The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
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Zimbabwe land deal stalls as Mugabe goes 'on holiday'
By Brian Latham in Harare
(Filed: 09/09/2001)

BRITAIN'S compromise land deal with Zimbabwe appeared in jeopardy yesterday after President Mugabe failed to give his approval, preferring to keep his whereabouts a mystery while the Nigerian Foreign Minister waited in vain to brief him.

 
'Can't be trusted': Robert Mugabe

The Zimbabwean leader had been in Libya last week to negotiate cheap fuel supplies for his crumbling economy from his ally, Col Muammar Gaddafi. His officials have refused to disclose his whereabouts since Thursday, when the deal was hammered out, saying only that he was abroad on a "brief holiday". Mugabe's silence fuelled fears that he will ignore the accord .

Sule Lamido, the Nigerian Foreign Minister, was kicking his heels in Harare after arriving yesterday to brief Mr Mugabe on the terms of the agreement brokered by Commonwealth ministers in Abuja , Nigeria.

Mr Mugabe has made no public comment on the deal, but he has ignored previous pledges by his ministers to end the invasions of white-owned farms by violent mobs funded by his ruling Zanu-PF Party. The Abuja accord was signed by Stan Mudenge, his Foreign Minister.

The timing of the deal has also raised suspicions. It comes shortly before next month's Commonwealth summit in Brisbane when Zimbabwe's land crisis was expected to dominate talks, prompting the belief that Harare is attempting to fend off criticism with a deal that it has no intention of implementing.

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has emphasised that "progress will depend on events on the ground". A senior British official said: "Nobody is starry-eyed about this. The test will be what happens now."

Leaders of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) dismissed the deal as a sham. Under the agreement, Britain will release £34 million of its taxpayers's money for a 'fair and just' land redistribution programme if the rule of law and order is restored and squatters are removed from farms that have not been listed for acquisition.

Tendai Biti, the MDC's shadow foreign minister said: "Abuja gave the Mugabe regime a propaganda coup. It allowed Zanu-PF a triumphant hand by making land the issue and said nothing about respect for human rights, about respect for the courts. The whole thing is as naive as it is untrue.

"The British said nothing about election monitors for next year's presidential election, but they agreed to put their £34 million back on the table. How can you give money for nothing? Abuja isn't a treaty, it's just a gentlemen's agreement and Mugabe's regime can't be trusted."

Learnmore Jongwe, the MDC spokesman, said: "This is a political crisis, not a land crisis, and the Commonwealth said nothing about the crisis in the judiciary, nothing about the persecution and bombing of the independent press, and nothing about Mugabe's bloody attempt to cling to power."

There were also indications that Zimbabwe was rowing back on Abuja after Mr Mudenge said the government would only move squatters off farms not earmarked for resettlement. As Harare has already designated 95 per cent of white-owned land for seizure (amounting to 24 million acres), only a few farms will benefit from the accord.

No respite from the violence and intimidation has come about since the deal was signed. On Friday, squatters prevented farmers from working in the Doma district, a tactic intended to force them into bankruptcy, and yesterday Zanu-PF bused in thousands of youths to Bulawayo to vote in mayoral elections for which they were not registered.

In the latest land invasion, more than 150 squatters yesterday moved onto Logan Lee farm in Beatrice near Harare, destroying tobacco seed beds and burning the compound where black farmworkers live.

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Zimbabwe Unrest Continues Despite Pledge to Restore Rule of Law

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Ruling party militants occupied a farm Saturday, burning buildings and threatening its white manager in violence that came three days after Zimbabwe's government pledged to restore law and order and stop the seizure of white-owned land.

About 150 militants stormed onto Logan Lee Farm in Beatrice, 40 miles south of Harare, and threatened manager Angus Brown and his employees, said Jenni Williams, a spokeswoman for the Commercial Farmers' Union, which represents about 5,000 white landowners. Brown fled.

Police refused to respond to calls for help, and the local farmers' association advised Brown via radio to abandon the property after workers' houses were burnt, Williams said.

The attack was the first since Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge pledged Thursday to end farm occupations in return for British funding for orderly land reform.

Ruling party militants have occupied more than 1,700 white-owned farms since March 2000, spurred by a government campaign to take 4,600 white-owned farms — about 95 percent of all white-owned land in Zimbabwe — and give the land to blacks.

At least nine white farmers and dozens of supporters of the opposition to the government President Robert Mugabe have died in clashes since June.

The foreign minister's pledge came in an accord that was reached in Abuja, Nigeria, and was brokered by Nigeria with the support of Britain and other Commonwealth members.

The accord, which obliges Zimbabwe's government to uphold the law, has not been signed by Mugabe, who officials said was in Libya on a state visit.

Mugabe in the past has described the farm occupations as "a minor trespass" and a legitimate protest against unfair land ownership by the white minority.

In other discord Saturday, opposition leaders accused the ruling party of rigging a mayor election in the Western city of Bulawayo. A ruling party spokesman, Nathan Shamuyarira, dismissed the claims.

Ruling party supporters were bused in to the area to help sway the vote in favor of the ruling party candidate, said David Coltart, a spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

The Movement for Democratic Change, which holds 56 of the 120 elected seats in Zimbabwe's parliament, was expected to win the mayoral elections easily. Results are expected Monday.

In the Makoni East district, 100 miles southeast of Harare, where a parliamentary by-election was under way, police said five opposition supporters were arrested for beating five backers of the ruling party, state radio reported.

Mugabe has been in power for 22 years and plans to seek another six-year presidential term in elections in April, but his support has waned.

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September 9 2001 AFRICA
  

Around the country, farms lie wrecked and smouldering from weeks of rampages. The war veterans' leader, Joseph Chinotimba, claims his followers are legally entitled to remain on white-owned land. Farmers in the Doma and Chinhoyi regions north of Harare complained this weekend of continued intimidation by veterans' groups that surrounded their houses and kept up a constant barrage of drumming, screams and threats.

On the road south from the capital, there was a renewed invasion by about 300 squatters of a farm in the Beatrice area, and in nearby Norton, soldiers and police turned up on one white property demanding that the farmer's wife extinguish a fire that had started as they arrived. The woman was then forced to run for nearly a mile while the army and police drove behind, threatening her with hose pipes.

State television saw things differently, however. The governor of Manicaland insisted that palls of smoke over farmland were the result of whites destroying grass needed by veterans to thatch their huts.

"What does Abuja mean?" asked one exasperated farmer. "Mugabe has given nothing away, and there's no real commitment to end the violence. Jack Straw has walked into a stupid trap. There are all these headlines of a deal and in fact half the country is shut down."

Although Colin Cloete, the president of the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), insisted that the accord augured well for the future, his members are deeply divided. Just before the Commonwealth foreign ministers met, an agreement was reached between a private sector-sponsored faction of the CFU called the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative, and the Mugabe government, which one farmer said yesterday had "sold us all down the river".

Supporters of the initiative, however, said it was the last chance to pull Zimbabwe back from the brink of anarchy. "It's a dream that you're ever going to get 100% backing," said one source close to the talks with the government. "But you've got to realise how desperate the farmers were. People have got to get on with their lives - not just the white farmers but also the poor indigenous guys."

According to the Amani Trust, a local human rights organisation, 27 black workers have died this year after being shot, burnt or beaten; 1,770 have been assaulted; six have reported being raped, and 583 have been detained or kidnapped. Over the same period more than 20,000 have been forced from their homes. "Apart from the deaths, all figures can be assumed to be conservative," said a spokesman for the trust.

Mugabe's government has been given a list of farms to be handed over, comprising nearly 1m hectares of land, a fifth of what Mugabe says is eventually needed by landless blacks. "It has taken 20 years for them to willingly submit this list," said Olivia Muchena, the minister responsible. "And we have had a step-by-step verification process, checking the farm deeds, the geographic locations, the exact status of every farm."

Yet there are contradictory claims about what should happen next. The CFU says 551 will be handed over; the government says 461. And while the Abuja accord says all war veterans will move off farms not designated for handover, 90% of farms have appeared on one or more of a series of lists compiled since 1998, and nobody was moving yesterday.

A spokesman for Straw denied he had been "sold a dummy" by Mugabe, and said there would be concerted pressure from Commonwealth nations and the European Union to ensure next year's presidential election was effectively monitored.

"The test of Abuja is on the ground," he said. "Mugabe's government has made a commitment not just to Britain, but to African leaders. There will be no money until the violence has definitely ended."



Libyan visit: Mugabe with Gadaff
in Tripoli last week
Photograph: Howard Burditt

Mugabe holidays as squatters stay put

Tom Walker and RW Johnson

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe was taking a holiday in Libya yesterday as his war veterans refused to move from white-owned farms, despite government assurances that Zimbabwe's 18-month crisis over the illegal occupation of farmland was at an end.

Many farmers said they felt betrayed by Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary, who pledged £36m in compensation for white farmers giving up land in a deal reached by Commonwealth ministers in Abuja, Nigeria, last week.

Diplomats in Harare commented that if Mugabe was seeking to rehabilitate himself in time for next month's Commonwealth summit in Brisbane, cementing his newly formed friendship with a pariah such as Muammar Gadaffi, the Libyan leader, would hardly enhance his credibility.

Zimbabwe's government ministers preferred not to comment on their leader's mysterious trip abroad - which was said to be combining business and pleasure - when he had so many pressing duties at home. The Nigerian foreign minister, Sule Lamido, was in Harare, hoping to verify the Abuja accord on land reform. Southern African regional leaders are due to fly in to meet Mugabe tomorrow.

"He's got a lot of security issues to consider while in Libya," said an official close to the government. "He's also tying up an oil and foreign currency deal, and basically everything here has to wait until the old man gets back and gives his blessing."

Unmoved: despite the much-publicised accord, Zimbabwe's war veterans continue to occupy white-owned farms
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Fresh Zimbabwe farm invasion despite land 'deal'

By Basildon Peta in Harare

09 September 2001

Militants who backed Zimbabwe's land seizure drive invaded a white-owned farm on Saturday and burned workers' homes in the first major incident reported since President Robert Mugabe agreed to end the controversial scheme.

A spokesman for the mainly white Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) said more than 150 militants armed with logs and axes had attacked a farm in Beatrice, 30 miles south of Harare. They chased out workers, set their homes on fire and destroyed tobacco seeds.

"They did not attack the farm manager (Angus Brown) who stays there, but they are demanding that he should leave the farm," the spokesman said.

The invasion came as Zimbabwe waited for President Robert Mugabe to endorse the deal to end his controversial land seizure drive in exchange for funds to implement a fair and just land reform programme.

Government officials said Mugabe was out of the country "on holiday", but refused to give details of his destination or when he was returning to Harare. Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge, who led Zimbabwe's team at the Commonwealth ministerial meeting in Nigeria, said on Friday the government would move swiftly to evict illegal land invaders. But sceptics believe that without Mugabe's public seal of approval, the deal aimed at ending an 18-month land crisis in the southern African country remains shaky.

Nigerian Foreign Minister Sule Lamido, who flew into Harare Friday night, was also waiting to brief Mugabe on the Abuja agreement. By Saturday afternoon there was no official word from the increasingly unpredictable 77-year-old Zimbabwean leader, who has walked away from previous "deals".

Up in Kadoma, 100 miles west of Harare, white farmers were expressing an understandable mixture of scepticism and hope.

In my visits to commercial farms in the past few weeks, it was rare to see a farmer enjoying the evening with his family on the verandah. Most would have barricaded themselves in their houses in case the war veterans called in.

As I approached Tim Joubert's massive Victorian farmhouse and saw him relaxing in the garden with his wife, children and two black farm managers, I assumed they were celebrating Abuja. But they were not.

"If it [the Abuja agreement] can allow us to go on with our farming and get back into business, then it is worth everything," he said. "But we have had these before and nothing has changed."

Joubert chronicled his life with war veterans on the farm and all that he had lost until the invaders were removed and resettled to a properly acquired farm by the Zimbabwe government. Although they were no longer permanently occupying his farm, other landless people often visited his property asking him to leave.

"This is precisely why I hope and want Abuja to work," said Joubert, pointing to several destroyed farm implements near his house.

Others are even more pessimistic, agreeing with the secretary for lands of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Tendai Biti said: "The problem in Zimbabwe is not land but of a crisis of governance. Abuja has skirted the real issue and that is precisely why it will fail."

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Posted: 9/09/01 4:00:09

Police raid Zimbabwe opposition offices, arrest three


Police in Zimbabwe stormed the Bulawayo offices of the main opposition party Saturday and arrested three members, on the first day of mayoral elections, an opposition candidate said.

"We were surrounded by riot police... they took away one of our vans and arrested the bodyguards of one of our MPs," said the mayoral candidate of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube.

The city Saturday saw over 7,000 voters cast their ballots peacefully in mayoral elections pitting the MDC's candidate against the candidate for the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).

Ndabeni-Ncube said five Land Rovers and "a truckload of riot police" descended on the MDC offices in Bulawayo shortly after 6:00 pm (local time).

They arrested the bodyguards working for Bulawayo South MDC MP David Coltart, Ndabeni-Ncube said.

Although there was no reported violence during the Saturday polling, the MDC accused ZANU-PF of transporting thousands of their supporters from out of town to vote for their candidate.

MDC secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, said they had taken pictures of the buses allegedly involved in ferrying the ruling party supporters into the city.

ZANU-PF denied the allegations.

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Militants invade Zimbabwe farm

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE (Reuters) - Militants backing Zimbabwe's land seizures have invaded a white-owned farm and burned workers' homes as the country waits for President Robert Mugabe to personally endorse a deal intended to end the land crisis.

In the first incident reported since Zimbabwe agreed to halt farm invasions, the mainly white Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) said more than 150 militants armed with logs and axes had attacked a farm in Beatrice, 50 km (31 miles) south of Harare on Saturday.

They chased out workers, set their homes on fire and destroyed tobacco seeds. They did not attack the farm manager, whose family was away, but ordered him to leave, a CFU spokesman said.

Government officials said Mugabe was abroad on a brief holiday, but refused to say where he was or when he would return to Harare.

Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge, who led Zimbabwe's team at the Commonwealth ministerial meeting in Nigeria at which the deal was reached, said on Friday the government would move swiftly to evict illegal land invaders.

But sceptics believe that without Mugabe's public seal of approval, the deal aimed at ending the 18-month land crisis in the southern African country remains shaky.

Nigerian Foreign Minister Sule Lamido flew into Harare on Friday night and was waiting to brief Mugabe on the Abuja agreement. By Saturday afternoon there was no official word from the increasingly unpredictable 77-year-old Zimbabwean leader, who political analysts say has walked away from previous deals.

Observers say that without Mugabe's personal "rubber stamp" it is hard to tell whether the agreement will really hold.

Under the accord announced in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Thursday, Zimbabwe agreed to stop landless blacks from invading white-owned farms, occupations encouraged by Mugabe, and to acquire farms for black resettlement on a fair and legal basis.

Former colonial power Britain agreed to co-finance compensation for farmers whose land was acquired under the scheme.

But Mudenge said the agreement concerned only land the government had not designated for acquisition under its policy of resettling the black majority, which is largely landless.

The CFU and Zimbabwe's main opposition party have welcomed the Abuja agreement, but said the key question was whether Mugabe would implement it.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said international pressure had to be kept on Mugabe to ensure the agreement was honoured.

REGIONAL CONCERN

Zimbabwe's state-controlled Herald newspaper hailed the Abuja agreement as a landmark on Saturday, publishing the text of the agreement and an opinion piece headlined "State shows resolve to correct colonial injustices."

It accused Western media of demonising the Zimbabwean government over its land policy because Mugabe had dared to stand up to the West.

The Herald said the media had ignored other African countries with worse land problems in a "well-orchestrated conspiracy to portray Zimbabwe as an international bandit."

The daily quoted Stanley Mogoba, leader of South Africa's small radical opposition Pan-Africanist Congress, as saying South Africa's own land problem was potentially explosive and must be handled quickly.

"The desperation of the people seems to be leading us there eventually...to a situation worse than Zimbabwe," Mogoba was quoted as saying.

Mudenge told reporters on his arrival in Harare from Abuja on Friday that the accord opened the way to a better future.

"I would like to say to all the people of Zimbabwe that this is a happy day for Zimbabwe, which will see us working as one people, moving from strength to strength," he told reporters.

"I would like to say to the merchants of doom...it is time to close up the industry of negativism because Zimbabwe is on the way to a great future."

Zimbabweans, burdened by a worsening political and economic crisis, greeted the agreement with caution.

"Do you think it will work? For Zimbabwe's sake, I hope it does," said a black banking executive who declined to be named. "We had become an embarrassment in the region."

SOUTH AFRICAN PRESSURE

Regional leaders led by South African President Thabo Mbeki will meet in Harare next week for a two-day summit with Mugabe on the land issue.

Mbeki has urged Zimbabwe to uphold the rule of law and has called on the international community to honour pledges of financial assistance for Zimbabwe's land reform programme.

"The Development Community (SADC) is convinced that Zimbabwe does indeed face the urgent need to address the issue of a more equitable distribution of land," Mbeki said in his ruling African National Congress's (ANC) online publication ANC Today.

Mbeki, who has been criticised for this "soft" approach to the Zimbabwean crisis, said the latest developments were positive.

In the past 18 months nine white farmers have died, black farm workers have been assaulted and thousands forced from their homes by violence which political analysts link to Mugabe's campaign to retain power.

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: Saturday, September 08, 2001 8:00 AM
Subject: The power of our pens

Dear family and friends,
The outside world tell me that the signing of an agreement between Zimbabwe and Britain on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria was a "breakthrough". Before I get to this, let me tell you how life has been in Zimbabwe this week to give you an idea of how much of a breakthrough is going to be needed.
Three times this week our magnificent sunset did not materialise. The hauntingly beautiful red sun disappeared completely from sight about three foot above the horizon, completely hidden from sight by the smoke that has smothered every part of the country. Last evening on state television the Governor of Manicaland said that farmers were deliberately incinerating their own fields of precious grazing in order to destroy thatching grass which was needed by "war veterans" for roofing the huts on their newly acquired farms.
Early in the week the price of a loaf of bread rose to just over Z$50.00. This is the eighth time the price of bread has gone up since January 2001.
The prices of cooking oil, sugar and maragerine almost doubled this week and shortages of both were reported in many large supermarkets in Harare.
The price of a tube of toothpaste shot up to Z$300,00.
Petrol and diesel have again become almost impossible to find.
A farm worker is feared dead after he was abducted and then attacked by "war veterans" with an axe. The man who sustained serious head injuries on a farm on the Enterprise Road in Harare has not been seen since.
A senior journalist with the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper has been subjected to a week of  daily harassment by Harare police in connection with his reporting last week of the thousands of farm workers evicted and living in the bush in Hwedza and Marondera.
The Amani Trust (a Human Rights organisation) released statistics of violence in Zimbabwe from the 1st of January to to 31st August 2001. There have been 27 deaths from gunshot, burning and beating; 1770 assaults; 6 rapes; 583 cases of detention and kidnapping; 97 cases of home barricading; 20 583 forced displacements. These are just a few of the figures and the Trust says: "Apart from the deaths, all figures can be assumed to be conservative."
On Friday morning, the day the Abuja "breakthrough" agreement was reached, the state owned Herald newspaper contained a list of 234 more farms which have been gazetted for Compulsory Acquisition.
These are a minute fraction of the outrages that have taken place in our country this week so although the "deal" brokered in Abuja may indeeed be a breakthrough, we are all incredibly sceptical of our governments ability or willingness to adhere to their side of the bargain.
The Abuja agreement states that there will be "no further occupation of farms" and "on undesignated farms occupiers will be moved to legally acquired land". 95% (before today's list) of Zimbabwe's farms are designated for seizure so, pardon my ignorance, but where exactly is the breakthrough in this?
The Abuja agreement states that there is "a committment to restore the rule of law to the process of land reform". On State TV on Friday the government's top lawyer, Mr Hussein was asked exactly which laws they were going to adhere to. Mr Hussein replied that the government would adhere to 2 laws - the one which gives the ruling party the right to compulsorily acquire land, and, the law which protects squatters from eviction. Again, pardon my ignorance, but where is the breakthrough? Nothing was said of all the other High and Supreme Court Rulings which have been deliberately ignored by the Police in Zimbabwe; nothing was said about the basic laws governing human rights, the right to shelter, the right to protection by the police etc etc etc. Mr Hussein was then asked if the government would adhere to the Abuja Agreement in respect to the freedom of the Press and Protection of the Media. Mr Hussein replied that these rights had never been infringed and were inherant in our existing constitution. Again, where is the breakthrough?
All any of us can hope is that the Abuja Agreement was a face saving appeasement, a beginning. But what is President Mugabe saying about this "breakthrough"? He isn't. He is out of the country on holiday, last seen in Libya. And what are the "war veterans" in Harare saying about the Abuja agreement? The "war veteran" interviewed on BBC World TV on Friday evening said "this is just stalling, we will continue to stay on the farms."
I apologise if my letter this week appears negative, sceptical and disbelieving. The situation on the ground in Zimbabwe is dire. More than anything we need international journalists here now to see for themselves what is really going on. We need an Agreement from which all Zimbabweans of all colours and races will be able to go about their daily lives without fear. We need to be guaranteed a free and fair election. We need the violence, burning, beating, raping, murdering, looting and intimidation to be stopped. We need the Zimbabwean Police to start doing their jobs. Perhaps this week we will see exactly that, perhaps the Abuja Agreement is the beginning, I hope it is. The Abuja Agreement is a sign of hope; if nothing else the world has held their hand out to Zimbabwe one last time and told us this is our last chance to get our house in order. To every person who recieves this letter and has been lobbying their MP all these months, I thank you. Each and every one of you can take some credit for the fact that we got as far as a meeting in Abuja - the power of our pens is awesome! Now, more than ever before, we must keep the pressure up. If the hell continues in Zimbabwe we must all speak out - farmers, workers, journalists, housewives - every single one of us must find the courage to speak out. It was made clear at Abuja that if the Zimbabwe government had not adhered to the agreement brokered then strong measures would be taken at the Commonwealth meeting in Brisbane in October. The EU has tabled an incredibly strong resolution regarding Zimbabwe and are ready to start helping us. If we do not find the courage to speak out in the coming weeks then we will be our own worst enemies.  I hope that next week I will be able to take off the yellow ribbon I still wear in support of all those who are suffering. With my love and thanks for the support, encouragement and messages of hope, cathy
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COMMERCIAL FARMERS' UNION
Farm Invasions and Security Report
Thursday 6th September 2001



This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas. Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens. Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.

NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF:
5 work stoppages occurred on farms in Trelawney / Darwendale, and a large amount of grazing has been burnt out in the district. 
The situation is tense in the Karoi district, with many work stoppages and pegging activities occurring.
20 work stoppages occurred on farms in the Doma area, with some farm owners  being unable to return to their farms.
Army personnel from Nkomo Barracks and police from Chikurubi moved onto Beersheba Farm in Norton and insisted that the owner's wife go and fight a fire which started as they arrived. The owner's wife was forced to run for over a kilometre whilst army and police drove behind threatening with hose pipes.
Farm owners continue to receive harassment from illegal occupiers demanding that owners vacate their farms, remove cattle off farms and plough lands for them.  Veld fires have resulted in a massive loss of grazing.
REGIONAL REPORTS

There were no reports received from Matabeleland Region.

Mashonaland Central
Bindura - Increasing activity by Agritex officials accompanied by army and police details have been noted.  The DA visited a number of farms indicating their intention to peg and resettle in near future.  Ledbury Farm is currently being pegged.
Centenary - The DA of Centenary visited Buka Farm and informed the owner that he was to vacate the farm immediately.  When the owner spoke to the lands committee, he was told to shut down farming operations and vacate the farm with immediate effect.  The DA later told the owner he may temporarily continue to reside on the farm.  The owner is currently paying off all his farm workers who have nowhere to go.
Mvurwi - Illegal occupiers from Blightly Farm went to a neighbouring farm, Msoneddi Estates and demanded the return of irrigation pipes recently taken by the owner of Blighty to Msoneddi Estate.  Pegging of Msoneddi has commenced on the delisted farm.  Many illegal occupiers were seen carrying axes and sticks on Msoneddi Estates, resulting in farm workers moving off the farm.
Glendale - 2 vacant houses on Kirriedale have been occupied by illegal occupiers.  Police have not responded.  The driveway on the farm has been  blocked for 4 weeks now, after illegal occupiers felled a large tree across road.  The owner has had total work stoppage for 18 months.

Mashonaland West North
Trelawney / Darwendale - 5 work stoppages occurred on farms in the district and illegal occupiers are requesting that farm owners plough land for them. Illegal occupiers arrived on Mbevi Farm for a short while and said they would return next week. 30 ha of grazing was burnt and 3 head of cattle slaughtered on Clydesdale Farm. 300 ha of grazing was burnt on Strathdon, 100 ha on Ayrshire Farm, 500 ha on Welwerdiend Farm, 25 ha on Dartmoor Farm and 200 ha on Glen Esk. Cattle were found snared on Annandale Farm. A work stoppage occurred on Preston Farm and the owner is unable to feed livestock. A work stoppage on Dulwich Farm has been resolved and the owner allowed to grow 80 ha of his crop. Discussions were held on the telephone with the DA who informed illegal occupiers that the tobacco must be planted.  Illegal occupier Nyamaziwa then proceeded to stop planting and pulled out some of the planted seedlings.  Illegal occupiers Kadoza and Remigio Nyamaziwa have been disrupting farming operations on Cleeve Farm and held a meeting with farm workers. Illegal occupiers instructed the owner that his top 3 employees must be fired. When the owner refused, he was given the whole labour forces notice and has told them that he will not operate with these disturbances. A work stoppage occurred on Skelton Farm when the owner returned to the farm after being away overseas. Work has commenced again, but illegal occupiers threatened to burn tractors and about 10 greenhouses. About 20 illegal occupiers huts have been erected on Lyndhurst and about 10 of their cattle are being herded across the river every day and then being sent back by farm workers.  Work commenced again on West Enton after discussions with the DA, but planting is being prevented until the owner signs an agreement to plough 6 by 1 ha plots for illegal occupiers.  10 illegal occupiers huts have been erected with only 1 illegal occupier present. 8 illegal occupiers remain on Roxburgh, with a further 5 who have recently moved on.  A work stoppage on Ziroto was resolved after the owner received a stamped letter from the DA saying that the owner could use the tobacco lands, but must plough land for the illegal occupiers in return. There are 3 illegal occupiers living on the farm, with 14 huts built and a further 14 illegal occupiers who come and go. Between 7 and 30 illegal occupiers have been on Stratford and 7 huts built. 8 illegal occupiers moved onto Venmara and commenced building huts. The farm store on Debera Farm  was looted.
Chinhoyi - A pick-up truck and cell phone was stolen from Belltrees Farm. The owner of Fynnlands Farm has been off his farm since the national holiday on the 13th August, and when his neighbour went to pay farm workers, he was taken by GAPWUZ officials to the ZANU PF offices in town and retained there for about 3 hours, and slightly physically assaulted. GAPWUZ officials and farm workers were demanding a retrenchment package. The owner is currently consulting with his lawyer and the NEC.
Karoi - The situation is tense in this district, with many work stoppages and pegging activities occurring.
Doma - 20 work stoppages have occurred on farms in the area. Some farm owners have been unable to return to their farms yet.  Illegal occupiers are pegging on Kyalami.
Nyabira - Hay bales and pigs stolen were stolen on farms in the area.

Mashonaland West South 
General - Pegging is going on within the region by the DA's pegging teams, and after each farm is pegged it becomes increasingly difficult to continue any farming operations.
Norton - Army personnel from Nkomo Barracks in Harare and police from Chikurubi moved onto Beersheba Farm and cleared the grading sheds of people, before going to the owners house and insisting that the owner's wife go out and fight a fire which started as the army personnel arrived on the farm. The owners wife was not allowed to put on shoes, and was forced to run for over a kilometre whilst army and police drove behind threatening her with hose pipes.  Army and police demanded that a hut  which was burnt and belonged to the owner, had to be rebuilt  by that afternoon otherwise there would be trouble. Army and police personnel have since been making incursions into the Mhondoro communal land.
Selous - There was an extremely threatening situation on Wicklow Estates and all the owners cattle were moved into bomas. A Wildebeeste was chased into the dam and killed on Mount Carmel farm. Game scouts had a number of assegais thrown at them, but were unharmed.
Kadoma - 3 Cobra security guards were assaulted on Alabama Farm, and illegal occupiers gained access into the owner's security fence. The DA refused to allow any farming operations to continue on the farm.
Suri-Suri - Illegal occupiers on Pax Farm chased cattle off the farm and prevented ridging.
Battlefields - Illegal occupiers are preventing ridging for paprika from taking place on Abendrhue. After illegal occupiers waited for the owner to prepare lands before demanding for the land which they wished to plant their own crops into.

Mashonaland East 
Beatrice - A farmer in the district was arrested as a result of an illegal occupier being injured by a trap gun he set up to protect his sheep. He has been in custody since Sunday at the Chivhu police station. There are numerous reports of theft. Some farm workers were assaulted on Logan Lee whilst continuing to prepare lands after being told by illegal occupiers not to. Police refused to respond due to the situation being political.
Featherstone - 150 illegal occupiers moved onto Sable Flats farm from Gokwe.
Harare South - About 20 illegal occupiers led by Deka, Matsangura arrived at the managers homestead gate on Rusimbiro shouting and demanding that the manager talk with them, and threatened to barricade the manager in. This incident resulted from the manager firing a security guard and the guard was now demanding to receive all of his benefits. The group also demanded that farm workers vacate the farm. A farmer was approached by 3 illegal occupiers who tried to relieve him of his hand held radio. When the farmer drove off, one of the illegal occupiers tried to jump onto the back of the vehicle and fell hard. Illegal occupiers filed a report with police at Harrage Police Base. The assistant manager on the farm was threatened by an illegal occupier, armed with an axe, who was guarding the gate on the farm. When the manager tried to leave, axes were thrown at the vehicle. The owner of Kinfauns was told that the farm would be valuated and illegal occupiers settled in the near future and that he and his farm workers must vacate and leave the tractors, lorries and equipment for the new owners to use. Seed beds were damaged on Dunolly when illegal occupiers lost control of a fire that they set whilst clearing a plot.  The manager on Auks Nest was told to vacate his homestead to enable illegal occupiers to move in.
Marondera - The situation in Wenimbe remains unresolved.
Marondera North - There are a number of work stoppages in the district.  On a farm in the district, the owner is only allowed to ridge half the farm. The owner of Loquat Grove  was evicted from the farm by illegal occupiers. Police reacted. A farm owner in the district was arrested for cutting down indigenous trees.
Macheke / Virginia - A work stoppage occurred on Fault farm and the electricity  switched off and telephone lines cut. Cattle were herded into the security fence. Police responded. An illegal occupier claimed that the owner's cattle had eaten planted vegetables and demanded compensation. A works stoppage  occurred on Hazeldene. Fencing was stolen and trees cut on the boundary of Chikumbakwe farm and on the border with Klipspringerkop. A group of drunk illegal occupiers arrived at the homestead gate of Malda and demanded that the owner should have been off the farm by the end of August. Police did not respond due to lack of transport, and felt that no ones life was in danger. Illegal occupiers then broke the lock on the homestead gate and herded cattle into the yard and made a fire. Police reacted and said a taskforce would have to resolve the situation. An all night pungwe followed and at midnight they switched off the electricity and police said they would react in the morning. Illegal occupiers then demanded that they be given the tractor keys which was denied. The manager on Durlstone was stopped from planting. A large number of gum trees have been cut down on Mignon farm and taken into the communal areas on scotch carts for sale. A new invasion occurred on Lingone farm.  Farm workers on Howgate were told by illegal occupiers to vacate the farm, and when the owner returned, there were only 5 farm workers remaining. Farm workers arranged to meet with the owner, and illegal occupiers held a meeting with farm workers after. The following day, another work stoppage occurred and the owner was told to vacate the farm. Farm workers who were planting on Belgravia were chased out of the land by illegal occupiers. Plots are being sold by illegal occupiers to anyone who wants them for $500,00 each. The owner of Mignon farm was told to vacate the farm, and that the ungraded tobacco was now government property. Government evaluators arrived on Exeter and Drylaw Hill and demanded to see everything on the farm including the owners homesteads.
Wedza - Illegal occupier Chigwedere and the DA demanded that the owner of Leap Year pay farm workers and vacate the farm. The owner of Fels was given an ultimatum by illegal occupiers, to vacate the farm or there would be trouble. Illegal occupier Kujeki gave the owner of Saltash farm until the end of October to complete grading activities, and farm cattle were to be removed by the end of February next year and farm workers must be paid off. Illegal occupiers  destroyed seed beds on the farm. A ZANU PF flag is missing and illegal occupiers said that it has to be replaced or else the owner will have to pay Z$20 000 and if the flag is not replaced by Saturday the owner would be forced to buy another flag from ZANU PF head quarters for Z$1 million. 10 illegal occupiers from Leeds and Chirume chased farm workers out a land where they were burning paprika stalks. 5 fires were deliberately started by illegal occupiers on Chirume destroying about 1000 ha of grazing. Illegal occupier Kujeki ordered all farm workers to vacate Poltimore. Farm workers have been chased off Eager Weaver and Corby by illegal occupiers who also prevented tobacco from being loaded. 3 weaners were slashed and 5 calves slaughtered over the last 10 days on Lifton. About 25 head of communal cattle are now resident on the farm. Over 5 days, 10 fires were deliberately started by illegal occupiers burning about 1000 ha of grazing. Between 3000 and 5000 gum trees have been cut down on the farm. 20 farm workers on Markwe jumped over the homestead fence and demanded to see the owner because they wanted their terminal benefits. The owner of Fels and his mother were barricaded in their houses where felled trees had been put down to block their gates. The DA was evaluating Rapako.  Labour egged on by the Markwe labour on Mbima demanded retrenchment packages.

Manicaland
Chipinge - On Lettiesville Farm the entire farm was pegged and on the owners other farm about one third was pegged and illegal occupiers are saying it is because the owner is not co-operating, although they have not communicated with the owner.
Nyanga - ZFTU is very active in the area and especially on large farms, causing a lot of disruption. There have been more bush fires than usual. Government evaluators are going to farm homesteads with a view of turning them into clinics and schools.

Masvingo
Masvingo East & Central - Chidza Farm has been completely burnt out. There is now an assertive move by illegal occupiers to harass the owner. Cattle are being mixed up and pushed onto the roads at night. Cattle troughs are being turned over and an escalation of illegal occupiers is occurring on the farm. Snaring of cattle and game has reached alarming proportions on Beauly Farm. About 4500 hectares of grazing has been burnt out, forcing the owner to destock. A snared impala was found on Bon Air Farm. Fawcetts Security Guards employed by the owner of Lothian Farm have been chased out of their homes by illegal occupiers.
Gutu / Chatsworth - When illegal occupiers were chasing a kudu bull on Blyth Farm, the kudu ran into the owner's homestead security fence, and illegal occupiers now claim the kudu belongs to them. Police are reacting to the incident. The owners of Blyth and Felixburg Farm continue to receive pressure from illegal occupiers to remove all cattle off the farm. The Provincial Governor visited the owner of Chindito farm and told him that he would like the farm. A blue gum plantation on Irvine A was completely burnt down by illegal occupiers who are pegging on ploughing on the farm.
Mwenezi - Veld fires are occurring all over the district. 60 000 ha of grazing has been lost on Malangani Ranch. On a neighbouring farm, 20 000 ha was lost making a total of 80 000 ha lost in the last 10 days. Illegal occupiers on Lumbergia Ranch pushed 3 head of cattle onto the railway track area and 1 onto the tar road. Illegal occupiers burnt 600 ha on Valley Ranch. Poaching has escalated in this area over the last week.
Save Conservancy - Numbers of fires have occurred on farms in the district with continued poaching activities.
Chiredzi - Fires continue unabated with poaching, tree clearing and farm owners receiving continued harassment from illegal occupiers. The foreman of Minaarshoff Ranch was severely beaten by illegal occupiers when trying to stop them from stealing. Illegal occupiers threatened physical injury and to burn anything they could. Police refuse to react, claiming the situation is political.

Midlands 
General - Veld fires continue to escalate. Available grazing has reached critically low levels. Pressures on farmers to move cattle off farms continue in spite of FMD restrictions. Lawlessness continues.




aisd1@cfu.co.zw
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Daily News

THE trial of Dirk Wouter du Plooy, a Harare businessman accused of
denigrating President Mugabe, was on Thursday postponed to Tuesday next
week.

Harare provincial magistrate, Lawrence Malimbiza, is expected to make a
ruling on an application by du Plooy’s lawyer, Advocate Richard Fitches, to
have the case referred to the Supreme Court. Du Plooy, 57, allegedly
referred to Mugabe as a “monkey” and “a crook who had run the country dry”.
He is charged under the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act.

Fitches said in his application the charge contravened a section of the
Declaration of Rights which provides for freedom of expression. “Without
prejudice to his defence on the facts, the accused hereby avers that section
20 of the Declaration of Rights in the Constitution of Zimbabwe has been
contravened in relation to him and hereby requests this honourable court to
refer the case to the Supreme Court,” read part of the application.

Prosecutor Teddy Kamuriwo, said on 25 June, du Plooy berated Alfred
Nyahunzvi after Nyahunzvi went to du Plooy’s workshop in Park Street,
Harare, to pay for the repair of his car engine block with a cheque.
Kamuriwo said du Plooy refused to accept the cheque, allegedly saying he
would not accept the cheque as he did not run his company “like the monkey
President of Zimbabwe”. He is alleged to have said Mugabe was a crook who
had run the country dry.
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Britain defends Zimbabwe compromise
By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor
(Filed: 08/09/2001)

BRITAIN defended its compromise with Zimbabwe over the invasion of white-owned land last night in the face of criticism from Zimbabwean farmers and opposition activists.







A day after Britain promised millions of pounds to help fund a "fair, just and sustainable" redistribution of land in Zimbabwe, Baroness Amos, the Foreign Office minister responsible for Africa, said the real test of the agreement would be what happens on the ground.

Lady Amos told BBC Radio 4's PM programme: "It is up to Zimbabwe to deliver now. What we have is a way forward." Under the terms of the accord negotiated by Commonwealth ministers in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, Zimbabwe has promised to "restore the rule of law" after 18 months of land invasions, violence and intimidation.

Zimbabwe said yesterday it would move swiftly to implement the accord. But, as the gaps in the agreement became apparent, several Zimbabwean opposition leaders and white farmers dismissed the deal as worthless.

Welshman Ncube, secretary-general of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said: "This is just a public relations exercise for Mugabe for the international arena."

With presidential elections due in April, opposition activists fear that Mr Mugabe will not halt political violence and intimidation. Mr Ncube said: "We are unhappy with this declaration. Mugabe has been saying all along that the rule of law exists. Who is going to determine the commitment to a return to the rule of law?"

In Britain, Francis Maude, the shadow foreign secretary, said: "We need to be very sure that this deal is not just a ploy to get Mugabe accepted into next month's Commonwealth summit and to appease those calling for Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth."

Critics say the Abuja communique - negotiated by ministers from Britain, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia and Jamaica - rubber-stamps the wholesale invasion of farms that have taken place during the past 18 months of political violence.

Don McKinnon, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, said the agreement was "a very good start", but admitted that it did not "turn the clock back" on the invasions. About 5,000 farms - representing about 88 per cent of white-owned land - are officially gazetted for "fast-track" expropriation, which Zimbabwe's Supreme Court has declared illegal.

Under the Abuja deal, Zimbabwe promised that there will be no further occupation of farms and squatters will be moved from farms that are not listed for seizure (but only when land becomes available to resettle them).

Harare also vowed to speed up the process of removing from the list many farms that do not meet government criteria. But within hours of making this commitment, the state-controlled Herald daily said the government had added a fresh batch of 232 white-owned farms to its list of land to be seized.

The move, while not a blatant breach of the accord, cast doubt on whether Zimbabwe is committed to its promise to carry out a rational land reform policy "within the law and constitution of Zimbabwe".

The Commercial Farmers' Union, which represents the interests of its 3,500 mainly white members, officially welcomed the Abuja accords as a "landmark". But several prominent members were privately horrified.

A respected farmer said: "There is no change. More than 85 per cent of commercial agriculture will be taken for resettlement. That's not a solution to the country's economic and social problems. That is the status quo, and that is disaster."

Another farmer, whose land has been occupied, said: "It's not worth the paper it is written on."




Britain defends Zimbabwe compromise
By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor
(Filed: 08/09/2001)

BRITAIN defended its compromise with Zimbabwe over the invasion of
white-owned land last night in the face of criticism from Zimbabwean
farmers and opposition activists.

<Attachment missing>

A day after Britain promised millions of pounds to help fund a "fair,
just and sustainable" redistribution of land in Zimbabwe, Baroness Amos,
the Foreign Office minister responsible for Africa, said the real test
of the agreement would be what happens on the ground.

Lady Amos told BBC Radio 4's PM programme: "It is up to Zimbabwe to
deliver now. What we have is a way forward." Under the terms of the
accord negotiated by Commonwealth ministers in the Nigerian capital,
Abuja, Zimbabwe has promised to "restore the rule of law" after 18
months of land invasions, violence and intimidation.

Zimbabwe said yesterday it would move swiftly to implement the accord.
But, as the gaps in the agreement became apparent, several Zimbabwean
opposition leaders and white farmers dismissed the deal as worthless.

Welshman Ncube, secretary-general of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, said: "This is just a public relations exercise for
Mugabe for the international arena."

With presidential elections due in April, opposition activists fear that
Mr Mugabe will not halt political violence and intimidation. Mr Ncube
said: "We are unhappy with this declaration. Mugabe has been saying all
along that the rule of law exists. Who is going to determine the
commitment to a return to the rule of law?"

In Britain, Francis Maude, the shadow foreign secretary, said: "We need
to be very sure that this deal is not just a ploy to get Mugabe accepted
into next month's Commonwealth summit and to appease those calling for
Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth."

Critics say the Abuja communique - negotiated by ministers from Britain,
Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia and Jamaica - rubber-stamps
the wholesale invasion of farms that have taken place during the past 18
months of political violence.

Don McKinnon, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, said the agreement was
"a very good start", but admitted that it did not "turn the clock back"
on the invasions. About 5,000 farms - representing about 88 per cent of
white-owned land - are officially gazetted for "fast-track"
expropriation, which Zimbabwe's Supreme Court has declared illegal.

Under the Abuja deal, Zimbabwe promised that there will be no further
occupation of farms and squatters will be moved from farms that are not
listed for seizure (but only when land becomes available to resettle
them).

Harare also vowed to speed up the process of removing from the list many
farms that do not meet government criteria. But within hours of making
this commitment, the state-controlled Herald daily said the government
had added a fresh batch of 232 white-owned farms to its list of land to
be seized.

The move, while not a blatant breach of the accord, cast doubt on
whether Zimbabwe is committed to its promise to carry out a rational
land reform policy "within the law and constitution of Zimbabwe".

The Commercial Farmers' Union, which represents the interests of its
3,500 mainly white members, officially welcomed the Abuja accords as a
"landmark". But several prominent members were privately horrified.

A respected farmer said: "There is no change. More than 85 per cent of
commercial agriculture will be taken for resettlement. That's not a
solution to the country's economic and social problems. That is the
status quo, and that is disaster."

Another farmer, whose land has been occupied, said: "It's not worth the
paper it is written on."
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Lake County Project Set to List On ZSE


Financial Gazette (Harare)

September 6, 2001
Posted to the web September 7, 2001

HIGHBRASS Investments, the owners of Kintyre Lake County (KLC), will apply to list the agriculture-cum-property development on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange once it is fully operational, a company official said this week.

Finance director Henry Manzungu said there had been an overwhelming response to the project, which was launched last week, from institutional investors.


The investors regard the development as an opportunity to increase their portfolio base by funding farmers on site with project finance, mortgages and asset funding.

"The KLC project will apply to be listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange once the project is up and running," Manzungu said.

"There is a serious shortage of quality flowers on the world market everyday and for this reason we know that KLC will be well received on the international market."

The agricultural component of the $2.5 billion development involves intensive horticulture and floriculture on the 1 400-hectare Kintyre Estates, with agricultural produce being processed under export processing zones (EPZ) conditions.

Highbrass is already working to secure EPZ licences for the agricultural projects.

Arable land on the development will be subdivided into 50 serviced, intensive agricultural units, each with a minimum of 10 hectares, and green houses will also be erected for the production of flowers, of which Zimbabwe is the second largest exporter in Africa after Kenya.

The horticultural export processing zone projects, which will be launched before the end of this year, are set to earn Zimbabwe US$50 million ($2.75 billion) annually.

Kingdom Merchant Bank, the financier of the KLC, is seeking $400 million from investors for infrastructural development and has approached several institutional and private investors who have shown interest in the development.

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From the Daily News

State approves resettlement of 600 families in the Gonarezhou

9/8/01 9:19:03 AM (GMT +2)


From Our Correspondent, in Masvingo

The government has approved the resettlement of over 600 families in the
Gonarezhou national park in spite of strong objections by officials in the
Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management.


Masvingo provincial governor, Josaya Hungwe yesterday said he had approved
the resettlement despite widespread protests from the department of national
parks and civic organisations. Hungwe is the chairman of the province’s land
committee.

“I went there and gave the people land. Vice-President Joseph Msika was
aware of the move,” he said. “The Department of National Parks was given
time to lodge objections and they did not do so on time.”

The department objected to the move arguing the sanctuary was not suitable
for agriculture. A department official said yesterday: “We had suggested
these people be engaged in wildlife management. We had proposed to tour some
areas in South Africa where the community is involved in wildlife management
so that the families could learn from there,” the official said.

Gonarezhou is the country’s largest national park and is lion infested. The
new farmers are, therefore, at great risk of dangerous animals in the park.
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Zimpapers in record $123,8m loss

9/8/01 9:16:42 AM (GMT +2)


By Ngoni Chanakira, Business Editor

The former blue-chip company, Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited
(Zimpapers), faces a serious crisis.

In its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2000, Zimpapers’
newspaper division recorded an astronomical $123,8 million operating loss, a
shocking 854 percent higher than the $14,5 million loss recorded in 1999.

Overall, the company’s inflation-adjusted turnover declined by 8 percent
from $1,766 billion in 1999 to $1,617 billion in year 2000. Zimpapers
recorded a net loss before tax of $185,4 million during the year under
review compared to a restated net loss before tax of $217,8 million in 1999.
The newspaper division, which operated poorly during the year 2000, recorded
a decrease in turnover of 37 percent from $1,2 billion in 1999 to $1 billion
last year.

Since the launch of its major competitor, The Daily News, published by
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (Pvt) Limited (ANZ), the Zimpapers’
newspaper division has experienced nightmares. Sales for its flagship, The
Herald, have nose-dived from more than 115 000 copies to less than 45 000 a
day, while those of The Daily News have high-jumped from a mere 35 000, to
more than 100 000 before saboteurs blew up the company’s printing press in
January.

The Daily News is now firmly established as Zimbabwe’s best selling
newspaper, with a minimum circulation of 80 000 copies daily. The paper
continues to experience sell-out situations despite increasing its cover
price from $25 to $30 two weeks ago, far outselling The Herald, whose price
remains static at $25. Enoch Kamushinda, the Zimpapers group chairman, who
took over the reigns on 20 March, this year, said he came in and
“immediately put in place structures to ensure production of the accounts”
which were “lagging behind”.

Kamushinda said “despite the economic problems affecting the rest of the
business community, year 2001 promises better fortunes for the company”.
Zimpapers this week published two different reports in The Chronicle on
Thursday and in The Herald yesterday. While the figures remained consistent,
the text, especially the chairman’s report, was different. This is the first
time this has happened in the company’s more than 100-year printing and
publishing history. The report published in The Chronicle contained details
of the numerous changes in the company’s board of directors, while the
report in The Herald did not. The advert in The Chronicle also made
reference to the many changes in senior management, while that in The Herald
did not.

Once ranked among the top 10 best-performing companies listed on the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and reaping million-dollar profits, the tables have
turned on the government-controlled and cash-strapped publishing company
with the launch of The Daily News, now the biggest circulating daily in
Zimbabwe, to which it has lost substantial circulation and advertising
revenue.
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From Reuters

Militants Invade Farm as Zimbabwe Waits for Mugabe

September 08, 2001 12:33 PM ET


By Cris Chinaka

HARARE (Reuters) - Militants backing Zimbabwe's land seizures invaded a
white-owned farm and burned workers' homes on Saturday as the country waited
for President Robert Mugabe personally to endorse a deal intended to end the
land crisis.

In the first incident reported since Zimbabwe agreed to halt farm invasions,
the mainly white Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) said more than 150 militants
armed with logs and axes had attacked a farm in Beatrice, 30 miles south of
Harare.

They chased out workers, set their homes on fire and destroyed tobacco
seeds. They did not attack the farm manager, whose family was away, but
ordered him to leave, a CFU spokesman said.

Government officials said Mugabe was abroad on a brief holiday, but refused
to say where he was or when he would return to Harare.

Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge, who led Zimbabwe's team at the Commonwealth
ministerial meeting in Nigeria at which the deal was reached, said on Friday
the government would move swiftly to evict illegal land invaders.

But skeptics believe that without Mugabe's public seal of approval, the deal
aimed at ending the 18-month land crisis in the southern African country
remains shaky.

Nigerian Foreign Minister Sule Lamido flew into Harare on Friday night and
was waiting to brief Mugabe on the Abuja agreement. By Saturday afternoon
there was no official word from the increasingly unpredictable 77-year-old
Zimbabwean leader, who political analysts say has walked away from previous
deals.

Observers say that without Mugabe's personal "rubber stamp" it is hard to
tell whether the agreement will really hold.

Under the accord announced in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Thursday,
Zimbabwe agreed to stop landless blacks from invading white-owned farms,
occupations encouraged by Mugabe, and to acquire farms for black
resettlement on a fair and legal basis.

Former colonial power Britain agreed to co-finance compensation for farmers
whose land was acquired under the scheme.

But Mudenge said the agreement concerned only land the government had not
designated for acquisition under its policy of resettling the black
majority, which is largely landless.

The CFU and Zimbabwe's main opposition party have welcomed the Abuja
agreement, but said the key question was whether Mugabe would implement it.

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change,
said international pressure had to be kept on Mugabe to ensure the agreement
was honored.


REGIONAL CONCERN

Zimbabwe's state-controlled Herald newspaper hailed the Abuja agreement as a
landmark on Saturday, publishing the text of the agreement and an opinion
piece headlined "State shows resolve to correct colonial injustices."

It accused Western media of demonizing the Zimbabwean government over its
land policy because Mugabe had dared to stand up to the West.

The Herald said the media had ignored other African countries with worse
land problems in a "well-orchestrated conspiracy to portray Zimbabwe as an
international bandit."

The daily quoted Stanley Mogoba, leader of South Africa's small radical
opposition Pan-Africanist Congress, as saying South Africa's own land
problem was potentially explosive and must be handled quickly.

"The desperation of the people seems to be leading us there eventually...to
a situation worse than Zimbabwe," Mogoba was quoted as saying.

Mudenge told reporters on his arrival in Harare from Abuja on Friday that
the accord opened the way to a better future.

"I would like to say to all the people of Zimbabwe that this is a happy day
for Zimbabwe, which will see us working as one people, moving from strength
to strength," he told reporters.

"I would like to say to the merchants of doom...it is time to close up the
industry of negativism because Zimbabwe is on the way to a great future."

Zimbabweans, burdened by a worsening political and economic crisis, greeted
the agreement with caution.

"Do you think it will work? For Zimbabwe's sake, I hope it does," said a
black banking executive who declined to be named. "We had become an
embarrassment in the region."


SOUTH AFRICAN PRESSURE

Regional leaders led by South African President Thabo Mbeki will meet in
Harare next week for a two-day summit with Mugabe on the land issue.

Mbeki has urged Zimbabwe to uphold the rule of law and has called on the
international community to honor pledges of financial assistance for
Zimbabwe's land reform program.

"The Development Community (SADC) is convinced that Zimbabwe does indeed
face the urgent need to address the issue of a more equitable distribution
of land," Mbeki said in his ruling African National Congress's (ANC) online
publication ANC Today.

Mbeki, who has been criticized for this "soft" approach to the Zimbabwean
crisis, said the latest developments were positive.

In the past 18 months nine white farmers have died, black farm workers have
been assaulted and thousands forced from their homes by violence which
political analysts link to Mugabe's campaign to retain power.
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Mugabe in guns for timber deal
By CHRIS ERASMUS
September 09, 2001

KINSHASA: One of the world's last great rainforests -- covering 34 million hectares -- is to be laid waste by loggers working for Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe and his cronies.

Control of the area -- one and half times the size of Victoria and the last sanctuary for some of the planet's most endangered animals -- has been handed to Mugabe by authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in return for military support.

The DRC Government has been waging a bitter war against rebels in the east of the country for the past three years. More than 2.5 million people have died.

"The impact on local people's livelihoods and on rare wildlife such as the gorilla will be devastating," Patrick Alley, of the human rights group Global Witness, told London's Observer newspaper.

"This is forest the world can ill afford to lose."

The majority of the world's 600 remaining mountain gorillas are believed to live in the area and the United Nations recently designated it one of the world's most important forests.

Mugabe, 77, is unlikely to back down given that the project should reap rewards of $400 million.

The Zimbabwean Army and Forestry Commission will be in charge of the operation, with senior politicians and military leaders sharing the proceeds.

The logging will be carried out by the Socebo company, whose board includes senior members of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party.

Socebo is a subsidiary of a firm called Cosleg which is controlled by the Zimbabwean military and the family of Joseph Kabila, the murdered president of the DRC.

The UN also believes Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi have given military aid in return for rights to exploit the country's resources.

The logging agreement, which both sides have tried to keep secret, was struck as the leaders from all warring factions met in Botswana in the hope of ending the conflict. They will meet again next month, but there is little hope of a settlement.

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Zimbabwe's Opposition Accuses Ruling Party of Election Fraud
By Brian Latham

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe's biggest opposition party has accused the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front of electoral fraud in mayoral elections that began today in Bulawayo, the country's second-biggest city.

Thousands of Zanu-PF supporters were bussed into the city this morning, said David Coltart, the shadow justice minister for the Opposition Movement for Democratic Change. The accusation comes after MDC allegations last month that Zanu-PF bussed in 6,000 supporters to help it win a by-election in the northeastern town of Bindura.

``I saw buses packed like sardines with Zanu-PF youths driving into the city,'' said Coltart, adding that MDC officials elsewhere in the city had seen Zanu-PF supporters arriving in pickup trucks. In parliamentary polls last year, MDC candidates won all of Bulawayo constituencies.

The poll is a test of Zanu-PF support ahead of the presidential elections Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe must face next year even as near-record inflation and 60 percent unemployment erode his support.

Parliamentary elections narrowly won by Zanu-PF last year were marred by accusations of fraud and violence that killed more than 30 people.

Zanu-PF and MBC are also contesting a by-election today and tomorrow in the Eastern constituency of Makoni.

The dispute comes after the foreign ministers of Zimbabwe and its former colonial ruler, the U.K., agreed this week to a pact that would see Zimbabwe end a year-and-a-half of invasion of white-owned farms by armed skuatters.

That agreement is seen as the first step toward ending a crisis that has pushed Zimbabwe into its worst ever economic crisis though it must still be ratified by Mugabe and U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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