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U N I T E D  N A T I O N S
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN)

ZIMBABWE: Hopes high ahead of talks between ZANU-PF and MDC

JOHANNESBURG, 3 April (IRIN) - Hopes were high on Wednesday that talks between Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would end the power struggle between the two and shift the focus to a much needed economic recovery plan for the country.

South Africa's Kgalema Motlanthe, secretary general of the ruling African National Congress, and Nigerian diplomat Adebayo Adedeji, arrived in Harare on Wednesday night to bring the two parties together in the wake of the political violence and economic crisis brought on by the 9-11 March poll.

The MDC has rejected President Robert Mugabe's re-election and is demanding fresh elections.

As the two parties prepared for the meeting, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) Director Munyaradzi Bidi said: "We have high expectations for a new initiative for economic recovery. These meetings should not only be cosmetic ... they must consult people with a framework that contains the interests of the ordinary person. They must translate from policy to actual actions.

"(It) is a step in the right direction. It is not time for political vindictiveness ... it is time to address social ills like food shortages, unemployment, poverty, polarisation in the political environment and political intolerance. We want the tension between the political parties and abroad to cool do ... it's time for national dialogue."

Reginald Matchaba-Hove, chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network, welcomed talks between the two. "It is a good idea. It should not mean that the MDC is swallowed up by ZANU-PF. It must be an agreement on some transitional arrangement on what must be done now. Hopefully they will come up with a constitution and a new legal framework which could include fresh elections. They must accept that they have a crisis," he said.

Matchaba-Hove said the two parties would probably keep the talks close to their chests and it would be strictly party-to-party so that the MDC would not be seen to be dealing with the government. "The fact is, the talks are significant," he said.

ZANU-PF's Emerson Manangagwa told IRIN his party was waiting to hear from the facilitators and would not divulge the party's position on the talks. "We cannot do it through the media," he said.

The MDC's secretary for economic affairs, Eddie Cross, said his party would be seeking fresh elections, a demand Mugabe has already rejected. The MDC has also said it would not consider a coalition government - sentiments echoed by civil society organisations.

International reaction to the poll was split, with Africa widely accepting the result and Europe and the US rejecting it.

In March a Commonwealth troika of the presidents of Nigeria, South Africa and Australia recommended Zimbabwe's suspension from the body. Shortly before the suspension South Africa's Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo met Zimbabwe's political leadership and urged them to work together.

Daily News

Zanu PF, MDC meet today

4/3/02 8:11:10 AM (GMT +2)

By Sandra Nyaira Political Editor

ZANU PF and the opposition MDC sit down today at the beginning of a private
meeting convened at the behest of the South African and Nigerian

On the agenda are discussions to establish a way out of the mess created by
President Mugabe’s disputed win in last month’s flawed election.

The South African delegation at the talks will be led by Kgalema Motlanthe,
the secretary-general of the ruling African National Congress, while the
Nigerian contingent is headed by prominent West African diplomat, Adebayo

Officials close to the meeting told The Daily News yesterday the talks had
been initiated by South African President Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian
counterpart, Olusegun Obasanjo, who were instrumental in suspending Zimbabwe
from the Commonwealth last month after Mugabe was declared the winner in a
fraudulent poll. The period running-up to the crucial poll was marred by
State-sponsored violence that saw more than 100 people killed in cold blood.

The MDC will be represented at the Leopard Rock Hotel talks in Vumba by
secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, his deputy, Gift Chimanikire, and Yvonne
Mahlunge, a member of the national executive. Ncube will be the MDC’s chief
negotiator with experts like Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro of the
University of Zimbabwe playing supporting roles.

The Zanu PF delegation will include the Speaker of Parliament and Zanu PF’s
secretary for administration, Emmerson Mnangagwa, his administrator,
Frederick Shava, the party’s secretary for legal affairs, Patrick Chinamasa,
and the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Joseph Made.

Mbeki and Obasanjo have already met with Mugabe and the MDC leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai, separately, proposing a government of national unity which the
latter has rejected, saying it would be tantamount to legitimising Mugabe’s
stolen victory.

MDC spokesman, Learnmore Jongwe, yesterday said: “I can confirm that we are
involved in talks with Zanu PF, which talks have been initiated by the South
Africans and the Nigerians. As for the agenda and any other issues related
to the talks, you have to contact the mediators.”

A source close to the talks said: “It is generally agreed within the Zanu PF
camp that Zanu PF urgently needs the MDC to help it solve the food crisis
and to lend some modicum of legitimacy to Mugabe’s controversial

He said the MDC will be pushing for a rerun of the election under the
watchful eye of the United Nations or the formation of a transitional
government leading to another poll.

Zanu PF, on the other hand, is not interested in a rerun with Mugabe having
categorically ruled this out. His party will, instead, be pushing for
constitutional changes as an option to deal with the crisis. A Zanu
PF-sponsored draft constitution was overwhelmingly rejected in a referendum
in February 2000.

“There are two critical observations flowing from these talks,” an MDC
official said. “First, the talks are between Zanu PF and the MDC as
political parties, and not between the MDC and the Zanu PF government.

This is a healthy point of entry into the talks for us because it does not
compromise our position that the government is illegitimate because it was
born of an illegitimate and flawed election.”

Second, he said, Zanu PF has tacitly conceded that its election win is
questionable. On the government of national unity, the well-placed MDC
official said: “I do not see the MDC leadership or membership accepting a
government of national unity with Zanu PF for the next six years given our
legitimate stance that the election was flawed and that the government is
illegitimate. What is possible, depending on the talks, is the setting-up of
a transitional administration that eventually matures into an election.”

“Zanu PF cannot avoid engaging the MDC. They know fully well that on their
own they are completely incapable of attracting the international sympathy
needed to deal with the food situation, particularly if regard is given to
the fact that their legitimacy as a government is in question.”

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Yahoo News

Zimbabwe discussions in doubt
By Lucia Mutikani

HARARE (Reuters) - Talks between Zimbabwe's opposition and President Robert
Mugabe's party appear to be in question, with the ruling ZANU-PF denying
opposition claims discussions had started.

A senior official of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) told Reuters
on Wednesday that talks had got off to a slow start in Vumba, about 280 km
(175 miles) southeast of Harare.

"The talks have started... I don't think you will hear anything for some
days. They are discussing what to talk about," MDC economic affairs
secretary Eddie Cross said. The MDC initially refused to discuss last
month's disputed election with ZANU-PF.

But Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said in a statement later in the day
the talks initiated by South Africa and Nigeria would only take place after
meetings with representatives from the two countries.

"ZANU-PF expects the proposed talks to take place only after proper
consultations following the arrival of the facilitators...both of whom are
due in the country today," he said.

State radio earlier said the police had banned a series of demonstrations
planned for the weekend to press the government to adopt a new constitution.

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), an umbrella organisation of
student and church groups, political parties and human rights groups, wants
to hold protests throughout Zimbabwe on Saturday.

But on Wednesday the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation quoted police chief
spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena as saying the political situation was not
conducive for mass demonstrations.

ZANU-PF says the NCA is an extension of the opposition MDC.


Cross said on Tuesday the talks did not mean the MDC had changed its
position the poll was fraudulent and it did not recognise the election of

"The gulf between the two parties is so wide that it will take some days to
agree on what they are going to talk about. Unless (South African President
Thabo) Mbeki and (Nigerian leader Olusegun) Obasanjo bring pressure to bear,
there will be not much progress," he said on Wednesday.

South Africa and Nigeria have led efforts to launch dialogue between former
British colony's bitterly divided parties and are pushing for a unity

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, free on bail on charges of plotting to kill
Mugabe, has described the election as "daylight robbery" and said he would
discuss nothing but fresh elections with Mugabe.

Cross said MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube was leading the opposition
team, with parliamentary speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa heading the ruling party

But Moyo said the composition of the ZANU-PF delegation would only be known
when an announcement was made on the date and venue of the meeting.


Some political analysts said they did not expect tangible results from the
proposed talks.

"In my view the MDC is going into this without much of an interest. They
don't want to be seen as obstructive...their heart is not into it," John
Makumbe, a political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe said, adding
talks had started.

"If the MDC agrees to anything short of a re-run they will lose credibility.
As long as they are playing games and drinking tea with Mnangagwa, that's
fine. People are not interested in anything short of a re-election," Makumbe
told Reuters.

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 urban
strongholds. ZANU-PF says the March 9-11 poll was fair.

Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for a year on March 19 after
the 54-nation group's election observers accused Mugabe of electoral fraud.

Zimbabwe's government dismisses the charges, saying they are being pushed by
Western powers keen to see Mugabe ousted over his seizure of white-owned
farms for landless blacks.
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Daily News

State in bid to stop removal of farm assets

4/3/02 8:15:29 AM (GMT +2)

By Ngoni Chanakira Business Editor

ZIMBABWE’s controversial fast-track Land Resettlement Programme has taken a
further twist with revelations that the cash-strapped government now intends
to stop commercial farmers who have had their farms designated from removing
movable property off the farms.

The government, sources said, now intends to introduce a statutory
instrument dealing with the issue.

The move comes at a time when the government has announced its intention to
make the land programme its first priority during President Robert Mugabe’s
renewed term of office.

In a dramatic turn of events last week, the government announced that it had
dumped the 18-month Millennium Economic Recovery Programme (Merp) and
replaced it with a new economic policy whose focus is “increased
agricultural production”.

The Merp was abandoned even before it was implemented.

While officials in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement
yesterday remained tight-lipped saying the issue was “sensitive”, The Daily
News understands the government has already earmarked thousands of fertile
hectares of land with millions of dollars worth of equipment for

The new property owners will be offered all the equipment including
tractors, combine harvestors, irrigation pumps and pipes, as well as other
agricultural machinery at no expense.

During the early stages of its land programme, the government had initially
promised to reimburse designated landowners for developments and equipment.

However, since the diplomatic impasse between Harare and London, the
government has said the compensation will come from the British, blaming
London for Zimbabwe’s economic slump.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Dr Joseph Made,
last week said the government had revised upwards the land and agrarian
reform budget from US$1,9 billion to US$3 billion, with the bulk of the
money expected to go towards infrastructure and farmer credit support over a
five-year period.

However, his counterpart, Dr Simba Makoni, the Minister of Finance and
Economic Development told journalists in Harare the government was seriously
in the red and needed a supplementary budget in order to pay for the massive
food imports as well as the new agricultural programme.

Makoni admitted that due to the suspension of balance of payments support by
the international community, Zimbabwe was facing a serious financial crisis
and was struggling to pay for imports from neighbouring South Africa.

In an interesting turn of events, Made was this week quoted in The Herald
accusing commercial farmers of “exporting machinery and equipment from
acquired farms”.

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Daily News

Looting, evictions escalate on farms

4/3/02 8:16:08 AM (GMT +2)

Farming Reporter

THE Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) has called for increased police response
for what is fast becoming a well-orchestrated campaign of evictions and
looting of property of its members.

The CFU says that since last month’s presidential election, in Mashonaland
East alone, 19 farmers had been illegally evicted from their farms while
there had been 31 cases of looting.

“The value of looted goods is still to be determined, but a conservative
estimate indicates the losses to be in the region of $150 million,” said
Jenni Williams, the CFU spokesperson. “In many cases, eviction of the farmer
is preceded by periods of being barricaded and intimidated.”

She said although most of the incidents were reported to the police there
was very little co-operation from the authorities.

The CFU said the areas mainly affected were Beatrice, Marondera, Hwedza and

“The pattern has been that looting generally follows soon after the farmer
has been evicted,” Williams said.

“Threats of eviction continue in these areas and there is an urgent need for
additional support to stabilise the situation and prevent the campaign from

Williams said police response in the Marondera-Hwedza area falling under
Zimbabwe Republic Police Marondera Rural has been variable, but 26 arrests
had since been made. She said: “But the police response in the Featherstone
area has been poor and no arrests have been made. On most of the farms where
farmers have been evicted, the farm workers have also been told to leave.

Although statistics are still being compiled, it is believed in Mashonaland
East alone over 2 000 workers have lost their jobs.

“In the Featherstone area, 320 head of cattle have been illegally
distributed to settlers on Leeufontein Farm, and 250 head appropriated on De
La Quelarie Farm.

The whereabouts of 370 head of cattle on Ashton Farm and 400 head on
Pennyfather Farm are unknown.”

Wayne Bvudzijena, the police spokesperson could not be reached for comment

His counterpart, Tagwireyi Tirivavi, said: “I can talk to any other paper,
not you guys. You will have to talk to Bvudzijena.”

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Daily News

Government determinedly worsening food crisis

4/3/02 8:34:36 AM (GMT +2)

LAST week, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Dr
Joseph Made, said that commercial farmers being evicted from their
properties could not take their moveable assets, such as tractors and
irrigation equipment, with them.

He said that the government was considering introducing a Statutory
Instrument to stop farmers from removing their farm implements when they are
evicted from their land.

I quote: “These agricultural assets must be left on the acquired farms for
use by new commercial farmers. We are stopping forthwith the exportation of
agricultural machinery and equipment. . . No asset of an agricultural nature
should be moved off the commercial farms.”

To summarise two years of pronouncements by Made on behalf of the Zimbabwe
government: We are taking your land; you may not grow food; any grain that
is grown may only be sold to the State; we are taking your homes and now, we
are taking your equipment as well.

I am reading Schindler’s Ark (List) and in places the similarities to the
persecution of Jews are frightening. When the author talks of Jews being
forced to move into ghettoes, he says that people seemed almost relieved by
the horrific outrage: “. . . there were strange elements of homecoming to
it, as well as that sense of arriving at a limit beyond which, with any
luck, you wouldn’t be further uprooted or tyrannised. . .”

Farmers in Zimbabwe have reached their limit. They need a directive and a
direction and, sadly, many are now being forced to make plans to leave as
they have no way of earning a living.

Farmers in Zimbabwe have begun to realise that there is no point at which
our government will stop, there are no guarantees and many cannot go on.
While Made continues to make pronouncements stripping farmers of every
single thing they have worked for decades to build up, hunger has begun to
take hold.

Even the State-run and controlled ZBC Television last week finally saw it
fit to tell us what we already know: There is no food in the ground and
hundreds of thousands of people have applied for food aid.

The television cameras showed footage of dead, shrivelled maize in all areas
of the country. The commentator explained how drought had devastated crops,
but said nothing about billions of dollars of irrigation equipment lying
idle because farmers with knowledge, experience and equipment had been
forcibly stopped from saving us from starvation.

It is a diabolical situation and, I believe, unparalleled in world history.
So many people have chosen to stay silent for two years as the outrages on
farms have continued and now, with no sugar, oil, milk and maize-meal, they
are paying the price of their silence.

As I predicted some months ago, the shortage of maize for stock feed has
begun to be felt in the supermarkets. Egg supplies are dwindling, chicken is
becoming harder and harder to find and undoubtedly bread will be next as
Made has said that 100 000 hectares of land will be used to grow maize
through winter.

There are only 160 000 hectares of irrigable land in Zimbabwe and 60 percent
of that is supposed to be used for growing wheat in winter. Even as he was
making this suggestion, he was busy designating 356 other commercial farms,
meaning the farmers can not undertake any activities on the farms because
the government wants to grab them.

And even if the farmers disregarded the notices of acquisition from the
government and went ahead because food should be grown, the so-called war
veterans have continued to unleash their terror.

In Nyamandhlovu in Matabeleland North province, these so-called former
freedom fighters have been threatening farmers producing crops such as sweet
potatoes and others from undertaking farming activities, even when it is
known the country is facing starvation.

Never has a government in crisis attempted to send so many conflicting and
contradictory signals. But the issue here is that bases established by
supporters of the government have not been dismantled and the terror in the
countryside continues unabated.

Other government agricultural officials last week said they intended to
reduce sugar plantations by 50 percent and put that land to maize as well.

It is as if they do not realise that already there is not even enough sugar
in the shops. There has never been a lot so out of touch with events on the
ground. The drought aside, Zimbabwe would not be needing food aid or this
crisis if the government had ordered an end to disruptions to farming

Now scarce foreign currency, which could go to importation of essential
drugs, raw materials or other machinery, will have to be committed to food,
which the country could have produced if the government showed resolve and
commitment to producing enough to feed the nation.

Inflation is running at more than 110 percent, unemployment is at more than
60 percent, hundreds of thousands of people have no food and decades of
development have been completely destroyed for political gain.

People who have chosen to stay silent - farmers, teachers, doctors, lawyers,
shop assistants - must stand up and be counted now or think of ways of
telling their children why there is no supper tonight or breakfast tomorrow.

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Daily News

War vets throw out MDC official from Rusape house

4/3/02 7:57:43 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

VAIDA Mutigwa, the MDC Makoni East women’s league chairperson, was thrown
out of her house in Rusape soon after the recent presidential election by
war veterans and Zanu PF youths led by George Ngirazi.

A Zanu PF member in the town claimed that the Rusape Town Council secretary,
Obert Muzawazi, was linked to the ejection of Mutigwa because of her MDC

Muzawazi is the Zanu PF secretary for Rusape Urban.

“My children are now afraid to even visit Rusape,” said Mutigwa.

“Ngirazi terrorises me each time he see me. I have heard that Muzawazi is
behind this. The youths who attacked me told me that, but I do not know if
that is true.”

She said Muzawazi had denied these allegations when she went to his office
on Tuesday.

Muzawazi allegedly campaigned for President Mugabe during the presidential
election using council vehicles.

Mutigwa worked as a messenger in the Rusape Town Council housing department,
but was later transferred to the engineering department before she was
demoted to sweeping duties at Vengere bus terminus. She was subsequently
dismissed from work altogether in January under unclear circumstances.

She was only reinstated after her lawyer, Arnold Tsunga, of Henning, Lock
and Donagher legal practitioners, intervened and council obliged. Mutigwa
will start work on 1 May.

Mutigwa said she survived an attempt by Zanu PF youths on her life in
December and spent two weeks in Rusape General Hospital nursing serious
injuries sustained in the assault.

Soon after her discharge from hospital, she was dismissed from work and
evicted from her house. She fled to Mutare after several abortive attempts
on her life, she said.

Mutigwa said while she was in Mutare the youths and war veterans evicted her
five children from the house forcing them to remove their property claiming
Muzawazi had sent them. They hired a truck to carry some of her property to
her rural home in Triashill.

Her children - Rhodah, 26, Maria 22, Jupiter and Melisa, who are six and
four-year-old respectively - and Paul Matonhodze were forced to put up with
neighbours after the eviction on Thursday 14 March.

She reported the matter to the police. The officer-in-charge of the Rusape
police, Inspector Sambulo Ndlovu, confirmed receiving a report from Mutigwa
and said they had advised her to seek a court order to have the illegal
occupants removed from her house.

“We will deal with anything criminal,” said Ndlovu. “We advised her to go to
the courts to reclaim her house. These people could have used Muzawazi’s
name to evict Mutigwa family. I doubt if Muzawazi really sent them.”

“This house was built by the Zanu PF council,” a Zanu PF youth declared
openly. “Mutigwa does not qualify to live here. The MDC should give her a
place to live.”

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Daily News

Zanu PF youths abduct MDC councillor

4/3/02 7:55:42 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

SUSPECTED Zanu PF supporters have abducted two MDC members, including the
winning candidate in the Harare municipal elections for ward 39.

Aleck Masomera, the newly-elected councillor for Dzivaresekwa, was abducted
from his home yesterday morning by Zanu PF youths. The youths are said to
have descended on Masomera, who had been in hiding for the past week
following threats on his life, when he returned to his home.

Learnmore Jongwe, the MDC’s spokesman, said the matter has been reported to
the police in Dzivaresekwa.

In Musana village, Bindura, Kudzanai Chikono allegedly led other Zanu PF
supporters on Tuesday in abducting Elliot Motsi, whom they accused of voting
for the MDC in the presidential poll.

The mob allegedly burnt a hut at Motsi’s homestead before taking him away.

The MDC said the matter was reported at Nyava Police Station, but the police
had ironically tried to arrest Makundwei Muzavazi, who made the report.

Stewart Chidavaenzi, an MDC activist, sustained four broken ribs and severe
head injuries after he was allegedly attacked by another group of Zanu PF
youths on Monday night.

He was travelling with other MDC supporters providing logistical support to
the opposition party’s polling agents in the area, when they were suddenly
ambushed and beaten up by the mob.

Chidavaenzi, who was badly wounded, is recovering at a Harare hospital

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Daily News

Law used to arrest journalist inapplicable

4/3/02 7:57:05 AM (GMT +2)

From Brian Mangwende in Mutare

PROSECUTORS in the Attorney-General’s Office yesterday described as
inapplicable, a provision in the Access to Information and Privacy Act under
which a British journalist was arrested.

Peta Thornycroft, the Zimbabwe correspondent for Britain’s The Daily
Telegraph, was arrested in a restaurant in Chimanimani about 150km south of
Mutare for allegedly contravening Section 83 (1) of the new Act.

The section reads: “No person other than an accredited journalist shall
practise as a journalist nor be employed as such or in any manner hold
himself out as, or pretend to be a journalist.”

A senior prosecutor in the civil division who refused to be named said
yesterday: “The section does not create an offence. It does not carry a
fine. It’s not law. You can’t charge someone under that section. The section
is tantamount to an idiom which, for example, discourages anyone from
sitting in the middle of a busy road as chances of being run over by a
vehicle are high.”

Thornycroft, a Zimbabwean national, has been practising journalism in the
Southern African Development Community for the past two decades.

Another prosecutor said even if she was not accredited, Thornycroft was
still covered under section 93 (2) of the same Act which reads: “Any
journalist who was accredited before the coming into operation of this Act
shall be deemed to be accredited for the remainder of the year 2002.”

The prosecutor said, in any case, Section 93 (1) gives Thornycroft a grace
period of three months to register as a journalist.

Section 93 (1) reads: “Any person who immediately before the date of
commencement of this Act, was unlawfully operating a mass media service or
practising as a journalist shall be deemed to be registered for the purpose
of providing the same service for a period of three months from the date of
commencement of this Act, and any application for registration or
accreditation made after that date in terms of this Act for a certificate of
registration or accreditation to provide that service, shall be treated as
an application for a new certificate and not for the renewal of a

President Mugabe signed the Bill, largely regarded as draconian, into law
soon after his inauguration a fortnight ago as President for a fifth

Thornycroft became the Zimbabwe correspondent for The Daily Telegraph in
July 2001.

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Daily News

Zanu PF intensifies retribution campaign

4/3/02 7:44:29 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

ZANU PF’s retribution campaigned continued over the Easter holiday with six
homes of MDC polling agents in the recent presidential election being burnt
down in Mutimutema in Gokwe West.

Stephen Mudadikwa, Nelson Mudadikwa, Albert Mudadikwa, Stephen Kandoro,
Christian Moyo and Fanwell Mkoki’s houses were burnt down as punishment for
their involvement in MDC activities before and after the disputed poll.

Thousands of MDC supporters countrywide have suffered at the hands of Zanu
PF supporters and war veterans, especially those who acted as Morgan
Tsvangirai’s polling agents in the disputed election in which Mugabe was
announced the winner.

In the Nyaradza area of Gokwe South, the Zanu PF supporters also burnt down
the house of one Jemani Mhuri.

The perpetrators of the violence in Gokwe are well-known Zanu PF activists
who are being led by Luke Ncube, Emmanuel Manisa, Thulani Nkomo and Tapiwa
Manisa, the MDC alleged on Sunday.

Edgar Sithole, the MDC secretary in the Midlands, said many polling agents
were no longer sleeping at their homes at night because of the attacks.

He said the Zanu PF activists and war veterans had vowed to continue
persecuting members of the MDC until they accepted the presidential results.

Mugabe won the disputed election with 1 685 212 votes against Tsvangirai’s 1
258 401 votes.

The flawed poll has been condemned locally and internationally resulting in
Mugabe and his inner circle facing international isolation. Violence leading
up to the poll left more than 100 people dead, mostly supporters of the MDC.
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Zimbabwe media chief quits

President Mugabe has denounced homosexuality

Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief executive Alum Mpofu has resigned
amid a government inquiry into his sexuality.
The state-run corporation said Mr Mpofu was leaving for personal reasons and
his resignation would take effect immediately.

He was quoted by state-run media as saying his decision followed reports of
impropriety on his part.

The government launched an inquiry after allegations that Mr Mpofu was
caught "in a compromising situation" with another man at a night club.

President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly denounced homosexuals, describing
them as "worse than pigs and dogs".

Mr Mpofu, who is 43 and married with three children, was recruited to the
ZBC from the South African Broadcasting Corporation last year.

Last month, Zimbabwe enacted a new law curbing the activities of independent
and foreign news media
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Daily News

Residents gang up against Zanu PF youths

4/3/02 7:59:14 AM (GMT +2)

From Chris Gande in Bulawayo

HUNDREDS of angry Sizinda residents in Bulawayo on Friday ganged up and
tried to attack Zanu PF youths and war veterans camped at a community hall
but they were chased away by the riot police.

The situation deteriorated into a major fracas which threatened to spill
into neighbouring high-density suburbs.

Although the suburb was calm yesterday, the situation remained tense because
the residents warned that as long as the unruly youths were camped at the
hall the potential for further clashes remained.

The youths, who have been terrorising residents since the run-up to last
month’s presidential elections, on Thursday ran amok in the suburb,
indiscriminately attacking residents.

They destroyed property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars during the
orgy of violence.

The youths are believed to have embarked on their rampage as a protest
against their team leaders who have failed to pay them $18 000 each which
they are demanding for campaigning for President Mugabe.

They pulled down the durawalls of two houses which they stoned.

They also destroyed the property inside the houses. Several residents were
injured after they were attacked by the youths.

On Friday morning the residents ganged up and went to attack the youths at
the hall. They grouped outside one of the houses that had been attacked by
the youths the previous night and marched towards the community hall.

Riot police swiftly dispersed the baying mob, firing tear-gas canisters.

Running battles between the residents and the police then ensued and lasted
the whole morning.

The youths remained inside the hall as the riots went on.

Before the presidential election, the youths camped at the hall fatally
assaulted a resident, Zumba Phiri.

The police spokesman for Bulawayo, Inspector Mthokozisi Manzini-Moyo,
alleged that the residents who attacked the youths were MDC supporters.

Manzini-Moyo’s comments were carried by the State-owned ZBC and Zimpapers
weekly, The Sunday News.

The residents, however, told The Daily News that they did not want politics
to be dragged into the issue of removing the youths from the community hall.

“This is simply an issue in which residents in the suburb from all political
parties are saying remove the youths from the community hall because they
are causing untold suffering to innocent residents.”

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Daily News

NGO distributes food aid to 7 800 in the Zambezi Valley

4/3/02 7:58:25 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Save the Children UK, an international non-governmental relief organisation,
resumed its food aid programme in the Zambezi Valley last week with a
delivery of maize, cooking oil and beans to Nzenga/Sinakoma wards in Binga

At least 7 800 villagers benefited from the assistance, and in the coming
weeks, the organisation will provide food for the remaining
120 thousand people in the same area at a cost of about one million pounds
(about Z$80 million).

The programme director, Chris McIvor said the current drought had severely
reduced crop yields, affecting even the more drought-tolerant sorghum and
cotton crops.

“Community members are reducing the number of meals they eat per day, and
are relying on the few crops that have been harvested, including limited
amounts of maize and pumpkins, as well as a local wild fruit called inji,”
said McIvor.

He said the reduced harvest had been exacerbated by general food shortages
in the area.

The Save the Children feeding programme, which has been operating since
October last year, will continue through to June after which a decision
whether to continue to or to terminate it will be made, McIvor said.

The organisation also runs a feeding programme for 6 000 people in
Nyaminyami district of Mashonaland West Province, with a similar allocation
of maize, beans and cooking oil.

These needy families have been assisted since January, and will continue to
receive assistance until mid-year.

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Business Day

Mugabe stalls on new cabinet posts

Delay in appointing hardliners is to give talks a chance
Harare Correspondent

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe has put a hold on his plans to appoint a
new cabinet after his recent controversial election win, giving a chance to
talks with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change that were initiated
by the SA and Nigerian governments.

High-level sources said yesterday that Mugabe was waiting for the outcome of
the SA-led negotiations, which started soon after Mugabe claimed victory in
the March 9-11 presidential election.

Mugabe was expected to appoint a "crisis" cabinet packed with hardliners to
deal with growing local and international pressure. Combative ministers such
as Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Chinamasa, Nicholas Goche, Sydney Sekeramayi and
Elliot Manyika were expected to form the core of the cabinet, while
reformers such as Finance Minister Simba Makoni and Industry and
International Trade minister Herbert Murerwa were seen as likely candidates
for expulsion.

Sources said Mugabe was waiting to see the direction of political events
before naming his new "firefighting" team.

Mugabe last year said he wanted "amadoda sibili" (real men) in his cabinet
and not "cowards". He was commenting on the controversial resignation of
Murerwa's predecessor, Nkosana Moyo, who quit in exasperation over company
raids and moved to the US.

Despite Mugabe's claim that he won the hotly disputed poll "resoundingly",
the outcome has been rejected by his main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai of the
Movement for Democratic Change, and the international community as
fundamentally flawed. Since then there has been mounting pressure for a
rerun, although Mugabe vowed at the weekend not to hold a fresh poll.

The dispute over the result prompted African heads of state Thabo Mbeki,
Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Bakili Muluzi of Malawi and Joaquim Chissano
of Mozambique to intervene and try to negotiate a coalition government in
the troubled country.

Sources said whether Mugabe would consider a government of national unity
depended on the result of the delicate talks. Under the unity proposals,
Tsvangirai is widely expected to be appointed one of two vice-presidents,
while his senior lieutenants would get several ministerial posts.

Mbeki and Obasanjo were in Zimbabwe on March 18 in a bid to kick-start the
overtures and push Mugabe into the deal, in which official sources said he
was not really interested.
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Daily News

Negative effects of flawed election beginning to show

4/3/02 8:33:36 AM (GMT +2)

THE decision by the Australian Cricket Board to cancel its proposed tour of
Zimbabwe due to have started next week for security reasons is just one of
several world reactions to the outcome of last month’s flawed presidential

On Wednesday last week, the Board announced their withdrawal from the tour,
citing “grave concerns over the safety and security of the Australian
cricket team and team management”.

The Australian Cricket Board’s view was that advice from their government
and non-governmental sources had identified an increasing risk for the
Australian team in Zimbabwe since the post-election suspension of Zimbabwe
from the Commonwealth.

The government has done little to allay these concerns: the bases set up by
its youth brigades remain intact, acts of retribution against those who
dared to challenge President Mugabe’s 22-year-old grip on power are
escalating, while the government is forging ahead with expanding the
training programme for the infamous youth brigades who terrorised voters in
the run-up to the 9-11 March presidential election, and continue to do so

The government and the ruling party have not in any way watered down their
hostile rhetoric since Mugabe was declared the winner of the election, while
the compulsory acquisition of farms appears to have been stepped up to seize
the remaining properties that had been overlooked or left out in previous
phases of farm seizures by the government.

In fact, the government’s position is now unclear because of the
contradictory messages of “reconciliation and national unity”, on the one
hand and the threatening language, on the other.

Mugabe, the government and the ruling party have not displayed magnanimity
in their moment of victory, disputed though it is. Their actions and
utterances continue to sow doubt and uncertainty among an uncomprehending
population and members of the international community.

The resolution adopted 63 to two votes by members of the African, Caribbean
and Pacific and European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly two weeks ago
suggests member countries are not willing to lend legitimacy to Mugabe’s
re-election because of the negative conditions which were prevalent prior to
and during last month’s poll.

This, therefore, means that the first casualty is likely to be this month’s
Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. Countries unsettled by the thought of
giving their seal of approval to the outcome of the election are likely to
hold out on their participation during the annual trade showcase due at the
end of this month in Bulawayo.

Such a position would suggest that countries sharing a similar view on the
conduct and outcome of Zimbabwe’s presidential election are likely to
postpone any participation for fear of being seen to approve the result of
the election.

Absence of these countries will deal a blow on the operations of commerce
and industry, which depend for crucial foreign currency generation on orders
placed during the Trade Fair. There can be very little cheer from the Trade
Fair this year.

The problem, however, does not end there. One of the major annual
showpieces, the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, could be similarly
affected. During the 2000 parliamentary election, there was a reduced
turnout arising from the uncertainty created by the security situation.

This year there is that factor as well as that of not wishing to be seen to
give blessing to what is widely regarded as a stolen election. The Harare
Agricultural Show is a potential casualty as is next year’s World Rugby Cup.

There are other activities that could fall victim too, unless the government
demonstrates by word and deed that it has abandoned its violent and
vindictive agenda of retribution.
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ABC News

Africa Seeks Rwanda, Zimbabwe Pullout From Congo

April 3
— By Manoah Esipisu

LUSAKA (Reuters) - African leaders meeting here to kickstart peace talks in
the Democratic Republic of Congo put pressure on Rwanda and Zimbabwe to
withdraw their armies from the country, diplomats said Wednesday.

Six African states have troops in the war dubbed Africa's World War I, of
which Zimbabwe and Rwanda have the biggest deployments, diplomats said. They
said Rwanda had over 20,000 troops in the Congo and there were about 15,000
Zimbabwe troops there.

Diplomats said a firm commitment was needed from Rwanda's Paul Kagame and
Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe to implement a peace deal.

"The key issue here is an agreement on a timetable for the withdrawal of
foreign armies. Rwanda and Zimbabwe are at the center of this," an African
ambassador at the talks told Reuters.

The summit in the Zambian capital comes a day after the latest setback to
ongoing peace negotiations in the South African resort of Sun City.
Rwandan-backed rebels threatened on Tuesday to resume war over a dispute
with the government over a town in eastern Congo.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's special envoy Namanga Ngongi told a
plenary session of the summit in Lusaka that the world body would like to
see an accelerated withdrawal of foreign armies.

"Namibia has withdrawn all its troops, Angola has withdrawn most of its
forces and Uganda has carried out large-scale withdrawals," Ngongi told the

"Rwanda says it has withdrawn some troops but there has been no verification
by the United Nations. Zimbabwe has also withdrawn some troops. What we want
is an acceleration of this process," Ngongi added.

Diplomats said Angola, Burundi and Uganda had indicated they would be ready
to complete a pullout from Congo without conditions.

Rwanda, a victim of a 1994 genocide, wants border security and guarantees
that Congo will not be used to attack it. Zimbabwe refuses to pull out,
saying it is there to protect Congo's sovereignty.

Rwanda accuses Congo of harboring and giving military support to exiled Hutu
militia blamed for the genocide of some 800,000 people, mainly minority
Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

The leaders were joined in Lusaka by senior officials from the United
Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU).


Congo peace facilitator Sir Ketumile Masire earlier said the talks would
fine-tune a program to get states involved in the war to withdraw as part of
an overall peace formula.

"The belligerents and the leaders are here to, among other things, talk
about the program for the withdrawal of foreign troops from the Congo," the
former Botswana president said.

"It is important to get the foreign troops out, to accelerate the peace
process and to ensure that the internal (peace) dialogue moves forward,"
Masire added.

The war erupted in 1998 when Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda invaded. Angola,
Namibia and Zimbabwe came to the defense of the Congo government, spawning a
many-sided conflict.

More than two million people have died -- most from starvation and
disease -- in the war in the vast country.

The leaders are expected also to press Congolese President Joseph Kabila and
his rebel foes not to abandon the Sun City process and commit to a truce for
the duration of the negotiations, diplomats said.

"Basically the leaders are irritated at the various sides finding excuses to
derail the talks. Issues of a power-sharing plan and deployment of United
Nations forces are also on the cards," a senior African diplomat said.
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The Age

Press group raps Zimbabwean media intimidation
VIENNA, April 3 AFP|Published: Wednesday April 3, 11:04 PM

Media watchdog the International Press Institute (IPI) rapped Zimbabwe today
for trying to intimidate foreign journalists after a correspondent for a
British paper was jailed for four nights.

Peta Thornycroft, a journalist for Britain's Daily Telegraph, was released
by Zimbabwean police on Monday after four nights in detention on dubious

"The purpose of the arrest and detention of the journalist is little more
than a concerted effort to intimidate and frighten all independent
journalists working for foreign media organisations," said IPI Director
Johann Fritz.

He accused Zimbabwean police of going on a "fishing expedition at the behest
of the Zimbabwean government" and "a heavy-handed attempt at intimidating
Thornycroft" in a letter to President Robert Mugabe.

The Vienna-based IPI said it was "alarmed by the behaviour of the police" in
a statement today.

It accused them of violating human rights and failing to follow fundamental
tenets of the law when charging Thornycroft.

The journalist, who told AFP she "honestly didn't understand the charges",
was first charged with "publishing false statements likely to be prejudicial
to state security" and "incitement to public violence" under the country's
new security laws.

Later her paper said she faced less serious charges of operating illegally
as a journalist in violation of a new press law and another charge of
flouting vehicle registration regulations.

Fritz said Thornycroft was unable to rebut the charges against her because
she could not understand them. He called on the Zimbabwean government not to
prosecute Thornycroft and "to allow all journalists within the country to
practise their profession without interference".

But Thornycroft said: "They arrested me not because I am a journalist, but
because I was a strange person in Chimanimani," a predominantly rural area
480 km east of the capital, Harare.

Mugabe enacted a new media law just days after his controversial re-election
in the March 9-11 polls, which imposes strict limits on independent and
foreign journalists, while giving Information Minister Jonathan Moyo broad
powers to regulate the media.
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Zimbabwe police to ban protests - radio

HARARE, April 3 — Police in Zimbabwe have banned a series of demonstrations
planned for the weekend to demand changes to the constitution after the
re-election of President Robert Mugabe last month, state radio said on
        The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), an umbrella organisation
including student and church groups, political parties and human rights
groups, plans to hold protests throughout the country on Saturday to press
the government to adopt a new constitution.
       But the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation quoted police spokesman
Wayne Bvudzijena as saying the political situation was not conducive for
mass demonstrations.
       However, Bvudzijena told Reuters that no decision had yet been taken.
He said the NCA's application to stage the protest would be treated in
accordance with new security laws.
       ''Their notification will be considered in terms of the security
situation in this country,'' he said.
       ''You might also be aware that the NCA have a political agenda and it
is in that light that we have to consider various factors to make sure that
there will be no breach of law.''
       In newspaper announcements over the past weeks the NCA has said:
''The major source of the problem is the current constitution of Zimbabwe
which is so defective that it is impossible to have a free and fair election
under it.''
       The ruling ZANU-PF says the NCA is an extension of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), whose leader Morgan Tsvangirai
challenged Mugabe in the March 9-11 presidential poll.
       Western countries have described the Zimbabwe election as fraudulent,
while Tsvangirai has dubbed the victory of Mugabe, 78, who has ruled the
country since 1980, as ''daylight robbery.''
       Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for one year after the
54-nation group's election observers said the poll was neither free nor
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Wednesday, 3 April, 2002, 22:06 GMT 23:06 UK
Mediators seek Zimbabwe deal
Zimbabwe elections posters
The MDC still say that the vote was rigged
By Barnaby Phillips
BBC southern Africa correspondent

Mediators from South Africa and Nigeria are reported to have flown to Zimbabwe in an attempt to broker negotiations between the Zanu-PF government and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The MDC says President Robert Mugabe stole victory in last month's elections through widespread rigging.

Robert Mugabe
Mugabe says that anyone who challenges his authority will be dealt with firmly
South Africa and Nigeria have been at the forefront of efforts to resolve Zimbabwe's crisis.

A South African government adviser told the BBC that a senior official in the ruling ANC, Kgalema Motlanthe, flew to Harare on Wednesday morning.

There he was expected to team up with a Nigerian envoy, Adebayo Ade-deji. The two men have an unenviable task.

Difficult climate

A South African source said they would be concentrating on finding agreement between Zanu-PF and the MDC on ending violence and reviving the economy, as well as on land reform and looking at proposals for constitutional change.

But the atmosphere is not conducive to successful negotiations.

Neither the MDC nor the Zimbabwean Government is willing to give details of any possible talks, although one MDC official said they would be taking place in Vumba, in eastern Zimbabwe.

In public, the MDC has not retreated from its insistence that President Mugabe stand down, and that the elections be re-run.

The opposition says government-sponsored violence has increased since the elections.

President Mugabe, meanwhile, said at the weekend that anyone who does not accept his victory and who causes chaos will be dealt with very firmly.

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