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

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MDC News Up-Date
In an earlier update (see below) we gave the name of the Commanding Officer in Kwekwe, Chief Superintendent Masuka, who we identified as the person leading police and Zanu PF militia in the terror campaign against members of the MDC in Kwekwe. We have since established that he is continuing with the eviction of members of the opposition, assisted by a Zanu PF activist named Gibson Jirongo. Superintendent Masuka can be reached on his mobile number 263 11 764 214.
We have just received the report that the MDC members who were arrested in Masvingo yesterday, who include the member of parliament for Masvingo Central, Silas Mangono, are being denied food while being detained. Further details on this issue can be obtained from their lawyer, a Mr. Matutu who can be reached on 263 11 767 380. You can also contact the Mayor of Masvingo, Engineer Chaimiti on 263 91 258 837
In Gweru, 35 people were arrested. More details on these arrests can be obtained from the lawyer representing the, Reginald Chidawanyika, who can be reached on 263 11 211 371
In Kwekwe, 15 people were arrested yesterday. These include Willard Somerai, a member of the youth national executive, Absalom Machiso, an MDC youth organiser.
Still in Kwekwe, today Police Chief Superintendent Masuka, the officer commanding Kwekwe, has been leading the police and Zanu PF youths in evicting and harrassing MDC supporters. Shadrick Tobaiwa, Edmore Marongwe and Anna Charuka have been evicted from their homes for supporting the MDC. Masuka has declared that all MDC supporters will be removed from Kwekwe. Some shops have been forced to open, and ZANU PF militia is running about beating up people suspected to be MDC
MDC Information and Publicity Department
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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.


Letter 1:

Dear John

On behalf of my parents, Sam and Janet Cawood, I would like to thank all
the wonderful people who helped to save their lives on Friday when they
were under seige in their home at Kleinbegin in the Beitbridge area. We
were awed by the overwhelming response of JAG, CFU, S A High Commission,
civic society both black and white in the lowveld area, our staff, our
family and friends as well as members of the armed forces who quite clearly
saw the unfairness of what was happening and stepped in to stop what could
have been a very nasty event. Our special thanks go too, to the journalists
who publicised this attack in the Southern African press and made the world
aware that the farm invasions were still continuing.

We all pray that this madness will soon end and allow us all, including
elderly people like my parents, to stay in our homes and do the things we
are best at...farming.

Yours sincerely

Jean Simon


Letter 2:

The Director,

My dear Hendrick,

I have just read the position statement put out by Council, and through
you, would like to give my support to the principles enunciated there in.
When I went to buy some bread this morning I had the good fortune to have
met a man in the queue, of continental origin, who will also endorse the
stand made in the document that has now been put out by CFU.

Like most of us his father was a farmer, but in his case it was in Poland.
One morning in February 1940 just as he was preparing to go to school, the
Russian tanks rode straight through his father's potato field - their farm
was on the border - and arrested his father. He dryly told me that the
Polish cavalry was not up to facing the Russian tanks. Together with his
mother and siblings, they were sent off to Siberia and their father joined
them later. In Siberia he had to work as a lumberjack in the forests. His
father died of dysentry, but the rest of the family survived and were
released about two years later. They were given one thousand roubles and
'amnesty.' It seems that he joined the RAF as a technician and ended up in
this country and decided to settle here. Still today his family have not
got their land back because it went into the Ukraine after the war.
There were some simple truths that this Polish man told me today, which
made me realize that he understood the whole picture better than many.

*The people will have to stand up against what is happening because a
communistic style of agriculture does not work anywhere, (and he could
vouch for it better than most); but that sadly many a government has to
personally make the mistake itself, to fully comprehend the magnitude of
the disaster.

*Secondly, he pointed out that with more counties trying to gain entry to
the EU, his family will get their land back, or be compensated for it,
because it remains 'unfinished business' that has to be settled before they
can gain entry to the Common Market.

It is more than likely that our country is going struggle to be accepted
into the 'rest of the world,' if the political dispensation and the land
tenure system implemented in the last three years, is not reformed to what
the real world regard at the very least as "satisfactory."

I am relieved that the CFU have expressed their understanding of the
problem, in writing, and am confident that many farmers will be most

Yours faithfully,
J.L. Robinson.

Letter 3:

Does anyone have the address of Barbara Carlisle Osborne in America? I too
am an ex-Zimbabwean living in America. I can answer her questions about

Chris de Robillard


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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We have just received reports that Giles Mutsekwa, the MDC member of parliament for Mutare Central's house has been surrounded by heacvily armed police and army personnel. Hounarable Mutsekwa himself is inside the house with members of his family. He can be reached on his mobile number 263 23 250 511.
We invite media to contact him immediately to get the full story from him.
MDC Information Department
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Police have fired tear gass at Warren Park Primary School. Choked children are reportedly running all over the place in the resultant chaos. We have not heard reports of injuries, but we will connunicate this as and when we get adequate information.
Please phone us on 091 370 326 or 091 248 570 to check for new information on this and other developments.
MDC Information Department
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The MDC Provincial Chairman for Manicaland, Mr. Timothy Mabawu, MDC activists Knowledge Nyamoka and 44 other MDC supporters whose names could not be established at the time of preparing this newflash have been arrested at the police and army continue in their futile efforts to crush the people's expression through the mass action.
Please phone 091 248 570 or 091 370 326 for further details.
MDC Information and Publicity Department 
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About 2 500 Zanu PF supporters are staying at the Zanu PF Headquarters where they are operating from.
 The police are fully aware of this.
These supporters have been moving in Harare harassing people in the streets and some of the supporters are tearing The Daily News.These supporters have been planted on intersections in the city. It seems they are working together with the police.
Most of the Zanu Pf supporters were bussed from the rural areas.
Business is still on halt  in all major cities.
MDC Information Department
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About 250 of Zimbabweans who made an attempt to demosntrate their frustration with the illegitimate regime of Mugabe and were arrested by the police are still in custody at Harare Central Police Station alone. They have been asked to pay a fine of Z$3000 each. 50 who have paid their fines have been released.
We have not yet received figures for those arrested outside Harare, but we will update you with these details once we get them.
Of the Members of Parliament who were arrested, Hon. Job Sikhala was released yesterday after some questioning, so was Hon Pearson Mungofa. The Mayor of Bulawayo, Japhet Ndabeni Ncube was released without being charged yesterday.
Members of parliament Tendai Biti, Silas Mangono and Milton Gwetu are still in.
MDC Information and Publicity Department
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Human rights abuses soar in face of mass action


The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition notes with concern the widespread human rights violations which have accompanied the beginning of a week long mass action called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and supported by students, labour leaders and other members of civil society.


Across the country, students, pro-democracy activists, and those suspected of organising or supporting the mass action have been targeted for arrest and have been subject to police brutality.  In addition, the government’s tactics to suppress dissent has taken a worrying turn as youths members of para-military groups also led attacks against suspected demonstrators and by-standers alike.


In Harare, for example, police used dogs, tear gas and live ammunition to break up demonstrators both in the city centre and in the high density areas.  On Monday June 2, two people from Highfields were treated in hospital for gunshot wounds.  Reports indicate a strong presence of military and paramilitary actors in the high density areas, with army tankers and military helicopters doing rounds.  In the city centre, there was a heavy police presence on the afternoon of Monday June 2, and the police were witnessed intimidating groups of by-standers for example by making them do press ups on the road, and by forcing them carry their bicycles to cross the street rather than allowing people to ride them. 


At the University of Zimbabwe, police barricaded the campus and fired teargas to prevent students from leaving.  The police then tear gassed the hostels and assaulted many of the students.  At least 20 students were arrested, and more than 50 have been treated in hospital for injuries sustained from beatings and from jumping out of the windows of their hostels. At the Harare Polytechnic, eight students were arrested on Sunday June 1 for allegedly rallying support for this week’s mass action. 


In addition, five MDC Members of Parliament, the Mayor of Bulawayo, and hundreds of people including students, activists, by-standers and members of the MDC’s national, provincial and district structures have been arrested.  It is reported that in Harare and Bulawayo alike at least 200 people have been arrested, while in the smaller towns of Mutare, Masvingo and Kwekwe, 34, 23 and 15 people have been arrested, respectively.





Crisis in Zimbabwe is a grouping of civil society organisations and coalitions whose vision is a democratic Zimbabwe.  The Coalition’s mandate is to address the twin questions of governance and legitimacy.



Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition¨¨¨Tel/Fax: +263 4 747 817¨¨¨Email:

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June 02, 2003
Mass Action - Day 1 - Monday
Businesses that remained open

Zvakwana records with great disappointment that there still remains a selfish and insensitive section of our community.

We call on all businesses to heed the call to remain closed until the weekend.
The list below will be forwarded to our colleagues in the ZCTU. These companies clearly can afford to meet the full costs that are impacting on their workforces.

Almost all of Harare was closed on the first day of the week of action. However there were a few who did not feel like being supportive:

Italian Bakery Avondale
News Café Newlands
Vasili's Newlands
Wimpy Avondale

Please send us any additions -

Bulawayo Businesses Open
Amtec Parts Centre
Barclays Bank
Boart Longyear
Haggie Rand
Hillside Chicken Inn
Hillside Post Office
Hillside Spar
Hot Bread Shop
Johnson & Fletcher
Mech Elect
Nadeen Enterprise
Nimr Chapman
Power Sales
Standard Bank Main
Swift town depot

Victoria Falls Businesses Open
Industrial area
DR Henry
Farm Veg
Red Star

Main streets and tourist shopping area
All the Banks
Athletes World
Craft Village
Jays Spar
Josh Jeans
No 1
Reed Buck Safaris
Sopers curios
Southern Supermarket
Super Saver Bottle Store
Vic Falls Pharmacy
Zambezi Blues

Masvingo Businesses Open
Barclays CBZ
P Nana

Beitbridge Businesses Open
Allan Wack Shipping
Barclays Bank
Beit Bridge Pharmacy
Chohan Trading
Combine Cargo
Daribord Sales
Footloose (2 Shops)
Freight World
G A Freight
Matopo Book Shop
Mitchell Cotts
N & R Enterprises
Number One
Post Office
Power Sales (3 X Shops)
Standard Bank
Tagarira Supermarket
Zbs (Zimbabwe Bldgs Society)

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We welcome the CFU's "Position Document" "reaffirming its commitment to
these principles".  At least we now know where we stand.  From this,
perhaps, a Policy Document might eventually evolve and be forthcoming as
asked for by David Conelly in the May 2002 CFU Council Meeting.

In the meantime it is important to look at the "Position Document" and
analyse what it is actually saying.  The first two points regarding "good
governance" are obviously the key issues:

1. "Adherence to the National Constitution"

In a free country the National Constitution is generally a document
through which justice is continually administered.  In Zimbabwe there have
been around 16 amendments to the National Constitution entrenching the
current regime in power.  The last amendment as every farmer will recall
took place soon after the referendum in February 2000 when the draconian
"Land Clause" was inserted, which made compensation for land superfluous.
This immediately potentially prejudiced all farmers and especially those
whose operations were extensive in nature mostly in natural regions 3,4 and
5 where the land is best suited for beef and wildlife ranching.

By "adherence to the National Constitution" the CFU's position is to adhere
to what amounts to "bad governance".  Thousands of people are currently
involved in campaigning for a new National Constitution which amongst other
things strengthens property rights.  A recent demonstration showed banners
saying that they were prepared to die for this new constitution.  CFU's
adherence to the current constitution is very worrying.

2. "That the Rule of Law is applied":

Here the CFU are calling for the law enforcement agencies to apply the laws
of the land.  While this is all very good the CFU seem oblivious to the
nature of many of the laws that they are calling the police to apply.  Some
of Zimbabwe's laws are amongst the most draconian, repressive and unjust
laws in the world, POSA and the Media Act being but 2 examples.  Closer to
home the Land Acquisition Act under amendment number 6 gave Section 8
farmers 45 days to wind up their businesses and 90 days to leave their
homes or face up to 2 years imprisonment.  Over 1000 farmers were affected
by this in August last year due to the CFU's failure to challenge this law
in the courts.  The rule of law was, as a result applied, and those
affected farmers had the full wrath of the law come down on them.  CFU's
seeming condonance of this is also very worrying.

The CFU was mandated to come out with a policy document in November 2002.
In February 2003 CFU Council called for it again.  Finally in June 2003
this document has come out.  The Union has had over 6 months to get the
document exactly as they wanted it.  Is this document serious?  It is
clearly unacceptable if it is!

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Mass action paralyses Zimbabwe
03/06/2003 19:39  - (SA)

Harare - Zimbabwe police fired teargas to disperse a group of opposition
supporters in western Harare on Tuesday on the second day of anti-government
protests that have shut most shops and businesses in the capital, the
opposition said.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said in a statement
police fired teargas in streets near a primary school in the poor suburb of
Warren Park. There were no reports of injuries.

Armoured cars backed by police carrying rifles trawled through the suburb of
Kuwadzana, as riot police and the military maintained a heavy presence on
the streets of the capital.

The MDC has vowed to press on with its protests against President Robert
Mugabe's government, despite the show of force by police.

The opposition accuses the government of plunging the country into economic
and social crisis and has demanded that Mugabe engage in serious dialogue
with them.

In the eastern province of Manicaland, the MDC's provincial chair and 45
supporters were reportedly arrested.

In Harare most shops and businesses remained closed although some banks were
open. Few buses were running and gates at many industrial plants were

Supermarkets in the low-income suburbs, located on the periphery of the
capital, were open for business, an AFP photograper said.

The government had threatened to withdraw operating licences from business
owners who failed to open on Tuesday, saying its officials would be
compiling a list of defiant companies.

Broken bones

The MDC said 250 people who were arrested on Monday were still in custody in
central Harare.

One Harare university lecturer told AFP that 50 students had to be
hospitalised due to injuries, "notably broken bones", after police stormed
the campus to break up demonstrations on the first day of the protests.

Meanwhile the government went to court to try to muzzle opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai.

Government lawyers made a court application to try to prevent the opposition
leader and his party's secretary general, Welshman Ncube, from inciting
further mass action against the government.

Tsvangirai and Ncube were questioned by police on Monday after they defied a
court order banning the anti-government protests.

Scores of other opposition officials, lawmakers and supporters were also
arrested on Monday.

In court on Tuesday the government applied to adjust the bail conditions of
the two opposition leaders, who are presently on trial for treason.

It said it wanted the court to order them not to making inflammatory
statements or incite violence as long as they were on trial.

Gagging order

But defence lawyer George Bizos said the application was "ill-advised" and
amounted to a gagging order.

"One of the ways democracy works is to allow people to speak and not to gag
their leaders," said the lawyer, who also represents the two MDC officials
in a separate trial for treason.

The case was adjourned until Wednesday.

The MDC, which had called the mass action to force Mugabe to discuss the
country's economic and political problems with them, expressed satisfaction
after the first day of the protests, saying they were a "victory over
tyranny and dictatorship".

"(The MDC) would like to congratulate all Zimbabweans for their victory over
tyranny and dictatorship ... through their unity and courage which has seen
business come to a total standstill throughout the country," Ncube said.

"This is a clear and unambiguous message to the Mugabe regime that the
people of Zimbabwe have had enough suffering at the hands of the
illegitimate regime," he said.

The opposition party has rejected Mugabe's victory in last year's
presidential election, which was condemned as not free or fair by the
European Union.
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Foiled MDC Demo Affects ZSE

The Herald (Harare)

June 3, 2003
Posted to the web June 3, 2003


THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange did not trade yesterday while transactions in
the financial sector were limited as normal business was disrupted by the
failed Movement for Democratic Change mass protests.

The equity market, which closed Friday on a positive note, with the
industrial index recovering 0,06 percentage points to close at 203 959,37
points, was expected to begin this week on a firm path but there was no
trading yesterday.

Anticipated violent marches, which failed to take place, would have made
trading difficult hence the suspension of business.

The stock market, as with most markets, is sensitive to any development,
whether positive or otherwise.

In the financial sector, major players such as Standard Chartered Bank,
Stanbic Bank, Barclays and Agribank, opened some of their branches for
normal trading.

But generally, transactions at banks were limited as the majority of
commercial banks were closed.

Investigations revealed that some banks had not opened doors to the public
but their officials were working inside.

Account holders, however, queued at Automated Teller Machines throughout the
day, indicating that some bank officials were at work feeding the machines.

Major companies such as National Breweries and Unilever South East Africa
were operating although some failed to open because workers did not turn up
for duty.

Other operations were closed for security reasons as they feared vandalism.

Although figures were not immediately available, it is believed that
business worth millions of dollars was lost due to non-activity.

Most business leaders could not be reached for comment as their cellphones
were unreachable.

However, in the city centre, a sprinkle of shops were open.

Some retail and food outlets including Food World supermarket along Robert
Mugabe, Wimpy and Piefect at Eastgate and Mohammed Mussa Wholesalers were
open but major supermarkets such as OK and TM were closed.

Most department stores including Greatermans, Edgars and Topics were closed.

Some businesses opened early in the morning but closed later as their
employees failed to turn up for duty while others actually opened later in
the day.

Some operations took heed of the Government's call to conduct normal
business but did not have the people to man their operations.

A survey conducted by Business Herald revealed that some businesses were
carrying out their normal operations behind closed doors.

Most of the parking bays in the city centre started to fill in around
mid-morning as fears of the anticipated violence were dispelled.

The Government on Sunday warned that companies that closed their businesses
in support of the mass action risked having their licences withdrawn.

In the past employers have shut their workers outside their premises
although they would have reported for duty.
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Zimbabwe wants oppositon muzzled

By Stella Mapenzauswa
HARARE (Reuters) - State lawyers have sought a court order to muzzle
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as his supporters vowed to defy
a police clampdown on protests against President Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) appeared in the
Harare High Court on Tuesday a day after he was briefly detained for
refusing to call off this week's protests, which Mugabe's government says
are incitement for a coup.

Police kept security tight in Harare. On Monday, they used tear gas, clubs
and warning shots to disperse MDC protestors in several towns and cities
around the country.

The MDC launched the protests and work boycotts as a "final push" to drive
Mugabe from office -- accusing the veteran 79-year-old leader of bringing
Zimbabwe to the brink of economic collapse amid increasing political

But there were no signs of marches in the capital on Tuesday, with streets
largely deserted, shops, banks and factories shut, and military police
manning roadblocks along most major highways.

In court, state lawyers asked Judge Paddington Garwe to tighten bail
conditions on Tsvangirai and two other senior MDC leaders -- all currently
on trial for treason in connection with an alleged plot on Mugabe's life.

Attorney Joseph Musakwa accused Tsvangirai of making inflammatory public
statements against Mugabe, culminating in this week's protest call.

"My Lord this actually borders on treason and this is conduct we want
restricted," Musakwa said, asking the court to formally bar the MDC leaders
from "inciting the public to engage in unlawful activities and illegal


Defence lawyer George Bizos said the government was effectively demanding a
gag order.

"This is not the first time my Lord where courts have been approached by a
political party in order to gain an advantage on its political opponents,"
Bizos said. Garwe did not indicate when he would rule, and arguments were
expected to continue.

Earlier on Tuesday, the MDC vowed to continue with the protests even though
more than 150 of its supporters had been arrested on Monday.

"We have another three and half days of the stayaway. There will be sporadic
peaceful demos staged throughout the country and we are just calling on our
supporters to follow those principles and that plan," MDC official David
Coltart told South Africa's SAfm radio.

In the face of the crackdown, party leaders said the focus might shift to
work boycotts -- noting with satisfaction that much of Harare's commercial
life had stopped and industrial activity around the capital had all but

The MDC says Mugabe should quit over an economic crisis that has triggered
soaring inflation, record unemployment and acute shortages of food, fuel and
foreign currency.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, denies mismanaging
the country and says the economy has been sabotaged by his domestic and
international opponents in retaliation for his seizure of white-owned farms
for distribution to landless blacks.
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Mail and Guardian

It's time to talk, SA tells Zimbabwe

      Harare, Zimbabwe and Evian, France

      03 June 2003 14:31

South Africa has urged conflicting parties in Zimbabwe to restart
negotiations amid renewed violence, but a local newspaper on Tuesday said
Pretoria lacked the leadership to take decisive action.

"More than ever before, we are convinced that a solution of the current
changes facing Zimbabwe lies in dialogue between Zanu-PF and the MDC
(Movement for Democratic Change)," foreign ministry spokesperson Ronnie
Mamoepa said on Tuesday.

"Acting in the best interests of the country, we will continue our actions,
as part of regional efforts, to assist the people of Zimbabwe in this

Zimbabwean police resorted to violence on Monday to suppress anti-government
protests called for by the MDC and aimed at forcing Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe to return to the negotiating table.

Group of Eight (G8) leaders also voiced their concern on Tuesday over the
violent crackdown by Zimbabwe state authorities and urged Mugabe to allow
peaceful protest.

"We are concerned about reports of further violence by the authorities in
Zimbabwe against their own people," G8 members said in a final statement
after a three-day summit in Evian, France.
"We called on the government of Zimbabwe to respect the right to peaceful
demonstration," the statement read.

Britain, the former colonial power in the country, had pressed for the G8
leaders to take a strong line on the violence in Zimbabwe in their final
statement, a British diplomatic source said.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw appealed on Monday to the Zimbabwe
government to allow people to demonstrate and express their views

The government had a "fundamental obligation to respect the rights of
Zimbabwean citizens to demonstrate and express their views peacefully,"
Straw said in a statement.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has also expressed concern
"about reports of the possibility of violence," his spokesperson Fred
Eckhard said on Monday.

He urged protest organisers to ensure their action remained peaceful, as
well as calling on the Zimbabwe government to respect "the basic principles
of freedom of expression and assembly".

Annan also underscored "his continued support for and readiness to
contribute to the search for a negotiated solution of the serious
difficulties facing the country".

The European Union added its voice to international concern, calling on
Zimbabwe's government and opposition to abstain from violence during the
week of anti-government protests.

"The EU urges the MDC and civil society to ensure that any protests are
indeed carried out peacefully," the bloc's Greek presidency said in a

"It also calls on the government of Zimbabwe to desist from any violence and
respect the rights of its citizens to demonstrate and express their views

The statement warned the government not to repeat the violent response with
which it met an earlier opposition-sponsored strike in March.

"The excessive use of force which characterised its response to the stayaway
of 18-19 March should in no case be repeated," the statement said.

Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC leader, was arrested on Monday morning for defying a
court order obtained by the Zimbabwean police to outlaw the mass action.

The MDC has refused to accept the results of the March 2002 presidential
election and challenged the legality of the vote which returned Mugabe to
power in court -- a step that has hampered efforts to bring the two parties
to the negotiating table.

South African President Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian and Malawian
counterparts, Olusegun Obasanjo and Bakili Maluzi, visited Zimbabwe earlier
this month in a bid to persuade the ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union -- Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) and opposition MDC to resume talks.

South Africa has come under fierce criticism for refusing to speak out
against the lack of rule of law in Zimbabwe.

The Sowetan daily, with a mainly black readership, criticised Mugabe for
banning the demonstrations, saying he had squandered an opportunity to show
his commitment to upholding human rights.

"The prudent thing to do now is for both sides to consider a truce, take the
battle off the streets and into the negotiating room," the Sowetan stated in
its editorial comment.

"Certainly the time has arrived for Mbeki, Obasanjo and Maluzi to make this
point firmly and uncompromisingly." - Sapa-AFP
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Security Tight as Zimbabwe Protest Drive Continues
Tue June 3, 2003 06:37 AM ET

By Stella Mapenzauswa
HARARE (Reuters) - Police clamped tight security on Zimbabwe's capital
Tuesday as the country's main opposition vowed to defy a government
crackdown and push on with protests against President Robert Mugabe.

One day after police used tear gas and beatings to crush protests around the
country, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it would not be
turned from its goal of ousting the 79-year-old leader.

"What is left is for the people to press on for the next four days with the
complete stay away from work and massive demonstrations. People must all
remain resolute. The end is in sight," the MDC said in a statement.

Streets in the capital Harare were largely empty Tuesday, the second day of
the MDC's planned "final push" of protests and work stay-aways.

Shops, banks and factories remained shut, and military police put up
roadblocks along most major highways into the deserted central business

Monday police used force to disperse protesters in several cities around the
country and said they had arrested more than 150 MDC supporters for taking
part in what the government calls an attempt to provoke a coup d'etat.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, detained briefly Monday and charged with
defying a court order to cancel the protests, was due in court Tuesday as
the government prepared a request for a new order barring him from "inciting
the public to engage in unlawful activities and illegal demonstrations."

Tuesday, the official Herald newspaper dismissed the MDC protest drive as a

The newspaper, which reflects the views of Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party,
said that while the opposition "can mobilize passive support for its policy
of making life as difficult as possible for the government...(it) has failed
to translate its high urban support into action on the streets."

The private-owned Daily News, on the other hand, said the shutdown of
industry and commerce in urban centers showed "that the people will no
longer be cowed and that people power is now on the ascendancy."

In New York, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, concerned about possible
violence, called on the protest organizers "to ensure that their action
remains peaceful and within the law," a U.N. spokesman said.

The MDC says Mugabe should quit over an economic crisis that has triggered
soaring inflation, record unemployment and acute shortages of food, fuel and
foreign currency.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, denies mismanaging
the country. He says the economy has been sabotaged by his domestic and
international opponents in retaliation for his seizure of white-owned farms
for distribution to landless blacks.

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Financial Times

      Zimbabwe strikes solid as legal moves continue
      By Tony Hawkins in Harare
      Published: June 3 2003 17:40 | Last Updated: June 3 2003 17:40

      Support for the week-long national strike called by Zimbabwe
opposition groups remained solid in the country's two main cities on
Tuesday. Shops, banks, schools and post offices were closed in Harare and
Bulaway while public transport services were again minimal.

      Unlike on Monday however, there were very few reports of street
incidents, reflecting the strong police and military presence in the cities.
In Harare large numbers of war veterans and youth militia in civilian
clothing were seen in the city centre. There were no attempts to march in
the capital, which remained ringed by police and military checkpoints.

      In the high court, government lawyers sought a new court order
altering the bail conditions for MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and two of his
top lieutenants who are on trial for treason. The prosecution said the three
men had been granted generous bail conditions but these were being "abused"
by calling on Zimbabweans to "rise up in their millions" against the
government. A state attorney asked Judge Paddington Garwe to bar the three
MDC leaders from "inciting the public to engage in unlawful activities and
illegal demonstrations".

      Defence lawyer George Bizos countered that the government was
effectively demanding a gag order.

      The hearing continues on Wednesday with lawyers saying the Judge is
unlikely to give a ruling before Thursday.

      Despite the apparent loss of momentum in their protest, MDC leaders
said they would continue the mass action until Friday. Member of Parliament
David Coltart said they were calling for "sporadic peaceful demonstrations
across the country for the next three days."

      Harare's industrial sites were deserted and a businessman said the
stay-away was overwhelmingly effective, though he expected some workers to
start drifting back to their offices and factories from Wednesday.

      The MDC claimed that some 2500 supporters of President Robert Mugabe's
ruling Zanu-PF party had camped at party headquarters in downtown Harare.
Most of them, bussed in from rural areas, appeared to be working with the
police and were harassing people and destroying copies of the independent
Daily News newspaper which supports the week-long mass action against the

      The MDC reported more arrests, including a provincial party chairman
and 44 supporters in the eastern border city of Mutare. The party said on
Tuesday night that 250 of its members were in Harare central prison alone,
with over 200 others detained elsewhere.

      It accused the authorities of "denying food" to the arrested people,
including members of parliament. It also accused a police officer in the
Midlands town of KweKe of directing policemen and Zanu-PF youths in the
eviction and harassment of opposition supporters.
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Zim: Economy will decide
03/06/2003 21:22  - (SA)

Johannesburg - The economic situation in Zimbabwe would eventually force a
settlement to the ongoing crisis in that country, the Gordon Institute of
Business Science (Gibs) heard on Tuesday.

Brian Kagoro, chief executive of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, told a
Gibs forum on "Problems and Prospects for Zimbabwe", that the current round
of mass action would not succeed. He also said that President Robert Mugabe
would not live forever and would not be able to rule through force forever.

"Compromises will have to be made, and they may not be popular at street
level," Kagoro said.

He said the most likely way forward was for Mugabe to end state-sponsored
violence and open political space so that Zimbabweans could debate solutions
to their problems.

Institute director Nick Binedell blamed much of Mugabe's accumulation of
power on a failure of leadership in both Zimbabwe and abroad.

"Democracy is more complex than voting and a constitution. If there are not
restraining mechanisms you may find yourself on the road to
authoritarianism, to use a polite word."

Binedell said there had been a failure of leadership not only in the ruling
Zanu-PF party but also within the business community, the union movement,
and broader civil society. In addition the international community, in
Africa and beyond, could have done more in the last decade to reinforce
democracy and bring about transformation within Zimbabwe, he said.

Binedell criticised many whites in Zimbabwe for having remained "Rhodesians"
and for failing to become Zimbabweans.
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2 June 2003


Zimbabwe Press Release 10 (1130 hrs)




George Palmer was beaten by riot police in the Bulawayo townships. He was visited by a senior officer of the ZRP and told to close his business as it was the safest thing to do. Palmer then approached a police vehicle, with a riot police contingent on board, and was then assaulted.




Duke De Coudray was arrested and charged with contempt of court, a reference to the interdict preventing the demonstrations going ahead.  His business has been locked and staff are trapped inside. Workers have been sent home. He is presently in court.





Reports have been received of beatings in Mucheke yesterday evening in direct response to the day’s stay away.




Throughout the country, police details and CIO/Law and Order are visiting businesses and businessmen in their homes threatening various consequences for closing.  They are at times claiming that their licenses will be withdrawn.


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3 June 2003


Zimbabwe Press Release 11 (14.45hrs)




Bulawayo Mayor Japhet Ndabeni Ncube Coerced by Police to Issue Statement


Yesterday the MDC Mayor was visited at his home after lunch. He traveled to Central Poice Station where he was detained at 2.50pm by officers of the Law and Order Section Messrs Mlotshwa and Sibanda.  He was taken to Central Police Station, then moved to the CID offices at Cabs buildings and finally returned to Central.


Initially Ncube was pressurised to make a statement through the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and the Government run press to the effect that he urges all workers to report to work.  The Mayor refused to make any such statement.


Mayor Ndabeni Ncube was then coerced into writing a police dictated statement that at the request of the police he would make an effort to open the Bulawayo City Council revenue hall for the week.


He was  charged under POSA (Public Order and Security Act) Section 5(2)(b), on the grounds that he incited council workers to follow the call for a national stay-away.  Under coercion the Mayor put the abovementioned statement as his response to the charge.


Having made the statement the Mayor was then released.


Further Arrests

The arrest of key MDC activists continues.  Several people were arrested yesterday, however their cases only came to the attention of the human rights lawyers late this morning.


Victor Nyoni, Welfare Officer of the Southern Region, was moved from Western Commonage and is now being held at Bulawayo Central Police Station with his associates, Limukani Ndluvu, Stanley Dube and Bekitemba Mpofu.


Also at Central are Dumisani Ncube, MDC Chairman of Nketa, and Suzie Moyo.

The human rights lawyers are at times finding it difficult to gain access to their clients but report that things are running fairly smoothly. 


Business Shuts down in the City of Kings


Many of the businesses that did open yesterday were marked overnight by a covert group of “graffiti” activists.  They marked these businesses with a large black “C” for collaborator.  By 8am many of theses signs had already been painted over. (See the attached photograph-“marked business”).


Only around 70 shops and businesses opened in Bulawayo this morning, but many of those were closed by lunch time.  The streets of Zimbabwe’s second city are quiet and calm, but with a definite military and police presence in evidence.


By the afternoon both the business and industrial sites were almost totally shut down. Airforce helicopter gunships continued their periodic patrols over the city – one was captured on film this evening flying over the city (see the attachment-“chopper”).


State Agents Intimidate Owners of   Businesses


Several reliable reports have come in that state agents are stepping up intimidation of captains of business.  One Bulawayo restaurant was forced to open with threats of detention. Later the police attempted to coerce the proprietors by threatening them with a “fine” (bribe) of $1,000,000 to make the threat of arrest and detention go away. This morning the proprietors instructed a senior Bulawayo lawyer to respond to the police’s attempt to extort money in this way.


The home of the Managing Director of a large company that closed down yesterday was visited several times by the CIO last night and threatened his wife with dire consequences.  Several others business people have been dragged into Central Police Station and forced to sign affidavits that they will reopen their doors or be charged under POSA.


A heavy police, airforce and army presence was maintained throughout Bulawayo today with numerous reports of police going business by business trying to coerce owners into opening their businesses, largely unsuccessfully . Photograph of a policeman and heavily armed soldier in full battle gear attached - “police and army”.


The business community of Zimbabwe is currently being reminded that it is in no way illegal to close their doors.  The state is reverting to desperate measure to pretend all is well in the State of Zimbabwe!


One shop owner reported that he agreed to the police’s demand that he would open, but that he told them he would sit on his own at the door and refuse entry to customers as he would have no staff manning the tills!





George Hungwe and eight other activists were arrested yesterday while massing to march.  Two assaults were reported, including the brutal beating of one MDC organizer,Aaron Gwaza, who is still in a private clinic.  The roof of another MDC organizer’s home, Mrs Chauke, was destroyed by the Zanu youth brigade (locally known as the “Taliban”) and her daughter assaulted.

Most shops opened in this small town, but this is not surprising as most of the town is owned by Emerson Mnangagwa, ZanuPF Speaker of the House.  However, business is dead as most people have stayed home.




Duke de Coudray and Gary Mason have been released from police custody.  The public prosecutor stated they were wrongfully arrested and he could not take the case to court.  They were initially charged under the bogus “Contempt of Court” ruling that was issued on President Tsvangirai last Sunday evening.  The prosecutor stated he would report his findings to the DA, but as a formality. 

The Banket Police Member in Charge has coerced business owners to reopen today, but few workers have come in to work.




Police have harassed many MDC activists in this lowveld town.  Gerry Whitehead, a prominent activist was taken to the police station for questioning, accused of working against the state under POSA for assisting the organisation of the stay-away, then later released without official charges being laid.


Only 25% of businesses were shut in Chiredzi today.  This comes as a direct result of severe intimidation.  The police and CIO visited most businesses and promised police protection only if they opened, obviously meaning they would suffer victimization if they remained shut.  Despite the shops being open, business was very quiet, most people staying home.




Most businesses were forced to open, but were running on skeleton staff with most staff, workers and customers staying away.  There have been no reports of state sponsored violence from there.



Nine people were arrested yesterday.  Eight were released and they are Simon Majiso, Makiwa Muchengeti, Jenny Makwavarara, Christopher Maveve, Willard Sumarai, Dennis Mangwiro, Petros Gagwende and Simukiwe (Surname unknown).  Mr Nyathi was held overnight and it is still unknown if he was released.

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