A farmer has just been shot and is in critical condition requiring an
urgent blood transfusion of Rh A negative blood. Any possible donors in
Zimbabwe are requested to contact me ASAP on 091-261862 or 04-490723 or
Mugabe's pal Van Hoogstraten to splash on Zim
By Staff Reporter Last updated: 10/08/2004
02:30:01 PROPERTY tycoon and President Robert Mugabe's main foreign financial
backer Nicholas van Hoogstraten is set to splash thousands of pounds on
Zimbnabwean charities after a court awarded him £500,000 from the family of
a Sutton businessman he was once convicted of killing.
Hoogstraten owns vast land interests in Zimbabwe and recently set-up an
office in Harare. The Sunday Times newspaper reported recently that he was
planning on moving to Harare permanently.
"I don't need it but it's
my money and if I choose to give it away I'll choose one of the charities I
support in Zimbabwe, not that family," Hoogstraten said Thursday from his
The family of Mohammed Raja, who was murdered at his
Mulgrave Road home in 1999, must pay him an initial £90,000 within two
months, a judge ruled last week.
It is to cover the legal expenses of
van Hoogstraten's successful appeal against a £5million lawsuit filed by the
Raja's son Amjad said the family was disappointed by the court's
decision but vowed to continue court action against van
"It's true the legal expenses are taking a toll on us," he
said. "But if we give up now our father would have died in
Raja had been suing van Hoogstraten, a former business partner,
when he was shot dead by two men who, it was claimed at an Old Bailey
criminal trial, were acting as agents for van Hoogstraten.
being sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2002 for manslaughter, van
Hoogstraten's conviction was set aside by the Court of Appeal earlier this
Gunmen David Croke and Robert Knapp are currently serving life
sentences for Raja's murder.
The Raja family continued with the
£5million claim and a High Court judge imposed severe penalties on van
Hoogstraten after he failed to comply with court orders to disclose his
The orders, which saw his assets frozen worldwide, were
overturned by appeal court judges in July.
Families of Former Zimbabwe Farm Workers Face Difficulties Tendai
Maphosa Harare 07 Oct 2004, 14:45 UTC
Most of Zimbabwe's farm
workers who lost their livelihood more than four years after the country's
controversial land reform program was implemented, are still struggling to
make a living. It is estimated that 350,000 of the people who worked on white
commercial farms lost their jobs when their employers were forcibly removed
from their land.
While some are now working for the new farmers,
there are some who were left without a source of income. A farm worker who
spoke to VOA on condition of anonymity said most of the about 30 former
workers on his farm and their families are facing an uncertain future
because of lack of employment.
He says that since the departure of his
former employer in 2001, he and some of his colleagues have worked on
surrounding farms until those commercial farmers were kicked off their
The man says he now provides for his family of five by taking on
occasional part-time jobs. He says he is one of the lucky ones because he
got a piece of land, but he lacks the necessary tools to till the land and
money to buy seed and fertilizer.
It is getting increasingly
difficult for workers to provide food for their families. As a result, aid
agencies have stepped up their efforts by providing food programs at some of
the farm schools.
At one school, the headmaster, who also requested
anonymity, said for some of the nearly 600 students, the cornmeal/soya blend
porridge they receive once a day is often the only meal they have.
12-year-old pupil at the school agreed, saying food at home was so scarce
that sometimes his six siblings and their parents do not have anything to
According to the newsletter of the Farm Community Trust of
Zimbabwe, an organization that looks after the interests of vulnerable
groups in farming areas, more than 120,000 children in four of the country's
10 provinces where the Trust operates are benefiting from the
A spokesperson for another non-governmental organization said it
is difficult for such groups to give accurate numbers and the degree of need
because they are denied access to the areas by pro-government groups. "They
say we are anti-land reform," says the spokesperson who asked not to be
The government of Zimbabwe has stopped aid agencies from
giving the needy handouts, claiming that the country harvested enough grain
to feed everybody this year. About half of Zimbabwe's population of 12
million have depended on food aid since 2000. Successive droughts have led
to a drop in food production. But, aid agencies also blame President Robert
Mugabe's sometimes violent land reform program, in which white commercial
farmers' land was taken away and redistributed.
Critics of Mr. Mugabe
say the land reform program did not benefit poor, landless blacks. Instead,
they say, it gave special treatment to those aligned to the ruling ZANU-PF
party. The president has acknowledged that the program was flawed and has
said that those who have grabbed more than one farm will be forced to give
up the extra ones.
Court judge, Justice Rita Makarau, has ordered that the families evicted
from Little England Farm in Mashonaland West last month should return to the
property with immediate effect, as the ongoing land eviction saga takes a
new twist. The order was handed down in chambers on Monday, in a case in
which Percy Masendu and 429 others sought the court's protection from
eviction. The applicants had cited Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi and
Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, as first and second respondents
respectively. The officer-in-charge of Nyabira Police Station and Stanford
Katonha, the Zvimba district government lands officer, were also cited as
respondents. The settlers had filed an urgent chamber application in the
High Court to have the eviction order nullified. The respondents were
ordered to pay the costs of the suit. Makarau ordered: "The applicants and
all those claiming through them be allowed to continue staying at Little
England Farm until such time as they are properly resettled or evicted by an
order of a competent court. "The respondents or any person acting through
them or on their behalf be interdicted from interfering with applicants'
occupation of Little England Farm by unlawfully evicting them or destroying
their dwellings. The respondents jointly, severally and in solidium pay the
costs of the suit."
Heavily armed police descended on the Nyabira
farm on September 17, 2004, and burnt down homes, destroying property worth
millions of dollars. The applicants had been settled at the height of farm
occupations in 2000 under the controversial land reform exercise. In their
founding affidavit, the applicants argued that their eviction was illegal,
citing the Rural Land Occupiers (Protection from Eviction) Act (Chapter
20:26), which protects legal settlers. The applicants said police Deputy
Commissioner (Operations), Godwin Matanga, had ignored their pleas to be
left alone, against the advice of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of
Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, Simon Pazvakavambwa. They also mourned
the destruction of their property and the traumatic experiences which their
children, who are expected to write their final Grade 7 and "O" Level
examinations this month, underwent.
HARARE - A financial windfall is on the way
for thousands of Zimbabwe government pensioners as President Robert Mugabe
steps up his party's campaign for office in next year's general
Mugabe, known for his violent campaigns in any election,
seems to have changed his tactic, opting for financial rewards to the long
forgotten pensioners living around the country, as Zanu PF tries to meet the
Southern Africa Development Community, (SADC) protocol on guidelines for
free and fair elections which he signed in Mauritius recently.
Although the move is set to draw heavily on the fiscus as the government
will pay out millions of dollars to each pensioner, the Zanu PF government
will be happy to retain power in the elections at all costs.
of the government pensioners are drawn from teachers, office orderlies and
messengers who worked for the colonial government in the sixties and
seventies before independence.
Some of them were now getting a
monthly pension allowance of $8 000 but will, after the exercise, get more
than $600 000 per month as pension allowances.
the ground seem to be reflecting that there would be less political violence
in the coming general elections as Mugabe would want the election process to
be legitimised by the regional body, which has of late been talking tough on
issues of good governance and democracy within the region.
present, a senior party official, Didymus Mutasa, is being investigated by
the police on charges of political violence.
Vice president Joseph
Msika has also ordered that senior intelligence chiefs and police officials
in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city be investigated after four Zanu
PF youths were allegedly assaulted in politically motivated
According to new regulations, each government pensioner
is supposed to get a monthly allowance which is three quarters of what the
current civil servant in that position is getting.
past few months, civil servants have received salary increments of between 1
500 to 2 000 percent, making then some of the highest paid workers in the
When The Daily News Online visited the government pensions
office at Mukwati Building yesterday, long queues of retired civil servants
could be seen.
Most of the people in the queue said they had
travelled from remote parts of the country after being informed by their
political leaders of the new government initiative.
some of them have already received their windfall for last month. Those who
had not received anything were supposed to fill in 'indexation forms' so
that their dues could be paid at the end of this month.
windfall to pensioners comes a few days after the government announced that
it would pay out hefty allowances to war collaborators and ex-political
detainees before the end of the year.
The move, which has been
described as a political gimmick, is set to severely strain government
coffers, to which more than $600 billion would be doled out to ex-political
prisoners, war collaborators, detainees and restrictees who participated in
the 1970s liberation war. The award comes seven years after a similar one to
former combatants wreaked havoc on the fiscus.
A Bill paving
the way for the compensation of ex-political prisoners, restrictees and
detainees of Zimbabwe's war of liberation has already been gazetted and is
set to be tabled before Zimbabwe's Parliament
which went into its
last session this week, before general elections early next
The registration of political detainees would be done using
data from the Zimbabwe Prison Service, while war collaborators would be
drawn from those who were youths during Zimbabwe's armed
Meanwhile, the registration of war collaborators has hit
a snag after revelations that bogus organizations purporting to be
representing the youths, had already started selling registration cards to
Reports in the local media have indicated
that the organisations were currently operating in parts of Matabeleland and
The government is also paying all the
traditional leaders, the aged and orphans in rural areas, where Mugabe
enjoys much support, a monthly allowance.
The same is not being
done in urban areas, where the opposition Movement for Democratic Change,
(MDC) commands a huge following.
Those who are also participating
in the food for work programmes in rural areas, have had their monthly
allowances revised upwards to more than $60 000 per month depending on the
number of days one would have worked.
Institutions like the
District Development Fund (DDF), have been instructed to employ youths from
the ruling party.
The decision by the
government to increase the allowance for pensioners is a last ditch attempt
by the ruling Zanu PF to win votes in next March's parliamentary
A drowning man, they say, will catch at a
With its atrocious track record of human rights abuse,
violence against members of the opposition and civil society, repression of
the private media and a stranglehold of the state run media, the Zanu PF-led
government wants to woo the thousands of pensioners, some of them from the
Ian Smith era, by awarding them hefty sums of allowances.
might be too little too late because the majority of people, pensioners and
those still in gainful employment have suffered a lot during the last few
years from the gross economic mismanagement by the government.
few of them will forget what they have gone through. Workers have been
hardest hit due to diminished disposable incomes. Companies have been shut
down, throwing thousands onto the streets. Zimbabweans have been forced to
bear the brunt of the economic crisis with basic commodities like bread,
sugar, soap, cooking oil and fuel in short supply.
pensioner takes home $10 000 or less per month and will now get as much as
$600 000 per month. This will be a bounty but for how long will it
A family of five, living in a four-roomed house in the high
density suburb of Mbare, Mufakose, Mkoba or Mzilikazi needs a minimum of $1
million for it to lead a normal life.
This money is not enough
for the family to save for a rainy day or for school fees for two
The cost of living in Zimbabwe is ever rising, eroding
the buying power by the local currency so much that some viable companies
are increasing their wage bill every three months to cushion their workers
from imminent hunger and starvation.
The next big question is:
where will the government get all the money to pay the thousands of
Is it not a question of borrowing from Peter to pay
Paul because in the end, the taxpayer will pick the bill one way or the
other? - Editorial
Museveni of Uganda fought for the liberation of his country from
imperialists. He thus contributed a lot to freedom.
He has scored
many marks in the field of HIV/Aids prevention. He however still has much to
do in the field of promoting democracy.
His hands are dirty from
the Hutu/Tutsi holocaust and he has supported the role of the imperialist
powers like the United States in destabilising developing nations like
Uganda, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique and others where Washington has always
supported rebels and supplied them with arms of war.
case of Zimbabwe, it is no secret that the Americans are after our rich
mineral resources, uranium, chrome and gold.
I am surprised that
Museveni says regime change does not work. What he implies is that he should
remain in power until Amen.
This is typical of all dictators and
Museveni is as much a dictator as his Marxist colleague, Robert
Both men came to power preaching socialism. Well, it was
mere lip service. They abandoned it as soon as they tasted power and became
Museveni is very wrong to say that men
and women who led liberation movements like Robert Mugabe, Nelson Mandela,
the late Joshua Nkomo, Kwame Nkrumah should not be demonised.
In a true democracy, people should be free to criticise their leaders if
they notice that they have gone astray. This is true of our very own
Uganda, I am told, is not among the rich countries of
Africa. In fact, it is one country where people are living far below the
poverty datum line. The country virtually survives on handouts from
Washington and other rich nations whose interest is only in the natural
resources of the country.
Africa has had enough dictators who cling
to power and only move out through a revolt or death.
Mugabe, they do not want free and fair elections because they know they
stand to lose if elections were held fairly and freely. - TALKING
Zimbabwe tables new laws despite opposition October 07
2004 at 06:25PM
Harare - Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF tabled two
controversial bills before parliament on Thursday, despite strong criticism
from home and abroad.
Changes to the already-strict press laws
could see journalists fined and imprisoned for two years, while a new NGO
Bill has been slated by local aid agencies as hitting vulnerable people when
they most need help.
On Tuesday 47 women from Zimbabwe's Women of
Zimbabwe Arise pressure group were arrested for taking part in a peaceful
demonstration against the NGO Bill. Three Zimbabwean photographers also
spent the night in police cells before being warned not to cover illegal
About 10 000 people could lose their jobs if the
bill is passed by parliament, say NGO workers, speaking on condition of
anonymity. The Bill also outlaws foreign funding of many local aid
The NGO Bill seeks a ban on all organisations working for
improved governance and human rights in the southern African
Meanwhile changes to Zimbabwe's Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act seek to make it illegal for Zimbabwean journalists
to work for any organisation other than the one to which they are
accredited. The changes, put forward by information minister Jonathan Moyo,
are expected to be passed by parliament where Zanu PF holds 68 seats, many
of them appointed, against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change's
Four foreign correspondents have been deported and over 30
Zimbabwean journalists arrested during the last four years of political
turmoil in the country, more than during the previous 20 years of
independence from Britain in 1980. - Sapa
Higher staple prices indicate greater need, FEWS NET
[ This report does
not necessarily reflect the views of the United
JOHANNESBURG, 7 Oct 2004 (IRIN) - Significant increases in
the price of maize, a staple food in Zimbabwe, indicate that needs are
likely to be higher than originally projected, according to the Famine Early
Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).
In its latest monthly report on
the food security situation in Zimbabwe, FEWS NET noted that the selling
price set by the state's grain monopoly, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB),
"is over 34 percent higher than the maize price that the Zimbabwe VAC
[Vulnerability Assessment Committee] assumed for this time of year when it
made its projections that about 2.3 million rural people would require ...
178,000 mt of food assistance".
This meant that food aid needs could be
higher than initially thought. "According to various official reports issued
in September (by the GMB Chief Executive, and the Secretary for the Ministry
of Agriculture and Rural Development to the Parliamentary Portfolio
Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Rural Resources, Water Development and
Resettlement), farmers had sold between 294,000 mt and 325,000 mt of maize
grain to the GMB. The maize collections reported by the GMB are less than 30
percent of the total amount of maize the government had estimated it would
buy from farmers this marketing year," FEWS NET observed.
government of Zimbabwe predicted a bumper harvest this year but independent
assessments have warned that this was unlikely. Zimbabwe's parliament has
ordered a committee to investigate the matter, as the GMB has yet to receive
the predicted grain harvest of 2.4 million mt.
FEWS NET said that in
rural areas where most households depend on local maize production, markets
have become the main source of the staple. However, "given that the average
maize grain prices were between Zim $5,000 - Zim $8,000 per bucket
[equivalent to 18kg] in April, just after the maize harvest, it is clear
that already this year there have been significant increases in staple
prices," the report warned.
Prices ranged between Zim $10,000 and Zim
$12,000 a bucket in mid-September.
In the traditional grain surplus rural
areas, "most households are still relying on their own production from last
But poorer households in grain deficit areas "are
unable to buy food due to the limited income options they have; hence, a
significant number of these households are already reducing the number and
size of meals they eat, as well as attempting to make small amounts of cash
in risky and non-traditional ways, such as gold panning,"
Those with livestock have been selling them to purchase food and,
in general, "people have more options in the areas where a good grain and
cash crop harvest occurred last year because casual labour opportunities are
more readily available".
The same was not true for areas where a
large community of ex-commercial farm workers was present and no irrigated
cropping was taking place, said FEWS NET. "In such areas most ex-commercial
farm workers are not gainfully employed and have no reliable means to earn
money for food. The food security situation for a significant proportion of
the people in these areas is desperate."
Zimbabwe food insecurity deeper than expected afrol News, 7 October - Maize
prices are already 34 percent higher than foreseen for this time of the year
by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC). With prices
running this high, a new report assesses that food needs in Zimbabwe "are
higher than originally projected," thus documenting the ongoing food crisis
denied by Harare authorities.
The Zimbabwean Grain Marketing Board (GMB)
is currently selling maize - the country's main staple food - at a 34
percent higher price than what the VAC had assumed for this time of year
when it made its projections that about 2.3 million rural people would
require a total of 178,000 tonnes of food assistance. "Therefore, it is
likely that needs are higher than originally projected," food security
The GMB is a quasi-governmental institution with the sole
rights in the country to buy, sell, import and export maize. Prices set by
the GMB thus reflect the maize availability in Zimbabwe and are decisive for
the country's many food insecure households.
earlier this year ceased their cooperation with international food security
monitoring agencies, such as the UN's World Food Programme (WFP), claiming
that Zimbabwe this year would be able to feed its own population. Zimbabwe
VAC earlier this year however assumed that 2.3 million Zimbabweans would
need food aid.
Even this number now seems too low, according to the
latest monthly report on food security in Zimbabwe by the US agency Famine
Early Warning Systems (FEWS). The report, released today, holds that food
requirements for the poor, earlier set at 178,000 tonnes, now "must have
gone up." Rapidly rising maize prices further indicated that the GMB had
insufficient supplies to cover for the growing food
According to the FEWS report, it is in particular the poor
urban households that are now struck by the hiking staple food prices. "In
urban areas household purchasing power has been continuously eroded by hyper
inflation, estimated at 314.4 percent," the report says. Although annual
inflation has now dropped significantly, "it still remains too high," FEWS
The cost of the monthly expenditure basket for a low income
urban household of six, according to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ),
went up by about 65 percent between January and August 2004. The minimum
industrial monthly wage, despite increasing, could only cover about 31
percent of the August 2004 CCZ expenditure basket, down from 33 percent in
High unemployment, estimated officially at over 60 percent,
and the continuing decline in national economic output, were further
worsening the situation of urban households. According to Morgan Tsvangirai,
leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe is
even facing an "85 percent unemployment rate." Zimbabwe's economic and
political crisis had made food availability drop 60 percent since 1999,
according to Mr Tsvangirai.
In contemporary Zimbabwe, this has led to
peculiar demographic trends. An estimated 4 million citizens have left the
country. Unlike almost every other part of Africa, the migration from rural
to urban areas has begun to switch directions in Zimbabwe, and significant
urban to rural migration is occurring as urban households are failing to
cope with food security.
According to the FEWS report, "food is still
readily available in most rural areas of the country." In the traditionally
grain surplus areas of Mashonaland, Midlands and Manicaland Provinces most
households are still relying on their own production from last season's
harvest, the US agency says.
But also here, food supplies could soon
come to an end. "A significant proportion of the 2004 winter wheat crop is
at risk of being spoiled by the on-coming rains due to the shortage of
harvesting equipment and the prohibitive cost of hiring the available
limited combine harvesters," the report warns. A large proportion of this
year's wheat crop had been planted too late.
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The moment Mugabe told Museveni: 'Your intelligence is
By Andrew M. Mwenda Last updated: 10/08/2004
02:12:21 EVENT: it is a cold November winter of 1998 in Paris and President
Jacques Chirac of France is host of a large conference of African statesmen.
The presidents are assembled to discuss continuing armed conflict on the
continent and the ever-increasing economic crisis of the countries in the
In attendance at the French president's residence, the Eiles
(sic) Palace are presidents Chirac, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Yoweri
Museveni of Uganda, Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Pasteur Bizimungu of Rwanda and Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania. There is also
Yama Jame to Gambia, Abdu Diof of Senegal, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, Joachim
Chisano of Mozambique, Sam Nujoma of Namibia and Frederick Chiluba of Zambia
to mention only a few.
The conversation finally settles down of the
DRC. Uganda and Rwanda which had helped Kabila have turned against their
proxy and organised armed resistance against him after a failed coup.
However, Kabila has called in Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia to help bolster
his fledging government and it has worked. Kabila accuses Museveni and
Kagame of Rwanda of a hidden plot to build a Hima-Tutsi empire.
Bizumungu you see over there," Kabila spits the words with disdain "he is a
Hutu and just a figure head. Real power lies with Paul Kagame, his vice
president. So there is no reason for Bizimungu to even sit in this meeting
with other heads of state when he is only a personal assistant to
Museveni interjects saying the meeting should discuss more
serious issues. But nobody is real listening; and as matter of fact he has
too many contrary minds all over the place, does Museveni.
pissed at this talk of 'more serious issues' and says the threat of a
Hima-Tutsi empire is a real and serious issue; in tones that suggest he is
convinced it is even the only issue that should be discussed here today. "I
have always heard that you are a very intelligent and popular man," Mugabe
tells Museveni right into his face, "I now think your intelligence is quite
And with that, the old man walks out of the meeting in
protest, wagging his finger at Museveni and vowing to "fight to the death"
against the "creation of a Hima-Tutsi empire." Jameh of Gambia also
interjects, telling Museveni that he thought the Ugandan president was a new
hope for Africa, "not an ethnic chauvinist bent on re-creating obsolete
pre-historic empires". In the cacophony of voices, one voice is quiet.
Chirac is completely taken apart by surprise at this remarkable outplay by
Africa's leading statesmen. Monitor