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

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Independent (UK)

Mugabe opponent forced to seek safety in London
By Basildon Peta, Southern Africa Correspondent
21 January 2003


A leading Zimbabwean opposition MP has sought sanctuary in London after
three of his colleagues were tortured by police in Harare last week.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said Tafadzwa Musekiwa, MP for the
impoverished Harare district of Zengeza, would not be returning home until
the volatile political atmosphere in Zimbabwe had calmed down. He would risk
torture if he returned, a party spokesman, Paul Nyathi, said.

Job Sikhala, an MP from a neighbouring constituency, told a court in Harare
last week that he was beaten and subjected to electric shocks after his
arrest on allegations of involvement in the burning of a bus owned by a
state transport company in Harare on 13 January. The MDC says two fellow
opposition activists and their lawyer arrested with him were also tortured.

Charles Selemane, a lawyer, said a medical examination showed the men had
been given shocks with electrodes clipped to their genitals, between their
toes and in their mouths. Severe bruising showed police beat them with canes
on the soles of their feet.

The men told the court they were suspended by their hands and feet for long
periods, and that police urinated on them and forced them to roll in urine.

Mr Sikhala and the other three were accused of inciting violence, which they
deny.

Mr Nyathi said Mr Musekiwa had been on holiday in London for about a month
when reports of the torture of his colleagues reached him and he decided
that he should not return to Zimbabwe.

Earler, Mr Musekiwa had told the Zimbabwean Daily News from London that he
had discovered his name appeared on a government hit list and his life was
in grave danger.

The police have failed to get a conviction against Mr Sikhala and Mr
Musekiwa despite arresting them about a dozen times in the past year. Mr
Sikhala, 30, and Mr Musekiwa, 28, say they have been arrested more times
than any other opposition MP.

Mr Sikhala says he has been a target since he exposed in court details of an
alleged homosexual affair between Mr Mugabe's chief spin doctor, the
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, and Alum Mpofu, the man Mr Moyo had
appointed to run the state's broadcasting company.

Last April, tear-gas grenades were hurled into Mr Musekiwa's home by
unidentified attackers. No arrests were made after that attack.

Mr Sikhala has been repeatedly accused of inciting clashes between rival
party supporters, charges he denies.

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News24

Zim: Pets, livestock bear brunt
20/01/2003 20:47  - (SA)

Johannesburg - Animals are among the victims of Zimbabwe's land invasion
crisis, with evidence accruing of abuse of domestic pets and livestock, the
SA Veterinary Association said on Monday.

The association said an incident occurred on a farm near Karoi, in which
some 70 armed youths claiming to be war veterans broke into a farmer's
stables and tied his favourite horse to a pole.

They attached a noose around the horse's hind legs, tied it to another pole,
poured petrol all over the stable, lit a match and then ran away, locking
the stable door behind them, the association said.

On seeing the flames, the farmer, fired several shots in the air - driving
the invaders away - and ran to the stable to rescue his horse.

Unfortunately the horse had already been badly burnt and had to be shot,
said the veterinarians, who are in the process of collecting money as well
as donations of veterinary supplies and food to assist their colleagues in
Zimbabwe.

The group said cases such as the one above were not unusual.

It said that often groups of between 20 to 200 armed men would go onto a
white-owned farm, demand that the farmer gather what he could and vacate
within a couple of hours, leaving his pets and livestock behind.

Although in some cases farmers manage to return and evacuate their pets, in
most cases they arrive too late.

"There have been numerous cases of invaders stoning dogs, breaking limbs,
and burning a cat before the owners manage to get these animals to safety.

"In the case of livestock the invaders usually burn the grazing, causing the
cattle to starve. In some cases the cattle get burnt as well.

"There have been numerous cases of these people attacking cattle with axes,
snaring them and severing their Achilles tendons," the association said.
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News24

Zim: Nigeria 'very concerned'
20/01/2003 22:53  - (SA)

Harare - Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is "very much concerned" about
the situation in Zimbabwe and will visit the country in February, a Nigerian
envoy said here on Monday.

Nigerian Foreign Minister Sule Lamido met President Robert Mugabe in Harare
and delivered a special message from Obasanjo, Ziana news agency reported.

"As a friend of Zimbabwe and a personal friend of President Mugabe,
President Obasanjo is very much concerned about the situation in Zimbabwe,"
Ziana quoted Lamido as saying.

Obasanjo is part of a troika of Commonwealth leaders that last year decided
to suspend Zimbabwe from the 54-member grouping for 12 months following a
damning report on the presidential elections that returned Mugabe to power.

The decision comes up for review in March this year.

Obasanjo and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa last year resisted
attempts to fully expel Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth, a measure championed
by the third member of the troika, Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

Speaking after Monday's meeting, Lamido said there was a danger that the
Zimbabwean issue could divide the Commonwealth along racial lines with
African countries aligning themselves with Zimbabwe.

"If they want to make it an issue of kith and kin, then we will also make it
a kith and kin issue," Lamido said in an apparent reference to charges that
western countries are too concerned with the plight of white farmers in
Zimbabwe.

Many of Zimbabwe's white farmers have had their land acquired under Mugabe's
controversial land reform programme launched in 2000.

Lamido said that land redistribution had been "successfully completed in
Zimbabwe". He said he hoped the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth
would be lifted.

South Africa too has recently voiced its approval of Zimbabwe's land reform
with Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana saying the country had much to
learn from Zimbabwe's experience. - Sapa-AFP

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Straits Times

Fly now, pay later with Mugabe
GREG MILLS


ON JAN 12, I flew from Singapore to South Africa with Mr Robert Mugabe
sitting in the seat directly behind.

At Changi Airport, more than 15 trolleys were piled high with shopping in
boxes labelled 'Zimbabwe House, Harare'. As we were about to depart, into
the aircraft strode the Zimbabwean President, his family and entourage.

Aside from their shopping spree, their 10 business-class seats would have
cost at least US$30,000 (S$52,000), buying a lot of food and humanitarian
relief for Zimbabwe's starving population, six million of whom are likely to
experience food shortages this year.

Yet Mr Mugabe's regime appears to have fallen between the cracks of
international concern with attention focused on Baghdad and Pyongyang.
Western governments have apparently abrogated their responsibility on the
Zimbabwe crisis to South Africa.

Pretoria has been unwilling to provide the leadership necessary to extract
Zimbabwe from its spiralling economic and political crisis. The reasons for
this relate to the weakness of South Africa's own political structures,
which are apparently still too fragile in racial terms for the government to
risk a more direct, interventionist role.

The cost of doing nothing is too great, however, for the region and for
Zimbabweans. The longer South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki fails to act
decisively in dealing with his septuagenarian Zimbabwean counterpart, the
more he and not only Mr Mugabe will also be viewed as part of the problem.

Inside Zimbabwe, increasing food shortages are a direct result of Mr
Mugabe's land redistribution programme and related plummeting agricultural
output. Inflation is running at 200 per cent.

With three-quarters of the population unemployed, the 2003 Budget shortfall
is estimated at half of the US$2 billion budget. But Mr Mugabe keeps the lid
on political resistance with a cocktail of repression and intimidation of
the opposition, and buying off his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic
Front (ZANU-PF) cadres with farms and access to foreign currency.

INTERVENTION NEEDED

AMID rumours of an exit strategy for Mr Mugabe engineered by ZANU-PF, there
are concerns that a relatively sanitised, but hardly democratic or any less
corrupt, regime will simply take over where Mr Mugabe has left off.

This may be the aim of some of the region's governments, however, given
their unease over the rise of the union-based opposition MDC, and the
related failure of ZANU-PF to make the change fully from liberation movement
to political party.

What can be the role for the external community in this environment? Should
regional states and institutions be unwilling or unable to take the lead in
resolving the crisis and reinstating democracy, this role would have to be
taken by other members of the international community.

One extreme, though unlikely, is that a major external state or coalition of
states might be prepared to intervene directly and militarily.

Given events not only in Afghanistan, but also in the former Yugoslavia and
potentially Iraq, this 'Taleban option' should not be excluded.

The forces required would be small, and success would be assured.
Intervention would be welcomed from within Zimbabwe, and the intervening
forces would have an assured exit strategy, through the holding of
internationally supervised elections.

Diplomatically, there would be an incalculable fall-out, in terms of both
regional and North-South relations, and it is likely that such an option
could be considered only in a case of extreme humanitarian emergency.

External leadership could more plausibly take the form of multilateral
action, through the European Union, the Commonwealth, or the United Nations.
Extended sanctions through the 54-member Commonwealth would be a symbolic
starting point.

Concerted involvement of civil society organisations, businesses and the
media would also be possible. This could take the form of support for the
MDC, Zimbabwean trade unions and other elements of civil society.

While simply doing nothing may bring the crisis to a head more quickly
(given that humanitarian aid creates a buffer between the populace and the
government), it could seriously undermine the reformist tendency throughout
the southern African region.

The failure to address the Zimbabwe problem already has an impact on the
perceived willingness and ability of African states to operate according to
accepted standards of good governance, and reflects the absence of the
political will required for the New Partnership for Africa's Development
reform programme to succeed.

A further African catastrophe would have a disastrous impact on Africa, and
on external perceptions of its place in the world.


The writer is national director of the SA Institute of International
Affairs based inWits University, Johannesburg. He contributed this comment
to The Straits Times.
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Libya to lead UN human rights body
Barry James/IHT International Herald Tribune  Tuesday, January 21, 2003


Tripoli easily wins vote U.S. demanded

PARIS The UN Commission on Human Rights elected Libya as its head Monday
after the United States demanded and lost a vote against a country it has
repeatedly condemned as a sponsor of terrorism.
.
After the United States insisted on a vote that would embarrass Libya's
supporters, rather than permit a consensus decision, 33 countries voted for
Libya. Three, including the United States, Canada and reportedly Guatemala
voted against and 17 abstained, including seven members of the European
Union who, while aghast at the nomination, did not want to offend the
Africans nations that chose Libya to represent them, diplomats said.
.
The vote means that a country accused of abducting and torturing opponents
of its regime, that has openly supported terrorist organizations such as the
Irish Republican Army and is allegedly responsible for the 1988 bombing of a
Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, will preside over the meeting March 17
to April 25 at which the commission will survey the human rights situation
around the world.
.
Usually the leadership of the commission is arranged by consensus and
rotated among the UN's five geographical regions.
.
This year it was the turn of Africa turn, which the Libyan leader, Colonel
Moammar Gadhafi, has assiduously courted with cash and political influence.
Gadhafi sent troops into the Central African Republic to prop up the regime
there, and threw his political support behind another strongman, President
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. He was a driving force behind the formation of
the African Union, even paying off some of the debts of the old Organization
of African Unity, which preceded the union.
.
Libya, still not fully free from UN sanctions that were imposed because of
its alleged role in the Lockerbie bombing, was the only country nominated by
the African bloc.
.
This year the United States insisted on a vote instead of a consensual nod
for the first time since the commission was established in 1946 because, as
the State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, Libya's "terrible
conduct" should not be rewarded. The United States has only just rejoined
the commission after losing its seat in 2001 over what was seen as its
unilateral foreign policy.
.
Human rights advocates said that the election of a country that has not had
a free election since Gadhafi seized power in 1969 put the credibility of
the Human Rights Commission at stake.
.
It "poses a real test" for the body, according to Joanna Weschler, the UN
representative for Human Rights Watch.
.
In the Libyan capital, Tripoli, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry,
Hassuna Shawush, told Agence France-Presse that the vote was "a shining
victory which gives back their rights to the oppressed peoples." He said it
showed "historic world recognition that Libya has a clean sheet with regards
to human rights."
.
This was not the view held by Human Rights Watch, which accused the Tripoli
regime of arbitrarily locking up, abducting and assassinating political
opponents, torturing and mistreating prisoners, and barring human rights
investigators from the UN or non-government organizations.
.
Earlier, in a statement, Human Rights Watch said Libya's rights record over
three decades had been "appalling." Amnesty International also has expressed
concern that about 150 opponents of the regime facing trial in Libya later
this month will not receive a fair hearing.
.
The Libyan representative to the Human Rights Commission, Najat Hajjaji,
said in a speech after her election that she would rely on the body's
collective wisdom and would avoid "as far as possible" making decisions on a
personal basis. But diplomats feared the nomination could exacerbate
tensions. Even before the secret ballot by the national delegates in Geneva,
the Libyans accused the United States of trying to block the election out of
"Zionist" motives.
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JAG COMMUNIQUE January 14, 2003

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Mugabe Must Not Be Granted Amnesty

A story published recently in the Times in London revealed that a secret
deal brokered between Zanu (PF) and the MDC would allow for Mugabe to
leave quietly, whilst granting him immunity from prosecution for his
actions. This was naturally denied by official Zanu (PF) structures,
causing the usual confusion as to the veracity of any situation that is
commonly experienced by those of us buried beneath the propaganda
treadmill. Whether this plan is true or not, it is a matter of some
concern that any such deal should be sought. It is completely
unjustifiable and wantonly immoral to allow the actions of a leader such
as Robert Mugabe to pass unprosecuted. Furthermore, to say that this will
remove Mugabe from the seat of power and therefore pave the way for reform
and reconciliation is dangerously na´ve.

Joseph Msika, as Vice President would fill the role of presidency over the
interim period leading to a referendum, although in all probability
Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Speaker for Parliament, would make a concerted bid
to replace Mugabe in the Zanu (PF) hierarchy. It is certain that neither
of these two are likely to implement a drastic reform programme. Rather,
the collective sigh of relief uttered by the nation once Robert Mugabe has
left would allow the same policies to be implemented for a period without
drawing comment, consequently worsening the situation.

But the issue of succession is not the real problem at hand. Rather, it is
the question of accountability. Africa is rife with corruption, a societal
ill that stifles trade, inflates bureaucracies, and effectively presents
an insurmountable obstacle to the improvement of life for those not privy
to a place on the gravy train. This arises largely from the reality that
few are ever held accountable for their actions - those few with whom the
law eventually catches up can usually find some way to buy or bargain
their way out of severe repercussions or retirbution. In Zimbabwe this is
even more the case; innumerable corruption scandals have come to light
over the course of the last ten years, and in all but a few cases, the
culprits were not only not imprisoned, they were maintained in their
positions of power.

The principles of justice are overturned in such a system, and this
inevitably leads to societal decay. We have all been witness to this
disintegration over the last few years. There has been a steady and
worrying atrophy of the rule of law, with uniformed forces and
governmental bodies not only condoning the violence, but in many
documented cases both abetting and perpetrating violence. The law has been
applied selectively and wantonly, leading to a state of barely-contained
anarchy in many areas (and utter anarchy in such places as the commercial
farms). Arrests are often politically-linked, and even some high court
judges are apparently jumping onto the gravy train. A good example is
Justice Ben Hlatshwayo, who has taken over a farm in the Banket area,
despite the fact that there is no section 8 order on the farm, and in
violation of a high court ruling preventing him from doing so. If high
court judges put no stock in high court rulings, then it is hardly
surprising that nobody else does.

Mugabe's amnesties, declared to allow for "reconciliation" after the
atrocities of the Gukurahundi and the electoral violence, carry the overt
message that he wants to let bygones be bygones. However, the reality is
that he is effectively merely exonerating those who have caused harm and
pain to tens or hundreds of others, and caused the state of violence that
allowed him to maintain his position. In South Africa a Truth and
Reconciliation Commission was carried out to allow those who were injured
and wronged during apartheid to at least tell the world of the horrors
they had been through. Telling one's story is a vital first step in the
healing process, and without this airing people are often unable to
overcome the trauma of events. Effectively, Mugabe has robbed thousands of
Zimbabweans of a chance to heal, and what is more, instilled in them a
fear that if they do report human rights violations, they will be further
victimised.

Clearly, without accountability, society cannot operate effectively. The
entire concept of justice, and of an equal society, is based on the
premise that people are responsible for the consequences of their actions.
It is true, as Tsvangirai pointed out last week, that many members of the
armed forces were merely carrying out orders as is their duty. However, we
do not agree that they can therefore be entirely absolved of any
responsibility. Certainly, those who gave the orders are responsible in
some manner, but any person is required in society to morally assess the
consequences of his actions, and to act accordingly. Thus, those people
who carry out systematic torture at the behest of state organs are no less
morally reprehensible than the men who gave the orders, and should be
answerable as such. They should not be granted a blanket amnesty, but
rather each case should be prosecuted and judged on its merits, and
justice should take its course.

How much more so should this be the case for the leader of a nation that
has suffered terribly under his rule? Mugabe could be forgiven from making
some "difficult but necessary" decisions, since the position of ruler of a
nation inevitably carries the onus of responsibility for hard decisions.
However, it is undeniably the case that Mugabe's decisions through the
course of his career have been more than questionable, and most especially
in latter years. When he leaves his office, Mugabe MUST be brought to book
for these actions, because if he is exonerated, the entire basis of
societal justice will have been overturned. If Mugabe is granted an
amnesty for his actions, then what hope do any of the thousands of people,
whose homes and lives have been violently sundered as a result of their
moral standpoint, position or political beliefs, have of ever seeing
justice done for them? And if no justice is meted out, then what prevents
anyone from taking what they desire at the point of a gun? We will no
longer have a police force, but a mob of armed gangsters carrying out the
will of men who are safely ensconced from the dread realities of life on
the ground. And the man in the street will have to live in fear, every
day, of having what is rightly his taken from him by force.

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

THE JAG TEAM

JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
    (011) 205 374
       (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
       (091) 317 264
    (011)207 860 we're here to help!
(011) 431 068


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JAG Open Letter Forum No. 16 - 15th January 2003

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

There are two letters today - the first is a missing persons report, which
is obviously quite urgent. If you desire photographs of the missing
persons, please contact us, and we can forward them to you electronically.
The second letter details the judgement of the court case against Mugabe
in New York - some positive information that shows at least some people
are on the side of justice out there.

Letter 1: Dave and Jen Riley
KENNETH AND HILARY ALLANSON MISSING

KEN; 1,8 m, gray hair, blue eyes, approx.; 70kgs, age; 60 & enjoys Fishing &
Golf.
HILARY: 1,5m, past shoulder length brown hair, hazel eyes, and approx.;
45kgs, age; 54
(pictures available on request)

Ken & Hilary have been missing since approx. 8,00pm Wednesday 8th January
2003 and were last seen leaving their home in Marlborough, Harare, Zimbabwe
by motor vehicle believed to have been accompanied by 2 other people.
(Descriptions not available).

Anyone with any information are asked to please contact;
Dave +263 11608677
            +263 4 481562
            email;
dave_jen@zol.co.zw
Colin +263 4 494530
(All information will be treated in confidence).

Please pass this message on for the sake of the Family.
God Bless and thank you.
The Family.

***********************************************

LETTER 2: HAMISH HUME


US District Court Judge Marrero has released a final judgment in the human
rights lawsuit against ZANU-PF. It adopts almost the entirety of the
recommended damage award submitted by Magistrate Judge Francis, and imposes
a final judgment against ZANU of $71,250,453 -- consisting of compensatory
damages of $20,250,453, and punitive damages of $51,000,000.

As with his other published decisions in this case, Judge Marrero has
released a very substantial opinion along with the judgment. His opinion
analyzes in depth the extent to which Zimbabwean law is relevant to this
case, specifying with direct references the particular provisions of
Zimbabwean law and the Zimbabwean Constitution that were violated by
ZANU-PF's actions. He also recounts in some detail the horrific crimes
committed against the plaintiffs in this case by ZANU-PF operatives, and
adopted generally the Magistrate's finding that during the run-up to the
2000 elections "ZANU-PF systematically hounded its political opponents
through repeated acts of terror and violence."

This judgment is now final and enforceable. The rules allow private parties
30 days, and the Government 60 days, to file any notice of an appeal.

Hamish PM Hume
Cooper & Kirk
1500 K Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
 --------------------------------------------------------------
To submit letters for the forum, please send emails to
justiceforagriculture@zol.co.zw entitled "Open Letter Forum".

The views aired in this forum do not necessarily represent the official
viewpoint of Justice for Agriculture.

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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: Bruce Gemmell
AGRICULTURE IN POST ZANU-PF ZIMBABWE

Mankind can survive without most of what is manufactured and traded by
modern technology based industry.  What mankind cannot survive without is
a regular and reliable supply of food.  As countries economies develop and
advance from agrarian based to industrial based so agriculture advances
and develops.

This development takes the form of changing from subsistence to market
responsive commercial agriculture.  In fact, the changeover from
subsistence to commercial is a prerequisite to industrial development.

Industrialisation and urbanisation are synonymous.  Therefore it follows
that an urban dwelling man living away from land and spending his working
life in office or factory will buy his food requirements and not grow
them.

Given free choice and the opportunity, most of mankind and particularly
the young prefer to take part in the cash economy and live an urban life. 
All this is pretty basic stuff and self-evident.  However when politicians
in Zimbabwe start talking about land; truth, reality and commonsense go
straight out of the window.

Never was there a more misleading or fatuous political slogan than "Land
is the economy the economy is land."  Throw in a bit about A1 and A2
resettlement in the ZANU-PF style and you have a goulash of the absurd.

In the modern world communal land ownership and subsistence farming are
the hallmark of underdevelopment.  Conversely, democratic countries with
advanced economies have universally adapted freehold title and market
responsive commercial agriculture.

Admittedly these rich democracies can afford to import food but many are
also at the same time exporters of food.  One rarely hears of food
shortages let alone starvation in rich democracies.

Coming back to the land situation in Zimbabwe.  Nationalist and racist
politics, plus the ZANU-PF government's failure to expand the economy, has
led to a spurious debate about land ownership and national sovereignty.
Because of this aberrant behaviour government has thrown the entire
population into a black hole of hunger, despair and insecurity.

There are two salient points when considering land ownership and use:
1. Optimum and appropriate production.
2. Adequate protection and conservation.

If these two requirements are met in an environment of respect of property
rights and as return to the rule of law, all the people of Zimbabwe will
benefit.  Our country could once more be prosperous and hunger free. We at
least have no doubt which road to take. Bruce Gemmell

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All letters published on the open Letter Forum are the views and opinions
of the submitters, and do not necessarily represent the official viewpoint
of Justice for Agriculture


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JAG Sitrep January 20, 2003
------------------------------------------------------------------------

MITCHELL AND MITCHELL
It is with grave concern that we read the Independent report on Mitchell
and Mitchell and its close involvement and possible employment of Lawrence
Katsiru and his political henchmen. That Katsiru and entourage have been
engaged in the systematic destruction of commercial agriculture in
Mashonaland East is irrefutable and well-documented. That a reputable,
until now, company of Mitchell and Mitchell's standing both locally ad
internationally can be complicit and involved in aiding and abetting this
destruction of not only the economic backbone of the region, but also the
community in which they exist, is beyond both comprehension and belief.

For the full story, go to:
http://www.theindependent.co.zw/news/2003/January/Friday10/1118.html

KAROI
Meryl Harrison of the SPCA went on to Alan Parsons' farm on Friday in
order to remove two horses from the stables (Parsons himself was unable to
do this personally because last week Themba Mliswa threatened to kill any
member of his family who set foot on the farm that he had illegally
taken). Meryl managed to get the horses into a horsebox, but before she
could leave she was surrounded by a large number of men who refused to let
her leave. They took her out of the car, and demanded that she unload the
horses, which she refused to do. She underwent a great deal of verbal
abuse, but was not physically assaulted. It is likely that this is the
same group of men who, together with Themba Mliswa, (the Zimbabwe soccer
side's fitness trainer and aspirant to the directorship of ZIFA),
assaulted, severely threatened and abused Parson's wife Jenny, his
daughter (11), and his son and his son's friend (both 17). Meryl was
allowed to leave several hours later.

HARARE SOUTH
On Wednesday the 15th Zanna van Rensburg of Monderwa Farm received a
Section 8 order, giving her seven days to vacate the property. However,
the following day a group of fifteen men headed by Douglas Mahiwa arrived
on the farm and told her and her son that they had to be off within two
hours. When she objected, the men forced their way into the yard, and
armed themselves with logs, pitchforks and bembas, and proceeded to
threaten the pair, who locked themselves into the house. The invaders lit
a fire at the back door, and threatened to burn the house down, then slit
the throats of the van Rensburgs. Zanna radioed a neighbour for help, who
in turn contacted the police, but the police did not arrive. Eventually,
the van Rensburgs were allowed to leave the house with a few
hastily-packed bas and their pets, who they were later forced to take to a
vet and put down because they had nowhere to keep them.

Several hours later, Mr van Rensburg returned to the farm on the basis of
assurances from the Beatrice police. He was told by the invaders, that if
he stayed on the farm his life was in danger, and he would have to
organize the removal of his belongings from Harare. They have not been
able to return to the farm since.

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

THE JAG TEAM

JAG Hotlines:
(011) 612 595 If you are in trouble or need advice,
    (011) 205 374
       (011) 863 354 please don't hesitate to contact us -
       (091) 317 264
    (011)207 860 we're here to help!
(011) 431 068

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Business Day

Blair falling short in his approach to Mugabe

British leader's diplomatic failure on Zimbabwe exemplifies flaws in African
policy

COMPARED with Harold Macmillan, a Conservative prime minister, current
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has, thus far, performed disappointingly
in his African policy. This failure in diplomacy lies largely in his
handling of the Zimbabwe crisis.

Blair has overlooked the residual responsibility inherited from Britain's
imperial past. Increasingly, Blair has employed unpracticable strategies and
tactics in dealing with Harare, and its despotic leader.

More often than not, Blair has passed the diplomatic buck on matters
concerning Zimbabwe to Pretoria or the European Union, and has unashamedly
asked the national cricket body to fight his battles with the government of
President Robert Mugabe.

None of these manoeuvres has strengthened his hand or achieved the desired
objectives. The failure to twist the arms of Pretoria, Brussels, and the
British cricketing body on the issue of Zimbabwe has now seemingly cost
Blair popularity both at home and abroad. It has also created a perception
of London being unable to independently influence global affairs.

Britain's dwindling international influence has also been shown by Blair's
failure to present a convincing case against Mugabe.

Regardless of the merits of Washington's push for war with Iraq, US
President George Bush has mobilised his foreign policy instruments to secure
some support within the United Nations. Blair ought to learn from his US
counterpart how to use multilateral bodies to meet his objectives in
Zimbabwe.

Attempts by Blair to do this within the Commonwealth, UN Development
Programme, the Southern African Development Community, and the African Union
brought limited successes. This is because the strategies and tactics
applied were poorly designed, and executed with a great deal of arrogance.

It is important to note that Macmillan's "wind of change speech"
fundamentally broke away with British's imperial foreign policy tradition,
which Blair now endeavours to reactivate in his handling of Zimbabwe. It is
rather surprising that a Labour Party leader is failing to comprehend the
Lancaster House agreement. Despite its flaws, the agreement was once held as
a soft landing for Zimbabwe's troubled white farmers.

Blair should ask himself why his diplomatic moves in Zimbabwe have been
viewed with suspicion within the black Commonwealth and Africa. It is surely
not because Mugabe is black.

Although these constituencies clearly see the undemocratic behaviour of
Mugabe, they are equally conscious of Britain's historical legacy in
Zimbabwe. This despite the Blair government advancing its "holier than thou"
attitude and its efforts to rewrite the record of its involvement in some of
the problems which now confront Zimbabweans.

What worsens the situation in the Mugabe-Blair dispute is that while Mugabe
attacks white Zimbabweans, Blair seems preoccupied with the defence of the
status quo.

The majority of black Zimbabweans the real victims of both the British
colonial past and Mugabe's current regime do not appear to feature in his
equation.

Looked at this way, it is thus untrue and unfair to say African and black
Commonwealth governments support "one of their own" on the Mugabe issue.

It was the British government that paraded Mugabe as an outstanding African
leader at the time he was committing atrocities in the Matabeleland
provinces in the early 1980s. The mightiness of the Zimbabwean army
(excluding the Fifth Brigade which was trained by the North Koreans) owes
its superiority to Britain, which trained it.

And in the days when Mugabe safeguarded large tracts of land belonging to
farmers, Britain turned a blind eye on his injustices. It is thus not
surprising that Mugabe, like former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, was a
frequent guest of honour in London, receiving an audience with the queen in
Buckingham Palace.

In addition, during the run-up to Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections in
2000, it was widely believed Britain was funding the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC).

If this is true, Blair should have been advised better because in so doing
he made himself a player, referee and colonial master on matters concerning
land, Mugabe's undemocratic behaviour and Zimbabwean politics in general.

As an interested party in Zimbabwean politics, Blair should also have
realised that he was setting an infant MDC up to fail. British support of
the MDC pumped life into Mugabe's political life. He used every trick during
the elections to directly link the MDC and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai to
Blair.

Coupled with Tsvangirai's alleged involvement in the reported plot to
assassinate Mugabe and his failure to lead the civil society in mass actions
recently, the Zimbabwean people have begun to doubt Tsvangirai's ability to
pull Zimbabwe out of its crisis.

Indeed, Mugabe's exit from politics, though desirable, will not suffice to
return Zimbabwe's politics and economy to its former stability.

Perhaps UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw's dazzling admission last year that
many global hotspots, including Zimbabwe, were caused by Britain's
ill-advised imperial policies holds true. As Blair's main lieutenant in
foreign policy, Straw's forthrightness must be welcomed as the first stage
in the total overhaul of London's African policy.

Securing a peaceful exit for Mugabe, establishing a credible transitional
government to rewrite the constitution, and committing adequate funding for
land redistribution remain the best hope to restore Blair's and Britain's
foreign policy in Africa. Of course Mugabe will, on the other hand, always
be remembered as the dictator who destroyed his country.

Monyae lectures at the Department of International Relations at the
University of the Witwatersrand.
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BBC
 
Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 01:09 GMT
Famine plagues Zimbabwe
Zimbabwean children
Up to seven million Zimbabweans face starvation

Posing as tourists, we evaded President Robert Mugabe's police and his army of spies and found, hidden from the world, a nation's tragedy.

They [the authorities] electrified me on my genitals, on my toes, in my mouth, and said 'this is the mouth you use to defend human rights'

Gabriel Shumba, human rights lawyer
Hungry people queue for the meagre rations offered by church workers - their children's hair already changing colour from malnutrition.

The elderly too are beginning to suffer terribly - not much food and not much hope of it either.

Misrule, corruption and drought are combining to make a catastrophe.

Scavenging

Among the poorest of the poor, some compete with wild animals for what they can scavenge.

Jenny Parsons
Parsons' family was attacked by government supporters

Many people have abandoned their homes in search of food and work.

"For three days I haven't eaten, because of this I have no energy, that is why you see me here," explained one man that we met.

Yet the commercial farms that could have provided much of the food needed are lying abandoned, their owners forced out.

Jenny Parsons, one such farmer, and her children, tried to visit their family farm and were attacked by government supporters.

"Every time I tried to get back to the truck to protect the kids more of them came and started punching me and kicking me into a hallway," she recounted.

Even the children were not spared.

"They were trying to treat me like a dog, as if I were dirt," explained one of her sons, tears streaming down his face. "It was really scary."

Torture chambers

Fear now rules Zimbabwe.

Gabriel Shumba
Shumba says he was tortured by the authorities

Harare, the capital, now has secret torture chambers.

Being caught filming could mean up to two years in jail.

As the economic crisis gets worse so does the level of government repression.

Nobody who opposes the government now is safe from torture, from arbitrary imprisonment.

We met a group of people, many of them high profile, who have just been released from police custody.

In this country even members of parliament and human rights lawyers can end up in torture chambers.

All of those we met said they had been subjected to electric shock torture.

"They electrified me on my genitals, on my toes, in my mouth, and they said 'this is the mouth you use to defend human rights,'" said Gabriel Shumba, a human rights lawyer.

"The world must know of the kind of life that the people of Zimbabwe are living under. It is terrible," Job Sikhala, an opposition member of parliament, said from his hospital bed, where he is recovering.

'Land of empty plate'

Petrol queues throughout the city are a symptom of the crisis.

The England cricket squad will see them when they visit, but the government will crack down hard on any demonstrators.

That is just one reason why the mayor of Harare, Elias Mudzuri, wants the England cricketers to stay at home.

"How many more people are likely to be dragged into the cells because they think they are perceived to be disturbing the cricket and the cricket people must be seen to be seeing that Zimbabwe is a good destination?" he asked.

Back in the rural areas the people gather wild plants, a traditional meal in times of hardship.

The United Nations warns that seven million people now face starvation.

This is my third undercover trip into Zimbabwe in the last 12 months and the situation has deteriorated drastically.

Yet nobody here seems to doubt that change is coming. The only question is whether it will be peaceful or violent.

This land of the empty plate attracts little attention from the powerful nations of the world, but they could soon find themselves facing a dramatic crisis here.

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Armed police guard Harare pitch

Andrew Meldrum in Harare and Nick Hoult in Sydney
Tuesday January 21, 2003
The Guardian

Armed police are patrolling Harare Sports Club following threats to sabotage
World Cup cricket matches at the Zimbabwean venue.
Police have been stationed at the ground where the Zimbabwe team is training
for their six matches in the opening phase of the tournament, including
their contest against England on February 13.

Zimbabwe Cricket Union officials say that they have received threats that
the pitch will be dug up by those opposed to the games being held in the
country. To prevent any vandalism or other risks, the Zimbabwe Republic
Police have taken over security at the club. About 25 armed police, both
uniformed and in plain clothes, were briefed yesterday on how to maintain
security at the ground.

Some groups have already stated their intent to stage protests in an attempt
to disrupt matches. They are opposed to the games being played in the
country due to the severe political and economic crisis there.

When Pakistan toured Zimbabwe in November three people, protesting against
human rights abuses and distributing leaflets calling for a boycott of the
World Cup matches, were arrested and allegedly beaten while in custody.

The mayor of Harare, Elias Mudzuri, has joined the calls for the matches to
be removed from the country. Mudzuri was originally in favour of Zim babwe
hosting matches but he was arrested earlier this month when he was about to
speak to 500 residents regarding water supply problems in the capital.

He was held in jail for 48 hours without being charged and said: "If they
can throw the mayor in jail for two days for no reason, then they can do
that to any visitor or player. There is no rule of law in Zimbabwe. No one
is safe."

The England players will have their opportunity to express any concerns over
the Harare match when they meet David Morgan, the chairman of the England
and Wales Cricket Board, in Sydney tomorrow.

Morgan will attempt to explain the ramifications of England not fulfilling
their commitments in Zimbabwe. The meeting follows Nasser Hussain's comments
that the players have split consciences over the morality of travelling to
the troubled country.

"I think the concerns are not about their own safety," Morgan said. "I think
they are pretty pleased that will be perfectly fine. Their concerns now are
of a moral nature - namely what people are going through there.

"What I shall be stressing is that playing one cricket match or not playing
the match isn't going to do anything to change the lives of the people of
Zimbabwe who are clearly suffering. Not playing it could have a huge impact
on the cricketers, including those of the 18 first-class counties."
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Daily News

      MP flees

      1/20/2003 8:51:24 AM (GMT +2)

      By Ray Matikinye

      TAFADZWA Musekiwa, the MP for Zengeza (MDC), has fled into temporary
exile in London to forestall an alleged plot by Zanu PF to eliminate him and
other young MDC activists.

      "I had specific information that I was on a government hit list
together with Job Sikhala," Musekiwa said by telephone from London
yesterday.

      Sikhala is the MP for St Mary's (MDC).

      Musekiwa said the plot to eliminate him was allegedly being
spearheaded by the Minister for Information and Publicity in the President's
Office, Professor Jonathan Moyo.

      The junior minister has frequently attacked the MP and his young
colleagues in the opposition MDC as immature politicians.

      "We have been hauled before the courts on spurious charges as part of
the harassment and a demonisation campaign by Professor Moyo who is keen to
see this strategy work, but it won't succeed," Musekiwa said.

      He said Sikhala and him had been arrested more frequently than any
other MDC MPs since they became parliamentarians.

      "It is an intimidation tactic, an attempt to harass and demoralise
 us."

      In November last year, Musekiwa was acquitted on charges of making
threatening telephone calls to Moyo. Sikhala, who faced similar charges, was
acquitted in July.

      Sikhala took the opportunity in court to reveal that Moyo wanted to
"fix" him after he asked the junior minister of rumours about his alleged
homosexual relationship with Alum Mpofu, the disgraced former chief
executive of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation caught in a compromising
position with another man at a Harare nightclub.

      He said the strategy was to ensure the number of MDC MPs was reduced
so that Zanu PF could go ahead and amend the Constitution.

      He would not remain in exile long enough to allow Zanu PF to call a
by-election in his constituency, he said.

      "I would want people in my constituency to know my position so that
they are not misled by State propaganda which is giving the impression that
I am vending curios in London. I left on the spur of the moment because I
could have been eliminated to silence me," Musekiwa said.

      Sikhala is out on bail for allegedly planning to topple the government
and in hospital following his proven torture by the police on his arrest
last week.

      The two MPs were again arrested for fraud charges arising out of a
Parliamentary vehicle loan scheme which they were alleged to have abused.
They were acquitted too.

      In March last year Musekiwa and Sikhala were alleged to have been
implicated in a plot to assassinate and overthrow President Mugabe,
according to the State-controlled Herald newspaper.

      The paper claimed the two visited London to see Themba Mliswa, before
his deportation from Britain, whom they told of a plot by whites to
assassinate Mugabe for being a stumbling block to MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai's bid to assume the Presidency.

      "You can see what happened to my colleague Sikhala. I did not want
that to happen to me. How can the government charge a person for trying to
overthrow the government by burning a Zupco bus?" Musekiwa said.

      He said Sikhala had been tortured as part of the whole scheme.
      Speaking from his hospital bed yesterday, Sikhala said he had been
made to confess that he and Musekiwa were in the process of forming a
splinter party from the MDC with Musekiwa allegedly in London to source
funds for the new party.

      In April last year six men armed with AK47 rifles threw tear-gas into
Musekiwa's bedroom.

      In another incident Zanu PF youths barred him from his father's
funeral in Chikomba.

      In February last year, about 200 youths living at a base in
Chitungwiza attacked Musekiwa's home, damaging part of the roof and
shattering some windows.

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Daily News

      Residents back Mudzuri

      1/20/2003 12:09:22 PM (GMT +2)


      Municipal Reporter

      HARARE residents, including schoolchildren, last week criticised the
State for arresting Elias Mudzuri, the Executive Mayor of the capital.

      A snap-survey conducted in Harare city centre showed that most of
residents interviewed have confidence in Mudzuri.

      They said they felt Mudzuri was being unfairly treated by the police
and the government and called on Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing, to stop interfering with the
opposition MDC-dominated Harare City Council.

      Chombo should instead work with Mudzuri to improve the provision of
services by the municipality, the residents said.

      Some of those interviewed refused to be identified while others were
too scared to comment, saying they feared victimisation.

      Harare police arrested Mudzuri along with 20 others while they were
holding a consultative meeting on the city's problems, including the water
crisis, in Mabvuku last Saturday.

      They accused Mudzuri and his officials of holding an illegal political
meeting and charged them with contravening Section 23 of the repressive
Public Order and Security Act.

      Among those arrested were Mudzuri's deputy, Sekesai Makwavarara, and
three councillors, Falls Nhari, Benjamin Maimba and Oscar Phemiwa.

      Harare deputy director of housing James Chiyangwa, and the council's
spokesman Cuthbert Rwazemba were also arrested together with 16 other
residents.

      Peter Chiwenga, 59, a detainee during Zimbabwe's liberation war, said
he attended Saturday's meeting in Mabvuku which had helped residents update
Mudzuri about several problems affecting the suburb.

      He said Mudzuri was the first councillor to ever consult Mabvuku
residents.

      Eighteen-year-old schoolgirls Patricia Kusangaya, of Rugare, and Susan
Maonavana, of Mbare, said the police should not have arrested Mudzuri.

      "I followed up on Mudzuri's arrest just a bit," Kusangaya said. "I
think they should not have arrested him. They should have discussed if there
were any problems."

      Maonavana said: "Mudzuri holds a high position and his arrest
belittles the office of the mayor."

      Kusangaya said there had been a slight improvement in the provision of
services since Mudzuri and his council took office in March 2002, but felt
more could be achieved with the government's co-operation.

      "I think the government wants the council to fail so that they can
remove it."

      Kusangaya and Maonavana are studying commercial subjects at a high
school in Harare.
      Lloyd Van der Bank, 50, a fitter and turner residing in Marlborough,
said: "The arrest of the mayor stinks. The people who arrested him should be
arrested so they can experience what it feels like."

      He said the government should leave the running of the city's affairs
to the council.
      On the water crisis, he said water was essential for survival and the
government, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, should release the
necessary funds for the procurement of chemicals.

      "If we are all going to live in this city we must work together and
stop fighting each other."

      Taurayi Chidembo, a 19-year-old ice-cream vendor, said: "It's not
right to arrest the mayor. The police abused their powers to arrest and
detain because Mudzuri is a member of an opposition party."

      Chidembo, of Highfield, said a number of factors, including the old
piping system, inherited from the previous Zanu PF-led councils, were to
blame for Harare's water crisis.

      The pipes were old and given to bursting, but the mayor was trying to
change that, Chidembo said.

      He felt Chombo was going over acceptable limits as he had no right to
run the city with the mayor there.

      An insurance executive said: "Chombo should just leave Mudzuri to do
his job. Why stop him from addressing people as his duties require that he
gets the people's views on the service he is providing?

      "The water problems appear to be sabotage against Mudzuri's council to
justify its ouster. They want it to appear as if he is failing in his job."
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Daily News

      AG refuses criminal trial of Mwonzora

      1/20/2003 12:13:58 PM (GMT +2)


      From Energy Bara in Masvingo

      BARELY a week after a Bulawayo magistrate refused to place Douglas
Mwonzora, a Masvingo lawyer and National Constitutional Assembly
spokesperson, on remand, the police in Masvingo last week arrested him over
the same case.

      Mwonzora was picked up by the Criminal Investigation Department's
fraud squad at 2pm last Wednesday and taken to Masvingo magistrates' court
over a $150 000 cheque which he issued and was later dishonoured by the
bank.

      But officials from the Attorney General's Office refused to proceed,
arguing it was a civil case.

      Mwonzora said last week: "They prepared some papers and took me to
court, but the prosecutors refused to proceed with the case".

      Court officials confirmed they had refused to proceed with the case.

      On Thursday last week, Bulawayo magistrate Fadzai Mtombeni agreed with
the defence counsel that the allegations against Mwonzora were purely civil.

      The State had alleged that sometime last year Mwonzora and Associates
bought a photocopier from a Bulawayo company and paid $200 000 as
down-payment.

      They later issued a post-dated cheque for $150 000 to settle the debt,
but the cheque was dishonoured by the bank because the account was not
longer operational.

      It was the State case that Mwonzora had committed fraud by issuing a
cheque well knowing that his bank account was no longer functional.

      Mwonzora described the arrest as part of harassment by Zanu PF.
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Daily News

      GMB manager in court

      1/20/2003 12:14:38 PM (GMT +2)


      From Our Correspondent in Gweru

      TENDAI Machipisa, the acting general manager of the Grain Marketing
Board (GMB)'s Kwekwe depot, was granted $15 000 bail after he appeared in
court last Friday facing charges of corruption involving 40 bags of maize
grain.

      Machipisa, 30, was remanded out of custody to 4 February when he
appeared before Kwekwe provincial magistrate Oliver Mudzongachiso, for
contravening the Prevention of Corruption Act.

      He was not asked to plead and ordered to report once a week to Mbizo
Police Station as part of his bail conditions.

      Machipisa was represented by Tendai Masawi.

      The State alleges that on 26 December last year, retired army colonel
and Bikita West Member of Parliament, Claudius Makova, gave Machipisa $58
000 cash to buy him 100 bags of maize grain at the depot. At that time
Machipisa was employed as the acting general manager at the Kwekwe depot.

      Instead of buying the whole consignment once, Machipisa allegedly
bought the maize in two tranches of 60 and 40 bags and raised two receipts
for the maize.

      He allegedly gave Makova the first consignment of 60 bags and promised
to deliver the balance within the next few days. Machipisa later diverted
the remaining 40 bags of maize and sold them in Mbizo suburbs at $8 000
each, raising $320 000.

      The gazetted price of maize is $580 for a 50kg bag.

      The matter only surfaced on 8 January this year after Machipisa
allegedly became evasive and failed to account for the balance to Makova.

      The matter was then reported to the police, leading to Machipisa's
arrest.
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Daily News

      MDC members poisoned in custody, says Ncube

      1/20/2003 12:17:21 PM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporter

      THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the torture and
poisoning of Job Sikhala, the MP for St Mary's, shows a pattern of suspected
poisoning of the opposition party's members in police custody resulting in
serious illness and sometimes death.

      Sikhala's case confirmed the MDC's long-held suspicions that the
opposition party's members had been poisoned in police custody, Welshman
Ncube, the party's secretary-general, said yesterday.

      Sikhala wept in court last Friday as he described how the police
tortured him using electric shock on his genitals. He was also allegedly
subjected to prolonged beatings. He says he was forced to drink an
unidentified liquid which the police said was their urine, but did not taste
and smell like human urine.

      Said Ncube: "The torture and inhuman treatment of Sikhala is typical
of the reign of terror that President Mugabe has unleashed on Zimbabweans
who have dared to hold views different from those of his party.

      "Revelations that Sikhala was also made to drink an unspecified liquid
also confirms our fears that all MDC leaders and activists who have been in
police custody in the last few months have been poisoned."

      He said examples of opposition members suspected to have been poisoned
are the late Stephen Chasara and Davies Mtetwa, both previously in the MDC's
Chitungwiza provincial executive committee. They were made to drink
suspected poison after they were arrested and tortured in custody at Harare
Central Police Station, Ncube said.

      "They both subsequently died within three months of each other," Ncube
said. Mtetwa died in April 2002, seven months after being released from
custody in November 2001, while Chasara died in June last year.

      He said Tichaona Munyanyi, the MP for Mbare East, fell ill after his
release from police custody developing a serious headache and an incessant
diarrhoea that lasted 10 days
      after his release.

      Munyanyi is accused of being involved in the killing of Ali Khan
Manjengwa, a Zanu PF activist in Mbare, last August. The MP spent five days
in hospital as a result of his illness.

      Ncube said Solomon Silas Chikowero, an MDC security official, was also
forced to drink a substance from a bottle while blindfolded on 27 August
2002.

      This followed Chikowero's arrest on similar charges as Munyanyi. He
was subsequently tortured at Chinamora Police Station in Domboshava. He
continues to suffer from incessant diarrhoea and dizziness.

      Robbie Siyanai, the party's Midlands South provincial information
officer, was forced to drink an unnamed white liquid after he was abducted
and assaulted by suspected
      State security agents, Ncube said.

      "Siyanai," Ncube said, "immediately felt dizzy and remains seriously
ill to this day.
      He has been on medication ever since. His sense of hearing was
severely affected and now he can hardly hear."

      The late Learnmore Jongwe, the former MP for Kuwadzana and his party's
former spokesman, died under similar circumstances at Harare Remand Prison
on 22 October 2002, Ncube said.

      Jongwe died after he was allegedly forced to drink chloroquine.

      The State maintains Jongwe committed suicide. He was on remand
following a murder charge. He allegedly fatally stabbed his wife in a
domestic dispute last July.
      "One day we will know how and by whom that chloroquine was
administered into his body," Ncube said.

      "It's a shame that there are people out there who believe Zimbabwe is
a safe country in which to play Cricket World Cup games while ordinary and
peace-loving Zimbabweans are subjected to daily terror and starvation.

      "The International Cricket Council must bear the responsibility for
the current terrorisation of Zimbabweans by the Mugabe regime in a
last-ditch effort to silence its critics before the start of the games next
month."

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Daily News

      Four decomposing bodies found at Bulawayo Golf Club

      1/20/2003 12:18:03 PM (GMT +2)


      By Lloyd Mudiwa

      MYSTERY surrounds the discovery of four decomposing bodies near the
14th hole of the Bulawayo Golf Club, bringing to nine the number of corpses
found in Matabeleland in a month.

      The latest find, like four of the five skeletons discovered earlier in
December in a disused dip tank in Nkayi, are suspected to be the remains of
MDC supporters, South Africa's Sunday Times reported yesterday.

      The discovery comes amid allegations of poisoning in police custody of
Job Sikhala, the MP for St Mary's (MDC), ahead of this week's talks between
South African President Thabo Mbeki and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in
London.

      According to the State-controlled Sunday Mail, Zimbabwe was expected
to feature prominently in the talks.

      Zimbabwe was also expected to host some of next month's World Cup
cricket games, which the British and Australian cricket teams had threatened
to boycott.

      Lawyers representing one of the three suspects in the murder case of
Cain Nkala, Khetani Augustine Sibanda. have written to the Attorney General'
s Office requesting greater protection for their client after he allegedly
revealed that two attempts were made on his life in Harare Remand Prison.

      The Sunday Mail reported that Mbeki was expected to attempt to break
the Zimbabwe-British stand-off by giving Blair a dossier of evidence showing
how the political situation in Zimbabwe had significantly improved since the
March 2002 presidential election.

      The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, in its latest political violence
report, however, says although there was a slight statistical decrease in
violence and torture, this was probably because it was unable to document
many incidents of political violence during the festive season.

      Most of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum's partners, who formed the
main source of its information, were closed for the holidays.

      "This, therefore, implies that since all the cases included in this
report are extracted from the Press, the decrease in statistics for the
month of December may reflect a lack of input from our normal source of
information, rather than a decline in the types of political violence,"
reads the report, which covers the period 1 January to 31 December 2002.

      The Sunday Times reported that the four decomposing bodies were
thought to be victims of political violence in the Insiza parliamentary
by-election in September last year.

      Witnesses say the bodies all male were discovered in an open sewer
shortly before Christmas. The corpses, which were in an advanced state of
decomposition, were reportedly removed by the police.

      The police refused to comment on the discovery yesterday. The bodies
were discovered after a sewerage system blockage.

      People in the area interviewed feared the bodies could be linked to
the alleged disappearances of opposition supporters in Insiza, about 120km
east of Bulawayo.
      No report of the discovery of the corpses has appeared in local
newspapers.

      Reports of the discovery of the bodies first emerged in the British
magazine The Spectator, in an article by Peter Osborne, a journalist making
a documentary film about Zimbabwe.

      Osborne was not prepared to reveal how he found out about the
discovery. His programme, for Britain's Channel 4 television station went to
great lengths to hide the identities of people he spoke to.

      According to the Human Rights Forum, there were 58 deaths related to
political violence in 2002. Of these 38 were MDC supporters, five of them
polling agents. One was a commercial farmer and three farm workers, who were
perceived to be MDC supporters.

      Eight were Zanu PF supporters, including Ali Khan Manjengwa who was
shot dead in Mbare in August 2002, and two war veterans, one of them Amos
Misheck Maseva killed in March over a land dispute with Shuvai Mahofa, the
MP for Gutu North (Zanu PF).

      The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association is strongly
linked to Zanu PF.

      The political affiliation of the remaining six people was unknown.

      Zanu PF allegedly used State apparatus such as the police, army,
security, prison and youth services, to commit violence targeted at
opposition members and civic organisations such as the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions and the National Constitutional Assembly, reads the report.

      The Human Rights Forum, which has 13 members, said information
contained in the
      reports is normally derived from statements made to its legal unit,
the Commercial Farmers' Union and newspaper reports.

      The forum's members, like the Catholic Commission for Justice and
Peace, ZimRights, Legal Resources Foundation and the Zimbabwe Association
for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Offender, contributed to the
bulk of the reports.
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Daily News

      Man killed over bread

      1/20/2003 12:08:46 PM (GMT +2)


      By Columbus Mavhunga

      A FAMILY in Southerton is still trying to recover from shock after
their member was brutally stabbed to death near Lobels Bakeries, as some
unruly elements wrestled and fought him for the dozen loaves of bread he was
carrying over the weekend.

      This is the first known murder connected to the shortage of bread
since the commodity became scarce, following price controls imposed by the
government last year.

      Justine Chigaba, 36, who was employed by Fawcett Security as a
corporal, died of wounds from the attack. He was stabbed in the chest,
forehead and the nose, early on Saturday morning.

      According to witnesses, Chigaba was on duty patrolling premises in the
Southerton industrial area when he bought a dozen loaves of bread.

      Some unruly elements decided to attack when they saw him carrying the
scarce commodity. They approached Chigaba and tried to rob him of the bread.

      A fight ensued and Chigaba was struck on the face with an iron bar. He
was also stabbed in the chest, forehead and nose. He bled to death on the
spot.

      When The Daily News crew visited Southerton, the deceased's wife,
Patricia, said she believed her husband was killed by people who knew him.

      "We are still in a state of shock," said Patricia.

      "I can't explain what kind of evil spirit caused this. We understand
there was someone who had said he wanted to talk to my husband. He did not
reveal it to me, but I heard it. So these people might have been jealous of
what he was doing. On the day in question my husband had patrolled the area
and bought some bread and left it at his work place. When he knocked off he
went back to work to collect the bread, little aware that the decision would
cost him his life."

      Chigaba was murdered around 4am on Saturday.

      She said Chigaba's bicycle, a pair of shoes, his bag, and his belts
were not recovered from the incident. "I was only called by the police to
identify the body. They told me that he was left naked," said the widow.

      Chigaba is survived by his wife and four children Arthur, 13, Belinda,
11, Cynthia, 6, and one-year-old Delight.He is expected to be buried in
Masvingo after a post-mortem has been done today.
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Daily News

      Zanu PF officials stop woman's eviction

      1/20/2003 12:12:04 PM (GMT +2)


      From Brian Mangwende in Mutare

      A FOURTH attempt by the Messenger of Court to evict Wadzanai Borerwe,
the estranged wife of former Mutare city treasurer Morgen Borerwe, from a
council house in Yeovil failed last Friday, after the saga took a political
twist.

      Mike Madiro, Zanu's chairman in Manicaland, and Enock Porusingazi, the
ruling party's provincial youth chairperson, threw their weight behind
Borerwe's wife and children.
      They said the council should be gender sensitive and have a human face
in dealing with such matters.

      On Friday, Mark Dodzo, the deputy sheriff, hired a locksmith to unlock
the doors at 17 Somerset Road, Yeovil, where Borerwe's wife and children
have been staying for the past 10 years.

      Wadzanai had for the second time in two weeks locked her family inside
the house to stop the eviction.

      But the intended eviction was thwarted by Esau Mupfumi, the regional
president of the Affirmative Action Group.

      Mupfumi then contacted Madiro who promised to attend to the problem
over the weekend.

      Madiro said: "The council must be gender sensitive. They must have a
human face."
      The politician said he would solve the problem soon.

      Porusingazi, Zanu PF's provincial youth chairperson, said: "This is
the wrong time to create destitutes. Council should be reasonable because it
's dealing with a ratepayer. The city wants to settle an old score with
their former employee, but they should realise that he contributed immensely
to the city during his time.

      "Even if they had an old score to settle, this should not be extended
to his family because the wife and children are innocent. This is setting a
very bad precedent for council."

      Jane Mutasa, the president of the Indigenous Businesswomen's
Organisation, said yesterday: "We feel that city fathers should make sure
that everyone in that town has a roof over their head. They are attacking a
defenceless woman. Whether they are implementing inherited policies or not,
they should be gender sensitive.

      "The council can only be called a council because of the people they
represent. They should be sympathetic to her because her husband, their
former employee, abandoned her and the children.

      "At the end of the day, council should not throw her onto the streets.
It's not right. Mutare is her home and she looks at council to protect her,
not to betray her."

      The house in question has been allocated to Kudzai Mumbengegwi, the
incumbent treasurer.

      The stand-off has forced three volunteers from the Netherlands
attached to Mutare seek alternative accommodation.

      The volunteers should have moved into Mumbengegwi's present house.
      Mumbengegwi is stuck to his present house until the Borerwes are
evicted.
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Daily News

      Civic groups slam arrests

      1/20/2003 12:13:22 PM (GMT +2)


      Staff Reporter

      Two civic organisations have condemned the assault and arrest of three
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) officials and an unidentified
Kuwadzana resident in the high density suburb last Tuesday.

      Barnabas Mangodza, the CHRA executive director, Jameson Gadzirai, the
advocacy and information officer, Joseph Rose, the chairperson of the
membership committee, and an unidentified Kuwadzana resident were assaulted
by suspected Zanu PF supporters and subsequently arrested by the police on
allegations of violating the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

      The CHRA officials were in Kuwadzana for a meeting with the
chairperson of the Kuwadzana Residents Association to discuss the voter
registration exercise for the by-election expected in the constituency soon.

      They were allegedy kidnapped by the suspected Zanu PF youths while
urging residents to vote peacefully.

      They were allegedly force-marched to a disused building where they
were assaulted in a ordeal which lasted two hours.

      They were then arrested by the police for allegedly violating POSA.

      The police charges could not stick under POSA. The charges were
allegedly altered and they were subsequently charged with "action likely to
cause a breach of the peace" under the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

      They were each fined $5000 and released last Wednesday.

      The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) said: "Such unwarranted
repression of citizens' democratic rights to movement and to gather
information is a negation of the basic fundamental rights.

      "The perpetration of violence during the run-up to an election is
particularly undesirable as it affects the result of the election and
negates the notion of free and fair elections, an important facet of
democracy for which we contrive."

      The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said: "The arrest is yet another
example of the repressive politics of this regime, and its attempts to
undermine the legitimate activities of civic organisations.

      "Both the CHRA and the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition will continue to
fight for the rights of Zimbabweans to develop a democratic system of
government and will resist all attempts by the Zanu PF regime to subvert
this process."

      The two candidates announced so far are Nelson Chamisa of the
opposition MDC and David Mutasa of Zanu PF.

      The government is still to announce the dates for the Kuwadzana
by-election.

      The seat fell vacant when Learnmore Jongwe of the opposition MDC, who
was facing a charge of murdering his wife Rutendo, died in remand prison
last October from chloroquine poisoning.

      His relatives suspect that he was poisoned and have demanded an
inquest.

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Daily News

      Average family needs $40 000 to buy basics

      1/20/2003 11:32:43 AM (GMT +2)


      Business Reporter

      WHILE most of the large supermarket chains have finally adhered to
government's fragmented policy of price controls, basic commodities have
remained beyond the reach of the majority.

      It has become the norm for Zimbabwean shoppers to be greeted by empty
shelves while outside a leading shop, basic foodstuffs will be selling at
more than double the gazetted prices.

      In the supermarket chains, toothpaste has emerged as the most
expensive basic commodity selling at over $1 500 for 100 millilitres.

      An average family of six now needs at least $40 000 a month on basics
alone and yet most breadwinners are earning far below that amount.

      According to statistics, at least 75 percent of the population is now
living below the poverty datum line. Economic analysts and commentators said
the figures were set to rise given the deteriorating economic climate.

      A leading analyst who declined to be named said while a lot had been
said about economic empowerment, there was nothing to show for it. He said:
"One sad development is that there are no strategists in government to
kick-start the economy."

      Below is a table showing some of the basics still available in
supermarkets in and around Harare.

      (table not present on  Daily News web site)

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An Economic Cul-de-sac

Events have moved fast this past week. I do not want to dwell on the
political developments that have dominated the headlines, rather a series of
economic factors that I believe is actually determining the pace at which
events are and will be taking place in the next few weeks and months. On the
political front, let me just make this one comment, Mugabe is finished
politically and the only issue now is when and how will national leadership
changes take place.

On the economic front the background to recent developments lie in 20 years
of maladministration of the country's fiscus, ill advised policy changes
introduced without consultation in November 2002 and the stubborn
unwillingness of Mugabe to change course, even when failure stares him in
the face.  This government is guilty of overspending on a huge scale for
every one of the past 22 years. They inherited an economy which was very
under borrowed (total debt in 1980 was US$750 million) and now run an
administration which owes everyone money and cannot pay it back. In
business, when that happens, control and power passes to your creditors and
countries are no different - even though they can prolong the eventual
judgement day for much longer than a company in a similar situation.

In the past three years as they have struggled with a collapsing economy and
declining exports, they have resorted to restricting payments against
external debt and printing money to fund local borrowings and excess
government expenditure. As a consequence they now have to operate under
conditions where no one will lend them money except under very harsh
conditions and they must also operate in an economy where the inflationary
pressures are spiralling out of control. Judgement day has come and all
avenues of relief from foreign sources have dried up - their creditors have
spoken. The one man who could relieve the siege of Harare is Thabo Mbeki and
there are no signs that he intends to do so - despite the pleas that must be
reaching his office on a daily basis from Zimbabwe. More than any other
factor, this is the first sign that South Africa has run out of patience and
is now applying the kind of pressure we have all been urging for some time
now. Silent, but very effective.

Then there were those ill advised policy shifts in November - some of which
are only now emerging into the light of day. The first was the decision to
freeze prices, then to take up to 100 per cent of all foreign exchange
earnings by business at the primary exchange rate of 55 to 1 US dollar or
the equivalent in other currencies. Finally a crude attempt to freeze
salaries at their January 1 level for at least 6 months (originally they
intended 18 months).

We now know from Reserve Bank statistics that the foreign exchange measures
plunged them into an immediate foreign exchange crisis. Business cleaned out
their FCA's before the tentacles of the Reserve Bank could reach them and
exporters froze all remittances from export debtors while they waited to
assess what was actually going on. Those exporters that did bring foreign
payments back found that the Reserve Bank was taking 100 per cent at the
fixed exchange rates and leaving nothing for the business to use to maintain
itself.

To give you an idea of what this meant to exporters, local currency receipts
on exports declined from Z$85 000 for every US$100 they received to a paltry
Z$5 500 - a staggering decline of 94 per cent in revenue earned from
exports. The amount they were able to use from exports on maintaining the
business went from 60 per cent to nil. One major business I know got one
allocation of foreign exchange from the Bank at the official rate and was
then told "no currency available" every time they applied thereafter - they
are now back in the market buying US dollars at 1600 to 1 for their
essential imports.

No business can survive under these conditions - right now all major gold
producers have told their staff that mining operations will be shut down as
soon as is possible. Other mines have said the same thing - nickel, chrome
and other producers are equally affected. Only those with Export Processing
Zone status are able to continue and one new operator in the platinum
industry who has a special deal where they keep all their foreign exchange
earnings off shore. In a matter of weeks the mining industry - like
commercial agriculture, will be no more unless there is a complete policy
reversal. All industrial exporters are in a similar position as are
operators in the tourist industry. What is worrying all these firms is how
they will fund the shut down - if this is to be conducted in any kind of
responsible way so that it does not prejudice future operations and the
essential interests of their 300 000 workforce.

As far as the price and wage freeze - well you know the story of King
Canute. He was a king who (like many of his ilk) felt that he had divine
power and he is reported to have sat on the beach and "ordered" the tide to
stay out. His reward was to get a real soaking when the tide followed its
natural course. The freeze is doomed to failure - you simply cannot deal
with inflation by "commanding" businessmen to hold down prices. There will
be three types of response - defiance, deceit and desperation. Whichever
route is taken by the individual firm or person, the result will be the
same - much higher effective prices for consumers associated with corruption
and acute difficulties. If you are rich, then you will not suffer -
political leaders doing their shopping in South Africa and even Britain or
simply paying whatever it costs to get what they need. That is not an option
for the middle income community and the poor.

If the State continues with this policy - then affected business (about 90
per cent of all manufacturers) will simply have to close their doors. An
interesting aspect to this policy however is the fact that many Zanu PF
firms (and they now control a very substantial proportion of national
business assets - much more than the whites and white owned enterprise) are
being allowed to flaunt the new regulations for obvious reasons.

The immediate outcome of these financial and economic developments has been
shortages of virtually all-basic necessities, fuel, food, spare parts and
other essential imports. Also, for the first time the big mining houses and
many major commercial and industrial firms are staring at the prospect of
either breaking the law or insolvency and closure. The result has been chaos
in the country and we are rapidly reaching the point where we simply are
grinding to a halt.

The overall affect of these combined measures - no matter how much Zanu PF
wriggles and strains, is that they are in an economic cul-de-sac from which
there is only one exit. They must either go out through one of the gates on
the street or reverse themselves completely and find their way back to the
main road without assistance. In my book, that is simply not going to
happen. How long can they hold out - not for long under any circumstances
unless a creditor steps in with major assistance!  My view is that talks
under the guidance of our major creditors are about to get under way and a
form of judicial management will soon be in the offing. One thing is
certain - if present management leaves via one of the gates being offered,
the major creditors of this particular country are ready to help - and we
are more than ready to step into the breech! We know the way back to the
main road and what is then needed for us to rejoin the rest of the
travelling global community.

Eddie Cross Bulawayo, January 19th 2003.
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The Times

            Zimbabwe cricketer says 'don't go'
            By Owen Slot and Matthew Pryor



            A ZIMBABWE international has made an open plea through The Times
for Nasser Hussain and the England cricket team to boycott the Zimbabwean
leg of the cricket World Cup.
            "The England players must think very seriously about coming
here," he said, requesting that he remain anonymous for reasons of his own
security. "It's a tough situation for everyone but, from a morality point of
view now, the last thing we need is for Nasser and his players to be coming
to our country and maybe even coming face to face with Mr Mugabe.

            "The World Cup will be safer in South Africa, it will be more
organised, the players' security can be more assured. But security is the No
2 issue here, No 1 has to do with morality. There are 6.5-7 million people
who are suffering from a famine and, by not coming, the England team would
be able to highlight that."

            The England team are known to be conscience-stricken about the
situation and have been given the option of pulling out by their employers
at the England and Wales Cricket Board. "We are asking ourselves whether we
should go or not," Hussain said.

            If they asked the views of the Zimbabwe team they would find,
according to this one player, that "there are several in the 15-man squad
who don't believe, for moral and ethical reasons, that the World Cup should
go ahead here in Zimbabwe.

            "From Zimbabwe's point of view, a boycott would be very sad.
Obviously, there are people who would love to see the cricket, it's probably
the only chance we'd get to stage an event like this. But probably 80 per
cent of the people I see - family, friends, fellow players, whatever -
believe that the World Cup shouldn't come here.

            "Some people are talking about boycotting the cricket and not
going to watch the games. After what he's done (Mugabe), that is the
smallest of gestures. He's completely and utterly destroyed this country,
there are millions dying of starvation, there are big queues for food and
there is no petrol here now either."

            The only remaining chance of the six World Cup games being
removed from Zimbabwe, it would appear, is if the International Cricket
Council makes a decision that it would not be safe to play them there.
However, this one Zimbabwe international says he hopes that the games would
be moved "due to the moral case rather than security point of view.

            "I think it would help if both the England and the Australian
teams said that they were not coming. If it was just one country, it might
not be so effective. If it was just England, it would be portrayed as a
colonial thing. But if it's England and Australia, it would be better. If
they make a stand together, it would definitely make a difference."

            The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) claimed yesterday that
President Mugabe was intensifying attacks on opposition groups in Zimbabwe
in order to enforce security and allay any ICC fears.

            "In Harare and Bulawayo during the past two weeks there have
been a number of arbitrary arrests and beatings carried out by members of
the security forces and the Zanu youth militia, indicating a 'security
clampdown' by the Mugabe regime ahead of the World Cup," Paul Themba Nyathi,
the MDC secretary for information and publicity, said.The MDC said that
those taken into custody had been tortured during questions about what
protests were planned for the World Cup.

            The most recent case is the arrest of four officials from the
Combined Harare Residents' Association on January 14. The MDC claimed they
were held and beaten for two hours and asked "what is the MDC planning?"
Nyathi insisted that the MDC had "no plans to disrupt the cricket matches,"
but that "spontaneous protests are a highly plausible scenario".

            With the ICC and ECB consistently stating that security not
morality was the only basis for their decision to play in Zimbabwe, the MDC
is clearly asking them to decide at what price that security should be
guaranteed.

            Sri Lanka's cricket chief has threatened to take the country's
players to court in a bid to settle the dispute over contracts for the World
Cup, according to a state-run newspaper. Hemanka Amarasuriya, chief of the
Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka, said that Sanath Jayasuriya, the
captain, now in Australia, was not responding to phone calls to discuss the
issue. "If they are not responding, we will have to do it the hard way, by
litigation," Amarasuriya was quoted as saying.

            The players need to approve the contracts before the board can
agree to the terms and conditions of the World Cup.
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