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

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Harare officials give Guardian executives 24 hours to get out

Owen Bowcott
Saturday May 10, 2003
The Guardian

Two Guardian executives, who had flown to Harare to make representations on
behalf of the newspaper's Zimbabwe correspondent, Andrew Meldrum, were
yesterday ordered to leave within 24 hours.
Shaun Williams, director of corporate affairs, and Siobhain Butterworth,
head of legal affairs, were told by immigration officials that their 30-day
visas had been revoked because they had not sought prior permission from the
home minister before entering the country to discuss a sensitive issue. They
were also told that they had filled in their visa applications incorrectly.

The decision followed discussions earlier in the day at which the chief
immigration officer, Elasto Mugwadi, agreed to meet Meldrum's lawyers on
Monday. Government officials say Meldrum is "wanted for questioning".

The two Guardian executives flew to Zimbabwe because they suspect the
authorities are attempting to deport Meldrum. They had been told they could
attend the Monday meeting. It was not clear if the immigration officials
were aware of the agreed meeting.

On Wednesday, after dark, a column of four cars of immigration officers
arrived unannounced at Meldrum's home. He was not there.

Beatrice Mtetwa, his lawyer, said such night-time approaches "invariably led
to arrest, detention and deportation". Letters have been sent to the
immigration service confirming Meldrum's willingness to be interviewed in
working hours at its Harare offices, once he is told what the questioning is

Yesterday Meldrum, 51, an American citizen and one of the last international
journalists in Zimbabwe, attended a party at the EU ambassador's residence
in Harare. He has reported from Zimbabwe for 22 years.

Last year he was one of the first journalists prosecuted under new media
laws; a Harare magistrate acquitted him of allegations that he published
false information about Zimbabwe. The law has been criticised by civil
rights groups as an attempt to stifle criticism of President Robert Mugabe's

Meldrum said yesterday: "The government thinks that, by trying to intimidate
or deport me, or prevent me from working, they will also prevent other
journalists who are doing great work."

Mr Williams said last night that he and Ms Butterworth had filled in their
visa applications correctly and declared the purpose of their visit.
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May 9, 2003 9:19pm

Zimbabwe A LITTLE POINT OF DEEP DIVISION With insiders claiming that
President Robert Mugabe's early retirement was not even discussed at
Monday's meeting between three African presidents and Zimbabwean leaders, it
appears that little progress was made at the talks. Though Nigeria's
President Olusegun Obasanjo sought to put the best possible gloss on the
discussions, saying that both Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), were "very anxious" to
resume talks, he had to admit that there was "a little" point that remained
to be resolved.

That little point is Mugabe's precondition that the MDC must first recognise
his election victory of March 2002 and drop the court case challenging the
result. Tsvangirai said the MDC was ready for "unconditional negotiation",
but in allowing Mugabe his precondition, Obasanjo, President Thabo Mbeki and
Malawi's President Bakili Muluzi left the stalemate in place.

Those who heard Obasanjo's comments can be forgiven for believing that he
has lost the plot. His "little point" is fundamental, the MDC says, because
if the opposition recognises Mugabe's victory in the rigged election victory
it can no longer demand fresh elections under international supervision. A
senior MDC negotiator insists that there is no question of it withdrawing
its court challenge. Indeed, on Tuesday Tsvangirai called a meeting of
Harare-based diplomats to tell them that this was simply not on the agenda.

To withdraw would play into the government's hands, allowing it to continue
to claim that the crisis is not about the breakdown of law and order, or
economic collapse, but a bilateral squabble between Harare and London over
who should pay for land reform. As recently as last week, Tsvangirai said he
would abandon the court case challenging the election result only if and
when Mugabe announced a firm date for his retirement. In any event, the MDC
believes it has a strong legal case. Even if it were to lose, the volume of
evidence of vote-rigging brought before the court would seriously undermine
Mugabe's position regionally and internationally. Even if Obasanjo's little
point could be resolved, the divide separating the two sides is too great
for dialogue to be useful. Zanu-PF wants the MDC to join it in telling the
rest of the world that land reform is working smoothly; that the IMF and
World Bank should immediately resume lending; that bilateral aid programmes
should restart; that Britain should compensate farmers who have lost their
land; and that Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth should be lifted.

The MDC agenda could hardly be more different. It calls for a return to the
rule of law, including an end to the use of the police and army to break up
public demonstrations and strikes; the disarming of the war veterans and the
disbanding of the government's "youth militia"; an end to the eviction of
farmers from their land and the appointment of a land commission to tackle
the issue; and the early establishment of a transitional administration
leading to internationally supervised elections within nine months.

Having apparently failed to extract meaningful concessions from Mugabe, the
three presidents may well decide that their best bet is to put the squeeze
on the MDC. But they have little leverage there - only last week Tsvangirai
complained that Mbeki and Obasanjo were not "honest brokers". The most
positive aspect of the whole exercise, say opposition sources, is that at
least two of the visitors - Mbeki and Muluzi - went away with a much firmer
grasp of the real situation in Zimbabwe. The focus will now shift to
Gaborone, where US assistant secretary of state for Africa Walter Kansteiner
and British foreign secretary Jack Straw will seek to move the dialogue
forward. The MDC hopes the Anglo-American and regional initiatives will
"dovetail" to force Mugabe to the bargaining table. Ultimately, the key will
be the economy. "It's not really clear what was accomplished at the
meeting," says SA Institute of International Affairs deputy chairman
Moeletsi Mbeki. "What we can say, though, is that neither the Southern
African Development Community nor the African Union has any real standing
when it comes to Zimbabwe." He says the Commonwealth is the only
organisation that has emerged as a legitimate mediator in the Zimbabwe
crisis. Observers believe Mbeki and Obasanjo will be hard-pressed to explain
the deepening Zimbabwean crisis at the G8 meeting in Evian, France, next
month, where they will be looking for tangible support for the New
Partnership for Africa's Development.

Publication: Financial Mail

Distributed by Financial Times Information Limited - Asia Africa
Intelligence Wire
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Daily News

      Bank under probe

      5/10/03 8:06:52 AM (GMT +2)

      By Brian Mangwende Chief Reporter

      THE police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Fraud Squad is
believed to be investigating allegations that Trust Bank Corporation
externalised at least 500 000 (about $1 billion at parallel market rates)
to off-shore accounts in Europe, The Daily News has established.

      According to documents made available to this newspaper, Trust entered
into an arrangement with Bract Investments Limited, a company registered in
the United KIngdom, which deposited and transferred funds from its account
with HSBC Bank PLC in the United Kingdom to the local financial institution'
s accounts in Germany and the UK.

      Funds were deposited into Trust Bank's account with Commerz Bank in
Frankfurt, Germany, numbered 40088182300, and to the financial institution's
UK account with National Westminster Bank, numbered 04594185.

      The transactions, amounting to 500 000, took place between June last
year and March 2003.

      An official with an agency representing Bract in Zimbabwe said the
deal between the UK company and Trust was supposed to enable Zimbabweans
living abroad to send money to their relatives back home.

      The money would be deposited by Bract into Trust Bank's off-shore
accounts in Germany and the UK, and the local financial institution would
then convert that money into Zimbabwean dollars at parallel market rates and
transfer it to the Bract agent in Zimbabwe.

      "Trust Bank Corporation was paying the transferred amounts in
Zimbabwean dollars at rates varying from $1 800 to $2 400 for each pound,"
according to a letter written to the
      CID Fraud Squad by Chibune and Associates, legal representatives for
Bract Investments Limited.

      The Zimbabwean dollar: British pound rate was fixed at $1 300 in
February when the government devalued the local currency.

      It was not clear why Bract had decided to bring the transaction to the
attention of the Zimbabwean police, but in their letter, dated 9 April 2003,
the UK company's lawyers said they believed that the transactions
contravened sections of the country's exchange control regulations.

      "We are of the view that the above transactions contravened various
provisions of Part II and IV of the Exchange Control Regulations SI 109 of
1996 as well as some provisions of SI 110 of 1996 as apparently there was
externalisation of funds and dealing on the parallel market by Trust," the
lawyers said.

      "Our client is willing to avail themselves in Zimbabwe," the letter
      The lawyers also provided documents detailing dates of transactions,
bank branch codes from which the funds were transferred and the amounts

      Although police sources this week said the Fraud Squad had approached
Trust about the transactions, the head of the Fraud Squad in Harare, who
identified himself only as Assistant Commissioner Nyakochwe, yesterday
refused to comment.

      He referred all questions to police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena, who
too declined to comment.

      Steve Chibune of Chibune and Associates also would not discuss the
issue, saying he could only do so after receiving instructions from his

      Chris Goromonzi, Trust Bank's executive director, confirmed that there
was a dispute
      involving his bank's off-shore accounts, but would not provide

      However, a prominent lawyer in the banking sector, who spoke on
condition of anonymity, said if Trust Bank was found guilty of contravening
exchange controls, it could be suspended or fined to enable the country to
recover the money it had been prejudiced of.

      He said the bank, one of Zimbabwe's fastest growing financial
institutions, could also lose its licence for contravening sections of the
Banking Act.

      Zimbabwe is facing a severe foreign currency crisis and the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe has taken a tough stance against companies externalising
hard cash. The central bank has warned banks against illegal foreign
currency trading, saying they could be fined or have their licenses
suspended or withdrawn.
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Daily News

      Eddie Cross' sentencing Postponed

      5/10/03 8:19:50 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      SENTENCE on Eddie Cross, convicted under the Insolvency Act for
failing to attend meetings with his creditors, was yesterday postponed yet
again to 4 June.

      Harare magistrate Garikayi Churu postponed the case for a possible
record eleventh time because the magistrate who presided over the matter,
Stanley Ncube, was not present.

      Cross, the Movement for Democratic Change economic advisor, was
convicted in January last year.

      He was supposed to have been sentenced on 18 January last year but,
ever since that time, the matter has been postponed for different reasons.
      Cross was declared insolvent in June 1997 after failing to repay $5,7
million he owed mostly to banks.

      He initially faced a second count of failing to submit financial
statements for August to December 2000 to his estate's trustees but this was
dropped because there was no evidence to convict him.
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Daily News

      MDC vows to bring Harare to a standstill

      5/10/03 8:20:56 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      The MDC yesterday warned that it would bring business to a halt in
Harare if Elias Mudzuri, the suspended executive mayor, was not allowed to
resume work on Monday.

      Gabriel Chaibva, the MDC shadow minister of Local Government, Public
Works and National Housing, told journalists at a Press briefing that he had
instructed the mayor to report for duty as usual on Monday morning. Mudzuri
has been on sick leave since Thursday.

      Chaibva said: "Let them bring the riot police to Town House. We will
bring business in Harare to a complete halt. We are not making a mere
threat. This is for real."

      Chaibva said the party was not worried about the economic
repercussions of disruption of business in the country as it had the
capacity to resuscitate the economy in a "post-Mugabe era".

      On Thursday night the council held a special meeting and resolved to
advise the police that the ban they imposed on consultative meetings with
residents at Town House "is unreasonable as it is the council's duty to
consult with residents, ratepayers and stakeholders on civic matters". The
police on Wednesday banned further meetings after residents at the weekly
meeting advocated demonstrations in support of Mudzuri.

      Chaibva alleged that Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo was
trying to protect the financial interests of several companies and officials
the council is investigating for alleged theft and corruption.

      He said: "The cow has been stopped from giving milk."
      Chaibva said Chombo was sitting on a report on theft and corruption
that was unravelled in the Chegutu Municipality by his own officials and was
instead concentrating on Harare.

      Meanwhile, Chombo yesterday filed an urgent chamber application in the
High Court seeking to bar Mudzuri from performing his duties, and the
council from working with him.

      Chombo said the matter is urgent because Mudzuri's "behaviour greatly
embarrasses myself, the government and all the law-abiding citizens of
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Daily News

      Teachers' strike on

      5/10/03 8:21:48 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      THE strike by the Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (Zimta) to demand
better salaries started off on a low note in most parts of the country on
Thursday and yesterday.

      Some teachers reported for duty but did not conduct lessons in most
parts of the country.

      Zimta officials said teachers received the information and were
joining the strike action, which they said would continue until their
demands were met.

      "The decision to go on strike was communicated during the school
holiday and that explains why teachers have slowly responded," said Dennis
Sinyolo, Zimta's secretary-general.

      The teachers want the government-initiated job evaluation exercise
which would see teachers getting better salaries to be implemented. The
regrading exercise was expected to have been completed by April after the
government conceded that teachers' salaries were lower than those of others
in the public service sector.

      Most schools in Harare opened but students were milling around with no
lessons in progress at Allan Wilson, Louis Mountbatten, David Livingstone,
Harare and Oriel Boys' schools.

      As the strike entered its second day yesterday, morning sessions were
disrupted at most schools in Glen Norah, Glen View, Dzivaresekwa and
Kuwadzana as the strike spread.
      Erison Huruba, the Zimta national president, said the strike call was
slowly spreading .

      "We hope that the strike will catch on in other areas," Huruba said.
"The strike is now on full scale in Harare though there are pockets where
teachers were working."
      In Mutare, a few schools conducted normal lessons while at some
schools pupils were turned away because teachers did not report for work.

      At some schools in Dangamvura such as Sheni and Chirovakamwe, there
was no single teacher at work.
      In Gweru, the strike received mixed reactions after most teachers
reported for duty while others immediately went on a go-slow.

      Pupils at schools in Mkoba and Senga suburbs said the teachers had
asked them to either read quietly on their own or play in the sports fields.

      In several schools visited by The Daily News in Masvingo province on
Thursday, most teachers reported for duty as schools opened for the second
term but did not conduct lessons.

      In a statement, Zimta said the industrial action would go on
indefinitely until their demands were addressed.
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Daily News

      Residents further remanded

      5/10/03 8:17:33 AM (GMT +2)

      Court Reporter

      HARARE magistrate Judith Tsamba yesterday further remanded to 15 May,
108 Glen View residents facing charges of public violence, after their
lawyer, Andrew Makoni, gave notice that he intended to make a refusal of
remand application.

      The group is on $10 000 bail each.
      The State alleges that in March, the accused assembled near Budiriro 1
High School and ordered the headmaster to close the school.

      It is alleged that they beat up the headmaster, accusing him of
failing to heed a call by the Movement for Democratic Change for a job
stayaway in March.

      The two-day stayaway resulted in the shut-down of most industries.
      After assaulting the headmaster, the group is alleged to have stopped
a bus passing by the school gates and beat up its passengers and driver.

      Prosecutor Mehluli Tshuma said one passenger was injured during the
      The accused were allegedly later seen by police in the company of
several people who are still at large, throwing stones and other missiles at
cars and passers-by, causing damage and injury respectively.

      At Budiriro 1 shopping centre, the same group was allegedly spotted by
police constables named as Charumbira and Makaka, throwing missiles at
passing cars and harassing passers-by.

      Tshuma said the group was arrested in Glen View 3, where Support Unit
Juliet Troop caught up with them as they blocked roads with stones and scrap
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Daily News

      Women's group to go ahead with march

      5/10/03 8:18:27 AM (GMT +2)

      From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

      Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), an organisation fighting for women's
rights, said it would go ahead with a planned walk tomorrow to commemorate
the internationally recognised Mother's Day despite being barred from doing
so by Bulawayo police.

      Mother's Day falls on the second Sunday of every May.
      Jenni Williams, a spokesperson for WOZA, said the women will meet at
the City Hall car park in Bulawayo and in Harare at the Africa Unity Square
from 10 to 11:30 am.

      She said the police had allowed the march in Harare to proceed but had
instructed the organisers to remain in Africa Unity Square.

      "We would like to recognise the solidarity shown by the ZRP officer
commanding Harare, whom we believe is female, for allowing WOZA to conduct a
peaceful procession and we wish our Harare sisters well.

      "We abhor the insensitivity of the officer commanding Bulawayo
district, Chief Superintendent Matyatya, for denying us to exercise our
constitutional right of assembly," Williams said. "The officer obviously
needs to further appreciate the need for women to lobby for equality."

      She said the police were notified as required by the Public Order and
Security Act but refused to grant the women permission without giving any
      WOZA yesterday said the walk was intended to honour Zimbabwean mothers
facing the brunt of problems caused by the current economic hardships.

      It began in churches and has become a day to day tribute to mothers by
offering them gifts to show love and gratitude.

      The organisation appealed to women to attend the event in large
numbers and to take grass brooms to the venues and sweep the streets they
walk, symbolising that the time has come for them to put their house in
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Time for action

      5/10/03 8:08:31 AM (GMT +2)

      AS Zimbabwe limps from one crisis to another, it has emerged that the
country is literally living on the edge, with South Africa's power utility,
Eskom, classifying it as a customer that can be switched off after a mere 10
minutes' notice.

      The announcement of Eskom's decision, which is being made to the
nation several weeks after it was communicated to the government, comes at a
time when Zimbabwe is already reeling under the impact of a severe energy

      Regional power suppliers have already reduced electricity to the
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) over huge debt arrears, forcing
the parastatal to begin load-shedding.

      Household consumers as well as industry and commerce have been hit
hard by the power rationing. Some manufacturers are reported to have cut
output by at least 50 percent in the past month.

      As if that was not bad enough, a worsening fuel crisis is haunting
motorists, business and workers, crippling the public transport system as
well as production at a large number of companies.

      Although several businesses have resorted to the black market for fuel
to maintain their operations, this is at best a short-term solution given
the exorbitant prices being charged for diesel and petrol by the illegal

      It won't be long before more firms are forced to reduce output and
retrench staff to protect themselves against an increasingly harsh operating

      Ultimately, many will have to close if the fuel and electricity crises
are not resolved, leading to further job cuts in a country where
unemployment is already above 70 percent.

      Whether the government has some strategy for dealing with these very
serious and pressing problems is uncertain.

      The unfortunate tendency to keep matters close to its chest, even
matters that have serious national implications, means that Zimbabweans
cannot even be sure whether the government is attempting to find solutions
to the country's energy crisis.

      But it must have become crystal clear even to the government that a
comprehensive and sustainable solution is urgently needed if most of
industry is not to grind to a halt in the next few months.

      That Zimbabwe's leaders are faced with an almost insurmountable task
is not in doubt.

      There is no getting away from the fact that Zimbabwe simply does not
have the foreign currency to import either fuel or electricity.

      Zesa, for example, has tried to resolve the hard cash problem by
urging exporters to settle their electricity tariffs in foreign currency so
it can pay for more imports and settle its debt arrears.

      But not only is this a short-term solution, most exporters cannot
comply with such a requirement because Zimbabwe's capacity to generate
foreign currency has been hit by government policies that have destabilised
key hard cash earning sectors.

      It is clearly unreasonable to expect these sectors to pay for
electricity in foreign currency when they are struggling to conserve
resources as they fight for their very survival.

      In addition, Zimbabwe has become a bad debtor because of the hard cash
squeeze, which means the government has very few places left where it can
search for fuel and electricity.

      Neighbours in the region and traditional allies of the ruling Zanu PF
are rightly wary of sticking their necks out any further on behalf of a
government that has shown little, if any, commitment to solving its problems
so that it can stand on its own feet.

      But while Zimbabweans fully appreciate the difficult task facing the
government, they are not in the mood for excuses.

      All Zimbabweans want at this point is for the government to get its
act together and ensure that the country continues to function.

      That is not too much to ask.
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Daily News

Leader Page

      Mbeki, can't you see through Mugabe's deception?

      5/10/03 8:07:57 AM (GMT +2)

      This is an open letter to President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.

      Let me, with all due respect, first of all provoke your mind by asking
you some very relevant and fundamental questions.

      Can you imagine President Mbeki, a situation where your party, the
ANC, does not hold a single parliamentary seat in Johannesburg, Durban,
Pretoria, Cape Town and all the other towns in South Africa?

      Can you imagine, Comrade Mbeki, a situation where all the MPs, mayors,
councillors in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria, belong to an
opposition party?

      Would you then truly from your heart of hearts, believe that you still
have the legitimacy and mandate to rule South Africa?

      Would you still have the audacity to ignore and keep on calling the
leadership of such a political party "sell-outs"?

      Given the blatant vote-buying, and one-sidedness of the police, the
State-sponsored brutality, manipulation of the voters' roll, the results of
the recent parliamentary by-elections in Highfield and Kuwadzana have shown
beyond doubt that it's easier for a camel to march through the eye of a
needle than for Zanu PF to win an election in Harare.

      Can you imagine, Comrade Mbeki, a situation where your party, the ANC,
finds it impossible to win a parliamentary seat in Soweto? The very Soweto
which was the cradle of the ANC? The very Soweto where Nelson Mandela hailed
from, where you and your wife are registered to vote? Where you and your
wife vote under the glare of television cameras?

      Would that not be a severe jolt to your mandate and legitimacy as the
elected leader of South Africa?

      The result of the recent two by-elections have also blown to
smithereens the the so-called "land issue".

      If the land issue was at the centre of Zimbabwe's socio-economic
crisis as Jonathan Moyo and others have attempted to convince you to
believe, then how come the very landless, and homeless black Zimbabweans in
Highfield and Kuwadzana continue to vote against the Zanu PF government even
after the so-called "successful completion of land redistribution"?

      In fact, most of the people who voted here are some of the most
landless in this country. Why then should armed soldiers, Zanu PF activists
and other State security agents continue to invade beerhalls, nightclubs and
the homes of poor blacks in Kuwadzana, Highfield, Glen View, Glen Norah,
Budiriro, Chitungwiza? In the name of the land issue, what sin have these
poor landless people committed? These beerhalls, nightclubs and homes in the
townships are not white-owned commercial farms.

      We, the black Zimbabweans, are very much aware of the truth.

      In the face of relentless and mind-blowing one-sided propaganda, we
have remained steadfast and focused. Zanu PF never had the political will
and intention of providing land to the many landless and homeless people of
this country.

      In fact, land redistribution and the provision of homes to the
homeless has been one of Robert Mugabe's major failures among many others.
From 1980 up to the late Nineties, the land redistribution exercise had been
shelved and completely forgotten about.

      The little land that had been acquired was grabbed by the rich and
political heavyweights.

      It is on record that in the late Eighties, just before the visit by
the Queen of England, Mugabe's government brutally evicted landless,
homeless squatters from all over Harare and dumped them at Porta Farm.

      This clearly demonstrated the insensitivity and lack of compassion
that Zanu PF has always harboured for the landless and homeless. The
squatters were viewed as a shameful eyesore that must be hidden very far
away from the sight of the majestic Queen of England. I, therefore, ask:
Where was the intention to provide land to the landless then?

      Again in the early Nineties the Zanu PF government viciously evicted
the Svosve clan people who had invaded a white-owned farm in the Marondera
area. I still remember very clearly that it was none other than
Vice-President Simon Muzenda who led those evictions.

      Again I ask, where was the intention to provide land to the landless
masses of Zimbabwe?

      The two political events that have led Zimbabwe into this sorry state
of affairs must now be brought into focus here.

      Two events triggered off the madness, lawlessness, State-sponsored
murders and the general mayhem we all now know as the "land issue in

      Firstly, the eruption of the political volcano called the MDC on the
Zimbabwean political landscape, which Zanu PF completely failed to contain,
then the rejection of the government-sponsored draft constitution in the
February 2000 referendum.

      The referendum which was resoundingly lost by the Zanu PF government
was never about the land issue.

      I repeat: the referendum was never about the land issue! The land
issue became a convenient addendum to the referendum immediately after the
earth-shaking result of the "No" vote was announced.

      This became the platform upon which the brutal war against the
defenceless people of this country was declared by Mugabe and his henchmen.

      They said this was "the Third Chimurenga". This war was clearly
targeted upon the black people of this country and the very few whites who
were seen to have anything to do with the MDC.

      The Third Chimurenga had nothing to do with land. It was, therefore,
primarily targeted at punishing anybody, black or white, who had anything to
do with MDC.

      It must be emphasised here that the landless black people of this
country have suffered more brutality, torture and murder at the hands of
Mugabe's ruthless fight against the MDC.

      The Third Chimurenga is, therefore, a war being waged against us, the
landless, poor blacks of this country by this ruthless dictatorship.

      The 2000 referendum was about the creation of pillars of a democratic
society in this country. The people spoke out very clearly that they wanted
their basic freedoms and rights to be recognised and enshrined as the
fundamental cornerstone of this country's Constitution.

      When the people found out that their wishes had been tampered with and
removed from the draft constitution that the government was now asking them
to accept as the new constitution they rejected it and thunderously voted

      What followed thereafter is what now the world knows as the "land
issue" or the Third Chimurenga.

      But we Zimbabweans know the truth.
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Daily News

      Parallel market rates plunge to all-time low

      5/10/03 8:02:58 AM (GMT +2)

      Business Reporter

      EXCHANGE rates on Zimbabwe's parallel market for foreign currency
plunged to eight-month lows of $1 700 against the United States dollar
because of increased demand for hard cash, according to forex dealers.

      The dealers said the rates had been stable at between $1 200 and $1
300 against the American greenback since November, when the government
announced tough new exchange control measures.

      However, the rates depreciated this week against increased demand from
the country's energy utilities, the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe and the
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.

      The two parastatals jointly require more than US$240 million (Z$198
billion) to urgently finance fuel and electricity imports.

      Analysts said the Zimbabwe dollar could slip further because of
continuing foreign currency shortages, which have not improved despite the
opening of the tobacco auction floors at the end of April.

      Tobacco output has fallen because of drought, input shortages and
instability in the agricultural sector caused by a controversial government
land reform programme.

      Farmers have delivered few bales of tobacco to the auction floors
because of the acute shortage of fuel.

      Others are still grading their crop after planting late.

      Foreign currency dealers said confidence in the local currency had
also been knocked by the failure of Zimbabwe's main political parties, the
ruling Zanu PF and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to commit themselves
to dialogue on the country's political and economic crises.

      Attempts by regional leaders to facilitate the resumption of talks
between the two parties failed, with neither seeming to be willing to climb
down from the tough public stance they have adopted.

      "There is nothing on the group suggesting the local currency could
pick up. All we are seeing and getting are negative signals that can't help
anything," a Harare analyst said.

      Nesbert Tinarwo, chairman of the association that represents bureaux
de change associations that were banned by the government in November, said
the closure of the bureaux had worsened hard cash shortages.

      He said forex dealers were no longer able to tap into other sources of
foreign currency, such as cross-border traders and the diplomatic community.

      Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa banned bureaux de change in November,
accusing them of contributing to foreign currency leakages.
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Daily News


      Time for Zanu PF to admit Failure

      5/10/03 8:23:04 AM (GMT +2)

      By T Mangwende

      Articles carried by some newspapers on the recent visit by the three
African leaders to Zimbabwe were particularly interesting and varied.

      The articles dwelt on dialogue between Zanu PF and the MDC. The
dialogue is essetially between two political parties - one that is in
"government" and the other in waiting.

      To prevent playing the high stakes game, this dialogue should start
off between two parties not the "government" and the MDC.

      The reason for the dialogue is to end the impasse created by the
parliamentary and presidential elections of 2000 and 2002 respectively.

      The MDC filed petitions, some of which were heard before the High
Court last year.

      A number of seats won by Zanu PF were declared null and void. The
affected Zanu PF candidates filed appeals with the Supreme Court.

      Those appeals meant that the MPs could stay put in parliament until
their cases were heard before the Supreme Court!

      The evidence that was led pointed to unprecedented violence,
intimidation and other irregularities.

      Surprisingly, Zanu PF did not complain - in the form of suits filed in
the courts except the Seke rural seat! - about losing due to violence at the
instigation of the MDC.

      I am not making an inferences from this, although the temptation is

      Zanu PF did not draw any lessons from the High Court cases it lost to
the MDC. Instead, it refined its waywardness during the presidential

      There were no clear answers from the Electoral Supervisory Commission
on why the number of polling stations was reduced in Harare during the
presidential elections compared to the previous parliamentary elections.

      One would have expected more polling stations since the election
process was confused and confusing in Harare and Chitungwiza, where mayoral
elections had been thrown in, making the already murky waters murkier.

      Because the MDC raised many issues about the previous parliamentary
elections, why did the Zanu PF government fail to reform?

      They responded by amending electoral laws.

      It is against this background of extreme and unmitigated unfairness on
the part of the Zanu PF government's handling of the elections - through the
Registrar-General's Office - that the MDC finds it difficult to recognise
Mugabe as the elected State President.

      For those who queued for ten hours or more waiting to vote the reasons
why the MDC does not recognise Mugabe as an elected president are
understandable and convincing.

      What are Mugabe's reasons for wanting the MDC to recognise him? If in
his heart he honestly believes and is convinced that everything was "free
and fair" before, during and after the elections why is he so concerned
about this recognition? If Zanu-PF won an overwhelming majority why are they
finding it difficult to make the situation in Zimbabwe better? Why are
people listening to the MDC if it has no case? There is a smoking gun!

      Zanu PF has blamed every other person for the problems we have except
itself. Not a day passes without Tony Blair being blamed for our crisis.

      How ironic that Blair is blamed day in, day out whilst he plays host
to thousands of legal and illegal Zimbabwean immigrants.

      The time is now - I mean right now - for Zanu PF to admit that they
have messed up and are prepared to talk.

      You cannot start off by fixing something that is not broken or messed
up - you can only improve on it. The Zimbabwe we are in today needs the same
sacrifice that made a lot of selfless sons and daughters go to fight against
Ian Smith.

      I find it outrageous that Mugabe is trivialising the whole issue by
demanding recognition first before dialogue. The recognition that is
accorded Mugabe as the first secretary of Zanu PF is sufficient in
circumstances like these.

      Does Mugabe not have enough recognition?

      Why can Mugabe not enter into the talks first? If he is so keen to be
recognised, the issue can be raised during dialogue.

      This condition remotely serves the purpose of bargaining for it is an
admission that there are good reasons why he failed to get recognition soon
after elections.

      You do not refuse to talk because you are not sure of who you are. Is
it not better to end up being recognised and knowing who you really are (is
it?) than failing to get recognition altogether?

      Why is Mugabe so worried about entering the talks without this
recognition? Is there more to this recognition than meets the eye?

      He badly needs recognition but he does not want to talk to the people
whom he wants the recognition from - how contradictory!!

      I am sure Mugabe will not lose much more than he has lost already by
entering the talks as Mugabe, the president of Zanu PF, rather than of

      He will be starting from a point where there is no president of such a
ruined country.

      This sounds like a good, unconditional starting point and you need not
have been a former president!

      On the other hand, the MDC has stated that it will meet Mugabe
unconditionally - meaning both sides do not need preconditions.

      If the solution to Zimbabwe's problems lies in talks between the MDC
and Zanu PF then let's get them talking. As a citizen of Zimbabwe, I am
looking forward to these talks, regardless of whether one party is
"recognised", illegitimate, or legitimate.

      We want food on our tables now, not later. Zanu PF should stop putting
individuals ahead of the whole country.

      Mugabe should go to the table and talk about his recognition as part
of the entire package. What would be the point of talks if recognising
Mugabe as President is the main problem?

      The idea of talks is to find out what the other side has to offer in
return not being offered all - ndikokuvhima nemunyu muhomweka uku (that is
putting the cart before the horse). Kutaurirana hakuuraye vaMugabe,
makanganwa rwendo rwenyu rwekuLancaster House here? (Talking doesn't kill,
Mr Mugabe. Have you forgotten the long road to the Lancaster House talks?)

      The author is a university student in the USA.
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