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October 2007

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Zimbabwe's spirit lady faces justice

Docs The famous Mrs. Tagarira is in the dock - and just look who's standing beside her!

A trial is about to take place in the Zimbabwe High Court which is unique even here, in the uncertain world of Zimbabwean jurisprudence. It involves high-level political chicanery, the country's desperate fuel crisis, and a farcical tale of withcraft, spiritual messages and exotic rituals. The accused is Mrs. Nomatter Tagarira, also known as Rotina Mavhunga, and also known, when "possessed" by the name of her possessing spirit, Sekuru Dombo.

Regular readers and the well-informed will know that our subject here is the diesel-from-the-living-rock saga. Most of you will also know at least part of the story. For newcomers, here, briefly, is the situation. Frankly, it deserves a little repetition.

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Wednesday, 24 October 2007

A million men on the march...probably

The fascinating leader of the War Veterans reveals how to be a hero in easy stages

This coming Friday might be a good day to stay at home for some of us, because this is the day when Jabulani Sibanda will lead one million men on a march through the streets of Harare. At least, he says there will one million, and anyone who want to try and count them is welcome.

The march is called the One Million Men Solidarity March, and it has two aims:  firstly, to show loyalty to the President; and second and more important, to stamp on any criticism of Mugabe within the disruptive ranks of Zanu-PF.

Sibanda, an erratic, noisy and charismatic figure, is the leader of the War Veterans, and it is these vets, he says, who will make up the great majority of the Friday march. This puzzled me. Only 50,000 veterans turned up at army assembly points, back in 1980. Twenty seven years on, even those warriors are begining to age. Exactly where is Sibanda finding his million men? I decided to ask him.

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