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Zimbabwe Workers Destitute

The Associated Press, Wed 9 Aug 2000

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - The occupation of white-owned farms by ruling party
militants has impoverished hundreds of farmworkers and their families, the
workers' union said Wednesday.

The General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union warned the situation
will worsen for the farm workers if the government goes ahead with its
program to nationalize the white-owned commercial farms without making
provisions for the hundreds of thousands who work and live there.

Since February, militants and squatters have illegally occupied more than
1,600 white-owned farms, demanding they be seized, divided up and turned
over to landless blacks.

President Robert Mugabe has described the occupations as a justified protest
against unfair ownership of huge swaths of Zimbabwe's best farmland by a few
thousand white descendants of British and South African colonial era

Farm disruptions by the militants have driven some 5,000 workers from their
homes in the past six months, said Philip Munyanyi, the union leader.

At least another 10,000 jobs were in immediate jeopardy on hundreds of farms
that the government plans to seize and redistribute to landless blacks over
the next few weeks, he said.

In most districts, workers were told they would not receive any of the
redistributed land.

Around the town of Bindura, 50 miles northeast of Harare, militant squatters
on the occupied farms seized workers' houses for themselves, forcing the
displaced to erect makeshift shelters of plastic sheets and straw.

Police failed to restore order and farm owners were powerless to intervene,
Munyanyi said.

``Many people have no place to stay anymore. They are desperate, they are
just wandering about,'' he said.

The Commercial Farmers Union, which represents most of the country's white
farm owners, said government officials told them that 214 white farmers were
scheduled to receive confiscation orders by the end of the week.

Under existing labor laws, departing farmers are not obliged to pay off
their workers, Munyanyi said. New occupiers are required to take over
responsibility for the workers.

``This has not been addressed at all. We must have legislation to provide
for workers,'' he said.

The government has listed 800 white-owned commercial farms it has targeted
for confiscation and announced earlier this month it is selecting another
2,300 properties, making up about half the nation's white-owned land, for
resettlement by landless blacks.

That plan threatened the jobs of at least half the 700,000 workers employed
by white farmers, Munyanyi said.

``While there has been talk of compensation to farmers, there has been no
talk of compensation for workers,'' he said.

Zimbabwe is facing its worst economic crisis since independence in 1980 and
farm disruptions have cost the country up to a quarter of its crops of wheat
and tobacco, Zimbabwe's biggest source of desperately needed hard currency,
according to farm union estimates.

Copyright 2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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NATIONAL NEWS  Thursday   10  , August

Banks suspend new loans to farmers

8/10/00 11:20:49 AM (GMT +2)

Takaitei Bote, Agriculture Reporter

Commercial banks have suspended new loans to commercial farmers until the
government acts on the current chaos on farms and halts the ongoing farm
invasions, the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) said yesterday.

Neil Wright, the CFU chief economist, said the banks had made it clear, in a
series of meetings with the CFU, that they would not be granting any new
loans to farmers until the land invasion confusion was cleared up.
As of last March, farmers owed banks and other financial institutions $25
President Mugabe has said repeatedly his government would not order war
veterans, who have invaded more than 1 500 commercial farms since February,
off the farms.
The invasions have so far cost the country more than $500 million in lost
productivity, according to the CFU.
The international community has come out strongly against the farm
invasions, saying Mugabe should stop them immediately or face international
Largely because of this, the United States Congress has in the pipeline
legislation which would effectively deny Zimbabwe most US aid until the
invasions are ended.
Commercial banks have been hesitant to give loans to farmers because of the
uncertainty of recovering their money. They say farmers would not be able to
pay back the loans in the event that their farms are acquired under the
government's land reform programme.
Under the second phase of the land reform programme, the government has
targeted at least 804 commercial farms.
Wright said: "The banks and the CFU have decided that no money would be made
available unless there is stability in the commercial farming areas. We want
to see a policy designed to end the lawlessness on the farms before any
decisions are made."
He said commercial farmers were unlikely to farm this coming season if war
veterans were not moved off the farms.
"'We might miss this year's production season if government does nothing
about the farm invasions," Wright said, adding that Zimbabwe was likely to
face a food and economic crisis if commercial farmers were not allowed to
farm this year.
Many commercial farmers said they had failed to settle their debts as a
result of lost production caused by the farm invasions.

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Ex-combatants beat man to death

8/10/00 11:14:31 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

WAR veterans occupying Mara Farm near Ruwa allegedly beat up a man yesterday
who died on his way to hospital.

It is alleged that the ex-fighters surprised Samson Mbewe and three other
men as they loaded irrigation pipes from the farm onto a vehicle.
Police in Hatfield confirmed the incident and said they were investigating
the matter.
Yusufu Kawejele, a clerk at the farm, said that four men were allegedly
surprised by war veterans as they were removing irrigation pipes. Kawejele
said the war veterans had visited the farmhouse to use the telephone to
report an incident in which an eight-month-old child was burnt to death.
"As they were making the call, they heard some suspicious noise outside the
house and went outside to investigate," said Kawejele.
No arrests had been made by yesterday afternoon.

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National News

Herald Reporter

FUEL supplies were erratic yesterday with very few service stations stocking
limited supplies of diesel and petrol in Harare.

Stocking service stations reported that they had received weekly supplies of
petrol ranging from 5 000 to 8 000 litres of petrol compared to normal
weekly deliveries of 20 000 litres.
There were no petrol queues in town and service stations attendants said
they were not rationing the commodity preferring to sell the limited petrol
stocks until they receive next supplies.

Diesel was hard to come by and a stocking service station along Simon
Mazorodze Road had a long winding queue of motorists who could only get $500
worth of diesel each.

Stakeholders in the fuel industry yesterday warned that the overall supply
situation in the country still remains critical.

They said in their regular statement of fuel facts that the inland supply
situation remained tight though imports were continuing.

"Consumers should continue to cut down on all unnecessary travel wherever
possible," said suppliers.

"The oil industry continues to maintain a close working relationship with
key stakeholders who are all committed to finding a long-term solution to
Zimbabwe's fuel needs," said the spokesperson for the oil industry Mr Tom

Motorists were however beginning to panic as they rushed to fill up their
tanks for the coming Heroes' holiday.

The country has been facing a fuel crisis since December due to a shortage
of foreign currency.

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National News

Herald Reporter

MR George Edward Marsh, a Harare pensioner, was brutally murdered early on
Sunday morning as he slept in his Mount Pleasant home.

The 90-year-old widower was bludgeoned with an iron bar by an unknown number
of assailants who got away with property worth over $100 000.
Mr Marsh's murder is the second in the suburb in the past four weeks.

In July another pensioner, Mr William Hunt, was killed last July after he
was struck several times on the head by three men who raided his home in a
botched robbery. His killers are still at large.

Mr Marsh's distraught gardener, Mr Musiwa Kandemaurwa, said he was shocked
to find Mr Marsh lying in a pool of blood when he reported for duty on
Sunday morning. Mr Marsh lived alone.

Mr Kandemaurwa said when he arrived there were visible signs that criminals
had broken into the house, murdered Mr Marsh before getting away with pieces
of furniture and other household goods.

He did not hear any noises from his servant's quarter, about 50 metres from
the main house.

"I was very, very disturbed to see the boss lying there dead. Some people
are real animals because he was just a helpless old man who liked everyone."

Mr Marsh, a former civil servant, is survived by his South Africa-based son
Brian who is expected to fly into the country today.

Funeral arrangements will be finalised when Brian arrives.

Police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Bvudzijena said although the
force had launched a massive manhunt for the murderers they were appealing
for public assistance in the case.

He, however, dispelled the notion that they were not protecting residents

Enough patrols, he said, are deployed countrywide. Most murders, he said,
were actually committed by people who were known to the victims.

Incidents where robbers just broke into a house and murdered people were
rare, he said.

Chief Supt Bvudzijena called on people who felt that their neighbourhoods
were insecure to form or join neighbourhood watches which were quite
effective in reducing crime.

In June, a Trelawney farmer was shot dead by two robbers who had raided his

Although the farmer, Mr David Oates, managed to shoot dead one of the
robbers before he died, the other robber got away.

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National News

Herald Reporter

THE entire District Development Fund vehicle fleet has been grounded due to
misuse of vehicles in this department that has been rocked by massive
corruption over the years.

According to a document released by workers this week, the vehicles were
grounded last month amid allegations that misuse of vehicles by officers had
reached unmanageable levels.
The workers charge that the department's directorate was responsible for the
plunder of DDF's resources and called for heads to roll.

One director (name supplied) is accused of allocating himself at least four
cars and three trucks for personal use in addition to equipment used at his

One vehicle is used to ferry the director's children to and from school by a
DDF driver while the trucks are used to carry produce from the director's

DDF director general Mr James Jonga is said to have sought police assistance
of late to trace the misuse of the department's vehicles.

Mr Jonga was said to be out of his office yesterday attending a close
relative's funeral.

According to the workers, logbooks for the vehicles were only introduced
last month, meaning there had been very little control over the fleet's

Workers also took issue with the way the fund was paying various companies
for services the DDF had the capacity to handle.

They cited the award of a maintenance contract of DDF tractors to a foreign
company yet the fund had skilled manpower capable of carrying out the work.

Huge purchases of low quality tyres that are not suitable for local weather
conditions have cost the fund almost $20 million.

Despite the tyres being of a poor quality and unsuitable specifications, the
directorate insisted on buying the tyres from a South African company.

Morale among workers is said to have hit an all time low with resources
being used to the benefit of Government officials rather than to generate

"The directorate is insensitive, does not listen to new ideas, does not make
use of acquired implements and equipment for the benefit of the

"The Government does not seem to want to rock the boat that looks after its
ministers and other officers holding high offices," reads part of the
workers' document.

The DDF is in such financial doldrums to the extent that revenue has gone
down by more than 50 percent compounded by an ageing fleet and obsolete
plant and machinery.

In the current budget the DDF was allocated $1,3 billion which will be
issued periodically instead of the previous one-off disbursements.

So rife has corruption been at the fund that Parliament was last year
prompted to set up a committee to probe DDF.

The committee found that high-ranking Government officials had contracted
the fund to carry out several jobs without payment.

It recommended that the DDF Act be changed to make the fund operate as a
statutory body accountable to the accounting officer and not the director.

Regular audits were also called for to constantly check assets and equipment
at all depots.

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Herald Reporter

WAR veteran, Cde Chigwamhure Mawariro (42), alias Mabhunu Muchapera, was
among the eight people arrested on Tuesday afternoon on charges of
kidnapping, indecent assault and extortion at Blackfordby Farm, police
confirmed yesterday.

Cde Mawariro, identified by farm workers as the mastermind behind the
kidnapping of 17 school children last Saturday, is expected to appear in
court today together with seven other people picked up at an identification
parade, said police spokesman, Chief Superintendent, Wayne Bvudzijena.
The ex-combatant, who led hundreds of home-seekers from Chitungwiza to
invade Stone Ridge Farm in April, has been jointly charged with kidnapping
together with the other seven men but faces another separate charge of
extortion. He is being accused of forcefully driving off with a tractor
belonging to Blackfordby Farm.

Although the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association has
since denied involvement in the Blackfordby incident, early investigations
by The Herald indicated that rogue war veterans on Saturday night kidnapped
17 schoolchildren and held them for about six hours before police rescued

The war veterans' association has blamed the Movement for Democratic Change
party for "planting" the information and the party's infiltrators for
tainting the image of the war veterans.

After the police secured the release of the children the same rowdy group
pounced again on the farm compound during the same night and force-matched
more than 20 parents to an all night vigil where they were forced to sing,
toyi-toyi and smoke mbanje.

Many non-governmental organisations, which include human rights watchdog,
ZimRights, the Law Society of Zimbabwe, The Girl Child Network Zimbabwe and
the Progressive Teachers Union, have all roundly condemned the incident and
called on the authorities to move swiftly on the case.

In a statement the Southern Alliance for Children's Rights said: "The
involvement of children in violent activities on the farms infringes upon
the children's basic rights. It is a violation of the Child Protection and
Adoption Act Chapter 5:06 (1996), the UN Convention on the rights of the
child and the Africa Charter on the rights of the child which Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe - pause for thought
"To fight tyranny is not an option, it is a duty"

Ladies and Gentlemen

I have heard a very disturbing rumour this morning
from a person I respect very much, who I expect would
be a good source.

The rumour is that Bob is planning to announce - this
weekend (for obvious political reasons) - an amnesty
for all perpetrators of political violence related to
the Elections.

This has to be one of the lowest of the low dirty
political tricks that could ever be brought up at this
point in time! It is bad enough that over 30
Zimbabweans have lost their lives (the loss of even
one life would have been too much), and that there
have been over 18000 (yes - eighteen thousand plus!)
documented cases of human rights abuses (including
threats, beatings, abductions, rapes, thefts of
property, destruction of property, and murder), in
politically related violence since the Referendum. It
is bad enough that the Government at NO stage made any
statements clearly denouncing the violence and
promising to throw the full weight of the Law against
the perpetrators. It is bad enough that through his
direct instigation that the land issue has been
side-tracked from a nation-building exercise, to a
political tool to gain mileage for ZANU-PF and to
punish/destroy political rivals. It is bad enough that
he has ignored both the established Law of the
sovereign state of Zimbabwe - numerous of which he
himself has instigated - and allowed the country to
descend to a state of near anarchy. It is bad enough
that ZANU-PF were allowed (while he turned a blind
eye) to use state funding and machinery to conduct the
party's election campaign, and to do so with an
unprecedented capaign of violence and intimidation
using paid hoodlums and so-called war veterans.

Now there is a possibility that he is going to show
his fellow Zimbabweans that he and his criminal
accomplices are totally above the Law of Zimbabwe!
This would ensure that they get away - literally -
with murder!

Why? An amnesty should only be granted when it is for
the greater good of the people! How can sweeping a
one-sided campaign of violence under the carpet be
good for the people of Zimbabwe? This would be another
exercise like the 5th Brigade era in Matabeleland! Who
would benefit? The vast majority would be Bob and his
criminally-minded entourage. What about MDC and other
opposition supporters? I'm sorry, but I am of the firm
opinion that they must take the Law as it comes - if
they were involved in the violence, the Law should be
applied to them. Equal rights and equal
responsibilities to all Zimbabweans, and - if
necessary - equal punishments!

To give amnesty in this case would have (to name only
a few) the following consequences:

- Zimbabweans would be given a clear lesson that
violence and crime is acceptable when it is expedient
for political ends - the party in power can just cover
up afterwards and say "gee, that was too bad - you
lost, we won, and we'll sit pretty with all that we
have gained (that we took from you) with the law on
our side".
- no victim of political violence would have any
redress in the Courts - not for threats, not for
criminal slander, not for racial / ethnic insults, not
for beatings, not for disabilities, not for trauma,
not for thefts, not for destruction of property (and
be clear that some people have lost everything that
they owned!), not for loss of livelihood, not for
molestations, not for rape, not for murder!
- it could seriously undermine challenges in the
Courts by MDC for re-runs in Constituencies where the
results were obviously skewed through violence and
intimidation. I am led to believe that it may not
curtail them completely as the challenges are
currently Sub Judice?
- it would do serious damage to the economy as
financial institutions and insurers would be unable to
recover monies lost through loans and insurances to
persons who were victims of political violence
- it would allow criminals with blood on their hands
to continue in political office or positions of trust,
and to continue the perpetuation of a corrupt
political order that seeks to subjugate all
Zimbabweans at all costs - even if it means destroying
the whole country!

Where, in fact would the consequences of an amnesty
end? We can be sure that if it is exercised, then it
will be done again, and again, and again ... How could
this be in any way Constitutional?

We must fight for the rule of Law and for justice to
be done in Zimbabwe. Until each and every Zimbabwean
is accorded their full rights as a person, and as a
Citizen, we will have no real justice. Without
justice, we will never have peace. You cannot
establish justice through abandoning the Law, or by
denying the rights of the people in any way. Peace
comes from justice, and justice comes from upholding
the Law - fairly and impartially!

If you are as outraged as I am at the mere possibility
that this could be being considered by the President,
please pass this on as far as you can. Express your

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The President of the Commercial Farmers' Union, Mr. Tim Henwood, announced this afternoon that the Union is withdrawing all litigation that it has initiated in the past two weeks on matters concerning the acquisition and occupation of commercial farms in the country. This has been done with a view to improving the atmosphere for meaningful dialogue from which it is anticipated that a solution will be attained that will be more satisfactory than any that can be secured by continuing to pursue the protracted process of law.
A farm recently acquired by Section 8 Order in Mashonaland West North has been examined by the government evaluators, and the fixed assets are now being stolen. No government representative is available to take care of the buildings etc. and the Police are unwilling to act against the perpetrators who now claim to "own" the farm
Centenary - Approximately 65 war vets have started pegging with steel pegs on Drumarda Farm.  Police are in attendance but have yet to take action, and the owner has been unable to locate Agritex.  A guard surprised war vets stealing a security fence on The Range.  The war vets are reported to have fired a shot over the guard's head.
Victory Block - War vet Kangachepi has been a nuisance and has been making demands on Mutenda Mambo, Under Cragg, Brandon and Chiwe farms.
Mazowe/Concession - Approximately 50 war vets claiming that Mazowe Ranch is ancestral burial ground have proceeded to peg on it. There was a tense situation on Belgownie Farm after the owner refused a demand for accommodation. Police were able to defuse the situation but war vets threatened to return. Workers from Jumbo Mine are claiming to be war vets and have demanded accommodation from the owner of Marodzi River. The owner refused and was then threatened with their return to take over the farm. The same group moved onto Riversdale, and it is suspected that this group started a fire at Cartreff.
Shamva - Approximately 20 war vets are picking maize outside the homestead of Chiwaridza Farm.  Police are reluctant to intervene.  War vets have also demanded to move into the cottage. 
Marondera - War vets Shasha, Zininga and Dafi arrived on Arcadia and warned the owner that he must not destroy their huts as he had pulled one down that was in the middle of one of the lands that he needed to prepare. Shasha told the owner that he must not pull any of the huts down until they have found other land. Shasha has already been allocated a plot on Myembi Farm by the Governor. On Alexander the war vets told the owner he no longer needs the farm as he owns two farms. They told him to leave the farm.
Wedza - There are now 5 villages up on Iamba (about 30 adults). 1 villager has dug a well, and there are vegetable gardens. A duiker was found dead in a snare, and a heifer was snared but survived. 20m of fencing was stolen. On Shaka 2 farm workers were arrested for selling stolen fences.
Macheke/Virginia - There were work stoppages on Mignon, Mug and Welcome Home, and problems continue on Chikubakwe.
Tengwe - The owner of Dendanyani was sent a letter from war vet Peter's Parandale Farm group, saying that by 4 p.m. all work was to stop and the farmer was to vacate farm, or else the war vets would show their true colours.  The farmer was away and by 11 p.m. there were no reports. This is contrary to the results of last week's meeting.  On Nevern Place war vet Peter and 40 others stopped work, were very aggressive and wished to see the farmer, who was away. The Police reacted and defused the situation.
Karoi - There were threats to the foreman of Jenya to tell the owner to pay for the upkeep of an ex-employee of the family. War vets demanded a work stoppage on Hesketh Park, which was refused by labour. On Trokiadzi hunters were stopped by war vets and their vehicle held. The Member in Charge was notified, and the situation was resolved by hunters but they are not allowed to do further hunts. On Deerwood no pre-irrigation is allowed. Tengwe Police reacted, and war vets demanded that Dispol reacts. There are large numbers on Mlichi, and threats to build structures and stop work.  The owner of Runnimede was threatened by war vets. On Mukuyu war vet Moyas Chembe and 10 others told the farmer to vacate the farm within 24 hours, and the labour were told to finish work yesterday (Wednesday). Today they would be given land. This was reported to the Member in Charge, who said he would report to Mabunda.  War vets arrived at the gate on Toekoms and asked the owner why she was on the farm.  She replied that she would move off if the Government wanted her off, and the war vets claimed that they are the Government and they will tell her what to do. The owner of Tivoli was given 24 hours to vacate the farm.  On Kupeta the land for the second crop has now been pegged. Rydings School was visited by war vets.  There was a work stoppage on St Brendans.  On Romford war vets prevented labour from making fire guards. They have built structures and pegged the whole farm. A meeting was held on Mlichi, and war vets were told to move onto uncontested farms.  If there was no land then they must wait until more land is identified.  On Landithy war vets demanded retaliation against the labour, who assaulted them on Sunday.  War vets disarmed guards, blocked the roads to the farm and were very aggressive.  Farmers reacted in force, and the situation was resolved by the Police. The owner of Pompey is still awaiting permission to pre-irrigate. War vets visited Peverill and demanded their poles back from structures which were dismantled by labour.  The labour told them to move on.  War vets then demanded a work stoppage, and labour refused. War vets revisited La Rochelle wanting to peg unpegged land. There was pegging and building on Romford, and fire guards have been burnt, and farming operations stopped.
Chinhoyi - Poachers were chased through Zebra Vlei towards Fynnlands. They set fire to Zebra Vlei. A fire was started on another property yesterday, and the workers were chased away when trying to extinguish it. A war vet made threats with an axe, and later claimed to the Police that he was the one that was threatened and assaulted.
Norton - On one property there are still major problems in continuing farming operations.  The owners have virtually been under house arrest for several weeks and are having to manage their seed beds with binoculars.  Weekend "time-sharers" have evidently bought plots from the resident war vets and have so far built 21 houses.  The movement of cattle has been restricted and the owners have not been able to ear tag their cattle for export.  No pre-irrigation has taken place and one war veteran has taken over the block for the irrigated tobacco.  Last weekend fires were set and so far the owner has had to supply approximately 100 cords of wood.  The D.A. does not believe it is his responsibility although the Governor has said that it is.  The Police have been notified on a number of occasions over the last couple of months but there has not been a single arrest made.  Clearly if the owner is not going to be allowed to farm he cannot carry on paying labour etc.
Selous - Two conceded properties received Section 8 orders today.  Tree cutting is rife on Lot 1 of Northwood and Meadowlands.
Chegutu - The outcome of the court case regarding war veteran Gilbert Moyo is unknown.  There was, however, a threat that the owner of Tiverton had to be off his property within a day, and Gilbert Moyo's followers put up road blocks on Concession Hill Farm. There were four air force vehicles on Kutawa and the D.A. is making plans to resettle this property.  Air force vehicles were also seen on Torphin Farm.  On Donore the labour were told to be off within a day. This is a conceded property and it is uncertain whether this is a Government or war veteran directive. 
Suri Suri - On Maridadi pegging was in process. 
Kadoma - On Damvuri there has been a new occupation of 30-40 people. Hunting clients arrive on Saturday, and Police have no transport.  There was an occupation on Queensdale.
Masvingo East and Central - On the eastern side of Masvingo there is a lot of movement.
Chiredzi, Mwenezi - A lot of movement has been reported and there is tree cutting and pegging of plots.
Save Conservancy, Gutu/Chatsworth - Situation remains the same.
Odzi - On Green Valley Vineyards, war vets led by Magondo prevented workers from entering the farm for work yesterday morning. Keys were taken off a security guard after there was a threat to slit his throat if he did not comply. The owner, upon hearing this, armed himself and walked down to the main gate. War vets are purported to have said that they were glad to see the owner was armed and then ran off. That evening about 50 war vets broke through the security fence and moved through the house.
The Police arrived and established that Magondo's main gripe was that the owner had pointed his weapon at him that morning (untrue).  Additionally, Magondo wanted accommodation. He is continuosly interfering with work and threatening labour on the farm. Pungwes are still being held regularly with some labour as well. He has been instructed by war vet leaders not to interfere with workers and operations. The situation at present is stable.
Nothing to report. 
Hunter's Road - On Nettlethorn and Wentworth Farms occupiers are pouring on, burning stova and pegging lands. Local war vets say they are occupying according to instructions received from the Governor's office.
Kwekwe - War vet Mhike, arrested for poaching and breaking bail conditions, was brought to court, the case was postponed and the accused is again out on bail. On Sherwood Block, war vets under the control of Luke and Courage are occupying Sherwood Park Primary School and disrupting activities on certain farms. On Dekel Farm war vets under Courage are cutting and clearing 10 ha of land which is not arable. On Mooirivier war vets under Luke are pegging lands due to be prepared for maize and paprika. The same applies on Delvillewood Farm, but short pegs are being used, which are difficult to see and could result in ripped tractor tyres. An Airforce member, Flight Lt. Douglas is ferrying war vets around the property in an airforce vehicle. On Sherwood Park there is pegging in the wheat lands under instruction from Courage. Labour removed the pegs and were chased off the lands when trying to carry out a scheduled irrigation move. It is not clear whether this is happening on other wheat lands and farmers have been alerted to look out for pegs in lands as they could seriously damage a combine tyre or wheat head.
On Bonstead there is severe poaching and woodcutting and the farmer was advised not to prepare maize lands for fear of restarting animosity with care taker war vets Gracious Tshoko and Augustine. A second house has been occupied today.
On Dunlop Ranch the opening and burning of lands is causing concern to neighbouring properties and the rhino conservancy, as the area is heavily stocked with cattle and imported game.  An advance party of 6 led by war vet Frank Malambo have occupied Rolling River Ranch.  Police reaction is poor due to lack of direction from Propol. 
Please note, the CFU Information Room will only be open on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 August, so no report will be sent out tomorrow.
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Zimbabwe's land crisis has deepened after banks cut off new loans to white farmers, raising fears depleted harvests will result in food shortages.

The violent occupations of white-owned farms and the uncertainty over a government programme to nationalise thousands of the farms has prevented many farmers from paying back existing loans, according to the Commercial Farmers Union and the Zimbabwe Bankers Association.

White farmers produce nearly half the country's 2.2 million tons of corn, the staple food, and most of its capital intensive crops.

Without loans for equipment and materials, and with continuing disruptions, corn growers could lose up to 40% of their harvests next March, said Neil Wright, chief economist at the farmers union.

Preparations for planting ahead of seasonal rains in November should now be under way, but in many cases they are not.

Disruptions to agriculture made by the ruling party militants' occupation of 1,600 farms have made it impossible for farmers to give banks the guarantees needed to secure loans, Wright said.

"No money will be available until stability and law-and-order return to farming areas," he said.

In addition, many farmers delayed investing in future harvests after the government announced this month it would confiscate 3,000 properties and hand them over to landless blacks.
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The Zimbabwe government has threatened to retaliate against any Western economic sanctions by imposing emergency measures at home that could include the suspension of democratic rights.

Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge described the proposed Zimbabwe Democracy bill in the US Congress as a "shocking piece of legislation" that sought to interfere with the country's domestic affairs and national sovereignty.

"The government would have to take emergency measures to survive. Doesn't that normally lead to the suspension of certain democratic devices so the country can survive," Mudenge said. He did not elaborate.

The proposed bill would curb aid and debt relief to Zimbabwe to press the government to restore law and order and democratic processes.

Nearly a decade ago, the government lifted a state of emergency giving it sweeping powers of arrest and detention without trial.

It also eased curbs on media freedom after the collapse of Zimbabwe's Cold War East bloc allies and the adoption of Western-style economic liberalization after 10 years of socialist policies.

The US bill, passed by the senate, calls on the US government and its agencies and private corporations to halt aid and investment to Zimbabwe and press international financial institutions to which the United States belongs to maintain a freeze on loans to the government.

Earlier this year, the US, Britain, the former colonial power, and members of the European Union froze an aid package to the government meant to assist in a land reform programme to handover white-owned farms to landless blacks.

The package was frozen as violent ruling party militants led by armed veterans of the bush war that ended white rule in 1980 began illegally occupying white-owned farms to claim for themselves.

Mudenge described US and British support for government opponents, democratic reform groups and farmers as "the politics of race" as Western countries rallied behind their white "kith and kin."  He said Zimbabwe was also the victim "deliberate lies" of the white-controlled Western press.

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