The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Things are moving fast and if you want to follow events you must read the
small print. Last weekend a high powered team from South Africa was in town
and they put together a short term programme of activities designed to start
the process of securing a political agreement between the MDC and Zanu PF.
The programme put together by Kgalema Motlanthe (ANC) and Adebayo Adedeji
from West Africa is clearly part of the action plan laid down by the
Commonwealth troika when they last met in London.

What has been agreed is that two small teams (5 in each) from the MDC and
Zanu PF will meet at a private location in the next 14 days to try and set
an agenda for the discussions and then to thrash out an agreement on the way
forward. It will not be easy. They will meet during this period under the
guidance of the two key players detailed above who will act as
"facilitators". If the two teams work out an agreement it then comes back to
the two parties for their approval and only then will some sort of future
arrangements for getting us out of this particular pot hole be put in place.
If they fail to reach agreement or if any agreement is repudiated by one
side or the other, then the Troika will become directly engaged.

We have appointed our team and it is a very balanced and competent one led
by Welshman Ncube. I hope the Zanu PF side does not have any illusions about
how difficult these discussions are going to be or how painful the outcome
will be for them as a Party. They should not take the MDC team lightly as we
have lots of experience in dealing with the devious.

The direct involvement of South Africa and Nigeria – the two African super
powers and the direct participation of their respective Presidents means
that this process is going to be put under very substantial pressure to come
up with a workable solution to the present crisis in Zimbabwe.

The recent presidential elections have been found "not free and fair" and
the outcome declared illegitimate by people who matter in the world
community. The economy of Zimbabwe is in a tailspin with all indicators
negative – GDP expected to fall 12 per cent, exports to decline another 15
per cent, employment falling to less than 850 000 adults, the deficit in the
budget spinning out of control. The country is on the edge of massive
starvation – we need 2 million tonnes of maize, 150 000 tonnes of wheat, 60
000 tonnes of soybean and 50 000 tonnes of crude vegetable oil to avoid
starvation. A third of our total population will be on welfare by the
year-end. Business confidence is negative and capital flight endemic.

In addition to these issues Zanu PF has unleashed on the MDC and its
structures a nation wide programme of violence and intimidation. People are
being killed, sexual torture is being widely used in Zanu camps and centres
and beatings are so commonplace that they are no longer being reported. In
one instance that came to my attention this past week 4 young MDC activists
simply campaigning for the MDC were abducted and held in a hole in the
ground for 6 weeks with limited water and food. One of their number died,
another was taken out and left to die in the bush but was rescued by local
farmers and the other two dug their way out and escaped. One has his
eyesight permanently damaged.

The ruling party and its activists are using food as a weapon. Whole
districts are being denied food because they are perceived as being MDC
areas. This includes some of the poorest people in the country such as in
the Binga District near Kariba. Ordinary people are being denied food if
they cannot prove membership of Zanu or are identified by local Zanu leaders
as being MDC supporters. The President has promised a purge of the entire
civil service and thousands of civil servants anxiously await their fate.

The impact on the region will be no less dramatic – South Africa has already
lost at least half its growth in GDP in the past three years, seen direct
foreign investment plunge and capital flight accelerate. Tourism arrivals in
the whole region are down by half and the service infrastructure that is
essential to any future recovery now in jeopardy.

In the wider sphere, the whole future of the much-vaunted New Economic
Programme for African Development (NEPAD) is now under threat. The
international community, tired of being led by the nose by corrupt leaders,
whose abuse of their privileges plunder their national coffers and
impoverish their people, is saying to the continents leadership that
Zimbabwe is a test case. Handle this and we will see what we can do to help
those States in Africa that can get their act together. For Mbeki and
Obasanjo this is very important – too important to allow Robert Gabriel
Mugabe to get in the way.

There is no way out of this economic and political crisis if we do not find
a solution and soon. This is clearly evidenced in the speed with which the
leaders of Africa are putting the process in train. For us in the MDC the
issues are quite clear and the way forward very simple – we want fresh
presidential elections as soon as possible under international supervision
and on a reasonable playing field or nothing.

We are not being unreasonable or irrational – this is the only way forward
and no alternative will be acceptable. A government of national unity – you
only had to watch Morgans face as he came out of the meeting with the
presidents of Malawi and Mozambique the day Mugabe was sworn in to get that
answer. We have consulted our structures and almost without exception they
have said no deals – even if we have to suffer the consequences.

US President Bill Clinton said in a speech to Georgetown University in
December 1991 "The defence of freedom and the promotion of democracy aren’t
merely a reflection of our deepest values, they are vital to our national
interests. Global democracy means nations at peace with each other, open to
one another’s ideas and to commerce. The stakes are high; its part of a
worldwide march towards democracy whose outcome will shape the next century.
If individual liberty, political pluralism and free enterprise take root we
can look forward to a grand new era of reduced conflict, mutual
understanding and economic growth." If that was true for the USA in 1991, it
’s certainly true for us in Zimbabwe in 2002 and we are not going to accept

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 29th March 2002
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Zim Standard

Zanu PF youths demand payment

By Chengetai Zvauya

OVER 100 Zanu PF youths in the Chinamhora area of Goromonzi constituency are
up in arms over the non payment of allowances amounting to $6 000 each, The
Standard has established.

The youths, who are camped at the Showgrounds Hall, are demanding payment
for their work on behalf of Zanu PF presidential candidate, Robert Mugabe.

They accuse the provincial leadership of neglecting them.

One of the youths, Patrick Rwafa, told The Standard that they were still
awaiting payment, three weeks after the election.

"We understand that money was released from the headquarters, so we need to
be paid. We need a meeting with our MP so he can explain what is happening.
Some of our leaders have already been paid."

The Standard understands that since last December, when they graduated from
the Border Gezi National Service Training Centre and were deployed to the
various rural areas to terrorise civilians into voting for Mugabe, the
youths have been receiving monthly allowances of $10 000 each.

Contacted for comment, Herbert Murerwa, the Goromonzi MP and also the
minister of industry and international trade, refused to discuss the matter.

"I do not know why you are asking me. If there is any problem in my
constituency, the people know they can come to my office and discuss it with
me rather than go to the press and discuss it with you."

The youths are adamant that they will not disband until they are paid their
"We are not going back to our homes before we are paid. They promised us the
money but now the elections are over, they do not want to pay us. We won't
accept this," said one youth.

Scores of unemployed youths took part in Zanu PF terror campaigns which
resulted in Chinamhora becoming a no-go area for opposition party members.

At the Showgrounds Hall where they are camped, the youths are being
abundantly supplied with food rations of mealie meal and beef by Zanu PF
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Zim Standard

Zanu PF militia on the rampage

By our own Staff

Notorious Shurugwi war veteran 'Gunpowder' Sakauwa, was arrested last week
in Zvishavane after an orgy of violence which left an MDC district executive
member and others seriously injured.

Two of the injured were admitted at a local hospital, where a further
attempt was made to attack them by Sakauwa's associates, who accused them of
causing his arrest.

Sakauwa is on remand for the murder of an MDC activist in Gweru last year.

Panganayi Dzve-tera, the MDC district information secretary, said 100 Zanu
PF militiamen were bussed into the town on Sunday.

"They beat up anyone they saw wearing an MDC T-shirt and assaulted the
district organising secretary," he said, requesting that the victims not be
identified for their safety.

Dzvetera said the same group had earlier abducted an MDC member in Shurugwi
and tortured him severely, cutting his face with broken bottles in the

Hundreds of MDC supporters have fled their homes in Mberengwa alleging that
armed police and soldiers had joined war veterans and youth militia in
attacking MDC supporters.

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Zim Standard

Councils should refuse to be bullied

In a space of under four weeks, the newly-elected Harare City Council,
overwhelmingly dominated by the MDC, has received no less than three
arbitrary and high-handed directives from the minister of local goverment,
Ignatius Chombo.

Only last week, Chombo issued his first edict, nullifying the new council's
decision to reverse all promotions and recruitments effected by the
Chanakira Commission within the last six months. The decision by the Mudzuri
council was to enable it to conduct an audit on how the people were employed
in the first place, and whether the positions they had filled could not be
done away with. It was also in line with a government directive for the
council to slash its salary bill, and would have seen the retrenchement of 1
235 people.

Then on Tuesday, Chombo followed up with two further directives. The first
one was to bar the mayor from attending meetings of the Cabinet Action
Committees unless he was specifically invited, and in the second the
minister invoked his powers in terms of section 313(1) of the Urban Councils
Act chapter 29:15, that all council resolutions involving personnel and
financial matters be brought to him for scrutiny and approval before they
can be implemented.

In the first directive, ordering the council to reverse its resolution to
terminate the contracts, Chombo stated that the new Mudzuri council was
taking the action in order to victimise ZanuPF supporters and war veterans.
This, of course, was refuted by the mayor who explained that the council's
decision was only meant to slash its salary bill in line with central
government's directive. In any case, he pointed out that the MDC was a
labour-based party and the whole exercise was not targeted at individuals
because they were not known in person.

In the second directive, asking the mayor not to attend committee meetings,
no reason was given, but the motive is clear, childish as it is. The
paranoid minister fears that Mayor Mudzuri might extract from those meetings
certain government information, which he would then pass on to the MDC. So
in effect no mayor who came into office on an MDC ticket can expect to be
invited to such meetings. What Chombo wants is a conspiratorial, motley
little group of ZanuPF apologists with whom he can plan how best to boost
his rejected party's fortunes in urban areas.

The third directive is likewise aimed at ensuring the tenure of ZanuPF
supporters who were employed by council in dubious circumstances, and
simultaneously to thwart the appointment of officers deemed to be MDC
supporters. As pointed out by a council official, the new directive makes
the minister a human resources director and a city treasurer at the same
time. Such an unsatiable desire for power is absolutely shameful.

It being a foregone conclusion that the MDC will sweep most of the urban
councils, having already successfully wrestled from ZanuPF a number of key
cities, it is no secret that other administrations will suffer the same
harassment as Harare by Chombo. Our strong advice to them is that they must
resist his bully boy tactics and meet him head-on. If it means lengthy court
battles and defying directives, so be it. He cannot be left to direct urban
authorities, elected legitimately by millions of people, as if he was
running a Zanu PF chicken farm.

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Zim Standard

Workers seize defunct mine's equipment

By John Chimunhu

ZVISHAVANE-About 300 workers at Procter Metals 'C' mine in Mberengwa have
seized the company's assets in response to incitements by President Mugabe
during his election campaign.

Associated Mine Workers Union (AMU) area advisor, Custom Machanja, who is
aligned to Zanu PF, confirmed the takeover and said it was in line with
Mugabe's call.

"The workers have taken over the stamp mill which they use to process gold
ore they obtain through panning. They have formed a co-operative and want to
form a joint venture with management which failed to pay them retrenchment
packages," Machanja said.

During a campaign rally here on February 15, Mugabe claimed that gold miners
in the region were deliberately closing down in order to to bring down his
beleaguered government through a worker revolt. The President promised to
fix such companies by expropriating their assets.

The position was restated as official policy this week by AMWU's Machanja
who admitted that the government wanted to take advantage of problems in the
gold sectors to drive out "foreigners", meaning non-black entrepreneurs.
This is seen as an extension of the government's racist economic policy
which was first seen in the form of farm and company invasions.

Meanwhile, the army recently chased off hundreds of illegal gold panners
operating in rivers on the occupied farms. The miners expressed outrage at
the development as Zanu PF had promised them protection if Mugabe won the

Public Service, labour and social welfare minister July Moyo addressed a
campaign rally here on 15 February and said government welcomed the panners'
initiative as it was generating jobs.

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The Times

Anti-Mugabe demonstrators held
From Jan Raath in Harare

FIFTY-FOUR pro-democracy protesters were in custody yesterday after being
arrested on Saturday when police crushed an attempt to hold demonstrations
across Zimbabwe against President Mugabe’s rule.
Five of the 29 members of the National Constitutional Assembly, an alliance
of church, labour and civic groups, who were arrested in Harare after
authorities banned their demonstration for a new democratic constitution,
had been assaulted by police, Alec Muchadehama, their lawyer, said.

A further 34 were in custody in Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare after police
forcibly dispersed marches there. All were arrested under the Public Order
and Security Act, which police have used to arrest hundreds of people at
will and to stifle public protest.

It was the second time since the flawed presidential elections last month
that authorities have forcibly stopped civic bodies from organising
nationwide protests against the vote in which Mr Mugabe was declared winner.

Observers say that the wave of violent retribution and the clampdown on the
opposition that has come after the election appears, for now, to have broken
the ability of Mr Mugabe’s opponents to rouse significant public resistance
to his continued rule. Most of the world declared the elections illegitimate
because of violent intimidation and vote-rigging by the ruling Zanu (PF)

An effort by Nigeria and South Africa to bring Zanu (PF) and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change to negotiate a resolution to the country’s
political crisis was bogged down yesterday as the Government continued to
stall on meeting the opposition.

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ABC news Australia

PM plays down prospect of further sanctions against Zimbabwe

The Prime Minister John Howard has played down the prospect of further
action by Commonwealth leaders against Zimbabwe.

Mr Howard is going to England for the Queen Mother's funeral, but will also
meet some Commonwealth leaders.

The Federal Opposition says Australia has backed away from targeted

However, Mr Howard says he can only do what the Commonwealth Heads of
Government meeting agreed on.

"Well the only authority we had from the Commonwealth conference was to take
the sort of steps that we did take," he said.

"Beyond that we don't have any authority."

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Daily News

Public Service Commission vetting potential recruits

4/8/02 8:24:46 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

THE Public Service Commission (PSC), says it has started vetting potential
recruits to check on their qualifications, experience, integrity and
suitability, but others say the Commission is politicising the exercise.

At his inauguration ceremony on 17 March, President Mugabe criticised some
civil servants whom he said should leave government jobs, for stalling
development projects and for their involvement in opposition politics.

In the run-up to the recent presidential election a number of civil
servants, particularly teachers and health personnel, were forced to flee
from their workplaces after being accused of supporting the Movement for
Democratic Change by war veterans and Zanu PF youths.

Ray Ndhlukula, the PSC secretary, said: “Indeed, it is common practice among
organisations in the private and public sector, including government, to vet
candidates whom they wish to employ.

“The Public Service would probably be the only employer who engages people
without checking on their bona fides.”

But Raymond Majongwe, the Progressive Teachers’ Union secretary-general,
dismissed the exercise as a government ploy to weed out aspiring teachers
suspected of being anti-Zanu PF.

Majongwe said the potential recruits were being vetted by members of the
police and the Central Intelligence Organisation.

He said the teachers were being asked their political affiliation.
“The vetting exercise started this year. In Manicaland, those coming from
Harare were asked to clear themselves first before they were awarded places.
If one is known to be from the opposition he or she will be denied a place.”

Peter Mabhandi, the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief executive officer,
said the exercise was unfortunate because it was delaying the engagement of
new teachers in schools.

Ndhlukula said the vetting was not in any way discriminatory to aspiring
members of the public service.

“The Public Service Commission would, consequently, like to assure the
public that vetting is not in anyway discriminatory, but is meant to
safeguard the interests of the public by ensuring that people of integrity
are employed as servants of the people,” Ndhlukula said.

“The PSC has an obligation to ensure that the right people are employed to
safeguard national interests, property, assets finances and public policy.”

For the past five years, the PSC has failed to implement a performance
related bonus scheme introduced under a performance appraisal scheme.

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Daily News

ESC says presidential election poorly organised

4/8/02 8:24:09 AM (GMT +2)

By Lloyd Mudiwa

THE Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) on Friday criticised the manner
in which last month’s presidential election was conducted, citing lack of
proper organisation.

Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, the ESC’s chairman, said unlike in South Africa where
an electoral commission conducts elections, the ESC in Zimbabwe did not
conduct elections, but merely supervised them. He was addressing the Law
Society of Zimbabwe.

Gula-Ndebele said the problem lay in the country’s inherited Constitution.

Zimbabwe’s Constitution is the only one in southern Africa which provided
for a supervisory commission instead of an electoral commission.

The Constitution was silent on how the ESC should supervise the elections,
Gula-Ndebele said, adding that the ESC was not responsible for setting up
electoral laws and regulations.

“We do not make any laws,” he said. “As a former officer in the army and a
leader, I will accept the blame if the elections have not gone well, but in
reality we do not do anything.”

Gula-Ndebele said he participated in the ESC because he hoped to make a
difference, but would not say whether he had managed to do so.

His comments attracted laughter from the lawyers and members of the public
who attended the meeting on the impact of new legislation and amendments on
the election.

Gula-Ndebele admitted the ESC hardly conducted any voter education. Unlike
South Africa where voter education was the responsibility of the Electoral
Commission, in Zimbabwe no one was specifically tasked with that role,
Ndebele said.

“There was total confusion during the presidential election, as a lot of
people did not know that their vote was secret because they did not know
what happens in polling stations,” he said.

He denied excluding non-governmental and civic organisations from conducting
voter education.

The ESC only required the organisations to submit educational material for
approval, ensuring that it met the required standards, and channelling
foreign funding through the commission to ensure the money was used solely
for that purpose, Ndebele said.

Sternford Moyo, the president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, and advocates
Pearson Nherere and Adrian de Bourbon, also blasted the conduct of the
polls, saying President Mugabe and Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs passed new
legislation and amendments to benefit Mugabe, who was one of the candidates.

They criticised the judiciary for failing to take a stance against the

“There was total confusion,” Nherere said. “That was the intention and it
was achieved. The President behaved more as a candidate in using his power
to overrule the courts and the courts, in their wisdom, left matters
unresolved until after the polls.”

He said the amendments were made at the eleventh hour to ensure that there
was no chance for interested parties to seek justice by challenging the
changes in court.

De Bourbon said rules for the poll were only set on 8 March - the eve of the
election - when they should have been finalised at least 90 days before the

He said: “The election came as surprise to Chinamasa and the
Registrar-General because they were so hopelessly unprepared for it to the
extent that to date you cannot obtain a copy of the common roll.

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Business Day

Zimbabwean talks begin today


DESPITE raising the political rhetoric at the weekend, Zimbabwe's main
political parties will today begin in earnest talks brokered by SA and
Nigeria to end the country's political crisis.

The talks, mediated by Kgalema Motlanthe, the African National Congress'
secretary-general and President Thabo Mbeki's envoy, and Nigerian's Adebayo
Adedeji, are expected to focus on the agenda and the modalities of the talks
that are expected to lead to some form of co-operative government and the
reconstruction of Zimbabwe.

Today's talks, the first direct contact between the ruling Zanu (PF) and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), follow last Thursday's
consultations with the facilitators. In spite of agreeing to the mediation,
which has staved off at least for now Zimbabwe's international isolation,
the two arch rivals are still clinging onto their hardline positions.

Yesterday MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai reiterated his refusal to join a Zanu
(PF)-led government of national unity. At a rally outside Harare Tsvangirai
demanded fresh elections or else an interim arrangement to prepare for this
or an independent audit of last month's election he lost to President Robert

Tsvangirai's remarks came a day after Mugabe stressed his rejection of a new

For the first time Mugabe also publicly attacked US President George Bush
for questioning his disputed election victory.

Apart from increasing political polarisation, the talks take place against
the background of the arrest, under the stringent Public Order Maintenance
Act, of 64 protesters against the elections over the weekend.

More protests are being planned this week increasing the sense of urgency to
the talks.

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From The Sunday Independent (SA), 7 April

Mbeki was told Zim counting was rigged

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has told President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo that Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the recent presidential election, but that hundreds of thousands of votes were shifted to change the result after the votes had been counted. Diplomatic sources told The Sunday Independent that Howard's information, explained to Mbeki when they met in London last month, was widely believed by Western governments, and that it was based on diplomatic reports from the Zimbabwean capital, Harare. Those reports said that despite all the underhand pre-election activity by President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party - including violent intimidation, last-minute changes to the election laws and the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters when voters were chased from voting stations - Tsvangirai won. Asked to comment on the report that Howard gave Mbeki this information at their meeting, Mbeki's spokesperson, Bheki Khumalo, said: "We don't want to be part of what we consider malicious gossip."

This new information about the election result emerged as South African and Nigerian mediators were trying to broker an agreement between the two main Zimbabwean political parties amid rising tension in Zimbabwean towns. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is demanding new elections under international supervision, while Mugabe said on state television on Friday night the next election would be in six years' time. An unconfirmed report in the Zimbabwe Financial Gazette said Zanu PF was planning to offer to cut Mugabe's term from six years to three. Tensions are rising in the main towns, and on Thursday night 350 women, including pregnant mothers and those with babies, were arrested and are being held prisoner in Harare in what is believed to be the biggest arrest of women in Zimbabwean history. Before the election, South Africa asked Mugabe to step down in favour of a new Zanu PF candidate, but Mugabe refused.

According to diplomatic sources, Zanu PF leaders took the voting figures to a Zanu PF command centre, where the speaker of parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who lost his seat at the last election to the MDC, but is allowed to be speaker because he is an ex-MP, and the national security minister, Nicholas Goche, presided over the changing of thousands of votes. Mnangagwa, who is not only the speaker, but is also the administrative secretary of Zanu PF, which is the equivalent of secretary-general of the party, is considered Mugabe's choice to succeed him as president. Tsvangirai had a substantial lead after the vote count, which was sent to the Harare headquarters of the Election Supervisory Commission, the sources said. From there the figures were supposed to be sent to the registrar-general of elections to announce the result. The commission made its total vote count public, but did not break down the support of individual candidates.

Evidence that the final official count had been substantially tampered with is corroborated by the fact that the totals for individual constituencies' numbers of votes made public by the commission differ wildly from the final totals announced by the registrar-general, Tobaiwa Mudede. The commission's total was 2 989 694, but the total announced the following day by the registrar-general was 3 104 473,=13 an increase of 114 779. How the vote was switched becomes clearer when individual polling regions are examined. In the Midlands, considered a split region between the two parties, the commission total was 342 772, but by the time the registrar-general announced the outcome it had grown to 432 877, an addition of 90 105 voters that cannot be explained. Altogether, at least 426 445 voters were added over 72 constituencies - more than enough to reverse the will of the voters and put Mugabe in the lead, instead of Tsvangirai. In another 48 constituencies, at least 185 951 votes disappeared. Asked to explain the differences, a spokesperson for the commission, Thomas Bvuma, said he could not shed light on the discrepancy between the figures. Sam Motsuenyane, the head of the official South African observer mission, was in a meeting on Friday afternoon finalising the official report to Mbeki. In an interview on Friday night he said he was not in a position to comment.

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Daily News

Gweru show still on despite land seizures

4/8/02 9:16:50 AM (GMT +2)

From Zerubabel Mudzingwa in Gweru

THE Midlands Agricultural Show, scheduled for the end of July is still on
despite the harsh economic environment, drought and political turmoil
gripping the country, the show’s secretary, Jenny Morris, said.

In an interview last week, Morris said her society had already received
about 70 confirmed bookings so far with 39 of these coming from the
commercial and industrial sectors.

The show scheduled for July, takes place against a background of a serious
economic downturn in the agriculture industry and of political instability.

Many commercial farmers have fled their farms and the country in fear of war
veterans-led violent commercial farm invasions which started in February.

Francis Nhema, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, is the guest of
honour at the show, whose theme is “Save Our Environment”.

Last year about 120 exhibitors participated at the show although there was a
marked decline in the commercial livestock sector because of the
controversial state-sponsored farm invasions.

Morris said there was no single booking yet in the commercial livestock
because of the shortage of stockfeeds and grazing land.

The government has threatened to seize all white-owned land as it pursues
its controversial land reform programme.

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African nations still waste aid, so the West must
 By R W Johnson
 ('Daily Telegraph', filed: 05/04/2002)
 THE debate about what to do to help poor countries is
 hampered by the politically correct pretence that all
 of them, with a little help, will or might succeed. In
 fact, this is not so.
 The two countries that include most of the world's
 really poor people - China and India - are both
 growing rapidly and even developing impressive
 high-tech industries. Both have done this without
 incurring unpayable foreign debts: indeed, both have
 large gold and dollar reserves, China actually topping
 the world list in this respect.
 On the other side lie dozens of countries - mainly,
 though not only, in Africa - that are actually going
 backwards. If we are to make any sense of the debate
 about aid, we have to ask why some poor countries are
 succeeding and others are apparent no-hopers.
 Some countries have failed because their ruling elites
 fell prey to more or less crazy ideologies that
 stressed an extreme turning inward and avoidance of
 outside contact. China under the Red Guards, Iran
 under Khomeini, present-day Burma and Afghanistan
under the Taliban are examples of this.
 But the age of communist fundamentalism is passing -
 North Korea is the last surviving case - and
 globalisation is making such extreme experiments in
 autarchy harder to sustain.
 Far more complex to deal with are the failures of
 states due to simple mis-governance, to corruption,
 chronic incompetence, maladministration and the
 pursuit of bad policies. As the painful example of
 Zimbabwe shows only too clearly, such regimes may have
 a fair-weather period, but are often intrinsically
 As their multiple failures cause rising discontent,
 such leaders, who have every corrupt reason to cling
 to power and often fear being put on trial if they
 lose it, will use every stratagem and cruelty to hang
 on. They often end as Mugabe is doing - effectively
 destroying his country and holding first the
 opposition and then his whole people hostage.
 Already shaping up in Zimbabwe is a replay of the last
 days of the bloodstained Ethiopian regime of Mengistu,
 in which the world recoils from baling out a man-made
 famine and the regime collapses in a final cruel
 torment of mass starvation. (Hardly accidentally,
 Mengistu, though wanted for human rights atrocities on
 a grand scale in his own country, has found shelter
 with Mugabe.)
 There is a particular problem about Africa. As Francis
 Fukuyama has pointed out, on the most obvious measures
 of welfare - per capita income and life expectancy -
 most African countries advanced very strikingly under
colonialism and almost all have, on the same measures,
 retreated sharply since independence.
 Success stories in Africa are now very few indeed.
 Several have gone through the last stages of state
 failure and are either enmeshed in endless war (Sudan,
 the Congo) or the state has simply collapsed and
 warlords taken over (Somalia, Sierra Leone). Many more
 are heading the same way. In every case, as all
 international agencies recognise, the key variable is
 poor governance.
 The question is what to do about such states. One
 answer is just walk away. After all, in the past 40
 years, they have collectively absorbed huge quantities
of aid, much of which merely ended up in the offshore
 accounts of their leaders. Tony Blair's answer is that
 we can't afford to walk away: not only would this
 abandon hundreds of millions of human beings to
 endless poverty and misrule, but it would also be
 against our own interests, because failed states
 quickly become rogue states, breeding grounds and
 hideouts for terrorists, drug lords, money launderers
 and other very low forms of life.
 But this does not mean that we should just give more
 aid and forgive more debt. Many of the highly indebted
 poor countries have still to take advantage of the
debt-forgiveness scheme in place, because they don't
 fulfil such obvious conditions as not spending money
 on wars. Moreover, the World Bank's research shows
 that even when countries have adopted economic
 structural adjustment plans under IMF or World Bank
 supervision, these don't work unless the government in
question really wants to make them work.
 When a state such as Mugabe's Zimbabwe is dragged into
 such a plan, it doesn't work well and aid is wasted.
 And the problem is that, according to the World Bank's
 data, there are 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa,
 with a total population of around 500 million, where,
 for these reasons, aid is unlikely to work.
 All of which - although it is the last thing Western
 leaders want to hear - makes the case for at least
 selective direct intervention ineluctable. A
 relatively small detachment of British troops has
 quite quickly been able to turn round the situation in
 Sierra Leone. One really has to ask whether it is
 sensible - or moral - for the international community,
 which is clearly going to be asked to pick up the
 pieces in Zimbabwe once Mugabe goes, to allow him not
 only to inflict enormous suffering now on the hapless
 population, but also to make ultimate recovery far
 harder by running the country into the ground. It
 would only need a single British paratroop battalion
 to cause Mugabe's house of cards to collapse, to the
 delight of the local population. It would be a
 no-casualty, one-day war.
 But why let it come to this? On the one hand, no one
 wants to go back to colonialism; on the other, some
 Third World elites are not to be trusted. Why should
 not the West make it a condition of aid that elections
 be regularly held, under the supervision of a
 reputable international electoral commission? A
 verdict that the election was not free or fair would
 trigger sufficiently heavy sanctions, and even the
 threat of intervention, to ensure that local elites
 were forced to respect the rules.
 Just as donor states have a right to a regular
 financial audit of where their aid actually went, so a
 regular political audit should become a routine part
 of the aid process. The first type of audit prevents
donors from being taken to the cleaners; the latter
 would prevent untold suffering to the local people
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Business Day

Mugabe's Congo fortune under fire


By Franz Kruger
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his counterparts in Rwanda, Burundi
and Uganda could soon find themselves cut off from millions of US dollars in
revenue from mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the first significant agreement to emerge from the Inter-Congolese
Dialogue at Sun City, South Africa, delegates from the government and
opposition parties agreed to review dubious contracts and concessions.

Mugabe's government, together with Société Minière de Bakwanga, runs the
country's largest diamond mine. In 1999, its annual production was worth
around R4.4-billion.

Both Rwanda and Uganda became exporters of diamonds - a natural resource
that neither country possesses - after their troops occupied mining regions
in the country.

The agreement at Sun City would see a transitional government in the Congo
reviewing war-time contracts for the exploitation of gold, diamonds and
other natural resources.

The conflict in the Congo is estimated to have claimed two million lives and
to have displaced a similar number of people.

Congo ambassador to Pretoria Bene M'Poko, who led the government team in the
economic and financial commission at the talks, said the Congo's natural
wealth had contributed to the war. The country has significant hydroelectric
potential on the Congo river, large deposits of gold, diamonds, copper and
cobalt, as well as valuable hardwoods and the world's biggest deposits of
coltan - a strategic mineral used in aerospace and cellphone technologies.

"The country is a victim of its resources," M'Poko said. "A lot of people
are taking advantage of the war to exploit those resources illegally."

Thomas Nziratimana, chief Southern African representative of the
Rwandan-backed rebel group RCD-Goma, said: "We have said we need to put up a
commission which will be under the transitional government that will look at
the details - and I say each and every detail of the contract - to see
whether the interests of the country have been alienated."

With the more difficult political and military issues still no closer to
resolution, the delegates found common ground on the recovery plan partly
because each side believes the other will be seriously embarrassed by a
review of the contracts. Rebels and government point fingers at each other
for giving away the country's riches.

The tragedy for the Congo is that, on this score, everybody is right. A UN
panel of experts investigated the exploitation of its natural resources and
presented a series of detailed reports pointing fingers at almost everybody
involved in the war.

In its most recent report, the panel said the initial reasons for the
involvement of outside armies were political and security-related. Rwanda,
Uganda and Burundi, for instance, got involved to protect themselves against
"negative forces" - some associated with the Rwanda genocide of 1994 -
operating in the lawless eastern Congo.

But the panel says the primary motive is now "extracting the maximum
commercial and material benefits. This holds true for both government allies
and rebel supporters."

The panel highlights the role of Zimbabwe, which it says has been awarded
lucrative diamond mining concessions in return for supporting the Kinshasa
government. The concessions, operated by a Zimbabwe Defence Force company
called Osleg, carry the cost of Harare's military involvement.

It also quotes a report by Global Witness on a logging concession that would
see Zimbabwe given the rights to exploit hardwood resources. It is not clear
whether this concession has been implemented.

On the rebel side, the panel describes how exploitation of coltan finances
the activities of the RCD-Goma, and benefits its Rwandan backers. Uganda,
backing another rebel group, exports more gold than it produces, the panel
finds. That gold must come from the Congo, proving that Uganda, too,
benefits from the war.

These economic interests will make it difficult for the participating
countries to pull back their troops, as required by the Lusaka peace accord,
says Henri Boshoff, a military analyst with the Institute for Security

Angola and Namibia pulled back since they had few economic interests. "But
Zimbabwe has a lot of interests, as do Uganda and Rwanda. It's not going to
be easy for them to leave."

Sunday Times
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By the truckload, women against Mugabe have their day in court

Sunday April 7, 2002
The Observer

Women members of Zimbabwe's National Constitutional Assembly, who had been
arrested for holding a meeting to demand a new constitution, begin arriving
at Harare's magistrates court yesterday. About 350 had been arrested as
police continued a crackdown on protests against the election last month of
President Robert Mugabe for a new term. The elections have been denounced as
fraudulent. The High Court ruled that the women had to appear in court by
yesterday afternoon or be released.
Meanwhile, police chased protesters through the streets of Harare. Twenty
people were arrested, some of whom had been beaten, said the organisers of
the demonstration.

Zimbabwe introduced tough new security laws ear lier this year banning
public protests and gatherings that had not been given approval by the
police. Penalties for breaking these laws range from fines to a year in

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Moyo Threatens to Sue Paper

The Herald (Harare)

April 6, 2002
Posted to the web April 6, 2002

Herald Reporter

A CABINET Minister has threatened to take legal action against the Zimbabwe
Independent newspaper for insinuating that he is unethical and

Lawyers for the Minister of Information and Publicity, Professor Jonathan
Moyo, yesterday asked the paper to retract its claims in the "Muckraker"
column that the minister used to work as an undercover journalist or face
legal action.

In yesterday's issue, the Independent claimed that former Parade editor Peta
Thornicroft used to provide cover for Prof Moyo when he was pretending to be
a journalist.

"Thornicroft, then an editor at Parade magazine, used to give Moyo false
bylines for his stories to protect him from Zanu-PF retribution . . .
Meanwhile Moyo's career as an undercover journalist who lacked the courage
of his convictions needs to be investigated by the Media Commission as soon
as it is formed . . . ," the paper said in the column.

Prof Moyo's lawyers Hussein Ranchhod and Company said their client took
great exception to the allegations contained in the article as he never at
any time worked as an undercover journalist.

"It is absolutely false, as he at no time hid behind nom de plumes provided
by Thornicroft, nor did he work as a journalist as you allege.

"As you are aware, our client used to contribute articles to Parade and
always did so in his own name.

"Your insinuation therefore that he is unethical and unprofessional can only
be construed as malicious and defamatory.

"Unless you can justify your claims, we request that you retract your
allegations in your next issue, failing which legal action will ensue," the
lawyers said in a letter to Iden Wetherell, the editor of the Independent.

"Thornicroft, who was last week charged for publishing false information
under the Public Order and Security Act, now works for the Daily Telegraph
of Britain.

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Times of India

Mugabe thanks Kadhafi for support

AFP [ SATURDAY, APRIL 06, 2002  7:55:26 PM ]

RIPOLI: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe jetted into Tripoli Saturday and
thanked Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi for supporting his embattled regime.

Mugabe, on his third visit in two years to Libya, was met at the airport by
Kadhafi. "I have come to thank Moamer Kadhafi and the Libyan people for
their support during the presidential election which permitted us to
reaffirm our liberty," he told reporters on arrival.

Mugabe won his country's March 9-11 elections by 56 percent of the vote
against 42 percent for his main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC). He called his win "a victory for Zimbabwe against
the United States and Great Britain," both of whom have questioned the
election's fairness, as well as the Commonwealth, which has suspended
Zimbabwe's membership for one year. Zimbabwe's Herald newspaper reported
Saturday that Libya had agreed to import 5,000 tonnes of beef per year from

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