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

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Zim Online

Mugabe to nationalise all farmland
Fri 27 May 2005

HARARE - The Zimbabwe government is considering new legislation that
could effectively nationalise all productive farmland in the country, a top
level source disclosed yesterday.

A minister in President Robert Mugabe's Cabinet, who cannot be named,
told ZimOnline that to pave way for the new law, the government would also
amend the constitution to virtually liquidate the rights of private

But the government minister said the draft legislation had sparked a
bitter rift within Cabinet with several senior members of the governing
council opposing the law saying it would have serious negative economic and
political implications for the country.

Among the Cabinet members opposing the new law were many who own
several farms each they looted from white farmers during the government's
chaotic land reforms in the last five years, our source said.

Mugabe, who has unsuccessfully pleaded with senior members of his
Cabinet and ruling ZANU PF party to surrender land looted from white
farmers, is said to back the proposed law.

"This issue has come up for debate in at least five Cabinet meetings
and on each occasion, there has been heated debate but no agreement . . .
that's how controversial this matter is," said the minister who was present
when the draft law was debated in Cabinet.

He said despite opposition from some government ministers, the new law
was "almost certainly" going to be tabled in Parliament when it resumes next
month, chiefly because it had the backing of Mugabe. But he did not rule out
major changes to the original draft to accommodate the views of Cabinet.

Intelligence Minister Didymus Mutasa, who also oversees land reform,
could not be reached for comment on the matter yesterday.

But Mutasa told the state-owned Herald newspaper this week that the
government would soon enact new legislation to ensure it was not hampered by
the legal process when acquiring land to resettle landless people. Under the
new law, all land identified by the government for acquisition would
automatically become state land, Mutasa said.

ZANU PF legal secretary and state Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa
confirmed new land legislation was on the way but refused to disclose finer
details of the proposed law. "Be patient and wait for it (the legislation)
to find out what it says," was all he would say.

According to our source, in its original form, the draft law reposes
control of all productive land with the exception of conservancies in the
hands of the government. A new government land department would be created
and would be tasked to bring all productive land under the control of the
government. The head of the department would have full Cabinet status and
would also attend meetings of the key state executive committee, the sources

He said: "The legislation would cancel titles and replace these with
99-year leases. But the lease would put obligations on the farmer to be
productive otherwise the land would be taken away and given to another

"This would apply to land already acquired for resettlement as well as
that still in the hands of private individuals."

Most of Zimbabwe's farmland is either in the hands of the state after
it seized it from white farmers or it has already been parcelled out by the
government to landless black families.

But nearly all of the best former white farms are in the hands of top
ZANU PF and government officials some of whom grabbed up to six farms each
at the height of the chaotic state land reforms.

All land seized by the government from white farmers is effectively
state land with none of the new black occupants holding title to it. But
Mugabe and ZANU PF had publicly said they were going to grant full title to
the new land owners and not leases.

Of the about 4 000 white farmers that were in Zimbabwe before land
reforms began in 2000, only 500 remain owning about five percent of the
country's arable land.

Nearly all the farms taken from their white owners have lain fallow
for the last three years largely because the black peasant families
resettled on the farms do not have skills, capital and other inputs to
maintain production.

The former white farmers the government is courting to return and
revive the collapsed agricultural sector would also be given security of
tenure under the 99-year leases proposed under the new law, the source
said. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Riots spread to poor Harare suburb
Fri 27 May 2005
HARARE - More than 10 people were injured yesterday as riots against the
government's campaign against informal traders spread to the low income
suburb of Mbare in Harare.

Harare has been on a knife-edge in the past week as public anger at
the government's harsh eviction of informal traders in the city and general
economic hardships swells.

Yesterday afternoon, anti-riot police stormed Mbare destroying
structures used by informal traders. The move sparked a violent response
from the informal traders who quickly ganged up against the police and
overpowered them.

The residents also barricaded streets with boulders and fought running
battles with the anti-riot police in protest against the "clean up" campaign
which began a week ago. But the protests were later violently put down after
the riot police called for reinforcements.

On Wednesday, the police also fought running battles in Glen View with
informal traders after destroying their structures.

"This has been my source of livelihood, the government and the council
have no hearts. Instead of promoting employment, they are destroying genuine
efforts being made to eke an honest living," said Marlvern Ushe, a resident
of the suburb who sustained a gush on his head during the disturbances.

Contacted for comment, Harare council spokesman Leslie Gwindi said:
"We embarked on the exercise to clean up the city and we will not stop at
anything until we have achieved our goal.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvunzijena, could not be reached for comment
while his deputy, Oliver Mandipaka, refused to comment until he had been
briefed by officers on the ground.

The government, blamed by many for Zimbabwe's severe economic crisis,
began the evictions a week ago blaming the informal traders for stoking an
illegal but thriving black market which is now the source of nearly every
basic commodity in the country from food, fuel, foreign currency to birth
control pills.

The campaign has since moved from Harare's central business district
to the high density suburbs where the police are destroying all illegal
shacks and make-shift structures used by the informal traders.

The government says it wants to "clean up the city" but the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change party accuses the government of
seeking to shield Chinese businesses that are facing stiff competition from
the informal traders.

The MDC also says the government wants to provoke a violent response
from the people so it could declare a "state of emergency" and rule by

Critics blame Zimbabwe's crisis on President Robert Mugabe's chaotic
land reforms which they say destablised the key commercial farming sector,
leading to food shortages and sharp drops in both foreign investment and

Mugabe denies his land reforms are to blame for Zimbabwe's crisis and
instead accuses Britain and other Western countries of ganging up to
sabotage the southern African nation's economy to punish his government for
seizing land from whites for redistribution to landless blacks. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Trade unionist says labour body under siege
Fri 27 May 2005
JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary general
Wellington Chibebe, yesterday accused the government of trying to infiltrate
the union and eventually seize control.

Chibebe said the government, which accuses the ZCTU of neglecting
workers' concerns while focusing on politics, was trying to oust the
leadership of the union ahead of a crucial International Labour Organisation
(ILO) conference next month.

Speaking to reporters in Johannesburg yesterday, Chibebe said: "The
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions is under attack. The government is using a
variety of ways to destabilise and paralyse the most important independent
force in civil society."

The government denies charges that it is fanning discord in the ZCTU
and in turn accuses the union of neglecting workers' concerns in pursuit of
a political agenda.

Lat year, ZimOnline broke the story that the state Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) secret agency had hacked a plan to
infiltrate and destabilise the union, an ally of the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.

The ZCTU was earlier this month rocked by divisions after a splinter
group demanded the ouster of Chibebe and the union's president Lovemore
Matombo over alleged abuse of funds. The two survived the putsch.

The labour union has been on a collision course with Harare over its
ties with the MDC. The ZCTU has also in the past organised successful job
stayaways to protest the worsening economic and political crisis in the
country. - ZimOnline

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Zim Online

Four ministers to testify against Jonathan Moyo in lawsuit
Fri 27 May 2005
BULAWAYO - Four government ministers, including thirteen other witnesses,
have been drawn to testify against former government propaganda chief,
Jonathan Moyo, in a case in which he is suing two senior ruling ZANU PF
party officials for defamation.

Moyo is demanding a whopping $2 billion in damages from Speaker of
Parliament John Nkomo and Dumiso Dabengwa whom he alleges defamed him during
a meeting earlier this year of the ruling party's co-ordinating committee
for Tsholotsho district.

Nkomo, who is also national chairman of ZANU PF and Dabengwa are said
to have committed the offence when they visited Tsholotsho to establish the
facts regarding a meeting allegedly convened there by Moyo last November to
block the election of Joyce Mujuru as second vice-president of the ruling

Moyo, was later fired from ZANU PF's inner politburo cabinet and also
barred from representing the party in Tsholotsho in last March's general
election as punishment for having called the meeting.

President Robert Mugabe and other senior ZANU PF leaders claim the
Tsholotsho meeting was to plot how to block Mujuru's rise as well as how to
replace Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe.

Moyo, so far the highest profile victim of the ongoing infighting
within ZANU PF over Mugabe's succession, stood as an independent and won the
Tsholotsho seat.

Court papers indicate that two deputy ministers; Andrew Langa
(Environment and Tourism), Abednico Ncube (Labour and Social Welfare),
Minister of Mines Amos Midzi and Bulawayo Governor and Resident Minister,
Cain Mathema and his wife Musa are among the 17 witnesses to testify that
the defendants did not defame Moyo.

Langa and Ncube will further testify that they attended the
controversial meeting at the invitation of the plaintiff and that indeed,
strategies for the nomination of ZANU PF Presidium candidates were

Journalist Stephen Ndlovu, fired from the state-owned Chronicle
newspaper for allegedly backing Moyo in his political fights, is also
ironically lined up to testify against the former state information tsar.

Moyo's lawyer, Kossam Ncube, said although all paperwork had been
submitted to the courts, it was still unclear when the case would start. -
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Zim Online

State lawyer withdraws concession in Bennett case
Fri 27 May 2005
HARARE - A state lawyer in a case in which a jailed former opposition
parliamentarian Roy Bennett is challenging his continued incarceration
yesterday stunned the Supreme Court after withdrawing an earlier concession
that the one-year jail sentence imposed on the former legislator was

"I have been instructed to withdraw my earlier concession," said
Rumbidzai Gatsi.

Bennett is serving a 12-month jail term imposed by a parliamentary
committee after shoving Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa during debate in

The former opposition Movement for Democratic Change legislator wants
the Supreme Court to free him arguing he was unfairly imprisoned by

"I would like to submit that the sentence that was passed was
appropriate. The assault was on a government minister who was also the head
of his party in parliament," Gatsi told the court.

Earlier on, the lawyer had conceded that the punishment meted on the
former MP was excessive and was not commensurate with the crime committed.

Jeremy Gauntlett, who is representing Bennett, protested against the
shift saying the concession "was made by a trained mind who is the legal
officer of the state and should therefore be upheld".

Bennett wants the court to declare the proceedings of the
parliamentary committee that jailed him invalid. He also wants a section of
the parliamentary privileges and immunities Act that was used to jail him
declared unconstitutional.

Last year, the ruling ZANU PF used its parliamentary majority in
parliament to send Bennett to jail. He was initially detained at a rural
prison in Mutoko, about 200km north-east of Harare, in squalid and inhuman

But last month, he was moved to the notorious Chikurubi maximum
security prison in Harare.

The Supreme Court reserved judgment indefinitely. - ZimOnline

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From: Trudy Stevenson
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2005 2:52 AM
Subject: A day with Roy Bennett

I spent most of today in the Supreme Court - with Roy! Well, not exactly right next to him, but I spoke to him several times briefly, despite the prison warders' attempts to prevent me. So did quite a few others: the men were actually allowed to chat extensively - about rugby!! But I was obviously perceived as a possible source of real information or sth.
The court was packed. Unfortunately his case was second, so we sat through an hour of another quite interesting appeal - James Makamba and his purchase of a Zim house allegedly in GBP! Eventually the court reconvened after12 noon..the lawyers had been negotiating following the Attorney General's concession that Roy's sentence was totally disproportionate to his "crime" and also that Parliament had not been properly informed by the Speaker that we were constituting ourselves into a court of law and that members should not follow the Whipping system but vote as individuals on the merits of the case. Whispers were that Roy would be released today, and we were just going to argue that issue of release and let the other issues drop. And the Attorney General's representative did indeed confirm those concessions as the hearing opened.
Unfortunately I had to leave at that point, but returned around 3.30 pm, to find the lawyer for therespondents, Chihambakwe, in full flow, defending the sentence, etc. I had already been told that they (respondents) had done an about-turn in the courtroom before lunch and reneged on the previous agreement to just argue the detention issue -now they wanted to argue the entire case in full!
Even more disturbing, however was the moment when the AG's representative, Ms Gatsi, took the floor and announced that they were WITHDRAWING the concessions they hadmade in the morning!! Chief Justice Chidyausiku asked her who gave her that authority, and indeed who had authorised her to make those concessions in the first place. She responded that it was her Director in the Civil Division, not the AG himself, but on behalf of the AG, Gula-Ndebele. Roy's advocates then responded - both from RSA, Jeremy Gauntlet and Adrian de Bourbon (ex Zim). Gauntlet protested about the "dizzying" withdrawal of concessions, citing various judgments, including Lord Denning, that a concession made in court on a matter of fact cannot be withdrawn. (Do you believe Zimbabwe Supreme Court judges will be swayed by such precendents?) He again questioned the mismatch between offence and crime, esp. the issue of a custodial sentence and lack of information to parliamentarians on procedure.
Chidyausiku then - predictably! - reserved judgment - and Roy was escorted out, followed by the rest of us, back to his prison van (a small Mazda B1800 or some such) and Chikurubi.
It was good to see Roy, and we know he got a big morale boost from seeing us all and chatting and even laughing a bit - BUT..! He has certainly lost a lot of weight, his face is very drawn and he looked worried and even frightened at times, when I glanced at him and he didn't know I was looking. He has grown a bushy beard, which is grey, his hair is quite long and unkempt and he looks so much older. Also he was just wearing a short-sleeved prison shirt - and long trousers for court but normally he just wears shorts, again he had on takkies but normally only slops. It iswinter now, and we could tell he was feeling the cold, even in the courtroom where the heating was on.
Heather was there, of course, also his sister and many other family friends. Also 3 MPs - myself, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Renson Gasela. Several other Harare MPs told me they were either queuing for fuel or attending to the massive chaos of the current "operation arrest and destroy everything" being carried out by the regime. Also present were Iain & Kerry Kay and son Clive, Alan McCormick (Ian and Alan both "losing candidates" in the recent election) a number of reporters, at least two diplomats, lawyers (incl. Beatrice Mtetwa acting for Roy, Counsel for Parliament..) and general supporters. When Roy arrived and got out of the van, several women started weeping - he was so thin and they were so anxious yet relieved to see him, it was too emotional for many. But he just laughed and said "howzit, Trudy?" etc and "yea, I'm fine," grinning away - typical Roy!
We waved and shouted "Stay strong" etc. as he was driven away. But tonight, we know he will be cold and lonely, there in Chikurubi maximum security prison - so I am sure all of us will be praying especially hard for Roy, and for Heather and all their family.
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From: Trudy Sevenson
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2005 4:48 AM
Subject: Mudede judgment tomorrow Friday 10.30 am Court C

Justice Omerjee will hand down his judgment on the Mudede case - contempt of
court and inspection of presidential election documents - tomorrow Friday at
10.30 am in Court C, High Court.

Mudede risks being sent to prison for up to 5 years for contempt of court,
having ignored 7 court orders to produce the 2002 presidential election
ballot papers and voters rolls for scrutiny by Morgan Tsvangirai for his
petition contesting the legitimacy of Mugabe's election victory.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Is 'clean-up' punishment?

Phillip Chidavaenzi
issue date :2005-May-27

PICTURES captured on television of tuck shops and makeshift buildings set
ablaze in Glen View by trigger-happy police, and angry victims of Harare's
"clean-up" campaign fighting back in anger as they fought running battles
with the police and barricaded Willowvale Road in protest, denoted the
climax of Harare's clean-up campaign.
When the authorities in Harare, with the backing of the police, launched an
unprecedented clean-up campaign - presumably meant to restore order in the
former "Sunshine City" - residents at first welcomed the manoeuvre, until it
assumed a sinister dimension that has led people to revise the true motive
behind the campaign.
Of late, there has been widespread speculation in Harare that the government
was hitting back at the city's residents, who voted overwhelmingly for the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the March 31 polls, during which the
opposition party swept clean all, but one of the city's 18 constituencies.
The Zanu PF government, snubbed by the urban electorate, had never taken
kindly to its rejection by the people of Harare, hit hard by the economic
meltdown attributed to failed economic policies, among other issues.
Although the authorities
insisted the campaign was meant to rid the city of what they
described as a culture of illegality, allegedly spawned by vendors,
commuter omnibus operators, vagrants, touts and children living in the
streets, the joint operation dubbed "Restore Order" and "Murambatsvina", has
left thousands of people marooned. Their dwellings and businesses (from
which they eked out a living) have been torched by police.
Analysts who spoke to
The Daily Mirror said if this was a genuine clean-up, then measures would
have been put in place
that those who were running
legal businesses through orthodox means were not swept away by the tide
together with some criminal elements.
Harare Metropolitan governor David Karimanzira laughed off at assertions
that the clean up exercise was retribution against urbanites perceived as
MDC supporters.
He said the exercise had not only affected MDC sympathisers but also of Zanu
PF and other political parties.
"As I speak to you right now there are scores of people at the Harare Zanu
PF provincial offices affected by the clean-up exercise. There is no
retribution. We are simply trying to clean up the city," Karimanzira said.
He said a committee of stakeholders coordinated by his office had since been
set up to assist those who have been affected by the operation.
"Let us not politicise issues here. Is it not clear that our capital city
had become an eyesore? A committee under my office will soon find
alternative places for the informal sector to operate from and land will be
allocated to genuine house seekers," added Karimanzira.
The committee, he said, was made up of various social ministries and other
But in a telling response to that argument, Harare's spokesman, Leslie
Gwindi, indicated they could not care less, saying: "And we will not look
for other places for them (victims) because how did they come to be where
they are staying now? Were they legally settled or not? That is a
multi-million dollar question one should ask himself or herself."
The Minister of Small to Medium Enterprises Development, Sithembiso Nyoni,
said the clean up exercise was meant to weed out crime and corruption within
the informal sector.
"My ministry is concerned about what is currently happening in the informal
sector. There is a lot of criminal activities and dirty deals happening in
this sector," Nyoni told a breakfast meeting in Bulawayo this week. "As
government we cannot just watch those things happening. We have a mandate to
bring order in the sector," she said.
The minister urged all small to medium business operators to register their
business and premises to avoid being found otherwise.
Although people welcomed the campaign in its initial stages, its
effectiveness - which shows an element of cruelty - has since replaced the
praises with shocked disbelief as the police descended upon residential
areas where they burnt people's houses, which they said had been constructed
Analysts highlighted the fact that the police actions smacked of
criminalising the informal sector, which had become a significant player in
employment creation as the formal sector continues to shrink. In a speech
to mark Africa Day commemorations last week, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
described the clampdown on the informal sector as part of a wider plan of
"Government's claim that such action is in the public interest is
disingenuous. Street vendors are not sabotaging the economy; it is the
government, which is sabotaging the economy through mismanagement and
corruption. Teachers, doctors, nurses, factory workers and people from all
walks of life have been forced into becoming street vendors as it has become
the only means of survival," he said.
The opposition leader, whose party enjoys popular support, added that the
vendors now being punished for trying to feed their families and for being
suspected of having the temerity to express their own political preferences,
adding that the whole act was unforgivable.
He said: "A government that destroys the properties of people who are trying
to make an honest living, is evil. It is people-insensitive. Millions of
Zimbabweans have been made poor and jobless by this regime.
"The people have sought ways to provide for their families. Not only have
flea markets and tuckshops been destroyed - the people's belongings have
been stolen by the government. The government did not even have the heart to
give people a notice period to salvage their belongings; it ploughed through
their properties and looted their goods. That is unforgivable."
In a related development, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers Association
(ZHLA) said it was going to pursue legal action against the commission
running the city's affairs and the police authorities for the crackdown.
The association said in a statement it was putting together papers to be
filed at the court, adding that the clampdown on defenceless residents was
"ZLHR is finalising legal proceedings, which shall shortly be instituted
against all parties complicit in the continuing violations on behalf of the
affected individuals and families, and will not hesitate to act in
protecting the economic and social rights of Zimbabwean citizens, which
responsibility has been abandoned by their state protectors," said the human
rights body.
The ZLHR said the move was illegal and a gross violation of human rights,
particularly because the city and police authorities were acting without any
court order empowering them to evict the informal traders.
Most of the traders forcibly evicted by the police were licenced to operate
at their various premises by the city council, which also billed them for
such services as water supply and refuse collection.
The ZLHR said the police and their municipal counterparts' acts were
"clearly and manifestly illegal" because the authorities did not have a
lawful order to evict mostly licensed flea market operators and tuck- shop
There were reports early this week that the army and police had been put on
full alert amid fears of a possible uprising by a restless population.
With unemployment at 70 percent, the majority of Zimbabweans now survive on
informal trading with even those still with a formal job being forced to
engage in petty and informal trading to supplement their inflation-eroded
wages. Inflation is pegged at 129.1 percent.
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) was recently quoted saying over
half of the city's estimated three million residents live in makeshift
While many people admitted that the attempts to restore the city's glory
were overdue, it is the crude, Mafia-style in which it has been implemented
that has sent shockwaves across the city and in the process, forcing people
to look for answers other than those provided by the authorities.
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), which represents the bulk of
the country's workforce, described the blitzkrieg as treacherous and
ill-timed, smacking of arrogance. Secretary general Wellington Chibebe said
the exercise was conducted in "a brutal and vindictive warlike manner; the
traders had their merchandise confiscated and their stalls razed to the
ground in a very insensitive manner".

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Bennett case: Mnangagwa blasted, remarks withdrawn

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-27

THE Attorney General's Civil Division yesterday blasted former Parliamentary
Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa for bungling proceedings during the house's
hearing of former MDC Chimanimani legislator Roy Bennett's contempt of
Parliament case last year.
Rumbidzai Gatsi, representing the AG in Bennett's constitutional challenge
in the Supreme Court on his one-year incarceration by Parliament, said
Mnangagwa had erred.
However, she later withdrew the submissions.
Bennett is arguing that a parliamentary committee, which recommended his
jailing, was improperly constituted, voted along party lines and the
sentence imposed was not reasonable and justifiable.
"It is submitted that the Speaker of Parliament should have made it clear to
Parliament in general that they were sitting as a court of record and were
supposed to decide the matter taking into consideration applicant's rights
and that they should put politics aside and objectively look into the
matter. This was not done and clearly parliament voted along party lines,"
said the AG 's office in its head of argument.
"It is submitted that although Parliament is entitled to commit its members
for contempt, the sentence it pronounced herein is disproportionate to the
offence committed considering it was committed in the heat of the moment,"
Gatsi said.
But after a lunch adjournment, Gatsi returned to the court and withdrew her
earlier submissions, saying she had been instructed from the AG's civil
division to do so.
"We abandon the whole of paragraph 16. The sentence was proper in the
circumstances; person assaulted was head of parliament at that time. The
sentence was, therefore, appropriate and not inconsistent," she said.
Bennett, in his challenge cited Mnangagwa, Minister Paul Mangwana,
Vice-President Joyce Mujuru, Chief Jonathan Mangwende, the AG, MDC secretary
general Welshman Ncube and the opposition's shadow finance minister Tendai
Biti as respondents.
The seven were members of the parliamentary committee that found Bennett in
contempt of court.
A heavily bearded Bennett, dressed in prison garb, was seated in a corner
paying full attention to the court proceedings.
The Supreme Court reserved judgment.
Meanwhile, the defence lawyer in the ongoing foreign currency
externalisation trial of former Finance and Economic Development Minister
Christopher Kuruneri yesterday made an application to have part of evidence
submitted before the court withdrawn.
Jonathan Samukange raised objections to voluntary submissions made by South
African Police Services member Ronald van Niekerk, after State counsel
Joseph Jagada had finished leading him.
"The witness cannot volunteer evidence. Whatever he has he can keep to
himself... The witness cannot be allowed to plough in because he enjoys
hearing his own voice. He is now leading the prosecution. It cannot be
said at all that this defence is being unfair to the witness because it is
the witness who has volunteered that information. Even the State was taken
by surprise. It is suggested that the whole evidence be withdrawn," said
Samukange, who on Tuesday said Van Niekerk was overzealous.
The lawyer's objections were centred on allegations by the State witness
that Kuruneri opened a bank account in South Africa in February 2002 and
gave his address as number 38 Sunset Avenue, Llandudno, before he had bought
the house in question. Samukange said by making the submissions, Van Niekerk
was inferring that Kuruneri was dishonest, an assertion he said was
tantamount to character assassination.
The defence lawyer said given Van Niekerk's testimony, he would seek time
from the court to look into the South African's background to establish if
he was not dishonesty himself.
Judge Susan Mavangira said she would make a ruling on the matter today.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Govt clean-up, war veterans targeted

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-27

. . .Chikwinya calls for the arrest of Chinese

HARARE Metropolitan Governor David Karimanzira on Wednesday ordered war
veterans and other illegal settlers at White Cliff farm in Kuwadzana
Extension and other unlawful settlements in the city to destroy their
properties as the capital's clean- up programme intensifies.
Karimanzira said this during a press briefing on the progress of the
exercise where Zanu PF women's league spokesperson, Nyasha Chikwinya urged
police to arrest some members of the Chinese community she accused of
fuelling the foreign currency black market.
Chikwinya's utterances came only a day after Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
governor, Gideon Gono, urged the country to take a cue from China's economic
transformation after a meeting with that country's deputy central bank
governor, Li Ruogu.
Zimbabwe economic and diplomatic ties with China have improved since the
country adopted the 'Look East' policy after falling out with Western
countries over policy differences.
After embarking on the land reform exercise which seeks to address social
inequalities, President Robert Mugabe has since become a victim of Western
The country has signed a number of bi-lateral agreements with the Asian
giant that have seen it purchasing buses for public transport and two MA60
aeroplanes, while a number quasi-government institutions would benefit
through lines of credit.
On the White Cliff settlement that is predominantly occupied by war veterans
Karimanzira said: "All those living on illegal settlements should leave. All
illegal structures should be removed. There were things that were not being
done properly, some went there (White Cliff) through illegal cooperatives
while others allocated themselves land."
War veterans led the occupation of White Cliff Farm, once owned by private
property developer, Eddies Pfugari at the height of farm invasions in 1999.
Harare City Council has also complained that the settlement was contributing
to the pollution of the city's water sources.
Karimanzira added that even squatters at Hatcliffe and Porta farm would not
be spared despite the fact that government settled some of them.
Turning to the parallel foreign exchange market that has emerged in the past
few weeks, Chikwinya said the Chinese had become leaders in illegally
dealing in hard currency.
"The move you have taken (clean exercise) is very bold. However, as women,
we feel the police should also target the Chinese community because they are
engaging in illegal foreign currency deals. If they were to be given
position, the Chinese would be number one, Nigerians number two and Indians
number three," Chikwinya said.
However, Zanu PF Harare provincial chairman and minister, of Mines and
Mining Development, Amos Midzi said the programme had the blessing of the
ruling party and was not targeted at any nationality.
"As a government and party, we are not targeting any nationality. We are not
targeting Indians, Chinese, Nigerians or Zambians. If you break the law then
the police will deal with you accordingly," Midzi said.
Meanwhile officer commanding police Harare province, Edmore Veterai said the
clean-up would go on until 2008, according to their strategic plan.
"We have been allocated enough resources by the commissioner. We have a
strategic plan to last until 2008 to deal with the street kids and the
clean-up and have a task force to deal with that," he said.
Veterai added that there would be a protracted programme to put all street
kids into foster homes and orphanages.

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

ZCC election observers not paid

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-27

MORE than 70 Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) observers of the March
parliamentary elections in Matabeleland have not yet been paid, two months
after the polls.
The observers yesterday alleged that ZCC had reneged on an agreement to pay
each of them $60 000 for observing the one day elections.
Some of the disgruntled observers who visited The Daily Mirror offices
accused ZCC Bulawayo region officials of squandering the money meant to pay
"We have been told by other members at the regional offices that our money
was disbursed by head office a long time ago but was misappropriated. We
have tried on several occasions to seek audience with some of the officials
at the offices but it seems they are not willing to talk to us," said one of
the observers. They also claimed that they were not given subsistence
allowances during the polling day.
"Imagine I had to borrow money from my brother to buy food. I slept in the
cold for almost two days and only to get this treatment," complained another
observer. When contacted for comment, the regional office head one, Dewa
was said to be in Harare attending a meeting.
A driver at the offices who answered the phone said: "All the staff are in
Harare. Try head office."
Repeated efforts to get a comment from the council's secretary general, a D
Mafikanye were all in vain.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Chihuri warns people resisting 'clean-up'

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-May-27

POLICE Commissioner Augustine Chihuri yesterday said the uniformed forces
will deal decisively with people resisting the current "clean-up" exercise
in Harare, following the eruption of riots in some high-density suburbs on
Wednesday after law enforcement agents destroyed illegal structures.
Officially opening a workshop on money-laundering organised by the ZRP
Harare province and the central bank, Chihuri said: "I would want to warn
any miscreants within our society who may wish to show their discontent
against the current clean-up operations to stop the day dream forthwith as
the ZRP has adequate resources to ensure that peace and tranquillity
He added that the police would not falter in their efforts to stem crime,
which has resulted in a lot of resources being milked from the economy.
"I want to warn briefcase dealers bent on distorting market fundamentals to
desist from such unbridled economic selfishness. The ZRP is fully committed
to the success of the economic turnaround strategies and thus will pounce
heavily upon such social misfits," Chihuri said.
The workshop was organised for police officers and the RBZ to exchange ideas
on how to combat white-collar crime, which has been on the increase lately.
Police spokesperson, Oliver Mandipaka said five people were arrested in
connection with the riots that rocked Glen View and Budiriro suburbs.
"The youths went to OK Supermarket and attacked the shutter door and
destroyed two tills. They looted fish, meat, soft, drinks, bread, blankets
and hardware items. Five people have been arrested in connection with the
looting and we are going to make more arrests," he said.
Mandipaka said there was no need for people to loot shops, even if they were
unhappy with the clean-up programme that was launched to restore the status
of Harare.

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Thousands more held in Zimbabwe
By Nick Miles
BBC News, Johannesburg

Zimbabwean police have arrested another 7,000 people as part of a
countrywide campaign against illegal traders.

State radio said the arrests were made in the town of Gweru in the
centre of the country.

It brings the number of people arrested in Zimbabwe over the last week
to more than 17,000.

Zimbabwe state radio said the people were arrested for hoarding scarce
goods like maize, dealing in foreign currency and gold panning.

The town of Gweru lies in a rich mining belt and thousands of
unemployed people have moved there in recent years to eke out a living
looking for gold.

Some of the people arrested have paid fines; others have been taken to

There have been large numbers of police on the streets of Gweru and
1,000 extra officers are patrolling the capital, Harare, to prevent any
violent reaction to the arrests.

On Wednesday, when the police burnt an informal market in the Harare
suburb of Glen View, street traders threw stones at the police and then
looted several shops.

Despite the tensions, the police say the arrests will continue.

The government says it wants to stop the damage the black market is
doing to the economy, namely stoking an already high rate of inflation.

But more than 80% of the people in Zimbabwe are jobless and for the
majority of the population, the informal economy is the only way of making a

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Zimbabwe residents clash with police over crackdown
Thu May 26, 2005 5:35 PM BST

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE (Reuters) - Residents of Zimbabwe's capital clashed with police,
damaging property and vehicles in the first major protest against a sweep on
illegal traders which has seen nearly 18,000 arrests countrywide, police
said on Thursday.

Police have arrested more than 10,000 people mainly in Harare and another
7,650 in the central city of Gweru since last week, seeking to subdue a
black market economy that has thrived on shortages of foreign currency and
basic commodities.

Residents fought with police in the opposition-dominated Harare suburb of
Glen View on Wednesday after the razing of illegal roadside shacks and
stalls provoked a violent response from some vendors and informal traders.

Police described the protesters as a "group of mischief makers" while media
indicated they numbered more than 100.

Stone-throwing residents damaged several properties and vehicles, looted a
major chain and blocked roads to protest the demolition of the structures,
police said.

President Robert Mugabe's government, widely blamed for Zimbabwe's economic
crisis, says the country has fallen prey to profiteers who buy everything
from foreign currency to basic commodities for re-sell at higher prices on
the black market.

Some traders complain they had been given little time to pull down their
shacks or relocate, and that they had valid permits issued by city

State radio quoted a police official on Thursday saying 7,560 had been
arrested in Gweru for hoarding basic commodities, illegal foreign currency
trading and gold panning.


Police spokesman Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka vowed "Operation Restore
Order" would continue despite protests, saying several people were arrested
after Wednesday's clashes.

"There is no going back. We are continuing with arrests and the long arm of
the law will catch up with all those who took part in the disturbances," he
told Reuters.

State radio said 500 additional police officers were on standby "in case
violence flares up".

Mandipaka said illegal housing structures and settlements would be destroyed
next and that police patrols had been stepped up to flush out "criminal
elements and troublemakers" in suburbs where tensions remained high.

Critics point to Mugabe's policy of seizing white-owned farms to give to
landless blacks for a slump in the key commercial farming sector, leading to
food shortages and sharp drops in both foreign investment and tourism.

Police have also pounced on illegal immigrants, accused by authorities of
siphoning scarce foreign currency abroad. The Zimbabwe dollar is trading on
the black market at up to 25,000 to the U.S. dollar against an official rate
of 9,000.

Shortages of fuel have left private motorists and urban commuters stranded
for transport, heightening anger among workers, some now forced to walk to

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, blames the
country's crisis on local and foreign opponents of the land seizures, whom
he says have ganged up to sabotage the economy.

Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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RBZ Avails US$18,5m for Fuel

The Herald (Harare)

May 25, 2005
Posted to the web May 26, 2005


THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has released US$18,5 million to the
National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) for the procurement of fuel as the
central bank and the Ministry of Energy and Power Development step up
efforts to alleviate the fuel crisis, which has seriously crippled transport

The situation worsened yesterday as the impact of the fuel shortage, which
has hit hard public transport operations in Harare, spread to other services
and centres because of the continuing erratic supplies coming into the

Hundreds of commuters in Harare and other parts of the country had to walk
long distances to and from work because of transport shortages stemming from
the fuel crisis.

Noczim was allocated US$8,5 million last Friday, US$5 million on Monday
while another US$5 million was released yesterday. This should see the fuel
situation improving within the next few days.

RBZ Governor Dr Gideon Gono yesterday confirmed that the central bank had
made available foreign currrency to Noczim.

"We have had positive responses to measures contained in the monetary policy
framework (in terms of foreign currency inflows); so we have now availed
money to Noczim.

"We should, therefore, see a significant improvement in fuel supplies," said
Dr Gono.

Secretary for Energy and Power Development Mr Justin Mupamhanga was also
optimistic that the supply situation would soon improve.

"We are working hand in glove with the RBZ. It's not just about the money,
but also the logistics in the supply chain. The process is a bit long, but
efforts are being made to plug all the gaps," he said.

He stressed that the current fuel shortage needed to be viewed in a broader
light because "you cannot isolate fuel procurement from the challenges the
economy is facing".

Noczim was already in the process of procuring more fuel, which would be
pumped through the port city of Beira in neighbouring Mozambique.

Other supplies were expected to come by road.

However, Mr Mupamhanga could not be drawn into saying how long the process
would take, pointing out that a number of "logistics" needed to be taken
care of first.

Presently, only suppressed supplies of both petrol and diesel are coming
into the country, resulting in long queues at the few filling stations
selling fuel.

"We are managing the situation," added Mr Mupamhanga.

Although commuters, especially those in high-density suburbs, have been the
hardest hit over the past few days, a survey by The Herald revealed that
critical services such as medical and prisons were also showing signs of
stress. Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals chief executive Mr Thomas Zigora
said the fuel and transport shortages had affected service delivery at the
institution as the staff was facing difficulties in getting to work.

"Our doctors and nurses work odd hours and the fuel and transport problems
have negatively impacted on the hospital's operations," he said.

A Harare City Council official said although some of the city's fleet of
ambulances were grounded due to the shortage of fuel, others were operating
as normal.

"We received fuel allocations which we will be able to utilise to respond if
any situation arises," he said.

The Zimbabwe Prison Services (ZPS) yesterday failed to bring most prisoners
to court owing to the fuel shortage.

The majority of the prisoners who were scheduled to appear in court for
their routine remand appearances and trial continuations were remanded in

The prison authorities only managed to bring to court a few prisoners whose
cases were due for either judgment or sentencing.

A senior public prosecutor at the Harare Magistrates' Courts confirmed the
failure by the ZPS to bring prisoners to court.

The court official, who declined to be named, said prison officers at the
court complex had advised the prosecution that their inability to bring
prisoners to court as required was due to lack of fuel, adding that there
was no option but to remand the prisoners in their absence.

Disgruntled people who had come to court hoping to see their arrested
relatives and friends and to be apprised of their next remand dates could be
seen milling around the court corridors and inquiring about the new dates
from the public prosecutors.

Many private vehicles and commuter omnibuses continued to queue at most
service stations although there were no indications that deliveries would be

The time lag between supplies at the few stations that had been receiving
unbroken fuel supplies since the crisis began has increased, with the
filling stations now having to wait for more than a day before the next

There were few filling stations with petrol when The Herald visited areas
such as Glen Lorne, Chisipite, The Grange, Highlands, Mbare, Glen View, Glen
Norah and Budiriro.

So bad was the situation that police were called in to quell the situation
at T & T Petroleum in Ardbennie after commuter omnibus drivers tried to
bulldoze their way onto the service station's forecourt.

The owner of the service station, Mr Tony Hickey, confirmed the incident.

"There was chaos here in the morning. The police had to come in to maintain
order," he said.

The shortage has also culminated in the re-emergence of the fuel black
market where petrol is selling for anything between $30 000 and $60 000 per

"The prices are too high, but there is nothing much we can do because it's a
desperate situation," said Mr Tapiwa Mavhiya of Budiriro, who had just
bought 10 litres in Highfield.

He said commuter omnibus operators were finding the going tough leaving them
with no option but to double the fares they normally charge.

"We have to be business-minded and in this case, it doesn't make any sense
to charge the normal fare when we are buying the fuel from the black
market," said a commuter omnibus driver who plies the City-Glen View route.

The regulated price of petrol is about $3 600 per litre while diesel costs
on average $3 700 per litre at service stations.

Most people reported for work late yesterday while others could be seen
leaving their workplaces early to beat the rush hour for transport.

Other commuters opted not to travel altogether after realising they would
not be able to return home once they got into town.

Those who braved the transport blues could be seen walking into town along
Enterprise Road from as far as Glen Lorne, while others walked all the way
from Chitungwiza, Glen View and Glen Norah.

In Mabvuku and Tafara, thousands of commuters were stranded as only two
Zupco buses could be seen plying the routes to and from the two
densely-populated suburbs to the city.

A few commuter omnibuses which were servicing the area were charging as high
as $12 000 for a single trip into the city instead of the gazetted $2 000.

Yesterday, the crisis was worsened by some commuter omnibus operators who
withdrew their fleets after being fined by police for committing several
traffic offences.

Police also impounded unroadworthy vehicles. So far, more than 500
unroadworthy vehicles, including commuter omnibuses and pirate Peugeot 404s
and 504s, have been impounded.

Twenty vehicles, which were impounded by the police, were taken to Chikurubi
Police Camp from Harare Central Police for safekeeping.

Some of the defective vehicles would be taken to the Vehicle Inspection

Police spokesman Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka said most of the operators
who did not have the required documents were withdrawing their fleet.

"They are not withdrawing as a result of being fined by the police, but for
the reason that they do not have the required documents to be on road -- and
it's because they are operating illegally," he said.

He said some of the commuter omnibus drivers did not have licences.

Commuters urged the Government to resolve the transport crisis as a matter
of urgency.

Fuel problems in the country resurfaced soon after the March parliamentary

Announcing the Post-Election and Drought Mitigatory Monetary Policy
Framework last week, Dr Gono blamed the fuel shortages on some oil firms
which were said to be diverting funds meant for fuel procurement onto the
parallel foreign currency market.

He, therefore, called for the reduction of such companies from the present
120 to a maximum of 20 to minimise the abuse and increase efficiency.

"This number (120) is, in our view, excessive to optimal requirements for
players in this market and we urge the responsible authorities to withdraw
some of these licences.

"We believe that the maximum number of players should not be more than 20.
The rest should either amalgamate or simply close shop because they are
distorting the currency allocation from the auction," said Dr Gono.

The central bank has accorded top priority to fuel procurement since the
launch of the foreign currency auction system in January last year. Fuel
companies and Noczim were being guaranteed at least US$8 million per week,
translating to US$32 million per month.

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Jailed Zimbabwean MP fears for his life
May 26 2005 at 07:55AM

Harare - Lawyers of jailed Zimbabwean MP Roy Bennett said their client
was in bad shape and feared for his life.

Bennett has been transferred from a prison in rural Mutoko, 280km east
of Harare, to Chikurubi maximum security prison, where there is more
overcrowding and conditions are far worse.

Bennett's human rights lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, said in a telephone
interview from Harare on Wednesday night that Bennett's case had been
referred to the African Commission on Human and People's Rights.

She said there had been no response from Zimbabwean authorities to
allow Bennett access to his doctor. He had lost "a lot of weight" and was
not feeling well, said Mtetwa.

He was not being allowed to get extra food from home, under a
Zimbabwean regulation that bars convicted prisoners from being given food
from outside jail.

Bennett was convicted by a parliamentary committee which recommended
that he be jailed for pushing Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who had
labelled the opposition MP's ancestors "thieves and murderers".

Mtetwa said Bennett's case, in which he was challenging the
constitutionality of provisions empowering parliament to send people to jail
without the intervention of the courts, would finally be heard in the
Supreme Court on Friday.

But it is the MP's health that is worrying his lawyers and family.

With food shortages in Zimbabwe worsening by the day, rumours abound
of prisoners going for a week without getting food.

Another pressing worry for Bennett's lawyers are the police raids on
his farm in Chimanimani in eastern Zimbabwe. Mtetwa feared the police would
plant arms there to find a pretext of charging him.

Charges of caching arms were routinely used against Mugabe rivals
after Zimbabwe's liberation war in 1980. - Foreign Service

a.. This article was originally published on page 10 of The
Mercury on May 26, 2005

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Harare Police Arrest 10000

Business Day (Johannesburg)

May 26, 2005
Posted to the web May 26, 2005

Dumisani Muleya

ZIMBABWEAN security forces yesterday stepped up their crackdown on informal
traders and vendors, triggering fierce clashes with residents of some poor
Harare townships.

Heavily armed police intensified their campaign across Harare, destroying
informal trading stalls, tuck-shop tables and shebeens.

The raid, which has so far netted more than 10 000 impoverished city
residents, has left trail of destruction its wake.

Police continued yesterday to seize more foreign currency and a variety of
merchandise from black market dealers selling fuel and other basic
commodities, including salt, washing powder and soap.

The police swoop - code-named "Operation Restore Order" - has netted 10 114
people and resulted in the razing of 63 "illegal structures".

People who live in shacks have been given a three-month ultimatum, which
expires on July 31, to demolish their structures and move away.

Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo said yesterday that after the
deadline expired police would move in and knock down the makeshift
structures themselves.

More than a million people are expected to be rendered homeless by the move.

The chairperson of the Harare Commission, which is running the city's
affairs, Sekesai Makwavarara, said that the crackdown would be widened to
cover other areas.

These included such areas as "vandalism of property, commuter ranks,
prostitution, and illegal cultivation".

Harare metropolitan resident minister David Karimanzira said the clampdown
would be extended to farms on Harare's outskirts to eliminate "illegal
residential houses" in those areas.

Resistance to the forced removals has increased over the past few days.

Yesterday clashes escalated between the security forces and residents,
particularly at Glen Norah's Mkomva shopping centre.

Policemen were attacked by angry residents at Chitungwiza at the weekend.

The Combined Harare Residents Association has slammed the campaign, saying
that it was designed to divert public attention away from the government's
economic failures.
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New Zimbabwe

Murambatsvina? Zanu PF? You're having a laugh!

By Walter Mazengeze Chafa
Last updated: 05/27/2005 05:32:47
WHEN I read the initial reports, I got attracted to the wicked operation's
code name, "Murambatsvina". I saw a paradox - a Zanu PF government ichiramba
tsvina? How's that possible?

A week has passed now since the launch of the so-called clean up exercise in
the country's major urban centres, with tremendous loss of property and
human dignity. You don't get this if you go by feel-good reports from the
purring pussycats at Zimpapers. You get the impression of a responsible
State going about its responsible business. But why?

I am not surprised the government is doing all this. In fact, hardly
anything this government does can surprise any more. What surprises me
though is the relative quietness of both the MDC and ZCTU in all this. We
all know that the informal traders-most Zimbabweans in urban centres have
become informal traders-are a critical constituency for the opposition.
These are the men and women most hit by the spectre of Mugabenomics.

I read both Paul Themba Nyathi's comments on a wire story and Morgan
Tsvangirai's online letter. They condemned the move, but that was just about
it. This is not as it should be. The leader of the opposition cannot respond
to a violent state crackdown on poor citizens with a lacklustre statement
that change is inevitable. It is not enough for the MDC spokesman to simply
argue that the state "is now going for broke." It is not enough because Zanu
PF has been going for broke in dealing with political opponents ever since
it assumed state power in 1980. Everyone knows that.

If the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights - a relatively elite grouping - can
get the courage to pursue the legal option to get the state and Sekesayi
Makwavarara's prematurely decrepit commission to account, why is the workers'
party folding its hands? We know the ZCTU is in ferocious death throes
(thanks to the CIO), but is it going to look on and die quietly?

The wholesale destruction of informal business in urban areas is one of the
most blatant travesties of justice so far committed by President Mugabe's
government. A government that destroys the economy and drives millions into
the informal sector, only to drive them further into perdition because they
voted for the opposition, is a cruel government. It must be remembered that
this is the same government that rounded up the homeless in Harare and
dumped them in Porta Farm ahead of the visit by Queen Elizabeth for CHOGM in
1991. (Never mind the current petty outrage by an executive that thoroughly
misses Good Old London). Yet it's the same government that conveniently
wears the leftist, progressive garb and purports to represent "the people".

By militarising the state, Zanu PF has ensured that resistance options for
the MDC or any opposition are within acceptable limits. The strategy has

It must be noted that although Zanu PF has arguably reached its nadir as a
capable government, it has reserved its best energies for purposes of
coercive rule and subversion of the democratic process, including rigging
elections. Without that, the party stands slim chances of retaining power.
What the MDC has to realise is that no amount of rhetorical posturing will
help in this context.

The opposition party needs to develop serious alternative programmes (of
which RESTART is certainly not), and popular resistance strategies that
appeal to the majority of the people. The party should take advantage of
Zanu PF's current policy slumber to present itself as a capable
government-in-waiting. The opposition said nothing about Mugabe's grotesque
new cabinet, and has so far said little about the current purge of informal
traders. I have heard some bold statements from the Shadow Minister of
Agriculture, Renson Gasela on the current food crisis. But the statements
should be translated into bold decisions and programmes to force the state
to allow the MDC to source food and ship it into the country.

In the current crisis, I have not heard anything from the MPs in the
affected constituencies? Where are they? An opposition party existing in the
context of a troubled transition cannot afford the sort of academic,
reactive politics that the MDC seems to enjoy. The party is in it for the
long haul, and should make itself relevant by the day. Some have argued for
a leadership renewal within the party. I don't think the party needs
leadership renewal as such, but certainly a policy and strategy rethink.
This is not easy, but remains the only option if the party hopes to field a
successful candidate for the "straitjacket" (remember Zvinavashe and his
gang) post of State House chief occupant.

At this point in time the Zanu PF leadership, despite the feel-good
posturing featuring among others Gono's so-called turnaround programme and
the ill-conceived Look East policy, is incapable of extricating the country
from the crisis. If it could, the country wouldn't be in this state. The
party has over the years created a bloated state bureaucracy that can only
run any organisation down. When Edgar Tekere left Zanu PF and launched ZUM
in 1989, he cited tsvina in the ruling party. Nothing has changed. Except
Zanu PF has made the unusual decision to fight tsvina outside its own
festering premises. Sadly the opposition is exhausted.
Walter Mazengeze Chafa is a worker and activist based in Masvingo

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From SW Radio Africa, 25May

Crackdown spreads

The so-called operation 'murambatsvina' spread to the small mining town of
Kadoma with gold panners being severely assaulted by police support unit
details in the surrounding mines. Vendors in the market areas were not
spared either. With the main employer, David Whitehead Textiles scaling down
operations, most people in the city rely on gold panning. The crackdowns
have brought untold suffering to the residents as even shops in the town
struggle for customers who have money to spend. The 'black boots', as the
police support unit are called, launched raid after raid in Kadoma's small
scale mines. They confiscated grains of gold from struggling panners who in
most cases spend months digging up the up the precious gold from either
disused mines or surrounding rivers. Last week a senior police officer in
Kadoma shot a gold dealer in unclear circumstances. The state media
completely ignored the incident. The panner, Saul Marata, is currently
struggling for his life in an intensive care unit in Harare. Its also
reported that the government has withdrawn gold buying licences in an effort
to stem the smuggling of the commodity outside the country. The move has
further plunged Kadoma into despair. The MP for the area, Editor Matamisa,
compared their poverty levels to that of a mouse.

The government's campaign against street and market vendors has also spread
to the outer areas of Nyazura, Rusape and Odzi. Uniformed police units have
destroyed flea markets and confiscated goods in these areas over the last
couple of days. A traditional leader in Odzi told us those who are resisting
are being assaulted further. He said the units are organised, with some
chefs looking out for anyone taking pictures while the others take apart the
structures and even burn some of them. Locals report that all sorts of goods
are being taken by the police and they were not told what will happen with
them. The chief also reported to us that there was plenty of food in Nyazura
and Rusape just before the elections. On Sunday in Bulawayo, police swooped
on vendors and alleged foreign currency dealers at the 4th street business
market. The area, which is dominated by members of the apostolic sect
(mapostori), was a sea of chaos as people scurried away while police
confiscated their wares. Those arrested were made to pay 25 000 dollar fines
but surprisingly, the police still held on to their goods. Authorities say
they are trying to clamp down on illegal foreign currency deals and people
hoarding basic commodities. Our correspondent in the city reports that
despite this claim, innocent people are suffering in the chaos. Individuals
are losing goods worth anything between 50 and 100 million dollars and in
most cases these constitute their entire life savings. Police are also
alleged to be selling the confiscated goods amongst themselves instead of
the official police auctions.

After several days of being bullied by the police who are destroying vending
stalls in the cities, most residents in the surburbs of Glen View, St
Mary's, Mbare and few others started fighting back today. Glenview
especially was a war zone today. Tear gas filled the air as police fought
running battles with angry residents and vendors who hurled stones and burnt
tyres on the roads. A government operated Zupco bus was also burnt down,
while the council offices and a TM supermarket near Budiriro were stoned.
With the day being a holiday, school children are said to have joined in the
melle as riot police reinforcements poured into the surburb. The MP for the
area, Paul Madzore says he counted three riot trucks packed with police
sprinting into his constituency. He accused the government of playing a
dangerous game with peoples' lives and warned that the violence might spiral
out of control if they continued their ill-conceived raids on the vendors.

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Take Cue From China's Transformation, Zim Urged

The Herald (Harare)

May 25, 2005
Posted to the web May 26, 2005


ZIMBABWE can take a cue from China's transformation to overcome this period
of economic blockade from Western countries and successfully turn around its
economy, a top Chinese banker has said.

Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China Mr Li Ruogu made the statement
when he met Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr Gideon Gono in Harare

Mr Li, who is reciprocating Dr Gono's visit to China in October last year,
said his country also faced the same problem of being blockaded by Western
countries during its initial stages of transformation.

"I believe the future of Zimbabwe solely lies in the hands of Zimbabweans as
it is only the people of this country that understand the situation here and
your goal of economic development will be achieved.

"When new China was established, it also faced the same problem of being
blockaded by Western powers, but we managed to successfully overcome this
and I believe the people here can do the same."

Since Zimbabwe's attainment of independence in 1980, China has entered into
joint venture and loan agreements with the country worth about US$100

In response to Zimbabwe's Look East Policy, Mr Li reaffirmed China's desire
to further invest in the country.

The Chinese banker, who is heading an eight-member delegation from his
country, said they were willing to share their experiences with their
African counterparts on their turnaround strategies.

"We would like to work with African countries in seeking economic and
political independence and we will continue to strengthen the co-operation
through sharing of knowledge, experiences and experiments," he said.

Dr Gono remained optimistic that Zimbabwe can turn around its fortunes the
same way China did.

"As a country, we can learn much from the success that you have enjoyed
coming from lowest levels to become one of the biggest economies which
boasts of the largest foreign reserves in the world.

"However, of more importance I would like to unveil to the Chinese people
the vast investment opportunities that are abound in Zimbabwe, including our
natural resource endowments," said Dr Gono.

The RBZ chief identified the mining sector as top among the priority areas
that would require foreign investment, placing emphasis on the platinum

Zimbabwe has the second largest deposits of platinum in the world, with an
estimated worth of over US$500 billion, although the reserves remain
untapped due to resource limitations.

"Platinum has overtaken gold in the precious metals industry fetching as
much as US$800 per ounce while gold is worth half the value. It is against
this background that we are focusing on the metal and the mining sector as a
whole," said Dr Gono.
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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1:

I refer to Gerry Whiteheads letter describing how farmers in the lowveld
who have been co-existing with settlers are now being targeted for
acquisition.......EXCELLENT!( I note that Gerry himself is NOT a

I hope that there is a final push by zanu pf to take all remaining farms
and teach the co-existers that there is no such thing as appeasement with
the devil. The only hope for zimbabwe is a final effort to voluntarily shut
down all activities (including town business) and accelerate the downfall
of zanu pf once and for all. By attempting to still operate is to prolong
the "rotten tooth", the sooner it is extracted the sooner we can start
rebuilding with a new government. I do not want to hear the excuse that
there are those who have no where to go, rubbish, rather suffer for a
relatively brief period in destroying zanu pf than draw out a long and
prolonged suffering.Go and be a barman in Jo`burg if need be,regardless of

I read recently that zanu pf is negotiating with certain commercial farmers
to return to their operations. It would not surprise me if there are some
takers to this offer. I have come to realise there are certain people who
will do anything to look after themselves. I would like to believe that the
majority of farmers who are approached with this offer would tell the
devils to stuff off.

Trevor Midlane


Letter 2

Hey there World

This message comes to you from a rgular person, just like you, whose
Country happens to be held to ransome by a handfull of terrorists. We are
peaceful loving people, who have put up with this for many years; but the
time has come when we no longer wish to have this awful adversity in our
lives. We cannot rise up against this dreadful evil, as we are simply shot,
or, if not immediately killed, arrested and tortured. Our wives and
daughtrs have been raped!!! Our homes have been burnt. This sounds totally
rediculous, but it is true.

This was once a viable prosperous Coutry, a breadbasket for the entire
region. It has been totally destroyed by the tyrinnacal corrupt regime
which presently holds us all to ransome.

At the moment we are sitting on a time bomb. The population is virtually at
it's wit end!

Tonight I witnessed a situation at a fuel station. A rumour went arround
that petrol was to be delivered to a particular filling station in the
City. The queue started by dawn. By midday when the fuel tanker arrived, it
was several kilometers long. Word went out that this petrol was not for the
public, but only for NGO's. NGO cars were coming in the wrong way and
filling with petrol, the others wern't allowed.Well; the queue refused to
move. Late that night there was chaos. A forecourt "ramjam" full with cars
and people. A queue three or four blocks long; and angry, angry people. Can
you imagine many many HUNGRY dogs sitting at a table where humans are
filling their faces???

Early this week our "Government" went on the rampage. They arrested
informal traders and stole "confiscated" their merchandice. This was
because the Chinese (the people trying to "buy" this Country at present)
complained that Zimbabweans who import and sell quality goods are causing
them not being able to sell thier Zhing Zhang Zshit quality rubbish
gooods!! They sell shoes guarenteed to last for 10 miles. This equates to
one walking trip to work and, in some cases back home!! That is if you are
lucky enough to have a job in this Country at present. They have "sold" us
busses that have all fallen apart alrady (one month old) and aeroplanes
that have fallen out of the sky! They don't fly in them themselves. they
buy Boings!!

There is no doubt that a bloodbathwill shortly take place in this Coutry.



Thought for the day


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

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