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

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COMMERCIAL FARMERS' UNION
Farm invasions and Security Report
Monday 26th November 2001 
 
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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.
 
NEWS IN BRIEF
 
Section 8 Certificates are being issued countrywide
Virginia - Farmer shot and seriously wounded
Mvurwi - many farmers are moving their equipment to safety.
Horseshoe - 160 head of cattle herded into a barn and kept there for three days
67% work stoppages in Chinhoyi/Umboe areas
REGIONAL NEWS
MANICALAND
 
Nyanga - On Pangara Ranching 250 head of cattle were driven off the farm over the weekend.
 
General - There have been amended Section 8 certificates handed out in various parts of Manicaland.
 
MIDLANDS
 
General - Settlers are busy planting.
 
Gweru - Privately owned tractors are being hired to plough plots. 500 communal cattle can be found at any one time grazing on either Loudon or Matambo farms. The National Parks anti poaching team have been based at Nkululeku School and have arrested 8 poachers from neighbouring occupied farms.
 
Hunters Road - Irrigation equipment was stolen from Rosmalind Farm. Police reacted and arrested a worker.
 
MASHONALAND EAST
Macheke/Virginia - Farmer seriously wounded on Royal Visit Farm. The farmer, his wife and their two children were returning home when they came across a log barricade on the farm road.  The farmer, who was the passenger, got out of the car to ask for the barricade to be removed.  When he was met with a hostile response, he got back into the vehicle, but was shot through the shoulder into the chest.  The type of weapon or weapons used is not clear at this time.  The motive is also not clear, but the farm is occupied and it is known that there is friction between the settlers, who have adopted a pragmatic approach to production on the farm, and senior war vets who insist that the farmer should not be permitted to produce. The farmer has been transferred to a Harare hospital and is in a serious, but stable condition.   On Malda roofing was stolen from a shed.  Labour is still not allowed on Mignon .  On Wheatlands labour that had been paid off returned and stopped all work on the farm and attempted to extort money from the owner.  The situation was resolved at the police station.  A village house burnt down by settlers on Methven to make way for maize planting.  Police did not respond and 3 houses burnt down.
 
Wedza - Whitefield had a radio stolen.
 
Marondera North - Cotter was pegged with steel pegs.  On Repaid ploughing was done with a private tractor.  Rocklands arrested a suspected diesel thief.  Essexdale   held an amicable meeting held with settlers.  On Nyagambi , Kirndean and Dorset planting and ploughing continues. On Chiparawe there is an upsurge in poaching in the game park.  On Cambridge a calf was slaughtered and on Loquat Grove a heifer was slaughtered.  Chinwiri experienced armed poachers all weekend.
 
Featherstone  - 2 farms were delisted.  Chivu Lands Committee visited Kuruman and Calais and told them that the settlers would be moved off by Wednesday.  On Kurumani 5 dairy cows were axed.  Cow slaughtered on Leeufontein and police attended and arrested a suspect.  On Versailles a heifer was hamstrung.  Lands committee requested transport to Strijdpoort.
 
Harare South – On Dunlose approximately 20 youths led by Makombo and Karonga in a 7 tonne U.D. and a 404 station wagon armed with aluminium baseball bats arrived at the farm.  The security guard observed a weapon.  They pulled out the tobacco and planted maize behind it.  During the lunch hour they went to the compound and gave the workers "history lessons".  They proceeded to the workshop and hit the owner with an iron pipe and gave him a death threat.  They then left.  They returned on Saturday and removed more tobacco.  On Auks Nest maize and tobacco were planted over the weekend and a blue Chinese tractor was ploughing. Chidagwa spoke to the labour and told them they would be off the farm by the end of February.  A worker was beaten on Kinfauns.  2 herds cattle brought onto Rusumbiro with donkeys.  On Amalinda invaders were pegging in the maize and tobacco lands that are already planted.
 
Marondera - Riverside and Spring Valley settlers are to be moved onto Waterhead.  Hut building and ploughing and planting continues throughout the district.
 
MASHONALAND CENTRAL
Bindura - A report was received from Condwelani Farm that the tobacco crop had been damaged. On Benwell Farm a DDF Representative has arrived and pegged 4 lands.
 
Mvurwi - On Braidjule Farm an unidentified man arrived with 10 helpers and began to plant tobacco seedlings. He is in possession of a single row ridger and the owner doesn't know whose seedlings are being planted. Although this farm has been issued with an old Section 8 the owner has been told that the illegal settlers will be using the barns and the tobacco lands for their own use. There is much activity on all the unworked farms, with the planting of paprika and tobacco seedlings. Where there are total work stoppages, many of the farmers are moving their equipment to safety.
 
Victory Block - The workers on Farfield Farm went to work of their own accord on Friday and the settlers could do nothing to stop them. The manager was threatened and he escaped on foot to a neighbouring farm. The Lands Committee was taken to the farm and the settlers agreed that the seedbeds belong to the farmer.
 
Glendale - On Normandale Farm two 30 horsepower motors have been stolen
 
Horseshoe - The area has been reasonably quiet. On Amajuba Farm 15 war veterans have stolen some bananas. On Nyamsewe Farm 160 head of cattle were herded into a barn and kept there for three days. The owner was allowed to feed them and they are being translocated to a farm in Mvurwi today. The youth in the area are being trained to march and sing slogans.
 
Centenary - On Pungwa Farm the owner had a visit from a leading war veteran from Harare and was told to leave his farm immediately and after negotiations he was given one week to leave.
 
MASHONALAND WEST (NORTH)
 
Chinhoyi – On Siddaw Farm peppers were picked from the land and the drip line irrigation pulled up and broken into pieces.  The D.A. is not happy with what had happened.  ZRP have an RRB number. Wytchwood Farm has a work stoppage and the farmer threatened with extortion.  A Tractor driver tried to extort 200 ha of land prep for him to top his tobacco.  Sligo Farm was pegged by businessmen from Harare.  Labour had their lands pegged as well and were told not to plant.
 
General - Still 67% work stoppages in Chinhoyi/Umboe areas.
 
MASHONALAND WEST (SOUTH)
 
Norton - On Maine Farm the five illegal occupiers have still stopped the owner from planting and are planting into the beds prepared and fertilized by the owner.  The Member In Charge Norton and the District Administrator have still not resolved the issue, one of the illegal occupiers has a weapon that he fires off to intimidate the workers and the farmer. 
 
Selous - On Mount Carmel Farm fourteen head of cattle have been stolen over the last week.  One of the illegal occupiers was seen walking through the cattle at night with a panga.
 
Chegutu/Suri-Suri - On Bougainvillea the owner has been told by the District Administrator that he is permitted to plant on half the farm, but he still has not been able to plant. 
 
Kadoma/Battlefields/Chakari - On Pamene Farm snaring is starting to take place on a large scale.  On Railway Farm 4 the owner is currently in the process of having to move all his cattle off as a result of illegal occupiers planting all over his farm.  On Glasgow the owner is not allowed to plant and has had to de-stock all his cattle.  The Member in Charge at Gokwe has a plot that he visits in his Gokwe Police land-rover, stationed in excess of 100 kilometres away.  On Twintops in excess of 200 cattle have been moved on by illegal occupiers, and illegal occupiers have planted approximately 15 hectares of crops under the owners' centre pivot, which he is unable to use as a result.  Snaring continues with three Sable, four Eland and a number of Zebra, Wildebeeste, Impala etc, having been snared in the last two weeks.  Losses incurred amount to millions of dollars, but Police continue to do nothing, and let perpetrators off with minor fines, who then return to continue further poaching etc.  On Umsweswe River Block 10A there are now approximately 400 huts and ploughing is ongoing in the middle of irrigations lands.  Snaring is rampant.  On Abendrhue approximately 100 cattle have recently been stolen, and lots of other cattle have been illegally moved on to the property.  The owner has recovered some of his cattle.  The foreman went on leave and returned to find that illegal occupiers had broken the lock and moved into his house.  Poaching is rampant. It is interesting to note that approximately 15% of all the illegal occupiers in Chegutu and Kadoma districts are on the above three wildlife properties.  On Normandy North no planting is being allowed and the owner has had to get rid of his entire beef and dairy herds due to rampant stock theft, the farmer’s workers are not even allowed to plant.  Illegal occupiers are not planting much either.  The guards on Alabama Farm were told by illegal occupiers that they would be badly assaulted if they stayed to protect the owner’s possessions.  They came to the manager and informed him that there could be stealing that night.  The manager tried to phone Chief Inspector Makaza, but Chief Inspector Makaza's telephones at Kadoma rural hardly ever work after office hours.  $139 000.00 worth of chemicals and 2000 litres of diesel were stolen.  Police came the next morning and brought dogs but did not put them on the spoor.  There is evidence to suggest that Chief Inspector Makaza has got a plot on Alabama Farm.  On Hellaby Farm planting is still not allowed and the owner has had to de-stock completely.  On Kanyemba illegal occupiers are planting in the middle of all the owner’s irrigation lands, to stop the owner from using them.  On Blackmorvale illegal occupiers are planting in the middle of irrigation lands and under centre pivots.  They have also recently taken to mining in the middle of the irrigation lands to prevent any farming from taking place under approximately 740 hectares of irrigation. 
 
MASVINGO
Masvingo East and Central Area - Lothian Farm and Allenwish A of Grasslands have both received Section 8 Notices otherwise situation remains the same.
 
Mwenezi Area – The situation remains the same. Planting, ploughing continues. Theft continues unabated. Poaching continues unabated.
 
Chiredzi Area – On Faversham Ranch DDF Tractors have been ploughing in the dry land fields. Illegal settlers have tried to plant in the irrigated planted fields, but the owner has managed to stop further ploughing taking place.  On Eureka Ranch cattle theft and cattle being caught in snares is almost a daily occurrence. Reports have been made to the Police.
 
General - The officer in Charge Triangle ZRP Triangle has been out to inspect the airstrip on Bangala Ranch and is said to be visiting the airstrips on Samba Ranch, Eaglemont Ranch and Palm River Ranch.  Theft is rife within this area. 
 
Gutu / Chatsworth Area - Problems with harassment of cattle being chased by illegal occupiers continue in this area.
 

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BBC
 
Wednesday, 28 November, 2001, 19:40 GMT
Zimbabwe police accused of torture
The funeral of Cain Nkala
Nkala's murder has increased political tension
By Thabo Kunene in Bulawayo

Two opposition activists, held in connection with the murder of a leading war veteran in Zimbabwe, have said they were tortured into confessing by the police.

Cain Nkala, a stalwart in the ruling Zanu-PF party, was abducted from his home in the second city of Bulawayo earlier this month. His body was found a week later.


Police officers kicked me all over the body. Two police officers held my legs apart while I was kicked in the groin until I lost consciousness

Remember Moyo
The government accused the opposition Movement for Democratic Change of being behind the killing and 14 MDC suspects were detained, including an MP, Fletcher Dulini-Ncube.

At Nkala's funeral, President Robert Mugabe, accused the MDC of being a "terrorist" organisation.

The two suspects, Khentani Sibanda and Remember Moyo, made the disclosure during their bail application before Bulawayo High Court Judge, Justice Lawrence Kamocha.

Family threatened

Mr Sibanda denied he was involved in Nkala's killing. He told the judge that the MDC leaders were also not involved in the abduction and murder of the Bulawayo war veterans leader.

MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai
Treason charges against Tsvangirai were recently dropped

He said he made the confessions under torture after the police had threatened to kill his family.

He told the judge: "My Lord, I have nothing to do with the murder. Even the MDC leaders were not involved. I was only forced to implicate them to save my life."

Mr Moyo described to the judge how the police in Mbembesi Camp tortured him and forced him to confess to the murder.

Denied

He said his genitals were tortured by the police, who also told him to implicate the opposition party in the killing.

Mr Moyo also denied receiving funds from the MDC Member of Parliament for Lobhengula constituency, Fletcher Dulini-Ncube to kill the war veterans leader.

Mr Dulini is currently in police custody and was among six MDC leaders who were denied bail by the courts.

Mr Moyo also denied before the court that he knew Simon Spooner, an advisor to the MDC Member of Parliament for Bulawayo North constituency, David Coltart.

According to Mr Moyo, he only saw Mr Spooner at Khami Prison where they were both being held.

He also denied that Mr Spooner, a former soldier who trained in Australia, was involved in Cain Nkala's murder.

Urinating blood

"All these people, my Lord, are innocent. I only implicated them because I was tortured by the police. Police officers kicked me all over the body. Two police officers held my legs apart while I was kicked in the groin until I lost consciousness," he said.

Mr Moyo said when he regained consciousness he was in an empty cell.

His clothes were removed and he was forced to sleep on the bare concrete floor for two days. He urinated blood because of the injuries to his groin, he told the court.

The judge ordered the two suspects to be examined by a medical doctor.

Among the people who packed the court were police, government agents, MDC supporters and journalists.

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The Irish Times

Zimbabwe dismisses UN report as 'British lies'

 Last updated: 28-11-01, 10:55



The Zimbabwe government has dismissed as false a damning UN report
implicating it in the looting of natural resources in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC), the state-run Herald said today.

Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge was quoted in the paper as saying the report
was a "pack of lies" invented by the British government.

"We know that the report has been created by the British government, who are
keen to discredit Zimbabwe at all costs," he said.

The UN report, released last week, asserted that the plundering of the DRC's
natural resources has continued unabated by all sides in the conflict.

Zimbabwe deployed troops to the DRC in 1998, along with Namibia and Angola,
to back the government against a rebel insurgency launched with military
support from Rwanda and Uganda.

Harare has clinched various business and commercial deals in the DRC,
including mining concessions.

Relations between Zimbabwe and former colonial master Britain are looking
increasingly strained.

Last week Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw threatened diplomatic
action over the Zimbabwe government's labelling of foreign correspondents
here as "terrorists".

AFP
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Independent (UK)


Zimbabwe's churches defy Mugabe by delivering food to starving people
By Alex Duval Smith in Bulawayo and Basildon Peta in Harare
29 November 2001

Faced with increasing reports of deaths from malnutrition in Zimbabwe,
churches have started to openly defy an edict from President Robert Mugabe
that only ruling-party officials may distribute food aid.

The churches' defiance comes as an independent newspaper, the Financial
Gazette, today reveals that the the 77-year-old leader has ordered
bomb-proof underground bunkers to be dug around his home and offices, as
well as the delivery of 86 Austrian-built Steyr army trucks – although there
is an EU embargo on defence equipment to Zimbabwe.

In Bulawayo and rural districts in the south of the country, Mr Mugabe's
campaign to stay in power has already translated into hunger among thousands
of people, according to the prominent Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube.

He said: "The hunger is caused by the government's hypocrisy. It wants to
distribute food assistance itself, so as to buy votes. It does not care how
many people die as long as it can stay in power. For us Christians that is
unacceptable."

The looming crisis comes after Mr Mugabe earlier this month banned hundreds
of the country's commercial farmers from working their land and told their
properties had, in effect, been nationalised.

The regional World Food Programme director, Judith Lewis, said: "What we are
seeing is a developing complex emergency.''

In Masase, a village of some 2,000 people in the Midlands, it is the
Lutherans who are defying the ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), and covertly supplying food.

It is to people like Reverend Anders Berglund, from the Swedish Church, that
Zimbabwe's Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, refers when he claims
foreigners "might try to smuggle election monitors into Zimbabwe using the
guise of food aid''.

Rev Anders said: "Children are fainting in class and the school day has had
to be shortened because kids do not have the energy to concentrate."

Staff at the school say 780 children were enrolled at the beginning of the
year but now there are never more than 700.

Masase is a well-kept village which voted for Zanu-PF in the parliamentary
elections.

Despite living in a "privileged'' place, the women struggle to feed their
families. Dozens of them congregate every day at the Vashandiri milling
co-operative, set up by the church. Here, for a small fee, they mill maize
corn and turn a profit from selling the flour, which is the staple food in
these parts. But they are unable to grow their own maize due to poor weather
conditions. For two years, the south and east of the country, which are
drought and flood-prone, have been subject to devastating weather

Michael Ncube, co-ordinator of the Catholic Development Commission in
Bulawayo, said: "Matabeleland is mainly a cattle and ranching area. Crops do
not do well here at the best of times. Two years of bad weather is too much
for people to bear. Now their seeds are depleted. So as well as supplying
food aid to children, breast-feeding mothers and the elderly, we are buying
maize and sorghum seeds in town and transporting them to rural areas were we
sell them for less than we paid."

Food experts explain that Zimbabwe – usually a "food-surplus country'' – is
in normal circumstances capable of assisting its southern and eastern
provinces when disaster strikes. But the political turmoil in fertile
Mashonaland, in the north, was so intense ahead of last year's parliamentary
elections that the stocks were never built up.

To the archbishop, a long-time critic of Mr Mugabe, Matabeleland's crisis
has a more sinister explanation. "We have always been neglected because we
have a history of not supporting Zanu-PF," he said.

The Most Reverend Ncube, who received so many death threats ahead of last
year's elections that the Vatican demanded that Mr Mugabe guarantee his
safety, said 80 per cent of people in Matabeleland live below the poverty
level.

He said: "As far as I am concerned President Mugabe and his ilk can take a
flying jump into the Zambezi River.

"Last year, Matabeleland voted against the government. Now they are not
distributing food here. It is their revenge. So we are having to circumvent
the government's rules to help people keep body and soul together. We did
not tolerate racism when there was white rule here, and we will not tolerate
this."

* Lovemore Madhuku, the 34-year-old law professor who was arrested while
trying to organise a demonstration on Tuesday in Harare, was set yesterday
to spend a second night in police custody. Pro-democracy campaigners said he
had still not been charged or allowed to see a lawyer.

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MBENDI

Zimbabwe commercial farmers given go-ahead to farm in Mozambique

Pana reported that the authorities in Mozambique have approved 50 requests
out of 63 for Zimbabwean commercial farmers to acquire land for agricultural
farming in Manica, a Central province in Mozambique. Each farmer has been
allocated around 1000 hectares.

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PRESS RELEASE: Zimbabwe risks civil conflict without free press, says South
Africa president

Pretoria, South Africa, 27 November 2001
For immediate release

Zimbabwe Risks Civil Conflict Without Free Press: Mbeki

The President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, warned today that civil conflict
could explode in Zimbabwe if full press freedom is not ensured in the run-up
to presidential elections next March.

In a private meeting in Pretoria with Board Members of the World Association
of Newspapers, Mr Mbeki said: "The people of Zimbabwe need to say this was a
fair election contest. The press freedom issue is getting worse and
exacerbates as we get closer to these elections.

"If the outcome is not accepted by the people of Zimbabwe, the situation
will be even worse and you have the danger of civil conflict".

President Mbeki told WAN that the special Zimbabwe committee of the Southern
Africa Development Community (SADC) needed to revisit the country to try and
ensure that democratic election conditions, particularly freedom of the
press, were respected. He said that all attempts by international committees
to achieve this objective so far had failed.

Talking more broadly about the future of Africa, President Mbeki said "what
causes instability is the inability of people to express themselves freely ­
so they take up arms".

The Zimbabwean government has been widely criticised for its attacks on the
independent press. In recent months, authorities have arrested local
journalists, expelled foreign correspondents, and accused some journalists
of assisting terrorists.

The Board of WAN, meeting in South Africa, today awarded its annual Golden
Pen of Freedom prize to Zimbabwe's most prominent press freedom advocate,
Geoffrey Nyarota, the Editor of the Daily News.

President Mbeki said that press freedom was a major part of the whole
process of democratisation in Africa and he recognised that in several
countries, the independent press continued to be repressed.

In the Congo, for example, it was "critically important" for peace to have
the "greatest possible open political debate. If you have parties that are
banned and newspapers that are restricted, you do not have the conditions
for inter-Congolese dialogue."

In Angola, President Mbeki feared continuing violence against the press. He
urged Angolan leaders to reject military solutions and achieve a negotiated
settlement to the Angolan conflict.

"If we don't address the problem of democracy in this country, the
harassment of the press will continue". He said that the press had been
instrumental in uncovering corruption by war profiteers and warned that the
press "would continue to get hit" if the war continued.

The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry,
defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 17,000
newspapers; its membership includes 70 national newspaper associations,
individual newspaper executives in 93 countries, 17 news agencies and eight
regional and world-wide press groups.
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PRESS RELEASE: Zimbabwean editor Geoffrey Nyarota awarded 2002 Golden Pen of
Freedom

Sun City, South Africa, 27 November 2001
For immediate release

African Editor Wins Press Freedom Prize

One of Africa's most prominent press freedom advocates, Geoffrey Nyarota,
Editor of the Daily News in Zimbabwe, has been awarded the 2002 Golden Pen
of Freedom, the annual press freedom prize of the World Association of
Newspapers.

The award, announced by the Board of the Paris-based WAN at its meeting in
South Africa today, was made in recognition of Mr Nyarota's outstanding
defence of press freedom in the face of constant persecution.

In a statement, the Board said: "Geoffrey Nyarota has with great courage
stood firm and resolute in the face of repeated attempts to silence him and
his newspaper. He has been arrested and jailed and threatened with death;
the printing presses of the Daily News have been destroyed by a bomb and his
offices have been attacked. Mr Nyarota has refused to bend under this
constant campaign of intimidation. He has continued to edit a newspaper
which has gained the trust of his readers by fearlessly providing them with
the truth about government corruption and the country's economic and social
upheaval. His fierce devotion to free, honest and independent journalism is
an inspiration to his colleagues everywhere."

At the same time, WAN called on the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, to
ensure "that the growing repression of free journalism ceases immediately."

Mugabe's government has been widely criticised for its attacks on the
independent press. In recent months, authorities have arrested local
journalists and expelled foreign correspondents. Most recently, a government
spokesman last week accused several local and foreign journalists of
assisting terrorists through their reports about the beatings of whites.

Mr Nyarota, 50, is Editor-in-Chief of the privately-owned Daily News, which
was launched on 31 March 1999 and has become the largest circulating daily
newspaper in Zimbabwe with sales of more than 100,000 copies per day. Its
most serious rival, the government-controlled Herald, has seen its
circulation decline from more than 150,000 to about 60,000 a day over the
same period.

The Daily News's coverage of the ruling party-sponsored invasion of
white-run farms by Zimbabwean war veterans is part of the reason for the
circulation turnaround. It has also brought down the wrath of the government
and its supporters.

A bomb destroyed the printing press of the Daily News in January and its
offices were attacked in April last year. Its editors and reporters have
been arrested on numerous occasions and a reported plot to kill Mr Nyarota
failed last year.

More recently, Mr Nyarota and Wilf Mbanga, the former head of the
newspaper's parent company, were arrested on November 8, detained overnight,
and charged with "fraud" and violation of investment laws.

Mr Nyarota rose to prominence in Zimbabwe when he was appointed editor of
the Bulawayo daily The Chronicle in 1983, three years after Robert Mugabe
had been elected president.

In a tense and violent political climate, The Chronicle was one of the few
Zimbabwean newspapers to pursue investigations into government corruption.
When Mr Nyarota exposed the "Willowgate" scandal, forcing five cabinet
ministers to resign, he was removed from his editorial position by his
company, Zimbabwe Newspapers, for his "own safety."

Mr Nyarota became Editor for the weekly Financial Gazette in 1991 but was
dismissed in a dispute over editorial control of the paper. He then joined
the Nordic School of Journalism in Maputo, Mozambique, and travelled and
taught extensively in southern Africa. He returned to Zimbabwe in 1998 with
the formation of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, which was soon to launch
the Daily News.

WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and
promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 17,000 newspapers; its
membership includes 70 national newspaper associations, individual newspaper
executives in 93 countries, 17 news agencies and eight regional and
world-wide press groups.

Editors: photo of Geoffrey Nyarota is available from the WAN web site
www.wan-press.org or by request.
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From Number 10

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw: Zimbabwe
28 November 2001]

The Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has told the House of Commons that he is
deeply concerned about recent events in Zimbabwe.

The Foreign Secretary was responding to a Parliamentary Question (27
November) on recent representations he has made to the Government of
Zimbabwe relating to the land redistribution programme.

Mr Straw said that he deplored President Mugabe's violent policies and his
violations of democracy, and that he was committed to working with the
Commonwealth, the EU and other southern African states to rectify the
situation.

Below is the full transcript of Mr Straw's response.

"We regularly raise land reform with the Government of Zimbabwe. I did so at
Abuja in September and with Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister, Mr Mudenge, in New
York on 10 November. My noble friend Baroness Amos discussed it during the
Commonwealth Ministerial visit to Harare in October.

At Abuja, Zimbabwe agreed a set of proposals for a fair, just and
sustainable land reform programme. Among other things, the Government of
Zimbabwe committed itself to restore the rule of law to land reform and to
respect the Commonwealth Harare Declaration. Its actions since Abuja show
scant regard for these commitments and have seriously undermined the
agreement.

My Hon. friend the member for Exeter (Ben Bradshaw) set out Government
policy on Zimbabwe in this morning's Adjournment Debate. But let me
emphasise again to the House that we remain profoundly concerned at recent
developments, including violence against the opposition, interference in the
judicial system, moves to disenfranchise Zimbabweans living overseas and
preposterously labelling journalists as people who have been assisting
terrorism.

Our European and Commonwealth partners and neighbouring states in Southern
Africa share these concerns. At the 29 October General Affairs Council, the
European Union therefore opened formal Article 96 consultations with the
Government of Zimbabwe under the Cotonou Agreement. Cotonou states that if
there is no progress within 75 days, 'appropriate measures' may be taken. A
UN Development Programme technical team is now in Zimbabwe to look at the
prospects for a credible land reform programme. Once its report is
available, we will discuss this with Commonwealth and EU partners and key
donor nations including the US. We shall of course, consult Southern African
countries as well. I will at that stage make another statement to the House.

All the way through this issue, I have been concerned to ensure that we work
in partnership with Commonwealth countries, the EU and with the other
southern Africans. Apart from the poor people in Zimbabwe who are suffering
grievously from the results of President Mugabe's policies, it is the
countries contiguous to Zimbabwe who are most affected by the disastrous
economic and political management of Zimbabwe. We will continue to work with
all these partners on the issue of election observers. What is striking is
that President Mugabe's refusal to date - we hope he will change his mind
but I don't hold out too much hope - to accept election observers in at the
beginning of the electoral process not just at the end not only appears to
be a breach of various EU and Commonwealth declarations to which he is
signed up, but also to a very detailed declaration of norms and standards
for elections in the southern African region to which President Mugabe
himself signed up in only March last year and which specifically commits all
southern African countries including Zimbabwe to the admission of
independent election observers at the beginning of the electoral process as
well as through it and polling day.

The issue of measures by the Commonwealth is a matter for the Commonwealth
as a whole and not just for the United Kingdom. And I will just say this:
nothing would play better with President Mugabe than if he was allowed to
present this issue as one between black Zimbabwe and the old colonial ruler
the United Kingdom rather than what it in reality is: a major issue of
multinational and international concern. As far as the Commonwealth is
concerned, I spoke this morning to the Secretary General of the
Commonwealth, Don McKinnon, about the situation. We are likely to have a
teleconference of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group of which I'm a
member in December and a proper meeting in January - that meeting should
coincide with the end of the 75 day period under the Article 96 process
under Cotonou. In addition to that we will continue discussion with Southern
African countries. Because it is clear that there have to be significant
changes in the arrangements which President Mugabe is in practice willing to
put in place for observers to the election process and the election process
itself if that election is to carry any credibility with the rest of the
world and with the voters of Zimbabwe itself.

We are all profoundly concerned about what's been happening on behalf above
all of the people of Zimbabwe who have suffered so badly with 80% inflation,
a decline in the growth rate of what was once the bread basket of Africa and
the impoverisation of what was a very prosperous country. I would counsel
against the UK taking unilateral action.

That would work to President Mugabe's benefit. The important thing is that
we work on the basis of partnership with the Commonwealth, EU and above all
southern African countries.

The journalists who President Mugabe portrayed as assisting terrorism were
Zimbabwean citizens who should only be mentioned for the great courage they
have shown in reporting the situation in Zimbabwe against the most flagrant
intimidation by those acting on behalf of President Mugabe and the ZANU(PF)
party. Following the reports, our High Commissioner in Zimbabwe, Brian
Donnelly, made very strong representations at my specific request to the
Zimbabwean Government. We continue to work with independent media, NGOs and
others to ensure that so far as possible the media is able to report fairly
and independently what is happening in Zimbabwe and where they are prevented
from doing so, the world knows.

Building coalitions is exactly what we have been about for months. That was
the purpose of the Abuja discussions. It was crucial that we broke away from
this parody which President Mugabe had allowed himself to invent that this
was a bilateral dispute between the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. Nothing of
the kind. That's why the Abuja declaration was of crucial importance because
Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Jamaica as well as old Commonwealth countries
were signed up to that. That's why the discussions between President Mbeki
and our Prime Minister were also important and the decision by the General
Affairs Council of the EU to move from Article 8 to 96 and the meeting which
took place last week between Commissioner Patten and High Representative
Solana in Zimbabwe. All those are part of moves that we are making along
with our partners to ensure there is exactly that coalition so that, unlike
in the early 1980's when the previous Government sat on its hands while over
5000 people were murdered in Matabeleland, we take effective action based on
an international consensus."

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Daily News - Feature

Mugabe won't succeed where Smith failed

11/28/01 7:25:59 AM (GMT +2)


By Ray Matikinye Features Editor

HISTORY is repeating itself in State-controlled media newsrooms, courtesy of
freshers outdoing each other to roll back the tide.

Junior minister Jonathan Moyo must have been pleasantly surprised when
President Mugabe appointed him Minister of State (Publicity and Information)
last year.

His appointment was in spite of failing a maiden run as the chief publicist
for the government-sponsored constitutional draft, rejected outright in a
referendum in February 2000.

But while he hogged the limelight, he made one admission to journalists
attending a pre-referendum workshop in Kadoma.

Questioned about his sudden about-face from a staunch government critic to
an avowed village crier for the same institution he had vilified in the
past, Moyo said: "I changed my stance because the government had abandoned
its Marxist-Leninist ideology and the idea of a one-party state for the free
market enterprise."

His reason could be plausible.

Writing in Parade magazine in July 1990, Moyo said a one-party state
violated human rights if the result of a referendum whose outcome was
influenced by the rural vote.

"Even after voting in general elections in 1980, 1985 and in 1990, rural
folks have not internalised the values and ethos of electoral democracy.

They believe that voting for the opposition is synonymous with voting for
violence and some Zanu PF leaders have done their best to endorse this
fear," Moyo wrote.

In October Mugabe announced Zimbabwe's first step on the long haul back to a
command economy by introducing price controls.

All indications are that Mugabe also wants Zimbabwe to remain a one-party
state.

Moyo is still part of government and the small group of journalists wait to
see whether he will do another about-turn. They will have a long wait
because when Moyo addressed their other peers at a workshop on corruption as
junior minister months later, he said his new role was to promise the
electorate bridges where no rivers exist.

"Some have called me a spin doctor, but I am not. In fact as minister, I
hire spin doctors," Moyo said.

During the early days of independence in the 1980s and years later, a news
bulletin on State television was deemed incomplete without mentioning
Mugabe's name.

The aim was meant to build a cult around him.

Since responsibility for State publicity was reposed on Moyo, he seems to
have taken over the Head of State.

More importantly, Moyo's arrival on the media scene has hurled the fledgling
Zimbabwean media into a state of flux.

The State media, represented by The Herald, The Chronicle and other
State-financed weeklies, pit themselves against the vibrant privately-owned
media and opposition parties, particularly the MDC, at the junior minister's
behest.

The media has become polarised. Part of the State media's script is building
up resentment of the independent media and the main opposition, often
labelled agents of imperialists "and their former Rhodesian masters".

Yet, there are stark similarities in the manner Moyo has been copying the
way Rhodesians went about to try to control the media.

The same tactics used by Ian Smith to control the minds of the people in the
face of opposition to his Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) have
been recycled and perfected, despite empirical evidence of propaganda's
limitations in achieving total mind control.

If propaganda was that omnipotent, the Rhodesian Front (RF) would still be
in charge.

On announcing UDI, Smith's hatchet man, Pieter Van der Byl, hired a team of
renowned South African propaganda experts to restructure the sole television
station and the print media.

The team transformed the then Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation into the
meanest propaganda machine in sub-Saharan Africa by replacing liberal,
professional producers with hard-core RF party zealots.

The catch phrase then was fighting "a communist onslaught on the last
bastion of civilisation in Southern Africa".

Enormous State effort was directed at portraying nationalists opposed to a
racist government and waging a war for independence, as stooges and puppets
of the Soviet communists.

Today, Moyo has converted ZBC and cowed staffers into believing in "an
imperialist conspiracy against Zanu PF and its land distribution policy
targeted at ultimate recolonisation".

A relentless campaign, spearheaded by the Department of Information and
Publicity, is being conducted to try to prove opposition parties are
imperialist puppets and stooges.

A blitz on the media culminating in "D" notices during UDI resulted in Van
der Byl's hirelings imposing strict censorship on The Rhodesia Herald with
the help of the Special Branch.

Stories deemed politically inflammatory or which remotely referred to
Mugabe's Zanla and the late Joshua Nkomo's Zipra forces were excised from
the pages, leaving yawning, blank spaces.

Such stories "caused alarm and despondency", but readers learnt to read
between the official lines.

And like a sphinx rising from the ashes of this blitz, a cheeky weekly
tabloid, Moto, a Mambo Press publication, run by the Catholic Church in
Gweru, kept nettling and haunting officials, leading to the deportation in
the mid-1970s of the editor, Rev Michael Traber, now a communication expert
with the World Council of Churches in London.

In 1974 Moto was banned after a series of stinging articles critical of
government. The last straw was an article by the paper's columnist, the late
Justin Nyoka.

It was resuscitated on the eve of the 1980 independence elections under the
editorship of Leo Hatugari, now with The Daily News, more determined than
ever to pursue the truth.

Moto's printing press was destroyed in a bomb attack by State agents in
February 1980 in very suspicious circumstances.

"During the 1980 elections, we were barred from attending government
functions or Press conferences," said the News Editor of The Daily News,
John Gambanga, who worked in Moto's Harare office together with Charles
Rukuni, now a trainer with Africa Information Afrique.

Like a replay of what happened at Mambo Press in 1980, the Daily News
printing press in Southerton was bombed in the early hours of the morning in
January this year. This followed another bomb attack on the newspaper's
premises in the city centre on 22 April last.

Moyo had prior to the bombing of the press said the State would silence The
Daily News, alleging that it posed a security risk to the nation.

Commenting on the bombing, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Zimbabwe
Independent, Trevor Ncube, said: "I am blaming the State, I am blaming the
Minister of State for Information and Publicity, Jonathan Moyo. I am blaming
President Robert Mugabe, who sets the tone. They have lost the battle for
the hearts and minds of the people."

As part of the RF's new thrust after UDI, the RBC adopted a military signal
tune for its main news bulletins to emphasise a state of siege.

Today hardly a day passes without Hondo ye Minda being played on ZBC as an
interlude.

Former Herald editor, Bornwell Chakaodza, says the CIO used to plant letters
discrediting the opposition MDC in his paper before he was removed.

"It became so bothersome I had to assign someone to shift through the trash
coming from that end," he said on the fringes of the workshop addressed by
junior minister Moyo in Kadoma.

Smith's Van der Byl and his avid hatchet men made it a pet habit.
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Daily News

We will resist repression, ex-Zipra fighters warn

11/28/01 7:52:56 AM (GMT +2)


From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo

FORMER Zipra combatants, who are members of the Zimbabwe Liberators'
Platform (ZLP), have warned they will mobilise people to fight Zanu PF's
rising repression in Matabeleland.

"This crackdown by Zanu PF and its supporters on innocent civilians points
to an increasing desire to return to the post-independence genocide," said
Max Mnkandla, a former combatant in Zipra, Zapu's military wing during the
liberation war.

"It has become clear to us that someone wants to bring back misery upon the
people of Matabeleland and we are going to resist this."

The ZLP broke away from the Zanu PF-aligned Zimbabwe National Liberation War
Veterans' Association. Among its leaders is Wilfred Mhanda, whose Chimurenga
name as a senior Zanla cadre was Dzinashe Machingura.

Zanu PF supporters and militia gangs, at the instigation of their leaders,
have been launching attacks on opposition supporters in Matabeleland since
the abduction and subsequent murder of Bulawayo war veterans' leader Cain
Nkala two weeks ago.

Nkala's body was found buried in a shallow grave on a farm, about 40km south
west of Bulawayo, near Solusi University.

The government immediately blamed the MDC for the murder, denouncing it as a
terrorist act.

Both the MDC and the Britain have rejected Zanu PF's accusations that they
had a hand in sponsoring the murder of Nkala.

"It is clear that Zanu PF's aim at the moment is to kill and create a
climate of fear," said Moses Moyo, another former Zipra commander who was
Nkala's major in the Zimbabwe National Army.

"But Zanu PF should bear in mind that no amount of harassment and
intimidation will cow the people into voting for them. The people of
Matabeleland have survived worse attacks before and any fresh repression
will harden them."

Several war veterans who were aligned to the late Dr Joshua Nkomo's PF Zapu
said they were also angered by the arrest of Eddie Sigoge Mlotshwa, a
respected former Zipra combatant and retired army colonel, in connection
with Nkala's murder.

Sigoge's wife is a sister to the wife of Patrick Nabanyama, the missing
election agent of MDC MP, David Coltart.

Together with nine other war veterans, Nkala was accused of abducting
Nabanyama in June last year.

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Daily News

Forced to confess

11/28/01 8:24:23 AM (GMT +2)


From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

KHETHANI Sibanda and Remember Moyo, the two MDC drivers accused of murdering
war veterans' leader Cain Nkala, yesterday related to the Bulawayo High
Court how they were tortured by the police to force them to confess.

They appeared before Justice Lawrence Kamocha in the bail application of
Simon Daren Spooner, another suspect alleged to have bankrolled the kidnap
and murder.

Justice Kamocha asked Moyo to give evidence while sitting in a chair as he
was still in pain from the torture.

The men denied knowing Spooner or having been sent by him to Harare to
collect R1,5 million (Z$9 million) as alleged by the State.

They said they were arrested while going to Harare to collect outstanding
allowances amounting to $8 000 each. They were arrested just outside Gweru
on 12 November.

First to testify on Monday was Sibanda, 25, who said he was severely
assaulted by the police at Gweru.

He said he had lied to the police that the car he was driving belonged to
Chematek, a company in which Spooner is the managing director and a
shareholder.

This is how Spooner was implicated in the murder. Sibanda told the court
that he gave the police the name of his workplace as Chematek because it
just popped into his head. His girlfriend works at Chematek.

Sibanda said when he was being driven to Bulawayo after his arrest police
stopped at a lay-by where Detective Inspector Martin Matira drew a pistol
and aimed it at his chest, demanding to know where Nkala was or else he
would be shot dead.

They later continued to Bulawayo where he was driven around the outskirts of
the city and further threatened by the police, he told the court.

Sibanda said the police made him write and sign what they told him in a
12-page statement.

He alleged they told him to stick to their statement or his parents would be
killed.

He said he believed them because they had given him accurate information
about his mother. The police had also given him information about himself
and the places he had visited and the things he had done.

Yesterday, Sibanda showed the court bruise marks on his left wrist which he
claimed were Nkala's tooth bites.

Sibanda had denied knowing Nkala personally the previous day.

He was not asked to elaborate how he was bitten by Nkala or what happened
because the hearing was centred only on Spooner's bail application.

But Sibanda said the MP for Lobengula-Magwegwe, Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, and
all the other accused people were not involved in Nkala's murder.

His co-accused, Moyo, also denied any involvement in the murder. He said he
was forced to confess to the murder by Inspector Njabulo Ncube at Nkulumane
police station.

He said another officer, whom he named as Tekere, prepared a statement in
which he was to confess to the murder of Limukani Luphahla, a Zanu PF
activist whose body was found burnt at Lupane.

Earlier, Moyo said he had been taken to Shangani police station where he was
subjected to inhuman treatment without food for two days.

"At a lay-by near Shangani the police officers kicked me all over the body.
Two police officers held my legs apart while Matira kicked me in the groin
until I lost consciousness," Moyo said.

He said when he regained consciousness he was in an empty cell.

His clothes were removed and he was forced to sleep on the bare concrete
floor for two days. He urinated blood because of the injuries to his groin,
he said.

Warders at Khami Prison allegedly refused to send him for medical treatment
but gave him pain-killers, he said. Mercy Moyo-Matshanga of the Attorney
General's Office, said Moyo had a scar running across his body which she
alleged was a bullet wound. But Moyo said the scar was the result of an
operation on him by Dr Chad Tarumbwa in 1997.

He told the court the police had repeatedly kicked him on the scar. Justice
Kamocha ordered that Moyo be examined by a doctor.

Moyo said when he was forced to confess to the murder at Nkulumane police
station he was reminded that if he did not comply he would be sent back to a
torture chamber, a cell in which he had been detained and tortured earlier.

He said the pain and anguish he had suffered at Shangani forced him to sign
the statement in which he admitted his involvement in the murder.

Moyo admitted he had a South African driver's licence which he obtained
while working in that country.

The two accused said they were denied access to their lawyers until they
were sent to the magistrates' court for remand about a week after their
arrest.

Only Sibanda managed to talk to the lawyers for less than five minutes,
telling them that they had been assaulted.

The pair's defence counsel was led by Advocate Tim Cherry instructed by
Ndabezinhle Mazibuko of Calderwood, Bryce and Hendrie.

The hearing continues today.
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Zimbabwean Activists Against Amending Electoral Laws Arrested

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

Xinhuanet 2001-11-28 15:33:24


HARARE, November 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Chairman of the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) Lovemore Madhuku and 27 others have been
arrested for attempting to stop Members of the Parliament from entering the
Assembly, the Herald newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The arrests were made under the Road Traffic Act which stated that it
was unlawful to obstruct moving traffic, according to the police.

NCA spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said in a statement that Madhukuwas
arrested near the parliament building while protesting against the proposed
amendments to the electoral laws, which the parliament was expected to pass
into law on Tuesday.

The amendments mainly include barring Zimbabweans living abroadfrom
polling in the presidential elections slated next year.

Mwonzora said the arrest was a desperate attempt to stop constitutional
reform and was meant to disturb "our all stakeholders conference, which is
set for this Saturday".

With or without Madhuku, the NCA would proceed with the constitutional
reform agenda, the spokesman emphasized.

Last week, riot police dispersed some members of the NCA as they tried
to make their way to the parliament.

Madhuku said their intention was to block all MPs from enteringthe
parliament building and exert pressure on all the lawmakers totake the
constitution making process seriously. Enditem
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Daily News

Midlands State University expels three student leaders

11/28/01 7:50:40 AM (GMT +2)


From Our Correspondent in Gweru

The Midlands State University in Gweru has expelled three Student
Representative Council (SRC) leaders for allegedly inciting public violence.

The acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Christopher Gwatidzo, confirmed last Friday
the suspension of SRC president Gudu Mhimhise, secretary-general McDonald
Lewanika and legal secretary Masimba Nyamanhindi.

He said the three could only re-apply for admission after two years.
Gwatidzo chaired the students' disciplinary committee which upheld a ruling
made at the Golden Mile Motel in Kwekwe.

The three were initially suspended on 5 November, together with 13 other
students, after clashes between Zanu PF and MDC supporters at the
university.

Four students were seriously injured and property worth thousands of dollars
destroyed as the students fought running battles with the police soon after
the clashes.

The clashes were sparked by a demonstration by a student faction headed by
the former SRC leader, Tatenda Chinoda, during which the MDC and the
Mhimhise-led SRC leadership were denounced.

Fifteen students were arrested, among them the three SRC leaders, for
allegedly inciting the violence.

They were formally charged and remanded out of custody to 7 December.

The University immediately suspended all of them as it carried out its own
investigations.

Early this week, the committee lifted the suspensions of other students
after they were found not guilty.

Philip Pasirayi, the information and publicity secretary of the Zimbabwe
National Students' Union (Zinasu), on Monday condemned the expulsions and
said they were politically-motivated.

"We deplore in the strongest of terms the expulsion of our student leaders
because it is not going to solve the problems affecting the student
fraternity," said Pasirayi.

"The authorities need to be warned that the struggle continues and there
will be further unrest at universities as long as the real issues have not
been fully addressed," he said.
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Daily News

Fuel shortage reported in the Midlands

11/28/01 7:54:22 AM (GMT +2)


From Zerubabel Mudzingwa in Gweru

Long, winding fuel queues resurfaced in Gweru and Kwekwe on Monday with most
filling stations in the two Midlands cities running dry.

In Gweru, long queues formed at the three filling stations which had petrol
and diesel.

Supplies of petrol and diesel had stabilised over the past few months, but
since last week motorists have been reporting shortages.

Pedzisai Mawere, a fuel attendant at a BP garage in the city centre, said
they last took delivery of petrol last week.

They were not sure when they would receive the next allocation.

Nicole Philips, a manageress at one of three garages in Gweru, on Monday
said they had little quantities of petrol.

"Today we were only allowed a maximum 19 000 litres, but we usually get
something like 30 000 litre when fuel is available," she said.

"The situation is quite bad in Gweru. In Masvingo there are no problems. We
are yet to be told the reasons for these problems, but we have not started
rationing fuel to customers. We will only do that if the situation does not
improve."

In Kwekwe only two filling stations were selling petrol.

Naison Shumba, a motorist, said he was dismayed with the government for
giving "misleading assurances" that fuel would be available and discouraging
motorists from hoarding.

"It's only last week that Edward Chindori-Chininga, the Minister of Mines
and Energy, was assuring us that there would be enough fuel to take us
through to the festive season, yet this is not the case," said Shumba.

"We are sick and tired of the government's false promises. They should not
take us for granted. Instead, they should tell us the real situation on the
ground. The festive season is just around the corner. How are we supposed to
go about our businesses when the situation is as pathetic as this?"

There have been fuel shortages in Zimbabwe for the past two years, because
of foreign currency shortages.

The government needs about US$40 million (Z$2,2 billion) a month to buy fuel


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November 28, 2001
EU cooperation in Zimbabwe could be reviewed

Consultation with the government of Zimbabwe would continue, despite last
week's unsuccessful meeting between European Union (EU) representatives and
President Robert Mugabe, sources in Brussels told IRIN on Tuesday.

"We're hoping a ministerial delegation from Harare will be in Brussels
before the end of the year for talks," the source said.

Earlier this month, EU foreign ministers agreed to invoke Article 96 of the
Cotonou agreement that governs relations between the 15-member bloc and its
African, Caribbean and Pacific partners over concerns with human rights in
Zimbabwe.

The move meant that the EU has formally asked Zimbabwe to discuss such
issues as land reform, ending political violence, ensuring press freedom and
judicial independence, and allowing election observers at next year's
presidential poll.

The EU delegation - on a tour of central and southern Africa to review the
Congolese peace process - said it had failed to hold constructive talks with
Mugabe on Friday, and that its relations with the country had reached a low
point.

"Our relations are now at a critical point, we have to admit that, we have
arrived at a critical point," said Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel,
who headed the EU team.

The EU source said that if the proposed ministerial talks in Brussels did
not yield results then suspension of specific economic cooperation
programmes with Zimbabwe could follow. "Zimbabwe gets a lot of preferential
access to EU markets, particularly for its food products and textiles, this
access may be reviewed."

Harare-based economist Tony Hawkins told IRIN that Zimbabwe could suffer
economically if lucrative EU beef and sugar protocols were reviewed or
cancelled. "The EU relationship is basically about aid and trade, the trade
component is important to Zimbabwe, it's the kind of sanction that could
definitely hurt the economy," he said.

from IRIN


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Daily News

Zanu PF mob attacks worshippers

11/28/01 7:59:51 AM (GMT +2)


Staff Reporter

A ZANU PF mob on Sunday attacked worshippers at a Methodist Church in
Epworth as they tried to force people to a meeting at a notorious war
veterans' base known as Dhonoro, next to the high density suburb.

Elvis Dzambi, 18, said: "They had been running around in the area, singing.
We were just coming out of the church when they descended on us. They wanted
to know why we were at church and not at a Zanu PF meeting at Dhonoro. They
attacked people with whips, sticks and other weapons."

People in the neighbourhood confirmed the incident on Monday.

A youth, who declined to be named, said children who were attending a Sunday
School class took refuge inside the church.

He said: "It was a large mob but when we fought back they fled. These Zanu
PF supporters go from door-to-door rounding up people and forcing them to
join them for meetings at the Dhonoro base."

The priest in charge of the church was said to be away at a funeral when
this happened

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Daily News - Leader Page

State must publish Public Access to Information Bill

11/28/01 8:47:17 AM (GMT +2)


By Sizani Weza

"INFORMATION is dangerous."

These are the words of a senior government official whose duty is to inform
the local and international community about the policies of the government
of Zimbabwe.

I happen to loyally pay taxes to this government and would certainly not
believe that the information that the honourable minister churns out in the
media frequently is dangerous in any way. To be fair, I'm still yet to learn
of a decent profession that would give information to harm others.

The unfortunate thing about this statement is that it is being used in
conjunction with pending legislation that is meant to facilitate public
access to information - otherwise known as the Public Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Bill.

So, should Zimbabweans expect an access to information law that serves its
real purpose: that is promoting access to information held by public bodies
necessary for the exercise of one's rights? And do different situations
require different access to information laws? In July this year, Article 19
produced a Model of Information Law, which, among other issues, follows the
South African legislation in recognising that much important information is
held by private bodies, and that to exclude them from the ambit of the law
would significantly undermine the right to information.

No serious advocate of access to information would certainly argue in favour
of laws that prejudice the national security interests of a country.

The draft by Article 19 acknowledges that different countries have different
needs and as such, legislation on access to information may differ from
country to country. Yet the basic motivation remains that of empowering the
public.

Transparency International has provided information on the necessary
pre-conditions required for access to information legislation to prevail.
These include political stability, autonomy of the legal system and the
existence of infrastructure that will be used to transmit information.

Experience has shown that where there is political instability legislation
on information can be abused.

For example, Rod Amis describes in MediaChannel (June 2001) how governments
can use information laws when faced with a political crisis. The obvious
casualty in most of these instances is the media, the main conduits of
information.

In October 1998 when Nato threatened air strikes, the Serbian government
introduced a decree - the Public Information Act - severely sanctioning any
reporting that could be seen as defamatory. It spoke specifically to
"calumny, slander and aspersions" and effectively banned several newspapers,
including the Dnevni Telegraf.

The rebroadcast of programmes from foreign stations like the BBC, Voice of
America and Deutsche Welle was also banned. The decree was quickly followed
by a draconian new Law on Information which allowed for fines of up to
US$80 000 (about Z$4,4 million) and gave limited opportunities for appeal.

The first victim of the new law was Slavko Curuvija. In his new magazine
European he had published an article critical of the regime. The article
said stating that more than 100 000 young people had left Serbia due to the
oppressive economic and political circumstances. Curuvija called to provide
verification before the court for the claims in the article and to explain
how he had come up with the figure of 100 000. When he failed to produce the
evidence immediately he was fined.

Within days he was arrested and summarily tried several times for articles
printed in his publication.

Curuvija's passport was confiscated and in March 1999 he was sentenced,
together with two other journalists from the Dnevni Telegraf, to five
months' imprisonment on charges of "spreading false information" for an
article which linked a minister in the Serbian government to the murder of
the director of a Belgrade medical institute. That's how Dnevni Telegraf
daily died. Everything was
legal. There are several similar examples in other countries.

A lot has been said about the pending Access to Information and Protection
of Privacy Bill in the past few months. Some civic groups have made
submissions to the government on what access rights they and their
membership would want included in the new laws.

The submissions have been based on the ideals of access to information
legislation in a normal democracy. But there are three possibilities for
Zimbabwe.

Firstly, if the new law is going to guarantee no public access to
information, the government may just as well use existing legislation in
this arena and not misuse public funds. At the moment public access to
information is severely limited by several laws enacted during the colonial
period.

Secondly, if the law is going to promote limited access to information held
by public bodies- then the best way to proceed is to have no Bill at all.

It will surely be a waste of taxpayers' money to proceed with the Bill.

Simply repealing sections of legislation that prohibit access to information
would serve the purpose. Already provisions in the Public Order and Security
Bill curtail freedom of speech and the Press in several ways.

Thirdly, if the law will guarantee genuine public rights to information, the
government should publish the draft of the proposed Public Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Bill to allow civic society the right
to provide meaningful and constructive contributions to it. Government
officials have made public statements to the effect that the Bill is in its
draft stage and ready for tabling in Parliament.

The content of the Bill has not been made public besides vague references in
the media about some of the regulations it is likely to contain. In the
interests of democracy and transparency in government, the draft bill should
be made widely available before its presentation to Parliament. This would
conform to the very same ideals that the Bill should address.

The need for genuine public rights to information is of paramount importance
to the democratic welfare of all sections of society, and calls on
government to allow adequate time for public organisations to discuss the
proposed legislation and be sensitive to their contributions before its
presentation to the legislature.

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From World Association of Newspapers (Paris), 27 November

Mugabe risks civil conflict without free press : Mbeki

Pretoria - The President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, warned today that civil conflict could explode in Zimbabwe if full press freedom is not ensured in the run-up to presidential elections next March. In a private meeting in Pretoria with Board Members of the World Association of Newspapers, Mr Mbeki said: "The people of Zimbabwe need to say this was a fair election contest. The press freedom issue is getting worse and exacerbates as we get closer to these elections. If the outcome is not accepted by the people of Zimbabwe, the situation will be even worse and you have the danger of civil conflict". President Mbeki told WAN that the special Zimbabwe committee of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) needed to revisit the country to try and ensure that democratic election conditions, particularly freedom of the press, were respected. He said that all attempts by international committees to achieve this objective so far had failed. Talking more broadly about the future of Africa, President Mbeki said "what causes instability is the inability of people to express themselves freely - so they take up arms".

The Zimbabwean government has been widely criticised for its attacks on the independent press. In recent months, authorities have arrested local journalists, expelled foreign correspondents, and accused some journalists of assisting terrorists. The Board of WAN, meeting in South Africa, today awarded its annual Golden Pen of Freedom prize to Zimbabwe's most prominent press freedom advocate, Geoffrey Nyarota, the Editor of the Daily News. President Mbeki said that press freedom was a major part of the whole process of democratisation in Africa and he recognised that in several countries, the independent press continued to be repressed. In the Congo, for example, it was "critically important" for peace to have the "greatest possible open political debate. If you have parties that are banned and newspapers that are restricted, you do not have the conditions for inter-Congolese dialogue." In Angola, President Mbeki feared continuing violence against the press. He urged Angolan leaders to reject military solutions and achieve a negotiated settlement to the Angolan conflict. "If we don't address the problem of democracy in this country, the harassment of the press will continue". He said that the press had been instrumental in uncovering corruption by war profiteers and warned that the press "would continue to get hit" if the war continued.

The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 17,000 newspapers; its membership includes 70 national newspaper associations, individual newspaper executives in 93 countries, 17 news agencies and eight regional and world-wide press groups.

From The Independent (UK), 28 November

Zimbabwe students fight with riot police

Riot police in Zimbabwe fought running battles with students yesterday and arrested 19 pro-democracy activists, including a prominent intellectual, after they tried to stage a demonstration in the capital, Harare. At Westminster, the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, said Britain remained "profoundly concerned" at the recent increase in violence in the country and denounced as "preposterous" signals last week from President Robert Mugabe's office that journalists, including The Independent's Harare-based correspondent, are "assisting terrorists". The University of Zimbabwe students stoned police, who retaliated with tear gas, after they tried to stage a campus demonstration over the killing last Saturday of fellow-student Lameck Chemvura, 23, thrown to his death by soldiers from a train. A soldier is under arrest. The students yesterday branded President Mugabe a "terrorist" and called on him to resign. Mr Chemvura died after soldiers harassed passengers and accused them of supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The party was declared a "terrorist group'' last week, although it has 57 seats in Parliament.

The demonstration by activists from Zimbabwe's largest civic group, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), was called to protest plans by 77-year-old president Mugabe to change electoral laws. Those arrested included the respected and outspoken law professor, Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the NCA. In yesterday's Independent, Mr Madhuku said President Mugabe was effectively running Zimbabwe under a state of emergency. Last night, NCA executive director Perpetua Bganya said Mr Madhuku remained in custody and she and lawyers had been refused access to him. It appeared the activists were being detained for "obstructing the flow of traffic". Last week, police thwarted a similar NCA demonstration to protest plans to amend Zimbabwe's Electoral Act. The amendments will ban foreign monitoring of Presidential elections due by April, forbid private organisations from conducting voter education and deny voting rights to more than million Zimbabweans living abroad.

In the Commons yesterday Mr Straw staged the vigorous defence of the rights of journalists to report the situation in Zimbabwe and praised the "great courage" shown by Zimbabwean journalists, including The Independent's Basildon Peta, "recording the situation against the most flagrant intimidation". Last week, Mr Peta was included among a small group of journalists whom the government said it would treat as though they were "assisting terrorists". Mr Straw also told the Commons that the Commonwealth ministerial action group would discuss Zimbabwe in a tele-conference next month and hold a meeting in London in January. If violence continues to rise, the Commonwealth is likely to back planned European Union sanctions from February. These would include an end to EU aid, suspension of trade privileges and travel bans on Mr Mugabe, his family and aides.

The World Association of Newspapers yesterday awarded its annual press freedom prize to Geoffrey Nyarota, 50, editor-in-chief of Zimbabwe's only independent daily newspaper, The Daily News for his commitment to reporting the truth despite a "constant campaign of intimidation".

From The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK), 27 November

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw:

We regularly raise land reform with the Government of Zimbabwe. I did so at Abuja in September and with Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister, Mr Mudenge, in New York on 10 November. My noble friend Baroness Amos discussed it during the Commonwealth Ministerial visit to Harare in October. At Abuja, Zimbabwe agreed a set of proposals for a fair, just and sustainable land reform programme. Among other things, the Government of Zimbabwe committed itself to restore the rule of law to land reform and to respect the Commonwealth Harare Declaration. Its actions since Abuja show scant regard for these commitments and have seriously undermined the agreement. My Hon. friend the member for Exeter (Ben Bradshaw) set out Government policy on Zimbabwe in this morning's Adjournment Debate. But let me emphasise again to the House that we remain profoundly concerned at recent developments, including violence against the opposition, interference in the judicial system, moves to disenfranchise Zimbabweans living overseas and preposterously labelling journalists as people who have been assisting terrorism. Our European and Commonwealth partners and neighbouring states in Southern Africa share these concerns. At the 29 October General Affairs Council, the European Union therefore opened formal Article 96 consultations with the Government of Zimbabwe under the Cotonou Agreement. Cotonou states that if there is no progress within 75 days, "appropriate measures" may be taken.

A UN Development Programme technical team is now in Zimbabwe to look at the prospects for a credible land reform programme. Once its report is available, we will discuss this with Commonwealth and EU partners and key donor nations including the US. We shall of course, consult Southern African countries as well. I will at that stage make another statement to the House. All the way through this issue, I have been concerned to ensure that we work in partnership with Commonwealth countries, the EU and with the other southern Africans. Apart from the poor people in Zimbabwe who are suffering grievously from the results of President Mugabe's policies, it is the countries contiguous to Zimbabwe who are most affected by the disastrous economic and political management of Zimbabwe. We will continue to work with all these partners on the issue of election observers. What is striking is that President Mugabe's refusal to date - we hope he will change his mind but I don't hold out too much hope - to accept election observers in at the beginning of the electoral process not just at the end not only appears to be a breach of various EU and Commonwealth declarations to which he is signed up, but also to a very detailed declaration of norms and standards for elections in the southern African region to which President Mugabe himself signed up in only March last year and which specifically commits all southern African countries including Zimbabwe to the admission of independent election observers at the beginning of the electoral process as well as through it and polling day.

The issue of measures by the Commonwealth is a matter for the Commonwealth as a whole and not just for the United Kingdom. And I will just say this: nothing would play better with President Mugabe than if he was allowed to present this issue as one between black Zimbabwe and the old colonial ruler the United Kingdom rather than what it in reality is: a major issue of multinational and international concern. As far as the Commonwealth is concerned, I spoke this morning to the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Don McKinnon, about the situation. We are likely to have a teleconference of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group of which I'm a member in December and a proper meeting in January – that meeting should coincide with the end of the 75 day period under the Article 96 process under Cotonou. In addition to that we will continue discussion with Southern African countries. Because it is clear that there have to be significant changes in the arrangements which President Mugabe is in practice willing to put in place for observers to the election process and the election process itself if that election is to carry any credibility with the rest of the world and with the voters of Zimbabwe itself. We are all profoundly concerned about what's been happening on behalf above all of the people of Zimbabwe who have suffered so badly with 80% inflation, a decline in the growth rate of what was once the bread basket of Africa and the impoverisation of what was a very prosperous country. I would counsel against the UK taking unilateral action. That would work to President Mugabe's benefit. The important thing is that we work on the basis of partnership with the Commonwealth, EU and above all southern African countries.

The journalists who President Mugabe portrayed as assisting terrorism were Zimbabwean citizens who should only be mentioned for the great courage they have shown in reporting the situation in Zimbabwe against the most flagrant intimidation by those acting on behalf of President Mugabe and the Zanu PF party. Following the reports, our High Commissioner in Zimbabwe, Brian Donnelly, made very strong representations at my specific request to the Zimbabwean Government. We continue to work with independent media, NGOs and others to ensure that so far as possible the media is able to report fairly and independently what is happening in Zimbabwe and where they are prevented from doing so, the world knows. Building coalitions is exactly what we have been about for months. That was the purpose of the Abuja discussions. It was crucial that we broke away from this parody which President Mugabe had allowed himself to invent that this was a bilateral dispute between the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. Nothing of the kind. That's why the Abuja declaration was of crucial importance because Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Jamaica as well as old Commonwealth countries were signed up to that. That's why the discussions between President Mbeki and our Prime Minister were also important and the decision by the General Affairs Council of the EU to move from Article 8 to 96 and the meeting which took place last week between Commissioner Patten and High Representative Solana in Zimbabwe. All those are part of moves that we are making along with our partners to ensure there is exactly that coalition so that, unlike in the early 1980's when the previous Government sat on its hands while over 5000 people were murdered in Matabeleland, we take effective action based on an international consensus.

From Africaonline.com, 27 November

Zimbabwe farm decree scuttles land reform funds

Harare - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) team, which recently held talks with the Zimbabwe government over its controversial land reforms, will not be recommending the release of donor funding for the reforms, sources close to the talks have said. The UNDP team was in Zimbabwe to follow up on the implementation of a Nigerian-brokered agreement under which President Robert Mugabe pledged to halt his drive to seize land from white farmers in exchange for British funding for a rational and transparent land reform plan. The UNDP team, led by Abdoulai Janneh, a United Nations assistant secretary-general and regional director of the UNDP’s Africa region, was to assess the government’s on-going land reforms and recommend an alternative plan that is funded by Zimbabwe’s former colonial power Britain and other international donors. But highly placed sources said recently that the UNDP mission, piqued by Mugabe’s stepping up of farm seizures last week just as the team flew into Harare, would certainly not recommend that donors bankroll the reforms. "Nobody should be under the illusion that the UNDP team will come up with a plan that recommends the immediate release of donor funds," one source said. UNDP resident representative in Harare Victor Angelo could not be reached for comment. He was reportedly out of his office coordinating meetings between Janneh’s team and various stakeholders in the country. Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge was also said to be out attending meetings.

The sources said Mugabe’s decree last week ordering white farmers off their land within three months of their designation for seizure by the government had killed whatever little chance there was of the UNDP coming up with a report recommending immediate donor funding for land reforms. The UNDP was also expecting the government to have now taken more steps to calm down the land dispute by ensuring a strict adherence to the law, removing its supporters from all land not gazetted by the state as well as de-listing farms that did not meet the set criteria for acquisition. "We were expecting the government to freeze things and allow the whole situation to calm down, but what have we found on the ground is unacceptable: more listings and in some cases new farm invasions since the Abuja agreement was signed," another source said. Under the Abuja agreement signed in September, the government must enforce the rule of law by ending the illegal occupation of farms and general lawlessness on commercial farms and across the country. Mugabe and his government were to also uphold democracy by ending political violence, which has ironically widened and, in some cases, escalated through the invasion of new farms since Abuja. A Commonwealth mission which visited Harare last month to check on the government’s progress in upholding Abuja said Mugabe had done little to honour the agreement, although the panel felt the process was still on track. Britain, which is expected to provide the bulk of financial support for the land reforms in Zimbabwe, says it will only do so on the recommendations of the UNDP.

From The New York Times, 27 November

Zimbabwe: Friends can observe vote

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told Parliament that the government would invite election observers from friendly countries to assess the coming presidential election, expected early next year. He emphasized that the observers would not be from groups or countries that have called for sanctions against Zimbabwe, which has been criticized for harassing opposition members, white farmers and journalists. "We cannot allow people who are our enemies to come to our soil," Mr. Chinamasa said.

From The Washington Post, 28 November

Today In Congress

HOUSE : International Relations - 10:15 a.m. Afghanistan Freedom Act; discussions on Zimbabwe and Taiwan. 

Comment from The Montreal Gazette, 27 November

Who’s the terrorist?

In a classic case of adding insult to injury, supporters of President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe now are slapping "terrorist" labels on those who challenge his authority. This perversion of Washington's anti-terror discourse would merely be farcical if the probable consequences weren't so frightening. It seems to signal a new crackdown against political opponents, as well as new legal measures curbing civil liberties and a more energetic campaign of intimidation against the press (a half-dozen foreign correspondents were named and labelled as being no better than terrorists) - all in the run-up to the presidential election due by mid-March. As justification for their cries of "terrorism," supporters of the government cite the murder Nov. 13 of a Mugabe supporter. But blaming the opposition Movement for Democratic Change - and arresting several MDC members - is just a tad convenient, given everything else that has gone on. If anyone has a record of using violence to achieve political objectives, it is Mr. Mugabe's henchmen and supporters, and the murder seems to provide an excuse for more repression. Terrorism might not quite be the right word, but thuggery and intimidation certainly have been rife in Zimbabwe in recent years, and especially in recent months - against MDC supporters, journalists, aid workers and members of the judiciary - as support for Mr. Mugabe has dropped.

Meanwhile, the government continues to oversee the forcible, violent removal of white farmers from their lands, in violation of its own undertaking at a Commonwealth meeting in Nigeria in September to proceed within the rule of law. Zimbabweans increasingly seem fed up with Mr. Mugabe's attempts to blame colonialism for all of their woes just as his own policies make things worse. A new poll suggests that Mr. Mugabe might well lose the presidential election to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai - if a fair vote is held. But a new electoral law will make it harder for people to vote. And another poor omen came last week, when Mr. Mugabe stormed out of a meeting with three senior European Union diplomats after they insisted on sending observers to monitor the elections. This week, though, a government spokesman backtracked and said foreign observers would be allowed. (Just how much they will be able to observe is another question; the experience during the last legislative elections was not encouraging.) Canada and other countries should do all they can to ensure that the vote is free and fair - and make Mr. Mugabe pay severe diplomatic consequences if it is not.

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Daily News

Government allowed to appeal against mayoral election ruling

11/28/01 7:58:38 AM (GMT +2)


By Lloyd Mudiwa

CHIEF Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, has allowed the government to appeal
against a High Court ruling by Justice Charles Hungwe ordering Tobaiwa
Mudede, the Registrar-General, to hold Harare's mayoral elections on 28
December.

Chidyausiku's ruling means the Harare mayoral election is postponed
indefinitely.

Representing the Combined Harare Residents' Association, Advocate Adrian de
Bourbon, together with Advocate Edith Mushore, had said Chidyausiku
suggested during a closed hearing in his chambers that he intended to enable
the government to postpone the Harare polls.

"We are waiting for a decision tomorrow morning, but we can probably almost
guarantee that he is going to stay the High Court order because he said
that," Mushore, told reporters on Sunday.

De Bourbon and Mushore had unsuccessfully made an application for
Chidyausiku to recuse himself from the matter "because of his dealings with
the commission" involving land he had applied for.

The High Court judgement had also declared illegal the commission running
Harare.

"This order shall not be suspended even on appeal," High Court judge Justice
Charles Hungwe had ruled.

Chidyausiku, in a judgement handed down on his behalf by his colleague in
the Supreme Court, Justice Ahmed Ebrahim, said: "The stipulation in Justice
Hungwe's judgement that an appeal to this court should not suspend his
judgement be argued before the Supreme Court. Pending that hearing and
judgement, the stipulation is hereby suspended."

He said both the government and the Combined Harare Residents' Association
are granted leave to file further affidavits in the matter.

Chidyausiku's ruling makes the High Court order in effect null and void,
pending the determination of an appeal to be filed in the Supreme Court
within seven days.

The ruling follows an urgent application filed by Mudede and the government
against Hungwe's ruling on Sunday - only the third time since Independence
in 1980 that the Supreme Court has sat on a weekend.

Ebrahim said: "This is the position of the Chief Justice who heard this
application on Sunday.

"The Chief Justice is presiding in Bulawayo and has requested me to hand
down his judgement on his behalf.

Chidyausiku said Hungwe's judgement had not been made available to him.
"It therefore, is not possible for me to appreciate his reasons for
departing from the normal practice that the noting of an appeal suspends the
execution of the judgement appealed against which ensures that the
jurisdiction of this court is not ousted.

He said the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court should not be lightly ousted
by a stipulation of the lower court particularly in a matter of this
importance and significance.

"In the circumstances I will direct that the propriety of such a stipulation
be determined by this court," Chidyausiku said.

He said: "Due to the somewhat insolent and unco-operative conduct of the
association's lawyers it was not possible to arrange for hearing the appeal
on an urgent basis."

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Guardian

Students denounce Zimbabwean army as terrorists

Michael Hartnack in Harare
Wednesday November 28, 2001
The Guardian

Paramilitary riot police fought running battles yesterday with hundreds of
students protesting at the killing of one of their colleagues by soldiers.
"Police fired teargas and the students retaliated with stones," a lecturer
at the University of Zimbabwe's Harare campus said.

The students were angered by the death of Lameck Chemvura, 22, said by
witnesses to have been strangled with a shoelace and thrown out the window
of a moving train late on Saturday. He was accused of supporting the
Movement for Democratic Change.

"The Zimbabwe national army is now a terrorist organisation. This is a clear
declaration of war against students and the rest of Zimbabweans," a petition
circulated by the students' union said.

It called for the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, who is
commander-in-chief of the army.

A police spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena, said Chemvura was killed during a
brawl and was not a political act. He told the state-controlled daily the
Herald that one soldier had been arrested and charged with Chemvura's
murder. Witnesses said six soldiers were involved.

The police sealed all entrances to the university and blocked the approaches
to parliament five miles away to forestall a march planned to demand a fair
presidential election early next year.

The National Constitutional Assembly, an alliance of civic groups pressing
for electoral reform, had planned to demonstrate outside the legislature,
but could not even approach the building. The protesters were dispersed.

Meanwhile the police have said that the shooting of a farmer, Alan Bradley,
36, at Virginia, 120 miles south-east of Harare, was not politically related
either.

Mr Bradley, whose land has been occupied by militants and is earmarked for
seizure, was badly injured. A man has been arrested in connection with the
incident.
AP

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