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

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Mugabe's misrule


WHITE FARMERS are being forced out of Zimbabwe, but it is President Robert
Mugabe who should leave. With Zimbabweans unable to make him go, his
neighbors, led by South Africa, need to encourage him to cede power.

About 2,900 farmers out of 4,500 remained in their homes this weekend,
hoping that Mugabe would offer them a reprieve. In a speech yesterday he
renewed his vow to give most of their land to black Zimbabweans, saying:
''We set ourselves an August deadline for the redistribution of land, and
that deadline stands.''

Mugabe is right that the land was expropriated unjustly when white
colonialists took over the country in 1890. But Zimbabwe is no longer the
sparsely populated land the whites conquered. And the farmers are
responsible for Zimbabwe's strong agriculture performance. Until a few years
ago Zimbabwe was able to feed its more than 12 million people and have
enough food for export. Now, thanks to Mugabe's misrule, it cannot feed

The best approach would be a phased transfer of land supported by foreign
donations. That would not serve Mugabe's political purposes, however. Land
is used as a reward for Mugabe's supporters, and the confiscations recall
his struggle to wrest the country, once known as Rhodesia, from whites.
Following a tainted presidential election in March, the United States and
the European Union imposed travel sanctions against leading officials. These
have little impact, and it would be wrong to impose harsh measures that
might harm ordinary Zimbabweans.

South Africa, which borders Zimbabwe, has tried to restrain Mugabe but in an
understated way. Thabo Mbeki, the South African president, is trying to
create a coalition of African leaders committed to democracy. Mugabe's
misrule mocks their efforts. Public pressure ought to replace quiet

This story ran on page A14 of the Boston Globe on 8/13/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.
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From: Justice for Agriculture <>
 Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2014 5:47 AM
"Patience, Politeness and Persistence"
As we approach the 9th of August which is the 91st day after the promulgation of the Land Acquisition Amendment Act many people who had received section 8 orders before the 10th of May face the threat of prosecution and eviction. 
These notes endeavour to assist lawyers whose clients face those problems.
1.  Landowners probably have a fair idea of whether or not they are likely to face possible arrest for remaining on their farms after 10 August by virtue of whatever has been happening in their areas during the past month or two.  Some people may well be able to continue farming while others are likely to face problems.
2.  2.1 Note that a section 8 order is NOT an eviction order.  According to section 9 (1) (b) it constitutes notice to the owner or occupier to cease to occupy, hold or use land (45 days after 10 May) and notice to cease to occupy the living quarters within 90 days (i.e.  9 August).
2.2 Failure to vacate the living quarters may constitute the crime of contravening section 9 91) (b) (ii) for overstaying but it is only if and when the owner/occupier has been convicted that the court should issue an eviction order.  There is a lot that can happen before then.  The orders are not issued by the D.A.  or the Police.
"Come with us"
3.  We are likely to see arrests of those who have section 8 orders and who stay on after 8 August.  There may be hundreds or more; there may be a few high profile cases.  There will at least be many instances in which people are required to go to the Police and "make a statement" explaining why there are still at home.  Those arrested will only cause themselves more trouble by resisting arrest.  Those requested to and make a statement are advised to do so.  Those arrested will probably also be invited to make a statement.
"Making A Statement"
4.  It is advised that anyone charged with overstaying i.e.  contravening section 9 (1) (b) (ii) of the Act - should make a statement.  Clients should get a lawyer if possible but otherwise a statement along the following lines should suffice.:- "I deny that what I am doing is unlawful.  My land case has still not been heard and the High Court is already having to consider the validity of this law.  I am helping to produce food and exports to earn foreign currency which we all need and I need to remain in my home to protect my assets."
"Police Bail"
5.  After a statement has been made, the farmer may be released to go home whether he was first arrested or not.  In either case the Police may require a payment of "bail out".  This could be anything from $1000.00 to $50 000.00, probably about $10 000.00.  Bail could be refused at this time and detention in police cells may follow.  Those detained may or may not be allowed visitors, food, a magazine/book and toiletries.
6.  Treatment by the Police will be closely related to treatment of the Police.  They too have a job to do and they will be following orders.
Clients should stay calm and not protest at invasion of human rights etc.
Unless they want to be detained.  Individuals may be locked up however proper their conduct.  Over-reaction by lawyers may well extend the period of detention.
Lawyers will be on standby to assist farmers.
"Court Bail"
7.  If clients are not released (on bail or otherwise), the Police should take them before a Magistrate within 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays).  That 48 hours may be extended by a police officer to 96 hours.  The longest anyone arrested over the long weekend can be lawfully detained is until Thursday 15 August.
8.  When appearing in Court remember again "Patience, politeness and persistence" Apply for bail and it will probably be given.  If the Court rules that a condition of bail is that one does not return home accept that but immediately lodge an appeal against that condition.
9.  If bail is refused or if the conditions are unreasonable, different applications can be made to the High Court for bail or a change of the conditions.  At this time a lawyer's help is probably essential.
10.  If the Police or Magistrate ask why client claims to be not guilty he does not have to answer that question.  But then the Police and the Magistrate do not have to release client - with or without bail.  A spell in Police custody is not the end of the world nor is a spell in a remand prison though that is not to be recommended.  Accordingly there could be advantages in clients raising one or more of the following defences where appropriate:-
10.1 No service on Bondholders There have been recent High Court cases confirming that if, when the section 5 notice was published, the farm was bonded or subject to a servitude, then it was necessary to serve a copy of the notice on the bondholder or servitude holder.  Failure to do so invalidates the section 5 notice and the section 8 order which follows on that notice (See the case of Simon and Simon (Pvt) Ltd.  - v- The Minister of Lands; Harare High Court Case No.  H.C.  5379/02 Mt.  No.  HH 107/02)
Check with your bank to see if they were served with section 5s and 8s.
Get a copy of the front page of your Title Deeds if they reflect an uncancelled bond and get a letter from the Bank confirming that they were not notified of the notice or the order.
10.2 Administrative Court Application too late The High Court has also ruled that if the Administrative Court does not receive a section 7 court application within 30 days of the date of service of the section 8 order (NOT the date on the order), then the section 8 is invalid.  it used to be a common error but not so many cases like this recently.  (See to Simon & Simon Case)
10.3 The Quinnell Case: H.C.  5263/02 The High Court recently issued a Provisional Order in which it ordered the Minister of Lands, the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General to show cause why the new amendment to the Land Acquisition Act should not be declared invalid.  It has therefore accepted that there is a prima facie case that the law may be invalid for a couple of reasons (a) Invalidity of the Land Acquisition Amendment Act This Act which was brought into force on 10 May 2002 could itself be invalid and any arrest based on an invalid Act would then be unlawful.  It could be unlawful because the same legislation was defeated earlier in the same session of Parliament but defeated.  The Courts have already held that a re-enactment of some electoral laws defeated earlier in the same session was invalid.  (See Biti -v-Minister of Justice & Others Case No S.C.  10/02 (b) Minister no lawfully appointed There has never been a formal appointment of any Ministers since the President was re-elected.  Their acts since then could therefore be unlawful.
This is not a final order but it does show that the High Court recognises the possible merit of these two points and others and they may well invalidate the new section 9.  Watch the local Press.
10.4 Deprivation of property without Court hearing The Constitution prohibits deprivation of property without a court hearing.  The new section 9 makes it unlawful for client to stay in his home even if the validity of the acquisition has not been confirmed.  Continued occupation could be no more than the lawful exercise of a claim of right exercised in the face of the failure of the acquiring authority to obtain confirmation of the acquisition.
This is a Constitutional point and can be raised by anyone but it is likely to lead to a long wait before the Supreme Court gives a decision.
In terms of section 24 of the Constitution a Magistrate is obliged to refer a Constitutional argument like this to the Supreme Court.  This must be done and should be raised as an argument why a condition of bail should not be that a farmer not go home.
Labour Matters Many clients anticipate huge demands for gratuities from their labour forces if and when they are evicted.  Statutory Instrument 6 of 2002 regulates this situation.  These payments are necessary ONLY "IF IT IS NECESSARY FOR AN EMPLOYER TO TERMINATE THE EMPLOYMENT OF ANY EMPLOYEE BECAUSE THE FARM HAS BEEN COMPULSORILY ACQUIRED FOR RESETTLEMENT."
Clients therefore do not have to pay these gratuities unless:
(a) they have terminated the employment; and this is (b) because the farm has been acquired for resettlement.
A section 8 order may be an acquisition but it is clearly an inchoate or incomplete acquisition because it is subject to the resolutive condition that there has to be a court hearing to confirm the acquisition and because the acquisition may not be confirmed.
In practice there are many section 8s that are being set aside by virtue of "deals" and very few farmers who have gone through their section 7 hearings have had to stop farming and sign everyone off, and get them our of their homes.
Therefore do not terminate the workers' contracts but note that any termination following a section 8 is presumed to have been by the employer unless he proves otherwise.  Rather give them extended leave and try to negotiate a system of half pay while on leave plus food.  Many will take that if they can keep hold of their jobs.
The constitutionality of this law is open to debate but even an employee who is granted leave on part pay and allowed to remain on the farm is not 'dismissed'.
Section 7s Many people are receiving section 7 papers.  See your lawyer or ask your CFU Regional Office for a copy of the notes that have been sent out to help members in this situation.
Section 7s do NOT cancel the section 8s.
Section 7s do NOT automatically give you a defence against eviction or suspend the section 8
Your day in Court The Section 7 will give you a day in Court - at least one day; perhaps in a years time.
Your arrest will give you a day in Court within a week.
 And this time Government has to prove everything including the lawfulness of the laws and the way in which they have been used.
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News release
(On behalf of Justice for Agriculture)

In the Middle Sabi farming area 475 kms from Harare in Zimbabwe, a group of
up to 17 people, comprising Land Committee members, visited four (4) farms
on Saturday afternoon. The group was made up of soldiers armed with AK 47
assault rifles and armed members of the police force. The leader of the
group, a woman who refused to identify herself, told the farmers that they
were to leave by the next morning - Sunday.

Two of the farmers visited (Farms 19 and 34), told the group that they were
not under compulsory acquisition notices but had only received Section 5,
preliminary orders. This did not seem to deter the group who told both
farmers that the acquisition orders would be upgraded soon.

One of these farmers was told that he would be arrested immediately for
arguing that the farm was only under preliminary notice. He declined to be
arrested saying the he was a Police Reservist, whereupon they requested his
Police Identity card and confiscated it telling him he was 'discharged' from
the force on their say so. He was however not arrested.

In this wheat producing area, there are nine farmers under compulsory
acquisition. Despite these orders, these farmers were granted permission by
the District Administrator (DA) to grow food crops with the assurance that
they would be allowed to continue farming. The permission to plant had come
in writing and was stamped with the official Government stamp.

The farmers then used the written authorization to seek finance from their
bankers and when it was granted, they planted 1025 ha of wheat, 160 ha
barley, 20 ha tomatoes, 10 ha of Litchi trees and 40 ha of Citrus. The
approximate market value of this produce is in excess of ZD $500 million. It
is normal practice for farmers to obtain such documentation and present it
to bankers when requesting financing.

The farmers met after the incident to exchange notes and decided that for
safety reasons they would relocate to neighboring farms for safety. Of major
concern was that there have been other incidents whereby 'youth' in an
inebriated state have arrived and intimidated families. The farmers decided
to avoid violence at all costs and elected to relocate those viewed as
vulnerable to surrounding farms. This strategy proved fruitful, as there
were no further intimidatory incidents over the weekend.

A further development on Monday - the farmers were revisited and told to
meet the Land Committee on their respective farms. Fearing illegal arrest,
they declined and it then transpired that a group meeting was held at a
neutral venue.

The Land Committee members have further confirmed in a meeting earlier today
(Tuesday), that whilst they acknowledge the stamped and signed letter
granting the right to farm and harvest, orders have come from a 'national
directive' and the previous permission is therefore rescinded. No
explanation was given.

The farmers then pressed for direction as to what to do with the employees
still resident on the farms numbering 630 and their family members. There
are also over 3500 people employed during the cotton-picking season.
Clarification was sought by the farmers as to the continued irrigation and
care of their crops. The Land Committee group were divided on how to respond
to these questions and seemed to have no directive to follow.

The farmers await a return to normal office hours to be able to obtain legal
counsel on the way forward. The farmers remain united but they have no
assurances that any agreement reached will be honored by this Land Committee
as the members refused to identify themselves.


13th August 2002
Contact Jenni Williams on Mobile (+263) 91 300456 or 11213 885 Or on email
or Fax (+2639) 63978 or (+2634) 703829
Office email
A member of the International Association of Business Communicators. Visit
the IABC website
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ZIMBABWE: Political violence continues

JOHANNESBURG, 13 August (IRIN) - While the controversial acquisition of white owned farms grabs headlines, political violence against mostly black opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters continues unabated and largely unreported, claim human rights NGO's.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said in its latest report, covering the period 1-31 July, that political violence had claimed the lives of two more people. This brought the number of deaths from politically motivated violence to 59 since 1 January 2002.

The latest victims were both MDC supporters, the organisation alleged.

"The political violence is continuing, and despite the focus in the press, particularly the UK (United Kingdom) press, over the last week on farmers and farm workers, the majority of victims of the violence are still alleged or real opposition supporters, almost all of whom are black Zimbabweans.

"In July there were two new deaths recorded, both of MDC officials. Also the youngest victim we have recorded, an 11-year-old was reportedly victimised for 'attending an MDC school'," the forum said in a statement.

The report also indicates a pattern of alleged intimidation of teachers, who have long been viewed as supporters of or sympathetic to the MDC. "At Mapanzure Secondary School in Masvingo four teachers were seriously injured after ZANU-PF supporters assaulted teachers at the school. In Zaka, ZANU-PF youths allegedly assaulted teachers suspected to be MDC supporters," the report said.

"The month of July has also seen attacks on civil servants by [ruling party] ZANU-PF supporters and war veterans. The district administrators of Matobo and Umizigwane were pushed out of their offices by war veterans ... following remarks by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing who reportedly accused civil servants of delaying the land redistribution exercise," it was alleged.

The forum claims there were 205 incidents of arson or what is describes as "malicious injury to property" in July, raising the total since the beginning of the year to 786 incidents.

Meanwhile, human rights organisation Amnesty International has expressed concern that political violence and intimidation could increase in the run-up to local government elections in Zimbabwe.

"In the run-up to local council elections in September, Amnesty International is deeply concerned that the pattern of using violence against the political opposition and abusing the neutrality of the police by government and state-sponsored 'militia' will be repeated," the organisation said.

It cited recent examples of alleged political intimidation.

"Between 28 and 29 July, seven MDC members were arrested allegedly for setting fire to three tractors at a government complex in Chipinge North. The seven accused, including the MDC vice-chairman for Manicaland, Prosper Mucheyami, and the MDC candidate for Chimanimani, Michael Shane Kidd, remained in police custody until 5 August, when they were each granted bail of Zim $20,000 (about US $375).

"While in detention they were reportedly subjected to verbal threats and psychological intimidation by police officials. In his ruling for bail, Magistrate T. Khumalo stated that there was no connection between the burning of the tractors and the seven accused. Both Mutseyami and Shane Kidd have been repeatedly arrested and harassed by police and ZANU-PF supporters, frequently organised in state-sponsored 'militias', over the past two years," Amnesty International alleged.

Tel: +27 11 880-4633
Fax: +27 11 447-5472

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Subject: Mastermind behind Matabeleland massacres, Perence Shiri, now in charge of Zimbabwe's grain procurement and distribution -
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 16:46:30 +0100
Air Force chief, Perence Shiri (alias 'The Butcher of Bhalagwe' because of
his complicity in the murder of thousands of Matabeles in the early '80s)
has been put in charge of grain reserves being imported into Zimbabwe (see
below). Here then is blatant evidence of how food supplies will be
manipulated and used to favour ZANU PF: Shiri is a master in this game.
From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 9 August
Mugabe is starving his own people
People are being starved in Zimbabwe by President Robert Mugabe's deliberate
and systematic ploy of using food shortages to cling to power. Millions of
people a re going hungry not, as Mr Mugabe's government claims, because of
poor rains but as a direct result of its policy of denying food to
opposition supporters and enriching its loyalists. Last night, the deadline
passed for the mass eviction of 2,900 of Zimbabwe's white commercial
farmers, for decades the mainstay of the agricultural sector. Mr Mugabe
ordered them to abandon their homes, land and livelihoods by midnight. An
investigation by The Telegraph found that control of the Grain Marketing
Board (GMB), Zimbabwe's state-owned monopoly supplier of commercial maize,
was passed this year to one of Mr Mugabe's most loyal henchmen, Air Marshal
Perence Shiri, an alleged war criminal. With Zimbabwe's economy in chaos,
Shiri's mission was to spend a £17 million loan provided by Libya buying
just enough maize to stave off food riots, which would then be supplied
through the GMB. The organisation, which is meant to supply maize at
subsidised price s to all Zimbabweans, has instead been selling maize only t o
supporters of the ruling Zanu PF party. Backers of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change went hungry. Worse still was the country's Food For
Work programme. Thousands of opposition supporters would provide 15 days'
labour only to be told at the end there was no GMB food for them. The GMB is
so corrupt and politicised that aid groups shipping food into Zimbabwe are
being forced to set up their own expensive parallel storage and distribution
facilities, rather than using those of the GMB - the traditional way of
bringing food aid into Zimbabwe.
There is also evidence that the Zimbabwean government is deliberately
blocking the work of these international aid groups and keeping the flow of
aid down to a trickle. That trickle is enough to stave off threats of public
unrest, but not enough to provide food for all of the country. "What we are
seeing is nothing but humanitarian torture," an aid worker said. "It takes
three months to die of starvation and this is a torture every bit as bad as
beating someone with barbed wire or hanging them from handcuffs." One
British Government source said: "The irony is that the food shortage is one
of the reasons the people in Zimbabwe might be impelled to rise up against
the government but we are morally obliged to provide food that removes that
impulsion and secures the Mugabe regime." The British government has
promised aid worth £32 million to Zimbabwe. A warehouse of supplies
organised by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace was blockaded for
three months by Zanu PF militants and an attempt to increase the flow of
humanitarian supplies by the World Food Programme (WFP) has also been
blocked. The WFP relies on recognised agencies to do the final distribution
on the ground and aid sources said the mere presence of a British charity,
Save the Children (UK), on a list of possible distributors is hindering
expansion. Aid groups are routinely criticised in the state-owned medi a in
Zimbabwe, accused of being tools of the "imperialist, colonialist West". The
situation is being worsened by logistical problems in neighbouring countries
such as South Africa, where management errors in the state-run railways mean
there is a drastic shortage of goods wagons to move grain. And in Mozambique
a malfunction in a bagging machine at the port of Beira means six ships
carrying grain remain in the approaches to the harbour, unable to offload
supplies for Zimbabwe.
In effect, the regime in Zimbabwe is doing just enough to help its own
supporters while blocking efforts to help the millions of needy people in
the country. So far, there have been only a handful of deaths connected to
food shortages. Without any basic food supplies, families have been forced
to live off what they can find in the bush and some children have died from
eating poisonous berries. By early November, however, before the next
planting season, aid experts predict widespread malnutrition in Zimbabwe
unless significant food supplies can be brought into the country. The WFP,
the world's largest humanitarian aid organisation, currently estimates six
million people in Zimbabwe out of a population of 13 million are suffering
from food shortages. There have been intermittent rains in the region this
year but observers believe most of the shortages have resulted from Mr
Mugabe's policy of land invasions, which have all but destroyed the
country's once thriving commercial farming sector. South of the Limpopo in
South Africa the same intermittent rains have not stopped farmers producing
a surplus of about 1.8 million tons of maize. For almost all of the 1990s,
Zimbabwe was a net exporter of maize and so good were its supplies that the
WFP had an office in Harare, not to distribute maize in Zimbabwe but to
procure Zimbabwean maize for distribution elsewhere. That situation now
seems a long way  away.

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Union 'robs' workers
News on our front.

Hi , I thought you might be interested in an update re my parents' property in the Eastern highlands.
As you know, my Dad died recently and his ashes were sprinked at the farm -- which he was so loathe to give up. Since then my Mom has been assisted by relatives and friends (amazing people bending over backwards to make things less painful for her) in settling the estate and making preparations to move down south. She is pursuing Dad's court appeal based on the 'govt' promise that a portion of the farm could be kept, and a skeleton staff has been reemployed to keep an eye on things, and harvest the flowers (if they are allowed?!) This follows the big payout of the whole staff, negotiated through the lawyer and the farm workers' union (the workers insisted on their participation) On the big day, all concerned were transported to the bank, and the workers each given their cheque -- intended to prevent the problem of vast amounts of cash being handled, carried etc. Of course the union people were there, sitting to one side at a table, and my relative stood close enough to observe and hear what happened next.
Upon receiving the cheque, the workers did not open an account as expected. They each went to the cashier and cashed it; great wads of money to carry, hide, spend or whatever. The next stop was the union desk, where they each had to pay a fee of approx 40% of the cash they'd just received! If that isn't extortion, what is? My family was so shocked and upset after scraping together enough to cover this deal, which they had expected would give the workers a nest-egg and some hope for the future.
Our property is a very small unit of no agricultural interest but has been included with all the commercial farms in the country for takeover this week. My heart goes out to our workers, but it was they who called the union in, instead of making a deal independently with us. It is appalling that they have been used like this.
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For immediate release - 18:00 BST Tuesday 13 August 2002


The "Save Zimbabwe" campaign has welcomed  the call by New Zealand Prime
Minister, Helen Clark, for the Commonwealth to put Zimbabwe back under the

Ephraim Tapa, Chief Spokesman for the "Save Zimbabwe" campaign said :  "If
it has the will, the Commonwealth can achieve a great deal and its  African
members have a particularly important role to play . It's time for them to
demonstrate both moral leadership and political weight. They must show that
the behaviour of this corrupt, repressive and illegitimate regime is
abhorrent to the values of both the African Union and the Commonwealth. If
they now withdrew all support from Mugabe and chose to exert their fullest
political weight, we could see  democratic government restored to  Zimbabwe
within months".

Tapa said that it was excellent news that Zimbabwe would be on the agenda
when Helen Clark meets Australian Prime Minister John Howard and
Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon at the South Pacific forum
meeting in Fiji at the end of the week, and he hoped this would lead to
further action. "Suspension was little more than a slap on the wrist. Even
expulsion would offer little more than symbolic impact. What is needed now
is sustained, coordinated political and economic pressure, led by the
Commonwealth's African members, validated by the full weight of the

The "Save Zimbabwe" campaign is a non-partisan international initiative,with
broadbased support drawn from both political parties and community
groups. It was launched during the recent African Union meeting in Durban
and is designed to restore democracy, human rights and legitimate government
to Zimbabwe. The holding of  early, free and fair elections, under full and
proper international supervision, is a key objective of the campaign.


For more information in the United Kingdom and the European Union, please
Mark Pursey - 0044 20 7939 7934

For more information in Canada, please contact:
Linda Molynieux - 001 416 489 4744
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Mugabe's Megalomania
Just back from 6 days in a bush camp on the Deka River, I took time out to watch President Mugabe make his Hero's Day speech at the funeral of Bernard Chidzero.  It was a classic Mugabe performance - his English is superb and I doubt if 20 per cent of his domestic audience understood all the language spoken in English.  It was a speech aimed not at his Zanu PF supporters at the occasion but at an external audience - I suspect specifically his fellow leaders in Africa itself.
We had heard it all before but I thought several themes are worth noting: - a..  Targeted sanctions are hurting - no matter what he said in open defiance, he recognised that these sanctions, more than any other thing, marked him and his associates out as renegades and outcasts in the world community.  Mugabe has a big ego and this hurts him where it matters most, his personal pride and arrogance.
a..  He is under some pressure on the land question - while refusing to budge or make any significant concessions, he was still obliged to restate that "no farmer will be left without a farm" and those who "co-operated with the Party and obeyed government decisions, could stay".  With over 95 per cent of all white owned farmers now given marching orders and hundreds evicted by force, irrespective of whether they own only one farm or their properties are smaller than stipulated for maximum farm size, these words have no meaning on the ground.  But they were aimed at a hidden external audience in Africa who are anxious about what is happening and its implications for themselves and the continent.
a..  He firmly committed himself and his regime to continued defiance of the Courts and the decision not to respect the rule of law.  He language in the latter respect was quite specific and carefully crafted.  It confirms what we have all suspected for some time, we have a government that is now determined to operate outside the law.
a..  Any investor who had any doubts about the security of their investments or potential investments, have had their doubts removed - they have no security as long as we have a rogue administration in Harare.
His intemperate language did nothing to further his cause or solve his problems, but it certainly demeaned the position of the presidency in this country and highlights his growing megalomania.  I do not think that Mr Blair or any European or American would take any cognizance of what he said about them in his speech.  But it will hang over his head as a low point in his time as the leader of an African State.  Britain might have been the "colonial power" in our case, but so it was for half the world at one time or another.  No other former colony would stoop so low in a verbal attack on another soverign state, especially one who was in a position to be a valuable source of assistance and support in many material ways.
Especially when Britain is the largest single donor of food aid to Zimbabwe at this time of national crisis.
Altogether an immature, irresponsible speech which does nothing for him or his party, and more especially, the people of this country.  He said nothing new but did confirm his delinquency.
The question is, where to from here?  The economic situation is more than dire, we face widespread famine - wheat stocks run out this month further exacerbating the situation and inflows of basic foods are at levels which are not adequate to prevent starvation.  The effort by the Commonwealth Troika to get talks started between the MDC and Zanu PF are stone dead, our legal challenge goes ahead in six weeks time but before a panel of Judges whose credentials and impartiality is seriously flawed.  Domestic democratic options are also seriously compromised by an administration that simply manipulates the figures to secure the desired outcome - no matter what the people want.
If we go onto the streets we know what faces us - real guns with bullets, banning orders and imprisonment with no chance of any recourse.  We also know that the majority of African leaders will approve of such action by a "soverign State".  It is a minefield and we must walk carefully, with our eyes open and a good map.
Back to the Bush.
A small group of us took over a bush camp in the Hwange National Park for
5 nights.  It was a great break away and to be recommended to all of you who have the time and opportunity.  We drove up to Hwange from Bulawayo and spent one night at Sinamatella camp before going through to Bumbusi Camp.  This was
28 kms to the north on the Bumbusi River and located where three natural springs run throughout the year into the river.  Just 4 kms away is the Deka River, which ultimately runs into the Zambesi.
The weather was superb, clear cold nights, warm days, zero humidity and blue skies.  On our first night in camp we had lion on both sides of the camp at the springs - went out with our guide early the next morning and he took us straight to where he thought we might find them and sure enough we had a good sighting of a large female lion.  Elephant were in plentiful supply and at one stage we had a small herd in the camp itself in broad daylight.
Giraffe and plains game completed the picture.  There were buffalo in the area and at least 4 Rhino but we saw none during our walks across the veld.
Our guide was very good - from National Parks, he knew his birds (we counted
50 different species including several raptors and hooded vultures), had wonderful eyes and saw things we had missed all the time.  On our last day he spotted a pride of lion including a large male with a black mane.  We were able to get to within 20 meters of the two female lion, whilst the male stalked away.  We did a lot of walking with our guide and although we came into close contact with game, never had any doubt that the guide knew what he was doing.  On the Deka River we saw pools with many large crocodiles in them - so many in one instance that we wondered what they lived on.  There was plenty of water and the condition of the bush was very good - the colors with the gold and green of the Mopani and the different color rock formations provided a superb backdrop for our days.  We saw no other people for the whole period - no telephones no TV!  No Zanu PF - this is a strong MDC district.
National Parks were ear tagging and radio collaring Rhino and were using a helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft with ground teams to do this.  The area is designated an intensive conservation area for Rhino.  Although we never saw one, there was lots of active spoor.
The cost - total Parks charges came to less than Z$3000 per person or Z$500 a day - including the cost of the guide and all other fees.  The accommodation was spotless, the beds comfortable and we had our punctures fixed for free by the workshop at Sinamatella.  I think you can call that real value for money.  For those of you who work in US dollars, the official exchange rate is 55 to 1 and the street rate is 700 to 1.  Not a bad deal for US$4.30!
Eddie Cross Bulawayo, August 14th 2002.
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Business Report

Political commentary on recent events in Zimbabwe
Noelani King and Carmen Spilsbury
August 13 2002 at 10:53AM
Below please find comments from our Political Consultant Gary van Staden on

While many South Africans spent the day contemplating the consequences of
the boorish actions of a drunken lout who rubbished the country's rugby
reputation many in Zimbabwe were left to consider their very future as a
consequence of the actions of another boorish lout.

Late last week there was a sense that at the eleventh hour some sanity may
prevail - that Robert Mugabe would turn from a course that could not be more
damaging to the entire southern Africa region had it been so designed. Some
farmers had already given up hope and headed for the cities, other countries
with little more than the clothes on their backs to show for generations of
labour. But others stayed, encouraged by a court order that declared the
evictions null and void on a technicality and clinging to the hope that the
Zimbabwe government would finally see sense and reform a land redistribution
programme courting human tragedy on a massive scale.

The farmers got their answer yesterday - it was short and to the point - get
out!! There would be no eleventh hour miracle, no sudden return to common
sense, and no touch of an angel to
engender a sense of justice. Despite the lingering court orders, the feeble
challenges, the last lashings of desperate people there is now a sense of
finality - the battle is over, Mugabe has won, and his two-year struggle in
defiance of international opinion, logic, compassion and vision has produced
the hollow victory it always promised. There is no going back now and within
a very short while most white farmers will have been driven off their land
for the last time and they will not return - not this time. The consequences
of that for Zimbabwe's people may be dire. Aid agencies, NGOs and even those
South African government officials with enough courage to open their mouths
for a few seconds will tell of the impending tragedy.

Millions, not merely hundreds of thousands are going to starve and there is
little that anyone on the outside can do since the scale of the problem
dwarfs relief efforts. A country that once produced food for export will
barely harvest enough to cover the tables of Mugabe and his government and
other high placed cronies who are prepared to add a new horrific dimension
to the concept of "let them eat cake". Even the handful of farms still
operating have not planted crops - in one district alone last season's
planting at this time covered hundreds of hectares, this year it is less
than 50 - subsistence farming. South Africa will be caught up in the
unfolding drama across its borders - sucked into a vortex of hunger, despair
and anger and this time there will be no turning a blind eye. There are
those in Zimbabwe that warn South Africa's dismal interventions in Zimbabwe
are about to reap the whirlwind of its own stupidity. South Africa cannot
escape the consequences of its actions - or rather its lack of action - and
Pretoria stands condemned for the unbelievable arrogance of deciding that
the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans are a small price to pay for Mugabe's

Last week South African Department of Foreign Affairs officials lifted not a
single finger - except to switch their cell phones off - when Mugabe's
madness was extended to at least 46 South African landowners in Zimbabwe.
Not content with abandoning Zimbabweans to the clutches of a dictator the
South African government abandoned its own people as well. Perhaps a fitting
final chapter as the Mugabe's of Africa stamp their authority on the new
African Union.

Noelani King Conradie, Group Economist at PSG Investment Bank
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Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Prince Charles' 'Zimbabwe appeal'
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's President
Mugabe has ordered white farmers to leave their land
Prince Charles has reportedly urged Prime Minister Tony Blair to do more to help British citizens fleeing Zimbabwe.

News of the appeal comes as Robert Mugabe's critics warn his land reform programme threatens the lives of millions of Zimbabweans.

What I think is needed is an African solution to this African problem

Peter Hain
Foreign Office Minister
The prince is said to be worried that many families leaving the African country for the UK are being denied help and benefits.

Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain said the government was giving the help it could but the focus needed to be on reversing the situation in Zimbabwe itself.

The Daily Mail newspaper reports that Prince Charles has written privately to Mr Blair about his concern about red tape facing families arriving in the UK.

Depending on charity

St James' Palace said it could neither confirm nor deny that the letter existed and Downing Street says it will respond if a letter is received.

Some Zimbabweans coming to the UK argue they have to rely on charity because of the lack of benefits available to them.

Mr Hain said those fleeing persecution did receive support as they went through the normal asylum process.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles issaid to want more help for fleeing families
British citizens leaving Zimbabwe were entitled to claim their rights in the same way as other UK residents, Mr Hain told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"I don't think we should turn what is a failure of leadership in Zimbabwe into some kind of criticism of reception facilities," Mr Hain.

The minister also pointed to the development and food aid the UK was giving to help people in Zimbabwe.

Food politics

That help was being channelled through non-governmental organisations rather than through the Zimbabwean government.

Mr Hain pointed to evidence that Mr Mugabe's officials were using food as a "political weapon", providing it only to their supporters.

Michael Ancram, shadow foreign secretary
Ancram says ministers are "shilly-shallying"
"The whole situation is desperate, the country is being torn apart by state organised violence," said Mr Hain.

The deadline has now passed for two-thirds of the country's remaining white farmers to leave their farms.

Many of those families are reportedly refusing to move.

Mr Hain said the UK had helped to get sanctions in place against Mr Mugabe and his top officials, as well as Zimbabwe's suspension from the Commonwealth.

Earth Summit talks?

"One of the problems with dictators like Mugabe is that they take no notice of international opinion," Mr Hain continued.

The Conservatives have accused the government of failing to do enough to tackle Mr Mugabe, who they say should be "faced down" at this month's Earth Summit in Johannesburg.

Mr Hain said the Tories, despite their criticisms, had offered no practical alternative policies.

The prime minister would, however, discuss the situation with African leaders at the Earth Summit, he said.

"What I think is needed is an African solution to this African problem," added Mr Hain, stressing that such an initiative would get UK support.


Those words failed to impress shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram.

Mr Ancram accused Mr Hain of "hang-wringing mixed with complacency and a total failure to face up to the situation".

"Those threatened by Mugabe must be given proper reassurances that they will not be abandoned," he said.

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Menzies Campbell said the UK had a moral duty as the former colonial power to act humanely towards "Mugabe's victims".

"The British Government should make it clear that it will deal sympathetically with anyone - irrespective of ethnic origin - who is forced out of Zimbabwe by the Mugabe regime," said Mr Campbell.

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Mugabe unlikely to compromise on land issue

HARARE, Aug. 13 - Robert Mugabe is waving his trademark iron fist at white
farmers, but some of them see a glimmer of hope in the Zimbabwean
president's tough words that could see them keep their land.
       Mugabe vowed on Monday to push ahead with his controversial land
reform drive, saying thousands of white farmers defying an August 8 eviction
order must surrender their property without delay to landless blacks.
       But Mugabe also said no farmer would be left landless under his ''one
farmer, one farm policy'' with a place for ''well-meaning white farmers who
wish to pursue a farming career as loyal citizens of this country.''
       Colin Cloete, president of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU)
representing 4,500 white farmers, said Mugabe's line that no farmer need go
without land offered hope to some 1,000 members whose only farms have been
targeted for acquisition.
       Mugabe's government had ordered 2,900 farmers to quit their land
without compensation by midnight last Thursday, but about 60 percent are
defying the eviction orders.
       The reforms have caused upheavals at a time when six million
Zimbabweans, about half the country's population, faces hunger due to
drought and the upheaval on the farms.

       Analysts say the farmers' hopes are misplaced because their farms
have been promised to Zimbabwe's black elite, including top members of the
ruling ZANU-PF party and military officers.
       ''I think anyone suggesting that Mugabe will let go on the land
issue, that the white commercial farmers will be left alone with the large
land-holdings they have, is not following the dynamics of Zimbabwean
politics,'' political analyst Professor Heneri Dzinotyiwei said.
       Dzinotyiwei, chairman of the private think-tank Zimbabwe Integrated
Programme (ZIP), said those likely to benefit from the land drive included a
cross-section of black Zimbabweans whom Mugabe could not afford to
       He said the best deal for the white farmers would come, not in
seeking to retain their large land tracts, but in accepting smaller farm
holdings alongside new black commercial farmers.
       ''If that is the softening that the hopeful white farmers are talking
about, it is not a compromise because it has always been on the table and
Mugabe says it remains on the table,'' he said.
       One senior government source told Reuters that Mugabe had left open
the question of what his government would do about white farmers defying
orders to vacate the farms because he did not wish to set his militant
supporters against them.
       ''That is not an indication they (the farmers) will be allowed to
stay...and those who don't get this message might eventually have to be
forced to get out,'' he said.

       Eleven white farmers have been killed since the land reform programme
began with violent invasions by so-called war veterans early in 2000, some
in possible robberies fuelled by a climate of lawlessness and others in
direct clashes with militants.
       Hundreds of black farm workers have been beaten and an unknown number
have died at the hands of war veterans enforcing the land redistribution,
many of them too young to have fought for the liberation of the former
Rhodesia in the 1970s.
       Justice for Agriculture (JAG), a newly formed pressure group, urged
farmers on Tuesday to prepare fresh legal challenges against the acquisition
of their lands. But in an apparent reference to court challenges, Mugabe
said on Monday: ''We brook no impediment and we will certainly suffer no
avoidable delays.''
       Political analyst Masipula Sithole said Mugabe's combative and
confrontational stance in his speech on Monday was an ominous sign.
       ''This was an opportunity to get sensible...but Mugabe showed in his
speech that he was still prepared to use the land issue for short-term
political dividends,'' he told Reuters.
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Business Day

Clock ticking for Mugabe: MDC

WASHINGTON - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe will be out of power in one
year, leading opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai told the Washington Times
daily in an interview published yesterday.
Tsvangirai, who leads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is widely
believed to have obtained more votes than Mugabe in the March presidential

"Time is running out for this country," Tsvangirai told the conservative
newspaper in an interview from Harare. "We have six to 12 months at the
most - that is, if we can survive that long. If we can achieve change within
12 months, then maybe there is hope."

However "if it goes beyond a year, the government will have destroyed the
infrastructure of this nation and the spirit of its people. It will mean the
subsistence and informal sectors dominating and no investment. It's another
African basket case; that's what it will mean," he said.

In July police summoned Tsvangirai to take down a statement on allegations
that he threatened to overthrow Mugabe. Tsvangirai, who is already facing
treason charges, denied the charges.

Mugabe on Monday insisted that he would hand over white-owned lands to black
farmers by the end of August, four days after ordering thousands of whites
to leave their homes.


Please find below the latest statements from the MDC:

1. Mugabe's Heroes' Day Speech typical of his own shortcomings - Morgna
Tsvangirai, 12 August, 2002
2. MDC Insiza MP Ndlovu dies
3. Chidzero a true national hero

12 August 2002
Mugabe's Heroes Day Speech typical of his own short-comings.

All Zimbabwean patriots realise that the National Heroes' Day is a day of
sombre reflection on the liberation of this country from the yoke of
colonialism and a time to rededicate ourselves to the values and ideals for
which the national heroes lived and died. It is a day to map out a vision
for future development of the country in accordance with of these noble and
cherished ideals.

However, the illegitimate ZANU PF government has routinely turned this
sombre national occasion into an indecent partisan junket to spread a
message of violence and hatred. This year's National Heroes' Day proved to
be no exception. It is a tragedy that once more Mugabe took the occasion of
the burial of Dr. Bernard Thomas Gibson Chidzero, an internationalist, an
illustrious and cosmopolitan son of Zimbabwe who abhorred racialism,
tribalism and all divisive practices, to spew a message of violence and
racial hatred.

Indeed, the circumstances of Dr. Chidzero's own life are clear and
unequivocal demonstration of his abiding faith in non-racialism and a common
brotherhood and fellowship of all human beings. For Mugabe to disgorge a
message of violence and hate, the very antithesis of what the life of Dr.
Chidzero signified, was not only an insult to all patriotic Zimbabweans, but
indeed to the memory of an illustrious son of Zimbabwe. The record of Dr.
Chidzero's life places him firmly in the camp of Mugabe's victims. Those who
have routinely opposed Mugabe's dictatorship at the pain of death are the
real patriots carrying forward the ideals and values of the genuine heroes,
like Dr. Chidzero who are interred at the national shrine. They have carried
forward the torch of liberation in a manner that Mugabe can never imagine.

Zimbabwe is currently reeling under the effects of Mugabe's dictatorship
with millions facing certain death from disease, starvation and
state-sponsored violence and yet Mugabe's message to the nation was a
promissory note for more misery and death.

Mugabe fails to connect with the primary concerns of the people of Zimbabwe,
which are food, jobs, health and an end to poverty. He instead concerns
himself primarily with rhetorical nationalism. In fact Zimbabwe now is a
country where everything is in short supply except misery, starvation and
death. The regime has reduced innocent citizens to the level of scavenging

Where Zimbabweans expect a message of hope and decisive leadership to
confront the problems bedevilling the country, they are told that their
daughters and sons will be forcibly drafted into the so-called National
Youth Service and be transformed into killing machines for the perpetuation
of Mugabe's dictatorship. Zimbabweans must resist the imposition of this
evil programme. They must send a clear and unequivocal message to Mugabe
that he and his cronies can continue to brutalise us, murder us, starve us
to death and visit all manner of unimaginable atrocities on us, but we shall
never succumb to dictatorship. We shall never allow our children to be
turned into shock troops for his evil regime.

The only success that those camps have achieved to this date is to subject
our children, particularly girls to sex slavery by the uncouth trainers and
to turn our children into killers.

Having been effectively isolated by the international community because of
its murderous record, the regime now threatens to turn its wrath on
innocent, defenceless and democracy loving Zimbabweans. We want to tell
Mugabe here and now that the old adage still rings true among the gallant
TIME HAS COME". Change in Zimbabwe is inevitable no matter how many innocent
citizens are slaughtered by the regime.

Morgan Tsvangirai,
MDC President.

12 August 2002
MDC MP for Insiza George Ndlovu dies

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) MP for Insiza George J Ndlovu has
died. Ndlovu died last night at about 7.45pm at the Theatre as doctors
attempted to remove a blood clot from his abdomen at Central Hospital in

Ndlovu who was born on September 10 1939 in the Gwabhila Village of
Filabusi, suffered a black out while driving two days ago resulting in his
vehicle veering off the road. George did not sustain any injuries from this
accident. Doctors suspect that his blackout was due to the stomach ailment,
and they were thus attempting to remove the clot. The MDC remains unclear
about the circumstances that led to his death in the theatre.

The sudden death of George comes as a devastating shock to us. We grieve
with the Ndlovu family and the people of Insiza. May they know that they are
not alone in this time of sadness. We have lost a dear dependable friend, a
competent organizer, a soft spoken colleague, a courageous man, a man of
principle and few words.

The nation is robbed of a man of integrity. While we grieve at his death, we
at the Movement for Democratic Change cherish his deeds for he fought the
good fight; he played a big part in the struggle to bring a better life for
all Zimbabweans. He belongs to a new crop of heroes, heroes that have
dedicated their lives to the struggle to reassert and restore the freedoms
for which the heroes of the 2nd Chimurenga died.

The MDC leadership will hold an emergency meeting and consult the Ndlovu
family in preparation for the funeral. The arrangements will be made public
in due course.

May his soul rest in peace.

Welshman Ncube,
MDC Secretary General.

10 August, 2002 - Chidzero a true national hero

Bernard Chidzero was a good man. Zimbabwe has lost a true hero, a man of
integrity, a politician above the ordinary. He was never a 'pasi naNhingi'
politician. Chidzero was a truly selfless son of this nation who played a
big part in our independence. Such was his selflessness that he at one time
left a big paying job at the United Nations to come and serve his country.
We are paying tribute to his selfless sacrifice.

Like the father of Zimbabwe Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, Bernard Chidzero always
placed the nation ahead of personal or sectional interest. He never in his
illustrious career ever uttered a single word that sought to alienate any
section of Zimbabwe's population in a bid to gain political advantage. He
was thus a truly unifying Zimbabwean.

At this time we also remember our heroes, all sons and daughters of this
nation who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the fight for equity and equality
in Zimbabwe. This equity and equality is again under threat today. Young
Zimbabweans should emulate the exemplary qualities of the heroes of the
caliber of Chidzero to protect their future.

May the Chidzero family know that they are not alone in this time of
sadness. We the people of Zimbabwe are with them. We share their pain.

Morgan Tsvangirai
MDC President

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Adrian Blomfield


HARARE, Zimbabwe - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has
pledged to unseat President Robert Mugabe within a year,
warning his country will become another African "basket
case" if the government remains in power.

In an interview with The Washington Times, Mr. Tsvangirai,
widely believed to have been cheated of victory in May's
presidential election, said Mr. Mugabe had unleashed a
humanitarian disaster on Zimbabweans by trying to hound
white farmers off their land.

"Time is running out for this country," he said. "We have
six to 12 months at the most -  that is, if we can survive
that long. If we can achieve change within 12 months, then
maybe there is hope.

"If it goes beyond a year, the government will have
destroyed the infrastructure of this nation and the spirit
of its people. It will mean the subsistence and informal
sectors dominating and no investment. It's another African
basket case; that's what it will mean."

Aid workers say the government's land-redistribution program
has aggravated a regional famine that has left 6 million
Zimbabweans, half the country's population, at risk of

Since February 2000, when Mr. Mugabe was defeated in a
referendum that would have entrenched his hold on the
presidency, youths claiming to be veterans of Zimbabwe's war
against minority rule have occupied most of the country's
4,500 white-owned farms.

Playing a populist card, the president pledged to correct
the iniquities of the past and distribute the farms to
millions of landless blacks. Paid by the government, the
self-styled war veterans began a violent campaign of
intimidation, killing 12 white farmers and scores of their
workers and chasing many more off their land. They also
burned millions of acres and prevented the farmers from
tilling their fields.

A government decree earlier this year ordered 2,900 whites
to stop all farming activities in June and move off their
land as of Friday. Many of the farms were allocated to
members of the Cabinet and political associates of Mr.

"It is a racist project and a monumental humanitarian
disaster," Mr. Tsvangirai said. "In the face of famine, you
can't be seen to chase off your farmers. This is like the
Cultural Revolution of Mao Tse-tung, and the results of that
were suicidal."

Slamming the government's threat to arrest the hundreds of
farmers who defied the eviction deadline as a gross abuse of
human rights, Mr. Tsvangirai also dismissed suggestions that
he was pandering to the former colonialist masters.
Virtually every white Zimbabwean supports Mr. Tsvangirai's
party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

"This country is facing a crisis that transcends the
black-white divide," he said. "We are a national party that
does not pursue a racial or ethnic agenda. We are fighting a
government responsible for a litany of actions of violence
and lawlessness against its people of corruption and of
gross economic mismanagement."

Zimbabwe's economy will shrink by 11 percent this year.
Inflation is running in triple figures. In the past two
years, the Zimbabwean currency has weakened 600 percent
against the dollar.

In two years, Mr. Mugabe's government has succeeded in
turning one of Africa's few success stories into a bankrupt
and starving country.

But deposing the president within 12 months is going to be a
tough ask. Mr. Tsvangirai has ruled out violent means,
although he slowly is coordinating a program of nonviolent
mass action.

He also is challenging the presidential election result in
the Supreme Court and claims to have gathered "shocking and
irrefutable" evidence to show that Mr. Mugabe's Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front party has stolen the
election. But Mr. Mugabe in the past two years has filled
the Supreme Court with die-hard supporters of his ZANU-PF

The MDC also is contemplating boycotting upcoming regional
elections if the courts reject an injunction to stop the
polls on the grounds they will be rigged.

In the meantime, Mr. Tsvangirai is facing charges of
treason, which he cannot discuss while they are before the
courts. An indistinct videotape shows Mr. Tsvangirai
supposedly plotting with a Canadian-based consultancy firm
to kill Mr. Mugabe. Mr. Tsvangirai claimed he was set up and
his remarks were taken out of context.
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office website



            As hundreds of white commercial owners and tens of thousands of
black workers face being forced off their farms in Zimbabwe by government
decree, they can be forgiven for nostalgia over their country. The jewel in
Africa's crown. Stable. Peaceful. Democratic. Prosperous. And the
breadbasket of the region, too.

            Yet Zimbabweans are now racked with starvation, the country torn
apart by stateorganised violence, with the world's fastest-shrinking
economy, declining at the rate of 10 per cent last year and another 11 per
cent this year. Despite Harare's claims that this is purely a result of
drought, everyone knows it is a man-made tragedy: one man's.

            Instead of increasing food supplies, the regime has increased
the suffering. Instead of encouraging commercial farmers to meet the food
gap, it wants to evict them, leaving victims everywhere: farmers losing
their land, farmworkers losing their livelihoods and the people losing their

            And, as the Zimbabwean Deputy Foreign Minister recently
admitted, the regime is using food as a political weapon: denying it to
areas which support the opposition.

            The regime claims that farmers will be allowed to keep one farm.
But this is not how the chaotic land seizures have been implemented. It
ignores the fact that millions from donors like Britain have been available
for some time to help with land reform, so long as the beneficiaries were
the rural poor, not the ruling party's cronies. The British Government has
long warned that this was a policy of economic suicide.

            A huge amount of food aid is now needed. The British Government
is providing £32 million of assistance this year, but we are insisting that
all aid is distributed outside Zimbabwean state channels and is properly
monitored to ensure that the most needy are helped irrespective of their
political views. Some say that Britain should compensate farmers for their
losses. But that would merely justify retrospectively what the regime has
done and encourage similar violent and illegal expropriations elsewhere.

            The New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad), put
together by progressive African leaders, offers a vision for the future. It
recognises that the donor community is right to focus aid on those who
respect human rights and democracy. Regimes such as Zimbabwe's will not be
backed by the developed world.

            Britain, the Commonwealth and the European Union have done all
we can to persuade the regime to change course. But a regime that cares so
little for its own people obviously cares nothing for international opinion.
That is why a number of countries, the European Union and the United States,
have taken measures including targeted sanctions on 72 of Zanu (PF)'s

            The Government will do its best to give practical advice and
support to any British nationals who face eviction in the coming weeks. At
the same time, we will continue to provide as much emergency assistance as
we can for Zimbabwe's long-suffering poor.

            It is a tragedy that there was not an African solution to this
African problem, especially since the Zimbabwe crisis has hit international
investor confidence in the whole region. The message to Zimbabwe's
neighbours is that good government matters and, like charity, begins at

            Zimbabwean champions of decency and basic rights, the starving,
the farmers, are all victims of Mugabe's misrule: black and white, rich and
poor. But frustrating though it has been for Zimbabwe's friends to watch its
sad collapse, change can only come from within Zimbabwe. In the meantime, we
will maintain our solidarity while continuing to work for a change of
direction and maintaining sanctions on the elite.


            Hain under fire for Zimbabwe 'hand wringing'

                 Foreign Office minister Peter Hain has been criticised for
"hand wringing mixed with complacency" after saying that Britain is doing
all it can to help the people of Zimbabwe.

                  Shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram added that the
government's response to the situation in Zimbabwe consisted of "talk and no

                  His comments followed a speech by president Robert Mugabe
in which he pledged that his government would continue its efforts to
transfer the land of white farmers to black Zimbabweans.

                  Hain said that those fleeing Mugabe's regime were given
all the help they were entitled to.

                  "Those coming as citizens entitled, because they are
British, to settle here go through the same procedures that every other
British citizen would go through," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

                  "They are entitled to get a job. They are entitled to all
sorts of rights and they are able to claim those rights.

                  "That is a different category from those who are not
British citizens and are seeking asylum. They are processed in the normal

                  The minister said a failure of leadership in Zimbabwe
should not be turned into criticism of British reception facilities.

                  "We are doing all we can and we will continue to do all we
can," he said.

                  But one farmer who fled Zimbabwe for the UK, and has now
set up a trust for farmers arriving in Britain, said more support should be

                  "I think more people are going to be leaving, so we do
need that support for people arriving here, in the form of allowing them to
draw their benefits and so on," Derek Arlett-Johnson told Today.

                  "These are skilled people coming to this country who can
contribute to this country. Given a chance, many of us would start
businesses and create employment. We are not asking for a lot."

                  And the Conservatives also said the government should do

                  "Peter Hain's performance on the Today programme was
another example of this government's talk and no action," said the shadow
foreign secretary.

                  "It is hand wringing mixed with complacency and a total
failure to face up to the situation. Those threatened by Mugabe must be
given proper reassurances that they will not be abandoned.

                  "It is time that the government listened to our advice and
began to make it clear that international involvement in helping to resolve
problems in Southern Africa cannot proceed in isolation from the need to
deal with the politically motivated and totally obscene situation in
Zimbabwe," Ancram added.

                  But Hain said Tory policy on Zimbabwe was "bluster".

                  "What is very interesting about the Conservative position
is that they have provided no practical alternative policy," Hain told the

                  "It's up to those who are saying more should be done to
specify exactly what."

                  The minister said Britain had been leading international
efforts to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe and added that the prime minister
would raise the issue with African leaders at the Earth Summit in
Johannesburg next month.

                  "There has to be an African solution. We will support that
and provide the development assistance to regenerate Zimbabwe when it is
pursuing policies to support its people, not the tiny elite," Hain said.
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The Guardian

Tension Rises On Zimbabwe Farms

Tuesday August 13, 2002 8:10 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - White farmers facing eviction reported Tuesday a
wave of threats and intimidation by government officials and ruling party
militants trying to force them off their land.

Farmers leaders said five farmers in southeastern Zimbabwe left their land
early Tuesday after local officials, armed police and soldiers visited their
farms and told them they were violating the eviction laws.

No physical action was taken, but five farmers went to stay with neighbors
not affected by eviction orders, the Commercial Farmers Union, representing
4,000 white farmers, said.

In other incidents in the north of the country, militants threatened
violence if farmers did not abandon their properties, said Justice for
Agriculture, a group calling for the evictions to be challenged in court.

A black settler on one of the farms in the Banket tobacco and corn district
fired a pistol in the air in an effort to drive the owner and his black
workers away Monday, said Jenni Williams, a spokeswoman for the group.

In other incidents near Harare, a black manager employed by a white farmer
was assaulted by militants Monday and three other farmers were under
pressure from black settlers to leave, she said.

A deadline for nearly 3,000 white farmers to leave their land expired last
week as part of the government's often violent land reform program. But the
government has taken no direct action to enforce the eviction order.

The government says its program was a final effort to correct colonial era
imbalances in land ownership. Critics say it is part of the increasingly
authoritarian government's effort to maintain power amid more than two years
of economic chaos and political violence mainly blamed on the ruling party.

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association, which has led
the often violent occupation of white-owned farms over the past two years,
said its members would not take the law into their own hands to remove
defiant farmers.

``It is now the responsibility of the government of Zimbabwe to make sure
the laws of Zimbabwe are obeyed in all respects,'' chairman Patrick
Nyaruwata said.

President Robert Mugabe said Monday he would not tolerate opposition to his
plans to redistribute white-owned farms to blacks. He said he would not
allow whites to retain massive farms, though he said he was willing to let
``loyal'' farmers keep some land.

Mugabe did not refer to evictions in a second speech marking a Defense
Forces Day holiday Tuesday.

He said the land redistribution program was ``being finalized.'' Military
personnel had been given farms and more would continue to get land.

The standoff between government and white farmers came as half Zimbabwe's
12.5 million people face a severe hunger crisis, according to the U.N. World
Food Program. The WFP blames the crisis on drought combined with the
agricultural chaos caused by the seizures.
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The Times

Letters to the Editor

            Suffering shared by all in Zimbabwe
            From Miss Sue Shaw

            Sir, Jan Raath's report this morning focuses on the plight of
the black Zimbabweans. He really does get to the guts of the destruction
taking place without any apparent qualms on the part of the governments of
the UK, the Commonwealth, Europe or of the United Nations.
            Of course we care about the white farmers - but they are likely
to be offered alternatives. It is doubtful the UK would refuse them entry
and life here. But what of their black workers? As we can see from this
report, they are not only losing their jobs but their homes and their health
and, all too often, their lives.

            Shame on our politicians for having done far too little far too
late. We must pray for divine assistance in this crisis for it seems no
human help is at hand.

            Yours faithfully,
            SUE SHAW,
            154 Cross Street,
            Arnold, Nottingham NG5 7BY.
            August 12.

            From Mr Graham Weinberg

            Sir, As Mr Mugabe proceeds with his racist policy of
expropriating the farms of the indigenous white population of Zimbabwe,
where are the protests of the liberal intelligentsia and their supporters in
the media? Where was the outrage at the murder of several farmers? Where are
the resolutions sponsored by the non-Western majority at the UN?

            Their silence is deafening.

            Yours faithfully,
            GRAHAM WEINBERG,
            3 Albemarle Street,
            London W1S 4AU.
            August 13.

            From Mr Roger M. Bale

            Sir, Reports on Zimbabwe should avoid saying "returning land to
Zimbabwe's black population" (page 1, August 9).

            Before European settlers arrived there was no "black" concept of
land ownership, rather ownership was of what lived upon the land and, in
particular, cattle. Rights to cattle ownership had, prior to the settlers'
arrival, been taken from the Shona (Mr Mugabe's tribe) majority by previous
(black) settlers from what was the Zulu tribe of (now) South Africa.

            Yours faithfully,
            ROGER M. BALE,
            Rocque Berg,
            St Clement, Jersey JE2 6FT.
            August 9.

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State Killed Potential for Commercial Farming

Business Day (Johannesburg)

August 13, 2002
Posted to the web August 13, 2002

Norman Reynolds

Halting funds to training schemes set Zimbabwe's agriculture on path to

WE ARE witnessing the demise of the white commercial farmer in Zimbabwe.
That is analogous to removing the main engine of that nation's formal
economy without first having built a replacement engine.

The white farmers, government, donor community and civil society have stated
for more than 20 years, since independence in 1980, that there had to be
land reform to correct historical injustice.

Now, instead of reform, there is chaos, state-inspired violence, a ruined
economy, extreme levels of unemployment amid one of Africa's most educated
populations, and to boot, deep corruption and cronyism relating to access to

Also, there is virtually no state support worth mentioning to help those
with allocated farmland to begin to farm. This when more than half the
population faces famine and the planting season is less than three months

There are three areas of white farmer-government relations that are worth
recording as they help to understand the background to this national

The first case is that Ian Smith's government, to beat sanctions, had worked
closely and successfully with the white farmers to research and to switch
crops that could be fed into the domestic industry, like cotton, maize and
soya. At independence, that research and expertise on the state side was
devoted to black, mostly small farmers, again with success.

The commercial farmers accepted this policy decision that, as a developed
industry, they should largely look after their own research needs. This they
did, most notably rebuilding tobacco as a world crop and then perfecting
horticulture and wildlife as major export and tourism earners.

These feats became the focus of considerable support to small farmers
entering these demanding operations. The next success involving commercial
farmers was quickly killed off. It presaged the larger destruction of
commercial farming.

By 1984, after a reasonable start to land redistribution, it was clear the
emerging bottleneck was trained agricultural personnel to back settlers, so
they could succeed.

The agriculture ministry produced a costly plan to build two new
agricultural colleges, to triple the number of graduates. The cost was far
too much for government. Also, it would take six years to produce the first
crop of graduates, no matter how generous donors were.

As government's chief economist then, I had to find a quicker, cheaper
solution. I went to see the successful head of the previously "black"
Chibero Agricultural College, Lovegot Tendengu. We decided to take the issue
to the Commercial Farmers' Union, on the grounds it was as much an industry
issue as it was a state problem.

They were surprised. It was common then for many sectors to feel Zimbabwe's
government should be left to "stew in its own juice", as occurred that year
when it stupidly froze all prices for ever to contain the inflation it had

We appealed to the union leaders on several fronts. "Who", we asked, "would
buy their farms if they did not create their own commercial successors?"
"How", we added, "could farm prices stay strong if the colleges presently
trained youngsters, mostly black from poor township or rural homes, to fill
bureaucratic posts?"

Following that meeting an "onfarm" training programme was born, which is of
interest to SA. By shipping half the students each term onto "member"
commercial farms, the existing three colleges were able to increase the
number of students by half immediately.

Each of the colleges formed a training committee comprised of faculty and
"trainer farmers". Donors provided a fund to help. This paid for on-farm
accommodation, usually for three students in a cottage. The farmer
progressively owned the cottage as he or she re mained in the programme. An
onfarm training programme was jointly developed that exposed students to all
farm operations. A faculty member co-ordinated and supervised the students
on the farms.

The whole farm was the training entity. Students spent much of their time
with the labour. The farmer took them through planning and other assigned
managerial tasks. Farmer members and students also helped the colleges with
their own college farm operations.

Then, so tragically typical of Zimbabwe's government, the state pulled the
plug. It began to demand all college revenue be returned to government.
Staff resigned in frustration. Tendengu left. The on-farm training scheme
faltered and died. A cornerstone of any successful small and big commercial
farming industry was broken.

In all poor countries the major constraint to development is lack of
managerial skills. In Zimbabwe, the 4000 commercial farmers like them or not
have represented the largest body of technical, commercial and managerial

Hence, there was an attempt to persuade government to encourage all farmers
who sold farms for redistribution to remain within the programme as managers
supporting the farm operations of groups of settler farmers in the area.

This idea was never taken up. Settlers have been left to the care of
extension officers with little or no knowledge of agriculture as an industry
and few organisational skills. In the same vein, none were given tenure.
They have remained settlers at the discretion of the minister. Few have
found the commercial means to grow their farm businesses.

The great potential for mutual small and large commercial farm operations in
an agriculturally successful country has been dashed. And with it, the hopes
of all citizens but the limited interest in plunder of President Robert
Mugabe's cronies and thugs as his regime dies.

Reynolds, a former Zimbabwean government chief economist, is director of
Earth Africa.
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A man-made disaster puts 300,000 lives at risk
         David Coltart The New York Times  Saturday, August 10, 2002

The coming famine in Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe In the last two years Zimbabwe has been transformed into a
state that increasingly resembles Cambodia under Pol Pot. The government
seems set on adding famine to the list of oppressions visited on the nation.
In May, a law was passed decreeing that any commercial farmer who continued
to farm 45 days after being given notice to stop would face imprisonment.
This weekend that law will be used to evict thousands of commercial farmers
and their workers.
Fear and desperation pervades the country. All the signs are that President
Robert Mugabe is determined to hold on to power at any cost, including the
deaths of hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans. The judiciary has been all
but destroyed. Independent journalists have been arrested, their presses
bombed. Civil liberties have been revoked. In January, the military warned
they would not accept any leader other than Mugabe.
The presidential election in March was a farce. Mugabe was proclaimed winner
in an election that was widely condemned internationally.
Still, the Mugabe regime knows it must convince the world it is legitimate
if it is to survive. For this reason, the regime cloaks its suppression of
democracy in what would otherwise be legitimate concerns, primarily the need
to redress legacies of colonial injustice. The unresolved land ownership
issue has been exploited very effectively to cover up corruption, poor
administration and human rights abuses.
The catastrophic human rights situation is now complicated by a famine that
is, in the case of Zimbabwe, mainly the result of the Mugabe regime's
ruinous policies. Had experienced farmers been allowed to plant their crops,
Zimbabwe would not have had to import any food at all. As it is, Zimbabwe is
now facing a shortage of some 1.2 million tons of corn.
The World Food Program recently predicted that some 6 million Zimbabweans
will soon face starvation. At least 25 percent of Zimbabweans are HIV
positive. Experts are agreed that some 20 percent of AIDS sufferers are
extremely vulnerable to drops in nutritional levels.
Conservatively, one might calculate that 300,000 Zimbabweans could die
within the next few months as a result of this combination of famine and
The Mugabe regime may be counting on catastrophe for its own salvation.
There is no doubt a calculation taking place that television images of
starving children will soon dominate policy decisions in the West and that a
flood of aid will pour in.
That Zimbabwe and other countries in the region need vast amounts of food
and medical aid is beyond doubt. But if the symptom of famine is addressed
but not its cause, the international community will only have succeeded in
perpetuating the problem.
Ongoing food shortages will occur unless a massive irrigated corn crop is
planted this November - and it can still be planted if the rule of law is
re-established - but only if the rule of law is re-established with help
from Zimbabwe's neighbors and through holding a fresh election that complies
with international standards.
Famine in Zimbabwe is primarily caused by bad governance, tolerated by many
African states and supported by some. Investors the world over will be
watching to see whether African rulers deal with the cause of this famine,
not merely its symptoms. If African leaders do not act in these
circumstances, what investment in Africa will ever be safe in the future?
If leaders in the industrialized democracies are interested in preventing
famines in southern Africa, they must persuade their African colleagues to
deal with the real cause of the catastrophe unfolding in Zimbabwe.
The writer, a member of Zimbabwe's Parliament, is a leader of the Movement
for Democratic Change, the main opposition party. He contributed this
comment to The New York Times.

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The Guardian

Zimbabwe Farmers Under Pressure

Tuesday August 13, 2002 8:50 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Ruling party militants and local officials have
begun putting pressure on some of the hundreds of farmers defying a
government order to leave their land, farmers' leaders said Tuesday.

Among a dozen incidents reported around the country, five farmers in
southeastern Zimbabwe left their land early Tuesday after local officials,
armed police and soldiers warned them they were violating the eviction laws,
a farmers' group said.

Justice for Agriculture, a group calling for the evictions to be challenged
in court, said militants had threatened violence if farmers did not abandon
their properties.

A deadline for nearly 3,000 white farmers to leave their land expired last
week as part of the government's often violent program to redistribute
white-owned farms to blacks. But the government has taken no direct action
to enforce the eviction order.

On Monday, a black settler on one farm in the Banket tobacco and corn
district fired a pistol in the air Monday in an effort to drive the owner
and his black workers away, said Jenni Williams, a Justice for Agriculture

She said a black manager employed by a white farmer was assaulted Monday by
militants northwest of Harare. At least four other farmers were under
pressure from black settlers to leave, according to Williams and the
Commercial Farmers Union, representing 4,000 white farmers.

The black settlers may have been emboldened to act by remarks Monday by
President Robert Mugabe during celebrations marking the guerrilla war that
ended white rule more two decades ago, farmers said.

Mugabe praised militants and ``young men who slugged it out on the farms''
during his program of land seizures over the past two years. ``They are the
new war veterans ... not impostors but genuine fighters for their land,'' he

Land occupations have been led by veterans of the guerrilla war, politicians
and ruling party militants.

The standoff with white farmers came as half Zimbabwe's 12.5 million people
face a severe hunger crisis, according to the World Food Program. The U.N.
agency blames the crisis on drought combined with the agricultural chaos
caused by the seizures.

Nearly 3,000 white farmers face eviction. About 60,000 farm workers are
estimated to have been left jobless on farms already shut down. Some 350,000
workers live with their families on white farms, and evictions threaten to
displace as many as 230,000 workers, farmers say.

The government says its program was a final effort to correct colonial era
imbalances in land ownership. Critics say it is part of the increasingly
authoritarian government's effort to maintain power amid more than two years
of economic chaos and political violence mainly blamed on the ruling party.

Mugabe said Monday he would not tolerate opposition to his plans, nor would
he allow whites to retain massive farms. But he said he was willing to allow
``loyal'' whites to stay on some land.

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans' Association, which has led
the occupation of white-owned farms over the past two years, said its
members would not take the law into their own hands to remove farmers
defying the eviction.

``It is now the responsibility of the government of Zimbabwe to make sure
the laws of Zimbabwe are obeyed in all respects,'' chairman Patrick
Nyaruwata said.

In a second speech marking a Defense Forces Day holiday Tuesday, Mugabe said
the land redistribution program was ``being finalized.'' Military personnel
had been given farms and more would continue to get land.

Scotland on Sunday

Zimbabwe's farmers defiant amid fears of fresh violence

TENSION mounted in Zimbabwe's chaotic land stand-off yesterday, as embattled
white farmers locked their farmyard gates in defiance of government orders
and anxiously awaited President Robert Mugabe's next step.

Just over 1,700 farmers were refusing to leave their farms, according to
Justice for Agriculture, a hardline farmers' group. Government threats of
eviction had failed to materialise; however there were signs of tough action
to come.

"The law will take its course," Vice President Joseph Msika told the
government Herald newspaper, referring to possible punishments of a large
fine or a two-year jail sentence. But farmers and hesitant government
officials are focusing on President Mugabe, who has just returned from a
visit to Singapore.

He is expected to address the nation to mark Heroes' Day, which celebrates
the victory of black liberation fighters against the white Rhodesian
government. A fiery address at last year's event sparked a looting spree on
white farms around the town of Chinhoyi.

Fears are rising that this year's speech, due for either today or tomorrow,
will combine with the eviction crisis to trigger more anti-farmer violence.

International opprobrium at Mugabe's actions has heightened in recent
months, as six million Zimbabweans became faced with possible starvation
while his government effectively shut down the country's most productive

And even though the redistribution is meant to benefit landless blacks, it
has also emerged that some of the best farms are being given to officials
and cronies of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Meanwhile yesterday, farmers were in disarray as pressure increased for them
to leave their farms. According to acting agriculture minister Ignatius
Chombo, 400 farmers had left by Friday evening, with more expected to follow

Confusion surrounds the number of farmers threatened with eviction. Initial
estimates of 2,900 - out of an estimated total of 4,500 commercial farmers -
were revised by Chombo yesterday, who said that 1,600 farmers must leave
immediately, with a further 1,000 to follow in the coming year.

Those remaining on their farms are left clinging to frail legal promises and
a desperate hope that the long holiday weekend, which extends until Tuesday
evening, will not descend into violence. Some felt they had been thrown a
lifeline by a High Court ruling last week that quashed all eviction orders
where mortgage-holding banks had not been informed - which affected nearly
all white farms.

But similar rulings have been disregarded in the past. "Court orders are
great in principle but they are not much use on the ground," said David
Haslock of the Commercial Farmers' Union.

Nevertheless, the law still has some value in Zimbabwe. The farmer who
brought last week's test case, Andy Kockett, told Scotland on Sunday he had
already returned to work at his farm near Karoi, 220 kilometres north-west
of Harare. "I'm up and running again," he said yesterday.

A wealthy businessman and prominent Zanu-PF supporter, Philip Maguti, had
been trying to take over the farm. When he came with supporters last week,
Kockett handed him a copy of the order. "They weren't quite sure what to do.
Then five minutes later, they took off," he said.

The white farming community is increasingly divided on how to best tackle
the crisis. The CFU is hoping to negotiate a solution with the government. A
new splinter group, named Justice for Agriculture (JAG), is however taking a
more confrontational approach.

"Farmers have been made many promises by the government over the past two
years. All of them have been broken," said JAG spokeswoman Jenni Williams.

Of those who have left their farms, some have headed for the UK, South
Africa, or neighbouring Zambia and Mozambique. But most have just gone to
the towns, in the hope that they can sit the crisis out and return to their

Jim Sinclair has swapped his farm in Norton for a townhouse in a smart
Harare suburb. "We're not hopeful of returning in the immediate future. We
think this madness has to work itself out first," he said yesterday.

Sinclair has more to regret than most. As a farmers' leader, he toured the
country after it gained independence in 1980, encouraging white farmers to
stay on. He often spoke from the same platform as Robert Mugabe. Now one of
his farmer sons is leaving for England; the other has turned to carpentry.
"He [Mugabe] made a commitment that this would work. Then he turned around
and bit us," he said yesterday.

Until recently Zimbabwe was seen as a bread-basket country for southern
Africa. Now, a combination of the chaotic land redistribution programme and
poor weather has turned it into a starving, pauper nation. The United
Nations estimates that half the population - six million people - are going
to need international food aid in coming months.

There is no famine, yet, but the warning signs are increasing. In the worst
affected areas, to the south and west of the country, most families are
surviving on just one meal a day. Some schoolchildren are collapsing in
class, others are dropping out to look for wild fruits. Some have died after
eating poisonous roots.

"It is very early for those signs. This is August and the next harvest is
not until April or May," said Richard Millar of the Catholic agency Cafod.
"If the food doesn't come by one means or another, there will be famine."

Last Friday in Concession, 50 miles north of Harare, hundreds of hungry
peasants were queuing for maize rations outside the Grain Marketing Board,
the state body with a monopoly on maize imports. They stood in front of a
line of large grain silos, most of them empty.

The fields around the town, which should be groaning with green winter wheat
at this time of the year, were fallow. Similarly, the dam at nearby Mazoe
should have been sucked dry by irrigation schemes by now; instead it is

Some settlers had planted maize but their crops were struggling. President
Mugabe's government had neglected to give them seeds, tools and expertise.

Amid claims that farms are going to cronies of Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party
the information minister, Jonathan Moyo, has been officially listed as the
new owner of a farm in the eastern Manicaland province.

Others said to have benefited from the alleged cronyism include Air
Vice-Marshall Perence Shiri, a senior military figure accused of gross human
rights abuses in the 1980s, Vice President Msika, police chiefs, the
Zimbabwe ambassador to the US, a bank executive and a journalist with the
state television station, ZBC.
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--> News release (On behalf of Justice for Agriculture) Please visit the Justice
for Agriculture - Website - <> Two wrongs do not
make a right

JUSTICE for Agriculture (JAG) recognise that over 60% of farmers under
notice of acquisition have remained on their farms and in their homes along
with their staff and families - making up over one and a half million
people. Farmers are not defying Government but rather the orders, which they
believe to be illegal, and therefore intend to continue to fight the
acquisition of their farms and title through the Courts. This is not
confrontational. It is regrettable that the opportunity to restore the rule
of law and establish proper planning and sustainability to the inevitable
process of land reform, has not yet been addressed and this is endangering
the lives and livelihood millions of Zimbabweans. The official agrarian
reform programme has been altered in terms of the implementation of the
legal process and in terms of the awarding of farms. Limitless power has
been put in the hands of local government officials, who decide what land
will be acquired and allocate it without due regard to legal instruments or
production. The 10-year programme was to leave single fully utilised farms
and an economic core of 6 million hectares. Instead almost all independently
owned land has been listed, and most of it compulsorily acquired, without
assessing or budgeting for any compensation. Many Zimbabweans will die from
starvation, the AIDS pandemic and the rest will be impoverished by unsound
economic programmes. The time has come for them to put 'principle and
production' above 'political patronage'. If we are to share the land we must
do so lawfully and without ignoring food security. Another aspect is that of
Title. It is as important for new settlers to have clear title and adequate
resources as it is for the existing farmers to be treated fairly, humanely
and in accordance with the law. This was not addressed.

A plethora of legal cases have already been brought before Zimbabweans
Courts, and some judgments have already been made nullifying compulsory
notices of acquisition. Examples of cases already won are the Simon and
Kockott cases. In some instances the Attorney General has advised that the
Ministry of Lands and Agriculture have conceded that Section 8 notices have
been irregularly issued and have withdrawn acquisition.

President Robert Mugabe today reconfirmed that the deadline for farmer's
eviction would go ahead; the formation of JAG is therefore timeous in terms
of leading legal challenges. The President also acknowledged that the
government would abide by acquisition processes and we would like to take
him at his word and request the immediate delisting of 1024 single owned
farms. We take heart that the President acknowledges the existence of loyal
farmers, amongst these are the 70% who bought their land after independence
in 1980 and have invested heavily in their farming operations. These are the
people who along with their loyal workforce have nowhere to go and vow to
stay put.

The JAG leadership are also advising farmers to complete comprehensive
affidavits and an inventory of assets and once this paperwork is complete,
legal counsel will be briefed to sue for losses using every redress the law
allows. The respondents in this action can only be determined once all the
paperwork is in place but it is expected that the settlers, war veterans and
politicians will be key respondents as in most cases they have orchestrated
the trashing, looting and theft of assets on the ground under the guise of
land reform. Legal advice is that we first take this matter to a Zimbabwean
Court and if we do not get a fair judgement, we take it up internationally.

JAG is a group of concerned Zimbabweans with a mission to secure justice,
peace and freedom for and in the agricultural sector. Its contribution to
the Zimbabwean economy is presently under attack, which has led to the
displacement of expertise, causing poverty and starvation.

JAG is concerned with the interests of commercial farm owners, farm workers,
as well as the agricultural ancillary industries and their employees, and
all those having any interest in the land. Its mission at present is to
safeguard and support people directly affected, in whatever way possible,
and to document and expose the injustices and human rights abuses being
perpetrated against them. These rights are enshrined within the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights as adopted by Zimbabwe, a member of the United

Made up of committed Zimbabweans, JAG remains determined to find a lasting
and just solution to the crisis currently facing the agricultural sector, in
accordance with the freely expressed wishes of the people. We therefore call
on all affected Zimbabweans in a bid to represent as wide a spectrum of
interests as possible.

The next few weeks will be a crucial time for Zimbabwean farming families.
Until that time JAG has resolved to explore every legal avenue to expose the
iniquities of the accelerated "fast track" programme.

Justice for Agriculture overview: JAG believes in justice for agriculture in
Zimbabwe and the unbiased non-racist application of just and constitutional
laws in accordance with locally and internationally recognised standards. ·
JAG will expose and make accountable all persons actively destroying
essential agricultural under the guise of land reform. To achieve this, JAG
will encourage the taking up of legal proceedings that argue against
violations of the Zimbabwean constitution and laws. JAG believes that a
rational, orderly and legal process of agrarian reform is needed for food
sufficiency and long-term prosperity, not only in Zimbabwe but also in
Africa as a whole.

JAG will work to keep agricultural skills on the land and in the country,
and to find innovative ways to increase production whilst working towards
recovery of the sector. JAG believes it is essential that good farming
practice be widely taught and that successful farmers share their knowledge
and expertise with others who wish to become productive farmers.

JAG believes land is a precious and finite national resource and that it is
essential that it be used productively. The Zimbabwean constitution
expressly forbids discrimination on grounds of race, religious affiliation
or gender. JAG believes the laws and decrees that are discriminatory are
unconstitutional and should be challenged. JAG supports a duly elected and
democratic government whilst refuses to be transformed into political
apologists. JAG recognises the resolutions of the International Donors'
conference on Land Reform and Resettlement held in Harare on 9th September
1998 and also the Abuja Accord signed on 6th September 2001. No one has
disputed the need for land reforms. No government accountable to Zimbabwe's
people will be ever able to avoid dealing with it.  But there is no
legitimate excuse for the violent lawlessness and injustices now, and no
legitimate reason for reckless haste or a lack of transparency.

Farming versus starvation Whilst this ban on planting, producing and
marketing of food occurs, Mr Mugabe, his cabinet ministers and aid
organizations are lobbying the international community for food aid to feed
over six million Zimbabweans who are already starving.

2002 commercial crop planting projections were: Wheat:
24 692 hectares are already in the ground and will be harvested Sept/Oct.
Its value in terms of dollars and cents is Z$6 billion. But its value as a
scarce food commodity is priceless in the current stock out position. Cereal
production at 670,000 tonnes has dropped 57 per cent compared to last year
and 67 per cent compared to 1999-2000. Cereal import needs, including maize,
is up to 1.8 billion tonnes.

Tobacco: Over 170 million kgs of tobacco is produced and waiting grading on
the farms. US$35,5 million worth of tobacco has already been sold and the
Section 8 Orders have cast doubt over the fate of the US$330 million crop
still in grading sheds on the farms. Government has made it clear that it
has funds only for some inputs for this coming season's food crop, with
nothing for tobacco and other essential export crops which provide the
foreign currency needed for fuel, chemicals, medicines etc. It has not been
able to secure any significant funding for these.

Maize (2002/2003):
41 067 hectares will translate to 226 000 tonnes: three months supply for
the staple diet of Zimbabwe. The value of the crop is Z$9,4 billion. Last
season 50% of the maize crop was stolen with no police action taken against
the perpetrators. This severely eroded confidence for the commercial sector
and compromised viability. Maize production at 480,000 tonnes is estimated
to be 67 per cent less than last year and 77 per cent less than 1999-2000.

Unless significant delisting is done and the law altered to something more
practical, it is impossible at this time to confirm how these estimates will
translate into yields as some of the farmers who expressed intentions may
yet come under Section 8 notification and will have to leave before the
planting/harvesting. All listed farms can be acquired without a hearing and
the crop seized after only 45 days. The few farms, which have not been
listed, have only 75 days protection ensuring that the current legal
framework is inimical to any land preparations or crop planting. It is
difficult for any farmer to plan ahead until the past promises to de-list
farms are honoured and it is clear that allocations have been administered

Sector (6 000 farms) on 11 020 000 hectares which is
28.2 percent. Zimbabwe is 39 079 000 hectares in extend.

The Large Scale Commercial Sector, totaling 11 020 000 hectares, Commercial
Farmers' Union Members owned 8 595 000 hectares.

STATE LAND is 27 604 000 hectares, 70.6 percent; PRIVATE LAND is 11 275 000
hectares, 28.9 percent and URBAN LAND is 200 000 hectares, 0.5 percent.

The Government of Zimbabwe Land Reform programme has resulted in changes to
the above picture. Land has been acquired through notices of acquisition and
in some instances, invaders have first arrived on farms, under the 'Fast
track' programme and then steps have been taken to acquire the farms through
legal means available.

Some farms were deemed unsuitable and were then delisted from acquisition,
however in November 2001, the Government of Zimbabwe announced its intention
to implement Maximum Farm Size regulations and this resulted in the
relisting of farms. The results below indicate this shift in policy.

Lising refers to the naming of the farm in Government Gazette notices - it
is a preliminary notice, Section 5. The following are compulsory acquisition
statistics; they represent the changing picture of occupation of land in

Large scale commercial farms comprising 11 020 000 hectares (28.2% of
Zimbabwean land) under threat of acquisition.

As at 19 July 2002, there were 6148 farms measuring 10780963 hectares of
land listed for acquisition. On this date there were 465 farms measuring 864
579 hectares delisted from acquisition. There were 339 farms, 770 759
hectares that had previously been delisted, relisted for acquisition. This
brought the nett figure to 6 022 farms on 106 8714 hectares of land. To
translates to 97 percent of the land acquired.

12th August 2002 For more information contact Jenni Williams Justice For
Agriculture Publicity Team Mobile (263) 91 300 456 0r 00 213 885 Email us at  or
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