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

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Zim Independent

Inflation forecast to reach 522%
Staff writer
THE IMF has forecast that inflation in Zimbabwe will reach 522,2% next year,
according to its latest World Economic Outlook. It is currently running at

The economy is also expected to shrink by 10,6% this year and by 2,8% next
year following declines of 5,1% and 8,5% in 2000 and 2001 respectively.

The figures contrast sharply with Zimbabwe's neighbours: Zambian GDP is
forecast to grow by 3,7% this year and 4% in 2003, while inflation is
expected to drop to 9,8% from this year's 20%.

Mozambique, once the basket case of the region, should record growth of 9%
this year and 5,6% next year, according to the IMF. Inflation is expected to
fall to 6,8% from 16,7%.

Diamond-rich Botswana's economy should grow by 3,7% in 2003 after growing
2,6% this year while inflation will drop to 4,7% from 5,5% in the current

The IMF reckons South Africa's economy will expand by 3% next year after
growing 2,5% this year.

Inflationary pressures are also expected to decline: the IMF forecasts that
consumer prices will rise by 5% next year compared to 5,5% in 2002.

Looking further afield, inflation in Malawi is forecast to drop to 5% next
year from 9,4% this year and growth is expected to rise to 4,5% next year
from 1,8% this year.

Tanzania should see its economy expand by 6% from 5,8% this year. Inflation
is expected to ease to 3,9% from 4,4%.

In Namibia, which has been echoing President Mugabe's land reform calls, the
economy should grow by 3,8% next year and inflation should ease slightly to
7% from 10,2% in the current year. - Staff Writer
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Zim Independent

Fingaz takeover deal murky
Dumisani Muleya
MYSTERY surrounds the new ownership of one of the country's leading business
weeklies, the Financial Gazette, after chief executive Elias Rusike
confirmed selling the paper to new owners.

Rusike, who bought the newspaper from former Zimbabwe Independent directors
Clive Wilson and Clive Murphy in 1989, said he sold his 60% shareholding to
a consortium led by the newspaper's editor-in-chief Francis Mdlongwa.

The Mdlongwa syndicate includes Harare-based medical doctors and
businessmen, Sylvester Saburi and Solomon Mtetwa.

Mtetwa took over as chairman of the publication. Apart from buying Rusike's
equity, the group also took stakes formerly held by Eric Kahari and Fanuel

"I sold my shares to a consortium comprising Mdlongwa, Dr Mtetwa and Dr
Saburi," Rusike said yesterday. "Mdlongwa led the negotiations and I signed
an agreement with them."

Responding to reports that Jewel Bank chief executive Gideon Gono was in
fact the major shareholder after he financed the take-over deal through his
bank, Rusike said if Gono was involved it was not through him but the

"I sold to Mdlongwa and his consortium but if they went to CBZ (Commercial
Bank of Zimbabwe) and brought in Gono, it's none of my business," he said.

"If Gono bought shares it means he bought them from Mdlongwa, Saburi or
Mtetwa and not me. I don't know where they got the money from because it's
none of my business." Efforts to get comment from Gono were unsuccessful.

Rusike was recently quoted in the press as saying he would not sell his
paper to Gono because of the latter's links to government.

In an intereview with the Daily News, Rusike said: "If Gono takes over the
Financial Gazette, that would signal the end of the paper's editorial
independence as government interference would obviously be high.

"I am not surprised staff have expressed reservations about the move. It
would compromise their independence."

Rusike said he did not know if it was true Mtetwa had recently resigned as
chairman over the Gono issue.

Mdlongwa refused to comment on the ownership issue referring questions to
Rusike. Asked whether he was planning to set up a Sunday paper in alliance
with Strive Masiyiwa's Independent Media Group, he said he would not respond
to "bar talk".
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Zim Independent

CIO blocks media tour
Augustine Mukaro
JOSEPH Mwale, the notorious Manicaland-based Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO) officer, has declared Chimanimani a no fly zone forcing
Radar Holdings to cancel a chartered flight over plantations of Border
Timbers Ltd (BTL).

Mwale has a track record of arson, torture and terror against government
opponents dating back to 2000 when he was reportedly involved in the petrol
bombing of MDC activists Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika in Buhera.

More recently, he allegedly spearheaded thearrest and eviction from his
Charleswood Estate of MDC MP for Chimanimani, Roy Bennett.

BTL, a subsidiary of Radar Holdings, had planned a tour of the plantations
which had been destroyed by fire. The tour was to have included a flight
over the plantations.

Radar invited journalists to take part in the tour, a move which did not go
down well with Mwale who immediately declared Chimanimani a no fly zone,
despite the trip having been approved by the CIO head office in Harare and
the Civil Aviation Authority.

BTL managing director John Gadzikwa, confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent
that the flight had been cancelled for security reasons.

"Mwale denied permission for the flight on allegations that we would bring
in the private media who would report negatively on the situation," Gadzikwa

"He warned us that if the tour went ahead it would do so at the risk of the
passengers aboard. We had no option but to shelve the tour for sometime," he

Pine and gum tree plantations worth $9 billion are estimated to have been
destroyed as illegal settlers set fire to more than 14 000 hectares of
mature trees in their preparation of land for the new agricultural season.
Burnt plantations include Westward-Ho, Fairfield Block, Lemon Korp and
Thornton - all owned by BTL.

The fire also destroyed Cashel Estate, Misty Hills, Brackenbury, and
Chisengu Estate owned by the Forestry Company of Zimbabwe.

Other affected plantations include Erin in Nyanga, Muteyo in Bvumba and
Nyangui in Nyanga.
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Zim Independent

NGOs inconvenient to totalitarian project

Mthulisi Mathuthu

THE government's political language in the last month has signalled the
launching of a campaign against non-governmental organisations, the latest
targets of Zanu PF's attempt to silence dissent.

The reasons are not hard to find.

Just as the NGOs and civil society braved the counter-insurgency terror of
the early 1980s in defence of human rights, they have remained resolute to
this date in exposing official violence and repression.

These organisations have been branded "megaphones for their foreign masters"
and "enemies of the state".

Already, two British organisations - Oxfam and Save the Children - have been
stopped from distributing food to the hungry.

Commentators this week described the ongoing campaign against the public
interest groups as part of a wider plan to sweep away all political
liberties, emasculate civil society and entrench the government's
totalitarian hold on every facet of life.

While the government's intolerance of NGOs is not new, the current hype
against them has shown renewed determination to eliminate dissent and
destroy their capacity to function. Like the press, the NGOs remain the
vital medium for self-expression and public awareness, hence the official

Since the official announcement last month that the NGOs should register
under the Private Voluntary Organisations Act there has been a concentrated
effort to single out as "imperialist agents" specific groups such as the
Amani Trust, Transparency International, the Catholic Commission for Justice
and Peace, Legal Resources Foundation and Crisis Zimbabwe -all of whom have
helped expose the government's appalling human rights record and its
involvement in dubious privatisation deals.

Brian Kagoro, a lawyer and human rights activist, said the government was
determined to mount a sustained programme to emasculate civil society and
pull the rug from under the feet of the established independent
organisations and create its own groups.

Already, a disturbing trend is evident with the emergence of state-sponsored
groups who pose as civil society while extolling President Mugabe's ideas.

"The issue is not about the NGOs having done anything wrong but about
control," Kagoro said.

"They are aiming at clearing the space for their own pliant organisations
who will praise the government in the name of nationalism. When people say
there is no associational life in Zimbabwe they will simply point to the
ones they have created," he said.

Commentators say these groups are at times led by academics concocting
eulogies for Mugabe under the pretext of political analysis - imagining
themselves as the liberated scholars espousing the ideals of a misunderstood
African patriot.

Davira Mhere, a London-based group led by Chinondidyachii Mararike, the
Gaddafi Sisters Foundation, and the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions are
a case in point. So is Africa Strategy led by David Nyekorach-Matsanga, a
wanted fugitive spokesperson for the Ugandan terrorist group, Lord's
Resistance Arm.

Feeding from the totalitarian mindset, the plot also involves a heavy
propaganda drumbeat and ultra-nationalist rhetoric, deceit and patronage.
Analysts said this was evident in organisations such as Heritage-Zimbabwe
whose garrulous leader, Jocelyn Chiwenga, has repeatedly exhibited a
paranoid disposition imagining white foreigners as the enemies of the state.
So has Zim-Alliances led by Bright Matonga who has been sucked into the
Mugabe regime's makeover kit.

It is through such organisations that the government hopes to limit civic
and voter education and counter those which have shown inclination towards
exposing political brutality and lawlessness.

Generally, the NGOs are an inconvenience to any totalitarian state as they
mobilise a plurality of views and make complex issues comprehensible to the
general public.

A piece of history may be in order. Malaysian authoritarian ruler, Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad, has trodden the same course. After his 1986
re-election, Mahathir decided to mount an attack on the NGOs whom he saw as
"negative" and anti-government. These organisations had, before and after
the election, helped focus national attention on Mahathir's own misrule and
hence the crackdown and their labelling as the "enemies of the state" and
"tools of foreign powers".

Federal Territory minister Abu Hassan Omar led the crackdown on
organisations like the Consumers'Association of Penang (CAP), the
Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia (EPSM), the Selangor Graduates
Society and the Malaysian Bar Council all of whom he described as being the
"thorns in the flesh" of the country.

These organisations had mobilised attention on unjust laws such as the
Official Secrets Act and other fundamentally flawed measures designed to
stifle dissent and muzzle the free press. Mahathir's antipathy towards them
also stemmed from their earlier involvement in the public protests and sharp
criticisms of the government's nursing of graft. The judiciary also came
under sustained assault leading to the removal of the Chief Justice.

Mahathir's soul mate, President Mugabe, has embraced the same tactic. In
addition to blocking Oxfam and Save the Children the government has
threatened measures to restrict the operations of civic groups perceived as

Analysts said by using colonial and fascist tactics in controlling the NGOs
the government was missing the opportunity to create conditions for the
growth of a fair and balanced civil society.

The proliferation of new government-funded organisations - some of which are
single member entities - is seen as a disservice to the democratic cause.

At a workshop organised by the University of Zimbabwe's faculty of law in
September 1992, then political science lecturer Jonathan Moyo gave an
insightful warning:

"It is true that there is a noticeable proliferation of local and
international non-governmental organisations (NG0s) and other voluntary
associations in Southern Africa".

He added: "But this proliferation does not necessarily spell good news for
democracy and human rights. Far from it - most of the mushrooming NGOs and
voluntary associations are in fact a danger to the prospects of democracy
and human rights because they seek a type of particularism, fundamentalism
and ethno-nationalism which is based on intolerance of other groups."

Ironically today, he is at the centre of the campaign to dislodge the civil
society and replace it with fundamentalist and "ethno-nationalist" bodies.

The government today is evidently involved in creating and sponsoring bogus
organisations to extol Mugabe's spurious values and mount a propaganda
drive, locally and abroad, on behalf of their master who is facing isolation
and an ever-deepening legitimacy crisis.

Financial Times

      Aid agencies urged to seek supplies locally
      By James Lamont in Johannesburg
      Published: October 25 2002 5:00 | Last Updated: October 25 2002 5:00

      International aid agencies were told yesterday that they should seek
supplies to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in southern Africa from the
region itself.

      During a two-day meeting in Johannesburg, the International Trade
Centre (ITC), an arm of the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations
trade body Unctad, appealed to UN agencies and non-governmental
organisations, such as the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International
Red Cross, to buy more food and shelter materials from local suppliers.

      UN agencies have traditionally sourced emergency relief supplies from
close to their international headquarters.

      The supply of tents for UN operations is dominated by Pakistan, while
heavy-duty tarpaulins are manufactured in Europe. Emergency maize supplies
are being imported into southern Africa from the US and Latin America.

      "Demand is very high," said Catherine Taupiac, the ITC's regional
trade adviser. "Supply from local sources [in southern Africa] could double.
South African companies, in particular, have strong global potential with
food items."

      This week's meeting has promoted the local supply of cereals, beans,
vegetable oil and nutritional foods needed as emergency food relief to
drought-stricken southern Africa.

      Aid agencies have also sought to secure locally made tents, blankets,
mattresses, mosquito nets and cardboard coffins.

      About 14m people in the region face severe food shortages as a result
of a regionwide drought and economic mismanagement. The worst affected
countries are Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho.

      HIV/Aids has worsened the effects of the drought. The Geneva-based
World Health Organisation estimates that about 200,000 people will have died
from a lethal combination of disease and hunger in the six months to

      The ITC expects South African companies to soak up 90 per cent of the
regional emergency relief supply business.

      South African companies supplied $29m £18.9m) worth of emergency
supplies to the UN last year. The UN's total annual procurement budget is
$850m so there is plenty of room for African companies to expand.

      The ITC believes contracts struck in support of this humanitarian
effort may serve for disaster management elsewhere in the world. But
emergency relief is notoriously a difficult market to satisfy.
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Zim Independent

Passports now take 10 months
Mthulisi Mathuthu
AS the passport queues continue to grow at the Registrar-General's office,
it has emerged that the waiting period for the processing of a new passport
has increased from three to 10 months.

Sources at the RG's office this week confirmed that the processing of a new
passport was now taking longer than before because of the shortage of the
special paper needed for the passport pages.

"Actually, we will be facing even more problems in future because there is
no paper and above all the paper is expensive," said a source at the RG's

The demand for the passports has increased countrywide as Zimbabweans flee
economic hardships and misrule to settle in neighbouring countries and the
United Kingdom.

This development comes after Mudede's office announced a more than 100%
increase in passport fees as part of a plan to ease congestion at Makombe
Building and to cushion the RG's office from the costs of producing a
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Zim Independent

Ari Ben-Menashe link scuttles casino project
Vincent Kahiya
THE collapse of the Hyatt International Casino project along the airport
road has been linked to the refusal by the promoters of the project,
businessmen Chemist Siziba and Cephas Msipa (Jnr), to testify against Ari
Ben-Menashe in the treason trial involving Movement for Democratic Change
leader Morgan Tsvangirai and two senior MDC officials, Welshman Ncube and
Renson Gasela.

The Zimbabwe Independent heard this week that part of the reason why the
project collapsed was that Ben-Menashe, who had promised funding, did not
live up to his pledge.

This, the MDC believed, was important evidence that would portray
Ben-Menashe as unreliable.

This week construction workers were busy pulling down the structure close to
Harare International Airport on Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Road, signalling the
demise of the project which has been shrouded in controversy for over two

On Wednesday, Siziba and Msipa confirmed they had been in touch with
Ben-Menashe who had shown an interest in the casino business.

When the treason charges against the MDC leaders were laid last year, the
businessmen said the party wanted them to testify in the case. When they
refused, Msipa said, the MDC-dominated Harare City Council frustrated their

The three MDC leaders are facing treason charges arising from video evidence
Ben-Menashe provided suggesting they wanted to hire his company, Dickens &
Madson, to assassinate President Mugabe.

Ben-Menashe is considered a key witness in the trial which opens in the High
Court next month. But he has sent mixed signals as to whether he will appear
for the state.

Msipa on Wednesday said the council had taken a political decision in
stopping the project. He said the Chanakira Commission had given them the
green light to go ahead but the MDC-controlled council rescinded this.

"The current council decided to rescind or overlook the commission's
decision," said Msipa.

"We then took a business decision not to proceed with the project. There was
no need for us to fight the current council which adopted a political

"They tried to link us to some treason trial . they believed we had
interaction with Ari Ben-Menashe and they wanted us to testify in the case.
We declined to do so," said Msipa.

But Siziba, in a separate interview, said the refusal by council to sanction
the project was not linked to their association with Ben-Menashe, claiming
instead that their building plan failed on a technicality.

"It killed my momentum," he said.

He, however, confirmed the meeting between the businessmen and Ben-Menashe.

"I met Ben-Menashe a long time ago," said Siziba.

"He had heard about a casino project going up and he wanted to invest. We
discussed with him and he said that he was going to write. He just made an
inquiry and that was the first and last time I heard of him.

"When the treason allegation against Tsvangirai came up, I just told Renson
Gasela, who is my cousin, that I had met this guy," Siziba said.

"He (Gasela) later asked me if I could be a character reference for
Ben-Menashe in the trial and I told him that I did not know this guy because
I had just met him for an hour, that's all," he said.

Contacted yesterday, Gasela refused to comment saying the issue of his
treason trial was sub-judice.

Harare executive mayor Elias Mudzuri said he could not comment on the issue
as he was on business in China.

But Siziba, in a separate interview, said the refusal by council to sanction
the project was not linked to their association with Ben-Menashe, claiming
instead that their building plan failed on a technicality.

"It killed my momentum," he said.

He, however, confirmed the meeting between the businessmen and Ben-Menashe.

"I met Ben-Menashe a long time ago," said Siziba.

"He had heard about a casino project going up and he wanted to invest.

We discussed with him and he said that he was going to write. He just made
an inquiry and that was the first and last time I heard of him.

"When the treason allegation against Tsvangirai came up, I just told Renson
Gasela, who is my cousin, that I had met this guy," Siziba said.

"He (Gasela) later asked me if I could be a character reference for
Ben-Menashe in the trial and I told him that I did not know this guy because
I had just met him for an hour, that's all," he said.

Contacted yesterday, Gasela refused to comment saying the issue of his
treason trial was sub-judice.

Harare executive mayor Elias Mudzuri said he could not comment on the issue
as he was on business in China.
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Trial of Men Accused in White Zimbabwean Farmer's Murder Begins
Peta Thornycroft
25 Oct 2002, 19:13 UTC

Four men accused of killing a white farmer went on trial this week in
Zimbabwe. This is a trial many thought would never take place.

David Stevens was the first white farmer killed in connection with
Zimbabwe's land reform program. He was killed in April of 2000, shortly
after the program began.

The men accused of Mr. Stevens' murder were arrested a short while later,
but released from prison after several months, when their case did not come
to court. One of those accused, the man who allegedly fired the shot that
killed Mr. Stevens, has since disappeared.

Mr. Stevens was attacked on his farm 100 kilometers southeast of Harare. The
prosecution says his attackers abducted him and dragged him into the bush,
where he was tortured and then shot.

This week, two-and-a-half years after Mr. Stevens' death, the trial began.
On Wednesday, the first witness for the prosecution, who the state says may
not be named for fear of reprisals, told the court that, after killing Mr.
Stevens, the accused men prepared a cocktail made of his blood and alcohol
and shared it among themselves.

Political analysts say Mr. Stevens was an obvious target because he publicly
supported the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Andrew Ngongo, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Crisis Committee, which monitors
political developments in the country, said the trial could have been held
shortly after Mr. Stevens' death.

But, he said, it was likely the trial has finally started because the
Zimbabwe government is trying to improve its image following pressure from
South Africa.

The Amani Trust, a group that monitors political violence in Zimbabwe, says
that, in the last two years, more than 150 opposition supporters, white
farmers and their workers have been killed in violence related to Zimbabwe's
land reform program. White farmers and their workers have been accused by
the government of supporting the opposition.

Under the land reform program, thousands of white farmers and
hundreds-of-thousands of their workers have been forcibly evicted from their

The four men on trial are Richard Svisviro, Muyengwa Munyuki, Charles
Matanda and Douglas Chitekuteku. They are accused of being part of the gang
of about 15 who allegedly abducted Mr. Stevens.
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Zim Independent - Muckraker

The nation switches off 'gang of three'
IT will come as no surprise to readers to learn that ZTV's turgid National
Ethos programme has been declared one big yawn by viewers who rush for the
"Off" switch whenever it screens. This is according to ZBC's own monthly

Tafataona Mahoso, Vimbai Chivaura, and Claude Mararike - the programme's
Gang of Three - use the platform provided to propagate a primitive and
exclusivist nationalism that clearly fails to seize the popular imagination.

This is hardly surprising: it is a televised version of Mahoso's Sunday Mail
articles. Volumes of esoteric material are hauled into the studio and piled
on a table. The eccentric trio hold up pages, and particularly pictures, for
their viewers to admire and absorb. That viewers resent being treated like
impressionable first-year students has obviously not occurred to these
partisan lecturers who turned the programme into a party-political broadcast
during the March election.

Last Sunday Mahoso was lecturing his audience on the need for Zimbabwean
journalists to "stand up" to CNN and to Andy Meldrum and tell them that
Zimbabweans had a different point of view from the Western media.

Andy Meldrum is likely to have a different view from CNN which was last
weekend attempting to confuse the issues with a little help from South
African commentators. But the only journalists likely to follow Mahoso's
advice were those having to follow Jonathan Moyo around Insiza and then
write about the campaign as a triumphal progress. Journalists thinking for
themselves may have wondered why Zanu PF cannot get by without seizing
international food aid? Why it is incapable of winning hearts and minds
without beating opposition supporters into submission? Why it won't allow
the establishment of an independent electoral commission?

Those are the sort of questions real Zimbabwean journalists - like their
colleagues in the international media - will be asking. Not endorsing the
fossilised nationalism that the Gang of Three are hawking.

By the way, perhaps Dr Chivaura can clarify a report Muckraker has received
that he was known as "European" Chivaura at Fletcher High School by his
contemporaries. What was the significance of this name?

Jonathan Moyo has been throwing dust in our eyes by suggesting British High
Commissioner Brian Donnelly was "interfering" in food aid distribution.
While appreciating the work of the World Food Programme, Moyo said last
weekend, the UN body should assure Zimbabwe it was not being directed by the
British High Commissioner.

"While we appreciate assistance from well-meaning quarters, whether from the
WFP or anybody else, we are not going to allow it to compromise our
sovereignty," he declared.

So are we to assume that Zimbabwe's ruling party has the sovereign right to
steal food aid from the UN and hand it out to its own followers? Because
that's what Moyo's response sounds like. Does "sovereignty" justify looting?

WFP representative in Zimbabwe, Kevin Farrell, was unambiguous in his
statement. Ruling party supporters seized three metric tones of food aid and
distributed it in an unauthorised manner. Why was the central issue of theft
of food aid not addressed? Instead we were misled by stories about British
involvement in getting the WFP to suspend distribution.

Here again there were claims of spurious sovereignty. Because the Zanu PF
government has completely sabotaged agricultural production we are dependent
upon the generosity of other countries for food supplies. The governments of
those donor states have to explain to their publics how food aid is
distributed, even where the aid is channelled through the WFP. There is very
real concern in Europe for instance that Zanu PF is abusing the assistance
Zimbabwe receives.

EU diplomats would therefore be delinquent in their duty if they did not
monitor the distribution of food supplied by their governments. They have to
account for that. Where that aid is abused or misused they have an
obligation to blow the whistle.

Moyo should stop huffing and puffing about sovereignty. Nobody has the right
to steal from donors for partisan advantage. The WFP has been woefully slow
to reach this point. In August its representatives were telling the press
there was no evidence of political abuse of aid. Now they know. Let's hope
they keep their eyes open in future.

Congratulations to the UNDP, another less-than-robust organisation in the
past, for telling it like it is. Its latest human development report
describes Zimbabwe as a pseudo-democracy.

The Herald reported Chipo Zindoga, Zimbabwe's High Commissioner to Tanzania,
as telling a UNDP symposium on the report in Dar es Salaam that Zimbabwe had
once been regarded as a model African democracy. But land reform changed all
that she complained, demanding a correction to the report.

She just doesn't get it, does she? A government that seizes land regardless
of its own laws, changes the judiciary when it doesn't like their rulings,
and then attacks civil society including the press, branding them enemies of
the people, is not one likely to be regarded as democratic by anybody.

A colleague of Muckraker's who attended the Dar es Salaam symposium said
Zindoga proved excitable and unskilled in presenting her arguments. As a
result a potentially sympathetic audience ended up unsympathetic. We
particularly liked the UNDP representative's response to the indignant
criticism from Zindoga and Tanzanian officials on the rating their countries
had been given. Read the report and correct things that are not working
well, he said. What would seem obvious to most people will no doubt have
been lost on the Zimbabwean High Commissioner.

What is the link between Tafataona Mahoso and Ibbo Mandaza? They were
featured together in the Herald this week claiming the decision by the EU
and Sadc to relocate a ministerial dialogue meeting to Maputo was a great
victory for Zimbabwean diplomacy. On October 11 the Zimbabwe Independent
carried a story reporting that the meeting would be moved to Maputo from
Copenhagen because of opposition by EU member states to having Zimbabwean
ministers attending such a meeting in Europe. There was no objection to
Zimbabwe attending if the meeting was held in Africa, hence the shift to

How Mandaza and Mahoso managed to extract a victory from all this is
difficult to fathom. Mandaza is reported to have taken a swipe at EU states
saying none were really democratic. Zimbabwe is, we suppose?

Throughout the article by Lovemore Mataire it is rather difficult to
differentiate Mandaza's or Mahoso's remarks from the writer's. Who for
instance said: "Following the successful completion of land reform with
President Mugabe explicitly giving an unedited version of the Zimbabwean
story at the World Summit in South Africa, the majority of African and
European countries have realised that the demonisation of the government and
President Mugabe was unwarranted."

Despite Mandaza's sunny disposition, we have difficulty believing he said
that. And who said: "On the domestic scene the opposition MDC and its allies
are surely disappointed that their campaign to have Zimbabwe maligned in the
international arena has flopped. Their hate propaganda has yielded nothing
as many outsiders are beginning to see the clearer picture of the Zimbabwean

That presumably includes all two New York City councillors who agreed to act
as public relations officers for Zanu PF? Nobody else from the council would

The problem with being interviewed by somebody like Mataire is that you will
have words put into your mouth and be made to look stupid. Whatever we may
think of Mahoso's poor editing skills ("To be continued next week"), we
doubt that he would describe the British as "over-aggressive", as distinct
from aggressive, or provide as an example of the divisions in the EU the
fact that they all agreed with Britain's position on Zimbabwe!

Mataire was given "free reign (sic)" in the Herald on Monday to attack
journalists writing for the independent press. Those opposed to Aippa were
dismissed as "gullible, rapaciously ignorant and impressionable novice

Justifying the establishment of the media commission, he claimed one of its
functions was to set qualifications for local journalists. Evidently he is
ignorant of the fact that this was one of the clauses struck down as
unconstitutional by the Parliamentary Legal Committee and therefore dropped
from the Bill. Which is just as well because the commission's chair may have
had difficulty satisfying the requirements!

What a "nincompoop" - or "stupid little person" as Mataire so thoughtfully
explained to us in his piece deriding private-sector journalists. Having
seen him swallow every single ministerial claim made to him - and a few more
that weren't even made - we feel Mataire would best fit the other definition
of nincompoop provided by the dictionary: a simpleton!

He feels strongly that certain journalists should be barred from the

"If it is proven that my conduct is no longer that of a journalist but of a
British intelligence spy or an MDC activist, then surely there should be a
law to ensure that I am banished from practising as a journalist," he says.

But Lovemore, if we were to banish every spy and political activist at
Herald House you would be left without any colleagues!

On the subject of spies we read with interest reports that one of the regime
's foremost dinosaurs, Dr Tichaona Jokonya, is being considered for the top
job in the CIO following the former incumbent's removal to Nairobi.

Jokonya would be the perfect choice. He was quoted in the Herald on Tuesday
as claiming that the UN report on the plundering of the DRC was part of an
international conspiracy against Zimbabwe.

"It has come to the attention of the government of Zimbabwe," he wrote to
the president of the Security Council, "that the international conspiracy
and alignment of forces against Zimbabwe continues unabated as exemplified
by the grotesque fabrication of false evidence being presented to the (UN)
panel by our detractors through the Western media."

In other words: "We were set up", the cry everywhere of those apprehended by
the law. But who is going to believe that? If this was an isolated case the
government might get a more sympathetic hearing. But theft in the region is
difficult to disclaim when systematic theft at home - of properties and
businesses built up over a lifetime of hard work - has become commonplace,
indeed institutionalised!

An intelligence service committed not to the discovery of crime but to its
justification - the Congolese Information minister was quoted as saying they
could do what they liked with the Congo's resources - is one that will
seamlessly place the interest of the ruling elite before that of the nation.

Meanwhile, the Herald's chorus of denials is becoming more shrill as the
evidence of the regime's wrongdoing piles up. "We didn't loot DRC" was the
best so far.

Much was made in the official press of statements by South African foreign
minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during her recent visit to Zimbabwe. She was
quoted as saying it was "un-revolutionary" to criticise the expropriation of
land in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean state-run television reported that Dlamini-Zuma said that people
are entitled to hold opinions over how land reform should be done, "but the
real issue is the redistribution of land to the Zimbabwean people and that
cannot be wrong".

"It would be un-revolutionary to say it is wrong to give out land," she was
reported as saying.

Ronnie Mamoepa, spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, denied
last week that the minister made these statements. She apparently spoke to a
few journalists after meeting Mugabe, but it was "nonsense" to say she made
the alleged statements, he said.

We liked President Thabo Mbeki's description of himself as Coloured.
Speaking in Bekkersdal on the West Rand last Sunday to a crowd which
included unruly PAC supporters, he echoed sentiments expressed in his famous
"I am an African" speech.

"I have Shangaan, Xhosa, Sotho, Venda and some white blood in me," he said.
"Therefore I will not tolerate any of the prejudice that people experience
here because they are of a certain tribal group."

He had heard a litany of complaints about xenophobia and ill-treatment
because people were Shangaan, Tswana, or Xhosa, the Sunday Times reported.

Isn't it refreshing to find a national leader who wants to embrace all
dimensions of his people rather than exclude some on the basis of ethnicity
or totems?

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 Zimbabwean arrested in 419 scam
            October 25, 2002, 09:00

            A Zimbabwean national has been arrested in connection with a
suspected letter scam, which has been using the names of President Thabo
Mbeki and his wife to solicit funds from corporate businesses.

            The suspect is expected to appear in the Pretoria North
magistrate's court on charges of fraud. He was arrested after allegedly
failing to pay his hotel bill.

            Another Zimbabwean, who is suspected to be the mastermind behind
the scam, is believed to have fled the country, leaving his friend behind
with the hotel bill.

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GREAT LAKES: Kinshasa allies announce final pull-out of forces

KINSHASA, 25 October (IRIN) - Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe, which have supported the Kinshasa government during the past four years of war against rebel forces backed by neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda, said on Thursday the final withdrawal of their armed forces from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) would take place by 31 October.

The announcement came at the end of a one-day summit hosted by DRC President Joseph Kabila and attended by Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Namibian President Sam Nujoma, and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

In a joint statement, the four allied nations also called for the strengthening of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the DRC, known as MONUC, and the verification of the withdrawal of Rwandan armed forces. They also voiced their support for the holding of an international conference on peace and development in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

The allied leaders urged Kabila to persevere in his efforts to reach national reconciliation through the resumption of negotiations leading to the formation of an all-inclusive, power-sharing transitional government and the eventual holding of national democratic elections.

"We are convinced that President Kabila will continue to make every effort to move the inter-Congolese dialogue forward towards achieving a durable peace, which is key to stability," dos Santos said at the end of the summit.

The inter-Congolese dialogue, which ended in April 2002 in Sun City, South Africa, with agreement reached among a majority of participants, was due to resume on Friday in Pretoria, South Africa. Representatives were expected from all Congolese parties to the conflict: the Kinshasa government, the Rwandan-backed Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie, the Ugandan-backed Mouvement de liberation du Congo, unarmed political opposition groups and civil society organisations.

Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe sent an estimated 26,000 troops into the DRC in 1998 to counter an offensive launched on Kinshasa by rebel forces backed by Rwanda and Uganda.

On 30 July, the governments of the DRC and Rwanda reached a peace agreement in Pretoria to restore the sovereignty of the DRC and the security of Rwanda; DRC and Uganda likewise reached a similar accord in the Angolan capital, Luanda, on 6 September.

Rwanda has since announced the withdrawal of all its forces from the DRC, and this was verified by the Third Party Verification Mechanism set up by MONUC and South Africa, signatories to the Pretoria accord. [see]

Uganda, which has withdrawn most of its forces, still has a limited military presence in northeastern DRC at the request of the UN, in an effort to maintain stability in a region torn by ethnic conflict and rebel faction rivalries fuelled by economic interests.

Angola and Zimbabwe are in the process of withdrawing their remaining forces in the DRC, while Namibia has already completed its pullout.

The four leaders also pledged to improve their economic cooperation, which is based largely on the mining and petroleum sectors.


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humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views
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      Will the troops shoot to kill eight months after? (Part 1)

      Masipula Sithole
      10/24/02 8:14:59 AM (GMT +2)

      LAST week I promised that this time round I would look at the troops
eight months after the March 2002 controversial presidential election. This
is the first of a two-part contribution focusing on the issue.

      But first, a disclaimer:

      I am not a military person. But this you all know. Neither do I flirt
with the military. This you probably know also.

      I tend to shy away from men and women in uniform and those in dark
glasses because they make me uncomfortable. Yet they should not. They are
just fellow citizens who happen to be in uniform and dark glasses.

      So, on what basis do I discuss men and women in uniform and in dark
classes, you might ask?

      Frankly, on the basis of common sense. Beyond the uniform and dark
glasses, we are the same. They are just fellow citizens who have a sense of
right and wrong just like you and me.

      It is from this very basic and elementary point that I discuss the
military. Human beings are the same, fanana; uniforms and dark glasses
camouflage this fundamental point known to rulers as they mystify the
difference between us.

      Besides, a lot of these things (as we mentioned in this column in past
contributions) are nothing but mystification of common sense. Usually labels
like "classified" or "secret" or "top secret" are used to mystify ordinary
information like the number of casualties in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo conflict.

      Or even the amount in bribes a certain minister got in transaction X,
or which chef is sleeping with what sex worker in which flat in the Avenues,
et cetera, including which opposition politician is supposed to be on the
payroll of the state!

      Sometimes colours are used on or instead of such labels with blue,
yellow and red progressively representing the magnitude of the scandal or
mystification intended. "Red" often stands for the highest scandal or

      The dark glasses are meant to produce a spooky effect. There is
nothing special about those glasses; you can see the enemies of the state
equally well, if not better, in ordinary glasses!

      Enough of mystification and demystification. What is the likely
behaviour of men and women in uniform and dark glasses eight months from the
March 2002 controversial presidential election?

      Last week we suggested that by dismissing or interfering with the
popularly elected Harare mayor and city council, the Minister of Local
Government risks unleashing the popular resistance or revolt deferred in the
aftermath of the March election.

      We made the observation that the people and the opposition
deliberately did not resist or revolt, thereby denying the ZANU PF regime
the opportunity it was looking for, namely to settle scores with the
opposition once and for all.

      Is the situation qualitatively changed now from what it was in March?
I argue that it has.

      Will the men and women in uniform and in dark glasses act differently
this time than they would have done eight months ago? I argue that they

      The situation has deteriorated dramatically from day one of the
controversial election victory in March. Zvinhu zvisina kuti twasa zvinoda
kuti zvibudirire chimbi-chimbi. Crooked operations must have instant
success. This has been denied the regime since the controversial March
presidential election.

      lInflation has risen from 113.3 percent in March to 139.9 percent in
September, and there is literally no end in sight.

      lUnemployment has risen from around 60 percent in March to about 70
percent at the moment, and again there is literally no end in sight.

      lIn March we were assured that no one in the country would starve, but
now seven million people face starvation, and again there is literally no
end in sight. Even if the rains come, it takes at least three years to
produce a farmer, even vemombe mbiri nemadhongi mashanu!

      lIn March, VaMugabe could go to fend for us almost anywhere in the
world; now he can't, and there is literally no end in sight to this
isolation either.

      lIn March, our country had some commodities that it could sell in the
international markets to earn the needed foreign exchange; now it either
does not have the commodities or the markets, and again there is no end in
sight to this either.

      lEt cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

      And when I say "there is literally no end in sight", I literally mean
it. What is dreadful is that there is literally no plan to get us out of
this mess we put ourselves in. If there is, where is this plan?

      The only plan there is is more oppressive legislation. Ndizvo
zvinongofungwa chete-chete. That is all the myopic clique is thinking about
day and night.

      What about passing positive legislation that reduces inflation,
unemployment, starvation, et cetera for a change?

      Instead, the clique is busy, very busy coming up with this primitive
Rhodesia legislation (POSA, AIPPA, et cetera). And now this medieval Bill
meant to chase away the little bit of foreign currency the country still
gets from the donor community.

      Murikuzvifambisa sei nhai imi vatongi? What do you think you are
doing? Kunge musina kurwisa Ian Smith, kana kufunda. As if you never fought
Ian Smith or never went to school.

      How could anybody who fought against the Rhodesian regime or who is
half-educated come up with POSA, AIPPA, and now this self-defeating medieval
legislation against non-governmental organisations and the donor community?
Reactionary to the core!

      Our ancestors who led us through the first and second Chimurenga (I
have my doubts about their involvement in the third) have given us the eight
months since the March 2002 controversial presidential election to reflect
and take an audit on our rulers. Our rulers havachina zano; they no longer
have a plan. Their only plan is to oppress the people in the manner
(literally) of the Rhodesian regime.

      Our luck is that things have been allowed to mature to the point where
it is now crystal clear where we are and why we are where we are. Kuti
ndiBlair, zvaramba! Kuti ndiBush, zvaramba! Kuti ndiTsvangirai, zvaramba!
Kuti ndiMasipula, zvaramba!

      I am arguing that the country is fast reaching a consensus about the
source of its misery. The men and women in uniform and in dark glasses are
part of that consensus.

      Let us pick up this story next week.

        a.. Professor Masipula Sithole is a lecturer of political science at
the University of Zimbabwe and director of the Harare-based Mass Public
Opinion Institute. While he is currently on sabbatical leave in the United
States of America, Sithole can be contacted at e-mail address and telephone number (202) 429 3819

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      A new mindset for a new Africa

      Chido Makunike
      10/24/02 8:42:55 AM (GMT +2)

      AS the debate over non-existent or crooked election processes
continues all over Africa, it is true that the issue of governance goes far
beyond just how we choose our leaders. How we relate to leaders even when
they are chosen in clean, transparent elections determines the quality of
our politics to a great extent.

      Whether the leaders are self-appointed or elected, we on the whole
show a reverence for them, rather than respect, that encourages them to
think of themselves as being somehow ordained to rule us.

      This encourages the kind of arrogance and impunity that is so common
amongst politicians all over this continent.
      This will not change unless the populace continuously makes it clear
to them that we recognise that they are mere mortals like the rest of us,
and that we will show no mercy in pointing out their foibles.

      The rest of us recognise that we will have to pay for our mistakes or
failures in whatever field, but
      African politicians consider it their right to destroy whole countries
and get off scot free, and generally we make that very easy.

      Another interesting phenomenon that transcends politics in holding
Africa back is our attitude towards prestige. Among the African professional
class, in and outside politics, there is an astonishingly widespread sense
of entitlement to perks, completely divorced from achievement.

      A young fellow will find himself appointed to head some broke,
floundering, loss making parastatal for instance. The first thing that comes
to his mind is not a turnaround strategy, but the purchase of a luxury car
befitting his new social status.

      If Africa is ever going to get anywhere, we need more professionals
who get a sense of worth and social prestige from what they are able to
accomplish in their companies, NGOs or government departments, than merely
what they are able to get out of them.

      We need more Africans who realise there is no prestige in living in
the biggest house on the hill, and driving the most expensive car in town,
when your company is known to be on the brink of collapse. We need more
executives who are driven more by the desire to prove they can take their
companies from the verge of collapse to great heights, and that this sense
of achievement is far more prestigious than impressing one's golf or
drinking buddies.

      Status symbols that are not backed up by the actual status of having
accomplished something merely make one a laughing stock because they expose
the shallowness of one's values.

      All over Africa, dealing with government departments is one of the
most demoralising and stressful experiences. Many civil servants get their
sense of power not from solving problems for members of the public, but by
the degree to which they can refuse to facilitate the solving of a citizen's

      A minister will often feel more satisfaction at having prevented the
establishment of some great new enterprise, than having been the one to cut
the red tape and bring it into being sooner.

      Passport officials will often feel more satisfied and powerful at the
long line of hot, frustrated, uncomfortable citizens outside their offices
virtually pleading for their services, than at cutting the backlog and
      serving them efficiently.

      As long as this sort of mindset exists, it will not make much
difference whether those leading our countries are the disastrous Mugabes,
or more switched on leaders.

      Those of us who consider ourselves very western-sophisticated can be
as much of the problem as we can help to solve Africa's unending problems.
We go out of our way to show how we relate to God in the American or British
way, the Western diploma is prominently displayed on the wall, the car is
waxed to a high lustre every morning to make a good impression at the golf

      As much as we admire the trappings of the sophisticated Western life,
we often don't quite have
      the stamina to do the long term, dirty work of trying to create the
overall prosperity of our societies,which is the quality we perhaps admire
more about the West than any other.

      We don't have the stomach to deal with the problems of starting and
nurturing new institutions or enterprises 'because if I don't have a
Mercedes by the age of 25 everybody will consider me a failure and my wife
might leave me.'

      We understand the problems of our weak countries very well, but are
often so caught up in 'being sophisticated' that it doesn't trouble us very
much if we contribute to them more than to solving them.

      A smart economist, businessman or banker will eloquently tell us how
much of our problem is that we don't generate enough foreign currency, and
what little we do goes to non-productive imports. He will then promptly go
out to buy the most expensive imported new car on the market, or the most
luxurious Italian fittings for his new twenty bedroomed house.

      Until we find a more sustainable middle ground between our craving to
be "Western-sophisticated" and our economic reality, we will continue to
sink, even as we imitate the citizens of economies far more robust than
ours. We intellectually know the importance of linking consumption with
productivity, as individuals and national economic entities, but we have not
really internalised it.

      We are averse to risk, only taking it when we are pushed and feel we
have no option; we like to keep our heads down and avoid all controversy.

      We curse the corrupt, incompetent politicians with vigour in private,
but in public kiss them and are very careful that we are not in any way
associated with those the rulers may consider to be trouble makers.

      Ironically for a post-independence Africa that never tires of boasting
about sovereignty and independence, we give whites an amazing degree of
power over our thought processes.

      Hear a bourgeois, luxury loving African president or government
minister moan about the helplessness of his government to deal with present
day problems "because of what the colonialists did to us 20 or a 100 years
ago", and you would be excused for thinking that the colonialists still
      In a way they do, because in our minds we have decided that they do.
And so government policy, strategy and pronouncements are often more
defensive, designed to cock a snook at the Westerners, than they are
pro-active and for the benefit of the Africans.

      We will make little headway as long as we are always in reaction mode
to Westerners.
      For Africa to have any hope of making headway, it will require much
more than getting rid of the venal, violent politicians who plague the
continent. It will also require you and me to be prepared to do a lot of
things differently in our spheres of work and influence.

        a.. Chido Makunike is a Harare-based political commentator.
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      El Nino dryness threatens SA crop

      10/24/02 8:55:44 AM (GMT +2)

      Johannesburg - A South African farmers' group said last week a dry
spell was battering wheat plants and could affect the upcoming planting of
maize critical to help feed southern Africa.

      The 2002/03 wheat harvest - estimated at 2.3 million tonnes - is also
being hammered by the dry weather brought by what the weather bureau is
calling a "moderate" El Nino.

      "We need rain desperately in the next two to three weeks," said Fanie
Brink, deputy general manager of growers association Grain South Africa.

      "We have a dry spell all over the summer rainfall area and I am sure
that it is going to affect planting . . . and the wheat is really taking a
battering," he said.

      The country's largest cooperative maize grower Senwes, said in
September unusually high winter rainfall had boosted ground moisture levels
ahead of planting, but dry summer weather would cut into the crop.

      Many southern African states are expected to rely heavily on the maize
produced by South Africa's farmers as a food crisis unfolds in the region,
threatening more than 14 million people, according to United Nations

      South African farmers are expected to favour white maize production
this season to take advantage of high prices sparked by surging demand for
the human staple from the region.

      The South African Weather Service said below-average rains were
expected in coming months because of the El Nino weather phenomenon. South
Africa receives most of its rain in the spring and summer months.

      "There is no reason to believe that we should get a favourable
rainfall season," forecaster Willem Landman said.

      "We have to favour the high probability of below average rainfall."

      "It seems as if it is going to proceed as a moderate El Nino," he
said, adding that the dry spell did not appear to be as bad as droughts in
1982 and the early 1990s.

      El Nino, which means "boy child" in Spanish, results from abnormally
warm sea surface temperatures in the eastern and central tropical Pacific,
bringing drought to some parts of the globe.

      Adverse weather and political mismanagement have slashed food
production in southern Africa and aid agencies are pouring food into the
region to sustain millions of people in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi,
Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho ahead of grain harvests early next year.

      Brink said the eastern part of the breadbasket Free State province,
which produces about half of South Africa's wheat, was particularly affected
by the dry spell.

      October rainfall is critical for South African wheat planted around
April and May.

      Farmers in the east of the country started to plant maize in late
September for the 2003/4 marketing year. Farmers in the west are expected to
start sowing in coming weeks.

      South Africa produced 2.5 million tonnes of maize last season. Maize
output for the 2002/3 season was 8.78 million tonnes from 7.2 million tonnes
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