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

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"Come to the edge He said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge He said.
They came.
He pushed them, and
they flew..."
   -Guillaume Apollinaire

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6 June 2003

In a clear attempt to provoke violence and bloodshed, the government of Zimbabwe has deployed thousands of the notorious ZANU PF government trained militia in all the major streets of Harare and stationed hundreds more at Africa Unity Square where people are scheduled to march.

The rented thugs who have been issued with T-shirts written NO TO MASS ACTION are walking freely in the streets of Harare in large groups. This freedom to walk freely, tear up copies of independent newspapers and harass members of the public in full view of the police underlines the fact that freedom for the people is now in the pocket of the regime. It is being apportioned to only a few individuals who are willing to sell their souls for pieces of silver.

It is shocking that the Mugabe regime is prepared to pour millions of dollars of the tax payers money in purchasing and printing T-shirts and feed the rented thugs at a time when such resources should be channeled towards bringing fuel and food to a starving nation. It shows quite clearly that the Mugabe regime's priorities are warped. It is now clear that what the dictator is only concerned about is the preservation of its brutal power and nothing else.

The people of Zimbabwe must be commended for having realised the folly of the dictator's grand plan of trying to draw the nation into direct confrontation with the rented thugs and divert attention from its own failures.

The fight for freedom continues and victory is certain. No amount of money and state repression will stop the tide.

Paul T Nyathi,
Secretary for Information and Publicity

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News Update

Two MDC officials, Abraham Mdlongwa and Getrude Mthombeni have been denied
bail by Magistrate John Masimba. They will reappear in two weeks time for a
further hearing. The third person Milton Gwetu has been granted bail of Zd $
100 000. The state refused bail on the basis that Mdlongwa and Mthombeni had
other charges pending for similar offences.

Access to Khami for food and support is very difficult and generally food is
not available in stock for prisoners.

At least 20 others are due to appear in court today on charges related to
the week of action and stay away called by the MDC and civic partners.
Another 10 were arrested yesterday bringing the number of arrests to 90.

For more information, please call the Crisis Information Centre on Hot lines
091 408 026 /  091 274 664 / 091 294 951 / 023 514 895
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Email from Zim

We've just been to town again. Fair number of people around Africa
Unity Square wearing "No to Mass Action" T-shirts evidently to
intimidate anyone who might be thinking of demonstrating. No sign of
leadership. Many/most shops still closed.

Saw Roy Bennett (MDC MP). He said that a bus load of ZANU-PF people
were at the rendezvous. That seemed to be the reason why the
leadership was not visible. I think it would be fair to say that he
was somewhat disappointed about the absence of other leaders, though
he mentioned the significant amount of beatings that have been taking
place in the high-density areas. There's a possibility that something
might take place later, but somehow I doubt it.

Again, it's not possible to know how many of the fairly large number
of people apparently "going about their business" might have joined a

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Harare, June 6 2003.

It is a matter of public record that Zimbabweans from all walks of life overwhelmingly responded to the first stage of our final phase of democratic resistance.

The call by the MDC for a national shutdown and mass action represents a national effort to challenge an unpopular regime. This was the first dose of action in the final phase of the people’s collective push against this regime under our code: The Final Push.

True to form, the regime responded with the predictable brute force and mass reprisals. But as expected, this failed to stop the people from demonstrating their unflinching support for the MDC.

Special tribute goes to the men and women who braved the brutality of the Mugabe regime. Some were killed. Others were injured. Scores were arrested.

In a normal democracy, the people’s response to our call for action could have led to the resignation of a sitting regime. Instead, Robert Mugabe still thinks the mass action was a flop.

The national effort to challenge the Mugabe regime to resolve the current crisis will now continue with greater intensity from today. More action is coming as we apply internal pressure on Mugabe for national dialogue.

We have a natural right to intensify the fight for good governance.

In our short history of the struggle against tyranny in Zimbabwe, the June 2 to 6 2003 mass action has been the most successful and indeed, the most devastating in terms of sapping the morale and confidence of the Mugabe dictatorship.

Through peaceful mass action, the people of Zimbabwe delivered a mortal blow to the dictator. They have aptly demonstrated their capacity to set the limits to the dictatorship.

From Monday, June 2, up to today June 6, Mugabe was not in charge of this country. He was busy marshalling his forces of repression against the sovereign will of the people of Zimbabwe. However, even in the context of the brutalities inflicted upon them, the people’s spirit of resistance was not broken and the jackboot or the sound of gunfire will never silence their demand for change and freedom.

For the past five days, therefore, the people of Zimbabwe reclaimed their sovereignty. They were in charge. This was a major installment, indeed a landmark towards a permanent recovery of their freedom.

Throughout the world the struggle against tyranny and the retrieval of stolen freedom and liberty has never been a single event, but a traumatic process of relentless sacrifice and utmost dedication. We in Zimbabwe are not exempt from following the route charted by democrats and fellow fighters for freedom the world over.

Consequently, the peaceful mass action that we embarked upon is the beginning of new multifaceted phase towards a permanent resolution of the crisis. Whereas in the past our mass action concentrated on stayaways, we have now entered a qualitatively different phase where we have added peaceful marches to confront the dictator on the streets of every city and every town.

As a result the dictator is now cornered and reduced to using the hit and run tactics of a bandit against defenceless people.

As we progress in the fight for our freedom we shall continue to explore and add new sites and arenas of struggle on our agenda for change until the ultimate goal is achieved.

The people are now well aware of the exact nature of the crisis and the dimensions and sites of the struggle and in future there will be no need for trumpeting resistance to the dictatorship.

From now onwards we will embark on rolling mass action at strategic times of our choice and without any warning to the dictatorship. The spirit of resistance has sunk organic roots in the people and the Mugabe dictatorship will never be allowed again to trample on people’s rights with impunity. More action, as I said, is certainly on the way.

Mugabe has now been exposed as a violent and illegitimate dictator with absolutely no pretence to any semblance of civil mass support. He continues to shamelessly hang on to power through brutal force.

The current phase of the people’s mass action has demonstrated to Mugabe where his power lies. He is now under no illusion about this.

His power now lies completely in the forces of repression supervised by a coterie of his bootlickers.

He has ceased to be a civilian leader ruling with the consent of the people.

He is now a civilian dictator propped up by sections of a subverted police and military.

Not even his regional and continental supporters can alter that fact. The regime is now a self-serving dictatorship in pursuit of its own narrow material interests at the expense of the welfare of millions of Zimbabweans.

Through their weapon of peaceful and steadfast protest the people of Zimbabwe have demonstrated their resilience and determination to confront the dictatorship in the face of mortal peril.

The people have been tortured, brutalized and murdered by a regime that is meant to protect them. Their only crime is that they sought to peacefully demonstrate against the dictatorship, assert their democratic rights and reclaim their freedom.

The people’s message of peace was met with blood and iron. All these atrocities are not in vain. They lay the foundation for a future democratic culture that will never again allow one dictator and his cronies to capture the state and use it as an instrument to oppress the people.

There is life at the end of all this suffering. As I said before, if we want life we must expect pain.

I therefore want to say to the people of Zimbabwe: You have demonstrated tremendous courage in the face of evident danger. You have remained disciplined and peaceful. You have remained steadfast.

The struggle for freedom demands unwavering commitment and sacrifice. Lets maintain our unity of purpose and lets travel the last mile together towards our freedom.

Victory is inevitable.

Morgan Tsvangirai
MDC President.

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6 June 2003
Zimbabwe Press Release 15 (13.45hrs)
Bulawayo 1330 hrs

CIO and Senior Army Officers arrived at St Mary’s cathedral and spoke to Archbishop Pius Ncube in advance of the planned church service for Justice and Peace. These agents of the state were reported to have been in a very intimidating mood. This interview continued for half an hour.
The Archbishop was instructed not to march after the service and told that there were to be not politics in the church, no political slogans, posters or dress denoting politics of any kind.
When the PA system was being installed, the Security Forces then demanded that it be taken down.
The situation is tense as prayer time nears.
Two MDC officials, Abraham Mdlongwa and Getrude Mthombeni have been
denied bail by Magistrate John Masimba. They will reappear in two weeks time for a further hearing. The third person Milton Gwetu has been granted bail of
Zd $100 000. The state refused bail on the basis that Mdlongwa and Mthombeni had other charges pending for similar offences.
Access to Khami for food and support is very difficult and generally
food is not available in stock for prisoners.
At least 20 others are due to appear in court today on charges related
to the week of action and stay away called by the MDC and civic partners.
Another 10 were arrested yesterday bringing the number of arrests, Bulawayo, to
Chiredzi 1325 hrs
Five people and one child have been arrested in the town centre after heavily armed troops reacted to cars tooting their horns. Full report to follow.
Harare 1315 hrs
In a clear attempt to provoke violence and bloodshed, the government of Zimbabwe has deployed thousands of the notorious ZANU PF government trained militia in all the major streets of Harare and stationed hundreds more at Africa Unity Square where people are scheduled to march.
They have been issued with T-shirts written “NO TO MASS ACTION” and are walking freely in the streets of Harare in large groups.  If you are seen taking a photograph they report you to the police.
Victoria Falls
Reports have come in that the police and the Central Intelligence Organisation are meeting today to decided what action to take against the businesses that closed for the duration of the mass stayaway.

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Hot Information

I am sending this as an open message as a warning to anyone in Zimbabwe who
has had any dealings or acquaintance with a chap called Crean.  'Paddy'
Crean was in the Black Boots, then went to ZRP Duty Uniform Branch and in
the late '90s had become a Chief Superintendant based at Harare Central.
I have the information from two separate sources, both who were in the Black
Boots when I was there, and both stayed on then had to flee quite recently
(the one beaten quite badly) because of their prior service with Rhodesian
The information is as follows, that this chap Crean was working as a super
grass informing on whites and selling them out to the CIO - often on
spurious charges- which explains why so many had to flee Zimbabwe,
particularly in the '80s after unexpected arrests and detentions and
Please pass the warning on.  Apparently he is still in circulation if not
directly employed by the Mugabe regime and would still be in a position to
infiltrate circles and pass information back to the CIO. I knew him as
'Paddy' Crean - (Paddy due to him being Irish). Be careful of any
association with him especially in the current times.  Remember the
soubriquet 'Walls Have ears!'

 In the meantime I will ask people here to circulate the information through
our networks.
His location would be useful to know.

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One of the Valuation Consortium firms has been charging full formal
valuation fees outside the terms and spirit of the valuation consortium. If
anyone is in this position please contact JAG. JAG facilitated and brokered
the formation of the Valuation consortium with a view to assisting farmers
facing imminent forced illegal eviction especially with regard to costs
incurred. We hope to be able to further assist those farmers facing


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As you can see from the photos, What STRONGLY resembles Bredenkamp's chopper is involved. They all landed at State House about 30 mins after Morgan was arrested and as recorded by one of our men on the ground:

"All three choppers departed South (to airport?) from State House 1657 hrs., followed ten min later by the two Alouettes that had been on op all day. Probably for the Nkomo funeral in Byo..."
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Tsvangirai arrested on new charge of treason

      June 06 2003 at 06:48PM

By Stella Mapenzauswa and Cris Chinaka

Harare - Police arrested Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on
Friday and charged him with treason as anti-government protests faltered in
the face of a massive show of force by President Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai, head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was arrested
after a news conference in which he vowed to press ahead with protests
against Mugabe, whom he accuses of being an illegitimate and increasingly
incompetent leader.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said Tsvangirai was being charged with
treason in connection with a series of statements since the disputed March
2002 elections that allegedly incited his supporters to seek Mugabe's

"We picked him up in connection with the many statements he has been making
since the presidential elections," Bvudzijena said.

Tsvangirai, who urged Zimbabweans to turn out "in their millions" this week
to express their dissatisfaction with Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party,
has launched a legal challenge to Mugabe's 2002 election in polls widely
decried as fraudulent.

Lawyer Innocent Chagonda said Tsvangirai - who is already on trial for
treason in connection with an alleged plot on Mugabe's life - would be held
until Saturday when he was due to appear before a magistrate.

"There is absolutely no basis for the arrest," Chagonda told CNN, adding
that Tsvangirai would deny seeking Mugabe's ouster.

"The purpose of organising these stayaways and demonstrations was to put
pressure on Mugabe and the Zanu-PF government to come to the negotiating
table with MDC for the purpose of finding a solution to the crisis that has
gripped this country," he said.

The opposition accuses Mugabe's government of political repression and
mismanagement that has left the country's economy in tatters.

Tsvangirai was briefly detained on Monday, and government lawyers are now
seeking a court order to ban him from making "inflammatory" comments or
inciting the public.

On Friday, the last day of a five-day campaign of MDC protests which the
government has declared illegal, thousands of young men wearing white
T-shirts emblazoned with the words "No to Mass Action" flooded central
Harare, apparently to discourage any attempts by MDC protesters to take to
the streets.

In outlying townships, more young militia members patrolled the streets
singing the praises of Zanu-PF.

Elsewhere in the country, police stopped a handful of people who tried to
march in the country's second city of Bulawayo, while another planned MDC
protest in southern Masvingo province was reported to have collapsed in the
face of heavy security.

"There are soldiers, police, paramilitary police and Zanu-PF youth brigades
everywhere," said Douglas Mwonzora, speaking for the pressure group National
Constitutional Assembly.

In his news conference, Tsvangirai conceded the bruising response to the
protest drive - which began on Monday when riot police used tear gas and
rifle butts to disperse protests in several places around the country - had
made MDC supporters reluctant to stage open demonstrations.

But he described the week-long drive as an overwhelming success and said the
opposition would continue the protests.

"From now onwards we will embark on rolling mass action at strategic times
of our choice and without any warning to the dictatorship," he said.

Mugabe, now 79 and in power since independence from Britain in 1980, says he
is being targeted by Western powers and their local proxies angry over his
policy of seizing white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

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Anchorage Daily News Alaska
Government clamors for order in Zimbabwe; opposition leader arrested
Copyright © 2003 Nando Media
Copyright © 2003 AP Online

By ANGUS SHAW, Associated Press

AP Photo
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks at a news conference in Harare on Friday hours before his arrest on treason charges.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (June 6, 12:23 p.m. ADT) - Police arrested Zimbabwe's main opposition leader and charged him with treason Friday as hundreds of security forces took control of the streets of the capital and prevented marches demanding the resignation of President Robert Mugabe.

Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested just after he vowed to continue protests - only now without warning.

"From now onwards we will embark on rolling mass action at strategic times of our choice and without any warning to the dictatorship," he told reporters. "More action is certainly on the way."

But Tsvangirai acknowledged that the unprecedented security crackdown had thwarted huge street demonstrations his opposition movement had planned for Friday to cap five days of strikes and protests.

Government forces have resorted to beating protesters, firing warning shots in the air and opening fire with water cannons and tear gas to break up demonstrations this week. The strikes have ground the battered economy to a halt in the biggest opposition challenge to Mugabe's 23-year authoritarian rule.

Ahead of Friday's planned marches, soldiers, police and ruling party militiamen flooded the capital in the largest security operation since independence in 1980. Military helicopters swooped over Harare's skies, while military vehicles ferried troops through the city and police cars patrolled the streets.

Hundreds of ruling party backers - wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with the words, "No to Mass Action" - occupied Harare's main square, where opposition leaders had called on their supporters to gather. A few opposition attempts to mass in the streets quickly fizzled.

Tsvangirai, the leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, was arrested at his home on Friday.

"He is being charged with treason for the many statements he has been making calling for the violent removal of the president," said police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena.

Treason carries a possible death penalty in Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai already is on trial on a separate treason charge that accuses him of plotting to assassinate Mugabe two years ago. Tsvangirai and two other opposition officials on trial with him say they have been framed by the government.

Shortly before his arrest, Tsvangirai said support for the strike and the government crackdown showed that Mugabe remains in power only through force.

The new treason charges were widely seen here as an attempt to neutralize the opposition leader whose calls for action to protest the Mugabe government have become steadily more defiant.

Tsvangirai said the protests are aimed at forcing Mugabe to the negotiating table, where "his exit would be hammered out in the best interests of the country."

"It is generally agreed he has become a liability to the nation," Tsvangirai said.

Other African leaders have urged Mugabe to enter into negotiations with the opposition, but he has refused, saying Tsvangirai's movement must first drop a lawsuit challenging his election and acknowledge him as the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe.

The MDC sued after the presidential election that it alleges was rigged. Most independent observers said the election was deeply flawed and neither free nor fair.

The government, under its draconian new security laws, had declared weeklong protests and work stoppages illegal. Tsvangirai was briefly arrested Monday, the first day.

The opposition blames Mugabe for sinking the country into political and economic ruin. There are shortages of food, medicine, fuel, and currency, and annual inflation is at 269 percent. Widespread starvation has been avoided only with international aid.

"Mugabe has now been exposed as a violent and illegitimate dictator with absolutely no pretense to any semblance of civil mass support," Tsvangirai told reporters.

Reinforcements of police and troops have been deployed across the country. In the country's second largest city, Bulawayo, opposition officials said troops in full combat gear were patrolling the streets.

Nathan Shamuyarira, the ruling party's secretary for information, told state media that the Zanu-PF's politburo, its top policy making bureau, recommended "stringent security measures" to stop the protests.

"The time has now come for a showdown with the MDC. It was agreed that we should also use the manpower resources in our movement to stop the MDC from disrupting the economy," Shamuyarira told the state Herald newspaper.

Some of the ruling party militias were seen shouting at people on the street, demanding that shops adhering to a general strike in Harare be reopened.

Most businesses, however, in Harare remained closed Friday.

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            Zimbabwe businesses start counting financial losses
            June 06, 2003, 19:45

            Zimbabwe's businesses have begun counting their financial losses
after nearly a week of production lost to a five-day mass action called by
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to force President
Mugabe out of power.

            Industry estimates 70% of businesses were closed as a result of
the mass action. There are no definite figures yet on the amount of business
lost in the last four days, but the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce
(ZNCC), says it will run into billions of Zimbabwe dollars.

            Individual companies share these losses but indirectly its
another blow to the country's already troubled economy.

            The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Zimbabwe's
largest industrial body, is equally breathing fire. Anthony Mandiwanza, the
President of CZI, says business is paying too high a price for political

            The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange did not trade for most of the week,
and authorities there, say hundreds of million Zimbabwe dollars were lost.

            Early in the week, government threatened withdrawing trading
licenses for businesses that did not open during the mass action. Debate has
now begun on who will foot the cost of the last five days, the employer or
the employee?

            Both the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and the
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries say they are not prescribing any action
their members should take against employees that did not turn up for work in
the last few days. But whatever measures individual employers take even that
of withholding payment will have the support of the bodies.
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Amateur video shows attack on photographer's car in Harare

Friday June 06, 2003

LONDON (AP) Amateur video from Zimbabwe broadcast in Britain on Friday
showed a man armed with a bayonet threatening to set fire to the
camerawoman's car and demanding she hand over her camera during clashes
between protesters and security forces.

The footage, shown on Sky News, was shot during protests at Zimbabwe
University on Monday, the first day of a week of demonstrations and strikes
held by the opposition demanding the resignation of President Robert Mugabe.

Soldiers, police and pro-government militiamen have used a heavy hand to put
down the protests, including beating marchers and firing tear gas,
ammunition and water cannon. On Friday, the largest security presence yet
clamped down on the capital, preventing a climactic day of marches.

Laurinda Whitehead, an amateur photographer, was filming Monday's protests
at the university when her car was attacked. She refused to give up the
camera and said she and a companion raced around Zimbabwe's capital Harare
for 20 minutes before they were able to shake off their attacker.

The video footage shows a man clambering on to the back of the car Whitehead
was traveling in, saying, ``I want the camera.''

Whitehead is then heard screaming: ``He's getting matches. Hurry up! Hurry
up, for Christ's sake!''

The male driver is then heard shouting: ``Help me, get this man off here,
he's trying to burn my car. Help!''

In its report, Sky said footage of the government crackdown taken by amateur
photographers, like Whitehead, has been smuggled out of the country to the
network's South Africa office. The report did not give Whitehead's

The wave of protests and strikes is the biggest challenge yet by the
opposition to Mugabe's 23-year rule. The government has vowed to put down
street marches and on Friday arrested the top opposition leader, Morgan

The opposition blames Mugabe for sinking the country into political and
economic ruin. There are shortages of food, medicine, fuel, and currency,
and annual inflation is at 269 percent. Widespread starvation has been
avoided only with international aid.


(see the video footage at,,30200-12339432,00.html )
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      UK protests at Tsvangirai's arrest

Britain has protested at the arrest of Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai on treason charges.

He was detained after he vowed to step up protests against President Robert
Mugabe by staging strikes and demonstrations.

Mr Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change,
was arrested at his home and taken to the main Harare police station.

Treason carries a possible death penalty in Zimbabwe.

Mr Tsvangirai is already on trial on a separate treason charge that alleges
he plotted to assassinate Mugabe two years ago. Mr Tsvangirai and two other
opposition officials on trial with him say they have been framed by the

Foreign Office minister Bill Rammell said: "It is very worrying indeed and
we are extremely concerned that Morgan Tsvangirai has been arrested for the
second time in a week by the Zimbabwean government.

"That does not face up to the fundamental problems that Zimbabwe faces in
terms of governance, the economy and human rights which the government ought
to be focusing on, and even at this stage we would urge them, instead of
rounding up opposition figures, to actually engage with the opposition and
engage in dialogue."

Story filed: 18:19 Friday 6th June 2003
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From ZWNEWS, 6 June

Leader of English Catholics urges special prayers for Zimbabwe

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal
Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, has urged special prayers for Zimbabwe this week as
Robert Mugabe's regime attempts through a brutal crackdown to suppress a
nationwide protest against his rule. "As the protests continue we pray that
they remain peaceful and call on the Zimbabwe government to show dignity,
restraint and respect for the people and for democracy,'' the Cardinal said
in a statement. His asked churches in the Diocese of Westminster, of which
he is archbishop, to pray this week for peace and justice in Zimbabwe. The
people of Zimbabwe are likely to be included in the bidding prayers at most
Masses this Sunday in the huge diocese covering London and some surrounding
districts. The Cardinal's appeal follows a visit by Archbishop Pius Ncube of
Bulawayo, the most outspoken church leader against the human rights
violations of the regime, to Britain and the United States. The British
visit aroused controversy because there was no publicity and the archbishop,
who has won international acclaim for his courage, was not available for
media interviews. After critical reports in The Spectator, a conservative
weekly, and London-based Catholic Herald, the archbishop issued a statement
in Bulawayo saying the visit had been productive, and the bishops of England
and Wales had been "concerned that my position as mediator and peacemaker
would not be compromised in any way."

In an editorial last week, The Catholic Herald urged the bishops of England
and Wales to speak out against the Mugabe regime. The Catholic Church has
long played an important role in Zimbabwe and many Catholics have been
dismayed at the failure of the bishops in Britain to take a public stand -
not least because Mugabe himself professes to be a Catholic. In addition,
the stance of Archbishop Ncube has been in sharp contrast to that of the
late Archbishop of Mashonaland Patrick Chakaipa who was a longtime apologist
for Mugabe. After Archbishop Chakaipa died recently, the Mugabe regime
sought to have him declared a national hero. There are, however, signs of
growing criticism from Catholic leaders. In a carefully worded Lenten
pastoral letter in March, the Catholic bishops of Zimbabwe urged the
re-establishment of "an environment of peace and justice which encourages
full participation of all citizens in the affairs of their nation." Pope
Pius II criticised the seizure of commercial farms when Zimbabwe's new
ambassador to the Vatican presented his credentials. Today, Archbishop Ncube
and other Christian leaders are due to speak at a service for justice and
peace at St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral in Bulawayo. Police and supporters of
Mugabe's Zanu PF party have in the past broken up prayer meetings - most
recently those before the protest last week. On Wednesday, police and Zanu
PF militia rampaged through a Harare hospital, attacking and arresting
wounded protesters.
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From News24 (SA), 4 June

Radio journos arrested

Harare - Two journalists from a pirate radio station were arrested in
Zimbabwe this week in a crackdown by security forces against opposition-led
mass action, the government and a media watchdog said on Wednesday. "Two
journalists working for a pirate radio station were arrested during a raid
on their offices," Foreign Affairs Minister Stan Mudenge said in a security
update he gave to Harare-based foreign diplomats in Harare. Shorai Katiwa
and Martin Chimenya of the Voice of the People (VOP) were "detained,
interrogated, beaten and had their mobile phones and recorders confiscated"
by youths and war veterans from the ruling Zanu PF party, the Media
Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) confirmed in a statement. The watchdog
said they were later taken to the police for further interrogation and
released after police found nothing "suspicious" in their computer files.
Netherlands-based VOP broadcasts into Zimbabwe on shortwave. Its offices
were firebombed in August last year. The three-year-old shortwave radio
station is one of only two broadcasters which have managed to circumvent
Zimbabwe's repressive media laws by using transmitters outside the country
to carry their programmes on shortwave. Most of VOP's programming is in
Zimbabwe's two local languages, Shona and Ndebele, placing it among the few
independent media that can reach the large rural population who have no
access to urban newspapers.
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TransAfrica Forum

Why We Spoke Out on Zimbabwe
By Bill Fletcher, Jr., President of TransAfrica Forum

The decision to issue a statement strongly condemning the current regime of
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe was far from easy. President Mugabe had
been a hero of mine and I had been a strong supporter of the Zimbabwe
African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) during the national
liberation war. Nevertheless, as with my other colleagues and
co-signatories, it became clear that silence and inaction on the
deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe was no longer acceptable. Indeed, it is
not clear that failing to comment on developments there had ever been a
proper course of action.

Many of us in the US who see ourselves as progressive have interpreted
developments in Zimbabwe in very different ways. Honest people can disagree.
At the same time, it is important for us to identify the source of the
disagreement, particularly if we ever hope to overcome such disputes.

In the case of Zimbabwe, the rhetoric of the Mugabe regime is disconnected
from the actual evolution of the country post-independence. The irony of the
current rhetoric of President Mugabe is that its militancy stands in
opposition to many of the practices that he himself followed in the years
subsequent to the Lancaster House Agreements of December 1979 that brought
about Zimbabwe's freedom in 1980. President Mugabe, the truth be told,
supported the structural adjustment policies insisted upon by the
International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In fact, it was largely the
backward and anti-people economic policies of his government that resulted
in the development of a major opposition movement in the late 1990s.

President Mugabe has convinced many people of good will, here in the USA,
that his stand on land redistribution demonstrates his commitment to true
Black majority rule in Zimbabwe. What is strikingly odd about this is that
land redistribution could have been conducted over the last 10 years (for
the first ten, due to the terms of the Lancaster House Agreements, there was
little that could be done). In fact, it needed to happen. The demand for
land by agricultural workers and farmers was a real initiative. While it is
absolutely the case that the US and Britain were to assist in subsidizing
the land redistribution (and in fact reneged on this promise) the issue of
land redistribution was largely ignored by President Mugabe's government
until a mass opposition movement arose that challenged his, until then,
undisputed leadership role. It was only at that juncture that President
Mugabe championed immediate land redistribution, but in a manner that
benefited not the mass of agricultural workers and farmers, but instead
first and foremost the party faithful of the ZANU-PF-the ruling party.

Deciding to speak out on Zimbabwe does not mean that I or the other
signatories either support or oppose the principal opposition movement: the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Rather, speaking out represents a
concern that the current political repression conducted by the government is
fueling fires that might ignite into civil war. The MDC, contrary to
President Mugabe's propaganda, is neither a small clique of opponents nor
agents of Western imperialism. They are a mass-based opposition that has
often contradictory politics. That said, driving the country to the brink of
civil war not only threatens the future of Zimbabwe, but as well threatens
to destabilize Southern Africa as a whole.

A final point. Speaking out on Zimbabwe is also a 'preemptive strike'
against the 'regime change rhetoric'-and possible actions-of the Bush
administration and the Blair administration (in Britain). Both the USA and
Britain have opportunistically seized upon the crisis in Zimbabwe over the
last two years in order to focus attention on the plight of the white
farmers. Despite many other human rights situations that have been far
worse, both within Africa as well as globally, Bush and Blair have called
attention to the alleged plight of the white farmers and their loss of land.
We, who have signed this letter, share nothing in common with the politics
or sentiments of Bush or Blair. We are, in fact, quite worried that in the
triumphalism that has followed the US/British invasion of Iraq, that Bush
and Blair may choose to opt for a military intervention (covert or overt) in
Zimbabwe in order to install a regime more favorable to their imperial
ambitions. Such a step would have a catastrophic impact region wide.

I believe, in issuing the open letter to President Mugabe, that Africans
must resolve the situation in Zimbabwe. There is no role for the regime
change mania of Bush and Blair. Yes, it is time for a new, progressive
leadership to emerge in Zimbabwe, a leadership that draws from the best
elements of the ZANU-PF and the MDC. A leadership that charts a course for
Zimbabwe toward self-determined development and democracy. But that course
must be developed by Africans, with the help of Zimbabwe's neighbors, and
absent the megalomania and interventionism of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and
10 Downing Street.

[Note: for excellent background reading I would suggest Patrick Bond &
Masimba Manyanya, Zimbabwe Plunge: Exhausted Nationalism, Neo-liberalism and
the Search for Social Justice. Published by Merlin Press, 2002].
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Saturday Nation - Kenya

Saturday, June 7, 2003

Stop Harare's slide to abyss
Zimbabwe's political and economic problems seem to be mounting, with
nationwide strikes, and very violent police response to them.
The Robert Mugabe government has also kept up its crackdown on the
opposition, alleging they are plotting with "foreign forces" to destabilise
the country, and partly used the same argument to muzzle the independent

Zimbabwe presents a dilemma for Africa. The latest phase of its crisis was
precipitated by Mugabe's move to seize land from white settlers who
dispossessed indigenous Africans in the first place. Because many people in
Africa support the move, any criticism of the Harare government is often
construed as opposition to land redistribution.

The result of this is that many governments and human rights groups are
reluctant to pressure Mr Mugabe to return Zimbabwe to the stability and
prosperity for which it was once renowned.

However, the human rights situation in Zimbabwe is appalling. And the
economic difficulties, with inflation nearly at 300 per cent, and shortage
of fuel which has left professionals queuing at filling stations for a week,
are growing.

The revamped African Union was given a specific mandate to deal with
Zimbabwe-type situations. Unlike Congo, Somalia, or Sierra Leone and Cote d'
Ivorie in recent times, the country has not yet collapsed. Its political and
economic infrastructure are in trouble, but not beyond repair.

The complexity and passions evoked by the land issue should not tie the
hands of the Afrin Union from working to bring about a solution in Zimbabwe.
Otherwise if Zimbabwe is left to go to the dogs, even the new indigenous
land owners will not enjoy it.
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The Guardian

U.S. Blasts Zimbabwe Arrest of Tsvangirai

Friday June 6, 2003 9:39 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States criticized the arrest Friday of
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader and urged the government of President
Robert Mugabe to begin a dialogue with its opponents.

``We strongly condemn this arrest'' of Morgan Tsvangirai on charges of
treason, said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. ``The heightened
climate of confrontation and violence in Zimbabwe this week we think
heightens the urgent need for dialogue between the government and the

Government forces in Harare, the capital, have resorted to beating
protesters, firing warning shots in the air and using water cannons and tear
gas to break up demonstrations this week. The strikes have ground the
battered economy to a halt in the biggest opposition challenge to Mugabe's
23-year authoritarian rule.

Boucher said the government's continued intimidation and repression of the
opposition and its violent suppression of peaceful public protests were not
conducive to beginning a dialogue.

``We call on the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to commence talks to
seek solutions to Zimbabwe's worsening political and economic crisis,''
Boucher said.

He said the United States continues to urge the international community and
African countries in particular to help foster such a dialogue.

``Countries in the region must facilitate this dialogue between Mugabe and
the opposition,'' Boucher said. ``The people of Zimbabwe and the stability
and prosperity of the region cannot afford further delays.''

He declined to name which countries he had in mind, saying only that action
was needed ``because the situation is getting worse and worse.''

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Zim: Churches call for dialogue
06/06/2003 21:55  - (SA)

Nairobi - The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) on Friday called for
dialogue in Zimbabwe to restore peace and development and to minimise loss
of life in the country, an AACC statement said.

"We appeal to our member-churches to lobby their governments and
representatives to support a mediated dialogue between the government and
representatives of the main opposition party in Zimbabwe for the benefit of
its people," the statement said.

"There is urgent need for dialogue and to offer non-partisan assistance for
a dialogue needed at all levels of Zimbabwean society ... it will require a
healing of memories as well as a new definition of the Zimbabwean identity,"
it added.

Zimbabwean church leaders have for the past month tried to convince the
major political protagonists that mediated talks were essential in order to
find a way forward.

Last Sunday Zimbabwe's three national church bodies called for restraint by
both the government forces and opposition protestors. The opposition blames
the government for chronic economic hardships and widespread shortages
affecting most Zimbabweans.

Eighty percent of Zimbabwe's 11.6 million population live below the poverty
line and inflation is officially at 269%.

Zimbabwe opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MMD) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai was arrested for the second time on Friday and charged with
treason for leading mass anti-government protests and calling on his
supporters to rise up against President Robert Mugabe's government.

The party had set Friday as "D-Day" and called on its supporters to "rise up
in your millions" against Mugabe's government.

There has been a huge show of armed military and police presence throughout
Zimbabwean cities to stop any gathering of more than two or three people in
urban public areas.

AACC said churches within Zimbabwe were working to ensure that the
government "listens to the genuine grievances of the people, human rights
abuses and militiarisation of youths stopped and the rule of law restored."

"A serious effort must be made to fight corruption and those found guilty
must be brought to book, while violence as a means of opposing the
government must be stopped," the AACC statement said. - Sapa-AFP
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The Herald

No easy walk to State House, says President

Herald Reporter
THE presidency is not an ordinary position which can be assumed through
protest marches, President Mugabe said yesterday.

Cde Mugabe warned MDC leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai against dreaming that he
and his supporters could march to State House while security forces watched.

He said Mr Tsvangirai needed to be disabused of the belief that he could
just wake up and call for marches to overthrow a constitutionally-elected

Cde Mugabe was addressing a rally at Mamina in Mhondoro on the third leg of
his countrywide tour to assess developmental projects, recovery from the
drought, the state of Zanu-PF and explain the task of the Presidential Land
Review Committee.

"This week they (MDC) called on urban people to embark on mass action and
march to State House to strip me of the presidency and give it to

"They thought I would be sitting on a chair waiting for boss Tsvangirai to
come . . . open the gates (to State House) in preparation for his arrival
and instruct soldiers and policemen (guarding State House) to put down their
guns," said Cde Mugabe speaking in Shona.

He added: "I would then say 'there you are take over the presidency' and I
step aside. Mwana wani iyeye? (Whose child would do that?) It would be a
dream. That's what Tsvangirai was dreaming. But he hadn't been taught a
lesson and he still is to be taught a lesson."

Cde Mugabe said by calling for protest marches to unseat him, the MDC leader
was creating his own downfall.

"Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad," said the
President, quoting a Greek saying.

He said Mr Tsvangirai had a right to organise people and seek political
support by selling his party's policies and programmes and making use of
Parliament where the MDC has 54 seats.

"But if people have rejected you (in the presidential election), they have
rejected you. If a woman turns down your proposal and says she loves Mugabe
and you refuse to accept your rejection, insisting to pursue her even after
I have married her . . . I will not accept that."

Earlier, President Mugabe told chiefs, Government officials and Zanu-PF
leadership of Mashonaland West at a meeting that those who wanted to unseat
the Government through protest marches would live to regret their actions.

"Those who think by announcing that we are marching to State House will just
march must be taught that it cannot be done. It's sacred. it's dangerous.

"Tsvangirai thinks we will open the gates and say the king has come women
must ululate. Does he know where we come from? If he comes that way we will
blow him away like a fly," Cde Mugabe said.

At the rally President Mugabe said people might face economic difficulties
now but these would not wipe the empowerment they got from being allocated
land under the land reform programme.

"The land will always be there and yours. Your livestock will graze on that
land and you will own the resources on and under that land."

He said the Government would continue to assist people with food in areas
that did not realise good harvests.

Cde Mugabe pledged that the Government would assist wheat growers in the
area after being told of problems of getting inputs the farmers were facing.

The President commended people in Mamina who jointly with the council in the
area established a community school, Ngezi High School, which has Advanced
Level and an enrollment of over 700 pupils.

Among other subjects the school offers computer studies. Cde Mugabe pledged
to personally source 20 computers and books for the school's library
following a request for help by authorities at the school.

He urged teachers to be disciplined and desist from participating in
opposition politics such as "stupid stayaways".

"Yes you may have grievances that we know but you do not have to strike to
convince us you need reasonable salaries," Cde Mugabe said.

He said a job evaluation exercise for the civil service had been completed
and new salaries for teachers, which he described as good, would be
announced soon.

Cde Mugabe took a swipe at some schools in the low-density suburbs that
chose to close during the MDC stayaway saying there was no reason to close
because enough security measures were in place to protect them.

"They chose to support Tsvangirai and we now know their political
allegiance. They must be ready with valid answers when taken to task over
their actions.

"Businesses that closed will also be dealt with. We will withdraw their

The President said Britain was still picking a fight with Zimbabwe
especially now that the Government had reclaimed land and given it to
locals, who are the rightful owners.

He, however, said British Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair was facing a
difficult time in his country to justify why his government and the United
States invaded Iraq.

"In Parliament they were asking him where the weapons of mass destruction
they accused Iraq of having were and he is failing to give satisfactory
answers because he is a liar.

"I said it long ago that he is bloody liar. I have said his name was
misspelt. It's Bliar and not Blair."

Cde Mugabe said the Government would remain unwavering and hailed African,
Caribbean and other developing countries that have continued to show
solidarity with Zimbabwe.

Speaking at the same rally, Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement
Minister Cde Joseph Made said Government was working flat out to ensure
farmers were assisted with inputs and set up more irrigation schemes.

He said farmers who received inputs under credit schemes would not be asked
to repay immediately after harvesting because not all of them got bumper

But those who could manage to repay immediately were free to do so.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Cde Ignatius
Chombo said his ministry would ensure Government fulfilled the promises of
helping chiefs buy cars, electrify their houses and restore the authority of
traditional leaders.
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1: Dear John

Dennis and I think that this is ridiculous.  How can they call for Farming
Oscar Nominations when there are so few farmers left on their farms and
when the CFU does not have the support of the majority of farmers anyway! 
Which planet are they on??

Best Regards, Sally


All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not represent the official viewpoint of Justice
for Agriculture.
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