Letters 30-11-2006

Poor analysis of election results
EDITOR - I think Nelson Chamisa did not do a proper analysis of the Local government elections. He could have highlighted those areas particularly in the rural areas where Zanu (PF) was beaten for the first time to boost the morale of other rural wards, so th

at they know the ruling party can be beaten in a rural election and nothing happens.
For example this happened in Mberengwa in Chief Bankwe’s area where Lazarus Pambe Ngwenya beat the Zanu (PF) candidate to win. I would like to congratulate him for a job well done for beating Zanu (PF) and I hope the whole of Mberengwa will turn against the evil of that party.
I wish also to state that one day when a new Zimbabwe is born, we shall do away with chiefs and their other traditional ills as exhibited by Charumbira. I do not want to dignify him by referring to him as chief. War veterans should be ashamed of themselves in the way that they have allowed themselves to be used. I do not think that this is the Zimbabwe they fought for, unless they are happy to be blood-suckers. We are tired of being ruled by a school teacher who views everyone like a pupil. Mugabe has put shame on the teaching profession.
Stephen Zhou, UK

We are not safe in UK
EDITOR – The death of Litvinenko has brought fear among exiles who are based in UK. The biggest worry amongst us is the lack of protection we get from the police when we have worries or issues affecting our security. The Telegraph of 16/12/2000 and Times of 17/12/2000, exposed a ring of spies and secret police from the Mugabe regime who entered the UK and spied on and intimidated exiles in UK. It was only after the media was involved and exposed this that the police started to take this issue seriously. We were being followed in Manchester every day in 2000.
I was one of the victims, together with my colleagues, Jennings Rukani and Albert Weidemann, who even received threatening letters from the Zimbabwe embassy in London. When we contacted local police in Manchester that we were being followed, no-one took serious of our concerns, and were even told by police that they would only take action if a crime is committed.
If the police were proactive, Litvinenko could have been better protected and so would my colleague, Albert, who is now on crutches after we escaped a hit and run accident in London after demonstrating outside the Zimbabwean embassy recently.
The death of Litvinenko is an eye opener to how secret agencies from countries such as Russia, Zimbabwe and Libya can come to UK with diplomatic passports and cause mayhem, fear and death to those who are in exile.
Litvinenko thought he was going to have protection, but the state has failed him. In this case, there was no protection for him, and neither do I feel safe in UK.
Durani Rapozo, Manchester

EDITOR – It’s 16 years of 16 days so say the women back home. Yes that’s true but hey it all leaves a lot to be desired especially the Zim way the 16 days official launch is done.
Firstly the people who attend – women are bussed from all walks of life by the ruling party just to make up the numbers. They fight for T Shirts before they undertake the traditional march from Townhouse.
The donor community didn’t really mark this event, it was a Zanu (PF) thing I guess, thanks to the T Shirts with the Government Logo, with the United Nations FPA logo on the other end just to deceive us.
For these women’s organisations to make any meaningful headway, they need to break ties with the ruling party.
Opposition parties also have women’s organisations – so how come only Zanu (PF) regalia is worn at a national event?
This raises questions of authenticity, the aims, objectives and motive of the whole event. We have more women than men, and now with this Zanuism in women’s circles, we are in trouble I tell you. The women are getting it all wrong, just to get a bottle of juice and a pack of four plain buns.
Ronald Mukanya, USA

99 year leases will destroy land
EDITOR – I’m a Swedish national who has lived in Africa since 1962. I lived in Rhod-Zim, 1967-94. I commend you for the article last week by Magaisa on why there is no government in exile. I’ve asked myself that since long. I am also amazed that the South African government has not condemned the mafioso regime of Mugabe. That includes Mr Mandela. The only person of note in SA that has condemned Mugabe is Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Also, I would like to question the stance taken by MDC, agreeing with the mafioso regime on the land question, that the introduction of 99 year leases is right. It is
not. It will destroy the land and reduce agricultural output.
Thor, Sweden

Independence constitution flawed
EDITOR – Your reporter, Nomsa Garande, is alarmingly ignorant. Experts agree that the Lancaster House constitution should be interpreted in the context of the preceding phase of both white settler colonialism-republicanism (which was unconstitutional and illegal), and the liberation struggle’s action against the edifice of the Smith regime’s form of constitutionalism. In the Lancaster House Constitution of 1979, however, the liberation forces compromised and achieved less than they might have expected as the result of a liberation war.
The British government was seen to have “deliberately designed a constitution aimed at preserving and protecting the interests of the white minority group. To this end, the original Lancaster House Constitution (LHC) had several entrenched clauses which prevented the first Zimbabwe government from amending the constitution easily.” Other authors and politicians concur, for example, E D Mnangagwa states: In the case of Zimbabwe, the new constitution was encumbered in the sense that it contained certain entrenched provisions which ensure that certain policies could not be changed until a specified time had elapsed or until the matter was determined by a specified majority vote in the House of Assembly.
Indigenisation was an important consideration in early constitutional changes in Zimbabwe. For instance, one of the earlier changes was the removal (by the expiry date of the provision) of the 20 seats that were reserved for whites in parliament. Related changes were the substitution of a ceremonial presidency and premier for an executive president, as well as the abolition of the senate to create a 150-member unicameral legislature.
The 1979 constitution made provision for both the retention of land-use patterns for a certain period and several socio-economic constraints on the post-liberation state. For instance, private property was guaranteed for ten years. On the question of land, it has been pointed out that even if “a new government of Zimbabwe were committed to implementing a comprehensive land reform programme, the inhibiting cost would put it out of reach of the government.”
One early constitutional amendment to address some of the land concerns was the authorisation in 1990 (Act 11) of the acquisition of land for resettlement. The decade of the 1990s saw the development of land programmes which, with limited success in implementation, fed into the turn-of-the-century land action that superseded legal and constitutional frameworks.
Adrian Moffatt, by email

Land article misinformed
EDITOR – The article by your correspondent, No Man’s Land, is to be polite childish, and unworthy of your valuable space. It says: “There was nothing in the Lancaster House Constitution stopping redistribution, only that there had to be a willing buyer willing seller basis”. I am somewhat surprised that you publish such a misinformed article.
My understanding of free of speech does not extend to express inexact information. It is well documented that the Lancaster House agreement had a clause protecting whites, representation in parliament and the land. The provision of land acquisition was ‘willing seller’ basis, and that the government was to raise a dollar, for a dollar aid from the British government, towards land acquisition.
The fact of the money was that given the competing needs, in the spheres of health, education, defence, etc. the government found it difficult to raise money. Willing buyer willing seller is a free market concept, which means land became a speculative commodity, which would rise when there was a demand. It defies common sense why your correspondent suggests it could have easy for government to acquire land for distribution in face of those constraints.
Your correspondent is also ignorant of the fact that ‘willing seller willing buyer’ is a difficult method in a situation where there is political tension over land. It was tried in the Republic of Ireland in the 1930s at it ended with a big fall-out between the British Government and the Prime of the Ireland Free State de Valera.
There are other methods, such as compulsory purchase order, which is the policy of choice of successive British governments when they want to acquire land in Britain. There is also the land expropriation used by the US government to distribute land in South Korea.
I think you owe it to your readers that you also become a factual paper. The question of land should be discussed with sensitivity. Several generations of Zimbabweans grew up in poverty after having lost their land to whites. Who is anybody to trivialise their feelings on the matter?
The late Chief Tangwena asked, upon being informed of the Willing Buyer Willing Seller concept, asked “To whom should we pay money for land, which is ours?” George Bachinche, by email

United MDC a just cause, but.
EDITOR – The recently publicised alleged unification between the two beleaguered MDC factions has been received with mixed feelings by many party supporters in GlenView and Glen Norah.
An Independent survey which I carried our reveals that 90% are opposed to the idea as long as the unification will include the principal culprits of the likes of Prof Ncube, Sikhala, P T Nyathi and Priscilla Misihairambi- Mushonga.
Only serious leadership is needed to spear head the struggle to come for a better and a new Zimbabwe.
Mr Thunder, Harare

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