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

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Zim Independent

Mugabe rattled but not on the run just yet
Dumisani Muleya

THE two-day stayaway last week paralysed business and brought the country to
a near standstill, but it failed to shake the foundations of President
Robert Mugabe's entrenched rule.

Analysts say the Movement for Democratic Change now needs to sharpen its
methods of resistance to weaken, with a view to eventually cracking, the
foundations of Mugabe's monolithic political edifice.

University of Zimbabwe analyst Masipula Sithole said the MDC should heighten
pressure on government through increased resistance to repression.

"The stayaway revealed something about the distribution of political power
in Zimbabwe," Sithole said. "It showed we have a condominium leadership in
this country: one that commands the forces of coercion and the other that
commands the moral authority of the people."

Sithole said the MDC needs to bolster its campaign against Mugabe's rule
through mass action.

Analysts say resistance to authoritarianism is usually effective when
targeted against the dictator's Achilles' heel than his strong points.

They suggest the MDC should avoid engaging Zanu PF on its own terms and turf
such as in violent combat because it has greater capacity in that.

They say the MDC should "shape the battlefield" by taking the struggle to
Zanu PF at its own time and place. Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira put
it aptly a few years ago when he warned the MDC that: "Zanu PF has a long
and successful history of violence."

Sithole said the best option for the MDC was to mount South African
anti-apartheid-style mass action to bring pressure to bear on the incumbent
regime. But he warned the MDC has to be prepared to pay a heavy political
price for it.

"Their strategy should now grow from stayaways to demonstrations and marches
to symbols of power such as parliament, State House and Munhumutapa Building
(the president's office)," Sithole said.

"But the opposition should be prepared to pay a heavy political price. It's
not going to be a picnic."

Cracks only began to appear in the apartheid wall towards the end of the
1970s when mass action, which was not a spontaneous expression of popular
anger but part of a sustained, well-organised campaign to undermine the
political and socio-economic order to render the country ungovernable,

Analysts say the MDC leadership needs to realise that international measures
alone would not work without sufficient internal pressure. They say the
opposition leadership has to start managing events instead of being managed
by them.

Observers also say the MDC should stop believing that "the best way to win a
struggle is to triumph without fighting".

South Africa's Institute of Security Studies analyst, Richard Cornwell, said
the MDC has to plan discreetly and time their moves well. He also said they
have to realise that anti-apartheid dynamics were different from those in
Zimbabwe today.

"The stayaway was fairly effective in mobilising internal pressure and
drawing international attention," he said. "A change of strategy is
necessary but mass action on the South African scale might trigger a violent
backlash and a lethal reaction by Zimbabwean state security forces."

Cornwell said anti-apartheid campaigns worked because they had internal,
regional and international support. The Zimbabwean scenario is different, he
said, because there is no similar backing for the opposition, especially
from the region.

"The region has not supported the democratic movement in Zimbabwe for
reasons which elude me," he said. "And while the international community's
measures have so far been of great nuisance value, they have not been

But Cornwell admitted keeping Zimbabwe in the international spotlight has
helped. He said the MDC currently needs to lie low during the Iraq war
because mass action at this time could be a mistake as government's "lethal
reaction" would certainly go unnoticed.

Last week the MDC gave government a 15-point March 31 ultimatum demanding an
immediate restoration of the rule of law and a sudden halt of repression or
face mass action.

But Mugabe on Friday reacted with indignation to this. He warned law
enforcement agents would crush "dangerous mischief-makers".

In remarks reminiscent of his warning before he unleashed the Gukurahundi
campaign in Matabeleland in the early '80s where over 20 000 civilians were
massacred, Mugabe claimed the MDC was stuck in a quagmire from which it
could not climb, except weakened.

"Let the MDC and its leaders be warned that those who play with fire will
not only be burnt but consumed by that fire," he said.

Distinguished political author, Gene Sharp, in his book From Dictatorship to
Democracy, offers salutary lessons on how to deal with tyrants.

"When one wants to bring down a dictatorship most effectively and with the
least cost then one has four immediate tasks," Sharp writes. "One must
strengthen the oppressed population themselves in their determination,
self-confidence, and resistance skills; one must strengthen the independent
social groups and institutions of the oppressed people; one must create a
powerful internal resistance force; and one must develop a wise grand
strategic plan for liberation and implement it skillfully."

Sharp says a democratic struggle provides time for self-reliance and showing
internal public power.

As Charles Stewart Parnell exclaimed during the Irish rent-strike campaign
in 1879/80, organissed resistance is key in dismantling absolute rule.

"It is no use relying on the government. You must only rely upon your own
determination," he said. "Help yourselves by standing together . . .
strengthen those amongst yourselves who are weak, band yourselves together,
organise yourselves . . . and you must win."

Sharp says dictatorships usually crumble when faced with a strong
self-reliant force, given wise strategy, disciplined and courageous action,
and genuine strength.

"Minimally, however, the above requirements must be fulfilled," he writes.

"Liberation from dictatorships ultimately depends on the people's ability to
liberate themselves."

Sharp indicates despots need public assistance to rule, without which they
cannot secure and maintain political power. Once popular support is no
longer guaranteed, dictators become vulnerable.

"Full cooperation, obedience, and support will increase the availability of
the needed sources of power and, consequently expand the power capacity of
any government," he says.

"On the other hand, withdrawal of popular and institutional cooperation with
aggressors and dictators diminishes, and may sever the availability of the
sources of power on which all rulers depend. Without availability of those
sources, the rulers' power weakens and finally dissolves."

Political scientist Karl W Deutsch wrote in 1953 that even totalitarian
dictatorships depend on popular support for long life.

"Totalitarian power is strong only if it does not have to be used too often.
If totalitarian power must be used at all times against the entire
population, it is unlikely to remain powerful for long," he said.
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Zim Independent

Hitlerian methods unlikely to crush dissent

THE success of last week's stayaway can be measured by the savagery of the
government's response. The crackdown under way is not the behaviour of a
regime comfortably ensconced in the affections of its people.

We have witnessed in the past 10 days unprecedented violence by the state,
including police, army and militias, against the people they are charged to
protect. Farm workers, MPs, lawyers, and ordinary MDC supporters have been
targeted for arrest and beatings. Women and children have not been spared.
The MDC's provincial leadership is under siege.

Justifying this campaign of retribution - arguably inciting it - is none
other than the head of state. President Mugabe appears to have taken last
week's mass action as a personal affront and has urged his security chiefs
to arrest "mischief-makers". Using his customary incendiary language, Mugabe
warned that those who "play with fire will not only be burnt but consumed".

What was remarkable about the stayaway, the product of deep anger with
Mugabe's damaging economic policies that have spawned 220% inflation, 70%
unemployment, and shortages of everything except corruption, was how little
violence there actually was.

Cars were stoned, a bus was burnt and there have been some questionable
police reports about explosives, but generally the stayaway was remarkable
for its restraint.

That didn't prevent Mugabe at Heroes Acre from accusing the MDC of violence
and threatening the full force of the law. Claiming he could be a "black
Hitler tenfold", he has certainly provided evidence of his regime's Gestapo

While the MDC may indeed have used coercive tactics in some instances, it
hardly needed to use force to persuade the residents of Zimbabwe's cities of
the their plight - or where it originates. Furthermore, the growing use of
violence by the state and its supporters has been well-documented over the
past few years. Invariably violence has been unleashed in response to an
electoral threat to Zanu PF and it has been systematically-orchestrated and
not some random party-political excess. In over 90% of cases, MDC supporters
have been on the receiving end. Where there have been deaths those
responsible have rarely been brought to justice.

In the circumstances, attempts by Mugabe and his increasingly complicit
police chiefs to claim that it is the opposition which is promoting violence
can be dismissed as nothing more than a fig-leaf justification for arbitrary
arrests, brutality and political subjugation.

The government and its agencies are now in open and contemptuous breach of
the law in their handling of the current crackdown. And it is no longer

While we welcome expressions of concern on Wednesday by President Thabo
Mbeki and his foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma about state-sponsored
human rights violations in Zimbabwe, that concern is vitiated by
Dlamini-Zuma's qualification that Pretoria was not aware of any "systematic
violation" of human rights.

It is difficult to know what it is that neutralises her every statement on
Zimbabwe. What we are experiencing is self-evidently systematic and we have
no doubt that High Commissioner Jeremiah Ndou can see what everybody else
can. These are not isolated or spontaneous attacks on MPs and MDC officials.
Meanwhile, attempts by South African diplomats such as Lindiwe Mabuza to
shield the Mugabe regime from the consequences of its lawlessness at a time
when officially-sponsored violence is escalating are grossly mistimed.

Given Zanu PF's attempts to manipulate the outcome of this weekend's Harare
by-elections by packing the voters' roll with supporters who live outside
the constituencies' delimited boundaries, unleashing militia supporters and
creating a reign of terror, popular anger is likely to mount. It must be
clear to all that the ruling party is incapable of winning an election
without the help of the Registrar-General's office, the military, militias
and ZBC. Perhaps the most serious outcome of all this is that the young
people Mugabe referred to so resentfully at Heroes Acre are beginning to
feel that voting is a futile exercise. That may be the intention. But the
consequences of their alienation from the electoral process is something
Zanu PF has not fully appreciated.

Whatever the state's response to this, it is unlikely to succeed in crushing
a sullen and restive nation. Any thought that it could get away with
thuggery unnoticed because of the war in Iraq will have been disabused by
this week's US State Department statement demanding that "the Zimbabwe
government immediately cease its campaign of violent repression" and bring
to justice perpetrators of human rights abuses.

This is pertinent. Political criminals are now in charge of an increasingly
criminal state. As last week's events in Glen View show, the police are
unable or unwilling to defend citizens from rogue politicians boasting of
their power and wealth.

Those within the government and ruling party who do not approve of this
lawlessness and violence had better say so now lest they be forever
tarnished by their association with a regime claiming Hitlerian credentials.
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Zim Independent

Eric Bloch Column

Economy cannot take much more of this
LAST week's politically-motivated work stoppages and stayaways may have been
well-intentioned, but they achieved nothing positive and yielded massively
negative economic results. The declared objective of the mass action called
for by the political opposition was to demonstrate anger against government'
s undemocratic, oppressive and economically damaging policies and actions.
In order to voice that challenge, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
called for what was tantamount to a complete cessation of all economic
activity for two days, concurrently with near total disruption of all normal
life. This was to be achieved by all workers staying away from their places
of employment, thereby bringing all Zimbabwe to a standstill.

However, the intended message did not materialise and, if anything, the very
call for the mass action resolved government to be even more obdurate and
dogmatic in its continuing pursuit to entrench its dictatorial authority and
control for all time, and to stamp out all opposition.

That resolve was undoubtedly reinforced by the insignificant extent to
which, at the commencement of the proposed stayaway, the workers of Zimbabwe
heeded the call. In the early hours of the first day of the stayaway, the
main thoroughfares into the commercial and industrial areas of the cities
were reportedly as thronged as is normally the case with workers wending
their way to their places of employment, on foot, on bicycles and in
hundreds of commuter omnibuses.

That they did so was not necessarily indicative of a lack of support for the
MDC, or for the principles upon which the call for the mass action was
founded. And that they did so was not necessarily indicative of support for
the ruling party. All indications are that most of those who ignored the
call to stay away from work did so entirely on economic grounds, and were it
not for those grounds many would not have gone to work.

This was reported widely to employers by workers' committees. The hard facts
were that the economy has been so abysmally mismanaged by government that it
is in a very distressed state. That made it near impossible for most
employers to pay wages for services not received. When businesses are
struggling for survival, every cent of expenditure has to be productively
spent, contributing to the continuing operations of the businesses.

But workers could not afford to forfeit two days's pay. With inflation
having been soaring upwards unceasingly for over five years to the
hyperinflationary levels of 220% per annum and above, and salaries and wages
being unable to keep pace with the endless rise in cost of living, almost
all workers are battling to make ends meet. They are struggling to meet the
costs of the bare essentials of life and necessities of themselves, their
families and ever greater numbers of indigent relatives.

Losing two days' pay is nothing short of catastrophic for most. So, whether
or not they agreed with the reasons for the MDC call for mass action (and
undoubtedly the numbers who were in support were very great, for it is no
secret that hundreds and thousands are dissatisfied in the extreme with
Zimbabwe's prevailing circumstances, and hold government accountable),
nevertheless, poverty caused Zimbabwe's labour forces to contain their anger
and to proceed to work.

As the first day of the intended stayaway progressed, first thousands, then
tens of thousands, and later even more, subordinated their fears of loss of
income and threats and intimidation came to the fore. Telephone calls to
businesses came fast and furious, threatening to close the businesses
forcibly if they did not halt operations voluntarily.

Worker's committee members were contacted and subjected to menacing demands
that they ensured that all stopped work. Over the last 30 years or more,
Zimbabweans have frequently demonstrated how vulnerable they were, and are,
to intimidation.

The threats and the intimidatory actions of last week's mass action were no
exception. One after another of enterprises throughout commerce and industry
felt that they had no alternative but to shut down their operations for that
and the following day, and soon the streets were thronging with workers
making their way home. The economy came to a near standstill.

Of course, it was inevitable that government propaganda and brainwashing
machinery would, in the initial phases of the intended stayaway, claim that
lack of worker support for the proposed mass action demonstrated the absence
of any substantive support for the MDC, and the magnitude of the support for
Zanu PF. The Minister of Fiction, Fable and Myth and his lackeys
unhesitatingly exploited the opportunity.

The MDC had played right into the hands of the ruling party. Then the
outburst of intimidation turned the failed action into an apparent success.
Government rapidly accused the MDC of organising the intimidation, whilst
many in MDC denied that and said that the intimidators were Zanu PF youths
bent upon discrediting the MDC.

Whichever may have been the case, the intimidation was unlawful, but the
alleged guardians of law and order did virtually nothing to contain it, and
several outbreaks of violence and destruction of property occurred.

The direct economic consequences of the stayaway will have been relatively
minimal. Few factories in Zimbabwe are currently operating at capacity
levels, and therefore the lost production can soon be recovered. Similarly,
most of the sales lost by commercial enterprise would have materialised
after the conclusion of the stayaway, as people would then buy that which
they need (with the exception of those who did forfeit wages through the
stayaway and therefore have had to cut back their spending, even on
necessities, to their prejudice and to that of their suppliers alike).

However, the indirect repercussions of the stayaway upon the economy are
very great indeed. First of all, there is the cost of the damage to property
in the outbursts of violence in Harare, including the destruction of a bus
and several motor vehicles.

That cost will have impacted upon the owners of the property, upon their
insurers, and upon Zimbabwe's already insignificant foreign exchange
resources, for replacement of the destroyed property will require foreign

Secondly, the outbreaks of violence resulting from the stayaway and the
concomitant intimidation will undoubtedly serve to discourage some potential
tourists from visiting Zimbabwe. The tourism industry has worked very
energetically to rebuild international support, severely damaged by Zimbabwe
's most negative image over the last five years. Its energetic efforts have
yielded positive results, with a progressive increase in regional and
international visitors over the past 12 to 18 months. But the improved
image, achieved at very great cost and with considerable effort is, as yet,
still very fragile and easily shattered.

As was experienced in 1991 during the Gulf War, there will undoubtedly be a
sharp decline globally in international tourism during the current Iraq war
which will have adverse impacts upon numbers of tourists to Zimbabwe. Last
week's outbreaks of violence will compound the reticence of many to travel
to Zimbabwe in the foreseeable future, thereby curbing and delaying the
recovery of the tourist industry.

In addition, last week's events are another blow to business confidence,
which is a prerequisite to economic growth, and another deterrent to
international investment and aid to Zimbabwe. Thus, the stayaway not only
yielded no political or sociological gains, but was highly
counterproductive. It caused hardship for many, and it further eroded a
shrinking economy and further endangered it.

It cannot be gainsaid that abuses of the political system, destruction of
democracy, disregard for the fundamentals of law and order, and the other
characteristics of the Zimbabwean political environment must be contested.
But it is pointless to do so in ways that are counterproductive, destructive
and harmful to the majority of the population. In particular, the economy
cannot withstand many more blows.

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Zim Independent


'All judges know Jocelyn Chiwenga'
DAVID Blair, previously based in Zimbabwe but then, after his eviction from
here, posted to Pakistan from where he covers events in Iraq, wrote an
enlightening account of Saddam Hussein's background in the Telegraph last

He explained how Saddam was the product of a violent upbringing in an
obscure corner of poor, lawless rural Iraq. Influenced by a radical uncle,
he first came to prominence as a hit man for the Ba'athist party. But his
first assignment didn't turn out so well. Told to assassinate the country's
ruler, General Qassem, he planned to drive a car into the path of the
general's motorcade and open fire. But one of his three collaborators, the
would-be driver, forgot the keys to the car. So they blazed away at the
presidential motorcade from the roadside, wounding Qassem, killing his
driver and shooting each other in the process. Indeed, Saddam may well have
killed one of his fellow assassins, according to some accounts. But instead
of punishing him the Ba'athist party promoted him.

He escaped to Syria and returned to play an instrumental role in the coup of
1968 in which the Ba'athists sized power. He became vice-president. Eleven
years later he consolidated his position by announcing a wholly fictitious
Syrian plot and having 66 colleagues led out and shot.

Inspired by stories of Nebuchadnezzar, he launched a war against the ancient
Persian foe in 1980. While steeped in Arab folklore he proved a less able
general. He had made himself a field marshal after assuming the presidency
despite having failed the entrance exam to the Baghdad military academy in
1956. Eight years and a million lives later, Saddam's campaign spluttered to
a halt despite Western backing.

Nevertheless he declared victory over the Iranians and built a monument to
commemorate what most Iraqis regarded as a monumental disaster. He adopted a
similar approach to Kuwait in 1990. Despite numerous opportunities for an
honourable retreat brokered by Arab allies, he chose to stand firm, telling
his generals: "I see the gates of Jerusalem opening before me." Three days
later the Allied forces began the destruction of his army.

Obdurate, entirely delusional, wedded to absolute power for 24 years, and
his country's economy a wreck, what parallels spring to mind?

The Daily News this week carried lawyer Gugulethu Moyo's account of her
treatment at the Glen View police station where she was assaulted by Jocelyn
Chiwenga and then incarcerated on her orders. The London Observer also
carried an interview with her in which she described her ordeal (See Page

For us, the most revealing of the remarks attributed to the Heritage
harridan were these: "I will beat you and nothing will happen. You can go to
court, all the judges know Jocelyn Chiwenga, wife of the (army) commander.
The judges will do nothing. I can even kill you, I have a gun."

Ramming her fist into Moyo, she continued: "I have everything. I am filthy
rich, you hear me? I have farms, many businesses and more than 10 kombis
that operate in Glen View. No one can touch me. I am the general's wife.If
you call your people I will call helicopters."

Police officers and soldiers stood by and watched the beating and the

Let's hope the reports of Moyo's ordeal are circulated as widely as possible
in the Commonwealth where Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo are attempting
to persuade fellow club leaders that the rule of law has been restored in
Zimbabwe. Nothing better illustrates the depths to which this regime has
sunk: the wife of the army commander and her companion beating a lawyer
carrying out her professional duties while at the same time giving the
police instructions to detain her - which they did. That says it all!

Last week we drew attention to the Catholic church's collaboration with Zanu
PF newspapers in regard to advertisements for church-related posts. This
week we were shocked to see in the Sunday Mail an advertisement in the form
of a cartoon, that looked as if it had been drawn by a six-year-old, making
a number of scurrilous claims.

Here is one example: "Feminist organisations are often given money by racist
donor organisations from abroad to convince people in Zimbabwe to have
abortions. Under the disguise of reproductive health, these racist
organisations want there to be fewer people in Africa as they are scared if
black people increase in number then it will be harder for the Western
nations to exploit Africa's resources."

The advertisement, which is "inserted as a community service" by the
Guadaloupe Association of Zimbabwe, says post-abortion syndrome can lead to
suicidal or homicidal tendencies, promiscuity, an inability to enjoy
functions that include children such as christenings, birthdays or
Christmas, and alcoholism.

"Once a killer begins killing, they may get a taste for it," the ad warns.
"Do not be fooled by those who want you to kill your kids."

The Guadaloupe Association gives its address as Africa Synod House, Fourth
St, Harare. Africa Synod House is also the address of the Zimbabwe Catholic
Bishops Conference.

While it is one thing for the Catholic church to market dishonest and
simplistic propaganda of this sort, we would expect something more
discerning from an academic like Vimbai Chivaura. Alas, in a tirade against
"Europeans", the best he could do was this: "Let's turn to religion. They
killed Christ and say the whole world, including Africans, killed him too.
Jesus was black. He was our kin and we did not kill him. They did. They must
accept responsibility and take full blame for lynching our kith and kin. But
they never stop killing.No race on earth can surpass whites in the science
of killing."

This comes from a university lecturer with some claim to intelligence! But
perhaps we should not expect too much of him. Chivaura proceeds to claim
that "a governor of Rhodesia in the '50s, Lord Malvern, once said 'the
African is my brother, I am the elder brother. He is the horse, I am the

Yes, Vimbai, Lord Malvern did say something like that. But what makes you
think he was "a governor of Rhodesia"? How far did your education go at
Fletcher? And why did you change your name from "European" Chivaura which is
what you were known as at school, so we are told, to Vimbai Gukwe? Can we
have an explanation please.

We were amused by a headline that suggested South Africa might leave the
Commonwealth. Does anybody recall the threats to do the same thing by
African states over Rhodesia? Did any of them go? African leaders cannot
resist the opportunity to strut upon the international stage. Why do you
think Robert Mugabe is so keen for Zimbabwe's suspension to be lifted?

But the article in the Sunday Mirror did contain a useful quote from the
Commonwealth Secretariat's spokesman Joel Kibazo who said in response to
claims of African solidarity: "Even in Africa there were divergent views and
it would be naïve to say individual member states' opinions were shaped by
where they are located geographically."

Indeed, it might be useful to do as the South Africans suggest and find out
which way member states inclined, because we can be sure that with reference
to Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, the Caribbean and Asia, opinions were not as
favourable to Zimbabwe as South Africa's High Commissioner to London
assumes. A reality check might be useful for those in Harare and Pretoria
anxious to play the solidarity card!

And the Sunday Mirror raised the obvious point: Why did Mbeki get his High
Commissioner to London to cast aspersions on the McKinnon report instead of
commenting himself? Could it be because he accepts that the majority view
was for the suspension to continue? But in order to propitiate Mugabe, Mbeki
empowers his officials to denounce McKinnon. As Peter Fabricius pointed out
in the Star this week, this is clumsy and dishonest diplomacy which does not
reflect well on South Africa.

At least we have Mbeki's statement this week that there is agreement with
the Zimbabwe government that "they should attend to the pieces of
legislation that are said to offend human rights, the press".

In other words, Posa and Aippa. But has our government admitted to giving an
assurance to Mbeki that it would amend that legislation? Instead of
pontificating on how the media should cover the war against Iraq - which is
none of his business - Jonathan Moyo should tell the public what assurances
the government has given to President Mbeki on the amendment of security and
media laws. Why is the garrulous minister silent on issues that do concern
him? He was suggesting a few weeks ago that there had been no pressure at
all on Harare to amend Aippa, just a slight change in temperature. He didn't
mention Posa.

Why should Zimbabweans learn of the government's legislative agenda from
neighbouring heads of state? While we are at it, let's also welcome Mbeki's
statement, made again this week, that land reform in Zimbabwe "was not
handled in a way that we thought was right".

The government media has been claiming support from South Africa on the land
issue. Should we now add Mbeki's comments to those of James Morris, the
Japanese ambassador and the French ambassador as evidence of falsification
of their actual positions on support for Zimbabwe? Perhaps the Information
department could comment.

Undoubtedly the most shocking remarks of recent weeks come from ICC boss
Malcolm Speed. He wrote to ZRP Senior Assistant Commissioner Fortune Zengeni
congratulating "you and your officers for providing a high level of security
for all of the matches". The matches had passed off without any threat to
the safety and security of the players, he said.

And what about the safety and security of others like those protesting
outside the Bulawayo grounds? What about those reportedly assaulted at a
police post inside the grounds, one of whom was an official of the ICC? He
had not been protesting but had gone to the police post to enquire after a
member of the Queen's Club who had been arrested for asking someone who was
not a member to leave the members' enclosure. He and two others were
viciously assaulted by police officers, they claimed at their court

What is Speed's response to that? How much brutality is he prepared to

With the demise of Swithun Mombeshora who was chairman of the Zimbabwe Red
Cross the hunt is on for a successor. Given the Red Cross's record of
inappropriate selections to head the organisation, can we anticipate the
nomination of Joseph Chinotimba; or Jocelyn Chiwenga?

Finally, what hoax headline can we expect from the Herald on April 1? Look
out for such pranks as "Zanu PF wins by-elections".
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The Times

            March 28, 2003

            Zimbabwe Army leads 'brutal campaign'
            From Jan Raath in Harare

            UNITS of Zimbabwe's Army are carrying out the most brutal
campaign yet against opposition activists as President Mugabe fights to
stall looming mass protests.
            A report by an alliance of civic groups due to be released today
describes a comprehensive operation in which squads of mostly uniformed
soldiers are deployed in urban townships to drag members of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) from their homes and subject them to vicious

            The 250 victims treated in emergency wards in Harare in the four
days that followed the MDC's successful protests last week was "far greater
than any number previously seen in that period", the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition report, says.

            "This is the first time in three years (since the start of Mr
Mugabe's continuing campaign of repression) that the military have
constituted the highest percentage of perpetrators," it says.

            "There has been no slowdown in the brutalisation," Paul Themba
Nyathi, the MDC spokesman, said yesterday. "It is escalating."

            The party has given Mr Mugabe a 15-point ultimatum to restore
the country to the rule of law by Monday or face further "popular mass
action to regain the people's freedoms and dignity".

            "I have never seen such consistently bad injuries," said a
doctor in a city hospital, who asked not to be named. About a third of the
victims were women. "They get beaten harder," he said.
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      27 Mar 2003 19:41:12 GMT
      Regional ministers set to review Zimbabwe crisis


MAPUTO, March 27 (Reuters) - Ministers from the Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC) will meet in Harare next week to try to help Zimbabwe
resolve a biting economic and political crisis, Mozambican President Joaquim
Chissano said on Thursday.

Chissano told Reuters the Zimbabwe crisis continued to have an adverse
effect on southern Africa and its relations with Western donors, and the
14-member SADC was keen to resolve the problem as soon as possible.

He said foreign, defence and possibly interior ministers from SADC´s task
force on Zimbabwe would hold meetings with the government, the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and representatives of civil society.

"We are in contact within SADC on Zimbabwe. There is contact at a
ministerial level and among heads of state. Ministers will visit next week
so they can assess the situation and agree how to move forward," Chissano

"The idea is to get in contact with all the local and external players and
try to fix the very vexing problems affecting Zimbabwe," he added.

A senior Chissano aide said the idea was to try to assess Zimbabwe´s
current situation and arrange a meeting between Zimbabwean and British
officials, possibly mediated by the leaders of Portugal, Germany and France.

But he said the Iraq war had soured relations between France and Britain and
it was not known whether Paris would be willing to intervene with London on
behalf of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Britain criticised France for
inviting Mugabe to a Franco-African summit last month.

The Zimbabwe crisis threatens the annual SADC-European Union summit, due to
be held in Portugal in April. SADC leaders say they will not attend if
Zimbabwe is excluded but the EU insists it will not invite Mugabe.

The European Union, the United States and Australia have slapped "smart"
travel sanctions on Mugabe and top members of his administration in protest
against Mugabe's controversial victory in 2002 presidential elections and
his redistribution of white-owned farms to landless blacks.

Speaking about another African trouble spot -- Burundi -- Chissano said his
country would contribute only a single company of soldiers to a peacekeeping
mission there.

South African President Thabo Mbeki said earlier this week that deployment
by South African, Mozambican and Ethiopian trooops in the African
peacekeeping force would start next week.

But Chissano said logistics problems had not yet been sorted out and it was
still uncertain whether any peacekeepers would be deployed before all
belligerents signed a truce. One rebel group has so far refused to sign a

"We will send a small force, an enlarged company," he said, indicating a
force of just over 100 soldiers.
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Independent (UK)

Mugabe gave white farms to 'violent' associates
By Basildon Peta Southern Africa Correspondent
28 March 2003

An inquiry into President Robert Mugabe's land reforms in Zimbabwe has
uncovered massive corruption in the allocation of farms seized from white
farmers, ostensibly for the resettlement of landless black peasants.

The black farmers, originally resettled on the farms, are being evicted to
pave the way for Mr Mugabe's cronies, many of whom own up to five farms.

In Zimbabwe's tobacco-producing Mashonaland province, about 90 formerly
productive white farms are lying idle because Mr Mugabe's associates are
arguing about how to carve up the spoils.

Mr Mugabe ordered the land audit report - a full copy of which was obtained
exclusively by The Independent - but is unlikely to act on it, according to
an official. The report details how Abednico Ncube, the Deputy Foreign
Minister and one of Mr Mugabe's chief associates,ordered officials
responsible for confiscating land in his province to designate two
white-owned hotels in the area for seizure. This was "a violation of the
National Land Policy and the Land Acquisition Act", the report said.

The report also found that Chris Pasipamire, a Mugabe supporter and senior
official of an association representing Mr Mugabe's war veterans, had
"violently" evicted 36 peasants resettled on a seized farm.

Sithembiso Nyoni, a junior minister, had seized a farm with an established
infrastructure to produce poultry, livestock and citrus. The farm had been
earmarked to become an agricultural skills training centre for unemployed

"It is disturbing to note that violence is the order of the day on this farm
with hired thugs driven in ... by the honorable minister," the report said.
Edward Chindori-Chininga a minister and Mugabe loyalist, removed peasants
and expropriated a 500ha farm.

Saviour Kasukuwere, the deputy head of Mr Mugabe's violent youth wing, owns
three farms. He had also evicted peasants who had been resettled, according
to the report.

Perence Shiri, commander of the air force, was allocated a farm at the
expense of 96 families who were evicted. Twenty-one peasant families have
been evicted to make way forSydney Sekeramayi, the Defence Minister.

Kembo Mohadi, the Home Affairs Minister, Ignatius Chombo, the Local
Government Minister, Josiah Hungwe, a minister for Masvingo province, Elliot
Manyika, a minister in the department of employment and his deputy Shuvai
Mahofa, Jonathan Moyo, the Information Minister and many more friends of Mr
Mugabe are owners of anything between two to five farms each. Mr Mugabe's
sister, Sabina, has three.

The inquiry asked Mr Mugabe to take action but middle-ranking officials in
the Ministry of Agriculture said Mr Mugabe had done nothing. The report was
handed to him about two months ago.

"If he had to act, he will probably have to fire his entire cabinet and he
would be left with no cronies to boot-lick him. It's unlikely he will do
that," said one official. "There are many of his close associates involved
in this mass-scale looting who are not even mentioned in the report."
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JAG Security Update March 27, 2003


This morning we let a uniformed policeman and 2 plainclothes men into our
yard because they had had info that our gardener and another employee were
suspected of dealing in dagga. They went to search their quarters, and then
came to Jo and me and said that they had found the dope and wanted to
question them in our lounge. I refused, and one of the plainclothes guys
started pushing his way through the front door. I, of course resisted and
we got involved in a shoving match at the front door. He then started
shouting at me saying that I was getting in the way of the police doing
their duty, and I was denying it saying do your interrogation outside. He
then said he would shoot me and pulled out a pistol from his waistband and
shouted "this is an armed robbery, get on the floor, lie down", whereupon
the uniformed policeman lifted up his trouser leg and pulled out another
pistol, followed by the other plainclothes man, and we knew there was a bit
of--- in the land.

They trussed up Jo and I, the maid and another African visitor very well,
and we were all on the lounge floor, with pistols at our head, with these
guys demanding to know where the money was. I said to them that they should
untie me and then I could show them. The threat of the pistol being shoved
up my nose soon shut me up, and they took a key and ransacked a cupboard
where there was a bit of money, took all Jo's jewellery, cameras, radio,
and some other stuff from the bedroom. Meanwhile Anne Freshman came to
visit in the middle of the holdup and was immediately trussed up with the
rest of us. One guy stayed with us whilst the others were ransacking the
place, and he systematically pulled off any jewellery, watches and
cellphones that he could find, all the time saying he was going to shoot
us. expletive!!! then suddenly the others came running out saying, "go go
go" and they were gone. Jo managed to pull her hands out of her bonds, got
a knife and we were free and alive.




JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
    (011) 205 374
       (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
       (091) 317 264
    (011) 207 860 we're here to help!
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1: Alex Hangartner

Perhaps the CFU will establish how many actual "members" they have, and
how many of them actually support their policy of "quiet diplomacy"?

Perhaps, for sake of openness these results could be made public?

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

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On the 26th March, 2003, during the afternoon, Army and Police raided the
Chimanimani Farm of Roy Bennett MP.  Using DDF (Dist. Dev. Fund) lorries
and tractors, trailers and lorries commandeered from Bennett's farmyard,
they evicted all the employees - 350 families which included men, women and
children.  They were then transported to the Chimanimani village and
unceremoniously dumped in the pouring rain with no access to shelter, food
or blankets.  Bennett's farm office and home were raided and all his papers
strewn all over the yard.

This morning Thursday 27th March, 2003 Shane and Birgot Kidd, together with
4 MDC members were on their way from Chimanimani to court in Chipinge, when
their vehicle was pulled over by the notorious Joseph Mwale (CIO).  Mr Kidd
got out of his car to see why they had pulled him over.  He was then told
by Mwale to walk back to his car and whilst doing so was beaten by Mwale,
Sylvester Mashayamombe and Brighton.  Birgot was pushed around by the
assailants but not injured.  The MDC members were not touched.  Mr. Kidd
was attended to at Chipinge Clinic.




JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
    (011) 205 374
       (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
       (091) 317 264
    (011) 207 860 we're here to help!
(011) 431 068

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JAG Security Communiqué March 27, 2003

Warning to joggers, walkers, cyclists etc

Please do not go out on your own if you jog, walk, cycle etc for
recreation, and beware of gangs of men/youths in vehicles or otherwise
pretending to be MDC who may approach you to "chat".  They are not MDC, and
they may try to harm or threaten you.

This is a period to be on maximum alert and to be extra cautious - better
safe than sorry!

Please pass this message on to those at risk.  Thank you.




JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
    (011) 205 374
       (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
       (091) 317 264
    (011) 207 860 we're here to help!
(011) 431 068

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1:

Please see a letter signed and sent to Secretary of State Colin Powell
today by leading US Congressmen and women urging the American delegation to
push for a resolution to address human rights abuses in Zimbabwe at the
annual meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

March 18, 2003

Secretary Colin L. Powell
U.S. Department of State
2201 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We respectfully urge the U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Commission on Human
Rights to facilitate the passage of a Resolution that addresses human
rights abuses perpetrated by the government of Zimbabwe at the upcoming
U.N. Commission on Human Rights annual meeting. While the Commission is the
principal international forum for discussion of human rights violations, it
has not taken decisive action concerning Zimbabwe's deterioration in human
rights conditions over the last three years.

President Mugabe's government is on a campaign to retain power at any cost.
James Morris, the director of the World Food Program, stated that six
million people face starvation in Zimbabwe and the government patently
refuses to undertake reforms suggested by the World Food Program that could
return the country to sustaining its own population.  The extraordinarily
high rate of HIV/AIDS infections in Zimbabwe, coupled with food shortages,
has put the health of average Zimbabweans at extreme risk.  The government
has robbed its citizens of their ability to exercise basic political and
social rights and freedoms.  Well-documented cases of state-sponsored
torture, rape, murder, arbitrary detention, and manipulation of food aid
exist and demand exposure.

It is time for the international community to recognize the governance
crisis in Zimbabwe and actively investigate and examine allegations of
human rights abuses. Exposing President Mugabe's human rights abuses at the
United Nations is critical to the United State's policy of isolating this
regime.  We applaud the Administration's targeted sanctions against those
responsible for the breakdown of democracy in Zimbabwe.  Yet it is
imperative that we work multilaterally through the Commission to present a
unified voice against these grave abuses of power.

Thank you for your consideration of our request.


Committee on International Relations

DIANE WATSON Ranking Member,
Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness

CHRIS SMITH, Vice-Chairman
Committee on InternationalRelations

Subcommittee on Africa

AMO HOUGHTON, Vice-Chairman
Subcommittee on Africa

Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Human Rights


Letter 2: Jean Simon

Dear Sirs

I was interested in a few economic matters that have arisen recently:

1 Government has decided to pay the producer $130 000/t for this seasons
maize crop but has also decided to keep the price to the consumer from the
GMB at $9 600 per tonne.

2 the Reserve Bank has been instructed to buy us$ on the market at $824
per us$ but has to sell the us$ to Government at $55 per us$.

3 the Tobacco Growers Trust has acquired 200 tractors which will be sold
on the market to new farmers at prices ranging from $5 million to $1,5
million as against $70 million to $20 million which the new farmers would
pay on the open market.

I continue to be amazed at Government's generosity to its ardent supporters
at the expense of the common man in Zimbabwe.

Where, oh where, will the money come from to run our country? And how, in
the name of sanity, does the government hope to maintain this madness.

There will be an end to the madness and sanity will prevail.....


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

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