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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Thursday 25 April 2002

The CFU has been plagued by a mass mailing virus for nearly a week.  Our apologies for the late sitrep, but we wish to make sure that recipients are not affected by the W32Klez virus.  We hope you bear with us whilst we try sort out the problem. 
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.

Nothing to report.
- The owner of Guitingwood Farm was ordered to leave his farm on 21.04.02. The farm has a Section 5 notice. The Police were contacted but as yet no response has been forthcoming.
Centenary - On 20.04.02 Cloudy River Farm was invaded by "war vets" who ordered the owner to leave. They camped on his veranda and began cooking a meal saying that he had to be off the farm by that same afternoon.
Mazowe - On 18.04.02, 25 "war vets" arrived and cut down two trees, which they placed across the gates on Warmingham Farm barricading the owner inside his home until the next day. The "war vets" demanded to see the owner’s copy of the Section 8 Order and told him to vacate his property on expiration of the Section 8 Order. The owner of Normandale Farm attempted to send a truckload of irrigation pipes to Harare for safety. The vehicle was turned back at Mazowe by the Police who instructed they be returned to the farm. Upon enquiry the owner was told that the Police had received a "directive" to stop all agricultural machinery and livestock from being moved off any farm.
Horseshoe - The owner of Mangondo Farm sent his truck loaded with irrigation pipes to Harare for safety. It too was turned back at Mazowe by the Police, who, on being questioned as to what law prevented a farmer from re-locating his equipment, was told they had received a directive to do so. "War vets" and settlers on Nyamsewe and Rungudzi, have taken possession of the owner's tractors, lorries and other equipment and are using them as they please. On 18.04.02, three members of the Presidents' office arrived in Horseshoe and announced that for the next two weeks no farmer would be allowed to remove any agricultural equipment or livestock from their farms. After that "they would receive further instructions."  On 24.04.02, the owner of Makombe reported he had succeeded in having the Glens removal truck released from the farm, but the "war vets" still refused to let his own lorry leave.  There are no further developments in this area and some outstanding issues await the return of the Bindura DA.
Mvurwi - Several farmers have been issued Section 8 Orders and Sections 7 Notices. These are:
Vukwe Farm - Section 7, Ruia - Section 8 on one section of the farm and a Section 7 on another, Norver Farm - Section 8, Coolderry - Section 8, and Barrock - Section 7. 
19 April 2002
Beatrice - The owner of Nengwa farm was visited by "war vets" who initially wanted him off the farm immediately, but after negotiations, he was given until 23.04.02 to get off. He was told he is not to remove any irrigation pipes or tractors. The Victory Farm owner has had one beef cow from Alamein Farm for the last couple of months.  The "war vets" living on Alamein Farm asked him to kill the cow for them, which he refused, so they slaughtered it themselves and took it away with a tractor and trailer.  At Eden Farm A earlier this week, seven men arrived in an old Peugeot 404 at the rondavels. One man, dressed in camouflage, identified himself as Sibanda from Bulawayo. He presented the owner with a fake eviction notice instructing him to leave within 24 hours, which he did.  It would appear these are the same men who went to Alicedale West and Talana Farm.   Nebo Farm confirms a CZ75 pistol is missing from the manager's residence.  The pistol/magazine and ammo was accidentally left behind when they vacated the property the first weekend of March.  Shortly after that, the house was broken into and ransacked and pistol is presumed to be have been stolen then.  ZRP are investigating this as a housebreaking and theft case.  Some property has been recovered; mostly clothing found on neighbouring Dorananga Farm. Clothing and a green mountain bike still outstanding.
Macheke – at Royal Visit, drunken "war vets" /settlers asked for money for Independence.  The owner referred them to the Murehwa DA who has received money from the Farmers’ Association. The Two Streams "war vets" are unhappy with the allocation of farm workers with regard to the Independence celebrations. Koodoo Range reports workers, who loaded cattle on to two lorries for transfer, were forced to unload them. No reason was given, all paperwork was in order and "war vets" were aware of the move. The "war vets" kept the movement permit. Soft Farm had Agritex pegging for A2 resettlement.  Journey's End had Agritex assessing the farm for A2.  The Springdale owner was stopped moving irrigation pipes to Harare for use on his smallholding. The police impounded the pipes and lorries and later escorted the lorries back to the farm. The Welcome Home Farm owner is away.  15 settlers arrived and said it now belongs to them.  The settlers would not allow the neighbour on to the farm.  They then asked the neighbour for mealie-meal.  He refused, citing no stocks as his reason.
Marondera South - Monte Christo received a message from settlers to vacate immediately, and that all farming equipment is now theirs. Igava Farm reports the settlers want all farming equipment removed from Igava to Gorajenna Farm returned immediately "for safe keeping". The owner was off the farm his wife and daughter were told to evacuate their homes, with no help allowed and no lorries could enter the premises.  The daughter was later told she had 30 minutes to get out.  She tried to bargain with them and in the end they said she could have neighbours and lorries to help as long as she got out within the hour.  It has not yet been established whether the owners were able to go back to grade and reap the rest of the tobacco, paprika, cabbages etc.  The settlers demanded keys for the house be left behind and amidst threats, the owners managed to pack.  They were subjected to searches for farm equipment, a settler stole alcohol and a small generator used for the house was removed from the lorry. The Monte Christo  owner is away and all the workers told to leave the farm village.  No damage to house or property as yet.  29 cattle were stolen on the night of the 17.04.02. K-Se-ra reports on the morning of 19.04.02, "war vet" Mutoko and accomplices told the owner to vacate his house and get off the property; if he did not do so, he would be removed with force.  The owner has moved off but his personal effects are still in the house.
Wedza – the continuation of ongoing trouble at Chakadenga saw four tractors and trailers and a 3.5 tonne lorry taken.  The Lifton - Hull owner had seven tractors and trailers taken.  At Plymtree a Toyota hilux pick-up was stolen, which was subsequently involved in an accident on 18.04.02 and rolled.  The police investigated but have not been to see the owner.  All of the above incidents have been reported to the police but no action has been taken.  At Chirume a lorry coming to collect cattle got lost. When the owner went to redirect it he was told all his cattle belonged to the State.  The lorry was allowed to proceed to Chirume when the owner told the settlers the cattle were being sold to Government.  On 15.04.02, the Mt Arthur owner, his wife and three children were barricaded in their house.  The police were called in the morning and eventually arrived at 1600 hrs and removed the lock off the gate put there by the settlers.  Lustleigh reports "war vets" from Chop Chop base have moved into the owner’s house in his absence.  The Raleigh owner was moving a truckload of equipment on 16.04.02.  The lorry was hijacked by Mauweza near Mushandira Pamwe and taken by Gandiza to Chakadenga.  This was reported to the police but there has been no response. Skoonveld and Fair Adventure received a second section 5 each. At Devon a truckload of army personnel and youth arrived, saying as they had such a big farm, they would like to share it.  They also told the manager that he must be out of his house within two weeks, and they would be back.  This farm has been unaffected up until now.
23 April 2002
Harare South - During the night of 22.04.02l the remaining kitchen units in the farm village were burnt down at Kinfauns The owner was told to get off the farm by 23.04.02, but is unable to move off the farm as both access roads have had ditches put across them. 
Macheke/Virginia - Vanguard Farm had settlers arrive on 22.04.02, who were verbally abusive. The owner again reported this to the Police who said they would follow up after attending a lands meeting in Murehwa. The settlers have taken all the irrigation pipes, using two of the farm’s tractors and trailers, and moved the pipes to Royal Visit. The police reacted and the owner has to see the Lands Committee on 28.04.02 and prove ownership of pipes.  They will not be used until such time as proof is given.  About 700 pipes were removed. On Showers farm eight settlers demanded keys to sheds and offices to make an inventory.  This was reported to the police and he was told to co-operate and keep the peace.  An inventory of stock in the sheds was made but access to the offices and other areas was denied.  On Nyadema Farm 25 youth and 2  "war vets" evicted labour from houses in farm village, because they had not contributed to the Independence celebrations.  The labour is now in the barn complex. The Athlone Farm Foreman was notified all the keys were to be handed to the settlers by 03.05.02 OR ELSE. The Wheatlands Farm owner was told his cattle would be divided up between settlers on Highover, Wheatlands and Mehtven.  Police are aware of the situation and will attend if necessary.  Two Streams reports settlers cattle from River Valley got into the paprika. The owner impounded them for safe keeping in his dip and reported this to Cst. Chanakira, who said if he is assaulted by settlers he must notify the police at once. River Valley had paprika stolen. 
Marondera South – at Gorajenna Farm settlers demanded all the farm keys.  The owner refused and they became threatening and rowdy.  The owner felt he had to get out quickly. He went to Marondera to see higher authorities but no one was available. The Monte Cristo Farm  owner is still off the farm and it appears certain he will be evicted on his return. At Mtemwa Farm  the owner received an internal message settlers were gathering at the neighbouring farm Hungwe Farm and coming to Mtemwa to evict the owner. As he was in Marondera at the time, he decided not to return. On Makarara Farm about 40 settlers arrived at main gate and threatened to close down farm as property belonging to a neighbour was being held on Mkakrara after her eviction from Igava Farm.  They made a claim cattle had eaten their maize.  At 1300 hrs they demanded food for lunch and said they would not leave until compensation had been received.  The CIO arrived, stating the owner had phoned in a report but this was not so.  Together with the settlers they insisted on seeing property of Igava (only junk, no furniture) and the owner was told to get it off the farm.  The settlers had to witness the loading of the lorry. Eventually an agreement was made and settlers left the farm. The Munemo Farm owner reported his lorry went to collect 54 bales of paprika from Scorror farm at 0900 hrs, but had not returned by 2100 hrs. The lorry was last seen going into Marondera at 1600 hrs but had not arrived at its destination in Ruwa.  Investigations are ongoing.  On 22.04.02 at Mutoromandwe Farm  a mob arrived and told the workers to vacate.  The owner is away on leave and a neighbour came over to sort out the problem and managed to get three workers to stay and milk the cattle and one worker to feed the chickens.  This incident was reported to the police (Cst Nyakoka).  The settlers await the return of the owner, as they want to verify an inventory of all the moveable assets and to discuss the future of the farm. At Stow Farm the lessee returned to collect some belongings and was barricaded into his house.  This was reported to the police (Cst Nyakoka).  The lessee was later allowed to leave. Vilendy Farm reports on 23.04.02 four settlers, the same people that visited Mutoromandwe Farm, Stow Farm and Jenni Springs farm, told the owner to pay off his workers the same day on the pretext that one of the workers had told a settler to get off the farm.  The Jenni Springs Farm owner and his workers were forced to vacate their property on 22.04.02.
Wedza – on 23.4.02 at Totnes a load of cattle going for slaughter was stopped at Chudley and off loaded. The Police attended and were told by "war vet" Kujeke he took his orders from "war vet" Gandiza and was told to stop any lorries carrying livestock or irrigation pipes. The Police said there was nothing they could do. At Mbima a lorry load of people arrived at Southlawn and said they had come to take all the equipment belonging to Mbima back to the farm. The tractors have since arrived back at the farm. The Chakadenga Farm owner discovered on 22.04.02 five 1-hp barn motors had been stolen, as well as various items from the greenhouses.  The police came to investigate at 2000 hrs that night and took a statement.  On the morning of 23.04.02, an 8 tonne lorry arrived on the farm with about 30 people and a 10 000l fuel tank.  They pumped all the fuel on the farm into the tank, and also took oil, brake fluid and generally looted in full view of the owner. This was reported to the police.  The mob is extremely aggressive. 
Marondera West -  the Jenni Springs Farm owner was told on 20.04.02 to vacate the homestead within two  hours.  The matter was resolved temporarily to allow them two days to move off.  Another elderly couple occupying another house on the same farm were also given the same instructions.  Stow Farm next door to the above was also given two hours to  leave on 20.04.02.  The situation is temporarily resolved as they were then given two days to  vacate.   Cloverholme owner was given until 30.04.02 to vacate homestead, as  this is when their 90-day eviction notice is up.  One of the A2 settlers is wanting their house as it falls within his allocated plot.  He has also told the  factory workers he will continue to employ them and will take over the factory. The Essexdale situation has not changed.  The owner is still away.

The Rainham Farm owner is still off the farm, and there is a complete work stoppage.  Hired combines were turned back on 19.04.02 with the "war vets" refusing to let them in to combine soyas.  Ministers Chombo, Made and Munangagwa have all said there is nothing they can do.  The soyas are now starting to split and the crop will be wasted after one week – approximately 250 t at ZW$ 15 million.
No other report received.

- On Tawstock a security guard apprehended settlers moving some of the owners maize crop, and 2.4 tonnes of stolen maize were recovered. 
Norton - The owner of Crebilly had his chicken operation shut down by resident settlers.  The police have said they will react.
Kadoma - The owner of Eiffel Blue had his operation shut down by resident settlers.
Selous - On Strathmore on which Pamuzinda Safari Lodge operates, Air Vice Marshall Muchena has demanded that the owner stop all operations, and cancel all bookings (fully booked for the next two weeks) at Pamuzinda immediately.  Air Vice Marshall Muchena has also visited Serui Drift and demanded the owner stop all operations.  He has left 6 armed guards at the entrance to Serui Drift to ensure that no equipment or movables are removed from the property.  On Gra Machree Agrippa Gava, who is the "C.E.O for the war veterans association for the area", and who is also a Councillor at Norton Rural District Council has demanded the owner shut down operations.

Masvingo East and Central
– Greenhills Farm was visited by a Ministry of Lands official on 19.04.02. The official asked why the owner had not yet moved off the property as his Section 8 had already expired and gave the owner till 22.04.02 to report back. Lamotte Farm  reports approximately 50 people moved on and are furiously chopping trees, clearing lands and building huts. The owner has moved his cattle into his Paprika lands after losing his entire crop over Easter to theft.
Chiredzi - On 20.04.02, the Zimbabwe Development Trust brought heifers/weaners on to Oscro Ranch in the Chiredzi Area and was supposedly selling them at ZW$ 33 000 each. Some are LIT registered, but the bulk of them are not. On 19.04.02 on Wasasara Ranch seven men and six women came into the farm village for a meeting due to be held the next day. At 0700 hrs the Zanu (PF) youth, from the Chekewere Township in the communal lands, left an agenda on the owner’s gate. Allegations against the owner were listed. On their way past the dairy, four of the youths helped themselves to three litres of milk. Until 1000 hrs approximately 200 youth were seen singing, dancing, shouting and running up and down all the paths. Support Unit, police, "war vet" Mutemachani and others attended the meeting. Mutemachani noted some of the allegations from the settlers and told them to liase with the DA at Chiredzi. Total work stoppage occurred on this day. On 21.04.02 the Speargrass Ranch owner reported approximately 20 youths and one labour member were trying to corner him. A neighbour came in and rescued him and they were able to resolve the issue from the vehicle. The Palm River Ranch owner took the settler that has been extorting money from him to a meeting at Oscro Ranch.  The Chiredzi DA told the settler he should settle the matter through the courts. On 16.04.02 the settlers were demanding compensation for cane allegedly cut on their plots. This has happened on several different cane farms. The ZCTU also threatened a strike on 17.04.02 and demanded ZW$ 7000 in wages. One of the cane farmers reported he had been to see the OC Chiredzi regarding the sugar cane set up. The OC responded that farmers must “negotiate” and “co-exist” with the A2 Settlers. On the A2 Resettlement, settlers have tried to stop the cane from being cut and delivered. The current landowners have been told to continue cutting the cane till they are physically stopped. At Ruware Ranch settlers arrived with a scotch cart, and loaded up doors and windows from the old homestead. Police reacted and the doors and windows were recovered. One settler was arrested and names of the other three obtained.  At Samba Ranch on 18.04.02 twenty settlers arrived and began instructing the herdsman to round up the cattle. The farm manager was told he was not allowed back on to the farm. Police were informed and could not assist due to transport problems.  Eaglemont Ranch game scouts were assaulted by settlers.  The game scouts retreated back to the owner’s homestead where the settlers followed them. The latter came into the farm garden and made threats and demands of the owner. After some time they dispersed. At the Independence celebrations MP Chauke told the farm labourers they would be allowed to stay on the properties after they had been acquired; however they would have to buy their own houses.
Mwenezi – at Kleinbegin Ranch following several days of demands the owners leave the property, labour resident on one section were chased away. With the housing vacated those responsible for terrorising the labour helped themselves to curtains and furniture and stole roofing material from the kitchens and chicken co-ops. Initially the Beitbridge police declined to investigate, as they admitted they were ordered by the Matabeleland South Governor, S. Nkomo, to ignore anything involving "war vets". On being asked how they knew it was "war vets" without investigating, they agreed to attend. The "war vets" denied they were responsible, so it was agreed this was criminal activity. In the last six months the settlers have used the owners water supply point for their cattle. They have now broken the engine and no more water can be pumped and demand the owner fixes the engine and restore the water supply. Mrs. Tshuma, who is the Zanu (PF) leader in Beitbridge, is very aggressive and beat up the labour on 21.04.02.  Some managed to get away, while the owner went to fetch the Police. The settlers were armed with sticks, stones and axes, which they threw down and ran away when the police arrived. The Police took in one of the leaders for questioning. Communal cattle were moved to Kleinbegin Ranch against the homestead and are now mixing with the owner’s cattle. Mwenezana Estate  reports several ZFTU functionaries, led by Mr Hwarare of ZANU (PF) and in the company of a Mr. Muzenda, were at the estate over the past week, culminating in an invasion of an independent transport company’s premises. The whole episode lasted from about 1000 till 1530 hrs and consisted of abuse, most of it racist and sexist, against the two people, a man and a woman, who manage the operation. The Lumbergia Ranch owner reports the slaughter of another five cattle either through snares or being chopped on the head with an axe after being driven into a snare.  Battlefields Ranch had one cow slaughtered. Cutting of wire continues. There is an escalation in poaching with an increased use of wire snares.  The internal farm road was barricaded by rocks.
Gutu/Chatsworth - The A2 Resettlement operation is speeding up on Northdale Farm , Middeldeel Farm and Nuwejaar Farm Cattle are moved out of paddocks, fencing is cut and moved to alternate areas. An army truck was seen over the weekend bringing in thatch grass for the roofing of houses, which are erected all over the farm. The army truck was seen leaving loaded with firewood. At Chindito Farm on 15.04.02, the owner was visited by a delegation headed by Vice President Muzenda. Vice President Muzenda told the owner he received a Section 8, which had expired on 06.04.02 and he should have been off the property. He gave the owner one week to pack up and move off, allowing him to take his household goods and furniture, but nothing else. He noted the owner was not allowed to move any implements or irrigation equipment as he would make use of them next week when he began his land preparations for wheat. Vice President Muzenda was willing to buy the implements from the owner. At Chomfuli Farm approximately 15 vehicles arrived whose occupants distributed plots amongst themselves. Agritex was also present amongst these people. The Zanu (PF) official Mr. Matuki was also present. Wragley/Lauder Farms were visited by Agritex officials making inquiries about the irrigation equipment. They indicated settlers have applied for loans and indicate they would like to purchase the equipment. The owner states Mukwa trees are cut down. At Grasslaagte Farm, a Mostead Venge, presumably from ARDA moved on 92 cattle from Gweru. This is after the owner was delivered a Section 8 on 10.04.02, dated 29.03.02.  This farm is a Group Breeding Scheme for Mashona Cattle. The Felixburg Farm owner continues to have problems where grazing for his cattle are concerned. In the last week five cattle have been lost due to snaring and theft.

– on 13.04.02, sixty people tried to forcibly evict the owner’s family on Glen Curragh Ranch They attempted to gain access to the homestead security fence through two gates, managed to force the padlock on the back gate and assaulted the owner with rocks weighing up to 1.6 kg and hit him once with an iron bar.  He sustained a cut requiring three stitches on his arm, various grazes and bruises and a couple of fractured ribs.  He managed to ward off his attackers with a pepper spray and closed the gate while the OIC Ins. R.F. Ncube watched the whole incident from approximately 30 m away.  They did not manage to enter the second gate.  This group of "war vets"  and thugs were from this property and adjoining properties and included approximately 8 people from town who arrived in a Kombi.  One of the people from town is suspected to be Andrew Ndlovu, one of the top war veteran association leaders.  Prior to the assault they also handed over a letter from Andrew Ndlovu stating all farmers would be evicted due to their assistance to the opposition and not wanting to reconcile with the Country.  On 17.04.02, approximately 50 "war vets"/youths accompanied by a Chronicle News team went to Umguzaan Farm and delivered the letter signed by Andrew Ndlovu to the owner.  They caused a total work stoppage comprising approximately 250 members of labour and forced two of the farm tractors to load up all the labours property and deliver it to a main road 2 - 4kms away.  The Police in Nyamandlovu were notified and arrived approximately 2 hours later, a trip which normally takes 15 - 20 minutes.  They did not talk to the owner of the property, but drove straight through the farm village without stopping, proceeded to the main road where the labour had been dumped and instructed them to return to work.  They then left having made no arrests or investigations.  The "war vets"/youths promptly contradicted the police and threatened death to any who returned to work.  This has led to the farm owner hiring Security Guards from a firm in Bulawayo to protect a crop of sweet potatoes.  On 20.04.02, the Guards arrested one sweet potato thief.  They were surrounded by approximately 300 - 400 people comprising "war vets", Zanu (PF) youths, women and children, and one guard was hit on the head with an unknown instrument, but did not sustain any serious injury due to protective headgear.    Pepper sprays were stolen from the Guards who were instructed to return to the homestead.  The crowd then stole about 3000 kg of sweet potatoes valued at approximately ZW$ 50/kg.  Nyamandlovu Police reacted only after being told there was a foreign news crew on their way to the scene.  No attempt was made to make any arrests and the OIC told the owner and some other farmers that he would speak to the war veteran leadership to try stop the looting.  He would not leave police details to protect the crop, and advised against hiring of security guards.  A temporary work stoppage occurred on Porter farm resulting in the loss of approximately US$ 3000 of paprika as it rained and there was no labour to assist in covering it. On Tandanani farm "war vet" /youths steal approximately 1000 kg of sweet potatoes per night.  Approximately 50% of the labour has been evicted from the farm village and sent back to their communal homes.  No assistance has been forthcoming from the Police although numerous reports have been made. Poaching and petty theft continues unabated with little or no reaction from the Police.  The Matambu Farm labour was forced off the farm and taken to the main road and dumped there. The Police, in a very slow reaction, got the labour to return. During the night of 20.04.02 and the following morning, several hundred "war vets" and settlers invaded the farm and stole over ZW$ 200 000.00 worth of sweet potatoes and other large quantities of vegetables. The Police failed to react to this blatant theft of vegetables.
Matabeleland South - Twin River Ranch has had problems with "war vets" for the past 10 days or so.  They have set up booms and roadblocks to stop the owner leaving and anyone from getting on to the farm. They claim the entire farm and all implements and assets belong to them and are now ploughing up between all his citrus trees with donkeys. The Courts are also prosecuting him for having shot an eland on his own farm.
Inyathi - Reedsdale Farm was invaded on 22.04.02 by 17 men and 25 women. They locked the gates and demanded all labour leave immediately. The cattle were rounded up and put inside the cattle dip pens. Police have reacted.                                  Visit the CFU Website 

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.

A report in the National News In Brief erroneously states Strathmore, from which Pamuzinda Safari Lodge operates, and Serui Drift to be under threat from Air Vice Marshall Muchena within Mashonaland West (South).  The owners concerned have called to say this is not true.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this report to all parties concerned.  We should like to state business and security has not been affected at Pamuzinda Safari Lodge.
Visit the CFU Website
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.
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Zim Independent
Letter to the editor

Murder is murder, rape is rape

Dear Editor,

YOUR correspondent, Brian Ruff, made some pertinent observations on language
use in the Zimbabwean press, "The late, dead and deceased", (Independent,
April 19).
Excessive use of euphemisms is another problem that the press needs to
address. The Daily News front page headline on Saturday April 20: "War vets
seize $74m farm goods", is a good example.
To the best of my knowledge and understanding the word "seize" would
correctly be applied to a situation when, for example, the Sheriff of the
High Court comes to take property from a debtor acting on orders from the
High Court.
When private property is unlawfully taken surely the correct word to use is
"steal". Presumably only the political dinosaurs (of which we have more than
our fair share) would dispute this reality - quoting their outmoded
communist rhetoric that private property is theft.
Has the situation in Zimbabwe got so bad that we no longer care, or dare, to
describe illegal acts for what they are?
We do not need the press to use euphemisms as a way of avoiding confronting
its readers with the truth. Murder is murder, rape is rape, and theft is
theft. To be told that Mr X was suddenly deprived of his life, that Mrs X
was intimately attacked, and that their property was seized by intruders in
no way alters the realities on the ground.
By the same token, why are we told either that someone died "after a short
illness" (or after a long illness)? Are we frightened to use certain four
letter words - such as Aids?
Our problems will not go away, or in some way be ameliorated, by failing to
identify them for what they are.

RES Cook,


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Zim Independent
Dual exchange rate canvassed
Godfrey Marawanyika

ALTHOUGH in principle the Minister of Finance, Dr Simba Makoni and the
country's biggest industrial representative body, the Confederation of
Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) agree on the need for a dual exchange rate,
political expediency at the expense of pragmatism by the powerful Zanu PF
politburo has carried the day.

The ruling party's politburo has so far quashed any hopes of dollarisation
and devaluation, in the process defeating efforts to resuscitate industry.
Makoni and his permanent secretary, Nicholas Ncube, both agree with
industry's concerns that the proposed policy on a dual exchange rate will
provide a strong incentive for exports to drive the economy.
As part of its short-term economic measures, the Ministry of Finance has
said there was need for the introduction of a two-tier exchange rate with a
view to convergence.
Industrial representative body CZI has recommended that the lower tier be
set at $140 against the greenback and managed on a crawling peg basis.
Industry proposed that 40% of export proceeds be surrendered to the central
bank at that rate, with the remaining 60% being market-determined.
Currently exporters retain 60% of their export proceeds for a maximum 60
days during which period they are free to sell their foreign exchange.
Industry further recommended that customs duty be calculated on the weighted
average of the two rates, providing a significant boost to government
The crawling peg system, aimed at ensuring a competitive exchange rate by
adjusting the rate along a predetermined inflation-linked path, was once
attempted in August 2000, but did not fully take off.
CZI says that the proposed crawling peg system would adjust the currency
based on forecast inflation for a three- month period. Daily adjustments
would be calculated and published in advance to give maximum transparency
and eliminate speculation.
The CZI also recommended that the governor of the central bank make a
credible public forecast of inflation differentials for a three- month
period adding that the forecast would then be translated into equal daily
adjustments so that the first currency tier would be adjusted by full
forecast inflation differentials by the last day of a given three-months
On the other hand the Ministry of Finance has said there is need for use of
monetary policy instruments to contain monetary growth to levels consistent
with single digit inflation over the medium term. The Ministry of Finance
has also said there is need to unwind special credit facilities and create a
revolving fund to support the export and productive sectors.
Due to the erosion of market confidence, the Ministry of Finance and CZI
agree on the need for a concerted effort on confidence- building by
finalising land acquisition, whilst taking into account the other concerns
of the general public, the private sector as well as external
bilateral/multilateral partners.
Since 1999 Zimbabwe has severed ties with several multilateral donors which
has affected foreign direct investment inflows. The country's high levels of
investment risk have further worsened the situation.

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Zim Independent
 Editor's Memo

Zim now a police state
IN what sort of state do the owners of a popular café have to seek police
approval before they are allowed to hold discussions on current affairs? In
what sort of state do the police deny people the right to hold a peaceful
march in support of constitutional reform, claiming the political climate
isn't conducive to such a march?

In a police state is the obvious answer. Zimbabwe is a police state. It has
become so over a two-year period by a drastic curtailment of liberties
secured in two earlier decades and by the arbitrary exercise of power by a
governing elite that has stared defeat in the face and is now running
Those of us working in the media have of course been exposed to the
desperate and rather clumsy attempts of those in power to curb free speech.
But it was the Book Café case which I found particularly emblematic.
Here was a vibrant venue, run by people with a liberation war background,
that had since its inception in 1997 hosted over 350 discussions involving
dozens of speakers on subjects that included women's issues, trade unions,
ethics in journalism, and culture, among others.
There was invariably a wide range of contributors, including government
spokesmen, and lively audience participation. Dr Eddison Zvobgo read his
poetry, Kate Adie spoke about her experiences as a war correspondent, Edgar
Tekere was provocative, and everybody had their say on land, most vocally
Olly Maruma.
Yet this rather harmless meeting-place above the Fife Avenue shops evidently
posed a challenge to our paranoid rulers for whom every word of dissent is a
mortal threat. They banned its meetings. Shortly after the enactment of the
Public Order and Security Act, its owners say, law enforcement officers
arrived and informed them that political debates were illegal under the new
Act and that police permission would have to be sought for any further
activity of this sort.
After some reflection on whether this included international affairs such as
the Middle East or other topics that were political but not domestic, the
owners got clearance for discussions that were of a cultural or educational
nature. They are proceeding on that basis.
Personally, I don't believe deals of this sort with a repressive regime are
justified. But it wasn't my call. The National Constitutional Assembly is
handling things rather differently. It is challenging on the streets the
right of the police to ban demonstrations under POSA.
The Supreme Court in the early 1990s struck down that section of the Law and
Order (Maintenance) Act which governed demonstrations declaring it
inconsistent with the constitutional right to freedom of expression.
Despite shrill protests from ministers and the police that this prevented
them from doing their job, the fact is the police had abused their powers
under the Act to regulate demonstrations in a way that prevented legitimate
civic protest.
They are doing the same now under the new legislation. Most notably, they
refused permission to the NCA to conduct a peaceful march on February 15
while allowing Zanu PF thugs uncontested control of the streets a few days
later where innocent bystanders and motorists were attacked and shop-fronts
The problem here is that where the right to protest is not guaranteed by
law, the police will act in the interests of the government that employs
them. This is not a situation unique to Zimbabwe. But we cannot have a
situation in which police officers make determinations about the political
climate. It was frankly embarrassing to see Chief Inspector Tarwirei
Tirivavi telling South African television viewers on Tuesday night that the
NCA was denied permission to demonstrate because it was "seeking political
mileage", as if that was something illegal!
It is to be hoped the constitutionality of those sections of POSA which
abridge civic rights will be challenged in the courts and that judges do
their duty. Meanwhile, perhaps the several hundred people who reportedly
turned out on Tuesday are the seedbed of something bigger. Most protest
movements start out as a handful of people brave enough to face the
authorities head on. Others derive courage from their example. And before
long a peaceful revolution is born.
Munyaradzi Gwisai was right to refer in his recent controversial statement
to the examples of Ivory Coast and Madagascar. Why do we fall short of those
movements? Why are Zimbabweans so passive when South Africans mobilised in
their millions to confront tyranny?
These are the questions civil society should be tackling. What do we have to
do as a society to resist repression and misrule?

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Zim Independent

EU rights activist probes Zimbabwe
Dumisani Muleya

A WEEK after African countries blocked the European Union (EU)'s bid to put
Zimbabwe in the dock for abuses at a session of the United Nations Forum on
Human Rights, an EU human rights investigator is in the country to assess
the situation.
European Commission officials in Harare yesterday confirmed that a veteran
human rights activist and good governance expert, Alessandro Palmero, is in
Zimbabwe on an appraisal mission.
It is understood he was meeting various stakeholders with a view to
compiling a report for the EU headquarters in Brussels.
Palmero's mission comes hard on the heels of a rejection by regimes friendly
to Harare of an EU motion last Friday at the United Nations Commission on
Human Rights session in Geneva to investigate President Robert Mugabe's
government for abuses.
Reports said African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries - some with gross
human rights violation records - rejected EU attempts to probe Zimbabwe for
its abuses.
At the end of the meeting, human rights activists attacked the UN body for
allowing violators to get away with grisly abuses.
"This should be about scrutinising human rights around the world and instead
it has become a place where abusers pat each other on the back," said Reed
Brody of the United States-based Human Rights Watch.
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Daily News

Zanu PF militia strips Bulawayo journalist, pregnant wife naked

4/26/02 9:57:04 PM (GMT +2)
From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

ZANU PF militia based at Bulawayo’s Nketa 8 Secondary School recently
stripped a freelance journalist, Rodrick Mukumbira, and his pregnant wife
naked. Mukumbira was accompanying his wife to a local ante-natal clinic for
a routine check-up.

Mukumbira worked for the weekly Zimbabwe Mirror before becoming a freelance
writer. He now works for a number of local and international publications.

He has since instituted charges of indecent assault and robbery against the
militia. A docket number, CR 6732/02, has been opened at Bulawayo’s Central
Police Station.

Mukumbira, who stays in Emganwini, next to Nketa, met his fate when the
militia, numbering over 100, were patrolling the streets.

“We bumped into them at a street corner. We could have avoided them but they
blocked our path,” he said.

Mukumbira and his wife alleged that the youths forced them to remove their
T-shirts. “We complied because the marauding youths appeared to have been
under the influence of drugs or alcohol, maybe both,” he said.

The journalist said the youths were armed with knobkerries, catapults,
spears, sticks, stones and knives, some of which weapons are banned under
the Public Order and Security Act.

“It looked like they were on a hunting expedition,” he said. “We could not
run away because of my wife’s condition.”

After confiscating the pair’s T-shirts, they force-marched them for about 50
metres, while shouting abuse at them.

Mukumbira claimed that he flagged down a police vehicle, registration number
ZRP 1260 D, but the driver did not stop or offer any assistance. After the
couple was eventually set free, a passer-by who had witnessed their ordeal
from a distance, offered them clothes.

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Zim Independent

Wheat farmers pull out
Staff Writer

WINTER wheat production could decline to at least one third of normal
hectarage as more than half of the traditional producers will not plant the
crop this year.

In a statement, the Commercial Farmers Union said farmers would plant 20 000
hectares, down from 60 000 hectares traditionally planted by the large-scale
commercial sector due to illegal farm evictions and harassment coupled with
the issuance of Section 8 orders.
The Zimbabwe Independent heard this week that Agriculture ministry officials
told farmers at a meeting at the Selous Country Club that every white farmer
would be issued with a Section 8 order in due course while in the same
breath encouraging the farmers to grow winter wheat.
Sources who attended the meeting, which was also attended by Deputy Speaker
of Parliament Ednah Madzongwe, said the farmers walked out.

CFU president Collin Cloete said in the statement that there were major
constraints facing farmers and these had to be addressed before planting of
the winter crop could commence.
"Most commercial farmers are now subject to Preliminary Notice of Compulsory
Acquisition, which are being served on a daily basis," he said.

Farmers who have been served with a Section 8 order can no longer, by law,
plant a crop on their land holdings.
Many other farms yet to receive the Section 8 orders have been shut down by
war veterans and farm invaders and are physically unable to continue their
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Zimbabwe vice-president leads farm eviction -union

HARARE, April 26 — Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers' Union said on Friday many
of its members were being evicted from their farms in a drive it says has
seen several senior officials in President Robert Mugabe's government
acquire properties.

       In its latest report on the government's farm seizures, the CFU,
grouping some 4,500 mainly white farmers, said Vice President Simon Muzenda
led a group on April 15 which ejected one farmer in the southern district of
       ''Vice President Muzenda...gave the owner one week to pack up and
move off... He noted the owner was not allowed to move any implements or
irrigation equipment as he would make use of them next week when he began
his land preparations for wheat,'' the CFU said.
       ''Muzenda was willing to buy the implements from the owner,'' it
       Neither Muzenda nor government information officials were available
for comment on Friday.
       The CFU says several senior officials in Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF
party, including cabinet ministers and top defence officials have been
allocated farmland under a programme the government says is meant to benefit
Zimbabwe's poor landless blacks.
       Zimbabwe has been in political turmoil since February 2000 when
pro-Mugabe militants invaded hundreds of white-owned farms in support of the
land reforms. Ten white farmers have been killed in the violence that has
accompanied the farm invasions.
       After his controversial re-election as president last month, Mugabe
vowed to press ahead with the government's seizure of at least 8.3 million
hectares (20.5 million acres) of the 12 million hectares (29.6 million
acres) of white-owned farmland for blacks.
       In a bid to rectify over 100 years of colonial misrule, Mugabe says
it is immoral for the 4,500 minority white farmers to occupy 70 percent of
the country's best farm land, which he argues was ''stolen'' from blacks by
former colonial master Britain.
       The government has so far listed about 6,000 farms, representing
about 90 percent of commercial farm land, for seizure, but not all have been
taken yet.
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MDC Update – Apr 26, 2002

In this news update:

Mwanawasa's statement shocking
26 April 2002

The MDC is dismayed that Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has endorsed last month's presidential election. We are further shocked that Mwanawasa is under the mistaken impression that there is now peace and harmony in the country. He is also quoted asking Zimbabwean people to bury political rivalry and tackle hunger together.

We wish to put it on record that the food crisis had been put on the agenda of the talks between Zanu PF and MDC but was removed after the Zanu PF government said it did not need MDC's help to tackle the problem.

If Mwanawasa believes that national development can be brought about by killing over 120 Zimbabweans and displacing, torturing and victimising over 300 000 innocent people in this country then he can keep that brand of national development to himself.

What is required for national development in the country is political stability and Robert Mugabe with his penchant for violence cannot provide that stability. Stability can only be restored through a return to legitimacy. This can only come about through fresh, free and fair elections.

As Zimbabweans we take great exception to Mwanawasa's misinformed statements that there is peace and harmony in the country. While Mwanawasa is waxing lyrical about peace in Zimbabwe, MDC is today mourning its provincial secretary for Chitungwiza Province Davies Mtetwa who died this morning from the wounds he sustained after he was tortured by the CIO just before the presidential elections.

The society that the Zanu PF government seeks to create is one based on fear that is maintained through violence and oppression. All those leaders and individuals who are backing Zanu PF's murderous agenda must know that they have blood on their hands and that one day justice will be done.

Unlike Mwanawasa, Zimbabweans are not fooled by the hypocrisy of the Zanu PF leadership that has constantly boasted of degrees in violence. The people of Zimbabwe today are struggling to make ends meet. The people of Zimbabwe need food, jobs, affordable health care and education for their children not violence, if Mwanawasa does not understand this then may God help Zambia.

Learnmore Jongwe,
MDC Secretary for Information and Publicity.

The following statements are issued by tne MDC Information Department

MDC deplores ZANU PF's expulsion of teachers
25 April, 2002

The MDC is extremely perturbed that the chaos that has been allowed to prevail in most sectors of the country is beginning to creep into the education system, with the raucous self-styled war veterans and Zanu PF militia appointing themselves staffing officers in the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture.

As MDC we are shocked at news that Zanu PF has been involved in the expulsion of over 50 teachers in Manicaland.

We are further disturbed by the consistent and persistent nation-wide victimisation of teachers perceived to be supporters of the MDC by the Zanu PF militia.

As a result of this, teaching, which was once a noble profession, has been turned into a political circus as government abdicates its role and hands over responsibility to this group of hooligans who neither understand nor value the importance of education.

Sadly, the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture, which had for the most part maintained its reputation as a neutral government entity, has been reduced to an unprofessional body that chooses to defy all ethics, just to support the goals of Zanu PF.

The improvement of living and working conditions for teachers is a clear and pressing issue. Their remuneration is not commensurate with their level of training or nature of work.

The people, who were once beacons of society and through whose hands millions of successful Zimbabweans have passed, are being reduced to living penurious lives simply because of a paranoid government that perceives them as enemies of the state and chooses to use its economic power to control them and rein them into supporting it.

The MDC calls on the Education ministry to reinstate all the teachers who have been fired by the Zanu PF militia, and conduct its evaluations on the basis of merit and existing systems, rather than political affiliation.

Fidelis George Mhashu,
MDC Shadow Minister for Education

Violence and harassment reports
25 April, 2002

MDC Makoni North official forced to flee

Chipo Manyere, the MDC chairperson for ward 10 has fled Bingaguru resettlement area in Makoni North constituency after learning of an alleged plot by the Zanu PF leadership in the area to kill her.

The plot to eliminate Manyere, which is part of the retribution exercise against MDC members, was allegedly hatched at a meeting called by Shepherd Chipara, the councillor for the area, where it was agreed that Manyere, a staunch MDC activist, had to be killed.

Manyere, who was warned by some Zanu PF members who had attended the meeting, travelled 30 kilometres in the bush to Mutare with her two daughters aged three years and four months.

Manyere is currently living in a safe house in Mutare town. (Contact 011 761 075)

Assaulted MDC youth loses Z$4 300.00 to Zanu PF thugs
An MDC youth, Kennedy Chasakara, was on Wednesday assaulted and robbed of Z$4 300.00 by six Zanu PF youths at Magaba Home Industries in Mbare while shopping.

Chasakara, who was in Mbare to purchase scarce commodities such as cooking oil angered the Zanu PF youths when he bought a copy of The Daily News. The youths suddenly surrounded him and demanded that he destroy the newspaper in front of them.

When he refused to do so, they dragged him to a room within the complex and assaulted him using sticks and various objects.

He received serious injuries and has had to seek medical attention. During the process of assaulting him, the youths also stole Z$4 300.00 from him.

Chasakara reported the incident at Matapi Police Station in Mbare and a docket number 2540/02 has been opened. However, the police told him to apprehend the culprits and bring them to the police, which is a phenomenal task under the current political set up.

Six MDC polling agents fired from Shamva gold mine
Six people, Douglas Hamauswa, Tito Kaifa, Rogers Chaponda, Tedious Maisha, Morgan Makunda and Prince Chikomo, have been dismissed from Shamva Gold Mine for their participating in the March 09 and 10 presidential elections as MDC polling agents.

The six, who had taken leave from work so that they could participate in the elections, were first evicted from their mine-owned homes soon after the elections and persistently harassed by Zanu PF youths.

The six fled to Harare for safety and sought advice from the Associated Mine Workers' Union, which arranged for a hearing between the conflicting parties.

They also sought legal advice, and were issued with peace orders to protect them from further harassment and attacks by the Zanu PF youths.

A hearing was subsequently set for 17 April and the mine's management made a determination that the six should be dismissed. They however, appealed and a second hearing was set for April 23.

However, when the six went to the mine for the hearing on Tuesday, a group of Zanu PF youths prevented them from entering the premises by barricading the gates. The six then sought police assistance, but were attacked by the Zanu PF youths on the way to Shamva Police Station, forcing them to flee to Harare.

The youths also manhandled the Associated Mine Workers' Union representative who was identified as Mr. Sithole.
War vets spearhead purging exercise in Matabeleland North
War veterans in Matabeleland North Province have fired MDC Provincial Information and Publicity Secretary, Herbert Sinampande, from the Binga Rural District Council because of his political affiliation.

Sinampande was dismissed with two other employees who were suspected of being members of the MDC by a war veteran identified only as Mabhena.
Mabhena was assisted by a member of the Zanu PF youth executive member in Binga identified as Zengera.

Mabhena, who is also a Zanu PF official, is employed by the Central Mechanical and Engineering Department (CMED) in Binga.
Visiting MDC activist attacked in Zaka
MDC activist Johannes Mufanauyawe on 17 April suffered severe head injuries following an attack by members of the Zanu PF militia during a visit to his home in Zaka.

Mufanauyawe was ambushed by members of the militia, who are suspected to have trailed him, as he was going to board a bus back to Harare.

The militia assaulted him using sticks and various metal objects. He sought medical attention at a clinic in the area and had some stitches on his head before being discharged.

The MDC condemns the on-going state-sponsored violence against its members and supporters. Every Zimbabwean has a right to belong to a political party of their choice. We are shocked that these attacks come at a time when Zanu PF president Robert Mugabe is purportedly talking about peace and unity. It is high time Mugabe realises that there is need to match his rhetoric on peace with action on the ground.

Madhuku's arrest an act of naked state terrorism
23 April, 2002

Yesterday's arrest of the National Constitutional Assembly's chairperson Dr Lovemore Madhuku and NCA staff, Maxwell Saungweme and Edna Zinyemba is an act of naked terrorism founded on political hypocrisy.

It is disturbing that this government deploys its rioting police to deal with peaceful protesters when violent and armed Zanu PF gangs are allowed to cause mayhem with police assistance. Surely how can a demonstrator armed only with a petition pose a threat to national security?

Every single effort towards peaceful change in this country has been met by this government with arrests, violence, abductions and murders. The point has to be made that the right of Zimbabweans to peacefully express their ideas on the streets is a right that lies at the foundation of any democratic society and is the lifeblood of a free land.

Finally, the MDC shares the cause for which NCA officials are being persecuted. The MDC objects to government's intentions of stopping the process of crafting a new and democratic constitution for Zimbabwe.

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The Rural Crisis

The main focus of current attention in Zimbabwe is the situation on the large-scale commercial farms. I have dealt with that ad nauseaum in the past two years and do not dispute that it fully deserves our attention and concern. However that is not the end of the story – there is much more to the rural crisis in Africa than meets the eye and the leadership of the continent seems ill prepared to deal with this. Because the majority of Zimbabweans still live on the land and the great majority of the absolute poor are in this sector, it deserves our full attention.

In the early 60’s I was part of a dedicated team led by a remarkable man called Murray in the Ministry of Agriculture. Whilst I worked with that group I learned that civil servants can be as committed as anyone and that if it was possible, these guys wanted to change the world of the rural peasant farmer. They tried to extend a form of tenure to the individual farmers in the rural areas, moved thousands of people from exhausted lands in the centre of the country to virgin state owned land in the west. They developed new technologies and introduced new crops and problems such as sleeping sickness and other diseases were tackled with vigour and determination.

But they were swimming against the tide. The winds of change were blowing down through the continent and no matter how hard they worked, the results of their efforts were blown away. By 1970, very little sign of what they had attempted to do was visible – a few contours, the network of roads, boreholes and a sprinkling of dams rapidly silting up. The people settled on the virgin land in the west of the country simply cut down the trees, put up their traditional homes, prospered for a few years before land exhaustion caused by the constant cultivation without fertilisers or manure took its toll. The canopy forest of the Mafungabusi plateau disappeared and the area took on the appearance of the lands they once left behind – where the population was again as dense as it had been before the resettlement effort.

I know they made many mistakes – there was very little research and no attempt was made to understand the culture and sociology of the people. The administrators in the Department of Internal Affairs largely despised the people they were meant to be helping to administer and this is never a good way to operate if you want real long term progress. Politicians deliberately twisted the efforts of the people behind this thrust – destocking was the white mans way of removing the wealth of the people. Getting people to stand on their own two feet and operate as independent farmers threatened the hegemony of the traditional chiefs and the Department of Internal Affairs. As those who responded to the call for progress and adopted the new techniques, so they prospered and the culture, which fears such progress, moved to cut them down to size. Against their own people they had no defence.

What we have got to recognise is that so long as Africa refuses to grant security over assets and entrenches those rights not only in their legal systems but also in their culture, Africa will never make progress. It’s not a racial thing, its not a western thing, it’s a human thing. I grew up in a slum area and can remember even today what happened to our district when the Town Council simply wrote a letter to every leaseholder in our district saying that with effect from such a date, they were transferring title to us and our rental payments would become bond payments. After 10 years the houses were ours to do what we liked with. There was an instant transformation – gardens were planted, hedges took root and walls and gates went up. Houses were repaired and painted and suddenly what had been a municipal slum became a township of some pride and decency.

I said to my mother in law who was living in Zambia in the Kaunda era that she must watch the gardens – when people stop tending their gardens, its time to get out. She never forgot the advice and I was right. The gardens are back in many parts of Zambia and its one of the sure signs that the country is now on the path to recovery and growth.

The MDC is the only political party in Africa that I know of that has the issue of security of tenure at the top of its political agenda – and has had since its launch in 1999. It is the only political party in Africa that states that it is it’s firm commitment to grant every rural peasant farmer some form of tangible security over the assets they use. Observers are not giving enough attention to this here and outside the country. If something like the winds of change do not blow through our rural farm communities along these lines then our deserts will continue to expand and our people will remain locked into a viscous cycle of poverty and degradation.

Why develop a piece of land over which you only have the tenuous security of your cultural ties, where for a pittance a corrupt chief or headman will sell your land to another and force you to work less land than before. Why strive to rise above the crowd when you know that local pressures will do all in their power to pull you down to their level – hating you for your success and their own apparent failure. These are real issues in every African country. If you do not have security of tenure then you do not invest, you simply exploit the resources at your disposal. The result is that both you and your land become poorer as time goes on and the growing population denies you the luxury of simply moving to virgin land when you can simply no longer make a living. What you do when confronted with this situation in modern Africa is that you send one of your sons to another country to make good and hopefully send money home, which will make life more bearable.

Having done very little to get the rural economy out of the doldrums except to hand out trinkets to the rural peasants whenever an election was held, Mugabe now unleashes his own revolution in the rural areas. This time not extending to existing small scale farmers any security or real support, but simply stripping away from the commercial farm sector the security they thought they had in their title deeds and status as citizens and investors. Then he simply said to the poor and dispossessed – go and take what you want, steal and plunder these resources and I will ensure there are no consequences. So now 12 million hectares of the country (30 per cent) is being stripped of its assets, its owners driven off their land and anyone who wishes can take up a small piece of land as his own – still no security, still no support and no social infrastructure for children and health.

Already we have situations where small-scale farmers who in some cases have been on these farms for up to two years are being summarily dispossed by political heavies who are taking over the properties as "country estates". No wonder these people see this as a short term bonanza - take what we can, furniture, farm implements, wood, fertiliser and seed and squat on the land as rural peasants in the traditional sense. It does not take a prophet to see that within a very short space of time, all of Zimbabwe except for a few small islands will resemble what we already have in the communal lands – over grazed, exhausted land (no matter what the potential) with too many people chasing too little to survive.

The threat to food security is one thing; much more serious is the threat to natural resources and water. But from a political point of view it’s all of benefit to Mugabe’s corrupt leadership. Can you imagine what a problem politically the MDC will create for itself by granting title and security and real support to a million small scale farmers. All independent and self-supporting – any politician that attended the annual general meeting of the representatives of such a community would have to look to his or her laurels. They would be a very demanding and critical constituency, like small businesspersons everywhere in the world.

I hear that desperate commercial farmers – driven off their land and now threatened with destitution are responding to offers by the ruling elite in Zimbabwe for the sale of their free hold rights for a tiny fraction of their real value. They should not be doing this – their title is the only real security they have in the long term and money is virtually worthless by comparison. Commercial farmers must strive to hold onto their title rights and fight for legal compensation through the courts if the State is able legally to acquire their properties. They should list their assets and prepare detailed legal claims for full compensation in return for their true rights. Under no circumstance should they give up the legal right to the title over their properties. Eventually change will come and when it does then this issue can be properly sorted out and the rights of every property owner properly recognised. To sell their property rights now for 30 pieces of silver is not only a poor business decision, it’s a lousy legal decision and closes the door to any future recovery of their legal rights. This is too much to ask even if you have been temporarily dispossessed, their legal right remains and Mugabe cannot alter that in the time left to him.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 26th April 2002


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Mail and Guardian

Famine looms in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi
NIVASHNI NAIR, Johannesburg | Thursday

ZIMBABWE, Zambia and Malawi were experiencing a humanitarian crisis and were
struggling to survive because of food shortages, United Nations World Food
Programme (WFP) regional director Judith Lewis said on Thursday.
Addressing journalists in Johannesburg on her visit to those three countries
and Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland, Lewis said the food shortages were
attributed to severe droughts, the Aids epidemic, price escalation, a
foreign currency shortage and insufficient support by governments for
smaller farmers.
"Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi are the top three countries that are in
trouble. Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho do have a broader window and has
about three more months to really filter food."
She said in Zimbabwe she saw thousands of people queuing up in Harare to
collect basic staples.
"There has been a severe drop of food production due to the government land
acquisition activities and erratic rainfall. The vulnerable throughout
Zimbabwe are also experiencing hardship due to high inflation, declines in
employment and unprecedented HIV-infection levels," she said.
Lewis said the political problems in Zimbabwe did play a role in food
shortages and there were reports of political pressure when it came to the
WFP's distribution of food.
"I sent a written statement to the implementing group stating that the WFP
will not have its food politicised."
She said in Malawi and Zambia the food shortages were largely attributed to
"People have nothing to eat. They are eating green maize and grass. There is
also an increase in theft. People are afraid to go to weddings and funerals
because their crop will be gone when they get back," Lewis said.
She said the WFP needed US69-million (about R748-million) to solve the food
problems in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho.
However, the agency only received US3-million (about R33-million) in total
from South Africa, Finland, the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands
and Australia.
Lewis said the crisis needed urgent international action to avoid a
widespread humanitarian disaster soon.
She said the WFP was assessing the situation and would release an analysis
on the issue in May. - Sapa

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The Monitor, Kampala

Ex-Kony man Matsanga now with Mugabe
By P. Matsiko wa Mucoori

Former spokesman of Lord’s Resistance Army rebels Dr. Nyekorach Matsanga is
now working to defend Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe over allegations that he
stole last month's presidential elections.
Matsanga, who is currently in Harare to present a report on the elections by
Africa Strategy, a United Kingdom-based "observer organization" where he is
the director, according to the pro-government Harare Herald Monday, alleges
that the Head of the Commonwealth Observer Team, retired Gen. Abdulsalami
Abubakar revealed to him that the Commonwealth report on the Zimbabwe
election was doctored.
The paper said the Africa Strategy report says that Abubakar told him that
the Commonwealth team had betrayed him.
“At the press conference at Meikles Hotel, Africa Strategy had a brief
discussion with Gen. Abubakar of Nigeria who told us that he had been
betrayed by the team as the chairman. He admitted that his report was not
the correct picture and could lead to political mayhem,” Matsanga says in
the Africa Strategy (AS) report, which is to be presented formally to the
government, Zanu-PF and MDC this week.
“The image of the Commonwealth has been dented by the chairmanship of
Abubakar, a former Nigerian dictator who detests democratic elections
anywhere. The male staff of the Commonwealth were involved in heavy
social sprees with most South African women journalists who had been
enlisted by the MDC as their sympathisers,” reads Matsanga’s report.
The report further outlines that most of the Commonwealth findings were
hearsay from night-clubs.
Dr Matsanga said in an interview with The Herald in Harare where he has gone
to present the report that infighting within the Commonwealth group about
the report had led to the delay in releasing the interim report.
He alleged that the Commonwealth team shared logistics with MDC at Meikles
“The reason why they [Commonwealth] decided to house themselves with the
opposition in Meikles was that they did not want to be influenced by the
Government of Zimbabwe if they accepted the Sheraton Hotel. As political
analysts we find such reasoning shallow, narrow and dangerous for such a big
operation,” Matsanga says.
He said that Abubakar’s poor judgement has caused confusion for the whole
“This is regrettable. The world had waited for good judgement such that the
Commonwealth avoids sanctions and other measures on Zimbabwe, but we watched
Abubakar swim in the same currents of dishonesty and malice that only
encouraged violence in Zimbabwe,” he further says.
Matsanga dispelled the suspicion of any rigging in the Zimbabwe presidential
The 23-page AS report also says Zimbabwe is a young democracy only 22 years
old, which should not be equated to 100-year-old democracies.
The report details insufficient civic exposure and how the Commonwealth
observers had little knowledge on how African politics work.
Matsanga said Presidents John Howard of Australia, Thabo Mbeki of South
Africa and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria used the findings of the
Commonwealth report to recommend a 12-month suspension of Zimbabwe from the
councils of the Club.
Dr Matsanga says he witnessed violence when they went to an MDC area wearing
Zanu-PF T-shirts and could have been lynched had they not produced their
accreditation cards.
Matsanga was a pro-UPC advocate in London, then was linked with various
anti-Movement exile organisations, but his longest stint was as a spokesman
for Kony. While Matsanga takes a soft line on Mugabe after he has been in
office for 22 years and held a widely disputed election, in 1996 he rejected
the election of Museveni who had been in office for 10 years, and called him
a dictator until last year when he denounced Kony and Obote, and softened
his stand on the Movement government.
April 26, 2002 05:38:29

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Times of India

Zimbabwe police search offices of pro-democracy group
AFP [ THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2002  4:42:08 PM ]

ARARE: Zimbabwean police on Thursday searched the offices of a pro-democracy
group, the National Constitutional Assembly, poring over documents and
computer files, NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku said.

"They are saying they have information that we are paying youths to cause
public violence," Madhuku said. "They are looking for papers where we pay
people money." The search lasted more than three hours. Police did present a
warrant for the search, Madhuku said.

A magistrate's court on Wednesday tossed out charges against Madhuku of
conspiracy to commit public violence, saying prosecutors had failed to back
up their case.

The NCA on Tuesday staged anti-government protests in four cities around
Zimbabwe, calling for a new constitution that could pave the way for more
democratic elections.

Madhuku said the NCA does provide its supporters with bus fare if they want
to attend the protests, but said the group does not make other payments.

The NCA is a coalition of churches, civic groups, rights activists and
political parties.
The group has announced plans for a series of demonstrations aimed at
forcing the government to accept a more democratic constitution, which the
group says would prevent the abuses that aided President Robert Mugabe's
re-election in the March 9-11 presidential poll.

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   Africa And Asia Block EU On Harare
Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg)

April 26, 2002
Posted to the web April 25, 2002

Jaspreet Kindra
African and Asian countries are likely to strengthen their "solidarity
stance" on Zimbabwe at the Non-Aligned Movement's ministerial meeting in
Durban over the weekend, diplomatic sources say.

The African bloc was supported by Asian and Middle Eastern states last week
in blocking a European Union resolution in the United Nations Human Rights
Commission expressing concern over violence in Zimbabwe.

The draft resolution tabled in Geneva urged Zimbabwe to invite UN rights
experts to visit the country.

A bloc of 14 African states led by Nigeria introduced a "no-action" motion
last Friday, which rejected the EU resolution as "politically motivated".

According to AFP, Nigeria's delegate told the commission there could be no
debate on human rights without first dealing with the land issue.

South Africa, Algeria, Burundi, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia
voted against the EU resolution, with Cameroon abstaining. China, Cuba,
Russia and Syria supported the African bloc, with Japan abstaining.

A diplomat said Zimbabwe was expected to feature on the agenda of the NAM's
weekend meeting. The 115-member body, which comprises almost the entire
Third World, is expected to reiterate the stance taken by the African bloc
in Geneva.

"Their common colonial history and the race factor will reinforce the
position," said a diplomatic source.

The ministerial meeting is also expected to come up with a venue and a date
for the 13th NAM summit.

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Daily News
Maize hectarage far below Zimbabwe’s annual requirement

4/26/02 11:16:47 PM (GMT +2)
By Takaitei Bote

ZIMBABWE, experiencing one of its worst droughts ever, is expected to
produce a total maize crop of less than 750 000 tonnes, which is far below
the 2 000 000 tonnes needed annually to feed the nation.

The Southern African Development Community Early Warning Unit’s 31 March
2002 food security report says maize harvest prospects for 2001/2002 crop
season are forecast to range between 450 000 and 750 000 tonnes, equivalent
to between 30 and 50 percent of the previous season’s below average of 1,48
million tonnes.

The harvest, which was drastically curtailed by a prolonged dry spell from
January through March, is only adequate for three months’ consumption
requirements. Production has also been affected by disturbances in the
commercial farming sector as a result of farm occupations which began two
years ago.

Under normal circumstances, Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) members produce
between 40 and 50 percent of the total maize crop in Zimbabwe while the rest
is produced by the communal, small-scale and resettlement sector.

In its report for the year 2001/2002 farming season prospects, the CFU said
early planting intentions by its members showed a reduction in maize
hectarage due to uncertainties caused by the land issue and theft.

Early planting intentions as indicated by a CFU members’ survey showed a
maize crop size of 48 000 hectares and an estimated production of 255 000
tonnes. Maize production in the commercial farming sector has dwindled in
the past two farming seasons, from a total maize crop of 850 000 tonnes in
the 1999/2000 season, 385 000 tonnes in the 2000/2001 season, to 255 000
tonnes expected this year. Production of sorghum and other small grain crops
has been affected by the drought conditions.

Communal and small-scale farmers produce the bulk of sorghum, millet, and
rapoko. The Sadc report says: “Supply and demand projections for the
2002/2003 marketing year suggest a maize deficit/import requirement of
between 1,80 to 2,10 million tonnes, including the need for building up a
strategic reserve stocks of 500 000 tonnes of maize.”

Since the government is already too stretched to finance such a large import
programme, an appeal for humanitarian assistance has already been launched.
The humanitarian food distribution programme in has, however, experienced
hitches as the World Food Programme has only received one-third of the food
it needs to feed starving Zimbabweans.

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Daily News
Leader Page

Journalism in government media has gone to the dogs

4/26/02 11:03:28 PM (GMT +2)

On several occasions over the past 18 months or so, journalists in the
country’s privately-owned Press have been arrested and detained on spurious
charges of publishing falsehoods. More recently, alleged breaching of a
section of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act have been
cited as the basis for the arrests of media practitioners ­ arrests which,
incidentally, have become more frequent.

The section of the Act under which journalists have been charged in recent
weeks says in part that “a journalist shall be deemed to have abused his
journalistic privilege and committed an offence if he falsifies or
fabricates information and publishes falsehoods”.

We must note here that the law in question grossly infringes upon the people
’s right to freedom of expression guaranteed in the Constitution of Zimbabwe
and enshrined in the Universal Bill of Rights as competently argued by Zanu
PF’s legal expert, Eddison Zvobgo, when he tabled his legal committee’s
report in Parliament at the beginning of debate on the Bill before it became

That fact notwithstanding, it is its skewed application which has become a
source of grave concern and dismay among the journalistic fraternity. It is
those who publish the truth who get arrested for no other reason than that
the truth they publish makes the government uncomfortable.

On the other hand, those in the State-controlled media who routinely
publish, not just minor falsehoods, but complete fabrications, are left to
go scot-free because, apart from tarnishing the image of its “enemies”,
those falsehoods are what the government would like to hear.

It is the kind of fiction which, without any sense of shame over what it is
doing to the profession of journalism, The Sunday Mail consistently peddles
as news. Possibly the most irresponsible of such falsehoods was published in
that paper just before the June 2000 parliamentary election, in connection
with the alleged MDC’s military training of its youth, said to be taking
place variously at a cemetery in St Mary’s and at a camp in Uganda. That
fiction might just make for absorbing reading to those tolerant of literary
mediocrity were it published as a novel.

But when it is published as news, it is the sort of fabrication which, so we
all must believe, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
was specifically enacted to deter, for the simple reason that it has the
effect of causing unnecessary fear, alarm and despondency among the entire

But because The Sunday Mail ­ and The Herald, too, when it published its own
alarming fabrication about military bases being set up in Mozambique from
which to launch an offensive to remove President Mugabe if he won
re-election ­ went unpunished, The Chronicle this week decided to outdo its
stablemates by publishing its own incredibly fictitious story.

On Tuesday, the paper published a story that “at least 400 opposition
Movement for Democratic Change terrorists were trained in Rwanda to provide
Œback-up’ attack (whatever that means) during the confusion likely to arise
during the planned march to State House (we are hearing about that plan for
the first time) and the bombing of several buildings in Harare and Bulawayo”

According to the paper, Swedish diplomat, Pierre Schori, who was supposed to
have led the European Union (EU) election observer mission but was deported
a few days after arrival, leading to the EU withdrawing its entire observer
mission, had come here as a decoy to allow free entry of the “terrorists”
through Harare International Airport “a few weeks before the presidential

The “terrorists”, who are now said to be housed at a white-owned farm in
Mvurwi, flew to Rwanda for their training via Finland. The whole story is,
of course, utter balderdash, and shows how journalism at the
State-controlled media has gone to the dogs.

We, therefore, seriously expect the police to move swiftly against both the
writer and the paper’s editor because, as must be clear to any
right-thinking person, the story is not only a fabrication, but is likely to
cause much fear, alarm and despondency.

If they fail to move against the paper, they will have forever forfeited
their authority to move against anyone in connection with publishing
falsehoods real or imaginary.

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Daily News

CZI attacks Made for causing food shortages

4/26/02 9:43:22 PM (GMT +2)
By Takaitei Bote Farming Editor

THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has condemned, in the
strongest of terms, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made, for misleading the nation on the food
situation last year.

The organisation also challenged him to stop disturbances in commercial
farming areas in order to safeguard food security in Zimbabwe.

While the entire farming industry and the Department of Agricultural
Technical and Extension Services in Made’s ministry warned of serious food
shortages last year, following reduced plantings in the commercial farming
sector as a direct result of the ongoing war veteran-led lawlessness, Made
insisted there would be enough food.

Made was adamant that farmers who were allocated land under the
controversial fast-track resettlement programme would produce sufficient
food during the 2000/2001 marketing year.

The country, however, started to face serious food shortages as early as
October last year because the fast-track resettlement farmers did not
deliver the goods, as a result of their failure to access inputs, while some
of them were resettled well after the planting season.

The commercial farming sector reduced plantings because of farm occupations.

War veterans and supporters of the ruling party disrupted farm operations,
with threats of serious harm to farmers who continued to undertake
agricultural activities on their properties.

Jacob Dube, the CZI president, said: “Senior government officials have, in
the past, sent out mixed messages regarding the true position on current
maize stock levels. The nation has, therefore, been caught off guard on the
basis of unreliable information. We appeal to government to always circulate
statistics and information on the true picture.”

Dube said the CZI was concerned about the continuing disturbances in
commercial farming areas because they were causing food shortages.

He said: “There have been reports of continued violence on the farms, and
further disruptions of farming activities. Farmers must be allowed to
produce the necessary crops in order to ensure inputs for processed foods.

“This will have downstream benefits such as increased employment in the
agro-processing sector. It is crucial to maintain steady output. The various
State organs must diligently ensure security at farm level to enhance this.
Those that have nothing to do with security matters must be dealt with

Dube said the government should create a good farming environment to enable
the country to reclaim its position as Africa’s breadbasket.

Zimbabwe has experienced reduced crop production and a nose-diving economy
since President Mugabe launched his Land Reform Programme in 1997.

“We make a specific request to the government to ensure an environment which
will enable the planting of the winter wheat crop to provide a continued
supply of bread to the people. If disruptions on the farms continue, it will
cause further shortages and negative social currents associated with
shortages of essential commodities,” Dube said.

On food imports, Dube said the government should co-operate with the private
sector to find ways to improve the transportation of food to all the
outlying areas in the country.

Rail services and the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) are reported to be facing
transport limitations in their bid to deliver the maize imports countrywide.

“The government must allow other players to take a leading role in sourcing
food externally, whether it is food aid or imports, subject to them advising
the GMB and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, on
their intended import quantities. Decentralising importation of food will
surely go a long way in addressing the current problem,” the CZI president

The GMB has the monopoly on maize importing and marketing in the country. It
has, however, failed to make the staple available to hundreds of thousands
of Zimbabweans in communal and urban areas because it does not have the
financial resources.

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Zim Independent

Address the economy, government told
Godfrey Marawanyika

ZIMBABWE'S prospects of economic recovery look gloomy as a result of the
on-going unstable political climate, a leading economist has said.

At a meeting organised by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and
Administrators in Zimbabwe this week, economic and planning consultant Dr
Daniel Ndlela said it had become difficult to forecast the future of the
economy which he said had taken a directionless level.
"Of concern has been the current rate of the economic structure in the
country," Ndhlela said.
"In fact, it is quite relevant to note that basic fundamentals on the
economic side continue unnoticed to the extent that prospects for recovery
look dim."
He said it was in the interest of economic stakeholders to promote a stable
macro-economic climate to lure both multilateral and bilateral donors to
boost economic activity.
Ndlela said unemployment levels continued to increase at alarming rates as a
result of closures of companies.
Fiscal policies, he said, should be adopted in tandem with mechanisms
targeted at reducing the level of expenditure to curb the escalating
domestic debt.
"What remains to be seen as of now is the creation of a fiscal regime
cognisant of efforts to enhance revenue collection in order to reduce debt
exposure which has compounded government's budgetary woes," he said.
Ndhlela said the main casualty of the economic decline has been the
destruction of business confidence especially in the private sector. The
said the government was solely responsible for the abrogation of rule of
"Whilst miracles do happen, in the Zimbabwean case this implies that the
government has been solely responsible for the abrogation of rule of law,
destruction of human life and property," he said.
Ndlela said that for economic recovery to happen, the nation could not
afford to ignore answering among other "big questions" such as was the
government prepared to restore economic fundamentals to spearhead growth.
"Is the government prepared to put into place a credible and serious
stabilisation and recovery programme, is the government prepared to ensure
that the export climate is restored," he questioned.
He said for the economy to turn-around, government policies would have to
include among other things restoration of exchange rate to realistic levels,
with a level headed managed float.
The mixed messages on economic policies for the country between the
abandonment of the Millennium Economic Recovery Programme led by the
Ministry of Finance and Agrarian reforms led by the Executive did not help
"Only a thorough formulation and application of a comprehensive, national,
consensus-based coherent economic stabilisation programme that addresses the
economic fundamentals can reverse the current economic decline."
Participants at the meeting were of the view that the agrarian reforms being
pursued by the government would not boost investments.
Chairman of economics at the University of Zimbabwe Phineas Kadenge said it
was high time government relaxed the exchange rate policy to create a
competitive environment for the export industry.
"The export industry has continued to reel under extreme circum- stances
owing to the overvalued local currency unit," Kadenge said. "In fact it is
crucial for the government to ensure that the currency is devalued to a
level which can assist the ailing export industry."
Kadenge said hopes for recovery were being dampened by government's
reluctance in following market reforms which entailed the liberalisation of
the economy to create transparency and accountability.
He said the shrinkage in Gross Domestic Product on an annual basis as well
as the food crisis, including the reduction in Foreign Direct Investment was
indicative of how the economy was in crisis.
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Zim Independent

Officials should get real about economic recovery
LEWIS Caroll would have recognised the scenario immediately. His account of
Alice-in-Wonderland involved a number of delusional people suggesting the
opposite of everything his readers understood to be true.

Zimbabwe is becoming rather like that. Every week we hear of a new plan to
revive the economy knowing in our hearts it doesn't stand a snowball's
chance in hell of succeeding so long as the political saboteurs remain in

This week Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade Stewart Comberbach was
outlining government plans to set up a National Productivity Centre to
spearhead the revival of the manufacturing sector. Botswana, Mauritius and
South Africa had established such centres and therefore it was imperative
Zimbabwe was not left behind, he said.

Comberbach dutifully extolled the virtues of the government's land reform
programme claiming it would unleash agricultural productive capacity.

We are seeing the consequences of that programme, if arbitrary farm seizures
can be called that, as food production plummets and Zimbabwe holds out the
begging bowl to countries it insults on a daily basis.

Comberbach also paid lip-service to Zanu PF's autarchy, saying that as the
global economy was biased in favour of developed countries, there was no
alternative to cooperation among "ourselves".

Meanwhile, neighbouring states have embraced the challenge of the global
economy and are planning to engage it as best they can. African leaders
gathered in Dakar last week to plan projects that integrate their parts of
the continent into the international trading and investment community. If
South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia could pull themselves up by their
bootstraps, why can't Africa, Presidents Wade, Obasanjo and Mbeki asked.

Only 30 years ago, South Korea's GDP matched Ghana's. Now South Korea is
capable of taking on the developed countries in manufacturing, technology
and trade.

Zimbabwe is meanwhile going backwards. In 1990 manufacturing accounted for
20,5% of GDP; in 1995 18,8%; in 2000 15%; and in 2001 12,8%.

This is an economy in advanced decline. Zimbabwe's regional partners are
expanding their industrial capacities by following policies that work
elsewhere. Botswana, Namibia, Mauritius, Mozambique and South Africa have
experienced growth (although in South Africa this has not been matched by
employment) while Zimbabwe is contracting.

This week South African Trade and Industry minister Alec Erwin unveiled a
draft manufacturing strategy, which is designed to enhance South Africa's
share of global trade.

His ministry's role he said was to promote competitiveness, provide
customised services to encourage key export sectors, and ensure efficient
generic services such as transport, communications and port processing. This
did not require massive injections of money, Erwin pointed out. Instead
government would facilitate human resources development, technology,
infrastructure and logistics.

South Africa is keen to place its manufacturing capacity on the same basis
as developed countries. It is not naively talking about trade "among

If Comberbach's ministry is to be of any use at all, its senior officials
must inject a measure of real- ism into government policy and not indulge
its fantasies. "Land reform" along the present lines of unlawful farm
seizures, widespread looting, ad hoc planning and harebrained crop schemes
is already producing its bitter harvest as exports cease, forex dries up and
GDP sinks.

Comberbach should forget his National Productivity Centre. It is doomed to
failure along with every other initiative like Merp - or what's left of it -
that ignores the realities of misrule. Senior officials like Comberbach and
those in the Trade and Finance ministries who know only too well where the
problem lies should stop contributing to illusions of recovery and instead
explain the facts of decline. Zimbabwe's future does not lie in standing on
the sidelines as the world moves on.

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--> Zim Independent

Bad laws bedevil state's media purge
Jacob Mutambara

THE government's crackdown on media personnel whom it accuses of writing
"false" stories has not been justified by successful past prosecutions, the
record reveals. The majority of such cases have either been dropped before
plea or failed in the courts.

Of all the journalists arrested on various offences in the line of duty over
the past three years, only one case involving three scribes led to a
successful conviction. And that is on appeal. Other charges have been
dismissed as unconstitutional or simply never shaped up. Most prosecutions
have ended up with the state withdrawing charges because of lack of

In what journalists warned would happen, a combination of the recently
passed Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act have now been used to harass the press. Both Acts
have been widely condemned as draconian and aimed at silencing critics of
the government.

A sweeping interpretation of the Acts has enabled authorities to abuse the
law and arrest journalists without sufficient evidence to lead in court.

"Everybody is unhappy about the provisions contained in the two Acts and
there is a general air of uncertainty over the provisions," Advocate Eric
Matinenga said.

The list of journalists arrested or picked up for questioning in the past
three years runs into dozens. Most occurred during the tenure of the
incumbent Information and Publicity minister, Jonathan Moyo, who has made no
secret of his hostility towards the independent media.

Moyo last year failed in a High Court bid to prevent the Zimbabwe
Independent publishing details of a civil action against him by donors in

Since the passage of the two controversial Acts this year, government has
moved swiftly to arrest journalists deemed to have contravened the new

A number of international media-related organisations have described the
Zimbabwean government as one of the worst violators of press freedom in the
world with President Robert Mugabe being labeled an enemy of the press.

Last week three journalists were picked up by the police and charged with
various offences relating to publishing articles the government disapproved

Editor-in-Chief of the Daily News Geoff Nyarota was picked up by the police
for an article his paper carried which alleged anomalies in the total number
of votes announced by Registrar- General Tobaiwa Mudede and the actual
ballots cast in last month's presidential poll. The paper said the evidence
was contained in a ZBC video tape showing Mudede announcing the election

Nyarota was charged with contravening a section of the Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act dealing with the "abuse of journalistic
privilege". If convicted, he is liable to a fine not exceeding $100 000 or
to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.

The police reportedly admitted they had not viewed the tape before arresting

Also last week, Independent editor Iden Wetherell and chief reporter
Dumisani Muleya were arrested over a story which said that First Lady Grace
Mugabe had been drawn into a labour dispute.

Wetherell and Muleya were charged under the same section of the Access to
Information and Protection of Privacy Act and alternatively with criminal

Wetherell described the arrests as a "clumsy abuse of power" by the Office
of the President.

It is only a month since the Act was signed into law and already it is being
used to harass the private media.

In perhaps one of the most high profile cases in recent years, the army, and
not the police, detained Standard editor, Mark Chavu-nduka and chief
reporter Ray Choto in February 1999 over a story alleging a coup plot within
the army. The two were tortured for a week and later charged under the now
repealed Law and Order (Maintenance) Act for publishing a story "likely to
cause alarm and despondency".

The state was forced to withdraw charges before plea against the two after
the journalists successfully challenged the constitutionality of the
relevant section of the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act in the Supreme

While Defence minister Moven Mahachi was obliged to admit in court the army
had been wrong to arrest the two, President Mugabe was at the time defiant.

"I will not condemn my army for having done that when they are being
provoked...The army has its own feelings you know. They can do worse things
than that," the state-owned Herald quoted Mugabe as having told the Voice of
America after the arrests.

A court-ordered investigation by the police into the circumstances of the
abduction and torture of the two journalists has been blocked by the army.

In May 1999, the state withdrew charges before plea against Zimbabwe Mirror
editor-in-chief Ibbo Mandaza and reporter Grace Kwinjeh who were arrested
for contravening the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act when they published a
story about the army burying the bodyless head of a soldier killed in the

Last year Vice-President Simon Muzenda told a police passing-out parade that
the government would not hesitate to arrest journalists writing inaccurate
stories about the country.

"This tendency of projecting our security institutions as barbaric and
morally decadent, particularly the police force and the army ... can never
be tolerated," Muzenda said.

His remarks followed another arrest of Chavunduka last August following a
story in
the Standard suggesting that President Mugabe was being haunted by the ghost
of late Zanla commander Josiah Tongogara. The story was reproduced from the
London Sunday Times. A charge of criminal defamation was brought by the
police but not followed up.

In the same week two Zimbabwe Mirror journalists, Wallace Chuma and
Constantine Chimakure, and Daily News editor Geoff Nyarota and three of his
staffers were arrested in connection with stories relating to alleged police
looting on occupied farms. They were all charged under the Law and Order
(Maintenance) Act. The state has said it will proceed by way of summons.

In July last year, the Attorney-General's office once again refused to
prosecute three journalists who had been detained for a day under the
Miscellaneous Offences Act.

The three, Tsvangirai Mukwazhi of the Daily News, Cornelius Nduna of the
Standard, and Chris Mazivanhanga of AP, had been arrested for allegedly
obstructing the police in carrying out their duties. The three had been
covering demonstrations against fuel hikes, including taking pictures of
riot police beating up demonstrators in Harare's Budiriro suburb.

In February this year the police arrested the Secretary-General of the
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ), Basildon Peta, and three other
journalists following a demonstration against the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act.

The four were charged under the recently passed Public Order and Security
Act which replaced the old Law and Order (Maintenance) Act.

Peta's lawyer, Tawanda Hondora, said the arrests were based on the police's
ignorance of the new law.

"The Act does not prohibit professional gatherings such as the one organised
by ZUJ," Hondora said.

The state has repeatedly used the archaic criminal defamation law against
scribes. Criminal defamation, unlike civil defamation charges, attracts a
jail term as well as fines. However, most democracies have done away with
criminal defamation because it is deemed inconsistent with democratic
practice. Ghana was the latest country to strike it down.

Standard acting editor Andy Moise and two other staffers from the paper were
successfully prosecuted under the same law for publishing a story about the
writing of the constitutional commission's report in early 2000. They were
convicted but the case is on appeal to the High Court.

Foreign correspondents have not been spared either. In February last year,
two foreign correspondents were ordered to leave the country.

Joseph Winter, a BBC correspondent, was ordered out after being accused of
holding an irregular work permit. His home was attacked by state security

Mercedes Sayagues of the South African Mail & Guardian was also told to
leave two days later for writing stories that displeased the regime.
Officials claimed that she was associated with Unita.

British journalist David Blair was also ordered by Moyo to leave the country
after his work permit expired.

Last year Nyarota and ANZ founding chief executive Wilf Mbanga were arrested
on charges relating to ANZ's share-holding structure. Despite their
incarceration the charges wouldn't stick and were dropped before plea.

Matinenga said "an arrest must be sensible, fair, moderate and in accordance
with reason. What the police sought to do in this case was to arrest in
order to investigate."

Film-maker Edwina Spicer has been arrested twice this year, once when
filming Morgan Tsvangirai after he went to answer treason charges at
Tomlinson Depot and again this month at an ANC demonstration. In neither
case were charges laid.

Daily Telegraph correspondent Peta Thorny-croft was arrested in Chimanimani
last month while investigating post-election violence. She spent four nights
in police cells and was charged under the Access to Information Act. But
High Court judge Adam declared that the relevant section of the Act (80) was

Misa, a regional media watchdog, has set up a Media Defence Fund to assist
media organisations and journalists in need of legal assistance.
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