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Senate nominations split MDC

Zim Online

Tue 25 October 2005

      HARARE - Five out of the 12 provinces of Zimbabwe's main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party backed party leader Morgan
Tsvangirai's call to boycott next months' senate election but seven defied
the call to leave the party dangerously split.

      The provinces of Manicaland, Mashonaland East, and Central did not
field candidates in any of the 15 constituencies among them in support of
Tsvangirai's call not to take part in the November 26 poll.

      The provinces of Harare and Masvingo also virtually stayed out of the
poll with the opposition party contesting in only one constituency out of
five constituencies in Masvingo. In Harare, the MDC will be represented in
two out of the five constituencies in the province.

      The provinces of Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South fielded
candidates in all the fifteen constituencies among them. The opposition
party will be represented in four out of five constituencies in Mashonaland
West province.

      The MDC will field three candidates in its Midlands North and South
provinces out of the five constituencies in the provinces.

      The opposition party will also have a candidate in its Chitungwiza
province which is regarded as one constituency for the senate election. But
all in all, the MDC is represented in 26 out of the 50 senate

      The ruling ZANU PF party is represented in all the 50 constituencies
and has already won uncontested more than 20 of the senate seats up for
grabs because the MDC did not field candidates.

      Out of the total 66 senators 50 are elected by Zimbabweans, 10 will be
chosen by the Chiefs' Council while six will be handpicked by President
Robert Mugabe.

      The MDC has bickered over the senate poll with Tsvangirai insisting
the party should not take part in the election because it will be rigged by
ZANU PF. He has also argued that the new senate is a waste of resources for
a country that should be putting its energies into fighting hunger
threatening a third of its 12 million people.

      But other senior leaders of the party led by secretary general
Welshman Ncube insist the party should contest after its national council
narrowly voted to take part in the poll. The Ncube faction also says that
the MDC should not surrender political space to Mugabe and ZANU PF by
boycotting the poll. - ZimOnline

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Tsvangirai disowns MDC senate candidates

Zim Online

Tue 25 October 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai might today
take action against members of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)party
who defied his orders not to contest next month's senate election, his
spokesman hinted last night.

      The spokesman, William Bango, told ZimOnline that Tsvangirai did not
recognise 26 MDC candidates who registered to stand in the November 26 poll.
But he would not say what action, if any, Tsvangirai was going to take
saying the MDC leader would make his position on the matter known today once
things have become clearer.

      Bango said: "The president (Tsvangirai) does not recognise any of the
so-called MDC candidates because the position of the party is known that it
is not part of the senate project."

      Asked what action Tsvangirai would take against MDC members who are
contesting the election, Bango said: "Everything is going to be clear
tomorrow (today) when it is known who has done what."

      Bango has in the past maintained that MDC members who stood in the
senate poll against Tsvangirai's instruction would be doing so as
independents which he said could result in the expulsion of such members.

      But in a sign of two contending centres of power in the MDC as the
party hurtles towards a crippling split, party spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi
in a statement yesterday insisted that the opposition party was in the
election race as decided by its national council.

      "The national council made the decision to participate in elections on
October 12 through a vote. No other body has the power to rescind this
national council decision," Nyathi's statement read in part.

      Nyathi is aligned to the other camp of the MDC led by party secretary
general Welshman Ncube that is in favour of running in the senate election.

      The camp is adamant that the decision of the national council, which
voted 33:31 to contest the election, should be upheld. The Ncube faction
also insists that the MDC should not give up political space to President
Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party by boycotting the election.

      Tsvangirai says the MDC should not waste time contesting elections
that are routinely rigged by Mugabe and ZANU PF. The opposition leader also
says the proposed new senate is of no value to a country that should be
using scarce resources to fight off hunger threatening a third of its
population. - ZimOnline

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ANALYSIS: Senate split puts Tsvangirai's leadership credentials to the test

Zim Online

Tue 25 October 2005

      HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition was yesterday further plunged into
crisis when several members defied their party head to register for next
month's controversial senate election in a move analysts said almost ensures
an ethnic break-up and directly undermines the leadership of Morgan
Tsvangirai, who has campaigned for a poll boycott.

      Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) candidates in
Bulawayo, Chitungwiza, Matabeleland South and North provinces submitted
names for the 16 seats up for grabs.

      The MDC will be represented in four constituencies in Mashonaland West
province out of the five constituencies. The opposition party will contest
in four out of five constituencies in Midlands South and North provinces,
while in Harare, which had long rallied behind Tsvangirai, two candidates
registered for the polls, albeit through proxies. Harare has five senate

      Three other party provinces of Manicaland, Mashonaland East, and
Central did not field candidates in any of the 15 constituencies among them.

      Analysts said the MDC, the only opposition party that has come closest
to end President Robert Mugabe's more than two-decade rule, had been hit by
trivial ethnic politics that could have been resolved by the party's
leadership and saved the opposition.

      Leading political analyst, Heneri Dzinotyiwei of the University of
Zimbabwe (UZ) said yesterday's events had serious implications for
Tsvangirai's leadership although he was quick to say the feuding factions in
the opposition still had a chance to save the party from total collapse,
even at this late hour.

      "Yes this has seriously undermined Tsvangirai's leadership but I don't
think we can write the MDC off as yet," Dzinotyiwei told ZimOnline last

      The UZ mathematics professor said while the opposition had been
severely weakened by two weeks of wrangling over the senate, the party could
take advantage of the crisis to forge a united front to challenge ZANU PF's
grip on power.

      "I think they should take this opportunity to chart a common position
that is neither one of participation nor one of non-participation to
challenge ZANU PF. It could be a blessing in disguise."

      The MDC was plunged into its worst crisis after Tsvangirai announced
two weeks ago that the party's national council had, after intense debate
agreed to stay-out of the Senate election, only for party spokesman Paul
Themba Nyathi to say an hour later that the opposition had resolved to
contest the polls.

      MDC leaders have since then played out their differences in the media,
with Tsvangirai saying at the weekend he had won backing on his boycott
stance from the national executive committee, which mandated the party to
prepare action in demand of a new and democratic constitution for Zimbabwe.

      But yesterday, even Harare, which had rallied behind Tsvangirai showed
deep-seated differences, with two candidates depositing their papers with
the nomination court.

      "That shows the extent of the split in the party," UZ political
science lecturer Eldred Masunungure said. "Tsvangirai's leadership will now
be put to test, to see how he wriggles out of this particular crisis."

      Analysts were however adamant that the opposition had not been hit by
ideological differences, saying their point of departure could be resolved
if the leadership took time to reflect on the crisis.

      They said the party could yet heal itself after the elections although
they said it would be interesting to see the campaigning period, as
Tsvangirai, who has drawn large crowds at opposition rallies would not be
rallying behind the registered candidates.

      Tsvangirai himself is expected to resume anti-senate election
campaigns in the coming days.

      He has backed his boycott decision by arguing that the senate poll
will be rigged by Mugabe's ZANU PF and that there are more critical issues
which the country needs to address, such as a six-year economic recession,
instead of focusing on polls to create a senate he says is only meant to
extend Mugabe's patronage network.

      But his top lieutenants feel that by staying out of the polls, when
they are already in parliament, would give ZANU PF an unwarranted advantage
and shrink their political space.

      The wrangle has taken a clearly ethnic line with mainly southern
provinces populated by Ndebele-speaking people rooting for secretary general
Welshman Ncube's pro-participation position. Ncube is Ndebele.

      Northern provinces largely populated by Shona speakers appear to be
backing Tsvangirai who is Shona.

      "It will be sad and immature if they were to break-up over this issue.
I think the debate really should focus on what the alternative is for not
participating in the elections," said Dzinotyiwei. "They should explain to
their constituencies on what the option is, I think that is what matters
now." - ZimOnline

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Mugabe's delight as opposition MDC tears itself apart

The Telegraph

By David Blair in Johannesburg and Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 25/10/2005)

President Robert Mugabe's regime gleefully hailed the "crisis" rocking
Zimbabwe's opposition yesterday as the Movement for Democratic Change risked

The MDC, which once carried the hopes of millions, tore itself in half over
whether to contest elections for a newly created senate.

The dispute threatens to destroy any lingering hope that Zimbabweans might
rid themselves of Mr Mugabe's dictatorial regime. It calls into question the
future of the only significant opposition party in the country's history.

The MDC defied murderous intimidation to challenge Mr Mugabe in three
elections and came within a whisker of winning parliamentary polls five
years ago.

But its sudden disintegration into factional rivalry removes a key restraint
on the regime. Devoid of a functioning opposition, Zimbabwe could relapse
into a de facto one-party state.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, had announced a boycott of next month's
elections, arguing that Mr Mugabe would stuff the new upper house with
cronies from his ruling Zanu-PF Party.

But Mr Tsvangirai was defied by MDC members who put forward their names as
candidates when nominations opened yesterday.

Four of the party's six most senior figures opposed Mr Tsvangirai by
favouring participation in the polls. His long-standing deputy, Gibson
Sibanda, is now among his harshest critics.

They accuse Mr Tsvangirai of allowing violence against his opponents and
breaching the MDC rulebook. The party's national council had decided by 33
votes to 31 to fight the senate election. Mr Tsvangirai ignored that vote
and announced a boycott.

"I don't know what's happening to the man," said Victor Moyo, the MDC
spokesman in the second city of Bulawayo. "Tsvangirai is responsible for the
whole problem here. This man decides that he does not like the majority
decision and therefore he is overruling it. A democratic leader should abide
by the majority decision.

"It is so sad that we are dragging each other through the mud and tearing
each other apart instead of fighting our real opponents. Zanu-PF must be
very, very happy today. Zanu-PF is really having the last laugh."

Mr Mugabe quickly exploited the turmoil with George Charamba, his spokesman,
accusing the MDC leadership of "flaunting its greed" and "selfish

Critics of Mr Tsvangirai say the episode has betrayed all his failings. He
decided that contesting the election would be pointless but lacked the
personal authority or political skill to carry his colleagues.

They say he emulated the worst aspects of the Mugabe regime by using
violence, a charge denied by his allies. Many of Mr Tsvangirai's opponents
were assaulted. One, Peter Guhu, fled to South Africa after narrowly
escaping a murder attempt.

MDC members willing to contest the senate election have been intimidated.

"I was threatened by an anonymous telephone call that my house will be
burned down if we submit papers to the court," said Shaky Matake, of the MDC
in Masvingo province.

"We had five candidates ready to go, but some of them were threatened and
their families are nervous so they are scared to go to the nomination

Mr Sibanda, who helped found the MDC, claimed there was "close involvement"
by the leadership in "violent activities against senior members of the

"Tsvangirai is failing completely," said Dumisani Muleya, the news editor of
the Zimbabwe Independent, an independent weekly. "He is actually helping
Zanu-PF and not opposing it. He is really playing into Mugabe's hands.
Mugabe is over the moon."

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JAG Open Letters Forum No. 393


Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to with "For Open Letter Forum" in the subject line.


Letter 1:


This is a quick note to John Worsley-Worswick - and all who subscribe to
the JAG newsletters.

request for O Positive Blood for me (Sue Friend) on Tuesday 27th September
2005.  I have to say I was overwhelmed by everyone's kindness and
generosity of spirit.  I found myself at St. Annes at 7.30 on Tuesday
morning, and when the saline drip had been put into my arm at 8.00 awaiting
the supposed promised blood only to discover that there was none, and that
is when JAG went into overdrive.  I think by 9.00 the message was out there
- and I cannot begin to tell you how many people got the message -
absolutely AMAZING!!!!!  By 2.00 I was hooked up to my first bag of blood -
and finished by 8.30 that night, and it was like being reborn when the
transfusion was finished I just couldn't believe the difference it made to





Letter 2:

Dear Jag,

Professor Craig Richardson's paper, "The Loss of Property Rights and the
Collapse of Zimbabwe," is undoubtedly the most comprehensive piece work of
scholastic honesty based on quantified data to have been released to date.
The paper inadvertently highlights the outrageous political deception
entrenched in demanding international financial aid in exchange for conceit
ed greedy incompetence.

It would indeed be fascinating to hear the opinions of the Governor of the
Reserve Bank, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Finance, the
Lands Resettlement Committee in the Office of the President, if not, of the
President himself. For fear of a dynamic piece of hard work by Professor
Richardson losing its ultimate value, his article should be presented to
the above for public comment and should also be emblazoned in the local
press and on every possible website portal. Needless to say, government
responses, if any, will trash the article, but at least the public will
enjoy an educated opinion, and the world will get a pointer on the truth
for a change.

Some things have to be believed to be seen.

The Vicar


Letter 3:

Silent Spring.

This is a harsh time of the year in southern Africa. We have had 7 months
of dry weather and the hot season is upon us with temperatures in the 30's
and sometimes low 40's. It is also absolutely dry - rivers have stopped
flowing and pools are drying out, the grazing is almost exhausted and the
colours of the open veld are stark and vivid. The yellow/white of the
remaining grass, the early green flush of the figs and the pod mahogany,
the startling pastel colours of the mountain acacia and Msasa.

But it is always a time of great expectation. All of creation knows that
soon the storm clouds will arrive and with them the first rains and that
unmistakable scent of the wet African earth. The birds know it and are
nesting, the migrants have arrived from their European and Central African
winter sojourns and the swallows are back.

Normally the countryside is alive with activity - tractors crawling across
the dry lands with clouds of red and grey dust billowing up behind, oxen
straining their harness in front of steel ploughs and harrows. In many
parts, man is speeding up the whole process with his usual impatience and
the irrigation lines are out and the sprays fly into the wind and bring
fourth the first early seedlings. The flowering shrubs throw off the burden
of winter and burst out in their new costumes of purple and red, white and
yellow, defying the realities of the winter world they have just been

In the days of the civil war in Zimbabwe, I always took comfort in the
subtle shift in human activity that took place in the spring. Somehow if we
went out and ploughed our lands and brought in all that we would need for
the summer rains, seed, fertilizer, herbicides, insect sprays, fuel and
oil, we knew that we had committed ourselves to another season, another
year.  This year it is quite different, this year the spring is silent,
almost eerily so.

The farms are abandoned, homesteads which once rang with the games of
children home from school at the weekend, are derelict and occupied in many
cases by miserable squatters. Some are occupied by families whose real
lives are in the cities nearby and they come out at the weekend to uneasily
sit where they do not belong and enjoy the use of things that are actually
the property of others. They ride guiltily through the weed-encrusted
fields and past the broken down sheds and cattle kraals. The spirits of
those who are buried there and whose lives are bound up in the springs of
the past make for uneasy companions.

But it is not only on the farms that this spring has died before it began -
in the peasant farming districts, the spectre of another hungry season is
upon the communities that live there. The majority of the young people -
especially the men folk, have left for Egoli or Gaborone, London and New
York. Those that are left have nothing to live on except from what comes in
from the outside. Perhaps strutting, threatening Party men in trucks and
Mercedes cars. Perhaps World Vision or Save the Children. Perhaps the World
Food programme or the USAID. Sometimes help comes in the form of a letter
with some greasy pounds inside or a mysterious deposit in a Post Office
account of which they were alerted by a phone call or a message from the
local store.

But they are exhausted before they even begin. Their cattle are thin, the
grazing and water sparse. Seed and other essential inputs are either not
available or are too expensive and there are now so many demands on their
limited resources that they have to spend their money wisely, dollar by
dollar. The other problem is that each family has new burdens - the
children of other families left behind when both parents died or left the
country.  Sick relatives from the urban areas told by the last hospital or
doctor they saw to "go home " - better to die there where your relatives do
not have to rent a truck to carry your body home. Many of the actual
breadwinners are in fact sick with many ailments - tuberculosis, pneumonia,
malaria and various forms of carcinoma. All made more deadly by HIV and

We know what this failure to prepare for the summer means - it means there
is no commitment to this season, to next year. Our streets are unusually
quiet, people do not have the fuel to use their cars and transport is just
prohibitively expensive. Factories are closing their doors and sending
their staff home without pay, customers walk through the stores looking at
the prices and wondering just what they can afford to buy. The sight of
people leaving empty handed or with tiny parcels of essential foods is
heartbreaking - you want to step in and take over and allow them to use
your debit card to fill their baskets.

This is a nation that is dying on its feet, exhausted after a long trek
through a winter of hardship and struggle. A nation that cannot smell the
scent of early rains and now thinks that even if it does rain, it is simply
too late. The Bible says that a nation without vision dies. We have no
vision of the future, just of survival like shipwrecked passengers hanging
onto flotsam in the open sea.

Watching Mugabe rant and rave at the FAO Conference in Rome brought into my
mind an image of the passengers in the sea watching as the Captain of this
ship, who was criminally responsible for its capsize, sails past in a life
boat. The image extends to Mugabe making a speech to the sailors in the
boat with him. While this is going on a pleasure cruiser sails past us both
- the passengers in the water and Mugabe in his lifeboat and this cruiser
called the UN Fair and Ample Oligarchy is jammed with overweight slugs that
clap and cheer the silly old man in his Captains uniform.

As this circus of clown and congregation sails out of sight, we the poor
passengers are left with nothing but the sea and endless waves and the
sharks. Our only hope is to either drift ashore or be rescued by another
vessel. This is our silent spring, but tonight there is a beautiful full
moon and one of my succulents has given birth to a spectacular single
flower that will bloom overnight and be dead in the morning.

The one thing we cannot afford at this time is a fight for a better place
in the water. Rather we should be caring for each other and helping each
other to believe that there is a future and that when we finally get back
to sanity, we will be able to live again. I am reminded of a shepherd who
wrote, "even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil, His rod and His staff will guide". Perhaps next spring
will be better.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 19th October 2005

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

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Harare's currency move a sign of despair, say analysts

Business Report

October 25, 2005

By Sujata Rao

London - Zimbabwe's surprise move to let the market set the rate for its
beleaguered currency looks more like a desperate attempt to fill empty
government coffers than a serious effort to secure vital inward investment,
analysts say.

Harare urgently needs hard currency to pay for wages, energy imports and the
US$160 million (R1.06 billion) it owes to the International Monetary Fund
(IMF), but few foreign investors are tempted by a country where annual
inflation is above 350 percent, property rights are flouted and the economy
is close to collapse.

Without political and economic reforms, Thursday's foreign exchange shift
will not bring any lasting benefits even if it temporarily shores up
exports, analysts say.

"The news that Zimbabwe is to float its currency on international markets is
yet another sign of desperation from the regime," said London-based Leo
Hornak, a strategic risk analyst at Merchant International Group, which
monitors political risk.

"The economic situation has now deteriorated to a point where it seriously
threatens the president's hold on power."

Hornak said the scramble for hard currency reflected recent reports of
serious shortages of food among the Zimbabwean army and police, which had
been relatively well supplied so far.

"If this is now changing, the political balance of power could alter
rapidly," he said. "But one thing is clear: there is no prospect of economic
recovery or even to recover a bit of what has been lost. It is

The problem of how to fund a ballooning fiscal gap while the economy withers
and the currency black market diverts any significant cash generated by
businesses away from government channels is a crucial one for President
Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe's main exports are tobacco, minerals and cotton, though these are
barely enough to make ends meet.

Abandoning a foreign exchange regime that values the local currency at ZD$26
000 to the US dollar for a managed float that reintroduces interbank dealing
will cause the currency to plunge in value as it falls into line with the
ZD$90 000 level the local unit changes hands for a US dollar on the black

But it will give a boost to exports and, by allowing exporters to exchange
70 percent of their earnings at market rates, analysts say the cash-strapped
government is betting it will raise more revenue from the 30 percent
exchanged at a rate set by the central bank than it currently does as firms
divert cash through the black market.

The previous foreign exchange regime "led to a massive under-reporting of
export receipts. Exporters indeed tried to sell as little as possible
through the official rate," said Elisabeth Gruie of BNP Paribas in London.

"Now, with exporters having the right to keep 70 percent of their receipts,
the government collection might be more efficient, but with a shaky
political system the viability of this system is not warranted," she added.

The IMF said this month that the country was "rapidly reaching a point"
where even if policy decisions were taken, "Zimbabwe would never be able to
recover" to the level it was at before. Some analysts say the latest move
could further devastate the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.

"Inflation is rampant and there is a serious risk that this will spur
inflation further," said emerging markets economist Lars Christensen at
Danske Bank.

The IMF estimates Zimbabwe's fiscal deficit will widen to 11.5 percent this
year and the economy will shrink by 7 percent. The central bank acknowledged
inflation would be between 280 percent and 300 percent, versus its 80
percent target.

- Reuters

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Zimbabwe has become a wasteland

The Star

      October 25, 2005

      Reading the letter, "Call him names, but Mugabe's a hero" by Abednego
Nyoni, a Zanu-PF official, made me laugh hard.

      No amount of lies or spin can hide the facts.

      The only people reading this buffoon's letter and nodding are Mugabe
and his cronies!

      Zimbabwe is a wasteland, a hole in the ground.

      Their currency is worth less than the plastic used to pack manure.
      Their economy is falling faster than the belief in Robert Mugabe's
lies and rantings.

      Mr Nyoni, it is a strange coincidence that your name reflects an
Ndebele heritage and that Mugabe is to blame for wiping out a good
      20 000 of your tribe in the early 1980s .

      What have you to say about that? Also, I would like to know when was
the last time you got paid by your "amazing" leader?

      Mr Nyoni, either remove your blinkers and take a good look at what
Mugabe has done or you had better emigrate real soon because when the
popular masses uprising takes place in Zimbabwe, people like you are going
to be sought out and hanged for your crimes against humanity.

      And do not bother coming to South Africa, we sure as hell do not want
you here!

      As for Zimbabwe's sovereignty, you can have it.

      No Western power would waste their time on an insignificant, worthless

      Marc Wilson
      Killarney, Johannesburg

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Zimbabwe's Opposition Party Splits Over Running in Next Election

New York Times

Published: October 25, 2005
JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 24 - Zimbabwe's only serious political opposition to
President Robert G. Mugabe appeared to splinter Monday over whether to field
candidates for a new upper chamber of Parliament.

Defying orders of their leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, 22 members of the
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, filed as candidates
for the election to Zimbabwe's new senate. Mr. Tsvangirai said two weeks ago
that the party would not take part, contending that the vote was certain to
be rigged in favor of Mr. Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic
Front, or ZANU-PF, and that taking part would only add a stamp of legitimacy
to its results.

But many party leaders, led by the secretary general, Welshman Ncube, and
its vice president, Gibson Sibanda, sharply disagreed, arguing that
boycotting the election would only cede political control to Mr. Mugabe.

The Movement for Democratic Change has been roiled for the last week by
public broadsides between the two factions. Monday's decision by some party
members to become candidates almost certainly was engineered by party
leaders opposed to Mr. Tsvangirai, and may set up a challenge for the
party's future leadership, even its continued existence.

Mr. Tsvangirai's spokesman, William Bango, dismissed such speculation.
"There are differences today over whether or not to participate in this
particular election," he said in a telephone interview, "but there are not
differences over the principles and objectives of this party."

In fact, many say, the feud over the elections is only a metaphor for a far
deeper division.

The opposition party took part in national elections last March, hoping to
score gains against Mr. Mugabe and ZANU-PF in a nation tormented by six
years of economic chaos. Instead, the party was thrashed, losing nearly
one-third of its seats and falling from a serious political force to a token
opposition. The party, and many outsiders, said that vote was marred by
fraud and intimidation.

The Constitution has since been amended to form a new upper chamber, largely
seen as an effort by Mr. Mugabe to hand out sinecures. Now the opposition
faces a choice of taking part in the election, and probably losing, or
sitting out in protest.

"The arguments for or against the elections are very much different from
what they were in March," Reginald Matchaba-Hove, chairman of the Zimbabwe
Electoral Support Commission, an independent monitoring group, said in a
telephone interview on Monday. "In March, there was some sense that there
was a rationale in participating. Now there is a sense that it is important
to show the system for what it is, that it's a fraudulent system."

But if a boycott would leave the senate wholly in Mr. Mugabe's control, it
also would rob the opposition of its only role in political life. Much of
the split within the party, members said in interviews, centers on what form
political opposition to Mr. Mugabe should take if their party decides that
trying to win elections is pointless.

One prominent opposition leader who has not taken sides in the debate, David
Coltart, a Bulawayo lawyer, said the dispute between the two sides "is
pretty fundamental," but not necessarily fatal.

In the meeting in mid-October, after which Mr. Tsvangirai decided to bar
campaigning, "there was a good, healthy, mature debate with the
acknowledgment that both sides had valid arguments," he said.

But Iden Wetherell, editor of the weekly Zimbabwe Independent, said, "This
was the last, best hope for a democratic Zimbabwe, and they're going down
fighting among themselves."

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