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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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      News Flash

      AI Index: AFR 46/017/2004 (Public)
      News Service No: 135
      28 May 2004

      Zimbabwe: Mrs Kidd's life and safety threatened
      Amnesty International is gravely concerned for the safety and life of
Mrs. Birgit Kidd, a Finnish citizen living in Zimbabwe.

      According to reports received by Amnesty International, Mrs Kidd was
alleged to have been assaulted and taken from her home in Chimanimani,
eastern Zimbabwe today, 28 May 2004. A group of people, which may have been
several hundred strong, reportedly stoned her home, then dragged her through
Chimanimani and forced her to clean up local offices of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC). The MDC offices were earlier allegedly destroyed by
members of the same group who are responsible for the assault, detention and
humiliation of Mrs. Kidd.

      Amnesty International telephoned the local police at 12.30pm (UK time)
but they were unable to provide any information.

      The organization is gravely concerned that the local police may not be
taking appropriate action to safeguard Mrs. Kidd.

      "The Zimbabwe Republic Police should act immediately to ensure the
safety of Mrs. Kidd," Amnesty International urged.

      The organization previously took action, in May 2002, on behalf of
Mrs. Kidd's husband, Michael Shane Kidd, who was allegedly assaulted while
in police detention in Chimanimani.
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Political Unrest Forces Closing of Zimbabwe Town
Peta Thornycroft
28 May 2004, 17:38 UTC

A town in eastern Zimbabwe was closed down Friday as ruling ZANU - PF party
supporters staged a violent demonstration against an opposition member of
parliament. The legislator, Roy Bennett, had recently scuffled with two
government ministers on the floor of the parliament, after one of them
taunted him with insults. Witnesses say the office of the opposition party,
the Movement for Democratic Change, in the town of Chimanimani was largely
Shopkeepers said Friday they were forced to close their businesses by the
ruling ZANU PF so that their workers could take part in the demonstration
against Mr. Bennett.

There has been a sporadic violence in Mr. Bennett's home province of
Manicaland since he knocked down two cabinet ministers on the floor of the
parliament earlier this month. Many workers in Chimanimani took to the dusty
streets to demonstrate against Mr. Bennett, who has been warned by the
government not to return to his constituency in the province. The legislator
was not in Chimanimani at the time the MDC offices were attacked on Friday.

An eyewitness from the town, who asked not to be named, said the offices
were extensively damaged in the attack.

Police in Chimanimani refused to comment on the unrest, but one local
businessman said there was no police presence in the streets during the

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The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe

Monday May 17th – Sunday May 23rd 2004

Weekly Media Update 2004-20



General comment

The rule of law

Economic issues




The week witnessed yet another assault on Press freedom with the arrest of The Standard Editor Bornwell Chakaodza and reporter Valentine Maponga on Wednesday May 19th. They were arrested over a story the paper published in which relatives of the slain Bindura Nickel mine chief executive officer, Leonard Chimimba, were quoted blaming government officials for his death (The Herald, the Zimbabwe Independent 21/5).

The two were later released on the same day after signing warned and cautioned statements.

However, barely two days after their release, the police rearrested the journalists early on Friday (May 21) morning and charged them under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) for allegedly endangering public safety by publishing a story that allegedly implied the country was being run by “a government of murderers”, according to The Standard (23/5).

They were later released on $50,000 bail each.

The Mail and Guardian (21/5) pointed out that it was the seventh time in two years that Chakaodza has been arrested.

But his persecution is not an isolated case. Many journalists from the private media have suffered a similar fate since POSA and the equally repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) were promulgated more than two years ago.

None of the journalists working for the government media have been charged under the two laws despite a blatant disregard for the basic tenets of journalism on a regular basis by these media.

For example, this week The Herald (19/5) reported that a senior coordinator and researcher from the Institute of Security Studies, Ben Coetzee, had been arrested after he allegedly sodomised a 21-year-old Zimbabwean. In an attempt to give the impression that Coetzee was in the country on a clandestine mission, the paper tried to link his organization with civic organizations perceived to be anti-government, such as Transparency International and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition. It also noted that he specialized “in strategic operational profiling and intelligence operations management”, adding that the police “were now investigating what business Coetzee intended to conduct in the country”. 

However, it emerged through a letter from the Head of Interpol Sub-Regional Bureau for Southern Africa, Kenny Kapinga, published in The Herald (20/5) that the paper’s story was laden with falsehoods. For example, Kapinga pointed out that Coetzee was in the country on official Interpol business and the police knew of his visit. While the paper gave the impression that Coetzee was still in police custody, Kapinga revealed that he had been released and allowed to return to South Africa “unconditionally”. The letter also revealed that the Zimbabwean youth, who escaped from the police during investigations, had tried to rob Coetzee. The paper made no effort to correct its original story in its news pages.

In another case, Lands Minister John Nkomo accused The Herald of publishing falsehoods when it claimed on Monday that problems had emerged in the land reform programme since Nkomo’s appointment to the portfolio (The Herald, 20/5 and The Tribune, 21/5). The minister was quoted as saying the report was “false” as demonstrated by its reliance on unnamed sources. Despite Nkomo’s clarification the paper maintained that it “stands by its story”.

The government appointed Media and Information Commission has been conspicuous by its deafening silence on such matters.




The government-controlled media’s collusion with the authorities in undermining the rule of law and presenting ZANU PF’s philosophy as representative of public opinion was evident in their unbalanced, inflammatory and racist coverage of the assault in Parliament on Cabinet ministers Patrick Chinamasa and Didymus Mutasa by opposition MDC MP for Chimanimani Roy Bennett.

They allowed ZANU PF officials and ruling party activists to use racist and blatantly threatening language to attack Bennett without identifying this as being inflammatory and constituting dangerous incitement to violence.

Chinamasa’s crudely racial and offensive provocation of the MDC legislator was also conveniently omitted.

With their news angle based on this perspective of the fracas, the government media used the incident as a springboard to launch a vitriolic attack on the MDC, perpetuating ZANU PF’s claims that the opposition was inherently violent. 

This uncritical and biased coverage of the issue simply magnified the incitement and hatred expressed by ruling party officials and its supporters, and coupled with the state security agencies’ selective application of the law tended to corroborate widely held concerns by local and international observers about the breakdown of the rule of law in the country.

ZTV (18/5, 8pm) was at the forefront of the government media’s unprofessional and xenophobic coverage. It claimed that Bennett’s attack on the two ministers demonstrated the violent nature of the MDC, without clearly explaining the circumstances leading to the incident.

The Herald and Chronicle (19/5) followed suit.

The Herald story, Bennett’s behaviour riles Zimbabweans, appeared calculated to give the impression that his behaviour had so incensed all Zimbabweans they wanted revenge.

The paper quoted “scores of Zimbabweans” threatening retribution against Bennett. However, only four people were quoted and half of them were unnamed.

One of these unnamed sources accused Bennett of suffering from a “colonial mentality and hangover” while the other one, a Harare woman, claimed that if the ministers did not retaliate “we, as women, will organise ourselves and descend on Parliament to deal with Bennett.”

Similar views from unnamed selected members of the public appeared on ZTV (19/5, 8pm) that evening.  One of them was quoted saying, “If we were there (in Parliament) we would have crushed him. In fact, I don’t think things will be fine for him if we meet him”.

Instead of subjecting such incitement to scrutiny, the newsreader stated: “…The MDC has always resorted to violence whenever democratic means such as the ballot box have failed to achieve their goals”.

As proof, the reporter then chronicled incidents, which he claimed were a testimony of the MDC’s violent nature. Several MDC MPs were named as facing charges of violence.

However, the reporter omitted to say that none of the implicated opposition legislators have been convicted on such charges.

Rather, the station featured government’s Media and Information Commission chairman, Tafataona Mahoso, and ZANU PF activist William Nhara, masquerading as “political analysts and social commentators”, invoking an unwarranted racist perspective and smearing the opposition. 

Nhara was quoted as saying Bennett’s actions “reflects the remnants of a legacy which believed that the only way to talk to an African is through beating them”.

Mahoso called for the “severest punishment”, saying Bennett was “representing a party that contains racists” which “for the last three years has been fomenting violence among our people”.

However, the private media presented sober and balanced coverage of the issue. While condemning Bennett’s actions, they also challenged Chinamasa’s spiteful and gratuitous attack on the MP.

For example, they revealed that Chinamasa had abused parliamentary privilege by digressing from his response to a parliamentary legal committee’s adverse report on the Stock Theft Amendment Bill to focus on alleged “cattle thefts” by Bennett’s British ancestors (The Daily Mirror, 19/5; Studio 7, 19/5; and The Standard, 23/5).

The Daily Mirror quoted Chinamasa referring to Bennett as an “inheritor of looted wealth…land and cattle…and (one) who owns the whole of Chimanimani”, language criticized by The Standard as “intemperate, uncouth, vituperative” and “unbecoming of a government minister and one (who is) supposed to preside over the country’s justice system”.

It was only the private media that accessed the MDC’s perspective of the parliamentary scuffle. SW Radio Africa (19/5) and the Zimbabwe Independent (21/5) quoted MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi echoing The Standard’s viewpoint. He told the Independent that while the MDC did not condone Bennett’s actions, neither did it condone “the demeaning, hurtful, wicked, barbaric and provocative racial and personal slurs and insults hurled at Bennett” by Chinamasa.

Studio 7 (19/5) and The Standard quoted Bennett himself attributing his flare-up to the failure by parliamentary authorities to protect him from Chinamasa’s personal insults.

Studio 7 (20/5) also revealed that Mutasa had kicked Bennett during the melee. Mutasa was quoted confirming this: “You don’t just wait there when a mad man is charging at you. It’s true. I kicked him very hard. What’s wrong with that?”

But the government media ignored this, preferring to push ZANU PF’s neurotic racist rhetoric as a mirror of national opinion.

As a result, the government media presented the ZANU PF-organised demonstrations to protest Bennett’s behaviour as a spontaneous response by angry Zimbabweans against the dehumanizing treatment of blacks by unrepentant whites as personified by “former Rhodesian police officer” Bennett.

It was in this light that ZBC (20/5, 8pm) and The Herald (21/5) reported ZANU PF’s information secretary for Harare, Winston Dzawo, misinforming the nation when he claimed that Bennett’s action was not only an “assault” on the two cabinet ministers “but also on the people of Zimbabwe who elected the ministers and the President who appointed them to their posts”. But neither The Herald nor ZBC pointed out that Chinamasa had been elected.

The government media passively reported on the inflammatory language used by ZANU PF officials and demonstrators in clear breach of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

For example, Harare governor Witness Mangwende was reported in The Herald as banning Bennett from the province, warning, “…If we see him walking in the streets of Harare we will revenge.” A similarly violent threat was issued by ZANU PF’s Manicaland provincial chairman Mark Madiro, quoted by SW Radio Africa (20/5) “banning” Bennett from entering Manicaland, where his constituency is located, adding that he would be killed if he did so.

The private station also reported that Mangwende had called for “Bennett’s head” and told protestors “to do a thorough job if they find him.”

Mines Minister Amos Midzi was reported as having threatened that, “all MDC MPs will not walk the streets of Harare”.

In fact, the dangerous effects of this appalling incitement by ZANU PF officials were fully exposed by the private media. SW Radio Africa & Studio 7 (20/5), The Daily Mirror, The Tribune and the Zimbabwe Independent (21/5) reported that following the officials’ address to the demonstrators, a mob marched to the MDC’s headquaters, Harvest House, under police escort and inflicted extensive damage to its offices.

However, instead of arresting those responsible for the violence, the private media noted that the police arrested four MDC officials inside the building.

While these media condemned the inaction of the police in preventing the violence and the cynically selective application of law, the government media ignored these incidents and presented the demonstration as having been peaceful.

At the same time it became clear from a report on Studio 7 (20/5) that ZANU PF would allow unruly individuals to take the law into their own hands. The station quoted Mutasa as saying he would not guarantee Bennett’s safety because he was the “most undesirable element in Zimbabwe” adding that the authorities would let “the events unfold in the country, and if the people go violent against Bennett, and if he gets hurt in the process, it is his own lookout. That is what he has been inviting and he is going to have it.”




As Zimbabweans were witnessing a fresh bout of price rises, the government media used news of a decline in inflation by 78 percent (to 505%) to drown out the need to address the inflationary effects of the price increases. While they credited the rein on inflation to the monetary policies of Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, the government media refused to temper this success with any analysis of the real economic situation indicated by the new spiral in prices.

For example, The Herald (17/5), unquestioningly echoed a faceless analyst who ambitiously projected that “year-on-year inflation rate would decline to 475% this month…and 175% in November”. No credible explanation was provided to justify this projection except suggestions that “improved inflows of the US dollar and other hard currencies” would continue to have a positive bearing on inflation.

Radio Zimbabwe (17/5, 8pm) quoted economic analyst Jonathan Kadzura echoing similar views, saying inflation would continue to fall because “there is less money on the market… We no longer have that disease because of fiscal discipline that has been implemented by the RBZ. This is causing a decrease in prices. Inflation will further decline in the next few days because there would be more food on the market and more products from factories…”

This contrasted sharply with private media reports, which predicted an upward trend in the inflation rate (Studio 7, 17/5; The Daily Mirror, 18/5; Financial Gazette, 20/5; and The Tribune, 21/5).

For example, The Daily Mirror quoted named economic analysts attributing an imminent rise in inflation to the new exchange rate, which has since pushed up the prices of goods and services.

Gordon Moyo was quoted on Studio 7 noting that a recent 50 percent salary hike for civil servants and the central bank’s directive to commercial banks to allow clients to withdraw any amount of cash would also contribute to a rise in inflation.

In addition, while the government media claimed that the manufacturing sector was expected to reduce prices, The Tribune quoted named economic analysts from the Open Learning Centre as saying the sector was likely to nosedive due to consumers’ shrinking disposable incomes and high electricity bills.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Independent reported (21/5) that President Mugabe appeared to be undermining Gono’s efforts to re-engage international monetary agencies to help bail Zimbabwe out of its foreign currency squeeze. The paper reported Mugabe telling a Kenyan newspaper that Zimbabwe did not need the intervention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Independent questioned this apparent contradiction in policy between Gono and Mugabe and asked whether the President’s utterances, which “continue to throw spanners in the works”, were personal or represented government policy.

The government media did not address the matter.

Rather, their public relations crusade to protect Governor Gono took on a personal perspective as demonstrated by the way The Herald (20/5) seemed to set the agenda on who should and should not be investigated by the police.

Responding to a report in The Sunday Times of South Africa alleging that Gono may have played a part in the unlawful withdrawal of foreign currency by the incarcerated Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri from the Jewel Bank when Gono was still the chief executive there, The Herald used unnamed “highly placed sources involved in the case” to exonerate him from any wrongdoing.

The faceless sources claimed that a “thorough” investigation was done before Kuruneri’s arrest and “it was found beyond reasonable doubt that the statement made by Dr Gono during the investigations was credible and useful”. Why was there no official comment from the police on such an important issue? The paper could only offer unnamed commentators speculating about red herrings…



The MEDIA UPDATE was produced and circulated by the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, 15 Duthie Avenue, Alexandra Park, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 703702, E-mail:


Feel free to write to MMPZ. We may not able to respond to everything but we will look at each message.  For previous MMPZ reports, and more information about the Project, please visit our website at

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      UN snubs Zim DRC role

      Hama Saburi
      5/28/2004 8:14:50 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWE, previously seen as key to the resolution of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) crisis, risks being written out of the script
ahead of the reconstruction of the diamond-rich country after being excluded
from a crucial visit to the sub-region by the United Nations (UN)
peacekeeping chief.

      Diplomatic sources were unanimous that Zimbabwe's exclusion from the
week-long visit to the region by the UN under-secretary general for
peacekeeping operations, Jean-Marie Guehenno, amounted to a snub by the
world body. They said the move belittled the country's role in the DRC war
that lasted over three years.

      During those years Zimbabwe, which sent its troops to the war-torn
country in 1998, had always been under pressure to withdraw its soldiers.

      It however stuck to its guns on the pretext that it had been invited
by the legitimate and sovereign government of the late Laurent Kabila, which
had just taken over from the eccentric Mobutu Sese Seko. Zimbabwe only
pulled its troops out some three years ago.

      It had been hoped that Zimbabwe would benefit from reconstruction of
the war-ravaged vast central African country. This is now increasingly
remote given the new twist. So far intermittent forays by Zimbabwean
companies into the DRC have at best produced mixed results.

      The UN mission in the Congo has defended its decision to exclude
Zimbabwe, a key ally of the DRC government, from Guehenno's itinerary.

      Confirming that Zimbabwe was not part of the tour, a spokesperson for
the UN mission in the DRC, Hamadoun Toure, told The Financial Gazette this
week: "No doubt Zimbabwe played a major role in the DRC conflict, but its
absence from Mr Guehenno's itinerary should not be interpreted in a
suspicious manner."

      Hamadoun claimed the focus was being put on the two neighbours of the
DRC, Rwanda and Uganda, in order to give a new impetus to the current
process of normalising relations between them and the DRC.

      "As you might know, last September a high-level meeting was held in
New York between the DRC and some of its neighbours, including Uganda and
Rwanda. A declaration of principles of good neighbourly relations was
accepted. The Kigali and Kampala legs would also be a new opportunity to
review the disarmament, demobilisation and repatriation of Ugandan and
Rwandan armed groups still present here," he said.

      Guehenno arrived in Kinshasa, the capital city of the DRC, on
Wednesday last week for a working visit that took him to Rwanda and Uganda,
which were assisting rebel forces in fighting the DRC government backed by
allied soldiers from Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola. South Africa, which was
reluctant to take the military plunge in the DRC, makes up the last leg of
Guehenno's itinerary.

      "As for South Africa, this country played a key role in the successful
organisation and conclusion of the inter-Congolese dialogue, which led to
the ongoing transition. When President (Thabo) Mbeki was chairing the
African Union, his country hosted the signing of the agreement between
Rwandan and DRC governments and President Mbeki, along with UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was a member of the Third Party Mechanism put
in place to oversee the agreement," added the mission's spokesperson.

      Guehenno was due to hold talks with Congolese authorities and members
of the International Committee to Support the Transition. The
under-secretary general was also expected to travel to the DRC troublespots
of Bunia, Bukavu and Uvira. He was also scheduled to check on progress on
the deployment of UN peacekeeping forces in Ituri and Kivu.

      Sources said Zimbabwe, which sent troops to defend the DRC without the
ratification of Parliament (which followed some nine months later only as a
fait accompli), and its regional allies should be consulted on the
deployment of UN troops in the Congo and the world body's progress in
bringing lasting peace to the mineral-rich country.

      It is believed that hundreds of Zimbabwean troops perished in the DRC
war, whose funding also hurt the country's fragile economy. There are no
official estimates on the Zimbabwean casualties or how much the war cost the

      Analysts said the UN had not been too happy with Zimbabwe's
involvement in the DRC following a 2002 report which accused an elite
network of Congolese and Zimbabwean individuals and companies of having
transferred ownership of at least US$5 billion worth of assets from the
state mining sector to private companies under its control in the previous
three years with no compensation or benefit for the state treasury of the

      A UN Security Council resolution of March 12 2004 repeated its
condemnation of the illegal activities taking place mainly in the DRC's
mining areas despite an arms embargo imposed in July 2003 and repeated calls
for the Congolese government to help end illegal trade in the country's

      A panel of UN experts reported to the Security Council last October
that it had drawn the attention of companies to the disastrous situation in
the DRC and the human tragedy occurring in conflict areas.

      An earlier report made public in October 2002 recommended that
financial restrictions be placed on 29 companies based in Belgium, Rwanda,
Uganda, the DRC, Zimbabwe and South Africa and that travel bans and
financial restrictions be imposed on 54 individuals.

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      Chimimba murder probe exposes massive graft

      Staff Reporter
      5/28/2004 8:15:51 AM (GMT +2)

      INVESTIGATIONS into the gruesome murder of Bindura Nickel Corporation
(BNC) boss Leonard Chimimba have taken a new twist amid indications that
multinational companies suspected of concealing exports of platinum group
metals (PGMs) over the past two decades could be drawn into the imbroglio.

      Highly placed sources told The Financial Gazette this week that
Chimimba, who was gunned down outside his Harare home recently, may have
become a great source of unease in ongoing investigations to plug illegal
exports of minerals and a spate of natural resource thefts that have hit
Zimbabwe of late.

      Intelligence sources said the BNC chief executive was one of the key
officials who had been interviewed by state agencies in connection with
allegations that the nickel producer and Rio Tinto Zimbabwe could have
concealed PGMs.

      The sources said the concealment, which was immediately denied by the
companies interviewed by The Financial Gazette this week, was being done by
way of false export documentation where the PGMs - namely platinum,
palladium, iridium, gold and silver, which are by-products in the production
of nickel - were exported as copper cement.

      Zimbabwe, the sources said, would only be paid for copper exports and
not for the PGMs. The so-called copper cement was transported to Switzerland
and Germany, where companies (names supplied) would separate the metals.

      The nickel refinery process is said to yield significant quantities of
PGMs and gold as by-products and these are suspected not to have been
declared by local mining concerns.

      Didymus Mutasa, the Minister responsible for Anti-Corruption,
confirmed the investigations were ongoing and would not give a time frame as
to when they would be wrapped up.

      Mutasa said: "They (investigations) are ongoing as you know, they
involve going to other countries and the actual knowledge of metallurgy to
check the values. The investigations will take sometime and as soon as they
are concluded, we will let you know."

      A spokesperson for Rio Tinto dismissed the claims, saying the Empress
Nickel Refinery refines metals for a fee and is never the owner of the
metals, and cannot buy or sell them.

      The refinery, situated in Eiffel Flats in Kadoma, was built in 1968 to
refine metal from Empress Nickel Mine and was closed when Empress Nickel
Mine closed shop in 1982.

      However, in 1985 Rio Tinto was able to negotiate toll-refining
contracts involving matte from BCL Ltd in Botswana. The refining contracts
have operated successfully since 1985, resulting in the refinery being
expanded in 1995 to increase its refining capacity to accommodate additional
matte from Botswana.

      The spokesperson said Empress, which produces refined nickel and has
earned around US$400 million since 1985, has contracts to refine the metals
contained in matte that originates from mines in Botswana.

      The matte contains nickel and copper and small quantities of cobalt
and platinum group metals. Copper is also produced as a refined metal, but
the precious metals and cobalt are recovered as residue or other
intermediate products.

      "All of the recovered products are returned to the owners of the
matte...The various contracts were set up with the approval of the Reserve
Bank, customs (and latterly the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority). The involvement
of these authorities is important as the matte is imported and resulting
metals are exported at no value.

      "The only value to Zimbabwe in the business is the refining fee
charged and this is small in comparison to the gross value of the contained
metals. The fees are charged per tonne of nickel and copper produced, the
cost of separating cobalt and precious metals into residues or intermediates
is recovered in the nickel and copper fees," said the Rio Tinto

      Contacted this week for comment, the company secretary for BNC,
Fraternity Ndhlela referred all questions to the corporate affairs manager,
who could not respond to questions e-mailed to his office at the time of
going to press.

      Assay reports done to analyse the content for minerals in refined
metals at some of the mines and independent confirmations have vindicated
the findings, said government sources.

      They say the Zimbabwean authorities are now cracking their heads on
how they could recover the lost revenue, which they could achieve either by
seeking the co-operation of the companies concerned or recourse through the

      "This means that billions of dollars have been lost over the past two
decades. It's a systematic looting of resources from the developing
countries," said a source.

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      Supreme Court keeps Makamba sweating

      Staff Reporter
      5/28/2004 8:17:59 AM (GMT +2)

      THE Supreme Court is still to set a hearing date to decide whether or
not to uphold a High Court decision granting bail to Harare business tycoon
and former ZANU PF chairman for Mashonaland West, James Makamba.

      An official at the superior court said the State filed a notice of
appeal against the lower court's ruling within the requisite seven days, but
the hearing date was yet to be agreed upon.

      Effectively, this means Makamba, who has been in custody for more than
three months with 11 bail attempts to secure his freedom, will be at the
Harare Central Remand Prison for a little longer until the matter has been
finalised by the Supreme Court.

      Makamba's lawyer George Chikumbirike confirmed the development saying:
"I understand a notice of appeal has been noted in the Supreme Court, but
check with them for more information."

      Last week, High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu granted bail of
$50 million coupled with other stringent conditions to Makamba, after the
entrepreneur repatriated about £9 000. But the state immediately appealed
and invoked Section 121, subsection 3 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence
Act, hence his continued stay in custody.

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      Traditional leaders abused in Lupane poll, says watchdog

      Staff Reporter
      5/28/2004 8:21:09 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), which
monitored the Lupane by-election won by ZANU PF this month, said this week
it strongly deplored the abuse of traditional leaders by the ruling party in
the two-day poll.

      ZESN chairperson Reginald Matchaba-Hove, in a statement to The
Financial Gazette said his organisation, which fielded 68 accredited
observers in Lupane, had noted the abuse of traditional leaders by ZANU PF
to garner votes in the election.

      "The ZESN noted with concern a major disturbing occurrence, which
happened at most polling stations, that voters were passing through their
village or kraal head to register or have their names ticked before
proceeding to cast their ballot," he said.

      "ZESN strongly deplores this development, which has become a feature
in rural elections, because it is intimidatory in nature and designed to
influence voters to cast their ballots for a particular party."

      The ZESN boss said he election watchdog strong condemned the prevalent
use of state resources for ZANU PF business, adding that observers
identified several government vehicles ferrying ruling party supporters
during the two-day by-election.

      Martin Khumalo of the ruling party defeated Njabuliso Mguni of the MDC
by polling 10 069 votes against Mguni's 9 186 votes.

      ZESN however commended the electorate in Lupane for voting peacefully.
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      Dictators abusing Africa Day, say analysts

      Njabulo Ncube
      5/28/2004 8:21:37 AM (GMT +2)

      BULAWAYO - That Africa Day celebrated throughout the continent on
Tuesday this week is an important occasion in Africa's chequered history is
beyond argument.

      Questions abound, however, on whether the vast continent, endowed with
a rich natural resource base which stands in stark contrast to the
stagnation and misery afflicting its long-suffering people, has realised the
ideals for which this significant day was set aside.

      The big question is on whether Africa, where a significant number of
countries had to achieve self-rule through the barrel of the gun, has had a
decisive rupture with the past.

      In other words, has all that the continent's citizens sacrificed life
and limb against, been swept away with the rubble of the toppled colonial

      The general consensus, though, is that millions of Africans have lived
in the grey twilight that knows only disillusionment, frustration, social
deprivation, general strife, political under-development and failed states.

      There is also a terrible aura about the continent arising from
intolerance for political pluralism, hatred for compromise, economic
mismanagement, debt crisis, natural disasters and the AIDS pandemic, among

      This rings true for Zimbabwe which attainted independence in 1980
after a bloody war against the Ian Smith regime.

      "We are merely observing the day because of its historical
significance," said Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), which President Robert Mugabe's government has
since dismissed as a Western front set up to effect regime change in
Zimbabwe, said.

      "We have nothing to show for the 41 years during which the continent
progressively experienced a rapid phase of decolonisation and the
accompanying enjoyment of the people's sovereignty.

      "In Zimbabwe, 24 years of independence have yielded a well-documented
account of repression, loss of basic freedoms and economic collapse," said
the opposition leader who is challenging the validity of President Mugabe's
re-election in 2002 which the opposition party claims was tainted with
violence, systematic bullying and voter intimidation.

      "I might sound unpatriotic but the cruel truth is that there is
nothing to celebrate really as Zimbabweans when the opposition politicians
are not being heard on radio, television and public newspapers.

      "We now have the land, blacks control significant stakes in the
economy, this I do not dispute, but us ordinary citizens are still to
realise the ultimate freedom of our emancipation," said Agrippa Masotsha, a
Bulawayo-based veteran of the war of liberation.

      When the OAU set aside Africa Day it was specifically to celebrate the
dignity, freedom and equality of African people as the struggle for black
emancipation gained momentum.

      Analysts who seemed to be singing from the same hymn book with
Tsvangirai were unanimous that Zimbabweans, whose major liberation movements
ZANU PF and the defunct PF ZAPU, both benefited immensely from the OAU to
deliver Zimbabwe to independence in 1980, did not have much to celebrate
during the Africa Day.

      They flatly disputed government assertions that Zimbabweans have for
the past 24 years had dignity, freedom and enjoyed equality as espoused by
the OAU 40 years ago.

      The analysts accused President Mugabe's government of dictatorial
tendencies, citing the passing of repressive laws such as the Public Order
and Security Act (POSA), the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (AIPPA), among other pieces of legislations.

      However, the government vehemently denies charges that dictatorship
and repression exist under President Mugabe's government with officials
falling over each other defending the laws, saying they are meant to
safeguard Zimbabwe's sovereignty.

      They also said the land reform programme, which should have officially
ended in August last year but is still being implemented "carelessly", had
reduced Zimbabwe from a major food producer to a basket case.

      The government, however, maintains the chaotic land reform would help
to re-invigorate the economy.

      John Makumbe, a fierce critic of the government who teaches Political
Science at the University of Zimbabwe, categorically said POSA had prevented
civic organisations and the opposition from organising any events to mark
Africa Day.

      "As for us Zimbabweans, it is a good day to stay at home, otherwise it
has no political significance with POSA, AIPPA and other pieces of
legislation hanging over our heads," said Makumbe.

      "It is impossible for non-governmental organisations in Zimbabwe and
the opposition to publicly celebrate African dignity, freedom and equality
of Africans with what is happening.

      "The entire continent has not fully grown up with leaders that still
craft pieces of legislation such as those we have in Zimbabwe," said

      Makumbe added: "Africa Day is just a blot on the calendar for
Zimbabwe, there is just nothing to celebrate apart from enjoying a holiday
at home with friends.

      "Nevertheless, if it is a day to check if Africa still has dictators,
it is a good day. Yes, Africa still has many dictators.

      "So if it is there for the purpose of having checks and balances, let
us have it everyday," he added.

      Lovemore Madhuku, the chairperson of the National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) added his voice on the significance of celebrating Africa Day
during the present body politic in Zimbabwe.

      "It is an important milestone in the history of Africa but its
objectives and goals have been abused in Zimbabwe," said Madhuku.

      "Have the ideals that we set out to fight colonialism been realised?
We need to use this day to ask ourselves this and many other questions.

      "No, they have not been realised in Zimbabwe. White oppressors have
been replaced by black oppressors. I do not think we went to fight
colonialism to replace white faces with black ones," said Madhuku, a
constitutional lawyer whose NCA is agitating for constitutional reform in
Zimbabwe before any elections could be held.

      "African dictators have and continue to abuse this day but we should
not stop celebrating the day because it was a struggle against white
colonialism," he added.
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      Ousted managers finger Mujuru in Bubye saga

      Brian Mangwende
      5/28/2004 8:17:29 AM (GMT +2)

      RETIRED army general Solomon Mujuru, who is part of a team probing
ZANU PF's octopus-like business interests, could be hauled before the Anti
Corruption Ministry to explain his involvement in the recent possession of
River Ranch Limited (RRL), a diamond concern in Beitbridge, by a consortium
of local and international businessmen.

      Mujuru, seen as a king maker in the tricky ZANU PF succession debate
and former legislator Tirivanhu Mudariki, have been fingered by the ousted
mine managers as having used unorthodox and illegal means to take-over the
business venture.

      The retired general and Mudariki were appointed directors of RRL on
April 27 following an annual general meeting held by the owners of that
company, Rani International Limited (RIL) on the previous day.

      Other new RRL board members include Adel Abdulrahman Aujan as chairman
and former Harare-based Advocate Adrian de Bourbon. Ernst and Young were
appointed company secretaries.

      The reconstituted board replaced the one comprising Australian
nationals Peter Rowe and Belben, a Briton Anthony Hamilton, a Canadian
Jeremy Kendell and three Zimbabweans William Nyemba, the former Trust Bank
boss, John Collins and Barclay Cowper.

      After the RRL board was reconstituted, Mudariki and the chairman's
personal assistant were tasked to repossess RRL which had not been operating
for four years with a view to recommence activities at the mine.

      It is this action by RRL board of directors to physically repossess
the mine from the previous managers that has courted controversy. The
directors of Bubye Minerals, which used to manage RRL until they were shown
the exit last month, accused the new board of illegally taking over the
management of the open cast mine.

      They argued that Mudariki and Mujuru had used their political clout to
push Bubye Minerals out of the project and deprive their vehicle of profits
that would have been generated had they been running the show.

      Bubye's associates include Michael Farquhar and his wife, Adele,
Sibonokuhle Getrude Moyo, the wife of Zimbabwe's Ambassador to South Africa
Simon Khaya Moyo, Nelson Chadamoyo, George Matenda and Elliot Muswita.

      Farquhar has since lodged a formal complaint to the Anti-Corruption
Ministry alleging the pair had solicited the help of Home Affairs Minister
Kembo Mohadi to use the uniformed police to "seize" the mine.

      The directors of Bubye have since written to the Anti Corruption and
Anti Monopolies Minister Didymus Mutasa seeking his assistance to reverse
the recent actions by the consortium, which has taken over management
control of the mine.

      Mutasa this week confirmed receipt of Bubye Minerals' complaints
saying his ministry needed to investigate the matter before going public. He
said: "I received documents from both sides and I need to study them first.
We need to find out from Mujuru what his side of the story is before we rush
to make public comments on the issue."

      Bubye was originally given the right by the liquidator Peter Bailey of
KPMG to resume operations at the open cast mine after mining had abruptly
ceased in 1997 following a decision by the then owners, Auridium Zimbabwe
(Private) Limited, to close shop and place RRL under voluntary liquidation.

      Auridium cited the fall in the price of the precious stone, diamonds,
as the key factor for their decision. Bubye then solicited the financial
support of RIL a company with strong ties in the Middle East, to invest in
the mine and prevent RRL from final liquidation.

      Operations at the mine re-commenced during the last quarter of 1997
after RIL threw a lifeline to RRL, but in March 2000 Cyclone Eline struck
and the open pit at the mine was heavily flooded bringing all activities to
a standstill.

      Currently, the ownership of RRL is vested with RIL and an indigenous
partner, Kupukile Resources (Pvt) Ltd.

      Before the recent moves, two foreign controlled companies Sedna and
Cornerstone, both owned by RIL had a 50 percent stake each in RRL. In a
letter to Mutasa, Farquhar alleged that RIL had deprived Bubye of its
shareholding for which legal action would be sought.

      Farquhar alleged that shares had been offered to Mujuru, Minister
Mohadi and Mudariki to motivate them into supporting RIL's actions.

      "Retired general Mujuru and Minister Mohadi have instructed members of
Zimbabwe's professional security forces to act unjustifiably in seizing
assets without legal right to do so . . . Bubye Minerals have been advised
that both general Mujuru and Minister Mohadi have been promised a
substantive shareholding in RRL for their efforts," read part of the letter
to Mutasa.

      Mohadi this week dismissed the accusations saying he was not involved
in the alleged illegal take over neither was he a shareholder.

      "What I was told was that there was a caretaker company looking after
the assets of the mine," Mohadi said.

      "Mudariki approached me saying that they wanted to reopen the mine and
that since the mine was in my constituency I should assist in providing
labour from the locals. I agreed to assist in recruitment and that was that.

      "I'm not a director in that company. I don't know why people would
want to drag my name into this." Mudariki confirmed approaching Mohadi to
help mobilise workforce adding that the physical possession of the mine was
done legitimately.

      The RRL board said it has been extremely patient with Bubye, but the
impasse could not have been allowed to continue.

      "The asset had been non-performing for four years and this impasse
could not be allowed to continue indefinitely.

      "In April 2004 RIL assisted Bubye again by advancing an unsecured loan
of $100 million so it could meet ZESA (Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority) bills and some staff salaries . . . the directors of Bubye have
ignored RIL's repeated and urgent requests for an amicable resolution of

      "RIL's rights and fair entitlement have persistently been rejected.

      "This attitude could no longer be tolerated. As a responsible and
accountable foreign investor in Zimbabwe, RIL realised that the time had
come for it to exercise its prerogative and to end this counter productive

      "It has therefore made significant changes to the structure,
shareholding, capitalisation and management of RRL with immediate effect,"
the board said.

      Efforts to get comment from Mujuru proved fruitless yesterday.
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      Chombo springs new surprise

      Brian Mangwende
      5/28/2004 8:20:40 AM (GMT +2)

      THE ruling ZANU PF, known for its intolerance towards opposition
parties and hatred for compromise, went extremely overboard last week when
it further clipped the wings of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Harare
councillors in what is widely seen as a reckless bid to reclaim urban votes.

      In a rare move that effectively rendered the MDC-run council
dysfunctional, the government suspended the holding of elections for council
posts until 2006 - nine months after the holding of parliamentary elections
slated for March 2005.

      Effectively, the government, which has systematically frustrated the
city fathers who came on the opposition MDC ticket since the day they set
foot on Town House in 2000, has usurped the local authority's powers and
transferred them to Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and Witness
Mangwende, the governor of the newly created Harare Province.

      Observers said they had seen the new development coming as the ruling
ZANU PF continued to implement every trick in the book to loosen the
opposition's grip in urban areas ahead of the 2005 plebiscite.

      In the last parliamentary, presidential and local authorities
elections, ZANU PF, which has ruled the country since independence in 1980,
has been emphatically rejected by urban voters, who have borne the brunt of
the country's economic slowdown.

      As a precursor to the latest move, Chombo suspended Harare's first
executive mayor, Elias Mudzuri, from office in September last year on what
observers say were trumped-up charges and subsequently showed the embattled
MDC mayor the exit last month.

      Mudzuri was fired on allegations of misconduct and corruption.

      Sekesai Makwavarara, who defected from the MDC recently after clashing
with the party's leadership, has been acting as executive mayor.

      The suspension of elections in the capital city, said analysts,
contravened provisions of the Urban Councils Act. They said it also showed
ZANU PF's desperation to recapture the crucial urban votes by hook or crook.

      Despite popular resistance, President Robert Mugabe's government has
even pressed ahead with plans to appoint resident ministers and governors
for Harare and the second city of Bulawayo to dilute the MDC's influence.

      Eliphas Mukono-weshuro, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's confidante,
said: "They (ZANU PF) want to concentrate on one election at a time, unlike
what happened in the 2000 and 2002 elections. They don't want simultaneous
elections next year, fearing they may lose dismally. Hence their efforts to
stop other elections taking place.

      "This just goes to show how ZANU PF doesn't value the significance of
democracy. The government should hold elections as and when they are due and
not as a matter of political expedience by a political party. It goes to
show the arrogance of the autocratic regime . . . to decree rules that are
illegal and at complete variance with Acts of Parliament."

      Mangwende and Chombo, some analysts said, would continue to bark
instructions through the acting Harare executive mayor until ZANU PF
reclaimed lost urban constituencies.

      Chombo defended the latest development, saying it was meant to enable
the Harare City Council and the new governor for Harare Province to address
pertinent issues affecting the capital.

      "I would want to state it clearly that there won't be any other
elections at the City of Harare until the year 2006. This is aimed at
enabling the council, together with the new governor . . . to iron out all
problems that are affecting the city," the minister was quoted in a
government-run daily as saying.

      He added: "We hope that the new governor and his council are going to
work hand in hand and develop this city so as to restore its tag as the
Sunshine City of Africa."

      This is not the first time Chombo has stopped the holding of elections
at Town House. In September, he barred councillors from electing a new
deputy mayor after the term for the post expired.

      But for Chombo's plans to succeed, analysts said, the Urban Councils
Act would have to be amended through Parliament or President Mugabe could
intervene using the temporary presidential measures and powers to tamper
with the Act for it to dovetail with the ruling party's objectives.

      "Chombo should be taken to court and kept there until 2006. The duty
to suspend elections has never been that of the minister, but the President
through temporary Acts and so forth.

      "They (ZANU PF) tried the system of running elections concurrently,
but it never worked in ZANU PF's favour. Obviously, those who voted for
Mudzuri in 2002 voted for Morgan Tsvangirai.

      "However, ZANU PF was so desperate to rig Mugabe in and forgot to rig
Mudzuri out," said one political commentator.

      "The move is meant to overtake the role of executive mayor and place
it under the new governor as well as render MDC councillors useless to the
city," he added.

      "Chombo is trying to make sure that the acting executive mayor stays
in that position. I am surprised that the MDC councillors are still vying
for the position of executive mayor. That position is now unattainable. The
powers have been given to the governor.

      "ZANU PF has never been comfortable with anyone other than themselves
running the affairs of Harare and they are so paranoid about that," the
commentator said.

      Constitutional law expert and chairman of the National Constitutional
Assembly, which is currently pushing for a new constitution, Lovemore
Madhuku said: "There is no illusion that Chombo is defying the very same
laws that they promulgate and acting illegally. This is a perennial problem
that we have with ZANU PF. They do not want to be bound by the law. It is
just simply additional evidence of the overthrow of the law.

      "Chombo is saying he'll not stick to the law because he is better
served with Makwavarara in that seat than Mudzuri. There should be no
illusions about Chombo's intentions."

      Currently, a team handpicked by the minister is running Harare.
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      Stop politics of the stomach

      5/28/2004 9:10:27 AM (GMT +2)

      ZIMBABWEANS, who have borne the brunt of acute food shortages, are
puzzling over the statistical haze that has ignited such an enormous furore
over the country's supposed food security situation between government on
the one hand and some international aid agencies and humanitarian
organisations on the other.

      The two camps, which have always had an uneasy relationship, have been
haggling over preliminary crop assessments for the 2003/04 season. It is not
difficult to see why. The food situation is one of the more contentious and
crucial issues in Zimbabwe, a regional bread-basket-turned-basket-case.
Little wonder the unfortunate incident over the past fortnight has made
something of a public mess of the politics of the stomach.

      There has always been this unfortunate ill feeling between government
and Western-backed aid agencies. Government has been increasingly paranoid.
It feels that Western governments which have persistently accused it of
using food aid as a coercive weapon to force people to vote for it are
working towards a regime change in Zimbabwe. Rightly or wrongly, the
government thinks that food relief from aid agencies provides the Western
governments with a heaven-sent opportunity to whip up emotions against it.
In the minds of the country's leadership, Western governments will use aid
agencies and the food aid to buy influence against the government from a
population gripped by disenchantment and fear of starvation.

      Be that as it may, we feel that it was an error of judgment on the
part of the government to play a very dangerous game by presenting what
might just be unreliable preliminary crop assessments as fact, particularly
when its previous crop assessments have always been way off the mark. This
is why there are heightened fears that the figures being bandied about by
government "were just plucked from the air". We sincerely hope that this is
not so and that reports of a bumper harvest are not just one of those
short-sighted, narrow and parochial self-serving public posturings by a
government increasingly accustomed to doing everything for political

      If so, then it can be said with 100 percent certainty that Zimbabwe,
where the food import bills have in the past created black holes in the
fiscus, will find itself stuck in awkward scrapes. This is because the
donors will find it extremely difficult to mount a swift response if it
turns out later that in actual fact the country needs food - which in fact
might just be the case.

      Lest we are misunderstood, we have to categorically state that, if it
is true that Zimbabwe has produced enough to feed itself, then there was
indeed nothing wrong with the government trying to reassure the populace not
only about the country's food security situation but broadly about the
clarity and sustainability of its agricultural vision and strategy.

      Except that the form and style of its approach to the whole issue were
wrong. The way the message was put across smacked of arrogance, insults and
the worst of all vices - ingratitude - when government could have done with
a little diplomatic etiquette. It came through as a calculated humiliating
slap on the wrist for the donors. Sadly though, the arrogance could prove to
be an expensive strategy, not least because the agencies in whose face the
government is now throwing mud have in the past played an inestimable role
in averting human crises of catastrophic proportions. Other than being
bizarre, the obvious question raised by government's behaviour over the
issue is: what signal was it trying to send to the compassionate and helpful

      Indeed what the government did was tantamount to what the Shona call:
kukanganwa chazuro nehope (Having eaten the seeds of pomegranates across the
River Styx, as the Greeks would say). This is moreso given that agricultural
production is not only subject to the vagaries of the weather but human
error too. And the government has blundered more-often-that-not in its
management of the controversial land reform.

      True, the sometimes-erratic and increasingly unpredictable rainfall
pattern and intermittent droughts have played their part in compromising the
food security situation but government mistakes have also aggravated the
situation. We have here in mind shoddy planning on the part of government,
which should equally be to blame. It is well documented that the quality of
most crops has been impaired due to a critical shortage of vital
agricultural inputs which has been with us for the past couple of years
without any contingency plans being put in place.

      Given these imponderables, how can we be so sure that we will not be
passing the begging bowl within a year or two? For how long, given our
experiences in the past few years, will we be able to feed ourselves without
recourse to these same aid agencies? And most importantly, how reliable are
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made's estimates considering that he has misled
the nation before? Indeed, the mind boggles.

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      Exposing charlatans: the letter The Herald would not publish

      5/28/2004 9:02:14 AM (GMT +2)

      EDITOR - I wrote the following self-explanatory letter to Herald
columnist Nathaniel Manheru after he crafted and caused to be published an
artice that made some scurrilous reference to me in the paper.

      My letter has not been published or otherwise attended to. I was
wondering if I could rely on your usually good offices to ensure, in the
public interest, that justice is done while charlatans are exposed.

      The letter is as follows:

      Dear Mr Nathaniel Manheru

      I have learnt to ignore the spurious references to me that
occasionally appear in your column. On this occasion I would be most
grateful, however, if you could please, explain to me and, no doubt, to your
readers the circumstances surrounding the cropping up of my name in your
column of Saturday, May 15 2004.

      I am not in any way, apart possibly from a shared nationality,
connected with any Zimbabwean currently staying in the Mozambican capital. I
do not believe I know anyone who is currently based in Maputo.

      I am too far away from Zimbabwe and Mozambique to concern myself with
the activities of Zimbabweans unknown to me who currently live in Maputo.

      To describe any such Zimbabweans as "Nyarota's leftovers in Maputo",
assuming human beings can ever be reduced to the status of leftovers, is
clearly mischievous and slanderous.

      I was never informed, until I read about it in your column, of any
planned plot to harm Zimbabwe's Minister of Information during his recent
sojourn in Maputo. I was not aware Professor Jonathan Moyo was visiting that
country until I read about his ordeal in the Mozambican capital in your own

      I do not regard Mr Fernando Goncalves, a Mozambican national who
worked with Dr Ibbo Mandaza at Sapes Trust in Harare at a time when I was
based in Maputo, as an associate of mine. In fact, I was not aware of his
current whereabouts until your attempt to link him with me in the said
column. I have not seen or heard of him for many years.

      I am surprised you omit to mention, for whatever reason, the names of
those who, in your own words, kept, fed and dressed Fernando for many, many
years in Harare, while seeking to draw false linkages between him and me.

      I should feel flattered that there are Zimbabweans like you who
genuinely believe that I wield so much power and influence among my
compatriots across the oceans as to cause them to rise against a powerful
government minister visiting a foreign country. Instead, I am ashamed that
Zimbabwe's journalism has been reduced to such depths of depravity.

      Geoffrey Nyarota,

      Harvard University,



      United States of America.

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      ...and now to the Notebook

      5/28/2004 9:13:08 AM (GMT +2)

      After all the brouhaha about MP Roy Bennett "beating up" two ministers
in Parliament last week, CZ thought he should add his voice to the noise .

      . . but at the risk of exposing himself to brickbats from those who,
in their mob psychology, have concluded that after reacting to unjustified
insults from the ZANU PF leader of the House, the white MP is racist and has
therefore forfeited his right to be a Zimbabwean.

      After the scuffle - you never saw such madness in all your life! -
Mbare Musika was closed and vendors loaded into dozens of trucks so that
"thousands of party supporters" would be seen demonstrating in the city
centre against the "Rhodie".

      White-owned shops were closed down in Mutare and "Zimbabweans" roundly
excoriated the ex-Rhodesian security detail as a die-hard racist with a
dangerous colonial hangover . . . this and that.

      In fact, everything was said and this was directly linked to the
opposition MDC, which we are now officially made to believe is a violent
party. A lot of background information was generously dished out to this

      But curiously, none of the "Zimbabweans" in question ever bothered to
tell the minister that he should learn to sieve his words because some words
simply get you into big trouble.

      This particular minister actually feels more powerful than power
itself. He - and his other colleague in the hand-picked league - knows how
to talk so contemptuously about the opposition that one would think it is
all made up of filth.

      Remember the way ZANU PF "owners" - the likes of Herbert Ushewokunze,
Enos Nkala, Edgar Tekere, Morris Nyagumbo and others - used to talk about
Joshua Nkomo and his PF ZAPU in the mid-80s?

      Exactly that way. Because they are in power, one can throw around so
many insults without necessarily bothering how the victim feels. And it was
only natural that Bennett reacted the way he did.

      You don't talk like that on this earth - and even in hell - and get
away with it, unless you are a spirit!

      It is not the best pastime to go about challenging other people's
manhood simply because, as a professional bootlicker, you have managed to
catch the eye of the Great Uncle and therefore been appointed minister even
if you have no power of your own.

      You can try it but at your own peril because even CZ's geriatric
grandfather, old as he is, would not hesitate to draw his own spear if some
fool with a hare-brain and a frog's mouth threatens to strip him naked in

      And CZ does not agree with all the talk about the MDC being a violent
party. If anything, the MDC is one party that has been violated left, right
and centre.

      Do we need to be told that tens of thousands of innocent villagers
were violently killed in the 1980s in some parts of this country simply
because they disagreed with ZANU PF?

      We don't need to be told that more than 100 opposition supporters -
including about half-a-dozen whites - were killed in the run-up to the 2000
and 2002 elections.

      In addition, several High Court judges overturned the election of a
number of ZANU PF legislators on the basis that they had used untold
violence to be elected.

      What more does one want to believe that the party that is crying
violence is the one that is actually committing violence?

      To ZANU PF, the word violence is like the word terrorism to
Americans - America has become the world's most exemplary terrorist country
under the guise of fighting terrorism, just like ZANU PF has become a past
master in violence while crying violence!

      Musimboti Nyama

      CZ would like to commiserate with those of his not-so-healthy
countrymen, including some hypochondriac Zimbos who, not out of a fault of
their own, found themselves addicted to Musimboti, that soft drink that some
conmen were selling to unsuspecting members of the public as a cure-all
traditional medicine traced from eons ago!

      It is not in doubt that we have quite a lot of relatives and friends
who are not so sure about their health. The drink had become an instant hit
with this lot, and the demand was so high that Musimboti could not be found
in shops because people kept large potations of the drink under their beds.
Unbeknown to them, what they were stockpiling was nothing more than bottled
smoke, if not mere snake oil!

      And when the authorities - most of whose health status is equally in
doubt - tried to establish the exact efficacy of the herbal drink, they were
disappointed and angry when they realised that it had no medicinal
substances whatsoever despite media adverts to that effect. They were so
angry that they banned it! And it is good that it has been banned!

      We now wonder if anything will happen to the conmen, including those
quack medical experts who relentlessly appeared in adverts advising people
to try the drink!

      Now that the muti has been banned, we can't help but wonder what will
become of those of our friends who had begun to believe that their lives
hinged on it.

      First it was Benjamin Burombo, then a certain Dr Sibanda, then the
African potato and lately Musimboti Nyama. And what will be next?

      Let's hope the Great Uncle will be magnanimous again and please
fast-track the free anti-retros programme. So many people still want
something to give them that much-needed sangfroidic willpower to live for
another day.

      Press conferences?

      Why is it that we are not getting more about press conferences as the
Prof continues with his regional junkets? Could this have anything to do
with the embarrassment the wise man suffered recently in Maputo? We wonder!

      That aside, on behalf of himself and the whole suffering nation, CZ
would like to profusely thank the Prof for finally pulling off the
nauseating Sendekera jingles from our one and only electronic medium. Thank
you very much. God bless you!

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      Tobacco industry players in bid to restore viability

      Zhean Gwaze
      5/28/2004 9:16:08 AM (GMT +2)

      PLAYERS in the tobacco industry will next month hold an exposition at
the Harare International Conference Centre as part of efforts to restore
viability to he sector, which has been in decline.

      The Tobacco Expo, which will be held from June 9 to 11, is an
initiative of a local company, Sirmad (Private) Limited, based at the
Tobacco Sales Floors in Willowvale.

      Sirmad director Plaxedes Gutsa said the main objective of the expo is
to create a symbiotic relationship among the growers, contractors,
suppliers, financial service providers, technical and research services
companies, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) and associations
that are involved in the production of the golden leaf.

      "There are many changes that have taken place in the industry which
dictate the need for such a get-together. Growers need to fully understand
the tobacco contracting system recently introduced by the government. A
sizeable number of the new growers would greatly benefit from interacting
with all stakeholders in the industry under one roof," she said.

      Tobacco output is expected to go down by 22 million kilogrammes this
year from 82 million kilogrammes last year because of viability problems
faced by the new farmers such as the lack of inputs, financial constraints
and improper management skills.

      This is despite a two-fold increase in the number of tobacco growers
to 30 000 over the past two years.

      The contract-growing scheme, where tobacco merchants fund farmers and
the crop is sold to the merchants, has not been successful due to the
shortage of foreign currency and the late entrance of the merchants into the

      Gutsa said the stakeholders would receive a catalogue with the
products and services and details of all aspects of the industry during the

      The country has managed to maintain a good quality crop because of
favourable growing conditions following good rains for the 2003/04 season.

      Zimbabwe has been a major exporter of the golden leaf to the European
Union, Far East and the region although the crop has faced a remarkable
decline in the past four years due to the government's sometimes chaotic
land reform programme.

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      Cotton replaces tobacco as top foreign currency earner

      5/28/2004 9:16:31 AM (GMT +2)

      JOHANNESBURG - Cotton has replaced tobacco as Zimbabwe's top foreign
exchange earner, with exports expected to bring in between US$120 million
and US$150 million this year, according to the Zimbabwe Commercial Cotton
Growers' Association.

      But cotton farmers are unlikely to benefit because buyers, hit by the
sliding value of the Zimbabwean currency against the US dollar, "are
offering a price lower than the cost of production", Michele Bragge, a
spokeswoman for the association, told IRIN.

      About 80 percent of Zimbabwe's cotton is grown on small-scale farms,
which were largely unaffected by the government's land reform programme. The
country is set to produce 300 000 tonnes of seed cotton this year, up from
250 000 tonnes last year. Annual domestic cotton consumption is 30 000

      Cotton buyers have offered farmers $1 800 (US33 cents) per kg, "while
the cost of production is at least $2 000 (US37 cents) per kg", said Bragge.

      If the farmers did not get that price, production was expected to
slump next year, she noted.

      Bragge said cotton producers were "hoping to get financial support for
the difference from the government," and the local press reported this week
that the government "is adamant that it may be forced to buy all the cotton
from farmers if merchants fail to come up with a lucrative producer price
for this marketing season".

      Historically, Zimbabwe has been the world's second-largest tobacco
exporter, earning as much as US$400 million in good seasons. But production
began to fall three years ago after the government's controversial land

      Rodney Ambrose, a director of the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA),
told IRIN: "Our production of unmanufactured tobacco has dropped
tremendously in the past three years, from 237 000 metric tonnes in 2000 to
82 000 metric tonnes last year." According to the ZTA, production was
expected to slump to 60 000 tonnes this year.

      Ambrose linked the drop in production to the loss of commercial
tobacco-growing farms as a result of the land reform programme. "We lost
about 45 000 hectares of land under tobacco cultivation, which resulted in a
loss of 150 000 metric tonnes of tobacco," he explained. "Cotton is easier
to grow, while tobacco is more capital intensive," Bragge said. - IRIN

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      Free Chinamasa comedy turns into theatre of the absurd

      5/28/2004 9:13:58 AM (GMT +2)

      A few years ago, while reading the Afrikaans news bulletin on the
South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)'s Channel 2, the newscaster,
Rian Cloete, collapsed in a heap of uncontrollable laughter as he tried to
introduce a particular news clip.

      The video clip that reduced Cloete, a seasoned newscaster, into fits
of mirth before the cameras was about an incident that had occurred in the
legislative assembly of an Asian country.

      Apparently things got so heated in that august house that two members
of parliament came to blows. In the ensuing pandemonium, more MPs joined in.

      Looking at that mass of humanity, it seemed that everyone was
manhandling someone else without really caring who they were. No wonder
Cloete lost control completely. It was one of those hilarious moments on
television when laughter must have echoed in every household in southern
Africa where people were tuned to this SABC station.

      Like yawning, Cloete's laughter was infectious and I and my family
also found ourselves howling in rib-cracking laughter. We were not sure
which was funnier, the news anchor's reaction to the story or the sight of
grown men supposed to be deliberating on important national matters shoving
and shouting in the melee.

      Clearly though, it was hardly a life-and-death situation with dire

      But I worried about Cloete's future. I wondered whether his job was
not on the line for completely losing control on prime time television.

      Fortunately, the bosses at the SABC seemed to have an even greater
sense of humour. A montage showing Magnus Malan laughing uncontrollably at
the news clip of the parliamentary punch-up was put together. For a while
afterwards, this montage was used to promote the Afrikaans news slot on SABC

      Although I do not understand Afrikaans, seeing that montage would set
me laughing uncontrollably all over again.

      Newspapers all over the world normally regard such amusing "human
interest" stories as an opportunity for their sub-editors to come up with
their cleverest tongue-in-cheek or satirical headlines. Cartoonists have a
field day as well and regard such incidents as manna from heaven.

      Compare this light-hearted "live and let live" reaction with the "woe
unto you" dimension that has been given to a similar altercation that
occurred in our own Parliament last week. All hell has broken loose after
Chimanimani Member of Parliament Roy Bennett confronted Justice and
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa in that august house.

      Bennett rose to his feet to have an eyeball-to-eyeball exchange after
apparently enduring provocative taunting from Chinamasa about the colour of
his skin and other personal slurs. It would seem that even by the standards
permissible under parliamentary privilege, Chinamasa overdid things.

      Despite getting assistance from Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopoly
Minister Didymus Mutasa, who allegedly weighed in to kick the incensed
Bennett, both Chinamasa and Mutasa ended lying prostrate on the floor!
However, they quickly picked themselves up and the incident was over within
a minute at most.

      But oh, what a hornet's nest that brief incident has stirred! I have
lost count of the number of statements made by ruling party officials
warning of dire consequences in store for Bennett. The incident provoked an
orgy of violence, which resulted in extensive damage to the headquarters of
Bennett's party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

      Hardly 24 hours after the incident, there they were, those
"spontaneous" demonstrators shown on television crying blue murder and
waving commercially printed placards bearing all sorts of threats against
the Chimanimani MP. It was announced an official had declared Bennett
"persona non grata" in Manicaland. Who ever thought such powers were vested
in individuals?

      A report on state television about anti-Bennett demonstrations in
Mutare showed puzzled men and women staring blankly into the camera. Their
bemused and uncomprehending demeanour spoke volumes about the spontaneity of
the demos and the enthusiasm of the protesters.

      My question is: who are these demonstrators who are only outraged by a
brawl in Parliament (where it should have the best chance to be resolved in
accordance with parliamentary regulations) but are unfazed by torture,
murder and wanton destruction of property? Where were these protesters about
a month ago when a young person with his whole life ahead of him was
cold-bloodedly shot to death during the Zengeza by-election?

      The truth is that this very poorly and coercively orchestrated display
of righteous indignation cannot fool even the most gullible observer. For a
start, the staged indignation was not convincing. And even if it were, it
was out of proportion to the incident that is supposed to have triggered it.

      Bennett confronted another full-bodied man in Parliament who, we
presume, was capable of facing a man he had so mercilessly belittled. Why
did he need hordes of violent thugs to show the bravura he should have
displayed himself? And where is the rule of law when an incident that takes
place in Parliament is not left to the legislative assembly to deal with in
line with its rules and regulations?

      Bennett is being reviled by officials and supporters of a party that
is supposed to be more principled and law-abiding than his MDC. But how does
ZANU PF expect the masses to believe this charade when it "demonstrates"
these virtues by mobilising violent mobs to wreak more havoc and cause more
despondency than that 60-second incident in Parliament did?

      The Chimanimani MP lost his cool after being mercilessly taunted by
Chinamasa for being able, among other things, to make his speech in
Parliament in the indigenous Shona. And yet on other occasions whites have
been attacked for being stand-offish and not being willing to fraternise
with their black counterparts. But here is a man who has done more than

      Judging by the reputation he enjoys and the high regard in which he is
held in his constituency, Bennett has demonstrated how to be a decent, fair
and generous human being. How we ordinary people wish there were more men
and women of the same calibre in our Parliament!

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      Baking industry owed $20 bln in VAT claims

      Staff Reporter
      5/28/2004 8:39:39 AM (GMT +2)

      AN acute working capital crunch could affect the viability of the
baking industry, which this week claimed to be owed in excess of $20 billion
      the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), The Financial Gazette can

      Industry players said the money owed relates to Value Added Tax (VAT)
claims, which accumulated to the sector since January this year, when the
new tax system replaced the outdated sale tax regime.

      Under VAT rules, bread is zero-rated, which means bakers cannot apply
the tax on pricing bread while all the inputs such as flour, packaging and
all other ingredients are carrying VAT at 15 percent to the baker.

      This means that bakers have to claim the tax from Zimra. The VAT
system generally implies that goods are taxed at every stage of production
from the manufacturer to the end user. This is in contrast to the sales tax
where the government recovers tax at the end of the production chain.

      David Govere, the vice president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of
Commerce and managing director of Harambe Holdings, which incorporates
Superbake Bakeries, said industry players were in a costly dilemma.

      "Since January, the industry is now owed close to $20 billion by Zimra
who will pay, at the least, 60 days from assessment date and not claim
submission date. The whole industry has now been asking for the productive
sector facility to relieve them of working capital pressure created by the
money being held at Zimra.

      "Unfortunately, most players do not have the collateral to access this
passed on to the consumer, which will mean that bread will now wholesale at
$3 000 per loaf and retail at $3 500 per loaf," he said.

      The baking industry is currently agreed on the wholesale price of $2
500 per loaf, giving a retail price of between $2 800 and $3 000 per loaf.

      Further to this, the millers, who are now using imported wheat because
of last year's low harvest, are increasing the flour price on a weekly basis
citing the exchange rate as the driver of costs.

      The international price of wheat is around US$326 per tonne while
locally produced wheat costs around US$140 per tonne. The only way the price
of bread can be maintained at the current level, according to industry
players, would be for the central bank to provide the Grain Marketing Board
(GMB) with foreign exchange to import 150 000 tonnes of wheat to cover the
deficit from June to October.

      Zimbabwe uses 30 000 tonnes of wheat per month. If this wheat is
secured through the GMB, the parastatal could sell the same wheat to the
millers at a maximum price of $1.5 million per tonne, which will enable the
millers to sell the flour at $140 000 per bag so that the bread price could
be maintained until the harvest is available at the end of October.

      This will only be one way of controlling inflation since bread is a
good price movement indicator and since foods now constitute a significant
      percent of the Consumer Price Index.

      Govere said: "If such management measures are not taken, the price of
bread is likely to be $6 000 per loaf by the next harvest in October this

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The Australian

Ploy to get hired guns out of Harare
By Gavin du Venage, Johannesburg
May 29, 2004
LAWYERS for 70 accused mercenaries held in Zimbabwe are seeking to build a
criminal case against their own clients in the hope of forcing the South
African Government to apply for extradition and avoid having the men face
execution in Equatorial Guinea.

The accused, all South African nationals, were arrested two months ago after
they landed in Harare on a chartered flight, allegedly to buy weapons they
were going to use to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea.

The Zimbabwean authorities have held the mercenaries in prison but are keen
to extradite them to Equatorial Guinea, where they could be executed for
plotting a coup.

Zimbabwean newspapers reported last week that President Robert Mugabe's
cash-strapped Government had concluded a deal with Equatorial Guinea to
extradite the men for $US1.2 billion ($1.68billion) worth of crude oil.

Lawyers for the men went to court in South Africa on Wednesday to present
evidence they say is enough to put them on trial at home for breaking laws
that ban mercenary activities by South African citizens.

"They will be shot on sight if they go to Equatorial Guinea," said Alwyn
Griebenow, the lawyer representing the accused men.

Mr Griebenow said if the mercenaries were extradited to Equatorial Guinea,
they would be highly unlikely to get a fair trial - if they went to court at

Another 15 men, allegedly a mercenary scouting party, have been held in
Equatorial Guinea with no access to lawyers or medical attention since they
were arrested two months ago.

"The only way to get them back to South Africa is by extradition, and the
only way to do this is if South Africa is convinced it has a strong case
against them," Mr Griebenow said.

Under South African law, its citizens are banned from acting as soldiers
outside its borders, and this measure could be used to bring charges against
the men.

An application for the men's extradition will be launched in South Africa
next week.

Mr Griebenow said time was running out. "I am very worried they will be put
on a plane and sent to Equatorial Guinea without proper legal procedures
being followed."

The group consists of 10 whites and 60 blacks. Mr Griebenow says the black
men's situation is dire, because they were all former special forces
soldiers for South Africa's apartheid regime. When the liberation forces
were victorious, they were thrown out of the army and many became soldiers
for hire.

"They have lost everything now," said Mr Griebenow. "Their houses, cars and
furniture have been taken from them for non-payment."

The court action continues this week.

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Zim deaths in DRC revealed
28/05/2004 19:17  - (SA)

Harare - Shocking revelations of mutilation of prisoners by rebel militias
emerged Friday with the first detailed disclosure of deaths among Zimbabwe's
forces deployed to fight in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo that ended in 2002.

An inquiry at the Harare magistrate's court into the deaths of 47 Zimbabwean
soldiers heard that three of them were caught by rebels and dismembered with
machetes or explosives, according to a record of the hearing obtained on

Army officers at the hearing also spoke of suicides among demoralised
soldiers fighting heavily armed guerrillas in the dense forests of the

Journalists present said the proceedings had to be stopped four times when
relatives burst out sobbing as they heard of the grisly deaths.

The Zimbabwe government has kept its casualty figures in the four-year war
secret, apart from admitting to about 50 in the early weeks of the war.

In August 1998, President Robert Mugabe despatched 12 000 troops to rescue
the regime of the late DRC president Laurent Kabila from an offensive led by
Rwandan and Ugandan soldiers and militia groups allied to them.

The details of the deaths of the 47 have became public only because they had
been classified as "missing in action". The dead men's relatives applied to
and won from the court the right to declare them "presumed dead" to enable
their affairs - relating to their property, estates and their widows' and
children's future - to be legally finalised.

The dead soldiers were mostly from specialised commando, parachute, armoured
and artillery regiments, and all were lost between March and May 1999,
mostly around the southern towns of Mbuji Mayi and Kabinda, centre of the
DRC's lucrative diamond industry and where a controversial Zimbabwe
military-run company ran a large diamond mine.

Thirty-two of the men were said by their officers in court to have been
"killed in combat" or "missing in action". When relatives asked why their
bodies had not been retrieved, officers said the surviving soldiers had been
retreating under heavy fire, and had been forced to leave their dead.

They also said rebels adopted a deliberate strategy of setting ambushes
around dead or wounded troops. Several men were killed when they attempted
to return to collect bodies.

Five of the 47 troops were killed while trying to board rescue helicopters
while retreating under heavy fire, the officers said. At its height, the war
drew in six African countries, with Zimbabwe deploying the biggest and most
sophisticated contingent of tanks, armoured cars, artillery and jet

A comprehensive United Nations report accused top Zimbabwean generals and
ruling party politicians of involvement in a multi- million dollar racket
smuggling "blood diamonds" from the DRC during and after the war. - Sapa-dpa
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Mawere Granted R50 000 Bail

The Herald (Harare)

May 28, 2004
Posted to the web May 28, 2004


ZIMBABWEAN mogul Mutumwa Mawere, arrested in South Africa on Tuesday on
allegations of fraud involving more than US$18 million allegedly committed
in Zimbabwe, was yesterday granted a R50 000 bail.

Mawere was wanted for questioning in Zimbabwe after police from the special
investigations unit suspected that he was involved in fraudulent activities
when he exported asbestos to both South African and oversees markets.

Early this month, police waited for Mawere at the Harare International
Airport when they suspected that he would fly into the country but he did
not turn up.

One of the two senior Zimbabwean police officers in South Africa is said to
have tried in vain to oppose bail for Mawere who was represented by
Advocates M.F Welz and Quentin Ceech, lawyer Mr John Oosthuizen and another
unnamed lawyer.

The Randburg magistrate, however, postponed the matter to June 29 when
Mawere's extradition to Zimbabwe will be heard.

The businessmen was ordered to surrender his travel documents and to reside
at his Bryanstan home in Johannesburg.

Mawere was further ordered not to leave Johannesburg without permission from

However, Mawere last night denied externalising any money from Zimbabwe
saying he has not been resident in the country for the past 15 years and
that he held a South African passport.

He said he been living in South Africa since 1995 and that he needed to
enjoy the benefits there because that is where he works.

"If you are not resident, how can you externalise money? I am an African and
can hold 53 citizenships of Africa. Should I keep on holding my clothes
until something happens in Zimbabwe?"

However, Zimbabwe and South Africa do not allow dual citizenship.

Mawere said he felt he was being persecuted yet he had invested in Zimbabwe
and had created jobs in the country.

Home Affairs Minister Cde Kembo Mohadi yesterday said Mawere was picked up
at his Johannesburg offices by the South Africa Police Services on charges
of violating exchange control regulations.

South African officers arrested Mawere on a warrant of arrest after he was
declared wanted by Zimbabwean police.

Cde Mohadi said Mawere's arrest by South African police was made possible by
numerous regional and international agreements such as the South African
Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organisation and Interpol.

"Through these organisations we exchange criminal intelligence which is used
to arrest wanted criminals in member countries," he said.

"I can confirm that he was arrested in South Africa for externalisation of
foreign currency.

"He has appeared in court and I have just received a call that he has been
granted bail of R50 000."

Cde Mohadi said Mawere was arrested in connection with the operations of
several companies in which he has a stake.

He said extradition proceedings would be discussed at Mawere's next court
appearance in South Africa.

Mawere told the Daily Mirror on Wednesday that his arrest had no basis in
law as the Exchange Control Act only applied to people resident in Zimbabwe
and he denies he is a resident of the country.

"How can a person who has been non-resident for 15 years be accused of
externalisation," he said adding that he had been living outside the country
since 1989.

Reports said there were allegations that Mawere, who was chairman of the
Africa Resources Limited, had allegedly undervalued the exported asbestos in
Zimbabwean documentation while receiving the full price.

ARL is the holding company for the Shabanie and Mashaba Mines, which
reportedly earn the country close to US$40 million a year.

Mawere said yesterday he was not directly involved in the operations of the
local companies in which he has interests.

"I don't sit on any boards of Zimbabwean companies. The exporters are the
companies, which have legal personas ands have their own rights before the
law. They are represented by their directors and officials. To therefore
accuse me of externalization when I am external, is a contradiction in
terms," he said.

Police in Zimbabwe said Mawere's violation of the Exchange Control Act was
just an optional charge but that the businessman was wanted for allegedly
falsifying documents and abusing a special dispensation he had been granted
by the Government to sell asbestos directly to the market.

Mawere had a seven-year privilege to market the lucrative asbestos fibre
without going through the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe.

The Government in March this year cancelled African Associated Mines
seven-year benefit and asked MMCZ to take over the marketing of the
country's asbestos.

Although Mawere says he stays in South Africa, he is a Zimbabwean who has
benefited from Government's black empowerment policies, which are meant to
promote indigenous business people.

A World Bank-trained businessman Mawere's vast empire spans virtually all
sectors of the country's economy.

He chairs the diversified Africa Resources Ltd which has interests in the
banking, mining public relations, manufacturing, fuel, insurance,
telecommunications and human resources sectors.

He is also a shareholder of a South African-based company, Macsteel and FSI
Agricom. Mawere has been linked to SMM Holdings, Zimre, First Bank, Fidelity
Life, Nicoz Diamond, Firstel, Turnall, General Beltings, Tube and Pipe
Industries, Hastt Zimbabwe, FSI Agricom and CFI Holdings.

He is the former publisher of the Business Tribune and Weekend Tribune

Mawere's arrest comes in the wake of Government's clampdown on economic
crimes. The blitz, which is ongoing, has seen the arrest of prominent
Zanu-PF and Government officials.

The Minister of Finance, Cde Chris Kuruneri and Zanu-PF Central Committee
member Cde James Makamba have been arrested in various corruption and
economic related charges.
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New Zimbabwe

Deported Mugabe ally calls Moyo a 'gay rant'

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 05/29/2004 04:29:05
DAVID Nyekorach-Matsanga a prominent Zanu PF supporter who has been fighting
an international public relations war on behalf of President Mugabe's
isolated regime has launched a blistering attack on Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo, calling him the Minister of "Information Sabotage" and a "gay

Matsanga's outburst came after he was manhandled, robbed and beaten up at
the Harare International Airport last week while trying to enter Zimbabwe,
allegedly on the orders of Moyo.

At the centre of this vicious row is the British cable news network Sky
News, which went into Zimbabwe at the invitation of Zanu PF to present a
positive spin on the land reform programme. Matsanga was behind the PR
exercise designed to make government voices heard in the international
community after Moyo introduced draconian legislation banning all foreign
journalists from the country.

Moyo tried unsuccessfully to prevent the Sky News crew from filming and
interviewing President Mugabe, calling their visit to Zimbabwe "illegal".
This caused a serious rift within Zanu PF as the Sky News crew had come at
the invitation of the ruling party.

"For the last one month several articles defaming and assassinating my
character have appeared in the government controlled Herald newspaper on the
instructions of the owner of the paper called gay rant Jonathan Moyo,"
Matsanga said from London on Friday. "I have widely consulted with many real
men of higher offices in that country and I have been advised not to react
impulsively to the statements of gay rants.

"I want to reiterate that it is clear the turncoat and quisling junior
Minister of State for Information and Publicity whose department is bigger
than President Mugabe's shoes has distorted all facts and framed me
regarding Sky News. He has used me as a scapegoat to fight imaginary
succession crusade with Emmerson Mnangagwa (Speaker of Parliament) and
Nathan Shamuyarira (Zanu PF spokesman)," railed Matsanga.

Talking exclusively to New, Matsanga told how he was wrestled
to the floor and locked up at the Harare international airport by NINE men
whom he was told were from Moyo's Information Ministry.

"When I got to the airport, normal immigration officials informed me their
duties had been taken over by Moyo's people," he said. "One of the men said
I would not be entering Zimbabwe and I must prepare to return to Britain.

"I said at all international airports around the world individuals are at
least allowed to make a call before they are deported. Their response was to
take my mobile phone, a golden watch worth £700 and £1700 in cash. I was
kept incommunicado by those vigilantes and they roughed me up, tore my suit
and I sustained injuries on my left hand.

"A Kenyan Airways manager I have known for a long time offered me to fly to
Kenya for free because all my money had been stolen, and when I got to Kenya
I called the Kenyan President's office and a ticket was organised for me.

"I have been campaigning for a long time for Zimbabwe, countering the lies
that the country is a pariah State, now I have been pariahred (sic).
"As long as Moyo exists and occupies the Ministry of Information Sabotage, I
will not be part of such a system," thundered Matsanga, a Ugandan national
married to a Zimbabwean.

He said he will be stopping work on a house he has been constructing in
Ruwa, just outside Harare. He insisted that he will continue volunteering
his services to project a good image of President Mugabe.

"Because I respect the President of Zimbabwe I will not react or do
anything, which will harm the country at this hour. I still have many
friends in Zimbabwe who have valued my work. I will not let them down
because of a gay rant. But because of this provocation, I have despatched my
personal assistant Dr. Patricia Gwen-Ofwon to Nairobi to research on the
social behaviour and investigate Moyo's fraud case with the Ford Foundation
in 1990s. As a first precaution, from next week we shall replay all speeches
and tirades of Moyo against Mugabe from 1996 to enable the world to judge.
The world will see how the opportunist has sapped the moral authority of a
good African President."

Moyo, a former university lecturer has made many enemies within Mugabe's
ruling Zanu PF power, using the official Herald newspaper to target his
enemies. Before joining Mugabe's government, Moyo used to be an arch critic
of his administration and his anti-Mugabe articles were printed in respected
news journals.

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New Zimbabwe


      The Duke of Lupane, my relative
      Last updated: 05/29/2004 00:40:46
      I VISITED my uncle in the impoverished district of Lupane in
Matabeleland. He is popularly known as the Duke of Lupane because of his
political exploits in the area. This was just before the infamous
parliamentary by-election which was notoriously won by the Zanu PF
candidate. I had to leave early as the Zanu PF campaign machine was
operating at full throttle in the area. Being related to the Duke of Lupane,
a high-ranking Zanu PF official did not guarantee me any safety from the
marauding gangsters.

      So, the memorable visit to this intriguing relative of mine had to
come to an end. If I had over-stayed my welcome, I would certainly have
become some statistic on poll violence! As the volatile situation demanded,
I found myself bidding farewell to my uncle, the self- appointed Duke of

      In our culture, parting time is the best time for advising one another
on life's demands and dictates. Do I sense raised eye-brows questioning the
legitimacy of my claims to a culture? Having heard some uncomplimentary
sentiments about totem-less people, I would like to dispel any fears and
suspicions that I may be totem-less. I am a Moyo of the sub-totem
Bvumabalanda (in Khalanga) and I have to honestly maintain that I hail from
culture-loving Plumtree.

      I would ask for forgiveness for digressing. The issue is about the
Duke of Lupane and me parting amid a hail of friendly advice. The Duke told
me without threatening my limbs about his displeasure on my anti-government
articles in the opposition press. He was particularly angered by my
insistence to write on his armed expedition against the government during
the early eighties. Needless to say, the Duke of Lupane used to terrorize
the Lupane area during his days as an armed dissident. The Duke advised me
that next time if I have to write about some events in Zimbabwe, I should
deliberately ignore the dissident disturbances and the Gukurahundi

      I promised to heed his advice as a way of cutting his long story

      The Duke went on to give me a lesson in impressive writing. He
demanded that if I should have the urge to write anything about him, my
introduction of him in my article should be superfluous. He advised me that
if I have to amuse those who do not mind reading about him and his exploits
in life, minus whatever he did from 1982 to 1987, I had to enlighten the
readership on how he prefers his title pronounced. He says he is not the
Duke of Lupane as in the Ndebele pronunciation of the word Lupane. He says
he prefers to be called the Duke of Lupane with the Lupane accentuated in an
English fashion, something like the Duke of Loo-pain.

      The Duke also advised me to stop boasting about my ability to dodge
border patrols. He said what I do is not a feat that is remarkable. He
reminded me that during the war, he and his comrades in arms used to jump
national borders that were stringently guarded by detachments of Selous'
Scouts and Platoons of Horsemen from the cavalry that was called the Gray's
Scouts. He ridiculed my exploits as child's play. He remained silent on his
cross-border exploits during the contentious period of his war against the

      The Duke asked me to work hard once I was out of the country and send
him some money since things were not in order, just as I had seen them. He
was talking about the shortages of food. I reminded the Duke that he was
deriding the very state of affairs he had earlier on portrayed as being
excellent. I told him that if he was as patriotic as he claimed to be, he
had no reason to talk about the pinch. In response, the Duke told me that he
had nothing to do with the drought. He said it was a natural cause that he
could not avoid.

      If the Duke's knowledge of geography was not as scanty as it is, I
would have told him of some countries that were permanent deserts. I would
have told him of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Botswana, Egypt, Bahrain,
Mongolia and many other countries that are deserts. I would then have asked
the eminent Duke to explain why those countries never face food shortages.
Without making my uncle look like a moron, I would safely say that his
geography stinks!

      When it was my time to advise the Duke, I asked him to consider
reading about Murmur Gaddafi's Green Revolution. The Duke did not know much
about Gaddafi, except that he provided some arms that were used to liberate
his country and that he now makes sure that our wheels keep on turning by
supplying this rich country with oil. I explained that Gaddafi had managed
to green the desert. In a lapse of memory, I nearly mentioned that Gadaffi
was not like the Duke who had managed to turn the green veldt into a desert
by excessive grazing and tree-felling.

      I advised the Duke to rally his people into bringing the Zambezi River
to their door steps. The Duke laughed all the way to the bus stop as he
thought that I was being futuristic in my advice. I told him though that in
terms of living on borrowed time, we were already in the future. I reminded
him that his unborn great grand children were somehow already mortgaged to
some foreigners due to our borrowing of funds. The Duke would have killed
someone here. Luckily it was I speaking, his most favorite nephew.

      When the bus came, I felt the sadness of parting with my uncle. We
hugged in an English fashion and I boarded the bus with the coercive
encouragement from the bus conductor. As the bus made its way towards
Bulawayo, I was amazed to see structures that looked like temporary homes
mushrooming all over along the great road. A traveler sitting next to me
explained that those were homes of resettled farmers.

      I was humbled by the squalor. Some of the structures were fit for
rearing the lovely animals that give us pork. I concluded that a lot needed
to be done to alleviate poverty. Electrifying those hovels would certainly
not improve the standard of living of those people. The people did not need
electricity for now, they needed decent homes. I think rural electrification
could come later on after rural homes rehabilitation. I promised myself that
as soon as I got to my external destination, I would call the Duke at the
party offices and ask him to look into the people's living conditions.

      I threw away the idea of calling the Duke. His party had managed to
wrestle the parliamentary seat from the opposition. I did not want to hear
the bragging voice of the Duke!

      For the benefit of all of us, I have made a summary of the Duke of
Lupane. The Duke is my uncle. He is an ex-combatant. He is an ex-dissident.
He owns a large tract of land in an arid region. He is a tribalist. He
conveniently supports Mugabe his former foe! He does not know about the
Green Revolution of Libya. His geography is deficient. He is a farmer who
was thrust into farming by events. He does a lot of firing than hiring of
workers. He is a politician in a sense. He demands respect!

      Long live the Duke.

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