The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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      Mliswa arrested

      4/10/2003 1:19:18 AM (GMT +2)


      By Precious Shumba

      Themba Mliswa, the controversial fitness trainer, was arrested in
Karoi on Tuesday after he allegedly assaulted two commercial farmers, with
whom he is locked in a legal battle over the ownership of their property,
and a policeman.



      Mliswa, reportedly in the company of the "Top Six" Zanu PF gang,
allegedly attacked the two farmers, the policeman and the messenger of court
at Springs Farm in Karoi.

      A police officer in Karoi confirmed the arrest of Mliswa and nine
other suspects, but declined to give details.

      He referred further questions to Superintendent Freedom Gumbo, the
officer commanding Karoi District, who refused to discuss the matter over
the telephone.

      The incident occurred after John Coast and Allen Parrson went to the
farm, equipped with a High Court order allowing them to remove their
personal belongings from properties they own in the area.

      Both farmers are directors with Hesketh Park Estates (Pvt) Ltd.
Parrson runs Meadville Investments (Pvt) Ltd which owns Springs Farm,
occupied by Mliswa.

      In January, the two farmers filed an urgent application in the High
Court in a bid to recover property worth about $200 million from their
farms.

      The order was granted on 28 January .

      The farmers, accompanied by Brighton Chiimba, the assistant deputy
sheriff, were on Tuesday escorted to Springs Farm by an Inspector Khumalo
and three other officers, all from Karoi Police Station.

      They were confronted by Mliswa and about 15 Zanu PF activists, among
them members of the notorious "Top Six Gang", upon their arrival at the
farm. Mliswa allegedly ordered the youths to attack the entourage.

      A Constable Mwachenuka at Karoi Police Station confirmed the incident.

      He said Khumalo was in a stable condition after being treated at Karoi
Hospital and discharged.

      Kelvin Weir, a Karoi resident, said he drove the farmers to Chinhoyi
General Hospital where they were treated before being transferred to the
Avenues Clinic in Harare.

      They were discharged after receiving further treatment.

      Weir said: "The other policemen escaped during the attack, but
Inspector Khumalo was hit on the head with a rifle butt.

      Chiimba escaped over the top of a razor wire fence but sustained
serious leg injuries in the process.

      "Parrson's gun was taken from him and held to his head by one of the
militants. The man cocked the gun and pulled the trigger, unaware that there
were no bullets.

      "All the time Mliswa and his colleagues said they would kill the
'white pigs' referring to the farmers."

      Coast was severely assaulted, resulting in him receiving six stitches
on the head and eight others on the arm.

      Parrson, now in Harare, said they went to Karoi at Gumbo's invitation.

      "Superintendent Gumbo summoned myself and Coast to Karoi where we were
supposed to identify our equipment which Mliswa was reportedly selling," he
said.

      "Inspector Khumalo was accompanied by members of the Police Internal
Security Intelligence and two officials from the Deputy Sheriff's Office.

      "Mliswa arrived as we were about to leave the farmhouse and
immediately ordered the youths to attack and kill us."

      On 10 January, Mliswa allegedly assaulted Parrson's wife, Jenny, after
she visited the farm.

      Hart Wynand, the director of Justice for Agriculture, the radical
farmers' lobby group, said Mliswa kicked Parrson all over the body and
pounded Coast's four-wheel-drive vehicle with iron fencing poles.
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Daily News

      Prosecutors deny soliciting for bribe

      4/10/2003 1:37:01 AM (GMT +2)


      Court Reporter

      THE trial of two prosecutors from the Harare Magistrates' Court who
allegedly solicited for a $15 000 bribe from a defendant in return for a
favourable sentence, started yesterday with one State witness testifying.



      Prosecutors Zephania Lifa and Duvai Clemance Sixpence, who were
represented by Ralph Maganga, pleaded not guilty.

      In their defence, the two denied the charges saying the allegations
were fabricated in order to tarnish their images.

      The State alleges that on 30 January this year, Elvis Mupandasekwa, a
driver at Opticare Opticians, appeared before Harare magistrate Sukai
Tongogara, facing bigamy charges and was supposed to be sentenced on the
next day.

      Mupandasekwa asked Lifa, the prosecutor, if he knew the sentence he
was likely to get and Lifa said he would be given a jail term because the
magistrate presiding over the case was unpredictable, the State alleges.

      Lifa allegedly told Mupandasekwa something could be done for him to be
fined and escape a jail term.

      Mupandasekwa allegedly fell for the arrangement.

      Mupandasekwa was then given a note by Lifa to pass on to Sixpence, who
Lifa said was a friend of Tongogara and would talk to her during tea break,
so that she would order Mupandasekwa to pay a fine instead of being jailed,
the State alleges.

      Sixpence purportedly telephoned the magistrate in the presence of
Mupandasekwa, who did not hear the conversation.

      The State alleges that Sixpence demanded $15 000 from Mupandasekwa for
him to talk to Tongogara.

      Sixpence refused to accept the money in his office and referred
Mupandasekwa to Lifa, who received the payment in his office, the State
alleges.

      Tongogara ordered Mupandasekwa to pay a fine of $10 000 to be cleared
of the bigamy charges.

      The matter came to light when Mupandasekwa's wife Muchaneta reported
to the police that her husband had paid two prosecutors to be freed.

      Magistrate Daniel Shonhiwa is presiding over the case, while Virginia
Mabiza, from the Attorney-General's Office, is prosecuting.

      The trial will continue on 24 April.
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Daily News

      CZI, State discuss power pricing policy

      4/10/2003 1:37:28 AM (GMT +2)


      By Chris Goko Business Reporter

      THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and government, chiefly
the Energy Ministry, were scheduled to discuss yesterday the country's
energy and power pricing policies as well as imminent blackouts in
factories, which have shunted an already bleeding industry into deeper
problems.



      Captains of commerce and indeed, CZI acting chief executive, Farai
Zizhou, said that a meeting, to examine the deepening power crisis, was
pencilled in for Harare yesterday.

      At the forum, the parties were to discuss electricity billing and
tariffs, while the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority was expected to
justify reasons for wanting payment in foreign currency, especially from
exporting firms.

      "Really, Zesa has been immutable on these issues (electricity tariff
adjustments and payment in foreign currency)," said a source close to the
proceedings.

      He said the Zimbabwean power utility has been "fairly rigid" in its
approach and stance. The Electricity House executive chairman, Sydney Gata,
was unavailable for comment as he was not answering his mobile phone.

      Industrialists, the sources charged, were also hunching to talk about
incessant power cuts only in selected areas.

      They charged that load-shedding, effected some two weeks ago and
thinly spread to domestic consumers, was so haphazard and unpredictable that
industrialists were losing millions in wasted resources and manhours.

      Industry was reeling because of an enormous 1 600 percent increase in
levies, in the wake of the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar to $800
against the American unit for hard cash earners.

      The increase, denominated in United States currency, saw massive jumps
in tariffs from six Zimbabwean cents to US$0,04 (Z$2,20) a kilowatt.

      Domestic rates, meanwhile, were expected to go up by another 70
percent this month.

      But the quandary in which Zimbabwe's industry finds itself in is worse
than any other, given the widespread shortages of liquid fuels and foreign
currency to procure equipment spares as well.

      Power rationing, effected at least twice a day in industrial areas
such as Graniteside and accounting for a cumulative 50 hours a week, has
seen industry bleeding further at the expense of disorganisation and lack of
forward planning by the government.

      Admittedly, Zesa, living on the goodwill of regional utilities and
owing supplier companies from the Southern Africa Development Community some
US$140 million, needs money for more energy imports and to retire debts, but
the measures to resuscitate it should not put jobs on the line,
industrialists argue.

      On the other hand, steps to charge in foreign currency raised a legal
issue, on whose basis industry could resist the measure, analysts say.
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Daily News

      Mugabe's state of disaster decree meaningless: farmers

      4/10/2003 1:38:25 AM (GMT +2)


      From Oscar Nkala in Bulawayo

      President Mugabe's declaration of a state of disaster in Matabeleland
South has not improved the plight of people and their livestock, communal
farmers in the province have said.



      Mugabe declared the province a state of disaster last month because it
is the hardest hit by drought.

      About 6 000 cattle face death due to drought throughout the province
while an estimated 40 000 cattle succumbed to the drought by the end of last
month.

      A cross-section of people from various parts of the province
interviewed in a street survey in Gwanda at the weekend said there was
nothing to show that the government's promised drought recovery programme
was working.

      "Since last month we have been made to believe that we would be
receiving food aid and stockfeed but nothing has arrived in my area so far.

      "People are still going hungry and the cattle are continuing to die,"
said Simon Mathema from Manama, about 80km south-west of Gwanda.

      He said the food situation had not improved contrary to promises of a
speedy distribution of grain following the declaration of the province as a
state of disaster.

      Cecilia Dube, a communal farmer from Shashe, said she was not aware of
the declaration.

      "That is news to me and I am sure most people in my area are not aware
of it. What I can say is that we are starving and the situation is getting
worse.

      "Many people have now resorted to eating the roots of the mtope tree
to survive. As for livestock, there is nothing left to be saved." Locals say
the mtope tree's roots are edible.

      Said Sabelo Ncube: "This is not the first time a state of disaster has
been declared in this province. Previous such declarations had all failed in
the past because the intended beneficiaries were allegedly never told.

      The assistant district administrator for Gwanda, Gladys Chikowore,
confirmed that the district had not received any deliveries of stockfeed.
She, however, said most of the feeding centres were ready for use.

      Chikowore said: "We have finished preparing feeding centres but we
have not yet received any deliveries of livestock feed. I am, however, not
aware of complaints about some stockfeed centres being far from the railway
line and ignorance of the programme."
      Under the livestock rescue programme, the government has designated 25
feeding points in Gwanda district.

      However, only 15 were ready for use by the end of last week.

      In Beitbridge, only 13 out of the 30 designated feeding points were
ready for use.

      The government promised that stockfeed would be delivered by rail to
all the feeding points.

      The farmers complained that most of them were too far from the railway
line.

      However, no deliveries of stockfeed have been made to the points since
the launch of the so-called accelerated drought mitigation programme late
last month.

      Beitbridge district administrator Edson Mbedzi declined to comment,
saying he was on leave.
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      MDC activists arrested

      4/10/2003 1:39:11 AM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporter

      PERCY Malunga, 42, an MDC activist in Kuwadzana fled his home on
Tuesday following an attack by suspected Zanu PF youths and the police.

      Malunga said seven MDC youths who were at his house were arrested for
allegedly planning to overthrow the government.

      Inspector Wilbert Mashuro, the officer-in-charge of Kuwadzana Police
Station said: "We recovered home-made bombs, bows and arrows, knives, axes
and catapults during the raid."
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      Mugabe attacks State officials

      4/10/2003 1:39:37 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday attacked government officials for allegedly
failing to implement ideas that could improve Zimbabwe's lot.

      Mugabe said: "Quite often, we have ideas. We think them out, but the
ideas continue to remain ideas. Feasibility studies are conducted -
pre-feasibility studies, post-feasibility studies - and they take time to
shape out."

      Mugabe's government is under pressure to come up with solutions to the
current economic problems.

      Mugabe and his government normally blame the MDC and Britain for
dragging the economy into the woods.

      In response to the economic meltdown, the government has come up with
the chaotic land reform programme and has adopted a new economic recovery
plan cobbled in consultation with labour and business.

      Mugabe, who had been invited to officially open the Scientific and
Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC), has often used public
events to hit out at members of his government.

      Yesterday, he cited the director-general of SIRDC, Professor
Christopher Chetsanga, as one of the few practical men.

      Mugabe said: "With SIRDC, it took only 10 years to get here. Chris is
a practical man and we want many more practical people."

      Chetsanga has developed SIRDC from scratch into Africa's second
largest technology centre outside South Africa.

      In reference to the shortage of fuel and electricity, Mugabe
challenged SIRDC to look for alternative sources of energy.

      But, as has become predictable, he took the occasion to indirectly
launch a broadside against the Anglo-American war on Iraq.

      "I know that some of you would have hoped for the discovery of oil,
but there is a danger in discovering it," he said.

      The government is currently struggling to secure fuel and electricity
needed to keep industry and households ticking.

      Mugabe said the scarcity of fuel and electricity was contributing to
high production costs incurred by industry and problems faced by consumers
today.

      The HIV/Aids pandemic and the shortage of food has also wreaked havoc
in Zimbabwe, with more than 80 percent of the country's population living
below the poverty datum line.

      It is estimated that 2 000 people are dying from the HIV/Aids pandemic
every week.
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Daily News

      Lawyers demand atrocities report

      4/10/2003 1:40:10 AM (GMT +2)


      By Fanuel Jongwe Court Reporter

      The alleged massacre of more than 20 000 civilians by the army's North
Korean-trained 5 Brigade in Matabeleland and Midlands regions in the 1980s
is far from being buried and forgotten as a regrettable development, it
would appear.

      The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and Legal Resources
Foundation (LRF) are seeking a Supreme Court order compelling President
Mugabe to release the findings of the Chihambakwe and Dumbutshena inquiries
into the 1980s disturbances in the two regions.

      The lawyers' organisations say the reports by the Dumbutshena
Commission and Chihambakwe Committee should be published by Government
Printers.

      They cited the Attorney-General (AG) as the second respondent after
Mugabe.

      The Dumbutshena Commission, chaired by the late former Chief Justice
Enock Dumbutshena, was instituted by the government to investigate the
disturbances following clashes between the former liberation armies of Zipra
and Zanla in Entumbane, Bulawayo, in the early 1980s, while the Chihambakwe
Committee, chaired by Harare lawyer Simplisius Chihambakwe, was set up to
investigate alleged atrocities on civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands
following the deployment of the army to counter armed dissidents in the
provinces.

      The Dumbutshena Report was compiled in 1982 while the Chihambakwe
Report was completed in 1984, but the government has kept a lid on the
findings in the two documents.

      An estimated 20 000 people were victims of atrocities which were
allegedly perpetrated by the armed dissidents and State security agents.

      The atrocities allegedly committed included murder, disappearances,
torture and detention of both civilians and combatants, rape, injury and
destruction of property.

      Mugabe came close to publicly apologising for the atrocities during
his graveside eulogy to the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo in July 1999
when he said he regretted the loss of lives.

      Many others were maimed or left homeless as members of5 Brigade swept
through the two provinces to counter the dissident insurrection.

      The ZLHR and LRF, in their heads of argument, however, shot down
suggestions by government officials that publishing the reports would "open
old wounds".

      They argued that the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace had
published a report detailing the atrocities committed and that no "old
wounds" had been opened since the report was published in February 1997.

      By failing or refusing to make the reports public, Mugabe was
hindering their enjoyment of freedom of expression, the lawyers'
organisations argued.

      The Supreme Court reserved judgment in the matter on 13 March.

      The ZLHR and LRF said Mugabe's failure or refusal to make the reports
public amounted to depriving them of information which would "assist
Zimbabweans in knowing the causes as well as consequences of the
disturbances, identifying the victims and drawing lessons from the tragic
events".

      This would also assist in building true reconciliation which is based
upon knowledge of the truth, they said.

      The Civil Division of the AG's Office, representing Mugabe and the AG,
said by withholding the reports, Mugabe was exercising his executive
authority provided for by the Constitution and that the court could not
interfere with that.

      "It is submitted that laws that allow the President to withhold
publication of a report made after a Commission of Inquiry is justifiable in
a democratic society," reads part of the respondents' heads of argument.

      "The right to information is not absolute and must be balanced against
the responsibility of the government to maintain public order and protect
public safety.

      "The President is, by virtue of executive privilege, permitted to
withhold such a report where he deems it to be confidential and its
revelation would be prejudicial to public safety and order.

      "It is submitted that an order by the court to make public the reports
in issue would offend the principle of separation of powers and be
detrimental to the public interest."
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Leader Page

      What is independence without freedom?

      4/10/2003 1:20:45 AM (GMT +2)


      By Fortune Mbele

      When the freedom fighters took up arms against white colonialists,
they sacrificed absolutely everything for the attainment of independence.
They sacrificed their lives and those of their families for the betterment
of the nation and the oppressed black majority.

      It was a fight against a system that denied the people's birthright to
access the fruits of the nation's economic success that the country's white
population enjoyed while denying them political freedom, self-rule and
freedom of choice. Because of those grievances, the war was fought and
independence was attained.

      But now, from a different angle, we are faced with a system that
reigns without the people's concerns at heart and, of late, without their
consent either. Ironically, it's a system perpetrated by those who were in
forefront of the fight to liberate the country.

      It is now becoming increasingly clear that the very same sacrifices
made by the freedom fighters during the colonial war are needed for the
removal of the incumbent regime.

      Immediately after independence, the "blood-is-thicker-than-water"
edict of the struggle was soon to be forgotten. There was one war that was
not executed with the urgency it deserved. It was the Economic War.

      Black empowerment in the economy was overlooked and only a few who had
access to powerful and influential people in the new government benefited.

      Differences in opinions led to the launch of political parties with
different views. This brought about the tribe-fix-tribe,
province-fix-province and the individual-fix-individual type of politics.

      The Unity Accord of 1987, which seemed to keep things latent, did not
help in any way as corruption on a larger scale continued undeterred.

      More parties were formed, seemingly with stronger and more plausible
policies and opinions and supported by the whites. It could be seen that
another war was to be fought.

      The same freedom fighters (war veterans) were manipulated into
spearheading a chaotic land reform programme which dealt a further blow to
an already wobbling economy.

      Senior government officials in Zanu PF and the war veterans, the very
people who brought us independence, have taken away our freedom. This is a
counter-revolution.

      The people of this beloved country have tried to win back their
freedom, but in vain. What is independence without freedom, really?

      Basically all the elections (parliamentary, presidential, by- and
council) in this country have been punctuated by violent persecution of the
opposition supporters and their leaders.

      Numerous intelligent young men and women, supposed to be the future
leaders of this country, have been tortured and brutally murdered.

      If electoral fraud is the only way the incumbent regime chooses to
remain in power, there has got to be another way for the opposition.

      The President has vowed not to step down. But things are continuing to
deteriorate while he pursues rhetoric tirades with the British Prime
Minister.

      Does the President really know that the people are not fighting
against either Britain or the United States, but against the bringers of
hunger, poverty and oppression?

      If Zanu PF cannot bring people food, employment, freedom to choose,
associate and express themselves and independence of thought, then it should
step down.

      Instead of addressing the nation's problems, they are bent on passing
laws that continue to muzzle the oppressed, the hungry, unemployed and the
media.

      If then, the electorate is gagged by repressive laws from presenting
their grievances, who do those in power listen to - themselves?

      We gained our independence through the assistance of neighbouring
countries. We once again need them in these troubled times, but where are
they? They are in support of a regime that lets its people go hungry.

      Olusegun Obasanjo and Thabo Mbeki are not doing anything close to
solving our problems. They support the Mugabe regime on Pan-Africanist
expediency.

      Pan-Africanism at the expense of the suffering masses in
strife-stricken Zimbabwe is the least we need from these revered leaders.

      We need back the international community from powerhouses like the US,
Britain, the European Union, the Commonwealth, the International Monetary
Fund and the World Bank to resuscitate our economy. These countries
supporting Mugabe are getting monetary aid from these institutions, while
international isolation is battering the country.
      This talk from the President about protecting the sovereignty of the
State is nauseating, to say the least. Who does not know what sovereignty
entails? Zanu PF is the one promulgating its interests in the country by
creating militia to frustrate people's independence of thought. Who in the
world has ever created a force to fight against his own people? This shows
utter instability in him and his party.

      Back to the sacrifices that Zimbabweans have to take up to win back
their freedom. This freedom was won during the presidential election, but
was taken away by the manipulation of the voters' roll in favour of Zanu PF.
Statistics of the recently undertaken national census prove this.

      What the people need to do is to shed off political passivity, because
who feels it knows it. What is needed now is action. Zanu PF won't move an
inch through your suffrage.

      In the book, The Struggle Continues, Kwame Nkrumah calls for what he
calls "Positive Action". This, he explains as, "By Positive Action we mean
the adoption of all legitimate and constitutional means by which we can
cripple the forces . . . in this country. The weapons of Positive Action
are:
      Legitimate political agitation;
      Newspaper and educational campaigns; and
      As a last resort, the constitutional application of strikes, boycotts,
and non-co- operation based on the principle of absolute non-violence".

      It is then obligatory for the opposition to strongly strategise along
these lines. Mobilise the people for an effective, non-violent
confrontational mass action against the government.
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Daily News

Letters

      UN's loud silence on Zimbabwe worrisome

      4/10/2003 1:22:10 AM (GMT +2)


      I would like to complement the views of Mwana Chita's letter to The
Daily News of 7 April, 2003. Why is UN silent on Zimbabwe?

      The United Nations' loud silence on Zimbabwe's political crisis is
indeed deafening.

      I wonder whether the UN wants to see another Rwanda in Zimbabwe before
it intervenes, or at least notices our plight.

      Talking of Rwanda, I believe timely action on the part of the UN could
have saved millions of lives. This thought gives me a chilling feeling that
that horrific history could repeat itself in Zimbabwe.

      Recently, North Korea flew a nuclear missile over Japan and the UN
maintained its silence.

      I am also beginning to believe that the UN sanctions against Iraq
after the Gulf War were also misplaced.

      Why did the UN not simply get rid of Saddam Hussein who led to those
sanctions being
      imposed?

      The UN has effectively rendered itself a toothless bulldog. Now that
the US and Britain have gone it alone in Iraq, the UN has begun barking to
the effect that it should run post-war Iraq. What hypocrisy! The UN now
wants to take part in skinning the carcass.

      The UN seems to have no penal policy against the Saddams of this
world, and one of them, who has "degrees of violence" is threatening our
very existence here. No wonder there is a concerted effort by Ibbo Mandaza
and company to portray George W Bush as a monster.

      I wonder if our South African brothers, with the eccentric Thabo Mbeki
at the forefront, would act as human shields for us if Bush decided to
topple our self-proclaimed Hitler?

      Anti-Bush sentiment is so thick in the air now, he would not go out of
his way to do so.

      With the UN as a passive spectator, Mugabe's bloody game in the
Zimbabwean arena would be very exciting.

      Disgruntled
      Glen Norah C
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Letters

      Moyo's claims on rule of law in Zimbabwe are infuriating

      4/10/2003 1:21:24 AM (GMT +2)

      The interview in which the Minister of State for Information and
Publicity in the President's Office, Jonathan Moyo, was quizzed on the rule
of law and human rights in Zimbabwe was infuriating, to say the least.

      For him to say there is rule of law and that Zimbabwe has a
commendable human rights record is abusing our intelligence and misusing
taxpayers' money from which he is paid.

      It is insulting for Moyo to say that the torture of Job Sikhala may
have been an intensive interrogation. Such utterances expose him as an
ignorant mouthpiece, as far as Zimbabwe Republic Police interrogation
tactics are concerned.

      As a former member of the ZRP, I am well-versed in interrogation
tactics and I am professional enough to draw the line between interrogation
and blatant torture.

      Sikhala was tortured and that is a fact.

      It would be interesting for the minister to tell us what happened to
the forensic report on The Daily News bombing. Real bombs that were used,
not the so-called dynamite and petrol bombs to which he refers.

      Is that why the former police superintendent who was in charge of
ballistics when The Daily News was bombed was moved to a clerical job at
Harare Central Police Station?

      It would also be interesting to call on the forensic experts to
produce the results of the "dynamite and petrol" bombings.

      The minister should just shut up and contemplate going on another
shopping spree to
      South Africa this Easter, rather than further infuriating the already
angry masses.


      The Patriot
      Zimbabwe
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Feature

      Exiled Zimbabweans to hold 18 April demo in London

      4/10/2003 1:18:00 AM (GMT +2)

      By Sandra Nyaira in the United Kingdom

      HE RAN the gauntlet of violence, kidnappings and arrests with his
supporters and colleagues as Zanu PF fought to ensure victory in the 2000
parliamentary elections and the subsequent by-election after Border Gezi's
death.

      Elliot Pfebve, 34, the MDC's candidate in Bindura for the two
elections, lost his brother, Matthew, at the height of political violence of
the 2000 election campaign.

      He successfully sued Zanu PF for damages in a United States court last
year. His offices were constantly raided and he lost property worth millions
of dollars. He suffered emotional stress, harassment and intimidation that
affected, not only himself, but hundreds of other opposition supporters and
leaders.

      Now as Zimbabwe prepares to celebrate its 23rd anniversary of
independence from Britain, Pfebve and others who have been forced into exile
in the UK are looking back and finding there is little, if anything, to
celebrate.

      Pfebve says on 18 April Zimbabweans must gather around the world in
their numbers to commemorate and remember the gallant sons and daughters who
died fighting for an independence that is now being abused by Zanu PF to
muzzle the Press, freedom of speech, association and other freedoms
consistent with democracy.

      He says the day should be used to mourn the death of democracy in
Zimbabwe.

      Today Pfebve is living in the UK and says he is helping the struggle
for Zimbabwe's "independence" from another front. "I have seen hell on earth
and being here is more of a tonic," said Pfebve this week.

      "A lot of things have happened in my life from the day I decided to
join the fight for democracy in Zimbabwe and these include attempted
assassinations, destruction of my property, the murder of my brother and
others.

      "So we cannot call this independence. Real independence will come. It
is not the one we are witnessing today.

      "I came here because the MDC wanted me to help organise the party,
especially here and in the United States of America. I did not claim
political asylum. I am working for the party and will continue to do that
until we liberate the people of Zimbabwe."

      Pfebve has teamed up with other Zanu PF critics in the UK and is
mobilising international support against President Mugabe's government.

      The men behind the MDC in the UK are party chairman Brain Bako and
Pfebve.

      Pfebve, who is writing a book about his experiences and Bako, are
well-known figures from London to Ireland as they mobilise support from
various governments and organisations, appraising them of the situation back
home.

      Operating from Birmingham, Bako and Pfebve are part of the MDC
executive that organises weekly vigils at the Zimbabwean High Commission and
other protest parades at major institutions, including the House of Commons
and UN offices.

      Bako says: "We are planning a big demonstration outside Zimbabwe House
on 18 April. To us, there is nothing to celebrate. It is a protest that 23
years down the line, Zimbabweans continue to suffer. Most people are worse
off than they were during colonial rule. We did not fight colonialism to be
subjected to more ruthlessness from a fellow black person."

      He says the fact that the government's chaotic land reform programme
had only benefited Mugabe's cronies and other hangers-on was ample evidence
that the people of Zimbabwe still needed real independence.

      "The beatings, escalating torture and violence against opposition
supporters and all the other ills happening in our country show that Zanu PF
could be likened to a horse having its last kicks," says Bako.

      He said the MDC executive was mobilising party supporters in the UK to
attend the massive demonstration and wear black armbands to mourn the death
of democracy in what was once revered as the jewel of Africa.

      Apart from the usual drum-beating, singing and political speeches,
prayers will form a major part of the demonstration.

      "We realise God's importance in this struggle, so we will devote our
time to prayers as well at Zimbabwe House," says Bako.

      "Our children will never understand what independence means with all
the oppression that is going on in the country. It is all meaningless, so
there is need for total change."

      Bako, Zimbabwe's fiercest critic abroad, is popular on TV and radio
channels such as the BBC, CNN, News 24, the BBC World Service and others. He
boasts of having helped form and nurture 36 MDC branches in the UK and
Ireland.

      Pfebve has been part of it.

      "Things did not move as quickly as we hoped or desired since 1999 but
we continue the struggle from another front here," he says

      "We have been mobilising support and funds for victims of political
violence and many other activities that include the development of schools
in our constituencies and feeding programmes."

      Bako and Pfebve will be among leaders moving around the embassies and
international organisations as 18 April approaches to remind them of the
scars being left by marauding Zanu PF youths and supporters through
well-orchestrated acts of violence and vandalism.

      "The majority of our branches are working alongside their local MPs
here to make sure they always remind them of the need to raise questions
about Zimbabwe in the House of Commons," said Bako.

      "It really is only a matter of time before the Mugabe regime crashes.
It is losing its grip and cannot continue for long if the majority of the
international community does not support it. That's how we will commemorate
independence this year."

      The MDC here will, during the next weeks, also be advocating for the
strengthening of sanctions against Mugabe's government to make sure all
those benefiting from the regime, including their children and relatives,
are denied entry to European Union countries, schools, universities and
access to work.

      Pfebve and Bako say Zimbabweans at home should not underestimate Zanu
PF's power since their own lives, even in the UK, were in danger as the
government has a network of undercover agents there.

      "People must know that no amount of money will ever be able to buy
back the loved ones we lost in the struggle for democracy under a black
government," Pfebve says. "It is really painful and as we go towards what is
supposed to be our independence day, we should remember all those innocent
souls who have been tortured, killed, maimed and left homeless by a
desperate regime seeking to maintain a tight grip on power."

      It remains to be seen how eloquently Bako and Pfebve can put the case
against Zanu PF, to be able to influence international policy from their
Birmingham office.
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Daily News

Feature

      Story of military deserters incredible

      4/10/2003 1:11:59 AM (GMT +2)


      Development Community taskforce is due in the country, a couple of
days after Sadc foreign ministers were in the country, and also a few days
after Zanu PF lost two crucial by-elections to the MDC in Harare.

      Will those people be paraded before the Sadc visitors to "prove" how
lawless the MDC is and how law-abiding Zanu PF is? Only the most gullible
observer can fail to see through that obviously suspicious development.

      It is important for Sadc observers to be thoroughly impartial about
the Zimbabwean situation.

      The tendency for some of them up to now has been to express solidarity
with the government, and that means Zanu PF, rather than with the nation of
Zimbabwe, by analysing most objectively all relevant occurrences in the
country, such as election campaigns and results.

      Malawian and Namibian observers have been blatantly pro-Zanu PF since
2000.

      Some senior government officials of those two countries have on
several occasions nakedly defended the ruling party, arrogantly ignoring
dissenting voices.

      Some Sadc leaders have not been openly supportive of the Zimbabwean
administration and its repressive laws, its corruption and its autocratic
tendencies, but been audibly apologetic by refusing to condemn the
anti-opposition repression experienced in Zimbabwe.

      It is important for Sadc governments to understand that it is fallacy
that political opposition in Zimbabwe was created and is influenced by the
British government.

      If the country's opposition parties get any financial assistance from
Britain, that surely does not make them tools of that country any more than
Zanu PF is a tool of China, from which it has been receiving grants and
other forms of assistance for many years.

      What has created political opposition to Zanu PF is its failure to
administer for the country efficiently.

      It has destroyed the economy and social services.

      The country's future is so bleak that the young generation has no
glimmer of hope for as long as Zanu PF continues running (or is it ruining?)
this country.
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Report adds to Mugabe's isolation

Commonwealth secretary general blames Zimbabwean leader for famine and human
rights abuses

Andrew Meldrum in Harare
Thursday April 10, 2003
The Guardian

Robert Mugabe's government has committed severe human rights abuses against
the opposition party, has actively repressed the press and the judiciary and
is largely responsible for the famine that is currently gripping Zimbabwe,
according to a Commonwealth report distributed to heads of government this
week.
The Guardian has obtained a copy of the confidential report by Don McKinnon,
the Commonwealth secretary general, which says Zimbabwe has suffered
significant "deterioration" in its political, economic and social spheres.
It blames Mr Mugabe's land seizures for the nationwide famine.

"The harassment of opposition and civil society leaders and activists
continues," the report says. "There have also been several cases of
harassment of the press and the judiciary. Legislation prejudicial to
freedom of speech, the press and association remains on the statute book."

The report, which was commissioned in March 2002 when Zimbabwe was first
suspended from the Commonwealth, categorically refutes assertions made last
month by Thabo Mbeki, the president of South Africa, and Nigeria's leader,
Olusegun Obasanjo, that the situation in Zimbabwe had improved. It will make
it increasingly difficult for the two African leaders to gain support from
Commonwealth members for the lifting of Zimbabwe's suspension.

The report is designed to convince Commonwealth leaders that Zimbabwe's
suspension should continue until the heads of government meet in Nigeria in
December.

The findings are also expected to fuel the demand for the Commonwealth to
send a team to Zimbabwe to investigate state-sponsored violence against the
Movement for Democratic Change, the main opposition party.

The report was only issued after Mr Mugabe repeatedly evaded Mr McKinnon's
at tempts to speak to him. "All efforts by the secretary general, direct and
indirect, to engage in dialogue with President Mugabe have been rebuffed,"
said the report.

Mr McKinnon stuck to the findings of Commonwealth observer groups that the
parliamentary elections of 2000 and the presidential election of 2002 had
not been free and fair and had been marred by violence.

Turning to Zimbabwe's land controversy, Mr McKinnon emphasised that "there
has never been any doubt about the need for land reform in Zimbabwe, a fact
which I have repeatedly acknowledged publicly". He adds: "There is clearly a
moral case for the United Kingdom to contribute towards transparent,
equitable and sustainable land reform in Zimbabwe." But he found that the
Mugabe government's controversial and often violent land seizures had not
been supportable.

The report endorsed the findings of the United Nations Development Project
that the land programme had been "chaotic" and "the cause of much political,
economic and social instability".

Although the Mugabe government has stated repeatedly that the land seizures
ended in August 2002, the report finds that compulsory acquisitions
continued until March 2003.

"Reports have continued of a disproportionate number of the best farms being
allocated to leading members of the ruling elite, including members of
government and senior members of the security services and their families,"
Mr McKinnon states.

The report also blames land seizures for causing the famine that is gripping
two-thirds of Zimbabwe's 12 million people. The Mugabe government is also
criticised for "conclusive evidence of the politicisation of food
assistance".

"Regrettably, to date there has been no positive response by Zimbabwe to the
[Commonwealth's] call for political dialogue and national reconciliation,"
the report says.

"The depressing situation offers even more grounds for the government of
Zimbabwe to change course and to engage in meaningful dialogue with
international partners."

A Zimbabwe government official jumped from a third-floor window to escape
being beaten by angry women war veterans demanding ownership papers for land
they seized from white farmers, police said yesterday.

A police official told Reuters that the acting administrator for Mashonaland
West province had been injured and admitted to hospital after being
assaulted with wooden clubs and an iron bar in his office in Chinhoyi.
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Natal Witness

Sins of the fathers

Michael Hartnack

MOST societies respect the remains of the dead, but the ethic is
particularly powerful in Zimbabwean traditional culture.

Although in the 23 years since independence Zanu-PF militants have
desecrated many hallowed Rhodesian memorials, including those in Harare's
Anglican Cathedral to troops who fell in World War One and World War Two,
not a single grave has been touched anywhere in the country.

The late ruling party youth leader, "Warlord" Chakaredza, launched a
campaign for the disinterment of Cecil Rhodes' body from its resting place
in the Matopos Hills, but it was met with stony official silence.

Human remains are surrounded by such strong taboos that Africans confide
they are fearful to attend cremation services for white friends, even when
they know this honours the wishes of the dead person and the family.

In some areas, black settlers report being troubled by the spirits of
long-dead white farmers. They are put to the expense of propitiating them
with "European" food, instead of the simple diet traditional healers
prescribe for restive African ancestors. Even when dead, it seems, those
dreadful colonialists keep on exploiting the poor natives.

Recently, the boot was on the other cultural foot when it was reported in
the independent media that President Robert Mugabe had withdrawn his
children from expensive fee-paying schools linked to the Catholic Church.
The reports came close to violating a powerful taboo which is common to
modern Christianity and Islam, Judaism, liberalism and moderate socialism.

This is belief in the autonomy of the individual person, the right of the
child to develop that autonomy as it advances into adulthood without
interference by society, church, school, or even - in some cases - parents.

Perhaps this is why in the West there has been such a strong outcry against
adults prematurely involving minors in sexual activity. It isn't the loss of
"childhood innocence" so prized by the Victorians. Modern children lose that
as soon as they turn on the television. It is violation of the taboo which
declares: "It is my life - to choose to do what I want with." Modern
children are not taught "duty", but "how to make choices". By this logic,
rape and enslavement are almost more heinous than murder.

In traditional tribal societies (not only in Africa), it was and is common
for girls as young as nine to be given in marriage to settle family debts
which may date back several generations. In rural Zimbabwe, one of that age
was recently given in return for a sack of maize meal for her starving
family.

One great divide between "First World" and "Third World" thinking is the
insistence, in the former, on the individual not being penalised for alleged
misdeeds of a relative, no matter how close.

In the "Third World", persons are commonly called to make reparations not
only for what near relatives did, but for what people of their general
complexion were said to have done long ago. The Japanese must compensate the
Irish for something the Tartars did to the Russians.

The independently-owned Sunday Standard reported that although 14-year-old
Bona Mugabe's "O" level examinations are less than two years' away, she had
been withdrawn from Harare's Dominican Convent "due to the constant heckling
she was receiving from school mates unimpressed by her father's leadership
practices."

Somewhat contradicting itself, the report said Bona was accompanied even in
the school yard by police bodyguards. Surely they would intimidate even the
worst St Trinians-style hellions? Teachers tell me Bona is a quiet,
unpretentious and well-mannered girl, with considerable talents.

The Sunday Standard said Robert junior (12) faced similar problems with
classmates at a Catholic boys' school, where the white headmaster was last
year threatened with a government ban from teaching when he referred in a
newsletter to the moral crisis caused by fraudulent elections.

An official spokesman exploded with fury at the publicity given the Mugabe
children and issued a formal denial, but their attendance is, I am told,
"erratic". They reportedly receive at least some tuition at home. It would
be a pity if they retreated into imprisonment behind razor wire and
bodyguards, as the notoriously introverted president has during the past 23
years.

The Sunday Standard raked up the murky circumstances of the Mugabe
children's birth, their mother's divorce from her first husband, an Air
Force pilot swiftly transferred to the Beijing embassy, and her cohabitation
with the President before the death of his Ghanaian first wife Sally 11
years ago.

To an extent, Mugabe deliberately embroiled his children with political
controversy by having Robert junior and his younger son Chatunga (6) appear
in full military regalia at parades. He clearly intends to found a dynasty.

A sly insult opposition commentators often perpetrate on Grace Mugabe (nee
Marufu, later Guriraza) is to refer to her as "Mai Chatunga". In Shona
custom, it is complimentary to refer to a mother by the name of her eldest
son.

A legend has grown up about Grace Mugabe's extravagance, for which there is
scant factual evidence beyond her up-market outfits and her always
accompanying her husband on anything but short journeys. They stay in the
most expensive accommodation, but blame for that can hardly be laid at her
door. Grace has not, however, built up a multi-million dollar

private business empire as did her predecessor Sally and Sally's twin sister
Esther. Grace, some 40 years younger than her husband, is hopelessly inept
at public speaking, but her political ambitions have not resulted in brawls,
as occurred when Sally had herself imposed as head of the Zanu-PF women's
league.

Grace's one confirmed indulgence was her taking a "nanny" with her on
overseas flights when Chatunga was a baby. The woman slept on her knees in
the aisle beside the child's first class seat, her head on the armrest. An
outcry would have occurred had any white child received such attention from
a black servant.

One of the most interesting acquaintances I have made here in the past 23
years was an attach? at the former Soviet embassy who was evidently an
officer of the KGB security service. It became clear his father had been a
camp guard in the Gulag. He and his family had a charming simplicity,
reminiscent of the small-town Afrikaner teachers and lawyers one met in the
eighties in South Africa. However, his passionate devotion to the USSR and
the cult of Lenin would have made him a ruthless foe.

He confessed to being appalled at what he called the "slave mentality" of
the Shona, with women kneeling to greet guests or offer them refreshment.
For him - whose great-grandparents were born in Tsarist serfdom - such high
courtesies aroused painful associations. He was a deeply disciplined and
conformist character and it was possible to see how his children were
growing out of this mould into feared "Western" ideas of individualism.

One wonders what future the Mugabe children face. They deserve, as
individuals, to be protected from the insensate revenge of Mugabe's many
enemies in the event of his death or sudden fall from power.

The greatest physical threat is from his rivals - members of his own
Politburo - who will see them as potential figureheads for cabals
challenging their attempts to seize the spoils of power and wealth.

The likelihood is the children will disappear off to universities in the
U.S. where they may enjoy cult status for the rest of their lives among some
African-Americans.

However, if while there they exercise their freedom of individual choice to
absorb the humane values of men such as the late Dr Martin Luther King,
without losing touch with African reality, they may yet have a valuable
contribution to make to their home continent.
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Natal Witness

The brave and the brutal
TELFORD VICE

VINCE Hogg, the managing director of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU), gives
the impression of a hired gun who toes but does not swallow the company
line.

His arguments are reasoned, never impassioned. He talks with his mouth, not
his eyes.

But Hogg wouldn't have been human if his stomach didn't turn in the moments
before the start of Zimbabwe's World Cup match against Namibia in Harare on
February 10.

Because he knew he held in his hands a weapon more explosive than anything
wielded by the brooding soldiers who keep the nation away from President
Robert Mugabe's throat as they patrol the presidential compound, which
sprawls uncomfortably close to the home of Zimbabwean cricket at the Harare
Sports Club.

Hogg looked up from the ticking bomb and into the eyes of Andy Flower and
Henry Olonga.

"Do you realise what the consequences will be if you go ahead with this,"
Hogg asked them.

"Do you realise the consequences if we don't," Olonga replied.

Minutes later, Flower and Olonga pulled the pin and the bang was heard
around the world.

"We cannot in good conscience take to the field and ignore the fact that
millions of our compatriots are starving, unemployed and oppressed," read
part of their statement, jolting the still sluggish media into action.

'The day ended with more than 20 spectators being arrested for wearing

T-shirts bearing political slogans.'

"In all the circumstances we have decided that we will each wear a black
armband for the duration of the World Cup. In doing so we are mourning the
death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe."

To put that into context, Zimbabwe is where South Africa was in the
eighties - from the muzzled media to the omnipresent security to the
struggle speak.

So there was no surprise when another statement materialised as night fell
outside a still humming pressbox.

"It is disgraceful what Henry Olonga and Andy Flower have done. Taking
politics onto the playing field is a thing the International Cricket Council
(ICC) and all sports organisations have been trying to avoid. It is
disappointing because Olonga was a hero and a role model to black cricketing
communities.

"By taking politics onto the field and bringing the game into disrepute
Henry appears to have breached the Takashinga Cricket Club's code of
conduct."

They were the words of Givemore Makoni, the chairman of Takashinga, which
counted Olonga among its members. Other Takashinga players have been sent
home from coaching clinics for arriving with headbands and T-shirts
supporting Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

Makoni himself is to be hauled onto the carpet by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
for allegedly headbutting an opposing player in a match.

But we should not hold our breath. Old Georgians refused to fulfil their
fixture with Takashinga on March 29 because of the slew of unresolved
disciplinary charges against members of the latter club.

England, of course, also failed to honour their fixture in Harare. And that
despite Tim Lamb, the chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board
(ECB), having bid the Zimbabweans a cheery, "see you in February", farewell
when he was part of an ICC delegation that assessed player safety in
November.

A tedious battle of wills waged over the game by the ECB and ICC was finally
ended by death threats made against the English players by the Sons and
Daughters of Zimbabwe, an organisation unknown to other Zimbabwean political
activists.

The ZCU remained silently livid with Flower and Olonga, and even more so
after the ICC requested - not ordered - the pair not to wear their armbands
again.

They didn't. Instead, they turned out in black wristbands in Zimbabwe's next
match, against India in Harare. At least, Flower did - Olonga was dropped
despite Heath Streak having won the toss and put the Indians in to bat on a
green, grassy pitch.

Australia touched down in Bulawayo at 12.35 pm on February 23. They left for
Johannesburg at 7 pm the next evening, having spent their 31-and-a-half
hours in Zimbabwe wrapped in steelwool security.

The game threatened to at least begin without incident. But shortly before
the start, the Archbishop of Matabeleland, Pius Ncube, led a delegation of
clergymen into the ground.

"We are here today to make our stand in support of Henry Olonga and Andy
Flower and all who mourn the death of democracy in Zimbabwe," their
statement read. "Our Christian faith compels us to stand in solidarity with
the starving, the oppressed and suffering people of this land, and to work
and pray for our liberation from the cruel yoke of oppression."

The day ended with more than 20 spectators being arrested for wearing

T-shirts bearing political slogans. Among them were a pair of 15-year-olds.
One of the children, a girl, was released unharmed the next day. The other,
a boy, was not as fortunate. He could not recognise his parents after the
police were done with him. Either, doctors said, due to sheer trauma, being
injected with an unknown substance or electrocution.

The police had another busy afternoon at a match against Holland, arresting
42 spectators. Two of them had paraded a sign that read, "Zimbabwe needs
justice". Another two had hoisted a banner proclaiming, "Mugabe = Hitler".

The rest had merely voiced their agreement.

Pakistan came and went without significant news headlines, and even without
a result. The washed-out game put Zimbabwe in the second round.

Zimbabwe duly lost their first Super Six match against favoured New Zealand
and then surprisingly crashed to Kenya.

Surprising, that is, to those who had not seen the Kenyans bubbling amid the
flat Zimbabweans in the Bloemfontein hotel the teams shared.

Surprising, too, for those who overlooked the fact that Kenya had recently
thrown off the yoke of decades of misrule.

Zimbabwe went on to lose their final game, against Sri Lanka in East London,
after which Olonga fled from members of Mugabe's secret police who were at
the ground to arrest him pending charges of treason. He remains in hiding
but is expected to arrive in England this week having been granted a work
permit to play for social side Lashings, the Harlem Globetrotters of
cricket.

Flower, his parents, his wife and their three children have begun a new life
in England.

Zimbabwe is a poorer place without them.
Publish Date: 10 April 2003
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The Herald

Maize deliveries start

By Sifelani Tsiko
MAIZE deliveries from this year's harvest have started trickling in at Grain
Marketing Board depots countrywide with a total of 2 200 tonnes having been
delivered so far since the marketing season opened on April 1.

This has raised hopes that people might soon start getting white maize meal
from the shops, without having to queue.

GMB acting chief executive Colonel Samuel Muvuti told The Herald in an
interview that the GMB had received 1 607 tonnes at Nandi in Chiredzi, 299
tonnes in Middle Sabi and 94 tonnes in Chipinge.

"Deliveries are now coming in," he said.

"We hope deliveries will continue to increase as the marketing season
progresses."

The late rains received between January and March have brightened prospects
of a good harvest.

If the deliveries continue to improve, they would be a relief to many who
have not known white maize meal for months as they have been relying on the
much disliked "kenya" yellow maize meal which was being imported.

Col Muvuti hailed the Government for announcing the new maize producer price
saying this would help farmers plan ahead.

The new producer price for maize and other small grains like sorghum and
millet was set at $130 000 a tonne and that for wheat at $150 000 a tonne.

This new price, Col Muvuti said, would encourage farmers in natural regions
four and five to plant small grain crops on a large scale.

"Farmers in dry regions should be aware that these crops can earn them more
money because they are on demand in countries like Botswana and South
Africa," he said.

Col Muvuti could not be drawn to disclose this year's projected maize
output, but agricultural experts are giving conservative figures from as low
as 500 000 tonnes to highs of more than 1 million tonnes.

"We are still working on the estimates with all stakeholders involved," he
said cautiously.

"We don't have a maize forecast for this season as yet."

GMB is working on measures to ensure all maize grown this season would be
accounted for.

Col Muvuti said GMB was now prepared to pay farmers timeously while the new
prices were expected to be an incentive to farmers to sell as much maize as
possible at its depots.

He said the GMB was setting up more collection points to reduce distance and
transport costs for farmers.

The GMB, he said, had approached the Ministry of Energy and Power
Development to enable it to get preferential treatment for fuel supplies.

This would enable the body to move grain quickly to depots.

Col Muvuti urged farmers to approach their nearest depots so that they could
be assisted to procure empty bags.

He warned that side marketing would not be tolerated at all and that those
caught trading in maize illegally would face the full wrath of the law.

According to Statutory Instrument 235A of 2001, only the GMB is allowed to
trade in maize and wheat.

"These are controlled products," he said.

"Those found flouting these regulations will be dealt with severely. GMB and
law enforcement agents are on high alert to make sure these regulations are
adhered to."

The GMB was also tightening loopholes to prevent abuse by unscrupulous
dealers intending to buy maize at $9 600 a tonne from its depots and
re-selling it to the board at the new rate of $130 000 a tonne.

"Measures have since been put in place to make sure that this does not
happen," he said.

"Anybody caught trying this will be punished severely. Its tantamount to
sabotage."

GMB also plans to set a cut off date to stop selling maize to the public in
areas where there are reasonable harvests.

These include Mvurwi, Chiweshe and some parts of Mashonaland East, West and
Central and Manicaland provinces.

The Grain Marketing Board has already started rolling out winter farming
inputs such as wheat and maize seed, fertilisers and chemicals.

"We are targeting to put 100 000 hectares under wheat and another 100 000
under maize irrigation this winter," Col Muvuti said.

"Zimbabwe has no reason to import wheat at all if we put our act together."

Zimbabwe consumes about 400 000 tonnes of wheat a year and Col Muvuti said
if wheat was to be grown on 100 000 hectares, a harvest of between 500 000
and 700 000 tonnes could be realised, leaving a surplus for export.

He said the GMB was importing inputs from South Africa to meet the needs for
inputs for the winter farming season.

However, he expressed concern that local seed and fertiliser companies were
not doing enough to help farmers prepare for this year's winter cropping.

Drought struck much of southern Africa last season forcing humanitarian
relief agencies to appeal for food aid for more than 14 million people in
the region.

Despite propaganda from the United States government that the Zimbabwean
authorities had failed to guarantee food security for its citizens, the
Government has since January 2002 committed US$207,9 million for the import
of 1,1 million tonnes of grain.

A total of 886 749 tonnes of grain were delivered into the country since
last year while a balance of 245 738 tonnes is still to be delivered.

Col Muvuti said maize imports would continue as the GMB wanted to build up
the country's strategic grain reserve, which had dwindled as a result of the
drought.

Zimbabwe, which is traditionally self-sufficient and an exporter of surplus
food, had in the past not needed international food aid.

Last year's drought hampered maize production and forced the country to
import grain from South Africa, Kenya and Argentina.

In 2001, the country's maize production dropped to 1,54 million tonnes from
2,1 million tonnes in 2000.

Zimbabwe consumes between 1,8 million and 2 million tonnes of maize a year.
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