iraqis disappeared or were hanged for
making or laughing at jokes about Saddam. Here we have someone who
legislated that pointing at his car is a criminal offence. We are the
wronged ones but we continue to be lied to, to be arrested for nothing,
beaten up, raped or maimed. But we have to forget all this as well as our
murdered thousands.

            We are expected to forget and just forgive because Thabo Mbeki
and Olusegun Obasanjo came to tea and said so. It's not going to work that
way. Cruelties to the mind go far deeper than whip cuts and starvation. Our
time will come.

            Are Zimbabweans willing to pardon people who committed and who
continue to commit these atrocities? We, the people, hold the answer, not
Obasanjo or Mbeki. We do not ignore evidence; we have faith in ourselves and
we are real.

            Zimbabwe, get ready to rumble!

            Tanonoka Joseph Whande is a Zvishavane-based writer
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Daily News

      Business, government head for showdown

      6/3/2003 9:35:30 AM (GMT +2)

      By MacDonald Dzirutwe Business Editor

      BUSINESSES in major cities countrywide ground to a halt yesterday as
workers heeded calls for mass protests called by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), a development which analysts said would accelerate
the total collapse of Zimbabwe's already tottering economy.

      The analysts spoke as major businesses, especially in the capital
Harare and in the second city Bulawayo, failed to open for business
yesterday in response to the call for protests by the MDC and other civic
organisations which want to force President Robert Mugabe to step down and
allow fresh elections.

      But the latest work stoppage is much likely to infuriate Mugabe's
government, more so after threats by hawkish Local Government Minister
Ignatius Chombo that the State would withdraw licences of companies which
fail to open for business this week.

      Although it was difficult to start counting the losses from the mass
action, economic commentators said if the business shutdowns lasted a week,
this would spell doom for an economy battling to claw back from four
successive years of recession.

      The analysts said billions of dollars in production were at stake if
business did not move speedily to open their operations, a situation which
was unlikely though.

      Companies with operations in Harare's industrial areas of Msasa,
Workington, Southerton, Graniteside and the city centre were closed the
whole of yesterday while 90 percent of the industry in Bulawayo did not

      Bulawayo economist Erich Bloch said the few exports which the country
had been making were threatened by production stoppages, worsening the
already critical shortages of foreign currency.

      "The mass action is going to have serious repercussions on the country
's economy which is already languishing in the doldrums," Bloch told The
Business Daily.

      "A halt to industrial production means a reduction in exports and that
will result in the reduction of the much needed foreign currency inflows."

      Zimbabwe's economy, already more than halfway deep in the quicksand,
has taken a battering from work stoppages following successful stayaways
called by the MDC in March and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union in April
this year.

      As of yesterday, Zimbabwe's industry and commerce appeared to have
ignored Chombo's threat to withdraw their operating licences if they did not
open for business.

      Consultant economist John Robertson said apart from the expected
company closures, the latest action would widen the rift between business
and the government over policies that need to be pursued to rescue the
sinking economy.

      The government has long accused industry of working with the
opposition to topple it from power, a charge industry denies.

      "We are seeing a situation where companies have gone on to close shop
even after the threats by the government," Robertson noted.

      "The rift between business and the government will continue to widen
and I don't think this is good for the negotiating forum."

      Security Minister Nicholas Goche last week appeared on State-run
television to shore up confidence to restive Zimbabweans by declaring that
the Bankers' Association of Zimbabwe had committed to open banks during the
week-long mass action.

      But a snap survey of central Harare showed that with the exception of
Barclays Bank Zimbabwe Limited, which briefly opened its two branches in
First Street, and the Metropolitan Bank, all banks remained shut yesterday.

      Reports from Bulawayo indicated that more than 90 percent of Bulawayo'
s industries closed down except for banks and other financial institutions
which were forced to operate by State security agents.

      Bank workers were said to have operated under heavy surveillance by
the Criminal Investigations Department operatives who were reportedly
deployed by the government on Friday to make sure they reported for duty.

      The bank closures left many people unable to access money which they
have failed to get in the past two weeks as a result of a crunch shortage of
bank notes.

      Bank executives who spoke to this newspaper this week said most
financial institutions had taken a business decision not to open shop.

      "This has got nothing to do with politics. It is purely a business
decision and workers should think about their personal safety first," a
banking executive told The Business Daily on condition of anonymity.

      Bloch said efforts to improve the country's battered image as a safe
destination for foreign investors and tourists had suffered another blow as
a result of the mass action, which saw sporadic incidences of violence

      Foreign investors have since February 2000 fled from the country in
protest against its rapid descent into anarchy, while tourist arrivals have
plummeted because tourists from key source markets view Zimbabwe as an
unsafe destination.

      "The already ailing economy will also be dealt a blow since tourists
will stay away fearing for their lives," Bloch said.

      The analysts said with Zimbabwe's economy in an advanced state of
decline, the week-long shutdown by companies would only worsen the plight of

      Industry has been blighted by deepening foreign currency and fuel
shortages, which have forced some companies to retrench staff to stay

      Zimbabwe's economic crisis is dramatised by accelerating inflation,
now at a record high of 269,2 percent, swelling unemployment of more than 70
percent and mass poverty of more than 80 percent of the population of 13
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Daily News


      A government is judged by how it treats its people

      6/3/2003 9:38:53 AM (GMT +2)

      By Marko Phiri

      Mahatma Gandhi, that famous Indian non-violence prophet, wrote many
years ago that a nation may be judged by how it treats its animals. He could
have gone further. A government can be judged by how it treats its people.
And this would define the government's character, its ideals and, most
importantly, why that government thinks it deserves to be in power.

      The Zimbabwean government has taken a lot of punches over the past few
years from diverse sources and with it, in turn, wondering what the ruckus
is all about, seeing that it is doing a splendid job. But judging from how
it has treated the very people it claims to be working strenuously to better
their existence, even the animal haters would fare better seeing that not
many are ready to shed tears for a canine that has been poisoned for
repeatedly tipping the neighbour's trash can.

      In the past few years, Zimbabwe has been turned into a police state,
and interestingly, this has been the ruling party's elixir as it saw the
country sliding toward being a protest state.

      All things being fair, and by the manner with which events here have
taken a radical twist, each day in this country would be one that is laden
with protests and demonstrations against this regime for crimes ranging from
the deliberate starving of political opponents to physically abusing elected
Members of Parliament belonging to the opposition.

      And this itself would be graphically made manifest by the street
protests that the opposition has called for. Interestingly, this is not the
first time that such a call has been made, but whether it will be heeded on
the same scale as the 1998 food riots, for example, is another issue. Its
failure would not, however, represent the failure of the opposition to
garner the support of the general populace to oust this regime, but will
rather reflect

      the people's own awareness of what taking to the streets would mean.
Not many are willing to be martyrs to this cause.

      Perhaps as a classical example of how politicians always fail to deal
with pressing issues, preferring instead to be reactive by waiting for
things to go wrong, this government has failed to find a panacea for what
has engendered the muted militancy that has taken a few daredevils full
throttle into the streets, but has instead sought to deal with the protests!
Cause and effect, ZANU PF chooses to deal with effect, literally putting the
cart before the horse!

      In efforts to understand the philosophy that drives the ruling party's
thinking, it would offer invaluable insight to take a look at how it has
dealt with other tragedies that have occurred in the country since

      From the bus disasters to the very recent train accident and to the
economy itself, be sure that the ruling party knew who was responsible. Each
time disaster strikes, is it not curious that the government always finds
ready fall guys and not itself to blame? Can such a government expect to be
respected by its own people?

      One thing the ruling party has never got to really understand is that
respect is very much like wages - you earn it. And there is a lot of work
one has to put into it. There must then be something inherently wrong with
somebody who always attributes his failings to everybody else but himself.

      From the age-old traditions of Africans, disrespect does not merely
manifest itself in people cursing you, but in fact by also being lied to. A
liar hardly respects anybody, and that includes himself. You live a lie for
so long, put on a mask for decades and you end up forgetting how you look
like. That has been the story of ZANU PF.

      Is it not an affront to things African that the ruling party expects
to be respected when it has failed to accord the people here the same
respect it demands?

      If Socrates lived today, I would have asked him: can one be a bad
leader of his people but be a good father to his children? Are leaders
beyond reproach? What would convince a leader that his people have changed
their minds and no longer want him in that important position? What does it
mean to a people under a democracy when incarceration looms high for anybody
who jeers at the President?

      That a head of state ought to be respected is beyond debate, but when
expression of disapproval of his policies is criminalised, can you then go
on claiming to belong to the free world considering that in the free world,
all citizens can have a go at the presidency? What happened to free

      If a president is elevated to a state where he is considered a
descendant of some god, then what that practically means is that though he
strays, becomes incontinent, imbecilic, dodders, he would still preside over
the lives of millions until those who came before him call him to their
abode. Criminalising his lampooning in the first place would mean that the
president is forever popular, which is utter nonsense for even the world's
most famous presidents had one time to exit office after that popularity

      And though they were popular, they surely would not have rode that
wave till eternity. That perhaps is why kosher democracies limit the
presidential term.

      But this being Africa, the land of men whose greatness has nothing to
do with the benevolence of Santa Claus, one would expect still such wicked
men to have their faces all over the place.

      Any attempt by the ordinary man to forget the source of his suffering
becomes a futile attempt seeing that the man you are trying not to remember
would still stare at you in every office you enter and the money you carry
for your daily bread!

      What would scare a lot of people here would probably be the very
thought that the government does not respect you, goes on to beat the living
daylights out of you in some so-called re-education exercise so that you may
get an idea of where your loyalties should lie.

      That is a government for the people for you, never mind the glaring

      In a country where unemployment seems to be racing real hard to catch
up with the rate of inflation, it would be extremely difficult in normal
circumstances for a head of state to stand up, hold his head up high and
claim he is the best thing that ever happened to the country.

      The complacency with which the ruling party has dealt with the people'
s swelling emotions is nothing but foolhardy, for nobody anywhere would play
with people's emotions like that, not even in matters of the heart. What
then about matters of the belly?

      Marko Phiri is a freelance writer
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