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

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Enough is Enough



We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!

Sokwanele reporter

05 June 2004
A 62 year old widow, Mrs Pat Campbell, was brutally beaten with sticks at her farm, Sutton Estate, in Banket  yesterday.  Her assailant was the rifle-wielding personal guard of Lt. General P.V. Sibanda.     Mrs Campbell’s  “crime” was being on the farm of which she is the lawful owner.  In the attack the General’s side-kick pointed his AK 47 assault rifle at Mrs Campbell and her son Doug, threatening them both with instant death if they did not leave the farm at once.   To emphasise the point the soldier whose rifle was aimed at their heads, cocked the weapon.


Earlier the same day three of Doug Campbell’s employees who had been helping dip Mrs Campbell’s cattle were ordered to kneel down and were severely beaten with sticks by the same assailant.  When the beaten and bruised farm employees reported the assault to the local police station, the police refused to take any action.  They would not even supply a report reference number.


Tragically Mrs Campbell’s husband, son-in-law and grandson were all killed in a motor accident five years ago.  Since that time she has run their crops, game and cattle farm on her own.  In August 2003 she won her High Court application challenging the validity of the  Sections 5 and 8 notices served on her.  Her legal action was unopposed.


In February Lt. General Sibanda posted four of his guards on Sutton Estate,  two of whom were to monitor Mrs Campbell’s every move. They  pitched their tent next to the fence right outside her bedroom window.


It is understood that Lt. General P.V. Sibanda was already in possession of a number of other farms before he turned his attention to Sutton Estate.  How he squares this with the regime’s purported policy of  “one man, one farm” is not known.


Following the brutal assault and death threats  Mrs Campbell fled the property.  She left behind her a number of in-calf cows and the equally vulnerable wild life in the game park. The few farm employees have also now fled for fear of further violent attack.


Pictures available on request.



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Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2004 5:19 PM
Subject: Have you forgotten so soon

Dear Family and Friends,

Two years ago the Zimbabwean parliament passed the Telecommunications Act
which required all Internet Service Providers to allow government to
monitor the email correspondence of their subscribers. The Act also
forbade the ISP's from informing their clients that their emails were
being read by government agents. In March 2004 the Supreme Court ruled
that these clauses of the Act were unconstitutional. It hasn't taken long
for our government to find a way around the ruling of the country's
highest court.

This week Zimbabwe's ISP's were told that they must sign contracts with
our government, a government which owns the country's telephone system and
therefore holds all the cards. The contract obliges all ISP's to provide
tracing facilites for what the Zimbabwe government call "nuisance or
malicious messages or communications."  The contracts will force
Zimbabwe's ISP's to block the content and report malicious messages to the
government.  The contract further states that the "use of the network for
anti-national activities will be regarded as an offence punishable under
Zimbabwean law." No one is yet saying just exactly what "anti-national"
messages are, or who will decide if an email is patriotic or not, but it
doesn't take much imagination to work this one out. So far Zimbabwe's
ISP's haven't signed the contract and say they are having meetings with
the government. This does not inspire much hope to ordinary email users
like me who have witnessed the results of similar meetings by the
commercial farmers, the daily independent press, the judiciary, the
private schools and even the cricket players.

Our biggest ISP said it would block mails and divulge the source of its
customers' emails if required to do so by law. Another ISP said that it
was prepared to close down rather than agree to spy on its clients.

As Zimbabwe's Big Brother watches us, I find myself turning again and
again to the quotation I used in "Beyond Tears" and the words are as true
today for Zimbabwe as they were for a Nazi victim in 1945: "First they
came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then
they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a
communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me - and there was
no one left to speak out for me."

If I have understood the imminent clamp down on emails correctly, it does
not only affect mails going out of Zimbabwe, but also those coming in. It
affects you and me and silences our voices. The voices of Zimbabwe's 3 and
half million people living in exile in democratic countries around the
world are absolutely deafening in their silence. I have not heard of
protests, marches, demonstrations, petitions or lobbying. White
Zimbabweans in exile say they do not speak out because it will be seen as
racism and sour grapes. Black Zimbabweans in exile say they do not speak
out because they will be seen as sellouts and Uncle Tom's. Have you
forgotten, so soon, why you loved Zimbabwe, because this one really does
affect us all. Love cathy.

Copyright cathy buckle 5th June 2004
My books on the Zimbabwean crisis, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are
available outside Africa  from: ; ; ;  in Australia and New Zealand: ;  Africa:
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From: "Trudy Stevenson"
Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2004 12:22 AM
Subject: Mobile Registration still on - New voters, transfers etc

Encouraged by some strong rumours that government is finally considering an
overhaul of the election process to make it more free and fair (!!), please
note that registration is still on for new voters, birth certificates, ID's

I list below the details for Mobile Registration Centres in Harare where new
voters, transfers, IDs, changes of name etc, details, birth certificates,
can be done.  You do NOT have to go to your local centre - you can use ANY
CENTRE as long as you bring documentary proof.

To register as a voter, take your birth certificate, National ID and proof
of residence.
PLEASE, CHURCHES, encourage your congregations to register.

up in any public place you can think of where people can read it - or make a
poster for your own area.

Borrowdale District Office Mon 6 - Wed 8 June
New March Farm 9 - 8 June (maybe they mean 8 - 9 June!)
Gletwyn Farm 12 - 14 June
Courtney Selous Primary 15 - 17 June
Zimphos Primary - 18 - 20 June
Mabvuku community Hall 21-25 June
Old Tafara Community Hall 26-30 June
Kambuzuma Comm Hall 6 June
Kambuzuma Section 5 Pre-school 7-9 June
Nettleton Primary 10 - 12 June
Suinnigdale District Office 13-16 June
Draycott Farm 17-19 June
Chedgelow Farm 20-23 June
Kutsaga Tobacco Research 24-27 June
Glen Norah A Community Hall 7-10 June
Glen Norah 1 High school 11-14 June
Mbare Netball Complex 15-18 June
Waterfalls District Office 19-21 June
Highfield Zimbabwe Hall 22-26 June
Rusvingo Primary School 27-30 June

NB there are other centres throughout the country.

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'White farmers don't want Zim sanctions'

      June 05 2004 at 10:20AM

Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma ruled out a trade embargo
against Zimbabwe on Friday, saying even white farmers there were against

Asked whether the South African government should consider an embargo to
pressurise Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe into moving towards political
change, she said: "No one country can bring peace and stability to and solve
anything in another country."

Referring to South Africa's history, she said it was organisations like the
United Nations which had imposed sanctions against apartheid, and "not
individual countries".

  .. This article was originally published on page 3 of The Independent on
Saturday on June 05, 2004
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Zimbabwe secretly imports maize

      June 05 2004 at 01:50PM

Up to 400 000 tons of maize - some of it from South Africa - have been
secretly imported into Zimbabwe over the past few months as the government
stocks up on food for distribution ahead of parliamentary elections next

Official sources said the imports would be used to make up the shortfall in
this year's harvest and ensure donors are kept out of food distribution

This would enable Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government to apply
food as the key weapon to win the two-thirds majority it badly needs in
parliament to change the constitution.

Key donors that helped Zimbabwe at the height of its food problems had
hitherto refused to give the government any opportunity to use food as a
political weapon.

The Zimbabwe government stands accused of misleading the world about its
anticipated harvests this season. It claims it will harvest 2.4 million tons
of maize, exceeding the country's annual requirements of about 1.8 million
to two million tons.

A United Nations crop assessment team that wanted to verify the government's
claims was kicked out of the country two weeks ago.

But the sources said at least 400 000 tons of maize had already been
imported and deposited at selected silos run by state owned Grain Marketing
Board. The sources say the maize is from South Africa, Zambia and the

a.. Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Friday ruled out a
trade embargo against Zimbabwe, saying even white farmers in that country
were opposed to sanctions.

Asked whether Pretoria should not consider a trade embargo as a weapon to
pressurise Mugabe to move towards political change, she said: "No one
country can bring peace, stability and solve anything in another country".

Civil society groups and others who were urging intervention from South
Africa, were "the very same people in Zimbabwe who had said there should not
be an embargo," she said.

  .. This article was originally published on page 1 of The Cape Argus on
June 05, 2004

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New Zimbabwe

What is between Chombo, Makwavarara?

By Faith Zaba
Last updated: 06/05/2004 22:35:15
PARLIAMENT burst out into laughter when Mutare North MP Giles Mutsekwa asked
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo
what he found in acting Harare mayor Sekesai Makwavarara that made him
continue to subvert democratic processes.

Even Chombo could not help but smile at the question, which Speaker of
Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa said was not a policy issue.
Chombo this week suspended 13 MDC councilors for defying a ministerial
directive not to conduct elections to choose a deputy mayor, who would have
replaced Makwavarara.

Makwavarara resigned from MDC early this year after her party ordered her to
relinquish her post as acting mayor in protest against the dismissal of
elected mayor Elias Mudzuri.

Chombo had issued a directive saying no elections would be held until 2006.
The acting mayor is currently residing in a council rented house in Gunhill
and is driving a council vehicle.

On another related question, Kuwadzana MP Nelson Chamisa asked Chombo if it
was government policy to victimise and make people suffer in cities won by
opposition parties.

He also wanted to know if it was government policy to use the Minister of
Local Government as an instrument to deal with the opposition in Zimbabwe.
Chombo said all local authorities were governed by the Urban Councils Act.
He said any person who violated the rules and regulations prescribed in the
legislation would be dealt with.

"The Minister of Local Government is the one who is mandated to superintend
and implement the Urban Councils Act and all local authorities," Chombo
Earlier, before, Chombo arrived in Parliament, Harare North MP Trudy
Stevenson had asked the acting Leader of the House, Joseph Made if it was
government policy to violate legislation like the Urban Councils Act, which
she said provided for elections every year.

She said the government interfered with the democratic process in Harare
when it prevented the council from conducting the elections to choose a
deputy mayor and councillors to various committees.

In response, Made failed to give an adequate answer, but instead spoke at
length about how MDC has mobilised its councillors and about how his
government would not tolerate such actions.

"The government will not stand back and allow a situation where the
generality of the population suffers as a result of that. As soon as you
realise that you have got to approach each area with that reasonableness,
the government will not stand by.

"Ultimately at the end of the day it is government's responsibility to make
sure that there is peace and tranquility and that the population does enjoy
the services that are supposed to be provided," said Made to interjections.

Seeing no connection between the response and the question, Gwanda North MP
Paul Themba-Nyathi asked Made what question he was responding to.
In an attempt to justify the response, Made said he was responding to
comments made in the question about democracy.

"So if you attach some other comments to your question that are not really
related to the issues that you are raising and insinuating that we are there
to ignore our own Acts, that is not the case and that is not our policy," he
On another issue St Mary's Member of Parliament Job Sikhala called on all
Zimbabweans to openly debate the person who should succeed President Robert

He told Parliament this week that this person, whether he is from Zanu PF or
his party MDC, should be "new blood".

Sikhala was contributing to debate in which the House was congratulating the
recently elected Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika and expressing its
appreciation for the peaceful atmosphere that surrounded the elections.

"I urge people of Zimbabwe to openly debate who should take over the reigns
of power in our country and which new blood should run this country. I do
not care whether that new blood comes from Zanu PF or MDC.

"The new blood should run the country in a manner not in old fashioned
liberation war movement type of rulership that is similar in some of the
despot countries. We urge some of our unrepentant brothers in Africa who
still want to cling to power forever, to learn lessons from a new crop of
leaders. I would also urge others in the different political parties that
when we are injecting new blood we must be free to debate about," he said.

Debating the same motion, Gokwe North MP Eleck Mkandla of Zanu PF thanked
the Malawian government for inviting the Speaker of Parliament Emmerson
Mnangagwa to witness the election process.

"I would like to thank the people of Zimbabwe for giving better advice to
Malawi by allowing to include the Speaker of Parliament in their processes.
If they did not believe in us, they would not have invited us.

"I would like to say that all leaders are chosen by God and the Malawian
people were given a leader by God. Even us we were given our leaders by
 God," he said.

He said like the people in Malawi who lost the election, MDC should learn to
accept defeat.

"You talk and talk and rather than discussing issues of development in your
country. If you want a leader of tomorrow you need to learn from other
countries and from international laws," Mkandla said.
From the Tribune

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Offering understanding of unfinished business
Reviewed by James Muzondidya,
June 04, 2004

James Muzondidya is a lecturer in the history department at the University
of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's Unfinished Business: Rethinking Land, State and Nation in the
Context of Crisis
Amanda Hammar, Brian Raftopoulos & Stig Jensen, eds.,
2003 Weaver Press, Harare xi + 316 pages

The 'Zimbabwe crisis' has become the subject of intense debate both inside
and outside Zimbabwe, and explanations for its origins, forms and outcomes
have been many and varied. What is, however, disappointing is that despite
their multiplicity, these explanations have done little to improve our
understanding of the complexity of the problems confronting the country. The
main problem being that many of these explanations have not only been
parochial and partisan but also imagined; seeking to interpret the present
problems out of history and context.

Moving away from the tradition of narrow and partisan explanations which
abound on the topic, this study, bringing together expertise from various
scholars, policy analysts, development practitioners and activists who have
all researched and written on Zimbabwe for years, analytically examines the
crisis through its complexities and contradictions while also trying to
suggest solutions to it. Zimbabwe's Unfinished Business's central thesis is
that the "crisis is multi-layered, and is rooted in the complex relationship
between contestations over land, processes of rule and state-making, and
constructions of nation and citizenship". It consists of nine chapters which
all address three interwoven themes in Zimbabwe's current history: the
question of justice and equity with regards to land and resource ownership
and redistribution; the restructuring and reconfiguration of the state; and
nationhood and citizenship in the postcolonial state.

"A different kind of imagination of farm workers and discourse of
citizenship and nationality is needed which allows for their full
incorporation into the postcolonial nation state" The opening chapter by the
two editors of the book, Amanda Hammar and Brian Raftopoulos, introduces the
main themes addressed by the study and lays out the lead arguments of each
chapter. It also provides a compact historical overview of events and
processes leading to the current crisis. The second chapter by Eric Worby
focuses on the current regime's obsession with the twin questions of
sovereignty and regime security which has not only led to the sidelining of
many other important issues of national development but has also resulted in
the exclusion of other groups from their citizenship rights. Worby argues,
essentially, that President Robert Mugabe, by evoking memories of
colonialism, nationalism and the 1970s war, has successfully used the
question of national sovereignty to legitimise his authoritarian,
unaccountable and often violent exercise of power. Yet, this sovereignty,
Worby further informs us, is not much about protecting the Zimbabwean
people's security from the threat posed by "racially grounded imperialism in
the guise of Western, neo-liberal orthodoxy". It is more about regime
security and control of power and its exercise by a much weakened and
beleaguered state.

Jocelyn Alexander's third chapter examines the changing relationships
between contestations over land and land use, processes of state-making,
definitions of nationalism and constructions of citizenship throughout the
post-independence period. She specifically compares and contrasts the
current phase of violent and forceful land occupation begun in 2000 with the
earlier occupations of the 1980s and 1990s. Apart from observing that the
earlier and current phases of land occupation differed, Alexander correctly
notes that there have been profound shifts in official and public discourses
over land and land occupations, in the nature and scope of social movements
seeking to claim land and the role of the state in the management of land
occupation. Such changes are well documented in other important works on the
land question in Zimbabwe, especially those done by the Zimbabwean expert on
land and agrarian studies, Sam Moyo (Moyo 1995, 1998, 2001, 2003). Alexander
posits that the changes denote the "critical shifts in the stakes, terms and
alliances marking Zimbabwe's unfolding politics of land", a proposition
difficult to argue against given the insurmountable evidence she presents to
back up her argument.

Focusing on local government and its continued violent disruption by
supporters of Zanu PF who include war veterans, youth militia, party
politicians and some government bureaucrats, the fourth chapter, by Amanda
Hammar, is yet again another rich contribution to the debate about the
current crisis. Noting that the sphere of local government has long been
characterised by contradictions, conflicts and contestations, Hammar argues
that the scale, terms and intensity of the present disruptions aimed at
asserting both the state and ruling party's control over resources and
populations is unprecedented and has radically altered the formal practices
of both politics and government. Reflecting on consequences of the ongoing
crisis and disorder Hammar argues that it has produced specific forms of
governance in which the use of irregular and unregulated power by certain
groups has come to be regarded as normal and the system of local government
itself has been reconfigured in terms of the structures of power and the
modalities of its exercise.

The fifth and sixth chapters of the book, by Blair Rutherford and Brian
Raftopoulos, respectively, discuss the issue of nationhood and citizenship
and the shape it has taken in Zimbabwe's current crisis. Rutherford's
chapter focuses on farm workers and shows how this group, comprising mainly
Malawian, Zambian and Mozambican immigrants and their descendants, has been
marginalised in the dominant politics of belonging and citizenship in the
postcolonial state. He argues that the moral consciousness and political
behaviour as well as civic and legal rights of farm workers and their
descendants has always been defined through a process of historical
imagination which anchored their identity in their location on the farms and
their presumed relationship with white farmers. In terms of belonging, since
independence farm workers have not easily fitted into the postcolonial
nation and as such have been largely excluded from the national project of
development and its associated institutional arrangement. This has had
devastating consequences for farm workers in the context of the present
crisis, during which they have been, in large numbers and often violently,
displaced by and excluded from the land resettlement process. Rutherford
argues for a different kind of imagination of farm workers and discourse of
citizenship and nationality which allows for their full incorporation into
the postcolonial nation state and increases their access to jobs, education,
land and other resources.

Brian Raftopoulos' chapter, on the other hand, focuses on the ways in which
the ruling Zanu PF government has sought to define nationhood and
citizenship in the current crisis. He argues that the party has resorted to
an increasingly authoritarian nationalism and selective interpretation of
the past to define nationhood in a way that not only shuts down the space
for alternative perspectives, but also marginalises other groups. In this
grand Zanu PF strategy aimed at re-asserting the party's political
dominance, nationalism has been redefined from the top down and all those
with alternative views and not subscribing to government political discourse
have been subjected to violence and oppression. Raftopoulos' chapter also
suggests that a central part of this process and politics has been a growing
exclusivity around the concept of citizenship, reformulated not only around
essentialised categories of race and ethnicity but also through the ruling
party's increasing attacks on foreign residents and their descendants,
mainly farm workers. Raftopoulos concludes that the Zanu PF strategy,
formulated against the backdrop of mounting pressure from impoverished
workers and peasants, protesting students and a disgruntled bourgeoisie, is
being adopted at a time when there is a serious breakdown of national
consensus on the discourse and politics of the liberation struggle: the
discourse of political rights on the one hand and economic redistribution on
the other. This is a poignant observation which to a larger extent explains
the current impasse.

The seventh chapter by Nelson Marongwe, focusing on conflicts over land and
natural resources across state lands, communal and resettlement areas, and
large-scale commercial farms, provides a solid analysis of the land
occupations that illustrate their historical, social, political and economic
contexts. It bases its analysis on fieldwork conducted on the post-February
2000 land occupations of white commercial farms. The chapter highlights an
important dimension to the occupations, including the motives of the
occupiers, the influence of outside interests, forms of mobilisation and
types and scales of occupations. Of particular interest in this chapter is
its analysis of the complexity of the occupations, especially with regard to
the respective roles and influences of the war veterans, the ruling party
and local factors in the occupations. Marongwe's analysis in this section
presents a complex picture of the occupations which shows that while the
state encouraged and supported the occupations for its own political project
the process had its own internal dynamics over which both the state and its
war veteran allies sometimes had no control.

Mandivamba Rukuni and Stig Jensen's chapter addresses the long-term effects
of the land occupations and the 'fast-track' resettlement programme and
tries to suggest measures needed to redress the problems. They argue that
the current "fast-track" programme has not only been chaotic but also
destructive to the economy and that a successful land reform programme is
dependent on establishing political stability, a sound economic base,
relations of trust and sufficient institutional capacity to undertake the
reforms. Contending that tenure security, in terms of individual and group
rights to land, is the very basis of political and social power, the chapter
also suggests fundamental changes in land tenure needed to guide the process
of land reform.

The final chapter of the book, by Ben Cousins, examines the significance and
effects of Zimbabwe's crisis in the broader context of post-colonial reform
and social transformation in the region. The central thesis of the chapter
is that the post-liberation governments of Southern Africa have dismally
failed to address the structural, social and political legacies of colonial
and apartheid rule, especially when it comes to introducing meaningful
social transformation and addressing the imbalances in the distribution and
ownership of land, a deeply contested economic and political resource in the

Drawing on the experiences of both land reform and democratisation in the
region, he argues that the process has been stalled largely because of the
shortcomings in current approaches and the polarisation of positions on the
subject. This polarisation has seen, on the one hand, the emphasising of the
"protection of private property under the rubric of good governance and
effective neo-liberal economic management", and on the other, the invocation
of identity politics and authoritarian nationalism to call for radical land
redistribution, but often masking corrupt and exclusionary practices.
Neither of these polarised positions, Cousins further argues, has the
capacity to provide solutions to the current crisis in "developmental
democracy" facing the region, thus making imperative the search for
alternative approaches which focus on reducing poverty and undermining the
foundations of structural inequality while simultaneously deepening

This is a well researched and excellently written book that provides a
nuanced and balanced analysis on the contemporary crisis in Zimbabwe. Unlike
most texts on the crisis which are mainly informed by, and also reflect, the
deep polarisation that exists in the country today, this book neither
reproduces the narrowly nationalist rhetoric of Zanu PF nor adopts
uncritically the liberalist counter-position. It rather provides some
provocative insights on the major issues and forces at play and argues for
the analytic inseparability of questions of land, state, nation and
citizenship. Zimbabwe's Unfinished Business is a good recommendation to
anyone interested in understanding the complexities of the crisis in
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Proposed email and internet censorship by the Zimbabwe government
June 04, 2004

It comes as no surprise that the Zimbabwe government is turning its
attention to censoring email and internet communications. Freedom of
expression has been under siege in Zimbabwe for the last few years.
Increasingly Zimbabweans find their human rights infringed upon in a variety
of insidious ways.

Just think about it for a second. You have to give notice to the police if
you intend to hold a public meeting. You can be harassed by the State if
gathered in groups of more than two. Wearing a pro-democracy T-shirt might
get you beaten up by intolerant thugs. The Daily News was unceremoniously
shut down. Editors from independent newspapers are routinely harassed and

And, by the way, our television and radio stations parrot the ruling party

So it's small wonder that the Zimbabwe government has recognised that email
and internet communications remain one of the only avenues through which
Zimbabweans can share information. Their latest move is a clear indication
of two things. First, their paranoia. Democratic governments should be
encouraging rather than limiting the right of their citizens to communicate,
disseminate and access information. Second, the ruling party is yet again
illustrating its weakened position in Zimbabwean politics. As we approach
Parliamentary Elections it is clear that Zanu PF is afraid that free
expression will inhibit their success at the polls rather than assist their
election campaign.

Quite clearly Zanu PF is actively promoting an unfair election environment
that will ultimately call into question the legitimacy of the Parliamentary

Curiously, as Zimbabweans face increasing repression it also gives us the
opportunity to show our mettle. Let's look at what we can do as ordinary
citizens who believe in our right to access and share information.

Very few Zimbabweans use email and the internet to send political messages
or share their political views. Most often people discuss politics at work,
church and when they socialise. What the ruling party should realise is that
they can make it harder for Zimbabweans to communicate on a mass basis but
they can't stop people talking.

Let's be clear: it is not illegal to receive human rights and civic
information either via email, through the post or by leaflet dropped in your
post box. If this were the case then all newspapers carrying an opinion
different from the ruling party would be banned. We might be on our way
there but we're not there yet.

So an act of defiance, an act of faith, and certainly an act of patriotism
in the hope for a new democratic Zimbabwe will be YOU asking to remain on
important email mailing address lists. These include, National
Constitutional Association (NCA), Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU),
Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe, Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ),
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Zvakwana, Sokwanele, ZWNews, and

Both ISPs and the ruling party do not have the capacity to check the content
of all electronic communication. One of the ruling party's tactics is to
issue inflammatory and scary directives whilst having very little capacity
to follow through on their threats. They hope that people will get scared
and will censor themselves. Don't let them manipulate and frighten you!

Yes, they can use "sniffer" programmes that flag certain words and draw
attention to that specific email. The content of that email might then be
perused by peeping-Jonathans. The effort that is required to manage this
type of snooping is enormous, so one tactic is to flood the email system
with emails that contain so-called dangerous words to make the ruling
party's job that much harder. For example every time you send an email put a
sentence like

  It is time for mass action: mobilise and fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Be
part of the movement for respect and dignity: stay-away from unprotected

at the bottom of your email.

If enough people do this, sniffer programmes will pick up on key words that
the censors will have deemed "malicious" and they'll soon be bored by
ploughing through loads of innocuous messages.

Another tactic you can use if you're afraid of receiving or imparting
information is to create a web based email address. Hotmail and Yahoo
addresses are free and they're internet based. Being internet based means
that your messages do not pass through Internet Service Provider's mail
servers. Perhaps you don't have access to the internet at work but you could
always use an internet café once a week in order to stay informed. And if
you can't be bothered to go this extra mile then you should reflect on
whether you believe freedom of expression is worth protecting and fighting
for. Or not. calls upon all Internet Service Providers to roundly reject any
attempts to have their subscribers' email communications monitored. We are
pleased to share with you this excerpt from a recent Zimbabwe Internet
Service Provider Association (ZISPA) statement:

ZISPA wishes to confirm that there is no monitoring of any sort of any
e-mails by any of its members at the moment and that none of its members
have signed the proposed contract amendment.
ZISPA Press Release, "Monitoring of e-mails" dated 3 June 2004

Keep on talking. Keep on communicating. facilitates email and
internet activism workshops. Get in touch with us if you have a group of 10
people who would like to learn more about using email for advocacy.
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From VOA News, 4 June

Zimbabwe hospitals criticized for keeping babies, mothers until bills are

Harare - Zimbabwean officials have reacted angrily to news reports that
leading hospitals are detaining newborn babies and their mothers until they
pay their bills. This method of bill collection has been going on in
Zimbabwe for some time. The minister of health, Dr. David Parirenyatwa, told
the state-controlled newspaper The Herald that his ministry has not gone
into the legality of the custom but in no way condones the practice. He was
reacting to a story in the same paper which said 28 newborn babies with
their mothers were being detained at Harare Central Hospital until their
hospital bills were settled. Hospital superintendent Dr. Chris Tapfumaneyi
defended the detentions saying the hospital could not just let the women go
without settling their bills. He said the hospital is owed millions of
dollars by some patients who simply disappear after being discharged. It was
reported that, following the ministry's intervention, the hospital had
ordered the release of the women being held for non-payment. However Dr.
Tapfumaneyi could not be reached for comment. Another doctor who works at
the hospital said the unorthodox practice of holding patients for payment is
not new. The doctor, who spoke to VOA on condition of anonymity, said it is
also not unusual for hospitals to demand payment from relatives of the dead
before they can claim the body. The doctor said hospital officials can use
their discretion if patients or their relatives claim they cannot pay. At
independence in 1980, Zimbabwe introduced free health care for low-income
patients but as the country's economy deteriorated in recent years,
hospitals began to insist that everybody had to pay.
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