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

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R, G and I have just had a terrifying ordeal which I report as follows :
At about 9am on the morning of Friday 16th August 2002, we were all at work at Chipinge Diesel, when a mob of some 150-200 Zanu PF, war veterans and land settlers held us hostage in the building for some three hours.
They were very aggressive, chantings " chimurenga" slogans and making it clear that they were after us.
We locked ourselves into the office complex, but not before both G and I had received blows from sticks and fists.
This mob also "attacked" the Magistrates Court situated not far from our offices, and also a black lawyer who has offices just behind our buildings.
I contacted the police on five different occasions, using both the "hotline" and the Member in Charge's number. There was little if any interest in our plight and we received absolutely no assistance from the police. In fact throughout most of the 5 hour ordeal we had uniformed members of the police observing what was going on.
By 12 pm it had become obvious that we were not going to be assited by anyone.
We set about arming ourselves. We had a fire extinguisher, 5 litres of petrol, two torque wrenches, a pop riveter, and a paper knife.
The five of us had made the decision to make a last stand in the Ladies Loo, where there was only one door to defend. We had measured and planned to wedge a small cupboard to bolster the door lock.
Believe me, we thought it was our last few minutes.
We also contacted the Chairman and the security liason officer of the Farmer Association, who made personal represenattion to the Member in Charge, and contacted police at provincial level, all to no avail.
A member of my workshop staff was sent to advise me to come to a window so that the leader of the mob could talk to me.
I agreed to this, because at this time they were hacksawing at the padlocks on the front door, had iron bars and were obviously coming in, if we did not go out.
I was told that " your business is closed and now belongs to the people". They demanded the keys. A 20 minute negotiation followed and we finally agreed that :
the leaders would bring the hysterical mob under control
move them back away from the building
allow us to leave under escourt
we would hand-over the keys to the business to the Member in Charge.
Seconds before we unlocked the door, I cell phoned M , told her what we were doing and said good-bye not knowing whether we would ever see each other again.
At this stage, I realized that we were entirely in the hands of the "mob" ! Terrifying believe me !
Needless to say, the minute we steppedthrough the front door we were seized and bundled into a pick-up truck.
I was told to drive. Still believing that we were going to the police station we left the premises. I was told to drive slowly. The mob ran alongside and behind and we were "paraded" through town. With us were two female employees. A black lady of mature years, Gl , and a 19 year old white girl (D ). During this stage of the ordeal G bore the brunt of the physical attack. He was sitting in the back of the pick-up but they had him by his hair and were shaking him around lifting him off his backside, and slapping him.
We were not allowed to go to the police station, but were diverted to the Govt. office complex.
( At this stage it is necessary for you to know that threeDDF owned tractors stationed in the district to plough for the resettled farmers had mysteriously caught fire and were gutted some three weeks earlier. Arrests had been made but with no evidence the two "suspects" were released on bail by the magistrate. One of the suspects is employed at Chipinge Diesel and is an outspoken and actice supporter of the opposition MDC party. They were represented in court by the black lawyer mentioned earlier.)
At the Govt complex we were removed from the vehicle and told to " drive the tractors and plough for the people". So R G and I had to get onto the burnt out tractors and wre forced to go through the actions of ploughing / driving for some 15 mins. The minute you stopped pushing the clutch or attempting to change gear or move the s/wheel you received a cuff arounf the head. R was even told to put her tractor into 4 wheel drive.
Once we finished the ploughing ordeal we were put back into the back of the pick-up truck. G and I were told to remove our glasses, and our shoes. So called "guards" were stationed around the vehicle for our protection, but all just a show. This is when the beating started. The mob danced and chanted round and round the vehicle and the blows came at random. R was knocked unconcious by a vicious blow to the side of the head. This was followed by a hand up the dress to the private parts proding. pulling and pinching , trying to get her to react, so that they could further beat her. Fortunately she did not react and they lost interest in an unconcious body.
G was trying to use his body to shelter the young girl (Do ) from a beating. At this stage she had not been hit, but had been grabbed by the hair, and pushed around by a group of youths who were shouting " we are going to fuck you today ".After a few thumps to the head, they also lost interest in the black lady on the car. The activities then centered on G and I.
It is amazing how after a while you "hear" rather than "feel" the blows. At one stage I had attracted the attention of three gentleman. The first was a boxer and I was the punch bag, the second was an farmer and was demanding thatI supply them with 5 tractors and the third was demanding a cheque for 50 million dollars right there and then. Whilst I tried best to survive these three a fourth enthusiast set his teeth into my shoulder and proceeded to bite away like a dog at a bone. Slightly to the front of me sat G receiving backhander after backhander to the face. My fear was that G would react so I kept a tight grip on his leg muutering
" do not react. do not react "
and then suddenly the magic word " Order ! "
and it was all over. The leaders had arrived in the form of the D.A. and the Chairmen of the War Vets and Zanu PF.
There followed a meeting some yards away from the vehicle. The three leaders stood in an elevated position on a flight of steps. After 40-60 minutes of speeches " down with whites" "down with MDC" "down with etc etc etc
I wassummonsed.
As I walked , escourted by two guards, to the postion indicated to me, on the steps in front of the three leaders, I prepared mentally for execution or a terrible beating. That did not happen. I was charged with the act of burning the tractors, or training the persons who burnt the tractors, of suppling the fuel to burn the tractors and making bombs in our workshops.
I was given an opportunity to defend myself. Denying the charges had no effect and I was found guilty of not accepting the hand of reconcilliation. The judgement of the "people" was that the P. family was to be stripped of the farm and the business which was forfeited to the "people" and we were given 48 hours to take what we could and leave the district.
I was told explicitly that if these instructions were not followed that we would be killed.
We were then allowed to leave.
The first port of call was the clinic where we all had medical examinations. R has a perforated ear drum, a black eye, double vision in the eye and many bruises. The doctors examination did not find broken skin from the probing hand. G has a black eye, a very bruised and swollen face, and a nose as close to broken as you can get. I have a painful neck and bruising and swelling on both sides of the face, and like G , many other welts and bruises over the body.
We packed well into the night and left Chipinge at 2pm on Saturday afternoon.
The magistrate was severely beaten and had to be hospitalized. He has fled from the district.
The lawyer ? Long gone !
On the farm all the workers have been chased off threatened with their lives if they return.
2 days later .
So, having had time to take a deep breath and recover a little from what was a terrifying experience where do we find ourselves.?
We are in Harare. Our black staff at both Chipinge Diesel and the farm have made contact. On the farm these guys are living in the bush, feeding 128 breeding ostriches and collecting eggs in the early hours of the morning and disappearing before the hoods arrive. The farm is being pegged by the hoods, and I have little doubt that the rabble will move on.
Chipinge Diesel is closed with considerable chaos resulting, but again our staff in contact and totally on sides.
Much support from the white community, and equally so from the black community. I spoke with the Electricty Supply depot manager today to get the power turned off at the garage.( we are concerned of them pumping fuel and setting light to the premises) He told me that the black community was ashamed of what had happened, and pleaded that we should not run away, but return.
In Africa, overwhelmed by the odds stacked against you, one learns to somehow ignore constitutional rights, not depend on legal rights and wrongs, and NEGOTIATE. ( Sad ? Yes very sad )
I am in contact with a senior man at provincial level. He has encouraged us to consider what happened last Friday as a peacefull demonstaration which went horribly wrong. I sense much embarrasment but also thatno-one will admit any wrong.
So we walk delicate tight rope. On his advice we decided to give Chipinge a miss until next week when we hope the dust will have settled. I will then return, and seek an audience with the three authorities who "booted" us from the district , and with support from province be allowed to return and get on with life as " normally" as possible.
Going somewhere ? Yes, very much in our thoughts. At last we are highly motivated ! We have four hurdles left !
Where ? When ? With what ? To What ?
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Daily News

The death of a dream: a white farmer's story

8/21/02 8:43:37 AM (GMT +2)


I sit in a storage shed in Harare, surrounded by the chaotic elements
of our life and home and our piles of possessions, and try to reflect on the
past few days. On Thursday, 8 August 2002, we evacuated our farm - Dahwye -
in Mvurwi, abandoning the home in which three generations of our family had
lived for almost half a century.

I sit in a storage shed in Harare, surrounded by the chaotic elements
of our life and home and our piles of possessions, and try to reflect on the
past few days. On Thursday, 8 August 2002, we evacuated our farm - Dahwye -
in Mvurwi, abandoning the home in which three generations of our family had
lived for almost half a century.

After two years of mayhem, we could not go on. The
government-sponsored land invasions had begun in March 2000, shortly before
our 14-month-old son, Oscar, died from cancer. We were unable to spend his
last days on the farm because of the trouble. He died in an apartment in
Harare surrounded by refugee farmers from Macheke, 75km to the east of the
capital, where in April that year David Stevens, a supporter of the main
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was the first white farmer
to be killed.

Since that time we have lived through the unparalleled destruction of
a country and economy, under the corrupt and dictatorial rule of President
Mugabe and his Zanu PF party. Our farm has been a microcosm of the
battlefield.

My mother and father came north from South Africa in the 1950s. They
worked as managers on various farms and borrowed money to purchase Dahwye in
1957. They nearly went broke, and for a time my father lived in a tent made
from fertiliser bags while he opened up a tobacco farm in virgin bush. It
was in an area described on the map as Terra Incognita, but he made enough
money there to pay off the loan. We returned to Dahwye in the mid-1960s. I
was born in 1963.

Over the next 40 years, my parents developed Dahwye and later an
adjoining property, Braidjule Farm, into fully irrigable units farming
tobacco, maize, wheat and cattle. A game-farming operation on the marginal
parts of the farm resulted in massive herds of wildebeest, zebra, impala,
eland and tsessebe. Excess animals were sold to expand the wildlife business
countrywide. My father conducted more than three decades of pasture research
work and perfected legume/grass pastures in the harsh wetlands, increasing
carrying capacities twentyfold. For him, the farm was not his own, it was a
heritage for us, and our children. Every cent was reinvested in dams,
irrigation and development.

In 1999, Sara and I decided to build our home in the rocks of the
Dahwye Game Park, not far from where we were married. The old farm cottage
we had lived in was falling apart and we decided to try to
develop the wildlife and tourism potential of this piece of the farm
by building a guest lodge and launching a safari operation. It was not to
be. Soon after our magnificent home was complete, Oscar's long illness
disrupted our plans. The land invasions put an end to them.Our last day on
the farm was a nightmare of chaos. We still had tons of household goods and
machinery to move. Early in the day a mob of Zanu PF youth and settlers
illegally broke through the homestead fence to erect a flag near the lorry
we were packing up. The police were called in and the mob was dispersed as
far as the gates of the security fence, where the police officer advised
that they should watch us in case we tried to steal anything. (Once a farmer
has received a Section 8 - a final notice to stop farming - he may not
remove certain assets from the farm). There they lit fires and hacked the
word "Zimbabwe" into an old msasa tree standing at the gate. The waiting
Press people were made unwelcome by the police.
During our last drive around Dahwye, my father said it looked as empty
of wildlife as when he had first seen it. As we stopped to open a gate, I
collected a bag of soil to take to Cape Town. As my father watched me, tears
rolled down his face.

Finally, we paid off the staff and, at my father's request, bowed our
heads in a prayer of thanks for the long years we had lived and worked
together. We had left the workers some cattle and hardware to assist them in
their new lives. My mother sobbed and tears burned in my eyes as we said
goodbye to these people we had worked with for so long, and left them to
their fate. Mum locked the house for the last time. At last, our final
convoy of four vehicles left the rubbish-strewn thatched house that had been
a family home for 46 years. We drove towards the gate. The mob locked the
gate as we approached. Sensing a bad situation my father, in the lead
vehicle, did not hesitate; he revved the engine and smashed through the
gate.

And so we left Dahwye, without looking back, our beloved farm empty
now of cattle, game and equipment, in parts burned out and already derelict.
Alive only with the sound of axes and dogs. Irrigable land lies fallow, the
dams stand full of water and soon the spectre of hunger will stalk the empty
fields, as settlers dig for mice beneath the weeds. The night we left the
main pump for the housing area was stolen, and the mob broke into my studio
and office and my parents' home, which I hear is to become a beerhall. The
Dahwye we have known and loved is dead. Many impressions come to mind as I
try to recall the events of the past two-and-a-half years. First, I recall
my son Oscar's memorial service, held at the same rock altar in the game
park where Sara and I were married and where our children were christened.
It is a naturally sacred place. As the service began two fish eagles
appeared overhead, circling and ululating their haunting cry,
witnessed by the 250 people gathered below.

By April this year, resettlement pressure on Dahwye was growing. Zanu
PF youth who could not be paid for their work during the presidential
election were allocated our farm instead. The youth base commander began to
build his hut at the rock altar. Our workers were appalled at an act so
sacrilegious to traditional culture that they appealed to him to stop. But
this was clearly a psychological strategy designed to cause us maximum pain.
For the next three months Sara and the children would have to go, daily,
past this obscenity on their way to school. Huts multiplied across the game
park.

We watched our game in despair, wandering amid the chaotic
resettlements, surrounded by dogs, people, huts and fires. Pillars of light
rose into the night sky from the fires started by the settlers. Entire
segments of the country were consumed in an orgy of burning.
By a small miracle we obtained a game capture permit from the
authorities. In a dramatic operation, over five weeks, we captured, saved
and sold about 180 tsessebe, 75 zebra, 60 wildebeest, three eland, 85 impala
and 12 ostriches. We had already lost animals to poaching and I am convinced
that many of the settlers in our game park came with meat in mind.

Our children attended Barwick Primary School, not far from our farm.
Teachers there have described the deep trauma that they have observed in
farmers' children who, over the past two years, have been silent victims of
the baying mobs and the daily humiliations their families have endured on
the farms. The ever-present anxiety they observe in their parents is
silently taken on board. I have often seen our own children trying to work
out ways to protect us from the daily dramas. During the weekends and
holidays, security briefings on the farm radios do not allay their fears.
When things have been bad children have expressed fear at returning to
boarding school as they have had to leave their parents alone on the farms.

There have been times during this ordeal that have been worse than
others. When farms were being burned and looted in the nearby districts of
Chinhoyi, Mhangura, Doma and Hwedza, we waited, expecting the worst. Some
members of our family were trapped in their home, unable to escape as their
neighbours were being ransacked. Packed suitcases and food
rations stood in the hallway at all times, in preparation for a
hurried exit. The house was emptied long ago of sentimental objects and
photographs. As a community we tried to plan for worst-case scenarios - for
example, if violence had erupted after the presidential election. Community
plans for the evacuation of schools were, and still are, realities that
those in farming areas face on their own.

From the ashes of this situation we have managed to save one thing.
Before Oscar died, we planted a little Christmas tree that we had bought for
him in Cape Town during his hospitalisation. The day before we left the
farm, we dug up the tree and replanted it beside the children's ward of St
Anne's Hospital, Harare, where the nuns (who remember Oscar from his stay
there) have decided that it will be decorated each Christmas, and that from
now on it will be called Oscar's Tree.

It is hard to describe the courage I have witnessed in my own family.
My dad and mum, 73 and 64 respectively, humorous even amid the destruction
of all they have loved and worked for, battling to finish the job of packing
up their home and farm. Sara, my wife, determined even under these adverse
circumstances to raise money for the Red Cross Children's Hospital, which
looked after Oscar. She trained for the London Marathon on farm roads
throughout the mayhem, ran the marathon and raised 7 000 (Z$560 000) for
the hospital. My daughter Megan, who is 11 years old, a rock for all of us,
always smiling and unfazed. My five-year-old son Ben, who cried often for
the loss of his beloved farm, decided that we should make crosses and
scatter them around the farm and throughout our house to protect it in our
absence. Madeleine, who is six months old, is one of the few people in
Zimbabwe, oblivious to its woes, who has smiled through it all.

The unreported daily acts of courage and integrity by farmers in this
impossible time must be mentioned. Their lonely vigils against the forces of
intimidation have been humbling to observe. One day, I hope it will be
recognised and saluted. Even now, impossible labour laws and propaganda have
in some situations turned the labourers against them. Farmers are barricaded
into their homes by labourers demanding pay and gratuities few can afford.
In the past two years, I have seen young men take on the visage of
battle-weary soldiers, with lined faces and grey hair, as they strive to
protect family, friends and farm workers who were defenceless but for their
initiative. I have seen their desperation as the authorities and so-called
new landlords have prevented them from moving their own equipment, livestock
and household goods from their farms, which have been seized. I was told,
categorically, by a war veteran leader in front of a mob of 200 people, that
we would not move one thing off our farm. Fortunately, he failed.
Now that we are in Harare, and off the farm, there is time to try to
analyse what we have been through.

We are sharing a house with another displaced family, the Mitchells
from Beitbridge in the far south of the country. Billy's father collapsed
and died from a heart attack soon after they received government papers of
acquisition this year.One thing I have learnt, as we try to make sense of
these terrible events, is that it is impossible to judge any farmer or
farming community by the course of action they have followed. Each farm and
farmer has faced a unique circumstance. All have fought lonely battles
against overwhelming odds, outgunned by the full force of State machinery.
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FinGaz

Farm evictions spell doom for cricket

By Darlington Majonga & Blessed Katiyo
8/22/02 8:26:10 PM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE'S chances of sub-hosting the 2003 cricket World Cup were this
week thrown into turmoil as police swooped on white farmers defying
President Robert Mugabe's orders to vacate their properties amid fears
national team skipper Heath Streak could opt out of the side following the
arrest of his father.Australia earlier this year cancelled a tour of
Zimbabwe over safety concerns.

It is feared the crackdown on white commercial farmers may have a
ripple effect on the national cricket team, whose success hinges on the
experience of Streak and other white players who are either active farmers
or children of farmers.

The often-violent land seizures have dented further Zimbabwe's chances
of hosting some of the World Cup matches in Harare and Bulawayo, the two
cities scheduled to host matches involving Australia, Pakistan, England and
India during the tournament that kicks off in February.

Uncertainty over the country's sub-hosting of the tournament has been
mounting, with reports in the British media suggesting that cricket
officials have taken "contingency plans" to shift all the matches to the
main host South Africa.

The cricket fraternity was yesterday left in suspense, unsure how
national team skipper Streak would react to the arrest of his father for
resisting to move out of his farm in Matabeleland North. Michael Huckle,
another former cricketer and father to former Zimbabwe top bowler Adam
Huckle, was also arrested at his farm in the Matabeleland North province.

Some sources privy to the goings-on at the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
(ZCU) feared Streak could opt out of the national team's trip to Sri Lanka,
but worse still they were worried the captain's performance at the
International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy next month could be
affected even if he travelled.

ZCU communications manager Lovemore Banda could not shed any light on
Streak's reaction, but only revealed the captain had had a private chat with
Vince Hogg, the managing director of the cricket body.

"He only talked to Hogg and you can contact him for any queries," is
all Banda could say on the issue.

However Hogg, who was reportedly locked in a meeting the whole of
yesterday afternoon, could not be reached for comment by the time of going
to print.

Denis Hilton Streak, the father of the recently appointed Zimbabwe
captain, this week spent some days in detention after he failed to vacate
his property in Matabeleland as per the government's Section 8 deadline that
passed last weekend.

"He (Denis) spent three days and three nights in prison but he has
been released on bail until he appears in court maybe next month," a close
relative who was at the Streaks' residence in Bulawayo confirmed to the
Financial Gazette yesterday.The whereabouts of the 53-year-old Denis, a
former top cricket player himself, could not be established yesterday.

"This is a serious issue. Obviously it is difficult for any player to
concentrate when his parents or relatives are being persecuted back home," a
cricket commentator who preferred anonymity said.

"The unfortunate developments may not only cause despondency in the
national team, but also dent Zimbabwe's chances of hosting some of the 2003
World Cup matches," he added.

Only last week former Zimbabwe captain and coach Dave Houghton also
warned of the impact of Mugabe's roundly criticised agrarian reforms on the
national team, saying the forced removal of farmers from private land could
have a negative impact on the side and cricket in general.

"It will get into cricket. At the moment, the side needs the likes of
the Flower brothers, the Streaks and the Whittalls to bolster the side.

"They're the boys with the experience but I can see it being quite
difficult for them to represent their country with heart and passion and
that makes a big difference," Houghton, now a television commentator in
England, was quoted as saying.

The arrests come a few days before the ICC's anti-corruption team jets
into the country to assist with preparations of the World Cup tournament.

Although the tournament's director, Ali Bacher of South Africa,
earlier this month visited Zimbabwe and expressed confidence that the
country was capable of hosting some of the matches, he also hinted that
contingency plans were in place should the situation in Zimbabwe
deteriorate.

Tickets for the tournament went on sale in South Africa in July and
those for the Zimbabwean matches will only go on sale in December, further
buttressing the belief that organisers have developed a wait-and-see
attitude.

If the tournament is eventually moved out of Zimbabwe, it will not be
the first time that political events have disrupted a World Cup. When India,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka hosted the tournament in 1996, Australia and the West
Indies refused to travel to Colombo, claiming the civil war in Sri Lanka
endangered their lives.

Zimbabwe also stands to lose billions of dollars the tournament is
expected to spin
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FinGaz

Mozambique welcomes evicted Zim farmers


8/22/02 8:11:15 PM (GMT +2)

MAPUTO - White landowners who had been evicted from their farms in
Zimbabwe were welcome to farm in neighbouring Mozambique, the government
said at the weekend.

"We have a law on investment," Mozambican Foreign Minister Leonardo
Simao told state television. "If someone wants to come here and invest, and
respects our investment laws, he is welcome. Be he or she white, black,
yellow, green - if it is possible - he is welcome."

Zimbabwe's government has ordered thousands of white farmers from
their land, saying it is to be distributed to landless blacks, and a number
have expressed interest in moving to neighbouring countries.

The farm seizures have plunged Zimbabwean into political and economic
chaos, and contributed to widespread food shortages.

Twelve Zimbabwean farmers had moved to central Mozambique over the
past 18 months, and were farming corn and tobacco, said Mozambican
Agriculture Minister Helder Muteia.

While some Mozambicans have expressed fear that a large influx of
Zimbabweans would create land shortages, the government believes they will
bring much needed foreign investment into the impoverished African country.

A project started last year aims at bringing about 400 Zimbabwean
farmers to Mozambique, and land has been set aside for them.

"There is no mass influx of Zimbabwean farmers in Mozambique. The
situation is under control," Muteia said.

Earlier this month Botswana, which lies east of Zimbabwe, told a
delegation of Zimbabwean farmers there was no land available for them to
farm, but they could form partnerships with local residents.

- Sapa-AP
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FinGaz

Food aid propping up Mugabe

Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
8/22/02 7:48:17 PM (GMT +2)

IN the past three years when Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis
deteriorated rapidly, there has been lot of advice coming from across the
world on the need to stem the rot before it slides into anarchy, which
unfortunately it has become.

Indeed many attempts have been made both on the domestic and
international fronts to try to knock some sense into President Robert
Mugabe's regime and right its wrongs. Unfortunately, all the well-meaning
advice has fallen on deaf ears.

Leaders of our neighbouring countries have also tried to give advice
within their limits but all this has not achieved any positive result.

When the government began to implement its fast-track land
resettlement scheme, it was warned from the outset that the exercise would
lead to famine unless it was conducted in a manner that sustains food
production.

Because of the political mileage which Mugabe's ZANU PF imagined to
gain from such an exercise, especially after it was clear that Mugabe faced
an election which he would lose, the implementation of the land reforms had
to be carried out at whatever cost.

As if the Gods were indeed angry, a devastating drought has also hit
us, a situation which further compounded the effects of the chaotic land
reform programme.

The effects of the drought and of the land reforms have become even
more serious because there is a dysfunctional government in Zimbabwe.

In all the efforts being made to save the situation, the international
community has all but blocked the important message of bad policies causing
the current problems.

By giving food to an irresponsible regime, the European Union, the
United States and Britain are helping Mugabe, now literally clutching at
straws, to stay a day longer in office. By giving food aid, they are
literally propping him up.

This is a regime that claims it does not need any help from
neo-colonialists and yet it is unable to feed its own people!

Mugabe's hypocrisy is borne out by the fact that, during daylight, he
calls European food aid donors names and yet, during the night, he goes
around with a begging bowl to the same donors.

A leader who cannot feed his own people should shut up in these
circumstances.

By giving food aid, the international community is prolonging the
suffering of Zimbabweans at the hands of this arrogant and repressive
regime.

It is better for Zimbabweans to suffer once and for all and rid
themselves of oppression than to be gradually made to suffer in phases by a
regime which is even surprised that it is still in power.

I do not care about the humanitarian aspect which is cited by the
international community in extending the food aid. The bottom line is that
this gesture is sustaining a regime which is not capable of planning to
ensure that its citizens are at least adequately fed, let alone properly
governed.

It is high time the international community left Mugabe and starving
Zimbabweans to their fate.

In fact, by coming with the so-called aid, aren't these Europeans
interfering in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe, as Mugabe would have us
believe when it suits him?

In any case, why hasn't Mugabe told them to back off in line with
Zimbabwe's all-encompassing but empty sovereignty?

Why are the Western countries falling over themselves to feed
Zimbabweans?

If Zimbabweans have to starve to death to appreciate the way they are
being misgoverned and for them to wake up to take corrective measures, so be
it.

It is not the duty of the Americans or the British or any other nation
to feed Zimbabweans. It is the duty of Mugabe and his government, and you
cannot call yourself a government if you cannot feed your people.

The cause of the current famine is not the drought but the result of
Mugabe's experiment with the very lives of people.

If the food aid donors had not intervened to save starving millions,
Zimbabweans would surely by now have taken corrective measures about
governance in this country.

As long as docile Zimbabwe can afford even at least one meal a day,
courtesy of the donors, they will tend to forget about their plight.

As long as the donors come with food aid to Zimbabwe in whatever
quantities, even on humanitarian grounds, the more they are prolonging the
suffering of many Zimbabweans by aiding a regime whose time is up.

The international community should end the food aid nonsense and let
hungry Zimbabweans confront their plight. Then the citizens can free
themselves from their oppression.
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FinGaz

1 000 single-farm owners face arrest

By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
8/22/02 10:34:31 PM (GMT +2)

MORE than 1 000 white Zimbabweans owning a single farm are among the 2
900 farmers ordered to quit their properties, contrary to assurances by the
government that only multiple farm owners are being evicted, the
Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) said this week.
At least 215 of the farmers had by Tuesday this week been arrested for
defying an order by the government to vacate their properties by August 10
to make way for blacks, most of them supporters of President Robert Mugabe.

"We have made 215 arrests as of this afternoon (Tuesday)," police
spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said.

CFU president Colin Cloete, one of the farmers arrested this week for
defying the order to vacate their farms, said more than 60 percent of those
so far affected by the eviction orders are single-farm owners and that the
government has reneged on its pledge to ensure no farmer is left without
land or a home.

"At least 1 000 single-farm owners are among those who will be
arrested for defying the orders and one also wonders where the government
would get the land on which they hope to resettle single-farm owners ordered
to leave their properties," Cloete said.

Mugabe and his Agriculture Minister Joseph Made have on separate
occasions assured groups of visiting foreign delegations that no farmer with
a single property will be affected by the current land reforms.

More than 2 900 of the 4 500 remaining white farmers were told to
vacate their properties by August 10 to make way for landless blacks but
more than two-thirds of the farmers have defied the order and are refusing
to leave.

The nationwide swoop on the farmers has further dented Zimbabwe's
image as an investment destination and damaged the country's commercial
agriculture at a time when more than 7.8 million Zimbabweans, or half
the population, are staring starvation.

The crackdown on farmers intensified this week as it emerged that the
newly resettled farmers, grouped under the Zimbabwe Farmers' Union (ZFU),
did not yet have inputs to prepare the land ahead of the 2002/03
agricultural season, which starts in October.

Agricultural experts say that at least 80 percent of those allocated
plots under the agrarian reforms are still to move onto their new pieces of
land.

Officials at the ZFU, whose members are the main beneficiaries of the
land reforms, were this week tight-lipped on whether their members allocated
plots had moved onto the land and been assisted with inputs for the coming
season.

The government has promised to provide the inputs in a deal costing
nearly $9 billion.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was this week the latest senior
government official to urge the new farmers to move onto their plots.

"Those who have been allocated land should move to the farms and
utilise it," Chinamasa told the state-controlled Herald newspaper.20

Meanwhile agricultural seed manufacturers this week said they had
approached the government with a request for a price increase.

"In view of increased costs of raw materials used to produce seed,
negotiations are currently taking place between the government and the seed
industry to review the prices of seeds," a spokesman for Seed Co, one of
Zimbabwe's largest agricultural input producers, said in response to
questions from the Financial Gazette.

He denied that Seed Co and other agricultural input suppliers were
withholding seed in an attempt to press the government for higher prices,
arguing that current shortages are partly due to tests presently being
carried out on seed stocks carried over from last year.

The tests are done to check if the seeds can still germinate.

He said Seed Co also buys seed from seed growers who traditionally
deliver the commodity between August and November.

"The main selling period is therefore September to about December," he
said.
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FinGaz

Forex crisis threatens Wankie Colliery

Staff Reporter
8/22/02 10:31:17 PM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE could be forced to spend an additional US$4.4 million ($242
million at the official exchange rate) to import power from neighbours this
year unless the government helps the sole coal producer to mobilise foreign
currency to buy equipment and spare parts, the Financial Gazette established
this week.

Coal producer Wankie Colliery Company (WCC) says the import bill for
the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) to the end of this year could balloon from
about US$447 383 to more than US$4.8 million if the government does not
assist WCC to get hard cash.

The ZPC is a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority
(ZESA) formed in 1999 to act as the investment arm ZESA, the national power
utility. It is in charge of ZESA's power generation plants such the
coal-fired Hwange Power Station.

Insiders say the WCC, which feeds Hwange Power Station with coal,
urgently requires US$5.3 million to purchase new machinery to improve
production at its opencast mine and return to full capacity.

Monthly coal deliveries to Hwange Power Station average 150 000
tonnes, just enough to last eight days if five power units there are running
and six days when all six units are up.20

"The quantity of coal at ZPC Hwange Power Station at the end of July
2002 (about 59 000 tonnes) is way below the expected monthly strategic level
of 250 000 tonnes," WCC says in a report submitted to the government earlier
this month.

It warns that coal stock reserves at the Hwange Power Station are
running out fast, adding: "In fact, the reserve at ZPC can only sustain the
power station for one week."

The WCC wants the government to assist it to get foreign currency to
import equipment from South Africa or the United States.

Noting that it appreciated the government's decision to retain all its
foreign currency earnings, the WCC says its export-earning capacity is being
hampered by the inability to operate at optimal levels.

The coal miner, which has shelved capital expenditure in the past 18
months due to the foreign currency crisis, also has pressing offshore loan
commitments that it needs to service from its export earnings.

"The obligations are such that augmentation of the foreign currency
earnings from other sources would no doubt normalise the productive capacity
of the opencast mine and hence the continued strategic supply of coal fuel
to industry in Zimbabwe," it says.

Officials at the colliery's head office in Hwange this week confirmed
the company had approached the government for assistance in mobilising the
hard cash.

"We have made presentations to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the
Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Mines and Energy on our plight, but
I am not aware of the outcome as of now," one official said.

The foreign currency shortage is expected to hit power generation by
ZESA, which receives 50 percent of WCC's coal through the Hwange Power
Station.

Others likely to be affected by Wankie's problems are the Zimbabwe
Iron and Steel Company, which already owes the coal miner more than $2
billion, plus farmers, sugar processors and Sable Chemicals.

Sable Chemicals is one of the largest consumers of electricity in the
country.

Zimbabwe already imports nearly 50 percent of its power from South
Africa, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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FinGaz

South Africa intervenes in Zimbabwe land grab crisis


8/22/02 10:35:45 PM (GMT +2)

CAPE TOWN - South Africa intervened on behalf of its citizens caught
up in Zimbabwe's controversial land grab yesterday.

But the move was not enough to silence critics of President Thabo
Mbeki who say his lack of action on the Zimbabwe crisis is a key factor
behind the rand's slide.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has ordered 2 900 white farmers to
hand over their land for redistribution to blacks, but most have ignored
the August 8 deadline.

Around 200 white farmers, including two South Africans, have been
arrested in the last week for defying eviction orders.

South African Foreign Ministry spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said the
country's High Commissioner in Harare, equivalent to an ambassador,
had been in touch with the Zimbabwe Foreign Ministry yesterday.

"The South African High Commissioner has made representations to the
Zimbabwe Foreign Ministry regarding six farms owned by South Africans
in Zimbabwe and earmarked for redistribution," he said.

Mamoepa declined to elaborate or say whether Pretoria was asking for
an exemption from the land reform drive.

"The mission remains in contact with the Zimbabwean authorities to
find an early resolution to this matter," he said.

Mbeki's critics said South Africa's mission in neighbouring Zimbabwe
had not done nearly enough to bolster confidence in the region.

"What is happening in Zimbabwe is having a big effect," one trader
said.

Tony Leon, leader of South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance,
said > Mbeki's response had been completely inadequate.

"Our lack of any cogent and coherent response is costing us badly in
terms of the rand and in terms of our regional credibility," he said.

"Our silence is a continuing failure on our behalf."

Officials could not confirm a statement by US assistant secretary of
state for African affairs Walter Kansteiner that South Africa was
cooperating in a programme to isolate Mugabe. "We are looking at that
statement," said Mamoepa.

Mugabe, in power since 1980, says he is seizing farms to reverse the
legacy of British colonial rule, which left about 70 percent of the
best land in the hands of a tiny white minority.

A senior government source said Pretoria believed the Zimbabwe crisis
was a domestic issue.

"The guiding principle is still that this problem should rest where it
belongs - with Britain. It is a British problem, a British history
that got Zimbabwe where it is today," he said.

However, he added that the government was becoming increasingly
frustrated with Mugabe and the effect his policies were having on
business confidence.

Stellenbosch Univeristy political scientist Willie Breytenbach said
the arrest of two South African farmers had given Mbeki a key chance to
send a strong signal to Mugabe.

"Should Thabo (Mbeki) have been looking for an excuse to change tack
or to get involved more directly, then, if he is clever, he will use this
opportunity," he said. - Reuter
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FinGaz

US courts Zim's neighbours to isolate Mugabe


8/22/02 10:35:01 PM (GMT +2)

WASHINGTON - The United States does not consider Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe a legitimate leader and is working with South Africa, Botswana
and Mozambique on ways to isolate him, a senior US official
said this week.

The United States and Zimbabwe's neighbors are also looking for ways
to help the internal opposition to Mugabe change the system, Walter
Kansteiner, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, told a
briefing.

After controversial presidential elections in Zimbabwe in March, US
President George W Bush said that Washington did not accept the results
because the voting was flawed.

For the last few months, while critical of Mugabe's policies toward
the opposition and white commercial farmers, the United States has not
pressed hard for a change of government in the southern African country.

But Kansteiner said: "We do not see President Mugabe as the
democratically legitimate leader of the country. The election was
fraudulent, and it was not free and it was not fair."

"So we're working with others, other countries in the region as well
as throughout the world, on how we can in fact together encourage the body
politic of Zimbabwe to go forward and correct that situation and start
providing an environment that would lead to a free and fair election,"
he added.

"We're continuing to work with the South Africans and the Botswanans
and the Mozambicans on what are some of the strategies that we can use to
isolate Mugabe in the sense that he has to realise that the political status
quo is not acceptable," Kansteiner said.

The official, who runs US policy toward Africa, said strategies could
include more travel and financial restrictions aimed at Zimbabwean leaders
but not trade sanctions, especially during a time of food shortages in
southern Africa.

The United States imposed some travel and financial restrictions
earlier this year and Kansteiner said dozens of Zimbabwean officials had
been denied US visas.

Kansteiner and a colleague, Agency for International Development
administrator Andrew Natsios, coupled their criticism of Mugabe with
criticism of the way his government has handled the food shortages, which
are expected to affect more than six million Zimbabweans later this year.

Natsios announced that the United States was contributing an extra 190
000 tonnes of food to southern Africa, bringing the US total for the year to
about 500 000. The United Nations says the region as a whole will need 1.2
million tonnes between June 2002 and March 2003.

He added: "Unless the commercial markets in Zimbabwe are freed of the
restrictions the Mugabe government is putting on them we will not be able to
respond adequately to the famine."

Mugabe has ordered white commercial farmers to abandon their land
without compensation, purportedly to make way for landless peasants. But
Mugabe's opponents say much of the land has gone to political favourites.

- Reuter
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FinGaz

GMB to mill genetically-modified maize

By Nqobile Nyathi Assistant Editor
8/22/02 10:30:32 PM (GMT +2)

THE Zimbabwe government and the United Nations' World Food Programme
(WFP) have reached an exchange agreement that will see the country's Grain
Marketing Board (GMB) milling a shipment of previously rejected biotech
maize, it was learnt yesterday.

Sources said the agreement, finalised last week, involved the WFP
delivering 17 000 tonnes of GMO maize to the GMB in exchange for an
equal amount of maize that the United Nations agency would distribute to
non-governmental organisations involved in the distribution of food aid in
Zimbabwe.

The GMB, the sole trader in grain because of the country's food
crisis, will then mill the GMO maize, which was donated to Zimbabwe by the
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and had initially
been rejected by the government.20

The government feared the possible planting of the GMO grain and the
subsequent contamination of future maize crops, which might be difficult to
export to countries with stringent policies on importing genetically
modified food.

"The GMB will mill the GMO maize and then distribute it," a source
told the Financial Gazette.

"The idea is to make sure that the GMO maize is milled because the
Zimbabwean government had said GMO maize could be imported but had to be
milled first."

There was no immediate comment from the GMB. WFP spokeswoman Makena
Walker said the agency would only be able to comment on the matter next
week.

However, sources said the exchange agreement would also get around
USAID's and the WFP's reluctance to release the donated GMO maize directly
to the government to mill.

The ruling ZANU PF has been accused of using food aid as a weapon
against its main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and
international agencies have preferred to distribute food through
non-governmental organisations.

USAID administrator Andrew Natsios said this week: "This is an
exchange of food - our maize for their maize. They mill it at their own
expense and distribute it through their mechanisms. We take the 17 000
tonnes of maize they give us and we distribute it through the NGO community
and the UN."

It was however not possible to ascertain this week if the memorandum
of understanding on GMO maize would extend to other exports of genetically
modified grain.

About half of Zimbabwe's 13 million population faces starvation
because of food shortages partly attributed to drought and to the
government's controversial land reform programme.

Walker said the WFP had received US$79.7 million of the US$229.4
million humanitarian assistance the UN had appealed for in July on behalf of
Zimbabwe.20

She said: "WFP has received contributions amounting to US$115 million
against the appeal for US$507 million (for southern Africa as a whole).
This is just 22.7 percent of the appeal sum.

"The Zimbabwe portion of the regional appeal was US$229.4 million. To
date, donations to Zimbabwe under the appeal stand at US$79.7 million, or 35
percent of the appeal figure. WFP is very grateful for the response to the
appeal, but calls for urgent donations in order to provide food to the 3.9
million hungry Zimbabweans that WFP is targeting by December this year."

The food crisis is expected to continue into next year because of the
eviction of commercial farmers who produce a large portion of Zimbabwe's
food crops, the inability of the settlers replacing them to finance their
crops and the possibility of another El Nino- induced drought.

MDC shadow minister for agriculture Renson Gasela told journalists
yesterday: "We understand that a ship is arriving in Beira in
September with about 20 000 tonnes of wheat. But there'll be nothing between
now and until the ship arrives.

"From the government's point of view, there is 55 000 hectares under
wheat, but the fact of the matter is that no more than 30 000 hectares is
under wheat. This will be sufficient to take us (from the harvest in
October) to November or December and from then on, there will be no wheat to
take us to October 2003."

He said the country was also likely to run out of soya beans used to
produce cooking oil at the end of August, while resettled farmers were
unlikely to grow enough maize to feed the nation.

"It will cost about $70 billion for the farmers to grow their own food
but the government has provided $8.5 billion," Gasela said.

"This will not even begin to cover the food of these people and I'm
not even talking about feeding the nation. We know that there is talk of an
El Nino, but even without an El Nino it's going to be impossible for farmers
to grow any maize."

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FinGaz

July Moyo guilty of contempt of court

Staff Reporter
8/22/02 10:29:47 PM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE'S High Court has convicted another government minister of
contempt of court after he refused to comply with an earlier order to
process an application by a local financial institution to retrench former
workers.

High Court judge Justice George Smith last week sentenced Labour
Minister July Moyo to a wholly-suspended three months' jail term and fined
him $50 000 for ignoring an order issued by Justice Yunus Omerjee on January
25 2002 after Beverley Building Society challenged the ministry's decision
to oppose an application to retrench some of its managers.

The order by Justice Omerjee compelled Moyo, who had by that time
withdrawn his opposition to the retrenchments, to urgently process the
application by the building society and to ensure that the outcome did not
disadvantage the affected workers.

A copy of the court order was served on the minister on February 4 and
he was supposed to make a decision within 14 days as required by Section Six
of Zimbabwe's retrenchment regulations.

He however ignored the order, resulting in the latest court action by
Beverley.

Justice Smith said Moyo's failure to comply with the court order
financially prejudiced Beverley, which continued to pay the 17
managers it had already retrenched and left the affected workers in a state
of uncertainty while their case remained unresolved.

"The respondent is declared to be in contempt of court," Justice Smith
said in the judgment handed down on August 15.

"The respondent is ordered to pay a fine of $50 000 and, in addition,
is committed to prison for three months which is suspended on condition that
the respondent complies with the order granted by Justice Omerjee on 24
January 2002 within 14 days of the date of this order."

But the Attorney General's Office, which represented Moyo in the case,
yesterday said it had received instructions to appeal against Justice
Smith's judgment.

"We have been instructed to appeal against the judgment and the papers
should be filed by the end of day today (Wednesday)," one official told the
Financial Gazette.

No comment was available from Moyo yesterday.

He becomes the second Zimbabwean government minister in a month to be
convicted of contempt of court.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was convicted by Justice Fergus
Blackie on July 17 and sentenced to three months' imprisonment after
trivialising a judgment by Justice Mahomed Adam in a case involving three
Americans accused of possessing illegal arms.

Chinamasa has challenged the sentence and High Court judge Charles
Hungwe yesterday confirmed an order by Justice Ben Hlatshwayo setting aside
the conviction.

Justice Hungwe ordered that a fresh trial be held after lawyers
representing Chinamasa argued that the minister was not given the
opportunity to defend himself.

"It is ordered that leave be and is hereby granted to the registrar of
this honourable court, in consultation with the applicant (Chinamasa) and/or
his legal practitioners, to set down the matter in the main citation for
contempt of court for a hearing on the merits," says part of the order
granted yesterday.

Another senior civil servant, George Charamba, the permanent secretary
of the Ministry of Information and Publicity in the President's Office, is
also facing charges of contempt of court. Judgment on the matter was
reserved at the end of last month.
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FinGaz

Anglo finalises Zambian mine pull-out


8/22/02 7:55:20 PM (GMT +2)

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG - Minerals giant Anglo American Plc said this week
it had reached final terms for quitting Zambia's Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)
and would pay US$30 million in cash to keep the operations running while new
management took over.

Anglo said in January it would invest no further cash in the Zambian
miner, casting a cloud over the country's copper production and the southern
African country's economy, which relies on the metal for the bulk of its
hard currency revenues.

Anglo said this week it would provide for a further US$34 million
against KCM, in addition to US$350 million already written down against the
poorly performing investment, which had been a drain on Anglo because of
poor global metal prices.

Anglo said in a statement that since January it had contributed US$82
million to keep KCM running while discussing its future with other
stakeholders.

In addition to US$30 million in cash, Anglo would give KCM US$26.5
million as a loan on favourable terms, in order to keep the mines operating.

"We expect the cash contribution of US$30 million and US$26.5 million
to be fully drawn this year. Presuming they will be fully drawn this year,
there will be no further obligations on Anglo of any nature," Anglo Base
Metals CEO Simon Thompson told a conference call to analysts and
journalists.

Transitional management arrangements had been agreed and Anglo would
continue to provide some services until the end of next March, to ensure a
smooth handover to the new management.

Anglo said it had agreed the restructuring with the Zambian government
and investors and financiers, including ZCCM Investment Holdings Plc, the
International Finance Corp, CDC Group Plc and Anglo's subsidiary Zambia
Copper Investments Ltd.

Under terms of the agreement, ZCI would own 58 percent and ZCCM 42
percent of KCM, which operates the Nchanga and Konkola copper and cobalt
mines and the Nampundwe pyrite mine. They account roughly for 67 percent of
Zambia's copper production.

Anglo said it would set up an independent company, the Copperbelt
Development Foundation, and transfer to it 41.4 percent of ZCI. Any income
to the new company will be used to invest in diversifying the economy of
Zambia's copperbelt from its reliance on the metal.

At the conclusion of the transactions, both KCM and ZCI will be
substantially debt-free, Anglo said.

Zambian Finance Minister Emmanuel Kasonde this week welcomed the final
agreement.

"I am happy to announce that after protracted and lengthy negotiations
we have finally signed an agreement with Anglo American which will put KCM
on a sound footing," Kasonde said.

"Six months ago the mines were threatened with closure following a
unilateral decision by Anglo to leave. But after strenuous negotiations,
(the) government has put in place a plan that will see KCM operate viably."
- Reuter
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FinGaz

Libya's Tamoil faces bankruptcy


8/22/02 10:27:20 PM (GMT +2)

LIBYAN state-run oil firm Tamoil faces bankruptcy over its dealings
with Zimbabwe, according to media reports.

In an interview with freelance South African journalist Jean Jacques
Cornish on SW Radio Africa, a station owned by Zimbabweans and beamed from
London, the Libyan firm has been forced to sell some of its assets and could
be forced to lay off workers.

Cornish, who has investigated the impact of Tripoli's fuel deal with
Zimbabwe and has written articles on the implications on Tamoil, told
SW Radio Africa that Gaddafi had allowed the Libyan firm to run to the
ground.

"He has run it or he has allowed it to make too generous a deal with
(President Robert) Mugabe and as a result they have had to sell bits of it
off, they've had to curtail other deals they were going to do and they are
going to have to lay off staff," said Cornish, who last week wrote a story
in South Africa's Business Day newspaper alleging that Tamoil was facing
cashflow problems.

He alleged in the article that Tamoil temporarily cut supplies to
Zimbabwe for 21 days in May after Harare failed to make the US$90
million quarterly payment.

"Unless Libya negotiates a US$500 million soft loan for Tamoil, more
of the company's US$2 billion in assets might have to come under the
hammer," he wrote in the Business Day.

However, Zimbabwean oil industry sources yesterday dismissed the
claims that the country was in default on the Libyan fuel deal.

Cornish also alleged that Tamoil was likely to pull out of a deal to
buy 40 percent of Egypt's Midor refinery and that some executives from
Tamoil, which has offices in Monaco, London, Milan and Geneva, had been
sacked for complaining and for providing information to the international
media.

They included former Tamoil chief executive Muhamed Abdul Jawad.
Mugabe, who has been banished from most of the international community
over allegations of promoting lawlessness in Zimbabwe, has offered the
Libyans stakes in some state-run firms and farms.

Cornish alleged that more than 1 500 Libyans had been given land on
farms acquired from white farmers by the government while more than 10 000
Zimbabwean passports have been issued to the North Africans so that they
could travel and get around sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe's leadership.

There was no immediate comment from the government on Cornish's
charges.
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FinGaz

Government admits eviction orders invalid

Staff Reporter
8/22/02 10:26:39 PM (GMT +2)

THE government, which is arresting white commercial farmers for
defying its Section 8 orders to vacate their properties by August 10, has
acknowledged that the orders are invalid.

This emerged in the High Court yesterday where about 58 farmers sought
the court's intervention to declare Section 8 orders null and void.20

It emerged that the civil division of the Attorney General's Office,
which is representing the government, had written to more than 30
commercial farmers challenging the validity of the orders saying the state
had no objection to the applications made by the farmers.

"The respondent (the state) doesn't oppose the relief sought by the
applicant (the farmer). The respondent reserves the right to argue on cost
of the application," says most of the government's responses to the farmers'
application challenging Section 8 orders.

Despite the government's admission that the orders were heavily flawed
and not served properly, it has directed police to descend heavily on the
farmers, arresting hundreds who have remained on their farms, including
those not served with the eviction orders.

State lawyers who have not lodged any opposition to the farmers' court
applications yesterday implored High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe to
postpone the matter for two weeks, saying there were some serious security
issues that needed to be addressed first.

State lawyer Nicholas Mutsonziwa of the Attorney General's Office said
although the state was not opposing the farmers' applications, there was
need to first ensure the security of the farmers and their property before
the court granted the farmers' applications.

Justice Hungwe, who was reluctant to postpone the matter saying since
most of the farmers concerned were in the Hurungwe area and therefore the
state could address its security concerns within a day or two, later decided
to postpone the matter for only a week.20

Jeremy Callow of Harare law firm Stumbles and Rowe and Lewis Uriri of
Honey and Blanckenberg are representing the majority of the farmers.

The court has in the past nullified dozens of Section 8 orders, but
the farmers were still arrested after defying the August 10 deadline.20

As of yesterday afternoon, 217 commercial farmers had been arrested,
with some still held at police stations while others had been released on $5
000 bail.
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FinGaz

Libya ups stake in Zimbabwean bank

Staff Reporter
8/22/02 10:26:09 PM (GMT +2)

THE Libyan Arab Foreign Bank (LAFB) is now the third largest
shareholder in the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ), according to the
Global Credit Rating Company, indicating growing influence of the Libyans in
Zimbabwe's economy.

The Libyans, who first took up a stake in the Zimbabwean commercial
bank in August last year, now control 12.4 percent of CBZ and are third only
to South Africa's ABSA Group Limited and the government of Zimbabwe.

ABSA is still the single largest shareholder, controlling 25.9 percent
of CBZ while the government owns 17.3 percent.

Other major shareholders are the National Social Security Authority,
First Mutual Life Assurance Society of Zimbabwe and Zimnat Investment
Corporation.

Individuals and other small investors own about 28 percent of
Zimbabwe's third largest commercial bank, which is also known as the jewel
Bank.

The Libyans have benefited from the disposal of the 15 percent stake
previously held by the International Finance Corporation, the private sector
arm of the World Bank.20

"During the period under review, International Finance Corporation
disposed of its stake in CBZ and 12.4 percent of the bank was
purchased by Libyan Arab Foreign Bank," says South African-based Global
Credit

Rating Company in a report released yesterday.

Government critics view the investment by the Libyans in the CBZ and
other firms in which the state has a stake as President Robert Mugabe's
reward to Tripoli for its role in easing Zimbabwe's fuel crisis.

The CBZ has in the past two years been in the forefront of efforts to
mobilise resources to deal with the country's fuel crisis, which began in
1999 after international financial lenders cut off balance of payments
support in protest against the government's policies.

The LAFB, the international arm of the Libyan central bank, came to
the rescue of Zimbabwe last year by offering the cash-strapped National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe a US$360 million loan for the purchase of fuel from
Tripoli.

In return, the Libyans were to get shareholding in key government
companies and a range of food products from Zimbabwe.

Commentators also allege that Mugabe has parted with farms seized from
white farmers and some of Zimbabwe's most valuable assets to ensure that
Tripoli continues to supply fuel to the troubled southern African country.
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FinGaz

Libyan spy spills the beans

By Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
8/22/02 10:13:46 PM (GMT +2)

LIBYAN spy Yousef Murgham, summarily deported from Zimbabwe last week,
has revealed startling details of Libya's growing economic and military
stranglehold on Zimbabwe, which is immersed in its worst crisis for
survival.

Murgham's details are revealed in a letter he wrote to President
Robert Mugabe before his abrupt deportation to Libya last Thursday amid
accusations he was engaged in activities which threatened Zimbabwe's
security and interests.

His letter is now part of court documents which his lawyer in Harare,
Jonathan Samkange, is using to legally challenge the spy's deportation,
which Murgham says was engineered by Zimbabwe's spy Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO).

Murgham wrote to Mugabe on April 16 this year explaining several roles
which he said he had played to foster solid ties between Zimbabwe and Libya
since he was posted to Harare as a diplomat in 1986.

At the time of his deportation, Murgham had resigned from working as a
diplomat of the Libyan Embassy in Harare, although he had forged strong ties
with senior officials of Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party.

It could not be ascertained this week whether Mugabe personally read
the contents of Murgham's letter but intelligence sources said the President
was fully briefed about the Libyan's deportation.

Murgham's letter to Mugabe was prompted by letters written by State
Security Minister Nicholas Goche and CIO director-general Elisha Muzonzini
to Mussa Kosa, a director of Libyan Security in Tripoli, detailing his
alleged misconduct and frosty relationship with Mahmoud Youseff Azzabi,
Libya's ambassador in Harare.

In the letter to Mugabe, Murgham says security authorities in Harare
had in actual fact made a request to have him recalled.

He points out that he handled a range of assignments for Zimbabwe's
government, including the first meeting involving Mugabe and ZANU PF's
publicity boss Nathan Shamuyarira and Kosa in Windhoek, Namibia, on March 21
in 1990 which resulted in US$100 000 being contributed by Libya to ZANU PF's
election campaign.

Murgham also points out to Mugabe that he coordinated the visit of
Shamuyarira to a conference in Tripoli, where Shamuyarira met Kosa and
another official, resulting in ZANU PF being given another US$4 million.

He states that US$1 million had been deposited into the account of
Jongwe Printers, which publish ZANU PF's propaganda material, helping the
party to weather a financial crisis it was facing at the time.

He states that he arranged for a Zimbabwean delegation to visit oil
companies and banks in Libya in 2000 to facilitate the supply of fuel to
Zimbabwe and initiate discussions on the export of beef to Libya.

The spy reminded Mugabe that he coordinated and accompanied Foreign
Minister Stan Mudenge, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and army commander
Constantine Chiwenga to Libya in 2000 where a deal was struck to supply
Zimbabwe with two MiG-23 fighter jets and other weapons and ammunition.

He said he coordinated a meeting held at Mugabe's Zimbabwe House
between the Presideny and Colonel Mustafa Habishe, a Libyan official, in the
presence of Chiwenga in July 2000 which resulted in support for Zimbabwe in
the following areas:

- agreement that the Libyan army invests in Zimbabwe;

- receiving a request of the Zimbabwe army to get weapons and
ammunition;
and

- arranging the training of pilots and technicians on the use of
MiG-23 fighters in Libya in liaison with Zimbabwe's Air Force head Perence
Shiri and his deputy Henry Muchena.20

Murgham says he played a crucial role in establishing a company on
behalf of the Libyan army in Zimbabwe to invest the money of the Libyan army
owed by Zimbabwe in the sectors of transport, real estate, farms and general
trading.

He says he arranged the visit of Libyan officials Rajab Sowan and
Mohamed Mussa, both from the Revolutionary Guard of Libya, for talks with
Mugabe in the presence of an official from the CIO, where an agreement was
reached to start the building of the Revolutionary Guard in Zimbabwe and
launch its investment in the country.

Murgham says he helped ZANU PF with the establishment of what he calls
the Gaddafi Sisters Foundation in Zimbabwe in conjuction with ZANU PF
politicians Shuvai Mahofa, Nyasha Chikwinya and Jocelyn Chiwenga, the wife
of the army commander, during a visit by ZANU PF's women league to Tripoli
in August 2001.

He says this led to the three women having a meeting with Mugabe and
Gadaffi during celebrations held in Libya at the time.

He states that in the field of coordination with the CIO, he monitored
activities of Lebanese, Islamic, Western, Libyan and opposition groups in
Zimbabwe.

He says the team involved in these activities involved CIO officers
Sydney Nyanungo, Godfrey Madzorera, Mernard Muzariri and a Libyan national
identified only as F Utah.

Murgham left Harare in a cloud after the government accused him of
working with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and British
intelligence and of seeking to unwind a key deal under which Libya is
supplying fuel to Zimbabwe.

Unconfirmed Zimbabwe media reports also say he was being punished by
Harare for turning his back on a plot to eliminate MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai ahead of the March presidential ballot, controversially won by
Mugabe.

The government has not commented on this charge.

It was not known this week when the Libyan's challenge to his
deportation would be heard in court.
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FinGaz

Commonwealth gears up to expel Zimbabwe

By Abel Mutsakani News Editor
8/22/02 10:23:47 PM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE could be expelled from the 54-nation Commonwealth and a trade
embargo slapped on the country on top of smart sanctions already imposed on
President Robert Mugabe and his chief backers, it was established this week.

The tough action was reported as tension rose dramatically between the
Commonwealth and Mugabe, who was reportedly refusing to even respond to
telephone calls from Commonwealth secretary-general Don McKinnon.

Mugabe is also said to have snubbed efforts by McKinnon, the
London-based Commonwealth secretariat as well as those of a three-member
special Commonwealth panel on Zimbabwe to resolve the country's deepening
crisis, triggered by Mugabe's land policies and a disputed March
presidential ballot.

Willard Chiwewe, senior permanent secretary in Zimbabwe's Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, confirmed yesterday there was a breakdown of cooperation
between Harare and McKinnon, but denied Mugabe had not responded to
telephone calls from McKinnon.

He spoke as the United States for the first time publicly announced it
was working with three southern African countries to isolate Mugabe for what
Washington terms his fraudulent re-election in March.

The 15-nation European Union, the US, Canada, Switzerland and New
Zealand have already imposed targeted sanctions against Mugabe and 72 of his
officials over the poll which they have blasted as deeply flawed.

In a sign of growing impatience by the international community over
Harare's conduct, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Walter
Kansteiner this week said Washington did not recognise Mugabe's presidency
and wanted him isolated further.

He specifically mentioned Africa's powerhouse South Africa, Mozambique
and Botswana as countries he said Washington was working with to isolate
Mugabe, in power for the past 22 years.

Pacific Commonwealth nations also ratcheted up the pressure for
Zimbabwe's expulsion from the group, demanding at the weekend that the
club must act on Zimbabwe as it did on Fiji, which it suspended and slapped
with trade sanctions after a coup in May 2000.

The 11 Pacific states made the call during their annual Pacific Island
Forum held in Fiji.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who heads the Commonwealth
troika on Zimbabwe which earlier this year suspended Harare from meetings of
the Commonwealth's councils, boldly endorsed the position of the Pacific
nations in a move which others said could be a signal of the way the
committee would act on Zimbabwe.

"The rule book was thrown at Fiji. There is no reason why other
countries should be treated more sparingly in a situation like this
than Fiji was treated," Howard told journalists after the Pacific nations'
meeting.

South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian leader Olusegun
Obasanjo are the other members of the Commonwealth special committee
on Zimbabwe.

Howard said: "The countries gathered here comprise one fifth of the
membership of the Commonwealth so this is no small expression of
Commonwealth opinion (on Zimbabwe).

"I think there would be some countries in Africa that would be less
sympathetic to the point of view put here but even many of them would
agree with it."

Howard said ties with Zimbabwe had hit their lowest ebb, with Mugabe
"utterly unresponsive" to overtures by the Commonwealth, a club of Britain
and its former colonies.

"President Mugabe has been utterly unresponsive to the approaches of
the secretary- general of the Commonwealth and quite indifferent to world
opinion," Howard said.

He noted that even Pakistani strongman Pervez Musharraf, whose country
was suspend by the Commonwealth after his 1999 military coup, had cooperated
more positively than Mugabe.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who spoke to journalists
together with Howard, said relations had soured to the extent that
Mugabe was not even returning McKinnon's telephone calls.

"It is a matter of public record that Mr Mugabe will not respond to Mr
McKinnon's calls. Zimbabwe is simply not engaging either with the
secretary-general, the secretariat, or with Mr Howard and his group at this
time."

Chiwewe dismissed as hypocritical and racist assertions that Harare
was unresponsive or uncooperative.

"They (Clark and Howard) are very dishonest and hypocritical because
they are deliberately ignoring the context within which the actions they
allege are supposed to have occurred," he told the Financial Gazette.

"On the issue of McKinnon, Zimbabwe has been suspended from the
councils of the Commonwealth so against such background under what umbrella
would he want to contact Zimbabwe?"

Chiwewe said the Commonwealth troika had wrongly suspended Zimbabwe,
basing its action on a report produced by election observers who concurred
with several other international missions that the March poll was a fraud.

The Commonwealth Group Observer Mission (CGOM) was led by former
Nigerian head of state Abdulsalaam Abubakar.

Said Chiwewe: "They are ignoring Zimbabwe's argument that the CGOM
report was seriously flawed, knowing that to accept it would be to betray
the white Commonwealth and their kith and kin in Zimbabwe. This is not about
democracy; it is all about racism."

Howard sikirted questions by journalists on whether expulsion and
sanctions were the next course of action given Harare's refusal to
cooperate with either McKinnon or the troika.

"I find the situation completely unsatisfactory and obviously could
have significant consequences as far as the relationship between Zimbabwe
and the Commonwealth is concerned," the prime minister would only say.

As well as imposing limited trade sanctions and expelling Fiji, the
Commonwealth appointed a special envoy to the Pacific nation who
helped facilitate dialogue between various interest groups there.

Analysts said Commonwealth trade sanctions against Zimbabwe - even at
a limited level - would spell doom for the government because such embargoes
could starve Harare of critical support from its neighbours, all of whom are
members of Commonwealth.

Others noted a 1986 blockade of Lesotho by South Africa, which
eventually triggered a coup in Lesotho, toppling long-ruling prime
minister Chief Leabua Jonathan.

South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana encircle landlocked Zimbabwe.

The analysts noted that it was the support of Pretoria, as well as
that of Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique which had kept a financially
crippled Harare just afloat.

University of Zimbabwe political science professor Masipula Sithole
said: "If there are Commonwealth sanctions against Zimbabwe, then
there would be nothing to wait for except a slow but sure collapse of the
government."

But Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party have refused to stand by and
watch the international community's noose tightening around the neck.

Two weeks ago a ZANU PF delegation was in South Africa for talks with
that country's ruling African National Congress (ANC).

Observers say the talks - followed barely seven days later by another
round of talks this time involving ZANU PF and Botswana's ruling Botswana
Democratic Party (BDP) - were an attempt by Mugabe to marshal Pretoria and
Gaborone's help to resist Harare's possible expulsion from the Commonwealth.

Pretoria is also the chairman of the Africa Union and Gaborone is the
head of the influential Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, whose voice
is critical in any decision to expel Zimbabwe.

ZANU PF's national chairman John Nkomo refused this week to disclose
the subject of discussions between the Zimbabwean party and the BDP and the
ANC.

ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe denied Zimbabwe was seeking
South Africa's help to fight off mounting calls that it be expelled from the
Commonwealth.

"No, there has been no such discussion," Motlanthe told the Financial
Gazette by telephone from South Africa.

"As a member of the Commonwealth, we would have to hear out those
calling for Zimbabwe's expulsion and then relying on our understanding of
the situation we would then have to decide what position to take," he said.

Sithole said Zimbabwe was unlikely to muster enough support over its
expulsion because it had worsened its pariah image by continuing to evict
and arrest hundreds of white farmers who have refused to leave their farms
because they have no other homes.

The government is expelling the farmers to make room for landless
blacks, most of them its supporters, under controversial reforms which
deny compensation to the farmers.

Ross Herbert, a senior researcher on Africa at the South Africa
Institute for International Affairs, said Commonwealth sanctions
against Harare would be "a further step in isolating Mugabe but he may not
immediately fall as result of that".

"But it would be merely a matter of time before that flash point is
reached when people rebel because of the negative effect of the
sanctions, coupled with the deteriorating economic situation and
worsening food shortages," Herbert said.

lZimbabwe accused the United States and Britain yesterday of a
"racist" campaign to isolate Mugabe internationally and maintain white
economic dominance in southern Africa.

The US said this week it did not consider Mugabe, who won a
controversial election in March, a legitimate leader and was working
with governments in the region to isolate him.

"The legitimacy of our political system or our President is not
dependent on America, Britain or any other country but on
Zimbabweans," a senior Zimbabwean foreign affairs official said.

"The bullying tactics that America and Britain are using against us
are meant to frustrate our quest for social and economic justice, to stop
our programme to redistribute some of the very large tracts of land held by
whites here to the indigenous black people," he said. - Reuter
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The Times

Letters to the Editor



August 22, 2002

Mugabe's academic life
From the Vice-Chancellor of the University of London



University of London Sir, It is true that President
Mugabe holds four University of London degrees (letter, August 16), all
obtained by private study as an external student.
He obtained a BSc (Econ) in 1958 when working as a
teacher; the LLB and LLM while in detention in the late Sixties and early
Seventies; and the MSc (Econ) in 1985 when already Prime Minister.

Our external programme, which even now has 30,000
students around the world, has a unique record in offering degree-level
opportunities to people denied access to conventional higher education,
including political prisoners (such as Nelson Mandela) and prisoners of war.

Neither intellectual ability nor academic training
offers any guarantee of ethical or civilised behaviour, but perhaps it was a
mistake in 1958 to grant Mr Mugabe an exemption from the paper in
constitutional law by virtue of his earlier studies in South Africa, since
he might have acquired a better appreciation of the value and importance of
the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, the freedom of the
press, the separation of powers and fundamental human rights.

We may not be proud of Mr Mugabe as one of our
external graduates, but we - and British higher education generally - can be
proud of our external programme.

Yours faithfully,
GRAHAM ZELLICK,
Office of the Vice-Chancellor,
University of London, Senate House, Malet Street,
WC1E
7HU.
vice-chancellor@lon.ac.uk
August 19.
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Is Zimbabwe And the Region Immune to the Amin Tragedy?



Financial Gazette (Harare)

OPINION
August 22, 2002
Posted to the web August 21, 2002

Masipula Sithole


I WAS browsing the Internet searching for situations where "loyal" generals
moved to occupy state houses. My purpose, as always, was to weave an article
warning against the view that it will never happen here, notwithstanding my
stated position in the past that a military coup in Zimbabwe was unlikely.

What I found on Idi Amin of Uganda was amazing. But I won't tell you how
Amin outfoxed Milton Obote, the founder leader of independent Uganda - maybe
I might later. For now, I want to share with you what Amin did during the
eight long years he was in power (1971-1979) - laying waste a beautiful and
prosperous country - and the international community's response to him.

Upon assuming power in a popular coup in 1971 in which he was assisted by
British and Israeli intelligence in Uganda, Idi Amin Dada (as he is some
times known) is said to have appointed "well-qualified administrators" to
most of the positions in his first cabinet, but he "paid no attention to
their advice".

To control the army, Amin relied on the support of soldiers he had recruited
from the northwest corner of Uganda, his home area. In his first year as
president, he ordered massacres of large numbers of Langi and Acholi troops
who were suspected of being loyal to the ousted Obote.

Amin made demands to the British and Israelis for large increases in
military assistance. He was rebuffed. He then reacted by expelling British
and Israeli advisers and turned to Libya's Muammar Gaddafi who gave him
immediate support.

In doing so, Amin became the first black African leader to renounce ties
with the Jewish state of Israel and side instead with Islamic nations in the
Middle East conflict over possession of the historic region of Palestine.

As such, Amin made anti-Semitic outbursts, including praising Adolf Hitler
for killing Jewish people during the Second World War.

Later, Amin announced that God had told him in a dream to expel Uganda's
Indian and Pakistani populations, who owned most of major businesses in the
country. At first, only non-Ugandan citizens were affected, but eventually
even those with citizenship were also expelled.

Officially, about 40 000 Indians and Pakistanis were expelled, although many
others fled across the borders. Their homes and businesses were allocated to
Ugandans connected to Amin in what was popularly called the
"nationalisation" and "indigenisation" of the Ugandan economy.

Because many of the new business owners lacked experience running profitable
enterprises, corruption and mismanagement quickly caused many of these
businesses to fail. Shortages developed leading to high prices, more
corruption, as greater involvement by the state in the economy occurred.

Meanwhile, Amin responded to the ever-rising inflation by ordering his
minister of finance to simply print more paper money.

After a counter-coup attempt orchestrated by Obote from Tanzania, Amin grew
more paranoid and brutally repressive. Ugandans who criticised Amin or whom
the government considered potentially dangerous to the regime were seized by
roving squads of soldiers and summarily killed; their bodies were often
found dismembered and horribly mutilated.

Members of the Acholi and Langi ethnic groups, who had formed Obote's
support base, were particularly targeted. The number of civilians killed by
the Amin regime is disputed - it is often estimated at 300 000 and some say
it may have been as high as 500 000.

Among those killed were Uganda's chief justice, murdered just after he had
ruled against the government by ordering a British businessman who had been
arrested without a warrant to be released; the vice-chancellor of Makerere
University; several ministers who served in Amin's government; and the
Anglican archbishop.

However, most victims were ordinary citizens from targeted ethnic groups or
districts, or were simply killed at the whim of Amin's militia. Amin was
condemned by much of the international community for his brutality, but when
Britain and the United States cut aid to Uganda in 1972, he successfully
turned to Libya and the Soviet Union. However, he was able to purchase
luxury goods and military and communications equipment from private British
and US companies during most of his rule.

In 1975 fellow African heads of state elected Amin chairman of the
Organisation of African Unity. He started calling himself the "Hero of
Africa" and "Conqueror of the British Empire".

In 1976 Palestinian and West German terrorists hijacked an Air France plane
with a large number of Israeli passengers, and Amin allowed them to land at
Entebbe Airport and use it as a base. An Israeli commando raid successfully
rescued more than 100 hostages; but three hostages, all of the terrorists,
an Israeli commander and about 40 Ugandan soldiers were killed in the raid.

In revenge, Amin had a remaining passenger, an elderly woman who had been
taken to a Ugandan hospital, murdered. The United States government did not
pass a trade embargo on Uganda until 1978, a year before the overthrow of
the Ugandan regime.

Amin harboured territorial ambitions over Kenya and Tanzania, which would
result in Uganda having access to the Indian Ocean. Accordingly, he
threatened to invade Kenya; the Kenyans reminded him of Mau Mau. Then he
invaded Tanzania, seizing a strip of Tanzanian territory north of the Kagera
River in late 1978. That was a fatal mistake.

The Tanzanian government swiftly mobilised its army and forced out the
Ugandan soldiers. Then, joined by a contingent of anti-Amin Ugandan rebels,
the Tanzanian army invaded Uganda in early 1979. By April they had fought
their way to Kampala, the Ugandan capital, and overthrown Amin's fragile
government, which had alienated the majority population through its
murderous ways.

Amin fled to Libya where he was offered asylum, but after an altercation
between his security guards and the Libyan police, he was forced to leave at
the end of 1979. He then accepted asylum in Saudi Arabia, settling in Jiddah
where he remains up to this day.

Amin's rule had many lasting negative consequences for Uganda and perhaps
for the whole East African region: it led to low regard for human life and
personal security, widespread corruption and the disruption of trade and
commerce.

Up to this day, 31 years since the coup incident, Uganda and the East
African region has not quite recovered from the era of the "Hero of Africa"
and "Conqueror of the British Empire", Idi Amin (Dada).

Is Zimbabwe and the region immune to the Amin tragedy which started with
laughter?

Professor Masipula Sithole is a political science lecturer at the University
of Zimbabwe and director of the Harare-based Mass Public Opinion Institute.
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Daily News


Feature

Not any more.

8/21/02 9:09:44 AM (GMT +2)



With HIV/Aids grandparents find themselves struggling to feed the
children of their dead sons and daughters. Zimbabwe used to be
self-sufficient in maize.



But this year, drought and farmer intimidation have caused production
to plummet by 70 percent. Under current plans, a famine can be averted if
the government, aid agencies and private traders each import one-third of
the maize deficit. The aid agencies should keep their part of the bargain,
at least until Christmas. But the government is broke, so scepticism abounds
that Mugabe will be able to import 500 000 tonnes of maize in the coming
months, as promised.

He is refusing to allow private traders to bring in food from abroad,
because prices would inevitably rise, perhaps as much as tenfold. Foreign
donors are desperately trying to persuade Mugabe that this is the only way
forward. Those with money, mostly in urban areas, could become
self-sufficient, leaving the aid agencies and government to concentrate on
the most vulnerable people in rural areas. But this would also highlight to
Mugabe's supporters how poor his policies have been, so he has refused to
listen. Instead, his cronies have been accused of playing dirty politics
with food aid. In June, war veterans shut down a Catholic Church project to
feed 40 000 people in the western Binga province.

They claimed that the project, which is funded by the British agency
Cafod, was being run by supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change party. Some 13 million people in Southern Africa, across Malawi,
Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland and Lesotho, are threatened with famine
in the coming months. Zimbabwe should be anchoring the region; instead it is
pulling it down.
While the suffering is most extreme in Malawi, the sheer scale of
numbers makes Zimbabwe the most vulnerable country. But Mugabe has acted
with an arrogant cool towards international aid. He recently warned
Parliament of the need to "remain wary of countries and organisations which
seek to take advantage of our hour of need".

There were "sinister interests", he claimed, that wanted to use the
"cover of humanitarian involvement". The irony is that foreign money is the
only thing keeping his country from slipping into starvation. One frustrated
diplomat said: "Things are getting worse and worse, yet it appears he is
more interested in power politics than helping his own people." Speaking at
Heroes' Acre, the national shrine for liberation fighters, Mugabe vowed last
week to ensure that "no Zimbabwean starves to death". It is increasingly
clear that the ageing autocrat is running out of both money and ideas. But
if he does not find a way of getting food into Zimbabwe, fast, a preventable
disaster may soon become an inevitable famine.
The Observer
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