'The collection of clowns who run the country, simply do not know what to do'
BULAWAYO - On two sectors of the Zimbabwe economy seemed to have survived
Zanu (PF) - the mining and financial services sectors. Now both are
In the mining industry, once you have made an investment in a hole in the
ground, you are locked in - nothing much you can do about it except keep on
digging or close it down to come back later at huge expense or simply walk
An Australian firm saw the massive potential of the platinum reserves in
Zimbabwe and sunk US$600 million into a hole near Chegutu. They built a
complete town of houses for staff and a huge processing complex, roads were
opened up and hundreds of staff recruited. Three years later - they walked
away and a small group of local investors bought the whole bang shoot for a
small payment - taking over what debts remained.
Anglo American - one of the largest mining companies in the world and at one
stage holding nearly half of all the counters on the stock market, has
quietly disinvested over the past 15 years. At one stage they were into
everything - chrome, steel, coal, nickel and a wide swathe of industry and
agro industrial firms. Now they operate out of a house in Harare and have a
handful of investments and retain only their platinum mining assets - still
in their embryonic state. They sold everything else - to whoever would buy
the assets for a reasonable price.
The South African mining giant Implats eventually bought the Chegutu
operation from our local investors (who made a fortune on the deal) and
announced a massive investment programme. Another South African mining
company (a company with black empowerment links) bought into the gold
industry. Now they are all wondering why they did such a dumb thing - Zanu
(PF) has moved to do what they have done to all other sectors, get involved
and destroy what is there.
After years of deliberation the Ministry of Mines made it known they were
going to take a 25 per cent stake in all major mining companies - without
compensation. In addition the same companies had to sell another 26 per cent
on the never never to either the State or a local black empowerment group
(read Zanu (PF) company in effect). Thus at one stroke they take over a
controlling interest in all major mining companies. This goes well beyond
anything being done in South Africa and it violates clear, solid legal
agreements entered into with companies prior to their entry to the
industry - especially in the platinum sector.
The industry has reacted with fury. At a meeting this week with the Minister
they spelled out what would happen - they would freeze all new investment
and all major maintenance. Output would start to decline in a short while
and thereafter would decline rapidly with mine closures being inevitable.
They also pointed out that as the principle stakeholder - the State or its
local partners would have to find the resources for any major investment and
if these involved hard currency, they would find it very difficult to do so.
The other sector that has survived (battered and bruised, but still
operating) is the financial services industry. We have a good national
network of banks and other financial institutions that are basically well
run and sound. Now the state has imposed huge statutory reserve requirements
on the remaining commercial banks - six have gone to the wall in the past
four years. But to compound the problem, the new reserves have to be paid to
the Reserve Bank in US dollars!
A local colleague of mine now estimates inflation at 3000 per cent per
annum - and rising. Certainly this week the increase in prices has been
scary. In this environment, if you do not watch what you are doing very
carefully, you simply go bust. One thing that we do know is that Zanu (PF)
and the collection of clowns who run the country, simply do not know what to
do - from the evidence of their action in the past week, they are now
committed to a process of self-destruction. It cannot come soon enough.
With a two-thirds majority in parliament Zanu (PF) will have no problems
pushing through the suppression of foreign and international terrorism bill
If the real intention behind this legislation was to catch members of
Al-quaeda and other international terrorists, we would all applaud it.
But Zimbabwe, which has documented ties with leading Al-quaeda members, is
not serious about international terrorism. In fact, the government itself
has been involved in committing acts of terror by bombing the premises of
independent media organisations. No serious attempt to bring the culprits to
book has ever been made.
Countless supporters of the opposition have been beaten, tortured and killed
by government agents and party cadres and nothing has happened to the
perpetrators of these crimes. Indeed, most of them continue to serve in the
security forces where they enjoy official protection.
The real intention of this new law, as we see it, is to hamstring the
political opposition in the country. The government is obviously alarmed at
the growing anger among the people and the opposition MDC's determination to
commence widespread mass action to remove it once and for all.
Zimbabwe is not under threat from terrorists anywhere. No foreign armies are
poised to attack Zimbabwe - despite the aging tyrant's hallucinations about
an imminent British invasion, which have seen him presiding over a 'war
cabinet' since 2003.
The only 'wars' in which Zimbabwean soldiers have been involved since
Independence have been the genocide in Matabeleland and various
misadventures in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The tragedy of Zimbabwe is that the Zanu (PF) regime does not accept normal
political contest. Instead of curbing its excesses and working on viable
strategies to improve the lot of the people, the reigning geriatric
oligarchy desperately tries to put an ever-heavier lid on the boiling pot.
This may have worked until now, but as every dictatorship in the past can
testify - it does not work forever.
JOHANNESBURG - Christian women's delegations from three different countries
in Southern Africa are on a week-long mobilization mission in South Africa
to pressure Robert Mugabe to step down.
Women Together in Prayer for Zimbabwe (WTIP), a network for Christian women
in the region, will work with organizations and churches in the region to
raise awareness of Zimbabwe's plight of Zimbabwe crisis. It is chaired by
Joan Mute fro Zambia.
"We are going to hold prayer meetings for the president to step down as he
is old and has totally failed the nation. We need fresh minds to deal with
the situation. There should be a complete turnover in the leadership and we
need someone with human heart and who is concerned about the plight of the
people," said the chair, Bishop Judith Muyanga.
"As women we need to put pressure on regional leaders to act on the Zimbabwe
crisis. There should be also constant updates on the crisis and we intend to
mobilize women in Zimbabwe and in the region to fight oppression," said
Ntesleng Mankga of Botswana, who is the group's secretary.
In Zambia women have started information sharing and prayer meetings with
different churches. Botswana held a prayer conference for the Zimbabwe
crisis in February where many churches and organization gathered to give
solidarity to their struggling colleagues.
In Zimbabwe, WTIPZ is working with more than 15 organizations in fighting
Mugabe oppression. - Zakeus Chibaya.
HARARE - Harare residents whose water has been disconnected for any reason,
including non-payment, must use their legal rights to get supplies restored
or to block attempts by the City of Harare to cut them off, the Combined
Harare Residents' Association says.
CHRA urged residents to rally around this issue and set Harare free. "We
have the power of numbers to change the system of local governance in
Citing a judgement last year when the High Court ordered the City of Harare
to pay Z$200 million compensation and reconnect the water of a Hatcliffe
woman, Tracey Maponde, the CHRA said water is a birthright, adding: "Be
brave and use the power in your hands."
In the Maponde case (No. HC 5948/05), Judge Gowora ruled that it is illegal
to disconnect water for failure to pay. Maponde had her water disconnected
and her two-room cottage destroyed for non-payment of Z$3 million in rubble
charges. She challenged the City of Harare in a case brought by the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights. Her water was immediately reconnected.
CHRA has received numerous reports of water disconnection for non-payment.
Here is the association's to-do guide if a city official shows up to cut off
· Demand to see their ID and the letter of disconnection
from the District Officer, which must specify that you have failed to pay
your WATER BILL. There should be written notices.
· Tell the person that their action is illegal and would
be in contempt of court.
· Use the law and engage CHRA or your lawyer to stop the
City of Harare abusing its authority.
If your water has been illegally disconnected:
Contact your District Officer quoting the High Court case and request
immediate reconnection. If the water is not restored, tell the District
Office that you and CHRA will take legal action. - Own Correspondent
VICTORIA FALLS - One of the seven wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls
risks being down rated from its World Heritage status as serious
environmental concerns have been raised.
The United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation dispatched
a team last week to investigate the site. This follows widespread reports of
high levels of pollution, rampant dumping along the shore of the Zambezi - a
situation that is impacting negatively on the ecosystem.
The government, stung by the unfortunate prospect, has tasked the National
Commission on UNESCO (NATCO) to compile an urgent dossier. A four
ministerial committee has been set up to investigate.
Environment and Tourism permanent secretary Mrs Margaret Sangarwe confirmed
to CAJNEWS that a taskforce has been set up. "Its sole mandate is to
investigate the reports of a possible downgrading. The team has visited
Victoria Falls this month and a report of its findings will be produced,"
Zimbabwe has five-world heritage sites: Mana Pools National Parks, Sapi and
Chewore Safari Area (1984), Great Zimbabwe National Monument (1986), Khami
Ruins National Monument (1986), Victoria Falls (1989) and Motopo Hill
(2003). - CAJ News
BULAWAYO - More than Z$500 billion is needed for the installation of water
and sewerage reticulation services to houses built under the government
housing reconstruction programme in Cowdray Park.
The houses built under Operation Garikai/Hlalani are intended for victims of
the unpopular government clean up exercise that left close to 700,000
families homeless after government pulled down their houses.
A total of 450 two-roomed houses have been completed in Cowdray Park while
220 are at various stages. However, the houses lack water and sewerage
The government ignored council advice when it was warned that it would be
impossible to install the services as the houses were built on bedrock.
The government has indicated that it fails to get the finances, it would
build ventilated pit latrines. But health experts and the local authorities
have warned that their erection would pose a serious health hazard.
Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle has been marred by chaos since it started.
Recent reports note that government officials have grabbed the houses
intended for those left
HARARE - Government has threatened to cut the pensions of retired Supreme
and High Court judges if they refused to be recalled for duty.
According to a judges Pension Scheme notice gazetted last week, the pension
office will withhold any benefits to retired judicial officers for the
period they would have refused to serve.
"The fact that a full pensioner is engaged in some other employment or
business shall not constitute a just cause for refusing to serve unless the
nature of the employment or business render it inappropriate for him or her
to undertake the service," says the notice.
The government has been increasingly relying on retired judges to preside
over cases in which local judges have been reluctant to preside over. A
retired judge is currently presiding over a hearing in which some banks that
have been placed under curatorship by the Reserve Bank are challenging the
takeover of their assets.
Another retired judge, Justice Mtambanengwe, now a judge on the Namibian
Supreme Court, presided over the trial of fugitive High Court judge, Justice
Benjamin Paradza. Several senior judges have either quit or been forced out
of office in recent years. - Own correspondent
A state of organic crisis
BY STANFORD MUKASA
WASHINGTON - Zimbabwe under Mugabe and Zanu (PF) is a classic example where
both the right to vote and freedom of expression and of the press have been
Zimbabweans live under a dictatorship. Not only have they been denied
virtually all their basic human rights, they now live in a state of dire
poverty. The Mugabe regime is now in a state of organic crisis - when the
state feels threatened and under siege.
Mugabe and his henchmen feel threatened from every corner. They now trust no
one and suspect everybody. They are even suspicious of their own shadows.
There is a saying that you cannot keep a person down in a ditch without
staying in the ditch with him.
They are prisoners of their culture of repression. The formation of the
youth militia and the politicization of the army, police and the CIO was the
direct manifestation of the increasing insecurity Mugabe felt, especially
after he lost the referendum for a new constitution in 2000.
An organic crisis means the state creates a laager, or wagon encirclement,
to protect the interests of the top officials of the ruling party. At this
point, the state fails to govern effectively because it is now mostly
concerned with its own survival.
The extent of the culture of the parallel market in Zimbabwe is symptomatic
of a population that has largely been abandoned by the state.
The economic power and independence of the parallel market, notwithstanding
band aid attempts to control it by the Mugabe regime, coupled with the
runaway inflation and a collapsed economy are key indicators of not only a
failed state but a regime that now feels threatened from all quarters.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that one of the protectors of the
failed state, the army, is experiencing a profuse haemorrhage of
resignations. In the first three months of 2006 it is reported that over
2,000 soldiers resigned from the army.
What may have appeared like a silver lining in a dark cloud, or a light at
the end of the tunnel, namely promises of help from China and Malaysia under
the so-called "Look East" policy has now turned out to be largely a mirage.
The policy has not brought any tangible and significant benefits to Zimbabwe
in the short term.
When Mugabe arrived in Harare on January 27, 1980, hundreds of thousands of
Zimbabweans thronged the airport to meet him, believing that under his
leadership the new era of independence would bring the fulfilment of
whatever they hoped for in their lives.
What Zimbabweans did not know was that Mugabe and Zanu (PF) did not
represent the people's aspirations in post-colonial Zimbabwe. The honeymoon
lasted longer than most. But by the mid 1990s it was over.
To Zimbabweans and the international community, Mugabe represents a failed
regime and a failed state. The questions is: How do you remove the man
behind a failed regime and a failed state?
'The only white man buried at Heroes' Acre'
BY TREVOR GRUNDY
In life he was despised by most white Rhodesians, branded as a communist
troublemaker and deported by Ian Smith in 1971. In death, he was acclaimed
by black Zimbabweans as one of the greatest white Christians who ever worked
in their troubled land and President Robert Mugabe declared him a National
Hero only moments after he died in North Wales at the age of 88 in 1995.
Today, it's unlikely many young Zimbabweans (50 percent of the population is
under 15 years of age) will recall the life and times of Guy Clutton-Brock,
the man who carved his name onto the hearts of thousands of freedom fighters
who turned white-ruled Rhodesia into black-dominated Zimbabwe in April 1980.
"Some say he was a living saint but I regard him as a very great man who was
inspired by noble principles which he adhered to throughout his life," says
historian and journalist Lawrence Vambe from his new home in the English
"His approach to Africa's future would not now please many of his former
colleagues in the co-operative movement which he founded here," said a
writer in the Mwana Wevhu column of the Harare based Financial Gazette of 9
February, 1995. "They, in their enjoyment of power, have become victims of
the same worldliness that he saw as so destructive of man's true humanity."
Guy Clutton-Brock was a scion of the British establishment. Born in Wales,
his father was a stockbroker. He gained a history degree at Oxford
University and later he studied theology at Cambridge University where he
obtained special mention for his character and intellectual attainments.
In 1948 he and his wife Molly arrived in Southern Rhodesia as lay
missionaries of the Anglican Church. They were stationed at St Faith's
Mission, Rusape where Clutton-Brock was an agricultural adviser.
He concentrated on co-operative work and some of the young people he groomed
included Didymus Mutasa, Robert Tichaendepi Masaya, John Mataure, Cornelius
Sanyanga, Moven Mahachi, Dr D.C. Matondo and Herbert Ruwende.
In the mid-1950s Guy Clutton-Brock met with the nationalist leaders Robert
James Chikerema, George Bonzo Nyandoro, Paul Mushonga, Peter Mutandwa,
Dzawanda Willie Musarurwa, Eddison Sihole and Kufakunesu Mhizha and St
Faith's soon became the Mecca for black nationalists.
Following the inauguration on September 12, 1957 in Mbare of the Southern
Rhodesia African National Congress Guy Clutton-Brock identified himself with
Rhodesia's wretched of the earth. He prayed for "thousands and thousands" to
join the SRANC and introduced to cheering Africans a couple who had crossed
the "colour line" by marrying - Patrick Matimba and his white wife.
European settlers in Rhodesia went insane with anger and branded the
youngish white missionary and his wife as a couple of "communist
"He was probably the most courageous and selfless white man I've ever met in
my life," the late veteran nationalist James Chikerema told me.
Clutton-Brock later helped establish Cold Comfort Farm on the outskirts of
Harare. One of his key supporters was a small, dynamic and at the time very
Christian man, Didymus Mutasa.
As the nationalist fight against white rule hotted up in 1970, Guy
Clutton-Brock was the first European to be threatened with deprivation of
his Rhodesian passport. In 1971 he was deported and Cold Comfort Farm
Society was declared unlawful.
Hardwicke Holderness (author of Lost Chance -Southern Rhodesia 1945-1958,
Zimbabwe Publishing House) now in his 90s and living in England, summed up
his 'offence' when he told Clutton-Brock - "Your real offence is turning yes
men slaves into independent human beings." - Trevor Grundy is a journalist,
broadcaster and author.
Supermarket prices, northern suburb
Old fashioned brown, 1kg
BULAWAYO - A third branch of Support Group Of The Families Of Terminally Ill
has started in Emakandeni in the Western suburbs. The other branches are in
Mpopoma and Pelindaba.
This volunteer, non governmental support group offers psychological and
emotional support to those who have lost loved ones in the devastating Aids
The organisation also runs an occupational therapy group within which women
knit and sew using donated material that has been donated.
SGOFOTI also focuses on orphans who are among the most affected by this
terrible scourge. One of the counsellors, Patricia Tshabalala, has started a
sister organisation called Vulindlela guardians where vulnerable children
are entertained, taught skills and made to feel wanted.
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe's brain drain has forced the Bulawayo City Council's 19
clinics to share one doctor.
A report by Director of Health Services, Dr Zanele Hwalima, says 11 doctors
have resigned from the council in the past several months.
"Council has not been spared from the effects of emigrating health workers
as doctors have resigned for greener pastures," she said. "We should ideally
have 433 nurses and six doctors but we only have 240 nurses and one doctor."
The council's health institutions are also facing severe drug shortages. -
BULAWAYO - The Students Solidarity Trust reports that authorities at the
National University of Science and Technology (NUST) have suspended 28
students pending a hearing later this week.
The 28 include Beloved Chiweshe, SRC President, Mzwandile Ndlovhu, SRC S.G.,
and Iasac Chimutashu, former SRC President, Benjamin Nyandoro, former SRC
president and Lawrence Mashungu - National Vice Chairperson of the Zimbabwe
Students Christian Movement, among others.
They are charged with an assortment of charges, including conduct harmful to
the interests of the university, by demonizing and castigating government
and the Vice Chancellor, and malicious injury to property
Students have been in perpetual protest at NUST since the semester started,
at the massive fee increments by government which students have termed
Meanwhile following the expulsion of four student leaders, SRC President H
Mavuma, SEC members Collin Chibango, Mfundo Mlilo and Wellington Mahohoma,
the University of Zimbabwe has also suspended a former student leader and
SST fellow, Wellington Zindove on similar charges.
The Students Executive Council has resolved to fight the expulsions both
legally and politically. - Own correspondent
BY VIOLET GONDA
LONDON - "We have killed and torn down enough; it now must be a time to
heal and rebuild." - One of the quotes from a hard-hitting Pastoral Letter
to the Nation, on the crisis in the country, by the Zimbabwe Council of
The letter, the strongest statement so far from the ZCC, calls for the
regime of Robert Mugabe to be accountable and urges all Zimbabweans to take
responsibility for their situation.
Analysts have welcomed this latest stance by the churches who have generally
been less vocal about the crisis. With the exception of some church leaders
like Pius Ncube, the Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwean churches
have in the past been criticised for being silent and not speaking out
against the atrocities perpetrated by the regime.
Reverend Graham Shaw of the Methodist Church said although he hasn't seen
the pastoral letter, he is "pleasantly surprised if the ZCC is now beginning
to fulfil its divine mandate to speak prophetically about the situation.
Because in recent months and years they have been remarkably quiet in the
face of massive humanitarian disaster and the most gross human rights
Observers say pressure is now seriously mounting on the ruling party as more
groups are speaking out with a united voice. Last week an all stakeholders
conference organised in Mutare by Zimbabwe's largest civic groups resolved
to take action as a united front and push for a new constitution. The
gathering included the labour movement, student and civic groups and the
Reverend Shaw said such Pastoral Letters were significant as they indicated
the seriousness which church leaders took the deteriorating situation in the
country. He said, "They indicate to the church and the nation that the
church leadership is feeling the pain, is hearing the cries of the people
and is wanting to respond and give moral spiritual leadership."
It said on the issue of corruption; "As Churches in Zimbabwe we note with
concern that even where the machinery exists to curb corruption, little is
being done or has been done. We, therefore, feel obliged to speak out on
this evil that is continuously bleeding an already crumbling economy and if
this continues unchecked, recovery will be impossible."
The churches described the shambolic land reform program as "unfinished
business that has threatened the food security of Zimbabwe and led to
massive unemployment." - SW Radio Africa
Migration experiences - Zims in the UK
Continuing our series on the comparative analysis of the migration
experiences of black and white Zimbabweans in the UK.
BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
LONDON - Immigration status excludes undocumented black Zimbabweans from
integration into the society. They work in low-paid service-sector jobs
where monthly wages barely meet accommodation rentals, let alone mortgage
payments, and the security of their jobs is precarious. Yet, it would
improper to see undocumented migrants as victims of immigration policies. On
the contrary, they have established a set of survival strategies to
circumvent strict immigration laws.
Despite this difference, there are certain similarities between black and
white Zimbabweans; both are agonized by the political and economic situation
They see Zimbabwe as their home, a place they would eventually return to.
The majority of respondents in this survey expressed an urgent desire to
return and reconstitute their broken lives (69%), but in reality return
remains uncertain as there seems to be no end to the political and economic
Those with work permits or permanent residence status are obviously living a
more comfortable life than those without. Those with fewer worries about
their immigration status are likely to invest in the UK rather than back
home. The consequences of being undocumented migrants in the UK are harsh,
and those people tend to invest back home. Although many white and black
Zimbabweans have permanent residence status, they have an ambiguous
belonging. They are obsessed with living in the past, the glorious days of
Political and economic developments back home are watched closely as this
will influence the decision to return. When asked whether or not he would
want to return home or settle permanently in the UK, Richard replied: "I
want to return to Zimbabwe, my family is predominantly in Africa and I find
the UK a tiresome place. The cost of living is too high and the weather is
terrible. However, my partner's family is here now and she has much better
prospects here than at home (for now). It will depend very much on who takes
over and how well prepared they are for rebuilding and what they mean to do
to those who have served the regime."
Both white and black Zimbabweans consistently define their diaspora both as
temporary and permanent. Despite the strong desire to return to Zimbabwe,
one has to acknowledge some will inevitably stay permanently. As Rudo
explains: "At the moment the UK is my home and I will make it as such
because I only live once. I do not want to plan a life for when, if ever, I
go back to Zimbabwe to settle because it may never happen."
Similarly, Mduduzi, a male Zimbabwean in his 40s, has been working as a
professional in the UK. He lives with his family and said: "I intend to
settle here permanently I would only go to Zimbabwe to visit only. Britain
is a peaceful country. Only those who love wars would go to Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe cannot pay me what I am paid here in the UK, for example, teachers
are paid Z3 million in Zimbabwe which is equivalent to £21, a month but in
UK I am paid £260 a day as a supply teacher so why waste my time? Anywhere,
Africa has one direction that is to disaster. No country in Africa will ever
change, be it Zambia, Kenya or Malawi."
BRISTOL - The turnout at Bristol's first vigil was spectacular and
Gloucester Road was throbbing last Saturday afternoon as the group startled
passers-by with its vibrant spirit, report coordinators Jude Edwards,
Rosemary Baragwanath and Catherine Feeny.
Simba Mugudza of SimbaArts and his troop of drummers and dancers joined Red
Notes, a Bristol-based choir who specialise in Southern African songs,
creating a wonderful fusion of harmonic energy. Several people were dressed
in traditional attire -perhaps not suitable for an English early spring -
but it attracted some Zimbabwean passers-by.
Signatures were collected for a petition to be sent to the UN Security
Council urging pressure on Zimbabwe to put an end to human rights abuses.
'Make Mugabe History' wristbands, provided by Sue Toft and her daughter
Francesca, were sold, along with home-made flapjacks and banana cake.
It was emphasised that the holding of such vigils sends an important message
to people at home that although such a meeting would be considered treason
in Zimbabwe, in the Diaspora Zimbabweans do still have a voice, and are
working to gather support amongst local communities.
The next Bristol Vigil is scheduled for April 29 and thereafter on the last
Saturday of every month until free and fair elections take place in
BY ZAKEUS CHIBAYA
JOHANNESBURG - Corruption and ill-treatment of Zimbabwe asylum seekers and
illegal immigrants is still rampant at Lindela Repatriation Camp as
immigration officers demand bribes in return for the release of inmates.
A special investigation by The Zimbabwean reveals that security personal
routinely assault Zimbabwean asylum seekers at Lindela. People with asylum
papers are deported to Zimbabwe if they fail to pay bribes, which range from
R800 and R1000.
Colleen Makumbirofa, human rights campaigner for Foundation for Reason and
Justice who was detained at Lindela for two weeks after he failed to renew
his asylum permit in Cape Town described the conditions as deplorable.
"Immigrations officers pretend to assist asylum seekers but they are just
looking for bribes. Some people have to pay bribes when they are transported
from Lindela to the train station bound for Zimbabwe," said the
Thousands of Zimbabweans are arrested every day. Asylum seekers permits are
renewed for two weeks or a month to frustrate them after spending the whole
day waiting for the renewal of their papers.
"When deported, people are forced to squat under train benches the whole
journey to Musina. No-one is allowed to raise a head as they fear that
people might try to jump from the moving train. The journey is grueling,
it's like a torture exercise," said Shadreck Mayo who was deported recently
and managed to return to South Africa after walking from Musina to Makado on
He added that people are rotting at Lindela as they spent almost a month at
the camp awaiting deportation. Illegal immigrants from other Africa
countries such as Tanzania, Nigeria and Rwanda spent more than six months in
the camp. Only illegal immigrants from Mozambique are deported very often
prompting many Zimbabweans to prefer being deported to Moza.
Zimbabweans are deported once every two weeks on Wednesdays but while
thousands of Zimbabweans are arrested every day.
"When deported people are forced to squat under train benches the whole
journey to Musina.Noone is allowed to raise a head as they fear that people
might try to jump from the moving. The journey is grueling its like a
torture exercise," said Shadreck Mayo who was deported recently and managed
to return back to South Africa after walking from Musina to Makado on foot.
Zimbabwe consulate staffs who visit the camp to screen people who are to be
deported to Zimbabwe are accused of neglecting the concern of Zimbabweans.
They are even ridiculed by inmates for destroying people homes during
South Africa government is accused of working hand in hand with Robert
Mugabe regime in frustrating Zimbabwe asylum seekers and stop them from
organizing themselves to fight for democracy in Zimbabwe.
JOHANNESBURG - More than 500 Zimbabwe asylum seekers face imminent expulsion
from the Central Methodist Church after church members and leaders accused
them of destroying church property and engaging in violence, prostitution
Things came to head when two Zimbabweans were killed recently in tribal
clashes at the church.
Zimbabwe asylum seekers allege that the church has been infiltrated by
criminal gangsters and prostitutes who are causing mayhem. Projects
established at the church to assist asylum seekers were constantly abandoned
after criminals stole and vandalized materials meant for the projects.
At a tense meeting last Tuesday the congregation called for Bishop Paul
Verryn's head and demanded the asylum seekers to be evicted from the
"I was nearly raped in the lift by these people and they are molesting small
girls in the church. Our church has now turned into a haven for criminals as
some of them are hiding the church after committing crimes. Church members
are now afraid of coming to church because of intimidation," said one lady.
"There is no war in Zimbabwe and these people should go back to their
country immediately. When we were in exile we used to stay in camp but these
people are enjoying our hospitality and them no longer looking for jobs. The
corrupt leadership should go now," declared one church member who did not
hide his hatred for Zimbabweans.
Bishop Verryn had a torrid time the whole afternoon defending the refugees
and he tried to convince the uncompromising church members without success.
The church members wanted the Presiding Bishop Ivans Ibrahams to come to
resolve the issue.
Saul Zvobgo of Methodist Human Rights apologized for the misbehavior of
"We are going to deal with the miscreants and we have started vetting the
people. We are sorry about what happened and we promise that it will never
take place again," said Zvobgo.
Some pregnant women and some with small children were at loss as they had
nowhere to go. Bishop Verryn said it was ungodly to turn the refugees out
onto the streets. At the end it was agreed to form a committee to resolve
the issue and to look for a building to accommodate people.
There are some holes in British foreign policy that need clarification,
especially where Africa is concerned.
BY INGRID UYS
LONDON - British Prime Minister, Tony Blair last week presented his case for
intervention in the affairs of a foreign country. There are two types of
intervention, he said: "activist" and "diplomatic." In the case of Zimbabwe,
where British government efforts were directed at applying "political
pressure" on President Robert Mugabe's regime, Blair admitted that Britain's
intervention has not been effective.
Blair is strongly in favour of nurturing what he calls an "international
community" - based on "shared values, prepared actively to intervene and
resolve problems" - to serve as the foundation of future global peace,
prosperity and stability. According to Blair, who delivered his speech to
the Foreign Policy Centre on March 21, Africa so far has reaped mostly
diplomatic, not activist efforts. This is a telling confession from a
government which, in 2005, put Africa at the top of its foreign policy
Blair poured scorn on the foreign policy practices of the past 50 years in
which a strictly non-interventionist approach was widely adopted. In the
case of Africa, and its many conflicts, this 'old' policy view, "has its
soft face in dealing with issues like global warming or Africa; and reserves
its hard face only if directly attacked by another state, which is
This "benign inactivity" approach to foreign policy has no place in today's
world, Blair continued. Yet Britain's stance on Africa remains just that:
benign, plus an overriding interest targeted particularly at its own
economic interests. Blair did not spell it out, but there are many who would
argue the case for 'active' intervention: military intervention in Rwanda
would have been an appropriate response, where the genocide of a million
people took place. The failure of the West to intervene in Rwanda's case
raises the question: in what circumstances would the West intervene: do
economic interests outweigh humanitarian concerns? Is Africa regarded as
being so "hopeless" - to use that famous phrase of the Economist's - that
"activism" will always give way to the pursuit of other interests? This
would seem to be the case.
Interestingly, it was Nelson Mandela who offered the view, just a few years
ago, that "tyrants" (he clearly included African tyrants among them) should
not be allowed to shelter behind the concept of "sovereignty". Was this the
first time an African leader put forward an argument for 'active'
intervention - and when will some other African leaders make the same
appeal? The case of Zimbabwe and its rapid decline under the presidency of
Robert Mugabe has proved that so far many African leaders remain supportive
of tyrannical behaviour or lack the stomach for intervention of any kind,
whether militarily or meaningful diplomacy.
Britain's policy towards Africa often has been criticised, and although
Africa gained a certain prominence in the Labour government's foreign policy
agenda, there is little evidence so far that much will transpire from this
policy. The Royal African Society accuses the British government of
concentrating on Africa's relationship with the outside world: "trade, aid
and debt, but it neglects the deeper, internal causes of Africa's failures:
The RAS repeatedly has offered the studied view that it is Africa's leaders
who are responsible for Africa's dire plight. In an article, Richard Dowden,
executive director of the RAS, published in the Independent, wrote: "In
Africa all politics are local and personal, rarely about ideas or
The hope of intervention in Africa by Britain is becoming dimmer by the day.
Britain is closing three diplomatic missions in Africa and it has lost three
important Africanists at the Foreign Office.
So, what future is there for Africa becoming part of that interdependent
world on which Blair says future policies should be based? Certainly, it
suggests that relationships with African countries will focus more on
economic and commercial interests than on coordinating a coherent policy
that will facilitate Africa's entry into global interdependency. As Dowden
observed, Britain's approach to Africa has resulted in "grotesque
contradictions such as Jack Straw (British Foreign Secretary) denouncing the
evil Harare regime while the Home Office deports failed Zimbabwean asylum
seekers telling them it is safe to go home."
In the case of Zimbabwe, some commentators believe that Britain has in fact
contributed to the mess in which Zimbabwe now finds itself. A RAS article
says "trying to browbeat Mugabe with threats and condemnation played
straight into his hands as he turned every insult back on his accusers,
supercharged with anti-colonial rhetoric." The RAS accuses the British
foreign office of not merely mishandling Zimbabwean politics, but of apathy.
So far then, British foreign policy towards Africa can be said to be
non-interventionist policy - a policy which Blair only recently said had no
place in today's global politics. So there are still some holes, it seems,
in British foreign policy that need clarification, especially where Africa
In 1966, in the months after UDI, there was much discussion about the
closing of the Feruka fuel pipeline from Beira to Mutare as a result of
sanctions against Ian Smith's regime. In 2006, 40 years later, donkeys cross
the mountains from Mozambique laden with containers of the same precious
liquid. True, the economy is not totally dependent on donkeys, not yet
anyway. But these patient animals, which have served us for millennia, could
be symbols of where we are.
The French have a saying, reculer pour mieux sauter (take a step back so as
to make a better jump). The saying commends the practice. If you travel the
growth points of Zimbabwe - a growth point is not quite a town but it is
much more than a 'business centre' - your will often notice, even today,
vibrant small industries. You will see people with small homemade welding
machines making ploughshares, hoes and sickles, scotch carts, school tables
and chairs. Sometimes they employ up to 11 workers.
Others make shoes and handbags or school bags 'for the Indian shops.' Where
there is an enabling environment people are very creative and industrious.
Their industry is at an earlier stage than the one that produces tractors
and combined harvesters but perhaps it is better founded.
And what is true of the economic life of people could also be true of their
politics. Small communities, women's groups, residents associations, burial
societies and similar civic groups are discovering how to order their
affairs and find their voice. The grand politics of sovereignty and
liberation, that may have served us for a time after independence, is now
giving way at the grassroots to something much more modest but also much
Christians call this time of the year 'Lent' - a word that perhaps comes
from the len(gh)t(ening) of the days (in the northern hemisphere). It is a
time of preparation for celebrating the mysteries of Jesus' death and
rising. This means that it is a time for reflecting on our own 'death' and
our own 'rising' as persons and as a country. The first stage is the death.
That is where we are now in Zimbabwe. There is a kind of death of the high
dreams and longings of the first years of independence. There is a passion
and a kind of death in every person's life one way or another. And the same
can be true of a community - even as big a community as a country. But the
more we live that process positively and searchingly - even if it means
going back a step or two - the more we prepare the resurrection. And, by the
way, when Jesus entered Jerusalem he was riding a donkey.
BY MOTHER DUCK
BULAWAYO - The idea for the construction of a major dam for the continually
drought- stricken Matabeleland region was first mooted in the early 1900's.
An estimate of the cost of such a mammoth construction in 1912 was Z$6,000.
Estimates rose to Z$8 billion in 1996 and now, 94 years later, costs will be
in the trillions, but the dam has never been built.
Reading back over past publications one comes across proclamations like this
one, posted: Sun, 01 Aug 2004 "The initial groundwork at the Gwayi-Shangani
dam site has begun in earnest following a loan injection of Z$10 Billion
from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe."
And "The dam will be financed at a cost of US$600 million by the government
of Malaysia It will be carried out by a joint venture company,
Zimbabwe-Malaysia Holdings. The ground work is being carried out by a
Chinese company which was awarded a tender to construct the dam by the
Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project."
The proposed lasting solution to the city water problems was, in the first
instance, the building of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Matabeleland North
province. The next step was to pipe water from the mighty Zambezi itself.
The dam was supposed to take four years to complete. A contract for the
building of the dam on a Build-Operate-Transfer arrangement was awarded to a
Chinese company and there is ample evidence of Chinese participation in the
project where all the signs are in both written in English as well as
Chinese and there is a preponderance of the immaculate construction crews in
surrounding areas like Hwange Safari Lodge and the Victoria Falls.
But now, two years into construction, there is not much to see at the site
which is 300 kilometres to the North of Bulawayo, on the main Victoria
Falls Road, at the confluence of the mighty Gwayi and the Shangani Rivers.
The gorge is spectacular. A recent trip showed the river flowing swiftly due
to the recent heavy rains - but no sign of any dam wall.
I managed to find a tiny piece of news in a remote publication which stated
on February 2, 2006 "Construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, one of the dams
set to provide water to the drought-prone Matabeleland region, has been
stopped following floods that swept away the dam wall and access roads at
the construction site."
BY A CORRESPONDENT
HARARE - In a shocking display of bias, even by their dismal standards, the
state media followed frenetic coverage of an alleged arms cache and coup
plot in Manicaland by ignoring or distorting the dramatic collapse of the
case against seven of the eight accused.
And, in a fresh assault on what little is left of press freedom, there came
the news that the Mugabe regime intends to legislate and licence state
agents to tap telephones, open letters and compel email service providers to
install equipment to help the state intercept private messages.
On top of proposed mail snooping laws - flagrantly unconstitutional - The
Herald and The Chronicle, both state-run, reported moves by the Media and
Information Commission to "regulate" companies "distributing subversive
material of foreign origin." Other media reported that targets of this
attack are this newspaper, The Zimbabwean, and the South African-based Mail
"These developments clearly reflect the actions and aspirations of a
typically paranoid police state so terrified of its own population that it
tramples on its own constitution to secure its control of the nation,"
commented the media watchdog, Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ), in
its report covering March 13-19.
MMPZ cited ZBH as the worst offender in the coverage, or lack of coverage,
of Judge Charles Hungwe ordering the release of seven of the accused in the
coup farce, and his castigating Central Intelligence Office agents for
intimidating state prosecutors in an attempt to get the case going.
The national public broadcaster largely ignored the matter and restricted
itself to two brief reports on the suspects' court appearances. "Even then,
ZTV buried the issue in its bulletin and lied about the court outcome by
reporting that five of the eight suspects had been released on bail when in
fact they were released after the State withdrew charges," said the media
The main state-run newspapers, The Herald, Chronicle and Manica Post,
followed suit by failing to explain that the judge had declared the
suspects' detention unlawful, and instead left the insidious impression that
the accused were still guilty of trying to topple what the papers called
"the democratically elected government of Zimbabwe."
Interestingly, the Mirror stable gave credence to reports that it is owned
by the CIO by totally ignoring the judge's dismissal of the charges and his
description of the CIO agents' conduct as shocking.
"It was only the private media that gave a clear picture of developments in
the arms cache story that exposed it as a staged sham designed to discredit
the (Morgan) Tsvangirai MDC faction ahead of its congress," said the MMPZ.
The Tsvangirai MDC congress itself was covered by the state media with
emphasis on negative developments and, in the case of ZBH, suffocated with
stories of scant news content or items peddling official platitudes as news.
For example, Spot FM aired prominently a statement by Madzudzo Pawadyira of
the Civil Protection Unit that his organisation "remains committed in
minimizing the risk of disasters."
True to form, ZBH censored the important stories of UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan making unflattering comments about Zimbabwe during a visit to
South Africa, and also the country's projected poor maize yield. Instead,
Radio Zimbabwe chose this: "ZBH and ZRP will hold joint awareness programmes
on the importance of paying radio and TV licences."
BULAWAYO - The Media and Information Commission (MIC) has remained mum over
a story published in the government-owned Sunday News last week, which has
turned out to be false.
But MIC chairman, Tafataona Mahoso, who is normally very quick to castigate
editors of the independent media when they make mistakes, has remained
silent. However, the permanent secretary for Information has ordered the
editor, Brezhnev Malaba, to submit a written report explaining himself. The
story alleged that four top-ranking officials in the ministry of higher
education had been suspended for corruption.
The chief executive officer of Zimbabwe Newspapers, the paper's parent
company, Justin Mutasa has also kept quiet. - Own correspondent
No toilet for 400 students
EDITOR - I am a disgruntled student of the University of Zimbabwe. There is
a potential health hazard in one of the complexes there. After paying Z$24m
to get admission into residence it is unfortunate that a complex housing
more than 400 students does not have a toilet! Can the responsible ministry
please take appropriate action?
F Gonekai, Harare
Evil thrives on complicity
EDITOR - May I through your columns send an open letter to the captains of
industry, mining, agriculture, commerce and some of the NGOs; and a warning
to the inner circle:
History is littered with the tragedies of tyranny. And the reason? It is
the phenomenon of complicity: the lack of the peoples' resistance to evil
because they cut out their hearts and have not the courage of their
convictions in what is right to do what is right.
And so tyranny thrives until such time as people stop being complicit in
that tyranny. You, our so called leaders, collaborate with evil by
legitimising it through dialogue and engagement; by compromising in the
making of deals with it; by failing to speak out and publicise injustice in
the press; by not pursuing the truth in the courts; by being afraid to
resist in any tangible open way.
And so history is made and history repeats itself; and what happens to you
captains of industry and mining and commerce and agriculture and NGO leaders
who are run by fear and whose slogan is: "money before morality" and
"pockets before principles" and "survival before what is right" and
"pragmatism before resisting evil?" What happens to the inner circle who
are so deep in that they simply ensnare themselves further as they continue
to fail to resist orders that are immoral?
By feeding it, by being close to it, by becoming a part of it [with party
cards and going to rallies and making donations to it], you will simply get
swallowed up by the great crocodile of evil too. And so will we. History is
clear on this point. Those who seek to save themselves by becoming
complicit and close to it get lost.
In Stalin's Russia hundreds, thousands, millions, industrialists,
agriculturalists, miners, financiers, peasants - a whole people terrorised,
famished, impoverished, because they allowed evil to roll on like a river
without standing in open defiant resistance against it .
What happened in gukhurahundi? What happened in murambatsvina? What happened
on the farms? It is better to think about that now before the crocodile eats
you up too. One captain of agriculture, the current CFU vice-president, said
to me once, "we are on a ship that can not be turned. Better to let it
eventually crash, and simply survive in the mean time." Another, the
current CFU president, said "there is a rock rolling down the hill
destroying everything in its path . Better to step to one side and let the
rock get to the bottom of the hill rather than get crushed in attempting to
stop it oneself".
Such an attitude is as naive as it is weak and cowardly. It does not take
into account the depths to which evil will go, that there is no redeeming
rock-lined shore for the ship to crash on or hill bottom to arrest the rock
of destruction; unless people play their part in bringing justice,
accountability and healing by God's grace.
Complicity simply ensures that the rock of destruction will continue to
roll. In Russia it rolled for 3 generations and only got to the hill bottom
through people starting to wake up and stand up to be counted.
I pray that God, the rock of dependability and salvation, will give you, and
us all, the courage and the faith to stand for what is right and play our
part before all of us in Zimbabwe are completely swallowed up in the swill
Ben Freeth, Zimbabwe
Good news in Zim?
EDITOR - You have embarked on an ambitious venture - trying to find good
news in Zimbabwe. I hope you succeed. I was just thinking that good news
makes one happy; there is a feeling of contentment when one receives good
In spite of the lack of good news in Zimbabwe, there are times when I feel
content and happy: This is mainly because I have decided to feel good once
in a while; good news or no good news - it is necessary if you do not want
stress to send you to an early grave in these trying times.
When I listen to particularly good music I forget about my problems and
allow myself to de-stress. We have a good supply of good music in Zim;
Oliver, Chiwoniso, Victor Kunonga, Jazz Invitation, Owen Chimuka etc.
I have taught myself to be slow to anger. I read somewhere about a Hindu man
who was seated by a pool. He saw a scotpion floundering on top of the water
and reached out his hand to help; the scorpion stung him. Again he reached
out a helping hand and again the scorpion stung him. A guy seated close by
asked the Hindu man why he bothered with the scorpion that kept stinging
him. He replied that it was his nature to love and he wasn't going to give
it up just because it was the nature of the scorpion to sting. Everything is
rotten and stings, but we should keep on smiling and hope for a brighter
Shepherd Mandhlazi, Luveve
Why is Mugabe annoyed?
EDITOR - Mahoso's threat to tighten already tightened Press laws is just
trying to deprive us diasporians of our rights to be part of our country.
The Zimbabwean is printed by Zimbabweans for Zimbabweans, it's disgusting to
note the degree of misinterpretation that is meant to undermine the
publication of this weekly newspaper.
I don't understand why Mugabe and his government should be annoyed by these
newspapers. All the newspapers mentioned by Mahoso are only printed in
foreign countries and yet they are Zimbabwean papers reporting the truth
about the Zimbabwean situation.
Since the signing of the Access to Information and Protection Act (AIPPA)
into law four local papers have been closed down and dozens of journalists
arrested. Now the same regime is pushing for legislation to monitor
telephone calls and e-mail messages. Where is this going to leave us?
Danford Zimuto, London
Tribute to Tendai Biti
EDITOR - The election of Hon Tendai Biti was long over due, the man has
qualities and has shown that he never was power hungry because of the way he
reduced the powers of the Secretary General to that of the President
according to the adopted amendment of the MDC constitution, yet he knew he
was the best candidate to take that post.
I would also like to support the appointments of the judges of the party's
tribunal or appeals board which saw the nomination of experienced and
un-biased advocate Eric Matinenga and professional lawyer Innocent Chagonda
in order to avoid a situation where the interested party in the dispute is
both judge and prosecutor.
Biti, you are a very humble man and disciplined, hope the rest will follow
suit and on behalf of Glen Norah District Youth executive we well come you
to the party administration board, may God bless you.
By F T (Mr Thunder), Glen Norah
A plea for unity
EDITOR - Allow me through your paper to congratulate President Morgan
Tsvangirayi on his re-election. To me he is a true revolutionary giving hope
to many Zimbabweans that finally we have a man capable of delivering us from
the yoke of the Zanu (PF) dictatorship.
It seems the attendance at the recent MDC congress is a clear signal people
want him to lead and liberate Zimbabwe. It must also knock a bit of sense
into those political novices who seem to be overwhelmed by their
Tough challenges lie ahead for Zimbabweans in all walks of life to finally
rid our beloved country of the evil Mugabe regime before its too late.
I would like to remind the supporters of the two MDC factions that our
common enemy is the senile Mugabe and his party. Therefore we should
impress upon our respective leaders the need to form a united front as the
split undermines all efforts to upstage the current dictatorship and have a
new accountable face at state house.
I was also happy to note that among some of the resolutions adopted by MDC
was the need to have a people-driven constitution for Zimbabwe. Even if
Mugabe was to go today and a new President got into office, our current
constitution would just make that president a monster eventually. A rigorous
education campaign is needed to let the people appreciate the effect of the
constitution on Zimbabwe's politics.
I urge civic society to harness as much energy and resources as necessary to
drive this point home and force the ruling party on its knees. To the Zanu
( PF) leadership I must say the writing is on the wall and you can not
resist the wishes of the people forever. Sooner rather than later you will
be history, so be warned!
Clemence Ngairongwe, Harare
No to tribalism
EDITOR - As a Zimbabwean living in SA I cannot let Munjanja's letter go
without comment. I think he was right to include on his list of potential
leaders names of the likes of Moyo Austin, Chikandiwa Lovemore and Malcom
The interesting thing is that there are some names we haven't heard of,
either at home or here, who are said to be people who came here even before
MDC was formed, who do not even know the causes which lead to the formation
of the party and who are now citizens and voters in SA, trying to build
their base for the district posts. To such people I want to say a big NO.
They have got no interest in Zimbabwe, and as SA citizens they do not have
the mandate to decide on Zimbabwe.
We here in Limpopo province are more informed about things happening at home
as we are usually there, but until this time we haven't been represented in
the SA district committee. We say NO to South African citizens in our
district, no to a tribally biased district again.
Zenzo Nleya, South Africa
HARARE - The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC is to launch a major international
diplomatic offensive to explain its new strategy of active, but peaceful,
resistance to the tyrannical Mugabe regime.
In an exclusive interview with The Zimbabwean this week the publicity
secretary, Nelson Chamisa said the party would send delegations of senior
personnel to friendly governments in the region and abroad to explain the
country's political crisis, introduce the party's new leadership and outline
the way forward following the recent MDC congress. The party would
simultaneously reorganise its structures in an effort to prepare internally
for the next chapter of the struggle for freedom in Zimbabwe, said Chamisa.
"We need re-invigorated party structures to sustain the planned active
resistance." For security reasons he would not elaborate on what form such
resistance would take "We know this dictatorship well," he said. "And for
strategic reasons we cannot divulge any details at this stage. But the
people of Zimbabwe know what a struggle we are engaged in and will be ready
to respond when the time is right."
In his acceptance speech to the congress on March 19, MDC President Morgan
Tsvangirai, announced a new season of resistance. This was immediately
followed by unveiled threats from Zanu (PF) heavies, who called for his
arrest for treason. The minister for home affairs, Kembo Mohadi, said: "This
treachery has now gone beyond all forms of decency and must be stopped. The
courts must take note of Morgan Tsvangirai's open call for violence which,
in essence, constitutes high treason." Chamisa emphasised that Tsvangirai
had never advocated violence in any form and had always insisted that active
resistance against the Mugabe regime should take the form of mass, peaceful,
Zanu (PF) spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira and the party's political commissar
Elliot Manyika last week tried to evoke the spectre of war to scare
opposition groups from taking mass action. "Those who reject the legal and
democratic way of running the government and choose confrontation will be
confronted by the long arm of the state (sic). Zanu (PF) alone has the
gruelling experience of war, and strongly urges the armchair talkers to shut
up. War is not like a picnic or a dinner party, it is blood, sweat, injuries
and death," Shamuyarira and Manyika said in a joint statement. Earlier State
Security Minister Didymus Mutasa told the CIO-owned Financial Gazette that
the government would crush any mass protests against the administration.