You will all have seen the news release about the Wheeler
family from West
Nicholson. They have been barricaded in their home since
16th April. Twin
River Ranch is their only farm and it is being acquired
despite the Abuja
Accord and government policy stating that single owned
farms would not be
I wanted to share with you this
communication from the Wheeler children.
Vilanda and Eric did not start
school today, they spent the day with their
parents and farm manager, Mr
Mazhvo and his wife who are all barricaded in
blessing goes like this...."Hold on to what is good, even if it's
of earth', Hold on to what you believe, even if it's a tree that
itself, Hold on to what you must do, even if it's a long way from
on to your life, even if it's easier to let go, Hold onto my
hand, even when
I am far away."
VILANDA WHEELER (16 yrs)
I am a
Form Four pupil at Petra High School in Bulawayo. I would like you to
what has transpired in the school holidays that have just gone by.
started off as a peaceful holiday ended in a nightmare. Our water and
supplies have been cut off for the past 21 days. Our water for washing
drinking is collected by ourselves about 60m away from our homestead
plastic containers. Every day, for the last 21 days, we have been told
get off our ranch. We have been barricaded in with wooden Mopani booms
all the entrances into our ranch. All our workers were fired by
Magogorosi Ndou, a so-called war veteran.
I am dreading going
back to school and leaving my home since this is the
only home I have ever
known, and if I should leave I may never see it again.
I don't want to leave
my mum and dad and my dogs. Our food supplies are
running low and when we
attempted to get food in, they took away our land
rover and the next day,
when we got our vehicle back most of our supplies
night they take turns in patrolling around our security fence, at
blowing whistles and beating drums. My dad also had to move his cattle
different location because they stole the diesel engine off the borehole
left the cattle to die of thirst.
We will keep on praying to GOD
to give us strength in this time of
WHEELER (13 yrs)
I am a Form One pupil at Petra High School in Bulawayo.
A peaceful holiday
turned out to be a nightmare. It all started on 16 April
Magogorosi Ndou and others ordered us to leave our property.
Since that day,
they have been coming daily shouting and screaming for us to
property. On the 20th there were at least 70 so-called
veterans/settlers) most of them under the age of 24 yrs singing and
drums and blowing a kudu horn. Thanks to our dogs they could not
break in to
our yard. During this time they chased good friends of ours who
at our safari camp threatening to burn their company car and
that they had
to be off by 4pm that same day.
The MP of our area, a
Mr. Mohadi was addressing people in the area telling
them to get us off the
farm. On the 21st April they fired all our staff
except for our manager, Mr.
Mazhvo and his wife. Mr. Mazhvo is a 32 percent
disabled man who has stood by
us through all these problems.
The following items were stolen:
A 5yr guarantee battery off one of our generators
2) One wheelbarrow
Three Lister diesel engines
4) 32 head of cattle
5) Hosepipes for watering
our garden (safari camp)
6) Supplies from well-wishers were also stolen from
our land rover when Mr.
Mazhvo attempted to bring the supplies us.
are all very grateful to our God for giving us the strength and courage
for keeping us safe. Thanks also to all the prayers and the very many
calls we receive daily from people all over our beautiful
For more information, please contact Jenni
Mobile (Code +263) 91 300 456 or 11 213 885
(+2639) 72546 Fax 63978
Farm Invasions And Security Report
Tuesday 7 May 2002
This report does not purport
to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming
areas. Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from
reporting all that happens. Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are
omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF
· Border Gezi's wife
visited Bodele and Karima Farms, Bindura, stating she will be sending tractors
and using the owners’ irrigation equipment to plant wheat.
· Karoi North -
the Songalala Farm owner was preparing for wheat planting, when settlers stopped
him, stating they will allow him to continue if he does a 50:50 deal with them.
He produced a wheat model depicting costs, which they rejected as “it was too
expensive”. Later on they said the deal “is off” and the owner must get off his
farm with his cattle. He has done so.
· On Parklands Farm, Norton, which Mrs
Rusike controls, preparation and planting of over 800 ha of wheat was
· Chakari - Farmers are still not allowed to grow any wheat in this
· Kadoma - No farmers are allowed to grow any wheat, unless things
change in the next few days.
· Battlefields - No one is able to grow any
wheat, unless things change in the next few days.
· Kwekwe - On Loozane, a
bull wildebeest was found slaughtered. When six men with dogs came to collect
the beast, they were ambushed by security. The poachers were taken to court,
where they claimed they were visiting farm labour and knew nothing about the
beast. The case could not be proved.
Chipinge – Mrs. Mhlambo
chased off labour from Kenilworth and Glenree Farms on 06.05.02. On Lushoff
there is continued harassment of cattle with 67 now missing. On the night of
04.05.02, the labour were beaten up and ZW$ 1 million worth of milking machinery
stolen. The following day the dairy cattle were prevented from going out to
graze. The Police and Land Commission arrived to “sort out” the problem and the
owner was asked for 20 bags of maize.
Headlands – as reported in a special
bulletin, Dr. CJ Jones was shot in the back on the evening of 03.05.02, she
returned to the farm with the farm wages. She is in a stable condition in
hospital. On Sunrise Farm, the guards were told they must not guard the house
or outbuildings, as the property no longer belonged to the owner.
Mvurwi - The
situation on Msonedi Estate has not changed with a work stoppage on the farm.
Pegging by A2 settlers has begun on Waddon Chase. The owners of Hariana were
evicted from the farm. The problems concerning the picking of citrus on
Mandindindi Farm have been resolved.
Bindura - Border Gezi's wife visited
Bodele and Karima Farms, stating she will be sending tractors and using the
owners’ irrigation equipment to plant wheat.
Horseshoe - Negotiations are in
progress concerning ownership of the citrus and labour terminations on Nyavuti
Farm. The remaining unpegged farms are being allocated 400 ha. The owner of
Nyamfuta farm has been ordered to vacate his farm by the end of the morning on
Macheke/Virginia – there is ongoing stocktheft.
Some farms had settlers removed by Support Unit and were told no new invasions
would be tolerated. One farm has ongoing problems where the labour was told to
take up plots or leave. The owner phoned the Police who said they could not
Wedza – there is ongoing ploughing using owners’ tractors and diesel,
with threats if owners do not comply they must leave. Cattle that have been
bought are stopped at roadblocks set up by the settlers and are not allowed to
leave. Ongoing theft all over the district.
Chinhoyi - Kingspeak Farm reports 200 ha of Rhodes Grass
was burnt by an A2 settler, because the settler was preparing his land and lit
the grass Over the last three months, the Magondi Farm owner has lost 18 cattle,
13 of which to poachers using snares, spears etc., and 5 were poisoned. It
transpired the stock thieves have restarted operations using chemicals mixed
with salt for killing game and cattle. This regional office suspects temic or
monochrotophos but samples will be taken for analysing. Impala, kudu and
warthog were found dead in the same area. The matter was reported to the Police
on 3.05.02 who to date have not responded. Farmers must be made aware of this
problem/practice. Death is very quick and cattle and game are usually found in
close proximity of the poison site.
Karoi North – on 14.04.02, the
Songalala Farm owner was cutting tobacco stalks and preparing for wheat
planting, when the settlers stopped him stating they will allow him to continue
if he does a 50:50 deal with them. He produced a wheat model depicting costs,
which they rejected as “it was too expensive”. Last week they said the deal “is
off” and the owner must get off his farm with his cattle. On 06.05.02, early
morning, he had to leave. The owner of Wajetsi Farm returned to his farm and
within 40 minutes, the settlers/"war vets" broke down his gates and sat on his
verandah and will not allow him to operate.
Umboe – the Long Valley Farm
owner tried to move his cattle by truck. A "war vet" appeared and extorted 27
head as “compensation” for the cattle eating his maize - a fabricated story.
Banket - Northwood Farm was invaded last week and communal cattle were moved on
to the farm.
MASHONALAND WEST (SOUTH)
Norton - Along
the Porta Road things continue to deteriorate. On Crebilly the owner has not
been able to return to his farm for some time and it is understood occupiers
have moved into his house. On River Gardens invaders have commandeered the
owner’s tractors and are ploughing, despite the farm not ever being listed. The
owner is still unable to return. On Wilbred the owner is still unable to return
to his farm after it was trashed by Mrs Rusike and company. All his household
goods were stolen costing approximately ZW$ 10 million. Mrs Rusike was also
involved with other crimes involving firearms, stock theft etc but was just
released on bail. On Parklands Farm, which Mrs Rusike controls, preparation and
planting of over 800 ha of wheat was prevented. On Gowrie Farm, where Terry
Ford was murdered, much of his stock has been slaughtered and his son is not
allowed to live on the property. Occupiers have chased off management on a
number of occasions when they have tried to see to Terry Ford’s affairs. All
these properties fall under Zvimba district, under Sabina Mugabe's area. The
rest of the Norton area, apart from Agritex pegging and various threats bandied
about, is generally limping along with a small semblance of production taking
Selous - The owner of one property is still not able to get back to
his house. On Umfuli Banks a Chartered Accountant from Harare by the name of
Dzumbunu has commandeered the owner’s pipes and is using the pumps and water to
grow wheat, depriving the owner of his only source of income. The pipes in use
equate to approximately ZW$ 20 million. The owner has no other farm and Mr
Dzumbunu has no letter from the Governor although he says that Minister Chombo
has given him verbal authority. He has so far planted 15 hectares.
The Deputy Minister of Justice is depriving the owner of Faun Farm of his only
source of income by ploughing up his lands and using his water and irrigation
facilities. Faun Farm has not been acquired by Government and is a fully
productive single owned farm.
Chakari - On Tawstock there was a dairy cow
slaughtered and A2 settlers told the owner they wish to move into his house.
The owner has the MP for the area, Mr Ziyambi, forcibly living in his manager’s
cottage in the garden. Farmers are still not allowed to grow any wheat in this
Kadoma - No farmers are allowed to grow any wheat, unless things change
in the next few days.
Battlefields - No one is able to grow any wheat, unless
things change in the next few days.
Masvingo East and Central - No reports
received from this area
Chiredzi - No reports received from this
Mwenezi - illegal movement of goats and cattle continue in this area. On
27.04.02, goats were transported into this area from an area west of Beit
Bridge. Police and the Veterinary Department are aware of this situation.
Kleinbegin Ranch reported a gathering of about 100 people on 04.05.02.
Officials from Gwanda were present. A weapon was also seen on one of the
settlers. A Giraffe came down to the waterhole to drink and was shot by the
settlers, with the meat taken and shared amongst all present. More cattle and
goats have come on to the property, which was reported to Chief Animal Inspector
Mutandi. No reaction as yet.
Gutu / Chatsworth – the Chomfuli Farm owner
received a Section 8 Order for Lot 2 of Chomfuli. Settlers are ploughing up
owner’s fields on the other property not yet listed. Wire theft is occurring
daily. No response from the Police.
Save Conservancy - Continued poaching and
movement of people.
General - Maize theft and
stocktheft is rampant throughout the region. Inhabitants of the Chiwundura
communal area are suspected in most cases of maize theft. Police are
Kwekwe - on Forestvale there were three incidents of maize seed
theft, to a total value of ZW$ 120 000. In all cases arrests were made and the
perpetrators convicted. Police have been very helpful. On Loozane, a bull
wildebeest was found slaughtered. When six men with dogs came to collect the
beast, they were ambushed by security. When the poachers were taken to court,
they claimed that they were visiting farm labour and knew nothing about the
beast and so the case could not be proved. Agritex are on five farms in the
Kwekwe District, pegging them into plots of 500 Ha or less. Agritex are
recruiting for help with this exercise.
Unless specifically stated that this message is
a Commercial Farmers' Union communiqué, or that it is being issued or forwarded
to you by the sender in an official CFU capacity, the opinions contained therein
are private. Private messages also include those sent on behalf of any
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legal responsibility for private messages and opinions held by the sender and
transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users and/or to
Court deals blow to Mugabe's citizenship law
May 07 2002 at
Harare - Zimbabwe's government conceded on Tuesday in a
high court that it
cannot strip rights activist Judith Todd of her Zimbabwean
if she could qualify for a passport from another
"I concede the heads of argument presented by the applicant, so
I have no
further submissions to make," Nelson Mutsonziwa from the
office told the court.
Zimbabwe's government had
refused to renew Todd's passport, saying that she
was a citizen of New
Zealand because her parents were born there.
Government argued that a
1943 New Zealand law gave citizenship to anyone
whose parents were born in
Todd's lawyer, Bryant Elliot, said Zimbabwean law required
an expert from
New Zealand be present in court, if that nation's laws were to
He also argued that Zimbabwean law automatically gives
citizenship to anyone
Judge Sandra Mungwira is expected to
hand down her judgment on Wednesday.
Both Todd's parents were born in New
Zealand, but she was born in Zimbabwe,
when it was the British colony of
Rhodesia. Her father, Garfield Todd, is a
former prime minister of
She has never sought a New Zealand passport.
is an activist who supported Zimbabwe's liberation struggle but
opposes President Robert Mugabe, accusing his government of
Todd's case could have wide-ranging implications for all
In March last year a law was passed
that required anyone wishing to retain
Zimbabwean citizenship to renounce any
right to foreign citizenship - even
if they had never held a foreign
A high court judge had ruled in February that people cannot
give up a right,
but only a citizenship they actually hold.
targeted the estimated 30 000 white Zimbabweans who were entitled to
foreign passport and tens of thousands of blacks whose parents
grandparents had immigrated from neighbouring nations.
critics had feared the law would bar people with foreign-sounding
well as the small white minority from voting because they had
their entitlement to foreign citizenship.
The legislation was viewed as
part of a wide-ranging strategy to ensure
Mugabe's re-election in the
elections. - Sapa-AFP
Zimbabwe court tosses out one charge, upholds two
7 AFP|Published: Wednesday May 8, 3:00 AM
A magistrate court in
Zimbabwe tossed out charges against one reporter,
while placing two others on
remand today, over charges of "abuse of
Magistrate Lilian Kudya tossed out charges against Collin
reporter for the independent Daily News.
But she placed
his colleague Lloyd Mudiwa and US journalist Andrew Meldrum,
who writes for
Britain's The Guardian, on remand until May 22.
The three were arrested
last week over the story alleging that a Zimbabwean
woman had been
decapitated by pro-government militias in full view of her
The story has been denied by police, while the Daily News has
running the story.
The opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), which initially backed
the story, later said it was
Kudya last Thursday released the three from police custody while
considered their lawyers' request to either toss out the case or make
appeal to the Supreme Court.
A fourth journalist, columnist Pius
Wakatama of the Daily News, was arrested
yesterday over the same
Zimbabwe journalists trial goes
A court in Zimbabwe has denied a call by two journalists to dismiss charges
against them of violating a new media law.
The magistrate, Lilian Kudya, said the trial of the two - Andrew Meldrum, of
the British Guardian newspaper, and Lloyd Mudiwa of Zimbabwe's Daily News -
would start on 22 May.
A third defendant, Collin Chiwanza, was cleared.
The two men are accused of abusing journalistic privileges and publishing
false information, offences which can now carry a two-year jail sentence in
The case arises out of reports - published by the two journalists but later
found to be unsubstantiated - that a woman had been beheaded by supporters of
the ruling Zanu-PF party.
Critics of the new laws in Zimbabwe fear they are aimed at stifling free
speech and suppressing dissent against the government.
From the newsroom of the BBC World Service
Zimbabwe can survive Western sanctions -
ZIMBABWE can still post positive
economic growth even if the current
threats of sanctions against the country
by some Western countries are
implemented, a Cuban government official has
said. Cuban first deputy
minister of foreign affairs, Fernando Remirez de
Estenoz, said the
Zimbabwean economy, which is depended on agriculture, has
the resiliency to
withstand any sanctions imposed by the West.
"Cuba enjoyed a total economic growth of 25 percent in six years
reinforcement of sanctions against the country by the US. "So, I
any reason why Zimbabwe, which a stronger economy, can not survive
sanctions," said Remirez de Estenoz, who was recently in the country on
The US has imposed a travel ban on President
Robert Mugabe and his
close associates while several other western countries
have frozen aid
alleging the absence of rule of law and a rigged
Losing opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
Tsvangirai, has been calling on the international community to
economic sanctions against President Robert Mugabe's
Remirez de Estenoz said in the case of economic
Zimbabwe, Mugabe's government should seek alternative trade
especially in developing countries, in the spirit To Page b7Caiphas
ZIMBABWE can still post positive economic growth even if the current
of sanctions against the country by some Western countries are
a Cuban government official has said. Cuban first deputy
minister of foreign
affairs, Fernando Remirez de Estenoz, said the Zimbabwean
economy, which is
depended on agriculture, has the resiliency to withstand
imposed by the West. "Cuba enjoyed a total economic growth of
25 percent in
six years despite the reinforcement of sanctions against the
country by the
US. "So, I don't see any reason why Zimbabwe, which a stronger
not survive any sanctions," said Remirez de Estenoz, who was
recently in the
country on a solidarity visit.
The US has
imposed a travel ban on President Robert Mugabe and his
while several other western countries have frozen aid
alleging the absence of
rule of law and a rigged election.
Losing opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai, has been calling on the
international community to impose
economic sanctions against President Robert
Remirez de Estenoz said in the case of
economic sanctions against
Zimbabwe, Mugabe's government should seek
alternative trade markets,
especially in developing countries, in the spirit
of the South-South
"Apart from that, unity of the
Zimbabwean people including the
leadership, is of paramount importance
especially when a country is facing
case of Cuba, the people and the leadership are united and we
succeeding," said Remirez de Estenoz, whose country endorsed
re-election in the March poll.
But registering a
growth would be mammoth task, as the economy
continues to recede. The economy
has suffered from negative growth over the
past years, registering -1 percent
in 1999, -4.2 percent in 2000 and about 8
percent last year. Some economists
predicted a further fall of 12 percent
for this year.
between the two countries started during Zimbabwe's armed
British colonialism. President Castro provided technical
support to the freedom fighters. But bilateral trade between
Cuba is insignificant. The Cuban economy is depended on
(sugar and tobacco), mining and pharmaceuticals.
Said Remirez de
Estenoz," Our commercial relations are not that big
and there is need to
re-look at that area." Despite the US blockade, said
the Cuban government
official, the country has been able to increase revenue
generation from such
sectors as tourism.
Over the last ten years, the number of tourists
Last year alone, 1.8 million tourists visited Cuba up
from 300 000 in 1996.
Improvements have also been registered in education,
health and social
security. Presently, Cuba has 700 000 university graduates
from 57 campuses.
In total, Cuba has 67 000 medical doctors, of
which 130 are in helping
in the country. About 2 500 others are in 20
countries in Africa, Central
America and the Caribbean helping out different
health projects. "You can
see that despite the sanctions, we are even helping
countries," said Remirez de Estenoz, who added that Cuba has
made a proposal
to the United Nations to provide 4 000 doctors and create 20
of medicine in developing countries to fight the Aids
The US imposed sanctions against Cuba in 1962 shortly
Fidel Castro seized power in a revolution on the island. The
embargo was a
response to Castro's nationalisation of American-owned
sought to deprive Cuba of foreign exchange and hasten the end
Before 1962, more than two-thirds of Cuba's foreign trade had
been with the
US - so when the embargo came into effect Cuba had to find
markets, and it became highly dependent on the Soviet
BA reintroduces direct Harare-London service
BRITISH AIRWAYS (BA) is to reintroduce direct flight services from Harare
to London this month to retrace one of their three return flights a week out of
BA general manager Peter Best said the changes coincide with the recent
introduction of the hi-tech Boeing 777, the airline’s aircraft that will operate
the long haul route from Zimbabwe to United Kingdom.
“The Boeing 777 is probably the most modern aircraft in the BA fleet and one
of the most tested and fuel efficient aircraft in the sky today,” he said.
Powered by two sophisticated Rolls Royce engines, each capable of more than
100 thousand pounds of thrust, the aircraft’s engines are twice powered as those
on the Boeing 747s. The direct services were scheduled to start yesterday. It
will depart Harare on every Thursday and Sunday night, and arrive in London the
following morning. Return flights from London are scheduled for the same days.
“This means that the northbound flights will arrive in London in the early
morning, allowing passengers to have a full and exciting day in front of them.
It is beneficial to business people who will be able to land in London on Monday
just in time for the start of the week,” he said.
He however said the southbound return flight; passengers will be able to
experience the magnificent transcontinental daylight flights.
The long haul flights will offer a very few opportunities for passengers to
experience what it feels like to cross-continents during the day. BA’s daylight
flight from London provides the opportunity for passengers to view the recesses
of the European and African continents by day.
“The Boeing 777 will also offer travellers an unparalleled safety record
which is combined with a convenient travel scheduled to customer needs,” he
added. The 777, the first air craft to be completely designed on computer, was
created over a 5 year period with input from BA, Boeing and General Electric.
Before its launch in the country, in March this year, the aircraft went
through one of the most comprehensive testing programme in commercial aviation
history, involving 7 000 flying hours and 4 900 flight cycles.
BA became the first airline firm to take delivery of the long ranch Boeing
777 in the February 1997. To date, the airline has 38 of these aircraft.
CIO boss linked to man behind beheading
5/7/02 8:20:30 AM (GMT +2)
Ruhanya Chief Reporter
THE Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
Chitungwiza branch may
have engaged George Nyadzayo, alias Enos
Tadyanemhandu, to approach the MDC,
with his fabricated story of a beheaded
wife to establish if the party was
still financially sound.
CIO has denied any connection with Nyadzayo, the still missing
boyfriend of the dead woman.
But investigations into the death of
Blandina Ntoko Musopero, whose
very existence the police denied when the
story of her death first broke,
have linked the boyfriend to the
Nyadzayo is now alleged to have been assigned by the
officer-in-charge at Makoni post in Chitungwiza, named only as
A source, who asked not to be named, said yesterday:
the story because he wanted to find out if the MDC still had
money after the
opposition party was rumoured to be broke following the
"Sigauke wanted to establish if the MDC
was still able to pay its
displaced people, as well as what its financial
position was after its High
Court application challenging the outcome of the
The source alleged that when Sigauke heard
that Blandina had died, he
instructed Nyadzayo, her boyfriend, to ask the MDC
to give him money for
as Tadyanemhandu, claimed his wife, Blandina,
was beheaded by alleged Zanu PF
youths in Magunje. The story has been proved
to be a complete invention. The
MDC paid him $19 800.
The source said: "The CIO mission was
accomplished because when the
MDC paid Nyadzayo, the CIO got to know that the
party was still financially
"But it was not part of the
CIO's plan to send Nyadzayo to The Daily
News. In fact, the CIO officers in
Chitungwiza were completely surprised
when the story appeared in the
The paper obtained Nyadzayo's story after he approached the
When the MDC realised later that it had been
swindled by Nyadzayo and
decided to press charges against him, the police
would not arrest him.
When the reporter called the CIO offices in
Chitungwiza yesterday for
a comment from Sigauke, a receptionist initially
denied such a person worked
But when the reporter
insisted Sigauke was the head of the CIO office
there, he was called to the
Sigauke denied the allegations, saying: "Where is
Did he approach you? I did not assign anything to such a
person. I do not
even know such a person."
While Sigauke denied
knowledge of Nyadzayo, investigations have
revealed that Sigauke owns a shop
called China G. Malati Investments, at
Zhakata shops in Seke communal
Sigauke's shop is about 400 metres away from the late
Musopero's residence. Neighbours said yesterday Sigauke used
Nyadzayo piecework at his shop.
A worker at the shop
yesterday confirmed it was indeed owned by
Sigauke, saying: "Sigauke is away
at the moment, but on Sunday he said he
would come to the shop early
Blandina was Nyadzayo's girlfriend. She died of natural
causes on 14
On Sunday, Blandina's relatives,
including her son, Ngoni Ntoko,19,
and daughter, Sharon, 25, said her correct
name was not Blandina
Tadyanemhandu, as she was only a girlfriend to the man
The family denied that Blandina
was killed by Zanu PF supporters as
alleged by Nyadzayo while masquerading as
Tadyanemhandu. She had been
operated on before her death.
said they are four siblings in the family. The other two are
He said Nyadzayo was his mother's boyfriend from 1997
divorced his father, Magombo Ntoko, who died in
Since their parents' divorce, they have been staying with
maternal uncle, Mhondiwa Musopero, in Zhakata village.
Sharon, now married, also confirmed Ngoni's story.
On Sunday Ngoni
took reporters to his mother's grave outside the
epitaph states that indeed it is Blandina who is buried in
Bennie Tumbare-Mutasa, the MP for Seke, was conned by
parting with some money. Nyadzayo claimed that he needed the
cash to look
after his family after his home was allegedly burnt down by Zanu
supporters in March.
The MDC MP and the police in Dema
discovered that they had been lied
During that incident the
purported Tadyanemhandu gave George Nyadzayo
as his name.
Nyadzayo's false story has led to the arrest of two Daily News
Collin Chiwanza and Lloyd Mudiwa, and the British Guardian's
Fate of farm workers hangs in balance as tension
5/7/02 8:54:25 AM (GMT +2)
The situation at Blackfordby Farm, near Harare, remains
several farm workers have been evicted from their houses by war
have settled there illegally.
The 420-hectare farm,
owned by the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA),
is a former training centre
for the Tobacco Training Institute that has
since been relocated to
The farm, under Ward 1 of Greater Harare, is leased by
who has relocated into the city for fear of attacks from the
occupying some of the buildings.
invasion last year, the farm employed 120 workers but now
the number has been
reduced to about 50.
Thorne could not be reached for comment but
reporters found his
workers reaping the last of his 60-hectare tobacco
One worker said the situation was very tense and the war
abusive, and threatened to beat up the workers for offering
their labour to
"We don't know what will happen to us,"
said one elderly farm worker
who asked not to be named. "We just wait for our
Before schools opened this term, one invader took over a
house in the compound, forcing the owner to look for
Herbert Nyanhongo, the Zanu PF
councillor for Ward 1, said he was
unaware of the situation at the
"I was last there two weeks ago. Why don't you go and see
yourself? You people have a tendency of writing false news as you did
Magunje. I don't want to talk to you," Nyanhongo said before hanging up
The ZTA spokesman, Oliver Gawe, said
the invasion had stalled a
massive housing development project planned by the
conjunction with the Harare city council under the South Areas
which incorporates farms around the area.
War vets' leaders clash over farm invasions
5/7/02 8:55:13 AM (GMT +2)
From Brian Mangwende in
ANDREW Ndlovu, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War
Association's secretary for projects, has accused Patrick Nyaruwata,
association's acting chairman, of backtracking on the land reform
and alleging he has been bribed.
Ndlovu recently said
this after Nyaruwata urged war veterans in
Manicaland to ignore threats and
ultimatums being issued by Ndlovu to white
commercial farmers and
Ndlovu said: "Nyaruwata is a traitor. He must tell us how
millions he was given to backtrack and that money must be
forthwith. On 23 March, we discussed the issue of chasing away
commercial farmers still on the farms and he assigned me to lead
programme, but now he demeans me in the newspapers."
argued that Nyaruwata was not constitutionally elected and his
should be taken with a pinch of salt.
"His statements are not doing
any good to the white commercial
farmers. He is merely misleading them
because whether he likes it or not, we
are going to beat them up and chase
them from the farms."
Nyaruwata dismissed Ndlovu saying he was an
over-zealous dissident. He
said: "When dealing with such people, one has to
"Where was he during the presidential campaign? Such mafia
hijacking the revolution should not be allowed. He has to explain
to us who
sanctioned him to take such action. Besides, he does not hold any
within Zanu PF, even at cell level."
Ndlovu is a former
dissident who participated in the insurrection
against the government by
armed bandits in the Matabeleland and Midlands
provinces in the early
Nyaruwata said anarchy should not prevail in the country now
elections were over.
On Thursday, Joel Nyoka, the war
veterans' secretary for projects in
the Midlands handed the ultimatums to
three farmers in Manicaland which
"We are advising all white
commercial farmers to leave with immediate
decision comes as a result of white commercial farmers refusing
with the government of Zanu PF even after the government had
tried its best
to reconcile with them.
"We have also realised that some white
commercial farmers are using
the farms to re-organise themselves against the
ruling party/government for
negative publicity on Zimbabwe."
three farmers are Robin Franklyn of Sissol farm, Brian James of
in Penhalonga and Charles Bezuitdenhout of Welvierdien Farm
Last week, Oppah Muchinguri, the Manicaland Governor,
government would not hesitate to arrest invaders illegally
themselves pieces of land in the province.
Grace Mugabe's plans to house street kids
5/7/02 8:58:56 AM (GMT +2)
The Zimbabwe Children's Rehabilitation Trust, founded by
Lady, Grace Mugabe, in 1998 to house and rehabilitate vagrant
run out of steam after her efforts were snubbed by stakeholders
who felt her
methods would encourage the increase of street
The municipalities of Bulawayo and Harare donated large
pieces of land
to the trust at its inception. The mayors and town clerks of
the two cities
were co-opted into the trust's committee.
Contacted for comment on the progress made by the Trust on building
street children two weeks ago, the chairman of the Trust, Gideon
for written questions.
He has not responded to them.
The whereabouts of a mini-bus donated to the trust by a German company
the $10 million raised through dinner dances and donations could not
Nomutsa Chideya, who is supposed to
represent the Harare City Council
on the Trust's board said:
the time of Solomon Tawengwa, that project has never moved. The
last time I
attended their meetings was before Tawengwa left. Besides, I
land donated to the Trust was occupied by land invaders."
Town Clerk, Moffat Ndlovu, said: "There's just no progress on
Our plans are ready for implementation. We wrote to the
chairman and the
First Lady but there was no response from them."
He said some
Bulawayo-based board members had threatened to resign,
citing lack of
progress as their reason.
Kilton Moyo, a Bulawayo-based advocacy
officer for Scripture Union's
Thuthuka Street Kids Rehabilitation
"How could such a big project fail to take off? Maybe it
political gimmick. Some people are always happy to be seen to be in
position of giving while others are perpetually seen as
He said the apparent demise of the project would have no
efforts to rehabilitate destitute children.
depends on whether the people wanted such a thing in the
Some stakeholders in Bulawayo initially resisted
the project from the
Moyo said they did not need such
big projects to rehabilitate vagabond
"There are some
organisations already involved in rehabilitating
children and anyone with
money should use it to increase the capacity of
He said building large homes for homeless children
young people to flock there.
"We believe in
returning children to their families, and as an
organisation, Thuthuka has
reunited 300 children with their families since
keeping children in institutions was not healthy as it could
expose them to
Another social worker dealing with children's
building more institutions would create
"Current methods of rehabilitation are
that poor families should be
given resources to pay school fees and feed
their children because poverty
is driving them away from their
He said a person raised in an institution would not know
how to cope
with life after being released into
|As long as Mugabe remains in power, I prefer to die
5/7/02 9:10:51 AM (GMT
As long as Grace Mugabe
continues to label us cats and dogs, I will remain in the opposition. As long as
Jonathan Moyo is Minister of Misinformation, I will remain opposed to Zanu PF.
As long as Tobaiwa Mudede is allowed to walk freely after what he did during
presidential poll, I have no reason to be party to this gang of thieves who
stole the election.
As long as Vitalis
Zvinavashe and Augustine Chihuri continue to be partisan, instead of being
professional, I will not fear their uniformed war veterans. As long as the ZTV
screens tapes of the 1970 war, and spend half the day playing Hondo Yeminda war
songs, I will not pay the licence.
As long as Joseph Made remains
Minister of Agriculture, more starvation will fall on Zimbabwe. As long as
Patrick Chinamasa remains Justice Minister, employing judges like Godfrey
Chidyausiku, there is little hope for the MDC to win any court case against Zanu
As long as Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo keeps on
issuing directives to the democratically elected mayors, it were better there
had been no such elections. As long as Reward Marufu, Sydney Sekeramayi, etc
continue to grab the rich soils, confiscating property in the name of land
redistribution, I prefer to die poor .
As long as President Mugabe
remains in power allowing such anarchy, lawlessness and corruption, fraud,
violence, I prefer to die a refugee, otherwise I will continue fighting this
|Mbeki, Obasanjo hypocrisy exposed
5/7/02 9:16:23 AM (GMT
WE thought Thabo Mbeki
was the only reluctant actor against Zimbabwe on the decision to suspend it from
the Commonwealth. Now Olusegun Obasanjo has shown his true colours by mobilising
and stopping a United Nations probe on human rights violations in Zimbabwe by
the minority ruling Zanu PF against the majority opposition MDC.
The Nigerian army is guilty
of similar excesses against the citizens. Is Obasanjo afraid of the same probe
visiting Nigeria? Are Mbeki and Obasanjo really serious about the New
Partnership for Africa’s Development? I hope the Group of Eight is taking note
that two of Africa’s leading advocates of a Marshall Plan for the continent are
taking equally strenuous steps to protect an ageing and cruel dictator.
With the latest evidence of Mbeki and Obasanjo’s hypocrisy, the MDC must
pull out of the hopeless talks and call for an indefinite stayaway now!
Daily News - Leader Page
When roller meal becomes more precious
5/7/02 9:15:29 AM (GMT +2)
DOES anyone know where our Minister of Lands, Agriculture
If I were Dr Joseph Made I would be
in hiding in deepest Siberia and
making plans to stay there for a long, long
The minister has been deadly quiet for such a long time that
he is in fact in Siberia (or Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe!)
the 2000/2001 season, Made told us that he had undertaken an aerial
the country and there was going to be a record maize harvest.
in the year as more and more commercial farmers were prevented
food, Made told us that the new settler farmers would grow a
bumper crop and
that everything was going to be absolutely fine.
When December came
and the rains went, Made finally said that small
amounts of grain would, in
fact, need to be imported, but that it was all
Limping into 2002 the election drew near and rhetoric was
Again Made assured Zimbabwe that
maize was pouring into the country
day and night in trucks and on
Officials from Made's Grain Marketing Board, accompanied by
cameras, raced around the country, seizing small stocks of maize being
by farmers to feed their own workers and livestock.
controls were introduced on the few basics that were still
available and we
were told that food was being made affordable for all.
months after the presidential election we have arrived at
Roller meal, sugar and cooking oil have become more precious
The prices of basics, lowered to buy votes, have all
gone back up
again to levels which are unaffordable by most
There is no roller meal to buy and now we cannot afford
or milk in substitution.
Last week President Mugabe
declared a national disaster in Zimbabwe.
Made said nothing. He did not go
into an immediate flurry and implement
plans to ease the
The minister sat back and allowed arbitrary men to
commercial farmers who have the knowledge, expertise and
capital to grow
food under extremely adverse conditions.
then announced that it was a criminal offence for evicted
to remove their agricultural equipment from the seized
properties as it is
needed by the new farmers.
A fortnight ago three new farmers, with
shaven heads and wearing Ray
Ban sunglasses, evicted farmers just outside
As ordered, the agricultural equipment was left behind
and in good
The men moved into the main house,
switched all the lights on, had hot
baths and turned their radio up to
This all came to an abrupt end on the fourth day
when the proud new
owners of the farm burnt out the electric motor on the
supplies water to the fields, house, dairy and workers'
They sent a message to the newly evicted farmers - the
borehole is not
working, you must come and fix it because we cannot survive
This is the calibre of Zimbabwe's new settler
farmers. These are the
people Who are now responsible for feeding the nation
and Made says nothing,
so we must assume that he is satisfied with their
There have been 142 farmers evicted
from their homes and farms in
Mashonaland East alone since the 9-11 March
There are 142 farms in Mashonaland East now being run by
accompanied by youngsters with shaven heads, wearing Ray Ban
When all the assets have been stripped, the equipment
broken and the
crops and livestock sold, will Made finally do
When the wives and children of policemen are hungry and
these public servants do something?
For two years
Made has been assuring us of food security. Mugabe
promised the nation that
no Zimbabwean would go hungry.
For the words of these men to be
translated into fact we must have
capable farmers -black or white - in charge
of the farms.
We must have men and women who understand the land,
who know how to
care for the soil and the animals, who have the ability to
and care for the livestock.
We must have people
who know how to use the agricultural equipment
In short, we must have farmers on our farms and Made
must ensure this
This week the men and
women whom we have chosen to represent us in
Parliament, and others who were
chosen for us by the President, again take
their seats in the
The reopening of Parliament, almost two months after the
election, cannot have come soon enough for most of
The country is very rapidly sliding down the slippery slope and
look to the Members of Parliament to throw us a rope.
More than the MPs though, we urgently need all government ministers to
behaving like leaders, worthy of both our votes and their salaries,
paid for by our taxes.
There are two issues which must come before
the House and stay there
until they have been resolved - food and law and
order. You cannot have one
without the other.
Bishop urges Zimbabweans to reject political
5/7/02 9:03:17 AM (GMT +2)
THE Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Manicaland, Dr
has expressed concern at the manner in which Zimbabweans
suffering on each other through abuse of power, HIV/Aids,
up and the rising violent behaviour.
are crying from the pain inflicted upon them by fellow
torture, because they support another party.
"Sisters and brothers,
we hear the silent cries of politicians who are
frightened to lose power. We
hear strange voices from some church leaders
saying all is well, there is
peace, when we know that there is no peace,"
said some church leaders claimed there was justice when people
torture, murder, loss of their properties and displacement from
Some citizens, he said, were victims due to the HIV/Aids
while women were being raped by those who had lost respect for
Bakare said he heard the anguished lament
of hungry people and migrant
mothers or fathers forced to leave the country
to seek employment elsewhere.
He said a deep sense of horror rose
by the day as the mass media
reported different forms of torture meted out to
people by fellow citizens.
"There may be some people who will
choose to ignore the cries. It is
their choice to be indifferent," he
Bakare was addressing the 10th Synod session of the Anglican
of Manicaland at the Cathedral Church of St John's in Mutare on
The synod is the highest decision-making policy body of the
Church in Manicaland and is held after every two years.
Delegates to the synod are elected representatives from each
the whole diocese of Manicaland. He said as Christians they
were meeting at a
time when they were faced with real difficulties as a
Bakare said 22 years ago Zimbabweans were proud to be their own
but they were now ashamed to have become their own oppressors,
hostility among themselves, even within their families.
Zimbabweans should respect the land inherited from
forebears first before
self-interest and aggrandisement, even where they
He said political systems tried to achieve peace by
opponents, and this was happening in Zimbabwe, in the Middle
East, in the
Democratic Republic of Congo and in Afghanistan.
Bakare said Christians knew that killing those who did not agree with
never brought about peace, justice or love.
"We have to transform
those who are sick in body and mind, into
healthy and respectful citizens of
"We urge you to go and offer such services in the full
our fellow citizens, who are the perpetrators of so much
unhappiness in our
communities are also in need of the opportunity to regain
self-respect," Bakare said.
|Parliament resumes |
5/7/02 8:53:43 AM (GMT
By Sandra Nyaira
sitting today, two weeks earlier than the day it was adjourned to, ostensibly to
discuss what the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Patrick
Chinamasa, says is urgent public business.
Parliamentary sources said
the government wanted to push through the House the Land Acquisition Amendment
and the Electoral Amendment Bills.
The controversial amendments to the
Electoral Act, which were designed to favour Zanu PF in the March presidential
elections under the General Laws Amendment Act, were struck down by the Supreme
Court a few days before the poll.
The court ruled the General Laws
Amendment Act had been passed without regard to parliamentary procedures.
The two Bills will be introduced in the House for the first time today
while MPs are also set to consider six other Bills, including the General Laws
Amendment, Value Added Tax, Environmental Management, the National Social
Security Authority Amendment, Patents Amendment and the controversial Labour
Relations Amendment Bills.
The House was last adjourned as political
parties went out to campaign in the March presidential election.
Zvoma, the Clerk of Parliament, said yesterday: “On behalf of the President, the
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, in terms of Standing Order
No. 188, made a representation to the Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa,
that the public interest requires that the House meet on Tuesday 7 May.”
He said the House was resuming earlier to consider urgent public
“The Speaker is satisfied that the public interest does so
require the House to meet earlier,” said Zvoma.
Parliament is also set
to consider the first report of the Public Accounts, Defence and Home Affairs
and the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committees.
Media Update 2002-13
MEDIA MONITORING PROJECT ZIMBABWE
Update No. 13 (April 22nd - April 28th 2002)
SPECIAL COMMENT Journalism in Zimbabwe suffered another blow to its
already badly damaged image this week with the prominent publication in The
Daily News (23/4) of a false story about a particularly gruesome politically
Notably, the casualties from this grim little fairy tale
extend far beyond The Daily News, which itself stands guilty of committing the
cardinal journalistic sin of not checking the facts of what sounded like a good
Other media to have fallen foul of this unsubstantiated third-party
dependency syndrome included The Financial Gazette, which based its editorial on
the incident, Short Wave Radio Africa, which also reported the alleged murder,
and at least two British daily newspapers.
To be fair, the Financial Gazette
clearly qualified its reference to the story by stating that it emanated from
another media report and did not substantially undermine the pertinent point it
was making about the horrific increase in unpunished violence.
But The Daily
News (and The Independent) compounded its error by introducing its story, of a
rural woman allegedly decapitated by suspected ZANU PF supporters, as if it was
a matter of fact. Its only evidence for this however, appeared to be the
comments of the woman's husband, who can now be most charitably dismissed as an
imaginative old crank. While the paper may have made efforts to substantiate
his gory tale, there was no evidence of this in the story itself, and
particularly no comment from the police.
While MMPZ acknowledges the
difficulties experienced by the private media in obtaining official comment from
uncooperative government institutions (including the police), this cannot be
allowed to provide the grounds for abandoning the basic journalistic imperative
of strenuously attempting to verify the facts of a story before its
publication. Indeed, establishing the truth of any matter is the very activity
that defines the business of journalism and separates it from unsubstantiated
It is therefore a matter of serious concern that veteran senior
journalists at the paper set aside this fundamental journalistic principle to
run the story, especially in the form of established fact.
motive was for doing so remains a mystery and gravely compromises the
credibility of the paper's reports, particularly on such an immensely important
topic as the upsurge of post-election violence currently sweeping the country.
Most especially, it also tends to undermine the efforts of all those
organizations in civil society, including the media, attempting to expose the
extent and intensity of what evidently continues to be a violent nationwide
retribution campaign - notwithstanding the fabrications of a poor old man
familiar with the "rewards" of compensation whose family was once allegedly a
victim of that violence.
An apology from the paper was to be expected and
duly emerged on its front page in its Saturday edition, accompanied by a lengthy
account of its unsuccessful efforts to corroborate the original story -
something the paper should have done before publishing and being amply damned by
the government media and their manager, the Minister of Information.
incident should stand as a salutary example to all journalists and media
organizations that they carry the burden of an exceptional public responsibility
to report accurately and fairly as messengers of society.
condemns the repressive media laws under which three journalists perceived to
have been responsible for writing and perpetuating the story have now been
arrested, charged and detained.
A civilized democracy cannot enact laws that
single out media workers for special punishment since this represents an
unconstitutional curtailment of an individual's fundamental right to freedom of
expression - even if what is said is false.
As MMPZ has noted in the past,
civil defamation laws protecting the reputations of individuals are sufficient
regulation on the right to freedom of expression. Draconian regulations
contained in the new Access to Information Act are plainly designed to silence
criticism of government excess and intimidate media workers and institutions
from publicizing such critical stories for fear of becoming victims of the
extreme penalties contained in the legislation. Several clauses in this
malicious law are vulnerable to constitutional challenge since they appear to
contradict the Bill of Rights enshrined in the constitution.
calls upon the authorities to repeal this unacceptably authoritarian law,
immediately put an end to its selective application, and stop their unwarranted
and vindictive persecution of journalists from the private media.
SUMMARY OF OTHER STORIES Increases in the prices of controlled basic
commodities attracted the attention of all the media during the week, although
ZBC did little more than report them and, like its print sector stable- mates,
Zimpapers, understated the amount of the increase in the price of bread by more
What really captured the attention of the state-owned media was
the "resounding success" (Sunday News 28/4) of the Zimbabwe International Trade
Fair (ZITF), which, they reported, showcased the "global" muscle of the
country's small- to-medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) and the fact that Zimbabwe
had "liberated" itself economically from the hegemony of Western multi-national
companies. ZTV accorded the event 77 minutes and five seconds, or 32% of the
total time allocated to news in its 8pm bulletins during the week.
Bulawayo Bureau Chief Makhosini Hlongwane stated (ZTV, 24/04, 8pm): "Indigenous
businesses that are now seeking more home-grown economic solutions as the best
way forward are not only trying but are really going for big time businesses,
demystifying notions that only the Western multi-national corporations are at
the center of global economy."
The state media also feasted on the comments
of the fair's guest of honour, Zambian President, Levy Mwanawasa, who was widely
reported as echoing Robert Mugabe's assertion that Africa had nothing to learn
from the West, "We taught them democracy.(and) when it comes to the rule of law,
we have a lot to teach them." (The Herald 27/4).
He was quoted extensively by
ZBC (Radio Zimbabwe, 3FM,
6am & ZTV, 8pm, 25/04) as having praised
Zimbabweans for voting for Mugabe while addressing a rally in Chiredzi where he
had gone to "learn one or two lessons" about winter maize
Mwanawasa's official opening of the fair was broadcast live on ZTV,
Spot FM, Radio Zimbabwe and 3FM (26/04). Taking a leaf from Mugabe's speech
(ZTV, 25/04, 8pm) during a dinner hosted for the Zambian leader, Mwanawasa
attacked the West, saying (ZTV, 27/04, 8pm): "It will not be necessary at all to
begin saying Zimbabwe is not democratic.We have nothing to learn from those
countries on democracy."
It was left to the private Press and SW Radio Africa to report on what
appears to be a sharp increase in incidents of violence around the country. The
private Press carried a total of 37 stories on political violence and 33
incidents were recorded. The victims were overwhelmingly MDC supporters, white
commercial farmers or the general public. Perpetrators were identified mainly
as ZANU PF supporters, war veterans, youth militias or state security
In contrast, readers of Zimpapers' publications would have the
impression that political violence was virtually at an end; they only carried
eight stories of political violence in which two incidents were recorded. ZANU
PF supporters were the victims in both reports, which implicated the MDC.
private Press reported that the violence threatened the talks between MDC and
ZANU PF if government did not take practical steps to stop it.
Gazette (25/04) quoted MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai warning: "In the light of
the state-sponsored violence and campaign of retribution being waged and
sustained by ZANU PF, we now find it difficult to resume talks under a climate
of banditry, lawlessness and terror.."
The Daily News (27/04) carried a
similar story, MDC threatens to pull out of talks.
But in The Herald (29/4)
of the following Monday, Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, retaliated in
similar vein, using The Daily News's false report of the murdered Magunje woman
as the catalyst to accuse the MDC of exaggerating the intensity of political
violence. He threatened that ZANU PF would pull out of the talks if the
opposition did not stop lying about the levels of violence in the country.
Manipulating The Daily News error he said: "If they really want to talk and to
get something from the talks, they should stop forthwith manufacturing and
peddling their criminal falsehoods."
SW Radio Africa carried about 35 reports
on violence, including three deaths, although one of them was The Daily News'
false report. The station relied on an unidentified MDC official who narrated
the incident. To its credit, the station reported the police as saying they had
not received such a report, but then stated that the Editors of the Daily News
had confirmed it.
SWRA did not follow up the story during the week, even
after it was later proved false. As a result, listeners relying on the
station's Newsreel for information were left with the impression that the
incident had indeed occurred.
MMPZ notes that the station is becoming
increasingly dependent on the private press as a source for its news coverage
and is consequently becoming an electronic replica of the papers it trawls for
MEDIA COVERAGE OF PRICE INCREASES Six weeks after the ZANU PF
government promised the electorate that it would hold down the price of basic
commodities if its candidate were re-elected, it gazetted price increases for
bread and cooking oil.
These were the first increases since government
introduced statutory price controls on basic commodities in October last
During the election campaign, the public media vigorously condemned
price increases and the shortage of basic commodities, describing them as
economic sabotage and a conspiracy against the government. But in the week
under review they made a sudden about turn. This time, the state media made a
spirited effort to defend the increases, while the private Press viewed them as
a manifestation of its claims before the poll that price controls were an
The Herald (23/04) led with the story on the bread and
cooking oil increases and quoted CZI chief executive Malvern Rusike saying they
would help producers meet rising production costs.
But it also unwittingly
appeared to confirm the view that price controls were an election gimmick when
the paper noted that:
"The Industry and International Trade Ministry advised
industrialists that controlled prices would be reviewed after the presidential
In its story of the bread price increase, The Daily News
quoted a ZANU PF election campaign advertisement to remind its
readers of government's promise and reported that it had approved a 24.89%
increase in the price of a loaf of bread. But it missed reporting the increase
in the price of cooking oil altogether (a rise of 40%), while The Herald (23/4)
reported the news but again understated the increase by 5%.
follow-up story the next day supported the increases by loosely claiming that
"most consumers" had described the increases as "reasonable". But no named
sources were quoted corroborating the comment. Instead, it quoted a Consumer
Council of Zimbabwe spokesman defending price controls which ".were never meant
to make companies collapse.But to protect consumers whilst at the same time
ensuring company viability." This was supported in the paper's editorial,
ironically entitled Need for price controls vindicated.
The Daily News' story
(24/04), Consumers blast bread price increase, quoted named consumers saying the
increases in bread and cooking oil prices would make life unbearable. It also
noted consumer awareness of the political implications of the increases by
quoting one Waterfalls woman as saying: "They are now increasing the prices
because the elections are over. They do not want to protect us anymore because
we have voted for them."
ZTV's report of the increases (23/4, 8pm) was hidden
beneath its report on the market prices of cabbages and other vegetables as the
last item in its business section.
ZTV (26/4, 8pm) invited Trade and Industry
Minister Herbert Murerwa, to the studio to justify the increases in bread and
cooking oil, saying government had allowed "a small increase"
shortages of basic commodities which have been missing from the shelves for
months. But he kept silent about the increases in the price of milk, margarine,
beer, bath soap and washing powder that his Ministry had approved that day
(Friday). And he wasn't even asked whether 40% constituted a "small"
The next day, ZTV (8pm) broke the news of the rise in beer prices, and
Radio Zimbabwe (28/04, 6am) repeated the report.
But both of them ignored the
increases in the prices of the other basic commodities gazetted by government
the previous day (Friday).
The Standard too (28/04), only reported that beer
prices had been increased by another 11%, a month after it had been increased by
66%. The paper quoted a National Breweries official as having said "the latest
increase.had been necessitated by the increase in the price of maize, a key
ingredient in the brewing of beer."
The Sunday Mail (28/4) failed to report
any of the increases.
Throughout the week, none of the media managed to
provide a clear analysis of how the bread and cooking oil increases would affect
the availability of the products and whether this would affect their