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

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Govt lashes out as protests spread
Staff writers
ARBITRARY arrests, assaults, torture, and general intimidation of the public
have characterised government's response to this week's mass action, reports
yesterday revealed. But the Movement for Democratic Change which is
spearheading the protests said it was "winning against the dictator".

It has called on its supporters to "rise up in your millions" today, the
last day of the nationwide mass action, designated "D-Day".

Legal umbrella group Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights reported the
detention of individuals by police without adequate suspicion of an offence,
cases of torture and other mistreatment of detainees, squalid conditions in
police cells, and a refusal to cooperate with lawyers representing those

"The conditions are shocking and inhuman which violate the constitution and
international instruments that the government has signed and ratified," the
legal group said.

By yesterday two people had been confirmed dead while more than 500 had been
arrested since Monday. Hundreds of others have been injured. People seeking
assistance at the Avenues Clinic complained of police harassment on
Wednesday and yesterday.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena yesterday confirmed that two people had
died in the crackdown.

Amon Nyadongo (41) of Mbare was stoned to death on Monday near Gwanzura
stadium in Highfield as uniformed forces clashed with protesters. An MDC
official, Tichaona Kaguru, died after being allegedly abducted and tortured
by government security agents.

Kaguru was allegedly abducted by 40 armed soldiers together with Harare City
councillor Sydney Mazaranhanga before he was assaulted and left to die at a
police clinic in Chikurubi.

The sweeping attacks and arrests targeted MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai,
senior party officials, MPs and supporters.

In Harare's city centre Zanu PF's rag-tag army of youths - some of them
barefoot - terrorised people at random and tore up copies of independent
newspapers. There were reports of youths robbing pedestrians of cellphones
and cash. Police were seen on Tuesday giving youths who had torn up papers a
lecture before letting them go.

Security forces tried to prevent those injured from receiving treat-ment. On
Wednesday, they stormed Avenues Clinic where many victims had been admitted
and abducted one person. Over 58 people had been treated, hospital staff

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights condemned police and
army violence against civilians.

"We are concerned that the heavy presence and intimidating behaviour of the
uniformed forces in hospital premises will prevent patients from accessing
treatment," it said.

In Gweru lawyers representing arrested MDC supporters were harassed by the
police while patrons at Portugal Restaurant along Samora Machel Avenue in
Harare were beaten up by soldiers on Tuesday night.

The following night soldiers were reported as moving from house to house in
Chitungwiza and Highfield beating up residents suspected of being linked to
the opposition.

The security forces used teargas, baton sticks and in some cases live
bullets during their crackdown on opposition demonstrators earlier this
week. Highfield and Glen View residents and university students were
attacked and beaten by riot police and the army.

Crisis in Zimbabwe, a coalition of civic groups, said it was concerned about
the violent suppression of the mass action.

"Across the country, students, pro-democracy activists, and those suspected
of organising or supporting the mass action have been targeted for arrest
and have been subjected to police brutality," it said.

Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge on Wednesday summoned diplomats based
in Harare to a meeting at the President's Office where he defended the use
of force to suppress peaceful mass action.

Some senior diplomats who attended the meeting expressed concern at the
repressive tactics of government.

Australian High Commissioner Jonathan Brown told the meeting that "the
people of Zimbabwe have a right to peaceful protest and this should be

The Japanese ambassador, Tsu-neshige Iiyama, said freedom ofassociation was
important in de-mocratic systems.

French ambassador Didier Ferrand rejected Mudenge's claims that Paris used
coercion and banned protests during this week's G8 summit at Evian.

In an aside, German ambassador Peter Schmidt said in his country people did
not need police approval to demonstrate. - Staff Writers.

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Interim war vets leadership wants Chinotimba probed
Blessing Zulu
THE interim leadership of the war veterans' association has said Joseph
Chinotimba must be vetted again to ascertain his liberation war credentials,
the Zimbabwe Independent has established.

Chinotimba riled the national war veterans' leadership when he vied for the
contentious chairmanship.

The war veterans this year announced that President Robert Mugabe would be
their honorary chairman. Chinotimba was subsequently suspended as chairman
of Harare province by the Patrick Nyaruwata-led national executive which has
written to the Ministry of Defence, the parent ministry of the war veterans,
to investigate Chinotimba's war record. They have proposed the setting up of
an inter-ministerial committee to probe Chinotimba.

Nyaruwata, who took over in an acting capacity when Chenjerai Hunzvi died in
2001, confirmed the letter but refused to discuss the matter further.

"The letter has been written to the Defence ministry," said Nyaruwata.

"The suspension still stands but we have given Chinotimba some work to do
this week. We will re-visit the issue again next week. This week we do not
want such issues to distract us (from dealing with mass action)," said

Chinotimba is accused by the war veterans leaders of gross indiscipline
after he campaigned to challenge President Mugabe for the chairmanship.

Chinotimba this week told the Independent he was still the chairman of
Harare province.

"Those people cannot 're-vet' me, they are talking rubbish," he said.

"I do not want to talk about that in the press, I am a party sympathiser. I
am still the chairman of Harare province. I do not know whom they chased. I
do not know where these people are coming from," said an irate Chinotimba.

This is not the first time that war veterans have questioned the credentials
of Chinotimba. In August 2001 his colleagues in the war veterans'
association told the Independent that they had no knowledge of Chinotimba's
war record. The war veterans said Chinotimba crossed into Mozambique in late
1979 as a refugee.

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Kangai sues Chiyangwa
Vincent Kahiya / Shakeman Mugari
IN a case likely to cause a major stir within the ranks of Zanu PF,
Manicaland party stalwart Kumbirai Kangai is suing Mashonaland West party
chairman Philip Chiyangwa for $100 million for claiming that the former
minister was illegally exporting sugar.

The defamation suit stems from press reports in 2000 which quoted Chiyangwa,
in his capacity as National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) chairman, as
saying the government had been prejudiced of up to $500 million because of
illegal exports of sugar facilitated by permits issued by Kangai, who was
then Agriculture minister.

Party insiders this week said the Zanu PF leadership was not amused by
Chiyangwa's use of the NECF to arrest senior government officials on charges
of corruption in 2000.

"It's payback time and Chiyangwa should stand up to defend not only his
political integrity but also that of the NECF anti-corruption taskforce," a
party official said this week.

Chiyangwa in 2000 also alleged that Kangai was involved in siphoning $228
million from the Grain Marketing Board resulting in the arrest of the former
minister on fraud and corruption charges. Kangai has since been acquitted of
the charge. No formal charges have been laid against Kangai in the illegal
sugar exports case.

Kangai's lawyer, Jonathan Sam-kange of Byron & Venturas, last October wrote
to Chiyangwa indicating the former Agriculture minister's intention to sue
for damages.

"You falsely and maliciously, with the intention of defaming our client,
claimed that the NECF was investigating the circumstances under which
permits to export sugar were issued by the Minister of Agriculture, alleging
that the tender process was abused to benefit certain government officials,"
the letter said.

"Our client's reputation was severely impaired by the above defamatory
allegations in view of the fact that he has been a minister and a member of
parliament for the past 22 years," it said.

Chiyangwa did not respond to the letter of demand and Samkange said he would
proceeds to issue summons.

Contacted this week, Chiyangwa said he was aware of the lawsuit.

"You are the third journalist in two years to phone me on such a case. There
has been talk to that effect. I will respond when the papers are served on
me," he said.

"I might be prepared to take action but without papers the case is just a
rumour. How can I prepare for a case that has to been put to me?" he said

Kangai's was the first case since Independence in which a senior Zanu PF
official and government minister stood trial for corruption. Kangai was one
of the eight founding members of Dare reChimurenga, Zanu's supreme council
formed in 1973 to spearhead the liberation war.

Vincent Kahiya / Shakeman Mugari

IN a case likely to cause a major stir within the ranks of Zanu PF,
Manicaland party stalwart Kumbirai Kangai is suing Mashonaland West party
chairman Philip Chiyangwa for $100 million for claiming that the former
minister was illegally exporting sugar.

The defamation suit stems from press reports in 2000 which quoted Chiyangwa,
in his capacity as National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) chairman, as
saying the government had been prejudiced of up to $500 million because of
illegal exports of sugar facilitated by permits issued by Kangai, who was
then Agriculture minister.

Party insiders this week said the Zanu PF leadership was not amused by
Chiyangwa's use of the NECF to arrest senior government officials on charges
of corruption in 2000.

"It's payback time and Chiyangwa should stand up to defend not only his
political integrity but also that of the NECF anti-corruption taskforce," a
party official said this week.

Chiyangwa in 2000 also alleged that Kangai was involved in siphoning $228
million from the Grain Marketing Board resulting in the arrest of the former
minister on fraud and corruption charges. Kangai has since been acquitted of
the charge. No formal charges have been laid against Kangai in the illegal
sugar exports case.

Kangai's lawyer, Jonathan Sam-kange of Byron & Venturas, last October wrote
to Chiyangwa indicating the former Agriculture minister's intention to sue
for damages.

"You falsely and maliciously, with the intention of defaming our client,
claimed that the NECF was investigating the circumstances under which
permits to export sugar were issued by the Minister of Agriculture, alleging
that the tender process was abused to benefit certain government officials,"
the letter said.

"Our client's reputation was severely impaired by the above defamatory
allegations in view of the fact that he has been a minister and a member of
parliament for the past 22 years," it said.

Chiyangwa did not respond to the letter of demand and Samkange said he would
proceeds to issue summons.

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Poll-linked army officers redeployed
Dumisani Muleya
GOVERNMENT has removed key army officers who were running polls from the
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)'s offices in Harare ahead of
nationwide urban council elections after information on their activities was
leaked to the press.

Military sources said this week several army officers who were based at the
CIO's Hardwicke House offices along Samora Machel Avenue and other locations
were recently transferred after an army report accused them of leaking
details of their operations to the media.

"Some of the officers have been removed and were redeployed in other areas,"
a source said. "For example, I know one of them who ran elections from
Hardwicke House has been posted to Hwange."

Key officers who were based at Hardwicke House included a Major Sibindi from
KG VI army headquarters and a Major Kampira from the Presidential Guard

The officers were said to have been supervising events in the run-up to the
March Kuwadzana and Highfield by-elections won by the MDC.

Sources said the transfer of the army officers followed a report prepared by
the army after the Zimbabwe Independent published a story on January 3 which
revealed that the army was still running elections well after they assisted
with last year's poll which saw President Mugabe re-elected.

Mugabe's hotly-disputed win is currently the subject of a court challenge by
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Information on the transfer of military electoral officers comes hard on the
heels of recent reports in the Independent and other newspapers that the
army secretly supervised last year's widely-condemned presidential poll.

The reports were based on letters between Zimbabwe National Army commander
Lieutenant-General Constantine Chiwenga and Zimbabwe Defences Forces chief
General Vitalis Zvinavashe which indicated that security forces covertly
took control of the electoral machinery five days before the poll.

According to reports, 66 soldiers, including lieutenant colonels, captains,
majors, sergeants, corporals and warrant officers were deployed to manage
the presidential election.

Army officer Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba was appointed chief elections
officer during the poll, while the Electoral Supervisory Commission was
headed by Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, a retired military intelligence officer.

Nyikayaramba was at first described as retired but it was later discovered
he was still a serving officer.

The army has been showing signs of an increasingly partisan association with
the ruling party in the execution of its duties as statements this week
attest. Prior to the election, security chiefs declared they would not
support anyone elected as president if he did not have prescribed liberation
war credentials.

Before this week's mass action, the security forces again came out
threatening to crush MDC-engineered demonstrations.

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

No post-mortem for MDC activist
Blessing Zulu
THE body of Stephen Tonera, a former employee of opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) member of parliament Roy Bennett, still lies in the
mortuary two months after his death, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

Tonera was allegedly beaten to death by suspected state agents in
retribution against MDC supporters after the stayaway of March 18/19. The
incident took place on Bennett's Farm in Ruwa on March 20.

His body still lies at Harare Central Hospital mortuary awaiting a
post-mortem. Bennett said police must authorise a post-mortem.

"The pathologist must be contacted by the investigating officer for the
post-mortem to be carried out," Bennett said.

He also criticised the police for their delay in investigating the incident
and conducting the post-mortem.

"The post-mortem must occur. What kind of country do we live in if people
can be beaten to death with axe handles and logs and nothing happens?"
Bennett asked. "The police must stop delaying the investigation of this
case. Enough is enough, we are sick and tired of police inaction in the face
of political violence," he said.

Bennett said he had tried to seek assistance from deputy Minister of Home
Affairs Rugare Gumbo to expedite the arrest of the alleged murderers and the
performance of a post-mortem but to no avail. Gumbo said the issue was only
raised in parliament.

"It was only raised in parliament as a question," said Gumbo.

"I told Bennett that the police do not discriminate. That was as far as I
went but the right people to talk to on this issue are the police," he said.

Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, said the
police did not have any record of Tonera.

"I have checked with the police in Ruwa and hospitals in Harare and they all
say there is no such person. I doubt the authenticity of that report by
Bennett that the person was murdered," said Bvudzijena.

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Zim crisis hangs over Mbeki, Obasanjo after G8
Dumisani Muleya
SOUTH African President Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian counterpart Olusegun
Obasanjo have come under renewed pressure to confront the Zimbabwe crisis in
the aftermath of the G8 summit in Evian, France.

Although Mbeki and his African colleagues have claimed that the Zimbabwe
situation is not a test case for the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (Nepad), G8 leaders this week pressed them further to resolve
the issue.

British prime minister Tony Blair said the meeting of the world's most
industrialised nations, also attended by African leaders promoting Nepad,
discussed measures which Mbeki and Obasanjo are taking to address the

Mbeki and Oba-sanjo were in Zimbabwe last month to try and break the
political deadlock which lies at the heart of the economic crisis.

Briefing theHouse of Commons on Wednesday on the outcome of the G8 meeting
early this week, Blair said the Zimbabwe issue featured at the summit in the
context of Nepad.

"G8 leaders also took the opportunity to discuss with President Mbeki and
other African leaders the good progress we have made in partnership with
Nepad leaders over the last year in implementing the African Action Plan
launched in Kananaskis (during last year's G8 meeting in Canada)," he said.

"Consistent with this African-led initiative we discussed the steps they are
taking to resolve the current appalling crisis in Zimbabwe. We condemned the
action taken by the Zimbabwean authorities on Monday against their own
people and called on the Zimbabwean government to accept its citizens' right
to demonstrate against the regime peacefully."

In their communiqué, G8 leaders expressed concern at mounting repression in

South Africa has only made muted protests against human rights abuses in the
country, while Nigeria has said virtually nothing.

"We are concerned about reports of further violence by the authorities in
Zimbabwe against their own people," the G8 said.

"We called on the government of Zimbabwe to respect the right to peaceful
demonstration. Consistent with the fundamental principles of the Nepad
partnership, we welcomed the contribution of other African states to
promoting a peaceful resolution of the crisis and a prosperous and
democratic future for the people of Zimbabwe."

Although Nepad was supposed to take centre stage at the Evian summit, G8
leaders rebuffed French attempts to make concrete commitments.

Mbeki and his counterparts were reminded that good governance, not only in
their own countries but everywhere in Africa, was essential to make Nepad

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Zimbabwe appeals for more WFP aid
Augustine Mukaro
DESPITE President Robert Mugabe's continued attacks on Western countries,
the government has once again gone cap-in-hand to the international
community to fill the country's begging bowl.

The Zimbabwe Independent heard this week that the government has written to
the World Food Programme (WFP) to extend its humanitarian assistance to
Zimbabwe for another year as last season's harvest will not be enough to
feed the nation.

Most food donated to Zimbabwe through the WFP and other aid agencies - after
President Mugabe sent out an SOS last year - came from the United States and

Mugabe has persistently attacked the two countries for supporting the
opposition MDC and advancing an imperialist agenda in Zimbabwe.

The WFP is not a donor but mobilises resources from donors on behalf of
nations in distress.

The request comes at a time when the WFP was gradually scaling down its food
distribution programme, closing some of its sub-offices in preparation for a
complete pullout at the end of this month. The move has raised fears that
the closure could result in serious food shortages in districts of Masvingo,
Midlands, Mashonaland Central and Matabeleland which have experienced
complete crop failure.

The WFP confirmed having received a letter from the Public Service, Labour
and Social Welfare ministry on May 27, appealing for continued food

"The letter was signed on behalf of the Minister for Social Welfare," WFP
spokesperson Makena Walker told the Independent this week. "The request
paves way for WFP and other donors to commence strategising for assistance
to cover the 2003/4 season."

Walker said the WFP would not respond to government's request until the
United Nations approves their emergency operations proposal.

"We would prepare a project proposal giving details of the gravity of the
assistance needed for approval after which a consolidated appeal would be
launched," she said.

Diplomatic sources said chances of large-scale humanitarian assistance to
Zimbabwe were very slim considering the fact that a number of southern
African countries which experienced serious food shortages in the 2002/2003
season had realised a surplus in the current season.

Sources said donors were not likely to respond to the Zimbabwean appeal in
time because of commitments elsewhere and the current stand-off between
Harare and the international community.

UN assessors pointed out that the food situation in Zimbabwe was not likely
to improve within the next two seasons because of the prevailing land

Government projects maize production of 571 000 tonnes for the 2002/3 season
of which only 56 000 tonnes is expected to flow to the Grain Marketing

"The estimates mean that the country will have a 1,09 million-tonne deficit
for the 2003/4 marketing year," it says.

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Moyo's lawyers represent litigants against MDC
Staff Writers
LEGAL partners handling high-profile lawsuits against the Movement for
Democratic Change are also Information minister Jonathan Moyo's private

Muzangaza, Mandaza & Tomana are acting in civil suits by persons claiming to
have lost property during demonstrations and stayaways earlier this year.

In April the Department of Information and Publicity launched a campaign in
the print and electronic media encouraging members of the public whose
properties had been destroyed or damaged during stayaways to sue the

To date two suits have been filed against the MDC, the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions and the Daily News. In the first case, a Harare woman, Clarisa
Muchengeti, is suing the three parties for $5,5 million claiming her truck
was petrol-bombed during the March stayaway.

The other litigant is David Bello who is suing for $17 million in respect of
a minibus which was also petrol-bombed in the March stayaway. In the two
instances Moyo's personal lawyers are representing the litigants. More cases
are thought to be pending as the government encourages aggrieved parties to
resort to litigation.

Asked for comment, Johannes Tomana said the clients could have come through
former deputy Justice minister Paul Mangwana who one-and-a-half years ago
drew up a list of law firms which could represent government.

He said the clients could also have come of their own accord. "But since we
are not on the list of firms which were chosen by the (deputy) minister to
handle government cases, I believe people come to us like they would
approach any other firm," he said.

He said his firm did not have an agreement with the government neither did
it go through any tender process to represent the state.

"The fact that we have been listed for cases that are high profile does not
point to any political affiliation or agreement. We have taken such cases
like all the other cases," he said.

The law firm has represented the state in a number of cases including the
constitutional challenge to Aippa by the Independent Journalists Association
of Zimbabwe and a Supreme Court suit filed by the Daily News.

The firm also represented Moyo's wife Beatrice when she sued the Daily News
which earlier this year reproduced a story by the Sunday Times of South
Africa chronicling the Moyo family's alleged spending record in South

The law firm has also represented Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa in a
contempt of court case last year. Tomana was last year appointed by Moyo to
sit on the New Ziana Board.

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Mugabe's misrule ravages economy
Dumisani Muleya
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's rule is becoming increasingly costly and
politically unsustainable, analysts said this week in the wake of a five-day
In the past three months, Zimbabwe has been hit by three rolling mass
actions designed to force Mugabe to tackle the current economic and
political crisis or go.
The latest mass action, which ends today, started on Monday and has left
Zimbabwe's already prostrate economy profusely bleeding.
Since Monday most shops, banks, and factories around the country were
All towns were virtually paralysed with Harare - Zimbabwe's commercial hub -
being the most seriously affected.
The only offices in town that were working full time were those of the
government, which produce nothing of value.
If Mugabe remains as the millstone around the neck of business, the
political pressure will persist.
University of Zimbabwe business analyst Tony Hawkins says the situation has
become unsustainable.
"Clearly, the economy is continuing to decline and everything is going
backwards," he said. "The question now is for how long is government
prepared or able to allow the situation to continue like this?"
Hawkins said since the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
which organised the mass action, and the ruling Zanu PF were both not
prepared to give in, a negotiated settlement was the only way out.
Analysts say unless this is done, economic haemorrhaging will inevitably get
Economic consultant John Robertson said the current politics are undermining
the economy.
"The cross linkages between politics and economics are profound," he said.
"If there is no change from a political point of view, it's clear we are
destined for disaster."
Analysts agree the effects of mass action, coupled with shortages of fuel
and electricity, will inevitably force a number of firms to either
completely close down, reduce operations, or retrench in the short- to
And when that happens, the economy will shrink, so will tax revenues to
government and the provision of social services. Unemployment and poverty
will increase.
That will then lead to further political and social instability.
Zimbabwe's economy, on a precipitous free fall for the past three years,
contracted by 12,1% in 2002. Output has dropped by 19,3% over the past three
The manufacturing sector shrivelled by a further 8,2% since last year, in
addition to the 11,5% decline that was recorded in 2001.
The agricultural sector - which before the recent land seizures by
government was the mainstay of the economy - has shrunk by 25%.
The mining sector declined by 7,1% since 2002 with gold production suffering
a significant fall of 18%, while tourism remains languishing in the
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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

      IMF to decide Zimbabwe's fate
      Ngoni Chanakira

      THE International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s executive board meets in
Washington today to decide whether or not to suspend Zimbabwe's voting

      It is reliably understood that the Minister of Finance Herbert Murerwa
is already in Washington to attend the crucial meeting.

      The minister flew into Washington from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he
attended the annual meeting of the African Development Bank with other
African finance ministers.

      The IMF has on several occasions threatened to suspend Zimbabwe
because of its continued failure to make timely payments towards its
arrears, now amounting to SDR158,75 million or US$224,32 million as at June

      The country's total debt to the IMF stands at SDR206 127 543 or about
US$290 million.

      Zimbabwe had promised to make regular US$1,4 million monthly payments.

      It gave this assurance to an IMF team that visited the country in
March in connection with the annual Article IV Consultation.

      Besides the monthly payments Zimbabwe has riled the IMF by failing to
meet other obligations demanded by the Bretton Woods institution. These
include improving the country's macroeconomic fundamentals, solving the
political crisis, resolving the controversial land programme, and improving
its tattered human rights record.

      The IMF pointed out that Zimbabwe's gross domestic product (GDP) had
declined by about 30%, and was still contracting.

      It said inflation had doubled in each of the last two years, hitting
the 200% mark. Last month inflation reached a record 269,2% but the IMF says
it could continue soaring to more than 450% by year-end.

      The fund said there were widespread shortages, poverty and
unemployment had risen, and the HIV/Aids pandemic was worsening.

      In an interview Gerry Johnson, IMF senior resident representative,
this week said: "The situation regarding Zimbabwe has not changed since the
IMF team came and issued its report in March.

      The board is meeting on June 6 (today) and we expect a decision on
Zimbabwe to be made then. I believe the executive board closely examined the
progress made on policies and payments since March."

      When it issued its report on March 13, the IMF confirmed that among
the issues included in the discussions on June 6 was the possible suspension
of Zimbabwe's voting and related rights in the Fund.

      Suspension would result in the country being "blacklisted" and stopped
from voting on any decisions taken by members.

      The international community normally takes its cue from the IMF and
World Bank when considering financial support to developing countries.

      Zimbabwe's suspension would therefore be a major body blow to
much-needed foreign currency allocations.

      The country's capital account is estimated to have registered a
deficit of US$350 million in 2002 from a figure of US$420 million in 2001.

      Analysts said the deficit was largely driven by the decline in foreign
direct and portfolio investment inflows, limited participation of the donor
community as well as the lack of much-needed balance-of-payments support.

      The country's foreign payment arrears continued to build up during
2002 and are forecast to have ended the year at US$1,5 billion, up from
US$700 million in 2001.

      Bankers and economists say the country needs the IMF and World Bank
because they would bring much-needed foreign currency and "goodwill" to

      "Zimbabwe needs to improve its relations with the multilateral
lenders, among many others," NMB Holdings deputy managing director James
Mushore said. "Normalising relations with the IMF would unlock much-needed
donor support, as international confidence will be bolstered.

      To normalise relations the country has to discharge its financial
obligations to the fund as a matter of urgency."

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Tsvangirai's court papers still missing - Coltart
Blessing Zulu
HIGH Court records relating to Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader
Morgan Tsvangirai's 2000 parliamentary poll challenge in Buhera North are
still missing, further delaying the legal process, the Zimbabwe Independent
has established.

MDC secretary for legal affairs David Coltart said the registrar of the High
Court only told their lawyers of the missing papers recently after they
pressed the court to conclude the matter.

"When our lawyers were pressing for an appeal date, that is when they were
told that the papers had gone missing (in May this year)," said Coltart.

According to documents in the possession of this paper, the senior legal
process transcriber, a Mrs C Fambi, wrote a letter to the recording
supervisor, a Ms Manhimanzi, about the missing records as early as May 29
last year.

"Today the 19th of May when I was sorting out for distribution in order for
it to be transcribed I noticed that six tapes were missing but other cases
were not tampered with," the letter said.

"I secure my office every time I go out of office and home and there was no
sign of a break (in) I noticed. Please if we can have security to our
offices because we have records in our offices," she said.

This means the case in which Tsvangirai successfully challenged the Buhera
North parliamentary election outcome in the High Court will be further

In 2001 the High Court ruled that the poll was not free and fair and ordered
a re-run. Zanu PF party candidate, Kenneth Manyonda, immediately appealed to
the Supreme Court. The MDC has been successful in six of its 39 challenges
to seats won by Zanu PF in the June 2000 general election.

These are Buhera North, Hurungwe East, Mutoko South, Chiredzi North, Gokwe
North and Gokwe South. It lost 31 challenges. Two are still being

Judge President Paddington Garwe is yet to deliver a judgement in the Makoni
East case. The lawyers, in a letter dated August 15 2002, said while they
appreciated the pressure on Justice Garwe's time, they asked him to deliver
the judgement.

"This trial was completed before His Lordship on 28th May 2001, and
judgement reserved sine die," the letter said.

"We have made a number of oral enquiries since then and been advised that it
has not been prepared yet," the letter said.

In the Goromonzi election petition the MDC lawyers say Judge Ben Hlatshwayo
dismissed the MDC petition without giving his reasons.

Tsvangirai has also launched a High Court challenge to President Mugabe's
victory in the 2002 presidential poll. That case has not yet been heard

The MDC leader in his challenge to the presidential poll outcome said the
delays in setting down the dates for the hearing were unsatisfactory.

Coltart said the MDC was losing millions of dollars in appeals to have their
cases heard.There were only 18 months left before the next general election,
he pointed out.

Efforts to get a comment from acting Registrar of the High Court Charles
Nyatanga were not successful.

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Harare and Bulawayo: a tale of two cities
Augustine Mukaro/Loughty Dube

HARARE and Bulawayo have one thing in common. The opposition Movement for
Democratic Change runs them both. But there the comparison stops. There is a
sharp contrast in the fortunes of the two cities.

Service delivery in Harare has continued to deteriorate amid accusations by
the MDC that there is too much government interference. Bulawayo, on the
other hand, has continued to manifest itself as a well-run city, upholding a
legacy dating back to colonial times.

Bulawayo executive mayor Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube says the distance between
Bulawayo and Harare has helped him run the country's second largest city
without too much political interference from the government and the ruling
Zanu PF.

Ndabeni-Ncube told the Zimbabwe Independent that unlike the scenario in
Harare where Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo has been meddling in
the day-to-day running of the capital, Bulawayo has been spared the
unnecessary attention of the minister.

Chombo in April suspended Harare executive mayor Elias Mudzuri on
allegations of corruption and failing to effectively run the city.

"It is a different thing in Bulawayo and I feel that the long distance
between Harare and Bulawayo has helped me to run the city without much
interference from Chombo and the Zanu PF leadership," said Ndabeni-Ncube.

He said in most instances there were cordial working relations between the
MDC and Zanu PF councillors on civic matters.

"When it comes to council matters I have been impressed by the maturity of
both Zanu PF and MDC councillors when debating important civic issues that
contribute to the growth of the city," he said.

Bulawayo council has 29 councillors out of which 11 are MDC, 16 Zanu PF and
two independents.

However, the MDC chief whip in council, Charles Mpofu, said there have been
attempts by Chombo to give directives on how the city should be administered
but this has been defeated by the resolve of councillors from both the MDC
and Zanu PF.

"Chombo has tried in the past to give directives to the council to confuse
the whole situation but this has never worked as councillors are clear on
what residents want," Mpofu said.

He said in some instances the ministry has insisted on scrutinising council
minutes but said the government has also failed to wrest control that way.

"Chombo tried to weaken council through scrutinising our minutes and through
attempts to introduce a Zanu PF-appointed governor and to demarcate the city
into districts in a bid to water down the strength of council but this has
all failed," Mpofu said.

With the change of administration in Harare last year, it was envisaged that
service delivery would improve. Immediately after his election into office
Mudzuri set about filling potholes and resurfacing roads. Observers say this
turned out to be a cosmetic change as problems have continued to mount.  The
old ghosts of misrule personified by first executive mayor Solomon Tawengwa
have continued to haunt the city.

The inventory of problems from the Tawengwa era has remained unresolved.

Refuse collection has remained problematic, the streets of Harare have
become dirtier, and illegal vending and squatting in the CBD has increased.
The quality of potable water has degenerated, the sewerage system in high
density areas appears to work in reverse, robots are poorly sequenced or do
not work at all while street lighting has remained patchy in all suburbs.

Harare has continued to deteriorate as central government interferes with
each and every initiative taken by the new council to improve the situation,
councillors said this week.

The MDC-dominated council has blamed their failure to bring back Harare's
"Sunshine City" status squarely on government's damaging interference.

"First, there were directives that we should refer all matters concerning
finance and human resources to central government for scrutiny before they
can be implemented.

"The directives were imposed to thwart council's efforts to carry out a
staff audit after the Elijah Chanakira commission recruited over 600
employees to non-existent posts just before the March 2002 election," one
councillor said.

He said council's relationship with central government has not given them
room to implement initiatives independently.

"We are the only city that has been denied borrowing powers by the central

"What's the justification for that move?" the councillor said. Everything is
marred by power politics, with central government ensuring that council
heads for  doom."

The councillor said central government was interfering with each every move
they took to improve things.

Last year government ordered them to reinstate top council officials
suspended on allegations of incompetence and corruption even before their
hearings. Government ordered council to reinstate public relations manager
Leslie Gwindi, town clerk Nomutsa Chideya, and treasury department

Councillor Fani Munengami, an executive committee member, said council had
done its best to keep the crumbling infrastructure functioning despite
government's efforts to make their job impossible.

"When we came into office, council had suspended all capital projects over
the past three years when the Chanakira commission was running the affairs
of the city," Munengami said.

"The new council ended up diverting funds from the rates account to finance
capital development and the health sector.

"Last year we used $700 million to resurface roads in and around the city
from the rates account," he said. "We have commissioned Morton Jeffery
Waterworks pumps, increasing water-pumping capacity. On road network we have
built a roundabout along Bulawayo Road in the Warren Park area, a footbridge
linking Kuwadzana extension to the old Kuwadzana suburb and we have also
done new tower-lights for the Budiriro area.

"Recently we finished computerisation of the city treasury department. We
have also bought 12 ambulances to revive our health delivery system and 24
trucks including refuse collection vehicles," Munengami said.

He said government was trying to frustrate council operations by suspending
the mayor and barring consultative meetings with residents.

"Though we do not recognise the suspension of the mayor, it has disturbed us
in one way or the other. How does government expect us to communicate with
stakeholders when it has barred us from carrying out consultative meetings?"
questioned Munengami.

"Government should not accuse us of not performing because we have submitted
our turnaround strategic plan, which it turned down on three occasions," he

Another clash between Harare City Council and government is increasingly
becoming inevitable as council plans to effect a $60 billion supplementary
budget next month.

The implementation of the supplementary budget is likely to provide
ammunition to Chombo in his bid to remove Mudzuri from office.

Council said the supplementary budget had become inevitable because of the
continued weakening of local currency, recent fuel increases and
skyrocketing inflation.

Harare acting mayor Dr Christopher Mushonga last week said when council
approved its annual budget in October 2002, government had indicated that it
was not interested in devaluing the dollar and inflation was around 144%.
Government proceeded to devalue the dollar in February. Inflation has now
reached Weimar proportions at 269,2%.

"Government devalued the dollar from $55 to $824 to the US dollar, which is
a 1 398% increase, thus inevitably putting our budget off balance," Mushonga

"Water treatment chemicals are largely imported and as such this has the
effect of increasing the cost of purification of water by 15 times from the
budgeted $2,5 billion to $27,5 billion."

Mushonga said the expenditure at the time the budget was approved was around
$31 billion but has since jumped to $93,5 billion creating a funding
shortfall of approximately $59,5 billion.

"It is therefore necessary to revise the budget in order to sustain the
increased unforeseen costs, and this inevitably means ultimately passing
some of the costs to the ratepayers and consumers."

Combined Harare Residents Association chairman Mike Davis said council had
managed to bring signs of hope to the city under very difficult conditions.
"Refuse collection initially improved until the beginning of this year when
the fuel situation worsened. Council's idea to out source refuse collection
to more players would have improved the situation if the contracts had been
taken up by capable contractors."

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003


Regime clinging to power by force

THE report on this week's mass action must be a mixed one. The street
protests envisaged were thwarted by riot police swinging batons and firing
teargas. State violence was the deciding factor. But the five-day stayaway
was incontrovertibly the most successful to date.

If the Movement for Democratic Change is unable to assemble its supporters
in town centres, its leadership is at least able to call a successful strike
whenever it likes. No amount of threats by ministers - becoming more fevered
by the day - could get people to work. Morgan Tsvangirai now only has to
blow his whistle and the nation downs tools. Nobody was impressed by
over-heated charges of "illegal" or "unconstitutional" action and no
business was persuaded to open by the prospect of Trade and Industry
minister Samuel Mumbengegwi's threats to cancel trading licences. After all,
how successful has government been in running any other business it has
turned its hand to?

At the end of the week the impression that remained was one of a desperately
insecure regime using every means at its disposal - including threats
against people sending SMS text messages - to get the country back to work.
By yesterday a few banks and businesses had been prevailed upon, after
visits by the CIO and Zanu PF gangs, to reopen.

The reality, which the world was able to observe this week, was of a regime
that is only able to survive by brute force. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights says that a significant number of arrests and detentions have been
arbitrary, and that there are credible reports of torture, assault,
violence, and general intimidation of people by the state machinery.

None of this suggests normality. As one economist has noted, the problem of
a dysfunctional economy and a government bereft of workable policies will
still be there next week. Nothing will have changed in terms of President
Mugabe's prospects. He is still a prisoner of events in State House and
losing support by the day. What is the point of a "big man" in politics if
he can't deliver a single benefit to the people he rules? Land has proved a
barren gift.

Meanwhile, the MDC will have to regard the events of this week as a
test-run. In other countries where mass action has succeeded it has
progressed by steps. There is no initial big bang. Just a series of
increasingly louder eruptions. The three-day stayaway - shorter and
sharper - may be more effective than five.

By their treatment of township residents and students this week the police
will have added several thousand hardened adherents to the MDC's ranks. By
treating the public as "the enemy" and arbitrarily abridging their freedoms
to assemble and express themselves, the authorities have alienated many
otherwise uncommitted citizens. Zanu PF's only supporters are gangs of
hoodlums imported from smaller centres. The way in which the police indulged
their depredations, including the tearing up of independent newspapers,
provided evidence, if it were needed, of selective application of the law.

Those loudly pronouncing the loyalty of the police and armed forces to the
regime ahead of the stayaway may care to reflect on the problems posed by a
disaffected majority who no longer see the security agencies as professional
upholders of the law. Cracking heads may succeed in the first instance in
stabilising a situation. It rarely succeeds in the long term. Mugabe and his
minions are increasingly living in a foreign country, one over which they
have no authority.

As for the opposition, it will emerge from this week's baptism of fire with
its moral authority enhanced. People naturally sympathise with victims of
state brutality, especially those espousing democratic freedoms and the
right to a better life.

As the influential African American lobby in its letter to President Mugabe
said this week, "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."

They urged Mugabe to find a way to work with others "to create an effective
process for a transition to a more broadly supported government up- holding
the democratic rights of all".

Meanwhile, having benefited from the lessons of this week, the MDC must
consider its options. Where do they go from here? Popular anger against Zanu
PF-made hardships will not dissipate. And while negotiation is always a
preferred route, it is not incompatible with mass action.

In his letter from Birmingham jail, the Rev Martin Luther King had this
advice for his followers:  "You may well ask: 'Why direct action? Why
sit-ins, marches, etc? Isn't negotiation a better path?' You are exactly
right in your call for negotiation. Indeed, this is the purpose of direct
action. Non-violent direct action seeks to.establish such creative tension
that a community that has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to
confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatise the issue that it can no longer
be ignored."

We are all agreed that by its campaign this week the MDC has drawn the
attention of the country and the world to the connection between brutal
misrule and economic collapse. That is the issue successfully dramatised by
its followers in the teeth of repression and which can no longer be ignored,
not even by the delusionist in State House.
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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Eric Bloch Column

Realities of the shortage of bank notes
ZIMBABWEANS, who revel and thrive on rumours, no matter how far-fetched they
may be, have ascribed the current shortage of bank notes to a myriad causes.
The rumours have ranged from the absurd to the ludicrous, including the
inconceivable suggestions that the bank note crisis is a direct consequence
of political machinations. The promoters of those rumours include some who
suggest that it has been a deliberate plot of Zimbabwe's leading political
opposition party to sabotage the economy to discredit the ruling party. The
diabolical plan to achieve this was, according to the rumourmongers,
secretly to persuade big business not to bank cash receipts so as to cause
the shortage of notes.

Other purveyors of equally moronic rumours suggest that the bank note
shortage has been created by government to intensify the hardships of the
nation's workers, as retribution for support of trade union organised
stayaways and for their underpinning the opposition party. Yet another
allegation which permeated the populace resulted from prominent
advertisements in the national press which attacked the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe and accused it of creating the shortages and that such shortages
were a violation of the Reserve Bank Act. It suggested that as a result the
bank and its senior management or directors could be liable to litigation.
The advertisement further implied that cash was being taken over Zimbabwe's
borders, facilitated by last year's amendment of Exchange Control
regulations which made it lawful for individuals to remove $50 000 when
travelling from Zimbabwe, as compared to the previously permitted amount of
$15 000.

The reality is that the bank note shortage is wholly attributable to
government's gross mismanagement of the Zimbabwean economy. The first of the
consequences of that economic mismanagement is the pronounced inflation
which has afflicted Zimbabwe. With prices almost trebling in a year, it was
inevitable that people would have to carry more money for their shopping and
other expenditure than they had to previously. Salaries and wages increased,
and for most were rapidly converted into notes to fund their surging
spending. Such increased spending could only be sustained if a greater
volume of bank notes was in circulation. The magnitude of notes being held
by consumers also increased, instead of being part of a continuous
circulation of the currency, because with a pronounced scarcity of basic
commodities consumers always wished to have sufficiently large funds in hand
to avail themselves of any unexpected opportunity of purchasing such
products. Thus, the amount of bank notes in the wallets and purses of the
populace steadily increased - not because they were any wealthier, but
because circumstances motivated them to hold their limited resources in cash
instead of in bank, building society and Post Office Savings Bank accounts.

The availability of bank notes further worsened because the black market in
foreign currencies grew and grew, both as to the numbers of traders and as
to the amounts paid for much needed foreign exchange. Each trader required
to hold vast amounts of Zimbabwean dollars in the form of bank notes to
trade in the market, and the aggregate of the Zimbabwean funds held
collectively by the traders at any one time will be at least hundreds of
millions of dollars, if not billions.

To suggest that the export of bank notes is a material factor to the
scarcity is spurious. Most who export the currency are travellers who
require the Zimbabwean funds to meet obligations for Zimbabwean Customs
duties and import taxes upon return, and to pay for travelling expenses in
Zimbabwe upon returning to the country. It was in recognition of this that
the Minister of Finance motivated the Reserve Bank to be realistically
responsive to inflation by an appropriate increase in the permitted
exportable levels of the domestic currency. But as the Zimbabwean dollar has
no lawful convertibility outside Zimbabwe, few find any purpose in leaving
exported funds in other countries. The bank notes leave Zimbabwe, but they
also return. Even such notes as are unlawfully exported, (and similarly are
unlawfully exchanged for foreign currencies with persons external of
Zimbabwe who intend thereafter to use the notes for purchase of goods,
effectively at much discounted costs), are returned into Zimbabwe and come
into circulation by the purchasers of the notes smuggling them into Zimbabwe
to pay for their purchases of goods.

It is correct that the Reserve Bank should have reacted to inflation and
contributory factors by increasing the bank notes in circulation through
further printing of notes, albeit controlled in order not to over-fuel
inflation. It has long been known that the Reserve Bank wished to do so,
recognising the need for a higher volume of bank notes in circulation. But
the Reserve Bank's hands were tied. Thanks to government's disastrous
economic policies, and its confrontational political stances and disregard
for law and order, the inflows of foreign exchange to Zimbabwe have
continuously declined to levels well below those required for essential
imports, which imports include the security paper and inks required for the
production of bank notes. Government devastated agriculture, reducing
agriculturally-based foreign exchange receipts by two-thirds or more. It
reduced the viability of much of the mining sector to an extent that forced
the closure of many mines and lowered volumes of production of others so
that far less foreign exchange was attained by that sector.

Government's policies were the primary cause of inflation, and in particular
its fiscal policies ignored all principles of frugality, and espoused
prodigal spending far beyond government's means, and therefore were major
contributors to inflation. So too was government's failure to do anything
substantive to contain corruption in both public and private sectors,
despite recurrent lip-service to do so, that corruption being another
significant contributor to inflation. And that inflation rendered most
Zimbabwean exports unprofitable and not, therefore, a source of foreign
exchange, for government's monetary policies have been so appallingly
counterproductive as has been its fiscal policies. Exchange rate adjustments
in response to inflation, whether termed as "devaluation", "export support
rate", "currency exchange rate adjustment" or otherwise where applied, have
been few and far between, always belated and always inadequate, to the
severe prejudice of foreign exchange generation.

And concurrently, government continued to alienate the international
community, resulting in ever less foreign direct investment, balance of
payments support, and international aid. Soon the national cupboard was
virtually bare of foreign exchange, resulting in the shortages which -
together with inflation - caused consumers to increase their holdings of
notes, and brought into being the very active currency black market also
heavily reliant on bank notes. That lack of foreign exchange forced the
Reserve Bank to prioritise outflows of the limited remaining resource of
currencies for imports, and that prioritisation was also subject to massive
political and consumer pressures. Imports of fuel, energy and food
understandably ranked higher in the priority list than did bank note
security paper and printing inks. Thus, as much as the Reserve Bank was
aware of the need for new bank notes to be produced, it could not address
that need timeously, and to cast blame at the Reserve Bank is unjust and
uncalled for. Just as credit should be given where credit is due, so blame
should not be cast where it does not belong, but should be laid fairly and
squarely where the cause actually lies, and that is the near-criminal
destruction of the economy by government.

The scarcity of bank notes is but another of many shortages, but it is one
of far-reaching consequences. Employers are unable to source the currency
needed to pay weekly wages. Recipients of cheques for their salaries cannot
encash them. The absence of a sufficiency of bank notes in circulation is
repercussing adversely upon retail trade, which will in turn impact upon all
sectors of commerce and industry. The hardships of the populace intensify.
The situation is deplorable, and the distress is so great that despite the
many demands upon the minimally available foreign exchange reserves, the
Reserve Bank has now necessarily allocated funds for the importation of the
inputs for the production of the bank notes.
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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003


For whom the bell tolls

"WE will enforce court order," the police announced on Monday in the Herald'
s lead story.

"Since when?" was the public's understandable response. The police recently
seized a journalist who was then deported in a case where the state acted in
open contempt of a court order. Why were they suddenly so active in ensuring
Justice Ben Hlatshwayo's night order on Saturday was enforced?

The answer is obvious. In the first case the court order prohibiting the
deportation of Guardian correspondent Andy Meldrum was inconvenient to the
government. So it was ignored. The second suited the government's needs. So
it was enforced.

Jonathan Moyo was ranting in the Herald on Tuesday about newspapers bringing
the police into disrepute. The selective application of the law is likely to
do precisely that.

And don't we recall Moyo having something to say about "night judges" and
"night courts" when bad-mouthing a court order by Justice Fergus Blackie
three years ago? Why was that not OK and this is?

The selective application of the law is matched only by the double standards
of those doing it.

 Another example came from Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa who was
frothing last weekend about a coup d'état and treason.

The MDC's aim was to force President Mugabe from power, he claimed. "Resort
to a coup d'état is unconstitutional and unlawful and thus constitutes the
serious crime of high treason," he grandly declared.

This must rank as one of the silliest statements made by a politician in
recent times. And it is a field in which there is considerable competition!

The constitution accords Zimbabweans the right to assembly and expression.
If the aim of those assembling is to force the president from power, that is
an entirely legitimate and legal process. Nowhere is it suggested that such
force should be anything other than moral suasion. The MDC has neither the
intent nor the resources to use anything other than the instrument of civic

Vague reference to the MDC's past record, one that has been spun several
times by self-interested government spokesmen and embellished in the process
(such as protestors "torturing" pre-school children), is not in itself
sufficient evidence for the government to declare the MDC's mass action
unlawful or treasonous. Chinamasa should bear in mind the embarrassment
suffered by the state the last time it declared the MDC treasonous.

What is unlawful is the action of the state in preventing people from
exercising the liberties laid down in the constitution. Posa may indeed
enable the police to do a number of things. But where those things are in
conflict with constitutional rights it is those rights that stand and
nothing else.

 Chinamasa and Commissioner Augustine Chihuri's inability to grasp this
essential point was reflected in Interpol's decision last week to distance
itself from Zimbabwe's wayward police force. ZRP spokesmen had exploited the
routine award of an honorary vice-presidency to Chihuri to suggest the
international police organisation endorsed the activities of the ZRP in

"The fact that a ZRP spokesman attempted to use Interpol to fight off
political criticism has caused Interpol to be unfairly and unnecessarily
attacked," Interpol secretary-general Ronald Noble said in announcing
Chihuri's withdrawal.

This is an appropriate response to the politicisation of the ZRP, and in
particular to the way certain police spokesmen have made remarks of a
partisan nature. They were at it again during this week's stayaway making
partisan and unprofessional comments about Morgan Tsvangirai.

We would be keen to hear from Wayne Bvudzijena what his response is to
Interpol's unambiguous statement that ZRP spokesmen had exploited the award
to Chihuri to make it look as if Interpol endorsed policing methods in
Zimbabwe. Has this episode not brought the police into disrepute?

Bvudzijena should explain to the public exactly why his boss had to give up
the honorary vice-presidency. And the Herald could at the same time tell us
why it felt the resignation by Chihuri of his Interpol post was of no news
value when it had devoted considerable column inches to celebrating his

Meanwhile, the ZDF has been adopting the same partisan stance that has
embarrassed the ZRP. In a statement carried last week in the Herald, it
warned the MDC that it would "bring to bear its full force upon those
perpetrators of uncalled for violence".

And what "uncalled for violence" is that?

"It is a fact that previous stayaways turned violent with both innocent
lives of citizens and property being deliberately destroyed," the anonymous
statement said.

This sounds suspiciously like advertisements the Office of the President has
been planting in the press. The public will draw their own conclusions about
armed forces siding with an unpopular tyrant against people exercising their
democratic right to protest. It should not be the function of the ZDF to
repeat Zanu PF propaganda as "fact".

Zupco has also been advertising its partisan loyalties by applying for a
court ruling against mass action and contemplating a lawsuit against the MDC
for the burning of a Zupco bus during the MDC's last stayaway in March.

The public in return have the right to boycott Zupco and any other company
that collaborates with Zanu PF in advancing its malignant agenda. That
includes ambulance-chasing legal firms who would appear to be having
difficulty drumming up any other business. People paying good money to these
firms should first examine their track record. How many cases have they
actually won?

Has anybody, including the police, provided a scrap of evidence that the MDC
was responsible for the burning of the Zupco bus that was the central plank
in the state's recent propaganda offensive? We saw how the official media
twisted the story about the pre-school children in a kombi being "tortured".

 Zanu-PF's chief spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira has said the time has come for
a showdown with the MDC and that they must be "confronted and taught a
lesson". Isn't it the wicked old men in Zanu PF who need to be taught a
lesson? Those who became millionaires overnight in the 1980s; those who,
while pontificating about socialism were enriching themselves on kickbacks
from contracts?

And what about those who took advantage of the War Victims Compensation Fund
or the VIP housing fund? When will they be confronted  with the consequences
of their criminal depredations and "taught a lesson"?

Shamuyarira should be very careful about whom he threatens. The bell is
already tolling for him and the other ideological dinosaurs whose extinction
date has long since expired.

 Until last month we had always considered Professor Ngwabi Bhebe,
vice-chancellor of Midlands State University, as one of Zimbabwe's more
enlightened academics. But that view has changed with the news that he has
suspended SRC president Onwell Marasha for "distributing pamphlets and
whistles" to other students. This was "harmful to the interest of the
university", Marasha was told.

In any other country this would be regarded as perfectly normal student
activity. Only in Zimbabwe (and perhaps Cuba and North Korea) is it a crime.
Marasha should apply for legal aid so he can take the university to court
for denying him his right to freedom of expression. The same goes for any
other student leader suspended for similar "offences".

What is harmful to the interest of Midlands State University is the
impression that the vice-chancellor is denying students their constitutional
rights in response to instructions from an authoritarian regime. What are
needed are vice-chancellors that will tell the government to leave their
campuses alone; in other words those capable of standing up to tyranny.

Every year independent newspapers are importuned by these same universities
to admit their students for one-year attachments. We should all say: "No,
not until you afford your students the freedom of expression to which they
are entitled."

A one-year attachment is in any case ridiculous. Why should newspapers be
expected, at their own expense, to educate university students for a whole

 We are pleased to see that Tafataona Mahoso appears to have conceded at
last that there were no secret meetings in the Botswana desert. He referred
this week to separate visits to "the region" by Jack Straw and Walter
Kansteiner. But he continues to recycle the 300 000 "resettled farmers"
figure, which he has been fed by the government's publicists. The Ministry
of Agriculture puts the figure at 210 000.

It is unfair for the jokers in the Office of the President to go on feeding
this poor old man dud figures which he then repeats without checking.

And he describes the Daily News as "schizophrenic" because it carries
stories on its front page that say one thing and commentaries inside that
say another.

You can tell he has never worked in journalism! News stories are different
from op/ed (opinion/editorial) pieces. The latter are by contributors who
may voice views different from those of the newspaper itself. A good op/ed
page should reflect a diversity of views. The editor doesn't have to agree
with them.

Mahoso needs to learn how newspapers work. Every year editors have to devote
time and resources to training graduates from his Polytech Mass
Communications department in basic skills. And every Sunday his venomous
attacks on the independent media and fawning support for a discredited
regime whose handouts he unquestioningly   recycles add weight to the view
that he is qualified only as a Stalinist enforcer whose capacity for
redundant theorising is matched only by his ignorance of journalism.

Mahoso likes calling MDC allies "stooges". But readers are left in no doubt
whose stooge he is!

 With the events of this week behind us, it is worth recalling what the late
Walter Sisulu had to say about mass action.

"With the banning of meetings, banning of organisations and suppressing of
all legal methods, it was not possible for Africans to accept this
situation. No self-respecting African would accept this situation."

Self-appointed Africanists in our midst should take note of these remarks
from a freedom fighter who will be remembered long after they have sunk into
much-deserved oblivion.

 Who said the following? "It is a right and duty of every citizen to
vigorously oppose.unjust laws."

Answer: Ben Hlatshwayo writing in the Independent in December 1997. He also
quoted liberation songs which said: "You must not loot the people's
 property" and "Consult the people and respect their views."

"These are noble principles," Hlatshwayo said, "whose consistent violation
of late has brought the country to the brink of disaster."

The public itself has a lot to answer for if it remains mute and docile, he
said. We couldn't agree more!

 Finally, our special award for delusional journalism goes to ZBC. The Dead
Beat C guys managed the now-customary "It was buziness as uzuooal" as the
nation's cities came to a complete halt for the stayaway.

It is not such a good idea to report news that is the complete opposite of
what the public are experiencing on the ground. It leads to credibility

And it might be a good idea to think of an alternative to "flop". Not only
was it utterly predictable, it was also somewhat premature. We preferred
"fizzle" that the Herald used at the end of the ZCTU strike. Then of course
is the all-time favourite, the "damp squib" which occasionally ends up as a
"dump squib".

Whatever the case, a national broadcaster that is nothing more than a
ministerial megaphone is unlikely to convince the public that it has any
idea what is happening. ZBC is one big "dump squib".
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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Zimdollar worth 2c - Tsumba
Ndamu Sandu/Ngoni Chanakira
THE out-going Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Leonard Tsumba says
Zimbabwe's dollar is now worth a paltry two cents from its 1995 levels due
to hyperinflation.

The country's inflation has steadily soared from 15,5% in 1990 to 269,2%

Addressing journalists last week, a day before he left the powerful position
to take early retirement, Tsumba said: "Due to the sharp rise in inflation,
a dollar in 1995 is now worth just under two cents today."

This is the second time that Tsumba, while discussing the introduction of
new notes, has commented publicly about the "true value of the Zimbabwe

On August 10 2001, while introducing the $500 note and $5 coin, Tsumba
revealed to the media that Zimbabwe's dollar was worth only six cents from
its 1990 level. Again he blamed inflation, which he said had "significantly
eroded the value of money in circulation".

Tsumba last week came under fire from banking chiefs, who accused him of
failing to firmly tackle Zimbabwe's fiscal problems during his 10-year stint
in the prestigious post.

The sentiments were expressed as Zimbabwe faces its worst shortage of notes,
which has resulted in commercial banks and building societies "buying" money
from the "black market".

Tsumba said the growth of an underground economy, which was a sign of waning
business confidence and a reaction to the resurgence of administrative
controls, had starved the banking system of cash.

He said the growth in currency demand had occurred against a background of
sharply pronounced contraction in the economy which had been on a recession
since November 1997.

Tsumba said as a result of this growth, large sums of cash were now being
kept in homes and business premises.

"This phenomenon is suggestive of disintermediation, a situation where
significant proportion of financial transactions take place outside the
banking and financial institution," he said.

Tsumba took over from Kombo Moyana on August 1 1993.

He steered the RBZ through the days of the Economic Structural Adjustment
Programme, the short-lived Millennium Economic Recovery Programme, the
National Economic Recovery Programme, and the latest government offering -
the New Economic Revival Programme.

During his RBZ stewardship Tsumba witnessed Zimbabwe continuously default on
major payments - especially to the International Monetary Fund and World
Bank, resulting in the country being suspended from receiving much-needed
balance of payments support in late 1999.

The out-going governor has been accused of turning a blind eye on
government's fiscal indiscipline. During his last days in office he dished
out an average of $28,8 billion weekly to the cash-strapped government,
culminating in Zimbabwe's domestic debt skyrocketing to $354,1 billion as at
March 21.

Tsumba presided over Zimbabwe's foreign currency payment arrears now
amounting to US$1,5 billion, up from US$700 million in 2001, and a balance
of payments deficit on its current account of more than US$800 million.

Last week he attributed the shortage of notes to speculation, saying
individuals were now carrying large sums of cash.

He said as measures to arrest the shortage of notes the RBZ would inject $24
billion, all in $500 notes, from the middle of this month.

Meanwhile, jockeying for the top post has already heated up with Zimbabwe
Financial Holdings boss Elisha Mushayakarara being tipped to replace Tsumba.

Mushayakarara is a former Finance and Economic Development ministry
permanent secretary.

Other names being bandied about for the top post are Jewel Bank boss Gideon
Gono and the current acting governor Charles Chikaura.

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Politics overshadows economics
Ngoni Chanakira
BUSINESS executives trying to lure investors despite the country's skewed
macroeconomic fundamentals say they are in a quandary because the tense
political climate continues to take centre stage.

Next Wednesday a delegation comprising 18 top businessmen from various
sectors travels to Durban, South Africa, where they will try and "sell"
Zimbabwe at the influential Africa Economic Forum (AEF).

The forum will be held from June 11 to 13 and has as its theme: "Harnessing
the power of partnership".

The Forum, which is linked to the World Economic Forum, comprises more than
500 world business and political leaders including Microsoft's Bill Gates -
arguably the world's richest individual.

It also includes executives from mining giant Anglo American Corporation,
IBM, Coca-Cola, Nike, Mercedes Benz and Levi Straus.

The heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank also
participate in these gatherings.

From Zimbabwe's banking sector the following will attend; Trustfin managing
director Glenn Conrad, Trust Holdings Ltd chief executive officer William
Nyemba and executive director Chris Goromonzi, Kingdom Financial Holdings
Ltd executive deputy chairman Nigel Chanakira, NDH Holdings Ltd managing
director Ernest Matienga, Finhold chief executive officer Elisha
Mushayakarara, and Agribank managing director Taka Mutunhu.

Executives from other sectors of business include Dairibord Zimbabwe Ltd
chief executive officer and Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries boss
Anthony Mandiwanza, Zimsun Leisure group chief executive officer Shingi
Munyeza, Meikles Africa Ltd's Chris Parvin, Astra Industries Ltd chairman
and managing director respectively Elias Ngugama and Nicholas Nyandoro, PG
Industries (Zimbabwe) Ltd chief executive officer Gerald Mujaji, acting
Zimbabwe Investment Centre executive director Richard Mbaiwa, and former
Finance minister Simba Makoni, in his capacity as Makonsult (Pvt) Ltd
managing director.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development Herbert Murerwa will lead
the delegation, accompanied by his counterpart, Industry and International
Trade minister, Samuel Mumbengegwi.

Murerwa and Mumbengegwi are expected to meet with South Africa's Finance and
Trade ministers Trevor Manuel and Alec Erwin, respectively, on the sidelines
of the WEF to try and thrash out trade issues that have resulted in tension
brewing between the two trading partners.

The rand is down against the euro and the US dollar because of the economic
downturn in Zimbabwe - its largest trading partner.

This was worsened by this week's five-day stayaway called by the major
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The MDC, which has been invited to the WEF, is expected to send individuals
from its economics and foreign affairs departments to tell its side of the
Zimbabwe story.

MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, who attended the last event, cannot attend
this one because government confiscated his travel documents pending the
outcome of his ongoing treason trial.

To boost Zimbabwe's appearance at the WEF will be Barclays Bank's Isaac
Takawira, now based in Kenya and former Industry and International

Trade minister Nkosana Moyo, now employed by the International Finance
Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the World Bank.

In an interview Murerwa said: "We do have a story to tell despite the
challenges facing Zimbabwe right now. We need to coordinate our efforts and
put up a good showing in Durban."

Nyemba, who coordinates the Zimbabwe chapter jointly with Chanakira, said 10
countries had already signed up for the summit's peer review mechanism,
while more than 100 institutions had signed up in solidarity.

He said: "Presentations will be made for beneficiaries of Nepad so far.
There will be a task force meeting between South African and Zimbabwean
business leaders."

Chanakira said: "We should not pretend that the political situation has
nothing to do with the economic situation because this has haunted us at
other forums."

He said government needed to "come clean" on issues at the forum, including
sensitive political ones because business "cannot continue defending some
unclear policies".

Chanakira said: "The other time when we were discussing investment somebody
stood up and asked about the political climate in Zimbabwe. At the moment
there is the succession debate and we need to know what to say. We can't
just ignore such important issues. The press will be there and they will
take this opportunity to go to town again about Zimbabwe if we are not

Insiders said as part of its strategy to focus on "success stories"
government would again harp on its "land tune" this time telling the
international community that it had been "successfully completed". They will
publicise the new land audit team, headed by former cabinet secretary
Charles Utete, as well as talk about the New Economic Revival Programme.

The insiders said government would also take the opportunity to market the
flourishing financial sector, which has reaped billions in profits despite
the economic downturn. The WEF meeting comes at a time when Zimbabwe is in a
severely weakened condition after experiencing a fourth successive year of
economic decline.

The main areas of concern are a declining gross domestic product,
hyperinflation of 269,2%, unemployment of more than 75%, high domestic and
foreign debts, as well as a weak balance of payments position which has
resulted in the country being rated a risky trading partner.

Analysts said as long as government and the MDC did not agree on basic
political and economic fundamentals the WEF "would provide just another
shouting opportunity for the two parties which does not benefit ordinary

Economist John Robertson said: "I hope the individuals going to South Africa
won't defend the current economic policies otherwise they will just
embarrass not only the country, but also themselves. They might just meet a
hostile crowd of executives who won't listen to outdated economic

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003

Zim prepares for WTO meet
Ndamu Sandu
WITH time running out ahead of the fifth ministerial World Trade
Organisation (WTO) meeting in Cancun, Mexico, the Ministry of Industry and
International Trade says workshops and meetings have been lined up to
prepare for the summit.

Zimbabwe's preparation for the summit suffered a jolt in April with media
reports that three key trade negotiators who had played a pivotal role in
the previous ministerial meetings, Jabu Mtetwa, Carlson Mbegabolowe and
Samson Mutanhaurwa quit the ministry.

Mtetwa joined the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc); Mbegabolowe
went to the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) while
Mutanhaurwa was said to have been transferred to the Government Tender

Last month Zimbabwe's members of parliament were the only legislators in the
54- member Commonwealth grouping that were excluded from the club's joint
meeting with WTO in South Africa.

Director of External Trade in the Ministry of Industry and International
Trade, Rudo Faranisi said preparatory arrangements had already been made.

She said: "The ministry has been holding meetings with various stakeholders.
Consultations through holding of meetings are aimed at collecting
information which will help to determine the national position on the WTO."

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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003


Democracy too good for Africans?

WE had always suspected that the African leaders in the Commonwealth troika
on Zimbabwe have a somewhat biased concept of democracy.

So it came as no surprise when a democratically-elected (100% in some
constituencies) Olusegun Obasanjo said Robert Mugabe was a duly elected
president of Zimbabwe.

Our suspicions that the mandate given to them to monitor the Zimbabwean
situation was misconstrued by them to mean copy the act is well-founded.

Duly elected alright!

The violence in the run-up to the election counts for nought. After all,
only opposition supporters were the targets;

The barring and disappearance of opposition polling agents is of no

The blatant cowing of the judiciary by both Jonathan Moyo and Patrick
Chinamasa into preventing the extension of the polling days in Harare whose
population is mostly MDC supporters was of no consequence;

The fact that the main opposition could not campaign in designated "no go"
areas meant nothing; and,

For the rest, the dossier will be there in court.

If Mugabe is so sure that he was democratically-elected, then what's
preventing a rerun of the election under an independent electoral
supervisory commission? Independent not just on paper like the
constitutional commission but a body that can prove its mettle.

I urge the MDC not to sell us out to the Zanu PF crooks by giving up the
election petition in the courts. Should there be any talks then the desired
outcome should be a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. What is not
acceptable is wholesale pardoning of crimes without disclosure and
repentance as happened in the 1980s. The gravity of the crimes is also very
different. It is also important to set a good precedent. This will serve to
safeguard future generations from would-be genocidal leaders.

As for African leaders, they hold Africans in low esteem. They believe that
less-than-perfect conditions should be set for us because we are children of
a lesser god and democracy is too good for us.

It is not up to Morgan Tsvangirai to drop the election petition. It is up to
the people whose vote was denied because it is they whose verdict was
compromised by the actions of the government. Should the question arise
whether or not to legitimise the election, it is the people's decision that
should carry the day and that is why a referendum is the only verdict

What remains is the test of character of the judiciary in the current
litigation by the MDC. In any case it can only be a victory for us because
the truth will come out whatever the outcome.

My only wish is that the judiciary understands the gravity of the task at
hand because it is not acceptable that the country be run by a fraudster (if
that is the outcome) a year after the election.

Mugabe will remain adamant that the election petition is the stumbling block
to inter-party dialogue. Well, that is as it should be. Remember he is a
principled man against people's rights. The MDC should insist for its part
as a precondition that the government drop the frivolous high treason
charges whose aim is to impose the same sanctions on the MDC leader that top
government officials endure from the EU, Britain and the United States.

Finally, I must say to Thabo Mbeki that as long as he is finding it easy to
ride against the ever-growing tide of resentment against Mugabe, chances are
he is becoming a dictator. (One who dictates against the majority.) As for
Bakili Muluzi, he has already said he is a good dictator.

S Dube,


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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003


Mbeki should educate Obasanjo on law

I HAVE just heard the news that Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has thrown
out the application by Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede to compel
Zimbabweans with foreign parents to renounce their entitlement to foreign
citizenship if they wish to remain Zimbabwean citizens.

This decision by Chief Justice Chidyausiku is yet another victory for
democracy in Zimbabwe.

What I want to point out to Olusegun Obasanjo is that Mudede had removed
some of the people with foreign surnames from the voters' roll in the run-up
to the March 2002 presidential election. These people were denied their
right to vote, and this further justifies the need for a re-run of the
presidential election in Zimbabwe. Obasanjo is one of the African leaders
who said Mugabe was legitimately elected, and I am not too sure if he
realises his mistake now that a ruling has been made against Mudede. I
challenge him to make a public statement regarding Mugabe's legitimacy after
this latest development.

I appeal to President Thabo Mbeki to educate General Obasanjo on the laws of
Zimbabwe, and to advise him to carefully study his text before making public
statements which portray him as biased towards the tyranny which has caused
us so much suffering in Zimbabwe.

If Mugabe knew he did not steal the election, he would not be delaying the
hearing of Morgan Tsvangirai's election petition in the courts.

I was disappointed to read in Mugabe's response to an appeal by Tsvangirai
to push for a quick hearing of this case in the courts in which he says
there is no urgency in the matter, when he knows only too well that all the
suffering we are going through is because of his illegitimacy as head of

Mugabe is no longer the people's leader, and he should simply accept this
reality and go peacefully.

Benjamin Chitate,


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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003


Let Mugabe fall on his sword

THE country and the Mugabe dictatorship have multiple crises - shortages of
food (especially basic foods as consumed by the poor who are now 90% of the
population), forex, fuel, blood, and most recently of bank notes.

Agricultural production is severely curtailed, as are industrial and mining
production. The basic building blocks of the economy are damaged to the
extent that it will take years even under the best scenario to get back to
the level of relative affluence which existed in 1996.

And the way Mugabe is solving these problems? Beating, tear-gassing,
intimidating, and ordering a shoot-to-kill policy using live bullets. So
what is foremost in his mind is not solving the problems which face his
nation and his people - it is perpetuating his own rule.

Any great leader worth his salt would look objectively at the situation,
without panic, discuss with a wide range of friends and enemies, and
conclude that the best path for the nation would be for him to fall on his
sword (figuratively or even literally).

It is a little-known fact that the West helped to install Mugabe in 1980.
Should the events of this week not result in Mugabe's immediate abdication,
then it is imperative for the West to surgically remove him. He who creates
a disaster must rescue the victims.

Alex Weir,


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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003


The words of a tyrant

AT every opportunity, and especially at "heroes" funerals, Robert Mugabe
says he wants to rid the country and its people of colonialism, mark you,
after having done nothing for 20 years. We need to understand exactly what
he means.

The people who brought civilisation, education, Christianity and developed
the country and its infrastructure to what he admitted was the jewel of
Africa in 1980 when he assumed the reins of power are to be viewed as the
tyrants. Read on!

This has ultimately gone to his head. "Power corrupts and absolute power
corrupts absolutely," said Lord Acton. What we need to understand when he
says he wants to free the country and its people of colonialism and
oppression, he really means he wants to control absolutely. Better described
as a tyrant.

He and his war veterans and cronies want to be the new oppressors egged on
by his junior minister, Jonathan Moyo. The word oppression is best defined
as: "Dominance through threat of punishment and violence."

Behind the Words,


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Zim Independent - 6/6/2003


Ben Menashe is a political prostitute

I WAS appalled when Ari Ben Menashe claimed recently that he was concerned
for Zimbabweans and had to expose Morgan Tsvangirai's alleged plot to kill
President Robert Mugabe.

Being a Zimbabwean who is resident abroad and in touch with Americans and
Canadians every day I am not surprised that Ben Menashe managed to swindle
money out of the two main political parties in Zimbabwe for probably the
same reasons.

Most Americans and Canadians would not do anything for free and for Ben
Menashe to say he was helping us is anything but the truth. If he had
Zimbabweans at heart, why did he ask for such exorbitant figures which would
leave our country bleeding from poverty? Why did he not do it for free if
his idea was to help us?

The amounts paid to him and the benefit we derived from them are causes for
concern. The nation is now at loggerheads with itself and people are
dragging out their daggers ready to fight each other because of a political
prostitute who double-crossed us.

Knowing my brothers in Zimbabwe, I am sure we will all fight to get back
what Ben Menashe stole from us. Probably the foreign currency that he was
paid will go a long way in alleviating the problem of fuel.

The Bible talks much about the dangers of a person who is double-minded and
our dear Canadian brother is such and dealing with him has left us divided
as Zimbabweans. I am not sure who really was the true husband of Ben
Menashe. Zanu PF is saying he was their agent and MDC is saying he was

Ben Menashe was simply playing political prostitution for the sake of money
and if we are not careful he is going to demand more and milk our country
dry. Ipfambi yemakoko saka ngatiingwarirei.

Let's fight for our own freedom and not be led by greedy fellows like Ben
Menashe whose minds are obsessed with the dollar sign. Let's wake up
brothers and sisters and guard against capitalistic characters of Ben
Menashe's calibre lest another prostitute comes by to entice us.

Baba Ngwarai,

Indianapolis, US.

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