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Paper No. 1 2004
Crisis in Zimbabwe
March 31, 2004
The economic and political
crisis in Zimbabwe continues to worsen as each day unfolds. In this briefing
paper, Crisis Coalition attempts to keep its members and the public abreast
with some of the notable events that have taken place in the last few
weeks that are related to the governance crisis in Zimbabwe. In this issue
we look at:
- the civic society
position on the 2005 poll
- MDC youth dies
in the Zengeza by-election
- political victimisation
of teachers in Masvingo
- Majongwe claims
that the CIOs are after him
youth dies in the Zengeza by- election
Chinozvinya, a Movement for Democratic Change youth died after he was
shot allegedly by Zanu PF youths in the presence of a high-ranking government
official in the Zengeza parliamentary by-election on Sunday morning.
Zanu PF has since
maintained that Chinozvinya’s death is neither their responsibility nor
that of Elliot Manyika, the Zanu PF national political commissar who is
being implicated by the opposition. ZBC reports that at the time of the
skirmishes between MDC and Zanu Pf youths on Sunday morning, Manyika was
The death of Chinozvinya
and other opposition activists who have died at the hands of rogue war
veterans and the youth militia since the 2000 parliamentary elections
and subsequent by-elections shows that our country is yet to enjoy politics
of consent. Whilst the majority of Zimbabweans are reeling under a harsh
economic environment, the government continues to spend precious time
and resources on terror campaigns rather than development. The introduction
of so-called "free" health facilities and distribution of food, just days
before the election smacks of government’s utter hypocrisy and its unwillingness
to embark on sustainable economic programmes that will benefit the people
Analysts have already
hinted at a bloodier parliamentary poll, as the ruling party wants to
maintain its grip on the voters and register the crucial two -thirds majority.
on teachers perceived to be pro-MDC resurfaces
and nurses particularly those working in the rural areas since the February
2000 Constitutional plebiscite have been the primary target of Zanu PF
Secondary and primary
school teachers in Masvingo are being forced to join Zanu PF as the party
prepares for next year’s parliamentary elections that President Mugabe
says is going to be held in March.
newspaper of 14 March 2004 reports that Zanu PF youths are forcing schoolteachers
to form political party branches at their respective schools. These branches
are responsible for fundraising for Zanu PF functions and it is reported
that the branches have already been set up at schools such as Berejena
High School, Daramombe and Chiwanza Secondary Schools as well as Run’ai
and Mandiva Primary Schools.
Condemning the move
to force teachers to form political party branches at schools, Raymond
Majongwe, the Secretary-General of PTUZ says it is disappointing that
teacher’s are always the primary victims of political violence. He said:
"We have received reports of political harassment and intimidation from
so many areas including Matebeleland and Masvingo provinces as well as
Chigwedere, the Minister of Education is on record saying his ministry
does not give protection to teachers who involve themselves in opposition
politics. Many teachers have either been dismissed and or transferred
for being involved in opposition politics.
In a related case,
Morris Salani a school teacher at Mutema Primary School was beaten up
in front of his pupils and accused of being a member of the MDC. He was
allegedly assaulted by Zanu PF youths who were using clenched fists, booted
feet and sticks.
lecturers finally return to work
university lecturers who have been on strike citing government’s
failure to honour its commitment on salary reviews have finally resolved
to go back to work.
lecturers resolved to go on strike in February arguing that the university
authorities had failed to pay housing and transport allowances which they
had been awarded through arbitration last year. The state universities
in the past few years have lost some of the best lecturers to neighbouring
countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and the United Kingdom
in search for greener pastures.
appointed Minister of Tertiary Education, Herbert Murerwa has since said
that the government is not able to pay the salaries that the lecturers
are demanding .He is said to have wanted to use divide and rule tactics
to deal with the state university lecturers by demanding to meet the lecturers
separately and not as a union but this has flopped.
were reports that last semester’s examinations, which were written in
February at the University of Zimbabwe were supervised by security guards.
Standards at most of the tertiary institutions are at their lowest ebb,
with most facilities in a state of dilapidation.
year UZ students marched to the office of the Vice-Chancellor Prof Levi
Nyagura demanding an explanation on the state of collapse for many of
the university buildings.
society demands electoral reforms before the 2005 poll
and opposition political parties met in Harare for a two-day workshop
from March 9 –10 and resolved to boycott the 2005 parliamentary elections
in case the government refuses to embrace the electoral reforms.
The workshop organised
by the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network, a coalition of non-governmental
organisations fighting for free and fair elections noted that the current
electoral system in Zimbabwe made it difficult for the country to have
free and fair elections.
that institutions that are responsible for running the elections in the
country are inherently flawed and that there was too much interference
by the Executive making it difficult for the Registrar General, the Electoral
Supervisory Commission, Delimitation Commission and the Elections Directorate
to execute their duties in an impartial and professional manner.
The civics agreed
that there is need for an Independent Electoral Commission whose responsibility
would be to run the elections. Among other duties the IEC would be responsible
for overseeing voter and candidate registration, election monitoring and
observation and to ensure that all competing political candidates are
afforded equitable public media coverage.
The workshop was attended
by MDC, Zanu, DP, NAGG and civic bodies which included the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition, National Constitutional Assembly, the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions and other non-governmental and church organisations that
are fighting for human rights and good governance in Zimbabwe.
The delegates also
resolved to engage in protests to force the government and Zanu PF to
embrace the electoral reforms. This comes in the wake of complaints by
both civil society and the opposition of election rigging and the use
of political violence by the government to win elections. Ghost voters
have been detected on the voter’s roll and serious voter intimidation
by members of the uniformed forces (police and army) before, during and
after the elections has been reported.
claims the CIO agents are after him
of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and a strong trade unionist
who is also a member of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Raymond Majongwe
claims that the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives are
after his life.
Majongwe alleges that
there have been attempts on his life on several occasions and that he
has been visited at his office and at home by strange faces and that he
believes he is under a 24-hour surveillance.
In a statement which
he also copied to Nicholas Goche, the Minster of State Security, Majongwe
says: "On the morning of 25 March an ambush was laid by two vehicles,
a Nissan sunny and a Mazda B1800 at the corner of Leopold Takawira and
Cork Road in Avondale. Fortunately I was not in the car…. The Mazda B1800
with bull bars pulled out from the bushy area at the intersection and
stopped a few centimetres."
Majongwe says that
the wheel nuts of his vehicle have been tampered with on two occasions
so that should he be involved in an accident, no foul play would be suspected.
He says he has since
reported the matter to police and the CR N0. is IR 032841.
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