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Zvakwana Newsletter #29 - Day Two - Keep the faith
June 03, 2003

A reminder of who we are
Zvakwana/Sokwanele is a non-partisan, non-profit group of passionate people volunteers and visionaries working to keep Zimbabweans informed about breaking news, including civic campaigns and public meetings and events. We have an activist wing that engages in non-violent civic actions. We call on all Zimbabweans to take courage and defy any person, state authority, organisation or business that infringes the basic rights of you, your family and your loved ones.

Remember - To view pictures in this email you need to be online - connected to the internet. Otherwise visit www.zvakwana.org


You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches, [stayaways] etc.? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are exactly right in your call for negotiation. Indeed, this is the purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.
~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

zanu pf's

SMS Activism: use your cell phone to inform and activate

Urgent

Business 99% closed, June 3. Stay closed on Wednesday. Together we can do more. Pass on to others.


Lala ngokuthula mama wethu
Zvakawana would like to express profound regret and sadness at the passing of Mrs Johanna MaFuyana Nkomo, widow of the Vice-President Joshua Nkomo. Both Dr Joshua and MaFuyana Nkomo were regarded by many as the guiding light of Zimbabwe's black nationalist movement and a symbol of unity in SADC. How sad that the ideals for which both of these respected people struggled all their lives, continue to elude our nation.

Sincere condolences are given to the Nkomo family.
Nematambudziko ~ Lange nkathazo ~ Condolences

Rest in peace our dear mother.
Lala ngokuthula mama wethu.



Together we can do more

Many different people have been contacting Zvakwana to shake out their frustrations and express their concerns and feelings. At this time and point in our history, it is important to review what the word "success" means. And at the same time to consider how much the opposition has achieved under very hard and dangerous circumstances.

Think about this

BUT, consider how much the opposition is stretching them and forcing them to clearly show to the rest of the world that the mugabe regime is violent, bankrupt and destructive. In the recent days we have seen that:

So what are we saying?

We are saying that through concerted and consistent collective actions like stayaways, marches, small actions, boycotts and the withdrawal of funds from government owned businesses we are PUSHING THEM TO THEIR FINAL LIMITS.

The more we do this . . .

And through these actions, Zimbabweans become more empowered and courageous to overthrow the dictator.

Zvakwana is working with a variety of media professionals to make sure that footage of mugabe's thuggery gets to international and regional news services. This visual evidence, made possible only through actions like stayaways and demonstrations, helps us to state clearly that mugabe must go.

This week of action, so far, has not made mugabe go or agree to come to the negotiating table. However, we must continue to engage all and any ideas and resources in our attempt to make Zimbabwe a better place for all of us.

STAYAWAY - STAYAWAY - CLOSE YOUR BUSINESSES - STAYAWAY

As a business owner you might be wondering what is the point of an extended stayaway. And that this will harm your business, or what's left of it, more than ever. However we all know that we are just limping along hoping that "things will change". But, hey! - how do "things change" if not with your support, and your active participation. Please be reminded that while the stayaway is no doubt harming your business (especially in the short term), it is definitely eroding mugabe's ability to claim that he is in control of a productive and fruitful country.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE CALL TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESSES CLOSED.

A week out of our lives both as business people as well as productive Zimbabweans is difficult to endure; but just think about the horror of another few years of the little man who's time to go is long overdue.


The Herald and its propaganda
Did you know that The Herald newspaper is available online at about 11pm already carrying the following day's lies. This means that we know very early on the falsehoods that moyo has manufactured for the new day dawning. For example, moyo says "private motorists also thronged the city centre signalling a return to normalcy" on the second day of the stayaway, when in fact Harare city centre was seen to be a ghost town. Yes, moyo and his cronies are very spooked and continue to make up stories to make themselves feel better. In the same article that policeman called wayne said that he did not like "mischievous text messages" that were being sent through cellphones urging the continuation of the mass action. Sorry for that but we will continue to use all means to communicate messages of defiance.

Information: you need it; we need to give it to you but this is hard
As we previously stated, zanu pf has many more resources at its dirty little finger tips than pro-democracy activists in Zimbabwe. It is very difficult for us to access media advertising because of limited funds. Also, it is unsafe and difficult to pass leaflets by hand. We are playing a hazardous game in avoiding the militia. Please recognise and be appreciative of the difficulties faced in disseminating information.


Should I support this stayaway? A message of inspiration from Bulawayo
Zimbabwe is one day into this week's mass action. What does this all mean as a businessman, should we participate and, if so, how? This stay away is not a 5 day matter. It is part of an unstoppable process and the shorter the process the better for business. It is a case of investing in a short closure and making sacrifices now or risk being closed forever. Any businessman must now know that change is inevitable and that actively participating will be the best investment you will have ever made. Look around you. There are many of your colleagues who are making a brave stand. Join them! Share the experience and benefit from the security in numbers. You will not be alone. Although you may not be fully aware of the position on the ground, be assured that there were tens of thousands who followed the call and sporadic instances occurred right across the country but were brutally suppressed. Many MP's were arrested on the first day including the President in waiting. Some remain in detention. Job Sikhala is one of them. Previously tortured and detained, he leads from the front. Are you? Show courage and leadership to your workers. Now is the time to cement a relationship that will secure their trust forever! Solidarity is a feature of your association with your workforce that they will never forget. This nation is creating history that will fill the school curriculum in the not too distant future. Be part of it. Act with pride. Be able to say to your children that you were involved in the most important transition that your country has ever made. Secure their future and be able to look them in the eye and say I did everything that I could to rid our country of what will become known as one of the most evil regimes of the 21st century.

Read the full statement on www.zvakwana.org and print it out and circulate it among your colleagues.

A Bulawayo business stays open and is marked with "C" for collaborator. Whose side are you on?


Think the same way, no. Push the same way, yes.
Graffito

Which brings us to airing the following points sent in to Zvakwana about the Week of Action:


Negative attitudes
It is a sad fact that some people believe that it is up to others to change the system. Zvakwana got an email from the Art Cafe to say that it "was a laugh" in respect that the march did not happen. Basically saying that they think that organising one of these events is like child's play. It is precisely these sorts of thoughtless comments and attitudes that play into zanu pf's hands. Read this article from a participant in Monday's actions to appreciate just how many impediments there are to achieving mass participation. We would however, like to congratulate the Art Cafe for remaining closed during the first two days of the stayaway.


Independent schools come under fire
Official policy at private schools is that "School is not political" - when the average child in Zimbabwe goes to school hungry, has no textbooks and is taught by desperately underpaid teachers (supposing of course that the average child is even in school). So this morning I listened to expensive vehicles driving up my road taking spoilt and privileged children to Heritage School. Teachers like myself are made to feel 'unprofessional' because I am most emphatically on Work Stoppage this week, believing that the future of the nation is more important that a week of lessons, which in my situation can easily be made up. It is time that the Heads of Independent Schools stood up for what most of them do in fact believe and stop sheltering behind the idea that education is sacrosanct. Perhaps you should comment on the fact that these schools are open this week. Today in Zimbabwe, every single little thing is political. Our children need to understand that. I teach History in an independent school.
Feedback from a subscriber


Poor and free in South Africa or poor and victimised at home

I learned today that approximately 1500 Zimbabweans flee to RSA every day. Is it better to be poor but free in South Africa, or poor but unfree at home? A spontaneous demo/meeting was held in Hillbrow, Johannesburg today. There were speakers and singing at the meeting. Interestingly, this demo was held near a school. When the school children were leaving for the day, about 50 of them stayed to watch the demo. The children sang the Paul Simon song "Homeless" with the activists, and stayed afterwards to talk with the Zimbabweans about their experiences and the challenges here.

From a subscriber

to bring change to Zimbabwe?

Your active support and participation.

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SABC

Day three of mass protest in Zimbabwe
June 04, 2003, 07:00


Today sees the third day of mass protests in Zimbabwe.
Yesterday, State lawyers sought a court order to muzzle Morgan Tsvangirai,
leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

His supporters have meanwhile vowed to defy a police clampdown
on protests against Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president.

Tsvangirai, appeared in the Harare, after he was briefly
detained for refusing to call off this week's protests, which Mugabe's
government says are incitement for a coup. With the opposition promising to
keep up protests until Friday, police kept security tight in the capital
Harare. Earlier this week, 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 repression.

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 demonstrations".

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.

Arguments are expected to continue today. - Reuters

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IOL

Mugabe warns business to open... or else

June 04 2003 at 04:14AM



By Basildon Peta and Brian Latham

Zimbabwe's business community finds itself in a head-on clash with President
Robert Mugabe, who has threatened to withdraw the licences of those that
remain shut in protest against his rule.

The country ground to a virtual halt on Tuesday, the streets eerily empty
for the second day of a week of protests called by the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Zimbabwean businessmen said they had been given orders to open their
businesses on Wednesday or risk losing their investments. In response, some
shops in Harare opened their doors for a short while on Tuesday.

In the small agricultural town of Banket, about 120km north of Harare,
Zanu-PF youth militia barricaded workers in a small farm supply business
while the owner was hauled off to police cells.

"He is been charged with contempt of court because police said the business
didn't open on Monday," said a manager.

"The thing is that we were open, and now the youth militia are keeping us
closed. When we called the police, the only action we saw was a policeman
come down to shake hands with the militia."

Harare businessmen said they had been told by ministry of trade and industry
and Central Intelligence Organisation officials that they would pay a heavy
price for heeding the MDC's strike call. They said they had been told that
orders to reopen had come directly from Mugabe.

"What they fail to understand is that it's not our fault that we have to
shut down. No businessman would want to lose a week's revenue... you go
bankrupt," said a businessman who refused to be named.

"The problem is not with us but with the workers who are not reporting for
duty. Can I honestly be expected to open a whole factory and operate it
myself? It's pure madness."

MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi claimed that militant Zanu-PF supporters
were moving from factory to factory forcing owners to open their premises.

"We have spoken to these employers and we have told them to join this final
push," said Nyathi. "The threats against them prove how far the Mugabe
regime has sunk."

Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo was quoted by state radio as
threatening to withdraw the licences. He did not say when the government
would implement this threat, but seemed to suggest a number of "patriotic"
Zimbabweans could take over the running of businesses.

Efforts to obtain comment from Zimbabwe's Ministry of Information were
unsuccessful.

Economists said the few exports that Zimbabwe was making were being
jeopardised. Harare consultant John Robertson said many companies would have
to close permanently because they could not sustain losses.

Bulawayo-based economist Erich Bloch said Zimbabwe's reputation as a serious
investment destination was all but lost.

Meanwhile, an effort by Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi to have bail
conditions toughened against MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai dragged on in the
Harare High Court on Tuesday.

Counsel for Tsvangirai, George Bizos, said the court was being asked to
issue a gagging order.

In the Midlands town of Kwekwe, Zimbabwe's main chrome smelting centre, the
MDC said its supporters were being evicted from their homes by militants
from the ruling party.

Peter Fabricius reports from Evian, France, that the G8 leaders meeting for
their summit have called on the Zimbabwean government to respect the right
to peaceful demonstration and expressed concern about reports of further
violence by authorities against their own people.

But they have praised the mediation efforts in Zimbabwe by President Thabo
Mbeki, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Malawian President Bakili
Muluzi. - Independent Foreign Service
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Hundreds held in Zimbabwe strike

Andrew Meldrum
Wednesday June 4, 2003
The Guardian

Zimbabwe's anti-government strike kept the country at a standstill for the
second day yesterday with fewer reports of public demonstrations in the face
of a massive show of force by army and police.
The strike and protests against President Mugabe are expected effectively to
shut down the country all week. Opposition party officials vowed to mount
more protests despite a crackdown by security forces. Police and troops have
moved quickly to crush demonstrations, arresting hundreds of protesters and
opposition leaders under draconian security laws.

"By the end of this week Zimbabweans will have driven a message home to
Mugabe that they are fed up with the state of affairs in this country," said
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC).

He said the protests were to press Mr Mugabe to negotiate a return to
democracy. Tear gas was fired by police in the western Harare township of
Warren Park as people gathered in the streets, according to the the MDC.
Streets were mostly deserted in the major cities yesterday except for
patrols by security forces.

The government asked Harare high court yesterday to gag Mr Tsvangirai from
continuing his call for strikes and protests. Mr Tsvangirai is on trial for
treason with two senior opposition officials for allegedly plotting to
assassinate Mr Mugabe.
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JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM

Email: justice@telco.co.zw; justiceforagriculture@zol.co.zw
Internet: www.justiceforagriculture.com

Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
justice@telco.co.zw with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Letter 1: J.L. Robinson

The Director,
C.F.U.

My dear Hendrick,

With the Position Statement safely under your belt, there is perhaps
another hurdle that you and your Council will have to put your minds to.

The previous director suspended the Regional Executive Officer, of
Mashonaland West South, Mr. Benjamin Freeth, on instruction by the
President, in August 2002. That is now ten months ago. He still remains
suspended. There are enough of us in a state of suspension without the
Union adding to our ranks, or emulating those who have created this parlous
state of suspension. At that stage of the game the Union seemed to perceive
Mr. Freeth as an arrogant young man, who "failed to faithfully enunciate
CFU policy." (On a lighter note, Freeth's comical character has been most
welcome, and good for morale in our suspended ranks, for which your Union
must be thanked!)

According to my information, Mr. Freeth merely attempted to serve his
farmers in his region, through his Regional Chairman - a rather fiery
former Policeman. On reflection, I feel that they both believed that "you
should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of
others." This is the very epitome of what any Union would seek from an
elected representative, or an employee for that matter.

Recently I went to a boot manufacturer in Bulawayo and in the office was
written: "An error only becomes a mistake if you refuse to do anything
about it."

The catch to the quote above is that the person or persons concerned have
to be big enough to acknowledge that there may have been an error in the
first place.

Recently I was treated to a very hands on resume of a good friend and
colleague of mine, John Worsely-Worswick. The speaker told me that some
people in John's district had perceived John as arrogant, but that this was
not the case - he was a man of his word and of principle, from which the
misconception of arrogance was derived.

In this case, a very down to earth farmer has taught me a very important
lesson - about the confusion (error?) of principles being allied with
arrogance, and I would like to share the lesson with you.

Yours faithfully,
J.L. Robinson.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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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Daily News

Another 162 arrested as stayway continues

6/4/2003 5:09:48 AM (GMT +2)


Staff Reporter

AT least 162 people were arrested around the country yesterday as
State security agents maintained a heavy presence in Zimbabwe's urban areas
because of a week-long mass action called by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

Tuesday's arrests brought the number of detentions since the mass
action started on Monday to more than 277, MDC officials and lawyers said
yesterday.

They said 35 people were arrested in Gweru yesterday, five in Chinhoyi
and 15 in Kwekwe. Another 11 were detained early yesterday morning as they
attempted to start demonstrations in Harare's high-density suburb of
Budiriro.

About 380 people have been arrested in Harare and Chitungwiza since
Monday, 150 of whom have been released.

In Mutare, 45 people were arrested yesterday, while 50 were detained
in Goromonzi.

The police yesterday also detained the MDC's Mashonaland West
provincial chairman, Silas Matamisa.

In Mutare, police descended on Mutare North legislator Giles Mutsekwa'
s residence at around 4am, but the MDC member of Parliament refused to see
them. They demanded that he report to a local police station.

The MDC's Manicaland provincial chairman, Timothy Mubhawu, who was
reported missing on Monday, was also among those arrested this week.

MDC spokesman for Manicaland, Pishayi Muchauraya, told The Daily News:
"The police have launched a door-to-door manhunt for known MDC supporters
and they are harassing their families.

The situation is bad, but we are trying to regroup," said Muchauraya.

MDC legislators Tendai Biti and Tichaona Munyanyi, who were arrested
on Monday, were still in custody yesterday.

Armed State security agents maintained a heavy presence on the streets
of most city centres and high-density areas around the country.

Most shops and banks around the country remained closed, while the
army and police patrolled streets and maintained roadblocks on roads leading
into city centres.

In Kadoma and Harare's Southerton area, shop-owners were allegedly
forced to open their premises by recruits of the controversial national
youth service programme.

In Harare's Glen View suburb, where the police on Monday thwarted an
attempt by about 15 000 protesters to march into the city centre, MP Paul
Madzore said the local MDC leadership in Budiriro, Glen View, Glen Norah and
Highfield was holding meetings to organise more marches.

"After our attempt to march into the city was stopped yesterday
(Monday), we are holding a meeting to reorganise ourselves and to pick up
from where we left off. Our people are really determined," he said.

Most schools in Glen View and other Harare suburbs were open but
schoolchildren could be seen playing outside as most teachers had not
reported for duty.

In central Harare, ZANU PF supporters believed to have been bused into
the capital city from surrounding rural areas roamed the streets and
harassed newspaper vendors selling copies of The Daily News. Some copies of
the newspaper were torn or burnt.

A group of ruling party supporters was however forced to flee in
Harare's First Street when angry members of the public intending to buy the
newspaper threatened to beat them up.

While the situation remained calm in Chitungwiza, police at Makoni
shopping centre were yesterday reported to be dispersing people at the shops
and patrolling the streets. There was no activity at the Chitungwiza Town
Centre, while few companies were open.

In the Midlands, the situation remained tense as soldiers and the
police intensified their street patrols. Security agents were deployed at
strategic government buildings, while large retail shops and banks remained
closed.

Six Daily News vendors were assaulted by youths in Kwekwe and 195
copies of the newspaper seized.

The youths carried the newspapers, valued at around $29 250, to the
ZANU PF offices in Kwekwe and destroyed them.

In Bulawayo, two cars were burnt when demonstrators turned violent,
while in Masvingo, most shops and major businesses were closed yesterday
morning. The main bus terminus at Mucheke was virtually deserted.

In Mucheke, however, shops were forced to open by soldiers and the
police.
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Daily News

ZANU PF politician's bid to sell looted tobacco thwarted

6/4/2003 5:11:27 AM (GMT +2)


Staff Reporter

CHESTER Mhende, a senior ZANU PF politician from Norton, has
unsuccessfully attempted to sell 55 bales of tobacco worth $10 million that
are said to belong to Norton farmer Joe Whayley, whose farm he occupied last
October, The Daily News has established.

Mhende tried to sell the tobacco last Thursday at the Zimbabwe Tobacco
Auction Centre (ZITAC) in Harare.

His manager, whose identity could not be established, brought the
tobacco to the auction floor on Mhende's behalf.

A man who answered Mhende's cellphone but refused to identify himself
confirmed that Mhende's manager had taken the tobacco to the auction floors
but refused to discuss the issue, saying it was not The Daily News'
business.

He said: "It's nothing to do with you. My brother is in Murombedzi. I'
m not in the business of talking to news-papers and you should know that
next time."

Whayley however told The Daily News that he went to the auction floors
on Thursday morning to stop the illegal sale of his tobacco, which Mhende
forcibly took from him last year.

"Mhende took over my Crebilly Farm and my crop, which was already in
the field, on 30 October," he said.

"The farm is only 119 hectares in size and legally does not qualify to
be compulsorily acquired under the government's land redistribution
programme. Mhende took over everything that belongs to me - tractors,
vehicles, fertilisers and crops - without any compensation," Whayley added.

The government has taken over most white-owned land under its
controversial land redistribution programme.

Whayley said he filed papers with the High Court, case number HC
2687/03, and the court ruled in his favour on 19 May, stopping Mhende from
selling his tobacco.

On Thursday, Whayley went to the auction floors armed with the court
papers.

The court order granted in Whayley's favour reads in part: "Mhende is
interdicted from disposing of the tobacco under any guise whatsoever. You
(Mhende) are ordered to store the tobacco under safe conditions and ensure
that the tobacco is undamaged in any way. The Tobacco Sales Floor, the
Burley Marketing Zimbabwe and ZITAC are interdicted from accepting for sale
the tobacco crop from Mhende or Crebilly Farm."

Wynand Hart, the director of Justice for Agriculture, an organisation
that represents commercial farmers, said buyers at Thursday's auctions had
ignored the tobacco brought by Mhende because they knew its ownership was
disputed.

He said: "Whayley arrived at the tobacco floors just in time before
the tobacco sales opened. The tobacco was held back and could not be sold.
But Mhende attempted to re-present the tobacco for the second time at about
midday. The buyers, floors and auctioneers ignored the displayed tobacco
because they knew that Whayley's court order was legitimate."

Mhende claims to own the 6 000kg of tobacco because he paid for
Whayley's farm.

Mhende said in papers filed with the courts that he paid US$100 000
(Z$82 400 000) to
Peter Chanetsa, the governor of Mashonaland West, in the presence of
Whayley and the amount represented the purchase price of Crebilly Farm, its
implements and vehicles.

Chanetsa has denied the claims, saying: "I was not party to that
transaction. Why is Mhende involving me in such things, a person of my
stature?"

Mhende contested in the ZANU PF primary elections to choose a
candidate to represent the ruling party in the 2000 parliamentary election
for Harare North constituency. He lost to Nyasha Chikwinya, who subsequently
lost the election to Trudy Stevenson of the Movement for Democratic Change.

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Daily News

Crisis talks set to begin

6/4/2003 5:12:28 AM (GMT +2)


Staff Reporter

THE National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) will begin holding
countrywide discussions with stakeholders on Friday, to come up with
strategies for resolving Zimbabwe's economic crisis.

In a statement issued yesterday, the NECF said the outreach programme
would start in Harare before moving to Gweru, Bulawayo, Mutare and Masvingo.
An official with the NECF said key participants in the programme included
business, labour, the government and civil society.

"The discussions will focus on reversing the negative trends in the
economy, such as incessant macro-economic instability and declining quality
of life among Zimbabweans, as a result of high unemployment," the official
said. Other issues include the ballooning inflation rate and severe balance
of payments problems

The Employers' Confederation of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Chamber of
Mines, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and the Zimbabwe National
Chamber of Commerce are among some of the participants in the programme.

The NECFconsultations will focus on reversing negative trends in the
economy such as the ballooning inflation rate, severe balance of payments
problems and the general decline in the standard of living of Zimbabweans.

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Daily News

ZANU PF busses in 2 000 to foil protests in Harare

6/4/2003 5:14:32 AM (GMT +2)


By Farai Mutsaka Chief Reporter

ZANU PF has bussed about 2 000 of its supporters into Harare to assist
in putting down anti-government protests organised by the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), ruling party officials said yesterday.

The ruling party supporters, brought into the capital city over the
weekend, were brought in from rural areas close to Harare, the officials
said.

They were yesterday camped at the ZANU PF headquarters and have,
together with recruits from the controversial national youth service
training programme, been assisting State security agents to deal with street
demonstrations organised by the MDC. Several Harare residents and Daily News
vendors yesterday complained of severe beatings and harassment by some of
the rural ZANU PF supporters. They are said to have seized and destroying
copies of The Daily News, accused of supporting the MDC mass action.

ZANU PF secretary for information and publicity, Nathan Shamuyarira,
said the youths had been employed to ensure peace during the mass action,
which ends on Friday.
"We brought them to protect the party's property from being destroyed
by the MDC and to protect the people. We knew that the people would be
attacked by MDC thugs, who were given money by the British to harass
innocent Zimbabweans," Shamuyarira said yesterday. The MDC denies that its
supporters are planning to cause violence during the mass action.

A Harare resident, Tapiwa Nechipote, said he lost two teeth when he
was beaten up by ruling party supporters this week.
"They asked me why I was reading opposition newspapers and before I
could answer, they were all over me. They were so shabbily dressed that I
wondered where they could have come from."

Shamuyarira would not say from which areas the youths had come, but a
ZANU PF official said most of the supporters were bussed in from Bindura,
Guruve and Chinhoyi, while others came from Marondera East constituency.

The gang was organised into units that were assigned "areas that they
would cover" for the day and were unleashed into central Harare early every
morning, ruling party officials said.

A former high-ranking army officer who is now a ruling party official
is in charge of the gang, they added.
Asked why ZANU PF had to use untrained supporters to ensure peace and
order, Shamuyarira said the police might have failed to handle the
situation.

"The police will be protecting the people and we needed people who
could help them. There is nothing wrong with that. Unlike the MDC youths,
these people are not paid at all. They are just voluntary party organisers.
If the MDC is going to use their youths to attack people, then we also need
our own youths to protect people," he said.
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Daily News

Public urged to report police, army brutality

6/4/2003 5:15:10 AM (GMT +2)


Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE'S human rights organisations are monitoring the conduct of
the armed forces during this week's mass action and are urging the public to
report cases of abuses perpetrated by members of the uniformed forces, it
was learnt yesterday.

Several members of the public have alleged that they were assaulted by
State security agents deployed to put down anti-government protests that
began on Monday.

The protests, called by the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), were planned to involve marches into city centres around the
country, which were blocked by the armed forces.

There was no comment from the army on the allegations yesterday, while
police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena refused to comment.

But Munyaradzi Bidi, head of the country's human rights watchdog,
ZimRights, said: "I want to urge the public to report to human rights
organisations any form of violation of their basic human rights by the armed
forces.

"There will come a time when the perpetrators of these brutal acts
will be brought to book. We are at the moment on the ground monitoring the
proceedings of the MDC-spearheaded mass action and we have gathered that the
police and army are subjecting people to cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment
and punishment."

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights director Arnold Tsunga said about 40
arrested people he visited at Goromonzi Police Station said they were
brutalised by the police, who apprehended them on Monday.

"The group is being charged under the Public Order and Security Act
and complained of police harassment in custody," Tsunga said.

"They are also living in very unhygienic conditions with the toilet in
the cell blocked and human waste is at times flowing."

Tsunga said the 40 people were crammed in one police cell designed to
hold six and were sharing three blankets. "This appalling situation is
uniform with what is happening at most of the police stations in the
country," he said.

Morgan Mavuto, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe chapter of Amnesty
International, said the human rights watchdog was concerned that basic human
rights conventions such as the International Declaration of Human Rights
were being disregarded and flouted in Zimbabwe.

However, he said Amnesty would continue to lobby the government to
observe and protect human rights.
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Daily News

State losing battle for people's support

6/4/2003 5:15:42 AM (GMT +2)


By Abel Mutsakani Managing Editor

ZIMBABWE'S security forces this week crushed opposition protests
across the country but political analysts say the government's increasing
reliance on sheer brute force only highlighted its loss of the battle for
the hearts and minds of Zimbabweans.

By deploying huge military forces to deal with what is essentially a
political and economic problem, the government had glaringly undermined its
legitimacy, the analysts said yesterday.

University of Zimbabwe (UZ) political scientist Eldred Masunungure
said the use of the army and police by the government to impose control on
an increasingly restless populace was unsustainable.

"The government managed to crush the intended protests but it clearly
looks more vulnerable than before because ruling through military force is,
in the long run, unsustainable," he told The Daily News.

Heavily armed troops and police who were in some cases supported by
armoured cars, this week used tear-gas and whips to break up mass
demonstrations organised countrywide by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

The opposition party said the demonstrations, which were to run for a
week, were intended to force President Robert Mugabe to resign, or at least
to concede he had failed to run the country and agree to negotiate with the
MDC a solution to Zimbabwe's crisis.While the marches to

Mugabe's State House residence planned by the MDC failed to take place
because the army blocked the way, Zimbabwe for the second day yesterday
remained shut down as millions of discontented workers across the country
stayed at home in response to the MDC's call for mass action.

UZ business studies professor Tony Hawkins said while the government
had managed to quell the demonstrations and secure its hold on power, the
crumbling economy would remain its Achilles' heel.

"Unfortunately for the government, soldiers can stop marches but they
cannot fix the economy," he noted, echoing the views of most analysts and
ordinary Zimbabweans.

Hawkins said Zimbabwe's economy was gathering momentum towards total
collapse, with inflation expected to hit 300 percent by August this year.

At the moment, Zimbabwe's inflation is pegged at a record high of
269,2 percent, one of the highest such rates in Africa.

The respected business analyst said more jobs would be lost as more
companies and industries, weighed down by foreign currency and fuel
shortages plus lost business through the massive workers' stayaway,
collapsed.

Joblessness in Zimbabwe already runs at unprecedented 70 percent.

Zimbabwe is grappling with its worst hard cash and energy crisis since
multilateral institutions and key donor and trading partners ostracised the
Southern African nation in 1999 because of differences over the government's
land reform and other governance issues.

In 2001 alone, 100 companies in the key manufacturing sector
collapsed, throwing more than 3 000 workers onto the streets. Latest figures
of job losses are not readily available in a country where more people now
work in the informal as opposed to the formal sector.

An additional 300 000 farm workers were made jobless after the
government, facing key national elections in 2000 and 2002, dramatically
seized land from white farmers who used to employ the workers.

Hawkins said: "The security forces stopped the marches but they cannot
change the economy. And come Monday next week (after the stayaway), we will
be back to square one, with all the economic hardships still with us.

"In short, what this means is that the government is not winning the
battle for the hearts and minds of the people."

Masunungure said the government's survival now largely depended on its
ability to "buy the support of the military". "The government has to keep
the military machine well-oiled and happy. The State must invest more to
ensure the military is comfortable," he noted.

But Masunungure was quick to point out that in an economy such as
Zimbabwe's that is fast deteriorating, the government would soon find it
difficult to keep the rank and file of the military content and to placate
an increasingly angry and rebellious population.

"It is the collapsing economy and the government's inability in the
long run to nourish the loyalty of the military machine that will be the
decisive factor in this situation," he said.

Masunungure said while Zimbabweans had heeded MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai to protest, they were still not yet ready for direct
confrontation with the government and its military machine.

But the UZ political analyst boldly predicted that Zimbabweans in the
next 10 to 12 months are likely to have matured enough for direct action
against the State machinery, while the discontent within the rank and file
of the military would also have grown.

"The government is better advised to attend to the economic crisis
because this same discontent among ordinary people is slowly creeping into
the armed forces and in 10 to 12 months, you can expect Zimbabweans to be
ready for more direct confrontation," he said.
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Daily News

Crushing protests not the solution

6/4/2003 9:03:07 AM (GMT +2)



IN forcefully crushing the street protests of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) this week, President Robert Mugabe's government
also unwittingly tied a burdensome and tricky knot around its neck.

By authorising the deployment of thousands of army troops and police
to snuff out the protests just as they were being launched, the government
could find itself facing a dilemma of when to pull out these forces from the
streets, if at all.

Although the security forces this week managed to impose an uneasy
calm in tense Zimbabwe, they surely cannot remain on the streets
indefinitely, which is where the government's predicament really starts.

In other words, when would the government consider it safe enough to
withdraw the security forces without risking fresh street protests by the
MDC?

Or will the government decide to keep the security forces on the
streets indefinitely, at a heavy cost to the fiscus and to its already
tattered image of running a highly militarised State?

Indeed, can the use of military might alone buy the government more
time in power, in the face of overwhelming public discontent with its rule?

These and many other questions must surely exercise the minds of many
in the government as they cobble up a reasoned response to the powerful
signal sent by the national shutdown instigated by a mere opposition party.

In these circumstances, the failure of the street protests largely
becomes an irrelevant issue.

So after both sides have flexed their muscles, it looks increasingly
likely that both could yet return to where they should have started from:
the negotiating table.

Unfortunately, the hardening positions of both the government and the
MDC, let alone the poisoned timing, do not favour meaningful inter-party
talks which must necessarily focus on governance issues that have triggered
Zimbabwe's collapse.

It is these same talks which could also map out Mugabe's exit from the
political landscape because, despite all the official reaffirmations that
the President intends to finish his term in 2008, the signs are there for
all to see that he wants out.

In fact, he has himself said as much in the past month.

In this vein, maybe there is some hope for crisis-weary Zimbabwe after
all, at least if one looks at comments made on Monday by MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai.

"We need an immediate solution (to Zimbabwe's political and economic
crisis), but it can only be through dialogue between the two parties," he
said.

"We have always been consistent that dialogue is the only viable
option to resolve the crisis in this country, which is why this action (the
mass 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."

In the aftermath of the nationwide shutdown, maybe a fresh effort to
try to bring the opposing sides to the negotiating table could be made
again, because the window for bringing sanity and durable peace to Zimbabwe
is closing fast.

A harsh military clampdown on protests by concerned citizens certainly
does not offer a lasting solution.

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Daily News

Time to act not to grumble in our bedrooms

6/4/2003 9:03:50 AM (GMT +2)


By Clifford Mazodze

FOR a long time since the year 2000, when this country entered its
darkest chapter, we have been saying "enough is enough". We have said it at
rallies, meetings, conferences and seminars. We have said it through
banners, pamphlets and flyers. And it is now three years on and still it
seems it is not enough yet. We are still saying "enough is enough".

In these three years, thousands of children have been born to stare
directly into the face of a dark and bleak future. In these same three
years, so many people have died looking forward to a better Zimbabwe.

In these same three years, we have seen a catalogue of the worst
crimes being committed in this country under the labels "agrarian reform,
Third Chimurenga" et al and under the pretext of "correcting the evils and
injustices of the past" ad nauseam.

Our mothers and sisters have been raped and molested. Our sons,
brothers, fathers and husbands have been butchered, tortured, detained and
harassed. In only three years, the whole nation has been reduced to a state
of poverty as the economic plane was hijacked by economic saboteurs and
Third Chimurenga suicidal bombers in the fatigues of patriots, and rammed
against the "World Trade Centre" of sound economic management.

Our savings of many years have been rendered valueless and all our
prospects of a better tomorrow have been bashed in the jaws, maligned and
banished into exile.

In these three years, everyone has been reduced to a scavenger right
from a chief executive of a multi-national company to my poor mother
scrounging for a living in the dry sands of Bikita.

In only this space of time, we have seen nearly a third of our
population running away as political and economic refugees to almost every
country under the sun. Our country boasts of highly trained and educated
people but in only these three years, we have seen thousands of them going
to the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Botswana and South
Africa to take up menial jobs of every description. And still this is not
enough. Our health delivery system is in a coma, the education system is in
paralysis, our agriculture is lying in state in the morgue, industry and
commerce are lying somewhere in unmarked graves at Granville Cemetery and
tourism is on the In Memoriam column.

The judiciary is limping on on crutches, the private Press is bruised
and bleeding profusely, Press freedom is waiting for an autopsy, the rule of
law is whimpering in agony on life-support systems and marauding corruption
is on the rampage in every facet of our life.

And in 2000 we were saying "enough" and three years down we are still
saying "enough is enough". When is enough enough?

If this state of affairs is not enough, then nothing will be. If this
Tower of Babel anarchy and chaos cannot send us into the streets in our
hundreds of thousands to say it is enough and bring sanity and a new
democratic dispensation, then nothing will. If the arbitrary arrests,
detentions, tortures, rapes, neanderthal, fascist, nefarious and repressive
laws that have been passed by this rogue regime will not spur us into action
NOW, then nothing will and it is not enough.

Change demands action and sacrifice. The tree of freedom and democracy
is watered by blood, tears and sweat. Change demands the need to stand up as
individuals and organisations to shout loud and clear that it is enough. We
have lost everything and it is high time we went on the battlefield to
recover and reclaim all that we have lost. The struggle is a long, arduous
odyssey.

In the churches we need the Elijahs and Isaiahs who cannot be bought,
compromised, detoured or lured into supporting injustice and tyranny. Within
the Press, we need people who are willing, at the cost of death, threats,
arrests and torture, to tell it as it is.

Among the writers and artists we need the Alexander Solzhenitsyns, the
Wole Soyinkas and the Ngugi wa Thiongos to stand on the side of the
oppressed with the banners of freedom and democracy flying high. Within
political parties and civic organisations, we need leaders and their people
to come out and say it is enough in action.

However, looking at the Zimbabwean scenario, the most frightening
thing at the present moment is not the rape, torture, detentions and
harassment. It is the silence of the majority in the face of an
unprecedented dictatorship in the history of this country.

It is the "grumbling in our bedrooms" type of protests that cannot
change anything in this country and that gives the lie that everything is
alright. It is the same scenario among the oppressed that made Dr Martin
Luther King Jnr make this world-famous speech: "It is not the violence of a
few that scares me, but the silence of the majority." What an apt
description of the situation here.

Finally, I say this is time for all patriots, whatever their
affiliation, colour, hue or creed to stand up and be counted. You and I have
a role to play and let us all play our part diligently. The battle is not
for Morgan Tsvangirai and the Movement for Democratic Change, Lovemore

Madhuku and the National Constitutional Assembly or Crisis in Zimbabwe
only.

It is for all of us. We have nothing to lose but the shackles and
fetters of this tyranny. To those who have lost hope, remember these words
of Mahatma Gandhi: "When I despair, I remember that all through history the
way of truth and love has always won. There have been many tyrants and
murderers and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end, they
always fall - always."

Paraphrasing and adapting this great speech into our situation we can
say: "When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of
democracy, freedom, love and truth has always won. There have been many
tyrants, murderers and liars and for a time they may seem invincible - but
in the end they always fall - always."

Professor Jonathan Moyo, the ZANU PF propagandist, says it's time for
action. Indeed it is time for action by all those who value freedom,
democracy, justice, love and truth.

Clifford Mazodze is a poet and political activist
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Daily News

Business disregards threats

6/4/2003 9:02:42 AM (GMT +2)


By MacDonald Dzirutwe Business Editor

MOST businesses around Zimbabwe defied a government order to open shop
by 8am yesterday or risk losing their licences, with organisations
representing local industry and commerce professing ignorance of the
directive.

Industry and International Trade Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi told
State radio and television on Monday that all companies that did not open by
8am yesterday would lose their operating licences.

Most businesses did not reopen after the weekend because of
anti-government protests spearheaded by the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, which began on Monday and are supposed to end on Friday.

Mumbengegwi yesterday would not say whether the government's threats
had been heeded or if the continuing closure of business had been discussed
during the weekly Cabinet meeting he attended yesterday.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and the Zimbabwe
National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), which represents most of industry and
commerce respectively, told The Business Daily yesterday that the government
had not approached them about reopening businesses.

CZI president Anthony Mandiwanza said his organisation had not
received any communication from the government, adding that it was up to
individual companies to decide whether to reopen.

He said it was not possible to determine how many businesses were
still closed.

"It is a mixed bag where you find some are opened here and there while
some are closed, but I can't give you any percentages or figures,"
Mandiwanza told The Business Daily.

"We can never take a collective responsibility on whether companies
should open or close, even if we are approached formally. That is way
outside our mandate because it is the individual company that takes that
business decision," he said.

ZNCC president James Sanders added: "The chamber does not have a role
on this.

We do not want to get into that political arena."

Business executives said before deciding whether to reopen, companies
would weigh several factors, including the security of employees and
property.

Some executives said the magnitude of the company closures would make
it difficult for the government to single out firms for retribution.

A survey of city centres around the country showed that most firms had
not resumed business yesterday, with some said to have told employees to
only report for duty on Monday.

Most banks as well as retail and food outlets did not open in Harare,
with those financial institutions that were operating only opening one or
two branches. However, there was no staff manning most of the branches.

Some clothing, furniture and electrical appliance retailers removed
goods from display, in what commentators said was a move to protect property
from possible damage and looting.

Executives said most retailers were wary of the kind of violence and
looting that accompanied work stayaways in 1998, which cost local firms
millions of dollars in damaged and stolen property.

In Bulawayo, up to 90 percent of business remained closed, while
reports from Mutare indicate that industry and commerce in the city were
operating at 50 percent of capacity.

Meanwhile, there was no trading for the second consecutive day on the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange yesterday because most brokers did not report for
duty.

Business executives said this week's mass action could adversely
affect this year's collective bargaining, which has already begun.

Wage negotiations are expected to be especially tough this year
because of Zimbabwe's worsening economic crisis.

"As a chamber, we are trying to generate business and how are we going
to pay increases to workers with all these stayaways?" said Sanders.

Mandiwanza added: "It (mass action) is hurting us because there is no
business which can afford to go for five days without opening.

"But then companies have to take a business decision which is
acceptable to the shareholders on whether to open or close."
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Daily News

How the OAU helped create these monsters

6/4/2003 9:02:18 AM (GMT +2)



TO be fair, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), whose 40th
birthday was celebrated last month, helped rid the continent of colonialism.

To be fair, it helped create some of the political monsters stalking
this continent today, machetes at the ready, hunting and striking down any
of their compatriots who dare to raise their heads to protest against the
poverty, disease, ignorance, corruption and murder the leaders have
inflicted upon their own people.

The OAU may not have been a political version of Murder Inc, but it
certainly epitomised the disregard of the human rights of the African people
by their leaders.

Sitting at the high tables of their summit conferences would be
leaders who, only days before, may have ordered the cold-blooded murder of
their rivals, or the destruction of an entire village whose population had
erred by staging a protest against underdevelopment in their area on ethnic
grounds - or over corruption, rape or murder.

The Pan-Africanists will protest that it is this sort of extremist
criticism which provides grist for the continent's detractors in the West.

The Pan-Africanists have not embraced wholeheartedly the concept of
self-criticism, perhaps believing that the persecution of the African by the
whites accords him this enormous privilege to be wrong because so much wrong
was done to him.

In that regard, they take after the African leaders who steadfastly
refuse to subject themselves to the sort of self-criticism that would enable
them to ask such questions as: does this independence actually feed more
people than colonialism did? Or: are there more of my people dying of hunger
than during colonialism?

There is nothing sacred about most African leaders today, not any
more. They are as fallible and vain as any loan shark who ever specialised
in chimbadzo (money-lending) among impecunious widows. They are no longer
the revered, almost untouchable saints that we all believed they were at
independence, when they thundered in righteous celebration at the victory
over colonialism.

Now, some of them perform feats of such gratuitous brutality against
their own people it surpasses by far anything the native commissioner ever
did against the villagers.

The OAU, by its acquiesence to the barbarity of the dictators who
supped at its high tables, created a leadership code for the continent which
could be summed up like this: pay your dues on time. Anything else you do is
your business, not ours.

We now know that they didn't pay their dues on time either. So, the
people were short-changed at both ends. The OAU died broke and its legacy
was the death of many Africans at the hands of their own leaders, who would
attend every summit and still thunder at imperialism.

They would still vow to conquer ignorance, hunger and disease, but
would be keeping an
eagle eye on their numbered account in Switzerland, and that
opposition politician who drew a large crowd at his last rally.

It will be said by some that criticising African leaders is a form of
self-flagellation because we deserve the leaders we get. But this is not
necessarily true.

Most of them started off well, so pure in heart you did not believe
they could turn out to be the monsters that their lust for power transformed
them into.

It could have happened at the OAU summits: watching their peers
enjoying themselves while the international news was that their people were
dying every day of hunger. The cold-heartedness could have been born at such
summits, an acceptance that you could only do so much for your people. There
was no need to be conscience-stricken to the extent of actually pleading
with your peers to leave the conference early because you were worried about
your people's hunger.

The number of countries whose independence has turned into a nightmare
is very large. Most have been victims of civil war. For 25 years, Angola's
independence was meaningless as Jonas Savimbi - initially with the help of
the West, then later with nobody's help - virtually sought to fulfil his
secret dream of leading Angola.

Tens of thousands were killed, millions displaced, until one day the
Angolan troops cornered the allegedly charismatic politician and soldier and
were not impressed. They pumped him with so much lead some said he was
deader than dead.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, previously renamed Zaire by a
leader who believed he was his country and his country himself, they are
still slaughtering each other, 43 years after their independence. Zimbabwe
went in there to help them slaughter each other, but some got out with good
business deals.

There are other trouble spots, too many to enumerate here: the Lord's
Resistance Army in Uganda seems invincible, but President Yoweri Museveni
still claims he runs one of the most stable, peaceful countries on the
continent.

How does he reconcile the killings with stability? He came to power
after the OAU was founded, but he is in the mould of the typical OAU leader:
ignore the negative, accentuate the positive.

Robert Mugabe assumed power 17 years after the OAU was founded. So he
is a product of the leadership code forged by the OAU through its hands-off
policy on the internal politics of member-nations.

He has not disappointed his peers in that respect. His arrogance and
contempt for any dissenting voices is vintage OAU.

Mugabe is a creation of the OAU, the archetypical African head of
state nurtured by the OAU: a man so wrapped up in his own image as a saviour
of his people, he might even see himself as their messiah.

He religiously attends those conferences, now of the African Union, at
which the African political glitterati prance like peacocks, showing off
their designer suits or togas, grunting contentedly as they tuck into
five-star hotel fare which none of their citizens would ever dream of eating
in a million years.

At the glittering conferences, they pour forth those platitudes on the
fight against poverty, hunger, disease and corruption, knowing that only the
imbeciles could believe they mean it.

They know they are lying through their teeth and know that the people
know that they are lying through their teeth.

What bolsters their confidence is the certainty that their people,
knowing they are lying, are too scared to tell them to their faces that they
are lying through their teeth.
This is the legacy of the OAU.
bsaidi@dailynews.co.zw
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Natal Mercury

Zimbabwe and Nepad's peer review...
June 4, 2003

I found the article on the Nepad peer review process, which is to take
place within the next three months, an interesting indicator of our politics
in Africa (The Mercury, June 3 2003).

It is very significant that Zimbabwe is not one of the countries
nominated for scrutiny under this exercise.

It is significant for two possible interpretations. The first is that
the African Union knows the Mugabe regime will fall this year and it would
be a waste of resources to target it.

The second is that Zimbabwe is still being sheltered by friends of
Mugabe in the top echelons of the AU or the organisation itself has no
quarrel with Mugabe's policies.

One would have thought Zimbabwe was the ideal country to be selected
for peer review this year, for the following reasons.

1. Zimbabwe is not at war.

2. Zimbabwe has followed a very controversial land reform programme
which has wide political, economic, racial and social consequences for the
rest of Africa.

3. Zimbabwe's economy is in a tailspin and about to collapse.

4. Zimbabwe is heading for a catastrophic breakdown in the fabric of
its social order.

After all, the peer review is to "promote the adoption of successful
and best practices in development as well as good political, economic and
corporate governance".

The AU appears to have missed the boat to show the world that it has
admirable and believable bona fides.

This development has left me confused and discouraged about the AU as
a vehicle for change in Africa, so I hope that my first interpretation is
correct.

Wing Fong
Glenhills
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Zimbabwe

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
'An unwinnable and unfathomable war'

Reaction to the opposition's strikes and protests

Wednesday June 4, 2003
The Guardian

Daily News
Editorial, Zimbabwe, June 3
"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 ... But the stunning shutdown of the entire
nation ... dramatically and graphically underlined who now calls the shots
in the power stakes in Zimbabwe.
"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 ... All signals point to one certainty: freedom
is coming tomorrow."

Herald
Editorial, Zimbabwe, June 3
"It is Julius Caesar who is famed for saying, 'If you must break the law do
it once to seize power. Otherwise you must obey it.' The MDC leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai, and his supporters followed Caesar's advice and broke the law
[on Monday] but failed to seize power ... Instead of waiting for the outcome
of his court application challenging the result of the presidential
election, the MDC leader has shown his utter contempt for the rule of law.
The correct body that should have had the final say on the matter is a court
of law, not the people on the streets in opposition-dominated
constituencies."

Standard
Editorial, Zimbabwe, June 1
"As Zimbabweans either march in their cities and towns or simply stay at
home, it will not necessarily be about the removing the de facto president
and the government from power but to say 'Enough is Enough' ...

"We know the police and soldiers will be looking for any excuse to use their
weapons. They have been drilled to believe this is their duty and that if
they shoot demonstrators, they will be protecting Zimbabwe's sovereignty and
constitution. If they [turn on the protesters] ... Zimbabweans must react by
kneeling in the streets and praying. For they would have declared an
unwinnable and unfathomable war."

Khathu Mamaila
Star, South Africa, June 2
"To say that Zimbabwe is in a serious crisis is to state the obvious. But,
for some reason, the collective political leadership of that country do not
seem to grasp the gravity of the catastrophe ... The ruling Zanu-PF and the
... MDC, seem to be living in different worlds ... and [their] hardening
positions make the resolution of the crisis seem completely unlikely.

"With all humility and without projecting the political transition of South
Africa as the only workable model, Zimbabwe can learn from the negotiations
between the National party and the ANC ... But for now, [both Zimbabwean
parties] seem to be myopic and incapable of fulfiling their historic mission
of rescuing Zimbabwe from the brink of total meltdown."

Independent
Editorial, June 3
"The truth, of course, is that Robert Mugabe has only been able to get away
with his brutality and near-criminal scale of economic mismanagement because
of the indulgent attitude of his powerful neighbour to the south. President
Thabo Mbeki of South Africa looks unlikely to impose any tough measures to
hasten the end of the Mugabe regime, such as cutting off Zimbabwe's fuel
supplies. If he did, the end for Mr Mugabe would come more quickly. Even if
he does not, though, the grip onoffice of the 75-year-old Mr Mugabe looks
shaky indeed."
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Telegraph

Arrests continue while Tsvangirai fights 'gag' order
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 04/06/2003)


Zimbabwe's security forces continued yesterday to arrest and beat up members
of the opposition following Monday's protest marches as Morgan Tsvangirai,
the opposition leader, fought a "gag" order in the High Court.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change said at least 200 people were
in police cells in Harare alone, including six opposition MPs and four
members of the MDC's national executive.

A further 106 opposition supporters are known to be held in police cells in
other parts of the country.



A general strike aimed at driving President Robert Mugabe out of office
continued yesterday and there were isolated protests around the country.
There were reports that tear gas was fired into a crowd of children in a
school in a poor area west of Harare.

The state has asked the High Court to ban Mr Tsvangirai and his colleagues
Welshman Ncube and Renson Gasela, who are out on bail, from making any
statements which are "inflammatory" or "incite public disorder" while they
are on trial for treason.

The order would mean the men would forfeit their freedom if they speak out.

Representing the three men, George Bizos, who defended Nelson Mandela 50
years ago, compared the order being sought as similar to one thrown out by a
South African court during the worst of the apartheid years.

"This is not the first time where courts have been approached by a political
party in order to gain an advantage on a political opponent," Mr Bizos told
Judge Paddington Garwe. It was better if judges "remained aloof from
politics", especially in a "divided society".

Mr Bizos told Judge Garwe, Zimbabwe's second most important judicial
officer, that even under apartheid in 1972 South African judges threw out a
similar case brought against the bail conditions of Geoffrey Budlender, a
student activist in Cape Town.

They decided, in "troubled times in South Africa", that an alteration to the
student's bail conditions to prevent him from attending or inciting
political unrest would be a "curtailment of his freedom and his rights as a
citizen".

Mr Bizos, without ever referring directly to the protests and repression
around Zimbabwe, said the right of people to protest was enshrined in the
constitution.

But Joseph Musakwa, prosecuting, accused Mr Tsvangirai of "demonising" Mr
Mugabe and making inflammatory public statements which led to this week's
protests and strike.

"This actually borders on treason and is conduct we want restricted," he
said.

Mr Tsvangirai and his co-accused are charged with plotting to assassinate Mr
Mugabe before last year's disputed presidential elections.

They deny the charges and say they were set up by a "crooked" Canadian
businessman, Ari Ben Menashe, whom they hired to lobby for them in North
America but who was already working for the Zimbabwe government.

The hearing on the "gag" order continues
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