If shouting solved problems, then Zimbabwe would not
International Affairs Editor Jonathan Katzenellenbogen spoke to
President Joaquim Chissano at the World Economic Forum's
African Summit in
Can the benefits of the Mozal aluminium and Pande gas
down to the poor?
Chissano: Although Mozal has
directly created a small number of jobs,
we should also look at the
subcontracting and multiplier effect this
creates. Mozal contributes 4% of
gross domestic product and we expect that
with the doubling of the size it
may contribute 7%. Projects like this bring
credibility to investments in
Mozambique and that means confidence in the
country. Our development
programme is based first of all on agriculture. We
are also trying to promote
the private sector, including small enterprises.
antipoverty policies working?
Chissano: About 70% of the population
lives in poverty and we aim to
reduce this to 30% in 2010. The pillars of the
programme are health,
education, water supply and sanitation, basic
infrastructure, and rural
agricultural development, as well as issues related
to good governance.
Mozambique's constitution would permit you to
stand for a third term.
Why have you decided not to do so?
Chissano: Precisely because I have been in power since 1986 I thought
make this offer. I could run for another term, but I thought I could
What do you want to do when you retire?
Chissano: I will not be in government, otherwise what would be the use
retiring. I will continue to give my knowledge and my experience to
is in power, but only when he requires it. I would like to have time
Why have there been food shortages?
Chissano: The rain in our region has not been normal. This is not
we could have foreseen. We know that we have 60 000 families who
by the drought. We are in touch with the villages and our
institute for the
prevention of disasters goes out to the provinces.
Why have leaders
in the region not criticised President Robert Mugabe?
are trying to solve the problems and not just appear good
Are your efforts to solve the problem in Zimbabwe
Chissano: We are continuing our work. A dialogue was
started with the
opposition. Now there are problems with the dialogue, but it
is not for us
to say this did not work and throw up our hands and start
does not solve any problem, otherwise the problem would have
because so many people have shouted. What is necessary is to
work with these people. I don't want to spoil anything. I never
speak about the work I did in the Comoros, no press has spoken
about it. But
now you see the results. No one knows what I have done in
Could you tell me about it now?
will not because the success I have had in my dealings is
because I deal with
the issues and not with propaganda.
The New Partnership for
Africa's Development is being criticised by
trade unions and other groups as
a document of leaders, and some in civil
society say it reflects western
views. Could this be its undoing?
Chissano: These are wrong
perceptions. Some heads of state had ideas
and took their own time to put
these ideas on paper. Then the next phase was
letting other heads of state
know about the idea. Nepad is a programme of
Africans who must mobilise their
own resources, human and material, first of
all, and then other partners may
SA business sometimes complains about your customs procedures
too cumbersome. Does this burden relations?
have been working with a UK agency to try and reform
customs. And reforms
launched last year will further simplify procedures. So
all this is happening
and setting up a business in Mozambique takes less
time than it did two years
We are speaking about a pipeline for gas and the Mozal project
electricity. The Kruger Park and our parks are coming together. We do
say in the air that we have a common destiny, it is something we can
on the ground.
Then why do South Africans and Mozambicans
still need visas to visit
Chissano: If you have a
social order for centuries you cannot
artificially break it. You have to go
step by step. These are things that
are being discussed.
Jun 10 2002
12:00:00:000AM Business Day 1st Edition
Tories Angry Over Mugabe Sanctions
Monday June 10, 2002 6:42
The Tories are urging Jack Straw to take urgent steps to ensure EU
against Robert Mugabe are effective.
They say the dictator
has ignored a travel ban - by attending a food summit
Conservatives claim his attendance makes a "mockery" of the
Secretary's tough talking over the Zimbabwean
President Mugabe is at the UN aimed at drawing attention to
world hunger and
raise billions of dollars.
The supposed travel ban in
place was part of a number of sanctions imposed
by the EU to punish his
anti-democratic handling of the Zimbabwean
policy of land seizures has also been blamed for food
shortages in the
Shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram said Mugabe's attendance
sanctions were just "empty words".
He argued: "This is a
travesty of the spirit of the targeted sanctions
imposed by the EU. It makes
a mockery of all Jack Straw has said and all he
has told the House of
"He should urgently report to the House on how he intends to
against Mugabe more than just empty words," he
Properties seized as Zanu PF fails to pay
6/10/02 9:49:01 AM (GMT +2)
From Brian Mangwende in
SEVERAL Harare businesspersons lost vehicles worth millions
after failing to service debts incurred in providing campaign
The businesspersons put up the
vehicles as collateral for loans used
to acquire and produce campaign
material for Zanu PF.
The ruling party has failed to pay them about
$400 million for the
service. The businesspersons borrowed from individuals
and banks after
offering their houses and vehicles as collateral to access
loans for the
production and supply of Zanu PF's campaign material ahead of
the 9-11 March
One of the
businesspersons, who refused to be named, said he lost an
expensive car to an
individual from whom he had borrowed money to buy the
material for Zanu
He said houses in Harare's low-density suburbs were facing the
if the businesspersons did not pay their banks by the end of the
"My partner's workers impounded his vehicles after he failed
their salaries," he said.
"Some of us now have overdrafts
of up to $20 million. The process of
repossessing our houses has already
begun. This is a serious case which Zanu
PF should not take as a
"What wrong have we done? This is unacceptable . . . they
use us as mops and then dump us."
businessmen said: "My vehicle has been impounded by people I
owe money. I
have been forced to close down my business. I provided 20 000
T-shirts, but I
have not been paid for them.
"We had a meeting with officials from
the Department of Information on
Thursday, but this did not yield anything.
Some people have overdrafts with
the banks and the interest is just too
Dr Nathan Shamuyarira, Zanu PF's secretary for information
publicity, said the businesspersons should take up the matter with
Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
said: "Which banks are those? You should talk to them and find out
did that. It is really a labour issue, just like when an employer
pay his/her employee, they should take up the matter with
The businesspersons said it was not the first
time they had provided
services to Zanu PF.
"In the past, Zanu
PF used to pay on time, but as soon as Information
Minister Jonathan Moyo
came into the picture, everything went berserk. "He
does not want to talk to
Soldiers re-invade MP Bennet's farm
9:34:02 AM (GMT +2)
From Our Correspondent in
ROY Bennet, the MP for Chimanimani, said yesterday soldiers
policemen who had moved out of his Charleswood Estate earlier in the
returned last week and chased away his workers, vowing to kill them if
But the opposition MDC MP said his workers
refused to budge raising
fears of clashes between them and the uniformed
Under the guise of peace-keeping, the troops moved onto
property in October last year after violent clashes erupted between
veterans occupying parts of the estate and supporters of the opposition
"To me, this is a fresh invasion of my property," Bennet said.
workers have been threatened with death and torture, but they are
willing to give up their employment contracts with me.
farm has not been designated because it does not fall under the
for land acquisition.
"I own only one farm which is fully utilised
so I do not see what the
fuss is all about. It's political. The soldiers have
now camped on what I
named Camp 3 on my estate. I have their names . . . the
soldiers are from 3
Brigade and the policemen are from
Mbonisi Gatsheni, the army spokesperson, suggested
yesterday that the
army only moved in at the request of the
He said: "Maybe there was an agreement between the army and
officials there, but I am unaware of that."
spokespersons in Mutare could not be reached for comment
month, the government ordered so-called war veterans and
Zanu PF supporters
occupying land not registered for resettlement to vacate
the properties with
However, war veterans in the province have since
defied the order.
Last month they invaded Grange Farm in Old Mutare and
ordered the farm
manager and his family to leave.
Lashing out at
the uniformed forces, Bennet said: "I have the Export
Processing Zones (EPZ)
status. The government has said all farms under the
EPZ status should be left
alone, but here you are - soldiers and police are
defying that order. Who do
they think they are?"
Farmers' Development Trust gets land to expand training
6/10/02 9:55:32 AM (GMT +2)
THE government has made available 3 000 hectares of land for
Farmers' Development Trust (FDT) to expand its training programme
benefits thousands of farmers every year.
during a graduation ceremony at FDT's Trelawney Training
Centre (TTC) last
Friday, Mashonaland West Governor Peter Chanetsa said the
giving Nyamhanda Farm in Karoi, measuring about 1 500ha, to
FDT for use in
its training projects.
The government this month gave FDT another 1
500ha farm in Chief
Svosve's area. FDT trains more than 40 000 farmers
annually at its five
training centres countrywide.
It is the
only major institution in the country which trains people to
Government agricultural colleges in Zimbabwe train students
to become general
Last Friday, 30 students graduated at TTC and
certificates in agriculture, majoring in tobacco
FDT trains practising farmers as well as those aspiring to
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, FDT director Lovegot
the trust was expanding its programmes and more students would
at TTC in its next term.
"We are hoping to enroll 60
people who already have land so that when
they graduate they will begin
farming without delay."
Tendengu said FDT would make sure that the
30 students have land to
begin working as they were now qualified
Asked if the government would provide the 30 students with
Chanetsa said: "If they have applied , they will be given land.
has to follow the proper channels of applying.
also only give land to those who are interested. Others may
decide to sell
chemicals and we cannot give them land."
Best overall student in
this TTC group, David Kalieka, 26, said: "I
did not apply to have my own farm
because I do not have the amount of money
which is required for one to be
resettled under the commercial farm
resettlement scheme (Model
Kalieka said if provided with a loan of about $600 000, he
produce a two-hectare tobacco crop on his father's farm in
Another graduate, Mazvita Manyengwa, 23, said: "If I get
land I will
farm but if I do not I will look for a job in the agro-industry.
for land under the commercial farm resettlement scheme but have not
The government has been criticised for
giving land either to
undeserving people or government officials while
land-hungry people and
agricultural graduates are sidelined.
Tendengu said: "The next lot of students will only be enrolled if they
land and we have made sure that our graduates receive land.
our former students are part of the 24 000 families which have
land under the A2 model and we expect more FDT graduates to
in the next lot to receive land under the
Mugabe chief architect of current
6/10/02 9:46:27 AM (GMT +2)
PRESIDENT Mugabe's presence in Rome, Italy, is meant to cock a snook
European Union's "smart" sanctions, which ban Zimbabwe's political
from travelling to Europe, for the violent crisis and crimes
own people over the past two years.
Mugabe is in Rome to appeal to
the international community for food
aid to save more than half the country's
population from starvation.
But for several other reasons, the
visit is ironic. Zimbabwe received
adequate rainfall and would have been able
to produce food to feed, at
least, its entire population. But Mugabe decreed
his party supporters and
the ragtag army of so-called war veterans were free
to roam, terrorise the
countryside and order all farming activities to be
halted. Mugabe is,
therefore, not the right person to be making an appeal at
the United Nations
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) summit because it
is his refusal to
act on farm disruptions and seizures that are responsible
for the food
crisis in the country.
It is ironic that he should
be in Rome pitching his appeal for food
aid at the international community
because the government placed massive
orders for agricultural inputs meant
for its new settlers, effectively
crowding out other growers whose
contribution would have lessened Zimbabwe's
critical food position. By the
time the inputs reached the newly resettled
villagers, and the other growers
were able to access agricultural inputs, it
was too late.
other cases, when the inputs were available, there was no transport
to ferry the inputs.
The drought is just but one of a myriad of
causes, but not by any
means the sole cause of Zimbabwe's current food
The government is the chief architect of the food shortage,
tragedy is that it is unwilling to see or acknowledge its authorship
crisis. Instead, it prefers to blame the weather and an alleged
by commercial farmers, even though it has already listed 95
percent of the
commercial farmland for acquisition.
By being in
Rome, Mugabe is demonstrating the futility of the "smart"
himself and his government, but he is also saying he can
create a crisis and
international community to assume responsibility for his
If the conspiracy theory is to be taken seriously, where
were and what
was the contribution of the Zimbabwe Farmers' Union and the
Commercial Farmers' Union, whose members make up the government's
That they can agree to be herded into the
without seeing the contradiction, or even realising
they should be on their
farms supervising agricultural activities,
demonstrates the paucity of their
commitment to food production.
Now, more than ever, is the time they are needed to show their ability
championing food production, not begging.
But it is also ironic
that the government should be in Rome, appealing
for food, when councillors
from the ruling party in Bulawayo admit they have
been controlling the
distribution of maize from the Grain Marketing Board
owning up to political patronage in the distribution of
grain to vulnerable
This is the same maize they wish to appeal for, from the
community so that they can continue to deny those without Zanu PF
It is not for reasons of transparency and
accountability that the
government is allowing people with Zanu PF membership
cards or its
councillors to buy maize direct from the GMB. What then is the
milling companies and the retail outlets?
Zanu PF has
seized upon this national crisis in order to further the
interests of its own
If the FAO summit produces pledges food aid for starving
it must be on condition that non-governmental organisations -
and not the
government - be involved in its distribution.
the current crisis, the world community needs to consider seed
packs for the
next agricultural seas, but again they must retain control of
The Army Association Braai at Batteramsley Farm,
is on Sunday June 23rd.
This is a great site for
a Braai and the Farmer, Jeremy Powell (ex
Marandellas) will make you most
There are only 2 weeks to go and as yet Margaret and Charles
only had over 70 Confirmed Attendees. At this late stage a phone
Margaret will suffice and she has ordered good weather for this
outing. It is important that she knows how many are attending to
the final order with the butcher for the Braai Packs.
Margaret (01590) 671562 NOW.
The Braai Pack will
consist of the following pieces: boerewors, steak,
lamb chop and pork chop
with sadza, followed by strawberries and cream,
great value for £10 a
Ian Robertson will be organising the
shooting competition with targets
you dare not miss this time (some bear a
strong resemblance to one
Robert Mugabe) and a trophy will be presented to
the highest score of
Andy Hope will pipe
in the Sadza whilst Harry will be busy with
MCCUBBIN'S MOBILE MILITARY MOB
STORE selling various unit Polo Shirts
and Caps. The BOTTLE TOMBOLA and
RAFFLE will give you a chance to help
boost the Association's Funds and
Margaret has asked if you can bring a
bottle of any alcoholic drink for the
Tombola (even a can of beer or two
The Braai is being
held in a field on the farm and there is a marquee
available in case the
weather takes a turn for the worse, so come on
everyone, please give Margaret
a ring now to confirm your attendance.
This is a great site for a Braai
and the Farm Owner Jeremy Powell
(ex Marandellas) will make you most
Forawded on behalf of Neil on email email@example.com
Fresh fuel crisis
6/10/02 9:33:24 AM
FUEL supplies to most filling
stations in Harare have been dwindling
over the past week, raising fears of
the resurgence of shortages of the
The country has been
experiencing problems maintaining and stabilising
normal fuel supplies for
the past three years due to acute foreign currency
shortages coupled with
massive corruption at the National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe (Noczim), the
country's sole fuel procurer.
imports 70 percent of its fuel from Libya, with the rest
Edward Chindori-Chininga, the
Minister of Mines and Energy, is
reportedly scheduled to visit Tripoli early
next week to avert the
"We didn't have to
wait until the situation got out of hand. Hence the
minister is going there
to iron out some problematic areas," said a senior
official in the Ministry
of Mines and Energy, without elaborating.
In December, Tripoli threatened to cut fuel supplies after the
reportedly reneged on its undertaking to offer Libya stakes in
firms as reward for coming to Zimbabwe's aid at a time when the
experiencing its worst fuel shortages.
Staff at filling stations said at the weekend they had been receiving
three-quarters of their normal supplies for more than a week
"We have not been given the reason,
but that is the situation," said
one filling station attendant in
"It is mostly diesel which is
a problem. On Wednesday we spent about
five hours without
But Masimba Kambarami, the Oil
Industry Association of Zimbabwe
chairman, dispelled fears of fresh fuel
"This is my first time to hear
about it," he said. "We have our weekly
updates and when we held the last one
on Tuesday the situation was
the Noczim chief executive officer, could not be
ZBC workers facing
retrenchment barred from premises
6/10/02 9:35:04 AM (GMT +2)
WORKERS at the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) listed for
retrenchment at the end of this
month, are being barred from entering the
ZBC is expected to retrench 435
workers as part of its efforts reduce
its workforce from 980, thereby cutting
its monthly salary bill of about
The affected workers who
were issued letters last week informing them
the corporation would not be
retaining their services from 30 June, are no
longer allowed to enter the
"We are being
treated like criminals.
"We are being
barred from the premises even though we are supposed to
leave by the end of
this month. The management is being overzealous," said
one of the affected
Sources within the ZBC said the
issue of workers being denied entry
into the corporation's premises was
forwarded to Dr Gideon Gono, the
"It was news to the chairman. He
was not amused by the ill-treatment,"
"This shows how some people at
Pockets Hill are being overzealous.
They behave as if the ZBC belongs to
Musavengana Nyasha, the ZBC
National Workers' Union committee
chairman, refused to comment on the
"We are not allowed to speak to the
Press," said Nyasha, who was also
affected by the retrenchment exercise. "I
suggest you talk to the chairman
Gono yesterday confirmed
receiving the complaint.
"Such things are
being done behind the board's back. Management was
doing that without our
mandate," Gono said.
seeks State help to attend ILO
6/10/02 9:41:39 AM (GMT
Ephraim Tsvaringe, the Zimbabwe
Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU)
secretary-general, was on Wednesday still
frantically trying to get foreign
currency to travel to Geneva, Switzerland,
for the International Labour
Organisation (ILO) conference which opened
But Tsvaringe denied he had
problems raising the foreign currency and
refused to say why he was still in
He said: "There were other
problems which I cannot discuss with you. I
shall be leaving tonight on Air
Earlier, however, a woman who
answered his cellphone at the ZFTU
offices, said he had gone to the Ministry
of Public Service, Labour and
Social Welfare to seek assistance with raising
the foreign currency.
This year, for the
first time, the government invited both the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) and ZFTU to the ILO conference.
ZFTU is pro-Zanu PF, the ruling party.
Both Tsvaringe and Lovemore Matombo, the ZCTU president, who is
Geneva with the government delegation, were allocated Z$391 000
each to buy
Asked for comment,
Wellington Chibhebhe, the ZCTU secretary-general,
"We have heard that they failed to
go to Geneva because of foreign
currency problems, but that is none of our
"But we say to the ZFTU, welcome
aboard. Perhaps they will now realise
that we are being objective and not
subjective when we say that the
government has messed up the
Traditionally, the Ministry of
Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare, which pays for the delegates, only
invited the ZCTU and the
Employers' Confederation of Zimbabwe, as the
officially recognised labour
and employers' bodies, to the ILO
The government, which accuses
the ZCTU of supporting the opposition
MDC, invited the ZFTU on an equal
footing with the ZCTU.
But the ILO, which
only recognises the ZCTU as the legitimate labour
representative body, would
not allow the ZFTU to attend as another labour
The ILO constitution
stipulates that member countries' delegations to
the conference must include
two representatives from the government and one
each from the employers' and
Two delegates are,
however, allowed to attend the conference as
advisers for each item on the
Chibhebhe said: "The government
met us on 27 May and clarified that
the ZCTU is the workers' representative
body and that the ZFTU would come in
Chibhebhe said the ZCTU had
accepted the arrangement as the government
was paying for all the delegates
and could, therefore, choose who to include
But he said: "In terms of
advising us, this just doesn't work. We are
not on talking terms with them
and they are always demonising us.
government knows we cannot work together."
unproductive settlers will be thrown
6/10/02 9:56:46 AM (GMT
MASHONALAND West province governor,
Peter Chanetsa warned last Friday
that newly resettled farmers not utilising
their land will be ejected from
the farms to make way for other
Chanetsa told farming
industry officials attending the graduation
ceremony at the Farmers'
Development Trust Trelawney Training Centre that
newly resettled farmers
would be given a July 30 deadline to prove to the
government they were
Thirty students graduated and
received certificates in agriculture
(specialising in tobacco
This is the first time that a
government official has denounced
farmers who are fully utilising their
It is also the first time
government officials have admitted that the
land reform programme has been
The chaotic fast-track
resettlement programme was spearheaded by war
veterans who persecuted critics
and non-Zanu PF supporters.
government's land reform programme has been characterised by
thousands of landless people and so-called war veterans
occupying more farms
during the run-up to the 9-11 March
invasions were also characterised by violence. Some top
have been accused of grabbing land which has
A large number of
commercial farms were not tilled in the past season.
Zimbabwe is this year
facing serious food shortages because of the
disturbances caused by farm
occupations and the drought in the past
Many farmers who were resettled in
the past two years failed to plant
because they had no money to purchase
While thousands of families have
been resettled under the villagised
model (Model AI) and the commercial farm
resettlement scheme (Model A2),
many farmers have said the government has not
provided them with
infrastructure support services such as roads, schools,
clean water and
resettled farmers therefore abandoned their plots. Not all
farmers have however benefited from the government's $15
billion Input Credit
Scheme and the $7 billion winter wheat
Chanetsa said: "Settlers who have
been given land risk being evicted
from the farms. If settlers do not work on
their pieces of land they will be
forced to leave the land from 30 July this
We want people who take farming as a
serious business." Zimbabwe
Farmers' Union, vice-president Wilfanoes
Mashingaidze who also attended the
graduation ceremony echoed Chanetsa's
sentiments: "We no longer want
jambanja (violence) on commercial
We must focus on productivity to
rebuild our economy. War veterans now
have land and everybody must work
together for us to meet the target of 250
million kg of tobacco next
Zimbabwe is this year expected to
harvest a total flue-cured tobacco
crop of about 170 million kg. The bulk of
this crop is produced by
In a move which appeared to be an
abandonment of war veterans and
people who championed the Zanu PF Third
Chimurenga by invading farms, the
government last month ordered provincial
land committees to remove illegal
occupants from farms to facilitate orderly
resettlement and allow commercial
farmers to engage in wheat production
without disturbances from
Most newly resettled
farmers do not have the resources and the
know-how to grow
Zanu PF used the Third Chimurenga
as its campaign tool. Chanetsa said:
"The distribution of land under AI has
generally come to a finality except
for minor relocation and translocation of
people who had settled themselves
on land meant for
The government intends to wind up its
land reform programme by August
Monday, 10 June, 2002, 20:24 GMT 21:24 UK
Zimbabwe declares disaster after
Little remains at the scene of the crash
The Government of Zimbabwe has declared a state of national
disaster after a road accident in which 37 people were burnt to death near the
central town of Masvingo.
This means that the relatives of the victims, mostly trainee teachers, will
receive financial assistance from the state.
The students died when the bus they were travelling on
collided head-on with a truck carrying maize, eyewitnesses said.
People were screaming for help, some trying to get out.
According to varying sources, between 10 and 35 people survived the accident
and are being treated in Masvingo's hospital.
The students were returning from a sports tournament in Harare when their bus
was hit by a lorry carrying bags of maize at around midnight local time (2200
The accident occurred 240km south of Harare.
An eyewitness told the BBC's Lewis Machipisa in Zimbabwe that he had heard a
loud bang when the truck veered to the side and bags of maize fell on the bus,
catching fire in the process.
"You could barely recognise that this was a bus," says our reporter, who
visited the scene of the accident.
Ten hours after the crash, the shoes of some of the students were still
On the evidence of what little remains of the vehicles involved in the crash,
our correspondent says that it is surprising that there are any survivors.
"People were screaming for help, some trying to get out," said a road
construction worker who saw the accident.
He said he and his colleagues managed to save a few people, but a dozen
others were burnt beyond recognition while they stood helplessly.
It is not yet clear how many people survived the crash.
"We are still trying to get details on how many passengers were actually on
the bus because we understand that more students jumped on the bus than those
who were registered to go on the trip," a police spokesman said.
Zimbabwe has a bad road record
The Zimbabwean Government has expressed shock and the Vice President, Joseph
Msika - acting on behalf of President Robert Mugabe while he is attending the UN
food summit in Italy - has declared the accident a national disaster.
Our correspondent says people are now angry at the government for not
widening the road on which the accident happened.
There have been many accidents on this narrow road linking Zimbabwe and South
Africa, and motorists have been advised not to use it at night because of its
The governor of Masvingo, Josiah Hungwe, told the Zimbabwean state media that
the bus crash was one of the most horrific traffic accidents in the country's
Zimbabwe has a bad road safety record.
Last year, two government ministers were killed in traffic accidents within a
Many accidents are caused by drink-driving and speeding.
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Mugabe defends land policy, asks for more
ROME, June 10 - Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe deflected accusations that
his policies were exacerbating
Zimbabwe's food crisis Monday and instead
touted what he said were his
successes in alleviating hunger.
Mugabe spoke to the U.N. World Food Summit here, skirting a European
travel ban. EU and U.N. officials said the ban couldn't prevent him
attending an international meeting.
Mugabe defended his government's program of confiscating white-owned
saying it was a ''firm launching pad'' to fight poverty and
''My Government has responded to
the people's cry for land,'' he
''Contrary to widely disseminated misrepresentations by our
is now a brighter future for our farming community across
color, gender and
ethnic divides,'' he added.
was kicked off in 2000 and aims to confiscate 95 percent
of land owned by the
nation's 4,000 white farmers - mostly the descendants
of British and South
African settlers - for redistribution to
The land seizures,
coupled with ruling party militants' occupation of
white-owned farms, has
driven hundreds of white farmers and tens of
thousands of their black workers
off the land.
Critics say the chaotic
implementation of the government program and
the occupations has disrupted
opposition has also accused the government of withholding
food aid from its
supporters even as the country is experiencing a major
On Monday, the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change said it
was ''shocked and dismayed at the
sheer hypocrisy of Mugabe's attendance at
the U.N. World Food Summit in
''The Mugabe who talks about the
need for international aid to help
tackle the food crisis is the same Mugabe
who is blatantly denying food to
hundreds of thousands of people suspected of
voting for the MDC in the
recent presidential elections,'' it said in a
EU spokesman Gunnar Wiegand
also criticized Mugabe's presence here,
even though he acknowledged Italy
couldn't block him from attending.
is distasteful to see the president of Zimbabwe giving the
impression he is
really caring about the poverty and the provision of food
of his people''
when his policies showed otherwise, Wiegand
The EU imposed economic and
diplomatic sanctions against Mugabe's
government after a dispute with
election monitors in February.
off 128 million euros (dlrs 110 million) in development aid,
travel to the EU for Mugabe and 20 of his cabinet ministers and
assets in Europe.
There is a separate EU
ban on bilateral ministerial meetings with
Mugabe and the other banned
officials. The Italians said they were
Nearly one fourth of
Zimbabwe's 12.5 million people are facing hunger
according to an estimate by
the U.S.-funded Famine Early Warning
The World Food
Program estimates half the population will need food
aid to avert starvation
Five other southern African
countries are also at risk of starvation
because of drought, floods,
government mismanagement and economic
Mugabe Games fear
fear the Commonwealth Games might have an unwelcome visitor -
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
has said Mr Mugabe will not be able to
visit the Games next month because of
a Europe-wide travel ban in the wake
of accusations of political violence and
But today Mr Straw was
under pressure from Tory MPs to explain why
Mugabe is attending a UN food
summit in Rome.
They called on Mr Straw to
take urgent steps to ensure that EU
sanctions against Mugabe are effective
and that he cannot be beat the travel
ban to attend summits in Italy or come
to the Commonwealth Games
There have been demands
from Tory MP Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield)
and Labour Euro-MP Arlene
McCarthy for Zimbabwean athletes to be banned from
But Mr Straw, who said that was a
matter for the Commonwealth Games
Federation not the government, said they
did not want to punish innocent
Zimbabwe has been suspended from
the Commonwealth for 12 months, but
although this is humiliating for the
country, it is largely symbolic.
believe Mugabe's attendance at the UN summit in Rome makes a
mockery of the
Foreign Secretary's tough talking, just as it threatens to
Mugabe's attendance at the summit
is ironic, because his government's
policy of land seizures has been blamed
for food shortages in his own
Shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram said Mugabe's attendance in
meant sanctions were just "empty words.''
"This is a travesty of the spirit of the targeted sanctions imposed by
EU," said Mr Ancram.
Mike Hooper, chief
executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation,
said: "As I understand it the
travel ban imposed by Britain and other
countries in the EU still applies. He
has travelled to Italy specifically
for a UN
"Zimbabwean athletes, however, will
be travelling to Manchester for
the Games as there is no ban on
Monday, 10 June, 2002, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Mugabe sanctions 'must be stepped
Mugabe is in Rome for a UN
Sanctions against Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and his
regime must be stepped up, Labour MEP Glenys Kinnock has told the European
As Mr Mugabe attended a United Nations conference in Italy, despite an EU
visa ban, Mrs Kinnock called on European nations to increase the pressure for
change in his country.
She said: "Mugabe is using these UN meetings to parade himself in Europe in
defiance of our ban, while the people in his country suffer because of his
Mrs Kinnock said the EU must "keep up the pressure" and extend the impact of
its sanctions, while continuing to deliver aid to the needy in Zimbabwe.
"We must not confuse our campaign against Mugabe with the need to maintain
humanitarian assistance," she warned.
Accusing the Zimbabwean president of "cocking a snook" at the EU, Mrs Kinnock
said Mr Mugabe had travelled to Europe by exploiting the fact that delegates to
UN meetings are not subject to visa restrictions.
She said the rules could not be changed, but added: "We
can display our refusal to accept his regime and what it is doing in Zimbabwe by
extending visa restrictions beyond the current 20 members of his government, to
include other ministers and their family members."
Policies of Mugabe have helped to make the threat of
widespread starvation a reality
She also questioned his role at the UN conference.
"It is sheer hypocrisy for members of the Zimbabwean political regime to be
in the EU discussing international efforts to ease poverty and hunger when the
actions and policies of Mugabe have helped to make the threat of widespread
starvation a reality for many people in Zimbabwe."
Responding to claims that Mrs Mugabe had been given permission to visit
Spain, Mrs Kinnock said such trips should be banned.
She also called for Mr Mugabe and his entourage to be deported from Italy as
soon as the conference ended.
"There must be no shopping time or tourism," Mrs Kinnock said.
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AFRICA: Nepad should not be judged by Zimbabwe,
JOHANNESBURG, 10 Jun 2002 (IRIN) - Regional powerhouse South
will chair the new African Union (AU), believes perceptions of
a lack of
firm action over Zimbabwe should not jeopardise Nepad (New
In March President Robert
Mugabe was re-elected in a poll that most
observers, including the European
Union (EU) and the Commonwealth, said was
fundamentally flawed. The
Zimbabwean poll was marred by political violence
and allegations of
South African President Thabo Mbeki, one of Nepad's architects,
is also its
most visible champion. South Africa is to assume the chairmanship
of the AU,
successor to the Organisation of African Unity, at a conference
in Durban on 28 June.
However, a recent EU Parliamentary
resolution called into doubt support for
Nepad at the upcoming G8 summit and
seemingly questioned Mbeki's commitment
to democracy and good
Points 10 and 11 of the resolution said the EU: "Calls on
President Mbeki to
show wholehearted and consistent support for the
principles of democracy,
human rights and the rule of law, and accordingly to
demonstrate the quality
of leadership that befits the powerful and crucial
regional position of
"Calls on African leaders,
particularly in the SADC [Southern African
Development Community] region, not
to resume normal diplomatic relations
with the Mugabe regime and thereby
jeopardise the 'New Programme for African
Development' (NEPAD) and the
prospects for the launch of an 'African
renaissance' by the G8 summit in
Canada this July."
Replying to questions from IRIN, the South African
government has now said:
"President Mbeki has not compromised his support for
the principles of
democracy, human rights and the rule of law as far as
Zimbabwe is concerned.
He has on numerous occasions expressed his concerns
about these issues in
Zimbabwe, both publicly and through the diplomatic
channels. South Africa
has been constantly engaged in trying to assist
Zimbabwe to adhere to these
principles, and still continues to do
"It should be noted that President Mbeki, as one of the members of
Commonwealth Chairpersons' Committee, was involved in the decision
suspend Zimbabwe from the Councils of the Commonwealth for a period of
year. This action bears further testimony to the fact that President
is consistent in adherence to democratic values."
was part of the SADC Ministerial Committee on Developments in
"consistently raises issues regarding democratic principles
Zimbabwean government, with a view to resolving them".
Mbeki and Nigerian
President Olusegun Obasanjo both sent envoys to mediate
Mugabe's Zanu-PF and his opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai's
Democratic Change. The talks were abandoned but a South African
Business Day, reported on Friday that the talks could resume. The
had agreed to name five-member task teams to participate in new
the newspaper reported.
South Africa believed that "quiet diplomacy and
political persuasion is
still the preferred option".
does not support the view that the isolation of Zimbabwe by
its regional and
continental neighbours will be helpful in resolving that
Even the Commonwealth, which suspended Zimbabwe for a
year, in its
Marlborough Statement urged countries to actively assist
stabilise the situation there, and came out in full support of
presidential envoy initiative," said a statement from the
As to whether Zimbabwe would jeopardise Nepad, the
government said: "South
Africa does not subscribe to the argument that the
perceived lack of
firmness with regard to Zimbabwe should jeopardise Nepad or
the 'launch of
the African Renaissance' at the G8 in Canada in
"At this time it is premature, if not unfair, to judge the success
failure of Nepad on the manner in which the Zimbabwe situation is
Zimbabwe's worsening political and economic situation
has been exacerbated
by widespread food shortages. The UN's World Food
Programme (WFP) and the
Food and Agricultural Organisation have pinpointed
drought and the
government's controversial land reform programme as the main
Some six million people are said to be in need of food
South Africa donated R500,000 (US $51,186) to the WFP in March to be
procure food aid for distribution in Zimbabwe.
is facilitating and fast tracking the transport of food aid to
through its territory and border posts," the government
Mugabe's presence 'distasteful'
ROME, Italy -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's visit to a
United Nations summit in Rome has been described as "distasteful" by a European
Union (EU) official.
The 15-nation EU imposed a visa ban on Mugabe and 19 of his close associates
in February after Zimbabwe expelled the head of an EU team of election
Mugabe, 78, arrived in Rome on Saturday on a flight via London, sidestepping
the EU exclusion order because he is attending a summit organised by the United
He is expected to be in Rome for the full four days of the U.N.'s Food and
Agriculture Organisation summit from Monday. (Full story)
EU Commission spokesman Gunnar Wiegand told reporters in Brussels on Monday:
"Obviously it is distasteful to see the president of Zimbabwe giving the
impression as if he was really caring about his citizens and about the fight
against poverty and in particular the provision of food for his people, because
there are so many policies that go against this.
"However, it is clear that the Italian government is acting here in full
compliance with existing EU rules."
Zimbabwe is suffering a severe food shortage with more than six million
people facing the threat of starvation, according to the U.N.'s World Food
Mugabe blames drought for the crisis. "The most important aspect (of the
summit) should be on how we can get the developing world, that is the world
where hunger is, to marshal resources so production of food stuffs can go up,"
he told Reuters.
But the head of the United States Agency for Development (USAID) described
Mugabe as a tyrant directly responsible for massive food shortages that threaten
millions of Zimbabweans with starvation.
"I am uncomfortable when any head of state that is tyrannical and predatory
comes to a conference like this, and he (Mugabe) fits that category," Andrew
Natsios told Reuters. "He is causing the crisis in Zimbabwe."
Glenys Kinnock, a member of the European Parliament, urged EU governments to
step up sanctions against Mugabe.
She told the Press Association: "He is clearly cocking a snook at the EU and
there is nothing we can do about that because U.N. meetings and other
international treaty obligations override EU sanctions.
"But we can display our refusal to accept his regime and what it is doing in
Zimbabwe by extending visa restrictions beyond the current 20 members of his
government, to include other ministers and their family members."
Lawyer dismisses evidence against Chinhoyi
6/10/02 9:37:58 AM (GMT
A defence lawyer in the public
violence trial of 10 Chinhoyi
commercial farmers on Friday described the
evidence led against the farmers
as full of
The farmers are being
accused of attacking war veterans and Zanu PF
supporters in Chinhoyi last
Advocate Eric Matinenga, who is one
of the defence attorneys, said the
evidence against the farmers was so
fraught with inconsistencies that it
would be "dangerous" for the court to
convict the accused.
Matinenga said: "The
essential elements making the offence of public
"On the quality of the evidence,
no reasonable court can convict. The
evidence before you is manifestly
Matinenga made the submission
before Chinhoyi magistrate Celestine
Mushipe at the close of the State's
The 10 are part of the 24 farmers
who were facing public violence
charges. The other 14 were absolved of the
charges during the trial after
the State failed to provide evidence linking
them to the offence.
Matinenga said the
Zanu PF supporters who illegally settled on some of
the accused's properties
had deliberately doctored their evidence. For
instance, he said, one of the
witnesses implicated a farmer who was out of
the country at the time of the
Chimbari said on 10 August last year war veterans
and Zanu PF supporters who
had settled themselves on Listonshields Farm
organised a meeting with farmer,
Antony George Barkley, to discuss water
problems on the
Barkley allegedly told the settlers
to wait for him outside his house
while he called the district administrator.
He, however, allegedly summoned
other farmers and attacked the
The farmers said they went to
rescue Barkley after the settlers
descended on his home and gave him an
ultimatum to leave.
For at least two hours
the group, including settlers from neighbouring
farms who had attended a Zanu
PF meeting at Listonshields, allegedly
threatened Barkley with
Barkley said he called his
colleagues after the police ignored his
call for assistance saying there was
no transport to travel to the farm.
Judgment will be passed on 1
Mugabe evades EU travel ban to attend food summit in Rome
Harare/London/Rome - President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was in Rome last night, exploiting a loophole in the travel ban on his regime to make his first trip to Europe since sanctions were imposed. Flaunting his freedom to attend official United Nations functions, Mr Mugabe flew via London and landed at Ciampino military airport in Rome at dawn on Saturday to take part in a world food summit, Italian sources said. The British Government said it was "not aware" that Mr Mugabe had transited through Britain, but could not rule out the possibility. A Foreign Office spokesman said last night: "There is no doubt that the presence in Europe of this individual is extremely distasteful. But of course we accept that our European Union partners are bound by their treaty obligations."
Mr Mugabe's trip is the second time he has side-stepped the travel ban imposed by the EU and America in February in response to the violence and fraud surrounding the Zimbabwean presidential election campaign. Also, the assets of Mr Mugabe and his entourage were frozen. Last month the president got around the "smart sanctions" by attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York, exploiting an agreement that obliges America to permit access to the UN headquarters for any head of state not banned by the UN itself. On the way home, his delegation passed through Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Zimbabwean ministers said the trip was proof of the sanctions' ineffectiveness and boasted that Mr Mugabe had "25 green lights to travel anywhere he wishes".
British officials insist that the travel ban "has had an impact". Whitehall sources said Mr Mugabe and his lieutenants have been refused visas to enter Europe three times in the past six weeks. Augustine Chihuri, Zimbabwe's police commissioner, was refused permission to enter Spain after a trip to Lyons, France, for an Interpol meeting. Germany declined to give a visa to Stan Mudenge, the foreign minister, and Mr Mugabe was refused permission to enter France when he refuelled in Paris and he had to stay on the transit side of the airport. Unlike the American ban, the EU sanctions do not apply to the families of government members and Mr Mugabe's wife, Grace, has been given a visa by Spain, diplomatic sources in Harare said. She is expected to take advantage of the trip to buy clothes.
Italian sources said Mr Mugabe was accompanied to Rome by Mr Mudenge and the agriculture minister, Joseph Made, one of the architects of the policy of expropriating millions of acres of white-owned property. Although Mr Mugabe's stay in Rome is limited to the summit, and mainly restricted to the confines of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome, which is organising the gathering, the trip has caused some embarrassment even before the summit formally begins today. "It is the big scandal of the summit," an FAO source yesterday. "We have been inundated by complaints by people from around the world who are furious." The FAO called the summit to put the world back on target to halve the number of hungry people - 800 million - by 2015, as agreed six years ago. Zimbabwe, where a poor economy, drought and the seizure of white-owned farms have left more than five million people needing food aid, is one of six countries where the FAO said the food crisis was acute. By next year the number is expected to rise to six million. Yesterday 118 commercial farmers waited in vain for government permission to plant wheat.
From Reuters, 9 June
UN hunger meeting opens, minus most top leaders
Rome - Most of the world's top leaders will skip the opening of the United Nations conference on hunger on Monday, undermining hopes that the meeting will resuscitate efforts to dramatically reduce world hunger. While dozens of leaders from developing countries have flocked to Rome, including Zimbabwe's shunned president, Robert Mugabe, only the heads of two wealthy Western countries - Italy and Spain - are expected to attend. Jacques Diouf, the director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, said bitterly before the four-day meeting that this was "a good indication of the political priority that is given to the tragedy of hunger."
Many affluent countries grouped in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will be represented by their agriculture ministers, who are expected to resist United Nations demands to pump more cash into the war on hunger. The Rome summit meeting follows a 1996 event at which delegates vowed to cut the number of hungry people from 840 million to no more than 400 million by 2015. But in the past six years, the number has only dropped to 815 million. In order to hit the 1996 goal, the FAO is seeking an additional $24 billion a year in agricultural and rural investment. At present, overseas development assistance from wealthier countries totals some $68 billion, of which only $11 billion is earmarked for agriculture. The conference is also likely to revive heated debate over the development of genetically modified crops, which is being pushed by the United States but is opposed by non-governmental organizations meeting on the sidelines in Rome. United States and European Union officials will also come under pressure over the substantial subsidies paid out to their farmers, which the FAO says depress world commodity prices at the expense of third world producers.
The absence this week of top world leaders means that Mr. Mugabe, who has managed to sidestep an European Union travel ban to attend the conference, might steal the limelight. Western governments say Mr. Mugabe is partly responsible for food shortages affecting millions of people in Zimbabwe following the invasion of productive, white-owned farms over the past two years by militants loyal to the president. The European Union has banned Mr. Mugabe from travelling in its countries because of his treatment of political opponents, but is obliged to make an exception for the food conference because it is under the auspices of the United Nations.
From ZWNEWS, 10 June
The desert of the
A doctrinaire Marxist runs anti-press laws; voices
of Zimbabwe poets go unheard; and a cricketer-song writer catches the mood of
national heartbreak. A long dark night seems about to descend on journalistic,
artistic and literary expression in Zimbabwe.
At a church concert in Harare
on June 1, dread-locked fast bowler Henry Olonga delivered a hat trick of songs
in his fine tenor voice. At the pleading of the audience, he concluded with the
new unofficial national anthem: "Our Zimbabwe." The words and tune, written by
Olonga and two white friends, may have their fair share of clichés. But in the
current explosively emotional atmosphere they have caught the country's
imagination. The family of murdered commercial farmer Terry Ford requested a
recording be played at his funeral, women in the congregation weeping openly.
For this is a country where a long, dark night seems about to descend on all
forms of artistic and literary expression - as on the recording of current
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo recently named his
long-awaited Media and Information Commission which has power to ban anyone
"writing for the mass media." Those attempting to defy its state-draft code of
practice face up to two years in prison under the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act, passed by Parliament in January. The commission
chairman is a 60-year-old Marxist, Tafataona Mahoso, whose stated belief is that
history needs a total rewrite to show civilisation was from its birth always
uniquely black, with whites as barbarians against whom all blacks must continue
to fight - putting loyalty to race and community before everything else. As well
as Mahoso, a lecturer in international affairs and sociology at the Harare
Polytechnic, the panel includes a retired employee of the Information Ministry
and two former journalists for government mouthpieces. One has been allocated a
farm. Expounding his views in the government-controlled Sunday Mail, Mahoso also
described champions of human rights as "rehabilitated architects of South
African apartheid and Rhodesian fascism," and, turning to international affairs,
announced that "the Global Village actually means Global Pillage" Thus speaks
the man who heads a commission which says its job is to enable Zimbabweans "to
achieve effective ownership and control of mass media services."
Mugabe’s first deed after claiming victory in disputed presidential elections in
March was to sign into law the draconian press Act. Since then there have been
16 arrests of journalists for "breach of ethics by broadcasting a false
report.’’ And the disinformation campaign by Mugabe and his lieutenants against
critics has continued remorselessly with gross fabrications, say human rights
lawyers. Under the new Act, journalists who hold valid press cards may practise
until December 31 - unless they do something to annoy Mahoso's commission.
Thereafter Mahoso and Moyo have sweeping powers to refuse them the right to
continue. Moyo has final say on what academic qualifications may be recognised.
And Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, another Mugabe supporter, has refused to
hear, as a matter of urgency, a plea that the Act violates constitutional rights
of free expression. A case brought by threatened journalists may not, now, be
heard before 2004.
Meanwhile, Olonga, icon of Zimbabwe’s once-triumphant,
racially mixed national cricket team, has caught the mood of
heartbreak. "Though born in pain and segregation . .. now we stand
to build our nation," go the words of "Our Zimbabwe." The tune is reminiscent of
"Shenandoah" and Shirley Bassey's onetime hit, "What now, my love, now that it's
over?" That is a particularly pertinent question for 13 million Zimbabweans,
with the productive economy in ruins. Competing in the charts is a song produced
with a Z$ 300 000 state grant, "The only good Blair is a toilet" - a play on the
names of the British prime minister and of a standard design of lavatory in
Zimbabwe’s rural areas.
Popular musicians Oliver Mutukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo
have based themselves abroad after accusations recent songs imply disrespect for
Mugabe. No foreign films have been shot since avant-garde director Christoffe
Schlingensieff fired an incompetent local-hire continuity girl who had a brother
in the security police. Falsely accused of pornography, Schlingensieff hid his
rushes at the German embassy, then took the next flight home. "Flame", a
glorification of the 1972-80 bush war made for African regional audiences,
roused threats of violence from ex-guerillas despite the toning-down of
sequences suggesting girl recruits sometimes faced sexual abuse. The voices of
novelist Charles Mungoshi and of poets Chenjerai Hove and Bonus Zimunya are
currently unheard. World-celebrated Shona sculpture has run out of soapstone and
inspiration, say critics, with too-frequent recurrence of themes such as
"mermaids" and "owls". And Olonga sings, "Though I may go to distant borders."
For the thousands of Zimbabweans, black and white, who have left or who are now
forced to contemplate emigration, "What now, my love?" may seem more