March 8th, 2007
A Hundred Days
Dear Family and Friends,
On the roadsides between towns and cities the grass is nearly two metres tall and it is ripe: green at the base, yellow and golden above. As you travel along the roads the swaying and flowing of the grass is a calming, peaceful, almost mesmerising sight. The kilometres pass and the view doesn’t change and it suddenly strikes you that something is wrong. This shouldn’t be the view of Zimbabwe’s farms in March and you wonder where everyone and everything is. For scores of kilometres passing prime roadside farms there are no workers in the fields, no great stands of ripening maize, no smoke coming from the flues of tobacco barns, no sign of life or production at all. There are no cattle or sheep getting fat on the grass – tons of free food for animals is standing on the roadsides and in the once fenced fields and paddocks just going to waste. When you ask Zimbabweans how often they eat meat, many will say once a fortnight, or once a week if they can afford it. Meat has become a luxury and yet there are no animals to eat the grass – how utterly absurd.
March 8th, 2007
Joining Gugulethu Moyo In the Balance is Sternford Moyo, the lawyer who acted for the deposed Town Clerk Nomutsa Chideya in the High Court last Friday, when a judge declared that the commission running the affairs of the city of Harare for almost two years is illegal. This judgment may have plunged the capital into an administrative crisis. Moyo also explains the implications of a call by the MDC for Harare residents to boycott paying their rates.
March 8th, 2007
According to an International Crisis Group report, powerful factions within the ruling Zanu PF are agreed that Robert Mugabe should go in 2008. In the programme, Hot Seat, Violet talks to Sydney Masamvu a senior analyst from the ICG about the report and the struggle at the heart of government.
March 8th, 2007
20 students arrested as government bans rallies in all major cities
Student leaders from ZINASU report that police in Bulawayo used teargas and force to disperse thousands of students who had gathered for a general meeting at Hillside Teachers College. They said 20 students had been arrested and are being accused of inciting others to boycott classes. The arrests took place as news spread that government has extended the ban on public gatherings to all major cities.
New report shows ZANU PF factions keen to see Mugabe go
For Zimbabweans to begin to move forward Mugabe has to exit the political radar and should not be a political factor beyond March 2008. These are the sentiments across the political divide, including responses from the main ZANU PF factions, according to a new report on Zimbabwe by the International Crisis Group.
Temporary reprieve for Zimbabwean asylum seekers in the UK
The UK Court of Appeal has sent the â€˜AAâ€™ asylum test case back to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal because the lower court ignored some of the oral evidence presented. Legal experts warned that the latest development only provides temporary reprieve for failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers as most of the grounds used in the appeal were dismissed.
Government prints money to pay judges Z$5 million a month
The government has moved at speed to pamper the countryâ€™s disgruntled judiciary by buying each of the 27 High court judges new 4×4 all terrain twin-cabs, on top of a massive salary hike of Z$5 million a month, up from Z$600 000. The new deal also saw the judges getting laptops and desktop computers barely a month after Judge President Justice Rita Makarau publicly complained over low salaries and poor working conditions.
34 die as bus collides with train
There are reports that 34 people died in Dzivarasekwa when a commuter omnibus collided with a cargo train at a rail crossing. 28 passengers died on the spot including the driver, while a further 6 died from their injuries in hospital. Those killed at the site include 16 men, 11 women and 1 child. The bus was travelling to Mbare Musika when the driver apparently failed to stop at the level crossing.
March 7th, 2007
Students boycott classes and WOZA protest in Gweru
Class boycotts organised by the Zimbabwe National Students Union have kicked off countrywide. ZINASU president Promise Mkwananzi said the strike brought the tertiary institutions to a standstill and was 100% successful. Both students and lecturers are boycotting classes over un-affordable tuition fees and poor salaries.
Tsvangirai MDC holds three rallies despite police ban and brutality
The Tsvangirai MDC say their supporters defied a police ban on public meetings and rallies and attended 3 separate rallies over the weekend, in Budiriro, Makoni West and Murehwa. In each case police responded by shutting down all the businesses nearby and intimidating rally goers.
MDC hold largest London protest
More than 300 members of the MDC UK province converged on the Zimbabwean Embassy in London Saturday for what they described as their biggest ever protest. Demonstrators marched from Trafalgar Square to the embassy offices.
Fresh calls for Mayoral elections in Harare
The Combined Harare Residentsâ€™ Association is demanding that elections be held soon in the capital, to choose a new mayor and councillors. This follows a High court ruling last week Friday declaring the commission running Harare as illegal.
Failed UK Zim asylum seekers to know their fate Tuesday
Failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers will know their fate on Tuesday when the UK Court of Appeal delivers judgement in the â€˜AAâ€™ test case.
Tekere expelled from ZANU PF
The state controlled Sunday Mail reported that Edgar Tekere has been expelled from ZANU PF, a party he helped co-found in 1964.
Highlanders hold Al Ahly in Champions league campaign
African champions Al Ahly of Egypt should count themselves lucky after escaping with a draw against Highlanders in the first round, first leg match played before a capacity crowd at Barbourfields stadium on Sunday.