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

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Govt admits farm irregularities
09/03/2003 17:45  - (SA)

Harare - The Zimbabwean government has admitted irregularities in the
country's controversial land reform programme, in which white-owned land was
seized and given to black farmers, a press report said on Sunday.

But Land Reform Minister Flora Buka played down recent media reports of
high-level cronyism in an interview with the state-run Daily Mail.

"It has to be appreciated that the land reform programme was a massive
exercise carried out in a short space of time and inevitably there are some
irregularities," Buka told the paper.

She did not elaborate on what the irregularities were.

Most of the country's previously white-owned commercial farm land has been
seized by the government for redistribution to new black farmers.

Buddies got prime land

An audit of the programme, launched in 2000 ahead of general elections,
would be released soon with details including the number of farms allocated
and the names of beneficiaries, Buka said.

Media reports have said senior officials in President Robert Mugabe's
government and party were unfairly allocated prime farms under the scheme
that was intended to economically empower the black majority.

The fast-track land reform programme has been shot down by the opposition
here and most Western nations as nothing more than a populist gimmick by the
ruling party.

But it has received support from other African nations in the region, who
say it is a way of addressing colonial-era imbalances in land ownership.

The United Nations food agency has said Mugabe's land redistribution
programme, which has left thousands of normally productive farms lying idle,
is largely responsible for the humanitarian crisis in the southern African

An estimated eight million people - more than half the population - are
threatened by food shortages in Zimbabwe.

This year's harvest is expected to be even lower than in 2002 - just 40%
percent of normal.
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Youth militia flee to SA
09/03/2003 17:44  - (SA)

Johannesburg - Hundreds of Zimbabwe's notorious youth militia, nicknamed the
"Green Bombers," are fleeing to South Africa because they are tired of being
beaten and starved by their handlers, a news report said Sunday.

"The stories of the youths interviewed ... provide chilling details of the
Green Bombers and their training methods," said the Johannesburg-based
Sunday Independent.

It interviewed at least 14 members who had fled the militia, who are trained
by President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF.

The "Green Bombers" are seen in Zimbabwe as having taken over where war
veterans left off in terms of intimidating the electorate, especially ahead
of the 2002 presidential elections.

Special training camps

Those interviewed alleged they were trained to kill in special camps, where
they underwent rigorous physical fitness programmes and were often made stay
up late into the night singing party slogans.

One 22-year-old said he became fed up singing party songs all night and had
gone home to sleep. As punishment he was stripped and beaten while being
sprayed with water.

Another said he was forced to burn the homes of opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) supporters and beat its members.

The Green Bombers are trained in camps officially called National Youth
Training Centres in four of the country's eight provinces.

The government says it has so far seen more than 8 000 youths graduate from
the camps, with 5 000 of them being "absorbed" into career training or
formal employment.

It maintains that the programme is to instil "patriotism" and provide
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Toronto Star

      Mar. 9, 2003. 01:00 AM

      Zimbabwe running on empty
      Mugabe keeping terror campaign in high gear Endless line-ups legacy of
last year's rigged election


      Bulawayo, Zimbabwe- "The president is lying," Jacob Undenge says
angrily. "Look around you and you will see that Mugabe is not telling the

      "Everything is falling apart," the 34-year-old unemployed hotel clerk
adds with a wide, sweeping gesture at the kilometres-long vista of vehicles
lined up for gasoline near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city.

      Undenge, who asked that his real name be withheld for fear of
reprisals, joined the line at 3 o'clock the previous afternoon to refuel his
battered but beloved 1974 Datsun.

      Now, next day, the hundred vehicles behind him and the hundred ahead,
many with only fumes left in their tanks, await the weekly, sometimes
biweekly, arrival of tanker trucks that dole out gasoline in Mzilikazi

      As the line begins to glacially move again, most throw their ancient
cars into neutral, get out and push to conserve every drop of increasingly
scarce fuel.

      They do this for hours in the merciless heat. Justice is rough and
swift when a queue-jumper tries to edge into the line. The offending vehicle
is quickly surrounded by a mob, picked up and moved to the middle of the
road - a warning to the impatient.

      The fuel shortage and consequent paralysis of the country's industrial
sector is only the most visible indicator of the steady economic decline
that grows deeper as President Robert Mugabe's death grip on the country
grows ever tighter.

      It was one year ago this week that Mugabe won yet another term in a
rigged election condemned in Canada and throughout the West.

      Today, Mugabe's main rival in that election, Morgan Tsvangirai of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is on trial for his life, fighting
treason charges in a Harare courtroom.

      On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department condemned Zimbabwe for using
intimidation and violence in a "sustained campaign" to suppress opposition
to Mugabe.

      State Department official Richard Boucher said more than 100
participants in various political events have been arrested since Feb. 28
while pursuing basic rights such as attending rallies and engaging in free

      In addition, Boucher said, 23 clergymen were detained while protesting
police brutality.

      "The government of Zimbabwe has done nothing to address fundamental
concerns about human rights, rule of law and basic respect for democratic
values," Boucher added. "Indeed, conditions in these areas continue to

      "We are hungry," says a 47-year-old mother with a baby strapped to her
back as she waits in yet another endless line-up, hoping there will still be
a loaf of bread at the end. "There is no bread, no milk, no mealie meal,

      "Things are not good," she adds, shuffling forward lest she lose her
spot in line and a chance at a meal.

      The lives of average Zimbabweans have become a series of interminable
line-ups for food, fuel and other basic necessities.

      The lucky ones, those with wads of increasingly worthless Zimbabwean
dollars, turn to the burgeoning black market, where basic commodities can be
purchased at mark-ups as high as 1,000 per cent.

      Despite tonnes of international food aid donated by Western nations,
an estimated 6.7 million of Zimbabwe's 13 million people risk starvation.

      Opposition politicians say that's because much of the food aid is
being distributed only to Mugabe's ZANU-PF supporters and many of the black
marketeers operate in collusion with the police or senior ZANU-PF members,
hoarding goods purchased at official prices and selling them for obscene

      "Initially, they would ask for cards and people got clever and started
to buy ZANU-PF cards," says Abednico Bhebhe, an MDC member of parliament.

      "After seeing that, they were very quick to modify the system ... and
fish out all those they know to be opposition supporters."

      But even as the country suffers critical shortages - not to mention
massive unemployment, an alarming HIV/AIDS crisis and violent political
repression - Mugabe denies that any of this is happening.

      Indeed, Mugabe is attempting to project to the international community
a state of normalcy even as he uses ever-more violent means to silence
political opponents, human-rights activists and average Zimbabweans who dare
to speak out.

            `We've recorded 590,000 cases of serious human- rights
violations ... from arson to assault'

            Brian Kagoro, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition


      In major cities such as Bulawayo and Harare, police use truncheons to
routinely break up rowdy and impatient bread and fuel queues.

      Most journalists, with the exception of foreign correspondents and
reporters for the handful of remaining independent newspapers, are compliant
and ignore such events.

      "We carry stories that say maize is in abundance, but people are
hungry," says a reporter for a state-controlled weekly.

      "We keep carrying stories that fuel is on the way, but it never gets
here. But if I don't write it that way, chances are I'll get that famous
phone call from the professor (Prof. Jonathan Moyo, the minister of
information and publicity) and he asks" `Why did you write this?'

      "And then you're told that, if you want to keep your job, you need to
know which side your bread is buttered on."

      Foreign journalists are also subject to Mugabe's pressure.

      "Each day when I go out, I don't know what I'll be facing, what kind
of harassment, threat of violence or threat of arrest," says Andrew Meldrum,
correspondent for the British newspaper the Guardian, who was one of 16
journalists charged last year under the state's new draconian media-control

      "And that is what all journalists in Zimbabwe face. But I and many
others don't want to give into being afraid. It's simply an attempt to cow
us into a state of fearfulness so we stop doing our jobs."

      Harrowing tales of arbitrary arrest and torture of opposition
politicians and human-rights activists are also increasingly common.

      "I was captured by soldiers based in my Nkayi constituency," says
Bhebhe, who has been arrested four times and tortured twice, most recently
in January

      "There was heavy shooting and we were all assaulted. I was with 37
members of my provincial party and we were all thoroughly beaten by the

      "We were then taken to the police station and we thought that was the
end of the beating, but when we got there, we found ZANU-PF supporters and
we were further assaulted as the police watched.

      "I was axed on the head then locked up for two days with no water or

      Also in January, MDC legislator Job Sikhala and human-rights lawyer
Gabriel Shumba were arrested in a police raid on Sikhala's residence. They
say they were held for two days and tortured with electrodes placed on their
tongues, feet and genitals.

      "We've recorded 590,000 cases of serious human-rights violations ...
from arson to assault," says Brian Kagoro, co-ordinator of the Crisis in
Zimbabwe Coalition, which includes more than 350 human-rights groups.

      "We've seen rapes and over 180 people have died in incidents of
political violence. We've seen a very ugly turn in our politics that is
inconsistent with the democratization of the rest of the southern Africa

      Kagoro says the terror campaign is being organized by Mugabe's ZANU-PF
and perpetrated by police, soldiers and two ZANU-PF militias - the War
Veterans, ostensibly representing soldiers who fought for liberation in the
1970s, and the National Service Youth, often referred to as the Green
Bombers because of their members' army fatigues.

      Despite claims by the government that many youth militia units and
training camps have been dismantled, Green Bombers can still be seen roaming
the streets of Harare and Bulawayo, terrorizing opponents of the regime,
both real and perceived.

      The escalating violence began in February, 2000, when Mugabe used
these two militias to confiscate white-owned commercial farms, after a
national referendum rejected proposed constitutional reforms that would have
given the president additional powers.

      The farm confiscations - aimed at giving land to the landless - have
led to the near total destruction of the country's agricultural sector and
failed to win Mugabe the support he thought his "land reforms" would bring.
A key reason is that many of the best farms went to senior members of his
ruling party.

      When opposition parties sought to point out the ruse and win greater
political support, Mugabe escalated the terror campaign against them and
stole the 2000 parliamentary election as well as the March, 2002,
presidential election.

      Now, there are growing fears that, as the regime intensifies its
terror campaign, the opposition could retaliate and ignite further civil

      Says Kagoro of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition: "One does foresee
that the sort of pressure that people are living under, and the sort of
deprivation they are suffering, is just not sustainable. Either people will
continue to die in silence or, one of these fine days ... people may take
the law into their own hands."

      Wilson Lee is a Canadian journalist based in South Africa.

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Mail an Guardian

'Diplomacy is the way to handle Harare'


      09 March 2003 09:02

South Africa has consistently opposed the imposition of sanctions against
the government of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and on Saturday
repeated its call for diplomacy to solve the crisis affecting its northern

Zimbabwe has been in the grip of a serious economic and political crisis for
the past three years, marked by a drop in living conditions, the threat of
famine and the repression of government opponents.

Reacting to the move by US President George Bush to freeze assets belonging
to Mugabe and 76 of his goverment officials, foreign affairs representative
Ronnie Mamoepa said: "South Africa has never believed in sanctions against

"We have put great emphasis on the need for the international community to
assist the people of Zimbabwe," he told AFP.

He said South Africa believed the different parties within Zimbabwe needed
to be reconciled, "therefore setting the basis for economic reconstruction".

"Mugabe's policies constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the
foreign policy of the United States and I hereby declare a national
emergency to deal with that threat," Bush said in the March 6 order freezing
the assets.

Actions by the Zimbabwean government were also "contributing to the
deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in Zimbabwe, to politically
motivated violence and intimidation in that country and to political and
economic instability in the southern African region", Bush charged.

South Africa has repeatedly stated that diplomacy is the only way to deal
with Harare, which has become a pariah state in the international community.

South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said earlier this week
the government would not condemn Zimbabwe. "You will never hear that. It is
not going to happen as long as this government is in power," she said.

"The problem with you, is that you are waiting for one
word --condemnation -- of Zimbabwe," she told a media briefing on Monday.
South Africa's handling of the political and social instability in Zimbabwe
came under the spotlight again last month when it emerged that South Africa
and Nigeria were campaigning for
Zimbabwe's 12-month suspension from the Commonwealth to be lifted. -
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Sunday Times (SA)

Zimbabwe not yet out of the dogbox

Commonwealth review opposed by Mbeki and Obasanjo may go ahead
Ranjeni Munusamy

A review of Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth may still take place
next week despite President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun
Obasanjo's fierce opposition to further talks on the matter.

This comes in the wake of US President George W Bush's imposition of
economic sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and 76 other officials on
Friday, accusing them of undermining democracy and using violence to stifle

Meanwhile, Commonwealth secretary-general Don McKinnon is to submit a report
on Zimbabwe to the leaders of South Africa, Nigeria and Australia ahead of
the anniversary of Zimbabwe's year-long suspension from the 54-nation group.

The report, which will assess Zimbabwe's adherence to democratic principles
and the political situation in the country, will help the leaders decide
whether further action is required.

Mbeki and Obasanjo told Australian Prime Minister John Howard, the chairman
of the Commonwealth troika on Zimbabwe, that they did not want another
meeting to discuss the issue, but they may be forced to hold talks on the
telephone to assess McKinnon's report.

Their opposition to a meeting is in spite of a written commitment signed by
Mbeki, Obasanjo and Howard in March last year that they would revisit the
issue in 12 months.

Mbeki has been left with egg on his face after announcing last month that
some of Zimbabwe's repressive laws, such as those against the media and
opposition parties, are soon to be repealed. This has not yet happened.

The serving of eviction orders on a number of South African farmers in
Zimbabwe has also strained relations between the two countries, as Pretoria
had been given an assurance by Harare that this would not happen.

Obasanjo told Howard in a letter last month that the "time is now auspicious
to lift the sanctions on Zimbabwe". "This will represent an appropriate
development for the final resolution of the crisis ," Obasanjo said.

He said he and Mbeki shared the view that "another meeting of the
Commonwealth troika on Zimbabwe at this time might not serve any useful

Mbeki and Obasanjo's decision has angered Howard, who has been pushing for
Zimbabwe's full suspension.

Howard said it was a "breach of spirit" to allow Zimbabwe back into the

While Howard cannot legally challenge Obasanjo and Mbeki, the two leaders
will be taken to task at the December meeting in Nigeria for reneging on
written Commonwealth agreements.

Mbeki has claimed that the troika's mandate has been exhausted as it was
based solely on the Commonwealth election observer team's report on the
presidential elections.

But the statement released by the heads of government in Australia last year
said that the meeting mandated the three leaders "to determine appropriate
Commonwealth action on Zimbabwe", "taking into account" the observer group's

At the troika's first meeting in London, Obasanjo and Mbeki signed a
statement that the committee had decided to suspend Zimbabwe for a year.

"This issue will be revisited in 12 months' time, having regard to progress
in Zimbabwe based on the Commonwealth Harare principles and reports from the
Commonwealth secretary-general."

The statement says further that the troika will meet "at the request of the
Commonwealth chairperson-in-office".

When the troika met in Abuja, Nigeria, in September, a statement released
then noted that the leaders were at odds over further action on Zimbabwe.

"One member, Australia, supported the full suspension of Zimbabwe with
immediate effect, whilst the other members wish to see how Zimbabwe responds
to the Marlborough House Statement over the next six months . . . at which
point stronger measures might need to be considered."
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S.Africa opposes sanctions against Zimbabwe


      Xinhuanet 2003-03-09 04:33:27

      JOHANNESBURG, March 8 (Xinhuanet) -- South Africa opposes the
imposition of sanctions against the Zimbabwean government headed by
President Robert Mugabe, Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Saturday.

      Ronnie Mamoepa also repeated its call for diplomacy to solve the
crisis affecting Zimbabwe.

      He made the statement in a response to the sanction by US President
George W. Bush to freeze assets belonging to Mugabe and 76 of his government
officials on Thursday.

      "South Africa has never believed in sanctions against Zimbabwe.We
have put great emphasis on the need for the international community to
assist the people of Zimbabwe," he added.

      He said South Africa believed the different parties within Zimbabwe
needed to be reconciled, "therefore setting the basis foreconomic

      South Africa has repeatedly stated that diplomacy is the only way to
deal with Harare, which has become a pariah state in the international

      South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said earlier
this week that the government would not seek regime changein the neighboring
country or condemn Zimbabwe. Enditem
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Bacher defends Zimbabwe stance
By Thrasy Petropoulos
BBC Sport in Port Elizabeth

Ali Bacher
Bacher: Again under fire for decision to stage games in Zimbabwe
Ali Bacher was again forced to defend the International Cricket Council's decision to stage World Cup matches in Zimbabwe after 40 cricket fans in Bulawayo were arrested and a cricket official was allegedly beaten by police.

The mother of one 16-year-old boy, who was arrested and beaten, said police only released her son when they realised he was in a critical condition and needed hospital attention.

Police detained the fans during the match against Holland under Zimbabwe's stringent security laws, saying they were wearing provocative clothing and political insignia.

Tim Cherry, a Bulawayo lawyer, said he would be lodging an official complaint.

He added that 23 of the group were held in a single cell, unable to sit or lie down, and were denied food or water until it was brought to them by friends.

Most embarrassing to Bacher, however, was the arrest of Paul Dietrechsen, the vice-president of Queen's Sports Club in Bulawayo, for attempting to intervene when police were allegedly hitting another member of the club.

Monty Jenkinson had "verbally abused" a cricket fan for entering the members' enclosure of the ground.

I saw him grab a rubber baton from one of the uniformed officers and start assaulting him
A cricket fan voices concern over police actions

The fan returned after the match with five policemen who arrested Jenkinson.

Another member, George Parkin, said Jenkinson was punched in the mouth by the senior policeman.

Dietrechsen arrived wearing an official ICC badge and demanded to know what was going on.

"A plainclothes officer then arrived," Parkin said. "I saw him grab a rubber baton from one of the uniformed officers and start assaulting Dietrechsen."

Parkin added that all three men were then pushed to the ground and assaulted by the police who screamed racial insults at them.

Asked to comment, Bacher, the World Cup executive director, said he had made inquiries and established that Dietrechsen is "not an ICC official and is not associated with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union".

He added that the World Cup organising committee's policy is that "offensive or vulgar or political banners are prevented from being taken into the grounds, whether at the Wanderers or Bulawayo".

He was "not certain" whether the protesters had been inside or outside the ground.

The arrests are believed to bring to about 100 the number of people detained in Zimbabwe in connection with protests staged around the World Cup.

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Tribute to the Peace Pathfinders

Today is the International Day of Women, a day for women to come together in
solidarity and in some countries to celebrate. It is also a day when men
should allow us to be women and join us in celebrating women's rights.

Instead what we saw in Bulawayo today was shameful. Husbands and brothers
abandoned their respect for their mothers and sisters and assaulted them
with police batons. One woman, Agnes Mloyi was hit with a fist to the face
by a man young enough to be her son. It was a very raining day in Bulawayo
with Japhet (cyclone) causing intermittent rain and high winds, but women
braved the damp to deliver their message of peace.

I am a founding member of Women of Zimbabwe Arise, (WOZA). WOZA chose to
play an observer role in the event organised by Peace Pathfinders today and
I attended to observe and assist where necessary.

These are my observations. I arrived at the City Hall Car Park at
approximately 10:30am and found that a substantial crowd of about 300 had
already gathered.  Some women had babies strapped to their backs and
toddlers accompanied some. They proceeded to sing religious songs and one
song in particular was sung in iSindebele. The words... "We are fighting
Satan not fighting Peace". There was also a banner upon which was written,
"Protecting our children".

The ladies rotated the car park singing. Soon a Police vehicle came and
after a few minutes left again. Another returned after 11 am and parked.
Some officers got out and went to engage the group leadership in discussion.

Meanwhile the group gathered around and was addressed by their leaders on
the lack of food and the resultant hunger, women's needs for sanitary
requisites and the need for Peace. Shortly after the leadership were led
away. Ms Gertrude Mtombeni, an MDC official, Ms Thokozani Khupe, MP for
Makokoba, Mrs Zodwa Sibanda, wife of the MDC Vice President, Mrs Enna
Chitsa, Mrs Phiri, Mrs Khumalo, wife of MP for Pelandaba and Mrs Khumalo, MP
for Mzingwane.

After some to and froing between the crowd and the Police vehicle, an
officer opened the back of the vehicle and indicated to the seven ladies to
get in.

The main body of the procession began to move waving white strips of cloth
for peace and red against violence. That compelling picture will stay in my
mind for years to come. They went towards the only exit to the car park. As
they got there, there was a police vehicle blocking their exit and officers
seemed to refuse to let them leave. It was at this time that the vehicle
with the leaders chose to drive towards the exit now blocked by the 500
strong crowd.

It was 11:54 and the most incredible 25 minutes unfolded before our eyes.
The women seeing their exit blocked turned to face the oncoming vehicle
containing their leaders. They dropped to their knees and prayed out aloud.
The women in the back of the vehicle kept motioning for them to sit down.

I stood close by with two journalists observing proceedings and protecting
our notepads from the driving rain. When the driver of the vehicle tried
another attempt to drive through the crowd I feared for the lives of those
brave women. We were relieved when the driver reversed away, perhaps
realizing that he would be perpetrating murder if he continued.

After a few minutes, I saw Riot Police walk into the crowd randomly
assaulting those in their way. This was done not as crowd management, but as
a violent attack on defenseless women. As the exit cleared, the other
vehicle roared through with the prisoners to Bulawayo Central Police
Station, less than a block away. The Riot police attacked women with their
batons at full swing. I saw six brutally assaulted.

I moved further away so as to observe both the car park and the fleeing
crowd. I then saw one women, later identified as Agnes Mloyi carefully
approach her handbag which was at the feet of some plain clothes and
uniformed officers in the car park. They seemed to invite her to come
forward for it. I was to hear from her later that she was hit on the face. I
saw them take her to the Police Truck.

I began to walk towards the Police Station, my attention now focused on
finding those injured and sending them for medical treatment. I saw two
women being taken back to the truck, one was Mary Ndlovu, a Canadian women
married to a Zimbabwean Liberation War Hero (buried at Heroes Acre), and
another a Dutch national, Mrs. Ineke te Velde who had not been present
during the event.

I came across one woman who was having difficulty breathing and asked a
friend to take her for attention. I accompanied her to my friend's car,
which was parked opposite the Police station. I then saw Abednico Bhebhe
(M.P. for Nkayi) with a policeman and he was escorted into the charge
office. He had not been amongst the gathering. There were large groups of
women outside the Police Station singing in solidarity with those arrested.
This is the second time women have braved arrest and gathered en mass
outside the Police Station. Many were saying they too wanted to be arrested
with their Sisters.

I remained close to the charge office wanting to establish how many women
had been arrested to alert the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. As I
stood, a Police Truck drove past and stopped at the traffic lights holding
up traffic to off load the second lot arrested. I counted four and indicated
with 4 fingers to one of the ladies in the vehicle to confirm. My cellphone
rang just then and I was confirming to a friend the number arrested when a
person, possible a plain clothes policeman grabbed me in an unnecessarily
violent manner and pushed me toward the disembarking group. He handed me
over to a uniformed officer who asked me to follow the other ladies. I was
able to tell my friend I was now arrested myself before I was told to switch
off my phone.

As we were led into the charge office, I saw riot police began to violently
disperse the newly gathered crowd. There were also many by-standers
observing. We were taken into the charge office and then into the
investigations room where we were united with the first lot bringing our
number to 15.

Two rude and disrespectful male officers took our names and threatened
punishment. They also insisted one knowing the religion of each one of us.
One of the officers was allegedly the one who had assaulted Mloyi and so he
came in for much taunting. We were relieved when two female uniformed
officers came and attended to our toilet needs and whispered encouragement
to us to continue to fight for them. At around 2:30 pm, a female Inspector
Gumbo from Law and Order came and told us that we were to be released and
that we would be summoned from our homes as needed. She was polite and

As we left the Police Station, crowds of women rushed forward to greed their
leaders and for moments we though there would be another round of arrests.
Riot Police quickly deployed and a few more women were assaulted, with some
escaping through the flower sellers market.

This was my second arrest, the last being when I and 47 women, with 7
journalists were arrested in Harare after our Valentines Day procession. Two
arrests within a month of each other, both whilst being part of non-violent
gatherings designed to lobby for love and peace in Zimbabwe!

I pay tribute to the Peace Pathfinders for their courage and commitment to
fighting SATAN!

SOKWANELE meaning ENOUGH IS ENOUGH meaning ZVAKWANA and finally Aluta

Contact Jenni Williams on Mobile (+263) 91 300456 or 11213 885 Or on email
or Fax (+2639) 63978 or (+2634) 703829
Office email
A member of the International Association of Business Communicators. Visit
the IABC website
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Daily Telegraph

Readers rescue Zimbabwe's starving steeds
By Jenny Booth
(Filed: 09/03/2003)

Their wounds are healing and their ribs no longer stick through the skin. So
far 59 animals have benefited from the Zimbabwe Horse Rescue Fund, launched
in response to harrowing images of the cruelty inflicted on farm animals
after President Robert Mugabe ordered white farmers to leave their land.

It was The Telegraph which, last October, revealed the plight of the
abandoned horses of Zimbabwe, left behind to starve or be butchered when
their owners were driven off their properties.

The fund's founder, Kirsten Harris, a Scottish wildlife artist, was then
just beginning to co-ordinate the efforts of a chain of volunteers across
Europe and Africa determined to save the creatures.

Now, thanks to the generosity of readers, who have donated £20,000 of the
£23,000 fund, 40 horses have been rescued and nursed back to health.

Of these, 33 are now flourishing with new owners in South Africa, all chosen
through the National Horse Trust of South Africa. Karzan, a mare, has just
won a rosette in a dressage competition with her seven-year-old owner.

The remaining seven were so underweight and traumatised by their ordeal that
they are still being cared for by their rescuers.

A further 19 horses are waiting in holding camps in Zimbabwe for medical
checks and permits, before making the journey by lorry to the Wet Nose
Animal Rescue Centre in Pretoria. A vet travels with each convoy. The cost
per horse, including licences, feed, vets' bills and rehoming, is £500.

As drought intensifies in Zimbabwe, Ms Harris and Tracy Forte, the president
of Wet Nose, who has organised the rescue convoys, are anxious to bring out
the remaining animals.

"These may not be the last, as we still get calls every day from farmers
desperate for someone to care for their horses after they are thrown off
their land," said Ms Forte.

Ms Harris, who launched the fund from her cottage in Lanarkshire after
talking to friends in Zimbabwe, said that she had been "bowled over" by the
generosity of readers of The Telegraph. One donor sent a £2,000 cheque,
while a nine-year-old girl raised £16 from her pocket money.

"It has been amazing how everybody has done their bit to make this happen,"
said Ms Harris.

Donations can be sent to the Zimbabwe Horse Rescue Fund, c/o 20 South St
Andrew Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AZ.
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The Zim Std
Fired Zimsec workers tell all
By Chengetai Zvauya

DIRECTORS and a manager at the embattled Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec), forged the 'O' level results of wives who had failed, investigations by The Standard have revealed.

The directors and the manager (names supplied to The Standard) refused to comment.
According to the two former Zimsec employees found guilty of forging results two weeks ago, resulting in them being fined and dismissed by Zimsec, there is rampant corruption at the examinations body.
The two-Jeffres Chawaguta (33), former chief computer operator and Beven Kuimba (33), a computer technician, told The Standard that they had indeed forged the results of seven people who had neither registered nor sat for examinations.
They said these type of practices were rampant at Zimsec and even involved directors of the examinations body.
Said Chawaguta: "When the results are loaded into the system before grading, it is very easy for one to tamper with the system without possible detection.
"The two of us, alone, cannot be the only ones blamed because we were working as a team with the directors, senior manager and clerks who were also involved in the scam. I know the people who were involved and I can prove it. The entire directorate should go because they knew what was happening but pretended as if nothing untoward was occurring."
Chawaguta, who had access to the super-user programme which allowed him unimpeded entry to any programme at Zimsec-making it easy for him to forge results-gave The Standard the names of the directors and senior manager who had forged results for wives, relatives and friends.
"This racket has been going on for a long time. I easily recall the case of a senior security officer (name supplied) whose results were altered after he saw that he had failed Shona, before the results had been graded. This was done after one of the directors (name supplied) sanctioned the move.
"Director (name supplied) and manager (name supplied) also forged the 'O' level results of their wives who had failed their examinations. They did this because they all had access to the system. I also have the names of several senior officers who used junior clerks to alter the marks of their friends and relatives, before they were graded,'' he said.
The former Zimsec employee said the results profile system used at Zimsec had only one password used by over 100 people.
"Anyone of the 100 workers can easily abuse the system. It is easy for anyone to enter the mark system, to modify or delete the results because the programme has a common password. For people to change the results of their friends and relatives has been a very common occurrence.''
His partner in crime, Kuimba shared his sentiments.
"The Zimsec profile system is like an open cheque. We cannot take the blame alone. How do you explain a situation where over 100 people use one profile to enter the system. It is just unfortunate that only the two of us were made the sacrificial lambs."
Asked if this was not a case of sour grapes both men said theirs was not a case of sour grapes against Zimsec but that they wanted the organisation to undergo a thorough cleansing exercise in order to enable the examinations system to regain its credibility and Zimsec to become a watertight and efficient organisation.
The Standard contacted some of the Zimsec directors such as Victor Kadenge (Information), Jayman Tabete (human resources) and Freeman Kondo (chief security manager) to put to them the allegations made by Kuimba and Chawaguta, but they all refused to discuss the matter.
Said Kadenge: ''My goodness, why are you being unfair to me. What wrong have I committed? I do not know about those allegations. My wife is a simple ordinary woman and she has nothing to do with Zimsec. She supplemented her O levels. Do you want me to be fired?"
Kondo was even more hostile: "I won't talk to you about anything, speak to the director."
Tabete chose to switch off his phone after saying: "I don't speak to the press, leave me alone."
Efforts to obtain comment from Zimsec director Esau Nhandara, were fruitless as his phone was constantly engaged.
The Standard understands that on Wednesday, Zimsec board chairman Professor Phineas Makhurane, held a meeting with the examination body's directors who blamed the scandal on the two convicted former employees.
However, the directors' bid to obtain new luxury cars, a bid earlier approved by the board, was turned down at the Wednesday meeting.
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The Zim Std
Women arrested
By our own Staff

BULAWAYO-Armed riot police wielding baton sticks yesterday violently broke up a peaceful demonstration by city women to commemorate the International Womens' Day and arrested 15 women who included three national executive members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The group of about 500 women, who were carrying placards denouncing abuse of human rights in the country and the suffering women are subjected to as a result of the food shortages, were sent scurrying in all directions when the riot police pounced on them.
The demonstration which took place at the main car park of the City Hall turned nasty when police tried to whisky away eight of its organisers.
The women defied the pounding rain and blocked the path of the police vehicle carrying the organisers of the demonstration leading to riot police being called in.
Women, some of them carrying babies, were kicked and beaten with baton sticks while a group of about five policemen took turns to beat an elderly woman as she lay on the ground pleading for mercy.
The three MDC national executive members who were arrested are Thokozani Khuphe (MP for Makokoba), Gertrude Mthombeni and Zodwa Sibanda, the wife of the MDC deputy president Gibson Sibanda.
Jenni Williams the spokesperson for Woman of Zimbabwe Arise was arrested by police who questioned her for allegedly using her mobile phone near the demonstrators.
Meanwhile, the director of the UNFPA Thoraya Obaid said woman across the world continued to face difficulties.
"I challenge all nations to join hands in the global effort to improve women's health. Universal access to reproductive health services by year 2015 remains an affordable, cost effective and achievable international development goal," she said.
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Zim Std
Conmen swindle Chidarikire of $10m
By our own Staff

CHINHOYI-Zvimba businessman, Phillip Chidarikire, was swindled of over $10 million by United Kingdom based criminals working in cahoots with a local man, in a tricky fraud case now being investigated by the British and Zimbabwean Police.

Mashonaland West police spokesman, Inspector Collin Matore, confirmed to The Standard that Chidarikire had reported the matter and they had launched investigations.
Information made available to this paper indicates that Chidarikire, who is elder brother to former Chinhoyi Executive mayor, Faber Chidarikire, was approached by a man who used to work at Zvimba post office who told him that he had a friend in Britain who wanted to buy a house in Harare.
The conman told Chidarikire that he would benefit immensely if the much-needed foreign currency was deposited into the account of his UK-based daughter since the exchange rate they would use was very low. What Chidarikire was only required to do was to supply him with Zimbabwe dollars so that he could buy the house on behalf of his friends.
The businessman, this paper gathered, agreed in principle to assist and the conman notified his British-based friends who in turn contacted Chidarikire's daughter about the intended deal.
A couple of days later, the UK based criminals indicated to Chidarikire's daughter their intention to deposit 16 000 pounds into her UK personal account.
They asked her to inform her father about the transaction once the money had reflected on her account, so that he could give their Zimbabwean friend $20,8 million required for the house.
The criminals later informed Chidarikire's daughter that they had encountered some problems and had only managed to deposit 8 000 pounds, and asked her to inform her father to give their friend $10,4 million.
Chidarikire's daughter checked in her account and indeed the 8 000 pounds was reflected.
As per agreement, she informed her father who subsequently gave their Zimbabwean friend $10,4 million, and he signed a memorandum of understanding confirming that he had received the funds.
The Chidarikire family only realised that they had been conned when their daughter attempted to withdraw the 8 000 pounds while in the UK. She was briefly detained by UK police who told her that the 8 000 pounds was deposited using two different cheques, one of which had been stolen. The owner of the cheque had made a stop-payment.
Police later released her after hearing her side of the story and have since launched investigations into the matter.
"When we traced the ID numbers of the Zimbabwean conman that were on the memorandum of understanding signed by the two parties, we realised that they belonged to a person who died a long time ago," said Inspector Matore.
Chidarikire could not be reached for comment.
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Zim Std
US freezes Mugabe and cronies' assets
By our own Staff

THE United States of America government on Friday froze the individual assets of President Robert Mugabe and 76 other top Zanu PF and government figures.

An executive order issued by US president, George W Bush, to the Congress of the United States, accused the Zanu PF regime of undermining democracy and contributing to the "deliberate breakdown of the rule of law".
Bush's message read in part: "I have exercised my statutory authority to declare a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy interests of the United States posed by the actions and policies of certain individuals who have formulated, implemented or supported policies that have undermined Zimbabwe's democratic institutions.
"Over the past two years, the government of Zimbabwe has systematically undermined that nation's democratic institutions, employing violence, intimidation and repressive means including legislation to stifle opposition to its rule."
Among the 77 listed figures are cabinet ministers, Emmerson Mnangagwa who is the Speaker of Parliament and the then head of the Central Intelligence Organisation, Elisha Muzonzini.
Among other restrictions, the order blocks all interests of the 77 to their properties in the United States and prohibits US citizens from doing business with them.
Bush accused "Mugabe and his associates" of devastating the nation's agricultural economy through the government's chaotic land reforms and triggering a potentially catastrophic food crisis. He also held Mugabe responsible for throwing the entire southern Africa into an economic and political quandary.
He said: "Subsequent to the (badly flawed March 2002) election, the Mugabe government intensified its repression of opposition political parties and those voices in the civil society and the independent press calling on the government to respect the nation's democratic values and the basic human rights of its citizens."
Mugabe and his cronies are currently under similar targeted sanctions from the European Union and the British government.
Friday's freeze on their properties comes after Switzerland took the first such action against the increasingly isolated Zanu PF regime.
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Zim Std
Theft-riddled GMB audits maize
By Loughty Dube

BULAWAYO-The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has launched a nationwide audit of its depots to ascertain how much maize grain has been stolen from its depot by its own employees working in cahoots with some politicians, The Standard has established.

The nationwide audit exercise comes amidst revelations of thefts and the arrest of some Masvingo and Bulawayo GMB workers who were involved in clandestine dealings in GMB maize.
The audit exercise began in Bulawayo last week and is expected to spread to other parts of the country in the coming weeks.
GMB's acting executive officer, Samuel Muvuti, could not be reached for a comment on the matter but an official who preferred not to be named confirmed the exercise.
"The audit exercise has started in Bulawayo and the audit manager is currently reconciling the amount of grain the depot has received since last year. He will compare that with the outgoing grain recorded and from there the exercise will move on to other depots,"said the official.
The GMB official said Bulawayo is the starting point of the audit exercise by virtue of it being one of the two entry points for maize imported into the country. Mutare is the other entry point.
Last week alone, seven GMB workers who include loaders and drivers were arrested for stealing seven tonnes of maize, while deputy minister, Shuvai Mahofa's son was arrested for dealing in maize with GMB officials.
Sources at the Bulawayo GMB told The Standard that the audit exercise is likely to expose serious discrepancies in the distribution of maize since politicians in the city are directly involved in the distribution of maize.
In January this year, the Bulawayo depot was a hive of activity when war veterans and Zanu PF supporters staged a demonstration against certain politicians they accused of being involved in the clandestine distribution of maize.
Zanu PF Bulawayo chairman, Jabulani Sibanda, is accusing some politicians in the city of hoarding maize meal and of working in cahoots with GMB officials in the selling of maize on the black market.
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Zim Std

Zimpapers' hacks flee Zanu PF propaganda
By our own Staff

TIRED of the harsh economic situation and of having to dish out crude Zanu
PF propaganda on a daily basis, a number of Zimbabwe Newspapers reporters
have left the company for the United Kingdom, the latest being deputy
editor, Cephas Chitsaka.

Chitsaka, who was the second in command at The Herald, behind Pikirayi
Deketeke, e-mailed his resignation from London last Monday, joining the long
list of Zimpapers reporters, among them, Charles Mtetwa, Elton Dzikiti,
Edgar Moyo, Archibold Musonza and Nomsa Nkala who have left the organisation
in the past few months.
Some, disgusted with having to swallow what is being forced down their
throats by junior minister, Jonathan Moyo, are also understood to have
written notices of intention to leave Zimpapers. Others are contemplating
quitting the government-controlled outfit.
"Yes, Chitsaka has left, and many others are leaving. They are fed up with
being told what to write by the Department of Information and Publicity
rather than write what they see for themselves," said one reporter with The
The situation has become so hard for reporters that Moyo is understood to be
writing propaganda stories himself but under the cover of the reporters'
names. Examples which have been cited have been question and answer stories
which feature Moyo as the respondent and which bear the by-line of a
reporter. The reporters fear being fired if they question this.
In fact, Moyo has become so powerful that it is believed that no story goes
into The Herald without him seeing it first.
The departure of Chitsaka comes hard on the heels of that of Joseph Simoko,
who appeared in the infamous Chave Chimurenga adverts but who left for the
UK in search of greener pastures.
These are, however, just a few of the many people who have left for the
United Kingdom, to escape being used as vehicles for churning out Zanu PF
propaganda on radio, television and in state newspapers.
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Zim Std
War vet in court for killing a donkey
By our own Staff

GWERU-JOSEPH Chishona, 51, a notorious war veteran in Mkoba suburb who faced numerous allegations of torture from members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) stemming from his activities during the 2002 plebiscite, last week found himself in hot soup after killing a donkey.

The war veteran leader, whose alleged acts of torture during the March 2002 presidential campaign were ignored by the partisan Zimbabwe Republic Police, was not so lucky this time around for when he fatally attacked a donkey, the very same police soon hauled him into the dock-to face charges of malicious injury to property!
Appearing for the state, Barbara Mashawiro told the court that on 5 November last year, at about 10 pm, Chishona could not contain his volatile anger against a donkey which had pounced on vegetables in his garden.
Mashawiro said the war veteran, who chased the donkey from his garden, drove it into his yard's perimeter fence where the animal valued at $9 000 got its hoof caught in the wire-mesh.
Chishona then mercilessly beat up the trapped animal, using sticks and a sjambok, the state said. The animal remained there until the next day when it was released by its owner, Samuel Baleni. The animal subsequently died of its injuries.
Chishona's plea to be remanded outside custody on free bail was thrown out by the magistrate who insisted that he had to pay $1 000 bail.
Fellow war veterans who had come to witness the trial had to run around to raise the $1 000 to save Chishona from being remanded in custody until 18 March when the trial is set to resume.
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Zim Std
Chinos promises 'heaven on earth'
By Itai Dzamara
PORTRAYING himself as saviour of the people of the Highfield constituency, former Harare municipality security guard, Joseph Chinotimba, is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to obtain a ticket to the august house.
Chinotimba, who squares up with Pearson Tachiveyi Mungofa of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on March 29 and 30 for the vacant Highfield seat could be wishing for the shortage of basic commodities in the country to continue.

For the bearded war veteran appears to have nothing to offer the constituency except supplies of basic commodities and empty promises.

At the countless meetings he has been holding around the suburb, with the express permission of the police, it has emerged that Chinotimba is riding on the crisis created by the government of his mentor, President Robert Mugabe and wants to be seen as the saviour of the people of Highfield.

As people fail to obtain such commodities as sugar, bread and mealie meal, Chinotimba is creating the impression that he is the only one who can source these scarce supplies. And the sources of Chinotimba's supplies have remained mysterious.

Chinotimba is also trying to capitalise on the nagging transport crisis by going about the suburb claiming that he is the one responsible for bringing Zupco buses to Highfield.

At a recent rally in the constituency, Chinotimba said: "I went to Chitungwiza and people there asked me to bring them buses and food. I told them that I am not Job Sikhala or Tafadzwa Musekiwa, that I'm the MP for Highfield and will continue giving food and transport to my constituency."

The self-proclaimed commander of the farm invasions has also been promising jobs to hordes of unemployed youths in Highfield. He has recruited a few youths for training at his security company, and others for tout duty at the Zupco bus terminus.

However, Chinotimba's efforts appear to be falling far short of convincing the constituency that he is genuinely concerned about them.

His supplies of basic commodities are being distributed to select Zanu PF supporters.

Betty Mutisi, 45, a resident of Highfield, scoffed at Chinotimba's efforts.

"It is all noise about nothing. Only a few Zanu PF supporters are getting the basic commodities, the supply of which is very erratic. It is all a waste of time on the part of Chinotimba," said Mutisi.

Youths in the historic suburb, home to most of Zimbabwe's early nationalists, claim that they are being forced to attend Chinotimba's meetings and rallies.

"We are being dragged to these meetings where Zanu PF people try to force us into praising Chinotimba's efforts and preaching a similar message to the residents of Highfield," said one youth who refused to be identified for fear of victimisation.

"We are deeply concerned at the unemployment in our constituency. However, I am here to tell you that this will be a thing of the past because everyone here will get employment," promised Chinotimba at a rally held at Old Highfield last month.

Last week, Chinotimba took his campaign to the classrooms where he portrayed himself as the saviour of the schools despite his own illiteracy.

A meeting at Mhizha Primary School, purportedly called by education minister Aenaes Chigwedere and public service minister July Moyo, turned out to be yet another platform for Chinotimba to promise teachers "heaven on earth."

Said Chinotimba to the teachers: "It is shameful that the majority of you teachers are lodgers who teach the children of landlords. Imagine a Grade One pupil telling a teacher that he is a lodger. In light of that, I have secured residential stands for you at Ushewokunze farm."

Added Chinotimba: "I will also bring ministers Chigwedere and Moyo to listen to your grievances and welfare concerns, which I am sure they will address."

Teachers in Highfield generally snubbed Chinotimba's rally, which was largely attended by elderly female teachers who numbered about 100.

"I have better things to do than to dignify the nonsense of the Chinotimbas and Chigwederes of this world," said a teacher at Highfield High School who didn't attend the rally.  
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Zim Std
British Foreign Office official doubtful of Mugabe's sincerity
By Henry Makiwa

VISITING head of the British Foreign Affairs' Zimbabwe Section, Tony Brennan, has questioned the sincerity of President Robert Mugabe's pledge to charter a new conciliatory stance with the British government, after the Zimbabwean government refused to meet him this week.

Brennan said he was irked at the decision of the Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs ministry to turn down his request for a bilateral meeting, barely a week after Mugabe returned from a two-week visit to France and the Far East after which he pledged to mend relations between Harare and London with the help of French President, Jacques Chirac.
"The Zimbabwean government did not give any reasons for their refusal to meet me, and it is really sad that...despite our continued assurance that we would very much like to work with Zimbabwe," Brennan said.
"The British government has shown its earnest efforts by providing $4,7 billion (£51 million) towards the Zimbabwean humanitarian crisis in the past 18 months alone. What is saddening is that all this money could have been used for more developmental purposes and we would prefer to have done so with a more co-operative government."
Stan Mudenge, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, could not be reached for comment.
Brennan lamented the breakdown of the rule of law in Zimbabwe and the gross human rights abuses in the country.
He said: "The targeted sanctions slapped on Zimbabwe by the British government are not necessarily for regime change as Mugabe would like to argue, but are meant to effect change in Zimbabwe's conduct.
"The entire international community agrees that Zimbabwe has so much potential and Britain in particular is pained to see Zimbabwe stoop so low at the behest of political leadership bent on retaining power at all costs. The sanctions therefore, are a symbolic and important stance aimed at showing the entire world's disapproval of the regime's conduct."
Brennan served as a teacher at Neshuro Secondary School under the British Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) education programme in Masvingo province's rural Mwenezi district in the 1990s before going to work for the British government in the Czech Republic.
He was then engaged to head the British Foreign Affairs ministry's Zimbabwe Section owing to his experience in the country.
"I am very much attached to this country and it remains dear to me. Despite the crisis bedevilling Zimbabwe, I was glad to see some significant social and infrastructural improvements in Mwenezi," Brennan said.
He said he donated some stationery and sporting equipment during his visit to Neshuro Secondary School on Friday.
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Zim Std 
ZRP now a 'terrorist organisation'
By our own Staff

NORMAN Mbewe reluctantly leads his wife, Gertrude, into Mufakose police station to see their son, Fungai, 24, who has been in police custody for over a week. After a protracted battle with officers in the charge office, they are finally allowed to go see Fungai in an overcrowded holding cell. They find Fungai writhing in agony and unable to speak.

In their bid to force Fungai into admitting a politically motivated crime, officers at Mufakose police station have severely beaten him under the feet and on the genitals.
Fungai, a member of the opposition MDC, says the police accuse him of having been involved in the destruction of the ruling Zanu PF party's offices in Mufakose.
But he says this is just a smokescreen because the police have been after him because of his active campaigning for the MDC.
Fungai's ordeal is just one of the countless cases of the police brutality which transpires every day at police stations throughout the country.
Instead of police stations being places where the public seeks security and safety, police stations in Zimbabwe have been turned into hostile and dangerous places for members of the public.
While professional ethics that govern police operations in many countries call on police officers to be impartial, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has obstinately refused to uphold such standards of professionalism and instead allows itself to be used by the ruling Zanu PF party to ruthlessly uphold two of the country's most obnoxious pieces of legislation: the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa).
Arbitrary detention has become common and those arrested, including even sitting judges such as the recent case of Justice Benjamin Paradza, are denied access to lawyers and sometimes detained for more than 48 hours, the maximum period a person can be held in custody before appearing in court.
The ZRP has also become an intrinsic organ of the repressive machinery that is helping the government and Zanu PF to pummel people into submission as part of the party's plans to have President Robert Mugabe hang onto power at all costs.
The torturing of suspects in police detention has at times forced detainees to admit to crimes they never committed, which are then used as instruments to shut them up, especially in the case of political and civic activists critical of the establishment.
In its execution of duty, the ZRP has exposed its weaknesses by treating individuals, opposition political parties and private media organisations in a blatantly hostile manner.
All the arrests of journalists for "writing and publishing falsehoods" have been directed at those from the privately owned media, although there is clear evidence of the deliberate publishing of falsehoods by the state owned media.
The same can be said of most of the arrests made by the ZRP under Posa which have been against the opposition MDC.
MDC MP for St Marys, Job Sikhala and four others, including human rights lawyer, Gabriel Shumba, were in January arrested for allegedly torching a Zupco bus, but the charge was later changed to a breach of Section 5 of of the notorious Posa.
They were tortured while in police custody with the evidence being provided in court. A probe into the issue was supposed to have been ordered by the state, but it has since emerged that the probe was never seriously carried out and has already been swept under the carpet by the ZRP.
"When I got there, they started beating me under the feet. At one time I passed out and when I regained consciousness one officer urinated on me and I also urinated. Then I was ordered to roll on the urine until it dried up," narrated Sikhala in court.
Munyaradzi Bidi, the director of Zimrights, said the ZRP has aligned itself with the ruling party thereby compromising its impartiality.
"It is a police force that has been politicised and has aligned itself with the ruling party. Posa and Aippa have given the police extra teeth to abuse human rights. We have been receiving appalling reports about the use of excessive force, torture and the beating up of people by the police," said Bidi.
Douglas Mwonzora, the spokesman of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) lambasted the ZRP.
"The ZRP has breached every human rights provision in the constitution. A number of people have been held without access to their lawyers."
Matthew Chiutsi of Highfield described the ZRP as a terrorist organisation.
"It is a shame that the ZRP claims to be a credible police force. If you look at the repugnant manner in which it is being used by Mugabe and his murderous party, on the political or even social scene, you will find it to be nothing but a terrorist organisation. Otherwise, how do you describe a group of armed people who are sent to beat up and harass people in a bread or mealie meal queue simply in order to hoodwink visitors to the Cricket World Cup into believing that all is well?"
Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, whilst admitting the ZRP's shortcomings in upholding human rights, denied the allegations of partisanship and political favouritism.
"We certainly subscribe to the upholding of human rights and we are striving to reach a standard level. There is no police force in the world which can claim to have reached a stage where they fully uphold human rights."
Added Bvudzijena: "The criticism of our application of Posa and Aippa is misplaced. We apply the laws of the country as they are. I would challenge anyone to prove that we have been selective in our operations."
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Zim Std
Economic rot drags on unabated
By Kumbirai Mafunda

ZIMBABWEANS find themselves enmeshed in their worst ever economic and political crisis, a year after the controversial re-election of President Robert Mugabe who promised to mend the tattered economy, but has failed dismally and has only managed to drag the economy into further turmoil.

In separate interviews, analysts said the government is showing conspicuous signs of confusion and despondency as it tries to adopt one plan after the other without any tangible results, the latest being a bizarre suggestion for a return to socialism.
The past 12 months have seen the entrenchment of the suffering of Zimbabweans and the continued dislocation of economic fundamentals, with no solution in sight.
Major economic fundamentals which the governing Zanu PF party promised to tackle once elected into office have worsened, with inflation surging to 208,1% early this year.
In March last year, inflation stood at 113% and analysts project that it will hit 213% by the end of this month.
Annual growth in money supply, which stood at 57% at the beginning of last year, rose to 148,9% by last November and is projected to end the year at a historic high of around 170%, further putting pressure on the runaway inflation.
The centralisation of all foreign exchange transactions has resulted in dwindling amounts of hard currency trickling back into the official system, thereby further paralysing the operations of companies battling to weather the storms.
In his inauguration speech after his controversial re-election, Mugabe said: "Šthe current severe foreign currency crunch requires that we immediately provide further stimulus to national export performance including that of the general agricultural and horticultural sectors; promote benefaction for high value exports, encourage both local and direct investment in the country and market our country more professionally, innovatively, and effectively to boost tourism."
But Mugabe, in office for a year now, has been overwhelmed by the economic crisis that has almost reached melting point.
Although he recently unveiled the so-called National Economic Revival Programme (NERP), the latest in a number of failed initiatives, many experts say Mugabe's new plan is doomed because it does not have the backing of the West where the money comes from.
So as Zimbabwe titters on the brink of collapse under Mugabe's stewardship, the economic decline has accelerated, dramatised by an asset price bubble in real estate, in the equities market and in the goods market. Hunger and starvation have become the order of the day and the whole country is crippled by a transport crisis.
Even the very latest move to designate some service stations for the exclusive use by buses and omnibuses in a bid to ease the transport problems is bound to fail. It just goes to show the extent of desperation on the part of the government.
In less than a year, government has discarded its 10-point economic plan promulgated soon after the presidential elections in favour of the new NERP.
"That 10-point plan was almost dead on arrival. It was never referred to. It simply disappeared without trace. If you even ask someone in government to find a copy of that plan, he will not get it," says John Robertson, an independent consultant economist.
As the government tries desperately to rein in inflation, it has toyed with all sorts of ideas including the introduction of the old-fashioned price controls.
"There are controlled goods on the list and not in the shops," Robertson observed, adding: "So what is the good of having price controls and price freezes?"
Tapiwa Mashakada, the opposition MDC's shadow minister of Finance says: "The economic decline since the 2002 presidential elections has been phenomenal. The economy has declined progressively primarily because market confidence tumbled in the wake of the realisation that the elections didn't represent the will of the people."
Mashakada says the post-election period has seen an increase in asset stripping particularly in the bakery, oil and mining industries.
"There has been a deliberate encouragement of black consortiums with strong links to Zanu PF to take over the commanding heights of the economy. All this suggests that Zanu PF has failed in both economic and political governance," he added.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) is currently studying the performance of the manufacturing sector in 2002, where more than 500 companies are reported to have shut down.
"The situation continues to be difficult. Things have not been easy for companies over the year. Foreign currency shortages, high wage demands, high inflation and a whole host of problems applied in 2002," said Bernard Mufute, CZI's economic research and policy manager.
Many manufacturers have resorted to renaming products and introducing different packages to dodge the price controls on their products.
Bakeries now make small funny looking half-loaves and buns which have escaped the price freeze, while other companies such as detergents manufacturers have reduced the size of some of the most popular soaps.
"It is a survival strategy by companies. If the right prices are charged the market will have products back at their right size," says Mufute.
Former Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president and industrialist, Danny Meyer, says the government is unwilling to arrest the economic rot which is now entering its sixth year.
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