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

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Zim† Independent

Muckraker

††††† At what stage did Ndlovu turn into a rogue?

††††† WELCOME home, Temba!

††††† Muckraker learnt that Temba Mliswa was inconsolable this week when
immigration officials at Gatwick Airport booted him out of Britain.

††††† The deportation is rather puzzling for a man who brags to having
successfully recruited students from over 60 countries from the Caribbean,
Africa, the Far East, United States, Middle East and Europe to study in the
UK.

††††† When some students recruited by his agency, Education UK Ltd, were
deported recently, Mliswa said they had failed to answer questions put to
them by British immigration officers.

††††† "I could not have given them my brains. It's not my fault that they
failed," he said at the time.

††††† Strangely, when given 63 questions to tackle by the same officials, he
managed to answer only five. What did he have to hide?

††††† The Herald managed to make the whole episode look as if Mliswa was the
victim of British brutality.

††††† "Mr Mliswa voluntarily refused to enter Britain after being subjected
to what he described as inhuman political interrogation by the British
Immigration officials for his pro-Zanu PF sentiments," it helpfully said.

††††† We sincerely hope that Mliswa was not deported under a Section 8
notice, requiring him to leave all his possessions behind in the UK to be
looted by Labour Party officials. And we wish him well in having to live -
like the rest of us - under a government that has made all prospects of a
better life very remote indeed.

††††† Having met only limited success in his campaign to "decolonise" school
names Aeneas Chigwedere thinks he can engage in further populist demagoguery
by instructing the Harare city council on what names they should adopt for
their suburbs. Fortunately, the council has firmly rejected his pretensions,
pointing out that the current names are part of Harare's history. This was
revealed last week when the Herald carried a report of city council
proceedings.

††††† Chigwedere's efforts to get Highfield changed are particularly
objectionable. The township is indelibly associated with the nationalist
struggle, and whatever its origins, will be remembered by its current name.
As the council properly pointed out, it is up to Harare residents to change
the names of streets and suburbs if they want to, not ministers whose party
was decisively rejected by the voters of the capital.

††††† One reason residents excluded the Libyan-backed Zanu PF from any role
in municipal governance was because its leaders have a tendency towards
diverting public attention from real issues of civic management to spurious
nationalist grandstanding. Chigwedere may get away with this sort of facile
attention-grabbing among his peasant constituents in Hwedza but it won't
succeed in Harare.

††††† We recall his attempt to get the plaque on the statue of David
Livingstone at the Victoria Falls changed. What happened to that initiative?
We heard the National Monuments Commission rejected it. And what of the
schools? Which ones have actually changed their names? The Herald this week
carried a front-page picture of Prince Edward pupils attending a Russian
educational exhibition. The Prince of Wales' emblem was prominently
displayed on their blazer pockets and is likely to stay there, we gather.

††††† As things stand, Chigwedere's end-of-term report should read: "Easily
distracted. Could do better. Should concentrate more on his core subjects!"

††††† We were intrigued by an editorial comment in the Herald on Saturday
saying the arrest of war veterans leader Andrew Ndlovu was "long overdue".

††††† "His utterances and ultimata, par-ticularly against the Asian
community, could have been misinterpreted as government policy had action
not been taken," the paper said.

††††† While genuine war veterans are highly respected, it said, "among them
are rogues who abuse their standing in society to pursue selfish personal
interests. These are the ones who think they are above the law and can threa
ten and harass people, particularly minorities, at will."

††††† Ndlovu's "careless" utterances could have unnerved Asians had he not
been arrested, the Herald said. "Threatening Asians and whites will not help
develop Zimbabwe."

††††† This is now the official line as police move against squatters on
unlisted farms and conservancies. The government has been told that no food
aid will be forthcoming until the rule of law is restored and production
resumed on farms. So there is a concerted official effort to portray those
continuing to threaten farmers and businessmen as "rogue elements". Farmers
are being invited to plant a winter crop. Much-publicised evictions are
taking place.

††††† But the obvious question: If the Herald feels the arrest of Ndlovu was
"long overdue", why didn't it say something earlier? We don't recall any
editorials headed "Ndlovu must be arrested". Why didn't it condemn Ndlovu's
remarks about Asians at the time he made them? After all, war veterans
chairman Patrick Nyaruwata had the courage to speak out.

††††† The answer is equally obvious. Because farm invasions, harassment and
racism were official policy. Because this policy was directed by the highest
in the land and nobody was allowed to oppose it. As we all know, the war
veterans were instrumental in that policy. Those favouring a restoration of
the rule of law - and there were some in Zanu PF and the cabinet - were
rendered helpless.

††††† "Rogues abusing their standing in society to pursue selfish personal
ambitions" have been a prominent feature in the recent wave of land grabs.
Some of the rogues are senior officials of the regime. They are the ones who
not only "think they are above the law", but have every reason to feel
secure in that assumption. They have been "threatening minorities" with
impunity, making "ultimata" to all and sundry. The world can be forgiven for
"misinterpreting" their incontinent pronouncements as government policy.

††††† Then, on or about May 10, there was a change. As the seriousness of th
e impending crisis began to make itself felt and the international community
made it clear there would be no assistance so long as the ruling party
persisted in sabotaging the means of production, the government relented and
took a number of steps that could be interpreted as restoring the rule of
law and productivity. The official press was quickly whipped into line.

††††† The Herald suddenly decided evictions were a good thing. The next day
it congratulated the government for arresting Ndlovu.

††††† But the question remains: If the Herald believed Andrew Ndlovu's
arrest was long overdue, why didn't it say so earlier? Here we see in one
easy lesson how a captive press is next to useless as a public watchdog, but
very good at getting into line when told to do so.

††††† By the way, why does the government constantly have to reassure
settlers it will not violently evict them? Who asked the government to do
that? All the government was asked to do was uphold the law, something it
proved incapable of doing. Violence is something Zanu PF has never eschewed.
And what about the manpower the police said they would have difficulty
mustering for evictions? Has that problem suddenly been solved?

††††† The Herald on Tuesday carried an editorial headed "Tourism's raw
materials inexhaustible". It was about the "sights and sounds" of Zimbabwe's
plentiful wildlife.
††††† The same day the Scotsman carried a story confirming reports published
in this paper that up to 60% of game on private conservancies had been
poached. The article was headed "Voiceless victims facing extinction" (See
Page 15). It included details of the fate of the black rhino. Hopefully, the
party of gullible American tour operators that are currently in the country
will read it.

††††† And the story about the commercial farmer spraying poison on his
maize? It turned out to be infected with Diplodia which is extremely
dangerous for both human and animal consumption. Let's hope the new owner,
Mrs Loice Mugadzaweta who made the complaint, discovers what is edible and
what is not before she sells the rest of the harvest.

††††† We liked the picture in the Sunday Mail last weekend of President
Mugabe greeting some of the Zanu PF Youth League national assembly. Not a
single one can have been under 30. Some looked older than that.

††††† Just how youthful are members of Zanu PF's Youth League? And what
exactly do they do, apart of course from allowing themselves to be misled by
a septuagenarian despot?
††††† Mugabe told the "youths" that he would not tolerate any more "nonsense
and rubbish" from the MDC over the issue of talks. He then proceeded to
provide some nonsense and rubbish of his own. He affected to believe that a
campaign of mass action would involve the use of "nazi power", a remark the
South African people might have taken exception to in the 1980s when mass
action worked for them. And he said he was happy that service chiefs
"announced out of their own judgement that they would not salute anyone who
wanted to reverse the gains brought by independence".

††††† So how come they are still saluting him? He has presided over a
wholesale reversal of the gains of independence. The fall in per capita GDP,
the collapse of employment opportunities and living standards, the erosion
of the health service, and looming mass starvation. What "gains" are those?

††††† Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans are migrating abroad because there
are no job prospects under his malignant rule. Zimbabwe is holding out the
begging bowl to its former rulers because it is no longer able to feed
itself. And the service chiefs are still saluting him!

††††† We were reassured to hear that they made their statement "out of their
own judgement". But we would still like to know the details. As for the
comparison with the election of George W Bush, we were interested to hear
that Bush, a Republican, "got into power through a judgement by the Supreme
Court that is dominated by Republicans".

††††† "So who was actually elected between Mugabe and Bush?" the president
asked.
††††† Let's ask him this. How many Americans were refused the right to
register as voters or turned away at polling stations? How many Democrats
were told they couldn't campaign in certain parts of the US because they
were no-go areas for the opposition? How many were killed by Republican
thugs?

††††† As for the Supreme Court being dominated by Republicans, what
conclusions are we supposed to draw? That Bush had a packed Supreme Court on
his side and that this was unfair?

††††† We entirely agree. We are opposed to packed Supreme Courts whenever
and wherever they appear. They enable unsuitable and unpopular rulers to
extend their purchase on power by judicial collaboration. That is manifestly
not in the public interest and Mugabe was quite right to say so.

††††† Muckraker has over the years been keeping readers alerted to a number
of scams, emanating mostly from Nigerians, which seek to ascertain
somebody's bank account details as a means to clearing out the contents.
They invariably offer a share in a large sum which they claim to be holding
on behalf of a deceased account holder or a parastatal corporation. The
latest effort however appears to be a variation on this theme.
††††† It reads as follows: "Dear Sir. I am Justice Mugato, minister of solid
minerals under the government of President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

††††† "Your cooperation and advice is of great importance for I would like
to invest my money in any lucrative or money-yielding venture in your
country of which you will be part of this investment proposal as an active
partner following your professional advice toward the pursuit. I would
personally like you to look into real estate and property management,
purchase of firm or industry.

††††† "Please sir, I need to be educated professionally due to my low
knowledge for any investment outside my country, Zimbabwe. Kindly furnish
and equip me with details about one. Best regards. Justice Mugato."

††††† However low our opinion of cabinet ministers may be and while it is
true they need to be educated about how investment can be encouraged, we can
safely assume this letter doesn't emanate from anybody here - unless he has
been keeping a very low profile. In fact it has all the hallmarks of the
Nigerian money mafia. "Solid minerals" is the give away. We don't have any
liquid ones here so we don't make the distinction Nigerians do between
liquid and solid minerals. And the choice of Mug. as the first three letters
of the minister's name is an obvious artifice.

††††† So if you hear from Mr Mugato at teamwork-comm@lycos.com, beware!

††††† Congratulations to the Herald for its scoop on Wednesday revealing the
news that Britain had lifted its travel warning on Zimbabwe. It was the
paper's lead story. But what they didn't tell us was the date on which the
travel warning was actually lifted: March 27, nearly two months ago!



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Zim† Independent

Editor's Memo

The noose tightens

I HAVE received a number of highly indignant letters complaining about the
behaviour of France and the United States in allowing President Mugabe and
his delegation access to the recent United Nations special session on
children. While I sympathise with the writers, the governments in question
were not really to blame.

Both France and the United States, like other countries, are bound by the
Geneva Convention and UN headquarters agreement which permit leaders
unhindered access to the world body in New York. The international community
in the late 1940s, when these agreements were entered into, would never have
granted New York the privilege of hosting the new organisation set up to
replace the Geneva-based League of Nations if open access had not been
guaranteed.


Film footage of the youthful Fidel Castro arriving there to advertise his
1959 revolution and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on his
desk while British premier Harold Macmillan was speaking testify to the
universality of the UN 40 years ago. The same is true now. The US doesn't
have to like its visitors. But it is obliged to host them.


The French ambassador to Harare, Didier Ferrand, was careful to point out
that Mugabe's delegation did not stray from the international departure area
of Charles de Gaulle airport during their stopover in Paris. In other words
they did not officially enter France. France adhered to the EU resolutions
on Zimbabwe, the ambassador politely told us.


The same would have been the case if the delegation had passed through
Gatwick, as was originally intended. Claims by Stan Mudenge and spokesman
for Zimbabwe's permanent mission to the UN Emmanuel Gumbo that Mugabe and
his party could go wherever they liked in Paris or the US were clearly
misleading. In New York, their 10-day visas limited them to a 25-mile radius
of the UN headquarters on the East Side. This meant they had the
less-than-endless vistas of Long Island, upstate New York and New Jersey
open to them!


Just as the state media was being ordered to celebrate an effective end to
the sanctions regime, the EU parliament debated tightening measures against
Zimbabwe. With one eye on the forthcoming G8 summit in Canada next month
where Africa's much-touted Nepad project will be discussed, a motion called
on President Thabo Mbeki, the project's main architect, 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 South
Africa".


As this related to the Zimbabwe situation, it sounded rather like a rebuke!
In calling for intensification of sanctions against Mugabe's government,
MEPs asked member states to extend the EU's list of banned Mugabe associates
to encompass all key figures. These include vice-presidents, all ministers,
senior military, police and intelligence officers, and leading businessmen
who have helped to bankroll Zanu PF. They also want sanctions extended to
their respective spouses and children.


The parliament called for the publication of details pertaining to assets
already identified and frozen as a result of the policy of targeted
sanctions and the examination of Zimbabwe's debt situation and drawing
rights in international financial institutions.


This was hardly the "end of sanctions". In fact, the state media's premature
celebrations may yet induce a more determined response by the EU and US. The
debate in the House of Lords on Tuesday evening, details of which we carry
on Page 4, reflects the strength of feeling on this issue. I don't know for
how much longer Baroness Amos can go on claiming Zimbabwe is not a test case
for Nepad when it manifestly is!


However, a word of clarification here. While new EU sanctions may target the
children of Zanu PF leaders and may therefore affect their education, the US
measures do not. The proclamation signed by President Bush in February
applies only to named individuals and their spouses. The State Department is
not at liberty to vary it so kids already there are unlikely to be affected.
There have been some misleading reports in this regard.


I meet diplomats on a regular basis and I can assure you they are in no
doubt as to the strength of public sentiment in Zimbabwe, reflected in your
letters and phone calls, on the sanctions issue - particularly the boasts
being made of sanctions-dodging by ministers and their flunkies. But don't
expect any immediate breakthroughs here. As South Africans came to
appreciate in the 1980s, sanctions are rarely swift or dramatic in their
impact. They make themselves felt slowly and steadily in all sectors of the
economy.


The government is right in saying they will impact on all of us. We must
face that fact. But the worst aspect of all this is that, instead of taking
steps to remove the threat by improving their standard of governance
including permitting the liberties guaranteed in the constitution, our
rulers are by their everyday actions ensuring that the noose around the
country's neck is tightened. That is their decision, not anybody else's.
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Zim† Independent

††††† Farm evictions a sham
††††† Dumisani Muleya

††††† CLAIMS that President Robert Mugabe's government is evicting farm
occupiers and tackling war veterans is a smokescreen to convince the
international community that there has been a return to the rule of law,
diplomats and farmers said this week.

††††† The government was appearing to clean up its act to obtain
urgently-needed food supplies they said. But nothing was happening on the
ground.


††††† Diplomats said the move was calculated to remove charges of
lawlessness from international deliberations on Zimbabwe. Commercial Farmers
Union executives reported the only movement they could see was of people
settled on farms belonging to prominent persons.


††††† The government has been orchestrating a blaze of publicity around
evictions it claims to be making of settlers on delisted farms and
conservancies, particularly in Masvingo. This comes ahead of a key regional
summit on the food crisis to be held in South Africa next month. Zimbabwe is
anxious to whitewash its battered reputation to get aid flowing.


††††† "There is no evidence that the so-called evictions are really taking
place," said a senior Western diplomat. "I think government is just trying
to hoodwink the international community."


††††† The CFU said yesterday there had been no visible movement of settlers
from its members' farms. CFU Masvingo regional chairman Mike Clark said
"information to hand is that there is no relocation of settlers from
members' farms. We are aware that police and army officers have visited
selected farms in the area owned by prominent persons," he said. "Some of
the settlers on those farms have begun to drift onto adjoining farms."


††††† Settlers on Nuanetsi and Eaglemont ranches in Mwenezi had refused to
move, he said.


††††† CFU president Colin Cloete said while instructions had been given at
government level, there was no evidence of this translating into action at
the district level.


††††† "There was talk but no one really walked the talk," he said.


††††† Cloete said the situation on the farms and conservancies continued to
deteriorate with officials handing out Section 8 notices.


††††† It is understood the land committee chaired by Vice-President Joseph
Msika is keen to see farmers planting wheat to avert shortages next year and
give the impression that normalcy is being restored in agriculture.


††††† A turnaround in government's public position was detected at the time
of President Mugabe's meeting with United Nations secretary-general Kofi
Annan in New York on May 9. This was followed by strong statements a week
later by Home Affairs minister John Nkomo threatening to crack down on
illegal land occupiers and "rogue" war veterans. The state media immediately
welcomed the evictions and the arrest of militant war veterans' leader
Andrew Ndlovu. The role of minorities in developing the country was
emphasised after two years of attacks on whites.


††††† Nkomo said police would act against any farm invaders, be they senior
government officials or ordinary people.


††††† Sources said the government was using the evictions to give a false
impression to the world that it was working to address state-instigated
lawlessness that has gone largely unchecked since 2000. The United Nations
(UN) Standing Committee on Humanitarian Affairs and Southern African
Development Community (Sadc) leaders gather for the crisis meeting on hunger
in Johannesburg on June 6/7.


††††† The meeting is important to Harare because Zimbabwe is on the verge of
a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportions due in part to famine
caused by state-sponsored farm invasions which have undermined the
once-thriving agricultural sector and sabotaged food production. At the same
time the country is facing a severe drought.


††††† It is estimated over seven million people - about 54% of the
population - would by the end of the year be surviving on food relief.


††††† Western aid organisations are currently battling to tackle widespread
hunger. Britain has since last year provided £10 million while the United
States and other donors have provided substan-tial sums in humanitarian
assistance.


††††† The issue of regional famine, which is also afflicting Zambia, Malawi,
Swaziland, Lesotho and Mozambique has of late assumed greater urgency.


††††† Last week UN resident coordinators in Southern Africa as well as
representatives from other UN bodies and Sadc gathered in Victoria Falls to
discuss the issue.


††††† UN resident representative in Zimbabwe Victor Angelo, who convened the
meeting, said there was need for urgent action to prevent disaster.


††††† "Countries should react now in order to save money, save lives and to
limit human suffering," he said.
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Zim† Independent

War vets challenge govt
Abeauty Mangezi
WAR veterans have vowed to oppose government's moves to evict resettled
farmers saying they will defend the land occupiers.

"As war veterans we are not happy with the way people are being evicted from
the farms and we will defend them," said Agrippa Gava, an official of the
War Veterans Association.


"We strongly believe that these people are protected by the law and for them
to be evicted is disturbing."


He said if government wanted to relocate people to other farms, this could
be done while they were still on the acquired farms.


"Since government wants to transfer people to alternative farms, they should
do so while the people are on the presently occupied farms instead of
sending them back to their original home areas," he said.


"No one should go back to his original home and we stand in full support of
the newly-resettled farmers. Our position is that people should not be
evicted."


Gava said he had not come across a single farm where the programme had been
properly implemented.


"Throughout the country, people are not properly settled and their eviction
will worsen the situation. We now want the programme to be done in a
professional manner," he said.


War veterans interviewed expressed hostility to the eviction exercise
claiming they had been used by government.


War veterans' secretary-general Endy Mhlanga said the land redistribution
programme started as a chaotic exercise but was later enacted into law.


"No one should be evicted from the farms that they are currently occupying,"
said Mhlanga. "Their stay on the farms is legal. Evicting them means the
redistribution of land will be taken as a political gimmick by many people."


Responding to a statement in the state media that war veterans did not have
any role to play in the land redistribution programme, Mhlanga said there
were some individuals who did not understand the role of war veterans in the
exercise.


"Whoever wrote that article is grossly ill-informed about the functions of
war veterans in the land redistribution programme. War veterans are part of
government and they are on the land committees," he said.


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News24




††††††††††† 23/05/2002 21:20† - (SA)



††††† Zim denies land grab by elite

††††† Harare - Allegations that top politicians and ruling party elite took
confiscated white-owned land intended for the landless and impoverished were
"patently stupid and indecent", a government spokesperson said on Thursday.

††††† However, ruling party officials were not excluded from a programme to
allocate seized land to some 54 000 new black commercial farmers,
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said in a statement.

††††† A report compiled by farmers that was distributed on Thursday said
hundreds of senior officials, ruling party supporters, military, police and
intelligence officers, and even journalists in the state media were
allocated plots ranging in size from a few hectares to farms of thousands of
hectares.

††††† No prominent opposition party leaders or outspoken government critics
appear on the list.

††††† The farmers who compiled the list said they did not want to be
identified for fear of reprisals. The information was drawn from government
notices on land allocations and was backed by testimony from white
landowners forced from their properties who had contact with new occupants.

††††† Moyo described the report as propaganda aimed at tarnishing the
country's land reform programme.

††††† 'Colonialists last one to grab land'

††††† "There is no land grab in Zimbabwe by anyone. The last time land was
grabbed it was done by murderous and thieving British colonialists," he
said.

††††† Though government and ruling party officials had been allocated land,
they were not given special preference, nor could they be denied land
because of their affiliations to the state or ruling party, Moyo said.

††††† Other seized land was being given to 210 000 black families, he said.

††††† Mugabe has repeatedly insisted the programme to confiscate 95% of land
owned by the nation's 4 000 white farmers, mostly the descendants of British
and South African settlers, was intended to settle unfair land ownership
lingering from the colonial era, which ended in 1980.

††††† Previous efforts at land reforms have been plagued by mismanagement
and corruption.

††††† The new 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.

††††† Disruptions on the farms, along with erratic weather, have led to
severe food shortages.

††††† The opposition Movement for Democratic Change accused Mugabe of
stepping up land seizures around parliamentary elections in June 2000 to
shore up his waning support. - Sapa-AP
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††††† Poisoning Kills 7 in Zimbabwe Sect
††††† The Associated Press, Thu 23 May 2002

††††† HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Seven members of a religious sect in
Zimbabwe - including a 4-year-old boy - died after drinking tea suspected to
have been poisoned, police said Thursday.

††††† Forty-seven other people were taken ill after drinking the brew on
Sunday.

††††† Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said foul play was suspected. He
said traces of pesticide were found in containers used to make tea for a
gathering of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Church near the town of Nyazura,
120 miles east of Harare.

††††† The sect, which has followers across Zimbabwe, bases its teachings on
Christianity and on traditional African beliefs in ancestral spirits and the
powers of tribal healers.

††††† Forensic tests were being carried out, Bvudzijena said. No arrests had
been made.
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Zim† Independent

Zimbabwe's dairy herd drops by 30%
Stanley James
ZIMBABWE'S dairy herd has dropped by 30% because of the high costs of
stockfeed and effects of government's land redistribution programme which
will result in milk supply shortages, an official in the sector said this
week.

The chief executive of the National Association of Dairy Farmers (NADF), Rob
van Vuuren, told the Zimbabwe Independent that the national dairy herd
continued to decline.


"There has been a sudden drop in the number of dairy farmers in the past two
years," he said.


Van Vuuren said there were still prospects for the industry despite the
on-going problems in agriculture.


"We as farmers have not been spared the ongoing effects. However, it is
important to note that there has been a drop from 314 dairy farmers to 310,"
said Van Vuuren.


Commenting on the state of the dairy industry, the country's largest raw
milk processing firm Dairibord Zimbabwe Ltd chief executive Anthony
Mandiwanza said there was concern about the diminishing milk supply base.


"We are concerned about the erosion of producer viability and the continual
diminishing milk supply base," said Mandiwanza.


These developments have far-reaching adverse consequences for the industry,
both in the short and long term."


He said the industry was working on a plan to hold the current supply base
from further erosion and to ensure annual growth of 10% per annum in the
coming three years.


Mandiwanza said that the initiative would resuscitate the dairy herd by over
30% by 2003, create a strategic plan for procurement of stockfeed and
capital equipment as well as broaden the milk supply base.


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Zim† Independent

65% drop in tourism receipts
Stanley James
ZIMBABWE'S once-vibrant tourism industry has been hit by a 65% drop in
earnings, falling from US$240 million in 1996 to US$80 million by December
2001, official figures have revealed.

Statistics on tourism trends compiled by the Central Statistical Office and
presented to delegates who attended the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe
(HAZ) annual congress in Nyanga last week showed the industry was thrown
into severe crisis because of the inappropriate macro-economic policies of
President Robert Mugabe's government.


The figures showed that from 1996 to 2002, tourism arrivals plummeted from
2,4 million to 1,7 million per annum.


"Factors which have contributed to the decline in the industry include
inconsistent fuel supplies for most of the past few years leading to loss of
confidence to the domestic and regional self-drive markets," said Rainbow
Tourism Group chief executive Herbert Nkala.


"Controversy surrounding the land redistribution exercise, the spate of
violence, unstable macro-economic environment, fuel shortages and the
drought have culminated in the industry incurring huge losses in terms of
business operations."


Nkala said due to the downturn in the tourism sector, the hospitality
industry was severely affected as most of the players were downsizing
operations.


According to the figures, the hospitality industry has continued to
experience a decline marked by persistent downward trend of productivity by
an average of 10% on an annual basis.


Inflows from holiday and business travel declined from US$239,2 million in
1996 to US$81,4 million in 2001.


"The solution concerning prospects of the recovery for the industry require
a holistic approach. The solutions will not come from government alone, in
as much as the problems did not come from government alone," said Nkala.


"Conversely, the solutions will not come from the private sector alone in as
much as the private sector cannot completely absolve itself from having
contributed to the problems."


Analysts have predicted that the tourism industry, which had emerged as one
of the leading foreign currency earners contributing about 40% to Gross
Domestic Product, would shrink by over 45% by year end if the prevailing
hostile economic climate continued.


"We are of the view that the current economic constraints will pose a
challenge in as far as the prosperity of the sector is concerned," said
economic consultant, John Robertson.


"In fact we anticipate the industry to register a drop of about 45% by the
end of the year."


He said that the current political instability would threaten the resurgence
of the entire industry.


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Zim† Independent

Mozambique eclipses Zimbabwe
Godfrey Marawanyika
ZIMBABWE has been overtaken by Mozambique as South Africa's biggest trading
partner in the region.

Mozambique is one of Africa's fastest growing economies and this has seen
South Africa turning east from her northern neighbour which has occupied the
prime trading position since independence in 1980.


Investments worth more than R25 billion have been channelled into Mozambique
by South African companies. Zimbabwean companies have also been leaving in
droves to set up in Mozambique where opportunities abound.


Addressing a special National Assembly session in Maputo recently, South
African President Thabo Mbeki said that Mozambique had become South Africa's
largest trading partner.


"With R25 billion investment by South African parastatals and private
companies, South Africa has become Mozambique's largest foreign investor,"
said Mbeki.


Trade statistics for 2001 from South Africa show that in 2001 South African
exports to Mozambique were valued at R5,72 billion, Zimbabwe R5,38 billion
and Zambia R4,89 billion.


South Africa has taken over all the breweries in Mozambique. Mozambique's
largest brewer, Cervejas de Mocambique (CDM), in which South African
Breweries has a 78% stake, has bought the country's only other brewery,
Laurentina.


BHP Billiton, the world's largest resources company, has as aluminium
smelter - Mozal - in Mozambique.


The tourism sector is another area where the South Africans are big players
and recently the ABSA group took over Banco Austral, formerly BPD (Popular
Development Bank). South Africa's biggest sugar producer Illovo, has vast
operations at Maragra sugar project in Mozambique. Cellular services
provider Vodacom has also targeted Mozambique as a new area of investment.


Zimbabwe's decliningpolitical and economic environment has been largely to
blame for this shift.


Zimbabwe's high-risk status has seen a decline in cross-border credit
guarantees, affecting Harare's export performance. Offshore financiers were
reluctant to offer locals any corresponding lines of credit, resulting in
trade partners preferring cash upfront.


This has been further worsened by lack of donor funding and the imposition
of economic sanctions.


Over the past three years, Harare has continued to experience a net flight
of portfolio investment.


In 1997 portfolio investment stood at around US$32 million. The pattern has
however changed with the country registering net outflows in the US$10-$15
million range over the past two years.


Investment analysts say the country has experienced a shrinkage in offshore
trade finance.


"Total trade finance facilities, which averaged US$289 million during the
first four months of 2000, had shrunk by 28% to an average US$209,5 million
over the same period last year," said one analyst


"This reflects a general unwillingness of global financial markets to extend
credit to Zimbabwe."


Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a crisis characterised by runaway
inflation, foreign currency shortages, rising poverty levels and general
decline in virtually all key sectors, thus pushing up unemployment.


Currently Zimbabwe's unemployment levels are believed to be above 65%.


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Zim† Independent

Comment

With aid must come straight talking

WITH the failure of all Zimbabwe's rain-fed crops and the decimation of
commercial farming the crisis that food security experts have been warning
of since early last year is now well and truly upon us.

Now only at the outset of the dry season the country looks parched. Zimbabwe
has only a quarter of the food it will need for the next 12 months, UN
agencies have said. They are busy scurrying around in a bid to alert
traditional donors to the severity of the problem.

In addition to Zimbabwe, other countries in the region such as Zambia,
Malawi and Lesotho are likely to be severely affected. So is Swaziland while
Botswana and Namibia are more able to cope despite shortages.

In addition to the impact of drought, Zimbabweans are having to cope with
the effects of a man-made crisis stemming from an ill-conceived land
redistribution programme which has driven skilled producers off the land. At
the same time customary forex earners such as tourism have been badly
affected by the reputation for violence and instability the ruling party's
lawless land campaign has bestowed upon the country.

The United Nations Development Programme's resident representative Victor
Angelo, who is leading efforts to get food aid flowing, complains that "the
key players don't seem to be paying attention". They are preoccupied with
Afghanistan, Angola and the Middle East he says.

He is missing the point. The developed world knows only too well that a
massive humanitarian crisis is looming in Southern Africa. Comparisons are
being made with Ethiopia in 1984. As it is, Britain, the EU and the United
States, demonised by the state propaganda machine as "the enemy", have been
leading food relief efforts.

But there is resistance in traditional donor states such as Britain, the US,
Canada, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, France and Germany to helping
President Mugabe out of a crisis entirely of his own making. For while
Mugabe has declared the current food shortages a national disaster there is
little doubt that in much of the world he is seen as the disaster.

There is a pattern to the drought currently afflicting the region that is
far from climatological. Countries with poorly developed infrastructures
such as Lesotho and Mozambique have suffered most.

Those with endemic corruption and poorly managed economies such as Malawi
and Zambia are also badly affected. But those with well-managed economies
and governments that work in harness with well-organised agricultural
sectors such as Namibia, Botswana and South Africa are suffering least. They
have surpluses they can call upon.

Zimbabwe is among those that should have withstood the crisis because it has
a record of food self-sufficiency thanks to a well-developed agricultural
sector. That has now been effectively sabotaged just when we needed it most.
The Stalinist campaign to declare commercial farmers a class enemy and to
literally steal their land and implements has created Southern Africa's only
state-created disaster. It has not only destroyed commercial agriculture and
induced famine but also rendered tens of thousands of farm labourers jobless
thus laying the ground for social dislocation on a massive scale.

The West is being asked to give generously in its response to the unfolding
disaster.

The only safety valve is emigration. That at least should bring home the
crisis to complacent neighbours such as South Africa that have countenanced
misrule north of the Limpopo.

President Thabo Mbeki's spokesman said this week South Africa cannot turn
its back on Zimbabwe - something it was never asked to do! A principled
stance would have been sufficient.

The Rev Jesse Jackson says the international community should not punish
innocent Zimbabweans because of policy differences with their government.

This woolly thinking needs firm rebuttal. Just because President Mugabe is
holding the country to ransom doesn't mean UN agencies should remain silent
on why a potential catastrophe is stalking the land. The last thing Zimbabwe
or southern Africa need is more blind aid.

What they need is the kind of governance that prevents disasters of this
sort from occurring. Malawi is one of the biggest recipients of British aid.
What has it got to show for it? How much aid has Zimbabwe received since
Independence and what is its per capita GDP now compared to 1980?

Of course, in a humanitarian crisis of this kind ordinary people - even if
they did swallow Zanu PF's deceitful propaganda on land - should not be
punished by starvation. But those such as Mr Angelo, twisting the arms of
Western donors and reminding them of their moral responsibility, have a duty
to point out the connection between bad governance and food shortages. That
might catch everybody's attention.
Until they do that they should not expect an enthusiastic response to their
appeals.
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Zim† Independent

News Analysis

Zimbabwe proves a difficult test case for Nepad
Dumisani Muleya
AS African and G8 leaders prepare to meet over the New Partnership for
Africa's Development (Nepad) in Canada next month, analysts say the Zimbabwe
crisis provides a test case for the project's peer review mechanism.

The movers of the African renaissance plan - modelled along the lines of the
Marshall Plan for Europe after World War II - in March set up the peer
monitoring system under Nepad's "Democracy and Political Governance
Initiative" (DPGI) to enforce compliance with agreed democratic and
governance standards.

The DPGI lists a series of obligations and actions, which conform to Nepad
principles. Some of these include the need to fix terms of office for
elected leaders, upholding human rights, separation of powers, the rule of
law, political and civil rights, freedom of expression and press freedom.

Analysts say Zimbabwe, which falls far short in most if not all of these
requirements, provides an efficacy test for the peer review mechanism.

"It won't be easy," says associate editor of African Business magazine, Tom
Nevin. "Zimbabwe hovers over Nepad's chances in Canada like Damocles'
sword."

Nepad, seen as an African initiative for African problems, seeks to woo
US$64 billion in annual investment and trade for the continent from
industrialised countries on conditions of democracy and good governance.

Essentially, Nepad is an amalgamation of South Africa's Millennium
Partnership for African Recovery Programme (MAP) and Senegal's Omega Plan.
Out of the merger, the New African Initiative was formed. It was later
approved by the OAU in July last year in Lusaka and endorsed by the G8 in
Genoa, Italy. Its blueprint was finalised in October last year.

South Africa, Algeria, Senegal, Nigeria and Egypt initiated Nepad. The
project's secretariat is currently based in Midrand, South Africa.

Countries join Nepad by signing up to the laid-down principles. They also
have to agree to external peer review - which is key to the project's
success - every three years. There are four categories of signatories to the
deal: Nepad-compliant, aspiring to Nepad compliance but in need of
assistance, wilfully non-compliant, and post-conflict societies requiring
special reconciliation and reconstruction.

Many meetings have been held on the project so far. African leaders are
expected to attend the African Development Bank's symposium on Nepad on
Monday on the eve of the bank's annual meeting in Addis Ababa.

Although Zimbabwe is not yet a member of Nepad, its highly contagious
crisis - which is destabilising the entire region - could sabotage the
project.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, the principal Nepad architect, has
repeatedly stressed the significance of establishing a credible and
effective peer checking system to ensure African leaders break with past
records of dictatorship and corruption to adopt democracy and good
governance.

Mbeki, who has admitted failure on Zimbabwe, last week emerged from talks on
Nepad with Nordic leaders in Oslo bubbling with satisfaction over their
endorsement of his plan.

The following day, he also left Downing Street rubbing his hands with glee
after British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Canadian premier Jean Chretien
pledged support for Nepad at the forthcoming G8 summit in Kananaskis,
Alberta, on June 27/29.

Observers say having failed to restrain President Robert Mugabe in the past
two years, Mbeki's strategy now is to quarantine the Harare regime to
prevent the Zimbabwe contagion spilling over.

UK under-secretary of State Baroness Amos last week provided an insight on
this approach.

"Nepad officials have expressed concern that Zimbabwe is being used as a
test case for the process," Amos said. "African leaders have argued that the
continent should not be judged on the actions of just one country."

However, critics say although Zimbabwe is not a make-or-break try-out for
Nepad, it is certainly a hurdle, which cannot be removed by quarantining or
"quiet diplomacy".

While Mbeki and other Nepad promoters wax enthusiastic about the upcoming
Canada meeting, analysts maintain Zimbabwe - undergoing a man-made crisis -
remains a steeplechase for them.

Professor John Stremlau, head of international relations and co-director of
the Centre of Africa's International Relations at the University of the
Witwatersrand, says Zimbabwe provides a litmus test for Nepad ideals.

"Nepad will face some early tests of the peer review," Stremlau said. "These
will indicate whether the experiment in building international cooperation
from below can succeed. How Zimbabwe's crisis is resolved is the most
obvious test."

Although G8 leaders rejected Mugabe's recent disputed re-election and
actually warned Nepad was at risk due to his purported victory, they now
seem to have bought wholesale Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun
Obasanjo's claims the intransigent Zimbabwean leader has been reined-in.

Statements by Blair and Chretien in London last week as well as the remarks
by Canadian High Commissioner to South Africa, Lucie Edwards, indicate a
dramatic shift in Western leaders' views on the issue.

Blair was hopeful about Nepad's prospects after meeting Mbeki. He said:
"It's very, very important that we focus on this as a key theme for the
upcoming G8 summit. I am reasonably optimistic at this stage that we will
manage to get a good deal out of the summit."

But after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Coolum, Australia,
in March Blair noted: "If there is any sense in which African countries
appear ambivalent towards good governance, this is one thing that will
undermine the confidence of the Western world in helping them."

Edwards - in line with Blair, Chretien and Mbeki's new bid to whitewash the
Zimbabwe situation - last week tried to air-brush Zimbabwe from the G8
picture, saying African leaders could not act on Mugabe before the recent
presidential election because the Nepad peer review system was not then in
place. She said the mechanism was beginning to work as indicated by Mbeki
and Obasanjo's support of the decision to suspend Zimbabwe from the
Commonwealth.

That move, prompted by the rigging of the recent poll, saw Nepad's
supervision system "passing its first test", Edwards said.

However, in an editorial last week, the Mail & Guardian joined the Zimbabwe
Independent in rejecting this.

The Johannesburg paper said claims that Mugabe has been contained were
deceitful.

"Mbeki's message (to Nordic leaders) was that he and Obasanjo have brought
Mugabe to heel, and that Nepad's pledge to African democracy for Western
economic assistance remains on course," it said. "Presumably because they
are anxious for an African success story, European leaders, including Blair,
are colluding in this lie."

The paper went further: "The most grotesque case of wilful blindness was a
statement by Edwards, that the 'dangerous corner' of Zimbabwe has been
passed 'relatively smoothly', that 'the first test had been overcome' and
that Mbeki and Obasanjo's acceptance of Zimbabwe's suspension from the
Commonwealth had saved the day."

The M&G said despite this pretence, facts on the ground showed the situation
has not changed from what it was before the election and, if anything, was
getting worse. Human rights groups say violence is still continuing and the
arrests of journalists have reached new levels.

"With corrupt and brutally repressive governments in place, passively
endorsed by South Africa and the West, no amount of aid will make a
difference. It is little short of ominous that Nepad is being laid on a
foundation of lies and the international betrayal of the rights of ordinary
Africans," the paper concluded.

Director of the Public Service Accountability Monitor at Rhodes University
in South Africa, Colm Allan, said Nepad's peer review would fail as long as
it was left in the hands of African leaders who regard each other as
revolutionary comrades and not democratic peers.

"This mechanism will fail in its task if reviews happen only periodically
and rigorous criteria - and the consequences for deviant governments - are
not spelled out," Allan said. "It seems that African heads of state will be
left to judge their own performance. The proposed peer review shows that
Nepad leaders do not yet recognise accountable governance as a relationship
between governments and citizens."

Instead of solidarity reviews, he said, independent monitors from civil
society were needed to supervise the leaders.

Research director at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, Henning
Melber, recently pointed out what the problem was.

"They (African leaders) try to sell this commitment (to democracy and good
governance) in return for massive material support from donors," Melber
said. "But while they open their hands for aid, they are closing their eyes
when the need for peer review arises."

Henning said double standards such as those shown by Mbeki and Obasanjo when
they endorsed Mugabe's re-election as "legitimate" in their own countries
and then upheld the Commonwealth observer team report - which said the poll
was rigged - were terribly damaging. "They are disloyal to the political
values they claim to cultivate and protect," he said. "By backing a despotic
leader they betray the temporary hope they fuelled in this initiative
(Nepad)."

Critics say whether Nepad backers like it or not, Zimbabwe remains a
roadblock for them and far from passing any test, they have yet to prove
their mettle.

"Investors will put money into viable nations but those nations must in turn
make sure they deal with the conflicts on their doorstep," said Comfort Ero,
of the International Crisis Group.


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Zim† Independent

Chakaodza blasts Moyo

STANDARD editor Bornwell Chakaodza yesterday slammed Information minister
Jonathan Moyo for his unrelenting crusade against independent press
journalists.

Chakaodza - who was pushed out from the government-controlled Herald after
Moyo was appointed minister in July 2000 - blasted the minister after police
pressed a fourth charge against him in connection with stories which
appeared in his newspaper last week.


"My own assessment is that this is sheer harassment," Chakaodza said. "I
think the police are being used by Moyo to settle personal scores. He is a
loose cannon but he must not be allowed to get away with it."


Police last week arrested Chakaodza together with two reporters for stories
about government's purchase of anti-riot gear and prostitution. They were
detained overnight and appeared in court facing charges under the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act.


On Tuesday, Chakaodza and his entertainment editor Fungayi Kanyuchi were
charged again for the article on prostitution under the Censorship and
Entertainment Control Act.


Yesterday, the police charged Chakaodza and his reporter Farai Mutsaka for
the fourth time over a story, which appeared in the May 12 edition
concerning staff changes at Zimpapers and ZBC.


Their lawyer Linda Cook said yesterday's charges were weak. "We believe the
charges raised today are frivolous," she said. - Staff Writer.


"We believe the charges raised today are frivolous," she said. "The article
in question contained speculation (about staff changes) rather than
statements of fact in respect of two public entities."


So far 11 journalists have been arrested under the vexatious media
legislation which was signed into law in March after heavy criticism in
parliament that it infringed fundamental liberties.


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Zim† Independent

Zanu PF militia confront Msika over allowances
Loughty Dube
ANGRY Zanu PF youth militia last Friday confronted Vice-President Joseph
Msika in Nyamandlovu and demanded payment for their role in campaigning for
the party in the presidential election.

The angry youths, who numbered about 30, cornered Msika as he was about to
join other dignitaries for refreshments after a donation ceremony hosted by
Shearwater Adventures at Nyamandlovu Secondary school.


The youths, led by one with a bandaged arm, charged at Msika as he was
chatting to journalists after the presentation - despite Matabeleland North
governor Orbert Mpofu's attempts to block the youths from meeting the
vice-president.


The youths, who forced their way past the security cordon, told Msika that
they had been ignored several times by Mpofu and senior party officials when
they went to demand money they were promised for campaigning for Zanu PF.


"We want the $18 000 each we were promised for campaigning for Zanu PF and
some of us were injured campaigning for the party," said the youth leader
showing off his bandaged arm to Msika.


"We do not want to hear the nonsense Zanu PF officials are constantly
telling us."


Msika reacted angrily and rebuked Mpofu and other Zanu PF officials present
for neglecting the militia.


"You failed to give this young man even $1 000 for going to hospital to have
his arm treated despite working hard for the party during the election,"
said Msika.


"We were used," said the injured youth.


"We worked for you and you should pay us because we sacrificed our lives
campaigning for the party in dangerous conditions but some of the people who
were supposed to pay us put the money to their own use," the youth said.


The aggressive youths were cooled down by Msika who pulled them aside and
engaged them in a private conversation.


The militia in Bulawayo has refused to disband until the youths are paid in
full the money they were promised for campaigning for the ruling party.


Zanu PF used the militia before the hotly disputed election to unleash a
reign of terror against opposition Movement for Democratic Change supporters
in both urban and rural areas.


In Nkayi 13 youth militia members and their leader, former dissident
Rainfall Msimanga, are standing trial for allegedly murdering headman James
Sibanda amidst claims from human rights organisations that there could be
details of other human rights abuses uncovered in the district. Msika, after
a 30-minute discussion with the youths, said he was going to look into their
problems before coming back to them.


However, he refused to accept a petition written by the youths containing
their grievances.


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Zim† Independent

Tutu forms welfare trust to assist Zimbabwean farmers
Dumisani Muleya
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and donors have formed a
welfare organisation to assist Zimbabwe's embattled commercial farmers and
their workers.

The Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust (ZAWT) was established recently in
Britain to provide a focal point for international support for the
beleaguered farming community. It was registered with the UK Charities
Commission and is accountable to the Charities Commission of England and
Wales.


The organisation has two Zimbabwean and seven British trustees.


Tutu - who of late has expressed concern at the Zimbabwe situation including
President Robert Mugabe's disputed re-election - is the patron of the trust,
while humanitarian activist James Maberly is the chair.


The veteran anti-apartheid campaigner and 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner
recently said Mugabe had "gone bonkers in a big way" and criticised the
South African government for endorsing the Zimbabwean leader's controversial
election victory.


Maberly was born in Kenya and was brought up in Zimbabwe. He now works from
his studio in Suffolk holding regular exhibitions across the UK and travels
periodically to Zimbabwe.


"Our mission is to undertake the task of alleviating the hardship and
suffering amongst members of the farming community of Zimbabwe, namely
farmers, farm workers, others connected with agriculture and the families of
all such persons who have been directly affected by civil unrest," said ZAWT
administrator, Laoe Watson-Smith.


"We undertake to provide assistance with and promotion of physical and
mental health, education, financial needs and general welfare of the
agricultural community," he said.


Watson-Smith said Zimbabweans and the international community could
ill-afford to ignore the plight of local farmers and their workers.


"Agriculture is the bedrock of the ailing Zimbabwean economy, yet the
agricultural community at all levels has borne the brunt of these events,"
he said "Gangs of self-styled 'war veterans' have invaded farms, intimidated
and assaulted farmers and their workforce, appropriated or destroyed
livestock and property."


He said Zimbabwe's violent and haphazard land reforms have created a
humanitarian crisis of horrific proportions.


"Apart from the documented cases of torture and killings on Zimbabwean
farms, numerous labourers have been rendered homeless, jobless and without
access to education and healthcare as farms have had to be abandoned and
businesses closed," Watson-Smith pointed out.


However, the ZAWT said it recognised the need for fundamental land reform in
Zimbabwe and the right of all Zimbabweans to democratically determine their
futures.


"ZAWT has no political allegiance or agenda," said Watson-Smith. "Its aims
are purely humanitarian in that by supporting the individual people,
families and communities who make up the human side of Zimbabwean
agriculture, we may contribute to keeping a key part of Zimbabwean society,
as well as its economy, alive."


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Zim† Independent

Tories call on EU to extend sanctions
Vincent Kahiya
BRITAIN'S opposition Conservative Party this week called on the European
Union to extend travel sanctions to cover Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe
and spouses of targeted politicians.

During question time in the House of Lords on Tuesday the Tories complained
that Grace Mugabe could still come to London for shopping under existing
rules.


Tory ex-minister Lord Blaker asked at question time: "Am I right in
believing that the sanctions that were imposed by the European Union on Mr
Mugabe and his cronies in respect of foreign travel and foreign assets do
not apply to the spouses and families of those people?


"If so, should not those sanctions be extended, or are we content that Mrs
Mugabe could still come here and shop at Harrods?"


Junior Foreign Office minister Baroness Amos in reply confirmed that current
EU sanctions did not apply to spouses and children but said European foreign
ministers will next month consider extending the measures.


"The General Affairs Council will clearly wish to return to that. It will
discuss Zimbabwe at its next meeting in June," she said.


Lord Howell of Guildford deplored President Mugabe's visit to New York to
attend a United Nations conference on children and Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri's visit to France to attend an Interpol conference.


"My Lords, while the children in Harare are starving and apparently hunting
in dustbins for food, is it correct that Mr Mugabe has been attending a UN
conference on child poverty in New York?" he asked.


"Is it also correct that the blood-stained chief of police, Mr Chihuri, has
been attending a police conference in Lille?"


"Who permitted these sanctioned individuals to travel? Why were they not
apprehended and sent back to their own country at the very least, and what
do the sanctions mean if they allow people who have committed or sanctioned
atrocities to wander around the world at will?" he asked.


Baroness Amos replied that international treaty obligations had allowed
Mugabe to attend the recent UN conference in New York and his police chief
to attend the Interpol meeting in Lille.


The EU imposed targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe in February at a meeting in
Brussels following the expulsion from Zimbabwe of Pierre Schori, head of the
EU observer team. The sanctions include a ban on Zimbabwe's ruling elite
travelling to the EU, the freezing of financial assets held by politicians
in the EU and an arms embargo.


The United States has also imposed travel restrictions on named associates
of Mugabe and their spouses but these do not cover children


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Zim† Independent

Bennett complains of CIO threats
Blessing Zulu
MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) member of parliament for Chimanimani
Roy Bennett says he has been threatened by Central Intelligence Organisation
operative Joseph Mwale in the presence of the police.

Mwale is said to have openly threatened Bennett after he had been summoned
to Chimanimani police station last week by a Chief Superintendent Mabvunda
to discuss disturbances on his farm and in the area. Zanu PF supporters have
invaded the farm and are disrupting farming operations.


"As we were talking, Mwale openly told me that he was a man of action and
not words," said Bennett.


"He said he could make things happen and that I was going to hang." Bennett
claims at the same meeting on May 16 Mwale told him he was going to ensure
that his farm was designated.


"On Saturday (May 18) I was served with a Section 8 notice but the letter
had no official stamp on it," said Bennett.


The situation is still very tense on Bennett's farm where the majority of
the settlers are members of the army's 3 Brigade based in Mutare.


Mwale and war veteran Kainos Tom "Kitsiyatota" Zimunya are alleged to have
killed two MDC activists, Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika in the run-up
to the 2000 parliamentary election. The two activists were petrol-bombed in
their car near Murambinda while campaigning for MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
in Buhera.


Justice James Devitte asked the Attorney- General to investigate the matter.


The AG's office this week said they had asked police to investigate the
matter but nothing had been done.


Bennett claimed members of the police, the CIO and the army have been
harassing MDC officials at their offices and they were now seeking a peace
order.


"As the democratically elected MP, I would also like to raise the issue of
army and police PISI details who have been entering the MDC offices
threatening those present with death and abusing them with racial threats
against me," Bennett said in a letter written earlier this month to the
Member in Charge of ZRP Chimanimani, Chief Inspector Chogugudza.


"I would like to reiterate that I would like nothing more than a cordial
relationship between myself as the MP, the membership of the MDC and
government de-tails who should be maintaining an unpartisan stance in the
interest of the nation," the letter says


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Zim† Independent

EU parly refuses to endorse Mugabe re-election
Godfrey Marawanyika
THE European Union is likely to widen its sanctions net following the
European Parliament's resolution not to recognise President Mugabe's
re-election.

European parliamentarians (MEPs) who met in Strasbourg last week to debate
the situation in Zimbabwe unanimously supported calls for tougher sanctions
against Harare.


The MEPs 18-point resolution will be delivered to European Union ministers
and the United Nations Security Council. In the resolution the MEPs said
there was a need to re-run the election.


They confirmed the EU's earlier verdict that the presidential election of
March 9/11 was deeply flawed and was not free and fair.


"The European Parliament reiterates its view that the presidential election
of March 9/11 2002 was deeply flawed and that the circumstances in which it
was held were certainly not free and fair and, accordingly, does not
recognise the legitimacy of the Mugabe regime," the resolution said.


"The EU Parliament insists that the situation in Zimbabwe remains a high
priority for the EU and wider international community and that all efforts
should be made to bring about a benign change in the situation, including
the raising of the Zimbabwe issue by EU member states in the UN Security
Council."


The MEPs also expressed their concern at the breakdown of law and order
whilst applauding the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth.


They demanded that treason charges levelled against Movement for Democratic
Change leaders be dropped.


"Parliament demands that charges of treason brought against Morgan
Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube be dropped, that all draconian legislation
adopted by the government in recent months to restrict freedom of speech,
freedom of the media and democracy in Zimbabwe be rescinded and that those
involved in acts of murder and intimidation be brought to justice.


"The EP calls for a fresh presidential election to be held within 12 months,
according to internationally-accepted norms under the auspices of
independent international observers," the resolution said.


South African President Thabo Mbeki was asked to show consistent support for
the principles of democracy, human rights and rule of law and regional
leaders were asked to sever ties with Harare.


The MEPs called for the extension of the EU's list of banned Mugabe
associates to include key figures such as vice-presidents, all ministers,
senior military, police and secret service commanders and leading
businessmen who have helped to bankroll Zanu PF or benefited from its
corrupt activities.


"The list of banned Mugabe associates should also include their respective
spouses and children, as they also spend illegally-acquired money abroad,"
the MEPs said.


They also called for publication of details pertaining to assets already
identified and frozen as a result of targeted sanctions and drawing rights
in international financial institutions.


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From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 24 May

Mugabe sees ruin of the farms

Mike Mackenzie could not believe his eyes when a motorcade of gleaming Mercedes escorted by motorcycle outriders roared up the drive of his Zimbabwean farm carrying President Robert Mugabe. Mr Mackenzie, one of 4,000 white farmers whom Mr Mugabe's government is intent on dispossessing, found himself playing host to an impeccably courteous president who feigned surprise at the news that the farm had all but been brought to a halt. "He was very, very pleasant, relaxed, warm to us, the whole family. We took pictures of him with us, he signed a map of the farm in my office and I showed him around," said Mr Mackenzie, 68. The impromptu visit to Clydesdale farm near Banket, 55 miles north west of Harare, was unprecedented in the two years since Mr Mugabe launched the invasions of white-owned land.

The farmer's first warning of the presidential visit came when he walked into his office and found Joseph Made, the agriculture minister, sitting behind his desk. Mr Made said Mr Mugabe was on his way. The motorcade arrived, carrying Mr Mugabe, his wife, Grace, Peter Chanetsa, the provincial governor, and a posse of armed security men en route to a nearby lake. "He greeted us warmly," said Mr Mackenzie. "I was surprised, but pleased to see him. I took it as a sign from God. I took him around the farm . . . I didn't tell him of our troubles because I wasn't asked." Along with 2,000 other farms, Clydesdale was invaded by Mr Mugabe's supporters last year and about 40 are occupying its 3,000 acres. Last week, Mr Mackenzie was served with an eviction notice giving him three months to leave.

Throughout the crisis Mr Mugabe has consistently used white farmers as a convenient scapegoat and urged his supporters to seize their properties. Yet as he toured the farm he appeared oblivious to the destruction wrought in his name. He wanted to know why a 140-acre field had not been planted with wheat, desperately needed to avert Zimbabwe's disastrous food shortage. Grace Mugabe, described as "charming" by Mr Mackenzie, intervened before he could answer. "She pointed to this small field of cotton and said, 'That's why'. " The occupiers now decide what crops can be planted when, and the cotton, which they had sown, had prevented Mr Mackenzie from growing his usual 175 acres of wheat. Mr Mugabe cast an approving eye over Clydesdale's 160-acre citrus orchard and then saw that no fields had been cleared for a tobacco crop. He asked why. Mr Mackenzie tactfully replied that, as the government had given him three months to leave, "we didn't know whether we would still be here to grow another crop". Mr Mugabe was introduced to Mr Mackenzie's wife, Liz, and their white farm manager. "He was interested in everything," said Mr Mackenzie. "He wanted to know our family history and I told him my father arrived from Scotland in 1925, went broke and went back there, then went broke in Scotland and came back here in 1938. We have been here ever since."

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From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 24 May

Press Still Enemy No 1 in Zim

Harare - Journalism was never the safest line of work in Zimbabwe, but since President Robert Mugabe enacted a new media law just days after his messy re-election, the job hazards are growing. Eleven journalists from the private and foreign press have been arrested in the 10 weeks since the law took effect - more if you count those who were just questioned by police and those who have been arrested more than once. Nine are being prosecuted under the euphemistically titled Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the parade of journalists through police stations shows no sign of ending. A further worrying development is a crackdown by the Zimbabwean authorities on local journalists providing critical reportage for foreign publications. Minister of Information Jonathan Moyo is known to be intent on identifying such journalists and shutting them down. A Zimbabwean journalist has been suspended after writing for the Mail & Guardian. It is suspected that the Zimbabwean High Commission in South Africa relayed the journalist's name to the Zimbabwean authorities.

On Wednesday Andrew Meldrum, a correspondent for Britain's The Guardian, among others, and Zimbabwean journalist Lloyd Mudiwa of the Daily News, were remanded out of custody until May 30. They face charges of publishing falsehoods under a provision of the act called "abuse of journalistic privilege". Their case stemmed from a front-page story in the Daily News, alleging that a woman had been beheaded by Zanu PF supporters. The story was later proved false and both the Daily News and The Guardian published corrections. Another Daily News reporter, Collin Chiwanza, was arrested over the beheading story, but a judge tossed out the charges against him. Daily News editor Geoff Nyarota was detained for four hours on Monday and charged for the same story. He was charged on April 15 with fabricating information, for a story alleging the registrar general had manipulated election results. Another editor, Bornwell Chakaodza of the weekly The Standard, and his reporter, Farayi Kanyuchi, were arrested for the second time in less than a week on Tuesday over a story claiming that police were having sex with prostitutes instead of arresting them. Their first arrest was related to the story, the second related to the accompanying rear shot of a prostitute wearing a thong.

The Foreign Correspondents' Association has filed a lawsuit asking the supreme court to declare the most restrictive parts of the law unconstitutional violations of free speech. But the court, which was expanded last year to include four new judges considered loyal to Mugabe, ruled last week that the matter was not urgent, meaning the case could languish for months in the court docket. Lawyers for local media are coordinating with the foreign correspondents to challenge the law from different angles, but in the meantime they expect to continue their weekly trips to the magistrate's court. The new law gives Moyo sweeping powers to decide who can work as a journalist and to discipline journalists through a new commission. It also limits foreign ownership of media in Zimbabwe and bars foreigners from working as correspondents based permanently here. Moyo, already known for his venomous and personal attacks on journalists, cleared any doubts about his view of press rights when in the state-run Herald he called press freedom "only a small and subsidiary part" of constitutional guarantees of free expression. The government's crackdown has drawn condemnation from regional and international press rights groups. The Paris-based Reporters without Borders earlier this month declared Zimbabwe one of the 10 worst countries in the world in which to work as journalists - ranking it alongside war zones like the West Bank and Afghanistan.

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Telegraph

President hands land seized from whites to cronies
By David Blair, Foreign Staff
(Filed: 24/05/2002)

Almost 300,000 acres of prime land seized from white farmers in Zimbabwe has been handed out to President Mugabe's closest allies, including 10 cabinet ministers, seven MPs and his brother-in-law. Land has also gone to key officials who supervised the widely condemned presidential polls in March, when Mr Mugabe won re-election after a violent campaign. Zimbabwe's army commander, its police chief and the civil servants placed in charge of the land seizures have rewarded themselves with farms. Mr Mugabe's land campaign, which targets 95 per cent of the 4,000 white farmers for dispossession, is supposedly aimed at helping the rural poor.

Yet the launch of the Model A2 resettlement scheme last November, designed to create a new class of black commercial farmer, has sparked a scramble for land by Zimbabwe's elite. The winners names have been listed in successive editions of the weekly Sunday Mail. Most have staked their gains in the two months since the election. An analysis of these official lists shows that almost half of Mr Mugabe's cabinet has been given land. Herbert Murerwa, the industry and trade minister, has been awarded Rise Holm farm near Arcturus, east of Harare. David Parirenyatwa, the acting health minister, has been allocated Rudolphia farm in the same area. Swithun Mombeshora, the transport minister, has won Ormeston farm near Lion's Den, north-west of Harare. Vice-President Joseph Msika has been given a farm in the Umguza block in Matabeleland North province, while Reward Marufu, Mr Mugabe's brother-in-law, received Leopard's Vlei farm near Glendale, north of Harare.

Squatters invaded many of these properties when they were owned by white farmers. Mr Mugabe refused to evict the occupiers, but attitudes have changed since the farms were handed out to the black elite and many of the squatters have been moved on, clearing the way for the new owners. A member of the farming community said this sudden willingness to apply the law was evidence of "cherry-picking" by the president's allies in his Zanu PF party. "We wondered why the occupiers were being moved off and then we saw who the new owners were. This is an effort to supplant a white face with a black fat-cat face," he said.

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