|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
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Zimbabwe opposition chief fears death
By Peta Thornycroft in
ZIMBABWE'S ruling Zanu-PF party is considering assassinating the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to ensure President Mugabe's re-election next year, the MDC claimed yesterday.
It said it had obtained a copy of Zanu PF's strategic plan for the election campaign and published extracts from the document in the independent Daily News.
Referring to Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, under the headline "Outright Elimination", the text read: "This could be dangerous to the govt [sic] but it needs a very serious consideration."
It added: "Reflections on the ground show that urban voters will vote for MDC in 2002. Now what Zanu PF can do is to make sure that Morgan Tsvangirai's short comings [sic] and weaknesses are greatly exposed so much that voters may want him but the situation won't allow them to vote for him or to make sure there is no Morgan Tsvangirai to vote for come 2002."
The six-page document, allegedly titled "Zanu PF Presidential Elections Strategic Document - What Zanu PF can do to win 2002 election", included recommendations on media coverage.
"State media should be directed to write again and again of splits within the MDC until voters believe it to be true," it said. "The state newspapers must be made to present MDC as a party of puppets funded by foreigners."
Official newspapers and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, which runs the only radio and television outlets, have recently carried many reports of splits in the MDC. There was no confirmation yesterday of whether the document was genuine.
A government spokesman said she could not comment on it. The information minister, Jonathan Moyo, was unavailable. Andrew Moyse, director of the independent Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe, said: "One has to assume that it is a genuine document because it reflects the truth of what is happening on the ground. There is also a single-minded campaign by the state media to destroy the opposition.
"The contents of the document are not surprising; what is on that piece of paper reflects the extremes of what is happening to the MDC. However, I wish they had supplied concrete evidence to corroborate the authenticity of the document."
But Mr Tsvangirai said: "Believe me, this is all true." The MDC declined to release the document, saying that to do so could compromise its source. Prof Welshman Ncube, the party's secretary-general, said it was given to him 10 days ago as a computer print-out and he had no doubts about its authenticity.
Several political commentators have said recently that the suppression of the MDC in all but the main urban centres has made it, de facto, a banned organisation. The Amani Trust, a Zimbabwean human rights organisation, says more than 100 MDC supporters have been killed in the past year, and scores of members are in detention.
At least 200 MDC officials are on bail awaiting trial and Mr Tsvangirai is awaiting judgment in a case in which he was charged with treason.
Yesterday, David Coltart, an MDC MP, was held briefly at an airfield 12 miles north of Harare after his Bulawayo-bound plane was ordered to return to the ground.
As the crisis in Zimbabwe deepened, the Commercial Farmers' Union suspended a move to resettle and financially support thousands of the poorest on farms donated by white landowners.
The move was in response to a government decree ordering the immediate seizure of more than 1,000 white-owned farms, without recourse to the courts
The other 14 activists appeared in a Bulawayo court on various charges of murder and plotting to kill officials of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
MDC Secretary General Welshman Ncube said on Thursday that the 14 activists were not asked to plead, but would refute the charges once they reappeared in court on Friday.
Zimbabwe's main opposition party has rejected government claims that it was behind the abduction and murder of Cain Nkala in Bulawayo.
If they [the MDC] want a bloodbath, they will certainly get it
The body of Nkala was found in a shallow grave on Tuesday, a week after he was kidnapped from his home by armed assailants. He had been strangled with his shoe laces.
The minister of home affairs has been quoted as saying that the police are actively investigating leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change.
But the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, says this is a pretext to intimidate the opposition ahead of presidential elections due early next year.
More than 40 people have been killed in politically-motivated violence since President Mugabe was defeated in a constitutional referendum in February 2000.
Most of the violence has been blamed on supporters of Mr Mugabe, especially war veterans involved in the occupation of white-owned land.
Since Mr Nkala's abduction, there have been isolated cases of violence against MDC members in Bulawayo and Harare - both opposition strongholds.
On Saturday, war veterans, closely allied to Zanu-PF, stormed the headquarters of the MDC in the capital.
"If they [the MDC] want a bloodbath, they will certainly get it," said Vice President Joseph Msika.
Mr Nkala was a prime suspect in the abduction of an MDC polling agent, Patrick Nabanyama, on the eve of the June 2000 parliamentary elections.
This raises suspicions that the two young men were tortured into admitting something that they did not do
Welshman Ncube, MDC
Mr Tsvangirai condemned the murder of Mr Nkala and called for the culprits to be brought to justice.
"Our conscience is clear," he said.
State television had shown two men confessing to the murder and says they are members of the MDC.
The MDC has not disputed that the men are members and secretary general Welshman Ncube has complained that they have not been given access to lawyers.
"This raises suspicions that the two young men were tortured into admitting something that they did not do," he said.
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:
Our apologies for an error reported in the Sitrep of Monday 5th . The incident reported under Chikongas Farm in Odzi actually occurred at Green Valley Farm.
Nyamandhlovu - New squatter families have moved onto Mount Pleasant farm from an unknown locality. This brings to 45 the number of new squatters on this company's properties since Abuja. On Ibana Farm a Lister I/T1 engine valued at $300 000 stolen. Police reacted two days later citing lack of transport. They are reluctant to give CID details. On Luchabi Ranch squatters cut cables to the submersible pump that was the only source of water. A DDF vehicle 669-182, containing some five people, visted Porter Farm, which has not received a Section 5 order, and the occupants of the vheicle have been pegging for the past 2 days. 26 head of cattle were seen moving off the property, but no permit was provided when requested. Approximately 200 head of cattle were moved off Newcross Farm to Communal lands to plough. It is doubtful if permits to move these cattle were issued.
General - poaching is ongoing, but there has been a decline in veld fires with the recent wet weather. Veterinary Dept attempts to control the recent FMD outbreak is ineffectual. It takes so long for any reaction that people now feel there is no point in reporting suspicious movements of livestock. A farmer was told that he must wait 4 days before a Veterinary Officer can carry out a pre-loading, for immediate slaughter, inspection.
MASHONALAND WEST (NORTH)
Karoi - La Rachelle is not farming. Settlers stole 13 barn doors, 400m of electric cable, 3 corrugated roof sheets, 1 electric motor. Settlers have moved into the farm village and half the labour force had to move into the barns, the other half have left the farm. 500 head of cattle are restricted to one paddock. Settlers are planting cotton on prepared tobacco lands. 8 -10 km of fencing has been stolen since April 2000. The P.A. sent out a Task Force to move settlers out of the farm village, which they did. The labour force was chased out again by the settlers. The whole farm has been burnt out except for the cattle paddock. On Tuesday the settlers tried to burn the cattle paddock but were stopped as the farmer extinguished the fire. Soangalala Estate had put in 1M worth of inputs into his tobacco ridges and the settlers started planting maize in the tobacco ridges.
Ayrshire – On Combe Farm Agritex are pegging.
Chinhoyi - East Range Farm has stopped work. On Natalia, Angwa Farm and Crescent Park 3 people were hunting with dogs and weapons. Glenshields has a work stoppage. 38 plots being pegged for A2 model farming on Sheepridg. D.A. (Makonde) called a meeting wanting the farmer to continue producing and wanting co-existence to succeed.
Trelawney/Darwendale - Weltevrede Farm reported a work stoppage.
Tengwe – On Kumusha Farm the coffee plantation has not been watered since August. However, some of the trees have survived and DDF tractors are ploughing them in. Because the farmer took the case to court the D.A. and Police will not do anything to help.
Nyabira – On Delamoore Farm tractors were ploughing all night. The farm is not pegged or listed. Mead Farm has a work stoppage.
MASHONALAND WEST (SOUTH)
Norton - On Maine Farm the owner has been stopped by both the police and the District Administrator from planting his dry-land crop in lands which have already been prepared and fertilized. No arrests have been made regarding the destruction of 2 six inch pipes worth $45 000.00 each by illegal occupiers with axes. The farmer has been threatened by Chief Inspector Gunyani with arrest. Illegal occupiers have locked the gates into the lands so that the owner cannot access them. On Daisy Farm the District Administrator’s pegging team arrived with six military personnel, four of which had AK47's to intimidate the owner into not stopping this illegal exercise on the property.
Selous - On Carsky Farm, which is an unlisted wildlife property that the District Administrator has settled, seven shots were heard late at night.
Chegutu/Suri-Suri - On Cigaro Farm five pedigree bulls have been stolen/killed, and large amounts of fencing stolen. On Kufaro, which is not listed, illegal occupiers have planted maize in the Tobacco land that has been prepared by the owner.
Kadoma/Chakari/Battlefields - On Twintops a Sable has been killed and the District Administrator’s pegging team is pegging in the irrigated lands under the centre pivot. Every time a poacher gets caught killing wildlife police merely give them a nominal fine and they are back the next day. On Alabama illegal occupiers are trying to take over the school and become the enrolment and payment officers. On Ardconnel, which is an unlisted farm, illegal occupiers continue to cut the boundary fences to allow scotch carts entry and have also broken the padlock on the gate. Police did attend, and although illegal occupiers were caught red-handed, police have only asked how much the lock was worth.
General - The vast majority of Kadoma District is still not allowed to plant.
Horseshoe - On Tuesday the resident war veterans on Nyamfuta Farm agreed that only 15 workers were to be allowed to remain on the farm. On Amajuba/Mapetu the ZRP have failed to respond to several reports made to Sgt Nyamakope concerning the destruction of the coffee trees in the plantations. On Penrose Farm the farm manager was barricaded into his house by illegal settlers who are resident on the neighbouring farm, Siyalima. These settlers also forced the Siyalima school children to march to Penrose. They have ordered a complete work stoppage on Penrose, including the watering of fruit plantations and called for a forced "pungwe" meeting. At this meeting they threatened the farmer and the manager and told them to vacate their properties within the next two weeks. The Police arrived but no resolution was found and the farmer was told that he would have to negotiate with the war veterans and workers. These same war veterans then returned to Siyalima and ordered a complete work stoppage and called for a "re-educating" meeting that lasted for 4 hours. When this meeting ended they ordered the whole work force to march to the homesteads where they barricaded the roads and beat drums and sang for a further 3 hours. The farmer's cattle were then herded together and brought to the gates whereupon the farmer agreed to discuss the matter of retrenchment with his workers the next day and the crowd dispersed. The next day no work was allowed on the farm. The farm owner and his family watered and fed the pigs in the morning. All the calls to the Police have met with prevarications and no RRB numbers have been issued. When the fourth report was made to Inspector Charuwa at the Guruve ZRP the farmer was told that they were awaiting the arrival of the chairman of the war veterans so that they could visit the farm together. When the final call to Inspector Charuwa was made the farmer was told that Kanengoni, the chairman of the war vets and Sgt Nyamakope would visit the farm. When they arrived the war veterans demanded to be paid compensation for their damaged paprika seedbeds, however, none could be found so they changed their claim to damage to vegetable gardens. Meanwhile the lives of 2000 pigs are at stake. On Marirambada on Monday the war veteran Shadrek Pedzesai demanded that a date and a time be arranged to hold a re-education meeting for the farm workers and he claimed a portion of the farm for himself.
Centenary - A total work stoppage has begun on Mawari Farm this morning.
Featherstone – The owner of Kuruman has not moved the cattle in spite of deadline of today.
Harare South - On Dunluce a woman claiming to be the acting D.A. Seke arrived with Assistant Inspector Sibanda, and nine followers including Dunluce settlers Matsangura & Narowanyanga. The followers claimed they were the Seke Lands Committee. The owner was accused of trying to trick them when he attempted to record the meeting, and Assistant Inspector Sibanda insisted the recorder be turned off. The owner was asked why he was planting, to which he replied he had an agreement with the Chiota settlers. The D.A. ordered the owner to stop planting and when the latter asked to have this order in writing, he was punched in full view of the police. When the owner wanted to record the police reaction, the cassette was forcibly removed by Assistant Inspector Sibanda. Army personnel removed an illegal settler hut from near the farm house on Auks Nest. On Rusimbiro a young gum tree plantation was damaged by fire that is believed to have been set by illegal settlers.
Wedza – On Rapako illegal settlers are planting paprika under the direction of war veteran Chigwedere on lands prepared by the owner of the farm. On Corby tobacco seedlings from seedbeds established by the farmer are being planted in lands on the farm by illegal settlers. Paprika seedlings transported from elsewhere are being planted on Corby. Ex-policeman Chinamberi is co-ordinating illegal settlers’ ridging and planting on Plymtree. On Hull 5 hectares of illegal settlers’ maize planting has been completed using a Renault tractor with a new planter of French manufacture. Totnes had 40 irrigation pipes stolen and on Journey’s End a battery on an irrigation pump was stolen. On Nelson illegal settlers are planting with water bowsers. Nurenzi had a 30hp motor stolen. The following farmers confirmed receipt of Section 8 Orders on 14th November: Nelson, Sutton and Hefa, Chard, Liliefontein, Uley, Numwa and Oklahoma.
Beatrice – Adlams Rest reported that the house had been broken into and I calf stolen and extensive barbed wire has been removed. Police arrested the wire thief. War Vet Chitzinde visited Karreeboom and caused trouble over tractors moved from from Ngezi Farm in Featherstone. Chitzindi arrived on Argyle to plough lands and on Adlams Rest to plant maize. On Central the DDF ploughed with a couple of illegal settlers planting behind. The owner had a visit from a truckload of war veterans including Carter, Chirumba, Madox and Zoah. They did not want the owner to meet with the DA and said if he did they would punish him by dividing up the crops he had already planted and sharing it amongst themselves. On Brakveld illegal maize planting continues. This has been reported to the local police.
Macheke-Virginia - Springdale Farm labour were told to move out of their houses. On Nyagadzi Farm the labour were told to move out of their houses and were evicted by nightfall. The workers were led to believe that only those employed were allowed to stay in their houses. Later all labour were forced out of their houses which were then locked by the illegal settlers with their own keys. Police did eventually attend but did not resolve the matter. The evaluators arrived on the farm. On Craigielea and Mug Farm the labour were evicted from their houses. On Castledene Pines the illegal settlers are demanding more water in the farm village. They also asked the farmer if he could plough for them, which he refused on the grounds that there were D.D.F. tractors on the farm up until Sunday. Glen Somerset has a complete work stoppage, including domestics, and a demand that all cattle be removed from the farm to make way for the planting of illegal settlers’ crops. The matter is still unresolved in spite of police attendance. On Paradise illegal settlers have moved into the farm cottage. Mignon Farm has a full work stoppage, including all persons working inside the security fence area. This is in spite of an agreement reached between owner, the D.A. and the settler leader (who instigating the incident). The owner and four of his workers were also threatened with a beating by the settler leader. Settlers on Royal Visit have planted approximately half a hectare of tobacco. Planting of tobacco by illegal settlers has been carried out on Athlone Farm. Cattle have been pushed onto Eureka Farm by settlers from Mangwende Far. Lingone Farm owner was prevented from planting anything Illegal settlers have demanded that some old pensioned workers resident there were to move off. This demand was refused. Whilst the owner of Malda Farm was away unsuccessful attempts were made to evict a number of workers from the farm village by the resident illegal settlers. Relevant to this attempted eviction, the Government evaluators were requesting accommodation in the owner’s farm village. Government evaluators arrived on Methven Farm.
Enterprise/ Bromley-Ruwa - Widespread pegging continues.
Chiredzi Area – On Fair Range Estates three poachers chased a game scout. The Game scout warned the poachers to desist, but the poachers ignored the warning and the game scout fired a warning shot over the head and shoulders of a poacher. One pellet accidentally hit the victim and entered into the heart. The poacher subsequently died. Due to this unfortunate incident a lot of threats have been made . Illegal occupiers have turned very aggressive. Farm workers have been assaulted and staff houses trashed. The Support Unit moved in and quietened the situation. On Alstar Haven an illegal occupier known as Makaja was seen retrieving water from owner’s garden. When questioned, he answered that he owned everything on the farm and was allowed to do as he wants.
Masvingo East and Central Area – On Heathecote Farm a pungwe was held. Drinking, dancing, braaiing of meat and even urinating in a new make shift toilet (hole dug in the ground) took place right in front of owner’s homestead gate. The owner has been forced to destock the entire cattle herd due to the continued harassment on the farm. The Cabinet Action Committee recently visited property and the Abuja Agreement and coexistence were stressed. Subsequent to this the owner has experienced continued pressure. Chidza Farm has officially been delisted. A Policemen known as Chirove has ordered the staff to vacate their houses. It has been established that Lovemore Zimuto the resident war vet, had organized the theft of 19 pedigree cows and 4 calves reported earlier. Cattle were retrieved in Chikwanda Communal Land. A resident war vet has also pegged in the owner’s prepared lands. New invasions are occurring on the property. Cattle management has become impossible because every gate is being left open. Due to the property having been officially delisted, the above reports have consistently been reported to the Governor, the PA, the DA and Propol. No reaction has occurred as yet. Public Relations Vehicle of the ZRP has been seen on Beauly Farm followed by a five tonne truck cutting thatching grass for huts that are being erected. Three DDF tractors have been reported ploughing on this property. On Lothian Farm illegal occupiers have chased away the security guards protecting the owner’s property and replaced the owner’s locks with their own locks.
Gutu / Chatsworth Area – On Northdale Farm , Middeldeel Farm, Nuwejaar Farm A2 resettlement has commenced on the dairy farms and 100ha plots have been allocated. On Nuwejaar Farm fencing has been forced down and driven over with vehicles and gates have also been left open. The owner of Mazongororo Farm was informed by a Police detail that no ploughing and planting could commence.
In the accord, the Zimbabwean Government promised to end illegal occupations of white-owned farms as well as to respect human rights and the rule of law.
But in recent weeks the violence has continued and President Robert Mugabe has introduced a controversial decree, amending the land reform law.
This effectively means that farmers on land that has been listed by the state must stop farming immediately and that the courts cannot be consulted about the legality of this until after the event.
Zimbabwe's white farmers have condemned this as undemocratic and contrary to the Abuja accord.
An independent newspaper in Zimbabwe has condemned it as proof that Mr Mugabe is intent on using his land reform programme to ensure that he wins elections coming up early next year.
The Financial Gazette reports that all of Zimbabwe's thousands of soldiers will be given land to ensure their support for Mr Mugabe in next year's presidential elections.
During the fact-finding mission, the team from the United Nations Development Programme plans to speak to all stake-holders - the government, white farmers, black farmers and the political opposition.
Amongst many rural landless black Zimbabweans, the reform programme is popular although significant numbers of black Zimbabweans working on the white-owned farms have been negatively affected.