Grahamstown Man Describes Total Looting of Zim Family Farmstead
Cape News (Grahamstown)
April 16, 2002
Posted to the web April 16,
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
dollars or 70m Zim dollars on the black market.
He said the looters had
ripped out are carried off all the light fittings,
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
"My family have lost everything. They have got nothing more to
built that farm from scratch in 1958 when moved onto that barren
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
The farm's 70 labourers were also told to leave before being
The remaining skeleton staff were moved into
fenced in area around the
farmstead complex for their safety.
his parents had received a section 5 notice in the post notifying
the government intended to "acquire" the farm. Two weeks ago they
section 8 notice informing them that the land was now "acquired",
had a few days to leave and that they were not allowed to take
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
government will try and hold them legally responsible for all the
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.
Land Invasions And Maize Crop Failure Slams Poor
East Cape News
April 16, 2002
Posted to the web April 16,
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.
international humanitarian aid agencies were buying up South Africa
using the "mighty" dollar in order to try and keep the lid on
"humanitarian and famine crisis in Zimbabwe".
Aid buying had
placed major strains on SA maize reserves and had
artificially driven up
The new maize price had also caused food price inflation to
highest", Trollip said: "Far too many millions, who live below the
line, are no longer able to pay for basic foodstuffs. We in South
now beginning to pay the price for Mugabe's tyranny. This should
allowed to happen." Local farmers told ECN the maize price had gone up
between 70 and 100 percent since the terror attacks on America in
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
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
"This will have devastating knock-on effects on the health of
of HIV-positive people who are extremely susceptible to
disease infection when malnourished." He said consumers could
the cost of red meat, mutton and poultry to rise.
"Zimbabwe's crises of not having a maize crop due to land invasions
will directly affect South Africans now and for the foreseeable
said the Mbeki government's "silent diplomacy has directly led
to this crisis
in South Africa."
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
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
He told RSF that "given your track record of always sending
irresponsible, thoughtless and malicious letters each time
journalists are held accountable for deliberately and wilfully
illegal actions ... your vulgarity in this matter has now gone too
"Next time you send us a letter, we will put it in the dustbin and
concluded that you do not deserve to be taken seriously," said Moyo
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,
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
Mugabe enacted the new media law, which imposes strict limits
and foreign journalists and gives the government broad powers
the media, days after his controversial re-election last
Mudede has denied doctoring the results which gave Mugabe victory
main rival Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement
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
Anti-govt protests postponed
Harare - Anti-government
protests originally planned to coincide with
celebrations in Zimbabwe have been postponed to next
week, an organiser said
Douglas Mwonzora, spokesperson for the National
(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
The planned national street demonstrations are aimed at forcing
government to accept a more democratic constitution, which the NCA
would prevent abuses that aided President Robert Mugabe's
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
stressed that despite the police action at the last protest, which
in the arrest of at least 21 NCA members including its chairperson
Madhuku, they were "going ahead with the demo with or without
The NCA has announced plans for a regular series of
demonstrations. - Sapa-AFP
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
Analysts predict a more sombre commemoration this year, with
reflecting more on the erosion of the freedom symbolised by the
"Everything we fought for - there is zero, absolutely nothing to
about," said political analyst Masipula Sithole.
promises of independence are at their lowest ebb. We have no freedom,
being brutalised by militias, our women are being raped in the
University lecturer Joseph Kurebwa says however that the
anniversary should not be overlooked in the face of
"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
The political scene is sharply polarised, while Mugabe and his
are under sanctions in various Western countries.
doing very badly, we are deeply divided on racial and party
Internationally we have never been such a pariah country," Sithole
Once a breadbasket of the region, Zimbabwe has this year been
import maize, its staple food, to meet the requirements of its 12.5
people. More than 500 000 are surviving on international
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
"We have done the right thing the wrong way, and we can't escape
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
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
This year's independence day celebrations will be marked by a rally
giant 60 000-seater sports stadium addressed by Mugabe,and a football
between the country's top teams. A musical gala by local artists is
for Wednesday night.
Zimbabwe's first independence bash in
1980 featured the late reggae legend
Bob Marley of Jamaica.
there will be no feast this year as resources will go instead
An anti-government protest march planned
to coincide with independence day
has been postponed. - Sapa-AFP
week two senior journalists of Zimbabwe’s harassed independent
Dumisani Muleya and Geoff Nyarota, were arrested and charged under
country’s Draconian new media law. for reports in their papers.
government claims that the two, who work for Zimbabwean Independent and
Daily News, have, in their reportage, abused journalistic privilege
perversely named Access to Information and Protection of
Section 80 (1)(a) of the act - one of a battery of
repressive laws that
President Robert Mugabe’s government has passed amid
controversial presidential election - says: "A journalist shall
be deemed to
have abused his journalistic privilege and committed an offence
falsifies or fabricates information and publishes falsehoods." If
guilty journalists could face imprisonment for up to two
Ordinarily, disturbing though the charges might be, we would urge
allow the law to take its course, particularly as one of the
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
correspondent, on the list of victims of the police swoop
and Harare’s new
media law, the handiwork of Information Minister Jonathan
Mugabe tactfully shelved the media bill, which was criticised by
ruling Zanu (PF) and regional colleagues, before and during the March
poll. This gave the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
the impression that he was moderating his behaviour. And while the
haggling over his victory, he signed it into law.
all probability lost the election, the Zimbabwe regime is
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.
is emerging is an attempt at sustained intimidation to prevent
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
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
total number of votes that the Registrar-General, a well know
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.
leaders were lied to once and Zimbabweans must now live with
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
ZIMBABWE: Journalists' arrest 'pure harassment' - MISA
IRINnews Africa, Wed
17 Apr 2002
JOHANNESBURG, - The arrests of Geoff Nyarota, editor of
News, and Dumisani Muleya of the Zimbabwe Independent were
of the media", Zoe Titus of the Media Institute of Southern
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
Titus said: "It is pure and simple harassment. Unfortunately
the laws have
been put in place to allow for this to take place."
Regional Information Co-ordinator Kaitira Kandjii said the
planned to write a protest letter around Muleya's case as it
their campaign to target laws criminalising
"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
LAst month Daily Telegraph reporter Peta Thornycroft was arrested
allegely publishing false statements prejudicial to the state. She was
her way to investigate claims of torture against opposition supporters
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
recognition of his fight for press freedom. The Daily News offices
printing works have been bombed in the past.
Zealand has joined the European Union, Canada and the United
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.
Harare is set to defy judicial
The government warned yesterday that it would defy a judge's order to
the country's labour federation to hold meetings without police
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
Chinhengo ruled in favour of the federation in a court hearing
police broke up a meeting of the federation's 32-member general
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
Chibhebhe, the federation's secretary-general, said that the
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
quoted Environment and Tourism minister Francis Nhema as saying
been an unprecedented level of poaching on some farms over the
months by people taking advantage of the country's land
Apr 17 2002 12:00:00:000AM Business Day 1st
Commonwealth group split on Zimbabwe media
CAPE TOWN, April 17 — African delegates rejected a bid by a
conference in South Africa on Wednesday to condemn Zimbabwe's
the independent media.
Parliamentarians and reporters
from Commonwealth countries around the
Indian Ocean rim clashed over whether
to single out President Robert Mugabe
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
Zimbabwe'' could do so, but it would not be adopted as an
About 50 of the 68 delegates to the conference,
''Parliament and the
media - securing an effective relationship,''
Mugabe brought in a new media law three days after winning a
presidential poll, which the opposition and many Western governments
Officials at the conference said none of the black
from South Africa, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya or Namibia
signed the draft
declaration. Most said they objected to the focus on
''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
''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
declaration was rejected on Tuesday, with African delegates
objecting to the
focus on Mugabe and calling instead for a general
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
The opposition and many foreign governments charge that Mugabe
oppressive laws, intimidation and vote-rigging to beat off the
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
regional director of the Media Institute of Southern Africa,
the few African delegates to sign Wednesday's
Kenyan legislator Stephen Ndicho said he would leave the
meeting ''with a very, very heavy heart.''
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.''
U.S. bans defense sales to Zimbabwe
April 17 — The United States on Wednesday banned sales of
to Zimbabwe because of the internal policies of President
A notice in the Federal Register said the United States
suspending immediately all licenses to export military equipment to
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
U.S. President George W. Bush said the United States did
recognize the outcome of the election and U.S. Secretary of State
Powell accused Mugabe of systematically subverting democracy
intimidation and violence.
The United States has already
imposed travel restrictions on Mugabe
and several dozen of his close
The arms ban means that requests for defense sales to
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.
Independence Message from MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai
Tomorrow, Zimbabwe marks its 22nd anniversary as an independent
ideally, should be free from oppression. As MDC, we recognise
significance of this solemn event on our national calendar. We urge
Zimbabweans to attend these independence celebrations, which in our
should not be conducted in a partisan fashion. No single Zimbabwean or
of Zimbabweans have a monopoly on patriotism.
understand and appreciate that the liberation struggle was
prosecuted on the need to craft and cement the salient concept
of 'one man
one vote' which is the foundation of universal adulthood
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
set aside their differences and join hands to mark common
reflecting on the past and looking into the
However, this is not the case for Zimbabweans this year as the
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,
restore the ideals they fought for when they took up arms to
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
namely, the non-negotiability of the fight against
Zimbabwe is currently faced by a serious economic and
Zimbabweans have been denied their political freedoms
freedoms of association, assembly and expression. The recent
poll nullified the sacred right of the people to elect a leader
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
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
The MDC would like to thank all Zimbabweans for their courage
determination. As MDC we remain committed to completing the change for
better life for all Zimbabweans. We have no doubt in our minds that
mission shall be accomplished.
Farm Invasions And Security Report
Wednesday 17 April
This report does not purport to cover all the
incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas. Communication
problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that
happens. Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise
the risk of reprisals.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF
- The owner of Virginia Farm, Glendale, 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.
- The owner of Danbury Park, Mazowe, 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
- Beatrice - The Goie-Hoop owner was told on 13.04.02 that 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, General Mujuru said
he would be removed by force.
- At Waltondale Farm, Marondera South, 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 remains of seven snared giraffe were found in two paddocks
on Alko Ranch, Mwenezi.
- The owner of Makanya Farm, Gutu/Chatsworth, 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.
- 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
Generally the area seems to be
quiet. Numerous section 7's and 8's have delivered since 12.04.02.
Bindura - 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.
Wedza – 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
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.
– 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.
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
Marondera North - No report
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".
MASHONALAND WEST (NORTH)
Doma - 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.
MASHONALAND WEST (SOUTH)
Battefields - 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.
– 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
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
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
Kwekwe - 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
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.
the Thandanani owner had very serious threats made against him by "war vets" and
settlers coming off Redwood Park.
All other areas quiet.
firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the CFU
Unless specifically stated that this
message is a Commercial Farmers' Union communiqué, or that it is being issued or
forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU capacity, the opinions
contained therein are private. Private messages also include those sent on
behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the Union. The CFU does
not accept any legal responsibility for private messages and opinions held by
the sender and transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network
users and/or to external addressees.
Zimbabwe stuck in political impasse after
HARARE, April 17 — Following President Robert Mugabe's
re-election, Zimbabwe is likely to be stuck in a lengthy
while South Africa and Nigeria try to broker a compromise
between him and
the opposition, political analysts say.
say Mugabe looks increasingly threatened by the bitter dispute
re-election, a severe food shortage and a deepening
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.
analysts said Mugabe would have wanted a grand celebration
of his victory in
the March 9-11 elections and of Zimbabwe's
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
The European Union, the United States, Australia and New
imposed travel sanctions against Zimbabwe's ruling elite, their
aides in response to the crisis.
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
inflation, unemployment, foreign relations, and, in my view the
one, food,'' said Emmanuel Magade, a law lecturer at Harare's
But he suggested that, if Mugabe managed to handle a food
caused by drought and reduced production from white-owned farms
his supporters, and to end a violent campaign against opposition
he might be able to ease pressure over the election
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
Mugabe refuses to accept any responsibility for
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.
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
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.
American political analyst barred from entering
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
International Crisis Group, canceled meetings with associates
in Harare in a
brief call from the Harare airport.
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
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.
year, the U.S. Congress passed legislation to ban entry visas
members of his Cabinet and senior ruling party officials to
protest abuses of
human and democratic rights in Zimbabwe.
Rural Electrification Fund Seeks to Raise $5bn
The Herald (government paper)
April 17, 2002
Posted to the web April 17, 2002
THE Rural Electrification Fund will come to the market next
month to raise
$5 billion to finance various projects under the accelerated
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
To date, 753 electrification projects have been
The projects include business centres, schools, clinics,
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
which was appointed last month, will be exclusively dedicated to
It has taken over the expanded rural electrification
programme, launched by
the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority in all the
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
He said the fund had made representations to Government to
electrification levy reviewed upwards to meet the increased
President Mugabe launched the expanded rural electrification
a switch-on ceremony in February at Nyamhondoro Secondary
School in Guruve.
The expanded rural electrification programme provides a
integrated rural economic and social development through grid
electricity driven industrialisation of rural areas.
programme objective is economic and social empowerment of rural areas
total electrification of Zimbabwe and facilitating the acquisition
dissemination of technology, plant and equipment for
It also aims, among others, to electrify all
rural supply points of communal
public interest with 100 capital
This includes all rural primary and secondary schools, health
Government extension offices, irrigation schemes, A1 model village
Master Plan identified projects.
Projects, which qualify for 100
percent capital subsidy, shall be
implemented in phases.
shall constitute of all projects within a 5km radius of the
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
From SABC News, 16
Four million face food crisis in
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.
From The Daily News, 16
Women vow to expose sexually abusive
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.
Independent (UK), 17 April
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
Repression Against the Independent Press Escalates
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
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
station in Harare and briefly questioned on 15 April 2002.
was accused of publishing articles denouncing improprieties
Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, during the last presidential
On 10 April, during a press conference, the Registrar-General
results that were different from those announced by the national
channel on March 13, the day after the election. During this
conference, Tobaiwa Mudede expelled from the room a journalist with
Daily News who questioned him on the reasons for these changes. The
day, the newspaper published an article entitled, "Mudede's
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
reputation of the president's wife Grace Mugabe. In an article
12 April, Muleya told how the First lady's brother tried to
her name, a conflict involving a food company.
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
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) immediately warned
ruling meant Zimbabweans would no longer "have the protection of the
and that state would disregard any ruling it chose.
loud and clear that we are under attack," said ZCTU
"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.
said that draconian new security legislation, the Public Order and
Act, which police used to force their way into a general council
month, did not apply because the union's gathering was not a
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.
disturbed by the decision by Justice Moses Chinengo to bar
police from ZCTU
meetings," said George Charamba, the permanent secretary in
"The decision is disturbing in so far as it
smacks of an open invitation to
the ZCTU to embark on lawless actions with
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
state suppression of the labour movement following Mugabe's
flawed presidential elections on March 9-11.
the ZCTU had been "planning an illegal post-election stay-away
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
"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
Mugabe moves in what is seen as a campaign to silence all
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
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
Dumisani Muleya, who is also correspondent for South Africa's
was arrested on Monday and released after being charged with
defamation," according to legislation drafted by the former white
Rhodesian regime in the 1960s.
He was ordered back to Harare
central police station on Tuesday for
fingerprinting, said Independent editor
"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
Zimbabwe bars sanctions advocator
HARARE, April 17 —
An official from a Brussels- based think-tank urging
Zimbabwe over President Robert Mugabe's controversial
re-election last month
said on Wednesday he had been barred from entering
John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group (ICG) said
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.
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
''It symbolises the extent to which (Zimbabwe's ruling)
willing to suppress any kind of discussion about the future of
In a report issued last month, the ICG said
state-sponsored violence, rigging, disenfranchisement,
freedom of speech and assembly and the threat of military
help Mugabe win presidential elections in March.
Morgan Tsvangirai, who leads the opposition Movement for Democratic
(MDC), alleges he was robbed of victory in the hotly contested
poll and has gone to court to challenge the result.
In the March
report, ICG urged the international community to apply
pressure'' on Harare, including targeted sanctions on Mugabe
and his close
political associates and reject the legitimacy of the