Mugabe, not Blair, must make the
3/4/2003 7:22:38 AM (GMT +2)
been said before: Zanu PF is full of contradictions.
analysts ever thought they would hear President Mugabe say he
was willing to
be friends with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, not after
cabinet as being full of "gay gangsters"and having some of
his praise singers
call him a "Blair toilet".
On his return from a visit to France and
the Far East on Sunday,
Mugabe told his supporters at Harare International
Airport that President
Jacques Chirac of France was willing to join
presidents Thabo Mbeki and
Olusegun Obasanjo of South Africa and Nigeria,
respectively, in helping mend
relations between Britain and
Mugabe reportedly told Chirac that he did not
discriminate against the
British, which many people, including Zimbabweans,
find extremely difficult
He said he had told Chirac
to remind Blair that Zimbabwe ceased to be
a British colony in 1980 and was
willing to be friends with the British as
long as Britain understood
Zimbabwe's position. It's hard to believe Chirac needs to be reminded
these hard facts.
Since the weekend, it seems Mugabe has adopted a
to the impasse he brought about between this country
and Britain by the
events of 2000 and 2002.
On Saturday he
reportedly said Blair had admitted to him, via Mbeki,
that Britain was wrong
on the issue of land reform but had not found a way
of publicly conceding
This was amazing, because Britain has never opposed the land
programme. It was the manner in which the exercise was being conducted
Britain and the rest of the
international community found
Farms were seized for the benefit of the Zanu PF
supporters and cronies. The genuinely landless people, who were
benefit from the exercise, were used as pawns in a game of
intrigue. Once the land had been grabbed by Mugabe's close
were driven off by the party chiefs, quite often as abruptly
as if the
government had not sanctioned their occupation of the farms in the
They have been led up the farm garden path and left
in the lurch, so
This is the root cause of the disputes
among the ruling Zanu PF
supporters, the war veterans and the party leaders,
some of whom reportedly
grabbed more than one farm for themselves, contrary
to the one-farmer,
one-farm policy being peddled by the
The chaotic manner in which the exercise has been
responsible for the current hunger and starvation in the
notwithstanding the ravages of the drought.
activity was disrupted as farmers were driven off the land.
The so-called new
farmers who replaced them could not get seed, fertiliser
and implements to
continue where the old farmers had left off.
The government, having
outraged most donors with its ham-fisted
treatment of every dissenting
political voice, failed to secure enough funds
to fulfil its promises to the
Government resources were plundered with impunity and
continues. It is doubtful that the British government would have
The exercise cost so many lives; women and
children were tortured and
violated, all in the name of land
It is the wanton destruction of life and property that
international community could not condone, hence the smart sanctions
on Mugabe, his family, government and close supporters.
The call by South Africa and Nigeria for the Commonwealth, the
and the rest of the international community to lift sanctions
Zanu PF leadership has no substance at all. The government has
to deserve such a reprieve.
Farms are still being listed and
farmers driven off the land. The
police have done nothing to restore the rule
of law. Blair would have no
basis to change his mind now.
Mugabe who must make the first move
Alice though the looking glass
I guess this epitomises the
crazy world we live in...the title The world according to Garp seems to ring
There was a Dairyman of the
Year presentation this week. A dinner and a night out at the Meikles Hotel - a
snip at only $46000 per night each, dinner $6000 each. I made
my usual protest. I am not killing another cow so as to be able to afford this
silly night out. How can I go to a Dairyman dinner, when I can't get stockfeed
for my cows. When I can't do even the most elementary maintenance on my cows,
cannot get calf para-typhoid to stop the babies dying, cant afford dry cow -if
you can get it.... Why must I pretend that things are ok? Who is even looking
at the pretty picture I would be portraying?
We were in Harare though, a
few errands, things which you can't get in Gweru, like badzas etc. I even
bought plants for my garden - haven't done that for a while! We drove past the
presidents' houses - as I casually looked to my left, the sentry on guard
flapped his bright pink tongue in and out at me. Well, regardless of any
insult, racism or anything else, what a way for a presidential sentry to
behave! I was too astounded to even do anything!
The idiocy continues - Kath
has to get armed guards in to protect their crop in the ground. People being
shunted off their farms...and they go, meekly. What has happened to them that
they go so meekly? I would want to have a bonfire, and be damned to it all.
Have a bonfire and run like hell! The cricket carries on, and its good sport,
in beautiful sunny weather, and we support it as if there is nothing wrong. Its
bizarre. And the clergymen get arrested, bless them.
But the queues for fuel go
round the block, The queues for bread seem to be permanent. The queues for
buses to the townships look as if those people will be there all night. Why do
they just stand there? I just can't do it. If I can't just buy it, I
will have to go without. Yes I have got loo-rolls, and salt and sugar and
toothpaste stashed away, but NO, I'm not standing in a queue like a sheep. I am
still able to make my bread, it gives me a chance to choose whose neck I am
wringing this time - oh such good therapy! And I am even getting quite good at
this bread thing. But Kath and I bought two loaves each last week
without a queue - what a good feeling it was, and I don't know how I
stopped myself from gobbling the lot then and there! When I was a little girl
the bread used to get put on the back seat, with me, and I used to make holes in
the end crust like a rat, oh, to do that again.
But after the rain I can at
least look at the sunny day, and think how beautiful it is today. There's cobs
out there in the lands now, and we have to have patrols and guards just to keep
it for the workers....what a pain.! I don't know what happened to the cyclone
that was supposed to come in-land, but guess we can survive
Have a nice weekend"
African Brotherhood: An Excuse for Despots to Rule
The Daily News
March 4, 2003
Posted to the web March 4,
AFRICAN brotherhood. A magnificent
outrage! That's what I call it. What is
wrong with African leaders? No, it's
not President Mugabe I'm talking about
Would you believe that in
1927, incumbent President Charles D B King of
Liberia won the presidency by
234 000 votes? Yes, only 234 000 votes
separated him from a determined
challenger. That was too close for an
African president, wouldn't you
Well, King was "duly elected" President of Liberia. Oh, I forgot
that the total number of registered voters was only 15 000. The
a genius after all! Better than our very own resident
Mudede. King turned 15 000 eligible voters into 234 000
votes for himself.
The poor challenger seems to have unwittingly voted
for his opponent
thousands of times over. Could Mudede have been in Liberia
in the 1920s? But
that's Africa! Those are the kind of precocious presidents
we have always
Is modern-day Africa's best the likes of Olusegun
Obasanjo, Mugabe and Thabo
Mbeki? Is this the best this continent can
produce? Why are African leaders
despots, oppressors, cruel, uncaring and why
do they choose to live in their
respective Finance ministries instead of
Why is there so much brutality used on Africans by
Africans? Is it in our
genes that once we are rulers we are not happy with
just oppressing our own
citizens but look around us to find, encourage and
protect other African
leaders who brutalise their hapless
French President Jacques Chirac must have had nightmares
staring into the
eyes of all those dictators amongst whom were murderers,
sadists, polygamists, girl-snatchers and, yes,
Chirac knew but did not care about what some of these men did
for Mugabe and
to us in Zimbabwe last year during a charade called
an odious election that Mugabe now impetuously uses
to literally keep up
Chirac should also be aware of how
faulty Obasanjo and Mbeki's entente
cordiale on Zimbabwe is. True to the norm
of dictators mollycoddling each
other, Obasanjo and Mbeki can only hear
Mugabe's complaints and mumblings
but not the screams from the millions of
people in Zimbabwe.
African leaders' attitude towards last year's
elections is not surprising.
It was the betrayal of a nation, but more
importantly, it was the first
salvo fired in salute of the birth of the
It was a luminous flare in the African skies to
inform all and sundry that
no African president will fault another. Yes, it
was the African
Renaissance, African dictatorship by a new name.
we know what this renaissance is all about. It was not by accident that
the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) was launched in
Africa by Mbeki having been bankrolled by a notorious dictator from up
who is only African at his convenience but is otherwise an Arab
Qaddafi can spot talent. He sees dictatorial potential in an
cultivates it. Mbeki is part of the new breed of ineffective
inexperienced youngsters who, as Moi said, "can be guided".
launch hardly a year ago, Mbeki announced that one of Nepad's aims is
provide African solutions to African problems.
On 23 February, 2003, the
French newspaper Le Monde reported that South
African President Thabo Mbeki
had asked French President Jacques Chirac to
help resolve Zimbabwe's
deepening political and economic crisis. Oh, dear!
But surely Chirac must
have heard how the despots who were gathered around
his table recoiled when
"good governance" was thrown into the political stew
Chirac should proceed carefully; these despots mean business. Look
havoc they are causing in the Commonwealth. But if Chirac wants the
of African leaders, he should start by killing several French
haunt opposition MPs and for good measure bring Le Pen to trial
But closer to home, it must have taken tremendous
soldierly courage for
General Vitalis Zvinavashe to momentarily forget his
to acknowledge that we have a crisis in our country as
of January 2003. He
surely must have been enjoying Rip Van Winkle's
20-year-long siesta. Who
woke Zvinavashe up, I wonder?
acknowledged this quagmire years ago. At one time even Mugabe
under-performing Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa after realising
were just not going well.
Zvinavashe should have made this
acknowledgement years ago. Only last year,
Zimbabwean nationals recoiled in a
pre-emptive defensive cringe when
Zvinavashe and his armed uniformed cowboys
broke out of the cattle pens and
undermined the electoral process by
intimidating the people through a
declaration of unwavering support for an
unpopular incumbent who was heading
for an embarrassing defeat.
Zvinavashe is at it again. He was praised in editorials for his
admission that we have a crisis. I beg to differ. Zvinavashe does
deserve any praise. He is part of the rot. Was it not his soldiers who
dead citizens demonstrating against high food prices several years
Please, I am not being maddeningly elliptical but personally, I do
to see Zvinavashe's nose steaming the window panes on rooms in which
people are electing a leader. Stay in the barracks, Vitalis! The people
choose the leader, your boss, by themselves. You can vote like any
civilian it is your right, but when you hold a news conference in
military fatigues telling people that you can only accept a president
were with in Mozambique then you are setting a dangerous precedent
stripping the citizens of this country of their rights.
heart of this matter is that those who fought to liberate this
failed dismally. You yourself acknowledge that. Our liberators
are now our
oppressors. But our liberators do not want us to mention this.
When we do,
your so-called war veterans beat us up, maim us and kill us.
This, I am sure,
is part of the crisis you were talking about. Now that you
crisis caused by your kind, what are you going to do about it?
reports say you are part of a team that is trying to impose a leader
after sending your erstwhile colleague Mugabe into exile. No chance,
friend! That is not going to happen again. We believed in you people once
you not only betrayed us but killed some of our kin. Stay in the
We are aware that you are manoeuvring to endear yourself to both
citizenry and whoever is our next leader. You are now saying these
because your friend is said to be negotiating for an exit package.
comrade-in-arms reportedly wants to leave. He doesn't like it here any
Didn't Mugabe know all along that when he turned tyrant, it was his
freedom that he was destroying? You didn't say anything to him then. So
now? I will accept Josiah Tungamirai and Solomon Mujuru's utterances
they may be party loyalists but they are not civil servants any more.
personally do not wish to see the army anywhere near civilian politics.
country is not going to breed failures like Obasanjo, who is a far
and sadder disappointment than Mbeki, the African Renaissance man.
just Mbeki. He has no history by which his presidency can be
against, except his first term as president.
presidency so far has been a disaster to Africa in general and
particular. Even South Africa's Sunday Times says Mbeki is
unable to confront
(16 February, 2003). But Obasanjo is a one-time
president of Nigeria having
used blazing guns to attain that post. The
international community could not
praise him enough for "handing over power"
to an elected government. He
became a darling and was appointed a member of
the Eminent Persons Group,
troubleshooters in pre-independence South Africa.
Obasanjo helped to get
Mbeki, among others, out of the abyss that was
apartheid. Now he and Mbeki
have teamed up and formed their very own
North-South axis, to make sure
Zimbabwe is kept oppressed with no food or
hope of political plurality.
Obasanjo has proved beyond doubt that he is
no democrat but just another
African reactionary who performs for his wallet
and the paymasters
elsewhere. He has let us down. He has ruled Nigeria twice
and yet can never
criticise the worst offenders on the continent. "If there
are points to be
raised in Zimbabwe, like brothers we put ourselves into a
room, we lock the
door" Obasanjo: Daily News, 10 February, 2003. Lord have
"brothers" lock themselves in a room to shut out our screams! Talk
trade union of African despots! They do not like their people to be
Freedom is the ultimate empowerment and that is cause for concern to
African leader. If people in a neighbouring country are free, they are
threat to the despot in the adjoining country.
Similarly, Europe and
the West do not like popular, strong Third World
leaders because they are
difficult to control or influence. That is why our
dictators get support from
them. What I have learned from history is that
nations watch while one nation
cannibalises itself. It starts as a murder
here, a couple of murders there.
At this stage the murderers are dubbed
"unknown assailants". We have seen it
recently in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. The
world stands by as they did when
famine hit Ethiopia and only jump into the
fray when corpses can no longer be
ignored. Now public funds are being spent
bringing "war criminals to account
for their actions".
Now picture this: While serving a term for "war
crimes" the accused writes
this to a relative and he ends by saying, "Oh,
there are things, you see,
for which one has to carry the blame, even if
purely factually one might
find excuses; the intensity of the crime precludes
any attempt at
self-justification" This accused, however, went on to accept
"co-responsibility" but never "guilt". This is an excerpt from a
written by Albert Speer, Hitler's former Minister of Arrangements. He
writing to his teenage daughter from Spandau Prison. Enough paranoia
suspicion have been cultivated in our country to easily lead to
self-destruction. How many people have to be killed in any country
leaders recoil? And is Africa really hoping for a revival, a
any sort when we produce presidents like Mbeki, Mugabe and
what Mswati of Swaziland is doing in the name of African
tradition. And then
there is the incongruous Sam Nujoma! Can any one of these
men do anything
for their countries, let alone for Africa? Africa and its
leaders! They are
a magnificent outrage, aren't they?
Cricket fans released from Zimbabwe jail
Mar. 5, 2003 3:17 a.m.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP)- A court released 39
people arrested and jailed for
four days after protesting the Zimbabwe
government at a World Cup cricket
match, their lawyer said.
But a woman
who was also arrested at last Friday's match between Zimbabwe
Netherlands remains unaccounted for. Those held said they last saw
wearing blood-stained clothing, said Tim Cherry, the group's
Another woman had already been released for medical
There was no immediate police comment on the missing
The magistrate's court in the western city of Bulawayo ordered the
of the group but ordered them to reappear in court this month on
they violated severe new security laws that prohibit unauthorized
protests and behavior likely to cause a breach of the
Cherry said he planned to officially protest the conditions in
arrested were held.
Twenty-three of the group were held in
a single cell designed for six
prisoners and were unable to sit or lie down.
They were denied water and
food, until it was eventually brought to them by
family members, he said.
The cell's toilet was broken so they had to use
a bucket in its place.
Cherry said police were "totally uncooperative"
when approached by lawyers
and family members seeking information on the
status of the protesters.
On Friday the protesters waved banners critical
of President Robert Mugabe
and called for a return to law and order in
Opponents of the World Cup matches in Zimbabwe argue the
government has used
the tournament as propaganda to obscure its violations of
human rights and state orchestrated political
The International Cricket Council, the sport's governing body,
Zimbabwe could safely host its World Cup matches.
protesters arrested at Zimbabwe's World Cup match against
Bulawayo on Feb. 24 said they had been beaten.
One of the five reported
beatings to his back by a whip and baton, being
kicked in the ribs, severely
slapped on the sides of his face and being
beaten on the top of his
Another said he was beaten and had his toe crushed with police
suffered multiple minor lesions and swelling from being
Faced with growing discontent and dissent, Mugabe's authoritarian
been tightening control over the opposition and the
Independent human rights groups reported at least 200 deaths in
related violence since 2000 and thousands of cases of torture,
arrest, assaults and arson, mainly against opposition supporters.
alleged perpetrators have been arrested.
From ZWNEWS, 4
The following are thought to have been among the
42 cricket protesters arrested after the Zimbabwe-Holland match on 28
Rosalinda Ngwenya, Mvousi Moyo, Sithembile Ncube,
Paul Dietrichsen, Sehlile Ncube, Sibonile Mhlanga, Kugele Moyo, Nqobizitha
Ndlovu, Eugene Moyo, Zanele Ndlovu, Terry Alberry, Brian van Blerk, George
Parkin, Monty Jenkinson, Kataza Ncube, John Klou, Sikulegile Moyo, Zanele Dube,
Francisco Ndlovu, Billy Ndlovu, Pilani Ndlovu, Lovemore Gunda, Tedius Musara,
Kindness Moyo, Bukosi Ndlovu, Rorisangi Sibanda, Kindness Ndlovu, Blessing Moyo,
Blessing Ndlovu, A 15 year old girl, ? Malunga, Mtoko Nkomo, Trigger Nkhiza,
Tembi Nkosi, Rosena Ngwenya, Sibonine Mhlanga, Sikhululekile Moyo, Benjamin
Moyo, Gabriel Sibanda, Alfonso ?
The following is an excerpt from an affidavit
taken from 5 cricket protesters, who were among 15 arrested during the
Zimbabwe-Australia match in Bulawayo on 24 February, detailing injuries received
at the hands of the police:
Reported symptoms and clinical
SKN, aged18: He reported extensive beating to his
back, with sjambok and baton. He further reported being kicked in the ribs and
severely slapped on the sides of his face. He was beaten on the top of his feet.
He had insomnia for two nights and was unable to go to school because he was in
Clinical findings: Right ear: swelling below the
ear, 3 cm by 4 cm; Back: right scapula: 2 cm by 2 mm hooked lesion,
encrusted; Left scapula: discolouration and swelling, 4cm by 3 cm; Rest of rear
torso: 6 linear markings, 5 –8 cm long, 2-3 mm wide; Front torso: diffuse
tenderness over left rib cage; Right upper arm: linear lesion, 6cm by 4 mm; Left
lower arm: below elbow on upper arm, encrusted linear lesion 3 cm by 3 mm; Left
foot: 2 linear lesions on upper foot, both 5 cm by 2 mm. The interviewee appears
anxious and unwell. He is reporting generalised pain. The report of assault and
the clinical findings are consistent. The multiple minor lesions and areas of
swelling are consistent with trauma caused by a blunt instrument.
FT, aged 18, aged 18: He reported being beaten
with a blunt instrument in addition to punches and kicks on his upper body.
Clinical findings: left upper arm: a lesion 3 cm by 2 mm consistent with blunt
trauma within the previous 2 days; Swollen region on bicep, 2cm by 2 cm; Pain on
palpitation. Interviewee appears restless and angry.
NN, aged 32: He reported being beaten on the top
of his head with an instrument. He further reported beatings on his buttocks.
Clinical findings: Head: 3 cm lesion on top of head, midline; Mild swelling on
left buttock. Both consistent with blunt trauma injuries. Interviewee appears
angry and wanting revenge for what he perceives to be unfair treatment.
NZ, aged 23: He reported general beating, and also
having his toe crushed with police boots. Clinical findings: First toe on right
foot; joint visibly swollen and movement inhibited. Consistent with blunt trauma
injury. He is anxious and reticent.
SM, aged 21: He reported beatings to the head and
buttocks with an instrument. He reported having a severe headache and also that
he had insomnia the first night after his arrest because he was too bruised to
sleep. Clinical findings: No visible markings. Interviewee appears restless and
anxious and angry.
Conclusion: The clinical findings in 4 of the cases are
consistent with the claims of blunt trauma assault. in one case there were no
visible clinical findings. In all cases the interviewees showed agitation
consistent with recent psychological trauma.