Saturday 9 August 2003 the owners of a farm in Harare South were subjected to
more severe trauma, which continued on the next day. The owner, who is 70
years old, took a severe beating and his wife was also injured. Their
problems appear to emanate from the Chikanyas who broke into and occupied the
manager's cottage on the farm late last year and have been there ever
In January the owner and his son were charged under POSA and
arrested and imprisoned. They have subsequently been to court five times but
are still unsure of what the charge was. The Chikanyas are evidently behind
In February the owner's son was set upon by 15 youths.
The attacked him with a bicycle chain, sticks, an iron bar and a golf club.
He ended up with 10 stitches on his head, a gash across his cheek and severe
A High Court order to evict the Chikanyas was served by the
Sheriff soon afterwards but police have refused to back the Sheriff up in
enacting the evictions. In the meantime despite no Section 8 the family, who
do not own any other farms, have not been able to grow any crops. From
employing over 70 workers they now employ only 14 who are looking after their
cattle herd which has diminished by 90%. The farm whilst under its Section 5
has been pegged 14 times.
On Saturday 9 August 2003 a group of
settlers forced their way through the security fence and started breaking
down the doors and smashing windows whilst the owners were in the house.
Looting then took place. A policeman arrived 45 minutes later but did
nothing to stop the looting and destruction. Another three policemen arrived
2¾ hours later and watched the looting continue to take place for 1½
Eventually the O.I.C. Beatrice arrived and left shortly
afterwards, apparently leaving a police presence.
The next morning on
the 10th August the owners endured more looting from 7:00 am. The owner was
badly beaten by the same people who the police had refused to arrest the day
The police eventually arrived again while looting still continued
in their presence. The owners were in severe shock but eventually some
semblance of order was brought about and the owners were able to vacate their
home. The assessment of damage and looting has yet to be established
Reporter A TOTAL of 400 local election observers for the forthcoming Makonde
and Harare Central parliamentary by-elections and mayoral and council
elections are expected to be accredited next week.
The spokesman for
the Electoral Supervisory Commission, Mr Thomas Bvuma, said the accreditation
that had been scheduled for today and tomorrow will now take place for three
days from August 21.
He said the accreditation would be done in the ESC
boardroom at Hardwicke House along Samora Machel Avenue in Hara-
"Some of the observers are coming from faraway places like Hwange,
Gwanda and Victoria Falls where we are having council and mayoral
"So we felt we needed to give them enough time since some of
them are full-time employees somewhere," said Mr Bvuma.
accreditation would start at 10 am and run until 4 pm on the first day and at
9 am until 4 pm in the afternoon on the other two days.
"Those to be
accredited are requested to bring an invitation letter from the Ministry of
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, $1 000 accreditation fee and their
Zimbabwe national registration identity card or a valid Zimbabwean passport,
which shows the observer’s national ID number and photograph," said Mr
He said the observers were expected to be non-partisan, impartial
and to abide by the country’s electoral laws.
by-elections and the council polls are scheduled for August 30 and
The Makonde seat fell vacant after the death of the Minister of
Higher and Tertiary Education, Cde Swithun Mombeshora, while the Harare seat
fell vacant following the resignation of former MDC MP Mr Mike Auret due to
The council and mayoral elections are due in Gwanda,
Gweru, Kariba, Kwekwe, Mutare, Redcliff, Victoria Falls, Marondera, Karoi,
Kadoma, Norton, Ruwa and Chegutu.
Reporter PRIVATE oil companies are ready to start importing fuel for the
public once the oil industry and Government agree on pricing, it has
Oil industry officials yesterday said once an agreement had been
reached, private players would start importing fuel for all users.
present, private companies are importing fuel for bulk buyers like businesses
"What we are just waiting for is for Government to
take a decision and we will bring in fuel for everyone," said an industry
Some companies that are importing on their own and selling to
the public are those that have introduced coupon systems whereby motorists
and others who do not have storage facilities buy coupons at between $1 500
and $1 700 per litre for petrol and diesel.
The Government recently
announced that there would be a dual fuel pricing structure under which the
commodity would be sold.
The structure would allow the Government and
critical areas of the economy to buy cheaper fuel from Noczim, while that
imported by oil companies would be for the general
Negotiations were already underway between the Government and
private oil companies in preparation for the deregulation of the industry
that would result in the dual fuel price structure being effected.
official pump prices, petrol costs $450 per litre while diesel costs $200 per
Some oil companies are erecting notices notifying motorists of
the availability of fuel at their service stations.
An Exor service
station along the Harare-Chitungwiza Road has been advertising the
availability of fuel for some days now.
More fuel was expected to find
its way onto the market soon following the announcement by Comoil and Total
Zimbabwe that they had imported the commodity.
announced the arrival of two vessels, Jag Pragati and Mt World Springs
carrying a consignment of 20,1 million litres of fuel, 16 million litres of
diesel and 4,1 million litres of petrol.
The petroleum products bought
from the Independent Petroleum Group of Kuwait were destined for Feruka and
Msasa storage depots in Mutare and Harare.
"The fuel is part of a huge
consignment of diesel and petrol ordered from the Independent Petroleum Group
of Kuwait and financed by a local financial institution," said Comoil general
manager Mrs Judith Makanza in a statement.
She said the import of fuel
was the beginning of planned procurement of both diesel and petrol for the
local market in response to the Government call for private oil companies to
import the commodity.
The fuel was now ready for sale by Comoil and those
interested could access it from the Noczim depots.
"The fact that
Noczim has facilitated the use of its infrastructure is testimony that the
challenges facing the country at the moment require the input of all
stakeholders to ensure meaningful results," said Mrs Makanza.
the fuel was for bulk buyers.
Total Zimbabwe managing director Mr Simon
Mittleman said the company was finalising details of the import of
"It’s correct to say we are making efforts to import fuel," he said
in an interview.
"But my problem is that if at this stage we talk of
what we have put in place it might jeopardise our arrangements."
Mittleman said he would be able to discuss about the quantities and where the
fuel would be sold by Friday.
But sources in the company confirmed it
imported substantial quantities of fuel from South Africa that would be sold
at its service station along Samora Machel Avenue.
Zimbabwe has been
facing fuel shortages largely attributed to the shortage of foreign currency
The shortages eased after the Government and Libya signed an
agreement under which Tripoli supplied 70 percent of the country’s fuel
The deal had some problems but was renewed in June.
Is Mugabe so different from Taylor? August 14,
By Max du Preez
When will the day come that
President Robert Mugabe uses the words former Liberian president Charles
Taylor uttered in his farewell speech on Monday: "I'm out of
As much as the bloodshed in Monrovia in recent times was
reason for Africa to be ashamed, Taylor's handing over of power and leaving
Liberia was reason to be proud.
This should be how Africa
handles its problems: the bad leader, flanked by three senior African
presidents, resigning and being whisked away.
One could see the
satisfaction in the body language of South African President Thabo Mbeki and
his Ghanaian and Mozambican counterparts, John Kufuor and Joaquim
It was good that the American troops did not have to
leave their ships lying off shore. Nigerian troops arrived to start enforcing
The United States does have an obligation to
Liberia, which was founded by freed American slaves. But Liberia is a part of
our continent and we should be sorting out our own problems.
should also know that we cannot keep on accusing the US of being the world's
ugliest bully, and criticise it for interfering in the problems of other
nations, and then pressurise the US to come and interfere in an African
I was proud when I heard Mbeki announce in
Monrovia that South African troops would also be sent as peacekeepers. It
will probably stretch our budgets and the SANDF's capacities, but it is a
sacrifice I believe we should proudly make.
It is not only good
for African pride, it is also good for Africa's image, that helping herself
is now becoming the norm.
Besides, long before it became
fashionable to help the South African liberation movement, Liberia was
already assisting us - they even welcomed Nelson Mandela there before he went
to Robben Island.
The developments in Liberia follow on the
dramatic diplomatic successes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, also an
President Mbeki should get a lot of the credit
for this turnaround on the continent.
It was his near obsession
with the restoration of Africa's dignity and his constant campaigning for the
African Renaissance that has lit the fire under other African
And in Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo he has a
good leading partner.
I hope the African Union's successes in
Liberia and the DRC will give courage to the leaders of the different nations
on our continent, to achieve the same in other conflict situations.
Especially now that the AU itself has publicly thrown out the old excuse of
not being allowed to interfere in the internal affairs of a
African leaders should now turn their attention to the
civil war in Sudan; the bloody conflict in Uganda; and the brewing crisis in
Swaziland, where the upstart young king is behaving as if we're still living
in the 18th century.
But first of all there can be no excuse any
longer to postpone a solution in Zimbabwe.
What is really the
difference between Taylor and Mugabe, both elected presidents? Could it be
that people were shooting each other in Liberia, and in Zimbabwe they haven't
started doing that yet?
Like Taylor, Mugabe is clearly the source
of conflict and misery in his country.
Like Taylor, he would
probably not walk out of any international war crimes tribunal a free
Liberia's instability has been a fact of life for a long time.
The country was ruined long ago and the rebuilding, if indeed it is now going
to have peace, will take generations. In short, it's always been a bit of
a basket case.
Not so Zimbabwe. The people are well educated,
there's a proper infrastructure. Until six years ago, it had a sound and
growing economy and massive potential as a tourism destination.
It used to be a model state in Africa: a country that fed itself and exported
food, a state with a respected judiciary and civil administration.
The longer we wait to stop the further deterioration of Zimbabwe, the more
the fabric of that society will be fundamentally damaged. Rumours have it
that Mugabe plans to leave in December, but that's five months
Imagine having waited five more months to boot out Taylor.
And of course, we don't know for sure whether Mugabe will indeed leave in
five months' time.
Mbeki should now tell us why he was prepared
to be a part of the unceremonious ousting of an elected president of a
sovereign country, but when it comes to Mugabe, he says it is up to the
people of Zimbabwe and we can't interfere.
He and his African
colleagues did not spend months and years trying to persuade the government
and opposition of Liberia to talk and find a solution, why is he doing that
If the only answer to that is that there was a war in
Liberia, then would Mbeki do the same to Mugabe as he did to Taylor if the
Zimbabwean anti-government activists actually took up arms?
Zimbabwean civic organisations draft
declaration August 14, 2003, 07:30
society in Zimbabwe is optimistic that the Zanu-PF government and opposition
Movement for Democratic Change will formally enter political negotiations
before the end of the year. About 40 civic organisations compiled a list of
demands and recommendations to solve the political crisis in
This follows a three-day symposium on civil
society, human rights and justice in Johannesburg.
Musarurwa, a delegate, says the Zimbabwean government is expected to create
the right climate for political negotiation. Musarurwa says the government
must tackle the economic and humanitarian issues in the country, look at
repressive and unjust legislation and it must reform electoral
The civic groupings have called on the United Nations
to send a special rapporteur to Zimbabwe to assess the human rights
BULAWAYO - While the Zimbabwe government says it has successfully
completed its controversial fast-track land reforms, white-owned farms
continue to be listed regularly for compulsory acquisition.
the latest list of 152 properties which the government intends to acquire
was published in the state media.
The new list came out after it was
revealed at an annual congress of a small group of embattled white farmers
still remaining in the country - that agricultural production levels have
fallen by over 50% in Zimbabwe over the last few years.
government embarked on its fast-track land reform exercise three years ago,
taking land from whites and giving it to landless blacks as a way of
correcting colonial imbalances which left 4,500 white farmers owning some
some 70% of the country's best farmland.
To date, government says it has
resettled 210,000 peasant farmers and 14,880 commercial farmers on 11 million
hectares (26 million acres) of formerly white-owned land.
of white farmers has been partly blamed by aid agencies and critics for
Zimbabwe's worst famine in living memory which left about two thirds of the
11,6 million people facing severe food shortages.
The government blamed
the food shortages on the drought which hit the region last year.
year, while other countries in the region have harvested enough food
to export some of it, at least half of the Zimbabwe population still
need humanitarian assistance to stave off hunger this year.
the government launched an international appeal for more than 700,000 tonnes
of food aid.
Among the farms listed for seizure this week were six
properties belonging to one of the wealthiest and most powerful business
empires in Africa, the Oppeinheimer family.
The Oppeinheimer family
controls two of Africa's richest companies, the Anglo American Corporation
and De Beers, the continent's diamond mining giant.
In Zimbabwe they
are believed to have owned the largest tracts of land by a single family or
Two years ago in 2001, the government forcibly acquired over
35,000 hectares of land from the Oppeinheimer-owned Debshan
Officials said the Oppeinheimer family owned land in Zimbabwe that
is almost the size of Belgium.
The family has disputed the allegations
arguing that its owns only 137,314 hectares of land in Zimbabwe, when
Belgium's total area is 3,051 900 hectares.
The latest listing of the
Oppeinheimer farms comes after President Mugabe announced that his government
had completed the land reform in the country in August last year.
far the government has acquired more than three-quarters of the farms owned
by the 4 500 white commercial farmers. White farming officials say fewer than
300 white commercial farmers remain on their farms.
Some of the farmers
have relocated to neighbouring countries while others have emigrated
Many of the white farmers have taken legal action against the
government but still await judgement on their cases.
Zimbabwean farmers say war veterans and hunters from South Africa and
Botswana are stripping game farms of their wildlife. And even when Zimbabwean
authorities arrest alleged perpetrators, political intervention allows them
to walk free.
The farmers now say they have had enough and will fight
back on their own to protect the remaining wild animals.
In May the
Mail & Guardian reported that South African hunters and safari operators
were exploiting the chaos in Zimbabwe. But Ben Zietsman, chief executive of
the Matabeleland branch of the Commercial Farmers Union’s (CFU), has told the
M&G the carnage is continuing.
Farmers say that local authorities are
writing out hunting permits for animals they do not own to turn a fast buck.
“Settlers and local district councils have claimed the wildlife on listed
properties [listed for expropriation in Zimabwe’s land resettlement
programme] for themselves and are selling it off to the first unscrupulous
buyer that comes along,” Zietsman says.
“Numerous South African
hunters have been fingered [by the CFU and the Zimbabwean police] in the past
few months for taking advantage of the confusion over land and wildlife
ownership, and for contributing to the uncontrolled depletion of the wildlife
resources on listed properties in Zimbabwe.”
Evicted farmers in the
area are livid about the annihilation of wildlife herds they have built up
over many years. Many of these farmers have lost their land to supposed war
veterans, but still hope that they may eventually reclaim their farms. But
they are asking what will be left, Zietsman says.
Pete van der Bergh,
owner of the Musuma ranch near Buluwayo, has been grappling with an alleged
illegal commercial hunter from Botswana. And Johnny Rodrigues, president of
the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), a conservation action group,
says investigations by Van der Bergh and other farmers in the area have
identified the hunter — whose name is known to the M&G.
bastards have virtually killed all my game and have destroyed my conservancy
in 90 days,” Van der Bergh says. “They have killed everything that walks,
crawls or flies.”
He says the alleged illegal hunters have killed about
16 buffalo, 150 sable, 100 eland, 100 wildebeest and 30 zebra on his farm.
Van der Bergh says they even killed the crocodiles in the river.
do not get help I will be confronting the hunters anyway. I am alone. I will
be armed and I have a feeling that there will be a shootout ... Maybe this
will stop these bastards. I will take matters into my own hands.”
the illegal hunters are caught, political connections ensure that they are
not held for long, Zietsman says.
Eight South African hunters recently
returned to South Africa after alleged illegal hunting activities. They were
arrested last month, but charges were dropped after they produced hunting
permits from the local authorities.
Farmers in the area suspect that in
June the South African hunters shot a rhinoceros in the Bubiana conservancy
in southern Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean police are still pursuing the South
Africans’ alleged involvement.
Zietsman says the hunt took place under
the authority of the local rural district council, which is mainly run by the
new settlers. The men were only released after a senior Zimbabwean
politician, who recently acquired a farm in the same district, intervened, he
says. “He applied pressure on the investigating police officers to release
the men and drop the charges laid.”
Johan Brummer, one of the detained
group, denied that they had engaged in illegal hunting. “We had perfectly
lawful permits,” he told the media shortly after returning to South Africa.
“We did not do anything illegal.”
He said the group was released after
the police confirmed their permits were legitimate. “They also confirmed that
no quotas were exceeded.”