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BBC scam exposed
Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2003

Herald Reporter

THE British Broadcasting Corporation is allegedly buying air tickets for opposition MDC activists in Zimbabwe to fly to the United Kingdom where they are later used on its programmes to demonise President Mugabe’s Government.

The BBC has taken these same people to other European countries and the United States where they have been given platforms to attack their country while at the same time garnering for British support to overthrow President Mugabe and the Zanu-PF Government.

The Herald has established that Adellah Chiminya nee Mutero, divorcee of the late MDC campaign manager-cum-driver for Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, was flown out of the country by the BBC.

She appeared on the BBC programme Hard Talk last Thursday where she insulted African Heads of State for what she called "sympathising" with Preside-nt Mugabe.

Adellah said the BBC had also bought tickets for her two children Faith and Blessing who are now resident in the UK.

The BBC Press Office yesterday said it was highly unlikely that the BBC paid Adellah’s airfares for its programmes and to take part in a court case in the US.

"We do however, pay for certain people to come to our studios for interviews on our programmes,’’ said a spokesperson for the BBC who identified herself as Helen Martin.

Earlier, another official of the BBC who identified himself as Douglas Spitz said his organisation could fly, from any part of the world, guests coming to any of its shows.

Asked if it was the norm for the station to fly sources and their dependants into the United Kingdom where they are eventually granted asylum, Spitz said: "I wouldn’t know really, maybe the Foreign Office would know."

However, Adellah said: "As we speak, (Mr) Elliot Pfebve and his family arrived here last week and I am sure they got their tickets from the BBC."

Mr Pfebve (MDC) lost the Bindura by-election held after the death of the former Minister of Gender, Youth and Employment Creation, Cde Border Gezi.

Adellah, it was learnt, parted ways with Mr Chiminya long before he died and she took advantage of his death to thrust herself into the limelight as a grieved widow of an MDC activist.

She told the BBC that she last saw her husband in September, which was in 1999 and the husband died eight months later in April 2000.

Investigations by The Herald established that at the time of his death, Mr Chiminya lived-in with someone in Highfield while Adellah lived by herself in Hatfield.

Adellah, who repeatedly asked the Herald reporter not to write what the two were discussing, also opened up her heart saying she was in the UK for her survival although she believed some people were using her for their political goals.

"If you write this, I will sue you. Are you aware that I am taping the whole conversation we are having . . . siyana nazvo iwe (leave it alone) that’s my wish," she said.

She said ever since she went to the US with Ms Maria Stevens, Ms Evelyn Masaiti and Mr Pfebve, to sue the President, she had not benefited anything.

But on the BBC TV programme Hard Talk, Adellah, who repeatedly called South African President Thabo Mbeki a liar, said she was living in a house that Amani Trust, a folded Zimbabwean Non-Governmental Organisation that is heavily involved in politics, had bought her.

"But of course we have travelled to many European countries and we have been to Switzerland, you can name any country," she said.

It is understood that in those European countries, Adellah and her Zimbabwean "exiled" colleagues were used to address people on television as the British tried to garner for international support to overthrow President Mugabe.

Adellah said after the BBC TV Hard Talk programme, scores of whites from the US, Europe and South Africa had phoned her to congratulate her.

"I received calls from all over the world. They said I had done well. Many whites phoned me," she said without saying how they got her number.

Asked whether she was not ashamed to capitalise on the death of a man, with whom her marriage had broken down, Adellah who comes from Nerupiri, Gutu, said she had to survive.

She also agreed that she had become a fully-fledged member of the opposition MDC but would not shed light on the alleged affair she was reported to have had with a top official before she left the country.

She was known to have told some of her close relations that a top MDC official was dating her and she was getting fed up of his insensitivity.

According to some well-placed sources and relatives of the late Mr Chiminya, Adellah fled their matrimonial home to settle alone following endless problems which dogged their marriage.

And when the former husband died, she immediately saw and seized her opportunity to get sympathy and deceived the world that everything had been going on well and she was still married to him.

"Those two were not living together as husband and wife, Mr Chiminya lived with another woman and his children Blessing and Faith in Highfield. Adellah had left," said a relative.

Adellah was employed as a secretary at a school in Harare and was seeing a banker then before flying to the UK.

She had all intentions of returning but did not when she learnt her salary had been frozen while she was in the UK.

"She left in October 2001 and when she heard that her salary had been frozen because she was away without leave, she resigned and sought political asylum," said the relative.

After that she advised the BBC to facilitate her children’s flight.

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