Burning Harare ride is the stuff of movies
June 04 2003
By Hans Pienaar
A Zimbabwean opposition activist
on Tuesday described a wild drive through
several red traffic lights in
Harare during which he tried to shake off an
assailant who was clinging to
his bakkie and trying to set it alight.
Movement for Democratic Change
member Topper Whitehead told the Independent
Foreign Service from Harare that
his wife, Laurinda, was filming a man being
manhandled in the city centre on
He decided to circle a traffic island, but after a group of
aggressive" people tried to stop the filming, he sped off in his
When he stopped at a red traffic light, two vehicles pulled up
and two men jumped on to the back of the bakkie and began
their fists on the roof of the cab".
unscrewed the cap of the auxiliary fuel tank which caused the
"I turned sharply left into Central Avenue and one of our
off the vehicle," said Whitehead.
He tried to shake
off the second assailant but was unable to. His wife kept
on filming the man,
who tried to stab her through the back window with a
unscrewed the cap of the auxiliary fuel tank which caused the
splash out over the tarpaulin and other parts of the vehicle. He
if we did not give him the camera he would burn the vehicle. He
search his pockets for matches.
"In desperation my wife pulled out a
small pen knife which she keeps in her
handbag and tried to prevent him from
lighting a match by stabbing with the
knife towards his legs through the rear
window which she opened."
Whitehead phoned a friend on his cellphone
asking him to stand ready to pull
off the man when he arrived at his house.
But when he stopped the man jumped
off and ran away.
Whitehead said he
tried to lay a charge at the Avondale police station,
showing the police
frame-grabs from the film. But the police refused to take
a statement, saying
they had no stationery. - Independent Foreign Service
Violent crackdown by Mugabe slated by
ZIMBABWEAN security forces continued a violent crackdown on the second
nationwide demonstration and a stayaway, SA maintained its quiet
restricting itself to urging the parties to talk.
Its long-arm approach
to the Zimbabwe crisis contrasted starkly with
forthright condemnations of
President Robert Mugabe's crackdown on his
political opponents by the Group
of Eight (G-8) and the European Union (EU),
which called on Harare not to use
violence against its own people.
The G-8 leaders went on to appeal to the
Zimbabwean government to respect
the right of peaceful protest.
also signalled that they would not become directly involved in
efforts to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe and would leave this in
of African countries.
The G-8 statement said the leaders welcomed the
efforts of African countries
in promoting a peaceful resolution to the
crisis, in line with the
principles of New Partnership for Africa's
Development (Nepad). This
what Italian Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi had earlier said would be a
call in the G-8 chair's summary
on the five Nepad sponsors SA, Algeria,
Egypt, Nigeria and Senegal to help
resolve the crisis.
The G-8 mention of Zimbabwe was one of a number of
regional issues the
leaders dealt with that also included Iraq and North
Korea. But its very
mention does highlight the increased attention that the
group is paying to
the issue and could signal that if the situation drags on
exercise more outright pressure for a resolution.
foreign affairs department spokesman, Ronnie Mamoepa, said: "We are
more than ever before that there is no substitute for dialogue
(PF) and the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change), and that
they alone can
assist to move Zimbabwe towards national reconciliation.
"We stand ready
to assist them in this endeavour."
Zanu (PF) broke off talks with the MDC
last year after it mounted a legal
challenge to the results of last year's
President Robert Mugabe continues to insist that
the opposition recognise
him as a legitimate leader before talks can be
Mamoepa said that "acting in the best interests of the country,
continue our actions, as part of regional efforts, to assist the
Zimbabwe in this regard".
The three countries directly
involved in a search for a settlement, SA,
Nigeria and Malawi, have not yet
made clear what their next step will be in
trying to bring about an
SA has previously called on Mugabe's government to
respect the right of
Yesterday the EU called on
Zimbabwe's government and opposition to abstain
from violence during a week
of antigovernment protests. "The EU urges the
MDC and civil society to ensure
that any protests are indeed carried out
peacefully," the bloc's Greek
presidency said in another statement.
"It also calls on the government of
Zimbabwe to desist from any violence and
respect the rights of its citizens
to demonstrate and express their views
warned Zimbabwe not to repeat the violent response with which
it met an
earlier opposition-sponsored strike in March. "The excessive use
which characterised its response to the stayaway of March 18-19
should in no
case be repeated," the statement said.
United Nations spokesman Fred
Eckhard has said Secretary- General Kofi Annan
was following the situation in
Zimbabwe and was "concerned about reports of
the possibility of further
violence". With Sapa-AFP-AP
Harare worries Dos
ANGOLAN President Jose Eduardo dos Santos expressed concern
the deteriorating situations in the Democratic Republic of
He began his first state visit to Botswana since
coming to power in 1979
yesterday. "We are concerned about the conflict in
Congo and we believe the
transitional government should be set up as soon as
possible," he said.
Hopes of setting up a transitional government in the
vast central African
state were dashed last week when scores of civilians
were killed and a key
rebel group said that it rejected the transitional
Dos Santos expressed his concern about events in
He said that southern African states were feeling the
repercussions from the
"differences" between President Robert Mugabe's
government and the
opposition in that country.
African Leaders Must 'Rescue' Zimbabwe, Says Harare
June 4, 2003
Posted to the web June 4, 2003
Charles Cobb Jr.
Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe has become an opposition
stronghold, electing in March 2002 from the ranks of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) the city's Executive Mayor and most of the city council.
Almost immediately after that election, a power struggle
between Minister of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo, and Harare's new MDC
Mayor, Elias Mudzuri, a civil engineer by profession, ensued. Zanu-PF
department heads were fired by Mudzuri. Chombo blocked badly needed funds for
local improvements and development. Last March, young Zanu-PF supporters
toyi-toyi'd around Town House - Harare's city hall - chanting: "Mudzuri should
be beaten up, he must be killed and he must be removed."
A month later, Mudzuri was suspended from his post by
Chombo who alleged misconduct on the part of Mudzuri. But despite the
suspension, Mudzuri has insisted that he was still entitled to hold civic and
council meetings in the municipality. Chombo has made an "urgent application" to
the High Court to bar Mudzuri from executing council duties while under
suspension. So far, the court has made no judgement.
All of this has been unfolding against the backdrop of a
worsening political and economic conditions in Harare and across Zimbabwe.
Monday, a week of planned protests across Zimbabwe began and an MDC news
release,at the end of the day reported that members of the army and police had
opened fire on peaceful demonstrators in the Highfields district of Harare. MDC
leaders vow to continue with the protests.
Mudzuri has been in the States during these protests,
"resting a bit" he says, and also trying to raise some money for the MDC; "we
are broke," he says. He is awaiting the June 5th start of the annual U.S.
Conference of Mayors meeting that will be held in Denver this year. Although
this will be the 71st meeting of the U.S. conference, the 2nd International
Conference of Mayors will be going on concurrently. AllAfrica.com's Charles Cobb
Jr. spoke with Mudzuri before he left for Denver. Excerpts:
You were suspended as Mayor last April and the man who
suspended you, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National
Housing [Ignatius Chombo], has asked the High Court to bar you from executing
your duties as Mayor. Are you still the Mayor of Harare in any real
Until the courts decide, I am the mayor even though I have
been suspended. But I have not accepted the suspension, on the basis that it is
illegal to follow illegal orders from the Minister. I strongly believe that the
government is just playing politics.
But can you now walk into your office, pick up the
telephone and tell an agency, 'This is the Mayor...'
I did that but the police came after me. They literally
removed me from office. Maybe after this court gives a verdict we can see how we
will proceed. The minister went to court to enforce his suspension. It has been
heard but there is no verdict yet.
They want to assess whether I am suitable or not. The
minister didn't do that. he simply said, 'Go away.' This was a political move
agreed to at cabinet levels: "Just throw him out and see what they will do."
They even took my keys for the official car and up to now I
haven't gotten them back.
What was at issue between you and the minister, or you
and the national government?
I am the mayor who was elected by over a million people in
Harare and I've been running [city] council affairs in a very transparent and
accountable manner, but the minister has been interfering with the work, trying
to make sure that I don't perform as much as I am supposed to. Since I got in he
has always aimed to remove me.
Because of lack of tolerance by Zanu-PF; it doesn't tolerate
opposition views. Out of 45 councilors [in Harare] 44 are MDC; only one is
Zanu-PF. And the Mayor is MDC. The council has been reasonably successful. We
are getting all the handshakes from the public who say, "You are doing well
under very difficult circumstances." The minister ran that council for three
years and he did nothing substantial that people were appreciating. I am an
engineer. I know the core business of the council. I worked for the council
before and I have been undoing all the corruption which has been greasing the
hands of the ruling party members.
Right now, Harare is being rocked by protests or strikes
that the MDC has called. Some 150 people, including most of the MDC leadership
was arrested Tuesday. Will you talk about this at two levels: first as the mayor
of the city in which these strikes are taking place, with protestors faced with
bullets and tear gas and thousands saying away from work and business even if
they are not in the streets. And secondly, as an MDC leader; How worried are you
that this crackdown might break the back of the MDC?
The people of Harare have really suffered. Since they
started electing the MDC into office, the government has never forgiven them.
They have had no mealie meal which is the basic food to make sadza [cornmeal
porridge]. We have not been given borrowing power by the government. We have not
been given adequate foreign currency by the government. There is literally
nothing the government has done to assist us.
So, the Harare people have nothing to lose by going to the
streets. Actually it's a demonstration to say the government is not treating
them as normal human beings. They have not been allowed their democratic right
to choose their leadership. And when they exercise their democratic rights the
government has been arresting as many as possible at every opportunity. I have
been arrested as their mayor in December! They have stopped me from attending
some of their national events where the mayor should be present. The government
has been intolerant. So the only voice they have is to demonstrate. I wouldn't
call it a strike; it's a demonstration to show that the government is no longer
for them. The health system has collapsed. There is no money in the banks. There
is no food in the shops. There is no sugar.
Almost everything is not there, which means that the
government has seriously failed and the people are now saying, "Enough is
Let's have a scenario where we can have free and fair
elections being held with an interim body that can supervise proper elections
within the system. It won't be local; it must be worked out by African leaders.
African leaders must rescue Zimbabwe because although Zimbabweans have to solve
their own problems they are crying out to the world by moving into the streets
and the streets are infested by army guys beating up people into submission,
threatening them with guns, while the world is just looking and watching to see
what will happen next.
African leaders have been trying to involve themselves
with Zimbabwe. They have been suggesting a kind of transitional government made
up of MDC and Zanu-PF which the MDC doesn't like. They are suggesting that
Mugabe should step down, the vice president should move up and manage a
transition leading to election for a brand new government. What's wrong with
It is not so easy for the MDC to accept because it has been
fighting for elections under very difficult conditions. The government has got
control over the police and some other guys who have been involved in rigging
elections. So, whatever transitional authority where you engage the system
intact would not help us because they would do the same thing they have done in
previous elections. This is why MDC is saying we need a neutral body which
doesn't help the authority of Mugabe over the army and the police. Because this
is where the problem is. The country has become a police state and the MDC would
be just a shadow under Mugabe. So they need a neutral sort of body, a caretaker
government if possible.
I assume in terms of that caretaker government you see
Mugabe out of the political picture entirely.
So that he has no control over the arms that have repressed
us. As long as he is in the picture he is likely to instruct these guys to 'stop
this' or 'do that' and these guys will respond because that is what they are
How likely is this -- getting a caretaker government
followed by an actual new election, or do you worry that Zimbabwe in general and
Harare in particular will slide into chaos?
We don't want chaos! If Mugabe and his people were more
tolerant, and interested in allowing any other body to take part in the
political system they would have tolerated these elections [which put us into
office in Harare] but they have refused. Somebody has to act to make sure that
tolerance comes into play. And we are trying to look at Thabo Mbeki as President
of South Africa. He is a giant in terms of [our] country, just like [former
Rhodesian Prime Minister] Ian Smith was brought into line by South Africa. When
Smith ended up at the negotiating table it was South Africa that had played a
big role [in getting him there].
And South Africa needs to play a big role today. Thabo Mbeki
must look at Zimbabwe as a crisis scenario rather than say, "that's the
opposition, I'll only deal with government." We are expecting him to ask, "What
is it that is causing all of these Zimbabweans to run away from Zimbabwe?"
Within three years, how many are in South Africa? How many are in Botswana?
So you don't feel that Thabo Mbeki is putting enough
pressure on Mugabe or the Zimbabwe government?
I wouldn't use the word pressure. I would call it engaging
Mugabe, saying, "what are you achieving by this?" Because he [Mbeki] is
sustaining him [Mugabe] on borrowed time. If Mbeki says, "let's get the truth,"
he will come up and say, "Mugabe, my brother, I'm here to help you sort out your
problems." What has happened is sort of the opposite: let it languish until [the
allegations are] proven about the government.
Tsvangirai has challenged the legitimacy of the last
election. The reason we went to court is not that we trust the courts, but we
want to show what has been going on to the world. That is the only platform that
the MDC has. We know that we will not get any sort of judgement [in our favor]
but if we can expose what has been happening, then the world can know exactly
what we went through in the elections.
Speaking of courts, how worrying are the treason charges
against Tsvangirai currently being heard in court?
It will continue. You can see that putting treason charges
on every opposition leader is a trait of Mugabe's regime. Joshua Nkomo had
treason charges placed on him; he had to run away in a dress last time.
Ndabaningi Sithole ended up with treason charges accusing him of hiding some
arms under a bridge. And today, Morgan Tsvangirai is going through the same
thing. I don't think the MDC is thinking of using any violent means for change.
It is trying to engage the government to commit to democratic principle, which
it [the government] has refused to practice. Mugabe has declared that he is the
only sovereign of Zimbabwe. And we are saying no! We are the sovereigns of
Zimbabwe. But we are not allowed a voice on television. We are not allowed a
voice on radio. We are not allowed a voice in the public arena. So where will we
talk? And this is where we are saying that South Africa and the SADC (South
African Development Community) region must look at this thing and ask, "Why must
the opposition always be in prison?"
Mugabe calls us puppets. Is he considering the whole of
Harare "puppets"? Why are they electing [us]? They cannot all be puppets. It is
a view that Mugabe has managed to project. He has played the color card well. If
we want to go for elections then we must allow people to say what they are
supposed to say and elect people they want to elect without beating them into
submission, without putting them in jail cells every time, without creating war
cabinets for war against the people. Democracy. If we want chiefs then we should
go to chiefdoms.
Right now we have lost more than three million people. Are
they running away from good governance? A million Zimbabweans are in London.
they are afraid of this administration, and what is Africa doing to stop this
madness [in Zimbabwe]?
There is fairly significant disagreement with Mugabe's
policies inside Zanu-PF. But no significant challenge to Mugabe from inside. Why
The fact is that these opinions are not surfacing and that
we can only suspect that they are there, shows that [Zanu-PF members] are afraid
of Mugabe. As long as that is true they will just keep their disagreements
within themselves. This is further illustration of the fact that Mugabe must
step down before we can do anything. Dissenting voices in Zanu-PF will not be
able to raise up.
It's difficult to understand Mugabe. Is this a new Mugabe
that we are looking at or is this a Mugabe that has always been there? We have
Mugabe, on the one hand, one of the heroes of southern African liberation and on
the other, the Mugabe who seems to be a tyrant clinging to power for 30
Even in biblical terms, "The Lord anointeth leaders but they
failed along they way." Show me a single policy that Mugabe has given in the
past few months that shows that he is interested in developing the economy or
the country. There is not a single one. He has talked about land and the land
has been given away but there is no food. No one has been able to farm. There is
no seed to do the farming in the shops. The time he has been in power is too
long. Power has corrupted him absolutely. That is all I can say. It is now for
historians to analyze.
What do you predict for Zimbabwe? Most immediately for
this strike, and in the longer term, for the country.
Whatever Mugabe wants to do is not sustainable. All the
leaders who are protecting him will discover that it is not sustainable.
Zimbabweans are tired; they don't want him anymore. Mugabe and Zanu-PF must gear
themselves to be in the opposition for a while.
We must learn to come out of government by election not to
remain in power by force. I think Zimbabwe will be a unique place because so far
it has demonstrated that people are [determined] to have a proper democracy by
putting in the opposition in such numbers. If this world looked at it and
encouraged it you would see that Africa would change, starting with Zimbabwe,
allowing different voices to say what they can say, and be elected. Even if they
are fools they should be elected, if that's what the people want, then they can
elect a fool. Next time they won't elect a fool.
Will Mugabe step down?
He will but he needs enough pressure from the regional
leaders because the Zimbabweans themselves have given him enough pressure.
4 June 2003
An MDC activist, Tichaona Kaguru, died at
Parirenyatwa Hospital after he and Sydney Maranhanga, an MDC councillor from
Mbare (Harare), were abducted from Councillor Mazaranhanga's home. They were
subsequently brutally assaulted and tortured by army and police officers The two
were left for dead near the site of the Circle Cement Company in Mabvuku. They
were picked up by supporters yesterday morning and rushed to Parirenyatwa
Hospital, where Kaguru died yesterday afternoon. Councillor Mazaranhanga
has been released from hospital.
Reports have also been received that last night
police and army officers attacked the homes of several Harare councillors in
Glen View, Dzivarasekwa and Mbare West, beating up anyone who was at home. More
details to follow.
The MDC unreservedly condemns such acts of violence
by the police and army, especially after the Minister of Homes Affairs promised
that the police would not interfere with peaceful marches. The fact that
the army and police officers are moving around picking up people from their
homes and assaulting them demonstrates beyond doubt that the Mugabe regime has
an agenda that is absolutely divorced from maintaining law and
MDC Information and Publicity
Opposition claims Zimbabwe strike protest a success
Hartnack in Harare
Zimbabwe's opposition claimed almost total success
for its national
stay-away from work yesterday, despite President Mugabe's
threat to seize
businesses that failed to open and to deport expatriates who
home. Several thousand self-styled guerrilla war veterans fanned
the ruling Zanu PF party headquarters to break up any gathering that
turn into a march against the 23-year rule of Mr Mugabe, 79. In the
black townships, helicopter gunships and tanks were deployed alongside
patrols to prevent "mass action" called by Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). In the predominantly
middle-class Warren Hills suburb on Harare's western
schoolchildren were caught in a bombardment of teargas shells
jumpy police units, underlining the danger of bloodshed in a
situation. "Choked children were running all over the place in the
chaos," an MDC spokesman said. In the Midlands town of Kwekwe,
militants were said to be systematically evicting suspected
supporters from their homes, a tactic of Mr Mugabe's youth
elections since independence in 1980. It is mid-winter, with
Both sides traded accusations of
killings, which could not be independently
verified. State radio claimed an
unnamed man was stoned to death by the MDC
on Monday for trying to go to
work. The MDC backtracked on allegations that
two of its supporters were shot
dead in Harare on Monday, giving details of
only one, wounded in the foot.
Guests confirmed that on Monday Zanu PF
militants beat up a man on the steps
of the five-star Meikles Hotel after
failing to force their way in, vowing:
"We've come to get the British." The
Government continues to claim that the
five-day opposition protest has been
manipulated by Britain to frustrate Mr
Mugabe's "fast track" seizure of
5,000 white farms. Amid the tension,
hilarity rippled through Harare's
diplomatic community when a cartoon in the
state-controlled Herald purported
to depict Sophie Honey, 30, a second
secretary at the British High
Commission, "running the show" for the MDC.
Previous cartoons have vilified
Sir Brian Donnelly, the High Commissioner,
and his wife, Julia. Near the
Meikles, black passers-by were forced to lie on
the pavement on Monday, then
whipped and kicked. So were students at the
University of Zimbabwe campus.
The MDC has warned the 30,000 white community
to stay out of sight.
Mr Tsvangirai, who went to the High Court for a
further day of hearings in
his treason trial, vowed to press on with the
action. He said: "By the end
of the week Zimbabweans will have driven the
message home to Mugabe that
they are fed up with the state of affairs in this
country." Joseph Musakwa,
for the prosecution, said that the state had been
magnanimous not to cancel
bail after Mr Tsvangirai was briefly detained on
Monday. Judge Paddington
Garwe may rule today on pleas to tighten bail
conditions, banning Mr
Tsvangirai from directing the strike or making
George Bizos, QC, for the defence, protested that
this was "an inadmissible
way to gag" the veteran union leader. The MDC said
that at least 45 more of
its officials had been rounded up since 154 were
arrested on Monday, in a
crackdown by security police.
From ZWNEWS, 4 June
University of Zimbabwe students were hospitalised Monday, badly
police. Riot police also did considerable damage to the
kicking and smashing open any locked doors, a witness
said. Police burst into
a property owned by the Catholic church near the
university campus and
dragged away six students who had sought asylum there.
At a religious service
Monday evening, students described the police
brutality. Several women
students said riot police trampled on their feet
and beat them around the
head. One young woman was kicked in the head. Also
on Monday, witnesses on
the campus said riot police tied together by their
hands eight students, and
marched them up a road inside the campus, beating
them viciously with batons.
Witnesses saw a student being kicked by police
and individual students being
marched by police along the same road toward
an entrance on Mount Pleasant
Drive. Earlier on Monday, students preparing
to march to the city centre were
dispersed with the help of an army
helicopter, which hovered above the
campus. Three students were seen being
beaten in front of the University's
Great Hall, in front of which was parked
one of the Israeli-made
crowd-control vehicles purchased last year by the
riot police. Riot police
have in the past violently suppressed student
protests at the campus in the
Harare suburb of Mount Pleasant.
JUSTICE AND PEACE
ST MARY’S CATHEDRAL
FRIDAY 6 JUNE 2003
And Other Christian
Come all and pray for your
Christians Together for Justice and
This Bulawayo meeting is
confirmed. Please publicise over the next few days over your station
Please note that I have deliberately removed the
identity of the author of this report for obvious
I have just returned from the Avenues Clinic where I
saw with my own eyes, the horrendous evidence of the use of brutal force that
the ZANU PF government, military, police and militia forces have employed in
mostly unprovoked situations. The Avenues Clinic's Out Patients ward is full of
victims of Mugabe's retribution. MDC activists, young women, young men, older
men and women are either walking in the foyer of the admission ward, sleeping or
seated on the benches of the Outpatients department of the hospital in severe
pain owing to severe injuries sustained as a result of beatings, toture and
haraasment committed by these government forces.
- About 150 injured people were brought to the Avenues
Clinic between last night and this morning. I personally spoke to about seven
of the victims before the Riot Police and other plain clothes details of the
force stormed into the Hopsital premisess and into the Wards, causing such a
panic as patients, the injured and even Hospital staff were scarring in
different directions for safety. Most of the victims are from Highfield, Glen
View, Dzivarasekwa and Budiriro. In most situations the groups of vigilantes
beating up people stormed into the victims' houses at night, dragged people out
bed and beat them up. Two of the middle aged women victims that I spoke to who
come from Glen View were beaten while they were naked outside their bedrooms ,
one of them in front of his husband and kids. Councilor Zihura of Glen View in
Ward 31 was severely attacked by a combination of armed soldiers, ZRP in the
infamous blue uniforms and militia who stormed into his house around ten o'clock
last night and was forced to supply names of MDC activists in the area who were
also attacked. One of the councilors in Glen View was taken away from Glen
View in front of his family members, severely assaulted on the feet, back and
face and left for dead in the Southerton area only to be picked by fellow
activists who had gone to look for him.
- Douglas Zihura, who is in his early twenties and is
the son of the same Councilor Zihura was also severely aassaulted, who was left
with severe injuries on his body and a broken left arm was shedding tears as he
nnarrated his own personal account of how he and his father were assaulted by a
gang of six armed men among them a uniformed ssoldier, police men militia
members and ZANU PF aactivists. He was left lying on the ground and was picked
up by relatives while some of his friends whom he was sleeping with in the same
room were assaulted but were able to run away. His mother was also assaulted
and was at the time of my converstion with him already, detained in one of the
Wards. Two women from Budiriro were also severely bandaged on the head and had
suffered broken arms and wre severely beaten on their buttocks and backsides.
They could hardly talk as they were in severe pain. The avenues clinic was
extremely busy as more people were pouring in with various severe injuries.
- Tawanda and Farai two young men from Budurio in
their twenties were sitting in wheel chairs as they could not stand or sleep on
the benches. The one had a fracture on his right leg while the other had a
twisted ankle, a swollen face, wounds on his back, severely injured lips and
could hardly talk. One admission Ward had women with severe injuries on the
backs , full marks and imprints of baton sticks were visible on their backs and
legs. Most of them say, the gangs of mostly unformed violent young men took
turns to beat them accusing them of spear heading the mass action. They too
were being forced to provide details of MDC membership and activists who were
leading the mass action in the community.
- Another thirty year old man who only identified
himself as Chasara from Highfiled was severely assaulted and had wounds which
were still oozing blood on his shins, chest and face. Both he and his wife were
assaulted while they were half naked in their house in Highfiled. They were
accused of giving money to MDC youths . The man is unemployed ever since his
company shut down in April, so he could hardly give any money to any one, since
he can't even afford enough to feed himself and his family.
- At about 1240pm, an armed gang of about ten riot
police details accompanied by a number of plain clothes police details or ZANU
PF supporters ( whichever is the case) burst into the Avenues Clinic premises
and Outpatients Wards, searching for either people, or some other things. In the
process they harassed bystanders on the Admission entrance, assaulting some
young men and boys who sat on the side walls of the Avenues Clinic either
waiting to be treated or waiting for their friends and relatives. They wanted
to know the owner of one of the cars which was on the parked in front of the
Entrance into the Outpatients department. Apparently, the vehicle belongs to an
employee of AMANI TRUST who had brought several injured people for treatment.
They harassed people and their presence intimidated both the victims and those
who were in the hospital for one reason or the other. The gang was looking
extremely charged and fired up, walking in confusing manner, shouiting on top of
their voices, getting into wards including those that are out of bounds for any
one other than hospital staff, grabbing people violently and inflicting all
sorts of verbal and physical abuse on people. A number of people were escorted
into the van they had parked in the parking area. This sort of behavior
naturally instills a lot of fear among people who have already been severely
tortured, beaten up or vandalized.
actions, of ZANU PF organized gangs of soldiers, policemen and vigilante groups
are retributive actions by a government that uses brutal force in response to
any expression of constitutional guaranteed rights by Zimbabweans. Contrary to
government propaganda, the success of the mass action in the last two days, has
created panic among government circles. They intimidated people, send armored
tanks into township, intimidated shop owners and business people frocing them to
open, issued threats and ulitmatums to commuter omnibus operators and presented
"business as usual" propaganda on radio and TV, but could not break the spirit
of the people on the first two days. They have chosen to conduct night raids on
citizens violently beating up , harassing and torturing activists, leaders,
torturing ordinary men, women, children and communities suspected to be
supporting the mass action and its organizers. The idea is to send a message to
street level leaders of this Mass Action that the government will deal with
elements challenging its dictatorship. It is these night raids that are
forcing people to leave their residential areas and wonder in the city and other
industrial sites to demonstrate that they are complying withteh order to"go to
work" although most companies have taken the decision to close for the rest of
the week. While the volume of people in the city increased today compared to
yesterday, most shops were closed and those who opened were already closed by
the beginning of the afternoon.
Clearly, the regime has lost the battle of minds and
souls of the people. They are sowing seeds of vengeance among the young people
of this country and stretching people to the limit. Several of the youths who
were brutalized have feelings of extreme vengeance even as they languish in
their pain. Those tortured expresse their hatred of ZANU PF even more than
before while more and more people, victims and even health workers were
expressing this hatred of a regime that is literally driving the people to
levels were real conflict is possible. Meanwhile, hundreds of people arrested
on Monday and Tuesday are still detained in various police stations. Prominent
MDC MP, Tendai Biti and several other youths who were arrested in the city
center on Monday are still in police custody. They are supposed to appear in
Court this afternoon. I understand that Tendai is being charged under a Section
of the POSA which criminalizes "attempting to overthrow a constitutionally
guaranteed government". He was arrested while walking on Nelson Mandela Avenue ,
and this is being interpreted as attempting to "overthrow a constitutionally
Finally, it is discernible that the ZANU PF
government has lunched a three pronged strategy as a response to this mass
action as they fight for their own survival. The first, is a massive and
malicious propaganda campaign through the state controlled media. They are
churning out loads of falsehoods in order to paint a certain picture of
normalcy during this mass action, demonizing the MDC and its leadership as much
as they can. The second, is the brutal use of unmitigated force and violence
coordinated by ZANU PF through the arms of government namely police, army and
CIO. The Border Gezi militia have been rounded up from the camps dotted
throughout the country and unleashed on the populace, where they are committing
heinous crimes against humanity. The police will then "arrest" any one who
resists and lay charges under POSA. The third, is the attack on the MDC
leadership. They are keeping Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube and other key
leaders of the MDC totally locked up in the Courts, varying bail conditions in
order to tighten their hold on these leaders, assaulting, attackking and
arresting and beating up others like Mushorirwa, Madzore and other MPs who were
attacked and injured, on Monday and Tuesday, keeping some of them detained
beyond the statutory limit of 48 hours, create a leadership vacuum by breaking
communication with the masses and hopefully kill off the mass action spirit.
The truth of the matter is that they can succeed in doing so, but wil
uinfortunately for them, also succeed in pitting the government totatlly
against the people.
Private Boarding School raided by war vets in
Lilfordia School, a private primary boarding
school situated in a farming area just outside of Harare, was raided by war
veterans at 1.30pm today.
This gang of approximately twenty state sponsored
thugs is led by a woman, Comrade Yondo, the local leader of the war vets and
ZanuPF representative. She claims that
since the school was closed they are MDC supporters. She has declared the school a government
The school was not actually closed, the
teaching body was all present when the war vets arrived and were quickly sent
home by the Head. The parents had
decided not to send their children back to board until they were assured of
their children’s safety.
An e mail had been sent out to the parents this
morning that the pupils (aged between 6 and 12 years) should return to school
this afternoon. A delegation of
teachers was sent to the top of the road to prevent any children coming in after
the invasion by ZANU PF thugs.
The school’s groundstaff and labour force are
currently being held by the war vets who have forced them into the parking lot
to chant ZanuPF slogans.
Victims of beatings victimised
10.30am - A volunteer from a human rights
organization took affidavits from approximately 10 of 30 men and women who were
beaten last night. These affidavits and
photographs cannot be taken inside the hospital, so the volunteers have to sit
in the parking lot to record these atrocities.
The job was not finished as their work was
interrupted by a visit from a CIO operative, who had noted the car registration
numbers of the volunteers and called in his henchmen to stop their
The MDC youth and supporters, not all
activists, were visited at their homes last night and in the early hours of this
morning by groups of approximately ten to twenty militia per group, dressed in
camouflage, carrying batons and AK 47 rifles.
The sleeping victims were pulled from their beds
and viciously beaten and accused of taking money from foreigners for
participating in the mass action.
The wounded civilians made their way to the
hospital for treatment where the affidavits were being taken. Some twenty hurt people still not attended to
were ejected from the hospital, ordered to sit and wait outside for
treatment. The human rights activists
were advised to leave the area immediately.
More and more reports of beatings are coming in,
the ZanuPF regime is desperately trying to quell the hugely supported mass
action through their only means of persuading Zimbabweans – brute
Archbishop Pius Ncube champions Justice and
A church service for “Justice and Peace” has been
called for Friday 6 June at 2pm to take place at the Catholic cathedral, St
Mary’s. The main speaker will be
Archbishop Pius Ncube and he will be joined by various other church
leaders. This call to pray for peace in
Zimbabwe has been made by Christians
together for justice and peace.
Despite many shops opening in Bulawayo this
morning, by lunch time, once again most of these had closed. Reports are still pouring in of shop owners
being forced to reopen by agents of the state.
4 June 2003
Tichaona Kaguru murdered by the army and
MDC activist Tichona Kaguru (33) is confirmed dead after being
abducted and brutally tortured by the ZRP and members of the Zimbabwe National
Army, allegedly led by one Marange, officer-in-charge of Mbare. Kaguru was
abducted with Sydney Mazaranhanga at the house of Mazaranhanga who is the
Councillor for MDC in Mbare at around 4pm yesterday.
Mazaranhanga, who narrated the ordeal that the two went
through, confirmed this. An army truck and a police truck arrived at the house
and they searched the whole house alleging that a meeting was being held at this
house. When they failed to find anyone they abducted Mazaranhanga and his nephew
Tichaona Kaguru and threw them into the army truck and started assaulting them.
They assaulted them with batons, wires and booted feet all over their bodies and
heads. As this was happening the truck was driving towards Chikurubi and they
stopped near a bush in Mabvuku where some sewage pipes had burst. The two were
made to roll over in the sewage.
They were further assaulted and then threatened with death if
they ever revealed their ordeal, as this would tarnish the image of the police
force and the Government of Zimbabwe. Kaguru was very weak and could hardly walk
and so Mazaranhanga went to seek help. He managed to get a vehicle from Circle
Cement, which took the two to Chikurubi Clinic. All the staff there refused to
attend the two saying that the clinic only catered for the police. They insisted
that they had to call an ambulance. The two waited for an ambulance for over two
hours. When it finally came Kaguru was pronounced dead. His body was taken to
Parirenyatwa Hospital. Mazaranhanga was also treated at Parirenyatwa and
discharged this morning.
This brutality in which innocent Zimbabweans are abducted from
their homes and brutally murdered by the police and members of the National Army
proves that Zimbabweans are living in an era of barbarism that is sanctioned by
an illegitimate regime. The freedom that the people won in 1980 has effectively
been taken away. Not only has this regime failed to provide food and jobs for
the people of Zimbabwe, it goes to their homes to take away precious lives and
beloved breadwinners of families. Kaguru leaves behind a wife and three
Last month Tonderai Machiridza was taken from his home and
tortured to death at St Mary’s Police Station. Steven Tonera also died in Ruwa
as a result of torture by state agents in Ruwa.
This death will not deter us. Instead it will inspire the
people of Zimbabwe to strengthen their resolve in demanding freedom, justice and
Sadly we know that this will not happen under the illegitimate
Mugabe regime. We know that the perpetrators of this crime will walk free while
Kaguru’s family and all the people of Zimbabwe mourn yet another precious
Zimbabwean opposition dreams to take over power:
Xinhuanet 2003-06-05 01:56:29
HARARE, June 4 (Xinhuanet) --
Zimbabwean Vice President Simon
Muzenda said here on Wednesday the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) is misleading people to think it will
takeover power if President
Robert Mugabe leaves office.
Muzenda was speaking for the first time on the five-day mass protest
by the MDC this week to remove Mugabe from power.
"They talk of
removing President Mugabe, yet I am still
alive,"Muzenda told members of
farmers' organizations, "It appears they do
not know that Vice President
Muzenda is there."
The street protests called by the MDC have
flopped with the
situation returning to normal in the country's major centers
Muzenda said the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was
dreaming if the
thought he could remove Mugabe through street
"A person sleeps at his home and dreams that President
be out of State House by tomorrow," he said.
"There are a lot of people who dream, but you can not dream of
president just like that," he said.
The third day of the five-day
Zimbabwe opposition MDC mass protests
to remove President Mugabe from power
passed on Wednesdaywithout any street
continued with their duties as usual and there was
nothing to show the
protests that were supposed to start on Mondayhad taken
Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said the general situation inthe
country was quiet with shops, schools, banks and businesses opened,
people to go about their daily chores.
He said law enforcement
agents remained on the ground to ensurehuman
At least 320 have been arrested since Monday for trying
disorder and would be charged under the Public and Order Security
Who has been pushed now, asks Mugabe
04, 2003, 18:30
Zimbabwe's capital Harare is
slowly getting back to normal as
mass action called by the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
showed signs of losing momentum. More
than 200 opposition leaders and
supporters have been arrested since Monday
for their role in organising the
Business activity was slowly regaining pace in central Harare
industrial sites with an estimated 40% of businesses opening as
used all in its power from military to legal options to thwart
In an exclusive interview with the SABC in Harare
said there was no way the MDC was going to remove his
government by force.
Mugabe said the MDC had been rejecting advice from Thabo
Mbeki, the South
African President, and Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigerian
leader, not to engage
in acts of violence to overthrow the
The opposition is convinced more people could
have turned onto
the streets had the government not unleashed the police and
the army which
are maintaining a heavy presence on the capital's roads and
suburbs. Mugabe regrets the measures, but says they are
necessary to keep
The mass action is scheduled
to end Friday, but midway through
Mugabe is still comfortably in charge.
Senior MDC activist arrested in Harare
June 04, 2003, 16:45
A Zimbabwean human rights activist,
who is regarded as the
number two in the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), has been
arrested in Harare. Tendai Bithi, a well-known
Zimbabwean human rights
lawyer, was apprehended together with scores of other
Terry Bell, a Cape Town freelance journalist,
says Bithi was
initially charged under the Public Information
Today is the third day of a five-day strike called by
and other opposition groups. Businesses are gradually re-opening,
witnesses say soldiers have been going door to door ordering them to do
The government earlier threatened to withdraw their licences if
remained closed during the strike.
Homesick Zim exiles long for Mugabe to
June 04 2003 at 04:14AM
Whenever Zimbabwean dissident Philemon Moyo and his wife
Ncube hear from their deeply troubled homeland, they
The couple, who now live in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, had to
two children with Ncube's family in Zimbabwe when they fled in
fear of their
They said the situation had made it
difficult for them to live there
as members of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).
'Most of us supporters were tortured
and had to flee'
"We really would have loved to work for our country
and contribute to
the economy for the benefit of our children and everyone.
We settled here
after the war veterans burned our home and threatened our
lives," said Moyo,
sitting on his bed in a flat they share with three other
Moyo said he lost his job in Zimbabwe when he came to
South Africa. He
is now unemployed and survives by delivering goods for
people using his car.
"If (Zimbabwean President Robert) Mugabe can
step down, I would not
hesitate to go home the same day. I do miss home, but
I can't go there when
there is that political turmoil.
us (MDC) supporters were tortured and had to flee.
that if the MDC can govern the country, he would go to
jail for his
Ncube was more concerned about Zimbabwean women and
faced the same problems of rape and abuse they had fled from in
homeland, and were more at risk in other countries because families
were split up.
"Most of the families were broken up when
their spouses fled to other
countries for better lives," she said.
Action divides Zimbabwe press
week's anti-government protests and strikes continue in
Zimbabwe, the press
is split predictably along political lines.
newspapers excoriate the opposition, accusing it
of being a puppet of foreign
interests, those backing the Movement for
Democratic Change call for an end
to repression and the removal of President
following are quotes from today's editions of the two main
opposition Daily News and the pro-government Herald, as well as
from the most
recent issues of the Zimbabwe Independent, a weekly critical
government, and the pro-government Sunday
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".
Looking at the Zimbabwean scenario, the most frightening thing at the
moment is not the rape, torture, detentions and harassment. It is
of the majority in the face of an unprecedented dictatorship in
of this country. It is the "grumbling in our bedrooms" type of
cannot change anything in this country and that gives the lie
is all right... We have nothing to lose but the shackles and
fetters of this
Clifford Mazodze in Daily
In this final showdown, it is imperative for [opposition leader
Tsvangirai... to directly send a message to the army and police. He
them to disobey an illegitimate government and protect the people,
now when the whirlwind of change is promising the dawn of a new
accountability, the rule of law and good governance.
After both sides have flexed their muscles, it looks increasingly
both could yet return to where they should have started from:
table... 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
There is a palpable fear of challenging Mugabe as leader of the
Observers say Mugabe is keen to retire but faces roadblocks mounted
in his party who benefited from his system of patronage and are not
about their future. Mugabe is no longer his own man. He is under
those who committed heinous crimes... For all practical purposes
national issue for which Zanu-PF needs Mugabe is to deal with the
MDC. On all
other issues he is simply lost. To his captors all we can say
is, in the name
of God let the man go.
The British Government has exposed its hidden hand behind the ongoing
action organised by its various fronts.
Monday marked the beginning of what MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and
Western handlers hoped would be a week of mass demonstrations tailored
topple the democratically elected government of President Robert
Well, that did not happen and once again Tsvangirai was left with egg
face. His Western handlers, who we understand poured billions of
into the futile exercise, must be particularly red in the face...
inability of the British and their local kith and kin to learn
experience never ceases to amaze us. Their amnesia is so acute that it
them look absolutely ridiculous.
The imperialists want to recolonise Third World countries by using
control". The so-called opposition parties and leaders are used to
their own countries by claiming to be democratic in their
activities. In the real sense, they are stooges or puppets of the
Western governments are happy to see conflicts in developing
Dr John Shumba Mvundura, Zimbabwean Ambassador to Libya,
It is our view that the final push will not succeed in pushing the
government and its leader from power. But it is also our firm
belief that the
MDC has a chance to meaningfully contribute to the
resolution of the
country's political and economic crisis. It can only do so
fundamental issues on the table and not by exacerbating the
the pursuit of zero-sum tactics that seek to obfuscate them.
BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects
translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and
Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.
June 3, 2003
African American Letter to President
Robert Mugabe Condemns Political
Repression in Zimbabwe
Union Officials, Africa Advocacy Groups and Church organizations
African diplomatic intervention and an unconditional dialogue
Zimbabweans to create a transition to democratic rights for
Tuesday, June 3, 2003 (Washington, DC) - Progressive leaders
African American organizations, trade unions, church and
today released an open letter to Zimbabwean President, Robert
oppose the political repression underway in that
Highlighting long historical ties to the independence movements
the signators described the current crackdown on political
"in complete contradiction of the values and principles that
were both the
foundation of your liberation struggle and of our solidarity
The letter to Mugabe follows a process over the
past several months where
progressive African Americans have held a series of
representatives of the Zimbabwean government and of Zimbabwean
both here in the U.S. and in Zimbabwe. The group concluded that
it is time
that African American progressives make a public statement on
deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe that so negatively affects the people
that proud country with whom the signatories have stood in solidarity
Africa Action executive director, Salih Booker, said
today that "We have a
responsibility to our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe
to state clearly
where we stand. And we stand for human rights and against
the repression of
the Mugabe regime directed against Zimbabwe's African
The full text of the letter and the list of signatories are
June 3, 2003
OPEN LETTER TO ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT
Dear President Mugabe,
We are writing today to
implore you to seek a peaceful and just solution to
your country's escalating
national crisis. Those signed below are Americans
of Africa descent - many of
them representing major organizations of civil
society in the United States -
who have worked for decades to support the
liberation movements of Africa and
the governments that followed
independence which promoted and protected the
interests of all of their
nation's people. We form part of an honorable
tradition of progressive
solidarity with the struggles for decolonization,
and against apartheid and
imperialism in Africa.
We have strong
historical ties to the liberation movements in Zimbabwe,
material and political support, as well as opposition to U.S.
policies that supported white minority rule. In independent
Zimbabwe we have
sought to maintain progressive ties with the political
party and government
that arose from the freedom struggle. At the same time
our progressive ties
have grown with institutions of civil society,
especially the labor movement,
women's organizations, faith communities,
human rights organizations,
students, the independent media and progressive
intellectuals. In Zimbabwe
today, all of our relations and our deep empathy
and understanding of events
there require that we stand in solidarity with
those feeling the pain and
suffering caused by the abuse of their rights,
violence and intolerance,
economic deprivation and hunger, and landlessness
We do not need to recount here the details of the
repressive and violent policies of your government
over the past 3 years,
nor the devastating consequences of those policies.
The use of repressive
legislation does not, in our respectful view, render
justifiable or moral, because of their presumed "legality". We
long tradition of opposition to unjust laws. We have previously
your representative in Washington, DC, our humanitarian concerns
impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Zimbabwe as well as that of the
triggered by the recent southern African drought and exacerbated by
economic policies and food distribution practices of your government.
have shared our concerns that land redistribution in Zimbabwe be used
fight the poverty of the majority and not to promote the narrow interests
another minority. But most of all, we have communicated clearly that we
the political repression underway in Zimbabwe as intolerable and in
contradiction of the values and principles that were both the
your liberation struggle and of our solidarity with that
Today, Mr. President we call upon yourself and those among the
who truly value democracy, and wish to protect the future of all
Zimbabwe's citizens to take extraordinary steps to end your
political crisis and place it upon a path toward peace. We ask that
initiate an unconditional dialogue with the political opposition in
and representatives of civil society aimed at ending this impasse.
upon you to seek the diplomatic intervention of appropriately
African states and institutions, particularly South Africa and
SADC and the African Union, to assist in the mediation of
Mr. President, the non-violent civil
disobedience that is growing in your
country - such as that which took place
on Mother's day in Bulawayo - is
increasingly met with police brutality and
excessive force. Such trends in
the abuse of human rights are not only
unacceptable, they are threats to
your country's stability and they are
undermining the economic and political
development your people desire and
deserve. We believe that a peaceful
solution is possible for Zimbabwe if you
find a way to work with others in
and outside of your government to create an
effective process for a
transition to a more broadly supported government
upholding the democratic
rights of all.
Sincerely yours in
William Lucy, President, Coalition of Black Trade
Willie Baker, Executive Vice President, Coalition of Black
Salih Booker, Executive Director, Africa
Bill Fletcher, Jr., President, TransAfrica
Horace G. Dawson Jr., Director Ralph J. Bunche International
Patricia Ann Ford, Executive
Vice President, Service Employees International
Julianne Malveaux, TransAfrica Forum Board
Rev Justus Y. Reeves, Executive Director Missions Ministry,
National Baptist Convention
Black Radical Congress
Tatchell urges South Africa to switch off Zimbabwe electricity
Wednesday 4 June, 2003 12:12 | More from this date | Today's
Gay human rights
activist Peter Tatchell and Labour MEP Michael
Cashman are to meet with the
South African High Commissioner to the UK,
Lindiwe Mabuza, in an attempt urge
the country's government to cut its
electricity supplies to
Tatchell and Cashman believe that such a measure would
pressure on Zimbabwe's President Mugabe to restore democracy and end
human rights violations.
The pair say they will remind the
High Commissioner at the meeting on
Friday that during the apartheid era, the
ANC urged the international
community to exert economic pressure against the
then racist South African
"The demise of the
apartheid regime was aided by economic sanctions,"
"The South African government should use its economic
support the struggle for democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe,
in the same
way that other countries helped pressure the apartheid government
of FW de
Klerk to agree to black majority rule."
Mr Cashman, a
member of the European Parliament, is being enlisted to
lobby the European
Union to compensate South Africa for any loss of revenue
caused by halting
power supplies to Zimbabwe.
"South Africa cannot be expected to
bear the financial burden of
cutting off the power to Zimbabwe. It is a
international responsibility and
rich member states of the EU should agree to
cover any financial losses
suffered by South Africa," said Mr
Zimbabwe depends on South Africa as a major power
electricity from South Africa, economic meltdown would
follow and the Mugabe
regime would collapse within weeks. Already, there are
regular power cuts
that cause havoc to the Zimbabwe economy. Many factories
are operating at
only half capacity.
The curtailment of
electricity from South Africa would cause massive
disruption but would not be
sufficient to jeopardise water supplies, medical
care and other essential
Hopefully, the mere threat by South Africa to cut power
be sufficient to force Mugabe to the negotiating table or to
prompt a coup
The new campaign, Switch off Mugabe's
Power, is being organised by
Tatchell, who says he has the backing of
opposition activists inside
Zimbabwe and of Zimbabwean exiles and refugees in
Britain and South Africa.
Concerned Zimbabweans Abroad, the main Zimbabwean
exile group, which is
based in Johannesburg, is planning protests to support
the Switch Off
Mugabe's Power campaign.
"When South Africa
threatened to switch off Rhodesia's power in the
late 1970s, it forced Ian
Smith's white minority government to agree to
black majority rule," said Mr
"The mere threat to cut the electricity supply worked
then, and it can
work now. President Mbeki's government has the power to
force the Mugabe
regime to halt its human rights violations and to restore
Zimbabwe currently owes South Africa at least $US16
million for power
imports, and this debt is rising rapidly as Zimbabwe
defaults on payments.
Strike cripples Zimbabwe for third day
2003 at 11:51AM
By Stella Mapenzauswa
Harare - A strike
called by Zimbabwe's main opposition against President
Robert Mugabe kept
most banks, businesses and factories shut for a third day
despite official threats to punish companies that fail to open.
maintained tight security in Harare two days after they used tear
and warning shots to disperse thousands of opposition Movement
Change (MDC) protesters trying to hold marches around
State radio reported that the government was auditing
which businesses were
closed on Wednesday, and would begin procedures to
strip them of their
Nevertheless, most shops and factories
in Harare kept their doors shut,
while only a handful of banks were
Some commuter transport operators put their vehicles back on the
albeit in small numbers.
The situation was similar in the
country's second city of Bulawayo, where
witnesses said officials forced some
banks to open - despite the fact they
had little cash to
"But most shops are closed. I would say only 10 percent of the
working," said one Bulawayo resident.
Harare's High Court was
expected to continue hearing a bid by state lawyers
to muzzle MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai as his supporters vowed to push ahead
with protests that
the government describes as an illegal attempt to
Prosecutors want the High Court to tighten bail
conditions on Tsvangirai and
two other senior MDC leaders - all currently on
trial for allegedly plotting
to kill Mugabe - by barring them from "inciting
the public to engage in
unlawful activities and illegal
Defence lawyers argued on Tuesday that the government is
a gag order which would give it an unfair political
advantage over the
Tsvangirai is legally challenging
Mugabe's victory in 2002 presidential
elections, which both the opposition
and several Western countries say were
fraught with poll
The MDC launched the protests and work boycotts on Monday
as a "final push"
to oust the 79-year-old leader, in power since independence
from Britain in
1980, on the grounds that his mismanagement has left
Zimbabwe's economy in
The MDC said it had received reports
that police and army officers attacked
the homes of several of its
councillors in Harare on Tuesday night, beating
were not immediately available for comment.
Some personal accounts
Email from Zim:
I've just received an SMS from a friend who lectures at
University of Zimbabwe:
"3 students killed and dozens injured at
the UZ during a midnight raid"
Will send any other details if/when I get
From a contributor who wishes to remain anonymous:
ARE YOU AWARE that one
reason we are short of cash is because people are going out into the mining
areas at night with their sedan car boots stuffed with cash notes for buying
gold for private deals?
HOW DO YOU feel when you
hear that the people who are maiking huge amounts of money out of trading forex
are now making more by selling back their huge amounts of money back to the
banks at $700 for $500.
From someone working for USAid
Apparently a group of "you
know who" just went to the Avenues Clinic to
harass people visiting the
injured or the injured themselves. One of our
staff was there and had to
escape saying he was a doctor. The amount of
injured people there is just
hard to believe. Awful ...
Perhaps you could write to TWA (Tim Wooten
Auctioneers) asking if it is totally necessary to have house and car sales this
week, selling amongst other things, 'painted ostrich eggs' and 'good ceramics'
when approx 500 have been arrested and many more others shot and
wounded....including a pregnant woman etc. etc. etc. I can't e mail them
because they know me ... By the way, most
of Chisipite and Kamfinsa are open today - what are we going to do about
West's 'hypocrisy' slammed
04/06/2003 18:51 -
Harare - The Zimbabwe government on Wednesday accused Western
hypocrisy, alleging they were supporting acts of "hooliganism"
opposition while criticising the government for trying to enforce the
Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge told 65 foreign diplomats
Zimbabwe that the authorities had been justified in using force to
series of anti-government marches which began on Monday, insisting
protests were illegal.
Mudenge said the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) had
"willfully decided to ignore" a court order which
the government had
obtained at the weekend to ban the planned five-day mass
strike and street
demonstrations, aimed at ousting President Robert Mugabe
He said the government would have failed in its duty to
uphold the rule of
law if it had stood by and watched the MDC defy the court
"It is therefore disturbing that some Western governments have
MDC's lawlessness and hooliganism by criticising the government
upholding the rule of law," he said.
"This exposes the hypocrisy
and double standards of these external
financiers and handlers of the
He lashed out at the recent Group of Eight summit of powerful
voicing concern on Tuesday over the violent crackdown by state
against opposition activists in Zimbabwe.
"It is regrettable that the G8 summit has seen it fit to
government's efforts to maintain law and order while
the illegal act of the MDC and the many incidents of
violence perpetrated by
the opposition in its attempts to overthrow a legally
by violent means," Mudenge said.
Scores of MDC
supporters and university students have been assaulted and two
have been shot
and injured in clashes with security forces since the start
The MDC said security officials had been raiding
the homes of some of its
officials and indiscriminately assaulting the
Mudenge said the country's security forces had "shown
alertness in a provocative situation" and would not allow
Mugabe to be
removed from power by force.
"Let no one suffer from any
illusions that the people of Zimbabwe, as well
as the forces of law and
order, will ever tolerate the removal of a legally
elected government by
force. That will not happen," he told the diplomats.
He went on to say
Zimbabwe was ready to normalise relations with any country
co-operate with us".
Relations between Zimbabwe and former colonial power
Britain have soured
because of their disagreements over Mugabe's
controversial land reform
programme and Harare has accused Britain of
bank-rolling the MDC.
activist with Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change writes a
diary for BBC News Online of the week-long protests intended to drive President
Robert Mugabe out of power.
Students threw stones to keep police at bay (Pic:
Wednesday 4 June
1400: Some students are returning to check what is happening on campus -
there is very little activity.
The students union leadership and activist committees are to hold review
meetings today and agree on the course to take tomorrow.
No lectures are taking place and vehicle and public movement is limited in
The authorities are still denying or withholding information if there is
anyone who had died. 1100: The situation remains calm with whistle-blowing over
There are no lectures.
The police, CIO (secret police) and military intelligence officials have been
interrogating students about a list of hunted activists.
Tuesday 3 June
There is a heavy presence of plainclothes police and intelligence officers.
The police responded with tear
Hundreds of students, especially women, have vacated university going home.
Thousands of students mill around campus blowing whistles.
There are no lectures the whole day.
Monday 2 June
1800: Student union leaders inform us that more than 40 students have been
admitted at Parirenyatwa hospital.
One is in the intensive care unit, activists report that three students are
Eight million need food aid
Shortages of petrol, bread, sugar
Inflation over 200%
Opposition complains of persecution
They reject last year's elections
Police, hospital officials and university authorities deny any knowledge
1300 until evening: Police fire tear gas canisters straight into halls of
residences to flush out students and then beat them up.
1215: Police increase reinforcements, they bring in two water cannon to
disrupt another student gathering.
Armed soldiers fire live ammunition into the air.
Soldiers backed by police, CIO and local security begin door-to-door searches
for known MDC activists and student leaders.
1200: An army helicopter flies overhead, sending students into panic and
running in different directions.
Students called again to regroup, there are 120 student marshals who are
controlling the students and telling them how to march.
Students march and are blocked by police who start firing tear gas canisters,
blank shots, stun grenades and live ammunition into the air.
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Students manage to overcome the police, who call for reinforcements.
0930-1030: Up to 9,000 students gather outside the Students' Union buildings,
singing and blowing whistles.
Student leaders and ex-student leaders address the students who unanimously
vote to participate in the march to State House (President Mugabe's residence).
Students then agree to start the march towards town, heading to meet others
on their way to State House.
The union votes to suspend all lectures for the whole week.
0800: Students begin toyi-toying (militaristic jogging on the spot while
chanting) and singing anti-Mugabe songs.
The students' council had notified students of a general meeting to decide
how students were going to contribute in the action for national survival.
Police Hit Hard At Protestors
June 4, 2003
Posted to the web June 4,
Dumisani Muleya And Sarah
Zimbabwean police fired tear gas into
classrooms to flush out a frightened
group of people seeking refuge at Warren
Park Primary School in Harare
Police descended on
the group queuing to buy newspapers, who fled to hide in
Witnesses said choking children and adults ran into the road to
Late yesterday police and troops were patrolling Harare on the
second day of
a national strike against President Robert Mugabe as the Group
nations called for calm, the European Union urged Zimbabweans to
from violence and the United Nations urged the state to respect the
Throughout Zimbabwe businesses were closed and armed
police and troops
manned roadblocks. As the five-day mass action campaign,
opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and several
continued most cities and towns were almost paralysed. Harare was hit
Only government offices were open.
More than 150 MDC officials
and supporters have been arrested. Yesterday
morning the MDC's central office
in Harare said a group of 30 arrested in
Masvingo on Monday were being denied
access to lawyers and food.
The MDC mayor of Masvingo, Engineer Chaimiti,
said late yesterday that only
four of those arrested had been charged and
were to appear in court.
The MDC said that in Kwekwe the police chief
ordered the eviction of all MDC
supporters from the municipal area. Police
denied this, saying they were
following a court order banning protest. In
Gweru, where 46 were arrested.
Lawyer Reginald Chidawanyika said: "It is most
frustrating. Most of my
clients are being forced to pay admission of guilt
fines even before they
have been charged."
Human rights publication
Sokwanele Enough is Enough said in its internet
newsletter that police and
intelligence officers were visiting businessmen
at their homes around the
country, and threatening them with steps like
cancellation of licences after
they closed their businesses.
The MDC said 2500 Zanu (PF) militia were
camping in the grounds of Zanu (PF)
headquarters in Harare. They were moving
around Harare, "harassing people in
the streets. It seems they are working
together with the police."
Attempts to contact police spokesman Wayne
Bvudzijena yesterday were
Economist John Robertson said
mass action would harm the economy, but
political stalemate was the real
problem. "Very little, if any, production
is taking place. The economy can't
recover lost production, and that means
it will succumb to further
Economists said mass action combined with fuel and
would force many firms to close, reduce operations or
retrench in the short
to medium term. Unemployment and poverty would
Zimbabwean troops beat man to death in bid to end
By Basildon Peta Southern Africa Correspondent
Zimbabwean soldiers beat an opposition supporter to death
yesterday as a
government crackdown intensified on the third day of a
national strike aimed
at toppling President Robert Mugabe.
Zimbabwean shops and businesses remained shut yesterday in defiance of
threat from President Mugabe to seize businesses taking part in
largest-ever protests against his rule. He is also threatening to
expatriate businessmen and workers who defy his orders to return to
The main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change
Mugabe agents yesterday raided a private hospital and abducted
its injured supporters who were awaiting treatment. The MDC said
opposition supporter, Tichaona Kaguru, died in hospital after being
and assaulted by the soldiers putting down the anti-Mugabe
Zimbabwean business leaders told The Independent that they had
orders to stop taking part in the week-long protest or risk losing
They said expatriate businessmen and workers had
been told their work
permits would be withdrawn and risked deportation if
they continued to take
part in the strike which has paralysed
The MDC called the strike to force Mr Mugabe to either resign
or negotiate a
settlement of the Zimbabwe crisis.
said they had been told by Ministry of Industry and Trade
officers from Mr Mugabe's spy agency, the Central Intelligence
that the order for them to reopen had been issued by Mr Mugabe
were told they would pay a heavy price for heeding the MDC
The businessmen said that although they had largely defied Mr
order, some of their frightened colleagues had started reopening and
parts of the industrial areas and some shops in Harare had started
yesterday afternoon, albeit with skeleton staff. This was largely
soldiers and youth militias who had patrolled the industrial areas
any business owners they could find to open.
said that they were not sure whether many more businesses
would reopen today
or maintain their defiance of Mr Mugabe. "We are living
in a fascist state
and sometimes it calls for pragmatism for survival ... We
said one businessman.
Zimbabwe was closed on Monday and Tuesday and for
the greater part of
yesterday as the country responded to the MDC's call to
strike against Mr
Although people could not take to the
streets in large numbers because of
the excessive use of force by the Mugabe
regime, they further crippled
Zimbabwe's collapsing economy by heeding the
opposition call not to work.
But eyewitnesses said there was pandemonium
at the Avenues Clinic, the
largest private clinic to treat opposition
supporters hurt in the
anti-Mugabe demonstrations. They said uniformed police
entered the clinic
and asked people in the out-patients' ward and others
standing near the
reception area to lie down. Many were savagely beaten. They
said the police
officers also entered various private wards at the clinic and
Edwin Mushoriwa, an opposition official who was
seeking treatment at the
clinic, saw seven men and women being abducted and
taken into vans waiting
Paul Themba Nyathi, an MDC spokesman,
said the Avenues Clinic was being
targeted because it was treating opposition
supporters. He said that the
whereabouts of those abducted from the hospital
were still unknown.
The MDC largely refrains from sending its supporters
to state hospitals and
clinics because of fears they might be killed
Staff at the clinic refused to comment on the incident but a
was at the clinic said he had seen "hell".
spokesman said he had not yet received any report on the death of
opposition supporter or on the incident at the clinic. The opposition
said that it now feared the worst after hearing that Mr Mugabe has
soldiers to move from door to door in the overcrowded townships and
anyone who failed to report for work from today onwards.
The MDC claims
that hundreds of its supporters have been severely beaten by
soldiers and army during the protests. Stan Mudenge, the Foreign
has reportedly justified the government action against the strike
foreign diplomats based in Harare yesterday that no government
any "illegal" protest.
Zimbabwe strike appears to 'crumble'
Published: June 4 2003 17:05 | Last Updated: June 4 2003
Signs that the planned week-long protest designed to
President Robert Mugabe to step down was beginning to
apparent on Wednesday afternoon.
and offices in Harare and its suburbs opened their doors,
but in the
industrial sites most factories remained closed.
There was a
noticeable increase in the level of traffic on the roads,
transport whilst more schools opened.
However, one businessman
warned against concluding that the strike was
collapsing, saying his
employees had said that protest action would be
"stepped up" ahead of the
Harare city centre remained relatively quiet and tense,
dressed in smart new blue fatigues loitering on street
corners. According to
passers by, these men were "BGs" youth militia from the
Border Gezi camps
that have been drafted into the capital to boost security.
Mr Border Gezi,
who died two years ago, was the Zanu-PF minister initially
the establishment of the pro-government militia.
In Bulawayo, the country's second largest city, the strike appeared to
holding, although there too there was some increase business activity.
Bulawayo businessman estimated that some 10 per cent of businesses
Some businessmen said they had been
"intimidated" into re-opening,
following threats by government ministers to
cancel the business licenses of
firms that closed for the strike. But both
Jimmy Sanders, the president of
the Zimbabwe National Chambers of Commerce
and Anthony Mandiwanza, president
of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries
said they had not heard of any
businesses being forced to open.
In Bulawayo, the independent Daily News reported that banks and
societies had been forced to open by the police. The newspaper gave
of police vehicles and personnel involved in the campaign.
Mbengegwi, Zimbabwe's industry minister said foreigners "were
permits to work, not to close"
On Wednesday, the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change reported
the second casualty of the mass
action campaign. It said that a party
activist Tichaona Kaguru had died in
hospital from injuries he sustained on
Monday night after he and an MDC
councillor were "assaulted and tortured".
The two were apparently "left for
dead and dumped" near Circle Cement plant
at Mabvuku, 10 miles from Harare.
They were taken to hospital by
well-wishers on Tuesday.
state media had reported that a Zanu-PF activist had been
stabbed and stoned
to death by 50 MDC supporters.
The MDC said "scores of people" had
been injured and assaulted in
night raids by men in police and army uniforms.
It said the injured had been
taken to a private clinic in Harare for
treatment. Heavily armed police
raided the clinic at midday to question and
arrest some of the injured
people, it added.