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

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The Spectator
What makes Mugabe shudder?

White skin, that’s what. Fergal Keane deplores the shameful silence in response to ethnic cleansing in Zimbabwe
Naomi Raaff is leaving Africa. She was born on the continent, as were her children. But Naomi Raaff is no longer welcome in the land of her birth. Her problem is that she is white, and in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe this makes her an enemy of the state.

‘Yes, I can read it all — it’s a pretty basic code.’

White. Not an armed rebel or a political subversive or a hater or a killer — just white. Decent, law-abiding, kind and hard-working but, alas, irredeemably white. In a few days’ time she will take a plane to Britain and, with her three children, attempt to start a new life in Hampshire — that is if she can find a job and a house.

I met her in her comfortable bungalow in Harare as she packed the last boxes of her family belongings. Naomi cannot afford to transport her furniture or pay the quarantine fees for the family cat. So these are being parcelled out to friends, while the treasured essentials — old letters, copies of her children’s school reports, gymkhana rosettes and photographs — are carefully packed in cardboard boxes for the journey to England.

The most cherished photograph is of Naomi and a ruggedly handsome man in his early fifties. The picture was taken at a party and both of them are beaming into the camera. He had been Naomi’s best friend and lover for seven years. The man’s name is Terry Ford, and I know that I have seen his photograph before.

But the photograph I saw — weeks before I met Naomi — was of a brutalised and bloody corpse. The Terry Ford in the news photographs was lying near the gate of his farm, having been battered, hacked and shot to death by Robert Mugabe’s thugs. The night he was murdered Terry rang Naomi in Harare to tell her that some men had tried to break into the house. He had driven them off by firing a shot. That was the last Naomi heard from him.

The following morning a farm labourer found Terry Ford’s body. A gang of 20 men had returned and murdered him. The world paid a little bit of notice to his death, only because Terry had a small terrier called Squeak, and the dog was photographed pining beside the body of his dead master. Then the world resumed its customary indifference to the terror in Zimbabwe, and Naomi Raaff decided she could take no more.

In her view there is no room left for white farmers in Zimbabwe. ‘It’s over,’ she told me. ‘The farmers who believe they can stay working are deluding themselves.’ She is, of course, absolutely correct. Now, with Mugabe and his cronies threatening to expropriate white businesses, the days of white urban dwellers may also be coming to an end.

The plan is becoming clearer with every passing day: the whites are to be driven out of Zimbabwe. A despotic regime has targeted an ethnic minority and used all the powers of state to marginalise and demonise them. It has changed the law so that it can steal their property, unleashed militias to enforce its will, and turned a blind eye to murder and mayhem. (When Terry Ford called the police for help just before he was murdered, they told him their driver was asleep.)

To be white is to be a target of state hatred. It is to be told that your life and livelihood have no value. In any other context we would denounce this as racism and ethnic cleansing, but when it comes to Zimbabwe there is a curious failure to call things by their proper name.

The Western nations went to war in Kosovo proudly declaring that ‘ethnic cleansing’ had no place at the end of the 20th century. No more Bosnias or Rwandas, they declared. Western forces are deployed in the Balkans to ensure that minorities are not brutalised. The newly inaugurated International Criminal Court has as an implicit goal the prosecution of those who target vulnerable population groups.

So why the silence over Robert Mugabe’s campaign against the whites? Let us consider the more plausible rationalisation. It is undeniably the case that black Zimbabweans are enduring far more physical suffering at Mugabe’s hands. While 3,000 farmers face eviction, there are 250,000 farm workers who are being made destitute; the torture and killing of Mugabe’s black enemies is on a far greater scale than anything suffered by whites; and, unlike the mass of African peasantry, the whites are not facing starvation. All of this is rightly condemned by the West.

The failure to recognise the ethnic cleansing of whites has old roots. Blame it on a noxious blend of history and bigotry. In the liberal West a white African is invariably characterised as a racist buffoon, the last vestige of a colonial past that we would much rather forget. The whites of Zimbabwe are spectacularly unfashionable. Cut off from Western society, they have not learnt the arts of obfuscation and spin. They generally tend to say what they mean. Sometimes their blunt speaking offends our more cultivated sensibilities. Most Western liberals regard them with condescension and disdain. And as for their dress sense! Men in shorts, women in 1950s-style floral dresses, those strange clipped accents ...not like us, not like us at all.

People who will happily campaign for human rights in East Timor or the Middle East start to behave like the most rabid social Darwinists when you mention Zimbabwe’s whites. ‘Africa is a tough place and they were on top for a long time. It’s their turn to be dominated now,’ a friend I’d previously regarded as a liberal told me.

Certainly many, but by no means all, white landowners are the descendants of colonialists who stole African land. Some of them undoubtedly harbour racist attitudes and, yes, there was a failure to integrate with black Zimbabwe after independence. But set against this the enormous contribution made to the prosperity of post-independence Zimbabwe by the white farming community, and consider the example of people like Sir Garfield Todd, who fought the racism of Ian Smith and now finds himself stripped of his citizenship; or a farmer like Chris Shepard from Karoi, who ferried black torture victims to and from hospital during the election campaign. I could cite numerous more examples of whites who have been putting themselves in the frontline to protect the human rights of black Zimbabweans. These are not racists but proud citizens of Zimbabwe.

Let us compare the situation to what happened in a country to the north of Zimbabwe. When the ruling Hutu clique in Rwanda decided to destroy the Tutsi minority, they first denounced them as foreigners and invaders (the comparison with the language used by Mugabe’s cronies about whites is chilling). The Tutsis had once been feudal overlords and had worked fist in glove with the colonial administration; but did anybody in the West, or even in the rest of Africa, suggest that the Hutu were justified in targeting the Tutsis because of history?

Like the Tutsis in Rwanda, the whites in Zimbabwe are being vilified because of their ethnic origin. Only whites are being told that they no longer have a place in their own country. A white who was once close to Mugabe told a Zimbabwean friend of mine recently that Mugabe ‘positively shudders’ with revulsion in the presence of pale skins.

He will go on shuddering until he has rid Zimbabwe of its white population. But you won’t hear Africa’s leaders speak up for a threatened minority, nor will the African secretary-general of the UN, Kofi Annan, rally the international community to support the beleaguered farmers of Matabeleland. And I would bet anything you like that we won’t hear any of our Western leaders use the phrase ‘ethnic cleansing’. That would create an obligation to intervene to protect the vulnerable, and, for all the fine rhetoric, this simply will not happen.

The whites of Zimbabwe have been abandoned. Some will try to hang on and hope that Mugabe dies of old age or is eventually overthrown; but most will eventually be driven out, the victims of Robert Mugabe’s racism and our indifference. As Naomi Raaff said, it’s over.
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The Time - Five days after the 2002 presidential elections.
The Crime - Supporting the official opposition party and deploying their polling agents.  The Action - Retribution.
The Reality - 50 B.G.B.'s (Border Gezi Boys) advance in full formation, stoked up on mbanje and political indoctrination, wielding their weapons of the day, sticks carefully wrapped in barbed wire.  Surround the farmer, his son and four employees in their truck, smash the windscreen, yell abuse, threats of violence, punishment.  Hail the arrival of a Police Santana - could they hope for some sort of lawful support?  How naïve, how stupid?
Four men in camouflage uniform, wielding more "sophisticated weaponry" - AK 47'
- leap out, accompanied by one of the local self styled "war vets", and the main "man in dark glasses" all the way from Chivu.  Was there some connection with having deployed election agents in that area?  "Get out of the truck, or we will leave you to the youth".  An option that could be a serious health hazard ?  So, heads down and accelerate away.  (This is a shortened version, as we all know the rhetoric and role-plays off pat by now !!).
Ah wonderful, now the real fun begins.  Money is short now and paying the B.G.B.'s and other state sponsored thugs is no longer an option, "so go for it boys, loot, pillage, rape, mutilate, beat, just whatever it takes to satisfy you.  Do go ahead with absolute impunity, because after all, you are liberating the people from the shackles of freedom of speech, freedom of association and political affiliation, from the last vestiges of hope for a better life ..".
So get the show on the road, in the presence of the Police and Army details, just to ensure that it is all "legal".  Chase all the farm employees and their families from their homes, steal everything they have worked for all their lives.  And don't worry about where all these now unemployed and homeless people go - imperialist human rights organisations will see to their welfare.
What next?  The goats, yes!  Commence the feeding frenzy - kill those you can, then hamstring the rest so they remain "fresh" while they await their turn to have their throats cut.  Now for the homesteads - oh what a prize, the irreplaceable family heirlooms and team photographs, just too much to list.
Of course the "war vets" and senior members of the Looting Squad get first choice and remember chaps, what you can't take unlawful possession of, just trash.  Don't forget to take all the cattle while you're at it.  Oh and by the way, quickly call in the DDF (District "development" Fund) truck to remove irrigation pumps, motors, pipes, and don't forget to loot the farm office, fuel, fertilizer and chemical sheds, take all the tobacco and paprika from the sheds/barns and the lands and call it your own.  Then feel free to sell it under your new Tobacco Growers number (you did only register as a "grower" in January 2002 ?!).  Don't worry about running into any problems with the main large-scale tobacco grower's body - they are, on their own admission, only interested in tobacco and not who sells it or how it was acquired!  And for those disadvantaged and disillusioned ex-large scale tobacco farmers there are wonderful opportunities in Paraguay if you can speak Spanish and you have a large pocket full of those US dollars.  Oh dear, the writers mind has strayed, a sign of the times!
Back to the day of retribution.  Report the "grand theft" to the Police and obtain that coveted RRB number - sorry no C.R.  (Crime Register) number because it is unlikely that the upholders of misrule and disorder will be able to open a docket as "it is political" and of course the perpetrators and accused's are not known!  And so, due to circumstances and AK 47's beyond their control, the whole farm family - numbering around 600 - relocates and sets up home in a more user friendly environment.  Now why hadn't they noticed the "take by" date stamped on the title deeds of their farm and lives?  They, the farm family, might have left with more after 53 years of working, building and nurturing the land, flora, and fauna and future generations?

Well, the moral of the story (to be multiplied by 2700 farm families, approximately 1,3 million men, women and children, by August 6the 2002) is that the miscreants of the misruling party and their thugs may have wantonly broken many individuals and families, financially, materially and physically, but give credit where it is due, they must be commended for having succeeded admirably in bonding the people of Zimbabwe in the common cause for justice and truth, and more importantly enhancing their spirituality.

So most of us will still be around when change comes, to rebuild the country we love, with the people we love.

Chipesa Farm
1948 - 2002
Rest in Peace until we meet again
 Kerry Kay,
HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Activist and Zimbabwe Citizen. 
Mother and wife of an MDC activist husband.
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Breaking News
(On behalf of Justice for Agriculture)

Reports received from Bindura, Mashonaland Central indicated that the Hinde
family are in the process of being evicted from their Condwelani Farm which
is under compulsory acquisition. Father and son and their families reside on
the farm with 60 employees and their families. The family are having to
leave for safety reasons but are putting into the High Court an urgent
action using the Tengwe Estates legal precedent. (It is confirmed that no
acquisition notices were filed with Bond holders - Barclays Bank Agric

The family have called for a removal company to come and have been pushed
into one half of the house whilst the militant settlers on the other half
move household furniture onto the lawn. Police are enroute. The governor of
Mashonaland Central - Minister Youth and employment Creation, Elliot Manyika
was contacted and indicated that he could not address this matter until next

The report from the family reads....
We are Zimbabwean citizens, a single farm owners for the past 27 years. We
were first invaded  two and half years ago. We remained on the farm awaiting
Government's promise of translocation. The officials admitted that as a
single owned farm we should be given another farm of similar caliber and
allow the settlers from the adjoining communal area to move onto Condwelani.

We received our Section 8 (compulsory acquisition notice) - before the 10th
May - and have applied for an extension to complete the tobacco grading and
harvest a 80 hectare (valued at ZD $19,2 million) wheat crop still in the
ground. We have had receipt of a Section 7 - and are awaiting a date to
appear before the Administrative Court to defend their case.

We have co-existed with A1 Settlers (approximately 50 in number) - since the
on-set and had not insurmountable problems until today.

This winter we entered into an agreement to grow wheat, which is still in
the ground, and we are also still grading tobacco.  All indicators were that
we would be permitted to continue with these operations, but on Saturday
10th August, we experienced a work stoppage and were ordered to leave the
farm immediately, by the settlers. We continued to press for more time and
were given until Friday 16th August but the pressure to leave continued.


Father - Terry (in his 60's) Son Christopher (30's)

14th 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
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Q&A: Zimbabwe's land reform
August 12, 2002 Posted: 11:10 AM EDT (1510 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has ordered white
farmers to abide by a government deadline to leave their land under a
government land reform policy aimed at handing the properties to landless
blacks. Adrian Lunga of the Freedom For Zimbabwe campaign spoke to CNN.

Q. The deadline has been set and punishment has been set as well, where do
we go from here?

A. The situation is not about white farmers as such, it's about a
humanitarian catastrophe in Zimbabwe with over one million people
(displaced), and the white farmers are a small minority of that group.

The farming community has been devastated by the policies of Robert Mugabe
and his regime, and that is the sad thing.

Q. What kind of impact is this going to have on the rest of the rest of the
southern African region?

A. It is really bad because Zimbabwe has been turned from the bread basket
of the region into the basket case of the region, and since it was exporting
food to Malawi, Zambia and other neighbouring countries, those countries
will not be able to feed their own populations, and so we have a
humanitarian disaster in the making in southern Africa because of the
Zimbabwean situation, and the racist, corrupt and genocidal dictatorial
regime of Robert Mugabe.

Q. So what are you looking to the international community to do?

A. Unfortunately the international community has been slow in acting and one
of the main things to do is tighten the targeted sanctions.

We should start banning the spouses and children of members of Zimbabwe's
regime from entering international countries, including the United States,
the EU and even neighbouring African countries, as these people are being
used as the conduits for corrupt funds that are keeping those people in
power and keeping them comfortable. We have got to make it uncomfortable for
the regime and by doing that we will be making a change sooner rather than

Q. What is happening to those white farmers who have been forced to leave?

A. As I said, the issue is really not about white farmers, over one million
people have been displaced by this policy, and there are only around 3,000
white farmers.

Those people who own land should not give up their title deeds and farmers
and farm workers should start setting up structures to resume farming at a
later stage, but the international community should be acting to change the
attitude of the Robert Mugabe regime and also exerting pressure on South
Africa and other regional countries to push Mugabe in the right direction.

Q. What has the opposition been doing throughout all this?

A. The opposition is powerless at the moment because we have a regime that
is using all the arms of the state to oppress any freedom.

We have no freedom of the media, no freedom of speech or of assembly. You
cannot have a meeting in Zimbabwe without the approval of one of the regime
lieutenants, and if you continue to have a meeting, they can actually come
and stop it or even teargas the people in there.

We have a regime that is intent on suppressing every right of the Zimbabwean
people and that is why it is very important the international community does
not waste time and the next step should be closing embassies.
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Daily News

      Resettled farmers face hunger as government fails to assist

      8/7/02 9:45:15 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      RESETTLED farmers in Chief Chivero's area in Mhondoro have lambasted
the government for not fulfiling its promises to assist them to get started.
The farmers, interviewed at the weekend, said they had fallen on hard times.
Lydia Muzenda, 62, of Muzindaweshumba resettlement scheme, said they were
near starvation.

      "We have nothing to eat," she said. "We are buying a bucket of maize
at an unaffordable price of $1 000 or more." Muzenda said she feared the
worst if they failed to secure draught power to till their newly-acquired
land. The settlers said they had made several vain attempts to secure maize
grain at the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), as the government had promised to
help them with food relief until the next harvest. Joseph Made, the Minister
of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, has repeatedly assured the
settlers that the government would support them with farming inputs,
including seed and fertiliser. Muzenda said when she moved to Mhondoro from
her original home in Gokwe, she sold five of her cattle to raise money to
transport her property.

      "Most of us on this scheme don't have cattle to till the land," she
said. "We have waited, in vain, for a long time to get the District
Development Fund tillage tractors." Muzenda said they held monthly meetings
to discuss their problems and possible solutions, but there was still no
positive response from the government.

      She said the settlers had spent a lot of money travelling to the
Chegutu GMB depot to get maize grain without success. Nelson Takawira, 42,
of Stokesay resettlement area, said: "The rainy season is only a few months
away but we are still to prepare our fields for planting." "We haven't
received the promised maize seed from government," he said. Another settler
at Zimbo, who refused to be identified, said non-governmental organisations
involved in the food aid programmes should them help to avert starvation
which he said was now very imminent in the area. The government has
discouraged the NGOs from distributing food unless this is done through the
government or Zanu PF channels.

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Sydney Morning Herald

PM moves to tighten screws on Zimbabwe
By Craig Skehan in Canberra and Ed O'Loughlin in Harare
August 14 2002

The Prime Minister, John Howard, is set to back tougher international action
against Zimbabwe, including possibly wider sanctions, in the face of
continued expulsions of white farmers from their land despite worsening

The Australian Government is also moving towards bilateral "targeted"
sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Measures being considered include bans on senior members of President Robert
Mugabe's regime travelling to Australia and stopping them transferring money
to or through Australia.

Mr Howard will discuss options for further co-ordinated international action
with the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Don McKinnon, and regional leaders
at the annual Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji this week.

The New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, also warned yesterday that
stronger punishment of the Mugabe regime was urgently needed.

As the chairman of the Commonwealth, Mr Howard is part of a "troika" of
leaders, including the South African President, Thabo Mbeki, and the
Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, appointed to try to stem endemic
political repression, violence and corruption in Zimbabwe.

Mr Howard successfully pressed for the suspension of Zimbabwe from the
Commonwealth after elections in March, which were widely condemned as

"If we don't get some response on what the Commonwealth troika decided
earlier this year from Zimbabwe, then countries like Australia have no
alternative other than to look at some action on the sanctions front," Mr
Howard said on July 16.

A spokesman for Mr Howard said yesterday Zimbabwe had "not made a serious
attempt to respond to the Commonwealth's concerns".

He said that as well as talking to Mr McKinnon, Mr Howard planned talks on
Zimbabwe "on the fringes" of the Pacific forum in the Fijian capital, Suva.
Several of the Pacific nations are members of the Commonwealth.

In Zimbabwe, critics of Mr Mugabe have reacted coolly to a key speech which
has added further confusion to his Government's already chaotic land reform

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said that despite its
aggressive anti-white and anti-Western sentiments, Mr Mugabe's speech to
mark the country's Heroes' Day on Monday failed to clarify the fate of about
2000 white farmers still defying an August 9 deadline for them to quit their
homes and land.

Jenni Williams, a spokeswoman for the farmers' defence group, Justice for
Agriculture, said the omission was "a change from what we usually expect
from him, so we take some heart from that. But the problem is we get
messages in messages and we never know exactly what it means".

The MDC's economics spokesman, Eddie Cross, said that while Mr Mugabe
repeated his insistence that black settlers who wanted to farm should occupy
white land before the end of this month, he had made no mention of the
already-expired deadline for white farmers to leave.

But Mr Cross dismissed international reports suggesting that Mr Mugabe had
made a concession when he said in the speech that confiscations would only
affect farmers with more than one farm and that no co-operative white farmer
would be left without land.

"I think the statement that no farmer will be left without land is mainly
aimed at an external audience and those African leaders who find it
convenient to believe that what's going on here is a good thing," he said.

This story was found at:

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World News,,3-383294,00.html

August 14, 2002

Call for UN force to stop starvation
By Daniel McGrory

OPPOSITION leaders in Zimbabwe are demanding armed intervention by a United
Nations force to prevent mass starvation.
They want British troops, as part of the multinational force, to stop food
aid being seized by the Zimbabwean authorities to give to supporters of
President Mugabe.

Roy Bennett, an MP with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), who was in
London yesterday, said that food shortages could trigger widespread civil

“We need the UN to intervene immediately to stop a mass slaughter,” he said.
“Britain has an obligation to be part of that force, but so far it’s been
spineless in the face that all Mugabe has done.

“Mr Blair sends troops to the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and talks
of intervening in Iraq, so why turn your back on Zimbabwe, where people are
dying?” Mr Bennett predicted that without outside intervention, there would
be bloodshed within weeks in cities and towns.

“Make no mistake, the security forces that are part of Mugabe’s gravy train
will turn their guns on their own people,” he said.

The West and the United Nations had a responsibility to intervene, even if
it meant casualties. “If you don’t do something quick, people are going to
die in their thousands,” Mr Bennett said.

“Mugabe is using food as a weapon, which is just as evil as anything Saddam
is doing to his people.”

Yesterday the UN gave warning that six million Zimbabweans faced hunger as
Mr Mugabe insisted that white farmers should leave their land before the
planting season. Judith Lewis, the UN World Food Programme’s director for
East and Southern Africa, said: “At least half of the people in Zimbabwe
will need some sort of food assistance. Cases of malnutrition are

The MDC is trying to lobby support in Canada, the United States and Britain
for a United Nations initiative.

Mr Bennett said: “Britain has an obligation, which it has so far ducked.”

His farm, Charleswood in Chimanimani, has been occupied several times over
the past two years by gunmen.

When a gang invaded in May 2000, they grabbed his pregnant wife, Heather,
held a machete to her throat and forced her to chant slogans praising Mr
Mugabe. She lost the baby she was expecting. The gunmen looted the house,
stole guns and cash, slaughtered livestock and emptied the urn containing
his father’s ashes. Since then Mr Bennett, 45, has received death threats,
but he refuses to leave his farm or his country.

MDC leaders will urge Mr Blair and the contingent of British ministers
attending the Earth Summit in South Africa to raise Zimbabwe’s plight.

“They are supposed to be stopping the earth’s destruction; well look next
door and start with Zimbabwe. Sanctions don’t hurt Mugabe and his cronies.
Our neighbours, South Africa and the rest, won’t act, so the UN must.”

Mr Bennett’s condemnation came hours after Peter Hain, the Foreign Office
Minister, said that Britain was doing all it could to support those fleeing
Zimbabwe. 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.”

He added: “I don’t think we should turn what is a failure of leadership in
Zimbabwe into some kind of criticism of reception facilities here.”

He said he knew nothing about reports that the Prince of Wales had written
to Mr Blair over his concerns that farmers were facing difficulties in
claiming benefits and getting work in Britain.

President Mugabe said yesterday that he would withdraw troops from the
Democratic Republic of Congo, after a peace deal last month between Congo
and Rwanda aimed at ending the four-year conflict.Mr Mugabe, who has been
accused of using the war to make money from Congo’s gold, diamond and copper
resources, said that his forces had protected vital Zimbabwean interests in
Congo, particularly its electricity supply. There was nothing sinister or
extraordinary about the deployment of troops, he said.

Should Britain or the UN intervene in Zimbabwe?
E-mail your views to
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The Times

            August 14, 2002

            Armed gangs fire at white farmers
            By Daniel McGrory

            White Zimbabwean farmers facing eviction yesterday reported
sporadic attacks by armed gangs.
            Five farmers in the southeast of the country left their homes
after they were told by armed police and troops that they were flouting
President Mugabe's deadline for vacating their land.

            The Justice for Agriculture group, which is calling for the
evictions to be challenged in court, said that a gang of "war veterans" had
fired a gun at a farmer and his workforce in the Banket area, 60 miles
northwest of Harare, the capital.

            At a farm just outside Harare, a black manager employed by a
white farmer was assaulted by militants. Armed gangs with scores of
supporters tried to force the occupants of three neighbouring farms to

            Some farmers' leaders were hoping, however, that a speech on
Monday by Mr Mugabe, in which he said that no white farmer would be left
landless, signalled that he was in a more conciliatory mood.

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ABC Australia

Crean wants Govt to take tougher stance on Zimbabwe

The Federal Opposition is urging the Government to support tougher
international action against Zimbabwe.

The Prime Minister heads a group of three leaders, which decided to suspend
Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth after its government was re-elected in
controversial circumstances in March.

John Howard will discuss the continuing turmoil in Zimbabwe with the
secretary general of the Commonwealth and the New Zealand Prime Minister
Helen Clark, during the Pacific Islands forum in Fiji this week.

The Opposition leader, Simon Crean, has told Channel Seven the Prime
Minister has his support for tougher measures, including sanctions.

"We've been calling for that some time," he said.

"He should have taken a stronger lead when he chaired the CHOGM meeting here
in February and March earlier this year.

"(He) should have taken a stronger lead to have that, and the issue of
sanctions, on the agenda.

"He's finally catching up, let's hope he has the courage of his convictions
this time."
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Ancram condemns Labour's Zimbabwe 'failure'
By George Jones
(Filed: 14/08/2002)

The Government was accused yesterday of "complacency" over the plight of
people fleeing Zimbabwe after a Foreign Office minister rejected criticism
that refugees were meeting bureaucratic obstacles in Britain.

Michael Ancram, Conservative foreign affairs spokesman, made the charge
after Peter Hain, Europe minister, said that Britain was doing all it could
to support people forced out of Zimbabwe by Robert Mugabe's land-grab

The Prince of Wales has written to Tony Blair voicing concern that white
farmers arriving in Britain after being thrown off their land by the Mugabe
regime were facing difficulties claiming benefits, getting work and finding
schools for their children.

Mr Hain told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "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."

Mr Hain said they were in a different category from those who were not
British citizens and were seeking asylum.

Mr Hain dismissed Tory claims that the Government was "shillyshallying" over
Zimbabwe as "bluster". He said Britain had been at the forefront of moves to
impose sanctions on the central African state and suspend it from the

Mr Hain compared Mr Mugabe to the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and the
former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. "One of the problems with
dictators like Mugabe - and we saw it with Milosevic before and we see it
with Saddam Hussein - is that they take no notice of international opinion,"
he said.

Mr Ancram, who will have talks in London today with Zimbabwean opponents of
Mr Mugabe's regime, said Mr Hain's comments amounted to "hand-wringing mixed
with complacency and a total failure to face up to the situation".
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Star Tribune

Editorial: Mugabe's madness / Starving his people, begging for food

      Published Aug 14, 2002 ED14A

What will it take to silence Robert Mugabe, president and persecutor of
Zimbabwe? Impervious to conscience and world scorn, this one-time freedom
fighter disgraces himself with nearly every utterance. Speaking at Rome's
global food summit earlier this summer, he defended his government's
seizures of white-owned farms -- and then begged for aid to avert the
ensuing starvation. That lightning didn't strike then and there seems a

There seems to be nothing this man won't say. This past Monday in Harare he
renewed his pledge to tear 3,000 white farmers from their fields by month's
end. His reason? In Zimbabwe, he said, "There is no room for rapacious

This should be consoling to Zimbabwe's 12 million citizens, now in the grip
of the worst famine in decades. "Rapacious supremacist" (or, as ordinary
folk might say, "greedy swellhead") perfectly describes their president. A
mercenary and boastful election-stealer, he has turned one of Africa's
greatest hopes into a horror story. It takes a lot of chutzpah to savage a
nation's cropland and then whine to the world about it. Nervier yet is
Mugabe's frequent assertion that seizing farms will improve Zimbabwe's food

The claim is pure nonsense. The violence aimed at Zimbabwe's white farmers
has caused horrible agricultural upheaval at the height of a harrowing
famine. As many as 13 million people throughout southern Africa -- half of
them in Zimbabwe -- face starvation by February. Many will die because
Mugabe has exacerbated the region's food scarcity instead of scrambling to
minimize it. Zimbabwe's food production has dropped 75 percent in the three
years since Mugabe launched his harassment campaign against white farmers.
Its economy is expected to shrink by more than a tenth this year -- one of
the worst records in the world. And though international groups are trying
to help, evidence suggests that Mugabe is diverting food aid from his
opponents into the mouths of his own followers -- the same people
terrorizing farmers.

Mugabe's rhetoric to the contrary, this is not a black vs. white fight. It's
a life vs. death fight. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said it well
this week: "Zimbabwe is currently suffering under the effects of Mugabe's
dictatorship," he said, "with millions facing death from disease, starvation
and state-sponsored violence."

There's no question that nations like Zimbabwe and South Africa, where
property is still held in a few white hands, must find ways to move toward
broader ownership. Even Mugabe's fiercest foes grant the point. But
destroying a country's agricultural foundation, as Mugabe has done, is no
way to bring about justice. Starving a nation serves no noble populist end.

If Zimbabwe has no room for avaricious thugs, it certainly has no room for
Mugabe. His claim that he's thinking only of his country's future is
preposterous. Indeed, it would be laughable -- but for the graves his folly
will dig.
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Sunday Times (SA)

Botswana rejects Zimbabwe farmers

GABORONE - Botswana has told white farmers fleeing Zimbabwe they are free to
form partnerships with local farmers but there is no government policy to
encourage them to come to Botswana nor can they expect special assistance.

A group of 17 Zimbabwe farmers and businessmen met with the Botswana
Ministry of Agriculture on August 1, the permanent secretary in the
ministry, Masego Mphathi, confirmed.

"They came here to see if there were opportunities for them to settle and
farm here," Mphathi said.

"The constraint is land, we do not have any to allocate to them.

"Some of them broached the idea of partnerships. If our farmers are willing
to do that, it is a personal issue and no one can stop them."

Land in Botswana is either the property of tribal authorities or under the
control of state land boards.

The government was not thinking of offering the Zimbabweans any assistance
to farm in Botswana.

Mphathi said: "We were merely answering the questions they put to us.

"We are not recruiting them as foreign investors. They came under their own
initiative and at their own expense. We had no alternative but to talk to

Botswana is prone to drought. Its agriculture is flagging and since 1974 has
rapidly given way to diamonds as the revenue earner for the country.

Two areas where the Zimbabweans might be able to form partnerships with
Batswana farmers are in the Pandamatenga and Tuli Block areas of Botswana.

Pandamatenga is on the top north eastern border with Zimbabwe, and the Tuli
Block farther down the east side of Botswana, bordering South Africa.

"But there are only about 4000 hectares unallocated in Pandamatenga,"
Mphathi said.

"The Zimbabweans were talking of large scale commercial farming and
according to them that would be enough only for one farm. We suggested they
try and form partnerships with farmers in the Tuli Block."

Pandamatenga meanwhile is an arid area, with unpredictable rainfall

Crops are sorghum, sunflowers and cotton, potentially profitable only as the
result of newly introduced dryland farming techniques.
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Although many cruel tactics are being used on many commercial farms in Zimbabwe to force the farmers to give up their farms “voluntarily”, the below is just one illustration of some of what has happened on one property.
Umbono Ranch is a long narrow ranch of 5341ha, and is situated in agricultural region V, in the Mwenezi District of Masvingo. Its sole water supply is through a 13km pipeline, which transports water from a weir on the Mwenezi River. Underground water is extremely poor, low yielding and generally unhygienic and unpalatable. Receiving only 300mm of rainfall per year it is best suited for cattle ranching and wildlife.
From as early as 1992 Government has shown interest in acquiring this ranch, which is the only property, home or business owned by the occupant. In April 1993 Umbono received its first Designation Notice and has been regularly receiving Acquisition Notices ever since. The apparent reason for acquisition was because of the soil type, which was indicated as highly suitable for irrigation on an old CONEX map. This was regardless of the fact that the Government’s Development Trust of Zimbabwe owns the over 336,000ha Nuanetsi Ranch, which runs on three sides of Umbono, and has the same soil types. To date no legal transfer of land has occurred, not has any compensation been discussed, offered or paid. Although the owner is still in occupation he has extremely limited usage of the farm as it has been settled by the Government under the intensive A1 model under the “fast-track”.
When the owner bought the property in 1982 there was a limited number of wildlife, but after careful management and with a sustainable off-take the numbers soon increased. Game fencing of the property was almost completed (before the invasions), a camp had been built and animals were sold to registered safari operators who brought in foreign clients. A limited quota was also taken off to sell as a cheap source of protein for the local community, to curb poaching. Whilst water was supplied to game through the cattle water troughs, water was also pumped to three natural pans to encourage and sustain wildlife.
Over two years ago when the political farm occupations were encouraged the occupants on Umbono first settled around the water points. Apart from their indiscriminate poaching activities they denied the wildlife access to the water. Umbono has been a traditional breeding ground for over 300 Eland cows, which were calving at the time of the first occupations. Since the occupation of Umbono it is feared that most of the wildlife died of thirst during those early days of the occupation. The rest of the numerous herds of giraffe, wildebeest, kudu, warthog, impala and zebra have been poached, as well as the destruction and wounding of the bird life with catapults. Umbono was home to the following, very little of which is still alive today: -
450 Eland  150 Giraffe  150 Wildebeest  250 Impala
90 Kudu  30 Zebra  60 Bushbuck  50 Duiker
50 Stembuck 15 Cheetah  5 Leopard   200 Warthog
20 Wild pig  60 Jackal  20 Aardvark  20          Aardwolf
20 Bat-eared Fox 30 Cape Wild Cats 5 Hippo
Plus Pangolins, Genets, Caraculs, Mongooses, Honey Badgers, Porcupines, Bush Babies and numerous bird and reptile species including Crocodiles.
Intensive resettlement under the A1 “fast-track” scheme is a threat to all forms of wildlife. The continual movement of people, uncontrolled dogs and fires is not conducive to the existence of wildlife. The continual slow deaths and maiming of wildlife through snaring, not to mention the savage injuries from dogs and wounding with spears and arrows is a horror in itself. This should not be allowed to continue.
During the owners 20-year occupation on Umbono Ranch he has never had a single fore, yet since the settler occupation the air is continually a haze of smoke. Considering the length of the current dry period, compounded with the predictions of a drought next season, serious environmental damage has resulted from the malicious fires.
The starvation of the surviving game and in particular the baboon population already indicates this. They are becoming braver every day and even entering houses in search of food. A lot of their natural diet of berries is either being eaten by the starving settlers or just burned in the numerous fires. Although there is no chance of dryland crops being grown in this arid area (and therefore not being raided by baboons) one does not know how far the baboons will go in their panic to find food.
The settler’s cattle are daily being brought down to the weir to drink. The wildlife has also concentrated there for shelter, where it is being indiscriminately snared and chased by dogs. The fish in the weir itself is being severely netted out.
At the time of the first Designation the owner ran a herd of 1100 head of cattle – half of which were on another farm where he was able to lease grazing. This soon changed with the 1993 drought, combined with the caveat, which was placed on the owner’s title deeds, which denied their use as security for a bank overdraft. Subsequently the owner was forced to sell all his livestock to repay the bank.
Today only 20 of his valuable herd remain. To survive grazing was leased out, but with the invasions the lessee bailed out as soon as the settlers applied pressure. This act in itself was a de facto surrender of the farm. However, some of the settlers were opposed to this because they fully realised that their water would no longer be pumped in fact meetings were held with the owner to request him to pump water for them. He explained that pumping would cost $20,000 per month and as he had no income he could no longer pay. If they could pay he would continue, but no payment has ever been received and therefore the pumping has ceased.
At the beginning of the invasions the owner was given a verbal agreement that his homestead area consisting of four very small paddocks, totalling about 200ha, would be left for him. This has never been honoured and in fact completely to the contrary with the area being maliciously overgrazed by settlers livestock.
With no available water on the farm the settlers obtain water from neighbouring Nuanetsi Ranch and Moria Ranch and the Mwenezi River. Those who water in the river are responsible for overgrazing the homestead area where 500 of the owner’s sheep are run. Most of the cattle belong to wealthy businessmen, civil servants, politicians and NRZ senior employees. They employ herders for as little as $800 per month. Obviously those employees cannot survive on these pathetic wages, so they poach and fish in order to feed themselves. For convenience they leave their herds in the overgrazed areas near the homestead all day.
Appeals for the protection of the owner’s grazing have fallen on deaf ears, resulting in both sheep and cattle dying and aborting from poverty. So far over 50 sheep and 3 head of cattle have died with lambs also starving to death from lack of milk. There is no doubt that the starvation of the livestock on Umbono is a malicious and cruel tactic being used in an attempt to force the owner from his property.
The owner does not have sufficient capital to buy feed for his dying livestock, but is supplementing with low protein cane tops from a neighbour whilst desperately trying to develop irrigated pastures. Although these pastures are game fences as well as individually fenced there is huge competition from the wildlife as they are trying to seek refuge, (and food) from the settlers and their dogs.
Most of the available grazing areas as well as half the ranch have been burned. Some of the fires are runaway fires from people clearing lands to hopefully plant dryland crops. Being a marginal rainfall area this is a waste of natural resources and habitat because this area is unsuitable for dryland cropping due to the low and erratic rainfall. The other cause is from the poachers. Some light fires to smoked the poached meat, which often run away, and others try to burn out wounded game from ant bear holes where they have sought refuge. Te settlers have never once tried to save the grazing by assisting to fight the fires.
The indiscriminate unsustainable poaching and snaring of wildlife holds no bounds and often domestic animals like horses are snared, maimed or even killed. On Umbono the owner’s daughter’s 3 horses have also become victims. Initially the all ran away from the chopping, burning and harassment by people and their dogs, but the two foals returned without their mother. The only available food they have found is around the Government complex, as there is no food for them on Umbono. These horses, which are untrained, have become a bone of contention in the village as they raid gardens in order to survive. One was recently caught in a snare and it took many weeks before the broken snare could be removed from the frightened animals neck, and eventually treated.
Where do these animals go now and what do we do with them now that they have become unwilling victims of a brutal and cruel political campaign? Caught up in this ruthless campaign are many thousands of animals that are being condemned either to a cruel death (genocide) or starvation. What have they done to deserve such a fate?
On Umbono some 500 sheep, 20 head of cattle, numerous surviving wildlife and 2 horses are destined to die from a cruel slow death of starvation unless a solution is hastily found.
When considering the recovery of the environment it will take many years for this to fully recover. Sadly, although the grasses and shrubs may recover after a few years the majestic hardwoods and other trees, which have been reduced to ash, will never recover in our lifetime.
As a long term result of this vicious desperate political campaign the destruction of commercial agriculture will seriously affect the food supply in the country, which could result in unnecessary malnutrition of its innocent people as well.
Take the commercial beef industry as an example. Although this herd was 20% of the national herd it supplied over 60% of beef for local sales and 90% of meat for export to the lucrative overseas markets. This herd has been reduced in size by nearly 60%, mainly through the slaughter of the very core and future of the industry in the form of the breeding cows.
The remaining part of the herd has been driven into small corners of the farms and is presently being starved off as has been described above and many surviving females have aborted due to malnutrition. The genetic material, which has taken generations to improve, is being lost through the abattoirs, and in many cases will never be able to be replaced. This is particularly in the local breeds of the Inguni, Mashona and Tuli.
The off-take from the communal herd is only between 1 and 2% per annum as the ownership is extremely complex being widely distributed between numerous family members and spiritual totems. Subsequently beef supplies will be minimal in the future, and sold at a luxury price, which many people will simply be unable to afford.
One senior director in the government service has been quoted as saying that there may be a need to reduce agriculture to completely zero if they are to be able to impose a change. Does this man think that a commercial cattle operation can be re-established overnight? It will take at least 15 years of dedicated breeding in a stable environment!
Can this country really afford just to sit back and watch generations of work and development being destroyed and just swept under the carpet, when commercial agriculture plays such an important part in food production for a very large portion of southern Africa? Can we afford to have these established and productive farmers simply replaced by people who are traditionally subsistence farmers? Who will supply the markets?
Our country is facing famine, starvation and the possibility of another drought yet the rhetoric of a political few is drowning out the hunger cries of starving children.
What will we tell them in the future – if they are among the lucky few to survive?
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22 July 2002
The National Co-ordinator,
Dear Meryl,
As you have been made aware through my voluminous correspondence to the authorities our livestock and domestic animals continue to bear the brunt of a cruel brutal political tactic.
Whilst the CFU has long ago realized the necessity for transparent and lawful land reform in Zimbabwe all our overtures have been disregarded in apparent favour of the politically preferred revolutionary method. During the past few years neither the CFU nor individual farmers have been able to come to any mutual agreement, which has ever been respected. Every offer or promise of land has been dishonoured either by the Government or the individuals settled on our farms.
Although we have bent over backwards to assist with a sustainable land reform programme it has become obvious that this is not on the agenda of the Third Chemurenga. Instead we are just pawns in a political ideology which is being forced on the people of Zimbabwe where retribution for perceived political affiliation appears to be at the forefront. During this political campaign the laws have been changed; laws have been disregarded or even altered to suit the unsavoury purpose of their agenda. Tragically racialism is also being used as a divisive tactic.
Being situated in Region III, IV and V, which are marginal rainfall and drought prone areas our main commodities here are cattle and wildlife. In order to force farmers into bankruptcy and to move them off their farms their sole source of income either from their livestock or wildlife has been brutally attacked. The cruelty of the political antagonists holds no bounds. The livestock have been butchered, stolen, burned, snared, slashed and worst of all starved. Whilst the legitimate owners livestock are starving or dying or aborting from malnutrition, the settlers’ livestock are thriving and fattening off the owners prime grazing from which the owner has been denied.
The horrors of this cruel starvation tactic have to be seen to get a realistic and graphic idea of what is happening. Although we have received some co-operation as far as the release of cattle being confined into pens is concerned, the real problem is that of destruction and denial of grazing. Thousands of cattle from communal areas are being forced onto already overgrazed properties and uncontrolled indiscriminate cutting and burning of browse and grazing continues unabated. Veterinary legislation has also been openly flouted which has resulted in the loss of our lucrative overseas markets.
The legal acquisition process has been perverted by recent controversial legislation. Whereas an acquisition of a property could only occur after confirmation by the courts the process has been reversed. The farmers are being forced off their properties within 90 days of receipt of a Section 8, which is before the acquisition has been confirmed. This confirmation could take years and in the mean time he is denied his home, his business and in most cases his only form of income. If the confirmation of the acquisition is denied to the Government, who is then eligible for the payment of compensation, for damages and loss of income?
In the case of a cattle or wildlife property his entire herd would be non existent by that time as there would be nobody to care for them.
As a result of the tactics used towards the wild and domestic animals in this political campaign the nation is facing the complete loss of both the commercial cattle and wildlife industries.
I therefore beg you and your staff to use both your influence and legal options to convince the authorities to rein in this cruel destruction of our national herds. Our difficult position is that where we complain to the authorities we rather tend to expose a perceived weakness, which is later capitalised on and exploited as part of the intimidation.
May I take this opportunity of both paying tribute to you and your staff and to express the appreciation of what you have done in a most diplomatic and non-racial manner in the interests of the humane treatment of the silent ones.
Yours sincerely,
Regional Chairman
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Zim journos escape under barrage of stones

Harare - Two journalists escaped from a farm in northern Zimbabwe Wednesday,
where pro-government militants had trapped them inside for about five hours,
a farming official said.

Precious Shumba of the Daily News and Peta Thornycroft of Britain's Daily
Telegraph fled the farm, where the militants were trying to forcibly evict
the white owners, said Jenni Williams, spokesperson for the Justice for
Agriculture advocacy group.

"It was for fear of their lives that they stayed in, hoping that the police
would escort them to safety," Williams said.

The militants had surrounded the house where farmer Terry Hinde and his
family had barricaded themselves inside for safety, even as the militants
were breaking windows and trying to move in.

The journalists had been trapped inside with the Hindes, whose land has been
targetted for acquisition by President Robert Mugabe's government under a
controversial programme to redistribute land held by minority whites to
marginalised blacks.

The Hinde family was packing their belongings and trying to leave their home
of 27 years before dark, Williams added.

Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said he had no details on the incident
in the northern district of Bindura.

An editor at the Daily News, Bill Saidi, said the militants had accused
Shumba of writing lies about the land reform scheme.

The Hinde family plans to challenge their eviction in court, Williams said,
following a precedent set last week when the High Court said farms under
mortage could not be resettled until the bank was notified. - Sapa-AFP
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Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 18:55 GMT 19:55 UK
White farmers under siege in Zimbabwe
White farmer [archive photo]
Many white farms have been invaded since 2000
Tension has been mounting in Zimbabwe as pro-government militants attempted to force defiant farmers to honour a government eviction order that expired last week.

President Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwe's land reform

  • 2000: 4,000 whites own 70% of prime land
  • 1890-1980: Black peasants were moved to less fertile areas during the colonial area
  • March 2000: "War veterans" occupy white-owned farms
  • 2000-2002: Several white farmers and black workers killed during violence
  • 9 August 2002: 3,000 white farmers must leave their homes

  • A white farmer become the first to be evicted from his property after a group of militants seized his farm north of the capital, Harare.

    In a separate incident, another farmer returned to her property in the eastern district of Marondera after spending a few days away and found squatters living there.

    An estimated 2,900 white farmers should have left their houses by midnight last Thursday, according to a recently passed law.

    But most of them are reported to have stayed put, waiting to see what action would be taken against them.

    Pressure mounts

    Earlier on Wednesday, supporters of President Robert Mugabe moved the furniture of one family on to the lawn in Bindura, which is an area of strong support for Mr Mugabe and his centrepiece policy of redistributing land from white to blacks.

    A member of family, Christopher Hinde, told BBC's Focus on Africa programme that police were called to the farm but did not intervene.

    "Settlers surrounded our house from 0700, ranting and raging, and were there for five hours."

    In the eastern district of Marondera, Hazel Thornhill returned to her farm on Wednesday to find it occupied by militants after she had left over the weekend for safety reasons.

    In southeast Zimbabwe, five farmers left their land early on Tuesday after local officials, police and soldiers warned them that they were violating the eviction orders, the Associated Press news agency reported.

    In another incident, a farm owner and his workers in the Banket tobacco and corn district were shot at by a militant in an effort to drive them away, a farmers representative said.

    Four other farmers were said to be under pressure from militants to leave.

    The farming group, Justice for Agriculture, says the farmers would make an urgent appeal to the courts.

    The group's spokesperson, Jenni Williams, said some of the farmers were leaving "for safety reasons".

    Rainy season

    Last week, a High Court ruled that farms which were mortgaged could not be acquired unless the bank had been informed.

    On Monday, Mr Mugabe repeated that all farmers must leave this month, so that black farmers could move in and prepare the land before the rainy season begins in October.

    Foreign donors say the land reform programme has contributed to Zimbabwe's food crisis.

    Up to half of the population - six million people - need food aid this year, aid agencies say.

    Since March 2000, many white-owned farms have been occupied by government supporters.

    Eleven white farmers have been killed, along with an unknown number of their black workers.

    The disruption to farming has dramatically cut production of the staple food, maize, and Zimbabwe's major export - tobacco.


    Zimbabwe farmers ponder move as land crisis bites

    HARARE, Aug. 14 - Zimbabwe's white farmers are exploring farming
    opportunities in neighbouring countries after President Robert Mugabe vowed
    to press on with the seizure of thousands of white-owned farms for landless
           Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and Namibia are being eyed as possible
    destinations if Mugabe goes through with his order to 2,900 farmers to
    vacate their properties to make way for landless black settlers, farmers'
    representatives say.
           ''Farming is a business and the white farmers would have to seek a
    place to continue what they know best,'' Jenni Williams, spokeswoman for a
    newly-formed pressure group, Justice for Agriculture (JAG), said on
           ''They are looking at regional options because most want to remain
    nearer home in the hope that they can return one day,'' she told Reuters.
           Farming officials believe nearly two thirds of the 2,900 farmers
    targeted by the government's eviction orders have ignored the deadline,
    hoping for a reprieve from the courts or from Mugabe himself.
           But Mugabe said this week the farmers must comply with the state's
    midnight August 8 deadline to surrender their lands.
           On Wednesday, black militants began evicting a white farmer from his
    land in northeastern Zimbabwe, the first incident since the government
    eviction order expired last week.

           Regional reaction to the prospect of an influx of white Zimbabwean
    farmers has been mixed.
           Botswana has told white farmers that they are free to form
    partnerships with their neighbouring counterparts. But there is no official
    policy to encourage them to relocate and they can expect no special help.
           Masego Mphathi, a senior Agriculture Ministry official, said 17
    Zimbabwean farmers and businessmen had met ministry officials on Tuesday to
    discuss opportunities for them to settle and farm in the mainly desert
           ''The constraint is land. We do not have any to allocate to them.
    Some of them broached the idea of partnerships. If our farmers are willing
    to do that, it is a personal issue and no one can stop them,'' Mphathi said.
           ''We are not recruiting them as foreign investors. They came under
    their own initiative and at their own expense. We had no alternative but to
    talk to them,'' he added.
           In drought-prone Botswana, land is either the property of tribal
    authorities or under the control of state land boards. Agriculture has given
    way to diamonds as the country's main source of revenue.

           Zambia's state investment agency said it had received dozens of
    relocation inquiries from farmers in its southern neighbour. Zambia has
    nearly 13 million hectares of arable but unutilised land.
           Zimbabwean farmers are attracted to Zambia's five big rivers, three
    large lakes, inland streams and dams that offer adequate water for
    agriculture even during a drought year.
           ''The inquiries are spread across beef and dairy farming and maize
    and tobacco production. There are also possibilities of farmers looking for
    coffee opportunities,'' an official from the investment agency told Reuters.
           She said the immediate problem appeared to be a lack of capital for
    investment, because most farmers have seen their resources depleted after
    two years of wrangling with the Zimbabwean government over land policy.
           Zambia wants to boost farming in a bid to diversify away from its
    troubled economic mainstay, copper mining.
           ''The arrival of committed commercial farmers will boost the
    agriculture option. Financing opportunities will be discussed with the
    European Union and other foreign lenders,'' she said.
           Agriculture Minister Mundia Sikatana said the resettlement of white
    farmers in Zambia was a sensitive subject that could only be addressed by
    President Levy Mwanawasa, who was on vacation and unlikely to comment before
    next week.
           In Mozambique, officials said they have been in talks for the past
    three years with about 150 Zimbabwean commercial farmers seeking to acquire
    440,000 hectares of land.
           Jose da Grada, director of agriculture in the central province of
    Manica, said about 60 farmers so far had been granted 1,000 hectares each.
           ''The land is available for any investor, but we have no plans to
    accommodate massive land requests,'' Grada said.
           (Additional reporting by Shapi Shacinda in Lusaka, Barry Baxter in
    Gaborone, and Charles Mangwiro in Maputo)

    Daily News

          Mugabe scuttles farmers' hope

          8/14/02 8:46:17 AM (GMT +2)

          President Robert Mugabe dashed the hopes of thousands of white farmers
    on Monday, saying those ordered off their properties by his land reform
    programme must surrender them without delay to landless blacks.

          "We set ourselves an August deadline for the redistribution of land
    and that deadline stands," Mugabe said in a televised address during the
    funeral for former finance minister Dr Bernard Chidzero, at Heroes' Acre.

          Mugabe's government had ordered 2 900 of the remaining 4 500 white
    commercial farmers to quit their land without compensation by midnight last
    Thursday, 8 August.

          The reforms have caused upheavals at a time when Zimbabwe is facing
    food shortages.

          "We, the principled people of Zimbabwe; we, the true owners of this
    land, shall not budge. We shall not be deterred on this one vital issue, the
    land," Mugabe told about 20 000 supporters.

          He did not say what would happen to the farmers defying the August

          Farming sources estimate about 60 percent of farmers targeted in the
    action are defying eviction orders and hoping for a reprieve from the
    country's courts or from Mugabe.

          Jenni Williams, spokeswoman for the Justice for Agriculture pressure
    group, said she was disappointed with Mugabe's speech.

          "The reprieve expected from the speech did not show. It is unfortunate
    that, coming from Mugabe's side, there has been no acceptance of
    responsibility (for the food crisis)," she said.

          "We as farmers accept that land must be redistributed, but we do feel
    our political leaders must understand that in land reform you can't
    compromise production or you will have starving Zimbabweans," she said.

          Aid agencies predict that up to 13 million people in six Southern
    African countries face starvation by February as a result of drought and
    political mismanagement. About half of them are in Zimbabwe.

          The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said Mugabe's
    speech was just a "promissory note" for more misery.

          "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," MDC leader Morgan
    Tsvangirai said in a statement.

          "In fact Zimbabwe is now a country where everything is in short supply
    except misery, starvation and death," he said.

          Colin Cloete, president of the Commercial Farmers' Union, said it
    appeared Mugabe had toned down his rhetoric but that his message on
    redistribution had remained consistent.

          Cloete and other farm sources said they were confused by Mugabe's
    comment that no farmer would be left landless, adding that many had been
    ordered to surrender all their land.

          Mugabe said he was pursuing a "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".

          Vernon Nicolle, one of the farmers resisting eviction, said Mugabe had
    not sent a clear message to farmers or to the self-styled war veterans
    waiting to take over abandoned farms.

          "I know of a big percentage of farmers who have left their farms, who
    have been forced to evacuate or who have been physically pushed off their
    farms, who had only one farm."
          Mugabe did not say what his government would do about the farmers
    defying last week's deadline, but he warned against a white resistance

          In an apparent reference to court challenges and possibly to defiant
    white farmers, Mugabe said: "We brook no impediment and we will certainly
    suffer no avoidable delays."

          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 the war veterans, many of them too young to have
    fought for the liberation of the former Rhodesia in the 1970s, enforcing the
    land redistribution.

          Mugabe, who led the country to independence from Britain in 1980, paid
    tribute to the war veterans and said even those too young to have fought
    with his guerrilla forces were entitled to be called war veterans. - Reuter

    Daily News

          Ex-Zipra members urge farmers to stay put

          8/14/02 8:44:19 AM (GMT +2)

          From Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu in Bulawayo

          A GROUP of former Zipra war veterans are urging white commercial
    farmers to remain on their farms and resist eviction saying the government's
    eviction order is against their constitutional right to the protection of
    individual property.

          Four officials of the Zimbabwe Liberators Peace Forum Leonard Mhlanga,
    the public relations officer, Volta Siwela the secretary-general, Moses Moyo
    and Max Mnkandla, told The Daily News in Bulawayo on Monday that it was
    unconstitutional to remove the farmers from their homes.

          Mhlanga, said it was against natural justice to force people to leave
    their homes because of the colour of their skin.

          "Many of these farmers were born in this country, and their farms are
    their only homes. We are not against the government's land redistribution
    policy, but the unjust way it is being carried out."

          He said Zipra did not fight the independence war to replace an
    oppressive racialist white government with a racialist black one.

          "That's not what we fought for, and in Matabeleland we are not happy
    with the system used by the government in the allocation of land.

          Mhlanga said in 1980 when Zimbabwe became independent, Mugabe
    announced a policy of reconciliation by which people of all races would live
    in harmony irrespective of their racial or tribal origins.

          He said the liberation struggle was against a system and not
    particular racial groups.

          "Joshua Nkomo said we were fighting against a system and not against
    white people, and that in a liberated Zimbabwe black people should live
    peacefully with white or Indian or Coloured neighbours," he said

          Mnkandla added: "We don't understand why the government wants these
    people out of their only farms and yet government policy promotes one farm
    for each farmer.

          "These white people have one farm each, a situation that conforms with
    the government's land policy as announced earlier. Now, what is wrong with
    that? Is it simply that these people are white and the government is in
    black hands?"

          Mnkandla said it should be remembered that some of these white people
    actually helped Zipra during the liberation struggle.

          "The Zimbabwean armed revolution was materially supported by white
    people in Cuba, the then Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia,
    Rumania, Yugoslavia, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain,
    America, Canada, South Africa, Greece and elsewhere. Indians and Coloureds
    fought side by side with us," he added.
          Siwela, declared that former Zipra cannot join a racial war. "That is
    out of question because that would be against our political philosophy.

          "As it is, we are lost because what the government is doing is against
    the relevant constitutional provisions of Zimbabwe."

          He asked why government did not write a new constitution that will
    exclude the right to property if it feels its actions are justifiable.

          "We are opposed to the unjust way the land redistribution programme is
    carried out," Mhlanga said.

          "We are surprised, for instance, that traditional chiefs and headmen
    are not actively involved in the government land resettlement programme," he

          "How can chiefs be left out of a land resettlement programme and yet
    they are the traditional custodians of our land?" asked Mhlanga.
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    Daily News

          Targeted households allegedly denied food

          8/14/02 8:48:10 AM (GMT +2)

          By Foster Dongozi

          Zanu PF, whose president, Robert Mugabe, has been warned by the United
    Nations World Food Programme against using food as a political tool by the
    international community, is starving more than 100 households in Mhondoro on
    suspicions that they support the opposition MDC.

          Headman Loveless Nyariri of Nyariri Village and an elder from Kawara
    village confirmed that a councillor in Ward 7 was ensuring that only Zanu PF
    supporters can buy maize from the Grain Marketing Board.

          The councillor, identified as Matswayire, was not available for

          Nyariri said a woman whose life could have been saved if food had been
    made available to her, was believed to have died of hunger after reportedly
    being denied food on allegations that she sympathised with the opposition.

          "After she failed to get any maize, her relatives collected wild fruit
    called mutukutu and pounded it into a pulp before making porridge for her.
    However, she died the following day."

          He said although the woman might have been facing certain death, her
    death could have been accelerated by hunger.

          In his election campaign Mugabe said no Zimbabwean would starve to
    death due to food shortages and he repeated the comments at the national
    shrine on Monday.

          "We will feed everyone, even the puppets and stooges," said Mugabe at
    Heroes' Acre in apparent reference to MDC supporters.

          Mhondoro and Kadoma Central are the only constituencies in Mashonaland
    West, Mugabe's home province, which were snatched by the MDC in the June
    2000 parliamentary election.

          Nyariri said orphans and elderly people, whose "biggest sin" he
    alleged was to be suspected of belonging to the MDC, faced certain death as
    Zanu PF officials and youths were uncompromising on their party's bid to win
    the September rural and urban council elections.

          An elderly member from the Kawara clan, who declined to be identified,
    said: "We are being accused of supporting the wrong party, but if we believe
    that party will improve our lives, what is wrong with that?"

          Aspiring Ward 7 councillor under the MDC ticket, Manuel Mutikani, said
    villagers were prepared to buy the maize with their own money.

          "We have been starved since April, but we are prepared to buy the
          "How can people intentionally cause death among vulnerable groups like
    the elderly for the sake of becoming a councillor?" he said.

          So desperate are the villagers that on Tuesday, they summoned enough
    strength to get to Mubayira growth point where they hoped to confront the
    councillor, whose approval would guarantee them a bucket of maize each.

          The councillor was not available, but the hungry villagers were
    addressed by a Zanu PF official identified as Mafa.

          Mafa promised to "look into their problems" at a meeting to be held in

    Daily News

          Price of bread shoots up

          8/14/02 8:46:55 AM (GMT +2)

          From Sandra Mujokoro in Bulawayo

          BREAD prices have shot up to between $75 and $100 on the black market
    in Bulawayo as the shortages of the essential basic commodity continue to

          Long queues form every evening as workers jostle to buy bread on both
    the black market and in supermarkets.

          Due to the inconsistent supply of maize-meal on the market, people
    have substituted sadza with bread which was more readily available until
    last month, when loaves started disappearing from shop shelves.

          Bakers have said this is due to wheat shortages countrywide.

          The situation is likely to get worse as wheat stocks continue to

          Black market traders at the Renkini bus terminus have taken advantage
    of the shortage and are selling at exorbitant prices to desperate families.

          "We have no choice but to buy the expensive bread because the children
    would starve and bread is more available than maize-meal," said Emmilia
    Chingoma, a resident of Bulawayo.
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    Daily News

          Zimta attacks government

          8/14/02 8:43:36 AM (GMT +2)

          Staff Reporter

          THE Zimbabwe Teachers' Association (Zimta) has castigated the
    government for its failure to address the country's faltering economy which
    has led to the mass exodus of teachers to neighbouring countries.

          Dennis Sinyolo, the Zimta secretary-general said thousands of teachers
    were leaving the country for the United Kingdom, Botswana, South Africa and
    other Western countries where they are paid salaries commensurate with their

          He said the government should address the problems affecting teachers
    rather than the symptoms.

          He said a college graduate teacher earned a basic salary of $22 000
    and took home between $10 000 and $15 000, compared to a nurse who gets a
    basic salary of $50 000.

          Sinyolo said looking at the level of qualifications, the duration of
    training, the nature of duty and other comparable factors, there should not
    be such differences between teachers' and nurses' salaries.

          "Teachers are being frustrated and their grievances have been
    neglected." he said. "So they decide to leave for better environments
    because no one is prepared to listen to them."

          Sinyolo said there was no country anywhere in the world that could
    develop without the requisite skilled manpower.

          Dr Samuel Mumbengegwi, the Minister of Higher Education and
    Technology, was quoted by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation on Monday
    saying the government would consider bonding teachers.

          Mumbengegwi said the country could no longer afford to be a teachers'
    training ground for other countries. Bonding, he said, was the solution.

          "As far as brain drain is concerned, bonding of teachers is not the
    solution because those are symptoms of the problem and not the causes."
    Sinyolo said.

          Sinyolo said the reasons teachers were leaving were obvious.

          "There is unprecedented violence against teachers throughout the
    country. Their salaries are very low and their working conditions are

          He said the government had restructured salaries for nurses, uniformed
          Central Intelligence Organisation, Ministry of Justice, Legal and
    Parliamentary Affairs, and excluded teachers.

          He said government has failed to restructure teachers' salaries for
    the past three years and morale among teachers in Zimbabwe was at its lowest
    ebb due to political violence, poor remuneration and deplorable working

          Sinyolo said disgruntled teachers could not withstand the violence and
          harassment at the hands of Zanu PF militants and so-called war
    veterans, which the government has failed to stop.

          He said as long as the economic problems of this country were not
    addressed, Zimbabwe would continue to suffer from a brain drain for ages to

          Sinyolo said the government had abandoned its responsibility to build
    schools and teachers' houses to councils and parents who are themselves
    struggling to survive.

          He said most teachers' houses, particularly in the rural areas were
    unsuitable for human habitation but the government insisted that they should
    remain in the country.

          He said they had repeatedly asked the government to award teachers a
    hardship allowance but that genuine request had not been considered.

          Thousands of Zimbabwean professionals in medicine, education and
    engineering have been leaving the country in droves in search of greener
    pastures in neighbouring countries, Europe, the Americas and even as far
    afield as Australia and New Zealand
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    Daily News

          Mugabe comes under fire for stand on land

          8/14/02 8:45:35 AM (GMT +2)

          President Mugabe came under fire from critics at home and abroad
    yesterday after he vowed to press ahead with an order to white farmers to
    turn over their properties to landless blacks.

          In a televised speech on Monday, Mugabe did not say what would happen
    to those defying an 8 August order for the hand-over of 2 900 of the country
    's 4 500 white-run commercial farms.

          He added further confusion by saying white farmers who were
    "well-meaning" and "loyal citizens" had a place in Zimbabwe.

          White farmers yesterday were hoping Mugabe would clarify his remarks
    when he addressed a major rally to commemorate Defence Forces' Day, a
    national holiday.

          "That loyal Zimbabweans can farm is entirely new to us," David
    Hasluck, director of the mainly white Commercial Farmers' Union, told the
    South African Press Association.
          "The majority of my members have been trying to farm as loyal
    Zimbabweans but they have been stopped from doing so," Hasluck said.

          Nearly two-thirds of the 2 900 farmers targeted by the government's
    eviction orders are believed to have ignored the weekend deadline, hoping
    for a reprieve from the country's courts or from Mugabe himself.

          But Mugabe, who has governed Zimbabwe since independence from Britain
    in 1980, quashed their hopes on Monday saying his government would stick to
    its redistribution plans.

          "We, the true owners of this land, shall not budge. We shall not be
    deterred on this one vital issue, the land. The land is ours," he told more
    than 20 000 supporters attending
          the funeral of a former government minister.

          The reforms have caused upheavals at a time when six million
    Zimbabweans, nearly half the country's population, face severe food
    shortages due to the disruption on the farms and drought.

          In Washington, the United States accused Mugabe of recklessly risking
    disastrous food shortages by reinforcing the land redistribution deadline.

          Fosenet, a network comprising 24 non-governmental organisations in
    Zimbabwe, said yesterday that poor Zimbabweans were forced to barter goods
    for food, sell household assets or livestock, or "selling sex for money or

          International aid agencies have alleged that early food shipments have
    been reserved for supporters of Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party and diverted
    away from opposition-dominated areas.

          MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost a disputed presidential
    election in March, called Mugabe's speech a "promissory note" for more

          Eleven white farmers are among the estimated 160 people who have been
    killed since the land reform programme began with violent invasions by 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, many of them too young to have
    fought for the liberation of the former Rhodesia in the 1970s, enforcing the
    land redistribution. - Reuter
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