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

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ESC talks of violence-ridden election    9/28/02
Story by By Chengetai Zvauya
 THE Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) has confirmed that the run-up to the rural district and urban council elections which end today, was marred by violence.
In a statement, an official of the ESC, Thomas Bvuma, said police had in some cases confirmed the incidents, giving credence to opposition MDC claims that violence has marred the contest.‘’Political campaigning officially started soon after the nomination of candidates. The ESC received reports from monitors of incidents of politically motivated violence.
Most of the cases involved mutual accusations by political parties. They included skirmishes between MDC and Zanu PF. Some cases were corroborated by the police, others were not,” said Bvuma.
In Hurungwe West, where there is a by-election taking place concurrently with council elections, Nikoniari Chabvamudeve, a Movement for Democratic Change member, was axed to death last Saturday in the Chivende communal area by suspected Zanu PF supporters as the violence flared. Chabvemudeve was brutally killed by youths suspected to have been deployed to the area by Zanu PF to drum up support for its candidate.
The youths were moving around in three pick up vehicles. Police spokesperson Chief Inspe-ctor Bothwell Mugariri confirmed the murder but said Chabvemudeve had been one of those involved in political violence. “The deceased was among those who tortured people at Guvhenga Township,’’ said Inspector Mugariri.
Nine youths have since been arrested in connection with the murder. The Hurungwe West by-election is being held following the death of Marko Madiro of Zanu PF. Phone Madiro, brother of the late Madiro, is standing on a Zanu-PF ticket while Justin Dandawa is representing MDC. The campaign period has, however, been marked by violence.
Militant Zanu PF youths have unleashed a reign of terror in the area forcing Dandawa to flee his rural home. Only last week, a teacher at a local primary school was forced into hiding after MDC cards were found in his possession.
The Electoral Supervisory Commission has also admitted that the campaign process was fraught with violence. “The ESC received reports from monitors of incidents of politically-motivated violence,” it said in a statement. Meanwhile, elections got off to a slow start in many rural districts.
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      Mumbengegwi just loves Brussels  9/28/02
      Story by By our own Staff

      DESPITE being slapped with travel sanctions by the European Union, new
minister for industry and international trade, Samuel Mumbengegwi, just
loves being in Europe

And he can't help bragging about it, especially when surrounded by Europeans
and being treated to a lavish reception.

Contacted by The Standard on Friday to comment on the delayed appointment of
a new substantive University of Zimbabwe vice chancellor whilst he was the
minister of higher education, Mumbengegwi took the opportunity to brag about
the good treatment he was receiving in Brussels, Belgium. "Ndiri kuBrussles.
Mukati kati me Europe. Unokuziva here kuBrussels? (I am in Brussels, right
in the heart of Europe. Do you know anything about Brussels?) he asked. "It'
s a high delegation meeting and they are rolling out red carpets for me all
over. Ndiri pakati pavo varungu (I am right there among the whites)," said
an elated Mumbengegwi.

He is one of the Mugabe ministers who have been slapped with biting travel
sanctions by the EU but he has been allowed to travel to Belgium to attend
the European Union/African Caribbean and Pacific nations trade talks on the
basis of the Cotonou Agreement. Already a row has erupted over his presence
in Brussels with members of the European parliament and Zimbabwe's
opposition seeing no reason why members of the Mugabe regime who have been
slapped with targeted EU sanctions should be allowed in any EU country.
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Zim Standard

      Militia swarm Masvingo Teachers' college
      By Parker Graham

      MASVINGO-Graduates of the national youth service training programme
have flooded Masvingo Teachers' College, raising fears that there may not be
an intake for January 2003.

      Authoritative sources at the college, located a few kilometres outside
Masvingo, told The Standard on Thursday that the recruitment exercise which
kicked off this month, was "too excessive".

       "There are over 700 newly recruited first year student teachers at
Masvingo Teachers College, the majority of whom are graduates of the Border
Gezi training institution.

      In normal circumstances, the college recruits around 350 students and
it has already come to light that the college will not recruit next January
for the 2003 intake," said an official who asked to remain anonymous.

      The Border Gezi youths were drafted into the training programme at the
last minute forcing the college authorities to reschedule their timetables.

      According to investigations by this paper, apart from the recruits,
the majority of the students are related to well known Zanu PF officials and
top civil servants.

      A visit to Masvingo Teachers College on Thursday this week revealed a
dining hall overcrowded with first year students who could not fit into
their normal lecture rooms.

      Efforts to obtain comment from the principal, Ms Sharai Chakanyuka,
were fruitless as she was said to be away on college business at the time of
The Standard's visit. But other first year students who spoke on condition
of anonymity said the conditions at the college were not conducive to
serious studying.

      "We are too congested here. There is no fresh air in the lecture rooms
due to overcrowding. I don't know whether those responsible for recruiting
were in their right senses, but recruiting such a huge number of students at
one go deserves to be condemned in the strongest terms," said one male

      The Zanu PF government, under pressure to secure employment for the
restless youths, has ordered state institutions to give them priority when
they have vacancies.
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Zim Standard

      Villagers regret giving Mugabe the vote
      By Parker Graham

      BOLI, Chiredzi-Only seven months ago, they went in droves to Zanu PF
rallies to listen to a message dearest to their hearts.

      "No-one will starve, noone will die of hunger," President Robert
Mugabe unequivocally stated to cheering masses draped in Zanu PF t/shirts
which bore the unmistakable Hondo Yeminda/The Third Chimurenga slogans.

      But hardly six months later, villagers in the drought-stricken
districts of Mwenezi and Chiredzi are regretting having turned out in their
thousands on 9, 10 and 11 March, to give their vote to Mugabe.

      Hunger continues to knock on their doors despite Mugabe's pledge that
no-one in Zimbabwe would starve, so long as he was in charge. Now, while
Mugabe is safely ensconced in State House, the villagers continue to wallow
in abject poverty with no reprieve in sight.

      "It's the same old story-Mugabe promises us so much when elections are
close but forgets us for good when he gets the vote he needs.

      This time around, it's more painful because we can die of starvation
anytime," says 70-year-old Machingauta Karowa, of Boli village in Chiredzi
South, who has unsuccessfully gone around the two districts looking for

      Mwenezi and Chiredzi are the two districts of Masvingo province that
overwhelmingly voted for Mugabe in a presidential election marred by
violence, intimidation and allegations of poll rigging. But the districts,
dubbed the poorest of the poor in Zimbabwe by the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) in 1986, have not experienced a reversal of fortune, as a

      Apart from lagging behind in terms of development, they have in the
past experienced perennial drought, hunger, disease and unemployment.
Villagers now believe that the only reason why they are important to
government is to provide the votes needed to ward off opposition parties
like the MDC. About three weeks ago, Masvingo governor Josaya Hungwe paid a
visit to the area where he repeated the message that was so dear to the
starving masses before hunger began to take its toll.

      Said Hungwe: "We were pleased by your support of President Mugabe
during the March elections. I have come here to thank you the people of
Chiredzi South, Mwenezi and Chikombedzi, for your overwhelming vote.
"Mwenezi was the country's second best constituency after Uzumba Maramba
Pfungwe with Chiredzi doing its level best," said an elated Hungwe. He said
the government would make sure no-one in the area died of hunger.

      He then drove off leaving starvation-ravaged villagers starring after
his ministerial vehicle. In this remote part of the countryside, peasants go
for days without food. Shalati Manyise of Gezani told The Standard last week
that she was concerned at Zanu PF's shameless hypocrisy.

      "Some of us are surviving on the wild fruits of the Majimwini
mountains and yet someone can still come here and make the same fake
promises we always hear towards election time. We are tired of hearing them.
"We have been used, lied to, taken advantage of and then discarded shortly
after crucial elections have taken place. I don't know why people are not
learning from past experiences. What worries me most is that we, the less
privileged, the neglected, the poor, are the ones who always give Zanu PF
the vote," said a fuming Manyise.

      Gezani Mashophani, of Chikombedzi, noted that it was usual for
districts such as Chiredzi, Beitbridge and Mwenezi to be remembered towards
election time. "Does it mean that Shangaan and Vendah speaking people exist
only to vote for Zanu PF? When it comes to developmental issues such as
construction of hospitals, clinics and roads, they are not remembered," said

      The districts' major rivers such as Runde, Save and Mwenezi have
low-lying bridges which flood during the rainy season. "I am now regretting
having voted for Zanu PF instead of the opposition MDC. I think in future,
the people should experiment with new governments so they can get rid of the
one that has overstayed its welcome," said Mashopani.
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Zim Standard

      WFP asks farmers for transport
      By Loughty Dube

      BULAWAYO-The World Food Programme (WFP) which is struggling to feed
over six million hungry Zimbabweans, has made an urgent appeal to
dispossessed farmers through Justice for Agriculture (JAG) to provide
transport to carry food aid to the starving rural masses.

      The WFP was repeating an appeal made earlier this year.

      The transport details contained in the WFP appeal include lorries,
trailers, and articulated vehicles such as tractors and horse-drawn

      JAG spokesperson, Jenni Williams, confirmed WFP's urgent appeal to
farmers and said the farmers could have the transport the organisation was

      "The appeal was made a long time ago and it was renewed recently and I
hope the farmers have the big trucks that the WFP is looking for. The
farmers will have to apply for their trucks to be considered for use in the
food distribution exercise," said Williams.

      JAG has sent out a notice to the farmers urging them to put to good
use some of their derelict equipment and machinery.

      Thousands of farmers have been thrown off their land and more still
risk being driven out as government intensifies its controversial land
reform programme.

      The WFP and its implementing partners, World Vision, Care
International and Orap, has been facing difficulties in transporting food
from depots to recipients in rural areas throughout the country.

      WFP spokesperson, Makina Walker, confirmed that the organisation
needed transport but was not able to give logistical details.

      "We advertised for transport but I can not give you details off-hand,"
said Walker.
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Zim Standard

      Lobels up for grabs
      By Tendai Mutseyekwa

      LOBELS Bread (Pvt) Ltd, one of Zimbabwe's major bread and
confectionery manufacturers, is said to be up for grabs after management
decided to dispose of it due to intense political pressure. The baker, with
operations in Harare and Mutare, where it trades under the Mitchels brand,
is arguably the second largest in the country after Innscor.

      Standard Business is reliably informed that NMB's Corporate Finance
Department has been mandated by Lobels to oversee the disposal oftheir

      A manager in NMB's corporate finance services could not shed any
light, citing client confidentiality. "This is all privileged information.
What you can do is put everything in writing and address it to Mr
(Christopher) Mutasa," said the manager.

      Mutasa, the bank's corporate finance manager said: "I have been
talking to people around trying to establish the whole issue, but so far
there is nothing, so all I can say is we can't comment at this moment,"
Mutasa told Standard Business on Friday.

      Les Leroux, Lobels' acting managing director, was equally
unforthcoming when contacted on Friday. "I'm sorry I can't comment on that,
the only person who can do that is Mr David Long, our company consultant,
who is away at the moment," Leroux said.

      Industry sources told Standard Business last week that they estimated
Lobels' value at between $600 million and $650 million.

      While no clear front runner has emerged as yet, sources said blue chip
conglomerate, Innscor Africa, was an obvious force to contend with as it was
already well established in the industry and would naturally seek to
increase its market dominance.

      Said a source: "Innscor will either eat into Lobels' market share with
their existing operations, or will acquire the bakery. Either way it is good
news for Innscor because they stand to improve their business as soon as
Lobels is out of the way."

      He, however, said it was possible that government would want to
influence the process by lobbying for an investor friendly to Zanu PF to
take over Lobels, as it felt bread was an essential commodity which could
not be allowed to be dominated by private investors. It could possibly do
this by financing a preferred person through a pension fund such as NSSA.

      While erratic supplies of wheat and other raw materials were impacting
negatively on the baking industry, the sources said political pressure was
the major force behind management's move to dispose of Lobels, citing a raid
earlier this year on the company's premises by Zanu PF politicians, Philip
Chiyangwa, Saviour Kasukuwere and David Chapfika.

      "Ever since that raid, they have been monitored closely on suspicion
of economic sabotage," said an informed source.

      "It would not be honest to cite current economic problems as the main
reason behind the disposal of Lobels because things are not desperate for
the industry. For example, one Innscor factory has a monthly turnover of
about $130 million, with a margin of aout $8 million-Lobels should at the
very least be recording similar business," said the source.

      The Zanu PF government has all but blamed industrialists for the
current economic malaise which has manifested itself in acute shortages of
basic commodities such as bread, mealie meal, cooking oil, sugar, and salt,
among other essential goods.

      As has become the norm, government last week implemented another
piecemeal measure when it announced that it had suspended the 5% duty on
wheat imports, in a desperate bid to alleviate the current flour shortage
which has seen families go without the traditional bread at breakfast.
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Zim Standard

      IMF sounds Zimbabwe's economic death knell
      By Kumbirai Mafunda

      WITH news that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has instituted
steps to suspend Zimbabwe's voting rights to pave way for an outright
ejection from the international body, local analysts say this could be the
proverbial straw that broke the camel's back for the country's struggling
economy which has so far defied all odds by staying afloat.

      The analysts said a decision to suspend Zimbabwe's voting rights alone
would lead to a downward revision of the country's projected economic
performance for 2002, which is currently expected to shrink by 12%.

      Industrialists and economic commentators told Standard Business last
week that the IMF's decision, announced a fortnight ago, had sounded the
death knell for the country's struggling industry which has seen over 500
manufacturing companies close shop over the past two years.

      They said that the move could see a wholesale departure by the
remaining few countries that were still extending credit facilities to the
struggling southern African economy.

      Said John Robertson, a Harare-based economic consultant: "These extra
measures will really be annoying to government which wants to take part in
international affairs. We should be a market player in international
affairs, but yet we are isolated by the Commonwealth and moreover by the
IMF. This will further damage our credit worthiness.

      "We already have a bad record and that will be made worse by our
isolation. Nobody will help us if the IMF is not involved because it sets
the pace for every entry. We are doing the wrong thing and failing to
attract the people we need."

      A fortnight ago the executive board of the IMF decided to initiate the
procedure to suspend Zimbabwe's voting and related rights in the body for
not co-operating adequately with the fund in resolving its overdue financial
obligations. Zimbabwe's arrears to the fund amount to 33% of its quota in
the fund.

      Group chief executive of Surgimed Trading and chairman of Trinidad
Industries, Danny Meyer, said the country was inclined to lose its
established markets abroad as customers and clients will have to contend
with thoughts of whether their supplier will be able to continue providing

      "Our credit rating is definitely going to plunge further down. It is
going to affect our business directly in the sense that it is a pure
reflection of the way we are managing our economy. The few remaining trading
partners are bound to reexamine trading relations with businesses in the
country and may scout for other markets," said Meyer.

      However Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries acting chief executive,
Farai Zizhou, felt the decision would not have a telling effect on the
economy as Zimbabwe was already isolated by the international community.

      "The issue of credit is almost a non issue. Even our colleagues in
South Africa are demanding cash upfront. Although there are many people who
take a cue from the IMF, the picture is already bad and any such move will
not make it really bad," said Zizhou.
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Zim Standard - Feature

      Africa's image problem
      By Chido Makunike

      A PERENNIAL African problem is the bad press the continent gets,
particularly in the western world. More often than not, the images of Africa
one sees projected from the west are of war, hunger, economic collapse and
other symbols of dysfunctionalism.

      Among the reasons we give for why negative news about Africa from the
west predominate are: racism against the non-western world-particularly
towards blacks; ignorance about the complexity of the continent;
socio-cultural-religious arrogance that assumes the whole world must conform
to a western standard, and so on.

      I want to delve into some of the ways in which we as Africans also
contribute greatly to the world's image of Africa as a sort of basket case
continent that can't seem to get too many things right.

      Africa has miserably failed to live up to its independence promise to
itself, of a new era of post-colonial freedom and prosperity for its people.

      Just like yesterday's racist colonial governments, African governments
today find all sorts of reasons to justify why Africans are not quite
entitled to the degree of political and other freedoms that many people in
the world increasingly take for granted.

      Despotic governme-nts are certainly not confined to Africa, but they
are the norm rather than the exception here.

      Independence has simply not brought with it an improvement of the
freedoms of Africans nor the security over the colonial era that one would
have hoped for, and that the world would have expected. Mugabe's apparatus
of control is not that different to Smith's.

      The beggar mentality has become so entrenched that Africa expects to
be a perpetual recipient of assistance. When Mugabe is rejected by the west
whose approval and largess he sought and valued so much, he does not take
that as an opportunity to explore greater self-sufficiency, he looks for new

      The result is that even our 'friends' see us as always asking for one
favour or another and never quite being able to relate to the non-African
world as equals.

      Even in the quite justifiable assertion that Britain and other
European countries cannot just walk away from the after-effects of their
colonial pasts as easily as they would like, there is an undignified whining
tone. It is a childish, petulant cry along the lines of "if you don't live
up to your post-colonial responsibilities, we will try to cause you great
embarrassment and discomfort, even if it means saying and doing things which
will further impoverish us!"

      I am not one to pretend Africa hasn't benefited in countless ways from
its interactions with the west, like many of our thoroughly westernised
politicians hypocritica-lly do. Yet the benefits of that interaction were
mostly merely incidental to the exploitation of Africa.

      The great benefit of literacy, for instance, was imparted to the
natives not so much for their development but to make them more useful to
the colonisers.

      Africa's greater reluctance than other previously colonised peoples to
come to terms with the many things it has gained from interaction with the
western world, has had deep effects on how we are perceived and how we
interact with the west and the rest of the world.

      One of them is that we simply look ridiculous pretending to be haters
of the west and all things western. We find it very difficult to say "we don
't like the white westerners for the way they mistreated and dispossessed
us, but this or that idea they introduced was a very good one that we
embrace wholeheartedly."

      The effects of this? We think we are being terribly clever in seeking
investment and technology from the east, without being aware that most of it
really originates from the currently dominant west!

      A country like Vietnam, for example, almost carpet bombed into
oblivion by the US a few decades ago, has arguably even more reason to
resent that country than Zimbabwe has to be suspicious of Britain. Yet one
of the ways that Vietnam is moving forward economically is by attracting
American tourism and influencing a lot of American information technology
companies to assemble their products there.

      Malaysia's Mahathir Mahommed may spout the same anti-western rhetoric
as our Mugabe, but he has also over the decades made sure his country has
developed strong economic and technological ties with the west. As a result
of a the wariness of the West, tempered with a smart pragmatism, a country
that was developmentally on a par with us a few decades ago, has forged
ahead, leaving us way behind, choking in the dust of Mugabe's empty

      Now, Mugabe sends delegations to Malaysia and other Asian countries to
beg for this or for that, when if he had been a more enlightened leader
these last 22 years, we might have had some of those countries coming to
learn from us for a change.

      At any given time, there are all sorts of armed conflicts in Africa,
the world's poorest continent, between and within countries. I think it is
entirely reasonable for someone sitting in New York or Kualar Lumpar to ask
why if a country like Zimbabwe finds it so easy to participate in foreign
wars to the tune of billions of dollars in the form of planes, tanks, fuel
and the other paraphernalia of conflict, they can't raise a fraction of that
cost to ward off starvation in the middle of drought, or to help other
African countries in non-military ways.

      How often do you hear of an African country sending substantial
numbers of troops or aid workers to help another African country with flood
relief or other humanitarian assistance? We don't mind going to Western
countries to buy the latest military hardware with the little hard cash we
have in order to oppress or kill ourselves, but let there be a little
drought or flood, and we expect, as a matter of course, the westerners to
come and bail us out! They usually do, but at the cost of a loss of
self-respect for our warped sense of priorities and reluctance to construct
and help ourselves.

      Those of us who are fortunate to be part of the minuscule number of
Africans with above average education and some measure of economic security,
are as much a disgrace to Africa as our corrupt, violent, dull geriatric
politicians. Instead of using our relative privilege to be risk takers in
terms of challenging the corrupt, oppressive ruling elites; or to create and
innovate, we capitulate to that tenuous security.

      After all, we are able to meet our monthly mortgage, car and credit
card payments, and if we are good boys and girls we might be promoted at
work next year. "And look, we have satellite TV and the latest Nokia
cellphones! Our lives aren't so different from those of the whites," we say
defensively. So Africa can't be in such a bad state,can it? Why create waves
which would get us into trouble when we are so much better off and safer
than 99% of our countrymen?

      And so we justify why we don't have any role to play in arresting the
decline and continued disgrace of our continent by the likes of Robert
Mugabe and others like him. Yet for all our fear and convenience-filled
justification, for looking the other way while Africa becomes more
dysfunctional and helpless, the badge of being the leading citizens of a
continent that just doesn't quite work follows us where ever we go, whether
it be London to work, Stuttgart to order the latest Mercedes, or New York to

      Africa's image will not change for the better because westerners and
others decide to do us a favour by having a change of heart about how they
perceive us. It will do so when the world sees Africans working for their
own interests more seriously than we are doing now.
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Zim Standard  - Comment

      Abuja 'victory': Zanu PF fools' gold

      THE spotlight is once again on the relevance and the credibility of
the Commonwealth following the inconclusive outcome of the three-nation
Commonwealth meeting in Nigeria last week to discuss the human tragedy that
has been unfolding in Zimbabwe during the past two-and-half-years.

      There are commentators who have been making the point that for
Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo to fawn over one man, President
Mugabe, at the expense of 13 million Zimbabweans is nothing short of
criminal. There are yet others, represented by none other than the
Secretary-General of the commonwealth, Don McKinnon, who have noted that the
Commonwealth is about the only international institution which has not
walked away from the Zimbabwean crisis.

      "We are about the only one left engaging, trying to influence, trying
to encourage, trying to get ahead of Zimbabwe's problems. If everyone else
was there, we might see quite a different picture, so don't taint us for
being the only institution trying to do something," he said.

      Don Mckinnon added that divisions within the Commonwealth over
Zimbabwe along colour lines-white commonwealth versus black Commonwealth-
were being over emphasised and bear no resemblance to reality on the ground.
The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, expressed more or less the same
sentiments in answer to a question whether the Commonwealth wasn't really 'a
toothless bulldog':

      "I think the Commonwealth has gone through difficulties like this in
the past and survived and I think it will in the future."

      We share these notions and we think it is important to put on record
once again that the Commonwealth 'troika' meeting in Abuja cannot be
described as anything but a mid-term review of Zimbabwe which was a specific
mandate of the Commonwealth. We should not, of course, lose sight of the
stipulation of the 12 month-period within which Zimbabwe was supposed to
mend its ways. It has not yet done so and it is unlikely to reverse its
destructive policies.

      There is therefore no cause to celebrate the so-called black versus
white Commonwealth 'victory'. The review was no more than just that-a
mid-term review. Zimbabwe is still not out of the woods, albeit that Nigeria
and South Africa adopted the approach in keeping with simple logic: six
months is still to run.

      Yes, the Australian Prime Minister John Howard did not hide his
disappointment at the group's decision to overrule his declared desire to
impose sanctions on President Mugabe. But that did not mean that there was
no modicum of consensus among the three leaders. If anything, there was
general consensus that the country from whence the Commonwealth's Harare
Declaration was born had violated each and every principle contained in that
Commonwealth 'mission statement'.

      The principles included such key issues as democracy, human rights,
the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, freedom of expression
and association, the right of citizens to choose freely the men and women
who would govern them and an undertaking to pursue sustainable economic
development, among many other issues. Clearly, there was some agreement that
Zimbabwe had not mended her wayward ways.

      For had there been any progress on the part of Zimbabwe, we might have
found the 'troika' expressing some praise and perhaps encouraging and
extolling Zimbabwe to continue on that path. John Howard, on his part, did
not mince his words. His was more of a preventative approach like a good
doctor would undertake preventive care before a disease becomes completely
unmanageable. Hence his call for the immediate full expulsion of Zimbabwe
from the Commonwealth.

      For their part, Presidents Mbeki and Obasanjo, while acknowledging
that Zimbabwe had not performed to expectation in the last six months, chose
to give Zimbabwe the last chance in the ensuing six months. Theirs was
perhaps a simple and inarguable stand because six months are still to go not
withstanding the human misery of enormous proportions that is taking place
in the country. The six months still to run were central to Mbeki and
Obasanjo's thinking. This is the bottom line.

      What emerges from all this, and it would be folly to think otherwise -
even with Mugabe buying more time to continue with his wayward path- is that
the 'troika' did accept clearly Zimbabwe's dismal failure to address those
issues that led to its half-expulsion from the Commonwealth in March 2002.
All three leaders were of the same mind despite differences of emphasis that
little Zimbabwe had not addressed the problems it was facing and that the
Commonwealth will have to review the country again in

      March 2003-the 12-month anniversary of Zimbabwe's partial suspension
from the grouping. There was therefore no need for the song and dance on the
part of Jonathan Moyo and the media he personally controls. There was
absolutely no need for him to celebrate the rot that is going on in this
country and the untold misery and suffering visited upon the people of this

      Instead of concentrating their minds on how to come up with lasting
solutions to shortages of essential goods, long queues forming daily outside
shops and service stations and prices that keep on rising every day,
Jonathan Moyo and Stan Mudenge simply chose John Howard and Don McKinnon as
new smokescreens to hide old but growing problems.

      It is a false picture the two ministers are presenting. The fact of
the matter is that the plight of the poor to afford the most basic foods and
other commodities and the failure of the health care delivery system in the
face of chronic illnesses associated with malnutrition such as HIV/Aids, is
being exacerbated by an economy tittering on collapse.

      But worse of all is the absence of any meaningful protection of basic
human rights because the rule of law is no more.

      It has been jettisoned by the sheer whim and caprice of those deluded
to believe that they have the divine right to govern this country. Indeed,
the anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist rhetoric by President Mugabe and his
courtiers continues to be increasingly strident, hollow and completely
irrelevant to the pressing need to cure Zimbabwe of its political and
economic malaise.
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Zim's 'white hero' electroshocked by cops

      September 28 2002 at 04:08PM

Harare - Lawyers in Zimbabwe were on Saturday trying to persuade police to
allow a doctor attend to a prominent young white opposition activist and
four of his colleagues, who were being held in police cells after being
tortured by police.

Tom Spicer, 18, and the other four were arrested on Thursday night on
allegations of "public violence" during an incident where police were stoned
by a crowd in a Harare township on Wednesday.

"He got lots of electroshock, was beaten on the soles of the feet, in the
kidneys", his father, Newton Spicer, said after seeing him on Saturday
morning for the first time since he was arrested.

"The electroshock means he's bitten his tongue badly. His face is all

As a result, he was unable to eat. The other Movement for Democratic Change
supporters arrested with him were also assaulted, "but they singled Tom out
for special treatment," Spicer said.

"Tom is okay. It's horrible, but his spirit is good. He refuses to leave the
other guys he was with in prison," his father added.

Spicer has celebrity status as the only young white person actively serving
in the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

In the last year, he has been arrested 11 times. All nine cases brought to
court have been dismissed by magistrates. He has yet to appear in court on
the latest charge. On Saturday police allowed the five prisoners to see a

Over the last three days, they have been moved to three different police

Lawyer Romualdo Mavedzenge said police were obstructing the access of a
doctor to the five being held in the squalid cells of Matapi police station
in the Harare township of Mbare.

"They are playing a game. We have to fill in a lot of forms seeking
permission. Things move very slowly here when they have someone they want to

"They don't intend letting a doctor see him because it will blow up in their
faces. The earliest will probably after the weekend. They will be in much
better shape by then," said Mavedzenge.

Spicer is an office bearer of the MDC youth wing, who regularly delivers
speeches in fluent Shona, winning huge popularity among ordinary
Zimbabweans. - Sapa-DPA
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Warrant of Arrest for Cross

The Herald (Harare)

September 28, 2002
Posted to the web September 28, 2002


CONVICTED MDC economic adviser Eddie Cross, was yesterday issued with a
warrant of arrest after he failed to turn up for his sentence.

Cross, who is also the opposition party's shadow minister of Finance and
Economic Development, was in January this year convicted for breaching the
Insolvency Act by a Harare magistrates' court.

The presiding magistrate Mr Stanley Ncube had postponed the sentencing to
yesterday to allow the court to verify sections of the Insolvency Act that
had been used to convict Cross.

Cross and his lawyer Mr Nobert Maredza of Honey and Blanckenburg did not
turn up for the sentencing.

Provincial magistrate Mr Owen Murozvi was left with no option but to issue
him with a warrant of arrest.

Cross's sentence has been postponed five times since he was convicted.

His trial started last year and he was supposed to have been sentenced on
January 18, but the court postponed the sentence to January 21.

The case was again postponed to February 5, March 25 and to June 21 after
Cross defaulted.

It was again postponed to July 26 and to September 27 (yesterday).
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SA battles UK over Zimbabwe
Screaming from the rooftops has not helped, says Pahad
 Ranjeni Munusamy
South Africa and other African countries will not bow to pressure to "declare war" on Zimbabwe, Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said this week. In the South African government's strongest defence of its approach to the crisis in Zimbabwe and a rare broadside against a Western power, Pahad said British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw should come up with "concrete proposals" on how to resolve the situation.

"We don't believe that their megaphone diplomacy and screaming from the rooftops has helped anyway . . . If it is not diplomacy we pursue in dealing with Zimbabwe, then it is war. We will not go to war with Zimbabwe," Pahad said.

"We do not need to be lectured to about democracy, respect for the rule of law and human rights.

"Southern African states are conscious of our responsibility and of the economic and political impact of the situation in Zimbabwe. But we cannot be like people far away who keep shouting about Zimbabwe."

Pahad's comments were in response to Straw's disappointment at the outcome of a meeting on Monday of the Commonwealth troika, made up of President Thabo Mbeki, Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo and Australian Prime Minister John Howard, which failed to reach consensus on further punitive action against Zimbabwe.

The two African leaders opposed Howard's attempts to impose full Commonwealth suspension and sanctions on Zimbabwe, in addition to the year-long suspension already in place. Full suspension would entail Commonwealth member states ceasing trade with Zimbabwe, breaking all sporting links and isolating the country diplomatically.

Straw said in London this week that he shared Howard's "acute disappointment" about the failure of the troika to agree on tougher measures against Zimbabwe.

"We would wish to see particularly the Southern African governments exerting greater pressure on the Mugabe regime," Straw said.

Pahad said Straw's criticism of the outcome of the meeting was a "hint at our heads of state that they have a lack of commitment to deal with the issue".

"What are they proposing we should be doing? Jack Straw and others must tell us what they expect the Southern African Development Community to do."

The leader of Zimbabwe's Opposition Movement for Democracy, Morgan Tsvangirai, also slammed the outcome of the troika meeting as a "great disappointment". He said the troika was supposed to "pursue the issue of Mugabe's illegitimacy".

"Instead they have sought to divert from that critical issue and follow an agenda that expresses solidarity with and protects Mugabe. They have totally abdicated their responsibility to discharge their functions as mandated by the Commonwealth," Tsvangirai said.

"They have abandoned Zimbabweans at their greatest hour of need. It is increasingly futile for the troika to continue to profess concern and sympathy for the plight of the people of Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans have been left to face their own fate."

The statements by Pahad and Tsvangirai come ahead of the annual summit of the SADC in Angola this week, where the region's heads of state will be under international pressure to rebuke Mugabe over the disputed election and the seizure of white-owned land in Zimbabwe.

Pahad said while the Zimbabwe issue was not on the summit's formal agenda, it was likely to come up in the secretary-general's report on the state of the region and could even be raised by the Zimbabwean government.

The troika is only to consider the Zimbabwean issue again at the end of the suspension period in March. However, Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon has been asked to resume efforts to engage with the Mugabe government on the developments in the country, Commonwealth spokesman Joel Kibazo said.

"The secretary-general was mandated by heads of government and the troika to talk to the Zimbabwean government and seek clarification on a number of issues. It is important that dialogue starts. So far there has been little or no response from the Zimbabwean government towards achieving that dialogue," Kibazo said.

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Vultures circle the ruin of Zimbabwe for spoils
© The Economist

IF THE best time to invest is when blood is on the streets, Zimbabwe offers a promising opportunity.

The country is in the throes of political upheaval, with 6 million hungry people, an inflation rate of 135% and a shrinking economy. The rule of law is collapsing. Judges are routinely intimidated. The government sends thugs to grab commercial farms. And fears are growing of much worse civil strife to come.

Enter the bargain hunters - call them aasvoëls, Afrikaans for vultures.Zimbabwe boasts vast quantities of valuable minerals, including one of the world's largest deposits of platinum.

South Africa's Impala Platinum recently upped its shareholding to take effective control of Zimbabwe Platinum Mines. It has also increased its stake in a smaller platinum company, Mimosa.

Zimbabwe's fuel and energy shortages are also tempting outsiders. President Robert Mugabe's Libyan allies have just renewed an annual $360-million deal to cover most of the costs of importing oil. The Libyan government will get assets once owned by the Zimbabwean state, including 14% of Jewel Bank and14% in Rainbow, a tourism group, and maybe some land. Talks are said to be under way to give Libya control of fuel tanks in Harare and the oil pipeline linking Zimbabwe to a port in Mozambique.

Eskom, South Africa's energy utility, the world's fifth biggest, is eyeing Zimbabwe's energy giant, Zesa, which is slated to be privatised. Zesa is fars hort of the 200-million or so in hard currency it needs each year to pay for equipment and to service debts accrued to Eskom, which supplies electricity to Zimbabwe's grid. The South African supplier may hope eventually to swap debts for a share in the Zimbabwean company, and is building a close partnership. Zesa is increasingly reliant on the support of its South African big brother.

Most South African companies are understandably wary of doing business inZimbabwe - until recently South Africa's biggest African trading partner but now down to third place. Anglo American is reducing its investment in its citrus and timber estates there, though it plans to retain its more lucrative mining interests.

Other large trading firms still see opportunities. Last year Barloworld bought a Zimbabwean cement and lime producer. SA Breweries is keeping its 25% stake in Delta, a beverage company.

"There is huge consumer spending power in this market for trading companies.Often people here have money for goods, but nothing to buy," says John Robertson, an independent economist in Harare.

The World Food Programme expects to spend one-fifth of its 500-million food budget on transporting grain within the region, about half of it in Zimbabwe. Private-sector haulage firms, many of them South African, charge up to $90 for every ton shifted. Other private traders are finding original ways to get goods to Zimbabwean consumers. Two online firms, and, let well-wishers overseas send money and food to relatives in Zimbabwe via local supermarkets.

The situation is desperate for most, but a few firms may have reason to smile.

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Jailed Zimbabwe Opposition Members Are Reportedly Tortured
Peta Thornycroft
29 Sep 2002 15:41 UTC

Reports of increasing incidents of torture against members of Zimbabwe's
political opposition are circulating as rural elections came to an end
Sunday. An opposition member of parliament was also arrested Sunday.

An eyewitness in the eastern border town of Chimanimani said Sunday she
heard the screams of a Movement for Democratic Change supporter shortly
after he was taken into custody by the government's Central Intelligence

Mike Magwaza is the bodyguard for Member of Parliament Roy Bennett, the only
white farmer left in the district. He was arrested and accused by police of
defying a government order to leave his home and business last month.

A third person, believed to be a South African citizen, was arrested as

Another eight members of the Movement for Democratic Change are in the same
cells behind the police station. A second eyewitness said some of them had
open wounds and have not eaten for four days.

Police and members of the Central Intelligence Organization in Chimanimani
declined to answer questions Sunday.

In Harare, five opposition supporters, including a prominent youth leader,
remain in detention and are, according to their lawyer, in need of urgent
medical treatment.

The lawyer said the police have denied the five access to a doctor. In an
affidavit he said he intended to present to the court, the lawyer also said
all five showed signs of having been assaulted.

One of the five, 18-year-old Tom Spicer, was separated from his four friends
and told his lawyers he had been subjected to electric shock treatment. The
lawyers said Saturday he was unable to focus his eyes and had difficulty

One lawyer for the five said he had spent 24 hours looking for officials
from the Department of Justice to facilitate an urgent application to the
High Court to demand the detainees receive medical treatment.

These arrests and allegations of torture are just the tip of the iceberg,
according to opposition supporters in various parts of Zimbabwe. The reports
circulated against the background of countrywide rural elections that ended

The government-appointed Electoral Supervisory Commission said Saturday the
run-up to the elections had been marred by violence in parts of the country.

Eyewitnesses in the rural areas in southern Zimbabwe said that by midday it
appeared that less than 10 percent of the electorate had turned out to vote.

More than half the opposition candidates withdrew from the elections, citing
intimidation and fear of attacks, or were refused permission to register.
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Reuters Zimbabwe arrests white opposition leader amid polls

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's main opposition said on Sunday police
had arrested a prominent white politician and beaten other opponents as
President Robert Mugabe's supporters stepped up violence and intimidation at
local government polls.

The Movement for Democratic Change said Roy Bennett, an opposition
legislator, and eight others including his bodyguard were in custody. It was
not clear what the charges were.

Police officials contacted by Reuters declined to comment.

"Roy is in the cells along with eight others. He is not hurt but the rest
have been badly beaten," said Doug Vanderuit, a friend of Bennett and MDC
member. An MDC official who declined to be named for fear of arrest
confirmed the report.

The two-day polls ending Sunday are seen as a test of Mugabe's traditional
rural power base and come amid a deepening economic and food crisis in the
southern African country.

Zimbabwe has been in turmoil since pro-government militants began invading
white-owned farms in early 2000.

Bennett, a soldier in the former Rhodesia, has often been a target of
Mugabe's anti-white rhetoric. Just weeks ago, he was warned by the
government for making a public statement urging former colonial power
Britain to invade Zimbabwe to resolve the political crisis in the country.


The MDC says 700 of its candidates have been barred from registering or
intimidated from running in the polls.

On Sunday it said it had received reports from various parts of the country
showing the ruling ZANU-PF had stepped up violence to prevent Zimbabweans
from voting freely.

"Several MDC candidates and their agents have been blocked from entering the
polling stations while some have been assaulted and a few have been reported
missing," the MDC said.

Police and electoral officials said they had not received any reports of
intimidation and Mugabe's ZANU-PF party dismissed the charges as "a pack of
the usual lies".

"The truth is that the MDC is frustrated at its failure to win the support
of a majority of the people of this country," a ZANU-PF spokesman said.

The allegations were also dismissed by Thomas Bvuma, a spokesman for the
Electoral Supervisory Commission, who told Zimbabwe state radio the
elections were going smoothly and the authorities had not received any

The MDC, which accuses Mugabe of stealing victory in a presidential election
in March, says Mugabe has resorted to political violence in the council
elections because he knows he would lose any free and fair poll.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, says his land
drive is aimed at correcting colonial injustice, which left 70 percent of
the country's best land in the hands of white farmers.

The opposition says the land policies have contributed to a severe food
shortage which is affecting nearly seven million people, or half the
population. The government insists the shortages are solely the result of

Election results are expected from late Monday.
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Associated Press, 28 September

Zimbabwe votes despite protests

Harare - Zimbabweans in rural areas voted Saturday in elections for local
councils, and the main opposition party said hundreds of its candidates were
barred from running for office. Ruling party militants, backed by police,
blocked about 700 opposition candidates from registering, officials from the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change said. About 20 opposition
candidates were assaulted during campaigning and at least another 70 were
arrested on false charges, opposition officials said. The government has
denied involvement in any violence or intimidation of opposition candidates.
An appeal by the Movement for Democratic Change to have the election
postponed was thrown out by the High Court Friday, after the presiding judge
ruled the case was politically motivated. The court's refusal to hear the
appeal, "confirms our worst fears about the judiciary," said Movement for
Democratic Change Secretary General Welshman Ncube.

Critics of the government say embattled President Robert Mugabe has co-opted
the nation's courts by packing the bench with his supporters and
intimidating independent-minded judges in a bid to retain power. However,
the opposition turned to the courts Saturday, seeking an order to let
doctors examine Thomas Spicer, an 18-year-old white opposition activist, who
they say was tortured in police detention Friday. The police had no comment
on the case. Also Saturday, British diplomats said they had been banned from
travelling outside Harare without Zimbabwean government permission in
apparent retribution for outspoken criticism of Mugabe by the British
government. Despite the controversy, polling ran smoothly Saturday. Voting
would continue Sunday and results were not expected until Monday.

Vice President Joseph Msika said the ruling Zanu-PF party expected a massive
victory in what party officials said would be a show of support for the
government's land reform program to seize white-owned farms for
redistribution to poor blacks. Many of those farms, however, have been given
instead to Mugabe's confidantes. Zimbabwe has been seized by more than two
years of political and economic turmoil, widely blamed on Mugabe's
increasingly unpopular ruling party. More than half Zimbabwe's 12.5 million
people face severe food shortages, blamed on drought and the government's
land reform program which has ground commercial farming to a standstill.
Mugabe's ruling party narrowly won parliament elections in 2000, surviving
the biggest threat to its hold on power since independence in 1980. Mugabe
won a disputed presidential election in March that independent observers
said was swayed by violence, intimation and vote rigging.
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VIRTUALLY SA newsletter

Date: September 18, 2002 ~ Issue #1

Produced and distributed by Tania Mostert and Robin J. Elliott e-mail us at

First SA/Canadian Refugee
Author: Robin J. Elliot

The first South African refugee to Canada that we know of, has landed! Noel Smith was harassed on his Natal farm and his life threatened so many times that he finally fled to Canada. He arrived in Vancouver on a visitor's visa with only a thousand Canadian dollars (SAR7,000) to his name and he got his visa because of an old friend on Bowen Island, just off the coast here. After a while on the island, he ended up sleeping in a cheap car he had bought, with no money or food, in Stanley Park! At that point he met someone (a New Zealander, nogal) who suggested he apply for refugee status at Immigration. As evidence of his endangerment in SA, he simply showed the interviewing official some SA crime statistics which he had got off the Internet, and the official immediately granted him provisional refugee status, to be reviewed in a year's time. At that point he received information on free food points and shelters downtown, got his medical done for $10 and soon started to receive about $400 per month plus free medical and free training so that he could find gainful employment.

Noel is, I believe, the first of many refugees that will be leaving SA and my question is the following: What happens, a year down the line, if some bureaucrat decides in his infinite wisdom that Noel is not entitled to refugee status, and wants to deport him back to the burnt remains of his farm in SA? If the local 60,000 South Africans have got together and can lobby in his favor, write the newspapers and call the radio and TV stations, he has a chance. Last time SA's had a visa problem in British Columbia, the only ones who stood up for them were Canadians! We have to stand together and support each other. Communication is an important unifying factor and hence this e-zine and upcoming web site, and soon to be radio show. We're not trying to replace existing media - we're trying to enhance and add to what is already available to South Africans. Let's be proud of our heritage. Most of us are, in fact, refugees.

Most of us left SA to escape the increasing crime and violence. Let us support the weak among us. Let's show the world what South Africans are all about.
It's a sad indictment that when SA's arrive at Vancouver International Airport, there's no visible SA community to welcome and support them. Let's take responsibility and change that.

To subscribe send an e-mail to with SUBSCRIBE in the Subject line
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