From The Sunday Times (UK), 20 October Sainsbury's supplied by Mugabe aide
Adam Nathan and David Leppard
Sainsbury's supermarkets have sold
thousands of pounds worth of vegetables from a Zimbabwean farm seized from its
white owner by the wife of Robert Mugabe's army chief. The company admitted that
it bought large quantities of sugar-snap peas and mangetout from Jocelyn
Chiwenga between June and September. Chiwenga is a senior figure in Mugabe's
ruling Zanu PF party. Her husband, Lieutenant-General Constantine Chiwenga, the
commander of the Zimbabwean army, is on the trade sanctions lists of the
European Union and Bank of England. British companies may not deal with him, but
his wife is not affected by the sanctions. The vegetable business is in her
name. In April the couple occupied 600 acres of Shepherd Hall farm, 20 miles
outside Harare, the capital. Witnesses said Jocelyn Chiwenga was with "several
men carrying AK-47 rifles". Roger Staunton, the farm's owner for 20 years, told
of his terror during the seizure. When Staunton, whose family farmed the land
for more than 100 years, offered a handshake, Chiwenga allegedly said she had
"no intention of shaking hands with a white pig." Staunton, who is now seriously
ill in South Africa with a heart condition, claimed Chiwenga ordered a guard to
"kill the white bastards". He cocked his weapon but did not fire. A month after
the takeover Hortico, Sainsbury's Zimbabwean supplier, signed a deal worth more
than £500,000 to buy Chiwenga's produce.
The company packed and labelled
it as Sainsbury's own brand, with the supermarket's consent, before exporting
it to Britain. Sainsbury's stopped buying the produce only last month, when
Chiwenga was ordered by the Zimbabwean high court to stop selling the farm's
crops because it had been illegally occupied. A spokesman for Sainsbury's said:
"We had been reassured the farmer had been compensated. We are shocked to find
this wasn't the case and confirm that we are no longer sourcing produce from
Last week Chiwenga, listed as "Grower 881" in Sainsbury's
records, was happy to talk about British sales of her produce. She said: "There
is so much money to make because a lot of what you buy at Sainsbury's is
from Zimbabwe." Chiwenga said she had sold to Britain more than 23 tons of
peas, grown on land she claimed had been neglected by Staunton. She admitted
that she had made a verbal agreement to compensate him for some infrastructure
and crops, but not for the land. She denied making any threats or racist
comments. "I am sorry that the whites and the blacks are killing each other but
we only have thick whites who do not want to share their land," she said.
Staunton said the Chiwengas gave him five days to leave and took over the entire
farm and its assets - including buildings, trucks, irrigation equipment and a
major rose and greenhouse project - worth £13m at official exchange rates. He
claims she illegally sold his greenhouse vegetables and roses for about £1m.
Staunton said the Chiwengas first said they would compensate him fully and
pressured him to agree not to take them to court or go to the press. Staunton
said that after the intimidation of the occupation, "I considered myself
lucky=94 to have been offered compensation." Later, however, he said the
Chiwengas "told me they were not going to compensate me as I had made enough
profits over the years". Staunton said he reported the seizure to Zimbabwe's
vice-president, Joseph Msika, who is in charge of the regime's "land
redistribution programme". When Chiwenga heard of this she told the farmer
that Msika could not remove them. According to Staunton, she told him that "next
time she would see me, I could be in a coffin".
After the takeover,
Chiwenga agreed with Hortico, a respected firm with long links to British
supermarkets, to sell her produce, along with that from other farms, to Britain.
A senior Hortico source said: "The policy is to get as many farms into growing
and export as soon as possible." Hortico, which claims to supply half the snap
peas and mangetout sold by Sainsbury's, said that given the number of farms
confiscated from whites, it was inevitable they would have to do business with
some of them. The company said it would review its contract with Chiwenga at the
end of this year.
government's desperate bid to win the Insiza parliamentary by-election on
26-27 October is behind the forced suspension of food distribution by the
United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) in the district.
The government is nervous about allowing non-governmental organisations to
continue to operate in the constituency while it conducts its campaign to
reclaim the seat by any means necessary.
††††† The recent rural district
council elections illustrated the new strategy by the government in its
attempts to get voters to back its candidate. In Manicaland, the government
was caught offering food for those willing to vote for the the ruling party.
This is a clear breach of the electoral laws.
††††† The Executive
Mayor of Bulawayo, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, has been hauled before the courts on
allegations of attempting to influence a voter to support him. However, those
responsible for the food-for-votes in Manicaland and now in Insiza, can be
guaranteed freedom to commit any electoral outrages in broad daylight and get
away with it.
††††† Conditions had to be made difficult for the WFP so it
could not operate in Insiza, until after the parliamentary by-election next
††††† However, as soon as the voting is over, the WFP will most
certainly be asked to go back and continue its work. In the meantime, the
people of Insiza will be offered the choice of voting for the ruling party's
candidate or going hungry until after the parliamentary
††††† Many people desperate for food will submit and present
themselves to the ruling party's commissars as "illiterate" people who are
keen to vote, but because of their "illiteracy" require "assistance" of
someone from the ruling party on how to vote.
††††† That this can
happen and the Electoral Supervisory Commission sees nothing wrong in this
conduct is outrageous.
††††† The government's intention since the first
parliamentary by-election after the 2000 parliamentary election has been to
re-establish a one-party state.
††††† It is ironic for a country that
once boasted a literacy rate of 80 percent to suddenly have thousands of
voters claiming to be illiterate. In a way, it is an argument that exposes
the government's record of "achievement" in the educational sector if 22
years after independence there are so many illiterate people among its
citizens. On that basis alone, it has no moral justification to seek to be
re-elected if one of its achievements has been more illiterate
††††† And if by its own admission, there are so many people who
still cannot read and write after more than two decades of independence, then
perhaps the people in that constituency were right in rejecting the ruling
party because it has done nothing for the education of their children. The
government's strategy to return this country to a one-party state began with
Bikita West in January 2001, following the death of Amos Mutongi, the MP
(MDC) for the constituency. This was followed by Marondera West, Chikomba,
Makoni West, Bindura, Hurungwe West and now Insiza.
††††† In between
have been the Kadoma mayoral election and the rural district council
elections. The pattern is very clear. Gradually, Zanu PF is seeking to
control every parliamentary seat and every local authority.
††††† In a
democracy such an outcome can never be possible. The ruling party must win
some and lose others to opposition parties. However, when more than 700 seats
are won without a contest, as evidenced in the recent rural district council
elections, it is confirmation that electoral manipulation and voter
intimidation are widespread.
††††† The opposition and civic organisations
must reflect on whether there is any point in participating under such
circumstances. The government's and Zanu PF's game plan is two-fold: to
establish a one-party state and through such an outcome, scuttle any idea of
a rerun of the disputed March 2002 pres idential election, or if it is run,
the outcome is predetermined.
††††† The government has scant regard for
free and fair elections.
Zim: Hunger breeds discontent
Johannesburg - Rising
discontent over soaring inflation and a rapidly shrinking economy could lead
to serious confrontation between the government and disgruntled Zimbabwean
workers, analysts warned on Thursday.
In response to declining living
standards, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called for
widespread tax cuts, saying the deepening economic crisis had eroded the
purchasing power of workers.
Zimbabwe is in the midst of its worst
economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1980, with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) warning that the inflation rate will rise
to 155% by the end of the year - twice the government's estimate of
Lovemore Matombo, the president of the ZCTU, said the umbrella
labour movement had appealed to the government to exempt all workers earning
below Zim $23 000 (US$418 at the official rate) from paying
"The level of poverty has dramatically
increased. Workers are no longer paid for overtime work, the cost of living
is very high. It has become near impossible for families to afford basic food
items as well as access to social services," Matombo told IRIN.
federation also wanted the government to scrap tax on retrenchment payouts
for workers who were laid off by liquidated companies.
would do well to heed the frustrations of the workers. Whether or not they
concede to our request, it is important that the people are aware of the
labour movement's position on spiralling inflation," Matombo added.
the pace of Zimbabwe's economic decline accelerated in the mid 1990s,
the unions emerged as the main political challenge to President Robert
However, the once powerful ZCTU may be losing its clout as the
formal sector of the economy continues to shrink at an alarming rate, robbing
the movement of members.
Earlier this year a three-day industrial
action received a lukewarm response from workers. Analysts suggested that
fear of the government's response - after a violent presidential election
campaign - and draconian labour laws were responsible for the poor
All strikes illegal
A new security law also gives the
president the power to declare any strike illegal. All public demonstrations
- including protests by striking workers - now require prior police
The ZCTU was central to the creation of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) in 1999, and is regarded as synonymous with
the party by the government. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai led the ZCTU
during the 1990s, at a crucial period when the movement marked its
independence from the ruling Zanu-PF.
This week, the government
demonstrated how it could deal with recalcitrant workers by firing 627
striking members of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe ahead of
crucial end of year exams.
The teachers demanded a 100% salary increment
backdated to January this year and another 100% cost of living adjustment
backdated to June.
Also this week health care professionals at Harare and
Parirenyatwa hospitals downed tools again. Doctors and nurses went on strike
in August pressing for more pay but resumed their duties following a
government undertaking to review their salaries.
Analysts told IRIN that the recent flurry of strikes was a sign
that Zimbabwe's labour force was becoming restless over the government's
failure to address spiralling inflation.
John Makumbe, a political
analyst at the University of Zimbabwe said: "Already there is talk that the
hospital technicians may go on strike. It is also likely that the electricity
workers may join them. There is mounting resistance to how the government is
running the country."
Whether or not workers would take to the streets in
protest, resulting in an inevitable confrontation with the security forces,
depended on the government's response to their frustrations, Makumbe
"Workers are acutely aware of the government's capacity to use
its instruments of repression. Nobody really wants to lose their lives in
the process. The firing of so many teachers has elicited a lot of anger
among parents. It is this anger that may filter onto the streets of
Harare," Makumbe added.
But, he said, the anti-trade unionism laws and
extra-legal constraints would make it difficult for the ZCTU to mobilise
support on the same level as it did 1998.
successfully flexed its muscles in 1998 when it forced the government to
scrap a 2.5% sales tax, a 5% tax on personal incomes, a 15% tax on
pension-fund profits and a range of other levies.
"The government is
unlikely to heed ZCTU's demands for tax cuts. In fact, Zanu-PF has become a
lot more strident in recent months. A confrontation between the government
and workers could lead to a bloodbath and everyone concerned is very aware of
this. [But] we are likely to see further stayaways and sit-ins," Richard
Cornwell, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies in South
However, Makumbe did not rule out the possibility of mass
action, as a "simple incident could transform an ostensibly calm situation
into an all-out confrontation between the police and
Meanwhile, since the MDC's defeat in local council elections
last month - marred by intimidation and the inability of the MDC to contest
in half of the wards - the party had "lost direction", one analyst
Tsvangirai was reluctant to call for mass action
fearing the government may use the opportunity to violently clamp down on
opposition supporters, said the analyst who asked not to be
"The MDC has yet to recover from what they perceive was a
'stolen presidency'. There have been rumours of internal squabbles and the
bruising they received from losing the last local elections has left them
without direction. All they do now is hope for a managed transition from
Mugabe to somebody else in Zanu-PF," Cornwell said.
Zimbabwe's currency this week sank to its lowest level in the country's
history. At the present parallel rate of exchange, it now costs nearly 1 000
Zimbabwe dollars for one US dollar. Economists say the latest plunge was
sparked by the cost of imported fuel.
Three weeks of fuel shortages ended
on Monday after the government reportedly used all its available foreign
currency to pay Libya for fuel. The fuel was stored in tanks controlled by
the Libyans on the outskirts of Harare, and they only released it after
receiving payment in foreign currency. - IRIN
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Accusing criminal groups linked to the
armies of Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Congo of plundering Congo's riches, a
U.N. panel called on the United Nations to impose financial restrictions on
29 companies and 54 individuals.
While the conflict that drew the
armies of seven African nations into Congo has diminished, smaller battles
continue to be fought over minerals, farm produce, land and even tax revenue
- and these ``microconflicts'' have been very lucrative for criminal groups
with army and business connections, the panel said Monday.
troops from Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe have been withdrawing from Congo
under recent peace agreements, the panel said the groups have made elaborate
arrangements to continue exploiting billions of dollars worth of diamonds,
gold, copper, cobalt, timber and coltan, a conductor used in the high-tech,
communications and aerospace industries.
``Those (criminal) groups will
not disband voluntarily,'' the panel said. ``They have built up a
self-financing war economy centered on mineral exploitation.''
report to the U.N. Security Council, the five-member panel cites steps taken
to preserve access to Congo's riches by the Rwandan government and army, the
Ugandan army, and Congolese and Zimbabwean government officials - each acting
with the support of businesses and individuals in the areas of Congo they
For example, the panel said, ``the elite network of Congolese
and Zimbabwean political, military and commercial interests seeks to maintain
its grip on the main mineral resources - diamonds, cobalt, copper, germanium
- of the government-controlled area.''
``This network has transferred
ownership of at least $5 billion of assets from the state mining sector to
private companies under its control in the past three years with no
compensation or benefit for the state treasury of the Democratic Republic of
Congo,'' it said.
To keep control of Congo's resources in eastern Congo,
Rwanda has kept its battalions that specialize in mining activities in place
``though they have ceased wearing (army) uniforms and will continue the
activities under a commercial guise,'' the panel said.
accused the Ugandan army of training local militia to serve as a paramilitary
force ``directly and discreetly'' under its command, to keep control of trade
and tax revenue.
The panel recommended that the Security Council consider
placing financial restrictions on 29 companies based in Belgium, Congo,
Uganda, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Uganda, and South Africa.
The companies -
involved in trading diamonds, coltan and other resources and flying the
materials out of Congo - should be barred ``from accessing banking facilities
and other financial institutions and from receiving funding or establishing a
partnership or other commercial relations with international financial
institutions,'' the panel said.
It recommended that 54 individuals -
including business executives, military and government officials - face
travel bans, a freeze on their personal assets and the same financial
restrictions as the businesses.
The list includes the chief of staff of
the Rwandan army, James Kabarebe; the minister of the presidency of Congo,
Augustin Matumba Mwanke; the chief of staff of the Ugandan army, Maj. Gen.
James Kazini; Uganda's chief of military intelligence Nobel Mayombo; the
speaker of Zimbabwe's Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa; and Victor Bout, a
Russian arms and minerals dealer and transporter who operates out of the
United Arab Emirates
UN: governments unite with criminals in Congo plunder Reuters, 10.21.02, 3:46
(Release at 6 a.m. EDT, 1000 GMT)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Despite a withdrawal of foreign
troops, the plunder of the Congo's gems and minerals continues unabated by
Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe and Congolese officials, aided by criminal
networks, a U.N.-appointed panel reported Monday.
that once involved armies from seven African nations has diminished,
so-called "elite networks" are running a self-financing war economy centered
on pillaging the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Criminal groups linked
to the Rwandan, Ugandan and Zimbabwean armies have benefited from regional
"micro-conflicts," with greed often dominating politics, the panel's 59-page
report to the U.N. Security Council said.
"The elite networks derive
financial benefit through a variety of criminal activities, including theft,
embezzlement, diversion of public funds, undervaluation of goods, smuggling,
false invoicing, non-payment of taxes, kickback to public officials and
bribery," the independent panel said.
Much of the death and malnutrition
in eastern Congo is less due to fighting than pillaging that has left
villagers without a livelihood, the report said.
Kisangani, for example, are marketed by criminal networks and laundered by
purchasing large quantities of sugar, soap, cloth and medicines from Dubai to
Rwandan wholesalers, thereby devastating local industries.
NAME AND SHAME
The researchers, who issued two previous reports over the past year
on how natural resources were fueling the Congo war, called on the United
Nations to impose financial restrictions on 29 companies and 54 individuals
involved in the pillaging.
Most are in Africa but the list includes
four Belgian diamond firms and the Belgian Groupe George Forrest mining
operation, which is in partnership with the Cleveland, Ohio, based OM
The report also names 85 multinationals in South Africa, Europe
and the United States that it says have violated ethical guidelines on
conflict zones set down by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
These include the world's largest gem and mining firms, such
as Anglo American PLC, Barclays Bank, Bayer A.G., De Beers diamond company,
the Cabot Corp. among others.
While Rwanda, which has the strongest
fighting force, has withdrawn some troops, it has left soldiers behind
disguised as Congolese. It runs a "Congo Desk of the Rwandan Patriotic Army,"
which in 1999 contributed $320 million or 80 percent of the military
RWANDA-HUTU COMMON CAUSE
More unusually, Rwanda,
which said it invaded the Congo in pursuit of Hutu leaders of the 1994
genocide, was shown in the report to make common cause with the Hutu
Interahmwe, although other Hutus have been used as
Zimbabwe military and some government officials have
contended their contracts are legal payment for troops, which propped up the
The report says a network of Congolese and
Zimbabwean political military and commercial interests, including top
government officials in both countries, has transferred ownership of at least
$5 billion in assets from the state mining sector to private companies "with
no compensation or benefit for the state treasury."
"The diversion of
funds from state companies and public coffers, by fraud or under the pretext
of war efforts has contributed to eliminating funds available for public
services," the report said.
One network is run by Victor Bout, accused in
previous U.N. reports as a gun runner and diamond smuggler. He is still
operating from the United Arab Emirates, whose diamond exports to Belgium
increased to nearly $150 million in 2001 from $4.2 million in 1998, the
report said. Bout has several passports from former Soviet
Bout last year denied all allegations to a Russian radio
Among the resources in the central African nation are gold
diamonds, niobium, cassiterite, medicinal barks, cobalt, copper and coltan, a
mixture of columbite and tantalite, used in light bulb filaments and nuclear
Copyright 2002, Reuters News Service
UN report alleges violations of Zimbabwe
UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 21 - A Zimbabwean businessman was
accused by a U.N. panel on Monday of procuring military equipment from
British Aerospace in violation of European sanctions against the southern
African nation. †††††† The panel, in a report to the U.N. Security Council on
the plunder of minerals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, named
businessman John Bredenkamp as a key investor in the Aviation Consultancy
Service Company, which represents British Aerospace, Dornier of France and
Agusta of Italy in Africa. †††††† In discussions with senior Congo
officials, the report alleged he offered to mediate sales of British
Aerospace military equipment to Congo. But the panel said he procured
aircraft parts for Zimbabwe's military, which was propping up the Kinshasa
government. †††††† ''Mr. Bredenkamp's representatives claimed that his
companies observed European Union sanctions on Zimbabwe but British Aerospace
spare parts for ZDF Hawk jets were supplied early in 2002 in breach of
those sanctions,'' the panel's report said. †††††† Among other measures,
the European Union, during a violent election campaign last February,
prohibited member nations from selling Zimbabwe arms or equipment that
''could be used for internal repression.'' †††††† The U.N.-appointed panel
also recommended a travel ban and financial restrictions on 54 individuals
and 29 companies involved in criminal or illicit plundering in the
Congo. †††††† Bredenkamp and his mining company Tremalt Ltd., incorporated in
the British Virgin Islands, were both on the list. The report accused him
of paying $400,000 to the Congo government for copper and cobalt
mine concessions over 25 years, worth at least $1 billion. †††††† In
addition to Bredenkamp the report put on its list Emmerson Dambudzo
Mnangagwa, the speaker of the Zimbabwean parliament, and his alleged allies,
Gen. Vitalis Zvinavashe Musungwa and retired Gen. Sibusio Moyo. ††††††
Under Bredenkamp's deal, Tremalt retains 32 percent of the net profits, pays
34 percent to the Congo and 34 percent to Zimbabwe. Subtracted from
Zimbabwe's share was military equipment, the report said. †††††† The panel
described exploitation of the Congo's riches by Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe,
who all had troops in the central African nation. †††††† In Zimbabwe's case,
it said, senior officers enriched themselves under the pretext of
arrangements set up to repay Zimbabwe for military services. In many cases
bribes were paid to Congo government officials for selling state-owned
companies at low cost. †††††† More recently the military established new
companies, with the knowledge of President Robert Mugabe, to defend its
long-term economic interests should troops withdraw, the report said.
Johannesburg - Deep divisions
between African countries and the West over how to deal with the current
crisis in Zimbabwe was hampering efforts to help break the political impasse
in the country, an international think-tank said this week.
latest report titled "Zimbabwe, The Politics of National Liberation and
International Division", the International Crisis Group (ICG) said the lack
of a unified response had allowed President Robert Mugabe "to believe that he
can exploit the policy fissures between the West and Africa".
Brussels-based group also pointed to the foreign media's skewed emphasis on
forced land evictions, saying that by focusing on the plight of
white commercial farmers, the media had inadvertently given Mugabe's
liberation rhetoric greater resonance in many African
"Foreign medias' emphasis on the plight of white farmers
reinforces the erroneous but widespread belief in Africa that the West is
concerned about Zimbabwe only because white property interests have been
harmed," the report said.
Critical food shortages
ICG suggested more should be made of allegations of human rights abuses, the
dismantling of democratic institutions, and the destruction of the rule of
Zimbabwe's current crisis of governance was because of its poor
economic performance in recent years and the current food shortages, the
crisis group said.
Almost six million Zimbabweans face critical food
shortages, mainly due to drought and the government's land
The report echoed concerns that the escalating economic crisis
could further destabilise the region, particularly South Africa, by driving
tens of thousands more refugees out of Zimbabwe and into neighbouring
"South Africa does not yet appear to be sufficiently convinced of
the imminence of the threat to its own stability with sufficient
energy, especially as it seems to fear the impact of Mugabe's charges that it
is in collusion with the West," the report said.
This week, South
Africa's President Thabo Mbeki said his government would continue engaging
all sectors of Zimbabwean society. However, he pointed out that Zimbabwe's
troubles and the concomitant media attention it had received had served as a
"smokescreen for those who did not want to address Africa's other
Earlier this month Zimbabwe was
replaced as deputy chair of the 14-nation Southern African Development
Community (SADC) in what diplomats considered a sign of the region's
displeasure with Mugabe's policies.
But the regional body has opposed
sanctions, which have been imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and
The crisis group called on South Africa and Nigeria to
revive efforts to negotiate an inter-party solution between the ruling
Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
recommended broader African pressure to ensure that the ruling Zanu-PF
restore the rule of law and establish conditions for free and
Furthermore, the ICG said the international response
to the crisis was still characterised by "too much bark and too little
The report suggested a much more nuanced
two-track diplomatic strategy for the United States and the European Union
"of strong and public actions to isolate the regime while quietly applying
pressure on key African states to encourage more resolute
Among the measures recommended by the ICG were targeted
sanctions that are better enforced and extended beyond Zanu-PF's leadership
to include the regime's commercial supporters and bankers and family members,
particularly those studying in the West.
The ICG also accused the
government of blatantly using emergency food aid as a political weapon
against opposition supporters.
The group recommended that food donors
shine the spotlight on the politicisation of food aid and make all food
relief conditional on ensuring that everyone receives assistance regardless
of political affiliation. - IRIN
††††† Mugabe exploiting rift over Zimbabwe, says pressure
††††† 10/21/02 9:00:55 AM (GMT +2)
††††† By Pedzisai
Ruhanya Chief Reporter
††††† DEEP divisions in the international
community about the response to Zimbabwe's crisis are playing into President
Mugabe's hands, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) has
††††† In its report released on Thursday entitled The Politics of
National Liberation and International Division, ICG said the foreign media's
emphasis on the plight of white farmers also helps the regime's liberation
rhetoric, reinforcing the erroneous but widespread belief in Africa that the
West is concerned about Zimbabwe only because white property interests have
††††† The report said the split between Africa and the
West had paralysed international efforts to help break the political impasse
in Zimbabwe before it results in widespread violence or possible state
††††† It emphasised the very real problems in Zimbabwe,
including the risks to southern African stability and rising humanitarian
costs of the crisis.
††††† Zimbabwean human rights groups are reporting
torture rates among the highest in the world, while government policies have
turned a drought into a food emergency, and the regime is blatantly using
food as a political weapon against opposition supporters, it said. †††††
The report comes hardly a week after the government banned
major international charities, Oxfam and Save the Children, from distributing
food in drought-stricken parts of Matabeleland.
††††† The two United
Kingdom organisations were banned amid allegations they were distributing
food to suspected MDC supporters in Binga and other parts of Matabeleland.
But Zanu PF, through the Grain Marketing Board, is alleged to be involved in
a food-for-votes campaign in Insiza constituency where a parliamentary
by-election is due to held at the month-end.
††††† The same strategy was
used during last month's rural district council elections. ††††† John
Prendergast, co-director of ICG's Africa programme, said: "The policy
division between the West and Africa has emboldened the ruling party and
undermined the international response to the crisis in Zimbabwe."
Among the measures recommended by ICG are targeted sanctions that are better
enforced and extended beyond Zanu PF's leadership to include the regime's
commercial supporters and bankers and family members, particularly those
studying in the West.
††††† The report also details a much more nuanced
two-track diplomatic strategy for the United States and the European Union of
strong and public actions to isolate the regime while quietly engaging with
and applying back-stage pressure on key African states and the Southern
African Development Community to encourage more resolute action.
††††† I AM fanatically attached to
teachers and their noble calling of showing all of us the light. Teachers
rank high on the list of people who really matter in life. The responsibility
to make us what we are today lay with the teachers.
††††† While I may
honour my parents for bringing me up and teaching me the basic things that a
child could be taught by his or her parents, I extend my appreciation to the
teachers who taught me at school. Those who taught me in all the learning
institutions I went through made me what I am today. They prepared me for the
††††† The aim of an education that is spearheaded by good
teachers is to make those who embrace the fight against illiteracy and
innumeracy to be good citizens. Schools of an academic nature never teach
anything bad. I do know that at school, the term "bad" is only used sparingly
as an example of something that contradicts good. I do not know if ancient
schools like Fort Hare gave lessons in violence. All I know is that schools,
through employing dedicated teachers, are sworn to producing useful
††††† When one considers that the technologically advancing
world looks forward to literate citizens, one can be easily drawn into
sympathising with the teaching fraternity.
††††† Considering what
teachers do to those who are wiling to learn, their recognition by way of a
befitting salary is most appropriate. But our teachers are given peanuts that
can best be served to monkeys.
††††† I recall that Dani Ngubeso, the
high-flying doctor of medicine who is plying his trade in South Africa, sat
side-by-side with me at primary school. He did not know that he was going to
end up being a famous doctor. Tja Butje, the one who is a teacher, was also
my classmate at secondary school. No one ever thought that he could become a
teacher. The ordinary teacher, starting from the primary school teacher,
instilled the learning discipline.
††††† The professors and doctors at
university who earn loads of money merely perfect the product of the
elementary teacher. They cannot on their own start with an illiterate person.
They want someone who has a proven record from secondary school. The
secondary school teachers also do not have a soft spot for the rudiments
of ††††† education. They accept only those students who can satisfy them
that they went through a seven-year primary school course.
Having realised that their efforts as teachers are not being
rewarded accordingly, one of the two major teachers' association called for
a nationwide teachers' strike. The employer of the teachers chose to
ignore the threat as they supposed that Joseph Chinotimba would stop the
strikes by simply invoking his right of threatening citizens. In all
fairness, the strike action by the teachers deserves the people's sympathy.
We all know how much on average teachers get. It is pathetic.
is a sad fact too that is known by most Zimbabweans that the cost of living
in this inflationary atmosphere is going up, in the process bringing down the
standard of living for most honest workers. Inflation is officially pegged at
around 140 percent, yet it could actually be running up to 200 percent. The
teachers are not immune to this cruel economic condition. If their employer
refuses to match their salaries to the animal that eats away their buying
power, the teachers have a right to take industrial action.
government is known to fear strikes. There is belief in Zanu PF that strikes
expose the weaknesses of the party. Through this belief, Zanu PF will try
hardest to thwart any strikes by government employees. It is through this
fear that the whip had to crack that loud on Raymond Majongwe of Progressive
Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ).
††††† Zanu PF was dismayed by the
success of the teachers' strike. Majongwe had to face the painful
consequences of calling a successful strike. He had to be beaten up like the
rest of those who expose the administrative weaknesses of the Zanu PF
††††† Had the strike by the teachers been a flop, the PTUZ
would have been mocked as a body that failed to get support from the
teachers. The official Press would have made a meal out of the failure.
Luckily for the strike organisers, the effects of the strike are biting.
Unfortunately, some people have to be tortured by the gestapo-like security
organisations of our country.
††††† The government should be told that
not all strikes are intended to topple it from power. People go on strike as
a last resort to make their demands felt. I know that teachers - and indeed
most of the civil servants - earn salaries that are only envied by school
pupils as pocket money. Most government employees are underpaid to the extent
that they spend most of the government's time supplementing their salaries by
engaging in underhand deals.
††††† If the government does not
understand that more strikes are on the way, then they have a problem with
vision. With such a high level of inflation and stagnant salaries, the people
may end up resorting to wildcat strikes. I know that the police and army fear
being charged for mutiny, but most are not happy. There is a big lump of
disquiet forming in the throat. There is bound to be a time when the police
and army will ignore the orders in sympathy with their own
††††† In order to address the bleak situation, the government
has so many alternatives to choose from. The government can choose to fire
all the striking teachers as a lesson to others who might want to go on
strike. If the government does this, there will have a problem in finding
suitable replacements. The training of Border Gezi "graduates" to become
teachers may not cope for immediate needs.
††††† The government can
also choose to send the army and police to arrest all the striking teachers
with orders to "shoot to kill" anyone who tries to run away. If this happens,
the government will lose all the little credibility that it has left. This
choice may appeal to Zanu PF, but they may not embrace it for obvious
††††† The next choice is to ignore the striking teachers. This
may be known as "doing the doctors" in recognition of the silence with which
some doctors ' strike was solved some time back. The Zanu PF government will
not take this stance as it feels that silence is not its cup of tea. The
government spokesman trading with the name Jonathan will find something to
††††† The other choice that the government can take is to address
the situation head-on. This time around the government should realise
that partial appeasement of certain government ministries is the worst manner
of juggling staff salaries' problems.
††††† Perhaps the government
will care to work on its economic policies in order to arrest
††††† It is time the government understood that those workers
who dance in front of cameras are genuinely hungry.
††††† Give the
teachers and everyone else a living salary.
††††† Plans are still underway to give Meryl Harrison the
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Overseas
Gallantry Award. The decision was made by the UK-based RSPCA International
Committee on 19 June this year.
††††† Their spokesperson, Tracey
Clarke, said the award will be given to Harrison by the RSPCA International
Department in South Africa.
††††† Clarke said Harrison was being honoured
for her considerable courage and disregard for personal safety in the cause
of animal welfare. ††††† The award consists of a certificate and a
††††† Clarke said no Overseas Gallantry award was made last
year. She said: "In fact, the last time the award was given was in 1998, to
Mr John Walsh of the World Society for the Protection of
††††† "The award was given in recognition of his work over 35
years in promoting animal welfare internationally, often at great risk, in
disaster aid programmes such as in Bosnia during the civil war in 1992, in
Kobe, Japan after the earthquake in 1995, and in Montserrat following the
volcano eruption in 1997. He accepted the award in recognition of all the
people he had worked with in disaster aid programmes."
said RSPCA officials in the UK were finalising the date and location of where
in South Africa the award would be presented to Meryl Harrison.
Dongo was 100 percent right when she labelled the then entire Zanu PF
parliamentarians as "Mugabe's wives" some years ago. No one in Zanu PF
questions President Mugabe's dictatorial tendencies even though his policies
ruin the former jewel of Africa. Instead they cheer and even hero-worship
††††† Every day they parade themselves defending the evil
deeds of "the dear leader" and party claiming to be championing the people's
causes - what people's causes?
††††† People are dying of hunger, while
the government and Zanu PF take no notice. They are always busy fattening
their pockets and claiming that Zimbabwe is heaven on earth.
is now very clear that Zanu PF does not have the interests of the people at
heart as it claims through its propaganda machinery of the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation, The Herald, The Sunday Mail and
††††† Zanu PF is assisting Mugabe to plunder this
country's resources, and at this rate of destruction, they won't be any
Zimbabwe to talk of in the next five years.
††††† Surely one day, all
the geriatrics will be brought to book by none other than the people whom
this government is abusing on a daily basis.
††††† Mugabe has surrounded
himself with non-constituency ministers in order to prolong his time in
power. He knows that these hand-picked ministers will not question his
authority. He has virtually kicked out all the people who participated in the
armed struggle or anyone who might pose a threat to his rule.
The so-called war cabinet is composed of people who dance to their master's
tune. We have all seen how the ministers and others are frothing at the mouth
to please and defend the government. No one thinks for himself in Zanu PF.
Mugabe thinks for them all.
††††† Life under the colonial ruler Ian Smith
was far much better than Mugabe's government. Repressive laws are enacted to
silence dissenting voices. There is no room for opposition.
government is fond of blaming everyone except itself for all the mayhem and
chaos that it has created in the past 22 years of
††††† One day people will say enough is enough
and reclaim their power. There are no men in Zanu PF - all are women except
NUMBER of Harare residents have implored the government to temporarily
suspend the laws governing imports of basic commodities in bulk so as to ease
the burden caused by the current shortages.
Guvaravo, a Marlborough resident, said it would be sensible for the
government to allow ordinary citizens to bring in large quantities of scarce
goods for personal consumption without facing the duties and tariffs traders
are charged. He said, "We are in a crisis right now and therefore we must
react accordingly. Current laws must be adequately relaxed until the crisis
is over." A Tynwald woman, who preferred anonymity, said border towns such as
Messina were close enough to Zimbabwe to make it viable for her to travel
there over a weekend and buy what she needed. "Let those who have the money
go ahead and import household necessities that can last up to three or four
months. I don't see what the problem is," she said. Ruwadzano Gombe, from
Eastlea, said if such a thing were allowed, the pressure on the domestic
suppliers would be greatly alleviated.
††††† Gombe said, "Though it may
seem negligible, it leaves more opportunity for those of us who cannot afford
to go to South Africa to access the commodities here." He added, "After all,
it is these rich people who clear the shelves when they buy in bulk here. Let
them buy from outside while we buy here." However, the Consumer Council of
Zimbabwe (CCZ) expressed doubts about the feasibility of the idea saying it
would cause problems on a number of fronts. Victor Chisi, the CCZ's senior
manager, said, "Firstly we will have to ascertain whether or not these
foreign goods fit Zimbabwean standards of consumption." He also noted that it
would be difficult for immigration officials to differentiate between bulk
buyers for personal use and those buying with the purpose of reselling in
Zimbabwe. Chisi said: "Maybe to a certain level it will be a manageable
initiative. But it can threaten the viability of indigenous producers and
††††† THE High Court has ordered the Registrar-General, Tobaiwa
Mudede, to direct constituency registrars countrywide to secure all ballot
papers and counterfoils used during the March presidential election in
separate sealed packets and surrender the material together with all voters'
rolls used in the election to him for safe custody.
Lavender Makoni made the ruling in Chambers last week, pending the
determination of an urgent chamber application made by the MDC leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai, for a provisional order to compel Mudede to surrender all ballot
boxes and relevant election material used in the presidential election to a
place in Harare to be determined by the court.
represented by Advocate Adrian de Bourbon instructed by Bryant Elliot of
Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans, said he had reasonable fears that Mudede was not
complying with provisions of Section 78 of the Electoral Act which deals with
the security of election residue and had caused "material prejudice" in
Tsvangirai's election petition to have the results of the presidential
election set aside.
††††† "The documents are central to the allegations
of irregularities and corrupt practices ††††† referred to in my election
petition," Tsvangirai said in his founding affidavit. "I therefore need to
urgently ascertain whether the respondent has complied with the said court
orders and said Section 78 of the Act and to ensure that the documents are
forthwith preserved in accordance with the law."
††††† Mudede said in
his opposing papers submitted by Loyce Matanda-Moyo of the Attorney-General's
office, the election residue was safe and secure and was being guarded "round
the clock on a daily basis in the respective constituencies".
said there were no reasonable grounds submitted by Tsvangirai to suggest that
he was flagrantly flouting orders by the High Court not to destroy ballot
††††† "The allegations raised here are based on baseless fears
and are mere speculation," Mudede said.
††††† He said bringing the
material to Harare would be "prohibitively too expensive and unnecessary" as
money would be required to cover travel and subsistence fees for constituency
registrars and staff transporting the material, travel costs and storage
costs for the material.
††††† "Election material for the past
presidential, parliamentary and by-elections have always been kept by the
relevant and respective constituency registrars in the 120 constituencies,"
Mudede said. "We do not see why the election residue for the 2002
presidential election should be treated differently."
††††† TWENTY-FIVE teachers who fled their schools in Gwanda
North from marauding Zanu PF militias a fortnight ago, say they were told
their security could only be guaranteed if they joined the ruling
††††† Although a junior minister said their safety would be
guaranteed only if they joined Zanu PF, the teachers say they are not certain
about their security.
††††† The teachers, all from schools around the
Gwanda North constituency, met Abednico Ncube, the Deputy Minister of Foreign
Affairs, and high ranking Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture regional
officials at St Christopher's primary school last Monday. ††††† The
meeting was held after the officials offered to mediate to get the teachers
back to work.
††††† One teacher, who attended the meeting, said although
the key issue of their return to their posts was resolved, they were fearful
that their personal safety was not guaranteed. They felt they were still not
safe from attacks by Zanu PF youth brigade members.
conditions of our return are that we should not preach politics and we are
all being ordered to support Zanu PF.
††††† "No one feels secure because
Ncube said clearly that the party is still watching us. Some of us, notably
David Magagula and Kenneth Page of Mzimuni Secondary School, feel that our
jobs are on the line since the deputy minister instructed the regional
director to see to it that they are dismissed from service," said the
††††† Ncube is reported to have declared the two teachers
"undesirables" who should be removed from their schools.
Magagula is a renowned Ndebele novelist and the author of Ndebele grammar
textbooks being used in all primary schools.
††††† "If you want to teach,
stop preaching politics," Ncube is reported to have said. "If you want to be
in politics, join Zanu PF because it is the government. If you want to join
another party, wait until it is in government."
††††† Some teachers
were accused of holding posts for the MDC in their areas. ††††† The source
said although there were more threats than resolutions at the meeting, all
the affected teachers had returned to their stations for fear of being
attacked again if they failed to heed Zanu PF orders.
††††† The teachers
were ordered out of their stations at the height of Zanu PF's crackdown on
civil servants accused of supporting MDC activities in their areas
††††† MDC councillor, 21 activists face POSA
††††† 10/21/02 9:07:32 AM (GMT +2)
††††† From Our
Correspondent in Bulawayo
††††† TWENTY-ONE Lupane District MDC supporters
who include Themba Dlomo, a winning district councillor in the recent
elections, have been charged under the Public Order and Security Act
††††† The arrests followed the violence after an alleged kidnap
attempt on the councillor by suspected Zanu PF retribution
††††† Kenny Gwaza, an MDC activist in the area, said the 21 were
arrested last Saturday after clashes that occurred after they foiled an
attempt by Zanu PF supporters to snatch the councillor. The Zanu PF
supporters have been camped in the Mzola ward since the MDC won the council
††††† Gwaza said: "Trouble started on Thursday when Zanu PF youths
and war veterans came to disrupt a meeting called by the councillor. After
failing to stop people from attending the meeting, the war veterans camped
near his home. On Saturday, they moved in, threatening to grab and kill him,
but villagers rushed to his aid."
††††† Serious clashes followed, and
Zanu PF members were beaten back. Police intervened and arrested people from
both sides and took them to the Lupane police camp. However, all Zanu PF
supporters were released the same day, but those branded MDC supporters were
locked up in the cells until they appeared in court on Friday They were not
asked to plead, but were remanded in custody to 29 October for
††††† He said they had been transferred to police cells at
Hwange. Apart from Councillor Dlomo, the other detainees are Ethel Ndiweni,
51, Clement Masango, 39, Mthandazo Ndlovu, 59, Thandazani Moyo, 16, Crema
Sibanda, 19, Thulani Mlotshwa, 25, Anthony Dlomo, 46, Ndumiso Ndlovu, 22,
Mpumelelo Nyoni 18, Nkosilathi Sibanda, 17, Hlanganani Dube,19, Sikhanyisiwe
Sibanda, 20, Johnson Sibanda, 56, Mandla Nyoni, 27, Msongelwa Ncube, 37,
Marko Gumbo, 62, Roger Ndlovu, 66, Bruce Dlomo, 28,and Hebron Ndlovu,
††††† A 16-year-old Zenzele secondary school pupil is among the
group. Efforts by relatives to establish the exact whereabouts of the group
were fruitless, despite constant assurances by Hwange police that they
would provide them with information.
††††† The arrests bring to 46 the
number of MDC supporters being held in police or remanded out of police
custody in Matabeleland region since 14 October. Fifteen members of the MDC
campaign team in the Insiza constituency of Matabeleland South were on Friday
remanded out of custody on $ 5 000 bail each. They include Charles Mpofu, the
MDC campaign manager, and Wilson Phiri, the election agent of Siyabonga
Ncube, the MDC candidate in the by-election.
††††† They were all
barred by a court from entering Insiza district until after the 26-27 October
by-election. They were ordered to report to their nearest police station
††††† Their arrest followed a shooting incident in which
Andrew Langa, the Zanu PF candidate, allegedly shot and wounded Darlington
Kadengu, 23, an MDC campaign activist, on 15 October.
††††† DOZENS of war veterans and graduates from the Border Gezi
National Training Centre on Friday disrupted the swearing in of councillors
at Binga and barred people from entering the council premises.
The rowdy group besieged the Binga Rural District Council offices early in
the morning, singing songs in support of the ruling party, Zanu PF. Some were
reportedly toyi-toying outside the office.
††††† Shadreck Mudhimba, the
council's chief executive officer, could not be reached for comment as he was
not answering his telephone. He was supposed to have sworn-in the
††††† The councillors were also expected to elect a
chairman. The police, who refused to comment, watched the group from a
††††† Binga is the only constituency in the country where the
opposition MDC grabbed the highest number of wards. Out of the 21 wards the
MDC won 16 and Zanu PF the rest.
††††† Zanu PF has banned a United
Kingdom-based non-governmental organisation, Save The Children from
distributing food aid in the district, alleging the NGO was responsible for
the MDC victory.
††††† The halt in the food supplies has exacerbated the
food situation in Binga amid reports that two villagers have died of
††††† JOURNALISTS working for
Zimbabwe's privately-owned newspapers have taken a decision to apply for
accreditation in terms of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act (AIPPA) and to challenge the draconian legislation and embark on a
programme of protest thereafter.
††††† This course of action was
adopted at a controversial meeting held in Harare on Saturday. The meeting,
which was organised by the Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute of
Southern Africa (MISA), was attended by more than 100 journalists from all
over the country. Representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
and students from the Division of Mass Communications at the Harare
Polytechnic also attended. Representatives of the NGO community had applied
pressure on the journalists to adopt a more defiant course of action and
refuse to apply for accreditation, as such accreditation would be construed
as support for and lend credibility to an unjust piece of
††††† Lawyer and political activist Brian Kagoro, who
chaired the meeting, went beyond his brief and openly campaigned for
defiance, much to the annoyance of some of the journalists, who questioned
afterwards why the MISA executive had chosen a lawyer and well-known
political activist to chair a meeting where a crucial decision to do with the
future of the journalism profession and the welfare on the independent Press
was to be decided. They also criticised Kagoro's behaviour in openly
campaigning for a particular course of action and not another, and in trying
to influence the outcome of the meeting. Kagoro imposed on the meeting his
own decision that participants should vote by a show of hands. This procedure
was questioned afterwards by some journalists, together with Kagoro's
decision to allow students from the Polytechnic, who are not practising
journalists and who, along with the NGO community, had only an academic
interest in the proceedings on Saturday.
††††† It was felt that these
people were not really affected by the government's campaign to kill the
private Press. Despite the strong opposition on the part of Kagoro and the
NGO community, the journalists decided they would register, but that they
would do so under protest and then demonstrate against "an unjust law". The
meeting was held to decide on the way forward ahead of the 31 October
deadline for journalists to be accredited by the Tafataona Mahoso-led Media
Commission. Ironically, Mahoso is the head of the Division of Mass
Communication at the Harare Polytechnic, which trains the country's
journalists, including those students attending Saturday's
††††† According to AIPPA, which was crafted by Information and
Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo, every media organisation must pay $500 000
to register with Mahoso's commission while journalists must fork out $6 000
to get accreditation. In terms of the new legislation, media
organisations cannot employ journalists who are not accredited with the
commission. Privately-owned newspaper publishing companies, the obvious
targets of the new legislation, risk being shut down if they break the law by
failing to register or by employing journalists who are not accredited. Abel
Mutsakani, the president of the Independent Journalists' Association of
Zimbabwe, and Geoffrey Nyarota, the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily News, who
attended in his capacity as chairman of the Zimbabwe National Editors' Forum,
said it was more prudent in the circumstances for journalists to accredit and
then protest and continue to challenge the legislation , especially in
the courts. Mutsakani has already spearheaded a challenge of AIPPA in
the Supreme Court.
††††† Nyarota told the meeting on Saturday: "The
government and Zanu PF feel threatened by the emergence on a vibrant and
independent privately-owned press. As a result, they have harassed, arrested
and subjected journalists to violence. "Journalists have even been threatened
with death. Newspapers have been seized and burnt. Newspapers have been
banned in the rural areas and small urban centres. Newspaper offices and a
press have been bombed on three occasions. Because journalists have remained
defiant the government has now resorted to the use of unjust laws as part of
a strategy to muzzle the private press. Nyarota said muzzling or silencing
the press was obviously main objective of AIPPA. "The editors of the private
newspapers obviously do not support the legislation," he said. "They have so
far been the major targets of AIPPA, after all. But we realise that if we do
not register then we are giving Jonathan Moyo victory on a
††††† "The journalists are more strategically positioned if they
fight AIPPA from their offices and newsrooms than if they campaign through
demonstrating in Africa Unity Square after losing their jobs. Can we expect
The Herald and ZBC to champion our campaign after The Daily News, The
Financial Gazette, The Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard have been
closed?. "Our pens are our voice and we must, at all costs, not lose that
voice." If the journalists registered the public would continue to benefit
from reading the independent newspapers, Nyarota said. "In the event of our
not registering and our media houses being shut down, the poor masses will be
reduced again to being informed only by ZBC and The Herald and The
[This report does not
necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
October (IRIN) - A Zimbabwean state-owned newspaper last week carried a
controversial cartoon which attempted to extol the merits of agrarian reform in
a country with an economy setting record lows.
In the first scene, a
Zimbabwean man who had gone abroad in search of a better life reassures an
elderly white lady in a nursing home who has soiled herself that he will take
care of the situation. In the second scenario, a newly settled farmer sits
behind his desk, jacket and tie on, congratulating himself for having stayed at
home and farmed.
The cartoon's message - have faith and benefit from
government policy - tallied with President Robert Mugabe's campaign slogan that
"the economy is land and land is the economy". However, with under a month to go
before the beginning of the new planting season, analysts have warned that
Zimbabwe's agarian reforms are in deep trouble.
"Instead of moving
towards economic prosperity, the land reform programme is taking us in exactly
the opposite direction. While there is a consensus that land should be equitably
distributed for the decongestion of communal lands and poverty reduction, the
government has rendered agrarian reform an empty paradigm through its policy
bankruptcy," charged economist John Robertson.
In theory, the government's reform programme aimed at
tackling the imbalance in land ownership between a small but wealthy mainly
white commercial farming sector, and historically disadvantanged black
Zimbabweans. But there are widespread fears that a lack of tillage preparedness
will hurt next year's harvests and the fortunes of the new black farmers, even
if the country enjoys a normal rainy season after this year's drought.
District Development Fund statistics show there are 600 tractors
available for the national tillage programme, but more than half the fleet is
reportedly grounded due to the shortage of foreign currency needed to buy spare
parts. In spite of its promise, the government has not yet made available 400
additional tractors for the small-scale farmers who depend on state aid. The
shortage of tractors has been reportedly compounded by a lack of fuel to run
"The situation is worsened by the fact there is insufficient
draught power," said Collin Cloete, the president of the white-dominated
Commercial Farmers Union. "The national herd of cattle has been reduced from 1.1
million to between 20,000 and 40,000," he added, partly as a result of white
farmers evicted from their farms slaughtering their cattle.
drought, as well as foot-and-mouth outbreaks in some provinces, have also led to
a drastic fall in the number of cattle communal farmers own. This loss will mean
that the newly resettled farmers, who traditionally depend on cattle and donkeys
for ploughing, will find it difficult to make maximum use of their
Some farmers who have been resettled under the A1 model, which is
meant mostly for subsistence farming, have registered their displeasure with the
lack of tillage facilities. The A2 model is meant for commercial
farming. † "I was given 15 acres [6 hectares] under the resettlement
programme but had only one acre [0.4 hectares] tilled last year. I had to let
most of the land I was allocated lie idle for the rest of the year because I did
not have the means to plough it," explained Joramu Chikowore, a resettled
Chikowore is one of the 330,000 beneficiaries of agrarian reform
under the A1 programme. He got his piece of land in Mashonaland West province's
Banket area, a bastion of commercial maize, tobacco and wheat cultivation before
the government's fast-track land reform programme.†
blessed with rich red soils, used to commit about 16,000 hectares of land to
wheat alone. However, land under wheat was reduced to less than 6,000 last year,
with agricultural experts forecasting a further reduction this year.
Tobacco production, Zimbabwe's main foreign exchange earner, is
projected to drop by 40 percent over last year's production, according to
Christopher Vambe, the vice-chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Tobacco
"Most new farmers do not have the capacity to grow
tobacco and they have not been given the proper training. In addition barn
facilities for flue-cured tobacco are not sufficient. Those available can only
cater for 33 hectares of tobacco instead of the normal 56 hectares," Vambe said
at ZATG's first annual congress last Tuesday.
LACK OF FUNDS
president of the Indigenous Commercial Farmers Union, John Mautsa, said that in
order to help his members buy inputs, the union had tried to form an
organisation that would pool resources. However, "the company has not yet taken
off because we do not have the means to do so," he told IRIN.
rains arrive and we have done nothing, just like last year, we will be forced to
abandon most of our plots and that might mean more hunger for us. We will also
be unable to sell anything," an unsettled Chikowore said.
planting season comes at a time when prices of inputs have increased sharply.
Recently, the government gazetted new prices for maize, groundnut and sunflower
seed. The prices leaped by an average of 120 percent late last month. A 25 kg
bag of maize seed now costs Zim $4,280 (US $78 at the official rate), up from
Zim $1,946 (US $35), while a 10 kg bag rose from Zim $806 to Zim $1,773.
Groundnut and sunflower seed prices shot up by more than 150
Given the long-running erosion of people's purchasing power,
many resettled families may not be able to buy enough seed for
Petronella Chisvo, a war veteran who was resettled about 70 km
north of Harare, told IRIN: "My husband, who works in Harare, is currently
struggling to pay school fees for three of our children who are still going to
school. His salary is meagre and he can hardly afford to buy us such basic
commodities like bread, sugar, mealie-meal and salt. Where are we going to get
the money for the seeds?"
Concerned that poverty among his members may
prevent them from taking full advantage of the fast-track scheme, Mautsa
suggested the government should subsidise farmers' production costs, while at
the same time announcing new pre-planting prices for crops to act as an
However, Robertson said that would be a mistake. "Subsidising
farmers is an ideal that the government cannot achieve. Subsidies are extremely
expensive and it takes a rich country to manage them," he said, adding that it
would be fiscally unsupportable given the state of Zimbabwe's "pathetic
Even the war veterans who gained notoriety for leading the
invasions of commercial farms have signalled concern about the fast-track
programme. Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans'
Association (ZNLWVA) Andy Mhlanga, has called for the government to do more to
secure the success of the programme.
"The evidence on the ground shows
that the government needs to move faster," said Mhlanga, who also bemoaned the
lack of inputs and implements on farms.
ZNLWVA has launched a land audit
to run parallel with a government initiative introduced earlier this year to
establish how land had been allocated. The veterans, who were promised 20
percent of the total resettlement land in 1997, have reportedly accused top
government officials of multiple farm ownership at the expense of the intended
The take-up rate of farm plots by approved beneficiaries
in both the A1 and A2 schemes has been disappointing for land reform proponents.
According to official figures, only about 50 percent of the new farmers had
moved onto their plots by the end of September 2002.
and provincial governor for Mashonaland Central, Elliot Manyika, recently said
that financial constraints barred many families from moving to their plots, as
some would have to travel long distances.
Manyika also said some family
heads were not willing to leave the graves of their relatives unattended. Other
would-be beneficiaries were reportedly discouraged because they would not have
access to the schools and hospitals on the new farms that they enjoyed in their
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Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU) says farmers are still queuing for seed despite
increases in seed prices effected last month.
††††† Seed prices were
increased by between 120 and 375 percent last month. There was shortage of
seed on the market prior to these price increases. Seed companies were
holding on to their seed as they waited for a price review which had last
been effected in June 2001.
††††† ZFU director, Sylvester Tsikisayi, said
in an interview: "Some of the seed houses have suspended open sales because
they say they have to service the government input credit
††††† "Where there is seed farmers continue to queue." Tsikisayi
said he was concerned that the seed supply situation remained critical at a
time when most small-scale and communal farmers buy their seed. The
government has set aside about $8,5 billion for its input credit scheme and
seed companies began processing the huge order only a month ago.
Tsikisayi said the ZFU was consulting the government to seek the way forward
as many farmers who were buying seed on their individual capacity were
struggling to access inputs in time.
††††† Less than 30 percent of
communal and small-scale farmers in the country have access to the government
input credit scheme and this means that most farmers buy the seed on their
††††† Responding to the seed situation, SeedCo, the country's
largest seed producer confirmed that it had been requested by the government
to commit a certain quantity of its products for the government crop input
programme. The company could not say how many tonnes of seed were being set
aside for the input scheme but said it was still working out modalities of
the exercise, including exact quantities.
††††† The company said:
"While SeedCo has been working to distribute seed into the trade, the huge
appetite for seed products that had built up over the past couple of months
has resulted in shelves being emptied very quickly.
††††† "On the
other hand, the huge demand for seed both from retail trade and farmers and
the need to balance requirements for the government programme has resulted in
delays in some outlets receiving their orders."
††††† The company said
there were adequate seed stocks to meet farmers' needs for the 2002/2003
growing season when all distribution was completed through the government
input programme and traditional retail sales.
††††† Zimbabwe has enough
seed of the staple food crop, maize. Available figures from the Seed
Production and Trade Committee show that the seed demand for maize hybrid
this year would be a record high of 40,000 tonnes and this was against
available stocks of 47,518 tonnes. This leaves a surplus of 7,518
††††† A total of 4 000 tonnes of hybrid maize and 3 000 tonnes of
open pollinated maize varieties have been authorised for export.
Elisabeth Mahoney Monday
October 21, 2002 The Guardian
With Amnesty International concerned
about how the war on terrorism may include a tightening of freedom of
expression, the World Service's current Banned season makes involving radio.
Yesterday's Play of the Week - Workshop Negative was especially so, focusing
as it does on what follows regime change in a nation scarred by bloody
conflict. Here, in Cont Mhlanga's play, written five years after
Zimbabwean independence in 1980, those conflicts are racial and political,
and deeply embedded in the national psyche. Mhlanga wrote the play to air the
issues that everyone was talking about in private, but was too afraid to
raise publicly: "Revolutionary leaders getting real corrupt", he said, in
an introduction to the drama, "but they're all too scared to say it. I
thought theatre should come in and say those things".
government disagreed. After the play toured the country to great acclaim,
Workshop Negative was banned in 1986. Furthermore, everyone involved in the
production was intimidated. Mhlanga was detained and interrogated, and
narrowly escaped having the fingers on his writing hand amputated as
The drama itself does pose vexed questions, and pulls no
punches in its analysis of post-independence Zimbabwe. Corruption is rife,
black people are fighting black people, socialism is being replaced by
rampant, vicious capitalism, and nobody is being brave. Three characters (a
white worker, a black worker and a workshop owner) represent the society in
Between them, they voice wildly divergent viewpoints, each
finding the other to be the problem. The black workshop owner blames
socialism; the white worker blames his black colleagues ("he's black, you're
black, you speak the same language and you fight each other like animals"),
and the black idealist (played by Mhlanga) blames the system ("black or
white: fight the exploiters"). What will have been most galling to the
government was that the play ends optimistically, with a refuting of the
differences that feed oppression.
Shhh. Here comes Mike Figgis and his
Private Passions (Radio 3). "My tendency," he explained to a slightly
startled sounding Michael Berkeley, "would be to choose 10 very, very slow
pieces of music, all funereal and gloomy and depressing." Berkeley restrained
Figgis, who had turned up with cases and cases of misery ("we've had to put
the iron claws around your chest"), but all the director wanted was music
that "disturbs you in some ways and takes you to a place you're not quite in
control of, and a place perhaps you wouldn't have gone without the music" -
rather like the Banned season, in fact.
††† Appeal to President Mbeki on African Day on Human and People's
Rights ††††† Amnesty, Mon 21 Oct 2002 ††††† AMNESTY
††††† Open Letter
††††† Embargo Date: 21 October
2002 00:01 GMT ††††† Zimbabwe: Appeal to President Mbeki on African Day on
Human and Peoples Rights
††††† To mark African Day on Human and
Peoples' Rights on 21 October, Amnesty International's Secretary General,
Irene Khan, has written to South African President Thabo Mbeki expressing the
organization's concern regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in
Zimbabwe. Over 13,500 people from 126 countries signed an Amnesty
International petition in support of the call for action from President
Mbeki. ††††† Open letter from the Secretary General of Amnesty International
to the President of South Africa on the occasion of African Day on Human
and Peoples' Rights21 October 2002 ††††† Dear Mr. President,
On the occasion of the 16th anniversary of the coming into force of the
African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, I would like to express my deep
concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe. Amnesty
International warmly welcomes South Africa's influential role in helping to
mediate the crisis thus far, noting in particular South
Africa's participation in the Commonwealth troika and your role as current
Chair of the African Union. However, Amnesty International believes that
African leaders, including your government, need to intensify efforts to
publicly signal to the Zimbabwean government that human rights violations
including those perpetrated by "militia" linked to the state, are
unacceptable and to remind them that these acts are in clear violation of the
human rights principles enshrined in the African Charter.
recently through the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (NEPAD), African leaders reaffirmed their commitment to take
effective and concrete measures to promote principles of human rights. The
NEPAD Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance,
which South Africa played a key role in drafting, promoted the principle of
peer review and formally recognized the need for regional accountability. The
disparity between the principles enshrined in the African Charter and the
NEPAD Declaration, and the reality of human rights violations in Zimbabwe
creates an urgent need for effective peer review in practice. The test is
whether the good intentions of NEPAD and the African Union can be realized as
a new dawn for human rights protection in Africa, particularly in countries
like Zimbabwe, where human rights are constantly under attack.
Amnesty International has been monitoring closely the human rights situation
in Zimbabwe. In June 2002, Amnesty International published a report entitled
Zimbabwe: The toll of impunity (AI Index: AFR 46/034/2002), a copy of which
was sent to you and other members of the South African Government. The report
surveyed the range of human rights concerns which Amnesty International has
documented in Zimbabwe, particularly over the past two years. As the report
indicates, there is a serious level of human rights violations occurring in
Zimbabwe including extrajudicial executions, torture, and denial of the
rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
According to the latest figures released by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO
Forum, approximately 58 politically-motivated killings and over 1,050 cases
of torture have been reported in 2002 alone. Furthermore, the conduct of the
country-wide local council elections recently held in late September 2002
indicates that the pattern observed in other elections of state-sponsored
threats, intimidation and attacks on opposition supporters in the run-up to
and during elections continues. According to the MDC, approximately half of
the MDC candidates who intended to contest the elections were allegedly
unable to, largely in response to threats, intimidation and violence
perpetrated by government authorities and state-sponsored 'militia'. These
events confirm that conditions for elections free from violence and
intimidation do not exist in Zimbabwe, and that grave human rights violations
continue to occur: ††††† Political manipulation of the police ††††† The
investigation and prosecution of suspected state-sponsored perpetrators of
human rights violations continue to be blocked by the political misuse of the
police. The Zimbabwean government has undermined the effectiveness of the
police, and distorted their professional role as impartial protectors of the
community. This is evident in incidents which show their collusion with
"militias" or at the very least their acquiescence in the face of "militia"
assaults; the failure to bring to justice those responsible for this
violence; and the failure to bring to justice police officers who are
colluding with or acquiescing in violations by the "militias".
Not only have the police consistently failed to take adequate steps
to prevent incidents of violence and arrest those responsible, they have
also been directly involved as perpetrators by carrying out arbitrary
arrests, beatings and torture during the past two years.
climate of impunity persists as police, apparently under
political instructions, fail to arrest and investigate those who commit human
rights violations. The terrible consequences for victims of this situation
is compounded by the impunity enjoyed by police who commit human
rights violations without fear of being held accountable. ††††† Erosion of
the independence of the judiciary and circumvention of
its effectiveness ††††† The judiciary has a crucial role to play in
enforcing the law and ending impunity for suspected perpetrators of human
rights violations in Zimbabwe. However, Government attempts to harass and
intimidate magistrates, and force out judges perceived to be critical of
state policy, undermine the role of the judiciary, erode confidence in its
decisions and damage it as an institution.
††††† Several attacks on
local magistrates have taken place in response to judgements they have made.
For example, Godfrey Gwaka, the magistrate for Zaka district, Masvingo
province, was stabbed on 26 August 2002 at Zaka service centre. It is
suspected that the attack is related to judgements made by Godfrey Gwaka
which were allegedly perceived to be in support of opposition
††††† The government also continues its campaign of harassing
senior judges as witnessed most recently by the arrest on 13 September 2002
of retired High Court Judge Fergus Blackie on charges relating to
alleged irregularities in his handling of an appeal case prior to retirement.
Judge Blackie was released on bail, however the charges have not been
dropped. Amnesty International fears that the real motivation for his arrest
stems from his ruling on 17 July 2002 that Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister
of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, was guilty of two counts
of contempt of court. Judge Blackie is the sixth judge to leave the bench
since 2001. His departure highlights the government's ongoing efforts
to intimidate the judiciary. Judges who have shown any sign of
judicial independence have been threatened with investigation and
disciplinary action for supposed misconduct. ††††† Evasion of justice
through the granting of presidential amnesties, clemencies and
indemnities ††††† The continued issuing of presidential pardons benefiting
perpetrators of human rights violations represents a lost chance for justice
and for breaking the cycle of impunity that has plagued Zimbabwe for decades.
By formalizing impunity for gross human rights abuses, presidential
clemency orders have encouraged state agents to continue to commit or condone
human rights violations in the knowledge that they will not be held
responsible for such crimes by the government. The most recent clemency order
was granted in 2000 following the parliamentary elections. However the
pattern stretches back to before independence, creating a longstanding
climate of impunity for perpetrators. These orders are a breach of
international human rights law. They allow perpetrators to escape justice,
deprive victims of access to any remedies and leave the society as a whole
vulnerable to a cycle of violence. ††††† Obscuring the identification of
the state's agents in perpetrating human rights violations ††††† In an
attempt to escape accountability for human rights violations, the Zimbabwean
government uses its "militias" to abduct and torture individuals who are
known or suspected supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party, including people who acted as polling agents or stood as
MDC candidates in recent elections. The evidence in cases documented by
Amnesty International as well as local human rights organizations shows a
clear link between the "militia", the government and the ruling
††††† The "militia" groups constitute a powerful weapon for
suppressing any form of political opposition. They are allowed to operate
without interference. They appear to enjoy logistical support from government
and party agents. Documented acts of torture and assault, as well as rape
and other forms of sexual violence, committed by "militias" as groups
or individuals, have clearly occurred in a context of
state-sanctioned violence. In allowing these abuses to occur, the Zimbabwean
government is flouting Zimbabwe's Constitution and evading its obligations
under international human rights law. ††††† Attacks on human rights
defenders and the independent media ††††† The increasing clampdown on
Zimbabwe's independent media and human rights NGOs is indicative of the
government's efforts to silence the media and prevent the investigation and
publication of human rights violations. Since the enactment of the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act on 15 March 2002, at least 16
journalists have been arrested for allegedly contravening various sections of
the Act. On 29 August 2002, the Harare office of Voice of the People, one of
Zimbabwe's two independent broadcasting organizations, was bombed by unknown
††††† On 29 August 2002, Dr. Frances Lovemore, Medical
Director of Amani Trust, a leading human rights and service organization in
Zimbabwe, was arrested in Harare and charged with "publishing or
communicating false statements prejudicial to the state". The charge stemmed
from press reports which referred to Amani Trust's work with victims of
torture and politically motivated rape in Zimbabwe. The offices of Amani
Trust were raided and searched by police. Police also initially obstructed
access to Dr. Lovemore by her family and lawyer. Dr. Lovemore was released
the next day and all charges against her dropped due to insufficient
††††† On 13 September 2002, the government issued a public
notice advising NGOs to register with the government as per Section 6 of the
Private Voluntary Organizations (PVO) Act. The notice warns that those NGOs
which continue to operate without being registered risk prosecution. Although
the PVO Act was enacted in 1997, it has not been fully enforced.
Given increasing state repression of freedom of expression and assembly
in Zimbabwe, Amnesty International is concerned that this recent notice
signals intensified efforts on the part of the government to silence
organizations perceived to be critical of the state.
††††† Based on
this, Amnesty International therefore urges African leaders including from
South Africa to take a more public stand in condemning state sponsored
repression and violence in Zimbabwe. I believe that a stronger stand by South
Africa, along with other leaders from the African Union and the Southern
African Development Community is vital to ending impunity in Zimbabwe and to
protecting the human rights of all Zimbabwean citizens. I therefore once
again call on your government to use its highly influential voice to
encourage the Zimbabwean authorities to bring an end to human rights
violations perpetrated by the government.
††††† Irene Khan ††††† Secretary General
††††† For more information
please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20
††††† Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW.
MASS. - If the US persists in enforcing regime change in Iraq, why not do so
in every country where the ruler is odious and grossly mistreats his or her
people? ††††† Among the many possible candidates for regime change are the
cruel despots of Belarus, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea,
Liberia, North Korea, the Sudan, and Zimbabwe. If intervening in Iraq might
take a few weeks and 400,000 troops, ousting some of these less
formidable oppressors might need as little as a lunch hour and a small
detachment of marines.
††††† Admittedly, Iraq is in a category of its
own. Intelligence suggests that it possesses biological and chemical weapons
capacity, and, once it secures fissile material, might be able to construct a
nuclear device. Aside from North Korea, none of these other places harbors
weapons of mass destruction.
††††† Yet, in each case, these rulers
possess and have used weapons of destruction against their own people,
causing the immiseration of millions. President Charles Taylor in Liberia,
for example, has long embroiled his country and neighboring Guinea and Sierra
Leone in crippling wars. The military rulers of Burma have insistently
employed forced labor to build pipelines and roads, greatly impoverished
their people, and refused to abide by the prodemocratic results of the 1990
election. The Sudanese government bombs its own (rebellious) citizens in the
south, and has done so systematically for 19 years.
††††† Several if
not all of the other places hold their own people in as much or more contempt
than Saddam Hussein does his citizens. President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe,
for example, is now letting about half his population - a full six million
people - starve.
††††† According to a UN special rapporteur's account in
late September, standards of living in Iraq have recently improved; the
quality of life in Iraq appears much better than in most of the other
countries on our possible hit list.
††††† But in Zimbabwe, in North
Korea, and in almost all of the other places, living conditions remain
††††† If Washington is truly prepared to play
policeman of the world on behalf of human rights concerns, and to prevent
rulers from repressing their own citizens, we need a new political doctrine
and a carefully enunciated set of criteria for action. If the US is truly
ready to contravene international law and the UN charter, we need to decide
whether it is only resource-rich states that are subject to attack, or if
poorer autocracies also receive close American attention.
Alternatively, if preemptive strikes are to be launched only when rogue
states possess weapons of mass destruction and are prepared to use them
against the US or its allies, then we need a different doctrine, a method of
ascertaining sure intent, and a means of ensuring ourselves that the weapons
are armed and poised. Under this last rubric, Washington might be compelled
to act against Pakistan or India, or both.
††††† Clearly there is
dissonance. Washington can only justify attacking Iraq and not Zimbabwe
because of weapons of mass destruction, possible links to Al Qaeda, oil, and
politics. Yet Zimbabwe (and Burma, Liberia, the Sudan, etc.) are the clearer
cases and, in some ways, the easier cases.
††††† Whereas Mr. Hussein used
poison gas against the Kurds more than a decade ago, and started the foolish
assault on Kuwait in 1990, Mr. Mugabe is torturing opponents now, depriving
literally millions of food, and destroying his country's entire capacity to
††††† Whereas Iraq's GDP per capita is growing, Zimbabwe's has
fallen by about 20 percent in two years. Liberia is a failed state where the
people continue to suffer from Taylor's greed and constant warfare. All of
the new oil wealth of Equatorial Guinea is going into the hands of President
General Teodoro Obiang Nguema. Alexander Lukashenko, in Belarus,
behaves arbitrarily, like Mugabe, but with fewer convenient scapegoats. Hun
Sen runs a punishing operation in Cambodia, as the military junta does in
††††† Each of these hapless and abysmally run
countries merits intervention. Why not remove their rulers, and demonstrate
to the world that the US means business?
††††† It may be much more
salutary to bully with a broad, all-encompassing sweep than to focus only on
the Middle Eastern country with the most oil, a legacy of having survived
Desert Storm, and a ruler who has thumbed his nose at Washington and its
††††† . Robert I. Rotberg is director of Harvard University's
Program on Intrastate Conflict at the Kennedy School and president of the
World Peace Foundation.
Monday, 21 October, 2002, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK Zimbabwe union
†A court in Zimbabwe has dismissed fresh charges
against a union leader, arrested for the second time last week for his role
in a nationwide teachers' strike. The court freed the general secretary of
a teachers' union, Raymond Majongwe, after finding that the state had failed
to make its case against him.
His Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has been on strike since 8 October, demanding a 100% pay
Official inflation is currently running at 135%, while up to half
the population - six million people - is facing the prospect of
starvation, according to aid agencies.
Friday, the attorney general's office declined to press new charges against
Mr Majongwe but the police changed the accusations against him and kept him
in jail over the weekend, reports the French news agency,
He is due to appear in court again this Friday, after
being charged under the controversial new Public Order and Security Act
(POSA) following his first arrest.
This makes it an offence for "any
person who, acting in concert with one or more other persons, forcibly
invades the rights of other people".
Mr Majongwe was detained after being
accused of trying to force teachers at two schools in the capital, Harare, to
join the dispute.
The Zimbabwean Government says it has dismissed more
than 600 teachers for taking part in the strike.
It accuses some of
them of supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
Mr Majongwe was freed on bail 10 days ago after
reportedly being tortured while in police custody.
Mr Majongwe was
a senior official of the opposition Zimbabwe Union of Democrats before
forming the PTUZ.
Education, Sport and Culture Minister Aneas Chigwedere
has called the strike illegal, although he has admitted that teachers in
Zimbabwe are the lowest paid in the Southern African region, AFP
A high school teacher in Zimbabwe takes home 20,000 Zimbabwe
dollars (US$364) a month, much less that other civil servants, AFP
Many opposition activists and two journalists have complained of
being tortured while in police custody as political tensions have risen in
Zimbabwe's Opposition Claims Harassment Ahead of Election
Thornycroft Harare 21 Oct 2002, 15:49 UTC
leaders in Zimbabwe say their supporters are being harassed by backers of the
ruling party ahead of a local election in Matabeleland province in the
southwestern part of the country.
Opposition spokesman Paul Nyathi said
11 members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were arrested on
Sunday in the Insiza district of Matabeleland and are now in police custody.
He said another 14 opposition supporters were arrested and later released on
bail last week.
Under the conditions of their bail, nine of them who are
registered in the Insiza district are not allowed to return to vote at the
Mr. Nyathi said the opposition was going to court to try and get
their bail conditions changed.
The opposition spokesman also
said that Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change, was stopped by police at roadblocks eight times in the area of Insiza
on Sunday. The spokesman said Mr. Tsvangirai was there to address his
The by-election is for a seat won by the opposition in the
last general election in June 2000. The MDC member of parliament subsequently
died, and the ruling ZANU-PF party says it is determined to win back the
Two cabinet ministers are leading the campaign in Insiza for the
ruling party. They told people on Sunday that the opposition was sponsored
by Britain and wished to control Zimbabwe's resources.
located in one of the areas that has been most affected by the shortage of
food in Zimbabwe.
On Friday, the United Nations closed its feeding
program in this area, citing theft of food and intimidation of its staff by
ruling party supporters.
Now the only source of food in the Insiza
district is from the State Controlled Grain Marketing Board, which opposition
supporters say refuses to sell them food.
Many of the 40,000
registered voters in this huge electoral district were once employed in
recently closed mines and commercial farms.
Harare, Zimbabwe - Government lawyers seeking to strip veteran
human rights campaigner Judith Todd of her Zimbabwe citizenship asked the
Supreme Court on Monday for a postponement.
Todd (57), the daughter of
the late former Prime Minister Sir Garfield Todd, filed suit after Zimbabwe's
registrar general, Tobaiwa Mudede, said she had automatically forfeited her
citizenship because she did not renounce any claim to New Zealand citizenship
that she may have inherited from her father.
She has also rebuffed
moves by President Robert Mugabe to have her father, who died last week at
94, declared a national hero and given a state funeral.
campaigned for black advancement in Zimbabwe when it was a British colony
known as Southern Rhodesia. Although the government wants to declare him a
national hero, the registrar stripped him of his citizenship and right to
vote before the presidential elections last March because he was born in
Todd said on Friday that declaring her father a hero would
be "inappropriate" and an "embarrassment" because he abhorred the
ruling Zanu-PF party's "suppression of democracy, erosion of civil
liberties, assassination of opposition officials and supporters, arrests,
torture, and the climate of fear spread throughout the country."
status confers large cash benefits on heirs including pensions and exemption
from estate taxes.
Godfrey Chidyausiku, a former Mugabe minister
appointed chief justice of the Supreme Court, had angry exchanges with Todd's
lawyer, Adrian de Bourbon in court on Monday.
de Bourbon for not presenting the court with New Zealand statutes on
citizenship. However, de Bourbon protested that it was up to the government
to prove Todd held New Zealand citizenship. He said it was not up to her to
renounce a theoretical right she has never attempted to exert.
court said it would rule later in the week on a government request
for postponement to allow time to get copies of New Zealand
The case could outline the rights and duties of up to 2 million
Zimbabweans of foreign descent.
Mugabe passed tough new citizenship
laws last year claiming 40 000 whites of British descent were behind
opposition to his 22-year rule. However, under the law many black Zimbabweans
of Zambian and Mozambican parentage now face statelessness.
test case is being funded by international donors.
Zimbabwe has been
racked by political unrest and economic collapse since Mugabe lost a
constitutional referendum in February 2000.
His claims to victory in
later parliamentary and presidential elections have been widely
Sir Garfield Todd is due to be buried on Sunday at his farm
near Zvishavane, 500 kilometres south of Harare. - Sapa-AP
"There seems to be a new game on the horizon (sorry not on the horizon
- actually happening now - particularly to us on the Hill).† We have had
no water supplies for over 6 days now on the hill.†† Daily runs by car
with loads of plastic bottles etc., to fill up with potable water at homes
where water was still being pumped, came to an abrupt end today when, after a
week of desperation, we awake to read the Herald headlines 'WATER
RATIONED'. Our former 'water suppliers' in the nearby suburbs also woke up
this morning to 'no water at all'.†† Looks like they got fed up trying to
starve us to death - and now we are being induced to hurry along our demise
No logical responses coming from the Municipality.†
The first excuse is that the transformer for ZESA in Belvedere blew up and
that, in turn affected pumping power to the water reservoir Philadelphia on
the Hill.† Being a retired Alderman who spent fourteen years in the Town
Planning and Works Department of this City, I know for a fact that the excuse is
without any foundation.† Probably the reservoir is without any foundation -
that would make more sense.
Anyway, it is quite illegal,
internationally to 'ration' water by cutting off all supplies of potable
water to a population in the city.† Of course, it might be a means by the
Government to bring down the wholly MDC City council of Harare - cute
thinking!† Or, it might be an attempt by others to bring about an upsurge in
civil unrest. That surely will happen if this continues.† And I will bloody
well be in the forefront of the ranks. Starvation is one thing and a slow
means of wiping out a population, but without water, genocide is
Must go now and search for water again. It's a daily exercise
that is beating us into the ground, especially with petrol shortages to boot
and the ferocious cost of living where a single potato is costing up to
$100!†† If the International community doesn't do something really very fast,
they can kiss us all† Goodbye!
Oh, and another thing. There has been
sabotage which is about the only truth the Herald came out with.† Our
borehole which produces a very low yeild in emergencies† has had its cables
cut through, the hosepipe stolen and the water tanks holed.† This could well
be an attempt to force us out of our homes now - or it might be an effort by
the opposition to force us to sit up and do SOMETHING about this government.†
But, we cannot do it alone." S.