Herald Reporter

FORMER Zanu-PF members who are contesting next month’s
parliamentary polls as independents will not be allowed back
into the party under any circumstances even if they are
elected because they have disregarded party rules, President
Mugabe said yesterday.

"Zviya zvokuti ndinohwinha zvangu ndozodzoka mumusangano
hapana nokuti kana takuramba, takuramba. Kana wazvirasa iye
zvino ramangwana hatingavimbe newe. (I want to tell those
deceiving themselves that they will simply walk back into the
party in the event of them winning that nothing like that
will happen. If you desert the party today we cannot trust
you in future," he said.

President Mugabe said this at Chiredzi Government Secondary
School during a meeting with the Masvingo Zanu-PF provincial
leadership.

Cde Mugabe donated 40 computers to Alphamupapa Secondary
School (Chiredzi South), Hlanganani Secondary School
(Chiredzi North), Berejena Secondary School (Chivi) and
Tsungirirai Secondary School in Mwenezi with each school
receiving 10 computers and accessories.

The President later went to Chekai Secondary School in
Masvingo Central constituency where he donated 40 more
computers and accessories to the school as well as to Muzondo
Secondary School (Chivi North), Jichidza Secondary School
(Zaka West) and Kushingirira Secondary School in Bikita West.

He said he would next month donate another 100 computers to
secondary schools in each of the country’s 10 provinces.

During the meeting with the provincial leadership, President
Mugabe said the Politburo would be meeting today to, among
other issues, review the party’s primary elections.

Cde Mugabe said he had tried to persuade the former Minister
of State for Information and Publicity, Professor Jonathan
Moyo, not to stand as an independent candidate in Tsholotsho
but he did not take heed of the advice.

"I discussed with Jonathan Moyo together with Vice President
Joyce Mujuru trying to persuade him not to stand as an
independent, but he refused and even Vice-President Msika
also discussed with him, but to no avail," he said.

Addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters later at Chiredzi
Government Secondary School, President Mugabe said Zanu-PF
members who were standing as independents had automatically
expelled themselves from the party.

"The party is bigger than the individual. Jonathan (Moyo) ane
musoro wakaoma sedamba (Jonathan Moyo won’t listen to anyone
because of his obstinacy). I was very sorry, but the rules of
the party should be followed and he remains ousted from the
party," he said.

The President said Zanu-PF should get two-thirds majority in
the election as Government wanted to introduce a Senate
between four and six months after the poll.

He said losing aspiring candidates should not be despondent
as some could be accommodated in the Senate.

The real contest in the forthcoming election was between Zanu-
PF and the British as well as the Americans since the MDC was
a front of the two Western nations, President Mugabe said.

"Leave us alone (British Prime Minister Tony) Blair with our
own property. Britain belongs to the British and American to
the Americans, so why worry about our country?" he said.

Cde Mugabe later held private talks with Central Committee
member Cde Otilia Maluleke, who is standing as an independent
in Chiredzi North against duly chosen Zanu-PF candidate and
Politburo member Cde Celina Pote.

Although the details of the meeting were not revealed to the
Press, President Mugabe later told the Zanu-PF provincial
leadership at Chekai Secondary School in Masvingo Central
that he had persuaded Cde Maluleke to withdrew her
candidature.

He said Cde Maluluke had given him an assurance that she
would ponder over the issue.

President Mugabe also took a swipe at political leaders who
treated chiefs disrespectfully.

He was referring to an incident in which chiefs from Masvingo
recently travelled to Harare under the impression that the
President had summoned them. This later turned out to be
false.

Cde Mugabe yesterday asked the chiefs to explain what exactly
happened.

A representative of the chiefs, Chief Tsvovani of Chiredzi,
informed the President that they were told by the Masvingo
provincial leadership that Cde Mugabe wanted to meet them
resulting in about six of then travelling to Harare.

The chief mentioned Minister of Foreign Affairs Cde Stan
Mudenge, Masvingo Governor Cde Josaya Hungwe and Deputy
Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation
Cde Shuvai Mahofa specifically as the provincial leaders who
told them that the President wanted to meet them in Harare.

However, the chief said, when they arrived in Harare they
were moved from one office to another and no one was willing
to come out in the open on the exact position regarding the
purported meeting.

Chief Tsvovani said after discovering that they had been
taken for a ride, they travelled back to Masvingo on long-
distance trucks, a mode of transport unbefitting their
dignity and status.

In response, Cde Mugabe said this should never be allowed to
happen again.

"We do not like this and I will not invite chiefs unless I
have discussed with Cde (Ignatius) Chombo (Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing) who deals with
the chiefs," he said.

The President said there was no unity in Masvingo province.

"In the past we used to hear of Zvobgo and Hungwe factions,
but we buried (Cde Eddison) Zvobgo, so where is this
factionalism coming from?

"We should follow the rules of the party and although
individuals can have their own aspirations these should not
disturb the unity of the party. I am not bigger than the
people, I come from the people and I will go back to the
people. If they say I should step down, then I will do so,"
Cde Mugabe said.

The Zanu-PF provincial leadership, he said, should follow in
the footsteps of the late Vice-President and veteran
nationalist Cde Simon Muzenda, whose dedication to the party
was total and unquestionable.

The President said party members who had lost in the primary
elections should work together with the winning candidates.

"Vamwe vanoti tinorovera bhora mudondo. Ko, unembenge
wapindireyi mubhora racho kuti urirovero mudondo?" he said.

Cde Mugabe was referring to some losing aspiring candidates
who were saying they would not support the ruling party in
the March 31 parliamentary poll.

"If you were defeated, you should accept defeat and not to
behave as if this is the end of life. Do not lose hope as we
want to be united. What pains me is that we buried Mzee (the
late Vice President Muzenda), but we are behaving as if he
did not leave us footsteps to follow," he said.

Cde Mugabe said Government would make sure that food aid was
distributed to needy families.

He said people in the province should overwhelmingly vote for
Zanu-PF candidates in the general election and efforts should
be made to reclaim the Masvingo Central seat that is
currently in the hands of the opposition.

Masvingo, Cde Mugabe said, was in the past a one-party state
and it should regain that position.

President Mugabe implored war veterans to remain vanguards of
the revolution and the party.

"Remain a revolutionary example to the people and teach those
who are going astray," he said.

Cde Mugabe once again bemoaned the poor pass rate in rural
schools, saying there was need to equip the schools and
improve the standard of education.

The President said the Government was geared to make computer
education accessible to all children in secondary schools by
the end of this year.

He urged the Rural Electrification Agency to electrify all
rural secondary schools as it would serve no purpose to
donate computers to schools that had no electricity for their
operation.

Cde Mugabe was accompanied by Zanu-PF Secretary for
Administration Cde Didymus Mutasa, Cde Hungwe, the Secretary
for Information and Publicity Cde George Charamba and other
senior officials of the ruling party.


BOTSWANA: With xenephobia rising, electrified border fence
hailed

CHANGATE, 23 Feb 2005 (IRIN) - The word "Zimbabwean" gets
Motswana traditional leader Jackson Ofentse hot under the
collar.

"Please don't ever mention to me the criminals from across
the border," he told IRIN. His village of Changate in
northern Botswana is only 5 km from the frontier, and he has
nothing good to say about his neighbours.

"Our women can no longer gather firewood in the bush for fear
of being raped; our houses are not safe any more, and even
our livestock find their way across the border," he
complained.

Ofentse is looking forward to the day when the Botswana
government flicks the switch on a four-metre high electrified
border fence that snakes across the scrubland, ostensibly to
control the spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) from
Zimbabwe.

Two outbreaks of FMD in two years, which hit Botswana's
lucrative beef exports to the European Union, were sourced to
Zimbabwe. Jobs were lost and thousands of cattle slaughtered.

While the 500-km long fence officially aims to block the
mixing of herds on common pasture, Ofentse and many other
Batswana hope it will also keep out the thousands of
Zimbabweans escaping poverty at home, who sneak cross the
border looking for work in more prosperous Botswana.

An estimated 36,000 illegal migrants were deported last year
alone and, with xenophobia now firmly on the rise,
Zimbabweans have become the target of a growing vigilante
movement.

The solar-powered fence, which will deliver a nasty but not
fatal 220-volt shock, is due to become operational in June,
and will be patrolled 24 hours a day by the security forces.

A survey by the Southern African Migration Project found that
a majority of Batswana supported its construction.

The villagers of Changate, 140 km northeast of Botswana's
second city Francistown, may feel more secure behind the new
barrier, but they have lost the perks of proximity to
Zimbabwe. Gone are the cheap shopping trips across the
border, and easy access to relatives on the Zimbabwean side.

"We had relied on labour from Zimbabwe for a long time. It
was also nearer to travel to Plumtree in Zimbabwe to do your
shopping than travel to Francistown," explained local
journalist Khumbulani Kholi.

Residents in the border villages used to buy cheap Zimbabwean
livestock, and enjoyed an easy supply of fruit and
vegetables. "When I was growing up, my brothers even went
across the border to have a drink in the Nswazi village [in
Zimbabwe]," said Kholi.

Now, getting to Zimbabwe entails a two-hour walk to the
nearest border post at Maitengwe, and for those who don't
have passports, a 140-km journey to the immigration office in
Tutume.

"We don't hate Zimbabweans here," said Kholi. "We are only
tired of elements that come to steal from us."