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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Daily News

Leader Page

Only 12 days left to save Zimbabwe from famine

12/10/2002 8:53:44 AM (GMT +2)



THERE is probably not a single person living in Zimbabwe who has not,
at one time or another, grown maize.

For some, it may just be a handful of pips sown in the vegetable
garden. For others, it may be the carefully tended plot on the side of the
road or on an anthill. For the professionals, it was those huge fields that
stretched off into the horizon, where the heavily fertilised, irrigated,
dark green plants stood in immaculately weed-free straight lines.

All of us know that by Christmas it is too late to plant maize. Even
the shortest of short season varieties do not do well if they are planted
too late in the rainy season.

In years gone by, the message we heard every day on radio and
television in December was that there were only so many shopping days left
till Christmas.

In Zimbabwe in 2002 the only message we hear a hundred times a day on
the State-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)'s radio and television
is Chave Chimurenga (It's now war).

None of us doubt that the Chimurenga is here in Zimbabwe, but there
are only 12 planting days left before Christmas.

What a terribly frightening piece of information that is. There are
only 12 days left in which to save Zimbabwe from inevitable famine.

Somehow, we have got to find a way of getting our government to listen
to us within the next week and a half; if we do not, we will surely die.

Last week's double page aerial photographs, taken by The Daily News,
of the thousands of hectares of unused farmland, should be enough to fill
every single Zimbabwean with complete terror.

If those pictures did not frighten you, then perhaps the latest
statements by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Dr
Joseph Made, will.

"At the moment we don't have the projected figures of what we have
planted this season and this is a big problem for us as government.
"We only hope that the new farmers will be able to produce enough
grain to feed the country."

These words, said barely a week ago by the man solely responsible for
ensuring there is food for us to buy next year, filled me with cold terror.
Over a month into the rainy season Made does not know how much maize is
growing in the ground. He has not even had the wisdom to do what The Daily
News did and hire an aircraft and go up and have a look.

Not only does Made not know what is happening on all the farms he and
his ministry have grabbed, but he is also remaining ominously quiet about
the rainfall patterns to date this season.

The days have been filled with clear blue, cloudless skies and already
the Famine Early Warning Network specialists are talking about another
drought.

Zimbabwe is but one of five southern African countries experiencing
very erratic rainfall this season. South Africa, the country most likely to
be able to help us when we are starving, is also seriously concerned about
limited rainfall and the reduced yields this will lead to.

At the moment we only seem to worry about the critical shortages of
grain in Zimbabwe and we queue every day for the produce made from wheat and
maize.

What about all the other products that used to come from those huge
but now unused fields shown in The Daily News' aerial photographs last week?
What about soya beans, field beans, vegetables and fruit crops?

None of these crops are being grown either and if they are not
planted, irrigated and cultivated, we will queue for every single food item
we can think of: jam, peanut butter, margarine, tea, coffee, meat, milk -
the list goes on forever.

For 34 months the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement has consistently misread and misinterpreted the facts on the
ground.

ZBC television have perpetuated the lie and tried to make us believe
that everyone is bopping and jiving in thriving fields bursting with
produce. The Daily News' aerial photographs show us, without any doubt
whatsoever, just exactly what is happening on our commercial farms.

There are 12 planting days till Christmas. That old saying "You reap
what you sow" is never truer than today. Zimbabwe will reap nothing, because
nothing has been sown. We must beg, plead, cajole and insist that our
government puts some competent farmers onto those huge unused fields right
now.

The irrigation pipes lying rusting in auction yards must immediately
be put back into the hands of the men who know how to use them.

Someone must grow food for Zimbabwe, and they have 12 days to do so.
The census tells us that in November 2002 there were 11,6 million people in
Zimbabwe. If we, the educated and thinking citizens, do nothing now, how
many of us will there be in November 2003?
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Daily News

Landlords cash in on solar eclipse

12/10/2002 9:02:34 AM (GMT +2)


From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

Beitbridge landlords cashed in on the shortage of accommodation during
last week's solar eclipse, with individuals who rented out their houses to
tourists earning as much as $280 000.

Hundreds of houses which were converted into lodges between October
and the end of November, brought brisk business to their owners who charged
an average of $5 000 a night per room.

Kenneth Masiye, who provided this reporter with accommodation, said
the overnight rates had been revised upwards from $3 500 in the wake of
rising demand.

He said: "We kept close contact with the hotels to keep track of
enquiries for accommodation.
"We were able to gauge the numbers with the assistance of some hotel
workers.

"In this section alone, there could be a hundred houses which were
rented out. Most of our clients came from Harare and Bulawayo."

Most of the multiple home owners in Dulibadzimu suburb are absentee
landlords, who live in Bulawayo and Harare.

Motel, lodge and hotel rates ranged from $ 6 900 to $9 000 a night.
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Daily News

DA attacks government heads of department

12/10/2002 9:01:23 AM (GMT +2)



The District Administrator for Buhera, John Makoni, has accused heads
of government departments for insubordination and absenting themselves from
meetings of the rural district council committees.

He said the heads of departments were in the habit of sending junior
officers to represent them at these meetings, and often without apologies or
explanations for their absenteeism.

"Any meaningful development can only take place through the sharing of
ideas and adopting appropriate development strategies at such meetings,"
Makoni said.

He said it was through such meetings that officers have a chance to
guide, assist and support the council in the implementation of development
programmes.

Since the council did not have the capacity and expertise to
facilitate development on its own, it was, therefore, the senior officers'
duty to render services as expected, the DA said.

"In some districts, the development committees have lost support
because they are not serious enough as some members continuously absent
themselves or attend simply because they want to be seen to be there, but
don't make meaningful contributions," Makoni said. - ZIS
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News24

Mugabe to attend ANC indaba?

Willem Jordaan



Cape Town - Whether president Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe will be a guest at
the ANC's national conference in Stellenbosch is an issue that will be
decided by Zanu-PF, Mugabe's ruling party.

Smuts Ngonyama, the ANC's head of communications, said on Monday that Mugabe
was not invited to the conference in his personal capacity. Zanu-PF,
however, was invited to send a delegation to Stellenbosch.

Ngonyama said the ANC had not received any confirmation on who would be part
of the Zanu-PF delegation.

He said the ANC had a historic link with Zanu-PF, and that it was custom to
invite parties with which the ANC had a "working relationship" to its
conferences.

When asked whether the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - the most
prominent opposition party in Zimbabwe - had been invited, Ngonyama said he
was "unsure".

'Unwise'

In some diplomatic circles, it is believed that it would be unwise for the
ANC to allow Mugabe to attend its conference.

"Although it is the ANC's conference and not government's, it is virtually
impossible that Mugabe's presence at the conference will not raise eyebrows
among developed nations," a diplomatic official said on Monday.

"People must ask questions about the wisdom of having Mugabe present,
especially in the light of the ANC's hard work to establish itself as a
responsible leader in Africa."

Division

ANC circles were abuzz on Monday over whether Mugabe would attend or not.
There seemed to be division among the ranks of the party on whether his
presence would be acceptable or not.

Some ANC members said there would be nothing untoward should Mugabe attend.
Others believed that the government could not afford it at this stage, and
that the ANC leadership should negotiate with Zanu-PF behind the scenes to
ensure that Mugabe did not represent the party.

Government

Joel Netshitenzhe, government spokesperspon, said he had no information on
whether Mugabe would attend or not "because it is a party matter".

For this reason he could also not see why Mugabe's presence would have "any
implications for government".

Zanu-PF could not be reached for comment.

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From The New York Times, 12 December

Zimbabwe uses food as a political tool, aid groups say

By Rachel L. Swarns

Insiza, Zimbabwe, Dec 8 - The cornfields that once flourished here are just memories now. The surging rivers have become sandy grazing grounds where goats feed on withered grass. In this village of parched earth and wilting crops, more than half of all families need emergency food aid to survive. It is here, amid the hungry and the vulnerable, that members of Zimbabwe's governing party stand accused of trying to crush their political rivals by denying them food. The militants seized sacks of cornmeal and peas from a United Nations distribution site and gave them to their supporters, turning away opposition party followers. And in the days before a local election, the governing party activists reportedly kept bags of food in polling stations, to make their message plain: vote against the party of President Robert Mugabe and you will go hungry. The United Nations suspended its operations in Insiza in October, protesting "the misuse of its resources for political ends," and the government promised it would not happen again. But the culprits, though known, have not been arrested, and, at a time when drought and land redistribution have left nearly half of Zimbabwe's population at risk of famine, scattered incidents persist. It is difficult to determine the frequency of such problems, which seem to be much more common in the government-run food program than in international operations run by the United Nations or other humanitarian groups. But the willingness of at least some officials to deny food to the opposition shows how rapidly this country has transformed itself from a promising democracy into an authoritarian state. Mr. Mugabe, 78, who once won praise for building one of Africa's most prosperous and educated nations, has after 22 years seen his popularity plummet. In a bid to hold on to power, he has condoned the killings and arrests of dozens of opposition supporters over the past three years. The government insists, however, that the withholding of food for political reasons is not widespread. A senior official recently assured Western diplomats that "lessons had been learnt from the unfortunate incidents" in Insiza. Despite such assurances, however, opposition supporters in the capital, Harare, and in other towns say officials still demand party cards at some government distribution sites to ensure that only Mr. Mugabe's supporters buy grain. Here in Insiza, some frightened people say they have already stopped supporting their party publicly, to ensure that they will get food when distribution resumes.

The country's catalog of recent changes under Mr. Mugabe includes curbs on political meetings and threats against judges and journalists who challenge the government. White farmers have been forced to give their land to blacks as part of a government effort to undo the legacy of British colonialism. But the farm seizures and rights violations have discouraged foreign investment, which has in turn worsened an inflationary economy. Yet of all Zimbabwe's problems, it is the politicization of food that has raised concerns in Western capitals recently, with strong statements of concern coming from the United Nations, Europe and the United States. Andrew Langa, the governing party candidate who won the parliamentary election here in Insiza, says he understands why political interference happens during food distributions, although he denies using food to manipulate the voters. "No one should politicize aid," Mr. Langa said. "I represent everybody, all the citizens of Insiza, and I know they all need food. But I also understand how our people feel." Speaking of the leading opposition group, the Movement for Democratic Change, and its perceived colonialist ties, he asserted: "People see the M.D.C. as a British-sponsored party. They're against land reform so people regard them as an enemy. So if I have maize and you and one of my party supporters come to me, who do you think I would sell to first?" Opposition supporters, for their part, feel crippled by such attitudes. "My supporters don't come to me now, because they know I have nothing," said Mathilda Dube, a local opposition councilor. "They know we are not allowed food because we are M.D.C."

So far, there are no signs of imminent starvation. But malnutrition levels are rising, because many people subsist on one meal a day. The government imports and distributes most of the food supply, selling cheap grain to the public, The United Nations administers free donations from Europe, the United States and other countries. Western diplomats say that in the distribution of relief aid - as opposed to government-bought food - incidents of political interference have been relatively infrequent. One of the few documented cases occurred in the impoverished community of Binga, where the government refused to allow the relief agency Save the Children to distribute food for two months after an opposition candidate won a local election. A deal this month broke the deadlock, and food distribution has resumed. In another needy town, Masvingo, the United Nations reported that last month, government supporters attacked several opposition members and stole their United Nations-provided food. The government supporters were persuaded to return it, and the agency continues its work there. In Insiza, the United Nations has agreed to resume food distributions after lengthy negotiations in which officials promised that the food would no longer be withheld. "We have the assurances we need from the government," said Kevin Farrell, who runs the World Food Program office in Zimbabwe. "I don't think this was some grand scheme cooked up in the upper echelons of power in Zimbabwe." But Mr. Farrell and Western diplomats are less sanguine about the government's distribution program. In some instances, local governing party councilors determine who can buy and who cannot. During a recent food distribution near the town of Bikita, an anxious man approached an official who was wearing a United Nations T-shirt. "In my village," said the man, Elijah Chifodya, an unemployed father of five, "they're denying us food because we're opposition." "I'm not going to give it up," he said of his party affiliation. "but I'm going to pretend I'm no longer supporting them so at least I can get food."

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Please send any material for publication in the Open Letter Forum to:
Open Letter Forum <justice@telco.co.zw>

JAG OPEN LETTER FORUM
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Letter 1 - Kerry Kay

Stephen Lewis, "United" Nations Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa visited
Zimbabwe this week, as part of a Regional Tour ( Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia
and Zambia). I was able to attend a meeting at the UNDP boardroom on
Thursday afternoon. I attended, naively, with some expectations. While
those attending spoke on their little pilot projects on Mother to Child
Transmission, Voluntary Testing and Counselling, which are all incredibly
important, I made the huge mistake of being totally honest and suggesting
that the UN see the appalling humanitarian (exacerbated by HIV/AIDS)
disaster unfolding from a different perspective. As I spoke briefly on the
"man made genocide by starvation", "the destruction of all organisations
(HIV/AIDS included) that represented the people of Zimbabwe", "the demise
of the primary health care system and no drugs, not even Panadol or Meth.
spirits in the Rural clinics," "that prior to the clamp down on forex
early this year, generic ART (anti-retrovirals) could be imported into
Zimbabwe at a cost of only Z$1650,00 per month ", and suggested that the UN
rather address the root cause of the current humanitarian disaster instead
of brushing over or ignoring it, there was extreme and tangible discomfort
in the room. Victor Angelo (head of UNDP Zimbabwe) and Stephen Lewis,
shuffled uncomfortably in their chairs. Lewis response to the reality of
the situation, was that he would not get "drawn in" (I did not hear the
exact word he used) to that "for my pleasure" and proceeded to inform those
present that HIV prevalence rates were high even in countries like Botswana
that had a stable government and economy!

Later, he, Stephen Lewis, Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, apologised
to black Africa for the "racist attitude of the West and the drug
companies" which was the reason that money was not made available by the
West for ART in the developing countries.

Well Stephen Lewis, please don't come to our African countries with your
Western apologist attitudes, which incidentally are sickeningly
patronising. Zimbabwe is a nation of strong, intelligent, resilient and
very caring people. They do not like being patronized by Ian Smiths
regime, Robert Mugabes, or first worlders ! With a little help from our
friends, here in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in the world, we can manage our
HIV/AIDS epidemic, our famine and our corruption by being realistic and
honest. What we cannot manage and will not accept is people not having the
guts to stand up to a corrupt, genocidal regime, such at the ZANU PF ruling
party, and maneuvering around it in order to remain "politically correct".
That Mr. Lewis will not save lives, will not help the orphans, it will
merely serve to prolong the agony....... with your help.

At the end of this discouraging meeting, Stephen Lewis, Special Envoy on
HIV/AIDS in Africa!, asked " is there anyone here who is hopeful?".
There was a deafening silence !!!!!!! Perhaps Stephen Lewis and Victor
Angelo, should take cognisance of the silence of those present, and the
comments I made on "a man made genocide by starvation" and build that into
their "plans for the future". It is obviously not politically expedient
for them to acknowledge that millions of Zimbabweans are being sentenced to
a premature death by a few power hungry megalomaniacs.

The UN's credibility needs a boost - perhaps now is the time to work on
that?

And, incidentally, there is a lot of hope in Zimbabwe, we are people, black
and white, who have suffered, who have fought for what is right, just and
democratic, who have worked tirelessly in HIV/AIDS prevention, and we won't
give up until we have achieved the ideals of true democracy, where we as
Zimbabweans will have rid ourselves of the corrupt ruling elite and be able
to once again serve the needs of the sick and dying, and the orphans.

with hope and great love for our country,
Kerry Kay,
HIV/AIDS Programme Manager and Human Rights Activist.


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Colorado State Collegian

Cook: No hope for Africa?


by Oliver Cook
December 12, 2002

I have no hope for Africa. I should say that I have no hope for Africa's
future if it continues on its current path of post-colonial failure. The
majority of the continent, specifically the sub-Saharan part, is suffering
from a series of problems that have compounded themselves to create an
environment that is practically inescapable.
These problems include the spread of AIDS, corruption, ethnic and religious
divisions and, in almost every case outside of South Africa, under-developed
economies. I am going to emphasize a few of these points to demonstrate how
critical they are to the continued failures of African development.

To begin, I feel that an incredibly brief history lesson is in order. While
Africa has historically been at the mercy of Europe and the Islamic world,
it was not until the final decades of the 19th century that direct control
over the continent began. The evolution of European economies and the rise
of industrialization created a need for raw materials to fuel this process.

The Treaty of Berlin (1885) officially divided Africa between the several
European powers that were to use their newly acquired territories and
populace as captive consumers and workers to extract the natural wealth of
Africa. After about 75 years of colonial rule, the European powers decided
that it would be cheaper to grant the colonies independence, while
maintaining their economic stranglehold over the individual economies. Part
of keeping the extraction economy in place was to keep incompetent leaders
in place and discourage massive industrialization.

Most of the 1970s and 1980s were wasted with intra-African wars, corruption,
economic crises and famine, which led us to the present. Most of the
problems of the colonial period, and the destabilization that resulted from
the Cold War, have not gone away. In fact, one could argue that the
International Monetary Fund and World Bank's role in Africa is very similar
to the role of extractive companies in the colonial period. I don't have the
space to elaborate on these institutions, but just understand their
structural adjustment policies work in Africa just as well as they do
anywhere else - or I should say that they don't work at all, especially not
in underdeveloped countries.

The one country that has gone against the wishes of the global development
institutions, Zimbabwe, is on the verge of anarchy: economic, ethnic, and
political. Another serious problem is the AIDS epidemic. According to The
Economist, approximately 30 million sub-Saharan Africans have contracted
either HIV or AIDS, while another 35 million children have been orphaned as
a result of the disease.

This is a devastating blow to an already inefficient economy. The populace
infected with the disease produces little for the economy, especially since
the availability of cheap, generic life-sustaining drugs is such a threat to
their patent holders in the West.

What such an epidemic needs is the implementation of a welfare state to deal
with the effects of the disease, however due to the non-existence of funds
to implement such a humanitarian program, that is not going to happen.

A further example of the terrible state of Africa can be seen with the
recent riots in Nigeria. I think when over 200 people die as a result of
ignorance and firebrand Imams, the time has come to begin reevaluating
Africa's commitment to maintaining their old colonial borders. Sometimes
people can't live together without killing each other, so why force them to
like their enemies?

Africa's underdevelopment is really the key to understanding the issue. It
breaks down to the simple fact that Africa has no money and can therefore
take no established course of action. I think that the time has come for a
radical new solution to be presented on the topic of African development.

The people need solidarity.
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IRIN

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Rising prices erode household food security

WFP

Urban poor battle to cope with rising food prices

JOHANNESBURG, 12 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - Rising prices of staples continued to
erode household food security in some of the most insecure countries in
Southern Africa, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) said in
its latest update.

FEWS NET said the outlook for prices of staples was cause for concern as
prices were likely to "remain high and increase until the next harvest
[around March/April 2003], which will worsen food access for an increasing
number of households in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia, as well as parts of
Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique".

Over 14 million people have been identified as needing food aid in the six
countries, with Zimbabwe accounting for about half those in need followed by
Zambia and Malawi.

Conditions in the three worst affected countries remained of concern "given
that household purchasing power was already low earlier in the consumption
year (which started in May)," FEWS NET's latest Update on Cereal Price
Trends in Southern Africa said.

The document noted that "abnormally high maize prices in much of the region
were acting as a strong incentive for producers and exporters in northern
Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania".

But an earlier FEWS NET drought and flood hazards assessment had reported in
early December that most of the region had only recorded between 1mm and 10
mm of rain with "substantially inhibited" rainfall over portions of South
Africa, Zimbabwe and central to southern Mozambique.

A lack of rain had inhibited the planting of important crops of maize,
wheat, sunflower, sorghum and soya in the regional breadbasket, South
Africa.

In the countries worst hit by rocketing food prices - Zimbabwe, Malawi and
Zambia - retail prices were generally higher than average in food insecure
areas. Two consecutive poor harvests and deteriorating macroeconomic
conditions - in Zimbabwe inflation stood at 144 percent in November - were
creating upward pressure on food prices.

In Zimbabwe, "as a result of poor policies (e.g. price controls and
haphazard land redistribution) and an insufficient pipeline of commercial
food imports and aid flows ... most staple foods were increasingly out of
reach for many rural and urban households".

Continued high inflation, shortages and an increasing number of products put
under price controls were supporting these higher prices. Parallel market
prices for maize had increased by over 300 percent in the past seven months.

As a result, members of poor urban households were "increasingly engaging in
illegal activities - such as robbery, prostitution, moving to illegal
settlements and selling controlled commodities on the parallel market - to
acquire sufficient income to purchase food and other basic needs", FEWS NET
noted.

In Zambia, high and increasing prices of maize and maize meal were resulting
in "poor households exhausting strategies to acquire food".

FEWS NET was "especially concerned about the ability of households in the
southern part of the country to acquire sufficient food between now and the
pre-harvest period. An emergency alert statement will be available soon on
the FEWS NET website (www.fews.net) to highlight the alarming increase in
food insecurity in Zambia between now and the next harvest."

While prices in Malawi were increasing, they were still lower than the same
period last year. But the report warned that "the slow delivery of food aid
would exacerbate the impact of the high maize prices in rural parts of
Malawi between now and the next harvest, especially in the southern part of
the country".
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ZBC

Fuel crisis blamed on corruption at Noczim

13 December 2002
The current fuel shortage has been blamed on corruption and
maladministration within the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, Noczim,
working with some officials from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Insiders told Newsnet that plans to frustrate credit lines in favour of cash
transactions to enable some officials to earn money among other scandalous
irregularities, contribute to the current fuel shortage.

The sources also say some Noczim officials have taken advantage of the
coming in of a new minister and permanent secretary, to continue corrupt
dealings aimed at throwing the country's economy into chaos.

Commentators say Noczim owes Zimbabweans an explanation over the coincidence
of the fuel shortage during the festive season and claims by the opposition
MDC and its affiliates suggesting that December was the d-day for mass
action, including stayaways.
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IRIN

AFRICA: Violence leading cause of death,WHO


[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]




JOHANNESBURG, 12 Dec 2002 (IRIN) - Violence is one of the leading causes of
death worldwide with every sector of society feeling its effects in some
way, the World Health Organisation (WHO) World Report on Violence and Health
said.

Released this week, the report said that in 2000, an estimated 1.6 million
people worldwide died as a result of self-inflicted, interpersonal or
collective violence and most of these deaths occurred in low to middle
income countries, with less than 10 percent in high-income countries.

Nearly half were suicides, one third were homicides and about one fifth were
war-related, the report said.

The highest rate of homicide in the world was found among males aged 15-29
years and over 60 percent of the suicides occurred among males.

There were also regional differences. In Africa and North America the
homicide rate was three times higher than the suicide rate, whereas in
Europe and South-East Asia the rate of suicide higher.

Violence imposed a major burden on the health and well-being of populations
and exacted a human and economic toll on nations, costing economies billions
of US dollars each year in health care, legal costs, absenteeism from work
and lost productivity, the report said.

Youth violence was the most visible form of violence and could be caused by
witnessing violence in the home, economic crises, poverty, being physically
or sexually abused, prolonged exposure to armed conflict, poor supervision
at home and peer pressure.

Because of the importance of parental supervision, family structure and
economic status in determining the prevalence of youth violence, an increase
in violence by young people was likely where families had disintegrated
through wars or epidemics or because of rapid social change, researchers
found.

This affected about 13 million children worldwide who had lost one or both
parents to HIV/AIDS.

The extent of the epidemic meant that many communites could not rely on
traditional structures to care for the children, having serious implications
for violence among young people.

The report found that in both developing and industrialised countries,
physically abusive parents were more likely to be young, single, poor and
unemployed and to have less education than their non-abusing counterparts. I

In addition, stress resulting from job changes, loss of income, or health
problems could exacerbate the situation.

Partner violence accounted for a significant number of murders of women, the
study showed.

Studies from countries including Canada, Israel and South Africa found that
40-70 percent of female murder victims were killed by their husbands and
boyfriends. An American study showed that by contrast, only 4 percent of men
murdered between 1976 and 1996 were killed by their wives, ex-wives or
girlfriends.

Partner violence had many links with HIV/AIDS and in six countries in
Africa, fear of ostracism and consequent violence in the home was an
important reason for pregnant women refusing to take an HIV/AIDS test, or
not returning for their results.

The study also found that women who lived with violent partners had
difficulty protecting themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted
infections through coerced sex which interfered with a woman's ability to
use contraceptives.

Violence against the elderly was often considered a private matter, the
report said. The most serious forms were rape, assault and, in some cases,
being killed after being accused of being a witch by heirs wanting land.

Rape of women and men was often used as a weapon of war, as a form of attack
on the enemy, the report said. Forms of sexual violence included forced
marriage or cohabitation, which was used to legitimise rape, and the
marriage of children, female genital mutilation and forced virginity
testing.

A study in South Africa found that one third of rapes had been gang rapes.

For many women, the most common place where sexual coercion took place was
at school and research in Africa has highlighted the role of teachers in
facilitating or perpetuating sexual coercion in return for good grades.

In some places like Zimbabwe, the custom of "ngozi" meant a girl could be
given to a family as compensation for the death of a man caused by a member
of the girl's family.

On reaching puberty the girl was expected to have sexual intercourse with
the brother or father of the person who died to produce a son to replace the
one who died. "Chimutsa Mapfiwa" - wife inheritance, meant when a married
woman died, her sister was obliged to replace her in the matrimonial home.

Collective violence such as armed conflict, left millions of people either
dead, tortured or raped, the report said.

This type of violence could also lead to famine which could kill millions of
people, and the spread of deadly diseases through bombed water sources. It
halted immunisation programmes, forcibly closed clinics and drove medical
workers out, leaving the population unable to heal injuries or cure
illnesses, the report found.

In addition, it could set of a sudden mass movement of people trying to
escape the conflict and this would place them in further danger of violence,
rape, torture and diseases, the report concluded.
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SA Should Move From a Strategy That Has Failed



Business Day (Johannesburg)

OPINION
December 12, 2002
Posted to the web December 12, 2002

Gregg Mills
Johannesburg

Support for the MDC will benefit both Zimbabwe and the southern African
region

NEPAD is SA's overriding foreign policy objective. But it is more than this.
It has become SA's overall policy framework, defining the allocation,
critically, of presidential time and focus. Hence the recent 10-page letter
from the executive defending peer review.

Thus it is even more puzzling that the government doggedly remains committed
to quiet diplomacy in its dealings with Harare, the more so when this
strategy has, by Pretoria's own admission, failed.

And, whatever its assertions to the contrary, Pretoria's Zimbabwe policy is
damaging the New Parnership for Africa's Development's (Nepad's) standing
both with the west and, importantly, with those Africans whose welfare it is
supposed to promote.

Explaining this policy stance requires both understanding of the issues
shaping the ANC's outlook on Zimbabwe, and the policy options if any it can
select from including quiet diplomacy.

There are reasons why SA has chosen the course of least action towards Zanu
(PF), in spite of the rapidly deteriorating economic and political situation
to its immediate north.

First, there remain acute sensitivities about leveraging SA's regional
standing and power in a manner that is nonconsensual, particularly with a
state such as Zimbabwe whose leadership "enjoys" a certain following
elsewhere in the continent and will seek to exploit at every opportunity
perceptions of SA's continental hegemony.

These sensitivities have their root in a related combination of debts of
allegiance by the African National Congress (ANC) to the region for support
provided during the antiapartheid struggle and the military role played by
Pretoria under apartheid.

Second, the land crisis has racial resonance back in SA, not helped by both
the (largely white) SA opposition picking up the cudgels over this issue and
by the ANC refusing to see the real victims of Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe's policies not as the white farmers but as the millions of black
Zimbabweans suffering food shortages and political repression.

The racial dimension to the crisis should not be understated; imagine what
Pretoria's response would be if the racial tables were turned in Zimbabwe,
that a hypothetical white government was systematically dispossessing black
farmers and committing its citizens to poverty?

Fundamentally, Pretoria's failure to acknowledge, through action, human
rights transgressions in Zimbabwe represents a double standard against the
basis on which the antiapartheid struggle was prosecuted.

Third, the crisis has reverberations, too, in terms of the necessary
transition by both the ANC and Zanu (PF) from liberation movements to
political parties, and the implications of the rise of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) for ANC rule. The failure of Zanu (PF) to make the
conversion in terms of its strategies from political emancipation and the
mythology of liberation to good governance is symbiotic with the rise of a
nonracial MDC opposition focused on economic delivery and reform.

Yet the options to "quiet" diplomacy have been paraded as ranging from
"megaphone diplomacy" to military invasion. A few alternatives to or,
perhaps better put, variants to quiet diplomacy have been tried, including
working through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to get the
regional body's membership to develop a tougher line.

This has achieved, at best, mixed results, ranging from the embarrassment of
support for Mugabe at the 2001 Malawi SADC ministerial summit to the (more
positive) apparently enforced abdication of Mugabe from the SADC deputy
chairmanship at Luanda.

A tougher bilateral diplomatic line by Pretoria towards Harare has been
discounted on the basis that this will achieve little and potentially reduce
the (by President Thabo Mbeki's own admission) scant leverage on Mugabe,
though a failure, for example, to publicly debate sanctions as even a
possibility has largely negated any influence available through this means.

Hence the continued preference for bilateral commissions of the sort held in
Pretoria in November, though this not only has failed to deflect Harare from
its current course towards economic ruin but has negatively affected
perceptions of both the SA leadership and of Nepad outside of the region.

What options does Pretoria have available?

At the two opposite extremes of the scale is, at the one end, the flexing of
military muscles and outright sanctions (where it has a range of choices
given both Zimbabwe's landlocked status and economic plight) and, at the
other, continued quiet diplomacy.

Forgetting these as either unlikely or ineffective in the current
circumstances, the government could consider a combination of raising its
rhetorical tempo against Harare (at least calling the situation for what it
is, a flagrant disregard of the rule of law and of basic liberties) and
simultaneous engagement with international partners (with whom it has
instead sought to place critical distance) and the Zimbabwe opposition.

The latter offers perhaps the most interesting possibilities. A public
meeting, for example, between Mbeki and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai would
have the dual effect of undermining Harare's attempts to gag the MDC and
aligning the ANC with the forces of change and democracy in Africa.

Public, financial and logistical support for the MDC would have the dual
effect of restoring Zimbabwe's democratic process and the SADC region's
political and diplomatic credibility.

Now that would be in the best interests of Nepad.

Mills is National Director of the SA Institute of International Affairs at
Wits University, Johannesburg.

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Park Could See Mozambicans Displaced



Business Day (Johannesburg)

EDITORIAL
December 12, 2002
Posted to the web December 12, 2002

Nasreen Seria
Punda Maria

About 6000 Mozambicans could be displaced from their homes to make way for
the newly established Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park that straddles SA,
Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The 3,5-million hectare park, comprising the Kruger National Park, the
Limpopo National Park in Mozambique and the Gonarezhou National Park in
Zimbabwe, was launched yesterday with the symbolic cutting down of part of
the fence separating the Kruger and Limpopo national parks.

Abel Nhalidede, community liaison officer for the Limpopo park, said the
Mozambican authorities had started negotiating with the community living
along the Shingwezi River to have them relocated to another area within the
park. There are about 25000 people living in the Limpopo park, mainly along
the Limpopo, Shingwezi and Oliphants rivers.

The Shingwezi area was identified as having the most tourism potential for
the Limpopo park and the community has been approached to accept a package
for resettlement.

Nhalidede said the community could be putting their lives at risk from the
wild animals crossing over from the Kruger park to the Limpopo park.
Agricultural land cultivated and used for subsistence farming could also be
destroyed by animals that migrate across the borders, he said.

The community was also given the option of remaining in the park, but being
subjected to a set of regulations, such as limiting the amount of land under
cultivation. "The community has reacted strongly against being moved. They
do not understand the consequences (of remaining on the land)," said
Nhalidede.

By 2004, 120km of fence separating SA from Mozambique will be removed to
allow animals to roam freely in one of the world's biggest transnational
wildlife parks.

Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Valli Moosa said yesterday in
Punda Maria that the fence, built in 1975, was an apartheid structure,
serving to keep Mozambicans out of SA.

"You cannot solve your problems with neighbours through building fences. In
the long-term it can only be done through development and creating jobs,"
said Moosa.

The border patrol post at Giryondo in the Kruger park is expected to be
completed in 2004, allowing tourists visiting the park to cross over to the
Limpopo side, without requiring additional visas. The Limpopo park has fewer
animals and has dense vegetation, making it an ideal environment for
migrating animals.
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Hoovers

US bank tightens credit restrictions to Zimbabwe

December 12, 2002 5:58am


Staff Reporter
12/12/2002

THE Export and Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States of America has
tightened lending conditions to Zimbabwe's private sector to avoid loan
defaults by local companies, it was learnt this week.

In its annual report, the bank said although Zimbabwe had become a bad
credit risk, it would extend credit facilities to Zimbabwean firms under
very strict conditions and only to borrowers with international sources of
funds.


The government and parastatals will not benefit from the credit facilities.

Zimbabwe and Zambia are the only countries in southern Africa where such
restrictive conditions have been imposed by the American bank.

"Exim will consider structured financing arrangements such as the bank's
project finance programme and other financing arrangements that offer a
reasonable assurance of repayment, including reliable access to adequate
foreign currency," the bank said.

"Coverage may be available for a transaction that is supported by an
irrevocable letter of credit issued by a bank and/or due from a buyer
located in a country where Ex-Im Bank is open without restrictions for
short-term transactions."

Ex-Im bank said credit facilities to Zimbabwean companies would also be
available if a reputable foreign financial institution acted as guarantor.

The bank will also now demand that applicants for the credit facilities
disclose information on international borrowings for at least the last six
months and the bank will also take into account the
companies' financing and ratings.

Ex-Im Bank said information provided by applicants on syndicated loans
should include the interest rates charged, maturity profile of the loan,
amounts borrowed and the names of the arranging and key participating banks.

"For Ex-Im Bank to consider such borrowers, information on the borrower's
international borrowing for at least the past six months must accompany the
application," said the financial institution.

"For each traded debt security, the required information includes maturity
and coupon, credit ratings, if any, and recent yield data."

Zimbabwe is presently rated as a high-risk country by most international
credit agencies because of economic and political instability, resulting in
local companies and public enterprises failing to access lines of credit
from the agencies.

The country has failed to meet most of its foreign obligations because of a
severe foreign currency crisis, further hampering efforts to secure
international credit.

Only last month, Belgian export credit agency Office National du Ducroire
issued a default notice against Zimbabwe to international financial
institutions and credit agencies after the government failed to pay more
than US$376 million owed to the organisation.

The agency, like Ex-Im, is part of the Berne Union, which represents 51
members worldwide and whose purpose is to provide credit and insurance cover
against non-payment of international trade debts.

Local analysts say the Zimbabwean government should abandon the policies
that have led to the severing of ties with the International Monetary Fund
and the World Bank. Mending fences with the Bretton Woods institutions would
improve the country's risk rating, the analysts say.

Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.

Financial Times Information Limited - Asia Africa Intelligence Wire
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ABC News

Zimbabwe Will Not Accept Conditional Aid -Mugabe




Dec. 12
- CHIRUNDU, Zambia (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe,
whose government faces a deepening economic crisis, said on Thursday he
would not accept foreign aid that comes "wrapped up in political strings."

Speaking at the opening of a $25 million Japanese-financed bridge
between Zimbabwe and Zambia, Mugabe said he would only accept foreign help
expressly aimed at improving Zimbabwe's economy.

"Japan has given us clean grant aid packages....not those wrapped up
in political strings," Mugabe said.

"Cooperating partners should learn from Japan that when aid is given
objectively, given with a purpose of improving economic capacity, that aid
is better appreciated," he added.

Mugabe said Japanese aid was usually appreciated as it was given to
poor countries without "political objectives."

"We wish to state that we will never accept aid with political
objectives even if it is given indirectly," he said.

Zimbabwe is struggling with record high unemployment, inflation and
crippling fuel shortages in the country's worst economic crisis in two
decades, a debacle which Mugabe has blamed on his domestic and foreign
opponents.

Nearly half of the 14 million people in Zimbabwe, once Africa's bread
basket, now face severe food shortages caused by drought and Mugabe's
controversial land reform policies. Mugabe was speaking at Chirundu border
post, 93 miles south of the Zambian capital Lusaka, where he joined Zambian
President Levy Mwanawasa in opening the new bridge over the Zambezi river.
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BBC
Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 15:57 GMT
Bodies found in Zimbabwe
A grandmother feeds donated bread to her family in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's rural areas are in the grip of drought

The remains of four opposition Movement for Democratic Change members have been retrieved by local residents and police from an abandoned dip tank at a village in northern Matabeleland.

They also recovered the body of a member of the Zanu-PF youth militia who is believed to have been killed by his colleagues about two weeks ago following a dispute within their ranks.

After the youth disappeared, villagers in Lukona in Nkayi District began looking for him and questioned other militia members.

They admitted that the body was thrown into the dip tank but only after villagers forced a confession out of them by beating them up.

The villagers then alerted the police who carried out an operation to search for the body.

This also led to the discovery of the skeletons of the four MDC members.

Blame

When interrogated by police, the youths blamed local war veterans saying they murdered the MDC members in secret camps established during the election campaign earlier this year.

Two war veterans have now been arrested.

The MP for Nkayi, Abednico Bhebhe confirmed the arrests, and the discovery of the bodies.

He said he intends to meet police detectives to discuss the case.

Mr Bhebhe, a member of the MDC, was himself abducted and severely tortured by war veterans in Nkayi during the election campaign.

Efforts to contact Matabeleland North police spokesman, Inspector Mthokozisi Moyo, have proved fruitless.

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Daily News - Feature

Too little food or too many people?

12/12/2002 8:51:43 AM (GMT +2)



AT first I just could not and would not believe it: that people who
have wives and children themselves would starve mothers and babies to death
for no other reason than to gain some dubious political advantage. This can'
t be true, I kept saying to myself. Even the most power-hungry politicians
cannot be so depraved.

There is a Shona proverb which epitomises for me the generous
hospitality of traditional society: Zuva rimwe haripedzi dura. If you let a
stranger stay for a day and share your food with him, that won't exhaust the
granary. Come on, says the proverb, don't be niggardly, where five or six
hands reach out to a dish of sadza, one more won't make a difference.

Everyone knows what hunger and thirst are. We are all bodily creatures
who are dependent for their existence on food and drink. This is one of the
most basic human needs. We acknowledge our common humanity when we share our
food with hungry, needy strangers and travellers. By offering my food to the
unknown visitor I am saying, I want you to live just as much as I want to
live myself. This gesture expresses our solidarity with all fellow human
beings.

Presumably we are capable of such generosity because deep down in our
hearts we remember that the Creator wants us all, ie the entire human
family, to sit round one table and eat from one and the same dish. Which has
not stopped us, though, from turning food, or the denial of food, into a
cruel weapon of war.

Besieging a fortified city so that no food can come in and no
inhabitant can get out has long been an accepted tactic of war. Hunger and
starvation is supposed to drive the enemy into surrender.

Does that mean that we are in a state of war? Have we turned fellow
citizens into mortal enemies? Do they deserve to die? We have never
experienced such serious famine before. There have been food shortages in
certain areas of the country. But the country as a whole almost always had
enough food. It was just a matter of moving the foodstuffs to the most needy
parts of the population.

The present calamity is different. At this present moment there just
is not enough food to keep all the 11,6 million Zimbabweans (Census 2002)
alive. In this situation giving a family a 10 or 20kg bag of maize-meal or
sending them away empty-handed may mean the difference between life and
death.

How much hunger can people who are already weakened by the HIV/Aids
pandemic (25 percent of the adult population) stand? Just as we keep getting
reports of political opponents being discriminated against in the relief
food distribution, so we hear a steady stream of denials that anyone is ever
denied food for reasons of political allegiance. Maybe the people who utter
these denials are even sincere in the sense that they do not wish to admit
to themselves that such acts of inhumanity are actually taking place.

Maybe they are really ashamed and embarrassed that such monstrous
injustice should be committed in their names. Maybe they still have some
sort of conscience.

But if that is so, then they should stand up publicly and tell their
comrades that dividing the nation into friends and foes, those who may live
and those who must die, must stop forthwith.

If we tackle the present calamity in solidarity, overcoming ethnic,
linguistic and political divisions, we can emerge from this crisis a
stronger, more united nation. Whereas, if we use it as an opportunity to
weaken one another, there will no longer be a state to speak of, but we will
break up into several hostile camps loyal only to warlords.

We have been told that we would be better off with only six million
people, with our own people who support the liberation struggle. We don't
want all these extra people. In other words, the people have to be cut down
to size to suit the government. May I suggest that government be cut down to
size to suit the people?

The first duty of the State is to uphold the people's right to life.
Leaders who consider half the population dispensable no longer fulfil the
role of a legitimate government. A state that is no longer committed to the
protection of the lives of all its citizens ceases to exist. The law of the
jungle takes over. If an army, commissioned to defend and protect the
nation, becomes a threat to its own people, there is no longer any moral
justification for its existence.

For the sake of the nation and its survival, we urge the government to
quickly depoliticise the procurement and distribution of food and put in
place controls to minimise acquisition of food by threats or any other
means, corruption and exploitation. For maximum benefit to the people who
are in dire need of food, the government should invite and accommodate other
organisations which are able to help our nation. This will enable those who
have resources to buy food and distribute it to all the people regardless of
their sex, creed, and political affiliation, said the Catholic Bishops
recently (Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference, Appeal for Food in
Zimbabwe, August 2002).

Why can't the government and the opposition sit down together with the
churches and relief agencies and tackle jointly this unprecedented disaster
threatening the life of our nation? Are there no leaders who can follow the
call of their conscience, rise to the occasion, leave partisan politics and
the pursuit of power behind, and show themselves to be statesmen who come to
the rescue of the nation in its hour of need?

Are there no leaders who feel ashamed to play their political games at
the cost of the lives of nursing mothers and babies?

Our clandestine civil war must stop. All the 11,6 million Zimbabweans
at home, plus another three million abroad, must pull together in solidarity
to ensure the survival of the nation. There is enough food on this globe if
only we can overcome our bloody-mindedness, bury the hatchet and sit down
together at the one table where we were meant to sit all along
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Daily News

Food aid will be required until June next year: report

12/12/2002 8:41:07 AM (GMT +2)


Farming Editor

EARLY projections of the current planting season show a lower than
normal food production in southern Africa, therefore making it likely that
food assistance will remain needed at least until the next summer harvest in
May/June 2003, a southern African Humanitarian Crisis report, says.

The lower crop projections, combined with poor government policies on
land, the El Nino, inadequate agricultural inputs, eroding coping mechanisms
due to the spreading of epidemic diseases including the HIV/Aids pandemic,
indicate a possible extended vulnerability and need for assistance in the
region, the report adds.

The United Nations Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Support Office
(RIACSO) said in its latest bi-monthly update that preliminary estimates in
the region, based on a number of seeds sold, showed that even the next
harvest would most likely not produce enough food.

In Zimbabwe for example, said RIACSO, with the amount of seeds sold,
about 1,2 million hectares could be planted, yielding a possible production
of 1,8 million tonnes.

Zimbabwe needs about two million tonnes of maize for domestic
consumption in one year.The report says; "Add to this (reduced seed sales)
the gradual intensification of El Nino and the production might drop even
lower. It is therefore likely that food relief efforts will even need to
stretch beyond June 2003."

The Department of Meteorological Services warned earlier this year
that poor rains in the second half of the season from January to March 2003,
will be as a result of the El Nino phenomenon.

"The responses to agricultural input requirements have been slow and
limited," the report says. It says that HIV/Aids has severely undermined the
coping as well as recovery capacity of the region.

The report says as a result of the epidemic, "a new variant of famine
emerged characterised by heightened vulnerability, a breakdown in coping
strategies, rapid decent into starvation and inability to recover".

Out of the 14 million people who face starvation in southern Africa,
half are in Zimbabwe.

The report says: "December 2002 to March 2003 will be the most
critical period in the region in terms of food vulnerability. The World Food
Programme in the past received some additional funding from Canada, the US
and Switzerland, but this is still not enough. There remains an unresourced
gap of approximately 400 000 tonnes."
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Daily News - Leader Page

Zanu PF meeting should discuss human rights

12/12/2002 8:53:41 AM (GMT +2)



THERE was a poignant example of the government's hypocritical
commitment to human rights on the International Human Rights Day, 10
December. Thirty human rights lawyers had planned a march through Harare on
the day. But the police, now thought by many to be the Zanu PF Republic
Police, had cancelled the march under the Public Order and Security Act
(POSA).

This is the odious omnibus law under which Zimbabweans are virtually
denied the right to assemble in their own country, as notoriously as they
were by the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act during the worst days of
colonialism.

If the lawyers had not challenged the police order, and if the judge
had been as frightened of Zanu PF flak as some of his colleagues now appear
to be, the march would not have taken place.

But it did take place, largely because there are still citizens who
refuse to accept that only members of Zanu PF enjoy human rights in this
country. Such citizens will go to the ends of the earth to ensure that their
human rights are not trampled upon by a government which, even as it
reaffirms its commitment to people's human rights, ignores them with
impunity every day.

Zanu PF, which holds its annual conference in Chinhoyi this week, will
probably not discuss human rights at all. Clearly, this is not the same
party which, during its early years of existence, was invited to every
international forum on human rights because, during the struggle, that was
its main focus - the human rights of the people of colonial Rhodesia were
the raison d'etre of the liberation struggle.

Today, nearly 23 years after the victory over colonialism the human
rights of the people who helped to defeat colonialism are not the exact
focus of the government. It was, in fact, left to a civil servant to make
the keynote speech on the Human Rights Day. David Mangota, the Permanent
Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, made
the following memorable statement, among others:
"The government regards its commitment to the human rights cause as a
continuing process and not just as an event."

Mangota's political boss, Patrick Chinamasa, might have been able to
elaborate on this enigmatic statement, if it hadn't been for the fact that
many would have remembered him mostly as the front man of the government's
onslaught against the Judiciary beginning in 2000.

Chinamasa must count among his treasured "scalps" that of the former
Chief Justice, Anthony Gubbay. Obviously acting on instructions from the
highest echelons of Zanu PF, he set about transforming the image of the
Bench into that of the party.

His success may be considered to be only marginal, as we continue to
be pleasantly surprised by the decisions of a Bench that we would expect to
routinely reflect its master's anti-human rights stance.

The government has passed two laws which must be considered to be in
flagrant violation of two Articles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. Article 19 says: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion
and expression: this right includes freedom to hold opinions without
interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through
any media and regardless of frontiers." The Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act is a contradiction of this Article.

Then there is Article 20: "(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of
peaceful assembly and association. "(2) No one may be forced to belong to an
association." There are elements of POSA which are definitely in violation
of this Article.

The government has ratified most of the conventions in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, but the truth is that this is now a government
so wrapped up in lawlessness it hardly has time to consider the niceties of
human rights.

Unfortunately, it is not up to the United Nations to deal with the
government's disregard of the rule of law. Only the people of Zimbabwe can
do that - nobody else.
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Daily News

Rights groups slam food politicisation, violence

12/12/2002 9:14:40 AM (GMT +2)



JOHANNESBURG - Human rights groups have voiced concern that political
violence and the politicisation of food aid have continued in parts of
Zimbabwe.

In its latest report the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum alleged that
violence in the Insiza constituency, where a recent by-election was held,
"continued unabated in the post-election period".

Insiza is located near the second city of Bulawayo in south-western
Zimbabwe.

The report, released on Tuesday, alleged that supporters of the ruling
Zanu PF and its youth militia "were harassing and forcing opposition
supporters to denounce the Movement for Democratic Change and join/rejoin
Zanu PF".

There was also increasing evidence that Zanu PF was manipulating the
distribution of food along political lines in an effort to garner and retain
political support.

"Reports recorded by the Human Rights Forum in September and October
showed that food distribution had been politically manipulated to coerce
votes from the electorate during the rural district council elections and
Insiza by-election, respectively.

"In the month of October, the Human Rights Forum has documented
incidents that suggest that Zanu PF, with apparent government acquiescence,
is controlling access to food aid, denying those perceived to be MDC
supporters access. This is happening in the absence of a pending election,"
the Human Rights Forum alleged.

The United Nations World Food Programme suspended food aid
distributions in Insiza in October following the seizure of food by ruling
Zanu PF activists.

The food agency said Zanu PF activists in Senale centre in Insiza had
"intimidated" staff of the local implementing non-governmental
organisations, the Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress, and
seized three tonnes of food which they "distributed in an unauthorised
manner".
The Zanu PF supporters were campaigning ahead of a November
by-election, which President Mugabe's Zanu PF won.

John Prendergast, co-director of the Africa programme of the
International Crisis Group think-tank, said that unlike political violence -
which usually "spiked around elections, manipulation of food aid continued
at pace broadly . . . and continued to be used as a reward for political
support and to punish the opposition.

"It is an instrument that leaves less of a mark than torture and
putting people in prison. It's harder to prove and more general in its
impact. We've seen no diminution in the use of political criteria to
determine food aid distribution, particularly, of course, of the commercial
imports and distribution mechanisms controlled by Zimbabwe's Grain Marketing
Board," Prendergast noted.

Physicians for Human Rights-Denmark has, in a recent report entitled
Voting Zanu PF For Food: Rural District and Insiza Elections, concluded that
"the political abuse of food is the most serious and widespread human rights
violation in Zimbabwe at this time". -
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JUSTICE FOR AGRICULTURE LEGAL COMMUNIQUE - December 12, 2002

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

It seems there is still some confusion over the Land Acquisition Act and
the recent amendment to said Act. In the interests of simplicity, we have
prepared a question and answer explanation of the Act and its
ramifications.

In the legal revolution you must keep ahead of the game. Some common
questions and answers regarding the Land Acquisition Act which now AFFECTS
MANY URBAN DWELLERS TOO:

Q1. What is a Section 5 Notice?

A1. A Section 5 Notice is a preliminary notice of acquisition, which
must be "gazetted" and put in an official newspaper twice in consecutive
weeks. You should also receive Section 5 Notice papers delivered within
thirty days of the gazetting which you should sign a Certificate of Service
for. The Section 5 Notice is valid for two years from date of gazetting.

Q2. Who is eligible for a Section 5 Notice?

A2. The October 2002 amendment (No2) to the act allows any title deed in
excess of two hectares, which has been under agricultural use any time in
the preceding fifty years to be acquired for the resettlement programme.
This includes LARGE PARTS OF HARARE, BULAWAYO AND OTHER CENTRES.

Q3. What do I do after receiving a Section 5 Notice?

A3. You have thirty days from the gazetting to lodge a letter of
objection with the Ministry of Agriculture if you do not wish to have your
property acquired. JAG can advise you on these letters if you decide not
to see a lawyer.

Q4. What is a Section 8 Order?

A4. A Section 8 is a compulsory acquisition order. It is a very
unassuming piece of paper without letterhead or a stamp and is signed by
the acquiring authority. In the act it gives the owner 45 days to stop all
activities and a further 45 days to move out of his home from the date of
service. Anyone with a Section 5 can receive a section 8 order 30 days
after the Section 5 Notice is gazetted.

Q5. What do I do if I get a Section 8 Order?

A5. It needs to be invalidated. There are various procedural grounds
that can be used in the majority (80-90%) of cases e.g.:
a) The bondholders not being served with the Section 5 or Section 8.
(Tengwe Estates precedent).
b) The acquiring authority not registering the Section 8 with the
Administrative Court in the stipulated thirty days (Simon & Simon
precedent) and serving a Section 7 Order within a reasonable time period
(14 days).
c) The Section 5 being invalid after having been in effect for more than 2
years.

d) If you do not have procedural issues as outlined above, you need to
challenge the constitutionality of the Section 8. Whatever the case you
need to see a lawyer. The precedents have been set so the expense should
not be too worrying a factor.

Q6. What do I do if I have already invalidated my Section 8 and I get a
new one?

A6. Under the latest No 2 amendment (October 2002) you now have seven
days to get off your property. However, in a recent Harare High Court case
Z.R.P were specifically interdicted from evicting any farmer till the
administrative court had determined the individual case regarding a
specific farm. If the Z.R.P do not have a lawful court order to evict you,
they CAN NOT LEGALLY DO SO. We advise you where possible to further
challenge the 7 day Section 8 Order. Previous flaws in the process might
allow for this. Obviously this should be done with extreme haste and
farmers need to strategise a legal challenge ahead of issuance of a 7 day
Section 8 Order.

Q7. What is a Section 7 Order?

Q7. These are your court papers that need to be registered at the Admin
Court within 30 working days and served on you within a reasonable time
period (14 days) of your section 8 being served on you. If they have not
been served within say 45 days, get a lawyer involved to invalidate the
process. If you are served with Section 7 papers get them in to a lawyer
immediately as you have to oppose them within fourteen days, although your
day in court may be a year or two away.

Q8. When you have "your day" in the Administrative Court what are the
chances of success?

A8. The state has only ever won two cases both of which have gone for
appeal to the Supreme Court. The state has to prove necessity of
acquisition, which is becoming more and more difficult in the light of
impending famine, economic collapse etc, also the suitability for
resettlement although under Amendment No 2 and land that has been under
agricultural use in the preceding 50 years is now deemed suitable.

Q9. What is the Quinnel Case?

A9. This is a constitutional case regarding the validity of the
acquisition process in terms of our constitution. There are 8
constitutional points that have been raised. It should be heard early in
2003 in the Supreme Court. We need only win one of the points to win the
case outright.

Q10. Why should I bother with all this if my property is just going to
be acquired unlawfully as has happened in the past?

A10. If you do not protect yourself and your property with the law you
could end up either being imprisoned or having your property acquired in a
legal manner by default. If you lose by default your future claims for
restitution or compensation will be difficult to substantiate especially as
it can be construed in law that by your silence or doing nothing you have
acquiesced to your losses.

Q11. What about filling in LA3 forms and the like?

A11. By filling in these forms you are foregoing your legal right to
object to the acquisition. This could put you in a very compromised
position when it comes to restitution or compensation, as your ownership of
your title deeds starts to become questionable. If you have already filled
in an LA3 form do NOT make further agreements. Protect your title. Do not
think you can win any agreement on the grounds of duress. If you have time
to see a lawyer it cannot be considered a duress case. Duress in law
requires immediacy.

Q12. Can the State just list me again if I get my Section 5 and 8
invalidated?

A12. If your section 5 and section 8 is invalidated it is illegal for
the State to list you again for a period of 12 months. This ensures that
your title is protected and gives you time to sort the situation out on the
ground.


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