The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Shock surge in rights violations in Zim

Zim Online

Thursday 01 March 2007

HARARE - Zimbabwe experienced a shocking surge in human rights violations in
2006 and an unprecedented increase in the use of torture by state security
agents, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum (ZHRF) said on Wednesday.

The ZHRF, also known as the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, is a coalition
of the country's 16 biggest human rights groups that provide legal,
psychological and other assistance to victims of organised or political
violence. The forum also publishes regular reports on human rights
violations in the southern African nation.

In its latest report released yesterday, the ZHRF said last year was "the
worst yet for the number of (human rights) violations reported", a
development that the forum said was surprising given that there were no
major elections held in the year.

"2006 saw a rise in the number of violations recorded even though 2006 was
not an election year. Of note in 2006 is the rise of incidents of torture,"
the ZHRF report reads in part.

Politically motivated violence and human rights abuses have become routine
in Zimbabwe since the emergence of the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party in 1999 as the most dangerous threat yet to
President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party's decades-long hold on

But violence and human rights abuses usually pick during major elections.
Apart from insignificant local government elections, there were no other
major polls conducted in 2006.

A total of 5 792 varied cases of human rights violations were recorded in
2006 compared to 4 200 recorded in 2005, a year in which the country held
two major elections for the House of Assembly in March and for the House of
Senate in November.

The number of human rights abuses recorded in 2006 alone makes up 27 percent
of all violations recorded since the ZHRF began giving statistical reports
in July 2001.

The ZHRF said the past year saw a marked increase in the number of unlawful
arrests and detention as well as violations of basic rights such as the
right to freedom of expression, association and movement. There were 2 917
cases of unlawful arrest and detention recorded in 2006 compared to 1 286
recorded the pervious year.

There were 368 cases of torture recorded in 2006, which is more than double
the 136 cases reported in 2005.

But more worryingly, the ZHRF said torture had become widespread in
Zimbabwe, with the police no longer using torture only against perceived
government opponents but also against common criminals.

"It is also the case that torture is not merely confined to political cases,
and more cases are being reported of torture being used in ordinary criminal
cases," the ZHRF said in the report.

The ZHRF cited the torture of students from Bindura State University in May
and Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions in September for organising
anti-government protests as some of the worst cases of human rights
violations seen in 2006.

It called for a "serious reform of the Zimbabwe Republic Police" to wean its
officers off a growing dependence on the use of torture to extract
information from citizens suspected of committing crime.

Torture and other de-humanising forms of treatment or punishment are
outlawed in Zimbabwe.

It was not possible to get an immediate reaction from the government on the
damning report by the ZHRF.

But the Zimbabwe government has traditionally rejected criticism of its
human rights record, accusing groups such as the ZHRF and international
human rights groups of working in cahoots with Western governments bent on
tarnishing the southern African nation's name.

The African Commission on Human and People's Rights has in the past also
condemned Mugabe's government for committing human rights violations
although the commission that is an arm of the African Union has as yet been
unable to get the continental body to act against Harare.

The European Union, United States, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland
have all imposed targeted visa and financial sanctions against Mugabe and
his top officials as punishment for failing to uphold human rights,
democracy and the rule of law. - ZimOnline

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

50 arrested in Zimbabwe for defying protest ban

Zim Online

Thursday 01 March 2007

      By Sebastian Nyamhangambiri

      HARARE - Zimbabwean police on Wednesday arrested more than 50 people
who were part of crowds that tried to march in major cities in defiance of a
ban on public protests.

      The arrested people, who were still in police custody by late
afternoon, are members of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) civic
alliance group that campaigns for a new and democratic constitution for

      NCA spokesman Madock Chivasa told ZimOnline that members of the group
marched in cities of Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo, Gweru and Harare before the
police broke up the protests.

      "We managed to catch the police napping and demonstrated against their
undemocratic and unjustified ban on rallies," said Chivasa.

      It was not clear what charges, if any, the police would prefer against
the NCA members. Under the government's draconian security laws, it is
illegal to hold public political marches or meetings without prior approval
from the police.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the arrests. "We have
managed to arrest many people in Mutare, Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and
Masvingo for holding illegal demonstrations," said Bvudzijena.

      The police imposed the ban on public protests and meetings following
last week's running battles in Harare's Highfield working class suburb with
supporters of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)

      The MDC say the ban on political activity is tantamount to imposing a
state of emergency but the police say it is necessary to allow tensions to
calm down in volatile urban centres.

      Zimbabwe is on a political knife-edge as a steep economic crisis takes
its toll on a population grappling with inflation of nearly 1600 percent,
the highest in the world and surging unemployment and poverty.

      The tensions have worsened following proposals by Mugabe's ZANU PF
party to extend his rule under an election harmonisation plan, which will
see presidential elections scheduled next year coinciding with parliamentary
polls in 2010.

      The opposition and civil groups have condemned the move, saying
Zimbabwe cannot afford to have Mugabe in charge for an additional two years.
They have threatened to roll out mass protests to block the plan, while a
large section within Mugabe's own ruling ZANU PF party is opposed to
extending his tenure. - ZimOnline

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe land reforms cause shortages - head


Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:50 PM GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's controversial reforms that took land away from
white farmers to redistribute it to blacks have contributed to the onetime
food exporter's chronic shortages, the head of the Central Bank said.

"For us to import food in a country that has had a land reform programme is
a shame," Zimbabwe Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono was quoted as saying by
the state-run Herald newspaper on Wednesday.

"Everyone who got land must produce. There are some people who have become
professional land occupiers, vandalising equipment and moving from one farm
to another," Gono said.

Gono previously has called people who occupy farms economic "saboteurs," but
this is the first time he has singled out the land reforms for the food
shortages, which have forced the country to rely on imports to plug the

The southern African nation, once one of the continent's leading
agricultural producers, has suffered food shortages since 2001 in step with
President Robert Mugabe's seizure and redistribution of white commercial
farms to landless blacks.

The drop in production of maize and other key crops has worsened a deepening
economic crisis, highlighted by inflation of about 1,600 percent -- the
world's highest -- soaring unemployment and chronic shortages of food and

Agriculture is the backbone of the country's economy.

The U.N. World Food Programme has said 1.4 million Zimbabweans, or about 15
percent of the population, will need food aid until the next harvest in
April. Some aid agencies said that number could grow after unusually light
rainfall during the current growing season.

Formerly a regional breadbasket, Zimbabwe now relies on imports to plug its
food deficit. Last year the government said it had contracted suppliers to
import 565,000 tonnes of maize in 2007 from South Africa and Zambia.

Critics say the government's land seizures have been a major contributor to
the food crisis. They noted that many blacks who were handed confiscated
land lacked farming skills and could not cope with shortages of fertilizer,
seed and pesticides.

Food shortages in the country also have fueled inflation, according to Gono.
Food accounts for one-third of the consumer price index basket that is used
to calculate inflation in Zimbabwe.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Hundreds protest visit to Namibia by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: February 28, 2007

WINDHOEK, Namibia: Hundreds of people took to the streets Wednesday to
protest a three-day state visit to Namibia by Zimbabwean President Robert

Police cordoned off the Zimbabwean Embassy where demonstrators held up signs
that read "Go Mugabe Go" and "Go Home Dictator."

The National Society for Human Rights, a Namibian rights group, said it
organized the demonstration because it believes a visit by Mugabe, who
arrived Tuesday evening, is an insult to Namibia.

"President Mugabe is a dictator who is guilty of several human rights abuses
and to a certain extent war crimes," said Phil Ya Nangoloh, the executive
director of the human rights society. "He is an international pariah. He is
not welcome in Namibia."

Speaking to the demonstrators, he called for solidarity with the people of

Zimbabwe is gripped by political repression, unemployment and inflation that
has reached an annual rate of nearly 1,600 percent.
Mugabe is a close ally of former Namibian President Sam Nujoma, who still
wields considerable power behind the scenes. The visit may be an effort by
Mugabe to try to establish ties with Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba.

Mugabe, who turned 83 on Sunday, is Africa's oldest ruler. His autocratic
style has promoted mounting opposition within the country and international

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Embattled Zimbabwe hungry and broke, says central bank head

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: February 28, 2007

HARARE, Zimbabwe: Dozens of people were arrested Wednesday as pro-democracy
activists defied a police ban on demonstrations and took to the streets to
protest growing economic hardship and repression in Zimbabwe.

The National Constitutional Assembly said many of those arrested were
assaulted. It vowed to continue with the demonstrations.

"We believe that demonstrating for a new constitution is a genuine cause
that cannot be blocked by a corrupt police force whose mandate is merely
that of protecting a failed regime," the movement said in a statement.

The demonstration coincided with a bleak new warning by the head of the
Zimbabwe state central bank that the nation is broke and using foreign
currency needed for fuel and spare parts on food.

Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono told a panel of lawmakers that many black
farmers, including politicians, who resettled on former white-owned farms,
were failing to produce food. Zimbabwe was once the region's breadbasket.

"There are some people who have become professional land occupiers,
vandalizing equipment and moving from one farm to another," Gono told a
parliamentary committee on Home Affairs, according to the daily Herald, a
government mouthpiece.
He said his priority was to allocate hard currency for imports of corn, the
staple, to avert a looming food crisis. Currency was diverted from almost
every government department to buy food, he conceded.

Under President Robert Mugabe's land reform program, at least 5,000
white-owned farms have been seized with virtually no compensation since
2000. Many are derelict.

Mugabe was on state visit to longtime ally Namibia, where hundreds of people
took to the streets with signs that read "Go Mugabe Go" and "Go Home

"President Mugabe is a dictator who is guilty of several human rights abuses
and to a certain extent war crimes," said Phil Ya Nangoloh, the executive
director of the National Society for Human Rights. "He is an international
pariah. He is not welcome in Namibia."

Mugabe also faces growing unrest and strikes at home. Last week police
slapped a three-month ban on demonstrations following skirmishes with the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

The National Constitutional Assembly said it had defied the ban and marched
in Harare and the cities of Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo and Gweru. So far
police had arrested 50 demonstrators in Harare and 25 in Mutare, it said.
Many were assaulted.

"Police brutality against demonstrators is a clear sign that we are living
in a military state where freedom of expression and association is not

As the growing chaos at home drove Zimbabweans to emigrate, they face
discrimination across the border, Human Rights Watch said in a report
released Wednesday. The rights watchdog said South African officials
involved in the arrest and deportation of undocumented migrant workers often
assault and extort money from them, and that Zimbabweans and Mozambicans
were most at risk of deportation - and abuse.

As many as 3 million Zimbabweans are in South Africa seeking work and
asylum. A reported 80,000 Zimbabweans were deported in the last seven months
of 2006.

Human Rights Watch also said commercial farmers ignored basic employment
laws, paying illegal migrants lower wages than their South African
counterparts. South African authorities have said they were trying to clamp
down on corrupt officials who extort bribes and the agriculture minister has
launched a campaign against abuse of farm workers by their employers.

Tobacco exports, tourism and mining were the nation's main hard currency
earners before the land seizures. Tobacco production this year is forecast
at one-fifth of the 1999 level and food output is at one-third.

Official inflation is nearly 1,600 percent, the highest in the world.
Zimbabwe is facing acute shortages of food, gasoline, medicine and other
essential imports. Power and water outages occur most days.

In the past month alone, prices of many household supplies have doubled and
the International Monetary Fund has forecast official inflation at 4,000
percent this year.

Earlier this month, Mugabe fired Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa who had
spoken out against flooding the crumbling economy with freshly printed money
that pushed up inflation.

Zimbabwean central bank official Gono told lawmakers hard currency earnings
were a tiny fraction of the US$2.5 billion (?1.9 billion) to US$3.5 billion
(?2.6 billion) needed "for the economy to function well."

"If we were talking about local currency, I would say: Don't worry, in the
next 30 minutes we will print money," the official media quoted Gono as
telling the lawmakers.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe Information Ministry Confirms Jamming of VOA Broadcasts


      By Blessing Zulu
      28 February 2007

A senior Zimbabwe Information Ministry officials confirmed in parliamentary
testimony Wednesday that the government is jamming Voice of America

Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga, responding to a question from
opposition legislator Willas Madzimure, confirmed that Harare is jamming
VOA's Studio 7. He said authorities were generating electronic interference
to prevent reception of Studio 7 broadcasts because the programs contained

Reached later Wednesday by a Studio 7 reporter, Matonga declined to comment.

Madzimure told reporter Blessing Zulu of Studio 7 that he is perplexed that
Harare is jamming the Voice of America program when broadcasts by Zimbabwe's
national broadcast system are failing to reach citizens in some parts of the

Jamming of Studio 7 broadcasts began in June 2006 and continues. Broadcasts
of the London-based private broadcaster SW Radio Africa are also being

Studio 7 has been providing radio news reports to Zimbabwe since 2003.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Union says 5 000 teachers quit jobs last year

Zim Online

Thursday 01 March 2007

      By Menzi Sibanda

      BULAWAYO - Close to 5 000 teachers quit their jobs in Zimbabwe last
year unhappy over poor pay and working conditions, the Progressive Teachers
Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said on Wednesday.

      The PTUZ, one of two unions representing teachers in the country, said
a survey it carried out showed that the majority of teachers who quit their
jobs had been absorbed in neighbouring countries such as Botswana, South
Africa, Namibia and Swaziland.

      "According to the survey, 4 800 teachers quit because they were not
content with their wages," said PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe.
Another 560 teachers had died mainly because of HIV/AIDS-related illnesses
over the period under review, he added.

      Zimbabwe is grappling a shortage of teachers most of who have left the
country fleeing a grinding economic crisis that has also driven thousands of
other professionals such as doctors, engineers, lawyers and accountants to
foreign lands in one of the worst cases of brain drain ever witnessed in

      Zimbabwe employs about 126 000 teachers but educationists say the
country requires about 200 000 fully qualified teachers to ensure effective
learning in schools.

      All in all about three million Zimbabweans or a quarter of the country's
12 million people are living abroad after fleeing their country because of
political violence, worsening hunger and economic hardships.

      Majongwe said schools in remote rural areas were the worst affected by
the brain drain with a single teacher having to cater for more than five
classes in some of the worst cases of staff shortage.

      "The situation can only be addressed if government can give priority
to teachers and increase their salaries substantially, forget the so-called
increment which was announced last week," he added.

      Until last week, the PTUZ had been spearheading a three-week
industrial action by teachers to press for better salaries and working

      The union called off the strike after the government gave in to their
salary demands and awarded teachers a 600 percent salary increment. The
lowest paid teacher now earns about Z$528 000, up from about $84 000 that
they earned before.

      Contacted for comment yesterday, Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere
scoffed at the PTUZ's assertions saying the country had adequate teachers.

      "Who says there is a shortage? The Zimbabwe I know with an education
ministry I head has enough and well paid teachers," said Chigwedere, a
former schoolmaster.

      Zimbabwe's public education sector was, together with the public
health sector, one of the biggest achievements of President Robert Mugabe's
government and the envy of many developing nations. Today, the two sectors
have virtually collapsed after years of under-funding and mismanagement. -

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Leader Of Zimbabwe Teachers Union Responds To Attack By Mugabe


      By Jonga Kandemiiri
      28 February 2007

A senior official of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe on Wednesday
made public an open letter to President Robert Mugabe written in response to
an attack on the union by Mr. Mugabe during a birthday-celebration speech
Saturday in Gweru.

President Mugabe, 83, singled out PTUZ General Secretary Raymond Majongwe
for a warning that his government "cannot be knocked down by (union)

Mr. Mugabe accused Majongwe and his union of mounting a rebellion. The union
took its members out on a strike that it ended this week after winning
salary increases.

Majongwe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
his union would not be intimidated by threats from the president.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Lecturers in Zim down their books


February 28 2007 at 04:44PM

      Harare - Lecturers at Zimbabwe's three main state universities have
begun an indefinite strike to press for better pay and working conditions,
their union said on Wednesday.

      "We began the strike yesterday (Tuesday) and, as we speak, no lectures
are taking place at the three main universities," James Mahlaule, president
of the Association of University Teachers (AUT) told AFP.

      Mahlaule said scores of lecturers at the University of Zimbabwe in the
capital Harare, the National University of Science and Technology in the
second city of Bulawayo and the Midlands State University embarked on the
strike following a long unresolved pay grievance.

      "We have been saying for some time now our salaries are unacceptably
low," Mahlaule said.

      "At one point we went for arbitration and got a ruling in our favour
but nothing has been done to address our concerns."

      The academics want a minimum monthly salary of ZIM$1,7-million (about
R50 000) for a junior lecturer, up from the current ZIM$431 000, and
ZIM$3-million for professors.

      In addition they want 50 percent of the proposed salaries in housing
and transport allowances.

      He said the lecturers are staging sit-ins in their offices.

      The strike began as the universities opened for their first semester
of the year and students could be seen milling about the main university
campus in Harare while others boarded buses back home.

      Zimbabwe is in the throes of a severe recession characterised by
four-digit inflation, massive unemployment and chronic shortages of basic
foodstuffs such as cooking oil and sugar.

      Junior doctors began a strike mid-December demanding a salary raise
from $224 to about $1 000 dollars a month and refused to return to work
after government tried to woo them back with an undisclosed pay rise the
health minister described as "handsome."

      Thousands of schoolteachers staged a two-week strike early February
but called it off last week after reaching a pay deal with government.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Interview Part 2: Coltart, Majongwe and Tsunga

New Zimbabwe

SW Radio Africa's Violet Gonda talks with Raymond Majongwe of the Progressive Teachers Union, Bulawayo South MP and MDC official, David Coltart and lawyer Arnold Tsunga. This is part two and the last of the interview:

Last updated: 02/28/2007 12:43:20

Broadcast on Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Violet Gonda: Welcome to the final segment of the tele-conference with Arnold Tsunga, Director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Raymond Majongwe, Secretary General of the radical Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and David Coltart, a legal expert and Member of Parliament for the Mutambara MDC.

We continue to discuss the growing discontent in Zimbabwe that has seen students, university lecturers, teachers, nurses and doctors go on strike. The situation on the ground is still very tense because of the hyper-inflationary environment and the ban on political meetings by the regime. In this segment I started by asking Arnold Tsunga how the striking groups can keep the momentum.

Arnold Tsunga: I think there are a number of factors that have resulted in Zimbabweans behaving in the way they are now and it goes back to what David Coltart said earlier on that the current state of collective expression is merely a manifestation of what has been brewing over the years. If you look at the intersection between the socio economic conditions and the political processes that are taking place right now, you are actually beginning to see that we have reached a stage, I think, where the economic and social conditions are going to drive and determine the political processes. Before, maybe last year or the year before you had a situation where because the economy seemed to have been performing, you know, when the rule of law situation was thrown out of the window - you had a situation where politicians were driving the economic processes, the social processes.

But, now there has been a reversal where now that the work force has been largely liquidated and people thrust into chronic poverty and you now have the middle class virtually extinguished and reduced into an environment also of chronic poverty; the highest inflation. You are beginning to see a situation where it’s now a question of survival. It’s no longer a question, people are not exactly conscious that they are involved in a political process; some of them are simply striking or getting engaged because they don’t have food at home. And, I think, that’s a very good intersection you know, between civil and political rights as well as economic – social rights in our country.

Violet: And Mr Majongwe, still on the same issue. You know teachers are demanding wages in line with the Poverty Datum Line and generally most sectors are asking for salary increments, but my question to you is would it be enough for the government to give you more money considering the inflationary environment?

Raymond Majongwe: Ya, I think the most important thing here is, are we, as citizens, supposed to have a decent life? If we agree and say ‘yes’, then we shouldn’t question whether it’s going to be inflationary, whether it’s going to exacerbate the situation, because the question that many of the teachers then ask me and ask those in leadership is ‘are we responsible for what is happening now.’ Can we therefore forgo a better living because we want to fight an army that we didn’t create? I think the short answer that I would give you is that we cannot be subjected to poverty in a country that we know has milk and honey as we have obviously had and we have seen. We cannot allow just a selected number of people to enjoy on our behalf.

We are simply making a very clear statement that if the government is going to make a position that say the Poverty Datum Line stands at Z$566 000 then why should somebody who went to Teachers College and spent three years there, has been teaching for 17 years, be paid a salary that will allow that person fail to sustain and make sure that their families live normally. How can somebody really go to work and earn a salary that will enable them to buy four bananas a day? That’s unacceptable. So we are basically asking for the bare minimum, the PDL of $566 000 and in consulting the University of Zimbabwe Lecturers we were told that it has even left Z$566 000, it’s now around Z$642 000 which means we are even going to be changing the figures very soon.

Violet: But, do you agree that unless you know the concerned groups realise the need for a new constitution and fundamental reforms there won’t be any long lasting change because Mugabe can just print more money?

Raymond Majongwe: Ya, ultimately nobody doubts that. We are one of the few organisations in the country that even went to the MDC and said you cannot go into an election as long as the constitution still stands. I personally went into a public meeting with Morgan Tsvangirai and said in very clear and certain terms that you cannot engage ZANU PF in an election which you are going to lose anyway. I’m really surprised that the MDC; both MDCs; went and participated in the Chiredzi South by-election. And you then say to yourself ‘do these people really know what they are trying to fight, what were they going to benefit from this particular by-election when all these people are suffering? What exactly is going to be happening if people are going to be engaging in the Senate elections when the people are suffering because ultimately as far as the constitution remains the one that was smuggled into this country then the poverty and its perpetuation will remain the stark reality; people will continue suffering.

Violet: Mr Coltart, you have argued in the past that the Opposition must continue to participate in elections and Parliament also, but we have seen how ZANU PF took the Chiredzi South by-election because it controls the electoral process and how it controls Parliament. Do you ever sit down as the Opposition to analyse, to see if you have made any meaningful contribution to your overall goal?

David Coltart: Well, I still believe, surprisingly enough, that we have to participate in elections. I agree with Ray completely that there’s absolutely no prospect of the Opposition ever winning power through the electoral process because ZANU, as demonstrated this past weekend, are simply not going to allow that to happen. But, it comes back to the point of using every possible means to challenge and expose the regime. Had we not participated in the election in 2000 and exposed the violent side of ZANU PF, the pressure that has been brought to bear on ZANU PF by the international community would never have happened. The same applies even to this recent by-election in Chiredzi. Had we not participated ZANU would have just won that by-election, we would never have been able to show how food has been used as a political weapon down in Chiredzi South as it was.

And, all of these things are building blocks, and it’s taken a long, long time, far too long for us to expose the real ZANU PF. But bear in mind that ZANU PF was viewed primarily by African states primarily as a liberating Party, as a democratic Party, as a Party that offered hope not just for the people of Zimbabwe, but for the whole of Africa. Now those of us down in Matabeleland who saw the real nature of ZANU PF between 1982 and 1987 knew that this was a Party that offered no hope for Zimbabwe but it’s taken a long, long time, through elections, through civic actions, through strikes, to expose the true nature of this Regime. And, that battle isn’t over, but, I still believe that we’ve got to use every single means at our disposal that includes participating in Parliament, it includes challenging the Courts.

Violet: But Mr Coltart, you know you have been challenging the elections for the past seven years and its there on the record that the electoral process is flawed in Zimbabwe. What else can you gain from participating in elections or Parliament right now when Mugabe will never allow free and fair elections?

David Coltart: Well, let me stress one thing at the outset in answer to this. I have not argued, and none of my colleagues have argued that the electoral process is the only way or even the main way to challenge this Regime. All that we’ve said is that it’s one of several means and that we’ve got to use every single means. We’ve got to use civic action, we’ve got to use strikes, we’ve got to use international pressure, we’ve got to challenge through the courts, we’ve got to be in Parliament, we’ve got to participate in elections. So, it’s wrong to say that any of us have said this is the be all and end all of the struggle, it certainly isn’t, it is one small part.

But, let me answer your question. We have to continue to challenge ZANU PF because ZANU PF puts out that it is the Ruling Party; that it is the Party that continues to enjoy the majority support from the people. And we also need to bear in mind that we are dealing with a very jaded International Community. An International Community that’s been sucked into Iraq and Afghanistan and a whole range of other international crisis and it’s losing patience and many countries, we’ve seen with France and Portugal and other countries, are looking for any excuse to reintegrate ZANU PF into the International Community. And one of the ways of making sure that ZANU PF remains a pariah is by showing that it lacks legitimacy, that it does not enjoy the support of the majority of people, and we do that through the electoral process

Violet: And Mr Tsunga, your thoughts on this? Should the MDC continue to participate in a flawed electoral process and also participate in Parliament?

Arnold Tsunga: Ya, I think participating in Parliament, there shouldn’t be a big problem because, at the time of participating in elections, there was absolutely no questioning about the correctness of the MDC participating in elections. But I think post those elections there has been a credible concern on the part of a significant number of Zimbabweans whether continued participation is a correct thing to do or not on the part of the MDC in the absence of the opening up of the democratic space that is necessary for effective civic participation in the affairs of the nation.

So, I think the concerns on whether continued participation in fact does not give greater legitimacy to processes that we view as fatally flawed. I think it’s a genuine concern and any action on the part of the political players to continue giving an impression that they are giving Zimbabweans an opportunity to choose when quite clearly the playing field is such that the Zimbabwean’s right to effective civic participation in the national affairs is a mirage in the present circumstances. I think it introduces a little bit of scrutiny on the political players in terms of their genuineness to continue participating. So, speaking as a citizen, I really think there is a need to really explore whether we are increasing the course of oppression this way or we are actually giving ZANU PF the moral high ground to say the Opposition have got sour grapes because they have lost elections and therefore they now want to go on to the streets because simply because they cannot get into power through legitimate means. So I really think it’s an area that the Political Parties need to look at again.

Raymond Majongwe: I just wanted to say that many Zimbabweans, and I’m talking of the people who are on the street, they now don’t understand why the MDC has been going to Parliament. For instance, all these other laws were passed when the MDC was there. And, the question that they now ask is ‘would it have made any difference, wouldn’t we have made more gains if ZANU PF was alone in Parliament and the momentum would have increased on the streets and the people outside Parliament’. Because, now many people see the Parliamentarians on television, because I’m taking about the layman.

The person who sees MDC Parliamentarians participating in flawed processes, also going out of the country on state sanctioned visits, visiting the ZBC, we see them on television, visiting the GMB, we see them on television. Now it appears as if the MDC is now part of the gravy train and these are the people who matter; these are the people who vote. Hence the apathy that you are going to find, the people are going to say ‘after all the MDC and ZANU PF are enjoying there in Parliament’. So, ultimately, I am convinced if the MDC really wants to salvage anything then they must pack their bags out of that Parliament, go back to the people and say ‘the mandate that you gave us, we have benefited nothing from it’. Then obviously people are going to say ‘yes, let’s do this together’.

Plus the other thing that I would obviously have wanted maybe Mr Coltart to respond to is the people are saying ‘is it true that the split that exists now within the two MDCs is a ZANU PF sponsored project?’ Because, how obviously are you going to have the MDC fielding the candidates where the other MDC has also fielded the other? And then they continue using the name of the MDC; what is the ultimate agenda and attention of having two MDCs? And many of the people ask ‘do you really think ZANU PF under Robert Mugabe will allow another ZANU PF to be formed under any other leader?’

Violet: Mr Coltart are you able to respond to that, the issue of splitting the vote and the ZANU PF connection?

David Coltart: Oh absolutely Violet, let me respond to the splitting of the vote. I think everyone in their right mind would acknowledge that the current situation prevailing in Zimbabwe where you have all this confusion created by two MDCs is to put it mildly, unsatisfactory, and, the sooner both factions agree on either re-unification or some form of alliance or to agree to disagree and have different names, the sooner that happens the better. Because, there’s no doubt the split plays into the hands of ZANU PF and I don’t think that the rationally minded people in either side of this divide; in either faction; are happy about the situation. The sooner that we can resolve that the better and, as you know, there are talks taking place, there’ve been very positive talks taking place in the course of the last few months and I hope that shortly with goodwill shown by both sides we can resolve this and as I say, either re-unite these two factions or agree to a functional coalition so that we remove that confusion.

Let me also say, in response to Ray, I have no doubt that ZANU PF and the CIO have been involved in this division and that they have fuelled it, that they have infiltrated both factions and that there are people in both factions who are working as hard as they can against any form of re-unification or coalition. That would be a natural thing for a fascist organisation like ZANU PF to do and we need to be vigilant and constantly identify those people who are working against this common goal and working to divide.

But let me conclude briefly by coming back to his first point; that is Ray’s first point; about participation in Parliament. I agree with him that Parliament has not achieved what we hoped it would achieve in 2000, that a range of oppressive legislation has been passed despite the fact that many of us have argued valiantly in Parliament until 4.00am in the morning to oppose it. But, I still believe, and I come back to the point I made just now, that if you don’t use every means; that is every peaceful non-violent means at your disposal, you create a much greater possibility of this country degenerating into violence, degenerating into a coup or something like that. And, that cannot be in this country’s best interest.

And so, whilst yes, I agree with Ray when he questions the effectiveness of being in Parliament, I think one has to say that our presence in Parliament has in many respects furthered the struggle, has exposed the true nature of this regime. If you just look, for example, at what is happening with the Parliamentary Committees in Parliament at present with the revelations coming out about ZISCO and ZUPCO and other things; this Contempt Committee which has now been set up regarding Obert Mpofu. They don’t change things overnight but they undermine the Regime and our participation in there assists in that undermining.

Violet: But, let me just go back to the issue of the talks, how long will these talks last or take because doesn’t the MDC risk being overtaken by events? We’ve seen how the workers have been on strike for the last few weeks, Doctors have been on strike since December, the Teachers for the last three weeks and the MDC are still debating about talking. How long will this take?

David Coltart: Violet I think that your criticism is entirely valid, these talks have been going on for far too long. They’ve gone on in fits and starts and quite frankly we need to progress them. I don’t personally understand, at this juncture, why there has been a delay, the last talks took place in late November and there’s now been a delay of some two months and it’s up to the leadership in both factions to move these talks along. But, just to come to your other point, of course there is a danger that the politicians are going to be overtaken by events but as a patriot, rather than a politician, I say ‘so be it’.

If there are other groups that are more active such as WOZA or the NCA or the Trade Union Movement, who get the job done, well good luck to them. Because ultimately, if we are patriots; if we are interested in the future of Zimbabwe and a democratic Zimbabwe then our future doesn’t necessarily reside in the MDC, either faction of it, coming to power. Our future resides in us pressurising this Regime into agreeing to a new constitution, a new democratic constitution, democratic institutions, fresh elections that are genuinely free and fair, and ultimately that will usher in a new democratic era. And, that democratic era may see a country ruled by one faction of the MDC or a united MDC or a coalition of the MDC or perhaps new Political Parties. But, that isn’t what should concern us. What should concern us is the ultimate goal of bringing democracy to Zimbabwe

Violet: And before we go and before I get your final thoughts, I just wanted to go back to the issue of the Rule of Law, and this is a question for Arnold Tsunga. We talked about how the Police continue to defy Court Orders. What recourse to assistance can victims get if they can’t get it from the Courts and also if they can’t get protection from the Police who have become their tormentors?

Arnold Tsunga: Ya, you see, it comes back to the issue that the Rule of Law, the justice delivery process takes place within a system of governance, and that’s where there’s been a problem. We’ve had a systemic collapse in this system of government that we are running as a country and you would not expect the justice delivery system, as a sub-system within this main system, to function properly in the absence of political will, in the absence of separation of powers. And, once you talk about separation of powers you are going back to democracy. So, there’s a direct link between absence of democracy and this flagrant disregard of Court Orders by the police. And, in fact, not just disregard of Court Orders, but a situation where the Police force has now been viewed by an African Union organ as an extension of a Political Party, which means they are not carrying out their policing duties, they are merely exercising a political function to prop up ZANU PF at the expense of other parties. So this goes to democracy; this goes to a situation where you cannot dissociate or extricate the Rule of Law situation from the greater democratisation project.

Violet: So what can people do? This is a question I had asked Raymond Majongwe at the beginning of this teleconference that is this why there are civil wars because people are then forced to take matters into their own hands.

Arnold Tsunga: Ya, when I say that you cannot distinguish the Rule of Law from the greater democratisation process, what I’m simply saying is that which means the only way in which Zimbabweans will be able to get a return to the Rule of Law, in the absence of political will on the part of ZANU PF, is to then go through processes where they begin to demand their democratic space back. And, this is what has been manifesting itself in terms of the strikes that have been taking place from the beginning of the year up to now where you are beginning to see people engaging collectively in processes where they are claiming back their democracy, claiming back their rights from what they perceive to be a dictatorship environment.

Violet: And Raymond Majongwe, a final word before we go?

Raymond Majongwe: Ya, I think ultimately whether people are going to have Court Orders in their favour, people are going to have a lot of these High Court positions which say ‘proceed and do that’ and there’s no will to walk the talk, there’s no will to stand and face the violence and brutality. Because, this is Africa. I think this is the lesson that many of our comrades need to understand. This is Africa, and democracy comes to Africans in a very hard way! It’s unfortunate, that’s not what I wish to achieve or wish to experience, but, if people are going to say ‘ya, we have now achieved our goals’; people have to be prepared to have both the blood and the iron concept into play.

I am convinced that while we are going to stand up and say ‘we had an Order that allowed people to proceed with this particular meeting, there is this Order to proceed with this particular process’, and the Police are the going to be given the political force to say ‘make sure this doesn’t happen’, and they proceed to do it and the people say ‘ah, what else can we do’, then I think we are obviously going to be losing. We need a process, a group of people in institutions that will stand and say ‘if it means that we are really not going to be listened to, then we are going to take this other defiance route’. And, I will tell you, no other means will bring results besides confronting processes and institutions of injustice.

Violet: Mr Coltart?

David Coltart: Well I beg to differ in a certain respect with Ray and let me stress that I respect you Ray as a great human rights campaigner, but I think the trouble about using the language of confrontation unqualified is dangerous. I differ when you say that ‘this is Africa’, that somehow Africans are different and that one can achieve a Velvet Revolution in Ukraine but that’s impossible in Africa. I don’t think that even our recent history bears that out. I think that in the late 1980’s in South Africa people thought that bloodshed would be the only way of bringing an end to Apartheid. But, that’s not what happened. As we know, there was a miraculous transfer, transition to democracy and the same happened in Ghana under Jerry Rawlings, there was a relatively peaceful transition. And I believe that’s what we still have to strive for.

I agree that there needs to be confrontation but I believe very strongly that it needs to be non-violent confrontation and that even if the Police are going to defy Court Orders, we must still go to the Courts and that we must still use every single non-violent means at our disposable. But, we’ve got to be brave. Ray spoke earlier about unjust laws, well, I believe that unjust laws are there to be defied. That was the principle enunciated by Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi and I don’t think we should be any different. But that takes leadership, it takes bold courageous leadership and we now need people like Morgan Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara, Ray Majongwe, Pius Ncube, Ray Motsi - the Christian Alliance leaders; all of our leaders throughout the country, Jenni Williams and her brave women, to lead us but to be committed to using non-violent means of confrontation. Only that way will we guarantee a reasonable transition and a secure future for our children and our grandchildren.

Violet: And Arnold Tsunga?

Arnold Tsunga: Ya, you know what I was thinking as a way of ending is that it might be an idea to quote what the President (Mugabe) said when the was confronted with the situation where he had to either comply or defy in terms of the State complying or defying with a Court Order.

Violet: Where was he saying this? Just a reminder?

Arnold Tsunga: It’s cited if you look at some of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum reports, I think when we were looking at the Abuja agreement and the Commonwealth Principles, whether Zimbabwe had complied or disregarded the Abuja agreement, there is an analysis which was done by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, and they cited the President in that document.

He said: “the Government will respect judgements where the judgements are true judgements, and, we do not expect Judges will use subjectivity in interpreting the Law. We expect Judges to be objective, we may not understand them in some cases, but when a Judge sits alone in his house or with his wife and says this one is guilty of contempt, that judgement should never be obeyed. I’m not saying this because we would want to defy Judges, in fact, we have increased their salaries recently. We want them to be happy, but, if they are not objective don’t blame us when we defy them”.

So, you can see the direction where the Police get their attitude to Court Orders is coming from. It’s coming from the Chief Executive Officer of this country. And, I think this type of culture is not a culture that supports democracy, that supports the Rule of Law, and, we need to deal with it very decisively. And, maybe just to end, you know the Judge President, when she was opening the High Court this year - Justice Makarau - she said that the Judiciary is under appreciated in our country and she was referring to things like this.

Violet: Thank you very much Arnold Tsunga, Raymond Majongwe and David Coltart.

All: Thank you Violet. Goodnight.

Violet Gonda: Since we recorded this debate the teachers’ unions struck a deal with the government and accepted a salary adjusted in line with the Poverty Datum Line. Observers say they had come under massive intimidation.

Audio interview can be heard on SW Radio Africa’s Hot Seat programme. Comments and feedback can be emailed to

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe needs rescuing

Jamaica Observer


      Wednesday, February 28, 2007

President Robert Mugabe, it seems, is intent on ensuring that Zimbabwe will
be logged in history books as the biggest stain on Africa.

Indeed, Mr Mugabe never ceases to amaze us with his tyrannical behaviour and
his total disregard for the welfare of his fellow Zimbabweans.

Last Saturday, Mr Mugabe threw a party to celebrate his 83rd birthday. The
fact that he hosted the party would normally not have raised any eyebrows,
except for the fact that the celebration cost his country a whopping US$1.2
million and that it was held in the face of deadly poverty and
hyperinflation in a country where hundreds of thousands of people are
struggling to survive on bread and water.

We have watched with disappointment Mr Mugabe's methodical destruction of
this once vibrant country to the point where food, fuel and medication are
in short supply.
According to a wire service report published in this week's Sunday Observer,
"hyperinflation - running at near 1,600 per cent - that economists say soon
will be represented by an upright line on a graph has the country in revolt.
The number of Zimbabwe dollars that bought a three-bedroom house with a
swimming pool and tennis court in 1990, today will buy one sole brick".

A lifetime public worker's monthly pension, we are told, can't buy a loaf of
bread; charities have reported depression, suicide and malnutrition among
retirees, including a type of vitamin deficiency affecting gums, bones and
hair loss.

Doctors and nurses have been on strike since December and the rest of the
civil service is threatening to join them, the report said, and the list of
deserters on the walls of army barracks grows ever longer despite a 300 per
cent pay raise in January.

Already, an estimated 70,000 Zimbabweans have died this year because of the
shortage of drugs and the fact that medical equipment, like dialysis
machines, are no longer functional.

We were therefore not surprised to learn that anger towards Mr Mugabe and
his Government is mounting in the streets. In fact, our only surprise is
that it took this long. For Mr Mugabe has been oppressing his people for
many years now, cracking down on dissent and press freedom, jailing
opponents, bulldozing people out of their homes, rigging elections, and
confiscating the passports of critics of his Government.

Just last December three key arms of his ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party passed a resolution at the party's
annual conference to have his term extended to 2010 by postponing
presidential elections scheduled for 2008.

At the time, this newspaper strongly condemned that betrayal of the freedoms
that Mr Mugabe, many of his countrymen and others across the world,
including Jamaica, fought to secure from the racist government that once
ruled that country when it was known as Rhodesia.

We had hoped that President Thabo MBeki of South Africa, who has been trying
to effect change in Zimbabwe through diplomacy, would rethink that strategy.
We obviously expected too much.

Now, however, it appears that the walls are closing in on Mr Mugabe as some
of his own forces, we are told, are on the verge of revolt.

But given that armed rebellion usually results in innocent lives being
taken, we do not wish for this to happen in Zimbabwe.

The African Union, we believe, should use its influence to ensure that Mr
Mugabe demits office without bloodshed.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe defends farm seizures


28/02/2007 07:30  - (SA)

Windhoek - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe issued a stout defence on
Tuesday of his controversial land reform programme, claiming it had been a
success even if it had made more enemies than friends.

The 83-year-old Mugabe's decision to expropriate land from white farmers at
the turn of the decade in what was once the bread basket of southern Africa
has been widely seen as the origin of the economic crisis in Zimbabwe which
now labours under inflation at around 1 600%.

But during a state banquet in Namibia, which has also expropriated
white-owned farms but has paid compensation for the land, Mugabe had few
regrets and blamed his country's economic woes on western sanctions imposed
over accusations that elections in 2002 were rigged.

"I can safely declare that the land and resettlement plan of our government
was completed successfully," he said at the dinner hosted by his Namibian
counterpart Hifikepunye Pohamba.

Mugabe added the "land and resettlement programme created more enemies than
friends for Zimbabwe" but said the United States and former colonial power
Britain had wanted to punish his country "for daring to take our destiny
into our own hands".

Mugabe has long defended the farm seizures as a move to redress the
injustices of colonial times. However much of the land, which was meant to
go to landless blacks, has ended up in the hands of his associates.

Namibia expropriating land

Namibia has also expropriated a handful of white-owned farms but has shelled
out money for both the land and farm buildings in stark contrast to
Zimbabwe, and is wary of being tarred with the same brush.

While Mugabe told Pohamaba that "we are fully behind you as you tackle the
mammoth task of land reform in your own way", the Namibian leader avoided
any mention of the land issue.

Pohamba did use his speech to emphasise Namibia and Zimbabwe enjoyed
"excellent relations", outlining co-operation in fields such as health,
education and agriculture.

He also said that Namibia was ready to offer landlocked Zimbabwe use of
dry-dock storage facilities at the port of Walvis Bay.

But he also took an apparent swipe at Mugabe who has been widely accused of
not only fixing elections but overseeing widescale human rights abuses.

"We must re-energise efforts to strengthen democratic governance and the
rule of law for a more peaceful continent," he said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Robert Mugabe increasingly isolated at home and abroad

By Tererai Karimakwenda
28 February, 2007

In the twenty-seven years that Robert Mugabe has managed to stay at the helm
of Zimbabwe's political machinery, there have never been more signs that his
continued tenure is in jeopardy than there have been in the last few months.
A catalogue of disastrous events have damaged his image and caused him to
lose the support of many who once held him in high esteem. Press reports
about him and events on the ground show a man who is being ignored,
embarrassed, criticised and ridiculed at every turn.

Other African heads of state still don't like speaking ill of Mugabe
publicly, but it is largely believed they are no longer willing to
jeopardise the development of their own countries and the continent for his
sake. His exclusion from the Franco-Africa summit earlier this month was one
such sign. Add to this the EU renewal of targeted sanctions, the Chinese
premier visiting all his neighbours but skipping Harare and recent
anti-Mugabe demonstrations at Zimbabwe embassies in London, Washington,
Johannesburg and Namibia.

At home, the situation is grim. Hyper inflation, strike action in key
sectors, continued shortages of basic goods and a mass exodus from the
police and military forces have all combined to weaken Mugabe's position.
And there is more. Vice president Joyce Mujuru is reported to have missed
his birthday bash last weekend, an event which ruling party cadres are
obligated to attend. Then the traditionally pro-government teachers union,
ZIMTA, joined in the ongoing strike actions for the first time ever. And top
members of his cabinet have been implicated in corrupt mining activities,
which prompted an investigation by the parliamentary portfolio committee and
the global watchdog Global Witness. It is fair to say Robert Mugabe's plate
is full.

Dr. Shana, chairman of the corruption watchdog Transparency International
Zimbabwe Chapter, said there is only so much that Zimbabwe's so-called
friends can take. He added that Mugabe's "heroism and bravado" were one
thing, but they will not accept him as a liability to the progress of their
own countries and development. Explaining further, Dr. Shana said: "In
politics there are no permanent friends, just interests. And where friends
and interests conflict, interest will always prevail."

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

No judge to hear MDC rally-ban challenge

New Zimbabwe

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 02/28/2007 20:49:48
ZIMBABWE's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) failed to
lodge a court application against the disruption of its weekend rally, as
there was no judge available at the Bulawayo High Court, the party's lawyer
said Tuesday.

Josphat Tshuma, a lawyer for MDC said they sought through the court
application an order barring the police, who have been breaking up rallies
in Harare and Bulawayo, from interferring with their rally in the country's
second largest city.

"First the (court) registrar did not have a stamp and second there was no
judge to hear the matter," said Tshuma, a lawyer for the opposition party's
faction led by Arthur Mutambara.

As a result, he added, the party was forced to abandon the court challenge
but the MDC is considering mounting a petition against the powers vested in
the Minister of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi, under the Public Order and
Security Act (POSA).

The Act says in the event of police issuing prohibition orders against the
holding of rallies -- as they have done in Harare and Chitungwiza -- 
aggrieved parties should appeal to the minister against the actions of the

Section 27 (4) of the Act, which gives Mohadi those powers says: "Any person
who is aggrieved by an order given under subsection (1) may appeal against
it to the minister, and the minister may confirm, vary or set aside the

Tshuma said the law could be challenged on the grounds that Mohadi, as a
government minister, has a vested interest in the issues and as such he
cannot adjudicate impartially or independently.

The police have imposed a three-month countrywide ban on rallies following
clashes with opposition supporters in Harare. According to human rights
groups and analysts, the "informal curfew" is designed to check any public
unrest against the government.

"The situation is very tense. If you are not in your home by 9 or 10 in the
evening you can be beaten up," alleged John Makumbe, a political analyst
based in Harare.

"Even during the day, civilians spotted walking near the government
buildings in groups of three or more are asked to disperse by the police."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Matonga's Trial Resumes

The Herald (Harare)

February 27, 2007
Posted to the web February 27, 2007


THE trial of Information and Publicity Deputy Minister Bright Matonga
accused of soliciting US$20 000 from local bus supplier Mr Jayesh Shah
resumed yesterday with the court making inquiries into the admissibility of
the recorded evidence.

There was a "trial within a trial" convened to establish circumstances
surrounding the recording of the conversation between Shah and Matonga,
which defence lawyer Mr Wilson Manase of Manase and Manase objected to as

Mr Manase challenged the admissibility of the Siemens L45 cellphone
allegedly used in the recording of the conversation arguing that there was
no link between the recorded CDs and the phone.

"The mobile phone and the microchip have nothing recorded on them as we
speak, they are empty.

"There is no link between the phone and the conversation that is on the disc
and it can be any other phone. The State must produce a manual for the phone
and we need to see what it does and what it does not.

"Police, throughout their investigations, did not have the phone and the
State only sought the phone from outside the police investigations. Apart
from Mr Shah reading serial numbers that I did not bother to record, there
is no one who knows about it.

"Recordings can be edited and the model of the phone in question, has
advanced facilities to edit one's voice and name," said Mr Manase during

However, Mr Shah argued that experts are able to retrieve the conversation
that he erased on the multimedia card and maintained that he used his phone
to record the conversation.

He further averred that he deleted the evidence after Matonga had agreed to
testify the "truth" in the trial of former Zupco board chairman Charles
Nherera who was jailed for two years.

"In February last year, we agreed that Matonga would testify the truth in
Nherera's trial and I deleted the conversation. I wanted to forgive him and
I no longer wanted to cause his arrest resulting in I deleting the
conversation," said Mr Shah.

Mr Shah also submitted that he refused to hand over the said phone to the
police during investigations saying that was his only handset and he had no
replacement. It was also Mr Shah's submission that he only deleted the
recording from the microchip to create space for more recordings.

Superintendent Phillip Ncube told the court that there was no original
evidence and that he was relying on secondary evidence.

He also said he failed to link the phone and the recorded evidence, hence
leaving it out for use as an exhibit.

"It is difficult for me to confirm that the phone was the actual one used
for the recording of the evidence and the evidence is all secondary. I
failed to marry the phone and the microchip and according to my own
understanding, it looks like any other phone," said Supt Ncube.

Mrs Fortune Chimbaru from the Attorney General's Office testified that the
defence only requested for a microchip and never requested for the phone in
question as an exhibit.

She further said the microchip was with the court in Nherera's record, but
Matonga's alleged conversation was deleted.

Prosecutor Ms Vernandah Munyoro said she would call an information
technology expert to clarify issues on Thursday.

She requested for more time to allow the expert to source all the necessary
equipment for use during the testimony saying a great deal of demonstration
was involved.

Harare regional magistrate Mr Morgen Nemadire deferred the proceedings to
Thursday for continuation with the expert testifying.

Charges against Matonga arose when he was still the Zupco accounting officer
while Nherera was the board chairman.

The State alleges that the two solicited and received a bribe of US$10 000
each so that they would not evict Mr Shah's bus supplying company, Gift
Investments, from Zupco premises where they were renting.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Opposition leaders to discuss crisis in South Africa

By Ntando Ncube and Magugu Nyathi.

JOHANNESBURG - Pro-democracy leaders from Zimbabwe will on Thursday address
their compatriots in South Africa, the media and others on the need to take
the struggle against the Zanu PF government to another level after the
police imposed an unofficial curfew in some high-density suburbs of Harare
and banned rallies and political meetings for three months.

National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairperson Lovemore Madhuku and
other leaders from the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions,
the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the Progressive Teachers Union
of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), the Church Alliance and
the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) will be in South Africa to
speak on the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe, the crackdown on the
opposition and related things.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition South Africa office, which will host the civic
leaders coming under the banner of the Save Zimbabwe campaign, said a press
conference would also be held at Devonshire Hotel in Braamfontein to allow
the leaders to assert the way forward on the prevailing Zimbabwean crisis.

Save Zimbabwe Campaign is an alliance of various civic groups, political
parties, churches, women's movements, labour and students unions who are
advocating for democracy in Zimbabwe. Crisis in Zimbabwe is a member of the

"The conference will address, among other things the Save Zimbabwe's
position on the government's ban of the civic and political meetings and its
response to various peaceful pro-democracy actions by the people of Zimbabwe
and to parade their road map in the face of the government of Zimbabwe's
plan to unilaterally postpone presidential elections from March 2008," said
Immanuel Hlabangana, the Crisis media and advocacy manager.

The government of Zimbabwe recently announced a three-month ban of all
political meetings and rallies in some high-density areas in Harare. Crisis
has already said this is against the country's obnoxious Public Order and
Security Act (POSA), which allows only a one-month ban.

Under POSA, political groups should inform the police ahead of their planned
meetings and gatherings, a requirement that has seen many opposition rallies
being thwarted as was the case with the recent Morgan Tsvangirai rally in
Highfield and Arthur Mutambara's in Bulawayo.

The government insists section 25 of the Act gives the Home Affairs Minister
authority to determine whether or not to allow political meetings.

Political and civic groups also say the section being sited by the police to
justify the ban is in violation of the Constitution, that states clearly in
Section 21 (1) that "no person shall be hindered in their freedom of
assembly and association".

The situation in Zimbabwe has been worsening over the past few months with
the police recently using excessive force to stop Morgan Tsvangirai's
supporters from converging at the Highfield grounds for a major rally to
launch his 2008 presidential campaign.

The Zanu PF government plans to postpone the elections to 2010, giving
President Mugabe an extra two years in office resulting in sporadic protests
that led to the arrest of opposition leaders, including Tendai Biti, the
Tsvangirai MDC's secretary general.

The country has since the beginning of the year been hit by a wave of
strikes from doctors, teachers, nurses, lecturers - all demanding better pay
and working conditions. Students have also threatened to boycott classes
though most of them have not been attending classes due to the absence of
their striking lecturers.

The country's civil servants are also threatening to go on strike while the
ZCTU has given April dates for a two-day workers' strike. Tensions are
rising by the day as a result.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Soaring Tuition Fees Deprive Youth of Education

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

February 28, 2007
Posted to the web February 28, 2007


Zimbabwean parents not only have to contend with fees they cannot afford,
but also with expensive essentials like uniforms, which now cost 600 times
more than they did in 2006. Inflation is now running at around 1,600
percent, nearly 80 percent of the workforce are unemployed, and the minimum
wage is nowhere near the cost of a basket of basic household items, forcing
many parents to withdraw their children from school.

Standards of learning and teaching in Zimbabwe, at one time the envy of the
African continent, have plummeted in recent years. "When the country
received an economic knock in 1997 after offering war veterans hefty
gratuities ... the education sector became one of the major victims," said
Raymond Majongwe, president of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe

The situation was exacerbated by the government's fast-track land reform
programme, launched in 2000 with the aim of removing white commercial
farmers from their land and redistributing it to landless blacks, which has
resulted in a steady economic decline marked by severe shortages of foreign
currency, fuel and energy, basic commodities, foodstuffs and medicines.

All schools, including those run by the government, have had to enforce the
increases. Educationists and parents have been warning that the rocketing
fees would force larger numbers of children to drop out and exclude others
from education.

Widowed Goronga Kaliati, 60, looks after three school-going grandchildren,
two of whom are AIDS orphans, in the capital, Harare. This year none of the
three children resumed school because she could not afford the fees.

A former civil servant, Kaliati gets a monthly pension of about Z$3,000
(less than one US dollar at the parallel market exchange rate, on which most
prices are based) - not enough to buy two bars of laundry soap. She has
moved into a shack in her yard to accommodate tenants who pay her about
US$30 a month, which helps her family eat.

"My son and his wife in Mozambique used to give me money now and then, but
for the past 10 months they have been quiet and life is just too difficult
for me and the children," Kaliati told IRIN. The three children can now only
watch others on their way to school while they sell vegetables and
cigarettes to support their grandmother's income in the populous suburb of

Many parents have taken their children out of boarding schools with good
pass rates to enrol them at less expensive government schools.

"I could not afford the full uniform, which is now costing around Z$1.8
million (about US $243), in addition to the Z$1.5 million (about US $202)
for school fees at the boarding school, and I was left with no choice but to
recall my two sons back to Harare," John Maruta, an accountant with a small
company, told IRIN.

Maruta will need to brace himself for the high transport costs, because the
children have to make two trips to reach their new school, for which he has
to cough up about US$1 a day, and another US$1 for food. Transport
operators, like retailers and wholesalers, raised their fares by more than
40 percent at the beginning of the year.

"What it means is less food at home. Children can only perform well on a
full stomach and, having taken a tiresome trip to school, their performance
is bound to be affected," said Maruta in the medium-density suburb of
Hatfield, where the rent for their four-roomed cottage has doubled to $40 a
month. Average salaries in Zimbabwe are less than US$100 a month.

Innocent Makwiramiti, an economist and former chief executive officer of the
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), told IRIN he blamed the steep
rise in costs on the poorly performing economy.

"One cannot help but sympathise with the parents, but the fact is that there
is hardly anything that can be done to improve their situation if the
economy is not mended." He suggested that school authorities allow parents
to stagger payments.

"Employers [could also] raise the salaries of workers ... but since
companies are operating under strenuous conditions, that might not be
possible. In any case, it's a 'Catch 22' situation because, once salaries
are raised, inflation goes up as well," Makwiramiti commented.

While those lucky enough to be employed might be able to raise the money for
their children's education, schooling is moving beyond the reach of those
who are unemployed or do not have a steady source of income.

"Students have been hit hard by the economic crisis. Girls in colleges and
high school are engaging in prostitution in order to get an education, while
child labour is on the increase, and many of those supposed to be in school
are turning to the streets as beggars and common criminals," PTUZ's Majongwe
told IRIN.

A report released in late 2006 by the National Association of Societies for
the Care of the Handicapped indicated that 67 percent of disabled children
were out of school, mainly because their parents or guardians could not
afford the costs of education.

Schools have defended the new fees. Jameson Timba, chairman of the
Association of Trust Schools (ATS), which represents private schools, said
they had set the new fees according to the Education Act.

"The Act says we can increase fees after taking into consideration the rate
of inflation, and that is what we have done. We considered the inflation
figures for the months of September to December 2006, and we calculated the
fees on that basis.

"In fact, the schools could find themselves operating at a loss, considering
that the term covers close to four months and the fees might be stagnant
during that time, while inflation is going up," Timba told IRIN, adding that
parents had been consulted on the fee hike.

Majongwe said schools found it difficult to import laboratory equipment, so
most teachers were confined to lecturing. "The poorly performing economy has
severely undermined the quality of students that are being produced, and the
infrastructure, such as schools and examining bodies, that supports the

The lack of foreign currency has also forced the government to localise
examinations, which used to be handled by British boards, but local
examination boards had failed to attract competent markers because they
offered paltry payments. The Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council failed to
meet its December 2006 deadline because teachers hired to mark the papers
opted out due to poor payment.

"The teachers would rather go to South Africa and Botswana as informal
traders than waste their time in an unrewarding process of marking the
papers, and risk disciplinary action if the higher authorities feel they
have erred," Majongwe said.

He estimated that around 18,000 teachers had left the country in the past
five years to seek better-paid jobs, especially in southern Africa, leaving
schools with disgruntled staff.

Although the new school year is well underway, many schools are still
advertising for teachers, particularly those who teach science subjects,
mathematics and accounting.

[This article is part of a special IRIN series that looks at how conflict,
poverty and social alienation are affecting the lives of children and
teenagers. Read more from 'Youth in crisis: coming of age in the 21st
century' at]

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Namibia, Zim strike $40mn power deal

Business In Africa

Published: 28-FEB-07

Windhoek - Namibia and Zimbabwe power utilities, Nampower and ZESA, have
sealed a $40mn loan facility and electricity purchasing agreement under
which Nampower would avail funds to refurbish Hwange power station in
Zimbabwe and be guaranteed power supply.

Nampower is going to advance up to $40mn towards the refurbishment of four
generators at coal-fired Hwange power station.

Namibian president Hifikepunye Pohamba and his visiting Zimbabwean
counterpart Robert Mugabe witnessed the signing of the deal.

Embattled Mugabe arrived in Namibia on Tuesday on a state visit.

Under the deal, Nampower would help refurbish Hwange power station to boost
its output to 480 MW.

On completion of the refurbishment, Nampower would be guaranteed 150 MW of
electricity for the next five years.

Nampower managing director Paulinus Shilamba, who signed the agreement with
ZESA's Ben Rafemoyo, said rehabilitation of Hwange would take up to 12

Shilamba said Nampower would start importing 40 MW in January 2008 and that
the electricity would be routed through Zambia to its Caprivi Link
Interconnector, which is currently being constructed.

"Its going to take between 10 to 12 months to rehabilitate the generators
and the first machine will start generating power by January 2008 during
which time we would be getting 40 MW from Hwange power station," Shilamba

He added that Nampower, which like its Zimbabwe counterpart is scrambling to
avoid looming electricity blackouts, is sufficiently capitalised to
partially finance the Hwange refurbishment.

Apart from the power deal, Namibia and Zimbabwe also signed a double tax
exemption agreement under which companies from the two countries that invest
in the other would only be taxed in one country.

Both governments re-affirmed their commitment to increasing bilateral

Speaking at a state banquet on Tuesday night, Pohamba said Zimbabwe was
welcome to use Namibia's deep water port of Walvis Bay and its dry dock
facilities to export and import its products.

A defiant Mugabe defended his chaotic and often violent land redistribution
programmes and pointed fingers at Britain and the United States for
'sabotaging' the ailing Zimbabwean economy.

"Our programme has addressed and reversed the land ownership pattern, which
favoured the minority at the expense of the majority of our people," Mugabe

Meanwhile, about 200 rights activists in Windhoek shouted 'tyrant', 'retire
tyrant', 'Mugabe repent', 'Zim is not yours Gabriel', 'ICC for Mugabe'
outside the Zimbabwean embassy for two hours.

More than a dozen police officers kept a watchful eye on the crowd of
picketers, who waved placards depicting the 83-year old Zimbabwean leader.

"Robert Mugabe should be in prison for his human rights violations," said
human rights activist Phil ya Nangoloh. -panapress

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Post Goromonzi - an analysis of Zanu PF after their annual conference


Sokwanele Report : 28 February 2007
Now that the small town of Goromonzi (site of the recent annual conference
of the Zanu PF party) has returned to its normal poverty-stricken
existence - albeit enriched by one kilometre of tarred road from the main
road to the conference site, provided for the occasion - it is instructive
to take another look at the state of the party responsible for the
unprecedented suffering of the people of Zimbabwe.

The conference had as its theme "Consolidating Independence through Land,
Mining Reforms and Empowerment". A grand title indeed though, from reports
in both the government and independent press, it is evident that the
delegates barely touched on these issues. Rather, most of the time was taken
up with the succession issue - who will eventually succeed the aging
dictator, and when. The related infighting between the contending factions
was as vicious as it was carefully camouflaged by those who cannot afford to
be seen to be openly bidding for power - or even to question the official
party line that the beloved leader will rule for ever. In short it was
another dazzling display of the "smoke and mirrors" politics of double-speak
and subterfuge for which Zanu PF surely stands in a class by itself.

Unintended revelations
As ever, the press coverage of the conference was revealing - though often
unintentionally so! True to form, the regime's mouthpieces - The Herald and
The Chronicle - reported that "the conference itself was a huge success",
but there was the odd telling remark, such as the editorial in The Chronicle
saying that though "Zanu PF emerged stronger and united from the conference,
a big task lies ahead to make sure that the resolutions passed at the annual
indaba are implemented". And if that is not a reference to broken promises
and ignored resolutions of the past we ask, what is?

The independent press concentrated more on the excesses of the conference,
which were many - like the Mercedes-Benz limousines lined up in the car
park, and the bottled water, turkey, lamb, pork, venison, and other
delicacies laid on for delegates. Such conspicuous consumption contrasted
painfully with the surrounding abject poverty and starvation. To their
credit the independent press also picked up on the inconsistencies in the
supposed universal acclamation of 'Bob as President'.

The big issue
Whatever was on the official agenda, the one theme that dominated the
conference from start to finish was the succession issue. In an almost
unprecedented sequence of events, it became clear that the party was not
uniformly behind Mugabe's stated intention to continue in the top job, and
to extend his presidential mandate from 2008 to 2010 by way of a proposed
constitutional amendment.

First, just before the conference, the politburo met but was unable to agree
on whether to support his bid. Then the central committee of the party
turned him down. And finally the 4000-odd delegates at the conference were
unable to come together around any consensus on either Mugabe's own
political future or the future of the party. There was some political
face-saving in evidence when the delegates were informed at the end of the
conference that the question would be further debated at a provincial level,
prior to final decision-making by the central committee. Nor did it help his
cause when Mugabe himself told journalists at the end of the conference that
there was consensus over the harmonization of the elections. Patently this
was a total distortion of the facts on the ground.

In reality, for Zanu PF and for Robert Mugabe in particular, this was a
political defeat of the same magnitude as the result of the referendum on
the new constitution in the year 2000, when the electorate served notice
that the days of an effective one party state were over and henceforth the
MDC was a force to be reckoned with in the land.

Mugabe himself knows that he is at the helm of a seriously fractured party;
he also knows - and it must provide precious little consolation - that he is
in some ways the only glue that holds it together. Indeed he could well say
with the famed Madame de Pompadour (favourite of Louis XV of France) "apres
nous le deluge" ("after us the deluge"). From the country's perspective, the
aging dictator is at the centre of the ultimate Catch 22: He himself is the
main obstacle in the way of resolving the severe economic crisis, but
because of the lack of consensus on who will succeed him, he is still needed
by his party.

Infighting within the ranks
The political infighting that has riven his party was certainly uppermost in
Mugabe's mind before and during the conference. He implored members of Zanu
PF to work together to ensure that they bequeathed a better future for the
coming generations. He said there was need for unity of purpose within the
ruling party. He admitted that "something has gone wrong", and asked "what
are we demonstrating to the people? That we are still one or divided? Still
together or apart?"

"What are we doing there at the top?" asked the man at the top.

This public rebuke would have smarted in certain quarters. There are in fact
three main contenders for the top job, aside from Mugabe himself - Gideon
Gono, Joice Mujuru, and Emmerson Mnangagwa - and of course it is they and
their surrogates who are stoking up the fires of division. But there are
numerous other quarrels and splits, at both national and regional levels.
Recently for instance we have been treated to the spectacle of various Zanu
PF chefs in court, one suing the other, a spectacle that formerly would have
been unthinkable.

In the succession issue, the tension between the competing camps is
heightened by the rapidly degenerating economy - all the more so because the
economy is controlled personally by one of the contenders, Gono - and by the
impact of Gono's policies on the personal fortunes of each.

Gono has been widely (and no doubt rightly) castigated for his irrational
economic policies which have left the markets in bewilderment and chaos.
Certainly both Mujuru and Mnangagwa are personally suffering from the
effects of Gono's own brand of policy-making. However the man at the top
clearly supports him against the Finance Minister, Murerwa, and that is all
that matters in the short term. Mugabe publicly signaled his own preference
when he criticized the "bookish" economics of the Finance Ministry: "They
have this word they like using; 'quasi, quasi, quasi'", he said, "but I tell
them that this is expenditure that we need. We are under sanctions and there
is no room for the type of bookish economics we have at the Ministry of
Finance", (the "quasi" referring to the criticism of Gono's 'quasi economic
policies' in Murerwa's recent budget speech).

Changing the Constitution?
As far as forcing a change to the constitution to allow presidential and
parliamentary elections to take place together in 2010, thus prolonging
Mugabe's political life for a further two years, Zanu PF is not in a strong

To amend the constitution, the party requires the votes of two-thirds of the
150 members of Parliament - a minimum of one hundred actual votes cast.
Currently the MDC holds 41 seats and with Jonathan Moyo, that gives 42
against Zanu's 108. So the regime will find it tough to get the full 100
votes that it needs. It only requires 9 disenchanted Zanu MPs to absent
themselves from the vote (with a convenient "sickness" or "family
bereavement", so they can avoid the embarrassment of publicly voting against
the old man) and the motion would be defeated.

Mugabe relies heavily upon the uneducated for what little real support he
still enjoys. They provide useful votes from those who are not themselves
involved in business and have little understanding of what is going on in
the country and the economy. However it is very questionable whether he
truly has many other party members behind him, whatever they might say in
public. A successful constitutional amendment is not therefore a forgone

Between an ailing and failing economy on the one hand and on the other a
leader who has become a huge public liability but is still needed to save
the party from disintegration, Zanu PF finds itself caught between a rock
and a hard place. Moreover Mugabe's personal interest is now directly at
variance with those within the party scrambling to replace him. The
incumbent must secure a further two years in office beyond 2008; equally
those contending for the throne must have him out of the way by 2008.

Hence it comes as no surprise to learn that, in an unprecedented move, Zanu
PF MPs have secretly launched a "Stop Mugabe Campaign" to prevent him from
extending his term of office beyond 2008.

The Role of the Military?
Even the military and police are now baulking at the ruination of the
economy. Those police constables who were getting only $20 000 at the end of
last year (and even if their salaries doubled, would still be getting a mere
pittance), are unlikely to be on-sides for the regime which is so obviously
responsible for their misery. The military chiefs met Mugabe towards the end
of last year, warning him of the effects of poverty on the previously
unquestioned loyalty of the defence forces. Chihuri, the Police
Commissioner, strove to diffuse matters from the other end of the lighted
taper, by addressing senior police officers and urging them to remain loyal
to Mugabe. But the mere fact that he considered it necessary to exhort them
is an indication of how tarnished is the great leader's once polished image,
and how necessary it has become to shore up his support by all possible

Prognosis and cure
So what have we learnt about Zanu PF through the circus at Goromonzi ? It
has indeed been a most revealing exercise, especially for those looking in
from the outside on the inner machinations of a party without any single
coherent objective or strategy and totally dominated by the crude politics
of seizing and holding power. In a way it is like observing a patient in the
painful, terminal stages of emphysema who refuses to give up the smoking
addiction responsible for his condition.

Observing the sorry spectacle of Goromonzi 2006, we see a fractured and
fractious party, not only at war with their fellow citizens but now on the
point of open warfare within the ranks. We see a party which has undoubtedly
lost confidence in its own leader, but which still cannot decide who should
replace him. Ironically the old man who has become the party's (and the
country's) major liability is still required by the party to hold it
together for the time being.

Yet time is not on Zimbabwe's side. While Zanu PF continues to prevaricate
in public and to pursue its own vicious succession struggle in private the
economy moves ever closer to the point at which uncontrolled forces take
over. Already we see an economy in tatters. We see a legal system which can
only pay its witnesses a paltry $5 (a fraction of 1 US cent!), teachers
whose salaries do not even cover the transport to and from their schools;
doctors who earn less than USD 20 per month (and who are fired for going on
strike). And all this in a nation in which an estimated 3,500 citizens are
dying each week of hunger, malnutrition and AIDS. Without being melodramatic
in any sense we can say that our beloved Zimbabwe is now close to the end -
not as a country, for countries endure whatever tragedies are played out
across their rugged landscapes - but as a civilized society in which the
basic amenities of health-care, education and housing are provided, the
security of its citizens is assured and the fundamental human rights of all
are respected within a legal and ordered framework. In that sense Zimbabwe
is close to the end.

Therefore if ever there was a moment for a strong, coherent and principled
opposition to emerge to show that there is a saner alternative, this is it.
Which means that the onus is on a divided MDC to reunite within a
wide-ranging coalition of opposition forces - and yes, for those few
remaining reasonable members of Zanu-PF to desert their disintegrating party
and join all those Zimbabweans who genuinely seek an end to this destructive
tyranny and the dawn of a new era of freedom, justice and peace. To say this
is now an urgent necessity is a considerable understatement.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The crisis intensifies!

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 28th February 2007

The situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated sharply in the past few days. The
government has imposed a ban on public meetings, the strikes are continuing
with the State run hospitals now completely paralysed, Doctors and Nurses
refuse to go back to work. The Universities are due to open on Monday but
staff is on strike and there are no signs of compromise. Students plan to
join the strike on Monday in support of their lecturers and demanding
attention to the stark conditions under which they are living. The ZCTU has
announced a national strike in a month's time and the State Security
Minister has threatened them with dire action.

Now a form of curfew is being imposed on the high-density townships across
the country in an effort to bring the situation under control. These are
clearly signs of panic in the realms of government.

Tomorrow should be the start of a 4-month freeze on prices and wages -
however I understand the proposal has been abandoned as being simply
unworkable. No statements are forthcoming from the authorities and to say
the least, there is considerable confusion in business and Union circles.
The Governor of the Reserve Bank speaks of a "Social Contract" but none

However the most serious indicator of collapse is in the open market price
of foreign exchange. Driven by the frantic efforts of people to buy foreign
exchange in any form for a variety of needs from education fees to water
chemicals for the Cities and those who want to externalize or even protect
their assets. No one wants to hold local money - and the options are the
stock market, foreign exchange and assets such as property or simply
business stocks.

Today was no exception - the USD went to 7 500 to 1, the pound to 14 200 to
1 and the Rand was at 1100 or 1200 to 1. These are dramatic devaluations in
a matter of a few days and importers simply do not know what to sell their
imported products for when it comes to replacing their stock. Fuel
distributors closed their outlets today while the adjusted to the new
situation. We bought fuel at Z$6 600 and watched as the company ratcheted up
its price to Z$7 500 while we were present. That seems to be the price at
the moment. Bakeries are all over the place - most are charging double the
"controlled" price.

This means a new surge in inflation and it is now clearer than ever that the
government has lost all semblance of control in the economy. Gold sales are
declining even more rapidly as mines close down in the face of unrealistic
prices and exchange rates. Food is now being imported to meet all our basic
food needs - local stocks are exhausted.

I watched a special programme last night on SABC about the plight of the
border jumpers. Anyone watching that could not help but be moved by the
plight of the people affected by this crisis in Zimbabwe. To see them risk
crocodiles, armed gangs, the SA Police and Army and thirst and exposure to
get away from Zimbabwe and try to make a living, any sort of a living, in
South Africa was heart wrenching. To hear a white farmer describe finding a
dead women next to a game fence with a baby that had lived for 3 or 4 days
after the mother had died of exposure, just made me mad with anger at those
who created and continue to tolerate the actions that have brought this

If someone with power does not do something to get this situation back under
control, they better prepare for a real flood of refugees into South
Africa - because the situation in Zimbabwe is simply no longer tenable.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP


070218 Sunday

It has been a wet few weeks here with rain almost every day, come afternoon
or evening. In the garden is a great battle between Taurayi and his helpers
with weeds growing rampant in the damp heat. But under Tau's general-ship we
seem to be winning through and this week completed the cycle from the top of
the garden in the shade houses to the bottom by the rushing stream that
divides us from our neighbours. And so we start at the top again tomorrow!

In everything there is the mundane and the necessary: boring perhaps or
comforting in its routines, depending on one's mood! Thus is it with
gardens! But the rewards are great. Right now the garden is a riot of lush
greens and vibrant colours. The day lilies are at their best; the mombretias
are showing off their delicate orange florets on coy hanging stems; a few
violets are peeping their little flowers out between their thick, dark green
leaves, and the aloe vera are displaying their modest green-yellow heads.
The bougainvillea and frangipani continue to add their dramatic colours to
the display and our fuchsias are flowering fit to burst! In the pastures are
delicate small vlei plants the names of which are beyond my meagre botany
and the long vlei grasses are beginning to tassel (which means I must soon
get in and start slashing so we have bedding for the cows and bio-mass for
the compost).

In the midst of this riot move the small birds and animals that make this
place their home. I noticed a black-collared barbet this afternoon, the
first I have seen for some time. Later, walking to the lower terraces with
Herself, we were witness to a rare sight. A purple-crested lourie flew up
from one of the newly planted beds of squash and with a few lazy, red
flashed wing-beats settled in an avocado tree near by. I have never seen a
lourie on the ground before!

Our resident francolins have had babies and move busily about near the
cattle kraal picking up scraps of crushed maize left over from the cows'
morning and evening meals. They have a bustling, important air about them
that tells you they know a thing or two about this and that and are not
ashamed to let you know. Then suddenly they take fright at some real or
imagined threat and shoot off like bullets for the forest, giving off their
familiar and raucous "you can't catch me, you can't catch me". They vie with
the ubiquitous monkeys for this small bounty and are inclined to swear
rudely at each other not a little. The monkeys are indeed a confounded
nuisance and get more numerous and more destructive by the day. I am
severely tempted to poison them but She is most forbidding, so if I do it
must be a secret kept from her and held in a Darkness by Taurayi and I!

I wish I had a shotgun. At least that would knock over the odd bold one and
keep the others respectful, if even for a day or two.

On the broader front a chaotic and paradoxical scenario confronts us. On the
one hand is a strong rhetoric emanating from Didymus Mutasa the minister
currently responsible land tenure issues, which resonates to the tune of the
old guard. All farms still in the hands of Whites will be taken, for
agriculture must be Black. On the other is a quiet and discreet move to
offer leases to young, qualified white farmers. In one case I know of the
offer is for part of the very farm from which the father was violently
evicted some years ago! Those engaged in this exercise are technocrats but
they seem to be working with the support of the provincial hierarchies most
of whom are strongly antagonistic to the minister, who is not, one gathers,
very popular except with his boss, whom he adores, nay worships, with a
sycophantic extravagance bordering on the ludicrous. But if I know my
people, is this not the way they circumvent the problem of an aging chief
and his equally geriatric council of elders?  Also, it seems to me, that in
any country where the central government's dictates are either inappropriate
or impractical, and often unenforceable then are they ignored. People get on
with the daily governance of their affairs as best they can. Such has it
been in Italy since the end of World War II. Thus it would appear to this
observer to be the trend in this country, as it is no doubt in may another
African country to our north. Currency regulations become meaningless and
while the government sticks stubbornly to the illusion that the exchange
rate is Zim$250 to US$1 the man in the street, businesses, and indeed the
Reserve Bank and Government agencies when the need demands, will trade at
the going rate in the market place (and that is in excess of $4000 to $1!).

But all is not totally desperate. We have been down to Shashe for a week.
Progress is impressive. We have forty hectares planted now that water is
flowing from two pumps and giving us about 2 cusecs of water with which we
flood irrigate the growing crop. The local irrigation committee has been
empowered by an enlightened and sensible DA and the irrigation engineer to
run the day-to-day affairs of the scheme. They have negotiated with a
neighbouring commercial irrigation farmer to maintain the pumps. What
remains is to get the other pumps up and running and to repair most of the
canals, which are in a deplorable state of disrepair due to the depredations
of sharp hoofed goats, of which there are a myriad. The committee has this
in hand as well. All plot holders with live stock were summonsed to a
meeting where the local councillor instructed them that any goats or other
livestock on the scheme will require the owners to report to the local
headman for trial in his traditional court. Heavy fines and some rough
treatment for the offenders are promised! Again, it is local solutions to
local problems that are the tactics of choice.

I watched a fascinating little cameo unfold before the meeting. It was in
the shade of a huge, spreading nyala-berry tree under which were placed logs
on which the men may sit. One particular log is smooth and warn and
comfortable. It is in the deepest shade. On this the councillor sat himself
whilst, Africa-fashion, the people trickled slowly to the gathering. Shortly
after he had made himself comfortable a tall, elderly man with white
whiskers, addressed him in peremptorily. He hastily rose from his place and
came and joined me on a far less comfortable fallen branch! He told me
rather sheepishly that the senior village headman had pointed out to him
that he had usurped his seat!

The women, who again Africa-fashion, sit separately arrive and gravely greet
those already there. The each have a small home made embroidered shoulder
bag from which they extract a length of material, unfold it and spread it
carefully on the ground. This they then sit on, legs straight out in front,
or perhaps one tucked under their buttocks. (Did you know that it is
considered highly offensive to touch a woman on the heel of her foot, for is
this not the part of her body that is so often in close proximity to what
our court interpreters, so long ago now, used to coyly refer to as "their
private parts"?

The lowveld continues to be hot and dry. This while thousands are being
faced with disaster on the lower reaches of the Limpopo where massive floods
devastate coastal Mozambique.

The day before we were due to set out for home came a phone call to inform
us that an armed intruder had attempted to break in to our house. Armed with
a small pistol he held our old retainer, Gutsa, at gunpoint and demanded to
be escorted around the premises. Fortunately all doors to rooms containing
valuables are bolted and locked but he decided to try and force open the
door to the office, that being likely to contain computers and other
valuables easy to carry off. While trying to jemmy the lock he put the
pistol in his pocket. Gutsa seized the opportunity to make a break and fled
into the dark (it was only just after seven) and was pursued by the
intruder. Gutsa is an old man and not too quick on his pins. The young thug
got in a shot and wounded the old man in the left arm. He managed to regain
his footing ("I fell to the ground being dead, but fear set my feet in the
direction of our neighbours") and continue his flight. He got to the gate of
the Ms', next door but despite loud lamentations ("Ndakafirwa nepfuti. Maiwe
maiwe! - I have been killed by a gun, oh Mother, oh Mother!" - a universal
cry of lament or disaster) the Ms remained silent in their house.

He ran on to the Chengu's, another hundred yards away and set up a pitiable
cry outside Mrs. Chengu's bedroom window. Having heard the shot this good
lady (who was alone apart from her mentally challenged son) was very
reluctant to open up her house to him until she recognised his voice. He
tumbled into the kitchen leaking blood all over the floor as he stood in
wide-eyed shock and lamented his appalling ordeal. She knew he would die if
she did not get him first aid. Very fearfully she got out her big
flashlight, which is equipped with a siren! Thus armed, she hurried down the
road back to the Ms', expecting at any moment to be shot herself. "I put on
the syreen (local pronunciation) and sounded like a police car!" Arrived at
the Ms' gate she set up a cry to wake the dead.

In due course the Ms' servant emerged from behind the house and with his
help she finally roused them. Gutsa was then half carried to their house
where Kathy, a highly skilled and experienced nurse staunched the flow of
blood and put on wound dressings. The bullet had gone right through the
muscle on his upper arm. He was then taken to the local clinic where he
spent the night. By this time D M had roused the police who once the matter
was in the hands of the member in charge, proceeded with some speed to the
scene of the crime!  Here things returned to the level of competence we have
come to expect of these stalwarts of law and order. Too frightened to
approach the house the armed constables wanted Taurayi, who had now appeared
on the scene, to lead them in. He flatly refused, pointing out that they
were armed while he was not! So they proceeded for a few yards before
deciding that they would announce that they were armed by letting off a
couple of rounds into the night sky. Any chance they now had of capturing
the robber were dissipated as surely he would either hide in the forest or
make off into the night at the high port.

But in this tactic they were in one instance spectacularly successful. Mrs
Chengu, safely at home in her house with ever door and window locked was
just congratulating herself on her safe return when the shots rang out, not
more than a hundred metres away. They were very loud! No one, least of all
the police, had had the decency to tell her they were there. She instantly
conceived the notion that there was now an attack being launched on her
premises. (She related the event to me as follows: "Saka ndakatora kava,
ndichipinda mumasaga enzungu akanga-akagara mukona, ndokuwanda imomo
ndichichemawo maiwe, maiwe! So I took cover by burrowing into the sacks of
groundnuts stacked in the dining room and hid there, crying Maiwe Maiwe"

The whole tale of her involvement in the drama was told to me this morning
when I called on her to thank her for her help and to pronounce on her
bravery. The story she told while tinged with indignation at the Ms' not
responding to her clamour, to her righteous anger with the police for their
thoughtless discharging of FN rifles into the heavens above her house, was
none the less told with a degree of humour and characteristic Shona
histrionics. I contained myself in sober propriety until she graphically
described her dive for cover amongst her sacks of peanuts (she is a woman of
traditional build and not in the first flush of her youth) where upon I
collapsed in helpless laughter until the tears were pouring down my cheeks.
She joined me, and the two of us howled with mirth for a good few minutes
before sanity was restored and we began to make plans for the clean up of
our neighbourhood, which is undoubtedly harbouring criminals. The Chengus'
have a constant battle with intruders making off with their maize and nuts
(hence the sacks of groundnuts in the house).

In any event the police mounted a guard on our house for the rest of the
night, CID arrived in the morning and so the matter rests. When we got back
the whole place was agog with the event. Never have we had such an
experience in our quiet little back water - even during the farm invasions -
and even as someone declared, during the war. I have been gathering
information from my countless friends and contacts. This led to the arrest
of a startled young man who matched in ever way the description of the
villain. Alas, Gutsa reluctantly admitted that while the resemblance was
close, "He Was Not Thee One!"

So the search continues, though I suspect that the culprit is long gone. He
faces, after all, a charge of attempted murder and house breaking with
intent to do bodily harm, which even in our troubled times, will see him
getting a stretch of five to ten years in the caboose.

The upshot of all this is that the general opinion of our household that
Gutsa, who faces dismissal and abuse on a daily basis, has now ensured his
position in our employ for life -  no matter what the state of drunkenness,
drug induced stupor or general idleness he can contrive to bring to the
workplace! So I am faced with the horror of having his company until one or
the other of us dies. Poor old chap. He showed enormous courage and presence
of mind. And at his age (Brian calculates he is 67) and despite coming from
Dotito, in Mt. Darwin, where for nearly seven years guns and bullets were a
part of our daily fare, it is no mean shock to be slotted in the arm, albeit
from a small calibre weapon. Of course the awful truth is that this should
not have happened. We have a security fence, the gates of which are locked
after five in the evening. Gutsa left them open because he felt that it
would facilitate his escape if he had to try and run away  - which is what
he did. But the intruder slipped inside the gates and hid near the chicken
run until it was dark. He then called the old man who again with a singular
lack of for thought, went to see what he wanted. The pistol was thrust at
his head. If he had been sensible and kept to his pots by the kitchen door,
the intruder could have got no nearer to him that thirty paces and the old
man could have raised an alarm. At least in theory! As it is nothing will
convince him to the contrary that leaving the gates open saved his life!

We for our part are strengthening our defences. All strategic doors are to
have steel barred gates or "treli-doors" as they are called in these parts.
We are putting in noisy alarms and panic buttons and more outside security
lighting.  The member in charge of police has asked me to tell him when I am
to be away so he can put the premises under surveillance. And J will not
stay here alone from now on.

What a world we live in. The horror is that this sort of thing is
commonplace the world over these days and one must get used to the idea of
living in a fortress. That we would ever have to do so here, in our idyllic
little valley, is a depressing fact of life in the 21st century.

This must go!  Our best wishes to all and may your Gods be with you.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Let us re-define the struggle - Free ZimYouth

By Alois Phiri Mbawara

IN the course of our revolutionary struggle to restore majority rule in
Zimbabwe, we happen to be caught-up in a mix to foster and highlight the
ideological deficit in our struggles against the Zanu PF chefs.

After Zanu PF's brilliant outmanoeuvring of the opposition on the Left,
especially on the agrarian land reform, Mugabe gained continental support
because his ideas endorsed the ideological perception of the revolutionary

There is no doubt agrarian reform has always been the driving force for the
emancipation of Africans from colonial regimes. We continued after
independence to have respect for all our fallen revolutionary comrades
Josiah Tongogara, Joshua Nkomo and others who all had ideological
aspirations to see a colonial free Zimba-rema-mbwe.

Robert Mugabe, having taken that Afrocentric doctrine and dismissing
opposition parties as agents for regime change by the West, has brushed
under the carpet all the oppression, atrocities and betrayed the revolution
while on one hand he remained popular in Africa for embarking on
controversial land reforms that unfortunately most on the continent do not
know have benefited only a few.

The opposition parties in the country have failed to realise that their
ideological sentiments or rather political doctrines, do not work in Africa.
There is no doubt comrades, that a continued neo-liberal right wing approach
by us progressive forces will empower Mugabe to have a revolutionary and
socialist image in Africa, hence the land reforms in Namibia and South

This of-coarse articulates why organisations like the African Union,
Non-Aligned Movement and SADC have thrown their weight on their Zanu PF

Zimbabwe, in the context of world politics, should be carefully examined by
us as Zimbabweans to know who is the international community so as to
protect our ideological perception. This will ensure we do not fall victim
to Zanu PF's ideological propaganda tactics.

Nevertheless, that should not take away the truth of the real matter on the
ground that Zanu PF has betrayed the revolutionary aspirations of a free
Zimbabwe where there was social justice and economic prosperity.

To avoid repetition of articulating the economic decline and its impact on
the working people and peasants, there is no doubt that regime change is
what every "Mwana Wevhu" wants in Zimbabwe.

But the basic fundamental principle is how one views or perceives the crisis
that will determine how comrades architecture their art of war to bring back
a democratic environment in the country.

Having ideological clarity that it's now a class struggle and clearly
defining that the source of poverty, oppression and dictatorship is a system
is very crucial. Coming to a realisation that Mugabe's quasi-left shift that
uses the land and nationalisation of natural resources cannot be politically
upper-cut by liberal strategies which still recognise the electoral system,
reformist strategies and the wastage of resources by filing court cases
against a regime which has declare itself evil.

Given the facts on the ground that Robert Mugabe will never allow an
embarrassment to his legacy of being kicked out of office through an
election that is why he made sure he closed and blocked all democratic space
that would allow dissenting voices to flourish, journalists and others to
write and speak openly and most importantly bring back the rule of law. So
that should expose and question one's commitment towards the majority, all
those Comrades fighting for who is the real who.

There is no doubt all this leaves pro-democracy groups with no option but to
plan ideologically, strategically and systematically jambaja (mass
confrontation) as the only way to bring down Zanu PF. Remember we are
talking about an organisation which has 44 years of grassroots and
ideological experience and connections. And let us not under-estimate
high-level Zanu PF elite figures General Zvinavashe, Perence Shiri, Solomon
Mujuru, General Chivenga and other who all feel Zimbabwe should remain in
the hands of a Zanu PF government.

Let us be reminded comrades that this is now a strategic and Afrocentric
sensitive question that now needs a shift in our political doctrine so we
can expose Zanu PF's weak and fake Left wing approach (land was given not
the masses of Africans but to elite Zanu PF bosses). We need to clearly
define the crisis in Zimbabwe as an African problem that needs an African
solution. We should be very sceptical about some of the help or assistance
we get from sympathisers and what impact it will have on the ideology we
want to impart to the people. Remember we are fighting a Nationalist party!!

The key elements to consider for a mass resistance programme:

- The nationalisation of the struggle - a reform in the progressive and
opposition forces to kick out bureaucracy is seriously needed. Privatisation
of the struggle and ownership by power hungry opportunists should come to an
end. We should all say No to so-called shadow ministerial positions -  it's
too pre-mature for that. Yes we should have some post-Mugabe programmes in
place but mind you this will create opportunists (e.g Cdes who are going
hunting with salt and vinegar in their pockets)

-   No-more exclusion of the masses in the decision-making process.

- Stop legitimising the regime - recognising an undemocratic institution by
taking part in Parliament and taking part in rigged elections sends wrong
messages to organisation like SADC and AU that there is legitimacy in

- We should not let Zanu PF destroy independent trade and student unions by
creating rival unions like Joseph Chinotimba's ZFTU.

- We should be very clear on the ideology that we are Africans before we are
Zimbabweans therefore land reform is very crucial and we support black
empowerment. The issue of how it's supposed to be distributed against
economic prosperity is a secondary issue in the African context Comrades.
But Black empowerment and the imbalance of trade has always been the bondage
for Africans and Non-Western countries.

- The issue of investor confidence cannot be used as a political strategy in
Africa. One should not look at Zanu PF mines and land grab from a business
perspective but from a political one.

- We do not need to be politically selfish but to build bridges with more
progressive African, Socialist Movements, trade union movements so as to
influence their nations for solidarity. We do not need to do this for
academic reasons only but to have African credentials to understand what the
continent as a whole is facing.

- We have to destroy Zanu PF from within (the disintegration method) not to
draw battle lines with the police and the army remember they are also so

It's all based on principal and commitment towards ending the suffering of
the peasants, working class and the ordinary people. Remember in 1963 Zanu,
under the nationalist Rev Ndabaningi Sithole, declared not to take part in
any election or Parliament under the then skewed Constitution sighting it
will weaken their role as a committed revolutionary party for the people.

May I close by saying the issue of us thinking the United Nations will pass
a resolution on Zimbabwe is too ambitious given the imbalance on the UN.
Developing nations, Arab nations, Islamic, Latino and communist nations
accuse the West, mainly the US and Britain for using the human rights card
to justify invasion into other country's affairs.

Given the chaos in Baghdad, the failure by the Bush administration to find
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, the execution of Saddam Hussein
and many other issues have bolstered Robert Mugabe in his anti-West support.
Many did not believe in the Iraq war and still point fingers at the US for
the chaos in that country today. Hence the financial assistance for Harare
by Tehran, Havana, Beijing and Caracas.

Comrades, we need to change the way we do things if we are to get rid of
Robert Mugabe. That reminds me of a group that went to present the White
House with a petition, calling on Bush and the Republicans to help deal with
the situation in Zimbabwe. This happened recently during the African Union
summit. This sort of behavious plays right into Robert Mugabe's hands, the
AU and even SADC. It gives them mileage to dismiss us as puppets.

This issue of us thinking an African Government policy can be changed by a
reality show like Big Brother, where Britain had to strengthen its relations
with India by making Shilpa Shetty, an Indian, win the show to justify there
is no racism on ethnic minorities in Britain, must change. One would also
say the reason why Obama the US black Presidential candidate is not going to
win is the same reason why the UN will not push for a resolution on
Zimbabwe. Ha ha ha they make me politically laugh!!

Yes R.G is now desperate, really desperate for salvation now re-calling his
cappuccino meetings with the Conservative Margaret Thatcher. Is this the
Thatcher that once called Nelson Mandela a terrorist? Clearly showing how
much R.G loves and misses the West. We all know how much he misses buying
Valentino and Moschinno suits with State money in London.

Let it be known Comrades, all scapegoats, fake and weak-ideologically
African leaders shall be victims of "Africa Liberate Zimbabwe Campaign"
which was ideology built to expose and question one's African credentials.
The same applies to the former Minister of Mis-Information and Wuffycity
Jonathan Moyo (Josef Goebbels) who now wants to use the Gukurahundi Memorial
Bill to divide Cdes as a political gimmick to lure himself back into the

Young Comrades would ask why he did not advocate for that truth and
reconciliation that he is now calling for during his time in office. We all
know he never had love and sympathy for the victims. His actions during his
time in officer actually led to the silencing of the Associated Newspapers
of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of the independent Daily News and its sister
paper the Daily News on Sunday who wanted to "open up the old wounds" by
exposing the atrocities in Matebeleland. Moyo was in the forefront of even
opposing the serialisation of Joshua Nkomo's book, the Story of My Life.
This is well documented. We don't think reparations, the need for truth and
reconciliation for Gukurahundi victims should be advocated by people with a
dirty past.

Comrades this is all food for thought. Let's all have a balance of factors
and propose a way forward and let's all defect from doing reactionary
advocacy or politics - waiting for Zanu PF to do something so we can
comment. There is too much talking. Let's build an approach which is in the
same spirit that made our fore-fathers go and join the liberation struggle
in the bush. Let us start from the grassroots. Our biggest enemy is Zanu PF's
propaganda tactics that they claim to be champions of socialism and
Pan-Africanism. We really need to expose this fake political perception
which is being perpetuated by Zanu PF. If the truth is told the Youth will

As we are heading towards independence day, a 21 gun salute will be fired
for all our Chimurenga heroes who fought to free Zimbabwe. But now their
aspirations have been betrayed by their colleagues in Zanu PF.

Let's go back to the drawing board and re-define the struggle!!

This crisis is a responsibility for every Zimbabwean. I Comradely thank

                                          Power  To People!!

                                         Free-ZimYouth Comrades

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Olonga: A hero in exile

Daily Mail

by MIKE DICKSON -  28th February 2007

A small oil painting of Richie Benaud is about the only clue that you might
be in the flat where one of the real heroes of cricket's last World Cup now
Henry Olonga painted it himself, and this adornment of his modest London
digs is a solitary reminder of the sport in which the former Zimbabwe bowler
made his name.

His connections with cricket have become increasingly loose since he
effectively ended his career four years ago by staging, alongside skipper
Andy Flower, a protest against the regime of Robert Mugabe that involved
wearing black armbands and making a statement bemoaning the 'death of
democracy' in their country.

Their courageous stand made headlines beyond cricket's narrow confines -
even the New York Times took notice - and brought more acclaim for Olonga
than his fast-medium bowling could have.

He played 30 Tests, taking 68 wickets, and 50 one-day internationals with
career-best figures of six for 19, but the 30-year-old doctor's son has been
in exile ever since and this World Cup will pass him by almost entirely.

Olonga is a gifted musician and singer and will instead be producing a
second album - though he is still searching for a recording contract - and
selling his artwork to make ends meet.

His sole contact with cricket these days is playing for the all-star
Lashings team based in Kent, his whole life and career in Zimbabwe having
finished so abruptly.

Flower, a batsman of the highest calibre, returned home after the joint
protest for a month before leaving Zimbabwe for good. He continues to play
for Essex and spent some of this winter coaching with England, who leave for
the Caribbean on Friday.

Olonga said: "After the group stage four years ago, which was held in
Zimbabwe, we went to South Africa for the 'Super Six' phase and I have never
been back home since.

"There were threats made by ministers and maybe it was a bit different for
me because, as a black man, they considered me to be some kind of traitor.

"Friends have brought over some of my stuff over the years but most of my
belongings are still there."

Olonga's personal effects and the clothes and shoes gathering dust are a
monument to the shame the International Cricket Council should feel over
their handling of the Zimbabwe issue.

The game there is a corrupt shambles and the national team is now an empty
husk. They are complete no-hopers in the World Cup and a reflection of how
the country itself is disintegrating, with life expectancy now lower than
anywhere else in the world.

One trusts that the heads of the world's cricket boards who run the ICC,
including England's David Morgan, are proud of themselves.

Olonga is an outcast and would have every reason to feel bitter, but he is
not. He does not ask for sympathy either, because he joined the protest with
full knowledge of the consequences.

"The protest was Andy's idea, but I was quick to come on board when he
approached me. I was very unhappy with what was happening in the country,"
he recalled.

"About two weeks before it happened, we met someone who knew about security
matters and he spelled out what might happen afterwards and that it could
well mean us going into exile.

"We also had a meeting with a lawyer to work out exactly how we would word
the protest statement to make sure there was nothing that would incriminate

"My biggest fear was that I would get framed for something and be put in
prison, where the conditions are horrendous. The government had tried to
frame Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader, before that and I was
worried they might try to do the same to us.

"We wore black armbands in the match against Namibia and got hauled in
before the board. After that, we restricted ourselves to wearing black
sweatbands, but that seemed to upset them as well. I knew I couldn't go back
after we got to South Africa."

Flower, whose cricketing knowledge and strength of character mark him out as
a possible future England coach, considered it important that the protest
was representative of the team's ethnicity.

"I think the world of Andy now, but up until that point we had never been
especially close," said Olonga. "The black and the white players in the
Zimbabwe team got along fine professionally, but the truth was that we did
not socialise a huge amount away from cricket."

Olonga points out that he is only one among many thousands of Zimbabweans
living in Britain after fleeing his homeland and wants to look forward in
his life. He can only watch from afar as his country continues its spiral of
decline in all areas of life, including cricket.

"I feel a whole mixture of anger, disappointment and sadness. The thing is
that it never needed to happen this way and could have been sorted out so
much better.

"The cricket is like the general situation in that we are always waiting for
Thabo Mbeki (President of South Africa) to take some strong action about
Zimbabwe and it never comes.

"Likewise, the ICC always have this 'softly, softly' approach with Zimbabwe
and it doesn't make things better.

"The ICC is an old boys' club where everyone is scratching each other's
back. Zimbabwe desperately needs the support of the Asian countries and they
don't want to get rid of Zimbabwe because it is another vote for them

"I don't get any pleasure from seeing the team where it is now but the
administrators have brought it on themselves. I see their latest thing is
getting the players to cut their dreadlocks off."

For now, Olonga is trying to succeed in the music industry and make the
follow-up to his first album 'Aurelia', available to download from

And his thoughts on next month's tournament? "I haven't got Sky so I won't
see much of the World Cup," he said. "The internet is about as close as I
will get."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

JAG Classifieds dated 27 February 2007

As a JAG member or JAG Associate member, please send any classified adverts
for publication in this newsletter to:

JAG Classifieds:
JAG Job Opportunities:

Rules for Advertising:

Send all adverts in word document as short as possible (no tables, spread
sheets, pictures, etc.) and quote your subscription receipt number or
membership number.
Notify the JAG Office when Advert is no longer needed, either by phone or
Adverts are published for 2 weeks only, for a longer period please notify
the JAG office, by resending via email the entire advert asking for the
advert to be re-inserted.

Please send your adverts by Tuesdays 11.00am (Adverts will not appear until
payment is received.). Cheques to be made out to JAGMA.

1.  For Sale Items
2.  Wanted Items
3.  Accommodation
4.  Recreation
5.  Specialist Services
6.  Pets Corner

1.1  Generators & Inverters for Sale

The JAG office is now an official agent for GSC Generator Service (Pvt) Ltd
and receives a generous commission on sales of all Kipor generators and
equipment.  Generators are on view at the JAG office.

The one stop shop for ALL your Generator Requirements SALES:
We are the official suppliers, repairs and maintenance team of KIPOR
Equipment here in Zimbabwe.  We have in stock KIPOR Generators from 1 KVA to
55 KVA.  If we don't have what you want we will get it for you.  We also
sell Inverters (1500w), complete with batteries and rechargeable lamps.  Our
prices are very competitive, if not the lowest in town.

SERVICING & REPAIRS: We have a qualified team with many years of experience
in the Generator field.  We have been to Kipor, China for training.  We
carry out services and minor repairs on your premises.  We service and
repair most makes and models of Generators - both petrol and diesel.

INSTALLATIONS:  We have qualified electricians that carry out installations
in a professional way.

SPARES: As we are the official suppliers and maintainers of KIPOR Equipment,
we carry a full range of KIPOR spares.

Don't forget, advice is free, so give us a call and see us at: Bay 3,
Borgward Road, Msasa.
Sales: 884022, 480272 or
Service: 480272, 480154 or

1.2  For Sale

So Far and No further! Rhodesia's Bid for Independence during the Retreat
from Empire 1959-1965 by J.R.T. Wood

533 pages; quality trade paperback; pub. Trafford ISBN 1-4120-4952-0
Southern African edition, pub. 30 Degrees South : ISBN 0-9584890-2-5

This definitive account traces Rhodesia's attempt to secure independence
during the retreat from Empire after 1959. Based on unique research, it
reveals why Rhodesia defied the world from 1965.

Representing Volume One of three volumes, Two and Three are in preparation
and will take us to Tiger and thence to 1980;

To purchase:

Zimbabwean buyers contact Trish Broderick:

RSA buyers: WWW. 30 or Exclusives Books

Overseas buyers see:
and a link to Trafford Publishing

1.3 Pet Food for Sale

Still supplying pets food which consists of 500g of precooked pork offal and
veg costing $700 and 250g of pigs liver or heart costing $700 for 250g.

Collection points:      Benbar in Msasa at 10.30
Jag offices in Philips Rd, Belgravia at 11.30
Peacehaven which is 75 Oxford St at 13.00

This is on Fridays only. Contact details: phone 011 221 088 and E mail at

1.4 For Sale (Ad inserted 20/02/07)



IF INTERESTED PLEASE PHONE: 091777062. (07:00AM TO 08:00PM)

1.5 For Sale (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

Brand new swimming pool net, never been used.  Includes safety net with
tensioner, float, plates, hooks, anchors, rope, DIY manual.  Net size 6m x
12m.  Manufactured by Honeydew Nets in South Africa (can view net on their
website).  Paid R2200 so looking for equivalent.  Please e-mail or sms 091 264160 if interested.

1.6 For Sale (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

Totota KZTE 3l diesel doublecab,
4 x2, 70 000km, with canopy
Immaculate condition.

Nissan 2.7 diesel doublecab,
4 x 2, 1999 model, 300 000km,
good condition.

Phone 04 443017 or 091 337640.

1.7 For Sale (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

HARDWOOD FURNTURE- Sleepers and Teak Custom made Dining Tables, Coffee
Tables, Bars ,Even Wrought iron and Pine  Phone Simon Silcock  persistently
668843 or sms 091 233 103 and I will reply quickly.

1.8 For Sale (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

2001 DID Pajero (new Shape) - RSA import, Silver with Black Leather, 3,2
Turbo Diesel, Tiptronic Auto Gearbox, immaculate vehicle Company Maintained
and driven by owner. Offers Please.

1995 Nissan Sentra 160GX - Ideal for young boy/girl; re-sprayed with custom
Graphics (white with Carbon Black Stripes); Newly Reconded Mags; New Tyres;
Big Sound System...........Needs a new home, driver now at Varsity!!

For Viewing or More Details, on both the above, call Grant Evans Cell- 011
402 122, or, 664224/666235/666169.

1.9 For Sale (Ad inserted 20/02/07)


Following units ex stock: Generators -
5 Kva Silenced, 15 Kva Silenced, 30 Kva open frame, 40 Kva Silenced, 60 Kva
Inverters - 1500 Watt complete with 1 x 100 Amp Hr battery and charger
5000 Watt complete with 4 x 100 Amp Hr Batteries and charger

Large Range of Generators available from 5 - 2200 Kva ex import (some in
Bond South Africa)

Please phone:- Radium Africa Tel + 263 4 335848, Sean Bell: + 263 11 600389,
Keith Lowe + 263 11 800859

1.10 HARROW DISCS For Sale (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

We will have imported Harrow discs (24", 26" and 28") available end March,
2007 book now to avoid disappointment.

Please phone:- Radium Africa Tel + 263 4 335848, Sean Bell: + 263 11 600389,
Keith Lowe + 263 11 800859

1.11 FORAGE HARVESTERS For Sale (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

Single Row forage harvesters available ex stock

Please phone:- Radium Africa Tel + 263 4 335848, Sean Bell: + 263 11 600389,
Keith Lowe + 263 11 800859

1.12 AGRICULTURAL SPRAYERS For Sale (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

Tractor Mounted 12 Metre / 600 Litre tank Boom sprayers and Canon sprayers
in stock.

Please phone:- Radium Africa Tel + 263 4 335848, Sean Bell: + 263 11 600389,
Keith Lowe + 263 11 800859

1.13 Items for Sale (Ad inserted 27/02/07)

Double bed & base, headboard & dressing table with stool
Bar & four chairs
Generator 1.5kva - brand new - including fuel!
1 x green & brown couch with 1 x chair
WRS stereo - 3 way bass reflex system - twin tape deck (cd player not
Grass/cane table & three chairs
1 x small 3-drawer desk
1 x white wrought iron garden lounger
1 x large beige coloured carpet (quite worn)
1 x large striped brown carpet
1 x round dining room table & four chairs
1 x massage bed - wooden with hole for face
Dstv multichoice decoder d5d 990 with remote & dish (including cable)
Phillips az1003 portable cd player & radio

Phone - 091605909 or 233362

1.14 FOR SALE (Ad inserted 27/02/07)

4X2, KZTE 3.0L


GX 160 HONDA 5.5
1993 MODEL
PULL START, (Has recently been serviced)



PLEASE PHONE: 091 777 062 (7AM TO 8PM)

1.15 For Sale (Ad inserted 27/02/07)

1 Kelvernator Tumble dryer - $ 700,000.00
1 Double Bed Headboard, Dressing table & Chest of draws - $ 700,000.00.
1 Capri washing machine - $ 2,200,00.00
1 Nina Overlocker (sewing machine) - $ 1,200,000.00
1 Empiral Pacesetter 10 (sewing machine) - $ 1,000,000.00
1 Zedaburg Dining Room Suit. (Wagon Wheels) Table, 6 Chairs & Sideboard, - $
All the above in good condition.

For Sale - Brake, Clutch & Radiator Business in Kwekwe, Premises is rented.
The Lease can continue with the new owners of the company.

Theo Serfontein, 15 Industria Rd, Kwekwe

Tel:- 055 - 24063 or 24230 (w), Tel:- 055 - 22984 (h), Cell:- 011 210343
Cell:- 011 410830 (Ingrid)

2.1 Wanted (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

Second-hand Toyota Surf or Twin Cab.  Please call 091241258

2.2 Wanted (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

I am looking for a Toyota Prado body.  Phone Johnny 011 603213, email

2.3 Wanted (Ad inserted 27/02/07)

Old wood burning stove wanted for cash, the power cuts are hitting us hard!
If you have one lying around please call Gordon on 496829 or 023 894597

2.4 WANTED (Ad inserted 27/02/07)


PHONE - 091605909 OR 233362


3.1 Accommodation Offered (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

Bromley 55km from Harare.  Attractive thatched cottage.  Self contained two
bed roomed, with garden and own entrance. Rent $150000

Also available

Self contained flat, two bedrooms.  Rent $70000.

Please contact 011423614 or 04 572513.

3.2 Accommodation Wanted (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

Young lady desperately looking for a 2 bed roomed flat in the Avondale/Mount
Pleasant area please call Denise Fussel 091815956 or 336753

3.3 Accommodation Offered (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

We have a two bedroom garden flat in Greystone Park for rental available 1st
march 2007.

The flat consists of:-

Fitted kitchen
Combined lounge / dining room
Two bedrooms with b i c
Wrought ironed front verandah
Front and back gardens (dura walled and fenced)
Lock up garage
Single store room
Single staff quarters

We are looking for reliable tenants who are house proud and honest. The
asking price is us$250.00 plus the levy. (No chancers please!)
If you are interested please phone.

Rob and sue 309051  /  011 601 885 or 023 824 896


4.1 Savuli Safari (Ad inserted 27/02/07)

Self catering chalets in the heart of the Save Valley Conservancy. Game
watching, fishing, horse riding, canoeing, walking trails and 4x4 hire. Camp
fully kitted including cook and fridges. Just bring your food, drinks and
relax.    Best value for money. U12 are 1/2 price

Contact John : or Phone 091 631 556


5.1 MESSE SERVICE CENTRE (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

We continue with the preparation, repair & service of tractors for re-sale
on a commission basis, which has worked very successfully for those selling
and buying tractors as the demand for tractors is constant and convenient
for those who are selling units through ourselves on a commission basis.

At present we have the following for sale:-
1 x Ford 6610  -  1 x MF390  -  Both in working condition
1 x Mushandi 500  -  1 x Zambezi  - Both requiring some attention.  Would be
suitable for small farm/plot operators
1 x Flatbed 4 wheel trailer  -  Excellent condition

Contact us during business hours only - Monday to Friday - 068-22463 /
011212454 /

5.2 Vehicle Repairs (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

Vehicle repairs carried out personally by qualified mechanic with 30 years
experience. Very reasonable rates.

Phone Johnny Rodrigues:  011 603213 or 011 404797, email:

5.3 Personalized Novelty Cakes (Ad inserted 20/02/07)

Stunning personalized novelty cakes for children's or adults' birthdays.
Email for prices and photos from our catalogue or we can
design something new - anything goes.

Phone Cheryl 011 404797

5.4 Valuations on Hardback Books (Ad inserted 27/02/07)

Harrington Rare Books. We undertake valuations on all hardback books and
will gladly sell your books on commission if you wish. Please contact Mr
Wallis on HRE 496829 evenings.

5.5 PROPERTY MAINTENANCE (Ad inserted 27/02/07)

We regularly come across property owners who are disappointed at the failure
of tenants and / or appointed agents to properly care for and maintain the
house and property they rent. Standard maintenance and repairs are generally
neglected until deterioration necessitates major refurbishment work - even
where the owner reduces rental rates with the proviso that the tenant agrees
to maintain the property. The house-owner tends to lose at every turn. We
can help.

We are a small privately-owned company that specialises in property
maintenance and refurbishment and who provide a service that will give you
peace of mind that your home is being maintained and properly cared for. We
can act on your behalf to do regular checks on your property to ensure they
are being maintained to an acceptable standard, as generally stipulated in a
lease agreement. We keep you informed through regular status reports.

Some of our projects have recently been terminated as the houses have been
placed on the market. Openings for new maintenance projects have therefore
recently come available.

If you believe we can assist in caring for your property or would like
further information please contact us on:

011-620-745 landline 498723 or e-mail to - to discuss
"Property Maintenance Management".

5.6 (Ad inserted 27/02/07)

Magna plumbing and electrical Pvt ltd
Magna multi contracting

We offer professional and prompt service for the following :-

A.    Electrical repairs and installations
B.    Plumbing repairs and installations
C.    Home and office renovations
D.    Extensions and buildings
E.    Patios and driveways
F.    Painting, carpentry and glazing
G.    Roofing, gutters and flashing

All our work is carried out professionally and promptly to the customer`s
We thank you in advance and look forward to doing business with you.

Please contact

Rob and sue
(04) 309051     /     011 601 885    /   023 824 896
Email     or


5.7 PARA LEGAL ADVISORY SERVICES (Ad inserted 27/02/07)

....14yrs on.......
 and still providing the following much needed valuable Advisory

1.    Obtaining
        -  Full (Long) Birth Certificates (FBC) for Zimbabwe (replacement of
old style)
        -  Registration of new births
        -  Adoption Orders - Certified Extract of originals with FBC
            (identifying biological parent/s)
        -  Marriage Certificates - Certified Extract of originals
        -  Death Certificates (only possible in some instances)
        -  Zimbabwe Drivers Licenses - new, replacement of lost, & Letter of
           Confirmation (required when needing to obtain a Drivers Licence
        - Divorce Orders - certified extract of originals
        - Certificate of Non-Marriage

2.    Facilitating
        -  Immigration formalities into Zimbabwe,
            ie Residence & Employment Permits
        -  Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) - New Investor formalities

3.    Company Registration Procedures
       - New Companies
       - Statutory Returns
       - completion & submission of changes in Company/'s details

4.    Para-Legal Services
       - Wills (preparation of and amendments)
       - Establishment of Discretionary Trusts
       - enquire further as to what you are needing

Contact us for further information and/or to arrange a no obligation

Financial Arrangements - We will always assist 'bona fide' financially
challenged persons.

Contact: Thomas Vallance ACIArb, Commissioner of Oaths
PARADiGM TRUST (Pvt) Ltd, Para-Legal Advisory Services
Trust Executives & Administrators, Tels: (B) 302 207  (M) 011-617 161
Emls:[], []

6.1 PUPPY (Ad inserted 27/02/07)


Phone Tayler 091631556 or e mail

6.2 Lost African Grey (Ad inserted 27/02/07)

Please, I need some help.  I lost my African Grey who answers to the name of
Cocco'.  He flew away a week ago and we haven't been able to find him.  I
live in the Umwinsidale area and I am really getting desperate.

If anyone finds him please contact: or 011-608880 or
497373/497200 (b).

I would really appreciate your assistance!

JAG Hotlines: +263 (011) 610 073, +263 (04) 799 410.  If you are in trouble
or need advice, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to help!
To advertise (JAG Members): Please email classifieds to:
with subject "Classifieds".

Back to the Top
Back to Index