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Daily News

      End of the run

      3/12/2003 10:17:55 PM (GMT +2)

      By Margaret Chinowaita and Angela Makamure

      THE 18-day run of Elliot Tumbwi, the director of Unity Furniture, and
Beauty Mapfumo, accused of murdering Ellen Zendanemago, who fell to her
death from a high-rise building in Harare last month, has ended.

      The pair were arrested on Monday at a farm in Norton.
      Harare magistrate Judith Tsamba yesterday remanded Tumbwi and Mapfumo,
Zendanemago's former friend, out of custody to 28 March on $150 000 bail
each, when they appeared in court facing murder charges.

      Zendanemago was Tumbwi's secretary.
      Tumbwi, 45, and Mapfumo, 30, were ordered to continue residing at
their homes in Mandara and Chitungwiza, respectively, and to report twice a
week at their respective nearest police stations.

      Prosecutor Mehluli Tshuma said that on 22 February this year, Tumbwi
and Mapfumo are suspected to have caused the death of Zendanemago.

      It is alleged the two pushed Zendanemago through a window on the 7th
floor of Trustee House, along Samora Machel Avenue, from where she fell to
her death.

      Mapfumo had earlier collected Zendanemago from her Cranborne home on
the fateful day.

      Business came to a near-standstill at Trustee House yesterday as
workers streamed out of their offices when Tumbwi and Mapfumo were brought
to the building and taken to the 7th floor by the police for indications.

      Their arrival was not without drama either.
      Zendanemago's cousin, Kenny Chivandire, who was in the company of the
police, attacked Tumbwi as he was making indications in his office.

      Chivandire was restrained by the police, who temporarily handcuffed
him to prevent him from meting out his own justice on Tumbwi.

      An emotionally-charged Chivandire broke down in tears soon after the
police removed the handcuffs in the car park at the back of Trustee House.
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Daily Record (UK)


      I can fix fake HIV tests for illegals

      Cara Page Exclusive

AN ASYLUM seeker is selling false AIDS-test results to refugees for £1500 a

Zimbabwean Maggie Sawyer provides immigrants with documents saying they are
HIV- positive to help their bid to stay in Scotland.

Asylum seekers have exceptional grounds to remain in Britain if they are
being treated for HIV or AIDS on the NHS and can prove there is no medical
treatment in their home countries. The medical documents

are like gold dust to healthy refugees desperate to boost their chances of
winning permission to stay in Scotland.

And Sawyer, 36, is only too happy to exploit the demand for false papers
among her fellow asylum seekers.

The mother-of-three maintains a respectable facade, representing a charity
which supports genuine HIV and AIDS patients' asylum cases.

She has even attended women's conferences and lobbied MSPs on behalf of
infected women and children.

But Sawyer - who is HIV positive - also runs a sick money-making enterprise
off the backs of desperate refugees.

We found her out when a Record investigation team posed as asylum seekers
looking for ways to improve their chances of staying in Scotland.

We approached Sawyer claiming we had been told she was the person who could
help us - and we were swiftly offered false AIDS diagnoses for hard cash.

Sawyer told us: "I can get you the stuff to say you have HIV - a false test.
I know people who can arrange it.

"I'll handle it all. I can get the paperwork and everything you need for a
total cost of £1500."

Sawyer and her three children are facing deportation from the UK after
immigration authorities rejected her claim for political asylum.

They later discovered she was working illegally in Glasgow.

She dreamed up her cash-for-AIDS-papers con to get money after officials
stopped her benefits.

A female source said: "Maggie claims she can fix it for anyone to get a
false HIV case for £1500.

"She said she pays a Nigerian contact £1500 in London to arrange it in the
hope that the authorities will be more sympathetic to asylum seekers.

"She claims the contact arranges for a blood sample from someone who really
is HIV positive to be submitted for testing."

Sawyer has enlisted campaigners at Glasgow-based HIV support charity Body
Positive Strathclyde into fighting her case to remain in Scotland.

She even represented them on Monday at an International Women's Day
conference in Edinburgh with Social Justice Minister Margaret Curran.

There, Sawyer handed out leaflets promoting the charity and protested that
African HIV women would die from the lack of medical treatment if sent back
to their homelands.

Sawyer herself attends the Brownlee Centre - an HIV outpatients' clinic at
Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow.

She told the conference: "While many women are busy enjoying Women's Day
there are others who are crying out for help, and suffering.

"Some of these women are facing deportation and some have children with HIV.

"If they are sent back to Africa there is no treatment for them. It is like
sending them back to the gas chamber. Most of the women who are HIV positive
have been raped yet when they come here on a political issue they are
refused to be allowed to stay."

But just hours earlier, Sawyer had been using the terrible illness to make
money from refugees.

She told our undercover reporter she could arrange a bogus HIV test for a
female African we claimed was trying to get from Uganda to Scotland.

She said that for a cash payment, the fraud would be carried out with the
help of a Jamaican fixer based in Glasgow and a London-based fraudster.

Sawyer said: "The guy is in London who does this, I know him. I tell the
Glasgow go- between I want A-B-C and he knows me.

"But I'll be helping, I'll go through with them. I did it already with three
ladies from Kenya and Ghana. Everything is included in £1500."

Another of Sawyer's rackets is selling false passports for £100 to African
women trying to flee their homeland.

She told one of our investigators she could get her a false Malawi passport
in order to help her travel to Britain.

The scam involves a contact on the Malawi side providing forged documents.

Sawyer told us: "I can get a passport no problem.

"As long as she has money to travel to Malawi and £100 to pay for the
passport, I can help - definitely.

"I can get her a new Malawian passport because now in Malawi, they don't
require a visa.

"She comes here as if she's coming on holiday. When the lady is in Malawi I
tell you where you put the money in an account.

"All you have to tell me is when is she ready. I make a phone call to Malawi
and that's it."

Sawyer has told friends she lived in Zimbabwe and South Africa before
fleeing to Britain two years ago.

Her three sons - aged 15, 11 and five - joined her later from Zimbabwe and
immigration authorities put the family up in a high- rise flat on Glasgow's
south side last year.

But her application for asylum was unsuccessful and she now faces
deportation after losing an appeal. Sawyer complains that the National
Asylum Support Service stopped her cash benefits after discovering she was
working illegally.

The Record has discovered that Sawyer was working for Monarch Security Ltd
as a security guard at a Glasgow health centre.

A spokesman for the company in Tollcross confirmed they had employed Sawyer
for two months last year.

He said: "We thought she was above board but she was unreliable and didn't
turn up at jobs. We just got rid of her."

Last night, a female former friend of Sawyer said: "I have a lot of sympathy
for asylum seekers but what Maggie Sawyer is doing is a disgrace.

"She is doing nothing to help the image of genuine refugees in need."

When we confronted Sawyer with the results of our inquiries, she refused to

But a spokesman for Body Positive pledged to investigate.

Senior project worker Collins McKay said: "If someone set up a scam outside,
it's personal responsibility - but we would find it unacceptable."



Record : The fake HIV test you mentioned, you can get us that?

Sawyer: I can do this for you. You pay £1500. I have a guy who arranges the
test and I'll organise things

Record: What do we get for the money?

Sawyer: Everything - the paperwork is included in the £1500. All I need is
the money - it's as simple as that.

Let's Protect the Uninfected

The Herald (Harare)

March 12, 2003
Posted to the web March 12, 2003

Retired Brigadier General David Chiweza

It is two years ago when we launched the Citizens Aids Survival Trust
(CAST). Another year has passed in the usual manner - so much talking about
HIV infection on one hand and increasing infections and deaths on the other.

To demonstrate the sense of despair, many early HIV campaigners lost their
enthusiasm and have since left for achievable goals elsewhere.

In the last twelve years, we have watched HIV infection statistics rising
thirty times from 100 000 in 1990 to approximately 3 million in 2002.

According to the latest updates from the US government's Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) Fact Book, Zimbabwe is now losing more than 200
000 people a year to this deadly virus.

With all the deaths that Zimbabweans witness daily around them, who can
dismiss these statistics?

The question is: When will Zimbabweans conclude that this amount of death is
unacceptable? When will talk translate to action?

When CAST was launched two years ago, it was clear that no other
organisation in Zimbabwe had a prevention strategy similar to ours.

Many of the current HIV prevention programmes do not amount to "prevention"
programmes per se.

Of the 130 HIV/Aids organisations analysed by CAST, only a handful had
active HIV prevention programmes in voluntary HIV counselling and testing
centres (VCTs).

Most of the organisations which purported to be into HIV prevention were
actually involved in pre and post infection programmes such as information
dissemination, care and treatment of people living with HIV and Aids.

The much relied upon voluntary counselling and testing programme has become
much like the proverbial story of one man who was trying to make the
difference by throwing back into the sea one shellfish at a time when the
sea is simultaneously washing millions ashore.

Much of his heroic act is praiseworthy but common sense tells you that you
can't save the species that way until every other person is picking up his
or her shellfish and throwing it back into the sea.

It is for the above reasons that CAST has continued and will continue to be
relevant to the HIV situation facing the nation today.

For example, the most shocking revelation this year is that the VCT
strategy, upon which the fate of the nation heavily relies, managed to test
only 110 000 people in Zimbabwe from its inception in 1999 to December 2002.

This amounts to 37 000 HIV tests per year or 3 000 persons per month or 100
people per day against the backdrop of the existence of 3 million HIV
carriers in the nation daily.

CAST has always insisted that "We must defend the present uninfected persons
as if we are defending the last 1 000 of our people".

The danger posed by the current national mood is that there may never be any
commitment to defend, protect and preserve that remnant of our people for
the future.

It seems we have all resigned to death and share the comfort of a group
fate. To be certain that this will not be the case, CAST urges the nation to
define this threshold, that is,the point of infection levels that triggers
the adoption of emergency measures.

What we would like to see is the rekindling of a selfless commitment to a
national existence, even if it means that the benefits will not accrue to us
as a generation.

We can no longer rest in the comfort that the dead will not be held

We owe our existence to those who went before us. We dread that we are in
danger of leaving a heritage of a dying nation to the future generation.

If the current HIV trend continues for another decade, the nation will
surely die.

We in CAST take this opportunity of our second anniversary to boldly
proclaim a strategy that is biblically, scientifically, constitutionally and
legally correct.

This year we will continue to uphold this as the only practical response to
our HIV problem at present.

At the same time we will aggressively question the negation of
constitutional provisions on infectious disease prevention and the
abrogation of provisions of the Health Act.

It is our sincere hope that by continuously questioning and pointing to the
truth we may one day win the support of those who have the power to reverse
the undesirable destiny set before us.

This, to all CAST members, is a duty that has been carried out with a lot of
sacrifice of time and resources.

At a time when most non-governmental organisations have retreated due to
budgetary cutbacks by their sponsors, I am grateful to God that CAST members
and well-wishers have contributed to its continued existence.

In the last year, CAST has continued to share the vision with stakeholders
at all levels. For the first time CAST reached the rural folk with its

Highlights of the year's vision-sharing activities included the high profile
dialogue with the National Aids Council. Many other stakeholder groups were
reached, giving rise to substantial capacity building for the organisation.

CAST values life and recognises that the measures it recommends are a lesser
evil to the inhuman destruction of life taking place.

Through the "embryo effect" strategy, CAST hopes to extricate the nation's
minds from an "awareness campaign syndrome" to a "compliance campaign".

The "embryo effect" strategy will bring in the elements of accountability,
responsibility and manageability by all citizens.

It is my sincere hope that all CAST members will this year emphasise this
theme as the guiding principles of HIV prevention from this year forthwith.

The verdict is clear. "Do not blame HIV, question the solution".

A virus does not have the brains to outwit a determined human being. The
nation desperately needs the liberating experience of valuing life more than
basic human rights.

Only when we begin to value life will we begin to win against HIV.

Evidence that life is not valued is found among those who say that it is
better to die than be tested for HIV; it is better to lose the whole nation
to death than to lose our right to liberty and; we can't implement this
programme because we are poor.

Well, as we go into our third year, we would like to warn the nation: "If
you lose your people you will cease to be a nation soon".

Presently, America will send men and women to die for a threat to life that
is presently only perceived.

In Zimbabwe, the HIV damage to the nation is currently at the level thirty
times the lives killed by the nuclear bomb that was dropped at Hiroshima.
What is your response?

If there is any test to a people's wisdom, if there is any inclination to
adaptability, survival and any sense of sacrifice, it is needed now rather
than tomorrow. Anything short of that simply means we have become

Under these circumstances, no amount of fire, no amount of prodding and no
amount of stimuli will cause us to react to this state of extreme suffering.

We invite all who have the capacity to comprehend, to act and to guide work
with an HIV prevention organisation that is local, original and seriously
committed to stopping death and suffering.

To the nation, all CAST members, friends, leaders and well-wishers, the
nation's future lies in the efforts of those who choose to act selflessly,
those who choose to be inconvenienced rather than be loved.

Such people are the ones who understand that not testing HIV is a trap for
another unsuspecting neighbour. In all this, let God be your strength to
deny yourself for the good of others. Zimbabwe must live!

About the author: Retired Brigadier General David Chiweza is the executive
director of the Citizens Aids Survival Trust.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Wages cannot rise if economy is in doldrums

      3/12/2003 10:20:20 PM (GMT +2)

      THE latest calculations show that 80 percent of Zimbabweans are living
below the poverty datum line (PDL).

      In practical terms, this means that the majority are living from hand
to mouth.
      The calculations also show that the inflation rate is now more than
200 percent. This means that not many of the 20 percent living above the PDL
can buy enough food every month to feed their families.

      As for those living below the PDL, the inflation rate has probably
reduced them to scavengers for food in the dustbins of the affluent. For, in
the midst of this desolation, there are still pockets of obscene wealth,
particularly among the ruling elite.

      But this graphic portrait of a nation in the grip of the worst poverty
in its history cannot be isolated from the incompetence of a government
which insists on planning for the future without taking account of the
realities on the ground.

      For instance, it is highly desirable for all workers to be given a
boost in their wages. Most of them cannot cope with life on their present

      As a result many are up to their necks in debt and, according to the
statistics, are being hauled into court for failing to honour their
financial obligations.

      The rise in both white and blue-collar crime cannot be isolated from
the grinding poverty into which a once booming economy has been plunged by a
corrupt, inept and
      unfeeling government.

      But raising the minimum wage, as suggested in proposals tabled before
the Tripartite National Forum of the government, business and labour last
week, can be realistic only
      if it is accompanied by a commitment by the government to re-enter the
international marketplace.

      Industry and commerce are short of foreign currency for vital inputs
to generate wealth. Their profit margins have been slashed by the decline in
the economy, plagued by shortages of fuel and foreign currency, which drive
the economy.

      Even if they wanted to, they could not increase their workers' wages
to any meaningful levels not without resorting to retrenchments.

      Every time the economy goes through a dark patch and this is one of
the darkest patches ever the tendency by commerce and industry is to hold
down wage rises and freeze recruitment altogether.

      For any employer to raise wages by 60 percent right now would almost
be suicidal, unless they are among the fortunate few benefiting from
government largess, most likely based on perceived political correctness.

      What the government has to accept is that the key shortages in the
economy fuel and foreign currency could flow back into the country if its
political policies became more people-friendly.

      The rest of the world, excluding parts of Africa which insist that
good governance is alien to the continent, is waiting to re-engage Zimbabwe
politically and economically, once the government stops violence against its
own people, against the judiciary, against political opponents and against
the private media.

      The government may do lots of chest-thumping over President Mugabe's
performance at the recent Non-Aligned Movement summit in Kuala Lumpur, or
the endorsement by the Sadc Council of Ministers in Luanda of the appeals by
Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo that sanctions against Zimbabwe
be lifted on the nebulous grounds that things have returned to normal.

      But the people of Zimbabwe know the truth: there is nothing normal
about political violence, about the politicisation of donated food aid
distribution, about fuel and foreign currency shortages, which translate
into starvation and death for many people.

      Fortunately, the rest of the world recognises the misery into which
the government has plunged the people.

      The government itself may not take steps to normalise its relations
with the rest of the world. It may be up to the people to take up the

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Daily News

      MDC youth feared dead

      3/12/2003 9:36:44 PM (GMT +2)

      From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

      MTHULISI Mloyi, an MDC youth, is feared dead after he was kidnapped by
so-called war veterans in Nkayi on Saturday.

      Mloyi's clothes, including his underwear, were on Sunday found where
he was believed to have been abducted. The incident occurred at Nkabayinde
Business Centre a few kilometres from Nkayi Growth Point.

      Several other MDC youths, who were preparing for a rally to have been
addressed by the opposition party's vice-president, Gibson Sibanda, escaped
from a group of armed war veterans who are former dissidents.

      The rally was cancelled after the group of 20 marauding so-called war
veterans went berserk at Nkayi, assaulting suspected MDC supporters.

      Villagers who witnessed the incident said the Zanu PF supporters, led
by a former dissident identified as Khiwa, pounced on Mloyi and other youths
as he was putting up posters.

      Khiwa was one of the former dissidents who launched a reign of terror
in the run-up to the 2002 presidential election, controversially won by
President Mugabe.

      The group allegedly dragged Mloyi to a District Development Fund truck
which had no number plates. After brief consultations with State security
agents prowling the area, they bundled him into the truck.

      The MDC said a report was made at Nkayi Police Station, but yesterday
the police refused to comment.

      Paul Themba Nyathi, the MDC spokesman, said the party was concerned
that Mloyi, who is a former ward chairman, could have been killed by the
"lawless rogue elements".

      "We are equally astounded that Jonathan Moyo (the Minister of State
for Information and Publicity) has the audacity to call this a normal and
peaceful country where innocent young men are kidnapped in broad daylight,
their crime being that they support the opposition,'' Nyathi said.
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Daily News

      No legal recourse over newly-listed farms

      3/12/2003 9:53:36 PM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      Justice for Agriculture (JAG) is concerned that there are some
farmers, especially those with recent Section 8 orders, some of which may be
seven-day reissues who have no procedural or irregularity grounds for
further legal challenge.

      A legal communique issued by the organisation said: "It is of concern
also that many farmers in this position are financially vulnerable and
exposed with a crop in the ground, possibly exacerbated by the fact that
they did not receive financial assistance from their banks this season.

      JAG recommended that farmers get their legal ducks in a row in the
light of recent evictions, many of which resulted in farmers only being
allowed to remove their household goods and the fact that litigation takes
time. "This is important in that the foundation of future legal strategy
(that is, High Court injunctions, restricting orders, eviction orders and
contempt of court rulings culminating in civil damages litigation) is
remaining the legal rightful owner of your property. This is especially
pertinent if one has a crop in the ground and doubly so when faced with a
seven-day reissue Section 8 order."

      JAG said those farmers who had no procedural irregularity grounds for
further legal challenge should seriously consider bringing an individual
constitutional challenge along the lines of the Quinnell case, citing one or
two of the constitutional issues therein that pertain to them.

      The communique said: "This will be relatively inexpensive ($120
000-$150 000) in that
      most of the legal investigative work has been done with the Quinnell

      "Likewise with the Quinnell case being imminent there is little
likelihood of one's coming to court in that the Quinnell case judgement will
resolve the issue. Knowing this there is a great deal of merit in seeking
the same interim relief as was granted to Quinnell in the meantime. Legal
challenge along this line will, in conjunction with the Matabeleland CFU
Justice Cheda ruling, keep one on the farm."

      The commonique however warned: "Failing this it will at least allow
for the removal of moveable assets and crops. Retrospective challenge after
eviction is far less effective."
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Daily News

      Ben-Menashe allowed to leave

      3/12/2003 9:37:22 PM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      ARI Ben-Menashe was finally discharged and allowed to return to his
Montreal base yesterday after a record 22 days on the stand as the key
prosecution witness in the treason trial of MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai,
and two senior party officials.

      The Canadian-based political consultant wore a wide grin as he stepped
down from the witness stand after he was discharged by High Court judge
Paddington Garwe.

      Still smiling, an obviously relieved Ben-Menashe walked over to the
bar to say goodbye to the prosecution team led by deputy Attorney-General
Bharat Patel.

      Advocate George Bizos said the defence had no objection to Ben-Menashe
being released subject to his undertaking to return if he is recalled by the
court should the defence find new evidence to rebut the charges.

      On Thursday last week, he stunned the court when he accused both the
prosecution and the defence lawyers of abusing him by keeping him on the
witness stand for too long.
      He begged Garwe to immediately release him.

      He sprung another surprise on Monday, taking the judge to task
demanding that the judge release him "as you promised here in this court".

      The trial resumed in the afternoon with evidence from Tara Thomas, the
second State witness.

      The 32-year-old university drop-out and former bartender recounted how
she clandestinely tape-recorded the meeting at the Royal Automobile Club in
London between Tsvangirai, Ben-Menashe and Rupert Johnson.

      "I had the recorder in my purse and I pressed the 'record' button,"
Thomas said.
      She alleged Tsvangirai announced at the beginning of the meeting that
the agenda was to arrange the elimination of President Mugabe.

      "And the transitional government would follow," she said. "One of the
things that stuck in my mind is that in order to have a smooth transition,
the elimination had to appear to be an accident or as natural otherwise the
army would step in to defend the President."
      Thomas and Ben-Menashe concurred in their description of Johnson as
"typical ex-Rhodesian and an ex-member of the Selous Scouts."

      Tsvangirai and his co-accused Welshman Ncube and Renson Gasela said,
in their defence outline, Rupert Johnson approached Gasela claiming he was a
director of Dickens and Madson and that he could assist the MDC in raising
funds for the presidential election campaign.

      Ben-Menashe disowned Johnson saying he was a member of the MDC.
      The trial continues today.


Treason: Witness wavering
12/03/2003 21:04  - (SA)

Harare - A state witness in the treason trial of Zimbabwe's opposition
leader testified on Wednesday she could not be sure opposition assailants
tried to kill her, as he employer insisted in his testimony.

Tara Thomas, an assistant of Ari Ben Menashe, the Canadian-based political
consultant who claims opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai sought his help to
assassinate the Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, said she was hurt in a
bicycle accident near her home in Montreal in July last year.

Ben Menashe, in his month long testimony in the Harare High Court, said
Thomas was injured in an assassination attempt by the opposition in a
Montreal park to stop her testifying against Tsvangirai.

Thomas, 32, said: "one second I was on my bike, the next I was on the ground
in great pain and shock ... It was a very strange accident. I haven't fallen
off my bike since I was seven."

She then saw two men standing over her.

"They were black men. They started speaking to me in English. They didn't
have French accents," she told Judge Paddington Garwe.

The men walked away when a passing motorist stopped and offered to drive her
to the hospital, she said.

She said private investigators hired by Ben Menashe linked the incident to
English speakers from Zimbabwe, a former British colony.

Garwe agreed it was inadmissible hearsay after defence attorney George Bizos
protested the private investigators were paid by Ben Menashe and there was
evidently no official police report.

Thomas said she was not sure if the incident was linked to the trial.

Ben Menashe has accused Tsvangirai and two other opposition leaders of
hiring him to help them kill Mugabe.

The opposition officials deny the charges, saying Ben Menashe was secretly
on the government payroll and framed them. The three could face the death
penalty if convicted.


Tsvangirai was charged with treason two weeks before he ran against Mugabe
in presidential elections last year.

Mugabe, who has been president since Zimbabwe became independent from
Britain in 1980, won the election, which international observers said was
swayed by rigging and political intimidation.

Thomas said she worked for Ben Menashe as an assistant and researcher. She
was asked to help with two secretly recorded meetings in which the state
alleges Tsvangirai conspired to have Mugabe killed and take over power.

Thomas testified on Tuesday that a tape recorder hidden in her purse
malfunctioned during a key portion of a London meeting at which she said the
assassination plot was discussed.

Because that audio recording failed, another meeting held on December 4,
2001 was secretly videotaped at the consultancy firm's Montreal offices. Ben
Menashe said he recorded the meeting to gather evidence on the assassination
plot so he could hand it over to Canadian, US and Zimbabwean authorities.

He insisted he was not working with the government to entrap the opposition.
He has since testified he received US$200 000 from the Zimbabwe government
two weeks after he gave the secretly recorded tape to state agents.

Defence lawyers say the grainy video, also of poor audio quality, does not
contain any mention by Tsvangirai of an illegal conspiracy. - Sapa-AFP
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Daily News


      Tony Yengeni, a prosthetic leg and a woman

      3/12/2003 9:43:55 PM (GMT +2)

      FROM way back when, quite a number of Zimbabweans always thought South
Africans were cleverer than they were even during apartheid, which the South
Africans endured long after Zimbabweans had wrested power from the white
supremacists of Rhodesia.

      A Zimbabwean who spent time in South Africa, either studying or making
money as a waiter or a tsotsi (petty criminal), was treated with
near-reverence back home: he supposedly knew so much more about the world
money, women, music and how to obtain all three without committing a hideous

      Zimbabweans who aped South Africans in dress, music, song and dance
were highly admired by their peers. In those days South Africa was the place
to be, to dream of, to imitate.

      As I have said elsewhere, a Zimbabwean who had a South African
girlfriend, let alone a South African wife, had "arrived". Today, little has
changed, except that we hear that South African women prefer Zimbabwean men
as their permanent partners.

      Zimbabwean women will probably howl with derisive laughter at this,
but their men are supposed to be more sensitive, considerate and chivalrous
than South African men according to the South African women.

      But the good news for today is that a young Zimbabwean cross-border
trader claims to have tamed the meanness of her South African customers by
using good, old-fashioned bluff.

      The first customer kept postponing payment for her doilies by
pleading: "I have no money today. Come next week." This went on for weeks.
Then, at the end of her tether with the duplicity, this ingenious woman
thought up a grand strategy to recover her money.

      She steeled herself for a real showdown with the customer, a typical
male chauvinist. As if in a trance, she told her customer: "If you don't pay
me now, I swear you will follow me to Zimbabwe to pay me. Your life will be
so unbearable you will search high and low for me in Zimbabwe. I swear this
on my mother's grave."

      Then she left the customer without waiting for a response. On the way
to the bus terminus, she heard frantic footsteps behind her. It was the
customer, waving thousands of rands in his hand. "Here is the money. Please
take it." Fear of the Unknown was etched on his face.

      The next customer had a prosthetic leg. He too kept promising to pay
her but never did. She threatened him with lightning, but he would not
budge. So she grabbed the prosthetic leg, which he had detached from his
thigh, and walked off to the bus stop. He would not follow her, managing
only to shout himself hoarse as she strode off into the sunset.

      The bus had just arrived when the man ploughed into her, having used a
pair of old crutches to hop after her. "Take the money, please!" he said
from the ground, the crutches at sixes and sevens, eyes glazed, completely
out of breath. "Take the money and give me back my leg, please."

      She scored a good one for Zimbabwean women and all women, whose
International Day was celebrated last week.

      Earlier in the month, I spent time in Sri Lanka, at one time ruled by
one of the most formidable politicians in the world Sirimavo Bandaranaike,
whose husband, Solomon, was assassinated. Today, the president of Sri Lanka
is her daughter, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. We didn't get to see
her at the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) Editors' Forum in Kandy or the
biennial CPU conference in Colombo. She lost an eye in a bomb blast in an
assassination attempt launched by the Tamil Tigers of Eelam, who waged a
rebel war for 20 years until last year.

      Sri Lanka, the former Ceylon of Ceylon tea fame, is a beautiful,
resplendent island of 19 million people.

      Wherever Commonwealth people presidents, prime ministers, journalists,
lawyers or doctors meet these days, three countries dominate most debate:
Zimbabwe and its mentors, South Africa and Nigeria.

      Sri Lanka was no different: why were the South African and Nigerian
leaders pretending that their colleague, President Mugabe, ran a
squeaky-clean democracy when it was clear to all the man was clinging to
power through the use of violence and intimidation against the opposition,
the judiciary, the legislature, the media and the people?

      For the umpteenth time, I was reminded of the only meeting I had with
Thabo Mbeki. It was back in the 1970s at The Times of Zambia and he was a
big wheel in the African National Congress (ANC), which he now leads.

      We met in the newspaper offices in Cairo Road, the main street of
Lusaka. We talked politics, specifically the South African liberation
movements' politics all were then based in Lusaka, including the ANC and the
Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), then admired because of the charisma of its
founder, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe.

      Kenneth Kaunda, then President of Zambia, had a soft spot for the ANC,
just as he favoured Joshua Nkomo's Zapu over Zanu. My recollection of our
conversation is a little hazy, but I believe Mbeki pleaded for fair coverage
of the ANC in our newspapers, as all the other liberation movements did, The
Times and its Sunday stable-mate being the largest-selling newspapers in the
country then.

      It would not surprise me if Mbeki had little recollection of our
conversation back then. But I have always wondered how he would react today
if I asked him if he had any idea then that he would end up as president, or
that a compatriot of his named Tony Yengeni would earn the opprobrium of
many Zimbabweans for endorsing so unreservedly the 2000 parliamentary
election in Zimbabwe.

      I would ask him about his African Renaissance dream and where he
believes a man like Yengeni fits into it, as an example of an honest, loyal,
upright and clean-living South African politician.

      I would then proceed to ask him if Yengeni, whose sartorial elegance
has been the subject of media comment, is the archetypical SA politician.
Yengeni was recently embroiled in a scandal, in which he was arrested and
eventually brought to court on charges of corruption, forgery and perjury,
related to a massive arms deal.

      Yengeni was the chief whip of the ANC in parliament, a pretty
influential political job. To escape prison, he made a deal with the law,
including his resignation from parliament, the details of which are neither
here nor there.

      For many Zimbabweans, Yengeni's humiliation must give Mbeki cause for
pause in his relentless defence of Mugabe's policies of violence against his
own people.

      Like the cross-border trader who took her South African customer's
prosthetic leg to force him to pay up, Zimbabweans may have the last laugh
on Mbeki.

      Tony Yengeni must be wondering day and night if the fates would have
been kinder to him if he had not endorsed the violent, non-free, non-fair
2000 election in Zimbabwe.
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From ICG, 10 March

The succession struggle

The one new element that suggests early and positive change in Zimbabwe’s critical situation may just be possible involves reports that began to surface in January 2003 that senior ZANU-PF officials were seriously exploring possible retirement scenarios for President Mugabe. Widespread enthusiasm greeted the notion that Mugabe might step down. The news of a potential deal boosted Zimbabwe’s stock exchange. A subsequent poll by the Harare-based Mass Public Opinion Institute found 65 per cent of respondents wanted Mugabe, who is 79 and whose term runs to 2008, to announce his plans for retirement immediately. As the story of ZANU-PF manoeuvring began to emerge, it was learned that in November 2002, Fr. Fidelis Mukonori, a Jesuit priest in Harare, approached Morgan Tsvangirai on behalf of Mugabe, with a message that the president was considering retirement and wanted to meet with the MDC leader. Although nothing came of it, retired Zimbabwean Army Colonel Lionel Dyck confirmed to ICG that he spoke to Tsvangirai a month later on behalf of Speaker of the House and former head of the security services Emmerson Mnangagwa and armed forces chief General Vitalis Zvinavashe. Both men have been close to Mugabe and appeared to indicate that they could offer assurances that he would accept early retirement and possibly exile. Since Mugabe was known to have been saying privately that he was willing to step down, and key elements within the ruling party had indicated a desire to break the political impasse, this initiative appeared somewhat credible. Colonel Dyck, at the behest of the two, inquired if Tsvangirai would be willing to agree that, if he retired, the president and other top ZANU-PF officials would have immunity from prosecution for human rights abuses and corruption. Tsvangirai was also reportedly asked if he would be willing to join a transitional authority if Mugabe left power.

Tsvangirai rejected this offer and, concerned that a trap was being set and he was being used in a power struggle within ZANU-PF, revealed it to journalists and civic leaders. Tsvangirai told ICG that the offer was unacceptable and Zimbabwe would need to return to democracy through a process that was transparent and accountable, not a backroom deal that presupposed Mnangagwa as the new president. The MDC and most civil society leaders have consistently argued that top officials of Mugabe’s government must be held accountable for their actions, particularly Mnangagwa and Zvinavashe, who were involved in the mass killings in Matabeleland in the 1980s and, more recently, in the looting of diamonds in the Congo. Tsvangirai has told ICG, with some ambiguity, that the MDC would not pursue the prosecution of Mugabe should he step down, but also that any decision would need to be fully and openly debated in a national forum. He has not extended any kind of promise to other members of ZANU-PF. There are two problems with any amnesty or non-prosecution assurance. First, it would be a difficult sell to some members of the MDC, who want Mugabe held accountable. Secondly, Mugabe does not trust the Tsvangirai’s ability to make good on immunity since he knows there are Zimbabweans who would pursue action against him whatever deal was struck. At the least, any arrangement would probably not preclude the possibility that Mugabe could be investigated and the likely highly embarrassing results made public.

The revelations surrounding Dyck’s mission brought into the open long-suspected divisions within the ruling party. Two camps have emerged in the struggle for post-Mugabe leadership of ZANU-PF. Mnangagwa and Zvinavashe are on one side, while on the other are retired Army Commander Solomon "Rex" Mujuru, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, current Army Commander Constantine Chiwenga, Air Force Commander Perence Shiri, sacked Finance Minister Simba Makoni (whom Mujuru has been pushing as successor to Mugabe), former Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo, ZANU-PF businessman Ibbo Mandaza, and elder statesman Eddison Zvobgo. This second group seeks initially to consolidate its control of the army by ensuring that Shiri succeeds Zvinavashe when the latter retires this summer, though the impatience of the top military brass over the political stalemate is growing, adding to the general aura of uncertainty. If this manoeuvre succeeds, the group will then concentrate on ensuring that Mnangagwa is not well positioned to succeed Mugabe. A third group will ultimately play only a spoiler role at most. It is led by the trio of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa. None of these has a major support base inside the party, much less in the broader public, but they have retained President Mugabe’s favour due to their vociferous defence of his policies.

Conventional wisdom has always had Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s hand-picked successor, but the recent events have placed this in doubt. It appears that his faction approached the MDC without the president’s blessing on something of a fishing expedition. Recent Mugabe statements ("there are those that seek to divide us from within") indicate that some things have gone on behind his back. He said that the plot to exile him could have been orchestrated by ZANU-PF officials: "Those rumours came from people who wanted to reverse our land reform program, or maybe it came from some of our party members who want to sow seeds of division". As Africa Confidential concluded, "Mugabe's greatest fear is an exit strategy he doesn't control: that the mass food and fuel shortages, along with the rising death toll from starvation and HIV/AIDS, will finally propel his opponents onto the streets for a Ceaucescu-like showdown". If Mugabe directed the feelers to Tsvangirai, it is likely he is indeed ready to retire; if not, then it is probable that the long knives are already being drawn in the succession battle. Mugabe may also see these events as a plot by the Karanga ethnic group, to which Mnangagwa, Zvinavashe, Mutumwa Mawere (a key business associate of Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe and the Congo), and Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge belong. Other factions within ZANU-PF are stoking his fears about the intentions of Mnangagwa and Zvinavashe. The degree to which Mugabe will be able to control the fallout from these manoeuvres is uncertain.

General Zvinavashe raised the stakes early in 2003 by announcing that the "military will assist" in addressing the economic crisis in Zimbabwe. "[W]e must do something about it … it is not right to keep quiet and let nature take its course". While this could be a bluff to cow opposition to the planned elevation of Mnangagwa to the presidency, his proposal to form a national task force to find solutions to the country’s problems was widely taken in Zimbabwe as an extraordinary admission of awareness of widespread dissatisfaction with Mugabe. It probably is just the tip of the iceberg, however, in terms of the unhappiness within the military, particularly those who have returned from the Congo, and segments of the ZANU-PF leadership that are experiencing diminishing benefits as a result of Zimbabwe’s political isolation and weakening economy. These forces want to manage a process of change that builds a bridge back to international legitimacy, aid, debt relief, trade and investment, while maintaining their personal authority. There is increasing belief, at least within the ruling party, that Mugabe’s retirement is the only way to accomplish that goal. The Mujuru faction is vehemently opposed to Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s successor. In the first week of February 2003, Mujuru and Air Marshall Shiri asked Mugabe when he intended to retire and conveyed their desire for a more open succession process. It should be remembered that in Kenya a pattern of ignoring the will of the party leadership on the Moi succession issue resulted in the recent decisive election defeat. Party pressure on Mugabe to devise an exit strategy is thus likely to continue to build. If an acceptable process does not materialise, Mujuru’s faction might bolt from ZANU-PF, form its own party, and try to attract others as the Rainbow Coalition did in Kenya. Some of the less radical war veterans also are organising and could provide another point of independent opposition to ZANU-PF over the coming months.

Both major factions within ZANU-PF believe that the other faction will try to make a deal with the MDC that would leave them out in the cold. The one thing that unites them, however, is their desire to see Mugabe off the scene. Their leaders share the view that he is a liability to the party, the country, and, most importantly, their personal fortunes. "They are aware that with Mugabe at the helm the entire regime is pushed to their last supper", observed a Zimbabwean analyst. "The sacrificial game has now begun". Some ZANU-PF officials will attempt to place all blame on Mugabe but no one should be fooled that Zimbabwe’s problems result from one person. Any solution will have to deal with reform of the entire system, not just changing the guard. South Africa is active behind the scenes in promoting a succession plan. Its preference appears to be a quiet deal that would be arranged within and primarily by ZANU-PF with a relatively minimal role for the opposition. It has severely alienated the MDC by not meeting directly with it while pushing it to drop its court challenge to the legitimacy of the March 2002 presidential election. It has been working on behalf of one specific successor, Mnangagwa, who has spent considerable time in South Africa and was embraced by President Mbeki embraced recently at the African National Congress (ANC) annual conference. Mnangagwa has given the South Africans the questionable assurance that he has the army on his side.

However, South Africa may have initially underestimated the unpopularity of Mnangagwa, who in 2000 lost the parliament contest in his hometown of Kwekwe and later in the year the ZANU-PF chairmanship to John Nkomo. It has now widened its search for a credible replacement for Mugabe, recently hosting, for example, Simba Makoni, a member of the ZANU-PF politburo and the Mujuru faction’s apparently preferred candidate. Makoni is increasingly viewed in Zimbabwe and the region as a viable alternative to Mugabe, someone not tainted with the scandals, state looting, and human rights violations of the last two decades. One ZANU-PF parliamentarian said, "People applaud him before he even speaks. They say, ‘He has new ideas, let him try’. They say he is a decent person without so many rumours and scandals about his wheeling and dealing. But he may not be strong enough to cope with the ZANU-PF heavyweights". After the meetings in South Africa, Makoni said that the ruling and opposition parties should work together: "[A] country should have a national government mandated by the people of that country to govern it. There is a difference between a government of national unity and a national government". Notwithstanding Makoni’s admonition, President Mbeki continued his pursuit of a government of national unity, and received support from France at the Franco-African Summit.

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Wear black on 18 April

We are a few Zimbabweans who are deeply saddened and angered by what has
happened, and is still happening to our beloved country Zimbabwe.

We are campaigning for people to show their disapproval of what is

We are asking all Zimbabweans at home and abroad to wear black on 18 April
as a sign of mourning for the death of democracy in Zimbabwe. We are asking
everyone who reads this letter to spread the message.

Zimbabwean Patriots in the UK (and all over the world)

(Let's all do this to make it work - diarise the date and WEAR BLACK)

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Wednesday 12 March 2003
Zimbabwe is like communist China
Shoneez Bulbulia - Johannesburg
Zimbabwean Archbishop Pius Ncube said the situation in his country was worsening each day and had become "very much like communist China with everything totally controlled by the State".
"More than 300 people were arrested over the weekend during Women's Day celebrations and marches and some detained for five days. A 15-year-old boy was beaten up and shocked and then taken to a police camp after he apparently protested at a cricket match, while one woman was beaten unconscious.
"The government has become so harsh that they don't care about their people who are starving and suffering."
"Zimbabweans are in a very difficult position and there is not much the people can do because of the government's trickery and deceit. They make it very difficult for people, and those who are outspoken and protest suffer the most. "They are followed and intimidated with death while their telephones are tapped and constantly checked.
"Mugabe has an army of some 40 000 soldiers whom he could just call to shoot people. The county has become much like communist China, with everything totally controlled by the state."
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Brutality on demonstrating women far worse than rape
I was really touched by the brutal treatment that was meted out by police to women demonstrating over the unavailability of sanitary pads in Zimbabwe.
Our culture emphasises respect for women to such an extent that they are considered almost sacred and their bodies must be treated respectfully.
As a young boy I was once told by my mother never to kick my sister because, so she said, zvinoyera (it is taboo). It is a shame that 28 women were stripped naked, beaten up on their buttocks and private parts until some of them menstruated. How can these police officers sink so low?
This is a gross violation of their bodies and humiliation that must be seen as worse than rape. To make it worse, the officers ended their orgy of violence by imposing fines on their victims. How unbearable!
President Mugabe must realise that izvi ndizvo zvipoko chaizvo zvaaifanira kunongedzera (these are the real ghosts which he once talked about that must be dealt with).
Mugabe has really lost any sense of decency. How could he and his wife go around buying designer clothing in Paris while our mothers and sisters are being made to pay a heavy price for demanding that basic women’s needs be made available as a matter of urgency?
While Grace Mugabe walks around wearing designer clothes and holding her head
up like an ostrich she must know she is a disgrace to tall womankind.
In Shona they say mwana asingachemi anofira mumbereko (one has to stand up for one’s beliefs). We know the subject of sanitary pads is taboo in our culture. For these women to have come out and demonstrated was an act of tremendous courage. Grace Mugabe is a woman and she must be ashamed of the way her husband is humiliating other women.
Next time it shouldn’t be just women demonstrating but men as well. It is our women, mothers, wives, daughters who are being assaulted by Mugabe’s brutal police.
We men must also take to the streets in their support. Somehow it seems police officers are sadists who gratify their perversions by stripping and beating up defenceless women. No decent man could ever do that.
They do it knowing they cannot be prosecuted because they belong to Mugabe by default.
Has the President totally lost all sanity to the extent that he fails to respect our women?
Ashamed Zimbabwean - Harare
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Time to say enough is enough
Allow me space in your widely read paper to voice my concern about the suffering we are undergoing here in Zimbabwe.
I think now is the time for the people of this country to wake up from the deep slumber they are in. We are now so saturated with poverty that we cannot take any more.
We should stand up and say exeunt omnes (get out all of you) to the current corrupt leadership.
Shakespeare once said, “Cowards die many times before their death”. Are we all cowards who are afraid of telling President Mugabe that we are not stupid?
Ours is now a nation of endless queues. For how long shall we suffer in silence while Zanu PF cronies get richer by the day?
Onias Chiwanja - Harare
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Useless Zanu-PF MP criticised
Marumahoko is doing nothing for us.
I am a villager from the remote area of Chibara and I am deeply concerned at how our MP is neglecting his duties as far as the betterment of his constituency is concerned.
Many problems need to be addressed by you Marumahoko but you cannot be aware of these problems since you do not visit your constituency. People in Chibara are starving and you, our MP, are not helping us to seek food aid. Since you were voted in as MP of Hurungwe West, you have done nothing to curb the transport problems. We only have one bus for the area which is often filled to capacity during holidays and the problem is made even worse when the bus breaks down.
It's also now nearly four years since a clinic was built at Chibara and yet the clinic is not yet functioning. We need development in our area. The villagers are the ones doing their best to bring development. It was they who worked for the clinic and it is they who are now looking after the needs of the school. But we need your hand in all this, Mr Marumahoko. You are our MP. You are not in parliament as a place holder. You have duties to do. It is the electorate which brought you to where you are, right now, so don't neglect your people, do your duty. If you feel you are not able to do so, then step down for those who can.
Concerned Villager - Chibara area
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This is an appeal to all businessmen and -women in Zimbabwe. Your business may be thriving. Many around you are collapsing because of bad governance and gross disregard for the rule of law. There is no need to go into the detail of the corruption, state-sponsored political violence and dictatorship that has brought this country to its knees. If we allow the situation to continue, our country will take years to recover and there will be no winners. There is also the moral argument. Thousands have died since independence. The “liberator” has become the oppressor and his behaviour is such that he will devour anyone depending on which side he drops out of bed. It is time to stop the rot. It is time for the nation to stand up to these bullies and to ensure the nation’s long-term survival.
Soon and very soon, there will be an unmistakeable call for action. We ask you to support it by:
 Promising not to deduct your employees’ wages when they do not turn up for work.
 Closing your business in support of the act of lawful democratic resistance.
 Ceasing to operate in the government press.
 Remaining committed to a sustained act of lawful democratic resistance.
 Spreading the word and encouraging your colleagues to support this act of lawful democratic resistance.
This is an end game. We have been abandoned by Mbeki, Obasanjo and much of the rest of the world. It is the time for more home-grown heroes like Olonga and Flower to come to the party. Your chance to do something for your country has come. Please do not spurn it, lest our children spit on our graves.
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ZIMBABWE: Divisions allow Mugabe to win PR battle: ICG

JOHANNESBURG, 12 Mar 2003 (IRIN) - Divisions within the international
community over its approach to Zimbabwe has allowed President Robert Mugabe
to win the public relations and political battle, the latest International
Crisis Group (ICG) report said.

It is also depriving the international community of a chance to influence
what increasingly appears to be the onset of a serious succession battle
within Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF.

Following extensive research on the latest developments in the country, the
Brussels-based group said that while the crisis in Zimbabwe deepened, the
international response had become more divided.

In the Commonwealth, leading members South Africa and Nigeria were arguing
"against all the evidence" that Zimbabwe's suspension should be lifted
because the situation had improved. The relevant regional and continental
international organisations, the Southern African Development Community and
the African Union (AU) respectively, had yet to engage meaningfully. And the
European Union (EU) is "rent by divisions" after France's invitation to
Mugabe to participate in a recent pan-African summit in Paris.

The report said the US remained a weak actor, able to implement a promised
asset freeze only after nearly a year's delay because of internal mid-level
policy disagreements.

"The international response has been divided, overstated, under-implemented,
and largely ineffectual. Since the ICG's last report [in October 2002],
divisions have widened, not just between Africa and the West, but also
increasingly within the West.

"The issue of Zimbabwe is dividing international organisations and creating
embarrassing public debates over trivial issues such as participation in a
cricket championship, that deflect attention from the serious erosion
occurring within the country," the report noted.

Areas of concern were severe food shortages, rampant inflation, fuel
shortages, continued land seizures, extremely low harvest predictions and
threats to the judiciary and the media.

Warning of a "potential state collapse", the ICG said that one new element
that suggests positive change may be possible involves reports that began to
surface in January 2003 that senior ZANU-PF officials were seriously
exploring possible retirement for Mugabe.

The ICG suggested that much of the desire for change was driven by the
effects the economic crisis was having on high-ranking officials' personal
interests as well as a desire to lure back donor assistance and restore
international credibility.

According to the reports, opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sounded out by representatives of the Speaker
of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa and armed forces chief General Vitalis
Zvinavashe on the possibility of joining a transitionary authority if Mugabe
retired. The alleged deal involved certain ZANU-PF officials receiving
immunity from prosecution for human rights abuses.

Tsvangirai reportedly rejected this offer saying Zimbabwe would need to
return to democracy through a process that was transparent and accountable,
not a "backroom deal" that presupposed Mnangagwa as the new president.

The revelations surrounding the meetings brought into the open long
suspected divisions with the ruling party, the report said. It detailed two
camps of contenders and a possible third "spoiler" camp involved in the
power struggle.

Recent statements from Mugabe - like "there are those that seek to divide us
from within" - indicate that "some things have gone on behind his back", the
report noted.

It warned that unless an acceptable process materialised, one of the
factions "might bolt from ZANU-PF, form its own party and try to attract
others as the Rainbow Coalition did in Kenya". It added that some of the
less radical war veterans were also organising and could provide another
point of independent opposition to ZANU-PF over the coming months.

The ICG said that South Africa was active behind the scenes in promoting a
succession plan, but it appeared to prefer a "quiet deal that would be
arranged within and primarily by ZANU-PF with a relatively minimal role for
the opposition."

Reducing international pressure on ZANU-PF now would be a great mistake and
would only lower the chance of peaceful or positive change, the report said.

Recommendations put forward include formalising all informal contacts into
one mediation channel fully backed by the region and broader international
community. Negotiations between ZANU-PF and the MDC should be restarted and
an AU initiative should be constructed to broker a transitional
administration that involves the opposition and civil society, restores the
rule of law and prepares the ground for early elections. Part of this would
have to be an exit strategy for Mugabe and some of his close advisors.

The initiative should involve countries such as Ghana, Senegal or Kenya who
have undergone a recent transition of power for a liberation-era party to
the opposition. For these measures to work, there was a need for increased
pressure from outside Africa on ZANU-PF and its commercial supporters, and
increased citizen pressure from with Zimbabwe, the report said.

It also recommended that the government of Zimbabwe stop politicising food
aid delivery though the parastatal Grain Marketing Board and called on UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan and WFP head James Morris to authorise a UN
monitoring mission to ensure the distribution of food in Zimbabwe.

For the full report:
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Zimbabwe minister says to amend tough media laws

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, March 12 - Zimbabwe's information minister said on Wednesday the
government would soon amend tough media laws which critics say are aimed at
muzzling the press, but he gave no details of the proposed changes.
       Information and Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo said the government
would also issue licences to private organisations to run community
broadcasting stations -- breaking the state's monopoly in radio and
       Several journalists have been detained under the media laws, which
make it an offence to publish a ''false story,'' compel journalists to apply
for licences and bar foreigners from working in the country except for short
periods of time.
       In the latest incident, authorities barred a British journalist from
entering Zimbabwe to cover a World Cup cricket match earlier this month.
       Moyo said the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act,
signed into law shortly after President Robert Mugabe's controversial
re-election in March 2002, was aimed at defending Zimbabwe against a
Western-backed opposition movement.
       He said the government now felt comfortable enough to consider
amendments to the media laws, although the changes ''will not leave the roof
       ''We are not amending it because someone has put us under pressure,''
Moyo said in a speech to senior army officers.
       ''We are amending it because we realise that at the time we enacted
it the political temperatures were very high...but when the storm has gone
we sit back and rationalise, and we are rationalising this now and the
amendments are coming soon.''
       The publisher of Daily News, Zimbabwe's top independent daily,
launched a legal fight against the media laws in January. A group of
independent journalists have also gone to the Supreme Court to challenge the
constitutionality of the act.
       Mugabe has accused independent local and foreign media of backing the
main opposition Movement for Democratic Change and driving a Western
propaganda campaign over his seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution
to landless blacks.
       Mugabe beat MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai last year in a poll
condemned by the opposition and some Western governments as fraudulent.
       Moyo said the media laws were necessary to help fight a propaganda
campaign led by former colonial ruler Britain, which he said included
attempts to set up a radio station in the southern African country.
       Authorities raided a private radio station that had set up in a
Harare hotel in August 2000 and stopped it from operating.
       Zimbabwe opened the door to private broadcasters in 2001, but it has
so far not issued any operating licences.
       ''By the end of the year we are going to license some community radio
stations,'' Moyo said.
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High Time to Swim Together Or Sink

Business Day (Johannesburg)

March 12, 2003
Posted to the web March 12, 2003

John Prendergast

Tackling Zimbabwe's socioeconomic crisis calls for foreign mediation and
internal political will to co-operate.

THE economic meltdown, a government-created food crisis and deepening
statesponsored violence that has plagued Zimbabwe in the year since
President Robert Mugabe's ruling party rigged the presidential election
continue to point in one ominous direction potential state collapse.

One of Africa's most highly developed formal economies is disappearing.
Despite price and wage controls, the inflation rate may hit 500% before the
year is out. Severe food shortages resulting from the destruction of the
commercial farm sector and the use of food as a political weapon have turned
one of Africa's breadbaskets into a beggar nation subject to localised

There is also a real risk that deterioration of command and control over the
war veterans and youth militias the government has used against its
opponents will lead to a rapid increase in unstructured violence generally
throughout society.

While the crisis deepens, the international response has become more
divided. The Commonwealth's very purpose is being called into question.

Though the principles on which it is based are being flouted, leading
members SA and Nigeria are arguing against all the evidence that Zimbabwe's
suspension should be lifted because the situation has improved.

The relevant regional and continental international bodies (Southern African
Development Community and the African Union respectively) have yet to engage
meaningfully, while SA and Nigeria set the tone.

The European Union is divided, with France's invitation to Mugabe for a
pan-African summit in Paris having engendered a controversy that nearly
ended the targeted sanctions set up shortly before Mugabe's re-election.

The US remains a weak actor, able to implement a promised asset freeze
component in its own targeted sanctions regime only after nearly a year's
delay because of internal mid-level policy disagreements. Western nations
still need to break down suspicions about their agenda that have hindered
common action with Africa on Zimbabwe, not least by showing they understand
the emotive aspects of the land issue across the continent.

The international community's inaction deprives it of a chance to influence
what increasingly appears to be the onset of a serious succession battle
within Mugabe's ruling Zanu (PF) party. Leading officials are engaged in
bitter debates and some in clandestine diplomacy about how to move beyond

The tension, which might well lead to a Zanu (PF) break-up, is driven
primarily by the accelerating erosion of the state and the economy, which
threatens the viability of the spoils system from which party leaders have
benefited. They result partly, however, also from international pressure and
isolation, as divided and inconsistent as these have been.

Reducing international pressure on Zanu (PF) now, just when it seems there
is some prospect the political situation inside Zimbabwe is moving, would be
a great mistake, one that would only lower the chance that the change will
be peaceful or positive.

New efforts to co-ordinate African and wider international efforts are
called for. The practical focus should be to restart, ideally under new
sponsorship, talks between Zanu (PF) and the opposing Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) that SA and Nigeria fitfully facilitated, and then
dropped, in the first half of last year.

So how can democracy be advanced in Zimbabwe?

The African Union should invite the wider international community to create
with it a new mediation effort that involves all relevant Zimbabwean
stakeholders and aims to restore legitimacy to the Harare government.

There must also be a focus on creating a transitional administration,
restoring the rule of law, finding an electoral compromise, reforming
economic policies, ensuring a more orderly land reform programme and
crafting an exit strategy for Mugabe.

For their part, Zanu (PF) and the MDC should engage seriously and in good
faith with a new interparty negotiations process, while the government of
Zimbabwe must stop politicising food-aid delivery and halt the use of war
veterans, youth militias, police and others in attacking opposition
supporters and representatives of civil society.

Prendergast is Co-Director of the Africa Programme at the US-based
International Crisis Group. This is part of a more comprehensive report on
Zimbabwe released by the group last week.
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JAG Sitrep March 12, 2003


Reports in from Matepatepa indicate that 8 to 10 new Section 8 orders were
issued this past weekend. All residual operative farmers were targeted.

Likewise, residual farmers in Middle Sabi have all received new Section 8

Reports in from South Marondera/Wedza confirm increased illegal eviction
pressure on the 6 or so residual farmers operative there, giving them up to
month end to vacate.

Furthermore, six fresh Section 8 Orders were issued recently in the
Chegutu/Kadoma area.


SATURDAY 08/03/03: A lorry and two pickups, with a large crowd invaded
Chibara Farm residence having broken the locks of the gates. The General
Manager, his wife, their six year old son, and the assistant manager
managed to persuade them to wait by the gates, whilst they came out of the
house. After locking up the house, they tried to drive through the gates.
The invaders tried to lock the gate on the car, thus damaging it, and tried
to smash the windscreen with a crowbar. On leaving the farm, they proceeded
to the local police station for assistance. On return to the farm, with a
police detail it was found that the homestead had been broken into and
extensive damage and looting of property perpetrated by the invaders.
Support unit attended, but only after some time. They removed the
intruders. Farm guards were installed overnight whilst the family withdrew
to Harare. This is the second incident on the property, which was
jambanjied the weekend before.




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The Lesson Of The Geese

This fall, when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in
the "V" formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why
they fly that way.

FACT: As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an "uplift" for the bird
immediately following. By flying in the "V" formation, the whole flock has
at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get
where they are going more quickly and easily because they are travelling on
the thrust of one another.

FACT: When a goose flies out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and
resistance of trying to go it alone. It quickly gets back into formation to
take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front of it.

LESSON: If we have as much common sense as a goose, we stay in formation
with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help
and give our help to others. It is harder to do something alone than

FACT: When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation,
and another goose flies to the point position.

LESSON: It is sensible to take turns doing the hard and demanding tasks and
sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each
other's skills, capabilities, and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, or

FACT: The geese flying in formation honk from behind to encourage those up
front to keep up their speed.

LESSON: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where
there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of
encouragement (to stand by one's heart or core values and encourage the
heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek. We need to
make sure our honking is encouraging and not discouraging.

FACT: When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two other geese will
drop out of formation with that goose and follow it down to lend help and
protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it dies or is able to fly
again. Then, they launch out on their own, or with another formation to
catch up with their flock.

LESSON: If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by our colleagues
and each other in difficult times as well as in good!

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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Zimbabwean Clergy Respond To Political Crisis
Tendai Maphosa
12 Mar 2003, 16:40 UTC

Last month, 21 Zimbabwean clergymen were briefly detained while protesting
police harassment of priests and disruptions of religious gatherings. Their
protest followed growing criticism from Zimbabweans that the clergy had
failed to take a strong stand against government human rights violations.
From Harare, Tendai Maphosa reports on further steps the clergy is taking to
respond to the growing Zimbabwe crises:

Pastor Joseph Munemo of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe says
criticism of the clergy for its silence in the face of serious government
human rights abuses is justified. But Pastor Munemo, who is the spokesperson
of the Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference, and who was one of the
protesters last month, says some members of the clergy have been outspoken.

He says, "I think the criticism is justified to an extent but don't forget
there is Archbishop Pius Ncube [of the Catholic church] who has been saying
a lot things and his words were reaching human rights abusers but now we are
starting something [new].

Pastor Munemo says the Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference was formed by
ordinary clerics because there has been reluctance by most senior church
leaders in Zimbabwe to confront the government over human rights abuses.

He says, "I cannot say they are afraid but the thing is there is a lot of
compromise within the leadership of the church but the grassroots pastors
definitely they are ready for action."

Pastor Munemo says the clerics will soon call a national day of action for
the clergy to protest government oppression. He says the pastors will also
urge ordinary Zimbabweans to protest by staying away from work and attending
prayer services instead. He says the clerics will take that step so even
though it is illegal in Zimbabwe to encourage people to stay away from work.

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            SA, Zimbabwe to relax visa requirements
            March 12, 2003, 21:15

            South Africa and Zimbabwe have agreed to relax visa requirements
between the two countries. Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Home Affairs Minister,
and Kembo Mohadi, his Zimbabwean counterpart, have agreed that holders of
diplomatic and official passports, as well as business people, will not need
visas to enter either country.

            In addition, South Africa has agreed to issue three-year study
permits to Zimbabwean students. The two ministers also discussed the need to
make it easier for people with family ties in either country to visit the

            The details of these agreements are to be discussed by officials
from the two departments who will then report to the ministers.

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