Zvakwana Newsletter #29 - Day Two - Keep the faith
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"
- An elderly woman of 70 years was slapped three times by a group of zanu pf
militia outside the Mount Pleasant post office.
- Bond Street Bottle Store in Mount Pleasant has remained open during Monday
and Tuesday. It is owned by a zanu pf supporter.
- A jogger moving along Herbert Chitepo Street was greeted by some zanu
national army men. When he waved back he was beaten unconscious for giving a
- At least 10 University of Zimbabwe students were beaten by members of the
zanu national army on Monday afternoon. It is alleged that some students were
forced to jump from their dormitory windows as punishment for their earlier
- A group of armed war veterans and soldiers are moving around the industrial
areas trying to force businesses to open. They went to Boka Auction Floors and
forced the few people who were there to open the floors, despite there being no
tobacco for sale.
- zanu pf militia 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.
- The Harare City Councillor for Ward 11 Sydney Mazaranhanga and his 18 year
old daughter were assaulted at their home in Mbare at 5pm this evening (Tuesday
3 June) by approximately 30 soldiers. Councillor Mazaranhanga was then abducted
by the soldiers. After being missing for many hours, he was later located at
Parirenyatwa Hospital. He has been badly assaulted.
A Mr Kaguru who was
apparently also assaulted with Mr Mazaranhanga has died.
SMS Activism: use your cell phone to inform and activate
Business 99% closed, June 3. Stay closed on Wednesday. Together we can do
more. Pass on to others.
Lala ngokuthula mama
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
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
Think about this
- the illegitimate mugabe regime has almost complete control of the media in
all its forms: press, tv and radio (they have seized and burnt 1000s of copies
of the Daily News today)
- they have access to all the infrastructure that is needed to mobilise
support: fuel, transport, telecommunications
- they are using OUR money to pay for their violence and thuggery
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:
- even though they have full control of mainstream media they are forced to
print and distribute thousands of leaflets in a desperate bid to stem mounting
support for mugabe's removal
- they have had to bus in militia from rural areas because they are losing the
support of enlisted policewomen and men
- they have been pushed to demonstrate their absolute lack of adherence to the
rule of law by engaging rogue thugs to violently disperse peaceful demonstrators
in full view of everyone.
- they have to entirely shut down any access to mugabe's mansion for fear of
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
The more we do this . . .
- zanu pf loses credibility
- Zimbabwe becomes ungovernable which forces change
- the chefs become shaken and internal faction fighting destabilises the
illegitimate ruling party
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
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
PLEASE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE CALL TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESSES
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
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
Information: you need it; we need to give it to you but this is
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
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
Read the full statement on www.zvakwana.org and print it out and
circulate it among your colleagues.
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.
Which brings us to airing the following points sent in to Zvakwana about the
Week of Action:
- Where is the MDC leadership? How can the MDC expect to inspire the people to
march when the leaders themselves don't come out to lead us.
- I was in town on Monday but I wasn't seeing any MDC MP's.
- Where are the MDC councillors, and why were they not putting themselves
forward for the march? They did not even go to support the Mayor's town house
meeting. Maybe they must be fired.
- How can the MDC organise a stayaway and a march at the same time. None of us
were finding transport to move to town.
- We are behind the mass action all the way, but what ideas are coming from
the MDC to sort out the problem of the army beating us in high density
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
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
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.
to bring change to Zimbabwe?
Your active support and participation.
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
leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
His supporters have meanwhile vowed to defy a police
on protests against Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean
Tsvangirai, appeared in the Harare, after he was
detained for refusing to call off this week's protests, which
government says are incitement for a coup. With the opposition
keep up protests until Friday, police kept security tight in the
Harare. Earlier this week, they used tear-gas, clubs and warning
disperse MDC protestors in several towns and cities around the
The MDC launched the protests and work boycotts as a
push" to drive Mugabe from office - accusing the veteran 79-year-old
of bringing Zimbabwe to the brink of economic collapse amid
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
lawyer George Bizos said the government was effectively
demanding a gag
"This is not the first time my Lord where courts have
approached by a political party in order to gain an advantage on
political opponents," Bizos said.
expected to continue today. - Reuters
Mugabe warns business to open... or else
June 04 2003 at
By Basildon Peta and Brian Latham
business community finds itself in a head-on clash with President
Mugabe, who has threatened to withdraw the licences of those that
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
Zimbabwean businessmen said they had been given orders to open
businesses on Wednesday or risk losing their investments. In response,
shops in Harare opened their doors for a short while on
In the small agricultural town of Banket, about 120km north of
Zanu-PF youth militia barricaded workers in a small farm supply
while the owner was hauled off to police cells.
"He is been
charged with contempt of court because police said the business
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
Harare businessmen said they had been told by ministry of trade
and Central Intelligence Organisation officials that they would
pay a heavy
price for heeding the MDC's strike call. They said they had been
orders to reopen had come directly from Mugabe.
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."
spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi claimed that militant Zanu-PF supporters
moving from factory to factory forcing owners to open their premises.
have spoken to these employers and we have told them to join this
push," said Nyathi. "The threats against them prove how far the
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
Efforts to obtain comment from Zimbabwe's Ministry of
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
Bulawayo-based economist Erich Bloch said Zimbabwe's
reputation as a serious
investment destination was all but
Meanwhile, an effort by Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi to have
conditions toughened against MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai dragged on in
Harare High Court on Tuesday.
Counsel for Tsvangirai, George
Bizos, said the court was being asked to
issue a gagging order.
Midlands town of Kwekwe, Zimbabwe's main chrome smelting centre, the
its supporters were being evicted from their homes by militants
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
But they have praised the mediation efforts in Zimbabwe by
Mbeki, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Malawian
Muluzi. - Independent Foreign Service
Hundreds held in Zimbabwe strike
Wednesday June 4,
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
The strike and protests against President Mugabe are expected
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
opposition leaders under draconian security laws.
the end of this week Zimbabweans will have driven a message home to
that they are fed up with the state of affairs in this country," said
Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic
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
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.
JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to
firstname.lastname@example.org with "For Open Letter
Forum" in the subject
1: J.L. Robinson
With the Position Statement safely under your belt, there is
another hurdle that you and your Council will have to put your minds
The previous director suspended the Regional Executive Officer,
Mashonaland West South, Mr. Benjamin Freeth, on instruction by
President, in August 2002. That is now ten months ago. He still
suspended. There are enough of us in a state of suspension without
Union adding to our ranks, or emulating those who have created this
state of suspension. At that stage of the game the Union seemed to
Mr. Freeth as an arrogant young man, who "failed to faithfully
CFU policy." (On a lighter note, Freeth's comical character has
welcome, and good for morale in our suspended ranks, for which your
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
Recently I went to a boot manufacturer in Bulawayo and in the
written: "An error only becomes a mistake if you refuse to do
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
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
In this case, a very down to earth farmer has taught me a very
lesson - about the confusion (error?) of principles being allied
arrogance, and I would like to share the lesson with you.
letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
Another 162 arrested as stayway continues
6/4/2003 5:09:48 AM (GMT +2)
least 162 people were arrested around the country yesterday as
agents maintained a heavy presence in Zimbabwe's urban areas
because of a
week-long mass action called by the opposition Movement for
Tuesday's arrests brought the number of detentions since the
action started on Monday to more than 277, MDC officials and lawyers
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
About 380 people have been
arrested in Harare and Chitungwiza since
Monday, 150 of whom have been
In Mutare, 45 people were arrested yesterday, while 50
The police yesterday also detained
the MDC's Mashonaland West
provincial chairman, Silas Matamisa.
In Mutare, police descended on Mutare North legislator Giles Mutsekwa'
residence at around 4am, but the MDC member of Parliament refused to
them. They demanded that he report to a local police
The MDC's Manicaland provincial chairman, Timothy Mubhawu,
reported missing on Monday, was also among those arrested this
MDC spokesman for Manicaland, Pishayi Muchauraya, told The
"The police have launched a door-to-door manhunt for known MDC
and they are harassing their families.
is bad, but we are trying to regroup," said Muchauraya.
legislators Tendai Biti and Tichaona Munyanyi, who were arrested
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.
Kadoma and Harare's Southerton area, shop-owners were allegedly
open their premises by recruits of the controversial national
In Harare's Glen View suburb, where the police on Monday
attempt by about 15 000 protesters to march into the city centre,
Madzore said the local MDC leadership in Budiriro, Glen View, Glen
Highfield was holding meetings to organise more
"After our attempt to march into the city was stopped
(Monday), we are holding a meeting to reorganise ourselves and to
from where we left off. Our people are really determined," he
Most schools in Glen View and other Harare suburbs were open
schoolchildren could be seen playing outside as most teachers had
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.
group of ruling party supporters was however forced to flee in
Street when angry members of the public intending to buy the
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
In the Midlands, the situation remained tense as soldiers and
police intensified their street patrols. Security agents were deployed
strategic government buildings, while large retail shops and banks
Six Daily News vendors were assaulted by youths
in Kwekwe and 195
copies of the newspaper seized.
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
ZANU PF politician's bid to sell looted tobacco
6/4/2003 5:11:27 AM (GMT +2)
CHESTER Mhende, a senior ZANU PF politician from Norton,
unsuccessfully attempted to sell 55 bales of tobacco worth $10 million
are said to belong to Norton farmer Joe Whayley, whose farm he occupied
October, The Daily News has established.
Mhende tried to
sell the tobacco last Thursday at the Zimbabwe Tobacco
Auction Centre (ZITAC)
His manager, whose identity could not be established,
tobacco to the auction floor on Mhende's behalf.
man who answered Mhende's cellphone but refused to identify himself
that Mhende's manager had taken the tobacco to the auction floors
to discuss the issue, saying it was not The Daily
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
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
"Mhende took over my Crebilly Farm and my crop, which was
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
Whayley said he filed papers with the High Court, case
2687/03, and the court ruled in his favour on 19 May, stopping
selling his tobacco.
On Thursday, Whayley went to
the auction floors armed with the court
The court order
granted in Whayley's favour reads in part: "Mhende is
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
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
Mhende said in
papers filed with the courts that he paid US$100 000
(Z$82 400 000)
Peter Chanetsa, the governor of Mashonaland West, in the presence
Whayley and the amount represented the purchase price of Crebilly Farm,
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
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.
Crisis talks set to begin
AM (GMT +2)
THE National Economic
Consultative Forum (NECF) will begin holding
countrywide discussions with
stakeholders on Friday, to come up with
strategies for resolving Zimbabwe's
In a statement issued yesterday, the NECF said the
would start in Harare before moving to Gweru, Bulawayo,
Mutare and Masvingo.
An official with the NECF said key participants in the
business, labour, the government and civil
"The discussions will focus on reversing the negative
trends in the
economy, such as incessant macro-economic instability and
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
Employers' Confederation of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Chamber of
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and the Zimbabwe National
Commerce are among some of the participants in the programme.
NECFconsultations will focus on reversing negative trends in the
as the ballooning inflation rate, severe balance of payments
problems and the
general decline in the standard of living of Zimbabweans.
ZANU PF busses in 2 000 to foil protests in
6/4/2003 5:14:32 AM (GMT +2)
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
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.
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
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
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
Guruve and Chinhoyi, while others came from Marondera East
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.
former high-ranking army officer who is now a ruling party official
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
"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
Public urged to report police, army
6/4/2003 5:15:10 AM (GMT +2)
ZIMBABWE'S human rights organisations are monitoring the
the armed forces during this week's mass action and are urging the
report cases of abuses perpetrated by members of the uniformed
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.
protests, called by the main opposition Movement for Democratic
were planned to involve marches into city centres around the
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
"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
Lawyers for Human Rights director Arnold Tsunga said about 40
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
Tsunga said the 40 people were crammed in one police cell
hold six and were sharing three blankets. "This appalling
uniform with what is happening at most of the police stations in
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
However, he said Amnesty would continue to lobby the
observe and protect human rights.
State losing battle for people's support
6/4/2003 5:15:42 AM (GMT +2)
By Abel Mutsakani Managing
ZIMBABWE'S security forces this week crushed opposition
across the country but political analysts say the government's
reliance on sheer brute force only highlighted its loss of the
the hearts and minds of Zimbabweans.
huge military forces to deal with what is essentially a
economic problem, the government had glaringly undermined its
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
"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
Heavily armed troops and police who were in some cases
armoured cars, this week used tear-gas and whips to break up
demonstrations organised countrywide by the opposition Movement
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
UZ business studies professor Tony Hawkins said while
had managed to quell the demonstrations and secure its hold on
crumbling economy would remain its Achilles' heel.
"Unfortunately for the government, soldiers can stop marches but they
fix the economy," he noted, echoing the views of most analysts and
Hawkins said Zimbabwe's economy was gathering momentum
collapse, with inflation expected to hit 300 percent by August
At the moment, Zimbabwe's inflation is pegged at a
record high of
269,2 percent, one of the highest such rates in
The respected business analyst said more jobs would be lost
companies and industries, weighed down by foreign currency and
shortages plus lost business through the massive workers'
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
In 2001 alone, 100 companies in the key manufacturing
collapsed, throwing more than 3 000 workers onto the streets. Latest
of job losses are not readily available in a country where more
work in the informal as opposed to the formal sector.
An additional 300 000 farm workers were made jobless after the
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
But Masunungure was quick to point out that in an economy
Zimbabwe's that is fast deteriorating, the government would soon find
difficult to keep the rank and file of the military content and to
an increasingly angry and rebellious population.
the collapsing economy and the government's inability in the
long run to
nourish the loyalty of the military machine that will be the
in this situation," he said.
Masunungure said while Zimbabweans had
heeded MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai to protest, they were still not yet ready
confrontation with the government and its military
But the UZ political analyst boldly predicted that
Zimbabweans in the
next 10 to 12 months are likely to have matured enough for
against the State machinery, while the discontent within the
rank and file
of the military would also have grown.
government is better advised to attend to the economic crisis
same discontent among ordinary people is slowly creeping into
forces and in 10 to 12 months, you can expect Zimbabweans to be
more direct confrontation," he said.
Crushing protests not the solution
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
tense Zimbabwe, they surely cannot remain on the streets
is where the government's predicament really starts.
words, when would the government consider it safe enough to
security forces without risking fresh street protests by
Or will the government decide to keep the security
forces on the
streets indefinitely, at a heavy cost to the fiscus and to its
tattered image of running a highly militarised State?
Indeed, can the use of military might alone buy the government more
power, in the face of overwhelming public discontent with its rule?
These and many other questions must surely exercise the minds of many
government as they cobble up a reasoned response to the powerful
by the national shutdown instigated by a mere opposition party.
these circumstances, the failure of the street protests largely
So after both sides have flexed their muscles, it
likely that both could yet return to where they should
have started from:
the negotiating table.
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
It is these same talks which could also map out Mugabe's
exit from the
political landscape because, despite all the official
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
need an immediate solution (to Zimbabwe's political and economic
it can only be through dialogue between the two parties,"
"We have always been consistent that dialogue is the
option to resolve the crisis in this country, which is why this
mass action) is meant to put internal pressure on this regime to
that the crisis cannot be postponed and that it needs to be resolved
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.
harsh military clampdown on protests by concerned citizens certainly
offer a lasting solution.
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
chapter, we have been saying "enough is enough". We have said it at
meetings, conferences and seminars. We have said it through
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".
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
Our mothers and sisters have been raped and molested. Our
brothers, fathers and husbands have been butchered, tortured, detained
harassed. In only three years, the whole nation has been reduced to a
of poverty as the economic plane was hijacked by economic saboteurs
Third Chimurenga suicidal bombers in the fatigues of patriots, and
against the "World Trade Centre" of sound economic
Our savings of many years have been rendered valueless
and all our
prospects of a better tomorrow have been bashed in the jaws,
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
country under the sun. Our country boasts of highly trained and
people but in only these three years, we have seen thousands of them
to the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Botswana and
Africa to take up menial jobs of every description. And still this is
enough. Our health delivery system is in a coma, the education system is
paralysis, our agriculture is lying in state in the morgue, industry
commerce are lying somewhere in unmarked graves at Granville Cemetery
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
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
hundreds of thousands to say it is enough and bring sanity and a
democratic dispensation, then nothing will. If the arbitrary
detentions, tortures, rapes, neanderthal, fascist, nefarious and
laws that have been passed by this rogue regime will not spur us
NOW, then nothing will and it is not enough.
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
and organisations to shout loud and clear that it is enough. We
everything and it is high time we went on the battlefield to
reclaim all that we have lost. The struggle is a long,
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
Among the writers and artists we need the Alexander
Wole Soyinkas and the Ngugi wa Thiongos to stand on the
side of the
oppressed with the banners of freedom and democracy flying high.
political parties and civic organisations, we need leaders and their
to come out and say it is enough in action.
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
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
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 -
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
tyrants, murderers and liars and for a time they may seem invincible -
in the end they always fall - always."
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
Clifford Mazodze is a poet and political activist
Business disregards threats
9:02:42 AM (GMT +2)
By MacDonald Dzirutwe Business
MOST businesses around Zimbabwe defied a government order to
by 8am yesterday or risk losing their licences, with
representing local industry and commerce professing ignorance
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
Most businesses did not reopen after the weekend because
anti-government protests spearheaded by the main opposition Movement
Democratic Change, which began on Monday and are supposed to end on
Mumbengegwi yesterday would not say whether the
had been heeded or if the continuing closure of business
had been discussed
during the weekly Cabinet meeting he attended
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and the
National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), which represents most of
commerce respectively, told The Business Daily yesterday that
had not approached them about reopening
CZI president Anthony Mandiwanza said his organisation
received any communication from the government, adding that it was up
individual companies to decide whether to reopen.
He said it
was not possible to determine how many businesses were
"It is a mixed bag where you find some are opened here and
some are closed, but I can't give you any percentages or
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
ZNCC president James Sanders added: "The chamber does not
have a role
We do not want to get into that political
Business executives said before deciding whether to reopen,
would weigh several factors, including the security of employees
Some executives said the magnitude of the company
closures would make
it difficult for the government to single out firms for
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.
furniture and electrical appliance retailers removed
goods from display, in
what commentators said was a move to protect property
from possible damage
Executives said most retailers were wary of the kind
of violence and
looting that accompanied work stayaways in 1998, which cost
millions of dollars in damaged and stolen property.
In Bulawayo, up to 90 percent of business remained closed, while
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
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
increases to workers with all these stayaways?" said Sanders.
Mandiwanza added: "It (mass action) is hurting us because there is
business which can afford to go for five days without
"But then companies have to take a business decision which
acceptable to the shareholders on whether to open or close."
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.
OAU may not have been a political version of Murder Inc, but it
epitomised the disregard of the human rights of the African people
Sitting at the high tables of their summit conferences
leaders who, only days before, may have ordered the cold-blooded
their rivals, or the destruction of an entire village whose
erred by staging a protest against underdevelopment in their
area on ethnic
grounds - or over corruption, rape or murder.
Pan-Africanists will protest that it is this sort of extremist
which provides grist for the continent's detractors in the West.
The Pan-Africanists have not embraced wholeheartedly the concept
self-criticism, perhaps believing that the persecution of the African by
whites accords him this enormous privilege to be wrong because so much
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?
is nothing sacred about most African leaders today, not any
more. They are as
fallible and vain as any loan shark who ever specialised
(money-lending) among impecunious widows. They are no longer
almost untouchable saints that we all believed they were at
when they thundered in righteous celebration at the victory
Now, some of them perform feats of such gratuitous
their own people it surpasses by far anything the native
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
We now know that they didn't pay their dues on time either.
people were short-changed at both ends. The OAU died broke and its
was the death of many Africans at the hands of their own leaders, who
attend every summit and still thunder at imperialism.
would still vow to conquer ignorance, hunger and disease, but
eagle eye on their numbered account in Switzerland, and
opposition politician who drew a large crowd at his last
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
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
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
The number of countries whose independence has turned into
is very large. Most have been victims of civil war. For 25 years,
independence was meaningless as Jonas Savimbi - initially with the
the West, then later with nobody's help - virtually sought to fulfil
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
believed he was his country and his country himself, they are
slaughtering each other, 43 years after their independence. Zimbabwe
there to help them slaughter each other, but some got out with good
There are other trouble spots, too many to enumerate here:
Resistance Army in Uganda seems invincible, but President Yoweri
still claims he runs one of the most stable, peaceful countries on
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
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
policy on the internal politics of member-nations.
He has not disappointed his peers in that respect. His arrogance and
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.
glittering conferences, they pour forth those platitudes on the
poverty, hunger, disease and corruption, knowing that only the
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
What bolsters their confidence is the certainty that their
knowing they are lying, are too scared to tell them to their faces
are lying through their teeth.
This is the legacy of the
Zimbabwe and Nepad's peer review...
I found the article on the Nepad peer review process, which is
place within the next three months, an interesting indicator of our
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
The second is that Zimbabwe is still being sheltered by friends
Mugabe in the top echelons of the AU or the organisation itself has
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.
Zimbabwe has followed a very controversial land reform programme
wide political, economic, racial and social consequences for the
3. Zimbabwe's economy is in a tailspin and about to
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
appears to have missed the boat to show the world that it has
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
unwinnable and unfathomable war'
Reaction to the opposition's strikes and
Wednesday June 4, 2003
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.
overwhelming response of Zimbabweans to stay put at home after dire
from the government that it would crush the protests showed that,
administration had possibly won this phase of the battle, it
significantly lost the war ... All signals point to one certainty:
is coming tomorrow."
Editorial, Zimbabwe, June
"It is Julius Caesar who is famed for saying, 'If you must break the law
it once to seize power. Otherwise you must obey it.' The MDC leader,
Tsvangirai, and his supporters followed Caesar's advice and broke the
[on Monday] but failed to seize power ... Instead of waiting for the
of his court application challenging the result of the
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
"As Zimbabweans either march in their cities and towns or simply stay
home, it will not necessarily be about the removing the de facto
and the government from power but to say 'Enough is Enough'
"We know the police and soldiers will be looking for any excuse to
weapons. They have been drilled to believe this is their duty and
they shoot demonstrators, they will be protecting Zimbabwe's
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."
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."
Editorial, June 3
of course, is that Robert Mugabe has only been able to get away
brutality and near-criminal scale of economic mismanagement because
indulgent attitude of his powerful neighbour to the south. President
Mbeki of South Africa looks unlikely to impose any tough measures to
the end of the Mugabe regime, such as cutting off Zimbabwe's fuel
If he did, the end for Mr Mugabe would come more quickly. Even if
not, though, the grip onoffice of the 75-year-old Mr Mugabe looks
Arrests continue while Tsvangirai fights 'gag' order
Thornycroft in Harare
forces continued yesterday to arrest and beat up members
of the opposition
following Monday's protest marches as Morgan Tsvangirai,
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
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
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
The state has asked the High Court to ban Mr Tsvangirai and
Welshman Ncube and Renson Gasela, who are out on bail, from
statements which are "inflammatory" or "incite public disorder"
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
Mr Bizos told Judge Garwe, Zimbabwe's second most important
officer, that even under apartheid in 1972 South African judges
threw out a
similar case brought against the bail conditions of Geoffrey
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
without ever referring directly to the protests and repression
Zimbabwe, said the right of people to protest was enshrined in
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.
actually borders on treason and is conduct we want restricted,"
Mr Tsvangirai and his co-accused are charged with plotting to
Mugabe before last year's disputed presidential
They deny the charges and say they were set up by a "crooked"
businessman, Ari Ben Menashe, whom they hired to lobby for them in
America but who was already working for the Zimbabwe
The hearing on the "gag" order continues