Friday, August 19, 2005

Mugabe: an end to sight? Not really...

The previous IHT article is cheerful, but ignores that Mugabe won't see the delegate, and is actually increasing laws that tyrannize people...

Zimbabwe 'rejects' African envoy
File photograph of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
President Mugabe's government faces expulsion from the IMF
President Robert Mugabe has rejected the appointment of an African Union envoy to help solve Zimbabwe's political problems, the envoy has said.

Former Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano said Mr Mugabe felt there was no need for talks with the main opposition party, the MDC......

Mr Chissano was appointed earlier this month by African Union Chairman, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

"It is an internal problem that they can handle through the democratic institutions in Zimbabwe," Mr Chissano said he had been told by Zimbabwean officials....

However, these "democratic institutions" have been decimated, and are continunig to be destroyed...


Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF took a two thirds majority in parliamentary elections in March -- criticised as neither free nor fair by the opposition and Western nations -- and is using this mandate to introduce a raft of changes to the constitution.

"I want to assure honourable members and the nation at large that ZANU-PF will use this majority to effect constitutional changes which we promised the people during the run-up to the March 2005 elections," Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament to murmurs of disapproval from opposition deputies.

The amendments include barring individuals whose land has been seized from making a court challenge except on the amount of compensation, setting up a Senate and a single electoral body and the imposition of travel curbs on Zimbabweans suspected of "engaging in terrorist training abroad".


Authorities would also be able to confiscate passports and impose travel bans on people thought to pose a risk to state interests...

"Laws which deprive one of their passport are only found in countries like North Korea," MDC MP David Coltart said, calling the proposed legislation "draconian and retrogressive".

They are also planning a take over of all schools in that country...

Against this background, Chigwedere's stated goal of doing away with hot-seating by 2011 through the construction of hundreds of new schools looks decidedly utopian.
The situation clearly cries out for private investment in the education sector, but instead of facilitating the entry of non-state players in the sector, the education ministry has, since Chigwedere's appointment, fought a war of attrition with privately owned schools and has moved to nationalise all schools.
A former headmaster at one of Zimbabwe's oldest and prestigious government-run schools - Goromonzi - Chigwedere has ignored the onerous challenges facing public schools in pursuit of a destructive war with private schools over fees. Although he lost out in court following a nasty episode which saw school heads arrested and some schools failing to open for the new term, Chigwedere has now sought to take the legislative route to assuage his bruised ego.
Parents, represented by their development associations, responsible authorities from church-run schools, teachers' unions and an association of trusts running private schools, have come out in force to oppose the Education Amendment Bill tabled by Chigwedere in Parliament in May, saying if enacted into law, it would be the final straw.
Jameson Timba, chairman of the Association of Trust Schools (ATS), a representative body of 61 private schools, said the proposed amendment to the Education Act "was in essence an attempt to nationalise private educational institutions - from pre-schools up to high schools."

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