No more Mr Nice Guy, Mugabe tells protesters
Chris McGreal, Africa
Tuesday April 2, 2002
Robert Mugabe has
said that he will no longer be "soft" on his critics after
a coalition of
churches, trade unions and civic groups called for mass
protests next weekend
against the rigging of last month's presidential
In a speech
that implicitly acknowledged the wave of terror already
unleashed against his
opponents since the ballot, Zimbabwe's president also
vowed that there will
be no new election and that the opposition will never
Mugabe told a victory party in Zvimba, 25 miles south-west of Harare,
will not tolerate attempts to make Zimbabwe ungovernable "by those
"Those who want to rebel and become lawless, we will deal
with them firmly,"
he said. "They think we will continue to be soft. But that
has gone. It's
finished. We are now in a new phase and there will be a firm
Mr Mugabe also rejected calls from the opposition Movement
Change and Nigeria's president, Olusegun Obasanjo, for a fresh
saying that it was part of a British plot to depose
"This talk about fresh elections, where will these be re-run?" he
they [Britain and other western governments] want, let them help
the MDC in
Britain and do their elections there. That's where they can win.
never win elections in Zim babwe... They will never, ever rule
The National Constitutional Assembly, an alliance of
human rights activists,
trade unions and religious groups, has called for
street demonstrations on
Saturday against the outcome of the disputed
The MDC and its supporters say that a combination of tactics -
striking hundreds of thousands of people from the voters' roll,
obstacles to voting and straightforward ballot box stuffing -
Mugabe an illegitimate victory.
The NCA says that the
protest will mark the start of a rolling campaign of
civil disobedience in
defiance of new security laws that carry long prison
sentences, and even the
death penalty, for what the government defines as
Previous challenges to Mr Mugabe by the NCA have been poorly
40 people went to the last one, in November, and it was
swiftly broken up by
the police. Like wise, a three-day general strike by
trade unions after the
election was a flop.
But there is evidence of
growing anger at the torrent of state-sponsored
violence unleashed across the
country against Mr Mugabe's opponents and
entire areas that voted against him
in the presidential election.
Last week, police used tear gas to break up
a riot in a township near the
southern city of Bulawayo in which residents
trapped and stoned members of
the ruling Zanu- PF militia responsible for
punishment beatings of Mr
Mugabe's opponents and attacks on
But the real suffering is for villagers in rural areas, where the
ruling party militia have unleashed a wave of
Although opposition activists are the favoured targets for
abductions, entire villages have been persecuted with thousands
tortured and women raped.
Tens of thousands of people have
been forced from their homes by mobs of
soldiers and militia intent on
punishing Mr Mugabe's critics and
Zimbabwe's white farmers have also endured an upsurge in violence.
farmer has been murdered and many more driven from their property after
Mugabe announced his intention to seize hundreds more farms
How I found ugly truth of Mugabe's police state
THE Telegraph correspondent in Zimbabwe, Peta
Thornycroft, tells of her
four-day prison ordeal
WHEN six men -
one wearing fake Ray-Ban sunglasses - walked up to my table
in the Msasa Cafe
among the Chimanimani mountains, I knew that this was it.
to Zimbabwe last August to replace David Blair, who had been
renewal of his work permit to report for The Telegraph, the small
foreign correspondents believed that one or more of us would be
some time. Six of us had already been called terrorists by the
But with the presidential election over, and among the
of the Chimanimani mountains, it was the last thing on
my mind. I was
enjoying a cup of tea in the cafe, waiting to meet a contact.
surrounded my table and insisted I go with them.
I asked for
their identification. Two of them showed me cards from the
Police. I paid my bill and, accompanied by two of the
group, got into my car
and drove to the police station.
I made a phone call to a friend in
Harare, who is an old hand at being
arrested. I asked him to make three
calls: to Beatrice Mtetwa, a solicitor
in Harare, to The Telegraph and to my
host in Chimanimani, Lord Plunkett.
Then the questions began. I told them
I was a journalist working for a
British newspaper. But, given that the
Zimbabwean government hates both the
independent press and all things
British, it was a dangerous admission. The
police said they had to check my
I produced my metal identification card, which all
Zimbabweans are obliged
to carry since the Public Order and Security Act was
parliament in February. The wait began - more questions, more
then my mobile phone rang.
It was David Blair at the
The Telegraph in London. He had bad news. Lawyers
had discovered that I was
not, as I believed, in the custody of the police,
but of the feared Central
Suddenly it was no longer a case of mistaken
identify, or over-zealousness,
that could be fixed with a little common
Robin Plunkett and his wife Jennifer arrived. A long-standing
majority rule in Zimbabwe, he has considerable standing in the
with the police, but even he got no joy. I heard him being told
that I was a
"very rude woman". They knew, however, that he was watching what
me. He was allowed a few words with me.
The Plunketts came
back with a basket of food, and among it was a glass jar
filled with one of
the strongest Scotches ever poured.
Lord Plunkett told the CIO: "The last
time I took food to people in jail was
when Robert Mugabe and Leopold
Takawira [an early nationalist] were
Eventually, the CIO
decided to hand me over to the police. I was told I was
charged under the
draconian POSA. legislation. Under this law, journalists
can be jailed for a
year for criticising the president, his cabinet or the
security forces, or
writing anything deemed false or economically harmful.
I was exhausted
and longing for bed. They removed anything that could
possibly have been used
to harm myself. An inventory was taken of my
possessions and I was led up the
hill behind the police station.
I saw that the night sky was clearer than
any I had seen in years. The
Southern Cross was bright and reassuring, and
the distant mountains were
just visible; so beautiful.
The cell was
not. It was bare, with three smelly blankets and a hole in the
ground in the
corner for a lavatory: the inevitable smell of urine, the slam
of the door,
and there I was - barefoot, braless and bloody cold. As dawn
broke, I could
see the distant mountains through an eight-inch square of
mesh in the rusty
old door. The day staff arrived. I was taken to sit in the
A Sergeant Marimuse - with the ubiquitous mock Ray-Bans - asked a
fatuous questions as he went through my notebook and list of
morning stretched into the afternoon. Eventually, I was handed
over to four
policeman from provincial headquarters who drove me to Mutare,
There, the police allowed me to see my cousins
and eat some fruit. They then
took me to another cell - with fewer blankets,
no view and an even stronger
smell of urine.
The days turned into
nights, and along the way a detective managed to write
out a charge sheet
accusing me of working without accreditation under a
media law that was
promulgated a week after last month's presidential
Sunday, at an urgent hearing in the Harare High Court, it was ruled
section under which I was charged was unconstitutional, and the
ordered to release me. They were in no hurry. The provincial
refused to sign my release papers. But my solicitor finally found
who would, and I was freed into a balmy night in the shabby town
where I grew up.
Piecing it together, my arrest was not connected with
being a journalist.
The paranoid intelligence community in Chimanimani saw an
woman driving with a black passenger in a South
African-registered car, so
some part-time "revolutionary" believed that I was
a security risk. For
them, it was a bonus that I was working for a British
I learned during snatches of overheard conversation that the
true in the eyes of the "freedom fighters" in Chimanimani: Tony
the British navy patrolling off the Mozambique coast, ready to
troops to recolonise Zimbabwe.
Close your eyes to the
mountains and endless sky, and Chimanimani is an ugly
little town, like so
many in Zimbabwe, where there is no democracy, where
the opposition voice has
been stilled or forced underground, where giving a
lift to a man with some
connection to the opposition can land one in prison
for five nights and four
The police have just phoned. I must present myself at Mutare
court today at 8.30am.
Justice in Zimbabwe
tyranny that has overtaken Zimbabwe, it requires a brave voice to
stand up to
the abuse of executive power.
Yet it has repeatedly been done - by the
opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) under Morgan Tsvangirai; by
the trade unions; by the Amani
Trust human rights group; by Pius Ncube, the
Roman Catholic Archbishop of
Bulawayo; and by parts of the press and
It was a member of the last group, Mr Justice Adam, a High
Court judge, who
ordered the release of Peta Thornycroft, the Daily Telegraph
in Zimbabwe, on Easter Day. She had been arrested last week in
town of Chimanimani, where she had been investigating reports of
campaign against the MDC. Its candidate, Mr Tsvangirai, lost to
Mugabe in a rigged presidential election last month.
struck down as unconstitutional the section of the Access to
Protection of Privacy Act under which Ms Thornycroft had
been charged. He
gave the government 10 days to reply to his ruling. That
hearing will take
place in the Supreme Court, which, unfortunately, has a
proportion of independent voices than the High Court bench.
correspondent, whose detention was completely unjustified, is by no
of the wood. But it is heartening to see Zimbabweans such as Mr
insisting, against formidable odds, on the maintenance of the
New doubts cast on Mugabe victory
David Ignatius International Herald
Tribune Tuesday, April 2, 2002
Fearing election defeat, aides said to
have inflated vote totals
PARIS New allegations that Robert Mugabe won
last month's presidential
election by fraud are presenting the United States,
the Commonwealth and
African governments with a delicate political problem:
How to pressure
Mugabe to relinquish power without triggering chaos in
The new fraud charges center on what happened in the hours
before the Mugabe
government's official announcement that he had won the
March 9-11 election
with 53 percent of the vote. According to Western
officials who have
interviewed reliable sources inside Zimbabwe, the ruling
manipulated those reported results through a "command center"
capital, Harare, that was supervised by two of Mugabe's top aides:
minister of state for national security, Nicholas Goche, and the
secretary for administration, Emmerson Mnangawa.
officials who have seen detailed intelligence reports on the
officials at the ZANU-PF command center realized that despite
reduce the opposition vote Mugabe was running well behind and
was in danger
of losing by 200,000 to 300,000 votes. The Mugabe operatives
were said to
have been surprised by how well the opposition candidate,
and his Movement for Democratic Change were doing in
Mashonaland, a rural
area in central Zimbabwe that was expected to back
they would lose, officials in the ZANU-PF command center "fiddled
figures" by adding tens of thousands of names to Mugabe's total before
ballots were sent on to the Registrar-General, Tobaiwa Mudede, for a
count, according to an official who has reviewed the evidence gathered
During the period when votes were being counted,
there was a sudden jump in
the total votes cast, from 2.4 million to 2.9
million, according to R.W.
Johnson, a former Oxford professor who was in
Zimbabwe at the time covering
the elections for a British newspaper. Johnson
said Monday in a telephone
interview from South Africa that the sudden
increase was "totally
unexplained" at the time, and was "bigger than the
margin." The final total of votes cast was just over 3
These inside accounts suggest that there may have been an extra
manipulation in the Zimbabwe election process - beyond the
violence that already has drawn worldwide condemnation. The
indicate that Mugabe would have lost even after what observers
a massive ZANU-PF campaign to intimidate opposition voters,
Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since it
became independent in 1980, has
dismissed charges of improprieties in the
election process and has called
his victory a "stunning blow to
The new reports sharpen the dilemma for other governments
in the region,
especially those of South Africa and Nigeria. They reluctantly
back a Commonwealth decision March 19 to suspend Zimbabwe for one
decision followed reports by Commonwealth observers that Mugabe's
had been "marred by a high level of politically motivated
The political choice is especially delicate for the South
Thabo Mbeki, whose nation borders Zimbabwe and has been a
crucial ally for
Mugabe in the past. The South Africans, joined by Nigeria,
backed Mugabe's victory claims but then switched to join
Australia in urging
the Commonwealth sanctions. Analysts believe that
continued pressure by
Mbeki could force political change in Zimbabwe and
reduce the flight by
white-owned businesses and individuals from that country
and South Africa.
Immediately after Mugabe announced victory, the United
States rejected the
election as "neither free nor fair." The State Department
said in that March
12 statement that it was considering expanding its own
sanctions against Mugabe's regime.
allegations about vote-rigging have been shared with the United
Britain, Australia and some other Commonwealth countries. Officials
been briefed on the reports made them available last week to
International Herald Tribune.
Several studies of the Zimbabwe
election have pointed to massive
irregularities, both in the run-up to the
vote and in the actual tabulation
for Democratic Change, or MDC, said in a report issued
in early March that in
the weeks before the election, 83 of its rallies had
been disrupted or
canceled, and that its "members and people perceived to be
tortured, beaten and killed."
The MDC report also charged that prior to
the election, "the number of
polling stations was vastly reduced in urban
areas and increased in rural
areas." The report also contended that MDC
operatives "were prevented by
ZANU-PF militia from deploying polling agents
in 52 percent of rural polling
More evidence of
irregularities comes from Johnson, the former Oxford
professor, who has
conducted numerous political polls in Zimbabwe for the
Foundation in South Africa, which he directed until recently.
also written occasional articles about Zimbabwe for The Sunday
In a paper prepared after the balloting, Johnson focused on the
by the registrar-general, Mudede, who had responsibility for
final count and the integrity of Zimbabwe's official electoral
A key issue, according to Johnson, is the number of people
registered as voters. After repeated lawsuits, a reform group
Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust was allowed to examine the official
early this year and counted about 5.2 million voters. Then in the
two months before the election, according to Johnson, ZANU-PF
and illegally registered 400,000 extra voters in rural areas, all
Mudede added to his final roll, which came out at 5,612,272
"It is child's play to show that this voters' roll of 5.6
nonsense," Johnson wrote in his paper. He said that studies show
voting age population in Zimbabwe is only about 4.8 million. "Thus
1.8 million of the people on Mudede's roll do not really exist -
providing him and ZANU-PF with a vast reservoir of fictional voters who
be 'mobilized' at will when the going gets tough," he
What's more, noted Johnson, the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust
analysis of a sample of the official register. That study
"reveals that only
50 percent of the names on the roll actually live at the
addresses given and
are thus entitled to vote in their constituency," Johnson
Johnson calculates that the number of false votes for Mugabe last
between 900,000 and 1.1 million. Without this cushion, Mugabe would
lost to Tsvangirai by at least 466,000 votes, Johnson
"It seems certain," he wrote, "that despite the effects of
intimidation that he [Mugabe] did actually lose the election quite
Australia to discuss Zimbabwe with NZ,
CANBERRA, April 2 — Australian Prime Minister John Howard
said on Tuesday he
will use his trip to London next week for the funeral of
the Queen Mother to
discuss Zimbabwe with the leaders of Canada, New Zealand
Howard said he believed pressure would grow
on organisers of the
Commonwealth Games to ban Zimbabwe from the event in
Manchester in July but
stressed individual countries could not stop the
troubled African nation
from taking part.
Australia has said it
would keep open the option of imposing
sanctions on Zimbabwe but ruled out
immediate unilateral action following
the re-election last month of President
Robert Mugabe and the suspension of
Zimbabwe from the 54-nation
The grouping of mostly former British colonies last
Zimbabwe from its councils for a year over Mugabe's
win but stopped short of the sort of sanctions
imposed by the European Union
and the United States.
Howard said he
had already spoken to New Zealand Prime Minister Helen
Clark and hoped that
if Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien also attended
the royal funeral the
three nations could discuss possible future
Commonwealth action on
''(Clark and I) agreed to get together in London and if
Chretien, the Canadian prime minister is there, which I think is
likely, we'll probably have a meeting the three of us, perhaps with
Commonwealth secretary-general to talk further about Zimbabwe,'' Howard
Clark wants Zimbabwe excluded from the
Commonwealth Games but Canada
has dismissed that call. Howard said it was a
decision which could only be
made by the Commonwealth Games
''We cannot as governments, not in our kind of free
people from coming. But I wouldn't be surprised if pressure for
grows,'' Howard said.
The funeral of the Queen Mother, to be
held Tuesday, April 9 in
London, is expected to draw world leaders and
Howard was part of a three-nation Commonwealth committee
which met in
London last month to suspend Zimbabwe.
including the IMF and the World Bank, have already cut off
financial aid to
Zimbabwe in protest the government's political and economic
include the seizure of white-owned lands as well as Mugabe's
election victory last month.
Howard says pressure growing for Zimbabwe Games
CANBERRA, April 2 AAP|Published: Tuesday April 2, 5:09
Prime Minister John Howard today said pressure was mounting
for Zimbabwe to
be expelled from this year's Commonwealth Games.
troika of Commonwealth leaders, chaired by Howard, last month
Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth for 12 months.
followed the recent re-election of president Robert Mugabe, who
of widespread intimidation and abuses during the
The Australian cricket team cancelled a tour of the
nation but so far the
country is free to compete at the Commonwealth Games in
Manchester in July.
Howard said a decision to expel Zimbabwe rested with
the Commonwealth Games
"We cannot as governments, not in
our kind of free society, stop people
coming but I wouldn't be surprised if
pressure for that grows," Howard told
"I think pressure for
that will grow."
The Daily News
National Foods suffers huge losses as farm invasions take
4/2/02 8:44:47 AM (GMT +2)
NATIONAL Foods Holdings Limited, says there must be regular
prices of goods in tandem with high inflation
Godfrey Gomwe, the company chairman, made the statement in the
inflation-adjusted results for the year ending 31 December
He said National Foods recorded a $638 483 000 loss down from $1
million achieved during the comparable period last
However, its historical results show a profit $1 207 057
“With annual inflation exceeding 100 percent, the price controls
October 2001 are a major concern as no upward adjustments have
been made to
date in spite of applications to the authorities,” said Gomwe.
essential that there is timeous reaction to cost increases to
serious erosion and long term damage to the group's financial
Gomwe said lack of flour imports and its shortage locally had
The Daily News
Kamushinda backs land reform
4/2/02 8:46:10 AM (GMT
By Ngoni Chanakira Business Editor
Despite the continued
criticism of President Mugabe’s fast track Land Reform
Programme by numerous
local and international organisations, the
Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe
Limited (Metropolitan), says the move will
help transform Zimbabwe’s
In its audited financial results for the period ended 31
December, 2001, the
bank’s chairman, Enoch Kamushinda, said he believed that
there was “no going
back on the land reform programme as it has the capacity
to create new
wealth, new investment, raise production levels and increase
will spur rapid recovery and growth of the
The statement comes barely two weeks after Kamushinda praised
programme at State House, immediately after the inauguration of
Mugabe as Head of State.
Kamushinda said then that the land
programme would help curb inflation
because individuals would become
self-sufficient and not need to buy
agricultural products from supermarkets.
The Metropolitan Bank boss wears
several hats especially within companies and
organisations associated with
He is the secretary
general of the Indigenous Business Development Centre,
chairs the Grain
Marketing Board, which was given the monopoly to import
maize for the country, and the state-controlled Zimbabwe
Kamushinda, whose bank’s profit after tax increased by 301
$703,8 million during the period under review, said the economy
one of the most challenging periods in more than two
He said the bank’s capital adequacy ratio now stood at 36,9
above the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s minimum requirement of 10
Kamushinda said: “The limited access to credit lines due to
perceptions about the political situation in the country has
performance of key industry sectors, with some companies facing
in maintaining operations.
“Despite these temporary
setbacks, we commend government efforts to
accelerate the land reform
programme, as well as economically empower the
majority indigenous people in
the face of stiff opposition and resistance
from certain sections of the
local and international community. The bank
strongly believes that these
noble and long overdue initiatives continue to
be the beacon of hope and
stability for the economy” he said.
He said consumers had also resorted
to buying cheaper and lower quality
maize products as they tried to avert
economic hardships, thus affecting the
company’s maize meal
Price controls and farm invasions, as in any other agriculture
company, seem to have affected National Foods operations to a large
“Stockfeeds volumes were adversely affected by the ongoing
the agricultural sector and in the latter half of the year,
were imposed on certain beef, chicken and pork products
impacting on demand
for feed,” said Gomwe.
The Daily News
WFP battles to avert starvation in region
8:45:33 AM (GMT +2)
By Columbus Mavhunga
The World Food
Programme, (WFP) is struggling to raise funds to buy food to
starvation of Zimbabweans as international donors were reportedly
forthcoming and are reluctant to help.
The WFP, a United Nations agency,
is battling to avert starvation in
Zimbabwe and other countries in the
Zimbabwe is facing one of its worst food shortages as a result
Cyclone-Eline induced floods that rocked some parts of the country and
controversial Œfast-track’ land reform programme.
The WFP has so
far managed to raise less than a third of the required US$60
million (Z$3 300
million) to avert starvation. Pedro Figueiredo, the head of
planning of the WFP Zimbabwe, through his assistant, last week
said he was
not interested in talking to the Press on the issue.
However, a source
within the organisation said: “The current perception
about Zimbabwe has
affected our pleas for humanitarian aid. There has been
some difficulties in
raising funds to buy food; the international world is
The WFP last week warned of imminent mass starvation in
drought-stricken southern African countries. About 2,6 million people
the region are already suffering from severe food
The worst-hit countries are Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho,
Mozambique, which two years ago suffered from floods.
week a UK-based newspaper, The Independent, said food aid to Zimbabwe
run out by July.
The paper said the drought had combined with the mass
displacement of people
and the state-sponsored invasion by the land-hungry
poor of 4 000 commercial
farms, to seriously disrupt production in the
agriculture sector that used
to be a net surplus exporter.
meals and eliminating the staple maize-meal from diets has become
the norm in
Natural disasters and the high price of maize have made
thousands of people reliant on food aid for survival.
Independent quoted Judith Lewis, the regional director for east and
Africa, as saying: “Much more must swiftly be done to stave off the
hunger and malnutrition. Now is the time to act to prevent what is
crisis from developing into a major disaster.”
The WFP said this year’s
low yields, exacerbated by a “vicious dry spell,
which has swept through the
region and withered crops, would cause great
Coming on the
heels of a similarly poor 2000/2001 crop, the effect of this
harvest could be devastating”. Most crops, including maize, a
staple crop in
Zimbabwe were now a complete write-off.
Zimbabwe has so far imported more
than 200 000 tonnes of maize from South
The Daily News
Top cops implicated in farm invasions,
4/2/02 8:20:04 AM (GMT +2)
By Lloyd Mudiwa
HAS now emerged that the police were indeed involved in last year’s wave
terror by suspected war veterans and Zanu PF supporters against
farmers and the looting of property worth millions of dollars in
Last August, the police denied reports of their
involvement in the looting
of more than 40 commercial farms after The Daily
News broke the story.
They reacted by arresting Geoffrey Nyarota, the
Bill Saidi, the Assistant Editor, John Gambanga, the
News Editor, and Sam
Munyavi, a reporter, for allegedly breaching a section
of the Law and Order
(Maintenance) Act over a story published in which it was
alleged that police
vehicles were used in the orgy of looting on farms in the
The four are being accused of publishing false news.
a case in the High Court on Wednesday last week, the officer-in-charge
Mutorashanga police station, Inspector George Magonda, and his
Sergeant Shusha Makiwa, were implicated in the invasion of
Landfall Farm in
Mutorashanga and the looting of property worth at least $10
John Robert Patrick Ashton and his family, represented by Nikita
Wintertons’, said the two were among 12 respondents involved in
activities on the farm although it was not designated for
They have both denied the allegations and filed opposing
Ashton cited Augustine Chihuri, the Commissioner of Police, as
Justice Mahomed Adam, the presiding
judge, granted Ashton a final order
directing the eviction of the invaders
and the return of his property.
The ruling does not, however, apply to
Magonda and Makiwa since they
challenged Ashton’s application for the order.
Adam said their case would be
dealt with as an opposed matter.
said he had to plant tobacco three times on one part of his farm
settlers led by Makiwa and and Sandram Kembo, Zanu PF’s youth
Mutorashanga, damaged his crop.
Kenzey Matsikwa, the farm manager, says
he saw Makiwa uproot 1 132 tobacco
plants worth $4 528 on 18 November last
Makiwa allegedly tried to assault Ashton using a panga on 9
when the farmer was photographing the damage he had
This was reported to Magonda who did nothing about it, Ashton
On 14 January this year, two days after Zanu PF youths embarked on a
reported orgy of violence in Mutorashanga, Emmanuel Mbambe, a Zanu
councillor in Zvimba Rural District Council, and Kembo led a group
with a shotgun, axes and sticks, to invade his house.
assaulted Ashton’s sons, Philip and Adam, and Philip’s girlfriend, a
African national, Sandra Blok, and detained them for 10 hours.
asked them who was supporting the MDC on the farm, slaughtered two
four sheep for food, before looting the house of all goods, which
throughout the day.
They confiscated Philip’s mobile phone and radio when
he radioed his father
The crowd attacked Ashton and damaged
his vehicle, an Isuzu pick-up truck,
when he tried to rescue the
Two Zimasco employees Eliah Mauye Zvoushe and Gift Musaiwale,
who works at Van Ad Clinic in Mutorashanga, and one
Raffingora, were also part of the mob, Ashton said.
collected Magonda and four policemen but they allegedly refused to enter
Magonda allegedly said he knew who had stolen the radio and
mobile phone and
would recover them. But the property was never
When two policemen, a Constable Chiobvu and one Sergeant
ventured on the farm some of the youths were still looting
property in the
house, Philip said.
Ashton said: “This court will
understand why I have concluded the police in
Mutorashanga are involved in
the whole exercise and it explains why the
officer-in-charge turns a blind
eye to what are clearly criminal
His children were
threatened with death if they did not leave the farm the
next day. This led
to the family’s relocation to Harare, he said.
Others cited as
respondents in Ashton’s application are Mbambe, Kembo,
Manambi, Kangachepi, Chihuni, Zanu PF’s chairman in
the headmaster of Mutorashanga Secondary School,
and Dambudza, a retired
Magonda and Makiwa accused Ashton of ploughing down a
maize crop grown by
settlers, including Makiwa, who were allocated land by a
committee so he could grow his tobacco.
the alleged assault by Makiwa on Ashton was attended to, but
declined to have charges pressed against the sergeant.
assaulting Ashton nor uprooting his tobacco, but in turn
accused him of
filming his house.
Magonda said he had entered the farm after the mob
attacked and left two
officers to monitor the situation.
his property in a removals truck to Harare, after giving some of
it to other
farmers and locals in the area, he said.
Property recovered by the police
was still at Mutorashanga police station,
He had merely
assured Ashton he would try his best to recover the mobile
phone and radio
and investigations were ongoing, Magonda said.
The stocktheft case was
also being investigated.
Ashton says he was unlawfully dispossessed of
his farm, where he was growing
45 hectares of tobacco, 30 hectares of mangoes
for export, and ran a cattle
His farm was occupied by about 150
illegal settlers in March 2000, a month
after the start of the
government-sanctioned countrywide farm invasions
spearheaded by war veterans
and Zanu PF supporters.
The intruders axed 124 irrigation pipes and
slashed or burnt 46km of drip
tape, worth about $6 million at the official
exchange rate in November 2001,
among other numerous acts.
he informed, among others, Vice-President Joseph Msika of these
but got no response.
Nigeria, SA broker talks in
Zanu (PF) agree to name task teams to participate in negotiations
two main rival political parties have quietly entered into
brokered by President Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian
This is despite reports of escalating violence against
in the wake of the recent presidential election in
Zimbabwe, condemned as
flawed by most international observers.
and Obasanjo fought hard to stave off international sanctions
Zimbabwe, although they did succumb to pressure for the country to
suspended from the Commonwealth.
Now they have wasted no time
appointing personal envoys to facilitate the
secret talks, which observers
say would map a way forward on issues such as
reconciliation and economic reconstruction.
Mbeki's envoy is African
National Congress (ANC) secretarygeneral Kgalema
Motlanthe. Obasanjo has
named respected academic and diplomat Adebayo
Adedeji as his
It emerged this weekend that the pair had already held
highlevel talks with
Zanu (PF) and the opposition Movement for Democratic
Motlanthe confirmed yesterday that the preliminary talks,
which took place
last week amid signs of increased political polarisation
had resulted in the two sides agreeing to name five-member
task teams to
participate in negotiations.
Attempts to obtain comment
from the Zimbabwean parties proved fruitless, but
it is understood that the
MDC's team will be headed by Welshman Ncube, its
secretary-general and the
man charged with treason for allegedly plotting to
kill President Robert
Mugabe. Zanu (PF)'s previous contacts with the ANC
have been led by its
chairman, John Nkomo, who is also home affairs
respected trade union leader-turned-politician, returns to
for intense talks until April 10. He said that while
involved the top leaderships of both parties it was agreed
the two teams
would exclude MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe.
There is no love
lost between Tsvangirai and Mugabe, a factor that might
exclusion at this stage of the talks.
Motlanthe was reluctant to
elaborate on the details, given the sensitive
nature of the talks, but
pointed out that continued political polarisation
made the talks even more
urgent. It is understood the teams will meet at a
private location for
discussions, facilitated by Motlanthe and Adedeji, to
work out a deal that
will be sent to leadership for approval.
The disclosure of the low-key
talks contrasts sharply with the hostile
rhetoric that has punctuated public
remarks by both Zanu (PF) and the MDC.
Publicly, the MDC, which is
refusing to acknowledge Mugabe's victory which
it claims he stole in the
March 9-10 poll, is still calling for a rerun of
the elections under
Zanu (PF), on the other hand, has increasingly
appeared to be backing off
its reconciliatory gestures. Publicly it, like the
MDC, denounces the idea
of a government of national unity, claiming this
already exists in Zimbabwe.
Its Soviet-style politburo said at the
weekend there would be no new
election and Zimbabwe would not succumb to
Though Motlanthe is representing SA and not the ANC, the party
is hoping its
links with Zanu (PF) and contacts with the MDC will help thaw
between the bitter rivals.
The Daily News
ZBC to probe boss
4/2/02 8:49:33 AM (GMT
By Guthrie Munyuki
GIDEON Gono, the chairman of the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)
board, yesterday gave an undertaking
to investigate allegations that the
corporation’s chief executive officer
(CEO) engaged in a homosexual act in a
city nightclub, prompting security
guards to arrest him.
Last Wednesday, Alum Mpofu, the ZBC CEO, was
allegedly spotted by a guard at
Tipperary’s, a restaurant/nightclub in Fife
Avenue, while in a compromising
situation with another man.
alleged that Mpofu was briefly detained by the guards at
Witnesses said after his arrest Mpofu was chained to a
The club is owned by Pearson Mbalekwa, the Member of
“He sobbed and told Mbalekwa’s son, who was
in charge at the club that
night, that he was the ZBC chief executive and a
friend of his father,” said
one witness. “They called in the senior Mbalekwa
to order the guards to free
She said Mbalekwa, who could not be
reached for comment yesterday, had
actually sanctioned Mpofu’s immediate
release to save him from further
embarrassment as other patrons jostled to
see the ZBC top man in handcuffs.
The Standard newspaper reported over
the weekend that Mpofu had told the
guard that he was mistaken in his
conclusion that he was attempting to
perform a homosexual act on another
Mpofu is a close friend of Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of
Publicity in President’s Mugabe’s Office.
oversees operations at ZBC and at the Zimbabwe Newspapers group.
spearheaded the restructuring exercise at ZBC which saw Mpofu assuming
reins of power at Pockets Hill.
When he was appointed to head the
corporation last July, Mpofu moved from
the South African Broadcasting
Corporation, where he was the head of the
Under his new management, the national broadcaster launched its
development programme, after axing a number of long-serving members
Mugabe is on record for denouncing homosexual tendencies.
His distaste for
such activities is well documented.
re-election campaign was spearheaded by the ZBC, has in the
gays and lesbians as being “worse than pigs and dogs”.
If the allegations
against Mpofu are proved to be true, it will be a test
case, especially for
Moyo and Mugabe who have repeatedly dismissed British
Prime Minister Tony
Blair’s administration in disparaging terms as a
“government of gays and
Yesterday Gono said an investigation of the issue was due to
Initially he professed ignorance of the allegations against
Mpofu. Later he
undertook to investigate and get back to The Daily
Said Gono: “As chairman of the ZBC board, I am committing myself to
issue, but I would need to speak to the CEO to gather the facts of
transpired on the day in question.”
He said he was out of town
and had not read the newspaper article concerning
the issue. He had also been
unable to get through to Mpofu on the phone.
“We will launch a full
investigation into the matter,” Gono said. “I will
come back to you after
speaking to him with regards to how we proceed from
He said it
was not his intention to sweep the matter under the carpet, but
that it was imperative and only fair to give the Mpofu a chance
to speak to
the board first.
State broadcast chief faces gay sex inquiry in
HARARE, Zimbabwe, April 2 — The
government plans to investigate the powerful
head of the state broadcast
station on allegations of homosexuality, a
The inquiry was prompted by allegations Alum Mpofu, chief
of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp., caused a disturbance Thursday
Harare nightclub after being caught ''in a compromising situation'' with
man, the state Herald newspaper reported Tuesday.
President Robert Mugabe is reviled by gay activists
around the world
for outlawing homosexual acts and describing same-sex
partners as ''worse
than pigs and dogs.''
The accusations against
Mpofu came two years after Zimbabwe's former
ceremonial president, Canaan
Banana, was jailed for committing homosexual
acts and indecent assault on
members of his presidential guard in a case
that deeply embarrassed Mugabe's
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said Mpofu, a ruling
loyalist appointed to lead the state broadcaster ahead of last
presidential elections, ''will be given a fair hearing and allowed
tell his side of the story,'' The Herald reported.
said the broadcasters' board of directors was asked to determine
behind the alleged incident at a night club owned by a ruling
Moyo recruited Mpofu, a Zimbabwean working at the South
Broadcasting Corp., last July to head changes at the ZBC that
its role as a government mouthpiece.
the winner in the disputed March 9-11 presidential
election, scoffed in his
campaign at homosexuality in Britain, the former
colonial power he accused of
backing the opposition.
He repeatedly said British Prime Minister Tony
Blair led ''a
government of gay gangsters and lesbians'' who needed biology
Moyo said Mpofu's alleged behavior
was ''totally unacceptable'' from
a public official, regardless of whether a
man or woman was involved.
But Moyo also condemned
''Sexual perverts need to be told once again that
unnatural,'' he said. ''The only people who accept
liberals who think it is a way of getting votes.''
Mugabe vows to crush civil uprisings
Dismisses calls for
rerun of presidential
Originally published April 2, 2002
HARARE, Zimbabwe -
President Robert G. Mugabe, declared the winner in
disputed voting last
month, vowed to crush any civil uprising against his
rule and dismissed calls
for a rerun of the election, state radio reported
government will not tolerate attempts to make Zimbabwe ungovernable "by
bent on causing chaos, especially those who did not agree" with his
victory, Mugabe said.
"Those who want to rebel and become lawless, we
will deal with them firmly,"
he said. "They think we will continue to be
soft. That's gone. It's
finished. We are in a new phase, and there will be a
The radio said Mugabe was addressing a victory party
Sunday in his home
district of Zvimba, 25 miles southwest of
The National Constitutional Assembly, a reform alliance that
main opposition and human rights, labor and church
organizations, has called
for street protests Saturday.
advertisements in independent newspapers, organizers said the
protests and a
campaign of civil disobedience will go ahead in defiance of
new security laws
banning political demonstrations.
The advertisements urged Zimbabweans to
turn out in large numbers in the
capital and regional centers to protest
elections they say were rigged
during voting and marred by political violence
and intimidation against
Mugabe, state radio said,
complained his victory "was not an easy one
because the white community and
the British wanted to see him out" and
backed the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change candidate Morgan
Britain, the former
colonial power, and other Western countries that
criticized the election
result wanted to protect the interests of their
white "kith and kin" in
Zimbabwe, Mugabe said.
There would be no new election, and "no nonsense
will be tolerated from any
The last protest organized by the
constitutional reform group was broken up
by police Feb. 15. About 40
protesters were arrested and hundreds fled
Many local and international election monitors criticized the
election as deeply flawed and engineered to ensure a Mugabe
Since the poll, Zimbabwe's 4,000 white farmers have reported an
violence, evictions and looting of their property, which they
retribution against them by Mugabe's militants.
farmers became targets of violence two years ago when armed militants
to Mugabe began occupying their farms with tacit government approval
demanding they be seized and redistributed to landless blacks.
opposition accused the government of cynically exploiting the land issue
political gain and using the farms as bases to terrorize rural
Zimbabwe opposition says to talk with Mugabe
HARARE, April 2 — Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change said
on Tuesday it would begin talks with President Robert
ZANU-PF party after initially refusing any discussions on
But it said it would only discuss
fresh elections under international
supervision and rejected any talks on
forming a government of national
ZANU-PF was not immediately
available for comment.
The MDC's secretary for economic affairs, Eddie
Cross, said teams
from both parties would begin low-level talks under the
guidance of South
Africa and Nigeria, which have been pushing for discussions
on a unity
''We have consulted members throughout the
country and they do not
want any form of government of national unity. The
only thing we are willing
to talk about is fresh elections under
international supervision,'' Cross
official said the talks could begin as early as
Wednesday. Mugabe said last
week there was no question of re-running the
March 9-11 poll, which was
widely condemned by international observers and
Western governments as
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been charged with
allegedly plotting to kill Mugabe, has repeatedly said he will
anything but fresh elections with Mugabe. Cross denied the mooted
indicated a policy change.
''The MDC has not changed its
position regarding talks with ZANU. Our
position is clear -- we regard the
election as being fraudulent and we do
not recognise the election of Mugabe
as president of Zimbabwe,'' Cross said.
In a preliminary report on the
poll last week, the MDC charged that
Mugabe had only beaten Tsvangirai after
inflating voter turnout in rural
areas, stuffing ballot boxes and locking out
voters in the opposition's
suspended from the Commonwealth for a year on March 19
after the group's
election observers accused Mugabe of electoral fraud.
government dismisses the fraud accusations, saying
they are being pushed by
Western powers who want to see Mugabe ousted
because he is seizing
white-owned farms for landless blacks.
Independent - (UK)
Zimbabwe crisis talks open today helped by South
Africa and Nigeria
By Basildon Peta and Karen MacGregor
Negotiations between Zimbabwe's rival political parties – brokered
Africa and Nigeria to end the crisis in the country – are
A top South African official is due in Harare today to get
The leader of the opposition party, the Movement for
(MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, told The Independent yesterday
that his party had
agreed to meet with Zanu-PF as part of plans by the
Commonwealth "troika" of
the South African President, Thabo Mbeki; Nigeria's
Olusegun Obasanjo, and
the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, to bring
the two sides together.
But he warned that tough remarks made by
President Robert Mugabe at the
weekend, castigating Britain and the MDC, had
already put the talks in
jeopardy, and urged South Africa and Nigeria to
secure a public commitment
to the talks from Mr Mugabe.
said: "If there is no commitment from us as leaders then we
might as well not
start the talks." He said his party's main agenda for the
talks would be a
re-run of last month's presidential election.
"The critical question is
restoration of legitimacy to government and we
have to go back to the
people," he said. He again rejected the idea of
joining a government of
national unity with Mr Mugabe.
He said that if Mr Mugabe did not want an
immediate re-run of the elections,
he should allow an international
commission of inquiry to investigate the
entire electoral process.
Mbeki's envoy is the secretary general of the African National
Kgalema Motlanthe, while Mr Obasanjo's is an academic and diplomat,
Adedeji. The MDC delegation looks set to be led by its secretary
Welshman Ncube. Mr Ncube is, with Mr Tsvangirai, facing treason
allegedly plotting to kill Mr Mugabe. Zanu-PF's team seems likely
to be led
by its chairman and home affairs minister, John Nkomo.
closed talks between Zanu-PF and the MDC will exclude both leaders since
animosity between them appears to be a stumbling block. Mr Tsvangirai
to be drawn on a date for the start of the talks, which have become
as violence increases after a presidential poll widely condemned
The Human Rights Forum, an alliance of civic, church
and rights groups, said
yesterday that 16 people died in political violence
in the first half of
March. Of those killed, 12 were opposition supporters,
five of them MDC
polling agents. One was a Zanu-PF militant and three were of
CAPS Holdings Incurs $210 Million Loss
April 2, 2002
to the web April 2, 2002
PHARMACEUTICAL company CAPS Holdings Limited has incurred a
$210 million loss in the 12 months to last December amid revelations that the
group suffered extensive financial irregularities at one of its operating arms,
Initial findings reveal that a senior officer at Geddes
Limited did not do his work properly, resulting in massive financial damage to
the pharmaceutical group.
Several foreign creditors were not included on the Geddes'
balance sheet, which indicates the financial health of the company.
The valuation of Geddes' stock was also in a mess.
All this was done without the knowledge of the group's board
Business Herald could not immediately establish what sort of
action has been taken against the senior officer.
CAPS Holdings has however, suffered high exchange rate
losses because of the division's failure to bring significant foreign
liabilities to book.
The group approved the establishment of a temporary facility
secured against Geddes' debtor for the purpose of paying foreign creditors.
This was seen as a way towards reducing the group's
exposure, particularly in view of the volatile exchange rates.
"However, without authority, a senior officer of the company
took it upon himself to fully draw the facility down.
"The manner in which this was done has been subject to
extensive investigations. Another bank facility was also drawn down. In both
cases, normal banking controls on which the company would rely failed to
"The investigations have revealed that several foreign
creditors were omitted from the balance sheet in 2000, in addition to other
irregularities relating to the valuation of stock.
"These findings are the source of the adjustments to prior
year figures. It became apparent that information submitted to the Geddes board
did not represent a true picture," said the group in a statement accompanying
their poor results for the year ending December last year.
CAPS issued a cautionary statement early in the year
indicating that its performance would be affected by financial irregularities at
The group said it has put in place measures to ensure that
there is no recurrence of this situation within the group.
In its financial statements, the group avoided the use of
figures to indicate the actual performance of each division.
The use of percentages made it difficult to assess how each
of CAPS' eight divisions contributed to the group's turnover and profits.
CAPS Holding runs two manufacturing units namely CAPS Rallis
It also has six companies under its armpit within the
trading portfolio namely Geddes, Prohealth Information Solutions, QV Pharmacies,
CAPS Trading Botswana, CAPS Pharmaceuticals and Malawi Pharmacies.
Most of these trading units performed poorly during the 12
Despite the growth in turnover from about $2 billion in 2000
to about $3,8 billion last year, exports were down in terms of units sold.
The group failed to fulfil orders worth R1,5 million in the
South African market because of logistical constraints.
Intelligence reports shed new doubt on Mugabe
PARIS, April 2 AFP|Published: Wednesday April 3, 2:09
Intelligence reports have cast new doubt on the legitimacy of Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe's re-election last month, the International Herald
Tribune reported today.
Western officials who have interviewed reliable sources inside Zimbabwe, said
the ruling party manipulated the results on the eve of the March 13 announcement
of Mugabe's victory by a wide margin over opposition challenger Morgan
Tsvangirai, the paper said.
Officials who have seen detailed intelligence reports - which have been
shared with Britain, Australia, other Commonwealth governments and the United
States - said that ruling party officials realised at the last minute that
Mugabe was in danger of losing to Tsvangirai by 200,000 to 300,000 votes.
They allegedly added tens of thousands of names to Mugabe's total before the
ballots were sent for a final count.
During the counting period, there was a sudden jump in the total votes cast,
from 2.4 million to 2.9 million, according to RW Johnson, who covered the March
9-11 vote for a British newspaper, the IHT reported.
Johnson told the IHT yesterday by telephone from South Africa that the sudden
increase was "totally unexplained" at the time, and was "bigger than the
president's winning margin".
The final total of votes cast was just over three million.
Mugabe's party, the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
(ZANU-PF), has rejected international criticism and calls for fresh polls
insisting that the vote was free and fair.
The election has been criticised by the United States, the European Union and
the Commonwealth, which has suspended Zimbabwe's membership for one year.
Tsvangirai has demanded fresh elections, charging that Mugabe's re-election
was "massively rigged" and citing widespread pre-election violence targeting his
South Africa and Nigeria had defended Zimbabwe at a Commonwealth summit ahead
of the election, but backed the decision for the one-year suspension in the wake
of a damning report by the Commonwealth observer mission to the polls.
Businessman Allegedly Tricks Milling Company
Daily News (Harare)
April 2, 2002
to the web April 2, 2002
CHARLES Barke Chombo, a Harare businessman, allegedly
tricked a Harare milling company into selling him 650 metric tonnes of
maize-meal after he forged a fax order pretending he was an army officer serving
in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Chombo, 42, the managing director of Highdon Investments
based in Greendale, was arrested on Tuesday last week as he negotiated with
officials at the Zimbabwe National Army base in Msasa for the release of the
The maize-meal had been delivered to the base by Blue Ribbon
Harare magistrate Billiard Musakwa last Thursday remanded
him on $40 000 bail to 11 April on a charge of fraud or breaching the Grain
Marketing Board Act.
Prosecutor Allan Mabande said Chombo lied to Blue Ribbon
Foods that the army had placed an order for 650 metric tonnes of maize-meal. To
support his claim, Chombo allegedly presented the fax which was in French
purporting it had been sanctioned by an army official in the DRC.
Blue Ribbon Foods fell for the trick and approved the order.
Chombo allegedly paid $3 243 000 in advance for 100 metric tonnes of
He promised to pay for the remaining 550 metric tonnes at a
On 22 March, he allegedly diverted a consignment of 20
metric tonnes of maize-meal which was being delivered to the Msasa army base on
the strength of the fake fax.
On Monday last week, Blue Ribbon Foods delivered the second
consignment to the army base.
Officials at the base were shocked at the arrival of the
maize-meal as they had not ordered it because all the procurement is undertaken
by the army ordinance at KGVI Barracks.
They held onto the consignment. Chombo was arrested when he
allegedly followed up on the delivery.
Wankie Colliery's After-Tax Profit Increases to
Daily News (Harare)
April 2, 2002
to the web April 2, 2002
WANKIE Colliery Company Limited has reported an increase in
after-tax profit from $275,1 million the previous year to $284,6 million. The
results are for the year ended 31 December 2001.
During 2001, turnover rose from $3,3 billion in 2000 to $4,8
billion, while basic earnings per share rose from 162 cents to 168 cents. The
company said: "Demand for coal and coke remained firm throughout the year in
both the domestic and export markets.
Although the company did not manage to meet this demand
fully, overall sales tonnages improved when compared with the previous year." At
3,8 million tonnes, total coal sales for the year were 13 percent higher than
the previous year.
As a result of transport constraints coal sales from
remained static at about 1,4 million tonnes. The company said: "The supply of
railway wagons from the National Railways of Zimbabwe declined significantly
during the second half of the year. As a result, customers were encouraged to
continue using road transport to alleviate this problem."
HPS coal sales to the Zimbabwe Power Company rose by 23
percent to 2,3 million tonnes. The company said: "Demand levels improved
progressively and remained high particularly during the second half as a result
of operational efficiencies at the Hwange Power Station." However, transport
constrains further hampered the sale of coke to the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel
Company and sales declined by 40 percent to 245 822 tonnes.