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- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Grahamstown Man Describes Total Looting of Zim Family Farmstead

East Cape News (Grahamstown)

April 16, 2002
Posted to the web April 16, 2002

Mike Loewe

Bitter Grahamstown businessman Mr Ian Donald said only Zimbabwe government
vehicles and personnel had the capacity to cart away a huge pile of fittings
looted from his two family farmsteads near Karoi last weekend.

On Sunday his farming parents Fay and George Donald, 74, returned to Yeadon
30km north of Karoi after being chased off earlier this year.

They were devastated to discover their staff were gone and their two
farmsteads "gutted so badly that all that is left are shells with roofs on".

Donald said his family built up the tobacco, cattle and maize farm from
scratch 43 years ago, .

He estimated that the "orchestrated" looting had seen fittings and
furnishings worth R1m stripped from the structures. This translated to seven
million Zimbabwe dollars or 70m Zim dollars on the black market.

He said the looters had ripped out are carried off all the light fittings,
numerous built-in cupboards, all the windows, ceiling boards, fitted
carpets, two kitchen sinks, electricity boxes, kitchen floor tiles, three
baths, showers, four toilets, 38 doors including a locked strongroom door
and safe, a locked internal metal door, four fridges, a large deep freeze,
stoves, and about 13 beds with headboards.

"I suspect they will probably return and take the roof," he said.

In total seven bedrooms and three bathrooms were gutted by people who used
sledge hammers and chisels to remove toilets, baths, doors, windows and

All the looted goods were missing.

"My family have lost everything. They have got nothing more to lose." "We
built that farm from scratch in 1958 when moved onto that barren land," he

He said he was speaking on behalf of his family "because in that country you
keep your opinions low because of the Nazi-styled secret police who are
running around there, and even here in Grahamstown it seems. What people are
hearing is just on the surface." He said "war veterans" aged between 26 and
30, moved onto Yeadon farm in November and told his family that if they did
any work on it -- even chopping wood -- this would be viewed as
"confrontational" and they would be attacked.

The farm's 70 labourers were also told to leave before being "forcefully

The remaining skeleton staff were moved into fenced in area around the
farmstead complex for their safety.

He said his parents had received a section 5 notice in the post notifying
them that the government intended to "acquire" the farm. Two weeks ago they
received a section 8 notice informing them that the land was now "acquired",
that they had a few days to leave and that they were not allowed to take
anything but their clothes and moveables.

The final straw was when the couple were no longer allowed to collect
firewood for their boilers.

"They had no choice but to vacate to Harare. From there they would visit the
farm once a week." In an added twist, he says his parents now fear that the
Mugabe government will try and hold them legally responsible for all the
missing household fittings and furnishings.

He said his parents faced being "arrested for breaking the law".

He said: "We presume that a police or army vehicle with a whole lot of
personnel did it. No one else has the resources." Donald said: "I feel sorry
for my parents. I am personally surprised that the country has not gone into
total anarchy yet." He said the 3000-acre farm was selling crops and animal
products worth R25m ($2.5m) a year before it was attacked.

However, he said the looters had caused such bad structural damage that the
farmsteads would have to be knocked down and rebuilt from ground up.

"They gutted them in such a way as to make the dwellings uninhabitable." *
The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union reported this week that theft of maize
and compressors in the Karoi district was rife and that the new "settlers"
were accusing farmers of feeding maize to their cattle and forcing them to
feed maize to settler cattle.

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Land Invasions And Maize Crop Failure Slams Poor

East Cape News (Grahamstown)

April 16, 2002
Posted to the web April 16, 2002

Mike Loewe

Zimbabwe's maize crop has failed and South Africans are starting to pay the

Eastern Cape DA leader and Bedford farmer Athol Trollip today (subs: tues)
warned that land invasions and political chaos in Zimbabwe has had a direct
impact on the spiralling price of maize in South Africa.

This is now slamming into South Africa's poorest, he said.

Increases in the prices of milk, beef, mutton and poultry can also be
expected, he said.

He said international humanitarian aid agencies were buying up South Africa
maize using the "mighty" dollar in order to try and keep the lid on the
"humanitarian and famine crisis in Zimbabwe".

Aid buying had placed major strains on SA maize reserves and had
artificially driven up local prices.

The new maize price had also caused food price inflation to rise "the
highest", Trollip said: "Far too many millions, who live below the bread
line, are no longer able to pay for basic foodstuffs. We in South Africa are
now beginning to pay the price for Mugabe's tyranny. This should not be
allowed to happen." Local farmers told ECN the maize price had gone up by
between 70 and 100 percent since the terror attacks on America in September
last year .

Trollip also warned that the maize price was having a "catastrophic" effect
on the depressed dairy industry which was dependent on maize as a source of
livestock feed.

He said the price of milk -- also a basic foodstuff for the majority of
South Africans -- could be expected to rise soon "probably placing milk out
of reach of the poor".

"This will have devastating knock-on effects on the health of children and
of HIV-positive people who are extremely susceptible to opportunistic
disease infection when malnourished." He said consumers could also expect
the cost of red meat, mutton and poultry to rise.

He said: "Zimbabwe's crises of not having a maize crop due to land invasions
and chaos will directly affect South Africans now and for the foreseeable
future." He said the Mbeki government's "silent diplomacy has directly led
to this crisis in South Africa."
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Zim slams media watchdog

Harare - Zimbabwe's Information Minister Jonathan Moyo on Wednesday slammed
a letter from international media watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF),
protesting at the recent arrests of two journalists, as "promoting
lawlessness" .

Moyo said the letter sent to him by RSF's secretary general Robert Menard
was "unacceptable ... vulgar and perverse as it seeks to promote lawlessness
in Zimbabwe by supporting illegal activities of journalists who deliberately
break the law for political purposes under the guise of press freedom".

"You must know that you have neither the right nor standing to interfere
with the rule of law in Zimbabwe," said Moyo in a reply letter, a copy of
which was faxed to AFP.

He told RSF that "given your track record of always sending us
irresponsible, thoughtless and malicious letters each time opposition
journalists are held accountable for deliberately and wilfully committing
illegal actions ... your vulgarity in this matter has now gone too far.

"Next time you send us a letter, we will put it in the dustbin and we have
concluded that you do not deserve to be taken seriously," said Moyo in his

Editor, reported arrested

The editor of Zimbabwe's only independent daily newspaper, Geoff Nyarota,
and a reporter from weekly paper the Zimbabwe Independent, Dumisani Muleya,
were arrested separately on Monday on different charges.

Nyarota was arrested on Monday and charged with falsifying and fabricating
information, a criminal offence under Zimbabwe's new information law.

The story for which Nyarota was arrested accused the country's chief
election organiser, Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede, of manipulating the
results from the March 9-11 election.

Mugabe enacted the new media law, which imposes strict limits on independent
and foreign journalists and gives the government broad powers to regulate
the media, days after his controversial re-election last month.

Mudede has denied doctoring the results which gave Mugabe victory over his
main rival Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

Muleya was charged with criminal defamation after the Independent published
a story last week alleging that Mugabe's wife, Grace, was involved in a bid
to take over a local spice and herb manufacturing firm along with a man
whose surname is similar to the first lady's maiden surname. - Sapa-AFP

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Anti-govt protests postponed

Harare - Anti-government protests originally planned to coincide with
Thursday's independence celebrations in Zimbabwe have been postponed to next
week, an organiser said on Wednesday.

Douglas Mwonzora, spokesperson for the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA), a coalition of civic groups, said the organisation had decided to
defer its demonstration to Tuesday as a mark of respect to "some heroes who
genuinely fought for the liberation of this country".

The planned national street demonstrations are aimed at forcing the
government to accept a more democratic constitution, which the NCA says
would prevent abuses that aided President Robert Mugabe's controversial
re-election last month.

Defying a police ban, the NCA 10 days ago demonstrated against Mugabe's
government, but police broke up the crowds and prevented the protests from
gathering force.

Mwonzora stressed that despite the police action at the last protest, which
resulted in the arrest of at least 21 NCA members including its chairperson
Lovemore Madhuku, they were "going ahead with the demo with or without
police permission".

The NCA has announced plans for a regular series of anti-government
demonstrations. - Sapa-AFP
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Zim: Nothing to celebrate

Harare - An unprecedented economic crisis alongside a political row over the
controversial re-election of President Robert Mugabe will overshadow
celebrations marking the 22nd anniversary of Zimbabwe's independence from
Britain on Thursday.

Nearly 100 years of British colonial rule ended in this southern African
country on April 18, 1980, following a fierce seven-year guerrilla war waged
from neighbouring countries.

Analysts predict a more sombre commemoration this year, with Zimbabweans
reflecting more on the erosion of the freedom symbolised by the day.

"Everything we fought for - there is zero, absolutely nothing to celebrate
about," said political analyst Masipula Sithole.

"The promises of independence are at their lowest ebb. We have no freedom,
we are being brutalised by militias, our women are being raped in the
countryside," he lamented.

University lecturer Joseph Kurebwa says however that the independence
anniversary should not be overlooked in the face of crisis.

"You can't stop celebrating your birthday because you are ill. The sense of
independence is all about your achievement of freedom, although it is the
time you reflect on yourself," Kurebwa said.

Only hunger to show for land reform

Zimbabwe, which was potentially one of Africa's success stories, finds
itself 22 years on mired in the worst economic crisis of its post-colonial

Since 1997 the economy has been in a downward spiral, with inflation hitting
a record 116% in February, a severe shortage of foreign exchange,
unemployment at around 70% and now a scarcity of basic foods and other
items. Some 75% of the population live in poverty.

The political scene is sharply polarised, while Mugabe and his inner circle
are under sanctions in various Western countries.

"We are doing very badly, we are deeply divided on racial and party lines.
Internationally we have never been such a pariah country," Sithole said.

Once a breadbasket of the region, Zimbabwe has this year been forced to
import maize, its staple food, to meet the requirements of its 12.5 million
people. More than 500 000 are surviving on international humanitarian

Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF)
claims its controversial land reforms as among its greatest achievements
since independence after resettling more than 200 000 blacks on land
forcibly acquired from whites.

"What is there to show for the land reforms? Hunger," said Sithole, in
reference to the famine that has hit the country this year.

'Right thing, wrong way'

"We have done the right thing the wrong way, and we can't escape the
consequences," he said.

Talks between the Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) appear headed for an impasse, especially over the top item on the
agenda - the legitimacy of Mugabe's presidency after last month's
violence-wracked polls.

The MDC claims Mugabe stole the vote from its leader Morgan Tsvangirai and
want a fresh election, a demand Zanu-PF has flatly rejected.

MDC is also calling for an end to political violence which it alleges is
targetted at its supporters. Human rights groups say scores of people have
been killed and assaulted and estimate that 30 000 people were displaced in
the run-up to and since the vote.

This year's independence day celebrations will be marked by a rally at a
giant 60 000-seater sports stadium addressed by Mugabe,and a football match
between the country's top teams. A musical gala by local artists is planned
for Wednesday night.

Zimbabwe's first independence bash in 1980 featured the late reggae legend
Bob Marley of Jamaica.

However, there will be no feast this year as resources will go instead to
famine-stricken villagers.

An anti-government protest march planned to coincide with independence day
has been postponed. - Sapa-AFP

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Business Day

Zimbabwe's unfree press

THIS week two senior journalists of Zimbabwe’s harassed independent press,
Dumisani Muleya and Geoff Nyarota, were arrested and charged under the
country’s Draconian new media law. for reports in their papers.
The government claims that the two, who work for Zimbabwean Independent and
The Daily News, have, in their reportage, abused journalistic privilege
under the perversely named Access to Information and Protection of Privacy

Section 80 (1)(a) of the act - one of a battery of repressive laws that
President Robert Mugabe’s government has passed amid last month’s
controversial presidential election - says: "A journalist shall be deemed to
have abused his journalistic privilege and committed an offence if he
falsifies or fabricates information and publishes falsehoods." If found
guilty journalists could face imprisonment for up to two years.

Ordinarily, disturbing though the charges might be, we would urge people to
allow the law to take its course, particularly as one of the victims,
Muleya, writes for this paper too.

But these are extraordinary times in Zimbabwe. Its judiciary has, in the
past few months, also fallen victim to rising political intimidation.
Remember how Antony Gubbay, the former chief justice, was hounded out of
office? It is against this background that we take this week’s clampdown in
a very serious light. A disturbing pattern is emerging where journalists,
like opposition, are being targeted for what amounts to vigilantism.

Having in all probability won a decidedly unfree and unfair election, Mugabe
’s government is now increasingly resorting to intimidation to beat the
independent press into accepting his victory.

Muleya and Nyarota join Peta Thornycroft, The Daily Telegraph’s
correspondent, on the list of victims of the police swoop and Harare’s new
media law, the handiwork of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.

Mugabe tactfully shelved the media bill, which was criticised by his own
ruling Zanu (PF) and regional colleagues, before and during the March 9-10
poll. This gave the Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders
the impression that he was moderating his behaviour. And while the world was
haggling over his victory, he signed it into law.

Having in all probability lost the election, the Zimbabwe regime is
increasingly turning into a tin pot dictatorship intent on living and
enforcing the lie that Mugabe won. One of the marks of its tin pot status is
that Zimbabwe is now a country where the leadership can have journalists
thrown into jail on the slightest barb and whim.

Earlier this week Business Day’s Zimbabwe correspondent, Dumisani Muleya,
and the editor of the Daily News, Geoff Nyarota were arrested. Nyarotha’s
arrest was his second since last month’s farcical poll. Daily Telegraph
correspondent, Peta Thornycroft, has also been arrested. Journalists have
been tortured in Zimbabwe and many are at risk of serious harm by thugs in
the Central Intelligence Organisation.

What is emerging is an attempt at sustained intimidation to prevent
journalists from becoming anything but praise singers.

The two journalists were arrested yesterday were charged under the
perversely named "Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act."
Mugabe rammed this legislation through Parliament a little over a month
prior to the election. Even within the ranks of Zanu-PF party there was
little support for the measure. At the time a summit meeting of the Southern
African Development Community, SADC, asked Mugabe not to pass the measure
and used this as an excuse not to put any pressure on him. In short, he
lied. And now independent journalists are facing the consequences as Mugabe
struggles to establish internal legitimacy after stealing the election.

Section 80 (1)(a) of the act says, "A journalist shall be deemed to have
abused his journalistic privilege and committed an offence if he falsifies
or fabricates information and publishes falsehoods." If found guilty
journalists could face imprisonment for up to two years.

The message of intimidation from the regime is designed in the case of Daily
News editor is to try and make a lie of its reports on how Mugabe stole the
election. Reports in the Daily News pointed to a discrepancy between the
total number of votes that the Registrar-General, a well know Mugabe lackey,
said had been cast and the number that was subsequently published in other
media. The Act is being used in to discredit reports that ccast doubt on the
legitimacy of Mugabe’s lie of a victory.

SADC leaders were lied to once and Zimbabweans must now live with the

Given this continued harassment, of his countrymen, the issue is now whether
the SADC, which has loyally stood by him, is prepared to sit by idly and
give Mugabe legitimacy, while he tries to force it upon Zimbabweans by
locking up journalists and keeping them away from their newsrooms.

ZIMBABWE: Journalists' arrest 'pure harassment' - MISA
IRINnews Africa, Wed 17 Apr 2002

JOHANNESBURG, - The arrests of Geoff Nyarota, editor of Zimbabwe's Daily
News, and Dumisani Muleya of the Zimbabwe Independent were "pure harassment
of the media", Zoe Titus of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
told IRIN.

Nyarota was arrested on Monday over an article questioning the difference
between the final election results given on national television and
subsequent published figures which allegedly contained 700,000 more voters.

He was charged with abuse of journalistic privilege and falsifying
information in terms of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act passed in March.

Muleya was arrested over a story relating to a labour dispute in which the
brother of the first lady, Grace Mugabe, was reportedly asked to intervene.
He was charged with criminal defamation after his arrest on Monday.

Both men have been released.

Titus said: "It is pure and simple harassment. Unfortunately the laws have
been put in place to allow for this to take place."

MISA Regional Information Co-ordinator Kaitira Kandjii said the organisation
planned to write a protest letter around Muleya's case as it fitted into
their campaign to target laws criminalising defamation.

"We find it uncalled for that journalists will be criminalised by writing
about Grace Mugabe. She is just the first lady and can't have the same
status as a head of state. We condemn it," Kandjii said.

LAst month Daily Telegraph reporter Peta Thornycroft was arrested for
allegely publishing false statements prejudicial to the state. She was on
her way to investigate claims of torture against opposition supporters when
she was arrested.

The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act was enacted on 15
March and says that newspapers deemed to have abused journalistic privilege
by falsifying or fabricating stories are liable to two years in jail.

Nyarota, who has been arrested several times, was awarded the World
Association of Newspapers' Golden Pen of Freedom award this year in
recognition of his fight for press freedom. The Daily News offices and
printing works have been bombed in the past.

Meanwhile, New Zealand has joined the European Union, Canada and the United
States by imposing travel bans on senior Zimbabwean officials.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff said that his government had also
banned sales of arms or other "instruments of oppression" to Zimbabwe and
would consider freezing the assets of Mugabe and his associates if evidence
emerged that they had investments in New Zealand.
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Business Day

Harare is set to defy judicial order

HARARE The government warned yesterday that it would defy a judge's order to
allow the country's labour federation to hold meetings without police
interference, state radio reported.
Judge Moses Chinhengo's order "smacks of an open invitation to the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions to embark on lawless actions with impunity", the
radio quoted a government statement as saying.

Chinhengo ruled in favour of the federation in a court hearing called after
police broke up a meeting of the federation's 32-member general council, its
policy-making body, on March 14.

Police insisted the meeting was an illegal political gathering under new
security laws and could only proceed if police detectives were allowed to

Wellington Chibhebhe, the federation's secretary-general, said that the
government warning put all new court judgments under threat.

Meanwhile, more than 50 black and white rhinoceroses have reportedly been
snared or killed by cartels working in cahoots with newly resettled
villagers on farms adjacent to wildlife conservancies, a state daily
reported yesterday.

The Herald quoted Environment and Tourism minister Francis Nhema as saying
there has been an unprecedented level of poaching on some farms over the
past few months by people taking advantage of the country's land reforms.
Apr 17 2002 12:00:00:000AM  Business Day 1st Edition

17 April 2002
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Commonwealth group split on Zimbabwe media curbs

CAPE TOWN, April 17 — African delegates rejected a bid by a Commonwealth
conference in South Africa on Wednesday to condemn Zimbabwe's crackdown on
the independent media.
       Parliamentarians and reporters from Commonwealth countries around the
Indian Ocean rim clashed over whether to single out President Robert Mugabe
for condemnation.
       Instead, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association secretary general
Denis Marshall ruled delegates wishing to sign a draft document expressing
concern at ''the serious obstruction of the free flow of information to the
citizens of Zimbabwe'' could do so, but it would not be adopted as an
official declaration.
       About 50 of the 68 delegates to the conference, ''Parliament and the
media - securing an effective relationship,'' signed.
       Mugabe brought in a new media law three days after winning a March
presidential poll, which the opposition and many Western governments say was
       Officials at the conference said none of the black parliamentarians
from South Africa, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya or Namibia signed the draft
declaration. Most said they objected to the focus on Mugabe.

       ''I feel I have been let down by my colleagues,'' said Wilf Mbanga,
founding editor of the Daily News, Zimbabwe's only private daily newspaper,
whose editor Geoff Nyarota was arrested on Monday and charged with
publishing false information about Mugabe in a story alleging election
       ''We have a lawless government in Zimbabwe and yet here we sit and we
are not prepared to take a position. I am ashamed,'' he said.
       It was the conference's second attempt to reach a consensus. A
declaration was rejected on Tuesday, with African delegates objecting to the
focus on Mugabe and calling instead for a general condemnation of
undemocratic practices.
       The dispute mirrored differences earlier this year between African
and Western governments over sanctions against Mugabe over the election,
which gave the veteran leader, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in
1980, a further six-year term.
       The opposition and many foreign governments charge that Mugabe used
oppressive laws, intimidation and vote-rigging to beat off the strongest
challenge yet to his presidency.
       Zimbabwe was suspended from the 54-nation Commonwealth for a year
after it judged the election was not free and fair.
       Mbanga, Daily News news editor John Gambanga and Luckson Chipare,
regional director of the Media Institute of Southern Africa, were amongst
the few African delegates to sign Wednesday's declaration.
       Kenyan legislator Stephen Ndicho said he would leave the three-day
meeting ''with a very, very heavy heart.''
       ''The Zimbabwe issue has split the people of this world along the
lines of black and white and that is very, very unfortunate,'' he said.
       Ndicho echoed the view of many African delegates when he said the
response to Zimbabwe's election and media crackdown should be left to
       ''I am a very, very small person under my president (Daniel Arap
Moi). If I start issuing statements in South Africa I am going to go to jail
because I am usurping the powers of the president,'' Ndicho said.
       British, Indian and Australian delegates supported a separate
declaration calling on Mugabe to repeal laws undermining press freedom and
to ''ensure the safety and protection of parliamentarians and those working
in the media.''

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U.S. bans defense sales to Zimbabwe

WASHINGTON, April 17 — The United States on Wednesday banned sales of
defense equipment to Zimbabwe because of the internal policies of President
Robert Mugabe.
       A notice in the Federal Register said the United States was
suspending immediately all licenses to export military equipment to the
southern African country.

       ''Effective immediately, it is the policy of the U.S. government to
deny all applications for licenses and other approvals to export or
otherwise transfer defense articles and defense services to Zimbabwe,'' it
       ''The government of Zimbabwe has subverted the democratic process
through a badly flawed presidential election, a campaign of violence and
intimidation against its political opposition, and a blatant disregard for
the rule of law and serious human rights abuses.''
       Mugabe won reelection in March but his opponents and foreign
observers said they doubted the voting was fair.
       U.S. President George W. Bush said the United States did not
recognize the outcome of the election and U.S. Secretary of State Colin
Powell accused Mugabe of systematically subverting democracy though
intimidation and violence.
       The United States has already imposed travel restrictions on Mugabe
and several dozen of his close associates.
       The arms ban means that requests for defense sales to Zimbabwe will
be routinely denied but the U.S. government can make exceptions to the ban
case by case.
       U.S. officials were not immediately available to say whether any
licenses have recently been approved.

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Independence Message from MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai
April 17, 2002

Tomorrow, Zimbabwe marks its 22nd anniversary as an independent nation that
ideally, should be free from oppression. As MDC, we recognise the
significance of this solemn event on our national calendar. We urge all
Zimbabweans to attend these independence celebrations, which in our view,
should not be conducted in a partisan fashion. No single Zimbabwean or group
of Zimbabweans have a monopoly on patriotism.

Zimbabweans fully understand and appreciate that the liberation struggle was
initiated and prosecuted on the need to craft and cement the salient concept
of 'one man one vote' which is the foundation of universal adulthood
suffrage and self-determination.

The liberation struggle was a struggle for justice. It was a struggle
against oppression. Ordinarily, independence celebrations should be a
pleasant event characterised by unity as nationals from all walks of life
set aside their differences and join hands to mark common achievements while
reflecting on the past and looking into the future.

However, this is not the case for Zimbabweans this year as the independence
commemoration comes at a time when the nation is mourning the loss of the
only opportunity they had to elect a government of their choice, which would
restore the ideals they fought for when they took up arms to fight the
oppressive colonial regime.

It is rather ironic, that some of the people who sought to dismantle the
systems of oppression and fought for the liberation of this country, are
today, the champions of injustice who have become our worst oppressors as
they seek to maintain their hold on power, regardless of the costs to the

The MDC recognises and cherishes the values, traditions and beliefs of the
liberation struggle, namely, the non-negotiability of the fight against
tyranny and oppression.

Zimbabwe is currently faced by a serious economic and political crisis.
Zimbabweans have been denied their political freedoms particularly the
freedoms of association, assembly and expression. The recent Presidential
poll nullified the sacred right of the people to elect a leader of their

Our own conclusions as the victims and supported by overwhelming evidence is
that there can be no doubt that the presidential election was neither free
nor fair, and further that its result is illegitimate.

The present crisis cannot be resolved except through a return to legitimacy.
This can only be achieved through a fresh, free and fair presidential poll.
There is no other way. There can be no other way.

The MDC would like to thank all Zimbabweans for their courage and
determination. As MDC we remain committed to completing the change for a
better life for all Zimbabweans. We have no doubt in our minds that this
mission shall be accomplished.

Morgan Tsvangirai
MDC President
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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Wednesday 17 April 2002

This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.  Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens.  Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.

Generally the area seems to be quiet.  Numerous section 7's and 8's have delivered since 12.04.02.

- The owner of Lilburn Farm was told to vacate 07.04.02. He managed to remove all his property and has left the farm.
Horseshoe - There is ongoing "war vet"-induced labour and other problems on the following farms: Mangondo, Rushpeak, Makombi, Manovi and Red Lichen. The settlers on Penrose have claimed all the citrus and the manager can only supervise the watering. One settler, a CIO operative from Guruve, has taken over a worker’s house after evicting him. The owners of Nyamfuta and Amajuba farms have been allowed to remove personal property from their farms but the owner of Bluegrass has been prevented from removing electrical cables.
Tsatsi - A2 settlers visited the owner of Howick Vale Farm on 13.04.02, one of whom is Irene Zindi.  They were supported by Agritex officials’ presence and demanded the farm be vacated but after negotiations the owner was allowed to continue using the tobacco and grading facilities on condition the property and homestead be vacated by 22.04.02. It was implied if this did not happen physical force would be used to evict the owner.
Glendale - The owner of Virginia Farm was barricaded in after attempting to move his equipment off the farm. The Police responded and the settlers agreed the owner could remain on the farm until such time as he was issued with a Section 5.  They also told him to not remove any more equipment from the farm. As yet the owner has not been allowed to tend the roses. One tractor has been stolen from the farm and has not been returned. When the owner of Craigengower Farm returned to his farm on 13.04.02 he was not allowed to go to the homestead and kept in the barns for some time. After negotiations they released him for him to see the DA. Apparently this incident is a reaction to his attempt to remove some irrigation pipes from the farm. A meeting subsequently called between the "war vets", Police and the owner's two sons ended with the "war vets" demanding the irrigation pipes be returned. They also demanded that they be given food, which was refused. They have “settled” on the back veranda porch and said they will not move until such time as the irrigation equipment is returned for their use to grow a wheat crop this season. The farm has not been listed for compulsory acquisition and the owner intends to use the equipment to grow wheat himself. The settlers prevented the owner of Harmony Farm from removing irrigation pipes. He has agreed to leave the pipes but has managed to remove the other equipment.
Mazowe - The owner of Danbury Park was granted permission to leave the farm on 13.04.02 and, upon his return, was refused entry. Negotiations since then have failed and up to now they have not been allowed to return to the farm.
– on Bita all the borehole switchgear was stolen despite police presence. At Brent the "war vet" chairman demanded to know why the owner had not moved out as the houses now belonged to him and he had to move in by 13.04.02. He said if she did not move out peacefully she would be moved forcefully. When asked if he would come and beat her up, she was told "No, they employed people to do that. " Skoonveld received a letter and a visit from "war vets" Murewo and Kujeke to say everything must be off Bickleigh.  Anything done on Skoonveld must be discussed with them first. The owner managed to move one load of fertilizer on 13.04.02 and then was stopped moving anything else. The settlers loaded 30 bags of fertilizer on to a scotch cart and took it away. There is still 25 tonnes of fertilizer on the farm among other things. The owner is not allowed to move any cattle and has been threatened with eviction of labour and himself if he tries. Support Unit did attend but were unable to do anything, as there was no violence. The owner is hoping for a higher authority to sort out the matter. On the afternoon of 12.04.02, four settlers arrived at Mbima saying they wanted to come into the barn complex to take an inventory of all the equipment and that they would be putting on two guards to make sure the owner removed nothing. They put their own lock on the gate, which was removed the next morning. The following night they again put a lock on the gate but were told to remove it by the Police, as this is the only access by vehicle to the homestead. This farm only has a Section 5 at present.  The Mt Arthur settlers held a pungwe on 14.04.02. They have broken the owners lock off the gate and put on their own lock.
Beatrice – at New Retreat/Central Farm "war vet" Chiramba prevented the owner from removing any more moveable assets from the farm.  Discussions with ZRP yielded nothing.  Labour were chased out of their houses and had to sleep in the bush and some were assaulted.  The reaped tobacco remains in the shed at this time.  Chiramba demanded keys to the main homestead, which was refused.  The owner was denied access to his farms.  At Plumstead "war vet" Wisdom demanded the keys to an occupied cottage.  Wisdom gave the owner a letter written by A Ndlovu of the War Veterans’ Association.  On Geluk, a silver Mercedes driven by General Mujuru and two accomplices, visited on 13.04.02 and ordered the owner off the farm within 72 hours.  The Goie-Hoop owner was visited by the same trio on 13.04.02 and told he had three months in which to vacate the property, because he was in receipt of a Section 5 notice.  When the owner stated he would not leave, the General said he would be removed by force.  The ZTA tenant farmer had to be off the farm with immediate effect. At Nengwe, "war vet" Magena, who recently evicted the tenants, instructed the owner to vacate within 48 hours which was then extended to two weeks.  He also said no moveable assets were to be removed except household effects.  The owner stated everything was paid for and belonged to him and that he was removing everything.  The owner was then handed a letter written by A Ndlovu.  The Talana owner had military personnel attempt to evict him.  The "war vets" said they were moving into the tenants cottage or else they would occupy the main homestead.  A group of 19 "war vets" arrived in three vehicles at Alicedale West Lot 1 and threatened to break down the gate unless it was opened.  A mob of 15 moved into the homestead when the gate was opened, and after a tense two hours and a history lesson, they demanded food.  Some accusations were made of equipment theft.  It was finally acknowledged it was a dairy farm and that milk was needed in the country. The Goldilands owner was evicted from the homestead.  "War vet" Chiramba and three others locked themselves into the Security fence on 11.04.02, stating his section 8 was his eviction order.  Police eventually reacted but nothing has been solved. At Whitehouse Farm, the demand for maize compensation was resolved.  A group of 12 settlers moved into the workshop area and gave the owner 24 hours to vacate the premises. "War vet" Masuru from Joyce Mine demanded the use of a recently vacated cottage.  Four of the remaining settlers moved into the cottage.  They stated together with the ZRP OIC Inspector Tavagwisa and Sergeant Moyo, both of whom are "war vets", that their section 8 was an eviction order and therefore they must be evicted.  There is confusion among the police and "war vets" on the meaning of a section 8 and they are awaiting clarification on this issue.  The lessee  on Nebo has not been able to return to the farm for six weeks.  "War vet" Chitsinde instructed workers to complete reaping the tobacco crop.  The farm owner was allowed to remove all household and moveable assets including irrigation equipment and cattle. The "war vets" in the district have complete control over the ZRP.
Bromley/Ruwa/Enterprise – both Belvedere Farm and Eton Farm have work stoppages.  The authorities have been informed who said they would address this problem after 08.00 hrs on 15.04.02.  Devonia Farm reported the resident "war vet" Stix said he would take 7 ha of unreaped maize on 13.04.02.  Police have not yet reacted.  GMB seized 30 tonnes of maize on 12.04.02.
Featherstone - Nothing to report.
Macheke/Virginia – the DA from Murehwa was contacted about continued problems on Royal Visit, but will not respond.  Police arrived with a member of Zanu (PF) and told labour the farm and all implements belonged to Government and they were there only because Government allowed them to be. A further report on the continued problems at Marylands had police respond on 11.04.02.  Two cattle should recover from axing, another one had to be destroyed. The investigation is continuing. The Bimi Farm settlers apprehended a suspect for stealing electricity cable and investigations continue. The Springs Farm storeroom was broken into but nothing taken away.  Spes Bona Farm suffered more invasions. Cst Summo and Insp Mandaza refused to help "as all farms will be occupied anyway".  Waterloo  was pegged by Agritex for A2.  Faroe Farm had several visitors who stated the owner should stop any land prep as they were now going to occupy the farm and plant their winter crop.
Marondera North - No report received.
Marondera South – on 12.04.02 the youth requested a beast for Celebrations, at Larkhill Farm, which was refused.  "War vets" not resident on the farm told the owner they are coming to divide up Larkhill Farm and Jenni Springs Farm. At Waltondale Farm, MP Brigd. Mutiniri evicted the owners and occupied the homesteads.  The occupiers loaded the owners’ furniture on to lorries.  In the process a great deal of furniture was destroyed and nothing was properly packed.  The owner was not allowed to remove his farm pickup as it was classified as farm equipment. The Essexdale Farm situation is still tense and the owner is not on the farm.  At Cloverhome Farm there is extensive tree cutting.  The "war vets" said they want to use Ruzawi Club to sleep in. The police were advised.  Although the "war vets" previously said the club members could carry on playing golf, this has now been stopped.  The Monte Christo owner received a message from the "war vets" to vacate the farm.  All crops and machinery belong to the "war vets". 
- Robbsdale Farm reports it received its first settler on 25.0402.  His name is Aaron Giyani and is a retired policeman from Gokwe, who also owns a General Dealers Licence and a plot in Gokwe.  He produced papers showing he has Plot No. 9 - Robbsdale Farm measuring 21.87 hectares which is Model A2 - Phase 2.  He applied for land, was accepted on 03.01.02 and had to occupy within 30 days.
- On Twintops DDF Gweru arrived to inform the owner they would be hunting for game for the independence celebrations.  The owner denied permission but DDF proceeded anyway.  There was a minor confrontation, which was resolved, with no game shot at present.
General:  Section 8 orders continue to be issued throughout the region.
Masvingo East and Central
- Fomax Dairy reports 25 m of fencing stolen over the weekend.
Mwenezi – the La Pache Ranch owner has to herd his cattle every day. Labourers have been approached by three people and asked why they are herding cattle and following instructions from owners and told to refuse instructions. One cow is reported missing and was driven ten kilometres on to Kalahari Ranch, chased into a snare and then chopped with an axe. The owner is collecting the police to report this incident. A number of lines of drip irrigation tubing were removed from a land not currently utilised. They were pulled into the bush, but not taken away.  On Alko Ranch  the remains of seven snared giraffe were found in two paddocks.  At Kleinbegin Ranch, settlers told labour to be out of their houses and off the property by the night of 12.04.02 and to pass on the same message to the owner. Staff were again approached on the following afternoon and told to go. They moved into the owner's house with their families for the night. On the morning of 14.04.02 two settlers came to the security fence to tell them to leave immediately, because vehicles with reinforcements were coming from Beitbridge to kill the owner. The police reluctantly and belatedly reacted by sending out a vehicle, which arrived at about mid-day. They drove around and reported they had seen nothing. After recording a statement they left.   At Kalahari Ranch, about 30 settlers prevented the owner from moving the belongings of a friend into an empty cottage on the property.  Lot 21A  reports the "ritual" slaughter of a farmed crocodile at a water point, followed by further antics, and finally the culling of a bull by the owner were enough to persuade newly arrived settlers it was a bad place to be. They left, taking another new arrival on a neighbouring farm with them.
Chiredzi  - nine youths visited the Wasarasara Ranch farm village and a letter was given to the owner on 15.0.02 informing him they were to meet with him at 0900 hrs on the same day to discuss their future on this property. Approximately 120 settlers were reported to have moved on to the ranch. The youths claim they were not been paid during the election period for their work and told they can claim land in payment instead.
Gutu/Chatsworth – on Grasslands Farm, no grazing is left. Although huge claims were made by settlers regarding the owner’s cattle eating their maize but Agritex assessed claims and said this amounts to only $6000.00. No cattle of the owner have been seen grazing on settler’s lands. Since last week the Felixburg Farm owner has lost another five cattle to theft, poaching and snaring. One bull was snared on Culloden Farm where he leases grazing. Snares are made in the form of a noose on a stick so dairy cattle are then pulled to where they are slaughtered with axes etc.  The Makanya Farm owner visited the Gweru Governor, who told him he should return home and cut out his 500 ha plot, on which he should grow wheat and maize. On inquiring what to do with the cattle the Governor instructed him to negotiate with the settlers and then compensate for grazing by paying the settlers half of the calves born. If the owner was not happy with that, he should get off the property.
Save Conservancy - Continued influx of people into the Save Conservancy on the eastern side. These are not settlers, but poachers who are said to be following the game. Snaring and poaching continue on a daily basis. Fires are also a threat to the remaining grass before winter arrives.
- On the part of Eduan Estates, which was served a Section 8, the settlers want to make a deal with the farmer for planting a winter crop. The farmer refused. On Machakwe, on the other hand, the settlers want to plant a winter crop on the farmer's prepared lands. A Gweru businessman is taking up Lot 7, belonging to Beta Farms, for resettlement. All the switch boxes on Louville Estates were stolen over the weekend.
Gwanda and West Nicholson
- eight farmers on 12.04.02 received a visit from Andrew Ndlovu of the War Veterans Association and threatened them with 24-hour eviction. On 14.04.02 Ministry of Lands officials arrived to issue the same eight farmers with Section 8s. One of the farmers on Kuduvale Farm moved off.
Inyathi – the Greenlands Farm owner is now off the farm completely. He had a cattle sale on 16.04.02 of 360 head. Prices were better then expected.
Nyamandhlovu – the Thandanani owner had very serious threats made against him by "war vets" and settlers coming off Redwood Park.
All other areas quiet.                               Visit the CFU Website

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Zimbabwe stuck in political impasse after election

HARARE, April 17 — Following President Robert Mugabe's controversial
re-election, Zimbabwe is likely to be stuck in a lengthy political impasse
while South Africa and Nigeria try to broker a compromise between him and
the opposition, political analysts say.

       They say Mugabe looks increasingly threatened by the bitter dispute
over his re-election, a severe food shortage and a deepening economic
       Morgan Tsvangirai, who heads the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), alleges he was robbed of victory in last month's hotly
contested presidential poll and has gone to court to challenge the result.
       The controversy has cast a huge cloud over Zimbabwe's future, and its
22nd anniversary of independence from Britain on Thursday, which also marks
Mugabe's 22 years in power.
       Political analysts said Mugabe would have wanted a grand celebration
of his victory in the March 9-11 elections and of Zimbabwe's independence
       Instead he is mired in a crisis over his victory, which Tsvangirai
has called ''daylight robbery'' and which has been roundly condemned by key
Western powers who are backing the MDC's calls for a poll re-run.
       The European Union, the United States, Australia and New Zealand have
imposed travel sanctions against Zimbabwe's ruling elite, their families and
aides in response to the crisis.
       Political analysts say both foreign and domestic pressure is likely
to rise against Mugabe in the coming months, and they say the impasse could
last for a while.
       ''Mugabe has a crisis whichever way he looks. These elections, the
economy, inflation, unemployment, foreign relations, and, in my view the
most serious one, food,'' said Emmanuel Magade, a law lecturer at Harare's
University of Zimbabwe.
       But he suggested that, if Mugabe managed to handle a food shortage
caused by drought and reduced production from white-owned farms invaded by
his supporters, and to end a violent campaign against opposition activists,
he might be able to ease pressure over the election controversy.

       Talks initiated by South Africa and Nigeria, Africa's two most
powerful states, between Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party and Tsvangirai's MDC
early this month could buy Mugabe breathing space, Magade told Reuters.
       ''What looks likely is that we are going to be caught in some kind of
impasse for quite a number of months before any kind of settlement,'' he
       To avoid an impasse, Zimbabwe's Daily News said the MDC must set a
short timetable within which the ZANU-PF-MDC talks must achieve the
opposition's demands, including an end to continuing political violence.
       In an editorial this week entitled ''Return to talks must hinge on
end to violence,'' the country's only privately-owned daily newspaper
charged the ruling party had not withdrawn its ''merchants of fear'' around
the country, determined to crush any protest against Mugabe's victory.
       Mugabe says he won the elections fairly and dismisses accusations by
mainly Western poll observers, including the Commonwealth, that he cheated.
       The 78-year-old former guerrilla leader says the West is desperate to
see Tsvangirai -- whom he calls a puppet of Britain -- in power and its
observers came to the Zimbabwe elections with preconceived opinions.
       Mugabe refuses to accept any responsibility for plunging Zimbabwe
into its worst crisis since independence, saying the economy has been
sabotaged by Western-backed opponents who want to punish and oust him for
seizing white-owned farms for blacks.
       Critics say Mugabe's government has wrecked one of Africa's most
promising economies with a spate of controversial policies, including the
land seizures, price controls, pegged foreign exchange rates and military
intervention in the Congo war.
       Zimbabwe's economic indicators tell a sad story.
       Inflation is running at 113 percent. Unemployment has more than
doubled to 60 percent in the last 10 years and 75 percent of the population
now live belowr the poverty line, compared to 40 percent in 1990.
       The U.S. dollar is officially pegged at 55 to the Zimbabwe dollar but
trades over 300 Zimbabwe dollars on the parallel market.

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American political analyst barred from entering Zimbabwe


HARARE, Zimbabwe, April 17 — An American co-director of an international
political research group was barred entry to Zimbabwe on Wednesday.
       John Prendergast, co-director for Africa of the Belgium-based
International Crisis Group, canceled meetings with associates in Harare in a
brief call from the Harare airport.

       Prendergast, a member of the National Security Council with
responsibilities for Africa during the Clinton administration, said he was
being deported after arriving from neighboring South Africa, associates
       He was given no reasons by immigration officials. The International
Crisis Group sharply criticized Zimbabwe's March 9-11 elections, in which
President Robert Mugabe was declared the winner.
       The United States and the European Union condemned the vote, and the
Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonies suspended Zimbabwe for a
year, citing political violence, repressive laws and unfair voting
       U.S. Embassy officials said they were unable to release any
information other than to confirm an American citizen was detained by
airport authorities and deported Wednesday.
       Last year, the U.S. Congress passed legislation to ban entry visas
for Mugabe, members of his Cabinet and senior ruling party officials to
protest abuses of human and democratic rights in Zimbabwe.

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Rural Electrification Fund Seeks to Raise $5bn

The Herald (government paper) (Harare)

April 17, 2002
Posted to the web April 17, 2002

Hatred Zenenga

THE Rural Electrification Fund will come to the market next month to raise
$5 billion to finance various projects under the accelerated expanded rural

The fund has already exhausted $2 billion raised from the first bond issue
last December and over $620 million from the rural electrification levy.

Chairman of the fund Dr Sydney Gata said in an interview yesterday that
another $4 billion bond would be floated in August to raise additional

"We are currently working on 100 electrification projects every month, and
at the moment the amount we are raising from the one percent rural
electrification levy is not enough."

To date, 753 electrification projects have been completed.

The projects include business centres, schools, clinics, villages and
irrigation projects.

Some 345 of these projects were completed in all provinces in three months,
with another 73 under construction, as part of the expanded rural
electrification pilot projects used to launch the provincial programmes.

The fund has been established to accelerate the rate of electrification of
rural areas.

The board, which was appointed last month, will be exclusively dedicated to
rural electrification.

It has taken over the expanded rural electrification programme, launched by
the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority in all the country's eight

Dr Gata said the expanded rural electrification programme was being financed
through electrification bonds, vote of credit allocations from Government,
the current rural electrification levy and grants and loans that may be
awarded by national and international financiers.

He said the fund had made representations to Government to have the
electrification levy reviewed upwards to meet the increased demand.

President Mugabe launched the expanded rural electrification programme with
a switch-on ceremony in February at Nyamhondoro Secondary School in Guruve.

The expanded rural electrification programme provides a catalyst for
integrated rural economic and social development through grid extension and
electricity driven industrialisation of rural areas.

The programme objective is economic and social empowerment of rural areas
through total electrification of Zimbabwe and facilitating the acquisition
and dissemination of technology, plant and equipment for rural

It also aims, among others, to electrify all rural supply points of communal
public interest with 100 capital subsidy.

This includes all rural primary and secondary schools, health centres,
Government extension offices, irrigation schemes, A1 model village and
Master Plan identified projects.

Projects, which qualify for 100 percent capital subsidy, shall be
implemented in phases.

Phase one shall constitute of all projects within a 5km radius of the
existing electrical network.

Phase two, phase three and phase four projects are within 10km, 15km and
20km radius respectively.

These projects will be implemented over the next three years at an estimated
cost of $24 billion.

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From SABC News, 16 April

Four million face food crisis in Southern Africa

More than four million people in Southern Africa face serious food shortages due to prolonged dry spells, floods and disruption of farming, the UN world food body said in Rome today. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a report that 19 countries in Africa were facing "exceptional food emergencies" for reasons ranging from civil strife, drought, excessive rain and flooding to population displacement. "Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are the worst afflicted, but the situation is also difficult in Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland," FAO said in its tri-annual Food Supply Situation and Crop Prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In Angola the food situation remained precarious due to the long-running civil conflict, the report said. "A food crisis looms over several countries following sharp falls in maize production in 2001 and unfavourable harvest prospects this year." Stocks were depleted in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia and food prices had soared. Maize production in Malawi declined by more than 33 % last year, mainly due to excessive rains and floods, and imports were seriously constrained by transport bottlenecks. "As a result maize prices have risen by over 300% since July last year," the report added. Malawi's government has declared a state of emergency and appealed to the international community for food assistance to avert famine.

The report said the outlook for Zimbabwe's food security was bleak in 2002/03 amid a continuing deterioration of the economy. Zimbabwe's 2001 maize crop was down 28% on the previous year, mainly due to land seizures that had resulted in a 54% reduction in area planted on large-scale farms. The government planned to import up to 200 000 tonnes of maize, but only 10 000 tonnes had arrived by the end of March, mainly because of a severe shortage of foreign exchange. The report said Zambia also faced an extremely tight food situation as a result of a poor cereal crop last season and delays in importing maize. The country has appealed for international food assistance for two million people, declaring a state of emergency in some districts.

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From The Daily News, 16 April

Women vow to expose sexually abusive political thugs

Today, more than a month after the presidential election, Nyasha Chinhamo (not her real name) chokes as she recounts how vicious youths supposed to be campaigning for Zanu PF raped her after they spent a nocturnal binge at Murombedzi growth point. Several times she broke into tears during the interview while she narrated her assault and rape at the hands of eight Zanu PF youths who set up a base in Zvimba communal lands as campaigning for the presidential election reached its peak. President Mugabe was declared the winner of the election, but Morgan Tsvangirai, the candidate for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), refuses to accept the outcome describing it as "the greatest electoral fraud in history". "If only someone can explain to me how raping someone would enhance a party's chances of winning an election then I may understand," said the 55-year-old Chinhamo. "I did not do anything wrong. I do not support any one of the two major parties and for these youths to do this to someone old enough to be their mother is unthinkable." The eight youths accosted her when she was coming from a beer drinking and forced her to accompany them to their base, where they held all-night rallies (pungwes). Quite a sizeable number of young girls and women were also present, Chinhamo recalls. "I then decided to leave after some time of forced singing and dancing. Nobody stopped me and I thought all was well," she said. "But as I wandered into the darkness, I heard one of them asking me why I had decided to leave so early. He then touched my bum and . . .then they started molesting me. They all took turns to rape me." Because of the cultural stigma associated with rape, she has not gathered enough courage to report the matter to the police, let alone tell someone in her village "because I drink alcohol, they would all have said I invited it".

It was with against this background that the Federation of African Media Women in Zimbabwe (FAMWZ) recently organised a meeting for media and professional women to discuss the plight of women severely affected by political violence. Abigail Gamanya, the FAMWZ director, said women had been battered and had watched as their husbands, partners and children were beaten and tortured, their property destroyed or been displaced from their homes. She said it was sad that in most conflict situations, women and children suffered the most. Gamanya said women should be educated to speak out on issues such as rape as they usually affected them for the rest of their lives. She said victim-friendly institutions, even at police stations, were critical in dealing with such cases. The meeting agreed there should be a platform through various women's organisations to allow the affected women to speak out on these abuses. The perpetrators of these crimes have largely been the youth brigade members and so-called war veterans who forced young girls and women into sexual slavery. Cultural stigmas around the issue of rape have silenced the women, many of whom will never tell their stories, said Janah Ncube of the Women's Coalition. The impact of sexual violence will haunt these women forever, especially given the high levels of HIV/Aids. Ncube said the coalition had travelled around the country with election observers during the campaign period and was shocked at what they found at one Zanu PF base in Bulawayo. She said used condoms were strewn all over the place where young women and Zanu PF supporters were camped for more than a month.

"This explains the gravity of the situation that we have on our hands and the urgent need for such issues to be addressed on a national platform," said Isabella Matambanadzo, the director of the Zimbabwe Women's Resource Centre Network. She said her organisation had received shocking renditions of how women had been raped, harassed and tortured at the political bases. Matambanadzo said the current scenario was somewhat similar to the plight of female freedom fighters during Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation war where they were fighting for a worthy cause. However, few, if any have gone public on their plight. "We know that the world over, camps are a place of sexual violation of women and the girl-child. The Girl Child Network has documented reports of sexual violations against women and girls during the period leading to and after the election." "Several years ago I spoke with some women ex-combatants who said they had been raped in the training camps during the liberation war. They told me that because of the bigger cause they were fighting for they did not turn it into a sexual rights matter," Matambanadzo said. The persecution of supporters of the opposition MDC continues in the wake of Mugabe's disputed election victory, with women being affected the most. Francis Lovemore, the medical director of the non-governmental organisation Amani Trust, said: "There's an enormous amount of persecution. There's a witch-hunt for people who voted MDC. Whole villages are on the run - a community of about 3 000 people are unable to remain at home." In its political violence report for March, ZimRights noted that "the majority of violators have been supporters of the ruling party, Zanu PF, State agents and war veterans". Apart from reported cases of politically motivated murders and abductions are widespread incidents of rape. Lovemore said: "The victims of the violence are being forced to commit sexual acts. It is being used as a form of torture."

Ncube said: "The recent elections saw an escalation of sexual and physical violence against women in many communities and in many ways. This is actually something we have seen increasingly since the 2000 constitutional referendum that marked the beginning of farm invasions. With the invasions came a class of war veterans who found young girls and women to relieve themselves sexually in their 'camps'. This has continued and gave birth to the youth camps of the recent presidential election. The girls were used to cook, clean and provide sexual relief to these boys." She said condoms were littered all over, but it was not clear whether most of the condoms were used to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. It is for all these reasons that the Women's Coalition has started a campaign to expose the many horrors and abuses inflicted on women in the recent election, the period before and after. I hope we use the information against those who have and continue to fund and protect those inflicting this violence. Theresa Musodza of Rushinga asked: "How can you be a legitimate leader to me when you got that position by raping me, beating me up, burning my property, scarring my son's back, taking over my home and taking away my dignity and humanity?" Ncube said: "If it has happened to one sister, it will happen to you sooner or later. It is just a matter of time." It now remains to be seen how far the efforts by the coalition will go in trying to bring to book those who have perpetrated such heinous crimes against women under the guise of political campaigns. The coalition is also teaming up through the gender forum to help prevent rape, attend to emergencies and rehabilitate survivors through the plethora of women's organisations all over the country.

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From The Independent (UK), 17 April

Multi-millionaire 'ordered businessman's murder'

One of Britain's wealthiest men ordered the contract killing of a businessman because of "differences" that had arisen between them, an Old Bailey jury was told yesterday. Nicholas van Hoogstraten, 57,whose wealth has been estimated at pounds 200m, was travelling to Nice when Mohammed Raja was murdered in July 1999 but the court was told the contract was carried out "at his instigation and for his purposes". Mr Raja, 62, was stabbed five times and blasted in the face with a sawn-off shotgun at his home in Sutton, Surrey. According to David Waters QC, for the prosecution, the murder was carried out by David Croke, 59, of East Moulsecoomb, Brighton, and Robert Knapp, 55, of Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick. All three defendants deny murder. Mr van Hoogstraten also denies conspiracy to murder.

Describing in detail the days leading up to the killing of Mr Raja, Mr Waters told the jury of six men and six women: "Two men, so say the prosecution, were directly involved at the scene in the murder: David Croke and Robert Knapp. "The third, Nicholas van Hoogstraten, we do not suggest took any physical part in the murder." Mr van Hoogstraten made his fortune from property dealing in Bermuda, Zimbabwe and around Brighton. For several years, he has been constructing Britain's most costly stately home, Hamilton Palace, in Uckfield, East Sussex, currently valued at about pounds 40m.

Opening a trial expected to last 13 weeks, Mr Waters said a number of witnesses had seen a white Ford transit van parked in streets near Mr Raja's home, and in Mulgrave Road, where he lived at number 63, days before the murder. The van was very distinctive, with yellow wheels, a green stripe and the words "Thunderbird 2" above the driver's window. On Friday 2 July, Mr Waters said Mr Croke and Mr Knapp parked opposite number 63 and, at 10.15am, they approached Mr Raja's home dressed in blue overalls, carrying a gardener's fork and wearing "floppy hats". Mr Raja opened the door and upstairs his two grandsons, Waheed and Rizvan, heard a bang as the sawn-off shotgun went off and shot the hall ceiling, apparently during a struggle.

The court heard that while Waheed dialled 999, Rizvan ran downstairs. He was threatened with the gun but ran through the kitchen and into a TV room after seeing the gunman reloading. Seconds later he heard a second shot and the men made their getaway in the van before setting it alight. Mr Waters said that after extensive inquiries, police found that DNA, extracted from blood found on Mr Raja's front door, matched a saliva sample taken from Mr Croke. He also said that a security guard, who worked at a caravan park where a former wife of Mr Croke lived, recognised the van and said it had been parked there a number of times, during the relevant period. The trial continues.

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Repression Against the Independent Press Escalates

Reporters sans Frontières (New York)

April 16, 2002
Posted to the web April 16, 2002


Nyarota charged; A reporter with the Zimbabwe Independent briefly detained.

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Information, Jonathan Moyo,
Reporters sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders - RSF) expressed its
indignation at the escalation of repression against the press. "A few weeks
ago, the Daily News was threatened with legal action for allegedly
publishing false information. The newspaper reported on a resolution by the
UE-ACP calling for a new presidential election in Zimbabwe. The European
Union confirmed the truth of this story to RSF," said Robert Ménard, General
Secretary of RSF. "The Daily News is again being harassed. The authorities
have begun a war of attrition against the country's independent press. This
is quite simply a governmental strategy seeking to exercise total control
over information both inside and outside the country."

According to information obtained by RSF, Geoffrey Nyarota, the editor of
the Daily News, was formally charged with "publishing false news" and with
abusing "journalistic privilege". Nyarota was taken to the main police
station in Harare and briefly questioned on 15 April 2002. Geoffrey Nyarota
was accused of publishing articles denouncing improprieties by the
Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, during the last presidential election.

On 10 April, during a press conference, the Registrar-General announced
results that were different from those announced by the national television
channel on March 13, the day after the election. During this press
conference, Tobaiwa Mudede expelled from the room a journalist with the
Daily News who questioned him on the reasons for these changes. The next
day, the newspaper published an article entitled, "Mudede's Circus

In addition, Duminasi Muleya, a senior reporter with the Zimbabwe
Independent, was arrested on 15 April, 2002, and questioned for four hours.

He was charged with "criminal libel". He was accused of damaging the
reputation of the president's wife Grace Mugabe. In an article published on
12 April, Muleya told how the First lady's brother tried to influence, in
her name, a conflict involving a food company.
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State to ignore security rulings

Harare - President Robert Mugabe's government gave notice on Tuesday that it
would ignore court orders that restrained police in security issues,
according to state radio.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) immediately warned that the
ruling meant Zimbabweans would no longer "have the protection of the courts"
and that state would disregard any ruling it chose.

"It is loud and clear that we are under attack," said ZCTU secretary-general
Wellington Chibhebhe.

"If a citizen approaches the courts and is given a judgement, but then the
government says, 'We will not recognise the judgement and we will do what we
feel like doing,' it means we are under repression."

High Court Judge Moses Chinhengo late last week ruled in favour of an
application from the ZCTU to stop police sitting and monitoring meetings of
the union's leadership, the general council.

He said that draconian new security legislation, the Public Order and
Security Act, which police used to force their way into a general council
meeting last month, did not apply because the union's gathering was not a
"public meeting."

On Tuesday, however, a day after the judge's decision was published in the
local press, the government made it clear in a statement broadcast on state
radio that it would not heed his ruling, and also attacked the judge who
decided on the union's application.

"Government is disturbed by the decision by Justice Moses Chinengo to bar
police from ZCTU meetings," said George Charamba, the permanent secretary in
Mugabe's information department.

"The decision is disturbing in so far as it smacks of an open invitation to
the ZCTU to embark on lawless actions with impunity."

Last month police forced their way into the ZCTU's meeting where it was
going to discuss the possibility of a national stay-away in protest against
state suppression of the labour movement following Mugabe's victory in
flawed presidential elections on March 9-11.

Charamba said the ZCTU had been "planning an illegal post-election stay-away
whose purpose had everything to do with the failed attempt to use violence
to overturn the result of the presidential election and nothing whatsoever
to do with the labour matters.

"Government will fully implement the public order and security act at all
times and everywhere in the country without any exception as a matter of the
rule of law," Charamba said.

"We expect more things to come," said Chibhebhe.

"The government is saying loudly they will disregard the judgement.

"We don't believe it's only this judgement, but any other judgement they
will treat with impunity."

Observers say it appears that the country's courts are becoming increasingly
irrelevant as Mugabe moves in what is seen as a campaign to silence all his

Mugabe has for years declared he would not listen to judges who ruled
against his mass seizure of white-owned land, but observers say this is the
first time that the regime has openly stated it would ignore the country's
courts on any other issues.

The new security act, bulldozed through parliament in January, was used by
authorities before the election to block hundreds of campaign meetings of
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.


Also on Tuesday, police brought new charges against a journalist over his
report in the privately-owned Zimbabwe Independent that the brother of
Mugabe's wife, Grace, had tried to enlist her support in his bid to seize
control of a local white-owned company.

Dumisani Muleya, who is also correspondent for South Africa's Business Day,
was arrested on Monday and released after being charged with "criminal
defamation," according to legislation drafted by the former white minority
Rhodesian regime in the 1960s.

He was ordered back to Harare central police station on Tuesday for
fingerprinting, said Independent editor Iden Wetherell.

"As soon as he sat down, they started to see what else they could charge him
with," he said.

Muleya was allowed to leave after being charged under the government's new
press-gag bill, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, for
allegedly "publishing false information." Muleya denied the charge.

"The law is a blunt weapon wielded by the president's office to get even
with newspapers who have proved inconvenient with their revelations," said

On Monday Geoff Nyarota, editor of the independent Daily News, was also
arrested and charged under the same law for a report that said Mugabe's
officials had rigged last month's elections.

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Zimbabwe bars sanctions advocator

HARARE, April 17 — An official from a Brussels- based think-tank urging
sanctions against Zimbabwe over President Robert Mugabe's controversial
re-election last month said on Wednesday he had been barred from entering
the country.

       John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group (ICG) said
immigration officials at Harare's international airport barred him last
week, telling him on Friday he could not proceed to the capital where he
planned to meet Mugabe's ruling party and the main opposition.
       Prendergast is co-director of the ICG's Africa Programme.
       ''I'm quite sure it (ejection) is because of our advocacy for
targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe's elite and non-recognition of the
presidential election results,'' Prendergast told Reuters by telephone from
neighbouring South Africa.
       ''It symbolises the extent to which (Zimbabwe's ruling) ZANU-PF is
willing to suppress any kind of discussion about the future of Zimbabwe,''
he added.
       In a report issued last month, the ICG said ZANU-PF used
state-sponsored violence, rigging, disenfranchisement, restrictions on
freedom of speech and assembly and the threat of military intervention to
help Mugabe win presidential elections in March.
       Morgan Tsvangirai, who leads the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), alleges he was robbed of victory in the hotly contested
presidential poll and has gone to court to challenge the result.
       In the March report, ICG urged the international community to apply
''unrelenting pressure'' on Harare, including targeted sanctions on Mugabe
and his close political associates and reject the legitimacy of the election

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