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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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New Zimbabwe

Zim shuts down 45 private schools

By Peta Thornycroft
Last updated: 05/04/2004 10:36:02
ZIMBABWE police have told a number of private schools not to reopen Tuesday
after Easter holidays. The private schools are accused of hiking fees
without prior government permission.
A principal of a leading private high school near Harare says he was visited
by police and told to keep his doors shut at the start of the second term,
or semester.
Principals of at least six schools in country's second city, Bulawayo, say
they were consulting with lawyers on the same issue.
School fees at both government and private schools have gone up by large
amounts, and principals at some government schools have already been
dismissed for increasing fees.
Most private schools have increased fees by up to 75 percent since January.
There are 38 private schools in Zimbabwe, and all but one or two are run as
not-for-profit trusts.
The private schools have about 30,000 students, most of them the children of
professionals, the middle class, and the political elite, mostly from the
ruling ZANU PF Party. Among them are President Robert Mugabe's three
One school principal, speaking on condition that neither he nor his school
was identified, says most school governing bodies regularly apply to the
Department of Education to increase fees. He says they seldom if ever
receive replies. This principal says that if the police continue to order
that schools be kept shut, then private schools would go to the courts
seeking relief.
Another school principal says he has already had to go to his local police
station where he has been warned he would be charged.
A third principal, outside of Harare, said he believed the government's
crackdown was a political gimmick before parliamentary elections scheduled
for early next year.
He said there was no alternative to increasing fees. He said staff salaries
consumed 70 percent of budgets and that retaining qualified staff was the
biggest challenge facing private schools.
The Department of Education had no officials available for comment.

Gateway Primary, Gateway Secondary, Chisipite Senior, Arundel Girls,
Heritage Primary, Heritage Secondary, Bishopslea, Tynwald High, Ridgeview
High, Tynwald Primary, St Michael Prep, Eaglesvale Primary, Eaglesvale High,
Hellenic Primary, Sharon School, Twin Rivers Primary, Lusitania Primary,
Hartman House, St George's College, St John's Preparatory, St John's College
Camel, Bulawayo Adventist Secondary, Christian Brothers' College, Petra
High, Petra Primary, Masiyepambili Secondary
Barwick Primary
Ariel Primary, Lendy Park Primary, Peterhouse Boys, Peterhouse Girls,
Springvale House, Ruzawi Primary, Watershed College
Lomagundi College Primary, Lomagundi College Secondary, Rydings Primary,
Bryden Primary, Lilfordia Primary
Hillcrest Primary, Hillcrest Secondary
Kyle College, South East College
Falcon College

From VOA
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The Scotsman

Judging by international standards


It is customary in the United Kingdom for judges to be criticised. There is
often debate on how judges are out of touch, or too liberal, but it is never
seriously suggested the judiciary is compromised or acting for political
motives. Indeed, David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, often implies the
opposite: that the judiciary in England and Wales is too independent for the
government's liking.

Such debate on the independence of the judges is healthy in a mature and
secure democracy, but that is not the case everywhere. In Zimbabwe, for some
time, there has been evidence that the independence of the legal system in
general, and the judiciary in particular, have been significantly
compromised. At a conference for barristers and advocates held in 2002, a
resolution was passed, known as the Edinburgh Declaration, which offered
support for the rule of law and the independence of judges and lawyers in
jurisdictions where these were seen to be under threat. That resolution has
now been followed at a conference held in Cape Town where delegates from all
of the bars throughout the world in jurisdictions where there is a divided
legal profession, including the Faculty of Advocates, agreed to set up the
Edinburgh Declaration Trust to provide practical support for our colleagues
in such places. Following the conference, I went to Harare with
representatives from four other bars so that we could make our own
assessment about how lawyers, including judges, are being treated in
Zimbabwe. We spoke to a range of people involved in the justice system who
represent different points of view and we deliberately sought out people
from all sides of the issue to enable us to get a proper perspective. On the
evidence which I have read, and now witnessed personally, my view is that
the independence of the judges in Zimbabwe has been severely compromised.

There are several reasons for this. The first concerns the way in which
certain judges have been treated. A high number of judges have resigned in
recent times, and it seems to me that at least some resignations have been
the result of political and other pressures. The former chief justice Gubbay
had his courtroom invaded by people who described themselves as war
veterans, a group known to be sympathetic to the government. He was informed
by a government minister that his safety could not be guaranteed and these
events led to his resignation.

There is also a perception that on occasions when a judge has given a
decision against the interests of the government that judge has been
subjected to pressure. Two justices - Blackie and Paradza - were arrested
shortly after giving decisions against the government. It was generally
accepted by those to whom we spoke that the arrest, detention and treatment
of these judges was quite unacceptable. On the face of it, their treatment
also appears to have been contrary to the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Other
judges have resigned and taken up appointments as judges outside the

Such treatment has not been restricted to judges of any particular ethnic
origin. Indeed, some of the judges who have resigned were appointed by the
present government.

The second concern relates to the land reallocation programme. Land which
has been taken by the government is reallocated by them. It is agreed by
everyone that a significant number of senior judges have been granted farms
by the government. Some of the judges and the land in question were
identified to us specifically and they appeared to be large holdings.

The grants were made by the government and the farms can be taken back at
any time without compensation. Whatever justification might be put forward
for granting land to judges, judicial independence can only be regarded as
having been compromised in these circumstances, in particular where many
cases before the courts relate to the legality of the land allocation

The third concern relates to ways in which the government has treated the
judicial process. Court orders have been ignored or disobeyed by the
government and those sympathetic to their cause, even when there has been no
challenge to their validity and the orders include those concerning land
transfers and the unlawful occupation of land.

The allocation of cases in the High Court has been taken away from the court
registrar and assumed by the judge president of the High Court. It is
believed that cases are not allocated on a random basis but in a way which
favours the government. At the very least, this creates the potential for
abuse and gives rise to the suspicion of political motivation. For example,
there is concern about the allocation of cases arising from the general
election in 2000. In total, 36 petitions were lodged challenging the
validity of the election of government supporters, and we were told that of
these, only 15 petitions had been given a first hearing and that seven or
eight of these petitions had been successful.

All of the successful petitions were appealed by the government but only one
of these appeals had been listed for a hearing by April 16 this year. In
that one case, no decision had been given. Of the remaining election
petitions, another 15 had been heard at first instance but no judgment had
been handed down by 16 April. The rest of the cases have not even had a
first hearing.

The next general election is scheduled for May 2005, and the result of the
delays in the listing and determining of these petitions is that proper
challenges to the election process will have been delayed for so long that
the outcomes become academic.

The beneficiaries of these delays will be government supporters.

There is also a pattern of personal attacks on judges by the
government-controlled press which often appear to be linked to a decision by
a judge that is seen as hostile to the government.

The Sunday Mail, a government newspaper, recently carried a story in its
"Under the Surface" column in the following terms: "Just when the government
thought the revolution at the courts was over, there seems to be something
stinking there. Under the Surface smells some Justice Gubbay residue and
this residue stinks so bad that it is cause for concern. What makes the
Gubbay residue even more dangerous is that it has the colour that we can
identify with and speaks our mother language, but the thinking stinks of
colonial ideas. Of course some will say, let's have some democracy, but why
leave a snake in the house? One day the snake will strike while we
concentrate on pressing issues and it will be too late to hit its poisonous

The result appears to be quite clear. The government of Zimbabwe is not
prepared to respect the rule of law, the independence of the judges and the
judicial process, or the constitution. As lawyers in other parts of the
world, what can we do? The Edinburgh Declaration Trust has received the
support of bars in Scotland, England and Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland,
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Hong Kong. It will give
barristers and advocates the opportunity to provide practical and financial
help not just to lawyers in Zimbabwe but in other places around the world
where the independence of the courts and the ability of the legal profession
to practise and organise freely and independently are under threat.

In advance of the formal setting up of the trust, funds contributed by the
bars have already been used to provide support for the defence of judges in
Zimbabwe, and practical support in the future will include the provision of
materials and subsistence to any lawyer anywhere in the world where the
trustees feel the need arises.

The Edinburgh Declaration Trust will therefore support our colleagues who
find themselves facing state interference and intimidation by offering them
practical and moral support as they endeavour to uphold the principles of
their profession and democracy.

. Roy Martin, QC, is vice-dean of the Faculty of Advocates.
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White rebels prepare for rebuff

Telford Vice in Cape Town
Tuesday May 4, 2004
The Guardian

Zimbabwean cricket will be plunged back into crisis today when the rebels
resume their boycott.
The 15 white players have given the Zimbabwe Cricket Union until 3pm (BST)
to accede to their demand for arbitration, failing which they will walk out.

All indications last night were that the ZCU was not going to be seen to be
"bowing down to a bunch of whites - their egos won't let them", as a source
close to the conflict put it, and the rebels would be offered mediation

"Mediation means nothing and if that's their offer that will be that. The
guys will walk, and they won't be back."

The rebels returned to training on Friday after a stand-off that started on
April 2 when Heath Streak lost the Zimbabwe captaincy in controversial
circumstances after he voiced concerns about the selection panel.

Streak and 14 other players have demanded arbitration on the captaincy, the
selectors and transgressions allegedly committed by officials, including
threats to dig up a pitch if more black players were not included in a
particular team.

"Most of us are almost at the point where we wouldn't bat an eyelid if they
just fired us," one of the players said.

"We're not getting through to these guys. If they say they want to mediate,
maybe they think we're bloody fools. They're just not getting us. Mediation
is going to take another three weeks, and Zimbabwe cricket can't afford

"We're all sick of this, but we're standing strong together. It's very
simple: arbitration with those three points and we're all back."

Zimbabwe threw a squad of comparative juveniles into the deep end in the
one-day series against Sri Lanka, and they were whipped 5-0.
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Independent (UK)

The Media Column: The press year's most important event goes largely
By Bill Hagerty
04 May 2004

Yesterday was World Press Freedom Day. Its passing probably flitted across
the consciousness of few media practitioners in this country, but Dumisani
Muleya, back home in Zimbabwe after a short trip to England, was aware of
its significance. Last week, he collected the first Speaker Abbot Award,
which honours journalists who risk their lives to campaign for parliamentary
democracy. Muleya paid tribute to all those journalists in Zimbabwe who are
fighting for press freedom.

But while he was away, the Mugabe regime let it be known that he had gone to
Britain in order to be brainwashed into further criticising what was going
on in his own country. This was, Muleya acknowledged with a shrug, somewhat
upsetting. But, he added, the present Zimbabwe government is on the edge of
a precipice and will either collapse or self-destruct. Democracy, he said,
will prevail.

His government has done its best to persuade him otherwise. Condemning some
of President Mugabe's policies in the Zimbabwe Independent - a weekly paper
with a staff of 15 and about 30,000 sales, but a readership approaching
250,000 - was enough to get banged up a couple of times. Pointing out
Mugabe's misuse of one of the state airline's few aircraft also meant that
Muleya's feet, and those of editor Iden Wetherell and news editor Vincent
Kahiya, barely touched the ground on the way to the slammer.

One night Muleya was beaten up in a Harare street, and although he cannot
prove this was because of his journalism, he is fairly sure it wasn't
because of the tie he was wearing. He's phlegmatic about it: "You take the
flak, the intimidation, the arrests and the rest when necessary." The bumpy
ride through his career has distressed his girlfriend and parents, who
doubtless would be much happier if he had accepted a job in neighbouring
South Africa. Many Zimbabwean journalists have left the country, their
passage accelerated by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists'
nomination of Zimbabwe as one of the 10 most dangerous countries in the
world for media professionals.

Those government critics that remain have a diminishing number of newspapers
in which to express their views. The government controls two daily and four
weekly newspapers, as well as all radio and television stations. The
Independent is one of only three small titles, all weeklies, that continue
the struggle for press freedom despite increasingly hostile government
retaliation. They will never give up, said Muleya - "We believe we are on
the right side of history."

Such a handsome turn of phrase came in useful last week when he was asked,
at 10 minutes' notice, to address the Commons International Development
Select Committee. He spoke and answered questions for 45 minutes before,
that evening, receiving his award from the Speaker, Michael Martin. Named
after Speaker Charles Abbot, who, in the early 1800s, was the first in
Parliament to recognise the importance of journalism in the democratic
process, the award is a timely reminder that newspapers aren't always just
about big money, Big Brother and big tits.

It may, in some circles, lack the cachet of Hairdressing Writer of the Year,
or Pets Correspondent of the Year - I think I made these up, although I
cannot be certain - but Muleya is sure of its worth. It will, he believes,
encourage journalists in his country "to have more courage, to muster even
more moral fibre and to continue to write about what's really going on in

The presentation ceremony at the House was attended mostly by gallery
reporters and sundry interested MPs. Coverage in our newspapers and
elsewhere was scant - the event created fewer ripples in the media world
than did Michael Parkinson's defection to ITV or Greg Dyke's stumbling
performance on Have I Got News for You?. To the public, it was invisible.

But with the backing of Speaker Martin and financial support from
benefactors British Airways, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and the
philanthropic Silbury Fund, the award is to be made annually. Perhaps next
year we'll take more notice. Dumisani Muleya will be hoping so, just as he
is hoping that the proposed English cricket tour will be scrapped, as
otherwise "it can only help legitimise the regime", and that oppressed
journalists everywhere will keep the faith.

Interesting statistic: 46 journalists were murdered in 20 countries last
year and at least 136 are currently imprisoned in 27 countries. And in case
it has slipped anyone's mind, yesterday was World Press Freedom Day.

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4 May 2004


About 5 000 people attended a rally which I addressed at Chiendambuya, 30 km
east of Headlands in Manicaland on Sunday.

The people resisted the threats from Zanu PF youths and war veterans and
assembled at the business centre for the two-hour meeting. Their concern
centred on the 2005 Parliamentary election, in particular, our preparations
for that plebiscite.

Chiendambuya is in Makoni North constituency, currently represented in
Parliament by Didymus Mutasa. Still fresh in the minds of the villagers in
the area are scenes of violence and human abuses they endured in the last
two elections.

The dilemma facing Zimbabwe's rural areas today stems from our political
experiences of the past five years. Will it be possible this time, they
asked me, for them to register their political affiliation, to vote freely
and to meet without harassment?

Apart from the harsh campaign period, voters said they dread the prospect of
being forced to line up behind their village heads and chiefs on the voting
day. The people said they detest the practice of assisted voting, arguing
that the majority of Zimbabweans aged 50 and above were literate.

The questions raised in Chiendambuya are at the core of our dilemma as we
approach 2005. While it is impossible for the regime to suppress freedom of
thought, numerous impediments are placed in people's lives effectively
disabling them from organising themselves because of the threat of

Unlike the situation in the urban areas where activists can easily relocate
from centres of violence and intimidation, village life presents complex
challenges. If violence banishes a voter or an activist from his village,
what choices are available to him? Examples from 2000 and 2002 show us that
the majority of displaced villagers have yet to recover from the ordeal.

My experience in the area showed that Mugabe has failed to deny the people
ideas, to side-step reason and to alter attitudes towards the MDC despite
the physical and mental cruelty involved in the regime's propaganda and
coercive approach. The people are now clear that the regime has no intention
to treat everyone as an end. The regime is not ready to attend to their
needs or to listen to their demands.

I told the meeting that it is a national wish that we have a genuinely free
and fair election. The security of the voter and that of the candidates are
non-negotiable requirements for any legitimate elections. If Mugabe proceeds
with the election under the current conditions, then Zimbabwe will join
other failed states.

However, I told the meeting that Zanu PF would allow for democracy only if
we exert pressure, as part of our preparations for an even electoral field.

By targeting the people, Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe are sending a clear
signal to the citizenry that they should be fearful of supporting anyone
else but his regime. Doing otherwise may jeopardize their property, family,
and even their lives as they saw in the past five years.

State orchestrated violence and human rights abuses are a major cause for
great concern throughout rural Zimbabwe. These issues dominated discussion
at the rally. Our records show that before the 2000 Parliamentary election
about 20 000 were affected by the state-sponsored abuses; 37 were murdered;
2 466 were assaulted; 27 were raped; 617 were abducted and over 10 000 were
displaced from their villages. More were to suffer in the run-up to the
Presidential election.

Human rights violations are a serious cause for immediate distress for the
people in our traditionally conservative rural areas. Without any guarantees
that life will return to normal, Mugabe's announcement of a Parliamentary
election in March 2005 has caused a lot of anxiety, fear and insecurity in
the rural areas. The plan makes the people tremble with fear.

The killers of Mugabe's opponents and abusers of human rights still roam the
countryside, with the regime's political support and other benefits. No
prosecutions took place in any of the cases, thus pointing to a deliberate
policy by the Mugabe regime to cause further chaos in 2005.

Substantial state support for the perpetrators has cushioned them against
any fear of community reprisals. They do not care whether they commit abuses
against people who can identify them, or whether their acts of brutality
provide irrefutable evidence such physical disabilities from torture. The
crimes are normally committed in the presence of witnesses as an
intimidation tactic.

Unless we take immediate measures to restore the rule of law and bring back
the tranquillity of rural life, Zimbabwe's crisis will continue to deepen.
Without freedom and peace, it becomes increasingly difficult for villagers
to meet their families' basic political and economic needs.

The restoration of the rule of law and all its manifestations are a strong
factor for further underdevelopment in situation where the majority survive
on food donations; in a country where there are more funerals than weddings.
Hunger and poverty have worsened the HIV/Aids pandemic.

Nationally, 99 percent of the population are living below the Poverty Datum
Line of $860 000. Without ordinary democratic choices, Zimbabweans remain
desperate for a way out of the current crisis.

Any person, who considers standing for Parliament from the opposition in
2005 in the existing environment, is very aware that they will pay dearly
for this choice. The evidence from the past five years shows unequivocally
that to stand against ZANU PF is to expose not only the voters, but also
yourself, your family and staff to assault, property loss, arrest, torture
and possibly death.

ؠ Conditions for free and fair elections are far worse now than they
were in 2000 - the laws are draconian, the media emasculated, and the State
more prepared to use force: any election under these conditions would be a
definite farce.
ؠ State officials and executives of parastatals now openly campaign
for Zanu PF and link essential services like the provision of rural
electrification services as conditions for voting for Zanu PF.
ؠ The selective application of the law has effectively outlawed many
democratic activities, including freedom from arbitrary arrest and
ؠ The Press, radio and television are even more under state control
than in 2000. The opposition is denied the opportunity to use these public
resources. Private voices, like The Daily News, were banned.

ؠ Foreign observers and journalists were able to enter Zimbabwe in
2000. They are no longer free to do so.

ؠ The Political Finances Act, which criminalises the opposition's
right to receive campaign finance from abroad, including support from
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, was passed in 2000.

ؠ Civil society, the Church and NGOs are banned from undertaking voter
education and other independent activities in rural areas, where political
abuses are most common.

ؠ The regime has effectively eroded and subverted the judiciary since
2000. The electoral challenges we mounted after June 2000 are still to be
heard. Those aspiring parliamentarians from the MDC, who feel they were
robbed of their victory, still suffer the injustice of a deliberately slow
recourse to the law.

ؠ The police, as I witnessed at Chiendambuya on Sunday, behave in an
increasingly partisan way when dealing with the opposition political
parties. On the instructions of Mutasa, and despite the size of Makoni North
constituency, police denied our party activists an opportunity to organise
transport for our supporters to be brought to the business centre. The party
was further denied a chance to feed the 5 000 who managed to walk for long
distances to the venue of the meeting. At the rally, police officers
insisted on listening in to the deliberations, recording names of all the
speakers, the names of our local leaders and activists and took copious
notes at every turn.

ؠ Violence against the MDC has not abated. In fact, it has increased
in the last five years, sending a clear message to voters and to anyone who
would contemplate standing in an election that this is a dangerous,
potentially deadly, decision to take. After the Chiendambuya rally on
Sunday, our campaign material and an MDC flag were seized from our officials
by war veterans at butchery near Headlands.

ؠ The MPs from the MDC whose term expires next year can easily testify
that their tenure was fraught with numerous difficulties. Eight were
severely tortured. One candidate from 2000 was beaten to death while
campaigning in the Presidential election in 2002.

ؠ Almost all MPs had their rights violated; about 30 lost their homes
or had their businesses and motor vehicles vandalised or destroyed. The
recent vandalism and theft of property at Charleswood Estate and the forced
removal of MP Roy Bennet and hundreds of workers from his Chimanimani
property are a case in point. The families and staff of most MPs were
attacked by state agents, resulting in six deaths. MPs are routinely
arrested, detained and formally charged.

ؠ MPs, whether finally charged or not, are kept in custody in
appalling conditions often for periods of time that are in excess of the
time allowed by law. Nevertheless, none has been convicted of any
wrongdoing. In most cases, the courts do not uphold State attempts to
prosecute. They dismiss the politically motivated allegations before plea.
A recent case is that of Mutasa MP Evelyn Masaiti, arrested outside Mabvuku
in Harare and later released after spending a weekend in police custody.

We are campaigning in the forthcoming election. We are busy consolidating
our political hold countrywide. However, we remain convinced that no free
and fair election is possible without substantial changes in the status quo.

Zanu PF's insecurity, especially in the rural areas, has led to an
indefinite postponement of Zimbabwe's development agenda as resources are
poured in unending election campaign since 2000.

The violence and the deployment of militias and pseudo-military groups have
gobbled millions of potential development aid from the national fiscus. The
State has become more brazen in its attacks on opposition activists in the
rural areas. The regime no longer makes as much effort to disguise its hand
in these attacks.

By contrast, in neighbouring South Africa the people and their government
went through an election in a single day and have already forgotten about
it. The people chose a government whose task has since shifted to the
pursuit of a vibrant national development agenda.

An examination of the regime's behaviour in the last five years shows that
it hostaged Zimbabwe and threw the country into a perpetual election mode.
It has continued to attack its opponents even when it claimed to have won a
fresh mandate to govern.

Our MPs and councillors have had a raw deal, even after assuming office,
with no concern for their elected positions or their documented contribution
to national development. For five years, the regime placed the MDC under
siege as to scare away our party supporters from participating in future
democratic processes.

Before the 2000, the regime argued that the war veterans were acting
independently. The attacks, said Zanu PF, arose from the MDC's disapproval
of the so-called fast-track land reform programme. Mugabe and Zanu PF blamed
everything on the British. What explanation do they have today? Why is
Mugabe refusing to open up the country to free political activity?

The challenge we face is how to harness the creative energies of all the
people to enable them to realise their goals. The people remain resolute in
their desire for change. They are determined to square up to Zanu PF in the
next election. The spirit and desire for change have never been so strong,
both the urban and rural areas.

If the regime maintains its stubbornness and refuses to accede to the people
's demands, what options are available to us? It is becoming clear that
Mugabe and Zanu PF could plunge the country into further turmoil. They are
up to no good. This is unacceptable. Mugabe should not be allowed to test
the people's patience that far.

I am happy to report that a national consensus on the way forward is fast
emerging throughout the country. Our campaign for an even climate continues.
Initial results show that we are making progress.

Morgan Tsvangirai
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Statement on the National Peace Convention and the National Day of Prayer to be held on 24-25th of May 2004

A Call for Peace

The Church and civil society leadership would like to call upon Zimbabweans from all walks of life to seize on the opportunity presented by the National Peace Convention and the National Day of Prayer to be held on the 24th and 25th of May respectively and campaign for peace and prosperity for our beloved country.

We are persuaded that true development will remain elusive until there is genuine democracy, respect for human rights, accountable governance and peace. We would like to reiterate that the call for peaceful co-existence and tolerance are fundamental pillars upon which Zimbabwes transformation should be built. Peaceful co-existence and tolerance are fundamental pillars of our common humanity "ubuntu"/unhu. The National Peace Convention, which is to be held under the theme, Seek Peace and Pursue It (Psalms 34vs14), is an opportunity to revive a culture of peace in our country that has been afflicted by violence, intolerance, starvation and the HIV/Aids pandemic.

It is only through the Word Of God that our nation can be saved from degenerating into politics of chaos and retribution. We therefore call upon all stakeholders such as the government and the political parties, the youths and civil society in this country to boldly oppose the monster of violence. The strife that is evident in our communities epitomized by lack of co-existence between and among people of different political divides is cause for concern to the church and all who fight for peace and justice.

Any efforts aimed at nation building are doomed to fail, if we allow violence to rear its ugly head again. It is only peace with justice that will ensure both economic and political prosperity for our nation and restore confidence in leadership and government. Such that the people are proud of their country and ready to work for it.

We implore Zimbabweans to go to various centers throughout the country on the 25th of May and pray for peace, love and tolerance to prevail in our country, both now and in future.

Do not miss this great occasion to pray for the good of the country!! Be a true patriot! Let us build together and with other Peacemakers.

For more information on these two important events please contact the organizers on: 04-750949/442988 or E-mail:

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Zimbabwe closes 'racist' schools

The authorities in Zimbabwe have closed down at least 45 private
schools due to a dispute over school fees.
Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere said the schools had been closed
because they increased their fees without government approval.

"They throw Africans out simply by hiking fees," Mr Chigwedere said on
state television.

"We are dealing with racist schools. They are all former white
schools, all racist."

Notices have been placed on school gates informing parents and pupils
of the closures and police officers are blocking the entrance to some

The state-run Herald newspaper reported that 30,000 pupils would be
affected and listed the closed schools.

One of President Robert Mugabe's sons and children of many ministers
and ruling party leaders are believed to be among those turned away.

Inflation rate

The education minister said the schools would not reopen until they
had complied with government regulations allowing them to increase their
fees by only 10% a year.

My family all work at one of those school and i attended that
school, the one that Mugabe's son attends. Racism was never a problem

Peter, Harare

Send your comments
Some schools have proposed raising fees by about 50% to counter the
impact of the rampant inflation, currently running at 580%.

Some of Zimbabwe's most prestigious schools are charging tuition fees
of up to 30 million Zimbabwe dollars ($5,635) per year.

Before independence in 1980, Zimbabwe's best schools were reserved for

But according to the South African news agency, Sapa, the majority of
pupils at Zimbabwe's private schools are now black.

Although they are mainly from wealthier backgrounds, there are
bursaries to allow poorer children to attend.

"Things are bad enough here without being stopped from getting the
best education for your child if you can afford it," one father told The
Associated Press news agency as his daughter was turned away from school.

Educational decline

In his independence day address on 18 April, President Mugabe also
criticised the increase in fees for private schools.

"Our principal goal of attaining education for all appears to be in
real jeopardy with some schools charging as much as 10 million (Zimbabwe)
dollars a term," the president said.

"The government will soon come up with arrangements which will
continue to make education accessible to each and every child regardless of
his status or family background."

But some observers say the government has allowed the country's
education system to decline, after it was greatly expanded after

State-run schools in the country are reportedly in a critical
condition - with many having classes of around 80 pupils.

There is also said to be a shortage of teachers, textbooks, desks and

A recent survey by an International Monetary Fund research group,
reported that school enrolment had declined by 60% in Zimbabwe last year
because of fee hikes in both state and private schools.

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Zimbabwe's lack of cattle vaccines alarms neighbours
JOHANNESBURG, 4 May 2004 (IRIN) - The lack of foreign currency to buy animal
vaccines has led to the outbreak of a variety of highly contagious cattle
diseases in Zimbabwe that are threatening to spread throughout Southern

Controllable livestock diseases like blackwater fever, heartwater and
tick-borne diseases have drastically reduced Zimbabwe's national herd from
around six million in 2001 to less than 250,000 today.

Despite laws requiring the acquisition of veterinary service permits for
people wishing to move livestock from one place to another, the lack of
effective monitoring and alleged bribe-taking by officials has led to the
unchecked movement of stock, resulting in the failure of the control
programme, observers said.

The government is remaining tight-lipped about an outbreak of contagious
bovine pleuro-pneumonia (CBPP), or cattle lung disease, which was reportedly
detected in the northwestern district of Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North
province two weeks ago. Joseph Made, Minister of Lands, Agriculture and
Rural Resettlement, said he had not received any conclusive information.

The reported outbreak has caused alarm across Southern Africa. Last week
Botswana ordered its department of veterinary services to go on full alert
to prevent a spillover of the disease, as has been the case with previous
foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks in Zimbabwe.

Local media reports in Botswana say the lung disease scare is being taken
seriously, as it follows a confirmed outbreak in southern Zambia three weeks

Philemon Motsu, the Botswana deputy director of Animal Health and
Production, said the country had intensified disease surveillance patrols at
border entry points. "We have not detected the cattle lung disease as yet,
but we are on full alert and we will do our best to prevent it from
spreading into Botswana."

Zimbabwe remains under FMD quarantine. Cattle shows, once a major attraction
at the annual Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), are banned.

As disease outbreaks continue to spread, Stuart Hargreaves, the director of
the Zimbabwe Veterinary Services Department, told IRIN that the government
had failed to secure funding for a comprehensive animal disease control and
vaccination programme.

"Government has not been able to secure money for the importation of all
basic livestock vaccines from the Botswana Vaccines Institute. I cannot give
the exact figure required for vaccination and control programmes, but FMD
remains a major problem across the country," Hargreaves said.

A senior disease surveillance and control officer in Zimbabwe's Livestock
Production Unit, within the ministry of agriculture, told IRIN: "There is no
improvement - outbreaks are becoming more rampant. Previously controlled
diseases are re-emerging, and there is nothing we can do because there are
no medicines. The little money that is there is in local currency, yet we
need foreign currency to import vaccines. Communal dipping services remain
suspended and we cannot promise farmers any help at the moment."

He added that FMD had become a permanent threat, and encouraged farmers who
could import vaccines to do so and consult the department for assistance in
vaccinating their animals.

Coupled with the collapse of commercial cattle production due to farm
invasions and acquisitions since February 2000, Zimbabwe's failure to
control diseases has also led to the loss of a number of lucrative beef
export deals.

The European Union stopped importing beef from Zimbabwe shortly after the
FMD outbreak in 2001, while Malaysia, Libya, Iran, the Democratic Republic
of Congo and other emerging markets have also slapped embargoes on
Zimbabwean beef products.

Repeated CBPP outbreaks are fast becoming a regional problem. The cases in
Zambia and Zimbabwe follow a similar outbreak in October last year at the
Linyanti Park in northern Namibia, but it was quickly controlled.

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South African writers speak out against Zimbabwe

Wisden Cricinfo staff

May 4, 2004

A group of 20 South African cricket journalists have lent their support to
the London-based Cricket Writers' Club, and have written to Malcolm Speed,
the chief executive of the ICC, to protest at the expulsion of two
journalists from Zimbabwe during the current series against Sri Lanka.

Mihir Bose of the Daily Telegraph, and Telford Vice, who was covering the
series for Reuters, were expelled after immigration officials claimed that
they had incorrect paperwork. The Zimbabwe Cricket Union said that neither
had submitted the necessary applications in time, and also in the case of
Bose that his form had been wrongly completed.

But in a strongly-worded letter to the ICC, South Africa's leading cricket
writers have described Zimbabwe's actions as "scandalous". The situation has
led them to consider forming their own writers' guild, to enable them to
respond more quickly in the future to issues that affect their interests.

"It is unacceptable that journalists should be prevented from carrying out
their legitimate duties," read the letter. "In particular, the denial of
accreditation to a South African-based journalist, Telford Vice, is
scandalous. Vice has reported on numerous series in Zimbabwe and his
credentials as a cricket journalist are beyond question."

The writers have also called on the ICC to curb Zimbabwe's imposition of a
US$600 accreditation fee, which they say "has the effect of discouraging
journalists from reporting on cricket tours that are not of special
interest, which clearly is against the interests of the game and of the

The letter concludes: "It is our belief that the ICC should take vigorous
action (a) to ensure that bona-fide cricket journalists are able to carry
out their duties in Zimbabwe, and (b) to insist that the accreditation fee
is waived for bona fide cricket journalists."

The letter was signed by the following South African cricket writers:

Ken Borland (Natal Witness, MWP Media)
Colin Bryden (Sunday Times)
Trevor Chesterfield (
Patrick Compton (Daily News)
Johann de Jager (Die Volksblad)
Michael Doman (Cape Argus)
Johan Esterhuizen (Rapport)
John Harrison (Diamond Fields Advertiser)
Stuart Hess (The Star, Saturday Star, Sunday Independent)
Iqbal Khan (Natal Mercury)
Keith Lane (Wisden Cricinfo RSA)
Neil Manthorp (MWP Media)
Peter Martin (Dispatch Media)
Kevin McCallum (The Star, Saturday Star, Sunday Independent)
Michael Owen-Smith (Cape Times)
Fergus Ryan (SA Press Association)
Mark Smit (Business Day)
Henk Steenkamp (Die Burger)
Trevor Stevens (The Citizen)
Telford Vice (MWP Media)

Wisden Cricinfo Ltd
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Business Day

Zimbabwe cricket players to continue boycott


HARARE - Zimbabwe's 15 rebel white cricketers will not as thought practice
or make themselves available for future matches on the present Sri Lanka
tour after hearing the arbitration process over their concerns could take
another month to be arranged.
They are continuing their rebellion - over the sacking of captain Heath
Streak and other selectorial policies - because the Zimbabwe Cricket Union,
which agreed to independent arbitration, did not set it up as the players

The move will cause a shock when it becomes known, because the agreement for
mediation in return for an end to the players' rebellion was seen as the
first step to reconciliation.

Instead of attending arbitration, the senior Zimbabwe professionals in
dispute were addressed by a former national captain, former union president
and lawyer David Lewis, who explained that it takes at least a month to
prepare for an arbitration process.

Senior player Grant Flower, who with captain Heath Streak is the main
spokesman for the group of 15, confirmed they would not practice today in
preparation for the fifth and final one day match with Sri Lanka which an
inexperienced Zimbabwean side are trailing 4-0.

"It is a mess. They cannot get anything right. You can take it from me we
will not be at practice," said Flower after finishing a fitness session at a

"We want to resolve this, we really do. But the ZCU has cocked it up. The
chairman of the arbitration panel is out of the country."

"Our lawyer is also out of the country. What are they thinking about? In any
case everybody should understand we want Heath Streak as our captain. If
they continue to refuse, it could be a deal breaker. We are quite determined
about it."

Flower added that their boycott now continues for as long as necessary.
"Even into the Australian tour (which runs from mid-May to mid-June)," he

The ZCU chief executive Vincent Hogg said Flower was being disingenuous as
it had been agreed the players would return to training while the
arbitration process was underway.

"It was agreed in good faith that we will set up an arbitration mechanism
and we are working on that. We are abiding by that. David Lewis made it
clear to them (the players) that it can take a month or even six weeks."

"It was also agreed that in the meantime the players would turn out for
practice and be available for selection. If they don't do that, certainly by
May 8, our ultimatum to them to return to duties by that date or face
disciplinary action will come into effect."

This could mean suspension or dismissal, probably the former as the ZCU
appears to be trying to keep the door open.

Because of the setback, Sri Lanka will once more have to play against a weak
and very young Zimbabwe side, the best available, in the last match of a
series of five one-day internationals.

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Zimbabwe tour morally wrong - ex-England captain Stewart

Tue May 4, 2004 7:49 PM By Quentin Webb
LONDON (Reuters) - England's scheduled tour of Zimbabwe in October is
not safe and morally wrong, former England captain Alec Stewart said on
Tuesday. In April, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said England
would tour Zimbabwe unless a government order or security fears forced them
to do otherwise, despite concerns over human rights and calls for a boycott.

The sport's governing International Cricket Council (ICC) has warned
England they face suspension and a $2 million fine if they fail to fulfil
their tour obligations.

"What's happening in Zimbabwe isn't right," Stewart told journalists
at the launch of a sports fund-raising initiative.

The former England wicketkeeper-batsman was part of a Nasser
Hussain-led team that refused to play in the Southern African country in the
2003 World Cup because of security concerns.

"Morally, and for safety and security issues, it's probably not right
to go. In fact it isn't right to go," said Stewart.

The British government has said it has serious concerns about the
human rights regime of President Robert Mugabe's government, but that it is
down to the ECB to make the decision whether or not to tour.

Zimbabwe cricket chiefs have consistently argued there is no sound
reason for England to cancel.

"The ECB have been backed into a corner," Stewart said. "The ICC have
put the ECB under huge pressure with financial penalties on the tour...
That's harsh."

Stewart also countered press criticism that paceman Darren Gough, 33,
should retire following a lacklustre performance in the one-day
international series against the West Indies.

"We got beaten yesterday, but they picked him for his experience -- to
pass on that experience to younger lads," Stewart said. "He's still got a
big part to play."

Stewart played his 133rd and final test for England last September at
the age of 40.

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MDC to demand Mbeki's secret report on poll

May 04 2004 at 03:57PM

By Gordon Bell

Cape Town - Zimbabwe's opposition is to go to court to try to force South
African President Thabo Mbeki to hand over a report by two judges on
President Robert Mugabe's disputed 2002 re-election, lawyers said on

Mbeki has been one of Mugabe's staunchest backers as Zimbabwe's government
faces international sanctions over the poll, which the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) is trying to contest in court over accusations
Mugabe rigged it.

Matthew Walton, a Cape Town lawyer acting for the MDC, said the party
believed its case could be helped by the views of South African judges
Dikgang Moseneke and Sisi Khampepe, who monitored the 2002 poll and reported
to Mbeki.

"We understand that at least one of them expresses reservations about
conditions in the run-up to the election," Walton told reporters.

Contacted by Reuters, Moseneke, a member of South Africa's Constitutional
Court declined to comment, while Gauteng province High Court Judge Khampepe
could not be reached immediately.

Walton said he would submit an application either to South Africa's Cape
Town or Pretoria High Court within the next month to try to force Mbeki to
hand over the report.

"You've got two people whose veracity is beyond reproach, they are
independent black judges of high standing... If we could get evidence like
that it would be difficult to be attacked," he said.

Several international observers and Western governments said the Zimbabwe
poll was rigged, but South Africa's official 50-person observer mission
pronounced the election - which extended Mugabe's 22-year rule -

The MDC's court action prompted Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF to walk out of talks
aimed at ending a political crisis. Mbeki has played a leading role in
attempting to bring the MDC and Zanu-PF back to negotiations, but has faced
severe criticism for failing to take a stronger stance against the
Zimbabwean leader.

Walton said he had written to Mbeki to request the report but the
president's legal adviser had replied that it was never intended for
publication and could not be released as it dealt with relations between
heads of state - exempting it from the country's Promotion of Access to
Information Act.

"These are judges reporting on what they saw, not on advising the president
on international policy," Walton said, adding once the court application was
filed, Mbeki would be given about four weeks to respond.

Mugabe insists he won the election fairly and has labelled the MDC a puppet
of Western powers who want him ousted over his seizure of white-owned farms
for landless black Zimbabweans.

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The Scotsman

Rhodesia Rebel Smith Listens to Commons

By Chris Moncrieff, Political Staff, PA News

Ian Smith, 85, who led the 13-year Southern Rhodesia rebellion against the
Crown, briefly listened to exchanges in the House of Commons today.

Earlier, he had been entertained to lunch at the Palace of Westminster by a
group of Conservative MPs.

The rebellion ended shortly after Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979,
with the accession of Robert Mugabe as leader of the country which almost
immediately reverted to its former name of Zimbabwe.

Mr Smith, who has lived in Zimbabwe ever since, was his country's first
native Rhodesian Prime Minister
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GMB Stifling Wheat Production: Made

The Herald (Harare)

May 4, 2004
Posted to the web May 4, 2004


GOVERNMENT has ordered the Grain Marketing Board to immediately withdraw one
of the two forms the parastatal is giving out to farmers engaged in winter
wheat production.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cde Joseph Made,
yesterday told The Herald that Government was dismayed by the conduct of
GMB, which he said was throwing spanners into winter wheat production.

There is a Government form that farmers engaging in winter wheat production
should sign.

The form allows farmers to access inputs such as fertilisers, tillage,
insecticides and seed through the GMB.

But the GMB has allegedly added another form that Cde Made said is stifling
progress, was complicated and not related to the programme.

"We have a major problem with GMB in the way they are handling farmers. The
GMB is distributing a funny form that is complicated and affecting
Government programmes," he said.

Cde Made said the application form had the effect of wasting the time of
farmers as its usage was delaying the distribution of inputs.

He said he had summoned officials from the parastatal to his office to read
the riot act to them.

"If that continues, their days are numbered," he said.

Cde Made said the GMB should also immediately announce to the farmers
pick-up points for the inputs and that preparations were being delayed by
the GMB conduct.

He said the other problem faced by farmers was that the same fields that
were supposed to carry the winter wheat crop were the same fields with soya
beans and maize.

Some officers and transporters were allegedly not telling the farmers the
truth about fuel distribution and these were also affecting harvesting of
these crops.

The minister said there was enough fuel in the country but for unknown
reasons, the supply to farmers was very erratic.

He challenged officers at the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority
and other departments under his ministry to gear up for the challenge of
winter wheat production.

He said all officers whose duty involves dealing with farmers on the ground
should be out in the fields and should desist from attending meetings on

There were a number of excuses by some officers who were saying they were
unable to go to the fields because they were attending important meetings,
the minister said.

He said only the permanent secretary should remain in Harare to attend to

"The honeymoon is over. The officers should be on the ground inspecting
production," he said.

Cde Made said Government had done away with Memorandums of Understanding
with companies in the production of winter wheat crop after realising these
companies were not prepared to invest their resources but were waiting for
Government money to do so.

Contacted for comment, GMB chief executive officer Retired Colonel Samuel
Muvuti said the parastatal was not yet sure of the areas the farmers were
complaining about.

He confirmed having met Cde Made yesterday and said Government had pointed
out the shortcomings on the form.

He said improvements would be made to accommodate the concerns of the
farmers. Rtd Col Muvuti said the other form is a stop order form that would
allow GMB to recoup its expenses.

"We will pay attention to the concerns of the farmers. But this form has
been there for years. The issue only came to the fore after some incidents
in Mhangura," he said
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From News24 (SA), 3 May

SA denies Mbeki in $10m deal

Erika Gibson

Pretoria - The office of the president flatly denied on Monday claims that
US$10m had changed hands during negotiations between presidents Thabo Mbeki,
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea about the
extradition of 70 alleged coup plotters being held in Harare. Mbeki
spokesperson Bheki Khumalo said the claims, made by an exiled Equatorial
Guinean political party "make no sense". The claims about money changing
hands were published at the weekend by Severo Moto, Equatorial Guinean
exiled opposition leader, on the Popular Party's website. According to the
report, Nguema paid the "bribe" in exchange for the 70 alleged coup
plotters. The report claimed negotiations between the three leaders took
place during the inauguration celebrations in South Africa. Nguema
apparently came to South Africa specifically to strengthen ties with Mbeki.
He was apparently going to ask Mbeki to facilitate the delivery of the men
to Equatorial Guinea. These allegations come in the wake of Zimbabwe's move
in the past week to amend its extradition laws so that they include
Equatorial Guinea. Nguema and Mugabe met in Bulawayo after the inauguration.
It was here the extradition was apparently settled.

Meanwhile, the 70 men appeared, in leg irons, in a courtroom at Chikurubi
Prison on Monday. This came after claims last week that the men were
planning to escape from the maximum-security jail. The state was reported by
Sapa-AFP on Monday to have said the men planned to break out by using an
aircraft to airlift them out of the prison grounds. On Friday, orders were
given "from the highest command" that the men be held in leg irons at all
times until further notice. Five of them were transferred to another prison
in Harare for this reason. Jonathan Samkange, the alleged coup plotters'
Zimbabwean attorney, complained on Monday about the men being kept in leg
irons in court. He said it was not free and fair and that the hearings were
turning into "a circus". Meanwhile, intelligence officials from 22 African
countries gather in Luanda, Angola, this week to draw up guidelines to stop
the practice of mercenaries in Africa. One of the proposals from the Angolan
intelligence services was to establish an African forum that could exchange
information and co-ordinate action against suspected mercenaries. The
absence of laws against mercenaries in many countries was also addressed.
One of the problems with mercenaries, it was said, was that they often
operated under the guise of fishermen, civil engineers and as political or
military consultants.
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From ZWNEWS, 4 May

Election run-up raises fears

By Oscar Nkala

With tears running down their faces, a small group knelt round three wooden
crosses in Gulalikabili, a village in the Tsholotsho district of
Matabeleland North, where a generation ago the Zimbabwe army's notorious
Five Brigade swept through in murderous mood. "They came in four Puma
trucks, all heavily armed. In a few minutes the whole village had been
rounded up and brought under this tree," said Khumbulani Malope, recalling
February 6, 1983. That was the day the Gukurahundi - the 1982-87 massacres
in which an estimated 20 000 people were killed - came to Gulalikabili.
"What followed was a horror torture. The liberation war had its horrors, I
believe they were necessary in pursuit of a cause. But 1983 - I never
expected that in post-independence Zimbabwe," Malope added. "Gesturing to
the three mass graves, Malope sobbed, "I wish I had died with them."
Apparently fearing prosecution in an international court for genocide and
crimes against humanity, Mugabe refuses to apologise for the state-sponsored
massacres by the North Korean-trained Five Brigade, which left thousands of
unmarked graves across Matabeleland and the Midlands. But he has described
the atrocities as a "moment of madness that should never be repeated again."
Repeatedly, particularly at election times, he has made promises - always
unfulfilled - of compensation. Tired of waiting, villagers in many districts
of Tsholotsho started early last year marking out graves to honour the dead,
encouraged by the local opposition MP. Human rights groups are also believed
to be involved.

Even as Tsholotsho honours the dead of a past reign of terror, there are
fears of more to come. Mugabe's propaganda chief, Information Minister
Jonathan Moyo, has decided to run in this district as the candidate for Zanu
PF in parliamentary elections scheduled for next year. The ruling party is
likely to be ruthless in this solidly MDC district, and already Moyo has
been accused of capitalising on the widespread hunger by using grain and
cash loans to woo support. Most of the victims of the Gukurahundi were
supporters of the opposition Zapu led by Joshua Nkomo. In the early 1980s,
Mugabe, determined to stamp out opposition, accused Zipra, the guerrilla
wing of Zapu, and its supporters of planning the violent overthrow of his
government. Extra-judicial killings were widespread during the seven
year-long operation. "We have been fed false promises so now we have decided
to spruce up these graves without asking for anyone's permission and
support," said Malope, standing beside the graves in Gulalikabili which are
believed to contain the remains of 13 Five Brigade victims, including Malope
's wife and two sons. "People are tired of the being told the same old
promises about compensation," said Tsholotsho member of Parliament Mtoliki
Sibanda. "They are right in taking the responsibility of recognising our
deceased. I encourage them to go ahead." The last flurry of official
activity about the Matabeleland atrocities was in 1999 when Joshua Nkomo
died. The government set up a committee of traditional chiefs, judicial
officers, civil servants and concerned groups to look into ways of
compensating victims. The committee, which was supposed to work closely with
Zanu PF national chairman John Nkomo, was quietly disbanded in 2000. Efforts
to get a comment from Nkomo were fruitless.

Meanwhile thousands of people in the Matabeleland South district of Gwanda
have been swindled in what the MDC says is a scam run by Zanu PF officials
to punish the district for supporting the opposition party. They were duped
into paying a Zimbabwe $6 000 fee to get on a register which an unidentified
"war veteran"' and Zanu PF officials said they were compiling. The people on
the list were promised big handouts from the regime for supporting
nationalist guerrillas during the 60s and 70s in the war which ended
white-minority rule. Villagers who spoke to ZWNEWS in wards 3 and 4 of
Gwanda North said the war veteran claimed to have been sent by the Zanu PF
Matabeleland South provincial office in Gwanda to conduct the exercise. They
added that the war veteran's public meetings were organised by a local Zanu
PF activist, Japhet Moyo, and a chief, Mbiko Masuku, who both encouraged
people to register. "He said government would be paying out gratuities of
Z$100 000 per person and a monthly pension of Z$60 000, in addition to free
schooling for children," said one victim who signed up at a meeting on March
12. Those who paid were given a number, but no receipt. They said they only
realised they had been conned when the state-run ZBC carried warnings about
phoney vetting officials. Japhet Moyo responded angrily when approached for
comment, and continued to maintain the exercise was official and sanctioned
by the ruling party. "I know you want to rubbish every government programme,
so go ahead," he said. He added he knew the war veteran only as Mafu, and
did not know where Mafu is now or what had happened to the money collected.

Police refused to discuss the allegations. MDC deputy provincial spokesman
Petros Mukwena said the scam needed to be investigated. "It is a pity that
the police will not do that because the criminals are Zanu PF officials who
are taking advantage of the war collaborators compensation craze to line
their pockets," said Mukwena. He described the bogus registration as a
deliberate extortion by Zanu PF functionaries of people who have supported
the MDC since its inception. Japhet Moyo is a feared Zanu PF youth league
operative who is believed to have planned the attacks on teachers, nurses
and villagers in Gwanda North following his defeat by the MDC in the
September 2002 rural council elections. He was also involved in the violence
that gripped Insiza ahead of the by-election which Zanu PF won last year.
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Land Inspectorate Disbanded

The Herald (Harare)

May 4, 2004
Posted to the web May 4, 2004


THE National Land Inspectorate, comprising civil servants from various
Government ministries and departments, has been disbanded, The Herald has

Government sources said the Public Service Commission disbanded the team
which was seconded to the Presidential Land Review Committee headed by the
Minister of Special Affairs Responsible for Lands, Land Reform and
Resettlement, Cde John Nkomo, last Friday and sent back the officers to
their respective ministries and departments.

This followed widespread reports that some of the officials were beginning
to usurp the powers of the minister, who is the acquiring authority for land
for resettlement, by either purporting to be issuing offer letters or
withdrawal letters when that is the responsibility of the minister.

The sources said in just about all the cases, the offer letters were written
to former white commercial farmers and the withdrawal letters to new

There have been reports from across the country of new farmers complaining
that they are being evicted by Government officials some two years after
being offered the land to make way for former white commercial farmers,
contrary to both Government policy and the law.

In one such case, an official writing on behalf of the chairman of the
National Land Inspectorate team Deputy Police Commissioner Godwin Matanga,
told the governor of Mashonaland Central Cde Ephraim Masawi that they had
recommended the withdrawal of offer letters to new farmers at Terragwaai in
Mount Darwin.

"It has come to our attention that the remaining extent of Terragwaai has
since been allocated to Mr C Chingwaru and Mr Chidyamoto in violation of the
above referred court order.

"It is against this background that we recommend the immediate withdrawal of
the offer letters and allow Terragwaai (Pvt) Ltd to continue with farming
operations unhindered. Furthermore, the withdrawal of the offer letters
renders all rental agreements made between the beneficiaries and Terragwaai
(Pvt) Ltd null and void as they (are) tantamount to extortion and breach of
the same offer," the official wrote in a letter dated 8 April 2004.

In another case, a certain JJ Ndebele, writing on behalf of the principal
director for Special Affairs in the Office of the President and Cabinet,
told a Mr S Philip, the former owner of Barwick Farm in Mazowe in a letter
dated 1 April that:

"The Ministry of Special Affairs directs that you return to your farm with
immediate effect and continue with your passion fruit production for the
export market.

"All other activities that had since begun on your passion fruit orchards
should seize immediately. No one should interfere with your operations
either through violent means or the disconnection of any of your vital

"In the meantime you are also directed to co-exist peacefully with Mr
Chindori-Chininga and his workers."

Ndebele cited, among other reasons for returning the farm to Mr Philip, that
it had been de-listed and that it had an export processing zones licence.

However, in an affidavit dated April 21 2004, the Permanent Secretary for
Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement Mr Simon Pazvakavambwa said the farm had
never been de-listed.

"To my knowledge, and based on information to hand, the property has never
been down listed. The purported down listing indicated in the letter to Mr S
Philip from JJ Ndebele of the Office of the President and Cabinet did not
take place since the said Mr Makaza (land officer) has neither the
responsibility nor the authority to down list any properties under the
process of acquisition," said Mr Pazvakavambwa.

He said he was aware that the farm had EPZ status and Mr Chindori-Chininga,
who was allocated subdivision 1 of the farm, was co-existing with the EPZ

"There is no basis whatsoever on which Mr Chindori-Chininga can be said to
be in illegal possession of the farm when he in fact is complying with all
the Government directives such as co-existence with Mr Philip's EPZ status
and the fact he afforded Mr Philip an opportunity to wind down his
operations before taking over the farm.

"With respect, the letter from Ndebele cited in the applicant's urgent
chamber application case No HC 4517/2004, is not saying that Mr
Chindori-Chininga should be evicted, further, Mr Ndebele has neither the
authority nor responsibility to make indications he did in his letter," Mr
Pazvakavambwa said.
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The Star

Mugabe's R175m fortress
May 4, 2004

By Basildon Peta

Robert Mugabe has designated the area around the 25-bedroom mansion he
is building a "protected area".

The Zimbabwean president's action comes as he faces calls to disclose
the source of foreign currency used for the imported materials being used on
the multi-million project.

The designation means access is severely restricted and anyone who
strays into the area or is caught taking photographs might land in hot

Police can now shoot and kill transgressors, as has been done at
Mugabe's official residence, Zimbabwe House, in Harare.

Several motorists have been shot and killed over the years for driving
on the road between Zimbabwe House and State House after authorised hours.

Mugabe's private mansion in the plush suburb of Borrowdale has been
under construction for five years and is now expected to cost more than

Apart from the locally-sourced bricks, gravel and cement, everything
at the property is said to have come from China and Europe.

The house is being built mainly by Yugoslav company Energo Project,
though some work has been subcontracted. The project also involves
construction of two sizeable dams around the mansion and extensive
landscaping work.

Once the house is complete, Mugabe is expected to order the closure of
nearby access roads for his exclusive use.

The president is facing calls to disclose where he has been getting
the foreign currency to purchase the imported materials - particularly after
the arrest of Finance Minister Christopher Kuruneri.

He is in jail after having been accused of illegally exporting foreign
currency to South Africa, where he is reportedly building a R30-million
mansion in Cape Town.

A spokesperson for the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency
International said it was "absolutely essential" for Mugabe to disclose
where and how he had been getting foreign currency.

If it turned out that he had been drawing foreign currency from the
Reserve Bank, then he would be guilty of abusing his office.

Zimbabwe is mired in its worst foreign currency crisis following the
collapse of the tobacco farming sector, mainly due to Mugabe's
indiscriminate land seizures.

The Reserve Bank has imposed stringent rules to prioritise the use of
scarce foreign currency to import fuel and electricity.

Zimbabwe does not have money to buy food for its people, and foreign
donors have entirely met this responsibility.

No-one is allowed foreign currency for "luxury imports" and scores of
manufacturing companies have folded due to lack of currency to meet
essential imports.

Apart from his job as president, Mugabe has no other income.

An official in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing said that
even if Mugabe had been president for 500 years, he could hardly have
financed the construction of such a mansion with his salary of less than
R210 000 a year.
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UK Plot to Erode Confidence in Zim's Policies Exposed

The Herald (Harare)

May 4, 2004
Posted to the web May 4, 2004


THE British government has hatched a desperate diplomatic plot whose
propaganda aim is to reverse the gains of current Government policies and
erode confidence in these policies by creating the impression of a new
crisis in Zimba-bwe.

Sources here said the plot, which came about after the British government
was stung by reports of the ongoing success of the Government's economic
turnaround policies and growing public and international confidence in the
general political situation in Zimbabwe, is built around high profile visits
by African leaders from the region, which would be instigated and sponsored
directly or indirectly by the British.

According to a highly-placed source at the Commonwealth Secretariat in
London with close links to the British Foreign Office, the visiting leaders
would hold highly publicised meetings with President Mugabe.

After that they would meet with some so-called sections of civil society,
including opposition MDC leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, to dramatise
allegations of tension, conflict and polarisation in the country.

The source said among the leaders expected to visit are Zambian President
Levy Mwanawasa, President Bakili Muluzi of Malawi, the recently re-elected
South African President Thabo Mbeki and the Prime Minister of Mauri-tius.

Former Kenyan leader Mr Daniel arap Moi was also expected to visit as a
special envoy of President Mwai Kibaki, the source said.

"Preparations for these visits have reached an advanced stage although no
firm dates have been set," the source said.

This new propaganda initiative by the British comes hardly a week after the
discredited Commonwealth secretary-general Mr Don McKinnon, who made futile
attempts to make contact with the Zimbabwean delegation at President Mbeki's
inauguration in Pretoria last week, told diplomats in Pretoria that his
office was working closely with the British Foreign Office to exert new
pressure on the Zimbabwe Government.

Mr McKinnon is said to have conceded that the Zimbabwean situation was
increasingly getting out of reach following the country's withdrawal from
the Commonwealth.

He also said British diplomats were experiencing serious difficulties in
finding new entry points.

Even the International Crisis Group has acknowledged the same, noting in its
recent report released last month that:

"For all the sound and fury of international condemnation and domestic
opposition, President Robert Mugabe maintains the upperhand in Zimbabwe. . .
. it has been a masterful performance."

The report goes on to say: "It is time to acknowledge collective failure to
date, re-evaluate strategies and concentrate on the opportunities presented
by the March 2005 parliamentary elections."

The source said the new initiative was designed to create an opportunity for
the opposition ahead of the parliamentary elections, which the President has
said would be held next March.

A Government spokesman said the Government was unaware of the visits by the
regional leaders and expressed doubt that anyone of these countries would
want to be party to such an obvious British plot.

"In any event, the Government is busy doing things that the people of
Zimbabwe expect it to do and the results are speaking for themselves on the

"There is peace and tranquillity and the economic prospects are so good
today that we do not believe any African country would want to spoil this
for the benefit of the British," said the spokesman.

The plot by the British also comes in the wake of failure by Britain and its
allies at last month's United Nations Human Rights Commission summit in
Geneva, Switzerland, to get the world body to investigate Zimbabwe for
alleged human rights abuses.
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New Zimbabwe

The responsibilities of the oppressed
Last updated: 05/04/2004 20:15:29

IN Gibran Kahlil's book called "The Prophet", Almustafa speaks at length and
eloquently about life to the people of Orphalese before setting sail on a
ship to the isle of his birth which he had missed for twelve years.

In the middle of the sermon an orator asks Almustafa to speak about freedom
before an awed crowd standing attentively between the foot of a seaside hill
and the harbor.

The answer is worth sharing: "If it is a despot you should dethrone, see
first that his throne erected within you is destroyed...And if it is fear
you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand
of the feared."

Although written almost a century ago these words remain a genuine
indictment of the people of Zimbabwe. A nation which, while it finds it easy
to complain about the evident tyranny under which it is suffocating, has yet
to accept that the oppressed also have responsibilities.

As they strive to pull themselves from the shoals and depths of oppressive
rule Zimbabweans should also accept the part they have played in the
of their tribulations, which generally entails explaining how they got to be
where they are.

In those explanations lie the solutions to this carnage.

The responsibilities of the oppressed tend to be more demanding than those
of the tyrants for despotism is erected directly in the hearts of the
oppressed and is sustained by the weaknesses of its victims.

Dictatorships normally survive mainly due to the weakness at the bottom than
by the strength at the top.

One of the weaknesses that Zimbabweans have demonstrated is to imagine that
Mugabe was ever a hero and a well-meaning leader. In swallowing this fallacy
we allow ourselves to seek a future within the box of his mentality. We
provide him space to claim moral high ground and to blackmail us as

We try to define the way forward within the Zanu PF premise while deceiving
ourselves with the delusions of unfolding freedom. Even as some opposition
leaders speak of change it is easy to detect some one party state and
dictatorial thinking in their analysis.

Listen to their jokes, their understanding of the universe, our liberation
struggle and many other global developments they all reflect the Mugabe
thinking. A friend, recently in the UK told me about how some British
scribes and legislators shook their heads when talking about the discussions
which they had with a certain senior opposition leader.

When one criticises this unfortunate development some Zimbabweans (the
victims of the fallacy) raise hell, and wonder why one should criticise the
opposition which believes in press freedom, human rights promotion and the
rule of law.

But even a person with a modicum of intelligence will agree that it doesn't
matter much that a party says it is committed to press freedom and the rule
of law. Zanu PF, Fidel Castro and friends all swear by democracy. Chairman
Mao swore by the masses but witness how appalling these people's records
are! Look how their "supposed nationalism" perpetuate ignorance, shoddy
scholarship, blind loyalty, misery rather than independent reasoning and
consequently prosperity.

In Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe' s survival as a politician feeds mainly
from the narrow-mindedness of the electorate. Self-centered reasoning and
folly have tended to spread freely and rapidly than clear thinking so much
so that some views are viewed as dangerous or labeled as Zanu PF or MDC.

Although it is risky to support one's argument with words or observations
from people like Shakespeare Maya, I will pray for your patience.

Just listen to Maya: "Zimbabweans tend to go through episodes of emotional
acceptance of a political party option and total rejection of any other
option and only change when that singular option hurts them irreversibly

"The element of choice and representation of options in this case are
stifled not only by the constitutional process but also by electorate
themselves who tend to detest any wide choices even in the opposition."

This paper was presented at the Zimbabwe Election Support Network Workshop
in Harare last August.It is credible to say this is the reason why many
Zimbabweans were laughing at those who were complaining about Mugabe in

Anybody complaining about evident gross human rights violations then was a
dissident. The "tyranny of the majority" reigned. Mugabe was a hero par

The truth is that Mugabe has never done anything for anybody. For every
project he sets up he expects payment whether through blind loyalty or sheer
obsequiousness. Every road he has commissioned, every committee, commission
and task force he has set up has been set not to benefit the poor but to
perpetuate his rule.

Even the anti-corruption drive is not intended to be a well-meaning
exercise. It is a brazen and spectacular masking exercise-a dramatic
obfuscating exercise. Look how despite the flurry and the echoes it has yet
to net the real criminals.

Today, anybody complaining about clear-cut deficiencies within the
opposition has got their priorities wrong or is plain Zanu PF.

The Zimbabwean case clearly vindicates Almustafa, the prophet. The throne of
this tyranny is really among us. When the world wails with us, he seeks
sanctuary in the comfort of our fear and the dark corners of our gullibility
and ignorance. Which is why the TV displays the images of the past just to
steer up the emotions of the ancient era and raise paranoia. It is also the
reason why the Herald has, since 2000, been trying to sell the false story
that a certain ethnic group within the MDC is pushing to dislodge Morgan
Tsvangirai with the hope that they will raise the hot ethnic feelings which
helped Zanu PF to pull through.

Evidently the tyranny of the majority still reigns supreme here. It is not
that the Zimbabweans can not pull themselves out of this or they have really
hit a
stone wall. The disease is just within us.

It is hardly a case of Mugabe being so repressive that he has surpassed
Botha but a case of an electorate which has rented its hearts to the
oppressor. He must now pay the rentals.

"The veil that clouds your eyes shall be lifted by the hands that wove it,"
says Almustafa before the ship is cast off from its moorings to bear him to
his eastwards motherland leaving the astounded crowd by the wall of the sea.
Zimbabweans must take heed -

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