Evicted farmers fear returning to properties despite court
10/31/02 10:33:22 AM (GMT +2)
Commercial farmers in Matabeleland granted permission by
the High Court
earlier this month to return to their properties have not
done so because of
fear of reprisals from ruling ZANU PF supporters
occupying their farms, it
was learnt this week.
The farmers, who had been evicted from their
properties under the
government's controversial land reforms, were granted a
allowing them to return to their properties until the
confirmed the acquisition of their farms.
But the head of the Commercial Farmers' Union in Matabeleland, Mac
said yesterday that police in the province were ignoring the High
order, which directed them to assist embattled white farmers to return
He told the Financial Gazette: "Members in charge of
are in contempt of the High Court provisional order because
they are not
adhering to it by refusing to assist.
have not responded to the order to ensure that we are
restored to our
respective properties. So it's difficult for farmers to
venture out there
without protection from the police."
Mthokozisi Manzini-Moyo and
Alfred Zwenyika, the spokesmen for the
police in Matabeleland, declined to
discuss the issue. Chief police
spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena was unreachable
Commercial farmers in Matabeleland have filed a court
contesting their eviction from farms to make way for blacks being
by the government under a programme that has led to the seizure of
90 percent of Zimbabwe's 4 500 white-owned farms.
allege that their eviction is illegal because some of the
have not been issued with eviction notices as stipulated by
Two weeks ago, High Court Justice Maphios Cheda
issued a provisional
order barring the police from evicting farmers in
Matabeleland. He ordered
them to assist the affected farmers to return to
Crawford said: "The police are in clear contempt
of court. We are in
the meantime seeing how we can go about this so that the
farmers go to their
properties as per the High Court order."
Most white-owned farms in Zimbabwe have been occupied by ruling
supporters and war veterans, who have in the past used violence
farmers opposed to the seizure of their land.
white farmers and an unknown number of farm workers have been
the land invasions began in February 2000.
Analysts say nearly two
million farm workers and their dependants
could also have been displaced by
the agrarian reforms.
- Staff Reporter
Stevens' killers have a case to answer: court
10/31/02 10:08:34 AM (GMT +2)
Court in Harare yesterday dismissed an application for
discharge by four
alleged killers of Macheke commercial farmer David
four ruling ZANU PF supporters, who are accused of murdering
Stevens in cold
blood in April 2000, had applied to the court for their
that the state had failed to prove its case.
Paradza however ruled that there was overwhelming
evidence linking the
suspects to the abduction and murder of the white
commercial farmer at the
height of the seizure of commercial farms by
militant mobs of the ruling
"My ruling therefore is that the four accused will be placed
defence because the state has so far managed to prove its case,"
The four are Richard Svisviro, Muyengwa
Munyuki, Charles Matanda and
suspect, Banda Katsvamudanga, did not appear in court.
said to have clashed with the ZANU PF supporters, who
included war veterans,
occupying his Arizona Farm before being abducted and
taken to the former
freedom fighters' base where the farmer and three others
The four white farmers were taken to Murehwa Heroes Acre,
Stevens was allegedly shot dead by the war veterans.
Meanwhile another High Court judge, Justice George Smith, yesterday
bail to opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Member of
for Mbare East, Tichaona Munyanyi, who is accused of murdering
activist Ali Khan Manjengwa.
Munyanyi's lawyer, Raphael Maganga,
yesterday said his client had been
awarded $50 000 bail after a previous
attempt to seek his release from
custody through bail had
Manjengwa was shot dead in August after addressing a party
the populous Harare suburb.
Born-again Jongwe invited ex-inmates on his death
By MacDonald Dzirutwe Senior Staff Reporter
10:23:14 AM (GMT +2)
LEARNMORE Jongwe, the late opposition MDC
legislator for Kuwadzana,
was jovial and did not seem troubled hours before
his sudden death last
Tuesday, according to two eyewitnesses who shared a
remand cell with the
Progressive Teachers' Union of
Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Raymond
Majongwe recounted this week how he had
become one of Jongwe's constant
companions during the three days Majongwe was
held at Harare's remand
Majongwe, the leader of a
teachers' strike declared illegal by the
government, was held in remand from
Saturday, October 19, until last Monday
evening, several hours before
Jongwe's mysterious death in the early hours
of Tuesday morning.
The two cellmates discussed the plight of Zimbabwe's teachers and
country's political situation, which they kept abreast of by
Majongwe said at no time during their
discussions did Jongwe, arrested
in July for allegedly murdering his wife
Rutendo, ever indicate that he was
"During my stay
with Jongwe, he never complained about anything or
showed that he had
problems," Majongwe told the Financial Gazette.
"He was in
a jovial mood and encouraged me to keep on fighting for the
cause of teachers
since we had taken the plight of teachers to a new level."
lawmaker, Majongwe and three other inmates had dubbed the
corner where they
slept in the large remand cell that holds 78 prisoners
"Gunhill", after the
posh Harare suburb.
The five inmates, who included MDC Harare
legislator Tendai Biti's
brother Stephen and two prisoners named Justin and
Mushonga, would share
food brought in by their relatives before chatting well
into the night.
Because the prisoners' bedtime is 4:30 in the
evening, they would play
a game of cards and read the Bible for inspiration
and to stave off boredom
during the long night.
Jongwe, 28, was
also writing a book about his life, clearly taking
advantage of the time he
had in prison after being repeatedly denied bail
over the alleged murder.
Jongwe had voluntarily handed himself over to the
police before his
One of the five inmates, who declined to named, said
had our corner where me, Jongwe and the other colleagues used
to sleep. This
is where we would be playing cards and chatting well up into
"This is where Jongwe and I would continue chatting
after the others
were asleep and he would be telling me his personal problems
if he had any
at that particular time."
He said Jongwe, who had
been like a brother to him since his arrest in
July, had become a born-again
Christian at the time of his death and was
cheerful even up to the last
The inmate said when he was discharged from remand on Monday,
person he saw was the legislator, who had asked him to visit him the
"I was actually surprised, in fact stunned, when I
heard that he had
died because he had sent me to get his laptop from a
colleague. I was
supposed to visit him that same day (of his
Majongwe also said when he left the remand prison, the
last person he
saw was Jongwe, who asked him to bring him Mazoe orange crush
paper on Tuesday, the day of his demise.
who heard about Jongwe's death over the radio as he prepared
to visit him on
Tuesday morning, said only the late MP's remaining inmates
held the answer to
his still unexplained death.
Two pathologists - one representing
the police and the other the MDC -
have conducted autopsies on Jongwe's body.
Their results are still to be
inmate said the parliamentarian had suffered from a
cough four days before he
died, but it did not seem serious enough to have
Although the results of Jongwe's autopsy have yet to be released,
the state media have implied that the legislator could have taken
life with the assistance of uncles who visited him the day before
But the MP's former inmates said there was nothing
poisonous in the
food brought in by Jongwe's relatives, otherwise the four
shared his meals would also have died.
people who can tell the nation what really happened on that
are the prison inmates," Majongwe said.
Commercial farming seen
By Nqobile Nyathi Assistant
10/31/02 10:12:27 AM (GMT
THE divided Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) came to
crossroads this week, but analysts say whatever route the organisation
will not lead to the salvation of Zimbabwe's commercial farming sector
the near future or the government's deviation from its set
The council of the CFU, which represents the
the country's white farmers, met on Tuesday amid division over
union should maintain diplomatic dialogue with the government
aggressively pursue litigation to oppose the eviction of thousands
commercial farmers from their properties.
90 percent of Zimbabwe's 4 500 white farmers have
been served with notice to
cease farming and vacate their properties under a
programme to resettle blacks.
On Tuesday, the CFU
council announced the resignation of
union president Colin Cloete and the
retirement of director David Hasluck.
The council said
Cloete had resigned "for personal
reasons", but both he and Hasluck have been
seen as supporting continued
dialogue with the government, which many in the
In a terse statement announcing the
departure of the two
officials, CFU vice president Doug Taylor-Freeme said
the organisation had
embarked on a broader strategy that would "encompass the
needs of all
members, regardless of whether they are farming or
Some farmers said the departure of Cloete and
might herald a more vigorous strategy to fight the government's
farms without paying compensation.
"Farmers have realised that in the past year-and-a-half of
dialogue, more and
more people have just been kicked off their farms," said
Ben Freeth, a CFU
regional executive officer who was suspended from the
Freeth was removed from his post for criticising
government's handling of the land reform programme and accuses the
leadership of bowing to government pressure to force him
He told the Financial Gazette this week: "We have
probably got only 10 percent of people still farming and that has
implications for the whole country and not just the farmers. Dialogue
simply failed and a stronger approach is
"I don't believe either Mr Cloete or Mr
prepared to change their way of doing things and have made room
who are prepared to take different action. What we need is a
leadership, and if that is in place, people can then go
But analysts this week described the farmers'
"tragic" because neither of the contested options had any chance of
the destruction of Zimbabwe's commercial farming
Economic consultant John Robertson said: "It
enormously painful to see how it has developed. They are fighting
when they should be uniting to fight the real
"We have seen the people who ought to be uniting
fighting very hard to protect each other being divided and not
each other or themselves. It seems they have been misinformed that
had done something different, they could have had a different
outcome, but I
don't think that's true."
Commentators said pursuing litigation against the
government would prove
futile for farmers, even though it has had some
success in the past few
Some members of Justice for Agriculture in
militant pressure group that seeks to challenge the farm seizures
have had some success in the courts since the organisation's
However, the analysts pointed out
that the government had
simply ignored court rulings in favour of the farmers
or changed the rules
by amending legislation to close the loopholes that had
caused the courts to
rule in favour of evicted farm
In addition, the government has indicated that
as far as
it is concerned, its agrarian reforms are virtually complete,
resettlement of black farmers is an ongoing
The commentators said this would also dampen
success of litigation.
Zimbabwe analyst Heneri Dzinotyiwei said: "I
think any group in Zimbabwe at
the moment that tries to fight the government
on the land issue will not
Robertson added: "The government is not
intending to lose
and has been changing the rules to suit itself. The
intention of the
government is to annihilate commercial farming because it
peasant farming and the communal ownership of land, and my belief
there is nothing the farmers can do.
are falling apart. The old guard is no longer
there but my guess is that
whatever the new team does will not help because
it's not the intention of
the government to lose. Which means the end of
commercial farming for the
The collapse of commercial agriculture,
the backbone of
Zimbabwe's economy, will have widespread implications for
local companies that rely on the sector for raw materials
Commercial agriculture accounts for 38
percent of Zimbabwe
's export earnings, while farmers in the sector have in
the past produced
most of the country's food during severe droughts such as
the one presently
blighting southern Africa.
land reform plan has already slashed food production
by at least 60 percent
in the past year and analysts say food security will
remain precarious for
the next two years.
Opposition Movement for Democratic
Change economic adviser
Eddie Cross said: "The commercial farming industry is
frozen in its tracks.
Only about 10 percent of people are left on the farms
and, as for the new
(black) commercial farmers, it's anyone's guess what they
"At least half of the farms are lying idle and
looking at another two years of hunger. We will have to continue
food and how we will pay for it is another
Commentators said only a change in government
failure of the land reform programme would result in the recovery
commercial farming in Zimbabwe.
"Commercial farming is likely to come back
because the alternative being put
in place will not work unless what the
government is trying to achieve is low
"Only if there is a change of politicians will
farmers be able to come back. They have been written into history
environment and they have no future under these
But Freeth was more optimistic. "I believe
that in the
fullness of time, there will be things to salvage," he
"Things will be run down when people get back,
infrastructure like underground piping, dams and boreholes will still be
"This season is going to be a write-off,
whether we like
it or not, but in the fullness of time we will be able to get
what we know best, which is farming.
Forex crisis to worsen as tobacco output falls
By Joseph Ngwawi Business News Editor
10/31/02 10:01:35 AM (GMT
ZIMBABWE'S tobacco receipts will fall by at least 20 percent
and deepen the country's biting foreign currency crisis, a
analysts warned this week could worsen President Robert Mugabe's
The analysts project that Zimbabwe's 2002/03 tobacco
crop will decline
by between 30 and 60 percent in the 2002/03 agricultural
season because of
the expulsion of more than 1 400 white commercial farmers
have been seized by the government.
large-scale tobacco farmers are still on the land, down from
more than 1 750
Financial services group Intermarket Holdings estimates
will produce a flue-cured tobacco crop of 112.8 million
season, about 30 percent lower than the 2001/02 output of
165 million kgs.
Quoting preliminary estimates from the Zimbabwe
(ZTA), Intermarket said projections on the basis of seed
sales up to
September 6 2002 implied a potential crop hectarage of 57 688
compared to 69 556 hectares last year.
economist John Robertson said reduced hectarage under
tobacco crop could cut
output by as much as 60 percent in 2002/03 and worsen
Zimbabwe faces a severe hard cash crisis that has
resulted in the
country missing payments on its external debt and has
triggered shortages of
essential raw materials and basic food
Tobacco is Zimbabwe's single largest exporting,
earning a third of all
annual foreign exchange receipts.
Large-scale commercial farmers produced about 90 percent of tobacco
contributed more than 40 percent of Zimbabwe's total
"What we could see is a very small and
low-valued crop and the main
impact of that will be on revenue collection
where the country risks losing
the entire receipts that used to come from
tobacco," Robertson told the
No comment was
available from the Indigenous Commercial Farmers' Union
(ICFU) or the
Zimbabwe Farmers' Union this week but ICFU president Thomas
said black commercial farmers planned to produce up to 90
million kgs of
tobacco in the 2002/03 season.
"Indigenous farmers and those in the
smallholder sector are estimated
to grow the crop on an area of more than 40
000 hectares and between 70 and
90 million kgs are expected to be realised,"
There are about 10 000 smallholder tobacco farmers
but it was not
clear at the time of going to print how many ICFU members are
Analysts however estimate that receipts
from the golden leaf, which
were projected at US$330 million this year, would
decline by at least 23
percent next year due to the anticipated reduced
output as well as the poor
quality of the crop.
noted that, assuming an average price of US$2 a kg, an
output of 112.8
million kgs would imply total earnings of about US$225
They said reduced tobacco earnings would have a ripple effect on the
the agro-based economy, which is expected to decline by as much as
next year unless stability is restored in agriculture.
accounts for about 40 percent of Zimbabwe's economy and
provides at least 60
percent of the inputs used in the manufacturing sector.
At its peak
in 1999, tobacco netted US$600 million before government
onto white-owned farms in February 2000 to punish the
farmers for their
alleged support for the opposition Movement for
The ZTA this week said there was an urgent
need for a review of the
current tobacco marketing system.
noted that a higher tobacco exchange rate, together with high US
prices paid on the floors, would see growers' Zimbabwe dollar
doubling over last year's but only just sufficient to recover
production costs and not providing any extra cash flow towards
highly inflated costs of producing the next crop.
According to the ZTA, the cost of production of flue-cured tobacco has
by about 152 percent in the past year compared to average consumer
of 139.9 percent in the 12 months to September 2002.
Zimbabwe dollars to the US dollar and a parallel rate of
over 1 000 Zimbabwe
dollars to the US dollar, there is little current
incentive for growers to
put in another crop," the ZTA said in the tobacco
report for October
It said the growers looked forward to the possibility of an
announcement of a significantly increased support price for the new
when Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa presents the 2003 national
"The announcement of a viable support
price scheme as soon as possible
will be necessary for continued support by
financial institutions and
growers alike as they proceed at the moment with a
leap of faith in
continuing to transplant their seedlings," the association
ZANU PF Insiza win 'fool's gold': analysts
Sydney Masamvu Political Editor
10/31/02 10:20:13 AM (GMT
THE ruling ZANU PF's victory in the Insiza parliamentary
demonstrates that the government has mastered unorthodox tactics
democratic space in Zimbabwe and not that the ruling party is
voters, political analysts said this week.
said the outcome of last weekend's Insiza poll, in which a ZANU
triumphed over the opposition MDC in largely opposition
that the ruling party's unorthodox methods, crucially its
resort to violence
as a political tool, was bearing fruit in the dire
circumstances of troubled
The analysts noted that ZANU PF had secured victory in
elections last month using virtually the same methods which it
perfected during the 2000 parliamentary vote and the 2002
These methods include the use of violence,
intimidation and the
politicisation of food aid, which defenceless and
starving rural voters are
unable to withstand.
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which polled 5
102 votes against ZANU
PF's 12 115 in the just-ended Insiza ballot, claims
that ruling party
supporters engaged in widespread violence and intimidation
voters from voting for the opposition.
As in previous elections,
ZANU PF's use of violence and resort to
Zimbabwe's draconian legislation
against the opposition also made it
difficult for the MDC to campaign
effectively before the Insiza poll.
Before the election, MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai only addressed one
campaign rally under heavy police and
army guard, which further intimidated
supporters have also been accused of using food to bribe
most of whom are facing starvation because of the
land reforms which have virtually killed
agriculture, the locomotive of
Zimbabwe's agro-based economy, and a severe
before the Insiza election, the United Nations' World Food
stopped distributing food aid in the area after ruling party
boldly seized WFP food aid and denied it to villagers suspected
Heneri Dzinotyiwei, a political analyst at the University
(UZ), said Zimbabwe's rural people were starving and would do
survive, hence their apparent willingness to be bribed with food
aid to vote
for ZANU PF.
"The situation in the rural areas is
that of starvation, that is the
climate under which the election was held,"
he said in an interview.
"People in those areas will accept any
form of help in the short term
to survive and the government has the edge on
this. The opposition has not
been given space to also offer help in this
The MDC's food aid to the starving is still being held at
which forms the Zimbabwe-South Africa border, months after it was
The government says it will not allow the
maize, Zimbabwe's staple, to
be distributed to those in need unless the MDC
gets state approval to import
the maize, a product whose trade is solely
controlled by the government.
The analysts said the conditions
under which the Insiza poll was
conducted, not ZANU PF's popularity, had
contributed to the defeat of the
MDC, which rocked ZANU PF in the 2000
parliamentary vote by capturing nearly
half the seats at stake.
Until then, ZANU PF had ruled unchallenged since independence in
prompting it in the 1990s to seek to impose a dejure one-party state
"The election result in Insiza has no significance
at all because, in
the first place, it wasn't an election by any stretch of
another UZ political analyst, Elphas Mukonoweshuro, told
"It was littered with the usual fraud and
violence. The victory can be
best described as a fool's gold because that is
what it is."
He said ZANU PF was burying its head in the sand if it
victory achieved through such unorthodox means demonstrated that it
still a popular party.
Government policies are widely blamed
for the collapse of Zimbabwe's
economy, characterised by soaring inflation,
company closures, record
unemployment estimated at over 70 percent and severe
foreign currency and
Abject poverty now afflicts
nearly 80 percent of the population
compared to about 40-50 percent at
The government's programme to seize white-owned farms
blacks and a drought combined to slash food production last
season by over
60 percent, leaving close to seven million Zimbabweans - or
population - facing starvation.
The analysts said the
impact of these conditions had been particularly
severe on the country's
urban population but noted that urban dwellers were
unlikely to bow down to
ZANU PF's intimidatory tactics in future
parliamentary by-election is set to take place soon in Harare's
constituency following the still-unexplained death in prison last
week of MDC
legislator Learnmore Jongwe.
"The outcome of the Insiza election
has no bearing whatsoever to any
election which will take place in urban
areas because the conditions and
set-up are entirely different. It takes more
than intimidation and food
politicisation to cow urban voters," Dzinotyiwei
The analysts urged the MDC to come up with better strategies
would compel the government to open Zimbabwe's democratic space,
the opposition party could become ineffective and possibly
They said the MDC's failure to lift its presence in
might give ZANU PF the majority seats in Parliament, thus
ruling party to pass key constitutional legislation without
A two-thirds majority in the House is
needed to pass such laws.
Following the Insiza vote, ZANU PF has
now increased its seats in the
150-member Parliament to 64 from 62 gained
during the June 2000
parliamentary election, while the MDC's seats have
shrunk from 57 seats to
"The MDC has now to go into a
survival mode and take ZANU PF head-on,"
another political analyst
"The MDC has been too nice to ZANU PF, much to the opposition
disadvantage. The political playing field is too uneven for the MDC
compete effectively. The MDC has to find ways to rectify this," the
said, preferring not to be named.
MDC to take govt to court over forex
10/31/02 10:32:54 AM (GMT +2)
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is preparing to
file a court
application to compel the Ministry of Finance and Economic
release records of Zimbabwe's 2001 foreign currency
transactions, it was
Efforts to secure the release of the records
began in June when the
opposition party wrote to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
disclosure of the country's hard currency
The MDC requested the information under the Access to
Protection of Privacy Act, passed after the March
presidential election. The
law allows the public to seek information held by
The central bank subsequently referred the request
to the Ministry of
Finance, from which MDC economic advisor Eddie Cross said
there had been no
He told the Financial Gazette this
week: "We wrote to the ministry a
week ago reminding the minister of his
obligation and he hasn't even
bothered to acknowledge our
"We are now going to court. The appropriate papers are
being drawn up
and we are taking the government to court."
Requests for full disclosure on the use of Zimbabwe's foreign
resources have been prompted by fears of mismanagement of the forex,
has been in short supply in the country for more than two
Hard currency shortages have spawned a thriving parallel
analysts say is sustaining the country's economy and has
speculators, many of whom are converting their assets into forex to
themselves against the collapse of the tottering
Massive demand for foreign currency has resulted in
rates devaluing by about 50 percent in the past three weeks,
official exchange rate has remained fixed at $55 against the United
dollar since the year 2000.
The rapid depreciation of the
black market rates is expected to force
up the cost of goods because most
manufacturers secure their forex from that
been a 50 percent devaluation of the dollar in the last
three weeks and that
has profound implications for everyone," Cross noted.
There was no
comment from the government on the MDC's threatened court
case. - Staff
Binga and Food
Extract from letter ......
"It is now a clear month since Save the Children Fund and the Catholic
Church were stopped distributing food to the 180 000 to 200 000 people in this
District. This instruction came from the Governor of Matebeleland North (Obert
Mpofu) and has covered not only the donor agencies but also GMB stocks of maize
in the area. All attempts to get the embargo lifted have failed and even an
intervention by the Governor of Midlands (Cephas Msipa) has been rejected.
You are aware that this District was identified very early on as one of the
worst affected areas and one with an almost total crop failure during the past
season. The people in the District are 90 per cent Tonga and represent one of
the poorest communities in the country. There is no commercial activity to
speak of in the area and they are totally dependent on food from the outside -
either donor funded or from the Grain Marketing Board.
The District has consistently voted MDC since 2000 and the local MP was
elected with the largest majority in the country. It is clearly being punished
for doing so in clear violation of the UN statutes on Human Rights and all other
norms covering the supply of food to people in their position.
This is a
human rights violation of the worst kind and simply cannot be tolerated by any
organisation with responsibility and influence.
In the past three weeks we have seen no public attempt to censure the State
for this action and certainly no public statements from your offices or the
offices of the World Food Programme. The last effective intervention we have
seen was the visit by the Special Ambassador to the WFP, Mr Tony Hall.
week when I spoke to the Ambassador of the United States in Harare on this
matter he told me that he had spoken to you on this issue that morning and that
the UNDP "was still hoping that progress could be made with the Minister
responsible" (July Moyo).
I think a month is enough time to allow for some form of effective
intervention. The fact that nothing has happened on the ground is a disgrace.
I am astonished at the total ineffectiveness of the UN system in a crisis of
this nature. I must also inform you that last night there was a heavy storm in
the Binga area and food stocks stored in the open air were severely damaged. We
have organized private transport for food distribution and the District
Administrator will not allow the exercise. People have queued with money at the
GMB depot to buy what is available and have been turned away.
Received via Zimbabwe ....
Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2002 1:50 AM
Subject: Re: Snared elephants
Dear Col - Many thanks for your efforts. They are really very much
I've been out searching for another snared elephant - sighted just
This one's a teenager with a snare around it's chest. (Now that was
one BIG snare that it walked into ... ). Despite my best efforts, I haven't
been able to relocate him as yet. Categorically determining where some of the
high-ranking females roam (by way of collaring) would certainly help to ensure
that we are focusing our snare collection efforts in the right places.
The good news is that the young elephant that was de-snared last month is
doing so very well. His wound is heeling nicely, and it doesn't seem that he
will have any permanent injury. (Unfortunately, the other young one that we
darted with antibiotics a few months ago, after his snare had snapped, appears
to have some permanent damage, and may well always walk with a limp.
gruesome wound however has now healed nicely.)
Yes - here's hoping that some funding is forthcoming for some
With strong rumours of a cull to take place in the NP next year,
collars would now serve another valuable purpose. Given that this gentle herd
is supposedly protected by a 'presidential decree', if I can determine home
range, I can then also put a case forward to NPs to ensure that they cull BEYOND
the range of this Presidential Herd. Culling is a horrible enough thing,
without these habituated elephants being caught up in it too. But with rumours
suggesting a May/June timeframe for a possible cull, time is running out.
(I've done some more investigation into collars, and ideally, to avoid the
need to radio track from the air - given the extensive home ranges of elephant -
it would be ideal to use GPS collars. These collars automatically gather
regular location readings, which you then download to a laptop, by simply
getting close to the collared animal. The weather here plays havoc with radio
tracking from the air, and it would seem that this type of collar would be
ideal, although not absolutely essential. The bad news is that one GPS collar
is approx 2,500 pounds ...)
Many thanks once again for your efforts.
Please keep in touch,
Farm Invasions And Security
Friday 01 November
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
Odzi - Ongoing theft of
irrigation pipes, motors and pumps.
Chipinge - Cattle are
disappearing from all owners on a daily basis.
There was a labour dispute on one farm and the owner given ten minutes to
Burma Valley - There was
a labour strike on 26.10.02 on a farm in the valley. This is a personality
clash amongst the workers and a meeting has been arranged between the Councillor
and the workers to try rectify the situation. The farmer who was removed by the
National Land Task Force has sorted out his problem and is
Harare South – reported
21.10.02 that a farmer with a Section 5 and no problems to date,
home to find the DA, OIC
with several policemen and a crowd of people on his farm. The DA was in the process of splitting up his
farm and handing out pieces to the crowd present. They were very aggressive, but
then left. The farmer expected them back the following day.
MASHONALAND WEST (NORTH)
Raffingora/Ayrshire - There are now eight
white commercial farmers actively farming in the Raffingora area. Some of these
are still awaiting results for the D.A. & P.A.'s Offices concerning LA3
downsizing/sub-division applications. The date for the next evictions draws
closer. We believe there are only three white commercial farmers in the
Mutoroshanga area. Of interest is some farmers have successfully sold, or are
in the process of selling, farms to black businessmen. (This is not relating to
the above) We estimate nine farms in this category. All other farms have been
pegged and settled to some degree, mostly A2 in the central Raffingora unlike
the A1 settlement/allocations last year. Progress in general on tillage is not
good from either group of settlers. The countryside is now completely burnt
out, with cattle de-stocking going on furiously. Theft on all properties is
horrendous, in particular electric motors, irrigation equipment and bananas.
This is going to be the biggest problem, especially now that Tredar Security has
closed down. The Ayrshire club remains closed and the settlers are trying to
re-open it if they can get enough members.
Plenty of strangers and unknown vehicles moving around the
Doma – there are six
people farming, with two farmers having SI6 problems. The Sunkist Farm owner was told to leave his
farm and apply for land elsewhere by the D.A.
Settlers demand implements, maize meal and money. Ex labourers have no money and no food.
People are starting to starve. The
Farways Farm owner had to send in a petition to ask the settlers if he can farm
his coffee plantation, as it has been sub-divided.
Nyabira - Huge theft
experienced which is unsustainable. Theft on all properties is horrendous.
Tengwe - Caversham
Estates owner was barricaded in his house because of SI6 problems. The Renroc Farm family was barricaded in
their house (including wife and small child) because of SI6 problems. The Oribi Park owner’s wife was barricaded in
her house and the labour went on strike because they say they have been graded
incorrectly. The manager’s house was
totally trashed with doors and baths ripped out.
Umboe /Doma – the Umboe
and Doma Farmers’ Association will have joint meetings every second month. Umboe now has less than 10 farmers. Some Section 8’s have been delivered. The
Highbury Estates manager’s wife had a road traffic accident near Banket has been
taken to the Avenues Clinic for stabilisation. She is recovering and will be
home in a couple of days. The army
arrived on Victory Estate bringing seed and fertilizer on their army truck. They came ostensibly for an anti poaching
patrol but the owner was barricaded in his house, with electricity cut off and
drums beaten continually outside. The problem is still unresolved.
Tengwe – the Holme Lacey
and Silver Lining Farm owner faces pressure with someone starting to plough at
the instigation of the ex-Major Maponga.
Maponga wants to move into the house and barns of Holme Lacey Farm. The owner has no assistance from the Police
who say he must see the D.A. Neither
farm has a Section 5 or Section 8. At Meddury Farm and Solera Farm the ex-Maj.
Maponga posted two armed guards at the pipe on a dam so no water is “let down”
to both these farmers who are due “let down” water. They both have tobacco and paprika in the
ground and need water desperately.
Police say it is not their problem and they must speak to the D.A. A large crowd broke windows on Rugare Farm.
The owner was extracted and is unable to return. ZRP again say it is not their problem. All
the windows and doors were stolen from the farm village at Manna Farm. Police will not react. At Ian Penny Farm a Mr
Mapfumo, a teacher at Tengwe School, intimidated labour causing a work
stoppage. The farmer is feeding and
watering his large egg operation by himself.
No vehicles are allowed on the farm, and Mapfumo’s locks have been fitted
on the gates. The farmer has to climb
under a fence and walk to his neighbouring farm. Police will not attend to the matter, and
again claim this is a matter for the D.A.
Mayor Gumbo of Kariba is claiming Bonanza Farm for himself, and has paid
the women settlers to harass the owner.
The owner was threatened and moved off the farm. Police will not react and state it is the
D.A.’s problem. The owner of Zinyewe
Farm has been off the farm for two weeks. Settlers have broken in and stolen
some items, which is under investigation.
The owner of Inanda Farm faces daily pressure to move from the house and
to pay off the staff. ZRP say they have
a Section 8 and can do nothing about the situation. The Meidon Farm labour want packages and the
owner cannot grade his tobacco. In
general, there are continual problems of strikes lasting 2-3 days at farms where
workers demand SI6 packages. The Police
in Tengwe are not a police force. They
have selective law enforcement and therefore there is no order. There are four Coffee farmers left in Tengwe,
with six coffee farmers forced off their farms.
Masvingo East and Central – the Farm A owner is under continued
harassment from settlers that have moved into his homestead and refuse him
permission to continue with land preparations.
Farm B reports that poaching is rife within this park. Attempts at
electrifying the fence have failed after all electrical equipment was
Mwenezi UPDATE – As from
October 22, 2002
Farmer C was ordered by
settlers to remove his 400 head of cattle from the farm, and his only working
borehole is now unable to sustain the extra demand of settlers’ livestock and
human demands for water. The water held in reserve will be depleted within a day
or two. Offers to open up another borehole in return for grazing for his cattle
has been denied. The DA does not appear to be asserting his authority and the
owner has been unable to contact him for two days now. The situation is tense
and he has not returned to live at his farm.
Assistant DA Hungwe visited to attempt resolve problems there. Settlers, who have forced their way into
Farmer D’s house, evicted him form his only home. They demand he pays them rent
for his remaining livestock. His cattle are unable to move off the farm due to
the Foot and Mouth Disease quarantine. He was only issued with a Section 8
notice a few days ago. This is extremely cruel behaviour meted out to an old man
in his eighties. The cattle have been
forced to stay in the pens “until the evicted owner sells them”. Agritex teams visited four farms writing up
each farm’s moveable assets, saying that it would be an advantage for the owner
to allow them to do so. The cattle sale
at the Lion and Elephant was stopped after a single case of FMD was confirmed at
the sale. All 450 head are to be sent for immediate slaughter, which is a huge
loss to the beef industry because the cattle were in poor condition and should
have been fed for 60 days before slaughter. The immediate loss to the owner is
in the region of ZW $18 million. Although there is only one visible case now the
virile nature of the disease will cause it to rapidly spread through the
confined herds. This will mean that many thousands of livestock are now destined
to die as they are trapped on farms without adequate food. Infected oxen will be
unable to plough for the settlers. On 24.10.02 there was a confrontation between
settlers on Farm F and the manager on Farm G. The dispute is over water and
cattle were forced to stay in the pens. When the cattle were finally released
after a telephone conversation with Inspector Moyo the settlers insisted the
cattle and paddocks were theirs. This claim of ownership is bound to be the next
step orchestrated to retaliate over South African protection. The Police will
attempt to get the elusive DA there to meet with the settlers and resolve the
situation. Assistant DA Hungwe visited
farm H to advise settlers that they are to be removed next week and sent to Farm
J. He enquired of the owner whether this move would alleviate the present
pressure on the water supply system. Nine heifers stolen from Farm K were
recovered in Sengwe communal land over 100 km away. Seventeen steers from Farm L were loaded on
to a lorry and driven to Pahlela area of Sengwe. They are still being tracked,
as they could not go far on foot because they were Hereford cross which do not
like the heat.
Chiredzi - Snaring and poaching
continue. The Farm M owner is
experiencing continued problems in trying to obtain his eight motor engines from
Save Conservancy - Reports of a wild
dog with a nasty snare wound on its neck and a young black rhino with a snare on
its rear leg. As yet they have not been caught. No visible change except that
there appears to be an increase in clearing and there is serious poaching going
on in areas where there has been a green flush in the vegetation. The courts are
not playing the game and are handing down ridiculous sentences like community
Poaching figures as table shows.
Total since August 2001 up to the end of:
Incidents where animals have been
Number of snares
Number of poachers dogs shot
Gutu / Chatsworth - A team from
Agritex has been moving around the farms in this area recording all the
equipment on the farms. Stock theft and
theft of wire continue. A large number of the cattle from a Chatsworth group of
farms have been relocated to grazing in the Mwenezi district. The area where
these cattle are grazing has now been quarantined for FMD. The grazing the owner
leased down here is now finished so he has been moving his calving cows to
another leased property near Masvingo. This has now been stopped and could be
the death of 500 cows and their calves because they will no longer be allowed to
move off the farm. Stock feed is in limited supply and the economic viability of
buying stock feed is out of the question. The owner has continued problems with
the District Administrator Gutu and the "war vet" on the Mazongogroro
No report received.
No report received.
Visit the CFU Website www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
specifically stated that this is a Commercial Farmers' Union communique, or that
it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU
capacity, the opinions contained therein are private. Private messages also
include those sent on behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the
Union. The CFU does not accept any legal responsibility for private messages
and opinions held by the sender and transmitted over its local area network to
other CFU network users and/or to external addressees.
Makamba sued for grabbing farm
9:41:54 AM (GMT +2)
By Lloyd Mudiwa
a Harare businessman and former television talkshow
host, has been accused of
forcing settlers from a farm which he wants to
host of defunct Joy TV's Makamba At Night show, is
alleged to have used
Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officers and
Zanu PF youths to evict
settlers from Maryvale Farm in Mazowe East.
The farm, being rented
by Jack Callow, the director of Eardington
Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, which runs
the property, was invaded by the settlers
records filed in the High Court, Makamba, a former radio
disc jockey and MP
for Mt Darwin, has seized Callow's farm implements worth
Even Kamil M Khalfan, the honorary consul of the Sultanate
was too frightened to help Callow, his former employee, from being
the papers said.
Khalfan has strong links with the
government. His company owns 50
percent of Catercraft, the sole provider of
in-flight catering services at
The rest of the shares are held by Zanu PF's M&S
applied to the High Court through his lawyer, Constantine
Mkinya of Mkinya
and Mkinya, for an order allowing him to continue occupying
the farm. He
wants Makamba ordered to vacate the farm and surrender all
assets and farm
In his founding affidavit, Callow says
Elliot Manyika, the acting
Governor of Mashonaland Central Province, had
encouraged him to expand a
viable rose project he was running, before Makamba
grabbed the property.
Callow's farm had been invaded and he was
restricted to the area near
his farmhouse. Manyika is Zanu PF's national
political commissar as well as
the Minister of Youth Development, Gender and
"I then asked Elliot Manyika if I could be
allowed to continue my rose
project and he said I could even expand it as
long as I did not interfere
with the settlers," reads Callow's
"I asked him to put this in writing and he got very
cross with me as
he said he was a man of honour and a high-ranking government
could keep his word of honour."
Callow said after
he and his Dutch partner, Flodac, refused to hand
over 51 percent of the
shares, a group of youths from the Border Gezi
training centre were deployed
on the farm in District Development Fund
trucks on 14 April.
youths broke into his house and took residence there, he said.
Callow said he
was advised not to return to the farm as Makamba had also
settlers who had earlier invaded the farm.
Callow finally paid off
his workers on 11 May, as he was unable to
continue his work.
said: "I made a police report on several occasions, but was advised
Makamba was untouchable. Even the police officer commanding the
Shumba, told me that he was unable to assist me because he was
too junior to
deal with Makamba."
Callow said his problems started after
expanding his rose project in
partnership with the Dutch company and
Makamba started putting pressure on the Butler
family, whose company
Bartelus (Pvt) Ltd owns the farm, to sell to him. He
summoned Callow to his
Joy Television offices in the Harare city centre on 26
Makamba is the chairman of Flame Lily Broadcasting
(Pvt) Ltd which
operated as Joy TV. Callow said: "Present in the meeting was
Makamba and two
CIO agents. Makamba said he had been granted Maryvale Farm
under the A2
model resettlement scheme, but that I could stay in my house if
I agreed to
continue working for him as his manager.
agents threatened me with dire consequences if I either
demands or took the matter to court or to the Press."
despite the fact that trade agreements between Zimbabwean and
are protected by a standing bilateral trade agreement.
Callow then approached
Khalfan who initially agreed to mediate between him
when Callow returned to Khalfan he found his attitude "completely
almost to a point of being hostile".
"He told me that he could no
longer help me as this could jeopardise
his other business deals with
Makamba," said Callow. "Khalfan told me that
Makamba would accept nothing
less than 51 percent shares in my company or I
would be forcibly
Callow said Makamba, in a subsequent meeting, threatened
him and Tim
Ford, the Dutch company's representative, with eviction and went
verbal tirade about racism, saying "it was now time for us to pay for
sins of our forefathers".
Chinotimba accused of accepting bribes from
11/1/02 9:33:07 AM (GMT +2)
Joseph Chinotimba, the vice-president of the Zanu PF-backed
Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU), has been accused of taking bribes
conniving with "white imperialists".
According to the
minutes of a ZFTU meeting held early last month, two
leaders of a splinter
mineworkers' union tried to oust Chinotimba from the
Sithole Makenga and Kingstone Tafirenyika Chitsuro, the
vice-president of the newly-formed National Mines, Quarry,
Iron and Steel
Workers' Union, accused Chinotimba of taking bribes and
conniving with "white
The minutes did not specify with which "white
connived with or whose bribes he took and in
exchange for what he took them.
During the commercial farm
invasions of 2000, Chinotimba was a close
aide of the late war veteran
leader, Chenjerai Hunzvi, who spearheaded the
invasions. Chinotimba called
himself "the commander of the farm invasions".
The meeting was held
at the ZFTU's offices in Harare Street on 2
mineworkers' union is a splinter of the Associated Mine Workers
The minutes record that the meeting was attended
by, among others,
Alfred Makwarimba, the ZFTU president, R Chokuda, Zanu PF
for Sunningdale, and a Mr Windman, general secretary for
the ZFTU mining
Chitsuro, the minutes say, warned
Chinotimba to vacate his ZFTU post
after he objected to suggestions by
Makenga that he (Chitsuro) be appointed
the ZFTU legal adviser or leader of
the ZFTU's "mother board".
Makenga, according to the minutes,
angrily told Chinotimba "to hang
Chinotimba retorted that
he did not know Makenga and accused him of
claiming affiliation to the ZFTU
when he had not been endorsed by Zanu PF
officials, the minutes say.
Chinotimba reportedly refused to work with
Makenga but a temporary truce was
struck after intervention by Makwarimba
and other ZFTU
Yesterday, Chinotimba denied he had attended the
meeting. But he then
turned round and said: "If anyone says I must leave the
ZFTU, then he is
working against the union. "That Makenga hasn't even been in
for three months. He is too junior to say that."
Chinotimba dismissed Makenga's claim, reported in The Daily News
that he was working with the ZFTU and Zanu PF to destroy the
Congress of Trade Unions by March next year.
He said: "We are
shocked. Unions are there to work for the people, not
to destroy each other.
We as presidents of the ZFTU are apolitical. "Whether
it is Morgan
Tsvangirai, the MDC president, who is going to be president of
we will follow the government which will be there. "We work
government, but that doesn't mean we are Zanu PF. Some of the
represent are MDC. We don't get even a cent from Zanu PF."
Blacklist hits Red Cross
11/1/02 9:26:34 AM
THE Danish government has
ordered its Red Cross Society not to channel
charity funds sourced through
the Danish International Development Agency
(Danida), to its sister
organisation in Zimbabwe because the local branch of
humanitarian body is headed by a Cabinet minister.
Mombeshora, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, who
is also the
president of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, is on the blacklist
European Union (EU).
The Copenhagen Post newspaper last week
reported the Danish Ministry
of Foreign Affairs had forbidden the Red Cross
to distribute Danida aid in
Zimbabwe, forcing the organisation to use funds
from nationwide collections.
The Danish Red Cross has been accused of
"extreme naivety" in
continuing to transfer charity funds to the Zimbabwe Red
Cross, which is
headed by Mombeshora, who is on the EU's travel
Denmark is a member of the EU, which slapped President
ministers, Mombeshora included, and top government and Zanu PF
with travel bans over human rights abuses and the flawed March
The EU has also called for a rerun of the
As an integral member of Mugabe's
inner circle, Mombeshora is viewed
as part of a corrupt government accused of
indiscriminately murdering white
farmers, inciting political violence and
violating human rights throughout
the country, the paper said.
It said the Danish Red Cross was now being criticised by opposition
in Zimbabwe for allowing Mombeshora to administer hundreds of
kroner, the Danish currency, donated by charitable Danes.
there has been political violence in Mombeshora's Makonde
Danish Red Cross' general secretary, Jorgen Poulsen, said
he had no reason to
believe that Mombeshora did not uphold Red Cross
have investigated this man on many occasions during the 17 years
he has been
president of the Red Cross, and on no occasion has he been found
politics with his work for us," said Poulsen.
But Paul Themba
Nyathi, the MDC spokesman, said: "That is naivety of
the worst kind. How can
Mombeshora be neutral when he participates in daily
planning violence and repression? I have never once
heard him reject the
violence that plagues our country."
Mombeshora could not be
contacted to comment on allegations that his
organisation was involved in the
partisan distribution of food aid.
Denmark moved its embassy from
Harare to South Africa early this year
over the deteriorating political and
humanitarian situation in the country.
'Join the Zanu-PF or lose seized farms'
October 31 2002
By Patrick Leeman and Mercury Correspondents
top-ranking official of president Robert Mugabe's cabinet has said the
Zanu-PF will take back land from newly-resettled black farmers who
members of the party.
Youth, Gender and Employment Creation Minister
Elliot Manyika told the
state-run Herald newspaper that farmers should "make
sure they are members
of Zanu-PF or risk losing land".
provoked a sharp response from the main opposition party which
said it proved
that Mugabe's claims about his land reform benefiting the
It had become an open secret that the main beneficiaries
of the land
were Mugabe's supporters
Mugabe's critics say most of the
prime land seized from whites has benefited
government ministers, senior
state officials, military and police chiefs and
ruling party cronies and
Paul Themba Nyathi, spokesperson for the opposition Movement
Change, said Manyika's remarks confirmed that the land
seizures were part of
Mugabe's grand plan to buy his prolonged stay in power
without regard to the
chairperson of Zimbabwe's largest civic group, the
Assembly, said there was nothing new in Manyika's
statement since it had
become an "open secret" that the main beneficiaries
of the land were Mugabe's
Meanwhile, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, local church
leaders and their
Zimbabwean counterparts said it was time for the churches
in both countries
to rediscover their "prophetic voice" and speak out against
as the torture of innocent civilians, the erosion of civil
rights and land
invasions in Zimbabwe.
These were among the
conclusions reached after a two-day consultation
between church leaders of
nine denominations from the two countries held at
Umzumbe on South Africa's
The chairperson of the consultation, Bishop Rubin Phillip,
said the factor
of fear among the Zimbabwean church delegations had emerged
during the two-day meeting.
Fuel Price Hikes Loom in Zimbabwe
Sharp Fuel Price Hikes Loom As Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe Demands Oil
Cos. Supply Nation
HARARE, Zimbabwe Nov. 1 - After more than two years of
shortages, President Robert Mugabe said he will deregulate
fuel imports and
demand private oil companies supply gas from their external
reserves, state radio reported Friday.
accused foreign oil companies of profiteering from
in which they buy fuel imports at subsidized
prices from the state oil
procurement monopoly, the National Oil Company of
Zimbabwe, the radio
Multinational oil companies must now import their own fuel
Mugabe told a meeting of government and business leaders, the radio
Oil industry executives declined to comment on the
an official order is issued canceling the National Oil
Company of Zimbabwe's
import monopoly. Currently companies are not allowed to
Executives said privately the announcement late
disarray in the energy sector and if enforced could push up
the price of
gasoline by as much as 600 percent.
It also gave
credence to reports that a deal with Libya to provide $30
million worth of
gasoline a month for the next year was falling apart after
Zimbabwe failed to
pay arrears in shipping and handling costs.
A gallon of gas costs
about 68 cents one of the lowest prices in the
government has pegged the price in a bid to hold down inflation,
at a record 140 percent in the nation's worst economic crisis
independence in 1980.
Acute hard currency shortages since 1999 have
led gas stations to run
dry, with long lines of cars regularly waiting for
The hard currency shortages have pushed up the illegal
exchange rate to more than 1,200 Zimbabwe dollars to one U.S.
compared to the pegged official exchange rate of 55-1.
International oil companies have said they would need to buy hard
inflated rates of a blended mix between the official and
unofficial rates to
Civil unrest erupted last year when bus and commuter
fares were raised
by 30 percent. Commuters boycotted transport firms and
vehicles were stoned
until fares were reduced on government
State radio said Mugabe said foreign oil companies would be
to use their external hard currency funds to import fuel, but oil
said they must be allowed to remit some hard currency abroad to
left with large amounts of Zimbabwe dollars in a
Mugabe described state fuel imports sold
by foreign oil companies in
Zimbabwe as "this game of foolery" that reaped
huge profits for them and
losses for the state.
import and not wait for the government to do it for them.
They have the
foreign exchange. In true partnership, they should play their
part ... they
don't suffer from the headaches and stomach aches I suffer"
over fuel, he
Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or
Commonwealth upholds Pakistan suspension
02 November, 2002 01:18 GMT+08:00
LONDON (Reuters) - Commonwealth foreign ministers
suspension from their organisation on Friday, saying last
had not completed the transfer of power from military to
Speaking after a meeting in London, they said it was
too soon to judge
how much control President Pervez Musharraf, whose 1999
triggered Pakistan's suspension from the group of mainly
colonies, would hand over to parliament.
benchmark for Pakistan is the restoration of democracy,"
Minister Mompati Merafhe, chairman of the eight-strong
Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), told reporters.
"No government is
in place. We don't know how many of the executive
powers held by the
president are going to be transferred to the elected
members of parliament,"
Ministers agreed to maintain Pakistan's suspension from
of the Commonwealth -- the decision-making bodies of the
organisation -- until they had a clearer picture of "the role
functioning of democratic institutions".
followed a report from Commonwealth observers which gave
approval to the October 10 polls, declaring events on the
"credible" but the overall process unfair.
"We're not calling for
new elections. We're saying it could have been
Secretary-General Don McKinnon told Reuters. "In the
meantime, let's see a
"BIG STEP" TO DEMOCRACY
Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, voicing Western hopes
Pakistan would be offered some encouragement at Friday's meeting, had
expected ministers to recognise the "big step" it had taken down the
towards democracy, even if it was too early to consider
But the CMAG statement offered little comfort
Diplomats said any suggestion of easing the pressure
on Pakistan won
short shrift from arch-foe neighbour India and African
ministers, who argued
that it would smack of double standards while Zimbabwe
was kept out in the
Zimbabwe was suspended from the
Commonwealth councils for a year in
response to President Robert Mugabe's
disputed re-election in March and the
violent seizures of white-owned farms
for landless blacks.
Last month a troika of Commonwealth leaders
failed to agree tougher
sanctions against Zimbabwe and ministers at Friday's
talks decided to take
no further action.
The London meeting of
the ministerial action group, which acts as the
Commonwealth democracy and
human rights watchdog, brought together ministers
from Australia, the
Bahamas, Bangladesh, Botswana, India, Malta, Nigeria and
Portrait of Zimbabweans As Hungry, Angry People
The Daily News
October 30, 2002
Posted to the web November 1,
BEING a columnist anywhere in the world can be hazardous to your
both mental and physical if your area of concern is the human
I once received a letter from a reader I was convinced had
gone bananas who
called me a Banyamulenge and threatened I would come to a
sticky end if I
continued to write what I was writing which was basically the
condition with no punches pulled.
excerpt from the Africa 2002 guidebook, click here.
To buy the book, click
The human condition in Zimbabwe is tragic and telling it in
language would be just as tragic.
Some Zimbabweans are so
laid-back in their response to the corruption and
plunder in high places, I
believe they would deserve it if they woke up one
day and found there was no
Zimbabwe any more, that it had been carved out of
the earth and flown in a
stolen B747 to Libya, to pay for the oil.
For instance, how can people
continue to be calm after the United Nations
alleged some of their leaders
looted the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
even as they pretended to be
doing their Pan-African solidarity duty to help
a fellow country in
That story should be posted on all public notice boards in all
People seem so nonchalant about official corruption only after
stolen their wife, husband or lover from their bed will they wake
No columnist would feel honest if they pulled any
punches with such people.
They have to be hit with the bare truth on the head
with the force of a
sledgehammer. They need the truth told to them every day,
uncluttered with platitudes.
Most columnists are always
hoping that one day the truth will hit the
sceptics and the cowards in the
solar plexus and they will know its time to
wake up and smell the
Many people may not realise it yet, but this country is about to
run out of
life its own and its peoples. In other words, in the words of the
The end is nigh! There will be the wailing and gnashing of
All this is bound to occur when the final morsel of food is
consumed and the
survivors of The Plague stare at each other with the big
question mark in
their blank, saucer-like eyes: Who shall we eat
The expression you have beautiful legs or a fine body will no
longer be a
compliment to pulchritude, but to the culinary delight that
The Plague will be caused by the absence of
food, any food at all, and the
spectre of cannibalism. The dustbins will have
been emptied by men, women
and children fighting with insane desperation over
anything left in them,
for not even the rich will be throwing away their
crumbs. They will not be
rich any more. The only rich people will have fled
the dying country, their
loot loaded into helicopters guarded by mercenaries
bristling with AK 47
rifles and bazookas.
If all this brings a chill
to your bones, then all I can say is: You aint
seen nothing yet to quote
someone whose name I forget for the moment.
After I wrote about sadza
being evidently plentiful in London the other
week, a number of people
responded, from there and places beyond. Most said
they were determined to
hang on in the United Kingdom until the present
odious crowd exited the scene
Whether this exit will be as ignominious as these people
deserve may depend
on how angry the hungry citizens of Zimbabwe will be by
then hungry enough
to tear them from limb to limb, or just enough to whisper
their well-fed ear-lobes with a croaky voice: Just get the hell
out of my
One e-mail I received from the UK: I was fascinated
reading your piece last
week about maize-meal in London. You will be
interested to know that it was
the first thing that I looked out for when I
arrived here. Its mostly
available in Indian shops and for a 2kg pack, I pay
£1,79 . . . its very
nice though, and you can also get powder rice which has
been finely ground.
It leaves a funny taste though.
Another one said:
Its true there is more maize-meal here than at home. With
the increase of the
immigrant population from Africa and the West Indies
over the years, the shop
owners (mostly Asians) have seen the golden
opportunity and stock all sorts
of hupfu from America, South Africa but,
regrettably, nothing from Zim.
Besides the abundance of our beloved hupfu,
many of the Zimbabweans I have
spoken to, both young and old, concur that
Ôif they had a choice they would
rather be at home than here.
So, there is the truth which I wish
R-R-R-Reuben Barwe would embrace to his
ample girth and broadcast. These
people have no choice. Tragic thats the
only way to describe it.
we still have the nauseating official propaganda which would have you
that Life Is Beautiful in Zimbabwe. But for whom?
The official statistics
of death from starvation are not being released as
readily as those from
Aids, which is not surprising.
An admission by the government that people
are dying of starvation would be
well-nigh impossible for what is now
unofficially called The Ministry of
Lies to deal with.
In Binga, an
old woman and her granddaughter ate a tuber the grandmother
mistook for a
potato. Before she died, the grandmother told our reporter
that it was her
mistake and she could not blame it on President Mugabes land
programme, which she said would help her granddaughter, who did not
tuber because her grandmother had left none for her.
Asked for her
comment, the granddaughter, aged three, muttered something
grandmother having been misled by The Daily News . . .
They will blame it
on everyone else except themselves even Learnmore Jongwes
death in custody.
The South African apartheid regime did not initially
for the death of Steve Biko.
Sekou Toure did accept responsibility for
the death, in one of his own
jails, of Diallo Telli, the first
secretary-general of the Organisation of
African Unity. Mengistu Haile Mariam
has never accepted responsibility for
the death of Emperor Haile
Kamuzu Banda never accepted responsibility for the death of
Orton Chirwa or
The government and the ruling party
of Zimbabwe have never accepted
responsibility for the death of Tichaona
Chiminya and Talent Mabika. Neither
have they explained why Kainos
Kitsiyatota Zimunya and Joseph Mwale, named
in the High Court as suspects in
the murder of the two MDC activists, are
still free to continue where they
left off at Murambinda in Buhera in 2000.
Clearly, this government has a
lot to answer for, apart from trying to
starve the people to death.Even if
Thabo Mbeki, the President of South
Africa who is rumoured to be silly-scared
of offending Mugabe, were to work
out an exit plan before the 78-year-old is
handed his exit papers by
You-Know-Who, there are some who think someone
ought to answer for him.
The old man might regret having flown back to
this country during the 2002
presidential election, when it is said he flew
out after being told the jig
was up. firstname.lastname@example.org
Expats scoff at Mugabe's plan to tax them
2002 at 02:52AM
By Basildon Peta
Harare - President Robert
Mugabe's cash-strapped government is planning to
levy taxes on three-million
Zimbabweans working abroad in a desperate bid to
raise cash for fuel and
But expatriate Zimbabweans are mostly scoffing at
the attempt, noting that
the same government had banned them from voting in
the March presidential
"No taxation without representation"
is the unofficial response. "I am not
prepared to subsidise Mugabe's regime
when I was denied my inalienable right
to vote," Jeremy Dube said in
Johannesburg on Thursday.
'No taxation without
Others circulated emails among themselves dismissing the
Deputy Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri said the
Zimbabwean government was
planning to levy income tax on Zimbabweans working
abroad "in a bid to
benefit from the brain drain and strengthen the country's
The government's rationale is that the state invested in
and so is entitled to a return in the form of
It was unclear how the government intends to enforce the new
which it hopes to implement early in 2003. It claims that
governments will help, but, given Zimbabwe's world standing, this
Most Zimbabweans working abroad were driven
out by the harsh economic
climate, including inflation of 140 percent,
unemployment, and shortages of
basic foodstuffs such as bread and milk.
Cloete says he still enjoys national
11/1/02 10:31:19 AM (GMT +2)
Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) president Colin Cloete, who
under pressure from some of the members, says he still enjoys
Cloete resigned at the union's national council
meeting on Tuesday
this week and gave a 30-day notice of his intention to
position he has held since August 2001.
director, David Hasluck, also announced his intention to be
relieved of his
position in 30-days time from Tuesday 29 October 2002.
been the director for the union since 1984. He has served
the CFU since
The faction, which pressured Cloete and Hasluck into
wanted the two to either resign or they would vote to choose
or litigation in dealing with the government over evictions
About 95 percent of the CFU's 4 300
members have been slapped with
evictions, despite the fact that some of them
own single farms.
Cloete said in a statement that although his
resignation was approved
by the union national council, CFU members from
around the country had
during the past 12 years expressed support for him.
They had requested he
rescind the resignation.
Cloete refused to
disclose why he had resigned but said, it was
statement produced on his behalf by the union's public relation
ProComm Public Relations, Cloete said he was mindful of the fact that
needed "more than ever before, strong leadership to unify members".
"It is not yet known if he will reconsider his decision based on the
consensus of the CFU members balanced against his personal
Cloete said recent statements made by Ben Freeth,
CFU Mashonaland West
(South) regional executive, suspended by the union for
government through a prayer and a message circulated via
"twisted and one-sided and contained a sinister agenda of
servicing his own
and Justice for Agriculture (JAG) interests".
Like JAG, a CFU splinter group, Freeth is calling on law abiding
use the courts in cases where they see discrepancies in the land
Hasluck was not available for comment. Internal squabbles
the union in the past two years when splits emerged as a result
government's land reform programme.
agriculture is doomed as more than 30 percent of the 2 900
issued with farm evictions have left the country.
Only 600 farmers out
of the union's membership of 4 300 have remained
on the farms.
Commercial banks have refused to fund the few farmers remaining on the
because of uncertainties caused by the land reform programme.
Foreign currency earning crops such as flue-cured tobacco, soyabeans,
food crop wheat have over the years been produced by commercial
About 90 percent of the beef exported in the country was
large-scale commercial farmers. The dairy industry, also
threatened by farm
evictions, is still largely dominated by large-scale
commercial farmers, who
produce about 90 percent of the country's milk.
Starving villagers slam Zanu PF
9:37:46 AM (GMT +2)
HUNGRY villagers in Hurungwe district
have castigated Zanu PF for
reneging on its election promise to provide them
with drought relief food if
they voted for the party.
Nyamande, Zanu PF district chairman for Piriviri in Hurungwe's
Ward 14, said
yesterday he had lost faith in the Zanu PF government because
it had not
fulfiled its election promises.
He said he had been challenged by
about 500 starving villagers to
explain why they had still not received
The villagers have camped at Chivende business centre
for almost a
week now, waiting to receive food aid.
said: "Only a few villagers have received food aid while the
still threatened with starvation. "The situation is
deteriorating by the day
and there is no hope in sight because the
newly-elected Member of Parliament,
Phone Madiro, has been silent on the
people's plight since he was
Madiro was elected in a by-election in September to fill
previously held by his deceased brother, Marko.
Kazembe, the councillor for Ward 14, said the government had
provide a monthly allowance of $1 500 for each household to buy
Kazembe said: "The grain from the government is undoubtedly
and many villagers are still to receive their share. To make
the money they promised to pay the villagers is not
"As a result, we have adopted a system of rotation whereby
take monthly turns to receive grain. Only three centres, Marere,
Chirariro, have benefited from the programme so far."
Hosiah Mutota of Piriviri village said the government should act
provide grain and seeds, to avert mass starvation in the area.
Mutota said: "We are yet to receive any grain, let alone some seeds
fertiliser as the planting season fast approaches. If the government
deliver soon, the cycle of hunger may be prolonged."
families out of over 3 000 households in Piriviri village have
government-sponsored consignments of farming inputs consisting
of a 30kg bag
of seed and 12 bags of fertiliser.