Portal of Truth - 14th update posted
by Zanu (pf) militia
The bravery of a solitary
to pass danger once than live in fear forever”
This morning at 10,30 I went to
the local farm butchery at Igava to buy some
meat. A Proton Bakery van was
outside the Butchery, the occupants
deliverying zanu posters. There were a
number of scruffy youth hanging
around - their militia camp is based about
100 m from the butchery. When I
walked outside I saw that a zanu poster had
been taped onto the bonnet of my
truck. I removed it carefully and placed it
on the step of the butchery.
With that I was threatened by one of the youth
militia with a large rock in
his hand. I was told to replace the poster on
my truck or else. I told him
that if he wanted to tape posters on my truck
he should ask first and that I
would not replace it. While saying this I was
walking towards him
(concerned that the brick would be sent through the
windscreen) and he was
backing off, still holding rock. I then turned to go
back to the truck when
he hurled the rock, hitting me on the upper leg. The
next available rock
(smaller this time) missed my head. The third rock hit me
in the same place
on the leg. While the rock throwing was taking place he
continued to swear
at me in Shona and tell me I would not leave unless i
replaced the poster.
I did leave, without the poster, and none the worse for
wear other than a
bruised leg and the urge to give someone a damned good
This is FREE AND FAIR campaigning?. The MILITIA are there to
beat and abuse
all those who don't toe the zanu party line.
HIV/AIDS Project Manager and Human Rights Activist.
Rally leaves trail of destruction
2/18/02 8:51:54 AM
From Zerubabel Mudzingwa in Gweru
presidential campaign rally at Crossroads business centre
in Lower Gweru last
Thursday left a trail of destruction as Zanu PF youths
went on a spree of
violence attacking homes and shops belonging to suspected
after the rally.
Several shops at Mankunzani, Maboleni, Dimbaiwa, Chiparo
and Lower Gweru
Mission had their windows smashed and thousands of dollars
worth of goods
looted by rowdy Zanu PF youths coming from the
Riot police were later called in and arrested 24 Zanu PF youths
and two MDC
supporters in connection with the violence.
Mugabe, who is
contesting the 9 and 10 March presidential election, faces
challenge of his 21-year rule from Morgan Tsvangirai of the
youths, believed to have been bussed from Gweru, Zvishavane, Shurugwi
Chirumhanzu, were travelling on two hired Zupco buses.
Conrad Ncube, an
MDC activist, lost goods estimated at more than $1,5
million after his shop
in Vungu small-scale commercial farming area was
burnt down by Zanu PF youths
a day before the rally.
The youths were allegedly led to the shop by a
war veteran, Happyson
Maphosa, who later fired shots into the air forcing MDC
youths at the shop
“The Zanu PF youths then ransacked the
shop looting all my groceries before
setting it on fire,” Ncube
He said the incident occurred in the presence of a Zanu PF
Masotsha Dhlamini, and the Zanu PF district
Diladi Sibanda had all the windows to his shop smashed as Zanu
descended on Lower Gweru Mission Centre on Thursday
Another MDC activist, Christine Gambiza, had her homestead
destroyed by the
Zanu PF youths the same night.
“The youths came to my
house chanting MDC slogans and started pelting the
window panes with
“They even threw a petrol bomb into the house, but it failed to
They then made a hasty retreat into the night,” Gambiza
Officials at Gweru Rural Police Station said the rowdy youths
stoned several other houses along the main road.
of Parliament for Gweru Rural, Renson Gasela, described the
barbaric and called on his party supporters not to fight back but
law to take its course.
“Zanu PF has come to a realisation that it has
failed to penetrate Lower
Gweru, hence these attacks are just an act of
frustration,” he said.
Zimbabwe govt supporters attack opposition offices
HARARE, Feb. 18 — Hundreds of government supporters hurled stones at the headquarters of Zimbabwe's opposition party in Harare on Monday, smashing windows and forcing pedestrians to flee, witnesses said.
Riot police arrested dozens of demonstrators outside the main office of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The street was strewn with rocks and shops
bolted their doors, the witnesses said.
The attack on the MDC
headquarters came after thousands of supporters of President Robert Mugabe had
marched on the British embassy in Harare, accusing the country's former colonial
ruler of meddling in presidential elections due on March 9-10.
Tensions are rising in Zimbabwe ahead of the poll in which Mugabe's supporters
have been criticised for cracking down on his strongest opposition challenge in
22 years of power.
Monday, 18 February, 2002, 18:55 GMT
Opposition HQ attacked in Harare
Zanu-PF accuses Britain of
Thousands of President Robert Mugabe's supporters in
Zimbabwe have attacked the headquarters of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) in the capital, Harare.
More than 200 members of the ruling Zanu-PF party broke away from a march
through the streets of Harare, hurling stones and smashing windows of the MDC
Zimbabwe will never be a British colony again
Shops in the area were forced to close and police patrolled streets strewn
Correspondents say that some passers-by who were caught up in the violence
were physically assaulted if they did not chant Zanu-PF slogans.
Police 'blind eye'
Eyewitnesses said an old man who had a copy of the independent paper Daily
News was beaten up by six Zanu-PF supporters in front of the police, who turned
a blind eye.
Newspaper vendors who were selling privately owned papers were also attacked,
as were people who were wearing clothes with colours resembling the MDC emblem.
Mugabe faces his toughest challenge since
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is the biggest challenger to President Mugabe's
hold on power since he led the nation to independence from British colonial rule
A BBC reporter in Harare says anti-riot police arrived at the MDC office once
the demonstrators had left, and accused opposition supporters who had come to
assess the damage of causing the trouble.
Police escorting the marchers say the demonstration was authorised under the
new security laws that require clearance for public gatherings.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Police blamed the opposition for starting the
The march was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration by the Zanu-PF women's
league, protesting against Britain and what they perceive as UK meddling in the
run-up to next month's presidential elections.
The pro-Mugabe demonstrators - some wearing T-shirts with President Mugabe's
portrait - carried placards saying: "Zimbabwe will never be a British colony
again" and "Stop your racist politics in our country".
MDC headquarters attacked
The demonstrators marched to the British High Commission office with banners,
chanting anti-British slogans saying the UK could not impose its "puppet" in
Correspondents say two government ministers joined the demonstration at the
British embassy and later handed a protest note to diplomats.
The crowd staged a traditional ceremony near President Mugabe's State House
residence in honour of Zimbabwe's liberation war heroes.
They sang revolutionary songs and chanted slogans threatening to go back to
war to defend the country's independence.
Will It Play in Harare?
With Robert Mugabe fighting for his political life, Zimbabwe’s drama doesn’t end at the footlights
By Tom Masland
Feb. 25 issue — Dare—”the trial” in Zimbabwe’s Shona language—is anything but subtle. “How I love my land of milk and honey, the breadbasket of southern Africa!” exclaims one character at the play’s climax. “Breadbasket?” cries another. “How can that be, with what you are doing there on the farms that produce the food?” She is immediately shouted down: “Shut up, you negative woman, you sellout! Listen to the success stories of black people in this country!”
THE SHOW MAY never be ready for Broadway, but all over
Zimbabwe it’s packing them in. Some 370,000 people have flocked to open-air
performances at bus stops, train stations and shopping centers in the past
couple of months. A morality play about free speech and the right to vote,
“Dare” has provoked not only cheers but stones and threats. More than once,
outbursts of violence have forced a cast to flee midplay, leaving set and
Drama doesn’t end at the footlights these days in Zimbabwe. The presidential
election is set for March 9 and 10, and President Robert Mugabe is battling for
his political life. He’s counting on grass-roots support from a campaign to
break up the nation’s big white-owned farms. But that effort is a disaster: farm
production has plunged so badly that Zimbabwe is getting U.N. emergency food aid
for the first time ever. Voters are expected to turn out in huge numbers for the
opposition. If they do, and Mugabe keeps power through force or fraud, violence
seems likely. The military has already cracked down on peaceful protests in the
townships, and recently one top general hinted that the Army might not accept an
The arts have become a bastion of dissent. The
opposition and independent press have been targets for bombings, beatings and
arbitrary arrests for the past two years, ever since a fledgling reformist
political party nearly won control of Parliament. Three weeks ago a new law
banned any criticism of the president. Last week the head of the country’s
independent press association fled the country, in fear of his life. But some
musicians, writers and actors are fighting back. “We can be persecuted, but we
will not stop,” says “Dare” codirector Walter Muparutsa, 61. “Those who attack
us are like people who smash mirrors because they don’t like the face they
It takes courage to keep performing. Zimbabwe’s acclaimed
Amakhosi Theater Group caused a stir last year with “Two Cheers for a Patriot,”
a tale of political harassment and police brutality. The show was allowed to
open in Harare, but only after the Zimbabwe Republic Police questioned the
producer three times and confiscated the actors’ police costumes, ordering them
replaced with uniforms that didn’t look quite so authentic. Intimidation is a thing many Zimbabwean artists are used to.
Some have credentials that go all the way back to the liberation struggle of the
1970s. Muparutsa was jailed and his plays were banned under the white-minority
regime of Ian Smith. Another old hand is pop singer Oliver Mtukudzi. His first
hit, “Zimbabwe,” became the liberation movement’s anthem after its release in
1980, the year Mugabe took power, but Mtukudzi is still breaking new ground.
Security officials questioned him closely after his 41st album, “Bvuma
Tolerance” (“Accept Tolerance”) came out in 2000. One cut drew particular
attention, a song provocatively called “Wasakara” (“You’re Finished”). Mtukudzi
is releasing a new album this week, titled “Bvunze Moto” (“Burning Ember”). The
cover shows the singer’s portrait set against a map of Zimbabwe in flames.
Many entertainers are showing the strain—even professional comedians.
Lately the country’s troubles seem to defy the power of humor. One of the most
visible casualties is Harare’s Over the Edge Theater Company. The group used to
be famous for its biting satire, but in the past year or so its shows have been
more subdued. “Some things are not funny,” says Wiina Msamati, an Over the Edge
member. “Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of Africa. For things to be this
bad is terrible.” Nevertheless, Muparutsa says persecution only encourages him.
“If today we continue to be harassed by the present government,” he says, “we
must be doing something right.” The show will go on.
THE NEWS ROOM
WELCOME TO THE FIRST OF THE DAILY UPDATES PRODUCED BY THE NEWS
ROOM TO HELP ZIMBABWEANS STAY IN TOUCH WITH DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN THE COUNTRY
AS WE APPROACH THE 2002 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.
WE WILL KEEP THE
REPORTS AS BRIEF AS POSSIBLE AND IF YOU REQUIRE ANY FURTHER DETAILS OR HAVE
ANY SUGGESTIONS ABOUT THE SERVICE PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT
THE NEWS ROOM
UPDATE FEBRUARY 28
ZANU PF Supporters Hand Petition to British
A large crowd of Zanu PF supporters today marched on the
Commission in Harare to present a petition requesting that
country to stay
out of Zimbabwe's internal affairs. Approximately 2000 people
posters and wearing Zanu PF apparel danced and sang their way to the
High Commission on Samora Machel Avenue, in Harare's central
district. A small group of the demonstrators, led by the deputy
Youth Development Gender and Employment Creation were allowed
into the High
Commission to hand over the petition.
representatives were inside the High Commission, thousands of
Zanu Pf supporters sang anti-Morgan Tsvangirai songs and
urging him to carry on with the struggle for Zimbabwe's
Although the vast majority of the crowd were peaceful,
isolated reports of
violence around Town House were received by The News
In a related event, a group of Zanu PF Youths caused some damage to
Headquarters during a demonstration outside Harvest House. During
demonstration, Newton Spicer, who was filming the event, was arrested
police. He is yet to be charged.
David Coltart Arrested and
MDC shadow Minister of Justice, David Coltart was today charged
discharging a firearm in a public place. The alleged incident
took place in front of a group of National Service youth militia
Burnside, Bulawayo on Saturday afternoon. Coltart was charged under
27 of the Firearms Act which carries a maximum penalty of Z$1000.00
released on Z$2000.00 bail. As part of his defence, Coltart stated
does not own a firearm. The case has been remanded to March 25th
NCA Prisoners Released on Bail
Eleven members of the
National Constitutional Assembly appeared in court
this morning, charged with
contravening the Public Order and Security Act.
They were all granted
$5000.00 bail and the court adjourned tomorrow to
allow state counsel time to
respond to presentations from defence lawyers.
Defence lawyer, Alec
Muchadema asked the court to drop all charges against
his clients because he
termed their arrest illegal and that police
mishandled the arrests. He told
the court that the police subjected his
clients to inhuman treatment. They
were detained in filthy, overcrowded
cells and the police physically
assaulted four of them. Munyaradzi Gwizai,
an MDC Member of Parliament
arrested during the march, is among those that
were assaulted by the
The eleven were arrested Friday, following a march to present a
constitution to the Minister of Justice, they have been in police
since then. The NCA is a civic group that is pushing for a new
Bulawayo Clergy Released on Bail
Noel Scott and ten other people arrested in Bulawayo Saturday,
court this morning charged with contravening the Public Order
Act. All eleven were granted bail and remanded out of custody.
arrested Anglican priest, Noel Scott for ignoring a prohibition
order by the
police on the march. Reverend Scot's church and three other
staged an interdenominational march and prayer peace. The
police deemed he
The police denied Reverend Graham Shaw of the Methodist
church and nine
others access to Rev Scott. They then gathered outside the
were Scoot was being held, and prayed for his release. Police
to disperse and when they did not comply they were arrested and
under the Public Order and Security Act.
The next court
hearing will be on the 3rd of March.
ZIMBABWE: Too late for free and fair elections - rights
JOHANNESBURG, 18 February (IRIN) - It's too late for free and fair
presidential elections in Zimbabwe, but the deployment of international
observers in remote areas could help stop politically motivated violence and
torture, the human rights group Amani Trust told IRIN on
President Robert Mugabe faces the biggest challenge to his two
decades of rule when Zimbabweans go to the polls on the 9-10 March. However, the
hotly contested election has been marred by political violence and intimidation
by ruling ZANU-PF militants against supporters of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
Frustrated by Harare's
refusal to let its observers freely monitor the election, the European Union on
Monday announced the withdrawal of its team and the imposition of "targeted
sanctions" against the government.
EU foreign ministers meeting in
Brussels said the "EU remains seriously concerned at political violence, serious
violations of human rights and restrictions on the media ... which call into
question the prospects for a free and fair election."
The Amani Trust's
Shari Epple, a clinical psychologist by profession, told IRIN that "free and
fair went out the window two years ago" but that it was still critical that
international observers be deployed in Zimbabwe's hotbeds of political
intolerance, the rural areas.
"They need to get out of Harare," Epple
said of the few international observers who have been accredited so far by the
Zimbabwe government. The Commonwealth and Southern African Development Community
are among the organisation expected to send observers.
of a new hard-hitting report by Physicians for Human Rights on political
violence and torture in Zimbabwe, warned: "The observers are not where they
should be, which is in the remote rural areas where people are being tortured.
As somebody who follows torture I would say we want observers, in the rural
areas and NOW!
"This election will still not be free and fair but
observers could be a deterrent and stop the torture. There has been escalating
violence (un-observed) but observers could document that, if they could get out
of Harare! It could be a deterrent, people will not want to whip others with two
metre long barbed wire if they thought the person could report what happened to
an international observer."
Epple and Dr Hans Draminsky Petersen, founder
of Physicians for Human Rights in Denmark, examined victims of torture, serious
ill-treatment, murder attempts, and harassment in Zimbabwe. All the documented
violence was allegedly committed by ZANU-PF supporters.
Among the more
serious accusations contained in their recent report is that of identity
document (ID) theft. Said Epple: "To steal an ID is to steal the vote and it's
pretty prevalent. It's deliberate and conscious political theft."
Zimbabweans have to register to vote in the upcoming election. Without
proof of their identity - an ID card - they will not be allowed to
"It's more or less a daily report now, people are asked for ID
cards and ZANU-PF party membership cards, if you do not have the ZANU card they
steal your ID," she said.
EU team in Zimbabwe confirms pullout -
HARARE, Feb. 18 — The European Union election observer
team in Zimbabwe
confirmed on Monday that it planned to withdraw from the
country, its spokesman said.
''Yes, we are. It's a
Brussels decision,'' Stefan Amer told Reuters
after EU foreign ministers
agreed to impose targeted sanctions against
An EU diplomat earlier told Reuters in Brussels: ''It's
sanctions. And everybody will recall their observers.''
The 15 EU foreign ministers had heard a report on the situation in
from Pierre Schori, the Swedish head of the wealthy bloc's team
observe the presidential election. Zimbabwe expelled Schori on
accusing him of ''political arrogance.''
The EU had for weeks
threatened to impose so-called ''smart
sanctions'' against Mugabe and 19
other senior officials, including a visa
ban and a freeze on their overseas
assets, if Zimbabwe hampered the work of
its election observer
EU imposes sanctions against Zimbabwe
THE EU is to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe president
Robert Mugabe and
pull its election observers out of the country, foreign
The sanctions, against Mugabe and 19 members
of his administration, include
a ban on travel to the European Union and a
freeze on assets they might have
in the 15-nation bloc.
follows Saturday's expulsion from Harare of the Swedish chief
of the EU
election mission to Zimbabwe, Pierre Schori.
Presidential elections in
the southern African country, where Mugabe has
been in power for nearly 22
years, are scheduled for March 9-10.
"These sanctions are aimed solely at
those whom the EU judges to be
responsible for the violence (in the run-up to
the elections), for the
violations of human rights and for preventing the
holding of free and fair
elections in Zimbabwe," a statement from the foreign
"The sanctions are designed not to harm ordinary citizens
of Zimbabwe or her
neighbors, nor should they prevent dialogue between the EU
and Zimbabwe to
address its economic and other problems."
the sanctions list include foreign minister Stan Mudenge,
minister Jonathan Moyo, justice minister Patrick Chinamasa,
Sidney Sekeramayi and agriculture minister Joseph Made.
alleged that all 20 on the list were responsible for "serious
human rights and of the freedom of opinion, of association and
assembly in Zimbabwe".
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who had
pushed for a common EU
position on Zimbabwe, said Mugabe's promise of free
and fair elections had
proven "entirely bogus".
"We have made many,
many accommodations with the government of Zimbabwe, but
today is the end of
the road," said Mr Straw.
"It's clear (from a report that Schori
presented to the foreign ministers)
that it's not possible for the observers
to do their job, and that's why we
agreed unanimously ... that sanctions
should be applied."
Mr Straw also said that the decision "sends out a
strong message about the
credibility" of EU election observer missions,
wherever they might be
Daily News - Leader Page
Expulsion of EU observer team head smacks of
2/18/02 8:36:44 AM (GMT +2)
THE decision by
the government to expel the head of the European Union (EU)
Sweden’s Pierre Schori, can only worsen relations between
The government appears to be aware of the implications of its
actions and it
could be partly for this reason that it met with President
Bakili Muluzi of
Malawi, the current chair of the Southern African
(Sadc), and President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique,
who chairs Sadc’s
Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.
meeting could have sought to do would be to form a common stand
possible backlash from the EU, whose foreign ministers are due to
and will no doubt discuss Zimbabwe.
Last week the EU foreign ministers
held off any recommendation for smart
sanctions against President Mugabe and
his top government ministers and Zanu
PF officials because they wanted to
assess Zimbabwe’s reaction to the EU
election observer mission headed by
Today they might just decide they have had enough of Zimbabwe’s
It is possible they will now recommend that
sanctions be applied against
Mugabe and his cronies, effectively putting a
freeze on their assets and
kicking their children out of universities and
colleges in Europe.
Their children would then be able to endure the
hardships being authored by
But right from the outset,
Zimbabwe was never comfortable with the idea of
foreign observers, especially
those from Europe.
In expelling Schori, the government probably was well
aware of the likely
outcome: to intimidate the remaining foreign observers
into believing they
could suffer the same fate as Schori. To this end they
will begin to see no
evil, hear no evil and speak no evil of the government’s
deeds against its
Alternatively, the government reasoned
that the expulsion of Schori would
result in the rest of the EU observers,
and possibly others, withdrawing in
protest, leaving the government to carry
on with its campaign of terror,
free from the prying eyes of the rest of the
The performance of Sadc missions so far has been similar to that
of Harare. They can’t tell a crisis even if they came across
Their notion of “solidarity” is a gross insult to the intelligence
terrorised people of Zimbabwe.
The government is very afraid of
something, that is why it is resorting to
all manner of
Publicly the government has said it will not tolerate
violence by anyone. It
has said the police will act upon reports of any acts
of violence against
anyone. It has also said people should not be bussed into
But this has all been done for the
consumption of the international
community and the gullible Sadc.
truth, however, is that this is a huge hoax.
The government will not
brook anything in its attempts to ensure the
This includes promising to build bridges even where there are no
blaming everyone but itself for the current crisis the country
The truth is that the government knows how it has
messed up the country.
It also knows that given a free and fair election,
it has no hope in hell of
winning. In its bid to woo voters, it is promising
heaven on earth in the form of tarred roads, vehicles,
and officials to work under them - if only they can
ensure their subjects
help in the re-election of Mugabe.
chiefs have very short or no memories at all.
Similar promises have been
made in the past, but until recently they were
being told that it is the
district councils that had more say in running the
affairs in the communal
The government’s conduct suggests desperate actions by an
aware its days are numbered.
Monday, 18 February, 2002, 18:46 GMT
Zimbabwe: Was the EU right to
The European Union has decided to impose sanctions on
Zimbabwe and will pull its election observers out of the country.
The decision was taken by EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels
following the expulsion from Zimbabwe of the head of the EU observer team,
The EU had threatened to impose targeted sanctions against President Robert
Mugabe if the Zimbabwe government hampered the work of the EU's election
The agreed measures include a travel ban and a freeze on assets.
Was the EU right to act against Zimbabwe? Will sanctions prove
Tougher sanctions should have been imposed months ago. Furthermore, these
sanctions should also include foreign aid from the EU and any educational aid.
The likes of Mugabe, as history would demonstrate, will only be removed by a
deadly cancer or political revolt. Such revolt only comes after decades of
poverty and ignorance, and it breeds long term and destructive civil wars. Too
many countries in Africa are suffering such a fate. There is absolutely no
reason to make his reign comfortable.
Those who bemoan sanctions as prolonging the suffering of the poor should
realize that under the rule of a man such as Mugabe, there will only be
suffering for Zimbabwe and its citizens. The man has lost all touch with reality
and hanging on to power is the only thing he understands, and he will hang on
even if Zimbabwe has only a handful of people remaining. He and his regime
should not be supported under any circumstances, maybe then his people would
have the strength to topple him.
Noura Adams, Canada
Unfortunately, Mugabe has totally outwitted the EU. His
ideal outcome of the war of words of the past few months has come to pass. The
EU have imposed the sanctions far too late and have done so at the cost of being
able to monitor the elections. Mugabe expertly engineered the dispute over the
Swedish member of the monitoring team, and he has had ample time to ensure he
has no assets susceptible to the EU sanctions. The EU have traded the symbolic
value of their targeted sanctions for the right to monitor the election. Only
Mugabe has gained in any way from this development. The people of Zimbabwe (the
number one concern?) quite clearly haven't. Is there any real hope that the
election can now pass with any freedom at all? For the sake of dithering, the EU
has ensured that the fairness of the election will mainly be policed by
Zimbabwean civil servants, who are the people in the worst position to do so in
a neutral fashion.
The EU have imposed the sanctions far too late and have done
so at the cost of being able to monitor the elections.
Adam Tucker, UK
Adam Tucker, UK
Africa as a whole has had a long line of dictators and Mugabe is becoming
one. He has been so used to power that he knows that he would lose if a fair
election was held, hence the various bills passed to protect himself and his
party. The EU should have put sanctions on him and his cronies 2 months back as
it would start hurting them the closer it got to the elections. The African
nations should also put limited sanction if they are a democratic county, as
they know the struggle they have had to go to be a democratic country.
The EU seems to be eternally doubting itself in its decisions. Does Mugabe
ever doubt his decisions - the answer is no! Many of us couldn't say it enough
times - Mugabe has strung the EU along all the way. With 2.5 weeks to go, how
are Smart Sanctions honestly going to help? The megalomaniac Mugabe has Libya
and DRC diamond mines to help him when his funds run low. The damage has been
done, Mugabe is smirking at his own arrogance. Smart sanctions should have been
applied months ago!! When will the EU start getting tough?
Angus, UK -
When you are invited into someone's house, you should respect that persons
wishes. Schori was not invited to participate, but he tried to impose himself
against the country's wishes. I think sanctions are a bad idea, and I think it
shall have an adverse effect on the current situation.
For any readers unaware of the fact, the "when you invite someone into your
house" argument, used by Elizabeth Mupfumira, is the same argument which the
government press in Zim used to justify the expulsion of Mr. Schori. The
argument was even used in The Herald alongside the assertion that election need
not be free and fair, as long as it is "representative of the will of the
people" however that is to be judged. It was not Mugabe's house which the EU
election team sought to enter, it was the house of the people of Zimbabwe.
Schori was not there to do anything but monitor a free and fair election, and
the electorate would welcome that. The only evil Schori was in a position to
visit on his hosts was the possibility of a free and fair election. If that is
what Mugabe objects to, how can it be seriously argued that Schori's presence
would not have been a benefit to the people of Zimbabwe?
LEADER PAGE Monday 18 , February
Blair needs to
deliver on his rhetoric of African tour
2/18/02 8:37:20 AM (GMT
By Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem
THE British Prime Minister, Tony
Blair, ended his African safari last
weekend, but the controversies about the
import, or lack of it, of his trip
is still being debated, not least in
His critics on the right accuse him of yet another
moral crusade, to yet another far-flung (in the
island mentality of little
Englanders, every place, including Europe, outside
of mainland Britain is
far except when it concerns the United States of
If the position of the right-wing critics is predictable, that
critics on the left within his party and outside is at best
There are those who criticise him for using grand foreign
interventions to divert attention from his domestic battles and
Yet others see his foreign trips as a fulfilment of the
heritage of the “people’s party”, the Labour
And there are those who are genuine internationalists, but who
suspicious of Blair’s ideological somersaults internally and see him
exporting New Labour’s spin of supremacy of presentation over
The other aspect of these critics’ grouse is that they are
about Blair’s “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Bush and anything
What all these critics have in common is
Blair’s trip is seen as yet another grand gesture that will
He said all the right things, made the
right noises, but that is all they
are: empty barrels making the loudest
The sceptics are not limited to Britain.
Many in Africa
were also sceptical. They saw Bill Clinton waltz across the
much in the wake.
The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act that is supposed
to lay the “new”
basis of Afro-American relations, has been shown not to be
eloquent noises after all.
The assumption is that Africa
will now trade more fairly with the US and the
US will reduce or eliminate
its prohibitive tariffs against trade with
This has not and is
not likely to happen. Even if it does, how naïve can we
be to think that
American clients are queuing up to buy our bananas, coffee,
beans, millet, maize, groundnuts and other primary products?
these commodities have faced collapsing prices internationally.
we produce and export more of the same it will only create a
market as opposed to a sellers’ market.
All the noise about Highly
Indebted Countries’ (HIPC) debt relief has so far
benefited only four African
countries with another 20 on the waiting list.
Even the privileged
beneficiaries are busy using their new debtor status to
acquire more dubious
debts. So why should Blair’s trip be different? He
globalisation, fair trade, debt relief, conflict resolution,
democratisation and a new partnership with Africa.
questions remain: How can Africa be a partner in
globalisation when we
produce what we do not consume and consume what we do
not produce and the
West and its multinational corporations determine the
How can debt relief promote growth and development across the board
is still limited to a very small number of countries, is not total
Of what long-term benefit is partially writing
off the debts of Uganda when
the rest of its neighbours are in debt
Who is writing off what when Tanzania has some of its debt
written off while
at the same time getting new unnecessary debts guaranteed
by Blair’s own
government to purchase essentially military radar for its
How can Africa take Blair seriously about co-operating
resolution when Britain’s military and defence industries, with
encouragement from his government, are competing with other European
American companies to sell arms to African governments and a myriad of
groups across the continent?
His rhetoric on democratisation in
Nigeria must have fallen on the deaf ears
of many African farmers, peasants
and the army of urban unemployed, who are
yet to see the dividends of
democracy. Many of them were too busy trying to
eke out a living that they
may have missed his whistle-stop shuttle across
four countries in four
Last but not least, his linking of terrorism to poverty may be
but the poverty of our people predates Osama bin Laden and 11
If he had ventured out of the official receptions he
would have discovered
that Bin Laden may not be a direct threat to many of us
in the same way that
the International Monetary Fund/World Bank, structural
or the multinational corporations, are.
official hosts were honest with him, they would have told him that
has acquired a kind of heroic status among a significant portion
This is not because the people did not have feelings for the
killed in the attacks but because they think Bin Laden is
giving the West,
especially the US, their come-uppance.
Many of them
also supported Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, not because
brutalities against his own people but because “he stood up” against
forgetting that his rise and stay in power was until then aided and
by the same Western powers.
Somehow, I do not think Blair got this
message during his trip. Therefore,
we need the cynics to continue to
challenge him to deliver on his rhetoric.
Elimination story Mugabe’s final card, says
2/18/02 8:52:30 AM (GMT +2)
The MDC yesterday said it has negotiated with donors to provide
with maize until March next year, the party’s leader and
candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, told Chitungwiza residents at
“We have worked out measures which will immediately see
the importation of
large quantities of maize which will ensure that nobody
starves,” he told a
gathering which had swelled to more than 20 000 at the
end of his address.
Tsvangirai said his party, through its shadow
minister for Lands and
Agriculture, Renson Gasela, the former general manager
of the Grain
Marketing Board, warned the government in April last year that
was facing food shortages and needed to urgently import
Tsvangirai said Dr Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture
Resettlement, “ignored us and said Zimbabwe had adequate food and
is that some people have died”.
He bemoaned the fact that
Zimbabwe, a country which until recently was
feeding its neighbours, had no
maize-meal, sugar or wheat.
The MDC president said the government could
not feed the nation because it
had no foreign currency with which to import
He said instead of providing immediate relief, the government was
committees to assess the extent of hunger.
feeding people, we are being told every day that nobody will
starve when the
people are starving.”
Tsvangirai said on election day, Zimbabweans would
be choosing between hope
He challenged the Southern
Africa Development Community (Sadc) to live up to
its responsibility to
protect the people of Zimbabwe and not its leadership.
Sadc has been
condemned for ignoring Zanu PF and State-sponsored violence in
the run-up to
“This reflects their bias in a desire to be in solidarity
leadership and not the people of Zimbabwe,” said
He said legislation such as the Public Order and Security Act
to the Electoral Act made the playing field
While the opposition had to apply for permission to hold rallies,
was not required of the ruling Zanu PF party.
observers from South Africa were at the rally.
Commenting on allegations
that he was plotting to assassinate President
Mugabe, who turns 78 on
Thursday this week, the 50-year-old opposition
leader said: “Mugabe will not
be killed by Tsvangirai, but by the electorate
He said the
plot was cooked up by Zanu PF in a desperate bid to remain
“But Zimbabweans are not fools. Don’t be frightened because
it was Zanu PF’s
last card and the plan is to eliminate me. Even if I am in
jail or in the
grave, Mugabe is going.
“Other desperate measures like
blaming alleged anthrax attacks, army worm
invasion and South African armed
robberies have been met with scorn by
Zimbabweans. Now they want to blame the
MDC for a bad rainfall season.”
He said the election would not be free
and fair because violent
organisations like the war veterans’ association and
the youth brigade were
torturing and raping Zimbabweans.
Mugabe to disband the “Green Bombers” if the election result
was to be
Tsvangirai said the mere fact that soldiers led by Brigadier
Nyikayaramba would be running the election meant they would not be
He said the immediate task of an MDC government would
be to improve social
services like the provision of anti-retroviral drugs to
mother-to-child HIV transmission.
Inflation hits new high of 116%
2/18/02 8:26:29 AM (GMT
By Raymond Mgadzah Senior Business Reporter
inflation rate continues to increase and reached 116,7 percent
month of January, up 4,6 percent on the December figure of
This is well above the 100 barrier breached last year
which economists had
The Central Statistical Office (CSO)
said the latest increase in inflation
meant that prices as measured by the
all-item Consumer Price Index (CPI) had
increased by an average of 116,7
percent between January 2001 and January
Of the 116,7 percent
year-on-year inflation rate in January this year,
increases in food prices
accounted for 38,3 percentage points, while
non-food items in the CPI
accounted for 78,4 percentage points.
Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited
group economist, Witness Chinyama, said:
“The increase in inflation is in
line with expectations, given the increase
in money supply growth, the
weakening of the Zimbabwe dollar on the parallel
market and the wage-price
spiral in the economy.
“Workers are basing their wage demands on
inflation instead of increases in
productivity. Producers are responding by
“We now have a wage-price spiral that needs to be
inflationary expectations are now fixed in the
“Unless these issues are addressed the inflation situation will
“Inflationary pressures remain high but due to
technical reasons, we might
see the rate of inflation falling.”
CSO said food inflation, prone to transitory shocks stood at 111,6
gaining 3,6 percentage points on the December rate of 108
Non-food inflation stood at 119,3 percent gaining 5,1 percentage
the December rate of 114,2 percent.
inflation rate in January was 6,6 percent, a 1 percentage
point increase on
the December rate of 5,6 percent.
The CSO said the increase in
month-on-month inflation in January 2002 was
due to increases in the price of
meat, rent and rates, beverages, fruits and
vegetables, and vehicle running
Prospects of winter wheat crop blighted
AM (GMT +2)
THE Commercial Farmers Union (CFU)
says it is concerned about prospects of a
winter wheat crop in the coming dry
season because most commercial farms
have been designated.
the country’s second staple after maize.
Most of the wheat is grown by
commercial farmers and mainly through
irrigation during winter.
there are no good rains this year, it would be difficult to grow the
Zimbabwe has been experiencing a dry spell since last
cumulative rains so far are below normal in most
CFU deputy director responsible for commodities, Dr Jerry Grant,
Farmer Magazine recently that land preparations and other plans must
in the next few weeks if the crop is going to get into the ground in
There are reports that many farmers did not make preparations
uncertainties caused by the designation of most farms that produce
while there are concerns over water to irrigate the crop.
said 60 percent of wheat growers were recipients of Section 8 Orders,
specifically prevent them from any further farming activity.
“Furthermore, we have been told by the Ministry of Lands,
Rural Resettlement that all commercial farmers (at least
belonging to the
union) who have received Section 5 Orders, under the Land
will shortly receive Section 8 Orders.”
The government issues a
preliminary notice of intention to acquire land by
publishing a list of farms
in newspapers in accordance with Section 5 of the
Section 8 Orders are issued as a notice to acquire the
Last year, farmers produced a total wheat crop of about 314 000
which is less than the national requirement of between 380 000 and
“The country simply does not have the resources to
import this amount of
wheat and the CFU is currently urging the Ministry of
Lands, Agriculture and
Rural Resettlement to give clear signals on whether or
not they require a
winter wheat crop.”
Dr Joseph Made, the Minister of
Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement,
last week said the government
would continue acquiring more farms.
He said about 7 000 commercial farms
measuring about 13 million hectares had
been compulsorily acquired by the
government so far.
66 foreign observers, 62 local journalists
2/18/02 8:00:42 AM (GMT +2)
The Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) has so far accredited
international observers and 62 local journalists.
issued by the Information Department last week said about 5
international, regional and domestic observers and journalists are
to have been accredited when the exercise ends.
On Friday, 16
international observers and 30 local journalists were
accredited. One of the
observers was from South Africa, nine from France,
four from Ireland and
three from Norway.
The ESC had not yet accredited observers from the
African, Caribbean and
Pacific states/European Union. Those from Europe have
representing their individual countries, according to the
“International observers who have been accredited are free to
the county observing the electoral process.
requests political parties to assist and not hinder international
to acknowledge their presence at rallies and to ensure that party
do not harass them,” the ESC said.
In a related development, Zanu PF, the
MDC and Nagg held more discussions at
the ESC offices on the Code of Conduct
for Political Parties. The meeting
was chaired by Sobusa Gula- Ndebele, the
The parties were represented by Patrick Chinamasa, the
Minister of Justice
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Gift Chimanikire and
Learnmore Jongwe, and
one D Chihambakwe, respectively.
clauses of the code seek to prohibit political parties and their
from committing or fanning political violence.
COMMERCIAL FARMERS' UNION
Farm Invasions And Security Report
14 February 2002
This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking
place in the commercial farming areas. Communication problems and the fear of
reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens. Farmers names, and
in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF
· A woman was beaten up at Hungwe, Marondera South, for
refusing to attend a Zanu (PF) meeting.
· The foreman at Mtemwa, Marondera South, was beaten up
by 15 youths, after he disciplined a labourer for sloppy
· At Rapid, Marondera South, the foreman was beaten up by
militia and evicted from his home after he disciplined three
labourers. He is now in hiding.
· A Quagga Pan Ranch labourer in Mwenezi had his mealie
meal stolen by settlers. On trying to recover it the settlers caught
him and locked him up in one of their huts. This was reported to the
police, who say they have no transport available to attend. He
remains locked up.
· On Sherwood, Norton, the GMB manager and “war vets”
were involved in an assault on farm labour. ZANU (PF) rallies are
held during work hours and all labour has to attend.
Mutare - The youth wing are active, stopping people and demanding party
cards. If they cannot produce party cards, they are either beaten up or
children are stopped from going to school. A labourer at Premier Estate was
apprehended by “war vets” Mapfundi and Mandigo on 11.02.02, and he refused to
hand over a key for an irrigation pump house. Eventually a compromise was
reached and he made the handover at Old Mutare Police Base. That night, he was
abducted from his house and labour say it was ZANU (PF) Youth members. The owner
travelled to the Youth Base at Laverstock Farm but was stopped at a boom across
the road. The boom attendants denied the labourer was in their custody. A single
ZRP constable on foot as ZRP Penhalonga has no vehicle available. The Youth Base
is 6 kilometres from the ZRP depot.
Chipinge - Section 8' Orders were handed out in the last week.
General - All other areas are very quiet.
No report received.
Macheke/Virginia – on 11.2.02 at Springs Farm reported 11 people inspected
the maize land, and then told the owner they would return to peg it. They left,
after helping themselves to some of the crop. At Malda Farm it was reported the
owner was to attempt taking a load of property off the farm. After two hours,
he said he had not been able to recover anything and would try again after
speaking to the police. Second Chapter reported the “war vets” had taken 13
head of cattle that strayed on to Bimi farm as compensation as the “war vets’
maize had been damaged. It was found that about 10 km of barbed wire had been
removed from the game fence separating the two farms (approx ZWD 700 000-00
worth) and only about 20 very drought stricken maize plants had been eaten.
This has been resolved with all but two cattle returned. Murrayfield Farm
reported that "war vets" had stopped labourers from felling burnt pine trees and
from doing any other work in the lands. At Journeys End DDF officials arrived
to peg, stating they had been sent by the Governor’s office.
Beatrice – police told members of an illegal roadblock on Tata road to
remove the gum pole across the grid. This was replaced as soon as the police
left. GMB inspectors in the area want maize to be delivered, and are making
arrangements to transport maize if necessary. At Enondo, MDC leaflets were
distributed during the night. Two children were picked up for questioning by
the youth. The owner intervened as the labourers were going to retrieve the
children themselves. The youths appeared relieved at the owner’s action and
wrote a letter of apology. An illegal roadblock continually in place at Tata
and Charlston roads was ordered to be dismantled by occupants of a passing Zanu
PF vehicle. At Adam’s Rest youths demanded wood and food for their base camp at
Nyamafofo. The request was denied.
Enterprise/Bromley/Ruwa – more Section 7 Notices were served. GMB
inspectors are trying to seize maize without documentation. Settlers are making
demands for food.
Featherstone – pressure from a member of the Land District Committee in the
area has resulted in work stoppages and threats of forced evictions.
Harare South – At Albion "war vet" Zhou held a meeting where he told labour
to take possession of movable assets on the farm as the owner is leaving. The
owner is not leaving the farm.
Marondera – Zanu (PF) youths are causing problems within the area and the
town. Commuter omnibus drivers display Zanu (PF) flags and carry party cards
for fear of their vehicles being trashed. Some people have had their ID cards
Marondera South – a woman was beaten up at Hungwe for refusing to attend a
Zanu (PF) meeting. At Igava militia demanded the local security guards vacate
their base to allow them to take it over as a base for the election campaign,
with a threat to take over a private house or Ruzawi club as an alternative.
This particular security firm has been effective in crime control in the area.
Uitkyk was visited by a mob from Marondera, including a Sgt Chitorwa of the
army, demanding a meeting with the owner. Initially, the owner refused to meet
with an armed mob, but after threats of violence against labour, he conceded.
Demands were made for food, access to the farm store and bar, removal of the
owner’s cattle from the farm, closure of the private security base on the farm
and confinement of the owner to his home. Labour was accused of supporting the
opposition MDC and the mob threatened to torch their homes as well as the farm
buildings. The foreman at Mtemwa was beaten up by 15 youths, after he
disciplined a labourer for sloppy work.
Marondera North – at Nyagambe a militia centre has been set up. Labour has
been assaulted by the militia and forced to attend meetings. Harassment is
continuous, with nightly singing and slogan shouting at the owner’s homestead,
and an illegal roadblock on the access road where the youths/militia demand
party cards. As soon as a police vehicle is spotted, the roadblock is removed
and the police now will not believe reports of this nature. The owner’s wife
runs the pharmacy at Borradaile Hospital and it has remained closed some days,
as she cannot leave the farm when the roadblock is in place. At Oxford three
labourers were beaten up. The youths responsible prevented the ambulance from
collecting the victims. At Rapid, the foreman was beaten up by militia and
evicted from his home after he disciplined three labourers. He is now in
Wedza – four guards and a driver left on Mtokwe Farm were taken away to the
re-education camp in Zana II resettlement. This farm has been given to the ZJRI
and the settlers on farm have full use of ZESA and the borehole. The owner will
attempt to remove the rest of his furniture on farm.
MASHONALAND WEST (NORTH)
Trelawney/Darwendale - An employee from Sable Valley was assaulted with
sticks by five youths in Trelawney on 10.2.02, accused of being an MDC supporter
and taking money from his employer for the MDC office in Harare. His brother had
just died in Harare hence his reason for travelling to Harare. Two other
employees from Sable Valley managed to stop the beating. At Gwarati Farm the
'youth settlers' held a meeting with approximately 150-200 people. This meeting
(which the farm labour refused to attend) was to instruct people how and where
to vote on the ballot paper! The following day, at 3.30 am, unknown arsonists
set fire to the owner’s son-in-law's grass fence. It was put out in good time.
The arsonists then set fire to a grass fence around a seedbed site, and then set
fire to a house in the farm village. Although property belong to the employee
was damaged, fortunately the house was empty. The tractor driver on Shirley
Farm found a young girl (about 5 years old) abandoned by settler William and
his wife. She had been without food for two days. Darwendale Police attended
and returned the child to her parents. . A week later, the same child was
discovered, bound hand and foot on Rocklands Farm, severely punished by her
parents, resulting in multiple wounds on her back made with barbed wire. Again,
this has been reported to the OIC Darwendale. A rally was organised to be held
on Zeibari Enterprises on 10.02.02. In spite of a directive from Minister
Chombo to cancel all rallies, the organiser, a Mr. Tshoko, refused to comply.
He demanded the owner mow the football field for the rally, which the owner
refused to do, stating the rally was now illegal. The rally went ahead with 200
people attending. Mr. Tshoko called a work stoppage the following day,
demanding 3 tonnes of maize as compensation for their loss when the owner’s
cattle went into their land. Although the police were called in, they offered
no assistance. The situation is still to be resolved.
MASHONALAND WEST (SOUTH)
Norton - On Glenside, Don Carlos continues to try evict the farm manager.
On Sherwood the GMB manager and “war vets” were involved in an assault on farm
labour. ZANU (PF) rallies are held during work hours and all labour has to
Selous - Compensation claims for cattle eating failed maize crops
continues, as settlers drive cattle into their maize in an attempt to extort
Chakari - Labour is forced to attend ZANU (PF) rallies during work
Kadoma - The owner of Lone Kop was forcibly evicted from her house.
General - The region is stable in spite of ongoing political harassment and
Masvingo East and Central - At Chidza farm, two pedigree cattle were caught
in snares, but survived.
Chiredzi – a Triangle farmer phoned to report his labour wants him to pay
out all pension and other monies due them. Rumours are spread there will be an
armed rebellion if the present Government does not get back into power. The
labour on his farm that come from Zaka communal areas report groups of uniformed
youths in squads are intimidating rural people. They are led by uniformed men
suspected to be the “war vet” leaders of the farm invaders, who have recently
deserted their posts on the farms. The farmer later reported harassment by a
group of 30 old men, demanding payment of loans and pensions, which they say was
owed by his deceased father. His father died (murdered) at the end of the
liberation war. He instructed them to go to the police. The group was reported
to have gone to the Zaka Land Committee, to back their extortion claims. On
another property five people arrived in a white Land rover, registration number
611258K, led by Mr. Gumbo, the local “war vet”. He told the owner they were
there on the authority of the DA, Chiredzi, to take the farm and “a certain
piece” would be left to the owner. He indicated he would return with a letter of
Mwenezi - Another 100 communal cattle were forced on to Joko/Kleinbegin
whereas at Kayansee Ranch, communal cattle are being moved on to other
properties. At Battlefields Ranch a vehicle dropped off seven people, who began
maliciously cutting fences. The owner had them repaired, only to have them
return and cut the fences again. Quagga Pan Ranch reports a labourer had his
mealie meal stolen by settlers, which he had collected from the communal lands.
On trying to recover it the settlers caught him and locked him up in one of
their huts. This was reported to the police, who say they have no transport
available to attend. He remains locked up. In general, continued theft,
harassment, shortage of water, demands for compensation, poaching and snaring in
Save Conservancy - Poaching and snaring continue.
Gutu/Chatsworth – the owner of Bath Farm was stopped on his farm road by a
ZANU PF vehicle with 6 youths and 3 officials within the vehicle. The officials
castigated the owner, asking why he had not supplied the “proposed” school on
his property with stationery and equipment. They referred to the Commonwealth
meeting held on his property last year and told him they held him responsible
for the outcome of it. He was accused of not being an honest man and for going
back on his word. Present in the vehicle was Chief Gutu as well as the
Provincial Leader for the War Veterans. The local ZANU PF "war vet" leader
‘Kingsize’ was also present. Chief Gutu got out of the vehicle and began
crushing his heel in the sand reminding the owner this was where they had him
and planned to “grind him” in the future. After further harassment, they
instructed him to attend a ZANU PF rally at Serima.
No report received.
No report received.
Nkomo statue sparks protest
2/18/02 8:42:07 AM (GMT
By Foster Dongozi
A FRESH row is looming over a proposed
statue to honour the late
Vice-President Dr Joshua Nkomo.
Mabhena, the former Matabeleland North Governor and ex-Zanu PF
member, has criticised plans by the government to award a North
company, the contract to erect a statue of Nkomo, saying it was a
and insensitive move”.
In 1981, the North Korean government seconded 100
“instructors” to train the
infamous 5 Brigade, which killed thousands of
villagers in the Midlands and
Matabeleland provinces during an anti-dissident
Products of the North Korean instructors hounded Nkomo into
exile in 1983 as
repeated efforts to assassinate him failed.
said: “We don’t want to see the North Koreans having anything to do
Nkomo’s memory because they are the same people whose government wanted
and his people removed from this earth.
“Why should they want to
immortalise his memory when they wanted him killed
in the first
“This is a slap in the face by the government. They are provoking
us, it is
like they are itching to kill us again.”
He said awarding
the contract to the North Korean Mansuadae Overseas Group
of Companies would
be the final humiliation of Nkomo’s legacy.
“Former Zapu officials were
not consulted about this, but let the government
know that we can accept
anybody, but the North Koreans.”
Three weeks ago, the State-controlled
Sunday News reported that the North
Korean company “would most likely
undertake the project”.
Thandi Nkomo, Dr Nkomo’s daughter, said the
family favoured the North
Pak Hyo Song, a trade attache at
the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
mission in Zimbabwe, told The
Sunday News: “Not that we want to brag about
it, we have produced quality
works of art the world over and many of these
works are in
But Mabhena, a former PF Zapu secretary-general, said: “We can
statue ourselves because Zanu PF is only interested in
even in death.”
The government announced in
November last year that the Cabinet had agreed
to have a large statue of
Nkomo erected in Bulawayo and Harare.
Dr Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of
Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing, made the announcement
during the renaming of Airport Road
in Harare and the airport in Bulawayo
after Dr Nkomo.
The North Korean company was reported to be favoured by
the government. It
built the statues at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at
the Heroes’ Acre in
The company has also put up statues of
Laurent Kabila and Colonel Mengistu
Haile Mariam of Ethiopia.
is wanted in his country for mass murder.
Fleeing Zimbabweans boost fortunes of national
2/18/02 8:04:32 AM (GMT +2)
From Sandra Mujokoro in
AIR Zimbabwe is fully booked up to 20 March on its London-bound
hundreds of Zimbabweans continue to flee the country
Moses Mapanda, the airline’s acting public relations manager, said
people travel out of the country on the airline daily.
travel on other airlines.
The deteriorating economic situation, with
inflation at more than 116
percent, has forced most professionals to leave,
mainly for the United
Some are seeking political asylum in
The increase in Air Zimbabwe’s business has also boosted
financial situation, in the doldrums for the past few years
because of its
But because of the deteriorating
socio-economic and political situation,
there is a sudden influx of airline
passengers despite the high airfares.
Air Zimbabwe had been tottering on
the brink of collapse after most people
opted for other less expensive
But as the only airline still quoting its fares in Zimbabwean
due to the forex shortages, the fortunes of the airline have
Mapanda said: “The impact of the forex requirement by other
greatly assisted us and beginning mid-last year, we have been
Mugabe could lose if Zimbabwe poll is fair
LONDON, Feb. 17 — President Robert Mugabe could lose
elections in Zimbabwe
next month if the poll is conducted fairly, senior U.S.
were quoted as saying on Monday.
Financial Times newspaper said unofficial polls conducted
organisations and seen by U.S. officials showed Mugabe would
get only 25-30
percent of the vote if the election was fair.
The officials said this
was despite intimidation of the opposition
and political violence over the
past 18 months.
However, they feared Mugabe could ''win'' an extra 20
further manipulation of the vote and extend his 22-year
''He may have already awarded himself 10 per cent through
electoral roll,'' an official was quoted as saying.
newspaper said the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
had been kept off the rolls in areas where they enjoyed
The United States is confident that, provided the elections
massively rigged, the MDC could form a government.
Financial Times said Walter Kansteiner, U.S. assistant secretary
of state for
Africa, took part in talks in Cape Town last week over the New
for African Development, intended to promote economic recovery
The head of an EU election observer mission who was
Zimbabwe amid a tense standoff over his team said on Sunday
for a free and fair poll did not look bright.
Swedish diplomat Pierre Schori was forced to leave Zimbabwe on
his visa was cancelled.
Asked by Britain's Channel 4 television news
whether there was any
chance of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe on March
9-10, Schori said:
''Of course it doesn't look bright.
ministers are due to discuss Zimbabwe at a meeting in
The EU has threatened to impose sanctions on Mugabe --
possible travel bans on the president and his closest associates
freeze on their foreign-held assets -- if its observer mission is
RCMP probes alleged plot to kill Mugabe
MONTREAL (CP) — The RCMP
said Sunday it's investigating an alleged plot to
kill Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe — a plot that a Montreal consulting
firm says it caught on
videotape last year.
Dickens & Madson, which has worked on and off
for the Zimbabwean government
for several years, said last week it secretly
videotaped a meeting with the
African country's main opposition leader,
Morgan Tsvangirai, when he visited
the company's headquarters last
Company president Ari Ben-Menashe said he planted a hidden
camera in his
office and taped Tsvangirai asking the firm on Dec. 4 to
Mugabe's assassination and a coup d'etat "as soon as
RCMP Const. Guy Amyot confirmed the Mounties were looking into
plot, but he wouldn't say what form the investigation would
"(The investigation has) been confirmed by Ottawa," Amyot said in
interview from Quebec City, "although we cannot comment on it because
an ongoing investigation."
Carl Schwenger, a spokesman for the
Department of Foreign Affairs, said
Sunday that officials in his department's
Africa bureau brought the matter
to the attention of the
"These types of allegations are criminal in nature," he said
"When you've got people conspiring to kill somebody, they're
something that should be brought to the attention of the
Schwenger said he didn't know whether the videotape of the
had been handed over to Mounties. The bizarre tale came to
Wednesday in a news report on Australian television.
really observers here as much as anyone else," said Schwenger.
sure about the tape. We brought it to the attention of the RCMP
serious nature of the allegations, a conspiracy, or alleged
Tsvangirai has denied he planned to kill Mugabe,
saying it was Dickens &
Madson, not him, who first hatched the
assassination plot. Tsvangirai has
also said he broke off contact with the
Montreal firm after it made the
Tsvangirai is seen as
the main challenger to Mugabe's 22-year reign in the
runup to next month's
presidential election, scheduled for March 9-10.
Dickens & Madson —
unbeknown to Tsvangirai — has had a long-standing working
Mugabe and his government, Ben-Menashe said last week.
advises the government — condemned worldwide for its oppressive
against the opposition and dissenters — on various issues relating
But Tsvangirai said Thursday his party recently learned the firm
by the head of Zimbabwe's secret intelligence organization and a
government information official to discredit the
Ben-Menashe, who has denied the charges, didn't immediately
Australian television station SBS broadcast
grainy excerpts of the December
meeting in Montreal on the program
During the taped discussion, Ben-Menashe talks about Tsvangirai
party, Movement for Democratic Change, committing to "the coup d'etat
elimination of the president."
The man identified as Tsvangirai
expressed concern the military might take
over if Mugabe was
Ben-Menashe, who has claimed to be a former Israeli
intelligence agent, was
acquitted by a U.S. federal jury in 1990 of charges
he illegally arranged a
deal to sell U.S.-made military cargo planes to Iran
in exchange for the
release of four American hostages in the Middle
The Zimbabwean government has yet to comment on the allegations
International Freedom of Expression Exchange
ALERT: Southern African
media organisation to challenge Zimbabwean security
Originator: Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
(MISA/IFEX) - The Southern African
Journalists' Association (SAJA) plans to
take legal action to challenge
security and media laws that hamper the
press's work in Zimbabwe. According
to a report that appeared in the 14
Febuary 2002 edition of "The Financial
Gazette", at a meeting held in
Johannesburg on the weekend of 9 and 10
February, SAJA's executive committee
received what it termed a "comprehensive
report on Zimbabwe's laws, which
impinge on press freedom."
Co-coordinator Tuwani Gumani said plans were at hand to talk to
International Federation of Journalists and other organisations to see
the motion could be put into action."The laws have to be challenged
Zimbabwe first and foremost. We believe Zimbabwe has democratic
and the laws have to be challenged within these democratic
President Mugabe approved the Public Order
and Security Act (POSA) in
January 2002 and is expected to sign the Access to
Protection of Privacy Act, both of which seriously hamper the
POSA and the Information Bill contain clauses
allowing jail terms for
journalists who publish information deemed to be
confidence in Zimbabwe's security forces and inciting
hostility against the
Analysts believe these pieces of
legislation are a setback for democracy and
the development of the media,
especially as the March 2002 presidential
elections get closer. SAJA believes
that the laws will kill investigative
and independent journalism in
"Our firm belief is that the elections are going to come and
go, but what is
going to be more important for Zimbabwe and the rest of the
are the laws that have been passed. Our job is to cover
these elections, but
the legislation that impacts on journalists is what we
are interested in,"
SAJA resolved to assist Zimbabwean
journalists to engage the government on
specific proposals for
self-regulation of the media and urged scribes not to
be used as pawns by
political parties. They also denounced the petrol
bombing of the "The Daily
News"'s Bulawayo office (see IFEX alerts of 12 and
For further information, contact Zoe Titus
or Kaitira Kandjii, Regional
Information Coordinator, MISA, Street Address:
21 Johann Albrecht Street,
Mailing Address; Private Bag 13386 Windhoek,
Namibia, tel: +264 61 232975,
fax: +264 61 248016, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com,
SA to abide by majority view on
Business Day SA: 18 February
Pahad gives pledge as Harare
CAPE TOWN If the majority view of all election observer
missions in Zimbabwe does not find the March 9 presidential poll free and fair,
then SA will not be able to recognise the election result, says Deputy Foreign
Minister Aziz Pahad.
Pahad's words, at Friday's news briefing on the situation
in Zimbabwe, came the day before Zimbabwe's government deported the European
Union's (EU's) observer mission leader Pierre Schori.
The action also followed the declaration of Britain's
Baroness Valerie Amos as part of a G8 team in SA to discuss the New Partnership
for African Development that the turmoil in Zimbabwe was a cloud over the
initiative but not a litmus test for President Thabo Mbeki's plan for African
Pahad said government had no intention of "whitewashing"
the election process, and pointed to the multisectoral composition of the
observer mission as evidence of its overall credibility.
It also emerged on Friday that Bobby Godsell and André
Lamprecht would join the last deployment of the SA observers on March 3. The two
were the only volunteers from Mbeki's big business working group, which was
asked to supply volunteer monitors.
Those who did not take up the invitation included Nail's
Saki Macozoma, Murray & Roberts' David Brink, Anglo American's Julian
Ogilvie-Thompson and Michael Spicer, FirstRand's Laurie Dippenaar, Paul Kruger
of Sasol, and Standard Bank's Derek Cooper.
The second part of the SA observer mission, which
includes Percy Sonn from the directorate of public prosecutions and head of the
Public Service Commission Stan Sangweni, will leave on Wednesday. Others leaving
this week are representatives from AgriSA, the National African Farmers Union,
the Congress of SA Trade Unions and black business.
Pahad said there would be seven or eight observer
missions in Zimbabwe, including one from Parliament, the Southern African
Development Community and the multisectoral one.
He said he hoped when the poll was over, all missions
would be able to express a unanimous opinion on whether it was free and fair. If
there were differences of opinion, SA would abide by the majority view, he said.
If "things go badly in Zimbabwe", then it spelt serious problems for SA and the
rest of the region.
Meanwhile, Sapa reports that Schori, who arrived in
London yesterday, accused the Zimbabwean government of "unacceptable" behaviour
in abruptly expelling him. He dismissed as "fabrications" allegations of
EU foreign ministers will meet today to consider imposing
economic and diplomatic sanctions against Zimbabwe. The EU put its threat of
sanctions on hold after the Zimbabwean government agreed to allow in a team of
150 EU observers to cover presidential elections.
Tsvangirai sure of success
News24: 18/02/2002 09:57 - (SA)
ZB du Toit
Johannesburg - He is confident he will be
Zimbabwe's new president in less than a month's time, says Morgan Tsvangirai.
The former union and Movement for Democratic Change leader and president
Robert Mugabe's main challenger in the upcoming presidential election of March
9-10 believes he can win the race, despite the odds stacked against him.
Tsvangirai was briefly detained at Harare Airport in the past week when he
ostensibly tried to travel with a false passport. Shortly after that, he was
accused of conspiring to murder Mugabe. However, he maintains he is used to
"this kind of harassment"; he takes no notice of it.
Shortly before the incident, he had addressed a huge rally at Gweru in the
Midlands, generally accepted as a key area. Political analysts in Zimbabwe see
this as significant. More than 10 000 people attended the rally.
Tsvangirai, however, has no illusions: "I have no doubt that President Mugabe
will do his utmost to fix the outcome of the election ahead and that he will try
and cheat," he said in Harare.
'We'll win, despite stumbling blocks'
"Conditions are hostile towards the opposition. We don't have sufficient
access to the media; our rallies are disrupted and our offices attacked. Yet,
I'm very confident that we will win, despite stumbling blocks, and that millions
of voters will arrive at the polls to exercise their choice."
The MDC leader said that, if he was elected, as he expected to be, he would
immediately launch a period of "national healing". He would try and restore
confidence in the economy immediately in order to create jobs. In addition,
immediate attention would be given to the critical food situation. "We will have
to give the people food."
University of Harare political scientist Dr John Makumbe agrees that the
situation is unfavourable for Tsvangirai. The ruling Zanu-PF party will try any
form of intimidation and harassment to tip the scales in Mugabe's favour.
"However, the odds are not stacked all that much against Tsvangirai. Even a
rigged election can be won, but then Tsvangirai's support would have to be
And that is exactly what is expected to happen, he predicts. "Indications are
that most people are determined to get rid of Mugabe. The latest opinion polls
suggest that Tsvangirai is ahead by 60% compared to Mugabe's