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

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Zimbabwe Troops Urged to Disobey Orders
By ANGUS SHAW, Associated Press Writer

HARARE, Zimbabwe - Opposition leaders in Zimbabwe are urging the nation's
soldiers and police to disobey orders to crush any show of dissent against
the government.

"The time has now come for the security forces to make that historic choice
of either being with the people or against them," the Movement for
Democratic Change said in a statement.

The opposition call follows a wave of intense violence against its officials
and supporters who took part in a two-day strike against President Robert
Mugabe's government last week.

Independent human rights monitors said at least 250 people were treated for
injuries from sexual assaults and beatings following a brutal post-strike
crackdown against the opposition headed by Morgan Tsvangirai.

Hundreds of others were arrested or driven from their homes, they said.

Witnesses and victims said much of the violence was carried out by ruling
party militias wearing police or military uniforms and transported in
military trucks.

Soldiers have been ordered to patrol opposition strongholds and in some
areas have imposed curfews, shutting down bars and shops.

Last week's strike was the largest protest since Mugabe - brought to power
at independence in 1980 - was re-elected for another six-year term in
presidential elections contested by Tsvangirai last year.

Observers said the elections were marred by intimidation and vote-rigging.

The opposition said nonpartisan troops had nothing to fear under any new
government, but warned that those who had been perpetrators of violence
against ordinary Zimbabweans for expressing their democratic rights would be
arrested, tried and jailed.

U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher on Monday condemned the
retribution campaign and what he called unprecedented violence sponsored by
the government's security forces following the strike.

The Herald, a main government mouthpiece, reported Wednesday that the police
confirmed the arrests of about 200 people. Police and army officials denied
the allegations of assault and torture.

The opposition has meanwhile threatened further protests.
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Daily News

      Mozambique hails fugitive farmers

      3/28/2003 11:43:10 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Mutare

      THE Mozambican government says commercial farmers who fled from
Zimbabwe are contributing immensely to the development of agriculture in
that country.

      Soares Nhaca, governor of the central province of Manica, was quoted
by the Mozambican news agency saying the displaced commercial farmers have
helped restore agricultural production.

      Agriculture in Mozambique had been devastated by civil war, which
ended in 1992.

      Peasant farming had become the mainstay of Mozambique's economy, hence
current efforts to develop commercial agriculture. "Zimbabwe's loss is
Mozambique's gain," Nhaca was quoted as saying by AIM, the Mozambican news

      Nhaca was speaking after visiting seven farms run by Zimbabwean
commercial farmers, who left the country because of the chaotic land reform.

      Several farmers were killed, while thousands of their workers were
rendered homeless during Zimbabwe's widely condemned land reform programme.
Most of the affected farmers fled to Mozambique, Zambia, England, Australia,
Canada and New Zealand.

      Manica province is now home to about 50 farmers, who were allocated
land in the districts of Mossurize, Sussundenga, Gondola and Manica where
they are producing tea, tobacco and other cash crops.

      Killian Mupingo, the Manicaland provincial administrator said he was
not aware of the number of farmers who fled to Mozambique.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      It's time for Mbeki to bite the bullet

      3/28/2003 11:34:59 AM (GMT +2)

      It is no secret that Zimbabweans are extremely angry with the
kid-gloves treatment of President Mugabe by South African President Thabo
Mbeki. It is, therefore, not altogether surprising that some people in this
country are saying extremely unkind things about him, with the harshest
judgment perhaps coming from a reader in a letter to this newspaper.

      The reader says Mbeki has on his hands more blood of Zimbabweans being
killed for their political beliefs in government-sponsored violence than
Mugabe himself.

      That view is obviously over the top, but it just goes to show how
utterly disillusioned with the South African leader the people of this
country have become. It is, indeed, a fact that they now seriously regard
Mbeki as an active collaborator in the Mugabe regime's campaign of violence.

      The more charitable among his critics will probably say that his
recent utterances are a clear sign that Mbeki is now taking a tougher stance
against his wayward northern neighbour and must, therefore, be applauded.

      They will, of course, be referring to his remarks in Botswana during
his state visit to that country a few weeks ago when he publicly condemned
Mugabe's land grab programme, and his statement in the South African
Parliament on Wednesday this week when he said he had told the government of
Zimbabwe that "we do not agree with actions that deny Zimbabweans their
right to protest peacefully".

      But the generality of Zimbabweans are not likely to applaud Mbeki. To
them, it is a matter of too little too late. At any rate, those statements
sound so half-hearted they are only a little better than the fruitless
"quiet diplomacy" which was so quiet hardly anybody, Mugabe included,
noticed it.

      In fact, the total failure of his quiet diplomacy to persuade Mugabe
to behave in a more civilised manner, makes Zimbabweans doubt that Mbeki's g
overnment ever remonstrated against the Mugabe regime's violation of the
people's right to protest peacefully at all in the first place.

      For all we know, Mbeki might merely have made that statement in order
to mollify and silence his domestic critics in Parliament who,
understandably, are getting impatient with his perplexing mollycoddling of a
tyrannical neighbour whose country's problems are spilling over the border
and beginning to adversely affect their own country both socially and

      Such doubts arise because there is one big question that begs to be
asked: If Mbeki were sincere in assuring Parliament that he had communicated
to the Zimbabwean authorities his concerns over the regime's actions in
"denying people their right to protest peacefully", why then would his
Foreign Minister tell a breakfast meeting that Pretoria was "not aware of
any systematic violation of human rights on a massive scale in Zimbabwe"?

      Clearly, there is a contradiction here. One of the two, between Mbeki
and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is not telling the truth. In any case, it is
amazing that, of all governments, South Africa should plead ignorance of the
shocking atrocities the government in Zimbabwe is committing against its
citizens. Political repression and State-sponsored violence have become so
commonplace even the blind can see them. What more of sighted government
leaders who can read for themselves all the chilling accounts of the
harassment, savage beatings, arrests, torture and even killings of Mugabe's
      political opponents?

      What other evidence of "systematic violation of human rights" does the
South African government want besides such incidents as the constant arrests
of MDC legislators; the midnight raids on their homes by armed State agents
which led to Tafadzwa Musekiwa's flight to Britain; the torture of Job
Sikhala or the assault of MPs Abednico Bhebhe and Evelyn Masaiti, the latter
forced to flee her home and children - to cite just a few examples?

      It is this hypocrisy, typified by Mbeki's untruthful declaration to
the Commonwealth that things were now normal in Zimbabwe, which has
encouraged this government to become even more brutal.

      The time has come for Mbeki to bite the bullet. He must tell Mugabe to
either behave himself or lose his support.

      Until he does that, Zimbabweans will be excused if they continue to
hold him jointly accountable for their suffering.
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Daily News

The Mole

      Don't they have any sense of shame?

      3/28/2003 11:24:15 AM (GMT +2)

      Some straight-shooting Western leaders have referred to the Robert
Mugabe-led government in this country as a "bandit regime".

      The more charitable simply refer to it as a "rogue regime". Whatever
one chooses to call it, the essence of it remains the same: this regime is
shockingly barbaric, ruthlessly cruel, shamelessly self-serving and
thoroughly corrupt.

      Righteousness is totally alien to this government because it is evil
through and through. In the working vocabulary of its leaders, the words
"love" and "peace" do not exist.

      If they ever did exist at some time in Zanu PF's less evil past, they
now clearly have long been expunged from the party's lexicon. Whenever the
leaders open their mouths, all they preach to their followers is hate and

      Zimbabweans might find it difficult to resist concluding that the evil
inclinations that so effortlessly manifest themselves in Zanu PF leaders
come as no surprise, really, given the party leader's boast that he is
Hitler multiplied "tenfold".

      Birds of a feather flock together!

      At the burial of the late Swithun Mombeshora, a mild-mannered
gentleman that one was, Mugabe saw nothing untoward in using that sad
occasion to make an announcement which should have been best kept secret.
Astonishingly displaying no sign of guilt whatsoever, he gloated that all
the violence the people of this country are being relentlessly subjected to
is not just with his blessing.

      His government has, as a matter of fact, expressly directed State
security agents and party militia (the line dividing the two is now so thin
as to be invisible) to violently crush all opposition to his ruinous rule
and brutally silence any voices of protest.

      It was, for all intents and purposes, a call to war - a war pitting
Zimbabweans against Zimbabweans - by a head of State who seems not to care
at all about the need to say or do nothing that disgraces or lowers the
dignity of his office.

      For, no sooner had he finished his hate-filled speech, in which he
accused the MDC of having paid the youth to force people to heed the party's
call for a stay-away, than his own party's paid youths menacingly advanced
on Elias Mudzuri, the Executive Mayor of Harare who was at the Heroes' Acre
to attend Mombeshora's burial.

      The mob, which had earlier confiscated Mudzuri's official car keys
from his aides, intimidated the mayor in full view of senior government
officials, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi included, and in front of the
police. Predictably the officials and police, who are presumably all either
Zanu PF supporters of sympathisers, or are at least expected to be and act
accordingly, did nothing to stop the hired thugs from harassing and
embarrassing Mudzuri.

      And The Mole finds their decision not to act in defence of Mudzuri not
surprising at all. You will obviously want to know why. The answer is to be
found in one revealing paragraph in Gugu Moyo's heart-rending account of her
experience at the hands of the police.

      And this is the paragraph: "On Thursday evening I was finally
released. A policeman who had allowed me to use his mobile phone to call for
help earlier that day said to me as I left: 'Sister, I have nothing against
you. We knew you were being held here for nothing. We even knew there was a
court order to release you. But with these political cases, even the most
senior guy in the police station makes no decision. We are instructed right
from the top.'"

      Now we know why they can't lift a finger even against scapegraces of
the ilk of Jocelyn Chiwenga "the general's wife" but instead take orders
from them. The police have instructions from the top. And that means from
the President's Office.

      As he made his famous "reconciliation" speech in 1980 - we, of course,
now know he never meant a word of what he said - I never for once thought
Mugabe would one day be as devoid of shame, honour and dignity as he is
today. Today, you either sing praises to him or you are automatically an
"enemy of the State".

      Are we to take it that Mugabe now seriously believes he is Zimbabwe?

      n Talking about Mudzuri, the man has got every reason to fear for his
life. Ever since Mudzuri's overwhelming victory which swept him into Town
House in March last year, the shameless Zanu PF leadership has made no
secret their determination to get rid of him by any means, fair or foul.

      We all know how the partisan police assaulted and humiliated him in
Mabvuku as he held a consultative meeting with residents. After breaking up
the meeting they then arrested him, putting him into custody for the whole
weekend just to punish him for having defeated the party's candidate in last
year's mayoral election.

      Last Friday at Heroes' Acre a mob of the party's supporters threatened
to kill him right in front of the police and the party's top leaders,
including Mugabe himself. And nobody did anything to restrain them. And this
was during the burial of a supposedly well loved party member.

      What kind of people are these who show no respect for the dead,
especially those they claim to have held in such high regard as the bestowal
of hero's status on Mombeshora surely suggests? What that action said about
the Zanu PF people gathered there was that they were not in sorrowful
mourning at all but merely going through the motions of pretending to be

      To show the party was serious about wanting to get rid of him, on
Monday its war-mongering activists, most probably organised by the men in
dark glasses, forced unwilling Mbare residents, beefed up by imports bussed
from Mutare, into a stage-managed demonstration against Mudzuri at Town
House. Their battle cry was the same as at Heroes' Acre: "Mudzuri must be

      The irony of it all is that the thugs who were behind that faked
demonstration, allegedly for "neglecting Mbare" are from Matapi and Shawasha
hostels - the very same people who attacked a bus carrying councillors on an
inspection tour of the area soon after council elections last year.

      The purpose of the tour was to assess the plight of residents there in
order to see what could be done to improve their living conditions. But the
Zanu PF thugs assaulted the councillors and chased them away claiming the
hostels were a Zanu PF stronghold and a no-go area for MDC councillors.

      If that is really how they see things, then The Mole thinks the
"demonstration was misdirected".

      They ought to have gone to Shake-Shake building to stage that
demonstration since it is to Zanu PF that they look up to if they want
anything done about their welfare.

      It should, of course, be understood that the wrath and mindless
violence being directed at Mudzuri by Zanu PF through the police and hired
mobs is not, strictly speaking, personal. What they don't want is an MDC
mayor running Harare. That he was elected democratically is immaterial to
them since democracy to them is anathema.

      They would be doing the same if Samudzimu were the mayor.
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Daily News

      Bennet's workers brutally assaulted

      3/28/2003 11:56:18 AM (GMT +2)

      By Brian Mangwende Chief Reporter

      ABOUT 1 000 farm workers, including women and children, at opposition
Member of Parliament Roy Bennet's Charleswood Estate in Chimanimani
sustained serious injuries in beatings before being forced off the property
by the police.

      On Wednesday and Thursday, the workers were bundled into police trucks
and dumped by the roadside, 11km from the farm.

      The attack comes about a week after State security agents allegedly
assaulted Bennet's workers on a farm he is leasing in Ruwa on suspicion they
had participated in the two-day mass stayaway called for by the MDC last

      Bennet said: "The people were dumped at Pombo Supermarket about 11km
from the farm. The police, led by an Inspector Chogugudza of Chimanimani,
went to my farm and beat up all the workers indiscriminately.

      "They sustained various injuries and have nowhere to go. Their
belongings were thrown into trucks and dumped at the supermarket.

      The situation is awful. It's just terrible what is happening there.
All farming activities have effectively ceased."

      The legislator grows coffee on the estate.

      Yesterday, the Chimanimani MP said soldiers and the police returned to
his farm to make sure that everyone had left the property. Those found there
were assaulted and forced to flee, he said.

      Last week, a man was beaten to death in Harare and several others,
including MPs and the MDC's provincial leaderships, were either arrested or
beaten up by State security agents in a suspected retribution campaign
following the mass stayaway.

      Bennet identified the deceased as Steven Tonera, his former worker,
who was living on his Ruwa farm.

      Isobel Gardiner, the wife of Bennet's farm manager, Norman, was
severely assaulted on the buttocks and back.

      Meanwhile, hundreds of residents in Harare have either been beaten up
or arrested by State security agents. Reports of assaults are also coming in
from other towns and cities.

      Since last week's mass action, The Daily News offices have been
inundated by people who were beaten up by the State agents.

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Daily News

      Power cuts anger industrialists

      3/28/2003 11:57:25 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga and Lawrence Paganga

      THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has introduced
load-shedding in some industrial and residential areas in Harare.

      This follows its failure to raise foreign currency to service the
US$16 million (Z$880 million) debt it owes its South African counterpart,

      Captains of industry and commerce in Harare yesterday expressed anger
over the load-shedding introduced on Wednesday, saying it was adversely
affecting their operations.

      Graniteside, Msasa, Willowvale, Waterfalls, Chitungwiza and Southerton
are some of the areas affected.

      At a meeting yesterday at the Zesa headquarters, industrialists were
told that Zesa was battling to pay Eskom owing to the dire scarcity of
foreign currency in the country.

      According to minutes of the meeting, the South African government has
given Zesa until 30 April to settle its arrears or face an indefinite power

      "Zimbabwe will be on interruptible status until then. The last time
Zesa received forex from the Reserve Bank was in December 2002," it was
noted in the minutes.

      Contacted for comment, Zintle Filtane, the Eskom spokesperson, was not
forthcoming on the actual amount Zesa owed South Africa.

      He said Zesa had sent a delegation this week to Pretoria to explore a
new repayment schedule that would enable it to settle its obligations.

      He said since 1996 when Eskom started supplying power to Zimbabwe,
Zesa had been fulfilling its financial obligations.

      But, he said, the situation changed in 1999 when the country started
to experience foreign currency shortages.

      About this week's meeting, Filtane said: "Zesa demonstrated their
commitment to settle the outstanding account and arrears as soon as

      "Eskom has accepted Zesa's bona fides and renewed commitment, and is
confident that this debt will be liquidated and cleared shortly."

      But given that Zesa is cash-strapped, it is doubtful that it will be
able to settle its debt, according to insiders.

      At the yesterday's meeting, Zesa encouraged exporters to settle their
bills in foreign currency.

      Company executives said the proposed eight-hour daily load-shedding
would further strain their already struggling establishments.

      Anthony Mandiwanza, the president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries, said the power cuts had further worsened the plight of most
businesses already facing severe operational problems.

      "The limited power supplies have exacerbated the situation and will
have an impact involved in export as they will be viewed as unreliable
suppliers," he said.

      Mandiwanza said Zesa should find a permanent solution on the
availability of electricity.

      Zesa owes a combined debt of US$150 million (Z$8,25 billion) to Eskom
and Mozambique's Cahora Bassa. The two companies gave last Saturday as the
deadline for Zesa to pay part of the debt.

      Cahora Bassa is demanding US$5 million, while Eskom wants R11,2
million (Z$67,2 million), which adds to US$6,4 million.

      One company executive in Chitungwiza said: "The situation must be
looked into deeper. It is worse than it appears. My plants need about four
hours to warm before we start to manufacture anything.

      "So if we are going to have this shedding that will be the end of my
company. We will have 16 hours a day of doing nothing."

      Zesa plans to have a four-hour loading-shedding in the morning and
another one in the evening.

      According to a proposed load-shedding programme leaked to The Daily
News last night, each will be affected between 0600 and 1000 hours and
between 1700 and 2000 twice a week. The programme, said a Zesa official, is
supposed to be to kept a secret until next week.

      "The whole idea is to have the MDC ultimatum and the by-elections done
with. After that, the programme will be made public.

      "But Zimbabweans will have to brace for more than this as South Africa
is likely to cut supplies drastically as well," said the source last night.
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Daily News

      Counting the gains and pains of the stayaway

      3/28/2003 11:38:17 AM (GMT +2)

      By Simba Chabarika Deputy Features Editor

      SO the two-day strike, popularly known as a stayaway, has come and

      Zimbabweans have resumed their normal duties. Nothing has changed in
their working or living conditions, so far at least.
      There is still no bread on the table, the fuel situation is getting
worse and food queues still persist.

      So has the job boycott produced any result or was it just one of those
free rest days for the embattled Zimbabwean worker at the generosity of the
Movement for Democratic Change? Was it a total flop or a white elephant as
some quarters of the media propagated?

      Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a grouping of over 350 civil society
organisations whose vision is a democratic Zimbabwe, says the stayaway was
successful despite repression from the Mugabe government.

      It says numerous attacks have been unleashed on the MDC, its
supporters and those advocating for good governance, legitimacy and the
restoration of the rule of law.

      The government is retaliating for the growing popular sentiment
against Zanu PF.

      Mugabe has labelled the two-day stayaway as part of "a violent
campaign by traitors and enemies of our country who claim they are fighting
for a democratic order."

      Crisis in Zimbabwe says attacks on pro-democracy actors are a
concerted effort by the ruling party to intimidate Zimbabweans to prevent
them from exercising their constitutional rights to freedom of expression
and assembly.

      Says its co-ordinator Brian Kagoro: "Social transformation does not
occur in a day. It's a process based on protest against injustices and
repression and it is made of innovation towards creating a new order that is
peaceful, just and equitable. People should see the event as the first step
towards a process of social transformation".

      "A stayaway is part of a script of transformation," Kagoro says.

      People are frustrated because they want "instant change, instant
coffee, instant money out of the ATM, but the reality is that we have over
90 years of colonialism and 22 years of dictatorship."

      "In fact, allowing over a century of undemocratic rule to overload an
event like the stayaway with the capacity to redress 112 years of
oppression, doesn't speak well of our political acumen."

      If Mugabe had left office, it wouldn't have changed anything - the
fuel queues, the bread queues would still remain and jobs would still not be

      "What we want to celebrate is the courage to say 'NO' to injustice and
also cherish the new form of togetherness to fight for freedom without using
guns or violence but the will power to say 'NO'," he says.

      People participating in stayaways are doing this at great risk to
their lives, so the sacrifice is very high.

      "It will pay off if people are consistent, focused and clear about
what they want the Zimbabwe they want to look like. They visualise it and
work to achieve it. Withdrawing their labour amounts to saying we don't
accept what is happening in Zimbabwe now and it is not what we want.

      "We don't want violence, discrimination, corruption and abuse of the
masses under the guise of dealing with historical socio-economic
      inequities," says Kagoro.

      Clever Mbengegwi, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Studies at the
University of Zimbabwe, says much of what the MDC claims about the state of
the economy, cannot be rectified through these stayaways as they only serve
to worsen the already bad economic environment.

      "I cannot see in any way what they contribute to the economic recovery
of the country. There's nothing at all to be served by these stayaways, it's
just like rubbing salt into a wound."

      Mbengegwi says the MDC talks of lack of democracy, human rights
violations and the absence of the rule of law, "but in their own conduct, I
don't see any observance of the very same principles they say they're
fighting for".

      "For instance, if they burn buses with passengers inside, and engage
in other acts of violence, then there can be no worse flagrant violation of
the rule of law than that.

      "They (the MDC) made threatening phone calls to businesses that were
open on the day of the stayaway, so do they really believe in any freedom of
association and so on, so that we can emulate? Mbengegwi says.

      However, for the MDC, the people demonstrated that in the face of
severe intimidation and threats, they are still determined to put their
destiny into their own hands, says Paul Themba Nyathi, the party's secretary
for information and publicity.

      He says through mass action, people show that if they come together,
they can make a difference through concerted popular resistance to tyranny
and dictatorship which must crumble.

      "The people have rediscovered the power to move mountains and that is
the beginning of better things to come. It is taking serious effect as shown
by the reaction of the government in victimising perceived MDC supporters,"
Nyathi says.

      The Mugabe regime has got to know that actual power does not lie in
the baton sticks, or tear-gas, but in the hearts of individual Zimbabweans
who show displeasure to dictatorship and tyranny, he says.

      Chairman of the Department of Mathematics at the University of
Zimbabwe, Dr Temba Shonhiwa says for stayaways to be effective, they have to
be peaceful and exercise extreme discipline, otherwise they lose direction.

      "Given that we live under a repressive regime where all other avenues
of communication have been closed for the opposition, this is one way left
for the opposition to express itself.

      " Violence as witnessed in the recent mass action will not help the
cause at all and only gives the government an excuse to ruthlessly crack
down on the opposition as it is doing now," Dr Shonhiwa says.

      He says that job boycotts are a useful and legitimate form of
political struggle that serves as a way of raising people's political

      George Charamba, the permanent secretary in the Department of
Information and Publicity in the President's Office, declined to comment on
the MDC-called stayaway saying: "We will talk to you the day you become a
national paper. We didn't call for the stayaway. Ask the MDC."

      But can wilful intimidation and wanton arrest dampen the spirit of
people determined to see good governance and a just society? If they can,
then Zimbabwe would not be free from colonial rule today
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Daily News

      27 MDC men held in custody

      3/28/2003 11:58:30 AM (GMT +2)

      From Zerubabel Mudzingwa in Gweru

      AUSTIN Mupandawana, the Member of Parliament for Kadoma Central (MDC)
and 27 party supporters accused of destroying property worth nearly $12
million during last week's MDC organised two-day mass action, were denied
bail when they appeared in court on Tuesday.

      Kadoma magistrate Claudius Chimanga remanded them in custody to 9
April. They were arrested on Tuesday last week.

      Their lawyer, Christian Mafirakureva, told the court that four of his
clients, including the MP, had been severely tortured during interrogation
by the police.

      The other three are Callisto Tsvangirai, Francis Musiniwa and Tongai
Ndemberembe, who sustained a dog bite wound on the arm.
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Daily News

      Plot to rig poll exposed

      3/28/2003 11:36:57 AM (GMT +2)

      By Ray Matikinye Features Editor

      The opposition MDC says it has unearthed elaborate plans by Zanu PF
for massive rigging of the weekend by-elections in Highfield and Kuwadzana.

      Remus Makuwaza, the MDC director of elections, told a Press conference
in Harare yesterday that the rigging plans were with the connivance of the
Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, and other State agents.

      Makuwaza said more than 19 000 suspected "ghost" voters not resident
in the two constituencies had been added to the voters' roll. He showed
journalists the list of the dubious voters.

      The High Court ordered Mudede to release the voters' roll to the MDC
within 48 hours last Friday after a protracted wrangle.

      "We knew that was the reason for his delay in giving us the voters'
roll. We are not sure whether what we got was the final roll or that there
could be another supplementary voters' roll to facilitate rigging which we
were not given," Makuwaza said.

      "According to a basic analysis of the voters' roll, there are more
than 8 000 voters in Kuwadzana and 11 000 others registered in Highfield who
are not necessarily resident in these constituencies. The samples are not
exhaustive. We have discovered that on the voters' roll there are a number
of instances where two different names share the same national ID number."

      The MDC candidate for Highfield, Tachiveyi Mungofa, said Zanu PF had
started bussing in people to within the confines of the constituency.

      "More than 4 000 people are being fed at an open space in the
constituency, ready for the weekend poll," he claimed.
      A sample extracted from the voters' roll for Kuwadzana by this
newspaper shows a majority of newly registered voters with alien surnames,
raising suspicion that these could be ghost voters from grabbed commercial
farms, the majority of whose labour was from Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.

      There are names and surnames such as Akulukaya, Arimoso, Bilimonti,
Bollie, Abinal, Asavetwa, Ajala, Bitoni and others who form the bulk of the
suspect voters on the roll.

      The MDC did its own audit of the voters' roll and visited residences
where they discovered some of the people listed under addresses in Kuwadzana
were either unknown to the occupants or had never been at those addresses.

      Makuwaza said his party was aware Zanu PF would flood the
constituencies with scarce basic commodities such as sugar, maize-meal and
cooking oil packaged in containers soaked in indelible ink to disqualify
genuine voters.

      "We are aware that State agents plan to taint doors and water taps
with the indelible ink in those areas which are known MDC strongholds in
order to disqualify our voters," he said.

      Makuwaza said Zanu PF would deliberately slow down the voting process
in known MDC strongholds to give itself unfair advantage.

      The MDC spokesman, Paul Themba-Nyathi, said his party would continue
to take part in elections even in the face of such evidence because the
alternative would be "ghastly to contemplate".

      "We contest because the people have vested their trust in democracy.
We want to teach them that change comes through democratic means and

      Seven candidates are contesting for the Highfield seat with four
battling for Kuwadzana.
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Daily News

      Tsvangirai treason trial adjourned to 12 May

      3/28/2003 11:56:53 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      JUDGE president Paddington Garwe yesterday adjourned to 12 May, the
treason trial of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and two senior party officials
which is expected to complete its seventh-week today.

      Meanwhile, Garwe is expected to deliver a ruling on Monday on an
application to have the suspects' bail conditions wavered during the

      In addition, defence lawyers want the judge to order the release of
Welshman Ncube's passport. Ncube, one of three accused persons, wants to
travel to Canada to brief an attorney in preparation for the defence case.

      The Canadian attorney is supposed to witness test runs for the
equipment used to film a meeting between Tsvangirai and officials from
Dickens and Madson, a Canadian-based political consultancy.

      Advocate George Bizos submitted that it was unlikely that Tsvangirai
and his co-accused would abscond, given their standing in Zimbabwe as
"leaders of a political party which represents a considerable part of the
Zimbabwe population."

      Joseph Musakwa, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecution in the
Attorney-General's Office, opposed the applications arguing that the accused
persons were suspected to have committed "a very serious crime'' and that
their bail conditions were mutually agreed on.

      Defence lawyers charged during cross-examination that, a pair sent to
collect evidence of an alleged plot to assassinate President Mugabe, may
have sneaked into Canada without informing their counterparts in that
country as required by international regulations.

      Chief Superintendent Moses Mugadza, of the police operations section,
refused to say whether he and Retired Brigadier Happyton Bonyongwe, the then
deputy director-general of the CIO, paid a courtesy call on their
counterparts in Montreal when they went to collect what Mugadza described as
"information which could lead to police investigation."

      He admitted Ari Ben-Menashe bungled by facilitating the airing of a
video-tape on which the State is basing its case. The video showing alleged
details of a plot to assassinate President Mugabe and overthrow the Zanu PF
government was aired on ZBC television and on Australia's SBS television
network ahead of last year's presidential election.
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      ZUJ appeals to Speaker

      3/28/2003 11:54:51 AM (GMT +2)

      By Columbus Mavhunga

      THE Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) has requested Emmerson
Mnangagwa, the Speaker of Parliament, to allow journalists not accredited
under the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Prvacy Act
(AIPPA) to cover debate in the House.

      Luke Tamborinyoka, the ZUJ secretary-general, said his union was
worried about the refusal by Parliament to allow journalists to cover
Parliamentary debate unless they have been accredited.

      In a letter to Mnangagwa, he said: "We believe you are aware that
journalists have challenged the requirement for compulsory registration by a
hand-picked Media and Information Commission (MIC) appointed by a
hand-picked junior minister, and until judgement on the matter is handed
down, it is our humble submission that no one must be barred from covering
Parliament proceedings."

      Jonathan Moyo is the Minister of Information and Publicity in the
Office of the President. The letter was copied to Zanu PF and MDC chief
whips Joram Gumbo and Innocent Gonese respectively. Journalists last year
challenged the constitutionality of registering under the Dr Tafataona
Mahoso-led MIC. The Supreme Court is still to deliver judgement on the

      Tamborinyoka said to register would render the challenge useless
especially when the judgement has not been passed.

      "We believe that the Parliament complex is a public building and we
would appreciate it if you could allow unaccredited journalists the right to
cover proceedings in the House until the judgement is delivered on our
Supreme Court challenge," he said.

      "Otherwise the challenge would be of no use if journalists are to
undergo the very same strenuous process of registration, which they regard
as unconstitutional, simply because they want to be allowed into

      He said since the right to receive and impart information is
constitutional, journalists must be allowed to the Parliament's Press

      "After all, access to information is the very essence of the AIPPA,"
said Tamborinyoka.
      Mnangagwa, could not be reached for comment yesterday as he was in the
House. His personal assistant confirmed that the Speaker had received
Tamborinyoka's letter.
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