ITV stealth report: fedup in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe; cracks, fissures and discontent all around.

Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe turned 83 a week ago. While he celebrated at a lengthy gala in Gweru which was forced on residents and school children there, police issued a repressive ban on rallies and demonstrations in Harare. The ban, the regime’s latest measure at calming an incessent tide of anger, is evidence that there are deep cracks and fissures in the nation’s foundations as Eddie Cross notes;

The situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated sharply in the past few days. The government has imposed a ban on public meetings, the strikes are continuing with the State run hospitals now completely paralysed, Doctors and Nurses refuse to go back to work. The Universities are due to open on Monday but staff is on strike and there are no signs of compromise. Students plan to join the strike on Monday in support of their lecturers and demanding attention to the stark conditions under which they are living. The ZCTU has announced a national strike in a month’s time and the State Security Minister has threatened them with dire action.

Now a form of curfew is being imposed on the high-density townships across the country in an effort to bring the situation under control. These are clearly signs of panic in the realms of government.

Tomorrow should be the start of a 4-month freeze on prices and wages – however I understand the proposal has been abandoned as being simply unworkable. No statements are forthcoming from the authorities and to say the least, there is considerable confusion in business and Union circles. The Governor of the Reserve Bank speaks of a ‘Social Contract’ but none exists.

(more…)

David Coltart on the state’s disregard of law

David Coltart, the MDC shadow justice minister and a reknowned human rights lawyer in his own right issued this statement in the aftermath of last weekend’s unpardonable incident in Highfield. At least three people are feared dead and over a 100 MDC supporters were arrested Sunday as Zimbabwe’s brutal police quashed a court sanctioned rally by the opposition party. The MDC won the right to have rally late on Friday night in the High Court but the court order did not prevent the police from arming their anti-riot tankers imported from Israel and using them on poor unarmed Zimbabweans.

Here is Coltart’s statement.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Chamisa: Zanu PF, police fire teargas, live ammunition at MDC supporters

Highfield resembled a ghost town following running battles between unarmed MDC supporters and armed riot police. The police, who had defied a High Court order, cordoned off the venue of the MDC rally and went on the rampage in the High density suburb of Highfield in Harare.

Despite a High Court order preventing the police from interfering with the MDC rally to launch its Presidential campaign at Zimbabwe grounds in Highfield, Harare, armed riot police sealed off the venue and patrolled the streets of Highfield indiscriminately firing live ammunition, teargas and water cannons in the tranquil environment around Machipisa shopping centre.

When the crowd became agitated, the over 50 000-strong crowd that had turned up for the rally were sent scurrying for cover after armed riot police ordered the shopping center closed, searched people’s homes and indiscriminately assaulted any person seen outside their home. The terror campaign spread to all high density suburbs in Harare where running battles are still being fought between the people and the security forces of an unpopular regime.

Three people are feared dead while 127 people have been arrested and that is the price they have paid for turning up for an ordinary party rally. Two of our disabled supporters, Angeline Masaisai and Clara Muzoda were thoroughly assaulted near the venue of the rally after they had painfully traveled all the way from Mabvuku for the star rally. At least 11 Israeli-imported water cannons patrolled the streets of Highfield and 279 were seriously injured in the clashes with the police and are receiving treatment at various hospitals in Harare.

President Tsvangirai, Vice President Thokozani Khupe and members of the Liberation team attempted to force their way into the stadium only to cause more teargas and chaos from the police.
(more…)

Sekai Holland: MDC Star Rally Latest

Who said living in Zimbabwe would be so exciting!!

Sad Update – Back From Zimbabwe Grounds!

It was a bad start to our attempted entry into Zimbabwe Grounds at Highfield just then. The most surprised of all is Mr Marima, Harare province MDC Secretary, who was informed earlier by Police this morning, that they were withdrawing from the grounds, and that the MDC gathered crowds could come into Zimbabwe grounds to hold their Rally. Marima with those gathered, led the jubilant entry, all to be severely assaulted by Police, still inside the Grounds. The crowds in shock are defending themselves from this unexpected assault, we were told as we arrived. The place is crawling with Police.

Farai Mariri, Harare Province Treasurer, who was with Secretary Marima when the good news was passed onto the Province by Police, in the public hearing of most there, that all was well now with the Rally, is now briefing the entire gathered, holding a copy of the Court Order, allowing MDC to go ahead with the Rally, in the absence of the badly injured person in charge, Marima, of details of what happened.

When we all arrived after being advised that the Police had cleared the Rally, led by the President Tsvangirai himself, we found the Zimbabwe Grounds blocked to us by Police, heavilly armed, with reinforcement of 3 brand new looking Israeli made military water tanks for rioters. There were
Police everywhere, inside they were teargassing those in the grounds.

The President’s convoy was prevented from entering, we were however advised to go to the local Police station with the Court order for the Senior Police Officer on duty to see the Order for himself. The President, accompanied by the National Organising Secretary Elias Mudzuri and others went there, on the way there we met 3 more Israeli water tanks rushing fully maaned and equipped to the Zimbabwe Grounds. I have just been dropped to update everyone and then to go back to the others at Zimbabwe Grounds, where we have all agreed to reconverge when the President returns form the Police Station.

And so in changed clothes for the new situation including being arrested en mass this afternoon, I now sign off to return to Highfields to join the
others!

Sekai Holland
Harare
1.15 pm Sunday
18 February 2007
(more…)

Cross posted on Globalvoices

Gideon Gono, the controversial governor of Zimbabwe’s central bank delivered a much anticipated monetary statement last week. Sadly, like everything else in the country, it was the incriminating rumours swirling around the governor that were the main fixture early last week when Gono delivered the statement. Gono, who has long been accused of meddling in non-monetary matters, now stands accused of prying into print media, and targeting indigenous bankers while building and protecting his questionable legacy.

A clearly unimpressed Zimpundit surmized the policy statement thus:

Here’s what Gono did, or didin’t do in his policy. Lending rates; stagnant at 500%. Exchange rate; shunted at long outdated paltry rates, and nothing else. Correct me if I’m wrong, but last time checked the sum of nothing is, well, nothing. If anything, this last statement was notable because it was Gono’s thinly disguised concession to Zimbabwe free (sometimes called black) market.

What’s maddening about this is that common Zimbabweans already took fifty punches in their long famished stomachs as prices rocketed in anticipation of Gono’s nil statement. Zimbabwe has a jittery economy which overcorrects for any anticipated shocks. So while Gono, continues to protect his glass house legacy, millions are enduring untold suffering in Zimbabwe. On the streets, where Gono better not go, prices are up, hopelessness is rampant, and there are no jobs.

(more…)

Gono delivers…another damp squib.

Against the damning background of a controversial mercedes benz, a hardly complentary expose on his meteoric rise, clashes with the finance minister Herbert Murerwa, and the rapid unraveling of his policies, Gono was constitutionaly mandated to deliver yet another monetary policy statement yesterday. Deliver he did, but certainly not a policy statement.

The only change, a cut in money supply which doesn’t count becuase in an already highly speculative economy, speculation will increase by a factor equal to the decrease in money supply. Translation; our record breaking inflation will skyrocket this year if Gono sticks to his promises. Add to that, Gono’s tepid appeals to the government to sell off none performing parastatals and his call for action from other stakeholder, and what you get is nothing.

Here’s what Gono did, or didin’t do in his policy. Lending rates; stagnant at 500%. Exchange rate; shunted at long outdated paltry rates, and nothing else. Correct me if I’m wrong, but last time checked the sum of nothing is, well, nothing. If anything, this last statement was notable because it was Gono’s thinly disguised concession to Zimbabwe free (sometimes called black) market.
(more…)

Cross Posted on Global Voices

Morgan Tsvangirai, and not Robert Mugabe, has become the most poignent effigy symbolizing the tragedy that is Zimbabwe. Much like the young nation that stood replete with promise and seemingly unlimited potential in the early 90’s, Tsvangirai emerged as the most potent threat to Mugabe’s tyranny at the turn of the century. Just like the country, once known as “Africa’s breadbasket” has become Africa’s basket case, Tsvangirai has turned into a tragic case of a could’ve been, should’ve been.

The increasingly isolated leader of the main opposition held a publicized press confrence announcing that Mugabe’s efforts to hang on to power would be rebuffed. Unsurprisingly, this event, which early 1998 galvanized the nation’s workers to a work stoppage that ground the nation to standstill was hardly noticed by ordinary Zimbos. People are not happy with state of the nation, neither are they happy with Tsvangirai.

Bev Clark at Kubatanablogs epitomizes the deep frustration felt by many Zimbabweans at the arbotive opposition;

Tsvangirai believes that elections are the way to go, either in 2008 or whenever. Never mind that we’ve had the last several elections stolen from under our noses. Yes of course we agree that the conditions need to be rectified in order to hold accountable and transparent elections but we also know that this is the very last thing that Mugabe will allow because it would be shooting himself in his own small foot.

So therefore we have the two dominant political parties in Zimbabwe playing the same old games. Zanu PF is bound to win, and the MDC is bound to lose – unless the MDC stops ploughing the same old barren fields of thought and action.

(more…)

Technorati Tags: , ,

Gut check: Explaining bad behavior.

Over the last three or so months, you have come here looking for a new helping of “the world as seen from the eyes of a Zimbabwean” and have been dissappointed to no new servings. At first you thought it perhaps was a personal difficulty in the real but personal real of yours truly’s life and it’d be over in a few days, but then the days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and sadly, the year too passed on by. I know I’ve dissappointed you. For that I’m deeply sorry.

Beyond that, I’m thankful that this short respite has enabled me to look within myself to seek (and thankfully find) a deep seated fundamental interest in this very enterprise. I won’t be going away. During this break, I’ve been able to step back, watch the world pass me by, and reevaluate what my vantage point will be going forward. I love my country and relish the rare privilege I have in being able to pontificate about goings on thereof in this very space. I’ve come to three conclusions about the value of what I’m doing in this space. I want to share those with you.
(more…)

Still Here!

Zimpundit is ALIVE and kicking! I just took a breather. We’re looking forward to a bigger better year next.

Your daily updates on all things in Zimbabwean politics return in ’07!

Yours truly.

Technorati Tags: ,