Tobacco Farms Close As Land Fight Continues
Regional Information Network
September 25, 2001
At least 570 large-scale tobacco farms in Zimbabwe
have shut down because of
violence on white commercial farms two weeks after
the government undertook
to end land invasions and observe the rule of law
under an agreement
brokered at a Commonwealth meeting in Nigeria, the
'Independent' reported on
Twenty of the farms were invaded and
occupied in recent days, Jane Williams,
a spokeswoman for the Commercial
Farmers Union (CFU), was quoted as saying.
The stoppages on the 570 farms
would result in the loss of 75 million kg of
tobacco worth more than US $224
million, she added. Production at about 400
other farms had also been slowed
by the interference of ruling party
militants, the report said.
Deputy Director Jerry Grant was quoted as saying on Thursday: "There is
change regarding the situation on the farms. In actual fact, there
increased violence." He accused the police of discriminating
commercial farmers in favour of those who had invaded the mainly
farms with the blessing of President Robert Mugabe's ruling
the report said.
Analysts were quoted in the report as
saying that new reports of violence on
farms had reinforced suspicions that
the government had only agreed to the
Abuja deal to ease pressure on
President Mugabe when he attends a
Commonwealth summit in Australia early
Militant occupations shut down white-owned farms in Zimbabwe
Up to 350 mainly white-owned farms in Zimbabwe have shut down, reportedly
because of occupation by pro-government militants, while another 550 are only
partially able to function.
The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) says 900
out of 1,150 farms are unable to continue normal operations because they are
still under occupation by activists who back government land redistribution
The agricultural slowdown has comes despite a
Commonwealth-brokered deal reached earlier this month in the Nigerian capital
Under that agreement, Zimbabwe's Government said it would end
lawlessness on the farms in exchange for British financing of President Robert
Mugabe's land reforms.
But since the Abuja deal, the CFU says 20 new
farms have been invaded, while the occupiers have forced 25 farmers off their
IMF cuts off Zimbabwe
Washington - The International Monetary Fund
on Tuesday cut off Zimbabwe, saying it was ineligible for loans because it fell
into arrears in February and that those arrears had risen to about $53 million
by the end of August.
The lender said authorities in Zimbabwe had offered to make quarterly
payments, but that those payments would fall short of the amount needed to
stabilise the arrears.
The IMF said the actions would make the African nation ineligible for
lending, including under a loan intended to help the nation tackle its poverty
The IMF said it stands ready to help the government develop a plan for
economic recovery as soon as possible and that it would review the overdue
payments within three months.
"The IMF's executive board urged the Zimbabwean authorities to make full and
prompt settlement of Zimbabwe's overdue financial obligations to the IMF," the
lender said in a statement.
"The executive board urged the Zimbabwean authorities to adopt the economic
and financial policies needed to enable Zimbabwe to achieve economic recovery as
soon as possible," the lender said.
Earlier this month, the IMF said Zimbabwe's economy was deteriorating rapidly
and its recovery depends on restoring business confidence and an orderly land
The IMF warned President Robert Mugabe's embattled government against rising
inflation, growing poverty and closing down a parallel foreign exchange market
thriving in the face of a severe hard currency shortage.
Zimbabwe is in its third year of recession. Analysts expect food shortages
later this year or early 2002, raising the specter of civil unrest, after a
sharp decline in farm output caused by disturbances on white-owned farms invaded
by pro-government militants since February 2000.
The economic malaise has been worsened by the suspension of aid in 1999 by
Western donors, mainly over Mugabe's controversial seizure of white-owned
farmland for black resettlement without compensation.
In May, the IMF said cash-strapped Zimbabwe was late in its debt repayments
to the fund. The following month, Finance Minister Simba Makoni appealed for IMF
and World Bank help for Zimbabwe to fulfill its debt obligations, saying that it
was determined to pay off $600 million worth of arrears.
The IMF has previously said that only comprehensive policies would provide a
lasting solution to the nation's problems.
Mugabe heads to Asia en route to CHOGM
The Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, has left Harare for a three-nation
trip that will end at next month's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
(CHOGM) in Brisbane.
Zimbabwe state television says President Mugabe is
first flying to Singapore before continuing to Vietnam for an official visit in
President Mugabe is expected to come under fire at the CHOGM
summit for his land reforms and his crackdown on political dissent.
Several groups have already said they will protest against the
President's participation at the meeting in Brisbane.
Zim chief justice brands critics 'racist'
-- The Mail&Guardian,
September 25, 2001.
There are fears that Zimbabwe's reorganised Supreme
Court might rubber-stamp
'fast-track land reform'
Zimbabwean civil society went on trial this week when the
Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, branded criticism of
He refused to withdraw from the first constitutional test
before the country's newly reorganised Supreme Court.
government is asking the Supreme Court for a declaration that it has
comprehensive land reform programme in place and that there is law and
on Zimbabwe's white-owned farms.
"The case will decide whether
Zimbabwe will be deprived of peaceful means of
change, by a decision that
approves state violence," David Hasluck,
executive director of the Commercial
Farmers' Union (CFU), warned his 5 000
embattled members in a confidential
President Robert Mugabe, after assuring visiting members of
International Bar Association he would never pack the Supreme Court
ruling Zanu-PF party loyalists, last month confirmed former
Chidyausiku as chief justice following the early retirement of
Gubbay (69). He also expanded the court to eight, promoting three new
judges considered sympathetic to Zanu-PF.
internationally respected figure, was forced to quit after
his courtroom, making death threats.
During 19 months of state sponsored
violence, judicial orders have
repeatedly been ignored and police have
refused to act, but the Supreme
Court bench unanimously condemned "wicked
things" done on pretext of
agitation for land redistribution, including more
than 40 murders.
It would be a major coup for Mugabe to win a declaration
"fast-track land reform" from the reorganised court, through a
on Wednesday. This would enable him to boast to President Thabo
Mbeki he had
kept pledges to restore the rule of law in redistributing white
But it would extinguish the dying hopes
not only of farmers but lawyers,
journalists, unionists and social workers
for the survival of civil society
and for peaceful change.
four reporters were beaten by Mugabe's militants in the presence
while visiting a farm from which 20 families of workers had been
And while maize stocks dwindle, food relief was allegedly reserved
card-holders in drought-stricken Mberengwa, 400 km south-east of
The Supreme Court under Chidyausiku will have the final say on a
contested results from the June 2000 parliamentary polls and,
importantly, on the validity of Mugabe's bid to retain the presi-dency
It will also judge imminent laws to control
journalists, containing an
expected "patriotic" conduct code and state
During nearly two hours of frequently acrimonious
exchanges with the bench
on Wednesday, Adrian de Bourbon, counsel for the
CFU, appealed to
Chidyausiku to recuse himself in view of his past statements
towards not only farmers but the entire white community and
In an affidavit, Hasluck said there was an
Chidyausiku was made chief justice "because of his
acceptability to those
invading land who are being allowed and encouraged to
do so by the
government of the day".
Chidyausiku chaired a 1999
constitutional commission which published
advertisements declaring: "White
settlers, with the help of the British
Government and their international
friends, are funding sellout Zimbabweans
to buy your rights by urging you to
vote no." Voters nevertheless rejected
the judge's plan to expand Mugabe's
Chidyausiku claimed Hasluck's affidavit was "absolutely racist"
to specify how when challenged by De Bourbon.
said the three senior appeal judges - Nick McNally, Wilson
Simbarashe Muchechetere - should be brought in to hear the case
newly appointed Vernanda Ziyambi, Luke Malaba and Mishak Cheda, and
long-standing Ahmed Ebrahim. No explanation has been given for the
of McNally, Sandura and Muchechetere from the bench for the
Chidyausiku was expected to adjourn the court for several days to
De Bourbon's recusal application, but rejected it after a 30-minute
break. He said detailed reasons would be given at the conclusion of
Three days of argument are due, followed by some weeks'
delay for the five
Deputy Attorney General Bharat
Patel called on the court to declare a
credible programme of land reform is
now in place, clearing the way for
lower-level courts to ratify moves to
seize more than 4 000 designated
"We have had the
Abuja agreement. I am not sure of the significance of that
document in law -
possibly not very much on past experience," said Patel.
Stan Mudenge on Wednesday told Parliament Britain must
provide funds before
Zimbabwe will honour its side of the Abuja terms.
Up to 2 000 of the
designated farms have been occupied by Mugabe's
militants, in defiance of
repeated court orders, but experts reject his
claim that 100 000 peasant
families have already been resettled there
successfully. They say 30 000 farm
workers' families have been made homeless
ministers claimed all recent incidents were stage-managed by
independent reports said violence against farmers and workers was
regardless of the Nigerian-brokered Abuja accord. Nearly 600
have been shut down with 75-million kilogrammes of leaf,
US$225-million, going to waste, said the CFU.
represents a watershed in the history of the judiciary," warned
"The concept that justice must not only be done but be seen to
be done is on
Zimbabwe - A View from the Pan.
Well Chikomba has come and gone as
expected - the total vote was slightly
lower than in the June election and
the Zanu vote slightly higher and the
MDC vote slightly lower - more or less
the same pattern as the other
bi-elections. Chikomba is real Zanu territory,
in a poll conducted last year
this area recorded the highest residual level
of Zanu support of any
constituency in the country. In the context of the
violent and intense
campaign conducted by the government in the constituency,
this must be
regarded as a satisfactory result by the MDC. Thank God this is
the last of
the bi-elections and we do not have to put any other rural
through this nightmare experience.
MDC said in March this year that we were going to face a serious
shortage. The Party also approached the international community and
the UNDP to its point of view and formally requested that they should
to think about a food aid programme. The cost estimated at the time,
be about US$200 million and MDC suggested that the funds be made
to the commercial firms in the food industry with the counterpart
(about Z$20 billion) being used to finance a range of programmes
alleviate poverty and hunger. We said that this must be carried
independently of any political party - including the MDC. The
community eventually accepted the MDC point of view which was
confirmed by the professional agencies in the food field - with
exception of the Ministry of Agriculture which continued to state to
who would listen, that we would not need to import food. In July the
put its position to the international community and agreement in
was achieved that the donors would support the kind of programme
by the MDC. A formal suggestion was submitted to the government
effect that if they asked for such aid, it would be forthcoming. There
two problems with this proposal - government (Zanu PF) would not control
programme and would not benefit from it politically and the admission
they were short of food and needed assistance was too much to
They did nothing.
Then, in August 2001, recognising that they
were in fact running out of
maize, they imposed harsh new regulations on the
grain industry. They made
both wheat and maize "controlled" products and
stipulated that only the GMB
could trade in these commodities. The objective
was quite clear - to secure
full control over grain supplies so as to be able
to use this as a means of
patronage in meeting basic needs. The other was a
crude attempt to reduce
the prices of basic commodities by imposing the GMB
price structures on what
had been a free market. Now we are nearly at the end
of the 2001 intake
season for maize and the wheat crop is yet to be
harvested. The GMB, despite
all its huff and puff has taken in less than 100
000 tonnes of maize (three
weeks supply) and it is expected that about 250
000 tonnes of wheat will
become available from large-scale commercial
farmers. With opening stocks on
the 1st of April 2001 of only 300 000 tonnes
of maize, the GMB is now
nearing the end of its own stocks and must shortly
The crooks in Zanu PF are running around the traders
trying to do deals as
it is fully expected that import licences will only go
to a select few who
are Zanu loyalists - you can guess who might be involved.
The private sector
has been left to its own devices in respect to wheat
(despite the new
regulations) and is continuing to import wheat using foreign
purchased on the free market. This has driven flour prices over the
bread is now over Z$50 per loaf - compared to Z$15 in August 2000.
will be some relief for bread when the new crop comes in - if the
and the farmers are allowed to get on with the job of buying and
As yet there is no agreement with the farmers on the
price the GMB will pay
and if this is not resolved very shortly, we will have
yet another crisis.
However it is the maize sector that poses most concern.
If we allow the GMB
to run out of maize, what will happen? Consumers have
been sheltered from
the worst affects of the inflation in prices of this
basic commodity by the
stocks of the GMB and their willingness to sell those
stocks at below
replacement cost. Thus maize meal prices (unlike bread) have
only risen from
about Z$14 per kilo in September 2000 to about Z$24 per kilo
in August 2001.
If we have to import maize and use the free market for
foreign exchange to
do so, maize prices will follow those of wheat and
vegetable oils - the
landed cost of maize is expected to be about US$200 per
tonne. Work that out
at (say) 300 to 1 and you get a frightening figure. If
releases some of its own foreign exchange at the official rate
of 55 to 1,
then the cost of the imported product will rise only marginally
current levels. Even if we import maize at the lower landed cost, we
then still have the problem of getting it into the country. We need
180 000 tonnes a month.
Assuming that the retention's on farm
will feed those people in the rural
areas until, say April 2002, then we will
only have to import urban needs
from now onwards - say about 80 000 tonnes a
month. Even so that is 2000
rail wagons or 100 trainloads at 2000 tonnes per
train per month. Nothing
like that capacity exists at this moment in time. If
we physically cannot
meet requirements for this staple food, then I do not
even want to think
about the consequences. When we get to the position where
even farm stocks
are exhausted, then the import volume will rise towards the
for the country and could reach 150 000 tonnes a month until
the 2002 crop
comes on stream in about June/July.
That is an
impossible goal and if we do not start importing now - as Zambia
doing for at least two months already, then we will run out of
maize with all
its consequences. MDC will not get any satisfaction out of
being the first to
spell out the serious food situation and to propose
workable and affordable
solutions. The party and its members - the great
majorities of whom are in
the lower income category and living in the urban
areas, will suffer most.
However sight must also not be lost on the millions
who are suffering food
and other shortages in the more arid areas of the
country where there were
crop failures this past season.
Had the MDC programme been adopted, their
needs would have been met in full
and without disturbing the political
equilibrium of the country. Starvation,
malnutrition and poverty are not the
products of season factors; they are
the direct consequences of bad
government. In Zimbabwe, these are the
inevitable hallmarks of the activities
of Zanu PF and its selfish pursuit of
power at the expense of the people. The
land issue; the contrived conflict
with Britain; the role of the tiny white
community, are all red herrings.
Smoke thrown up to obscure the real agenda
and its dreadful consequences.
Please note that this note is personal and does not necessarily reflect
views of the Movement for Democratic Change.
"I cannot explain the madness that took place on [Sept. 11]. For what we
saw with our own eyes is the face of evil. And evil cannot logically be
explained because, as those of you who are steeped in the philosophy of
St. Thomas Aquinas know, evil - malum - is nihil. It is nothing. Since God is
existence itself - God told Moses, 'I am who am' - evil would be non-being.
Nothingness. And to confront nothingness is to come face-to-face with
unspeakable horror. "A terrorist is not born. Terrorists are made, with every
conscious decision they make in life to hate, to choose death rather than life.
Remember Terry Waite, the Anglican envoy who negotiated with terrorists for the
release of the hostages in Lebanon, and who himself became a hostage, and
suffered? He later wrote, 'The terrible thing about terrorism is that ultimately
it destroys those who practice it. Slowly, but surely, as they try to extinguish
life in others, the light within them dies.' "And where there is no light, there
is darkness. Nothing. Speculation is all around on who is responsible for the
attacks on our country. With amazing speed, we have identified the terrorists
who took over the planes, and we probably know who masterminded it. But who is
really behind it all? We are speaking of an enormity of hate and evil here, for
these were evil acts. But evil is not something. Evil is someone. Satan.
"Barbara Olson, full of life, cheerful, laughing, smiling, loving, was the
opposite of the dark powers that brought her death. But their evil deed was in
-The Rev. Franklyn McAfee of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in
Great Falls, in his memorial sermon preached Sept. 15 for Barbara Olson, killed
in a Sept. 11 terrorist attack
No prayer for pacifism
"A class begins and the voice from the front of the room says, 'We only got
what we deserved. We've been bombing and invading other countries at will.' In a
seminar, a student says, 'The level of patriotism in America is scary.'
"College campuses are probably the most liberal, politically correct havens
in America, and here at Duke [University], the PC response to the attack is
rampant. Such sentiments are the result of a liberal education gone awry.
"The incident has awakened a sleeping giant. "
A minister at the prayer service at the University last Wednesday told the
audience to pray that the government remains peaceful and doesn't attack anyone
else. Although we've all been brought up wanting world peace, I will not pray
for pacifism. I'll pray against it."
-Alexandra Wolfe, writing on "Lack of Outrage," in the Sept. 19 issue of
the Duke University Chronicle
A world of thugs
"Remarkably, the term 'civilized world' is now being used without
politically correct embarrassment. The civilized world consists of the advanced
modern nations, mostly of the West.
"And it is remarkable how quickly the civilized world came together in
response to this assault, an assault that was radical and profound.
"The fact is that most of the world is not civilized, and that most of the
things we call 'nations' are not nations in the modern sense at all. Zimbabwe
does not have a government. It is run by a thug named Robert Mugabe. It does not
have disciplined courts of law, its life lacks predictability, its treasury is
empty, and bands of brigands roam the countryside.
"'Zimbabwe' is merely a geographical expression, not a nation. And the same
is true of much of the planet. Iraq is not a nation. It does not have a
government in any civilized sense. What kind of a wild thing is Iran, with its
Ayatollahs? What is the 'Palestinian Authority'? Who elected Arafat?
Multiculturalists don't take their vacations in these cockroach entities.
"The assault on us brought such reflections into the foreground of the
-Jeffrey Hart, writing on "In Focus," Friday in National Review Online
Mugabe party holds on to ex-veterans leader seat
HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's
ruling party won a by-election for the parliamentary seat left vacant by the
death of the man who spearheaded the invasion of white-owned farms, state
television said Monday.
The television said Mugabe's ZANU-PF won 15,570 votes against 5,207 for the
main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Liberation war veterans' leader Chenjerai Hunzvi, who held the Chikomba seat
until his death in June, had been at the forefront of the invasion of
white-owned farms by pro-government militants, which began in February last
His supporters -- many claiming to be veterans of Zimbabwe's war of
independence against white-minority rule -- also waged a violent election
campaign which was widely credited with helping ZANU-PF narrowly win the June
At least 31 people, mostly opposition supporters, died in pre-election
violence. Five of the victims were farmers whose properties were invaded.
Hunzvi, a key political ally of Mugabe, won 63 percent of the Chikomba vote
in the general election for ZANU-PF against the MDC's 32 percent.
Four parties contested the by-election, but analysts said the real contest
was between ZANU-PF and the MDC. Analysts predicted the ZANU-PF would retain the
seat, a traditional stronghold of the ruling party in southeast Zimbabwe.
While voting in Chikomba was peaceful Saturday and Sunday, the MDC has
accused ZANU-PF supporters of killing a school headmaster who backed the
opposition two weeks ago.
ZANU-PF officials have blamed MDC militants for the death, saying the man had
defected to the ruling party.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai poses the first serious challenge to Mugabe in
presidential elections due by April next year.
Critics say Mugabe's controversial program to seize white-owned farmland for
redistribution to landless blacks is part of a campaign to retain power in the
face of an unprecedented economic crisis blamed on 21 years of misrule since
From the Daily News
Stamps denies hospitals have run out of essential
9/24/01 7:50:06 AM (GMT +2)
TIMOTHY Stamps, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, on
allegations by MDC MPs that pharmacies at major hospitals had
run out of
“It is an incorrect observation that the
pharmacy at Mpilo is empty. Other
hospitals have not really run out of drugs
as claimed,” Stamps told the
The MDC MPs argued during the
debate on the $17,2 billion supplementary
budget sought by Simba Makoni, the
Minister of Finance and Economic
Development, that the $1 billion
supplementary vote for the Health Ministry
was inadequate considering the
crisis in the health sector.
They noted that the sector has been plagued
by an acute shortage of drugs
and perennial work boycotts by doctors and
The opposition MPs had proposed that the supplementary budget for
ministry be increased to $7 billion.
Stamps said the situation was not
as bad as reflected by the opposition MPs.
He said though there was
urgent need for foreign currency, he had received
massive support from the
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
through the Reserve Bank of
The RBZ, he said, had provided his ministry with US$342
000 (about Z$19
million) to finance critical areas.
Stamps was heckled by
the MDC MPs, during his speech.
The House, sitting as a committee,
yesterday adopted Makoni’s proposal and
the Ministry of Health received $1,3
Makoni said he would fund the supplementary votes from government
Debate on the supplementary budget was adjourned on
Wednesday after MDC MPs
argued that the $1 billion proposed for the Ministry
of Health and Child
Welfare was too little.
According to Makoni’s
proposals, the Ministry of Defence, for long a
recipient of the largest chunk
of the National Budget, gets an additional
government departments that will receive additional funds are Public
Labour and Social Welfare ($2,568 million), Finance and Economic
($5,833 million), Vote of Credit ($4 million), Audit ($1,3
and International Trade ($65 million) and Lands,
Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement ($1,25 million).
The supplementary vote for the Ministry of
Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare ($2,568 million) will go towards
drought relief, a public assistance
programme under the Department of Social
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs needs a further $22 million,
Government, Public Works and National Housing ($106 million), Home
($480 million) and the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
The Office of the President and Cabinet,
which comprises the Department of
State Security, will receive $213
Operatives of the CIO, which falls under the ministry, are
reportedly on a
go-slow to press for better salaries.
From the Daily News
Soldiers yet to appear in court
7:46:01 AM (GMT +2)
DESPITE court orders to
have them prosecuted, 50 soldiers who beat up people
in Masvingo two months
ago have not appeared in court.
The police in Masvingo have refused to
comply with orders from two Masvingo
magistrates, Enias Magate and Shortgame
Musaiona, to bring the soldiers to
court without delay.
provincial magistrate Magate, said the soldiers had not appeared in
despite the orders.
“I am not aware of any latest development but what I know
is that they have
not appeared in court. It is in the interest of justice
that the State has
to prove their innocence,” said Magate.
relationship between court officials in Masvingo and the police over
issue has been strained following continued refusal by the police to
the soldiers to court.
On 8 August this year magistrate Musaiona
ordered the police to bring
thearmy recruits to court within seven days to
face either public violence
charges or assault with intent to cause grievous
The police, however, refused to comply with the court order
arguing that the
$60 deposit fines paid by the soldiers were
The army recruits were arrested following the disturbances in
and ordered by the police to pay deposit fines of only
In a letter to the Officer-in-Charge Masvingo Central, Musaiona said:
you with the powers vested in you, ensure that the soldiers are
before the court within seven days.
“The scrutinising magistrate
was extremely appalled and shocked at the
manner in which your office
assessed the case.” The magistrate insists that
the recruits have a case to
From the Daily News
CIO intercepts MDC documents at
9/24/01 7:49:09 AM (GMT +2)
CENTRAL Intelligence Organisation operatives have been deployed
Harare International Airport cargo to intercept documents the
intends to present at the Commonwealth Heads of Government
Australia next month.
On Friday two CIO operatives were
assigned to the Air Zimbabwe cargo section
and were waiting for the
Brisbane-bound MDC cargo. On Saturday the two
operatives spent the day at the
cargo section, but in vain.
Sources said these intelligent officers were
masquerading as customs
officials so they could intercept the MDC
“They will intercept the documents or make copies so that the
will know in advance what the MDC intends to present at Brisbane,”
of the sources.
Learnmore Jongwe, the MDC Secretary for Publicity
and Information, yesterday
confirmed that his party will make presentations
at the Brisbane summit.
Jongwe said: “These agents disguised as customs
officials, searched luggage
belonging to MDC’s advance team to Brisbane,
which left on Friday.
“Their brief is to search luggage of the MDC delegation
Brisbane with the intention to seize any documentary evidence
the violation of the Abuja Agreement. . .”
the Minister of State for Security, could not be reached
last night for a
From the Daily News
Violence mars Chikomba poll
9/24/01 8:00:09 AM
From Pedzisai Ruhanya in Chikomba
including, intimidation, harassment and the unlawful arrest
supporters, among them a Member of Parliament, marred the two-day
by-election which ended last night with more than 20 000 people
According to Augustine Tsuro, the constituency registrar, a total
of 19 703
people had voted by 10am yesterday while 3 215 were turned away
did not have the relevant particulars or their names did not
appear on the
Most of the people cast their votes on
Saturday, the first day of the
election and yesterday only a handful went to
the polling stations.
The MP for Mbare East, Tichaona Munyanyi, was among 20
arrested by police on Thursday and detained at Sadza Police
were released on Friday, the eve of the election.
veterans and Zanu PF supporters forced village headmen to bring people
polling stations and marked registers of the villagers present before
At Sadza growth point some village heads were seen ticking names
villagers in registers before the voters entered the polling station,
some war veterans were monitoring the process.
At Nzuma primary
school, two Zanu PF trucks marked Mashonaland East
Province, were ferrying
and dropping off voters within 100 metres of polling
Tsuro, the constituency registrar yesterday claimed there were
He said: “I did not receive any report of that
nature. My supervisors in
those areas have not raised any
Virginia Gwena, the MDC constituency co-ordinator complained
supporters were being harassed by the riot police.
“On Thursday 20 of us were arrested and released on Friday
allegedly moving at night.”
Gwena said some of those arrested were MDC
election agents who were
returning from Harare, where they had gone for
“The police were harassing us. They denied us the opportunity to
during the night while Zanu PF were allowed to do so. The election
free and fair,” she said.
Kudzanai Mashumba, the MDC
co-ordinator for Mashonaland East alleged that on
Saturday Zanu PF youths in
youth brigade uniforms carried knobkerries and
intimidated voters at
He alleged that the youth brigades threatened the elderly people
to vote for
Dr Oswald Ndanga represented the MDC while Bernard
Makokove stood for Zanu
PF. The by-election followed the death of Chenjerai
Hunzvi in June.
The other candidates were Takaindisa Muzondo of the
United Parties and
Thomas Mudzinga of Zanu. In the June 2000 election,
Chenjerai Hunzvi polled
13 417 votes against 6 776 for the MDC’s Peter
Piniel Denga, the MDC’s provincial chairman said his vehicle was
last week by war veterans while another youth, Regis Chikonyati,
abducted last Thursday at Chambara School and is still unaccounted
Denga said: “This is a violent election. There is no peace
However, the voting process was largely peaceful with no incident
violence. Hundreds of armed police officers were manning most
visited by The Daily News. The election result will be announced
From the Daily News
Fuel costs force brewery to close
7:50:21 AM (GMT +2)
By Raymond Mgadzah, Senior Business
Nesbitt Brewery, the independent Chiredzi beer-brewing company
opened by President Mugabe 12 years ago, has closed down citing
fuel costs as the major factor affecting the viability of its
Nesbitt Brewery was known for its Hunter’s lager. The
Digby Nesbitt said: “We stopped brewing a month ago when
the new fuel prices
came into effect. “The main problem was the cost of
delivering the beer. It
cost us more to get a keg of beer to Harare than what
the content was
Nesbitt said in addition to the rapid increase in
fuel prices electricity,
which is a major input in the brewing process, had
also risen sharply.
At its peak four years ago, Nesbitt Brewery produced
4 500 litres of beer a
day. When the company closed it had a staff complement
of 14. Nesbitt said:
“We have drafted them into different divisions of the
Nesbitt has interests in the bakery and farming industries. He,
said these businesses were also facing an uncertain
“The farming operation is a disaster and the bakery isn’t looking
either. The farm is a safari operation that’s been closed since
invasions started two years ago. “The outlook for my businesses is
very grim,” he said.
Nesbitt is pinning his hopes on a return to
normalcy in the wake of the
Abuja agreement under which Britain undertook to
help compensate farmers
whose land has been designated for compulsory
acquisition by the government.
In return the government has promised that
there would be no new land
invasions. But the Abuja agreement, should it
succeed in helping to bring
about an economic turnaround, will have come too
late to save the ambitious
brewery business which was officially opened by
Mugabe just over a decade
From the Sunday Times (UK)
September 23 2001
Mugabe's police bug
ZIMBABWE'S feared secret police network,
the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO), has bought sensitive electronic
bugging equipment to
help it quash opposition ahead of elections next year in
Robert Mugabe is attempting to win another four years in
The equipment is believed to allow the CIO to monitor nearly all
calls and e-mails in the country. Diplomats fear this will help
Zanu-PF party combat the opposition by using its youth movement to
meetings and intimidate individuals identified by the taps.
CIO officials said last week the devices were bought from
Germany" through a Danish middleman.
Diplomats say Mugabe
has lost none of his confidence since being upbraided
by other African
leaders earlier this month over the violent campaign of
land occupation and
has reneged on the deal he made with Commonwealth
leaders in Abuja, the
Nigerian capital, two weeks ago.
Stan Mudenge, the foreign minister, gave
his word that the invasions which
have crippled Zimbabwe's agricultural
sector would stop. However, the
violence has continued while the attention of
the international community
has been turned elsewhere.
surveillance is especially damaging for the opposition
Democratic Change (MDC), which used to evade the secret police
by the use of
mobile phones. Now all mobiles with the prefix 091 - the most
- are known to be vulnerable to bugging.
The network, called Econet, is
owned by Strive Masiwa, an evangelical
Christian who has been a persistent
thorn in the side of Mugabe's party,
challenging the government in the courts
and spreading his business empire
to neighbouring countries.
Mugabe warns farmers
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe gave a stiff warning to white farmers on
Friday against resisting his violence-wracked land reforms.
"I emphasise this against the background of a very dangerous trend where some
commercial farmers are attacking the land demonstrators and resisting settler
emplacements," Mugabe said, according to the official Ziana news agency.
"That will have to stop forthwith, unless these commercial farmers are ready
for a conflict situation. "We continue to watch this closely to see whether or
not this amounts to a resurgence of military structures of the colonial period,"
he said in a speech to a meeting of the ruling party's central committee.
Mugabe warned farmers against forcing occupiers off their land, saying that
the government would remove occupiers from land it did not plan to acquire.
Government plans to resettle about 95% of white-owned farms with black
Mugabe said his land reforms should translate into popular support for his
campaign in the presidential election, expected in February or March next year.
His comments came in the wake of an international diplomatic push to resolve
the crisis, noteably in a Commonwealth-brokered deal in which Mugabe is to curb
the violence that has accompanied his land reforms in exchange for British
financing of the scheme.
But since that deal was reached on September 6, violence on the farms has
Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) met
as the government and the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) again stood before the
Supreme Court to argue over the land reforms.
Government has taken the mostly white CFU to the Supreme Court to ask the
nation's highest court to declare the land reforms legal, and to declare that
government has restored rule of law on the farms.
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku adjourned the case until Wednesday, and
recommended that farmers and the government seek to settle the case through
dialogue to address the legal and political concerns surrounding land reform.
The Supreme Court in November declared the land reform scheme
unconstitutional and ordered police to evict occupiers from white-owned farms.
Mugabe has since appointed a new chief justice and expanded the bench to
include three more judges. Those four justices and only one senior judge are now
hearing the case. - Sapa-AFP