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

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Date: Saturday 25 August 2001
Time: 12.00am - 14.00hrs
Venue: Zimbabwe High Commission 429 Strand, London
Nearest tube: Charing cross.
The protest is organised by concerned Zimbabweans and supporters, Human
rights campaigners, Church groups and organisations. The protest will focus on:
A. The cessation of all acts of violence against farm workers, farmers,
the media, the judiciary, opposition parties, church organisations, along
with the immediate release of farmers in detention.
B. The immediate return to and respect of the rule of law and democratic
C. Call upon all Churches and governments throughout the world who have
remained silent to finally stand up and speak out against the Zimbabwean
exploitation of the injustice towards and the oppression of the poor,
weak, defenceless, and the innocent, particularly those in the rural
D. The cessation of intimidation and acts of violence on teachers,
businesses, human rights organisations, NGO's, Christians and secular
persons alike, who are involved in non-violent opposition to the
government and who daily face the threat of beatings, torture, abduction,
rape, and the illegal occupation and destruction of property.
E. The rights of women and mothers of Zimbabwe seeking to protect their
families, livelihoods and homes, who are so exposed and susceptible,
particularly in the rural areas, farming communities and outlying areas.
Finally an end to the International cynicism amongst the world's
leadership that accepts the violence Zimbabwean's are experiencing as part
of the African political way of life and looks elsewhere at the desperate
plight of many African nations and shrugs it's shoulders and thinks things
are not that bad in Zimbabwe. Here we wish to prevent Zimbabwe from
becoming another Rwanda, Angola, Sierra Leone or Congo. Without
International intervention Zimbabwe may well be heading for a civil war.
Albert Weidemann(Tel.01765607900)
Duran Rapozo(Tel.07740437667)
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The editor of Zimbabwe's only independent daily newspaper has been arrested over a report of alleged police complicity in the looting of white-owned farms.

Detectives detained editor Geoff Nyarota and drove him from his home to the main Harare police station, said Associated Newspapers chief executive Muchadeyi Masunda.

Lawyers who have sought access to Mr NyarIt are unclear what the charge might be.

In a front page report on looting of farms in northern Zimbabwe, The Daily News reported allegations that police vehicles were used by ruling party militants in what it called "well orchestrated acts of lawlessness" on the farms.

In a week of violence in the Chinhoyi corn and tobacco district, at least 30 homesteads have been looted and white families have been evacuated from about 100 farms.

The unrest began after the arrest of 21 white farmers on allegations of violence and assault against squatters and ruling party militants illegally occupying their land.

In April, Mr Nyarota and two of his reporters were questioned and charged with defaming President Robert Mugabe.

The newspaper last year linked Mugabe and Parliament Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa to awards of contracts for a new international airport outside Harare that allegedly favoured politicians, ruling party supporters and their business associates.
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Tuesday, 14 August, 2001, 23:15 GMT 00:15 UK
Southern African leaders snub Mugabe
Presidents Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania and Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique
SADC leaders are worried about the turmoil in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been dealt a twin blow at a summit of Southern African leaders in Malawi.

He has lost his cherished position as Chairman of the defence body of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and his peers expressed "concern at the effects of the Zimbabwean economic situation on the region".

Despite intense lobbying by Zimbabwe, there was no declaration of support for Mr Mugabe in what he sees as his continuing fight against colonialism in the form of his land reform programme.
President Mugabe
President Mugabe wanted southern Africa to support his "fight against imperialism"

South Africa, among others, voiced concern that Mr Mugabe had abused his position in 1998 by sending troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the name of SADC without adequately consulting his neighbours.

Of the 14 SADC members, only Angola and Namibia agreed to intervene in DR Congo, which recently joined the southern African body.

Declaring war

In March, SADC leaders decided that Mr Mugabe would no longer be permanent head of the community's security organ and that it would now be a rotating position.

Mozambique's President Joaqim Chissano has been named the new chair of the security organ, which has now been expressly forbidden from declaring war without the approval of a full summit of all member-countries' leaders.

Mugabe believes the MDC's success depends on white support, so whites are attacked ... it is an obsession,

Morgan Tsvangirai, Movement for Democratic Change

South Africa in particular has been badly hit by the overspill from Zimbabwe in terms of lower investor confidence in the region and a flood of economic refugees.

Meanwhile, Mr Mugabe told a Nigerian newspaper that he was confident that Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo could "save the situation" in Zimbabwe and defuse tensions between Harare and London over land reform and violence against white farmers, many of whom have UK origins.


Mr Obasanjo was also Nigeria's leader in the 1970s, when Mr Mugabe was fighting white minority rule in the then Rhodesia and he said: "I always remind President Obasanjo that: 'You are the master. I learnt from you the act of fighting the white man'."

Nigeria is due to chair Commonwealth talks on the Zimbabwe crisis in September.

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change, has voiced fears that the violence seen in the past week around Chinhoyi will spread across the country as presidential elections set for April 2002 draw near.

"I am very certain this is going to be replicated. Mugabe believes the MDC's success depends on white support, so whites are attacked ... it is an obsession," he said. "What is happening on the farms is going to engulf us all."

On Tuesday, Chinhoyi farmers said that, contrary to police claims to have restored calm, they were still under attack from a gang of up to 250 self-styled "war veterans".

They said that 100 farms in the area had now been trashed and pillaged.

Meanwhile, Germany has joined the list of countries condemning the latest outbreak of violence in Zimbabwe.

A statement from the foreign ministry said: "The government calls expressly on the government in Harare to do everything in its power to end the violence quickly".

On Monday, the US expressed its concern at "the level of political violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe".

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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Monday 13th August 2001
This report does not purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas. Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting all that happens. Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.
Over 40 farms in the Mashonaland West North region have been looted between Thursday 9th to Wednesday 15th August, causing women and children to evacuate their homes.
21 farmers from Chinhoyi remain in jail with bail being refused.  An urgent appeal has been filed in the High Court and is hoped the case will be heard on Thursday 16th August 2001.
A serious situation remains on Castledene Pines, in Macheke / Virginia area and the owner and farm workers have had to vacate their homes for safety reasons.  Illegal occupiers continue to assault farm workers, with police refusing to react.
In Wedza, the manger on Collace, was forced to evacuate his homestead when an aggressive group of illegal occupiers broke through the  security fence, and issued death threats.
On 9 farms in the Wedza district, farm workers have been forced to vacate their homes by illegal occupiers, resulting in about 2200 families forced to take refuge in farm barns.
Mashonaland Central 
General - The area remained quiet and peaceful over the long weekend.
Bindura - A DDF drilling team moved onto Tarlington Farm and erected about 5 tents.  An animal was killed, and the meat taken.  20 illegal occupiers went to the owner's homestead on Rushpeak and demanded to see the farm clerk.  The farm clerk took refuge in the owner's homestead after being assaulted by illegal occupiers.  Police have been notified.  A complete work stoppage occurred on Camasa and illegal occupiers are preventing the owner from preparing lands for next years crops.
Mashonaland West North  
General - Over 40 farms have been looted between Thursday 9th to Wednesday 15th August, causing women and children to evacuate their homes. A farm homestead was burnt, seedbeds destroyed, tobacco in sheds burnt, maize and beans stolen, workshop areas looted and vehicles stolen. Doma was the hot spot, looting moved South into Umboe and then into the Chinhoyi area. Karoi and Tengwe districts are stable. The Inspector of the Police Traffic Section has confirmed that the Chinhoyi section of the Harare - Chirundu Road is safe to travel on.  A rumour is circulating that a war veteran has died in this area, which is untrue.
Tengwe - A tense situation arose on Ramona Farm when the owner and other farmers were forced to chant political slogans. The situation was defused.
Doma - Farms were looted causing women and children to evacuate the area.
Umboe - Many farm owners' and their families have had to evacuate the farms with police being slow to respond.
Chinhoyi - The 21 farmers who are in jail were denied bail on Friday. It is hoped that an urgent appeal has been filed in the High Court and is hoped the case will be heard on the 16th August 2001. The farmers in jail are as well as can be expected.
Mashonaland West South 
General - Illegal pegging teams made up of agritex, police and illegal occupiers continue to demarcate farm land, with a constant stream of illegal occupiers onto these properties, mostly from town. A large proportion of the area is unable to continue land preparation for summer crops due to the lands being pegged.
Norton - The owner's house on Serui Source Farm was broken into and clothes and electrical equipment stolen. Police reacted the next day.
Mashonaland East 
Beatrice - 20 illegal occupiers waited for a farm owner and his spouse to return to the farm. The farm owner was allowed access into his homestead, whilst the illegal occupiers camped in the homestead garden that evening. The following day, illegal occupiers advanced onto the homestead veranda. Police responded and the situation was defused.
Bromley / Ruwa / Enterprise - Work stoppages occurred on some farms in the district, but were resolved.
Featherstone - Farm workers from farm villages on Calais, Dover and Kuruman ‘A’  were told to remove their belongings and leave because they failed to attend a political meeting in Umtegeza Resettlement Area. The owners have been told by illegal occupiers to pay farm workers ZW$3500 per month.
Harare South - Illegal occupiers on Walmer farm demanded that the owner unlock the security gates and let them in. When the owner refused they said they would return with reinforcements and force their way into the homestead. There was a meeting on Auks Nest between farm workers and resident illegal occupiers, resulting in farm workers being told that they needed to co - exist.
Marondera North - The area was quiet over the week end.
Macheke / Virginia - Passengers on a bus which drove into Highway Service Station, pushed and verbally abused the owner who is an elderly woman. A serious situation remains on Castledene Pines, where the owner and farm workers have had to vacate their homes for safety reasons. Illegal occupiers continue to assault farm workers and police refuse to react. Cattle theft took place on Highlands farm, with only 1 beast being recovered so far. An aggressive group of illegal occupiers on Rufaro farm demanded that the owner give them a cow for the celebrations. The owner complied under duress. Farm workers were evicted from their homes by illegal occupiers on Howgate and the owner given 3 days to vacate the farm but the manager could remain on the farm to finish grading. Illegal occupiers threatened to hold all night pungwes outside the owner's homestead until he vacated. Farm workers were allowed to return to their homes, although some feared returning. The DA has acknowledged and agreed to attend to the serious situations occurring on Howgate and Castledene Pines.
Wedza - The manger on Collace, was forced to evacuate the homestead when an aggressive group of illegal occupiers broke through the security fence, and issued death threats. Serious pressure against farm workers is escalating. On 9 farms in the district, farm workers have been forced to vacate their homes by illegal occupiers, resulting in about 2200 families forced to take refuge in farm barns.  Illegal occupiers forced farm workers and their families to vacate their homes on Numwa, displacing about 180 people. Farm workers who took refuge in farm barns on Bolton and Markwe have since been forced off the farm completely by illegal occupiers.
Chipinge - The owner of Dzorora Farm gave his farm workers a cow, resulting in illegal occupiers demanding one as well, which they said the DA had agreed to. The DA denied this and with police response, resolved the situation. The owner of Nyatutu Farm agreed to giving illegal occupiers a goat for their celebrations. When illegal occupiers went to collect their goat, they refused to take the one the owner had put aside for them and instead, took the owner's prize goat.
Old Mutare / Penhalonga - Following the incident of Mr Philip Bezuidenhout, where he was accused of deliberately running over and killing an illegal occupier on the 17th July, 11 farm homesteads in the Old Mutare area were looted with the last homestead being looted on the 9th August.  The area has been quiet since.
Mwenezi - 3 illegal occupiers armed with knives and pangas went to see the owner of Kleinbegin. The owner was away, and the illegal occupiers spent the night on the farm. When the owner did not return, they left. The following day, the owner returned to the farm and received a telephone call from Philemon Mbedzi who said he intended to hunt Kudu on the owner's farm for the celebrations. The owner refused this and reported the incident to police. Further boundary and veterinary fences have been stolen. Illegal occupiers have moved about 50 head of cattle into the Bubi River conservancy through a newly opened breach in the game fence, with further openings in the fence being threatened. These cattle have no veterinary brands and are now sharing space with buffalo. Illegal occupiers drove onto Lesanth in a 7 tonne truck and told the owner that they had come to hunt kudu. The owner said he could not stop them, but made it clear that he had not given them permission to do so. Illegal occupiers left the farm, shooting at anything they pleased and collected a further 45 resident illegal occupiers and proceeded to the Bubi village. 2 illegal occupiers armed with firearms, remain on Bar G and are looking after 106 head of cattle.
Shurugwi - Armed war veterans arrived at a farm village and informed farm workers and illegal occupiers that a meeting would be held to decide how to "sort out" the farm owners. Farm workers were told to stop working but refused. Illegal occupiers gathered for the meeting but the war veterans did not arrive. A message was circulated that the meeting would be held the following day. Again a smaller crowd of illegal occupiers gathered but no war veterans arrived. On another farm, which had to be evacuated by the owners and family under threat, the smaller homestead was stripped as there was nothing else left in the house to steal.
Kwe Kwe - Poaching continues to escalate. On Sebakwe Farms, 3 sable, 4 kudu, 4 zebra and 1 impala were found dead and rotting in snares. 53 snares were recovered and 1 cow slaughtered. Harassment by war veterans and illegal occupiers continue in a series of incidents to numerous to detail separately.
General - Over the past long weekend, there have been no reports of aggression or violence from the districts, or new pegging and occupations. The expected weekend flow from the city to visit and build on allocated plots occurred.
Nyamandhlovu - A fire was started on a farm in the district by illegal occupiers causing the burning out some 1 200 metres of game fence, 180 metres PVC piping and 500 hectares of grazing land. A further fire was started by illegal occupiers 6 km away at the same time and raged on all day.
Inyathi - A fire was started on a farm in the district by a war veteran who has since been arrested and charged. The fire continued for 2 days burning out over 3000 hectares of a prime wildlife and safari ranch. The encouraging part, being that the illegal occupiers on the property assisted the owners and district teams until the fire was extinguished.  The medical doctor at Inyathi hospital did a commendable job at caring for Dave Joubert after the recent attack on him and members just north of Bulawayo past the airport are having excellent service from their city based police station with regular patrols being carried out.
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Chris McGreal in Doma
Wednesday August 15, 2001
The Guardian

They see it as their Kosovo. The last few dozen white farmers left in a sprawling patch of northern Zimbabwe have fallen back on tactics learned from the Rhodesian bush war three decades ago, but without the guns.

From before dawn until after midnight the white men of Doma patrol the sprawling web of farm tracks in pairs, staying in touch by radio, in an attempt to counter the organised plunder of their homes.

It is a largely futile attempt to protect property but the broader intent is to establish that, while their wives and children may have gone, Doma's farmers will not be driven out.

"This is an attempt at ethnic cleansing," said Vernon Nicolle, a farmer who has come under attack in the past few days. "There's absolutely no doubt that it's orchestrated and aimed at driving whites out of the area. It's not the poor little farm workers like the government is saying. That bastard Mugabe is behind it. In Europe, you call that ethnic cleansing."

There is little doubt that Zimbabwe's masters have shifted away from enforcing partial land redistribution towards driving whites off the farms altogether, and perhaps eventually out of the country.

President Robert Mugabe has said the liberation war against whites continues. The Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, chose to stop in troubled Chinhoyi on a recent state visit, and called for all whites to be booted out of Zimbabwe. The state media gave his comments great prominence.

On Saturday, Zimbabwe's vice president, Joseph Msika, took it a step further, saying: "Whites are not human beings."

The attacks evidently orchestrated by Mugabe loyalists over the past week cover an area of about 100 square miles north of the town of Chinhoyi. Worst hit are farms around Doma where a third of white-owned houses have been comprehensively looted, with even baths ripped out. So-called veterans of the independence fight have warned whites never to return to the area.

Women and children have fled all 90 white-owned properties in the area, mostly to Harare or South Africa. Among them is the family of Anthony Manning, who mans the security radio control room from a Doma farm house.

"We moved every single person out of this area - women, children, the elderly, the sick. We didn't know if the convoys would get out because of the mayhem and roadblocks. Where we couldn't fly, we had to take all sorts of back roads. We are the only ones left," he said.

So now 34 white men remain. In the Rhodesian war, it was white farmers as part-time soldiers against black insurgents. The division is much the same these days, but now it is the farmers who have the state against them.

"We're not going to capitulate, come hell or high water. They can wreck our property but we won't be driven out," said Mr Manning. "There's a lot of experience among us. There's a guy who was in the [Rhodesian] SAS. We know how to organise these things. We would love to go in and deal with these guys because we have the weapons. I can tell you last night it was touch and go whether we did. But we know that would be counter-productive."

"Our strategy has been to try to monitor where they are next. We are operating in three groups. If they go for the southern front and we move there then they hit the northern or eastern front."

The patrols can do no more than report a house under attack or a convoy of looters to the police. Farmers comment sarcastically on how swiftly the police turned up to arrest the 21 farmers whose alleged attack on black settlers sparked the crisis, according to the government. They say the same force is nowhere to be seen when whites are attacked.

"The police pulled back to let places be looted," said Mr Manning. "There was an attack on a farm five kilometres from the police station. When we called, the police said they had no vehicles. When we offered to take them, the police said they can't go in civilian vehicles."

Mr Manning's farm is among those targeted.

"About 250 people arrived in seven tractors and trailers. They had axes and sticks. One of them broke my foreman's arm with an iron bar. If we had stayed I am 99% sure we would be dead," he said.

About three dozen looters descended on another property, Dawn Farm. One of the farm workers watched the scene. First went the curtains, bedding, carpets and wall hangings. Attention turned to electronic goods then beds, cupboards and even toilets.

With the house emptied, the looters went for fertiliser and farm tools. It was all piled high on tractors and trailers and hauled away. Tractors laden with plundered property can be seen quite openly making their way on the main road out of Doma towards Chinhoyi.

But the destruction goes further than mere theft. On Stirling Vale farm someone took to the electric stove with a vengeance, ripping off its door and destroying the hot plates, not in an attempt to steal it but to ensure it could not be used again. Almost every window in the house was smashed and the bath ripped out but not taken away.

The farmers see such destruction as evidence of an attempt to drive them out.

"Why would you destroy an oven or the freezer or rip out the bath? They want to prevent us coming back. To be honest, I think that will work in one or two cases. I know one woman who has told her husband she is never coming back even if it means the end of their marriage. But that is not the case with most of us. We will help each other rebuild and try to sit it out until that bastard [Mr Mugabe] is gone," said a farmer on patrol at Stirling Vale.

The crisis flared a week ago with the arrest of 21 white farmers near Chinhoyi for allegedly assaulting black settlers. The government's version is that the farmers assaulted defenceless peasants in an attempt to drive them from land given to them under the redistribution programme.

"The farmers have been attacking property and legally resettled farmers ... it is the farmers who are unleashing this violence," said the home affairs minister, John Nkomo.

The government claims that popular outrage at the farmers provoked the looting.

The whites see it differently. They believe the arrested men were led into a trap. They say the war veterans attacked a white-owned farm knowing that neighbours would come to the aid of the trapped family. Then the war veterans called the police and claimed they were the ones under attack. The arrests were then used to justify the unleashing of war veterans and others against farmers across the area.

The attacks appear to be well coordinated. The farmers say the operation in Doma is run from a farm seized from an outspoken opposition supporter.

Alan York - Zimbabwe's "Cattleman of the Year" - was in Australia on business when the war vets moved on to his land a week ago. First the house was trashed. What was not taken was tossed into the swimming pool. Almost half his 5,000 cattle were driven away and roadblocks thrown up outside the farm.

Among those visiting the farm over recent days has been the local government and housing minister, Ignatius Chombo, who is at the forefront of pushing land redistribution.

Caught in the midst of the violence are the black farm labourers. About 9,000 workers and their families are hit by the upheaval in Doma.

Because the government wants to portray the land seizures as spontaneous and led by farm workers against abusive white owners, the labourers are pushed to the forefront of land occupations.

Some are torn between genuine resentment at poor working conditions and the fear of not having a job. Others stand up to the war veterans.

"Our labour is in an incredibly difficult situation," said Mr Manning. "Those bastards are going to twist this. They said our guys are landless and they did it and it's not true. That is their home there. We have a proper village - lights, water, a school. They are not the perpetrators. They are caught in the middle."

It is probable that having stirred the cauldron, the government will quell the violence and then claim to be moderating between land-hungry peasants and unreconstructed Rhodesian white farmers.

The first signs came in yesterday's Herald newspaper which trumpeted the arrest of 40 suspected looters in Doma as evidence that the police were not standing idly by. But even that report had a spin. The Herald claimed most of those arrested were farm labourers, implying that the white farmers' own workers had turned on them.

The message to Mr Mugabe's supporters has been pressed home: the constraints have been loosened a little more

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Fleeing Zimbabwe violence

BBC: Tuesday, 14 August, 2001, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
The chaotic land grab in Zimbabwe that has seen the occupation of hundreds of white-owned farms has reached new levels of violence in the north of the country.

The violence has spread through the Chinhoyi area in one of the nation's most productive corn and tobacco districts, following the arrest last week of 21 white farmers who were accused of assaulting black squatters.

Ena Da Silva's farm was attacked on Saturday morning by a gang of old and young men, women and children.

"My daughter and myself and her friend, we hid in the bathroom cupboard behind a washing machine," she told the BBC.

"Eventually I got up, they took me out and they demanded [all my] keys," she said.

"When they discovered my daughter and her friend, they did hold a knife to them and threatened them and demanded money and removed their shoes."

Escape without possessions

Ms Da Silva and the two girls managed to escape when other farmers came to their rescue.

They drove off in their car without taking a single possession.

Ms Da Silva's daughter, 13-year-old Natalie, described the frightening affair:

"I was very scared, I must admit... I kept thinking, what if they've got guns, what if they've got knives, what if they threaten us?"

She told the BBC she wanted to leave Zimbabwe.

"I'm a bit edgy whenever we hear about what's happening on other farms. I just want to go down south and start over again," she said.

Hoping to return

Ms Da Silva said she intended to take her daughter to Johannesburg for a break from the stresses of the past few months.

But she said she hoped to be able bring her back to finish her schooling in Zimbabwe.

Like other farmers, Ms Da Silva finds it hard to believe that black Zimbabweans want white farmers to leave for good.

"I would like to know clearly, whether as a white person, we are welcome here or whether they would rather we leave," she said.

She suggested that safe passage be given to those who want to leave, and "safe residence" be promised to those who want to stay.

"There is going to be change. A lot of people realise that. And those who are really willing to stay, are really willing to work along with the change," she said.

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Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Media Update # 2001/32
Monday 6 August to Sunday 12 August 2001

1. Summary
2. Inflammatory remarks
3. Land reform related violence
4. International isolation


· The private press tried to link the death of a farmer in Kwekwe with
the chaos in Chinhoyi. The state press reported the death in the
context of attacks on Financial Gazette Special Projects Editor
Basildon Peta and the Daily News by the Department of Information &
Publicity in the President’s office and held that the Kwekwe farmer
died following an attack by unknown assailants. The state media, in
coverage reminiscent of Odzi case, flouted all standard court
reporting procedures and charged the accused farmers before
investigations were complete.
Perhaps what was noteworthy in the overall coverage of the Chinhoyi
events was the polarization that has dominated the media scene. The
state media portrayed settlers as victims of white commercial farmers
who are refusing to coexist with settlers” and extensively sourced
comment from the settlers. The voice of the farmers was dominant in
the private press.

· The international community’s effort to bring back Zimbabwe in to
the democratic fold continued to receive analysis in all media. The
coverage pointed towards government’s intention to introduce martial
law if sanctions were imposed. However, no media explained why the
government would introduce such a ruthless law for its citizens to
counter the foreign policy of another state.

· The week also saw the launch of Chinx Chingaira and Marko Sibanda’s
album ‘Hondo yeMinda’ which was co-produced by Information & Publicity
minister Jonathan Moyo. The event was accorded 18 minutes on ZBCTV’s
news bulletins on the 7th and 8th.


Over the past week – and hardly for the first time – MMPZ has
monitored inflammatory statements from politicians and others.
On the 8th, ZBCTV (8pm) broadcast an interview with Home Affairs
minister John Nkomo. The newsreader asked leading questions such as
“…it seems of late that the farmers have been actually attacking
settlers or is it true…” In his response the minister said:
“It is true the farmers have been attacking properly and legally
resettled farmers…it is the farmers who are unleashing the violence”
and vehemently denied that the war veterans were also perpetrating
violence on the farms. His remarks call to question government’s
commitment to maintaining law and order on the farms:
“We want to assure everybody that they are protected and please don’t
provoke any violence and cry foul,” he said.
President Robert Mugabe made similar comments in his Heroes Day
While we believe it is the duty of the media to report such statements
accurately, they equally have a responsibility to give a voice to all
points of view. This responsibility is a fundamental aspect of both
journalistic ethics and the public service mandate of media. It is a
responsibility that weighs especially heavily at the moment because
there is a serious and growing threat of political and even racial
violence in the country.


The escalation of government land reform related violence dominated
news reports during the week.
The Daily News (6/8) reported the attack of a Kwekwe farmer ahead of
the Chinhoyi incident. The paper quoted the farmer’s daughters who
held ZANU PF responsible for the attack.  No comment was accessed from
ZANU PF or Government.
The Zimbabwe Independent (10/8) followed up on the story and quoted
the farmer’s relatives who reiterated their blame on ZANU PF for the
Those who rely on the state-controlled media learnt of the Kwekwe
incident through the Department of Information and Publicity’s
(ZIMPAPERS dailies & ZBC 8/8 and 9/8) rebuttal of The Daily News (6/8)
story and another story by Basildon Peta, which appeared in the UK’s
The Independent. The Department of Information and Publicity accused
Basildon Peta of linking the Kwekwe farmer’s death with the violence
that occurred in Chinhoyi and stated that the farmer died ‘following
an attack by unknown assailants’. Notably, on ZBCTV (8/8, 8pm) the
statement was buried in the Chinhoyi violence story.
The Daily News (11/8) follow up quoted an unnamed police officer who
confirmed that three men picked up for questioning by the police were
part of the illegal settlers who had occupied the deceased’s farm,
implying that the murder was related to farm violence.


The Chinhoyi clashes received extensive coverage in both the public
media and the private press and highlighted, once again, the effects
of a polarized media environment on basic facts.
The state print media abandoned all standard “court reporting”
procedures and gave the accusations levelled against the commercial
farmers as fact. In previous reports, MMPZ has noted that the purpose
of these restrictions is founded upon the fundamental principle that
accused individuals are innocent until proven guilty in a court of
law. The conduct of the state media pre-empted the police and court
investigations and raises the question of whether the trial of the
white commercial farmers may have been compromised by such
unprofessional reporting.
Zimpapers (8/8) used accusatory language to describe the Chinhoyi
incident, saying:
Twenty-two white commercial farmers armed with logs, sticks and batons
ganged up on Monday and brutally attacked defenceless resettled
farmers at Liston Shield Farm in Chinhoyi”.
In the same story, a Mashonaland West police spokesperson was quoted
“although the 22 farmers would appear in court investigations would
A resettled farmer, Mr. Darlington Chasara, was extensively quoted
giving an account of what transpired. Mr. Chasara stated that the farm
owner Mr Barkley, instead of calling the District Administrator (DA),
“called other commercial farmers from Chinhoyi, Banket and Karoi who
arrived and went straight to attack the hapless farmers” when they
requested to have a meeting with him. This version was similar to that
given by one of the settlers quoted on ZBCTV (8/8, 8pm).

The violence that occurred at Mr Barkley’s farm culminated in the
attack of white people in the town of Chinhoyi. The government
controlled print media presented the perpetrators of violence in
Chinhoyi town as “angry resettled farmers and ordinary people” who
were retaliating while the private print media labelled the people
behind the attacks as ZANU PF supporters.
The Daily News (8/8) stated that about ten white people were assaulted
while The Herald (8/8) stated that several were attacked. ZBC  (Radio
8/8, 7am and ZBCTV, 7/8, 8pm) underplayed casualties of violent racial
attacks in Chinhoyi by stating that three farmers were assaulted.
The state-controlled media linked the Chinhoyi clashes to the death of
the Odzi settler to suggest a trend in the actions of white commercial
farmers. Furthermore, ZBC (8/8, 8pm) linked the clashes to other three
unreported similar incidents that have occurred in the area since
Whilst Zimpapers were quick to apportion blame on white farmers; the
private press reportage was heavily dominated by the white commercial
farmers’ version of the incident.
The underlying racialism in the government land reform, which has
impacted negatively on the media, was summarised in an opinion piece
published in The Zimbabwe Mirror. Part of the article read:
The incident this week in which there was a violent confrontation
between white commercial farmers and resettled peasants in the
Chinhoyi area is but one indication of the volatility of the current
transition in Zimbabwe. While the content of the transition is
essentially around such economic and social factors as land
redistribution and/or belated decolonisation, the form and expression
of it is inevitably racial.

From the media reports, it was unclear as to how and where the farmers
were arrested. The state-controlled newspapers (8/8) stated that the
resettled farmers called the police who arrested 19 farmers, giving an
impression that the farmers were arrested on the scene.
On the other hand, The Daily News reported that 18 farmers were
detained when they went to have their statements taken.

There was no mention of the injured settlers in The Daily News,
probably a result of the reported hostility of the settlers towards
the non- state media journalists.
Subsequent reports in state-controlled newspapers and The Daily News
focused on the court proceedings. The state-controlled newspapers
(9/8) prefaced brutal attack with “alleged” but the damage had already
been done. The attacks on foreign journalists for alleged biased
reporting were reported as a normal development with no analysis.

Further, the state-newspapers reported that
“… the situation in the town remained tense with police insisting that
the white residents keep a low profile until tempers cooled off”.
No explanation of the deliberate attacks of whites was provided.
The private weeklies (The Financial Gazette and The Zimbabwe
Independent) blamed the government for the violence on farms and
concluded that the government sanctioned what was happening on farms.
The Financial Gazette in its article ‘Force them off the farms: govt’
quoted an unnamed source who stated that
“…the govt wants war veterans to harass and scare farmers into
abandoning their land and then they get it for ploughing before
October. Issues of compensation and other become peripheral once a
farmer is no longer on the land”.
The Zimbabwe Independent, while blaming Gadaffi’s inflammatory remarks
made in Chinhoyi during his visit, stated that “none of this could
have happened without the government’s encouragement and direction…”
in its editorial
The private press reported that the Chinhoyi incident sparked chaos in
Mashonaland West forcing farmers to flee the area in articles
headlined, “Whites flee Chinhoyi” (The Zimbabwe Independent (10/8),
“160 farmers flee Makonde” (The Daily News 10/8) and “Mayhem in Mash
West” (The Standard 10/8).
Both The Standard and The Sunday Mail reported that police officers in
Chinhoyi were suspended for allowing farmers to have access to food,
new uniforms, and blankets. It was not clear as to whether this was
prompted by one unnamed man quoted on ZBCTV (9/8, 8pm) objecting to
allegations that white farmers were given new uniforms and new
The Standard quoted the police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena who
stated that police officers were being investigated for failing to
follow laid down procedures relating to arrest and detentions.  The
paper did not substantiate what the laid down procedures were. The
Sunday Mail quoted Bvudzijena and Zimbabwe Prisons Service Chief
Prison Officer Frankie Meki. The latter was non-committal about the
reason for the new uniforms.


Zimbabwe’s international isolation continued to receive media coverage
during the week. While the private press reported that the Zimbabwe
Democracy & Economic Recovery Bill (ZDER) was just but one of the
international community’s efforts to find a solution to the Zimbabwean
crisis, the state media emphasised the negative implications of the
The state media stated that the Bill would result in the suffering of
all Zimbabweans, the private press gave the impression that the Bill
would only affect President Mugabe and government officials.
ZBC (ZTV, 7/8, 8pm), in a Rueben Barwe report attacked the ZDER Bill
and offered the usual government and ZANU PF analysis, which mainly
borders on the premise that the Bill would affect every citizen of
Zimbabwe. The reporter did not seek any comments or analysis from
political scientists or economists. During the Heroes’ Day live
broadcast on ZBCTV (11/8), war veterans Amos Midzi, Andrew Ndlovu,
Patrick Nyaruwata denounced the Bill which they described as an
imperialist document.

The Herald (7/8) article headlined “US Democracy Bill draconian – In
whose interest is the legislation” argued that the Bill would not
benefit ordinary Zimbabweans “… already suffering from the harsh
economic climate which has been exacerbated by official and unofficial
sanctions already imposed on Zimbabwe”. Further, the article stated
that the Bill was in opposition to President Mugabe’s uncompromising
stance on the land issue allegedly drafted at the behest of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change and the commercial farmers.
Lovemore Madhuku and John Robertson were quoted as saying the Bill
would negatively affect Zimbabwe. The MDC and the commercial farmers
who were accused of conniving with the foreign powers to demonise
Mugabe were not accorded space to comment.
The private press did not give adequate analysis of what the Bill
meant for the general population. Only The Daily News (6/8) comment
gave an insight of the implications of the Bill noting “… Zimbabwe
will be treated by the US government like the economic leper that the
illegal regime of Ian Smith was during the 15 years of UDI”.
The Financial Gazette (9/8) reported that the government would
introduce martial law if sanctions were imposed. The newspaper quoted
unnamed government officials hinting at this. One named source
Minister John Nkomo was quoted as saying:
We hope the situation won’t reach the sanctions level, but if we are
under siege, we have to employ strategies to survive. We cannot lie
down and mourn
All dailies (8/7 and 9/8) quoted ZANU PF parliamentarians who, while
criticizing the Bill, called on government to invoke the state of
None of the media elaborated on the content and form of the martial
law; and implications for ordinary Zimbabweans. The only hint at the
effects of the martial law was in The Sunday Mail (12/8) heavily
opinionated Under “The Surface Column”. The column suggested that the
MDC was backtracking on the Bill for
 “…fear of the imposition of a state of emergency which could mean no
presidential polls and goodbye to Morgan Tsvangirai’s dream of making
it to State House”.
An unnamed source was quoted.
Yet two key issues were not highlighted in all media, i.e.
1. Why would the government consider imposing a ruthless martial law
on its citizens to counter the foreign policy of another country and,
2. In the event that sanctions fail; what options are available to the
international community.

Meanwhile, The Zimbabwe Mirror (10/8) carried an opinion piece, which
suggested conspiracy against Zimbabwe by the Anglo-Americans through
the opposition and some sections of the private press.
In a related development, the state-controlled dailies (7/8) quoted
President Thabo Mbeki as saying “… sanctions against Zimbabwe will
hasten the collapse of the economy…” and that “… his efforts to avoid
political, social and economic collapse in Zimbabwe had failed”.
Jonathan Moyo, who was quoted at length in the same article,
underplayed Mbeki’s change of stance on Zimbabwe when he said, “Anyone
who has been listening to President Mbeki and following the Zimbabwean
issue will know that he is repeating what he and many other people
have said before…”
ZBC (ZTV, 7/8, 8pm) emphasized that Mbeki was calling for continued
dialogue with Zimbabwe and underplayed Mbeki’s admission that
President Mugabe ‘was not listening’.
The private press described Mbeki’s statements as a significant
intervention by the South African’s president. The Zimbabwe
Independent (10/8) in its ‘Muckraker’ column stated that Mbeki had
made it clear that he did not support Mugabe’s land policy as claimed
in the public media.
The Financial Gazette (9/8) reported “the noose tightened further on
President Robert Mugabe this week following what political analysts
say is a virtual nod by regional superpower South Africa to punitive
international sanctions against embattled 77-year-old president and
his lieutenants”.

The MEDIA UPDATE is produced and distributed by the Media Monitoring
Project Zimbabwe, 221 Fife Avenue, Harare, Tel/ fax: 263 4 734207,
733486, E-mail: Web-
Address all queries and comments to the Project Coordinator
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August 15, 2001

Mapping a way out of Zimbabwe's mayhem

Interview with land expert Sam Moyo on Zimbabwe’s land crises



rofessor Sam Moyo, Director of the Southern African Regional Institute for Policy Studies, told Irin during an in-depth interview in Harare last week that to resolve the country's land reform crisis, the Zimbabwean government, white commercial farmers and the British government would have to revisit an agreement they reached at a landmark conference in 1998.

Explaining the history of Zimbabwe's controversial compulsory land acquisition programme, Moyo, who was pivotal in drafting an agreed policy on land reform after the donor conference in 1998, said the government would have to curb violence on commercial farm land, the British government would have to resume funding the programme and the farmers would have to give up about five million hectares of land they had earlier promised.

QUESTION: Outline the Zimbabwean government's attempts at land reform and redistribution since independence in 1980.

ANSWER: The first phase was between 1980 and 1987/1988, which could be referred to as a period of intensive market-based land reform, in which the focus was on redistributing land held by white commercial farmers, purchasing this land using both the government of Zimbabwe's resources and some British funds, and redistributing it to peasants. During this early phase, almost 60 000 families were resettled.

The second phase was between 1988 and around 1996 - a period of slowdown in and reform and contradictions in the formulation of policy. That is when the government of Zimbabwe started to adopt policies that would minimise the cost of land acquisition. It introduced the whole idea of compulsory acquisition in the constitution in 1990, introduced a new act for compulsory acquisition in 1992 and amended this act later on. Basically, it began to talk about combining compulsory land acquisition on the basis of prices that can be negotiated or set administratively.

There were other problems. For example, the government had sort of abandoned its socialist orientation of the early 1980s and adopted a neo-liberal, market orientated or macro-economic framework and economic policies. The broader framework was to promote more black indigenous commercial farmers, as well as white commercial farmers - to promote not only the disadvantaged and landless - but also to promote the small farmer who were more capable, actually the more skilled smallholders or the better-trained. So, they (the government) were shifting the policy towards selecting the "fittest" in market terms.

Q: What was the turning point? What eventually broke the land reform momentum?

A: The turning points came in the years of 1991, 1992 and 1993. The Zimbabwean government felt the deal they were getting after (the) Lancaster House (agreement), through which the British were financing the purchase of land - although it had been successful in delivering a lot of land - had delivered the land at a price, in an area and in a process they did not particularly like. They were saying 'we want to deliver land in a “different way”. The terms of the delivery or the financing from the British, was not satisfactory as far as Zimbabwean government officials were concerned and therefore, by introducing compulsory acquisition, they had a major difference with the British. In 1990 they introduced it into the constitution and in 1992 they actually introduced the act after protracted arguments and confrontations.

There was also a major difference which emerged politically between the white commercial farmers and the government from 1989 when the debate of compulsory land acquisition and changing the laws was taking place, so you had a shift in the political environment. The British government and the Zimbabwean government never signed a new agreement to finance land reform when the first phase expired because they had all these differences.

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Displaced farm workers face destitution June 8, 2001
Hopes of land fade to dust April 17, 2001
No coherent land reform plan in Zim November 14, 2000
Q: What were the terms of the first agreement between the two governments?

A: There was the Lancaster House agreement which was a constitutional and principled agreement, but then the British government and the Zimbabwean government signed an aid agreement through which the British would provide the money. They were providing the money on a dollar-for-dollar basis… for every dollar the British gives the Zimbabwean government must match it with a dollar to buy the land ... a number of Zimbabweans felt that as far as they are concerned, paying for land is not really a Zimbabwean responsibility. This has always been a contention ... Donors or British funders may want to give conditions to be sure that the land is redistributed to people who need it and everything, but you don't, by asking those questions, determine what the land policy should be. So the differences began to emerge. The major differences were the conditionality of the land, the money and how it was to be used, who is going to benefit from it In some ways, I think that the point was overstretched. By 1996 there was an agreement with the (then British Prime Minister John) Major government, but they were kicked out of parliament in 1997 by the Labour government which proposed a totally new discussion and that introduced a major political confrontation with the Zimbabwean government.

Meanwhile the Zimbabwean government and ruling (Zanu-PF) party was facing its own internal political contradictions ... the extremists were saying 'we don't like the market-based policy of yours, it is not delivering land on time, and at any rate, for the last eight years you've slacked off on land redistribution and you've left us out as the war veterans'.

Q: What was the Labour Party proposing?

A: They proposed renegotiating the whole framework into a more explicitly poverty-oriented framework, introducing the whole debate around poverty reduction. The Zimbabwean government's argument has been that it has to not only reform the economy but also change the political complexion because some people argue that even if you redistribute and leave some land to commercial farmers, you should have a racial mix of who they are. You should not leave just white commercial farmers. You should have both black and white. So the argument that (government) 'cronies' got some land - (but) there are only 400 or 500 of them out of a total of 4 500 commercial farmers. This whole debate the British and others introduced about cronyism generated a lot of anger among the black elites. They were saying the Rhodesians who got land used to work for government, that they used to be in the ruling party and used to be former British soldiers, war veterans as well, who were rewarded with land for fighting the first and second world wars; settlers came and they were given grants, etc. So they were asking 'what is the standard'?

So this drew a whole political confrontation. I think initially the Labour Party officials missed the point; they had the wrong analysis of the political meltdown that was happening in Zimbabwe - because the economy was also not working, the adjustment was not delivering as many jobs, the ruling party was now going to face more competition from the opposition and the ruling party which had argued to redistribute land (which had been part of the liberation war) had not delivered because they had now compromised on the neo-liberal policies and they were being told to now go for another neo-liberal development aid concept called 'poverty reduction'

Q: To move along, how did the situation deteriorate to the point when the last phase of commercial farm invasions began?

A: The first invasions in the last phase began in 1998. In 1997 there was a confrontation between the war veterans' leadership and the ruling party elite, in which they (war veterans) demanded that the government pay them huge pensions. This was more or less at gunpoint. Everybody missed that point, but this was a critical point. At that same point, at which they (the Zimbabwean government) were ... abrogating their macroeconomic policy, saying 'forget about this market business of buying land, just get land' the government in 1997 listed 1 471 farms and started a mass-based compulsory acquisition. So you had for the first time that political change.

That was much more significant than any land occupation that ever happened or was to happen - that listing of so many farms - because it hit the economy and divided society politically. Following that, there was a movement in 1998 towards the donors conference on land reform and redistribution that took place in September, which led to a government proposal on what it would do in five years and its compromise of a more gradual 10-year programme.

Now leading to this, there was a lot of doubt in 1998 among war veterans and different communities that the government would follow through with land redistribution, so there were about 30 high-profile land invasions that took place involving war veterans and chiefs and others who were basically saying we don't believe the deal you are going for is going to work and if you try to bluff us we are still going to get our land anyway.

That was not led in any formal sense by Zanu-PF, even war veterans were not fully behind it - there were different elements in different communities, who were individually challenging the whole programme. So in 1998 the government evicted all these land occupiers after this conference, saying 'we have agreed now and we are going to get money'. Come 1999 there was a whole year when donors wouldn't move (to provide funding) In addition in 1997 there was a difference between the Zimbabwean government and the British and the Americans over the invasion in the DRC. In my view, another false move by the British and the international community - to say that because you (Zimbabwe) are in the DRC and it is affecting your macroeconomic policy, therefore the land problem you have had is not our problem because you should pay the money you are paying in the war. This is when the Zimbabwe government saw in 1999 that they were not getting any money and they felt they were being isolated - which they were by the international community. This is where the idea of going it alone begins to emerge towards the end of 1999. This is where the hard line about introducing it into the constitution that was being drafted came. When this hard line is rejected (in a referendum in February 2000) the war veterans and everybody who were part and parcel of this, started saying 'where has the donors' conference and negotiations taken you' ... and there was mass mobilisation across the country.

Q: Why is land and land reform so important to Zimbabwe and to its economy?

A: Zimbabwe's economy is diversified in the sense that about one-third of the gross domestic product is from mining and another third was - and still is - a bit from manufacturing. Then you split the rest of the economy into 20% from agriculture and the rest is split into services and other things. So although there is this diversification a big chunk of the economy is based on agricultural throughput. So the economy is diversified but integrated into an agriculturally based economy.

One of the growing sectors, tourism - about 10% of the economy - is also another land-consuming area because of wildlife, so the majority of the people still depend on land for their basic survival. There are not so many industrial jobs coming out of the economy.

Q: Where do you see room for compromise

A: The compromise, basically, is that the idea of these (land redistribution) plans was to get half the land the commercial farmers have to be redistributed, to accept this as the modest figure was the compromise, that is, five million hectares which would have been given. Now, since there is no compromise, the extremists on the Zanu-PF side are saying let's take eight million or nine million hectares. In my view the compromise which we have been trying to facilitate dialogue on, is for the farmers to assist in identifying which five million of the 11,5-million hectares should be acquired as agreed. So that is the first basis, and that is partially being done by this so-called offer by the Zimbabwean Joint Resettlement Initiative of one million hectares (by white commercial farmers). But one million hectares is not enough because that is seen as trying to underestimate and delay the whole programme. So there is a compromise if the farmers can get their act together - and of course for the British and others to come in and finance it, especially the British.

Q: What compromises should the Zimbabwean government be making?

A: To the extent that the Zimbabwean government has the capacity to contain certain violence, not necessarily that they are responsible for it, to the extent they can contain, limit, control or stop them, they should be seen to be doing more of that. Now they argue, ‘this is a volatile situation’, that there is a movement which may be in some ways, more or less, not within the control of the government, that could create further conflict and that the way to reduce that violence is to redistribute land. So I think if you get a process where some land is delivered then the violence can also be controlled by redistributing some land and then by convincing the extremists not to push the violence too hard. - IRIN

-- The Mail&Guardian, August 15, 2001.

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SA’s storm of discontent

Chris Kabwato
8/9/01 11:03:08 PM (GMT +2)

AN explosion is imminent in South Africa. It will not be of the same type as ZANU PF’s so-called Third Chimurenga which exists only in the imagination of the minister for propaganda.

If what I am hearing from my circle of friends and other people on the street is anything to go by, then black people here are just fed up and are likely to take matters into their own hands within a year or two.

It is not the kind of news President Thabo Mbeki wants to hear given his thrust to spruce up South Africa’s image as the fore-most foreign investment destination among the so-called "emerging mar-kets".

The gripe that black people have with the new South Africa centres around:

• Job creation

• Land redistribution

• Housing

• Education

Significantly very few black people talk about crime as one of the biggest challenges they face though it does affect them like anybody else. The feeling is that the African National Congress leadership is selling out.

Movers and shakers

They point to the lack of consultations with grass-roots at cell and branch levels where these still exist (in most cases they have simply withered away). They deride a black empower-ment drive that is not empowerment at all but more a scheme for a political elite which serves apprenticeship in the public sector enterprises and is then certified as ready to lead empowerment.

This elite enjoys such a high profile and are looked at as movers and shakers but the reality is that there is no real creation of wealth. This elite simply uses its political and business connections to raise capital to buy shares. They have not created anything new but only seek to buy into existing entities (mostly privatised state assets).

On the other hand are the ever whingeing whites who complain about crime and, quite revealingly, state that affirmative action is reverse racism and that they wish to emigrate.

Significantly the Afrika-ners, who are even more like any one of the ethnic groups, are going about their business expanding into the region and beyond while their counterparts of British stock make all sorts of noises about going to Australia.

The black response is as long as no one is pushing you anyone can ship out. Of course the media here playing this whingeing game like white people have so much choice out there. They would be hard pressed to enjoy the same levels of lifestyles anywhere else in the world.

Poor devils

So the mass of black people caught in between are asking themselves: "How can people who suffered so much to liberate this land become so callous and loot even funds meant for the development of their own people?"

Of course they are aware that the dominant media plays up as if the problem is with just this black elite whereas corruption is rife especially among the multinationals who buy these poor devils who have never seen so much money in their lives.

Although President Mbeki is well respected and no one, except the Mail & Guardian and Newsweek, believes he is corrupt they do think his problem is that he has surrounded himself with yes-men. With his intellectual prowess and unquestionable commit-ment to both South Africa and Africa he needs people who do not just take his ideas at face value but interrogate them and thus add value to his vision. If he does not come out in the next few months and hit hard at his corrupt African National Congress colle-agues (ANC) he will lose quite a lot in terms of political capital. Some people are already looking forward to the break-up of the tripartite alliance of the ANC, South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu). People want the alliance to fail for different reasons. Others now see the SACP as the best hope for South Africa. Blade Nzimande, SACP secretary general, seems to have struck a chord with both the media and urban dwellers. For others the break-up would be an opportunity to strengthen the Democratic Alliance but that is a forlorn hope that only Tony Leon himself, Afrikaners, the white journalists and one or two blacks hope for. It is not going to happen. Period. The alliance might hold because it is suspected that leaders in Cosatu and SACP partners are always eyeing cabinet posts and will get them if there is any push to dissolve the alliance.

But on the whole black people are not so sure as how to respond. The hatred of white people here is so palpable but at the same time having been betrayed by their own government there is desperation to hang on to something that gives hope. While President Mbeki is being congra-tulated by the inter-national community and white people on upholding the rule of law there is anger among black people. If Mbeki’s sense of justice is to ask people to be patient with the courts that seem to take forever to redress land distribution imbalances then he has a battle on his hands. A look at how black people looked at the so-called land invasions and how the media sought to portray them is quite revealing. Hypocrisy in the media is incarnated here in the Mail & Guardian and in The Star. Giving us sensational head-lines on how "squatters" were suffering in the bitter cold and how the government sought to remove them none dared to show how unwilling and ungrateful white farmers here are. Yet the very previous week there had been this Afrikaner who had dragged the government to court as he turned down an offer of R800 000 which had been recommended by two valuation committees. Eventually he accepted R130 000 but then said something to the effect of "I only accepted this compe-nsation because of my mou-nting legal bills. I am going to appeal to the USA and United Kingdom". In this he had the support of his local branch of the farmers uni-on. Some people never learn.

But the senior officials in the ministry of agriculture are very clear on what has to be done. They are saying make the issue of land re-distribution an admini-strative issue and this would help in expediting land re-distribution. The question is why is the dominant media not taking up this issue and make it the cornerstone of their debate on equitable land distribution.

As a colleague put it to me, "Rainbow nation? No. It’s a rainbow notion. ANC has to deliver to its constituency."

Chris Kabwato is a Zimbabwean based in South Africa

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Suspected war veterans and Zanu PF supporters yesterday drove cattle out of the pens and onto the fields at Richfontein Farm in Mhangura where they feasted on a fine crop of wheat. ­ Picture by Urginia Mauluka
MP says Mugabe, Smith the same

8/15/01 8:58:55 AM (GMT +2)

By Sandra Nyaira Political Editor

AN opposition Member of Parliament has likened the behaviour of the government of President Mugabe to that of Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front regime.

Mike Auret (Harare Central) said this in Parliament yesterday while contributing to debate on the Presidential speech.
MDC MPs attacked the government for the current state of lawlessness in the country, especially on commercial farms in Chinhoyi.
Auret said in trying to maintain its grip on power the government was behaving exactly as Smith’s illegal regime did before independence in 1980.
Dismissing the President’s opening speech to Parliament, Auret said: “It was much ado about nothing.”
He said it failed to address some of the major problems facing the majority of the population. The least Mugabe could have done was to send a condolence message to the thousands of people suffering from the HIV/Aids scourge, Auret said. Mugabe should also have had a special message for those supporting people living with the virus that causes Aids and to those suffering from the effects of the “land grab” or the general economic malaise.
He spoke passionately about the pain felt by farmers driven off their farms by war veterans and Zanu PF supporters in Chinhoyi and some sectors of Hwedza. “It is a shame that the police arrested the victims of violence in Chinhoyi, leaving the perpetrators to go scot-free,” Auret said. Mugabe had run down the economy to the extent that it was almost beyond recovery, the MP said. Most MDC MPs, notably Job Sikhala (St Mary’s) and Giles Mutsekwa (Mutare North), attacked the government and those Zanu PF MPs calling for a state of emergency if the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Bill was signed by the President of the United States.
They said the government must move with speed to restore the rule of law, embark on a lawful, just and equitable land reform programme and produce a new Constitution. Said Mutsekwa: “The government must know that peace is not outward but inward stability. There shall never be peace unless there is inward stability.” Mutsekwa said Zanu PF must realise that the country’s youth had never experienced a war situation before, and any attempt to go to war would be greeted with enthusiasm by some of them.
He said the army, the police and the Central Intelligence Organisation must remain apolitical. The MDC MPs castigated Zanu PF’s Didymus Mutasa, Shadreck Chipanga, both of Makoni, and Vice-President Joseph Msika for using hate speech against the MDC.
Zanu PF MPs, notably Joram Gumbo (Mberengwa West), supported the land reform programme.
Meanwhile, Sam Munyavi reports from Mhangura that suspected war veterans and Zanu PF supporters yesterday drove cattle into at least two wheat fields on farms in the area, while two farmhouses were looted in the early hours.
Reacting to ongoing attacks in the rich farming area, senior police officers arrived in Mhangura yesterday afternoon aboard an Air Force of Zimbabwe helicopter.
The police refused to say who was in the contingent or how many they were, but said they had immediately gone into a meeting. Police reinforcements were brought in from Kadoma, Hurungwe and Norton.
At least 40 people were being held at the police station for looting. Motor vehicles, tractors, lawn-mowers and large quantities of stolen fertiliser, household goods, cement and other items were under police guard.
Meanwhile, Colin Cloete, the president of the Commercial Farmers’ Union
(CFU), has condemned the ongoing violence on the farms.
In a statement on Saturday, he said: “I call upon all Zimbabweans to refrain from taking the law into heir own hands and totally condemn
violence in all its forms and cannot accept that our law enforcement
agencies cannot bring the situation under immediate control in a fair and just manner.”
He said it was apparent that the state of lawlessness had reached a height that could only be controlled at the highest level.
Cloete said: “I make a heartfelt plea to the ministers and police chiefs, who took an oath of allegiance to protect all citizens of Zimbabwe, to swiftly and decisively avoid further destruction and loss of property. As I speak, more of the farms in Doma are being pillaged and looted openly and blatantly by lawless elements in marauding bands of up to 300. Little action has been taken to recover stolen property.”
At one farm, a mob of about 60 people killed two cattle and carried away everything. The owner requested anonymity.
At Solvang Farm some kilometres away, looters ransacked the farmhouse from about 3am yesterday to just before dawn.
Pat Laugesen, the owner, said they killed an ox and commandeered a tractor.
A worker at the farm said the looters had forced the workforce to accept meat from the slaughtered beast.
Laugesen said she lost hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of household goods to the looters. They stole clothing, bedding, cooking utensils, computers, television sets and video cassette recorders, among other items.
Laugesen said: “They took anything electrical. Anything they couldn’t take they destroyed.”
Four hunting rifles were disarmed, Alan Laugesen, Pat’s son, said. Only the large collection of books was virtually untouched.
The Laugesens left the farm on Friday after they received warnings that they might be attacked. They returned yesterday to find their home in shambles.
Pat Laugesen said: “Houses on farms are now sitting ducks.”

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Tsvangirai says Mugabe should be barred from Brisbane summit

8/15/01 9:21:45 AM (GMT +2)

By Collin Chiwanza

MORGAN Tsvangirai, the MDC president, said yesterday President Mugabe should be barred from attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in Brisbane, Australia, in October because of the current State-sponsored anarchy and gross violation of human rights in the country.

Speaking to journalists in Harare, he accused Mugabe of flouting the principles of the Harare Declaration of October 1991 in which the Commonwealth leaders agreed to uphold the rights of all citizens, regardless of their gender, race, colour, creed or political belief. “The Commonwealth should not allow Mugabe to participate until he conforms to the tenets of the Harare Declaration which he is flouting on a daily basis,” said Tsvangirai. “The unfortunate thing is that these international and regional bodies do not insist on the upholding of their own ideals.
To watch things deteriorate in Zimbabwe is to endorse lawlessness.” Mugabe, who is attending the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) meeting in Blantyre, Malawi, has been accused of condoning acts of lawlessness and violence to tighten his slipping grip on power. Tsvangirai said the Sadc leaders should condemn the lawlessness in Zimbabwe before it spills into neighbouring countries with disastrous consequences for the entire region. “For a very long time, Sadc has been supporting Mugabe’s anarchy which he has been justifying on the basis of the land reform programme,” Tsvangirai said, “but we think there is need to create an environment which will enhance the credibility of the region as an investment destination.” Tsvangirai said his party unreservedly condemned the violence in Mashonaland West which has displaced thousands of farm workers and cost farmers property worth over $200 million. “Zanu PF believes that looting, violence and murder are land reform, but we beg to differ. President Mugabe and his party are so desperate to cling to power that they continue to fund terror gangs to beat up people who do not support Zanu PF,” Tsvangirai said. Suspected war veterans and Zanu PF supporters razed at least 10 houses and looted property worth millions of dollars from 40 farms in the Doma, Lions Den and Mhangura areas over the weekend. Meanwhile, Welshman Ncube, the MDC secretary-general, yesterday said Zanu PF’s repeated claim that his party received foreign funds in the run-up to last year’s parliamentary election, was a desperate attempt to divert the attention of the international community from the country’s real political and economic crises.

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8/15/01 12:15:27 PM (GMT +2)


The former British colony has been plunged into economic and political crisis since February last year when self-styled war veterans, encouraged by the state, seized hundreds of white-owned farms across the country.

On Tuesday, farming officials said the situation on white farms surrounding Chinhoyi, 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Harare, was tense although police had finally moved against militants who had ransacked and looted dozens of properties. Southern African leaders acknowledged publicly for the first time on Tuesday that a crisis in Zimbabwe was causing concern and appointed a committee of presidents to help resolve Zimbabwe's problems. The leaders of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) said at an annual summit in Malawi that they were worried that the spillover effect from the Zimbabwe crisis would affect their countries. President Robert Mugabe's delegation had sought public support for its land re-distribution programme, but found SADC leaders less sympathetic. The leaders instead welcomed an initiative by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to try to end the stalemate. Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, told a news conference on Tuesday that government vehicles had been used to loot farming and household goods from white-owned properties after the owners fled from rampaging militants. The Daily News has in the last couple of years published wide-ranging allegations of corruption and mismanagement against Mugabe's 21-year-old government. In January, a bomb destroyed the paper's printing press in what the Daily News said was a politically motivated attack. No one was injured. Last August Nyarota alleged that a plot by the state Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) to kill him had failed when the hired assassin lost his nerve and revealed the details to his intended victim.

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From the Independent (UK)

Zimbabwe: New moves to airlift 25,000 Britons
By Basildon Peta in Harare and Stephen Castle in Brussels
16 August 2001

As President Robert Mugabe's campaign of terror against white farmers
continued yesterday, British and European diplomats in Harare were holding
secret talks for possible evacuation of up to 25,000 UK nationals.

Amid growing lawlessness and a crackdown on independent journalists, the
talks were held to update a contingency plan to help UK nationals and other
foreigners escape should their lives be endangered.

"Yes, it is true that we have a plan in place to help our citizens in
Zimbabwe, but I cannot disclose the details," Richard Lindsay, a diplomat at
the British High Commission in Harare, told The Independent.

Mr Lindsay dismissed the rumour sweeping Harare that British troops are
being deployed in neighbouring southern Africa countries to aid an
evacuation. "We have no troops massed around the borders of Zimbabwe at
all," he said.

The EU's contingency plans for a large-scale evacuation provides for an
armoured convoy to protect refugees travelling east into Mozambique and
south through the border town of Beitbridge into South Africa. The plans
will only be activated if conditions rapidly deteriorate and the lives of
British and other European citizens are endangered.

The most likely assembly points are Harare, Bulawayo, and Mutare in the
eastern highlands, all of which are linked by road with Mozambique's main
port, Beira.

Such a massive operation is likely to be attempted only as a last resort. If
violence continues to spread, diplomats are initially expected to help
inform and advise their nationals of the safest course of action.

Belgium, which took over the rotating presidency of the EU last month, said
yesterday that its diplomats have held at least one meeting to review the
situation on the ground and update contingency planning.

A Belgian foreign ministry spokesman described the evacuation plan as
'operational', although he added that the large number of EU nationals made
it impossible to envisage the imminent departure of the European population.
However, he said, it was "normal when a situation worsens in a specific
country that the EU embassies would give particular attention to that

In London a foreign office spokesman said: "We really don't think we've
reached the stage where large-scale evacuations are in order."

Some 25,000 British nationals are registered with the High Commission,
although there may be as many as 40,000 in the country. Other embassies
considering evacuation include Canada, which has 500 citizens, and
Australia, which has 400. Belgium says only 230 of its nationals are in the

As the situation worsened, pressure mounted on the British Government to
lead efforts to stop President Robert Mugabe from attending the Commonwealth
summit in Brisbane, Australia, in October.

Zimbabwe has made headlines in the international media in the past week over
the arrest of 22 white farmers in Chinhoyi after their clashes with illegal
settlers on their farms.

The arrests were followed by an orgy of looting by rowdy ruling Zanu-PF
party supporters. The Commercial Farmers' Union says nearly $200m worth of
property was either looted or destroyed around the Chinhoyi area in
Mashonaland, West Province. Police claim that most of the looters were farm
workers, but farmers deny this.

Mugabe is also threatened with the possible loss of aid and even sanctions
by the EU, which gave him 60 days from June to restore law and order and
guarantee that next year's elections would be fair.
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From FinGaz

Invaders wreak havoc in once thriving game parks

David Masunda DeputyEditor-in-Chief
8/16/01 9:11:05 PM (GMT +2)

MWENEZI, Masvingo —Cattle rancher Thabani Nkomo says every week he is losing
five beasts, trapped by snares set up by land invaders since the beginning
of this year.

So far, says Nkomo, his herd of 1 200 cattle has been depleted because he
has been forced to slaughter 200 cows he found trapped and severely injured
by the wire snares.

Commercial farmers and wild life ranchers in Mwenezi say thousands of
animals, including cattle, have been killed by snares mounted by landless
peasants who have invaded the area since the government’s fast-track land
reform programme gained momentum last year.

"They just don’t care whether the snare traps a kudu or a prized bull," said
Nkomo, the manager of the 33 000-hectare Mtilikwe Section of the vast
Nuanetsi Ranch.

He says it is not easy to arrest the settlers responsible for the snares
because many of them are locals who migrated to and from their rural homes
at will.

"Only last week I saw this man with a spear and something protruding from
the tip of the spear," said Lemon Ndlovu, the security officer at Nuanetsi

"When I called on him to stop, he dropped the spear and disappeared into the
bush. On closer inspection, I saw that the spear was being used to hold a
warthog that had just been killed in our ranch."

Ndlovu said the settlers, who have invaded almost all sections of the
Development Trust of Zimbabwe-owned Nuanetsi Ranch, could even be quite

He said his guards were once called for a meeting with the settlers during
which they were persuaded to lock their firearms in a room before the talks
could begin.

"The moment they locked up the three rifles, one of the villagers snatched
the keys to the room and it was a free for all, every villager began beating
the guards," said Ndlovu.

The situation was only saved by the timely arrival of the Zimbabwe Republic
Police’s Support Unit which arrested some of the villagers.

Since the beginning of the year, says Ndlovu, more than 200 settlers have
been arrested for illegally mounting snares or trapping game in the ranches
and some of them have since appeared in court.

Mwenezi district in Zimbabwe’s hot Lowveld is an area best known for the
sugar cane fields and sprawling game ranches that have in the past attracted
some of the world’s best hunters.

It is a dry area with an average rainfall of between 400 mm to 500 mm per
season. Last season though, there was a freak storm called Cyclone Eline
that swept through the region, destroying everything in its wake.

This time, another hurricane is sweeping through Mwenezi as thousands of war
veterans and supporters of the governing ZANU PF party take over cattle and
game ranches, felling trees at random and clearing huge tracts of land to
grow maize, the Zimbabwean staple food which, unknown or ignored by the
settlers, will never thrive in such a dry area.

At the appropriately named Gumunyu Babaalas Centre next to Neshuro District
Hospital, which the locals boast is the only hospital in the region with
expatriate doctors, the "comrades" and district officials are mingling and
buying each other drinks to celebrate Heroes’ Day.

There was a big party about a kilometre away a few hours before where the
villagers, the newly resettled peasants, rural district officials and the
war veterans met to celebrate the national holiday.

One young man, who had travelled all the way from Harare for the big
occasion, said unlike Chinhoyi and other violent areas, the white farmers in
Mwenezi were "quite reasonable".

He said the farmers allowed the veterans and party supporters to build their
ramshackle houses on their properties and sometimes on their doorsteps.

In certain instances, said the young man who would not say whether he also
got a piece of land, the farmers even paid for the private pegging of their

What the young man, who refused to be named, did not say was that the
farmers clearly had no choice.

Faced with the real danger of being attacked on isolated ranches far from
the police station at Mwenezi growth point, many of the farmers chose to
ride the storm hoping that by allowing the invaders to build their houses
and share the land peacefully, the long arm of the law would one day descend
on Mwenezi and evict the invaders.

Many of the farmers blame Masvingo provincial governor Josiah Hungwe for the
mess in this once lucrative game-hunting region.

Where Hungwe is concerned, both the farmers and the settlers share the same
sentiments though for different reasons.

To the war veterans and ZANU PF supporters, Hungwe is the hero who allowed
them to invade even the Save Conservancy and the numerous game and cattle
ranches in the area.

To the farmers, he is a meddlesome bureaucrat who is fomenting problems in
the region for political gain.

Nkomo, a war veteran and former freedom fighter, says what is saddening
about the whole new land reform exercise is that the settlers are trapping
animals for food with snares that cannot discriminate between a prized bull
and a rabbit.

One farm official said they had been forced to kill a trapped pedigree bull
and sell its meat for $20 000 instead of about $50 000 they usually got for
such a beast.

Charles Madonko, the managing director of the massive Nuanetsi Ranch which
at 311 000 hectares is one-tenth the size of Zimbabwe, said it was difficult
to explain to the settlers who usually attended meetings drunk that
companies such as the DTZ were Zimbabwean possessions.

But as one drives from Nuanetsi, only 10 kms from the Beitbridge border
post, to Masvingo, what is even more saddening is the wanton and
indiscriminate cutting down of trees that is evident in broad daylight as
the invaders swamp the former thriving game ranches.

Once again, one is reminded that given this type of destruction of natural
resources for unplanned new human settlements, President Robert Mugabe’s
fast-track land redistribution is a fast track to doom.

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Independent (UK)

Zimbabwe clamps down on press as newspaper claims police aided mob
By Basildon Peta in Harare
16 August 2001

Zimbabwean police arrested four journalists yesterday from Zimbabwe's only
privately owned daily newspaper, The Daily News, over a report that which
alleged that police vehicles had been used during a wave of looting of white
farms in north-eastern Zimbabwe.

The editor-in-chief, Geoff Nyarota, assistant editor Bill Saidi, news editor
John Gambanga and reporter Sam Munyavi are expected to appear in court today
on charges of "publishing false news".

Mr Nyarota was taken from his home by police at about 1am yesterday morning.
The three others were picked up yesterday afternoon.

A police spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena, said Mr Nyarota would be charged under
the Law and Order Maintenance Act. The draconian law, some of whose sections
Zimbabwe's Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional and
undemocratic, makes it an imprisonable offence to publish information that
the state may deem "likely to cause public alarm and despondency".

However, the journalists' lawyer said last night that it appeared the police
would not be able to use the controversial law, as it had been struck down
by the Supreme Court last year as unconstitutional. The police were said to
be looking at the possibility of a criminal defamation charge.

On Tuesday The Daily News alleged that police vehicles had been used by
pro-government mobs to move loot from white-owned farms in the Mhangura and
Chinhoyi districts, about 120km north-west of Harare.

The paper said the police action was part of the "well- orchestrated acts of
lawlessness" on the farms. Gangs of government supporters last week
unleashed a fresh wave of violence against white farmers in Mhangura and
Chinhoyi, ostensibly in retaliation to the alleged assault of land occupiers
by 23 farmers, who are still in police custody.

The looters made off with cattle, expensive farm equipment and household
property worth millions of dollars and forced more than 90 white families to
flee their farms.

Farmers and many other Zimbabweans criticised the police for their
lacklustre response to the lawlessness in Chinhoyi. A Commercial Farmers
Union spokeswoman, Jane Williams, said the police failed to act on all
warnings of violence. "They only responded long after the looting had taken
place. They never acted on reports of looting that they were given
beforehand," she said.

But Mr Bvudzijena said the Daily News story had falsely implied that the
police had participated in the looting and the report was designed to bring
the force into disrepute.

Farmers said yesterday that the looting spree appeared to have stopped. Paul
Hopcroft, a farmer in the Banket area near Chinhoyi, said: "It is a lot
quieter today. There does not seem to be any more looting going on. But the
families that fled their farms won't go back until all the looters have been
locked up," he added.

Journalists' unions yesterday criticised the police action, saying it was
high-handed and designed to intimidate the press. Abel Mutsakani, the
president of the Independent Journalist Association, said: "The very basis
of the police action against Nyarota, [the Law and Order Maintenance Act],
is a discredited and oppressive law that should have no place in any

"And what really is the purpose of the police pouncing on a defenceless
journalist like Nyarota in the middle of the night if this is not meant to
intimidate and strike fear into all who dare question the government's

A spokesman for the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists said the arrests
exemplified the government's desperate attempts to silence the independent

The Daily News has suffered for its criticism of the Mugabe government. In
January, its printing presses were bombed after the government called the
paper an opposition mouthpiece. The newspaper has continued to publish
smaller daily editions with a reduced print run by using private printers.

The Zimbabwean government has also expelled two foreign journalists and
banned the BBC from reporting inside the country
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Leader article Independent (UK)

The criminal acts of a power-hungry president
16 August 2001

Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, whose irrational behaviour in the
past 18 months has reduced what was once a promising country into a basket
case on the verge of total collapse, is not a man driven by hatred for
whites. Nor is he concerned about land inequity.

After all, not only did he ask whites to remain in the country after
independence, but until recently he has lived peacefully with them and even
appointed some into his Cabinet. And, during the first 19 years of his
reign, a long enough period to have dealt with the land problem legally and
responsibly, he has not raised the issue. He is driven by a fear of
multiparty democracy. He could not stand the late Joshua Nkomo when they
were both in opposition, and he unleashed terrible violence upon Nkomo
supporters, with many deaths. Peace was restored only when Mr Nkomo was
absorbed into government.

Now whites are being punished for supporting the fledgling opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC); they are also being used by a
desperate Mr Mugabe to send a message to his supporters that he is concerned
about their plight. But it is not just whites: his primary target is the
black-led MDC, which might have won last year's general election had there
not been widespread intimidation and whose leader may yet beat Mr Mugabe in
next year's presidential election. And we now see the arrest of Geoff
Nyarota, the editor of the Daily News, the only independent daily paper in
Zimbabwe, after he published a report alleging the use of police vehicles in
the looting of white farms.

Harare's twin-track strategy is to harass opposition supporters, both black
and white, in order to deter them from voting for the MDC, and to create the
impression that the government would have improved the living conditions of
blacks but for the selfishness of whites. A mass departure of whites will
inevitably reduce the MDC vote, but it will hurt the economy even more.

The international community should not allow Mr Mugabe to get away with such
criminal behaviour. Comprehensive sanctions should be imposed, and the
Commonwealth should take the lead and ban him from its next meeting. And
there should be no question about calling off this autumn's tour of Zimbabwe
by the England cricket team.
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SADC snubs Mugabe - BBC
Farm attacks spread - DTel
Zim left out in the cold - BDay
Police vehicles used in looting - DNews
From BBC News, 15 August

Southern African leaders snub Mugabe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been dealt a twin blow at a summit of Southern African leaders in Malawi. He has lost his cherished position as Chairman of the defence body of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and his peers expressed "concern at the effects of the Zimbabwean economic situation on the region". Despite intense lobbying by Zimbabwe, there was no declaration of support for Mr Mugabe in what he sees as his continuing fight against colonialism in the form of his land reform programme.

South Africa, among others, voiced concern that Mr Mugabe had abused his position in 1998 by sending troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the name of SADC without adequately consulting his neighbours. Of the 14 SADC members, only Angola and Namibia agreed to intervene in DR Congo, which recently joined the southern African body. In March, SADC leaders decided that Mr Mugabe would no longer be permanent head of the community's security organ and that it would now be a rotating position. Mozambique's President Joaqim Chissano has been named the new chair of the security organ, which has now been expressly forbidden from declaring war without the approval of a full summit of all member-countries' leaders. South Africa in particular has been badly hit by the overspill from Zimbabwe in terms of lower investor confidence in the region and a flood of economic refugees.

Meanwhile, Mr Mugabe told a Nigerian newspaper that he was confident that Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo could "save the situation" in Zimbabwe and defuse tensions between Harare and London over land reform and violence against white farmers, many of whom have UK origins. Mr Obasanjo was also Nigeria's leader in the 1970s, when Mr Mugabe was fighting white minority rule in the then Rhodesia and he said: "I always remind President Obasanjo that: 'You are the master. I learnt from you the act of fighting the white man'." Nigeria is due to chair Commonwealth talks on the Zimbabwe crisis in September.

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change, has voiced fears that the violence seen in the past week around Chinhoyi will spread across the country as presidential elections set for April 2002 draw near. "I am very certain this is going to be replicated. Mugabe believes the MDC's success depends on white support, so whites are attacked is an obsession," he said. "What is happening on the farms is going to engulf us all." On Tuesday, Chinhoyi farmers said that, contrary to police claims to have restored calm, they were still under attack from a gang of up to 250 self-styled "war veterans". They said that 100 farms in the area had now been trashed and pillaged. Meanwhile, Germany has joined the list of countries condemning the latest outbreak of violence in Zimbabwe. A statement from the foreign ministry said: "The government calls expressly on the government in Harare to do everything in its power to end the violence quickly". On Monday, the US expressed its concern at "the level of political violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe".
From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 15 August

Zimbabwe mobs widen attacks on white farmers

Harare - Mobs loyal to President Robert Mugabe looted 10 more properties yesterday as the onslaught against Zimbabwe's white farmers spread to a new area. The Makonde area was targeted for a looting spree that brought the number of farms ransacked to 50. More than 300 women and children have now been evacuated from about 100 properties. After a brief respite on Monday, during which pressure eased on Doma-Mhangura area, 100 miles north-west of Harare, the mobs moved south to Makonde. The latest turmoil was sparked by a clash between farmers and squatters on Alaska farm, near Chinhoyi, early last week. About 15 landowners were arrested and charged with assault. Another six were later arrested when they visited Chinhoyi police station to deliver blankets to the captives - two are in their 70s - as protection against the winter cold. The 21 are still being held. A magistrate has denied them bail. The high court has yet to hear an appeal against the ruling.

In the Commercial Farmers' Union office in Chinhoyi yesterday, reports of attacks jammed the radio. "There's been a lot of action," said David Rockingham-Gill, a CFU representative. "Looting is continuing." Women and children have fled the affected areas. Most of the men have stayed and are sleeping in "safe houses". They conduct observation patrols, cataloguing the trail of destruction. The opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, lashed out at Mr Mugabe's government yesterday, accusing the mobs - controlled by the ruling Zanu PF party – of creating a "refugee crisis" by forcing farmers and their workers out of their homes. "We now have anarchy in Zimbabwe," he added. His words were echoed by Tony Leon, the opposition leader in neighbouring South Africa, who said "full-scale ethnic cleansing" was now under way in Zimbabwe.

Yesterday's edition of the Herald, Zimbabwe's official daily, said the police were curbing the looting and that 40 arrests had been made. Yet most of those picked up have been farm workers. Landowners say the real looters have been ignored and labourers scapegoated. In the Wedza area, 60 miles south-east of Harare, at least 400 workers and their families have been evicted from farms. Gangs are taking over their homes, with no police intervention. In the areas targeted by mobs, many workers have gone to extraordinary lengths to protect their employers' property. Some have hidden valuables in the bush.

One farmer said: "Some of these workers have been heroic. Most are terrified and have done their best to stop the vandalism." Scores of farm workers have been assaulted. About 28 have been murdered since Mr Mugabe's campaign of land invasions began early last year. South Africa said yesterday that it intended to outlaw land seizures in an effort to prevent Zimbabwe-style invasions. The move follows a highly politicised occupation of a dusty patch of land by thousands of squatters near Johannesburg last month.
From Business Day (SA), 15 August

Zimbabwe left out in the cold on Mbeki's plan

Zimbabwe’s pride as a regional super power was badly dented yesterday when Harare was left out of a key pan-African leadership committee to drive the continent's economic rebirth. At the conclusion of the summit meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Botswana's Festus Mogae and Mozambique's Joaquim Chissano were nominated to join SA's President Thabo Mbeki on the 15-nation committee of heads of state to direct the Millennium Partnership for African Recovery (Map). Map is Mbeki's brainchild to forge a partnership with the west to help shore up Africa's economic revival.

In Map, African leaders pledge to respect human rights and adhere to good political and economic governance in exchange for a call for debt relief, better market access and aid from developed nations. In a departure from previous summits, Mugabe failed to get the clear backing of SADC leaders, who yesterday instead expressed "concern (about) the effects of the Zimbabwe economic situation on the region" and signalling their readiness to "engage in dialogue" with Zimbabwean authorities and partners to resolve the situation. They also set up a task team including SA, Botswana and Mozambique to help Zimbabwe tackle the crisis.

The last summit asked Mbeki and Bakili Muluzi of Malawi now the SADC chairman to help lobby the UK government to support Zimbabwe land reform. This year's outcome contrasts sharply with last year's, which saw President Robert Mugabe winning crucial backing, including from his erstwhile ally, Nelson Mandela. Then, the SADC leadership threw its weight behind Zimbabwe, which faced the threat of economic sanctions from the US. A bill has been tabled by the new administration in the US to pressure Zimbabwe into restoring the rule of law.

As expected, Mugabe gave up the chairmanship of the SADC's Organ for Politics, Defence and Security, which he has chaired since its inception, to Chissano, making the Mozambican leader one of the region's heavy hitters. But Mugabe will stay as part of a troika of leaders, including Tanzania's Benjamin Mkapa, running the highly contested organ. In terms of new procedures, Mugabe will stay part of the triumvirate responsible for troubleshooting until August next year. He has played a significant role in the liberation of other SADC countries, including SA, as a leader of the "frontline states" the organ's predecessor.

Thanks to controversy and personality clashes, the organ, a potentially powerful instrument to deal with conflict in the region, has remained inoperative for most of its life, reducing Mugabe, as its chairman, to a figure-head. An official from Botswana, which was earlier tipped to take over from Zimbabwe, said last night that capacity constraints might have militated against this. Botswana also heads the Commonwealth ministerial action group, a key troubleshooter. Crucially, the SADC leaders noted that another great challenge was the issue of land reform and "noted the urgent need to share strategies and experiences with a view to adopting common approaches and strategies". This came amid a fresh round of invasions in Zimbabwe and recent isolated invasions in SA.
From The Daily News, 14 August

Police vehicles used in farm looting spree

In well-orchestrated acts of lawlessness, in which police vehicles were allegedly used, suspected Zanu PF supporters and war veterans burned at least 10 houses and looted property worth millions of dollars from 40 farms in the Doma, Lions Den and Mhangura areas between Saturday and yesterday. A Daily News team witnessed the looting of Mhungwe Farm in Mhangura yesterday afternoon. At Palm Tree Farm, eight people tried to stab Ronnie Strathers, 71, before other farmers came to his rescue. Another farmer who refused to be named said Kelvin Nel, of Temperly Farm in the same area, yesterday spotted a group of about 60 looters loading stolen bags of fertiliser onto a truck belonging to the farm. They fled when they realised they had been caught red-handed. The looters got away with $3 million worth of agricultural chemicals and 5 000 litres of diesel from the farm.

One farmer said the main house at Kalami Farm in the Doma area was torched on Saturday and most of the farmers were forced to evacuate their wives and children to safety as the farm violence escalated. At least 60 families were evacuated from the Makonde District. The police spokesman, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, yesterday confirmed the lawlessness on the farms and said 12 people have been arrested in connection with the looting. Speaking on ZBC-TV, Bvudzijena said the police had increased the number of mobile support units in the area and he appealed "to the nation" to desist from looting. A spokesman for the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) on Saturday said: "There was an evacuation of women and children. Some flew out, others drove out. They were all accounted for." The CFU said by Saturday, $167 million worth of buildings and property had been destroyed on nine farms by the rampaging mobs. On ZBC-TV on Sunday, John Nkomo, the Zanu PF national chairman and Minister of Home Affairs, said there was a criminal element among the war veterans and Zanu PF supporters spearheading the violence and looting on the farms.

Yesterday, a farmer in the Mhangura area, who refused to be identified, said: "They are stealing maize and carrying away fertiliser. We hear that there are busloads that have been brought in. The situation is terrible. Some of them are driving around in police vehicles. They are taking furniture, television sets and video cassette recorders and throwing them into swimming pools." On Saturday, a mob besieged Jeremy Brown in his house at Piringani Farm for about six hours, threatening to shoot him. He was rescued by colleagues after the police failed to respond to calls for help. At Chifundi Farm, the invaders broke into the house of the farm owner’s mother, a widow in her 70s. and looted nearly all the household property, before they were disturbed by other farmers. The current wave of attacks started last week as 21 farmers appeared in the Chinhoyi magistrates’ court charged with public violence after a clash with illegal settlers at Listonshields Farm in the Chinhoyi area. The farmers were remanded in custody to 24 August by senior magistrate Godfrey Gwaka last Friday. Lawyers representing the farmers failed to file an urgent bail application with the High Court because there was no one to receive their papers at the Attorney-General’s Office on Saturday.
From ZWNEWS - We understand that Geoff Nyarota, the editor of the Daily News was last night arrested and charged with "mailicious intent" for suggesting in the above report that police vehicles were used in the looting.
From ZWNEWS, 15 August

The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA)
A brief explanation

If you have read the state-owned newspapers over recent weeks, listened to ZBC, or watched ZTV, you would think that the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) – recently passed by the US Senate, and currently under consideration by the House of Representatives – is concerned with imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe, like those that were imposed on the pre-1980 Rhodesian government. You would be mistaken. It suits the government to foster this false impression, to garner sympathy for itself, to present Zimbabwe as the underdog being bullied by the United States. The ZDERA, however, is short and to the point. It makes an offer to the Zimbabwe government. Whether this offer is put into operation - or not - depends on a test.

The offer
To undertake a review of the sovereign debt owed by Zimbabwe to the United States and any of its agencies with a view to restructuring, rescheduling, or eliminating that debt. To instruct the US representative at multilateral development banks and financial institutions (such as the World Bank and the IMF) to propose that they also consider restructuring, rescheduling or eliminating Zimbabwe’s foreign debt, and provide financial support for the stabilisation of the Zimbabwe dollar and the recovery of Zimbabwe’s economy. To establish a Southern Africa Finance Centre, located in Zimbabwe, to facilitate commercial projects in Zimbabwe and the region. To financially support equitable, legal, and transparent land reform in line with the 1998 International Donors’ Conference.

The test

In order for the offer to be put into operation, the US President must justify to the US Senate and House of Representatives that :
1. The rule of law has been restored to Zimbabwe, including respect for property rights, freedom of speech and association, and an end to lawlessness, violence and intimidation sponsored by the government, the ruling party, and their supporters.
2. a. Either a presidential election has been held that is widely accepted as having been free and fair by independent international monitors, and the president-elect is free to assume his office; or,
    b. If this certification is made before the presidential election takes place, that the pre-election period is consistent with international standards to allow free campaigning by the candidates for presidential office.
3.  The Zimbabwe government has committed itself to an equitable, legal and transparent land reform programme consistent with the agreements reached at the International Donors’ Conference of 1998.
4.  The Zimbabwe government has shown good faith in trying to implement the terms of the Lusaka Accord to end the war in the Congo.
5.  The armed services and the police are responsible to, and serve, the elected civilian government.

If the US President can justify that this test has been met, then the offer will be put into operation.

It's as simple as that. What the ZDERA says to President Mugabe is this – restore the rule of law, hold a free and fair election (including a free and fair pre-election campaign period), accept that land reform has to be legal, non-violent and transparent in line with previous agreements, do as much as you can to withdraw Zimbabwean troops form the Congo, and stop misusing the police and the army for Zanu PF’s own ends, and there are benefits.

However, until the test has been met, no part of the offer will be put into effect, and the US representatives at the IMF, World Bank, etc will be instructed to oppose any of the financial benefits set out in the offer. But this is not a sanction, since the Zimbabwe government has already, by its own actions, alienated itself from these institutions. Zimbabwe is already in financial default, and IMF and World Bank funding will not resume until political and economic stability is restored - whether the ZDERA is passed or not. Humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe will not be affected, and the ZDERA also authorises the US President to support an independent free press and electronic media, and democracy and good governance programmes, in Zimbabwe.
The only sanctions in the ZDERA are specific and targeted. The final section of the legislation reads as follows:

It is the sense of Congress that the President should begin immediate consultation with the governments of European Union member states, Canada, and other appropriate foreign countries on ways in which to:
(1) identify and share information regarding individuals responsible for the deliberate breakdown of the rule of law, politically motivated violence, and intimidation in Zimbabwe;
(2) identify assets of those individuals held outside Zimbabwe;
(3) implement travel and economic sanctions against those individuals and their associates and families; and
(4) provide for the eventual removal or amendment of those sanctions.

This last section is what the ruling elite really fears. This will hurt them personally, and that is why they are threatening a state of emergency if the ZDERA is approved by the US House of Representatives and signed into law by the US President.
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United States Senate
Date posted:Wed 15-Aug-2001
Date published:Wed 15-Aug-2001 

The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act
S 494 RS
Calendar No. 90
1st Session
S. 494
March 8, 2001
Mr. FRIST (for himself, Mr. FEINGOLD, Mr. HELMS, Mrs. CLINTON, and Mr. BIDEN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
July 16, 2001
Reported by Mr. BIDEN, with an amendment
To provide for a transition to democracy and to promote economic recovery in Zimbabwe.
This Act may be cited as the `Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001'.
It is the policy of the United States to support the people of Zimbabwe in their struggle to effect peaceful, democratic change, achieve broad-based and equitable economic growth, and restore the rule of law.
In this Act:
(1) INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS- The term `international financial institutions' means the multilateral development banks and the International Monetary Fund.
(2) MULTILATERAL DEVELOPMENT BANKS- The term `multilateral development banks' means the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Association, the International Finance Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Investment Corporation, the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency.
(a) FINDINGS- Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Through economic mismanagement, undemocratic practices, and the costly deployment of troops to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Government of Zimbabwe has rendered itself ineligible to participate in International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Monetary Fund programs, which would otherwise be providing substantial resources to assist in the recovery and modernization of Zimbabwe's economy. The people of Zimbabwe have thus been denied the economic and democratic benefits envisioned by the donors to such programs, including the United States.
(2) In September 1999 the IMF suspended its support under a `Stand By Arrangement', approved the previous month, for economic adjustment and reform in Zimbabwe.
(3) In October 1999, the International Development Association (in this section referred to as the `IDA') suspended all structural adjustment loans, credits, and guarantees to the Government of Zimbabwe.
(4) In May 2000, the IDA suspended all other new lending to the Government of Zimbabwe.
(5) In September 2000, the IDA suspended disbursement of funds for ongoing projects under previously-approved loans, credits, and guarantees to the Government of Zimbabwe.
(b) SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY- Upon receipt by the appropriate congressional committees of a certification described in subsection (d), the following shall apply:
The Secretary of the Treasury shall--
(A) undertake a review of the feasibility of restructuring, rescheduling, or eliminating the sovereign debt of Zimbabwe held by any agency of the United States Government;
(B) direct the United States executive director of each multilateral development bank to propose that the bank should undertake a review of the feasibility of restructuring, rescheduling, or eliminating the sovereign debt of Zimbabwe held by that bank; and
(C) direct the United States executive director of each international financial institution to which the United States is a member to propose to undertake financial and technical support for Zimbabwe, especially support that is intended to promote Zimbabwe's economic recovery and development, the stabilization of the Zimbabwean dollar, and the viability of Zimbabwe's democratic institutions.
(2) ESTABLISHMENT OF A SOUTHERN AFRICA FINANCE CENTER- The President should direct the establishment of a Southern Africa Finance Center located in Zimbabwe that will include regional offices of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and the Trade and Development Agency for the purpose of facilitating the development of commercial projects in Zimbabwe and the southern Africa region.
(c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- Until the President makes the certification described in subsection (d), and except as may be required to meet basic human needs or for good governance, the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against--
(1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or
(2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.
CONDITIONS ARE SATISFIED- A certification under this subsection is a certification transmitted to the appropriate congressional committees of a determination made by the President that the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) RESTORATION OF THE RULE OF LAW- The rule of law has been restored in Zimbabwe, including respect for ownership and title to property, freedom of speech and association, and an end to the lawlessness, violence, and intimidation sponsored, condoned, or tolerated by the Government of Zimbabwe, the ruling party, and their supporters or entities.
(2) ELECTION OR PRE-ELECTION CONDITIONS- Either of the following two conditions is satisfied:
(A) PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION- Zimbabwe has held a presidential election that is widely accepted as free and fair by independent international monitors, and the president-elect is free to assume the duties of the office.
(B) PRE-ELECTION CONDITIONS- In the event the certification is made before the presidential election takes place, the Government of Zimbabwe has sufficiently improved the pre-election environment to a degree consistent with accepted international standards for security and freedom of movement and association.
(3) COMMITMENT TO EQUITABLE, LEGAL, AND TRANSPARENT LAND REFORM- The Government of Zimbabwe has demonstrated a commitment to an equitable, legal, and transparent land reform program consistent with agreements reached at the International Donors' Conference on Land Reform and Resettlement in Zimbabwe held in Harare, Zimbabwe, in September 1998.
(4) FULFILLMENT OF AGREEMENT ENDING WAR IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO- The Government of Zimbabwe is making a good faith effort to fulfill the terms of the Lusaka, Zambia, agreement on ending the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
(5) MILITARY AND NATIONAL POLICE SUBORDINATE TO CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT- The Zimbabwean Armed Forces, the National Police of Zimbabwe, and other state security forces are responsible to and serve the elected civilian government.
(e) WAIVER- The President may waive the provisions of subsection (b) or subsection (c), if the President determines that it is in the national interest of the United States to do so.
(a) IN GENERAL- The President is authorized to provide assistance under part I and chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to--
(1) support an independent and free press and electronic media in Zimbabwe;
(2) support equitable, legal, and transparent mechanisms of land reform in Zimbabwe, including the payment of costs related to the acquisition of land and the resettlement of individuals, consistent with the International Donors' Conference on Land Reform and Resettlement in Zimbabwe held in Harare, Zimbabwe, in September 1998, or any subsequent agreement relating thereto; and
(3) for democracy and governance programs in Zimbabwe.
(b) FUNDING- Of the funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out part I and chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 for fiscal year 2002--
(1) $20,000,000 is authorized to be available to provide the assistance described in subsection (a)
(2); and
(2) $6,000,000 is authorized to be available to provide the assistance described in subsection (a)
(c) SUPERSEDES OTHER LAWS- The authority in this section supersedes any other provision of law.
It is the sense of Congress that the President should begin immediate consultation with the governments of European Union member states, Canada, and other appropriate foreign countries on ways in which to--
(1) identify and share information regarding individuals responsible for the deliberate breakdown of the rule of law, politically motivated violence, and intimidation in Zimbabwe;
(2) identify assets of those individuals held outside Zimbabwe;
(3) implement travel and economic sanctions against those individuals and their associates and families; and
(4) provide for the eventual removal or amendment of those sanctions.
Calendar No. 90 
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CIO accused of complicity

8/16/01 9:03:25 PM (GMT +2)

BULAWAYO — The Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) has accused state security
agents of complicity in the brutal assault last week of Matabeleland North
rancher David Joubert, who is now facing charges of attempted murder.

CFU president Colin Cloete said Joubert was attacked by a mob of between 45
and 60 people, who he said included the officer in-charge of Inyathi police
station, officers of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and war

"Dave Joubert called for support from the police only to be assaulted by
them," Cloete said in a statement.

"I make a heartfelt plea to the ministers and the police chiefs who took an
oath of allegiance to protect all citizens of Zimbabwe to swiftly and
decisively avoid further destruction of property."
He estimated damage on the farm, including that to workers’ compounds, which
were burned to the ground, at $300 000.

Joubert, speaking from his hospital bed at Inyathi where he was taken after
the assault, said: "It is clear to see the hand of the CIO and other state
security agents in this. I was clobbered with a hammer in front of the
police and they just stood and watched the thugs pummel me.

"They are now charging me with attempted murder when I was not even on the
farm when the war veterans clashed with farm guards. I understand the police
have got orders to deal with me. They want us to flee our farms so that they
grab the land."

Police officials yesterday said they could not comment on the matter because
it was now before the courts.

Joubert, who suffered a concussion, loss of sight and high blood pressure
after the assault, has been remanded out of custody to September 10 and
ordered to surrender his travel documents.

—Staff Reporter

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Zim health system ranked worst in the world

Staff Reporter
8/16/01 9:05:23 PM (GMT +2)

ZIMBABWE’S health delivery system has been ranked the worst in the world by
the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the situation is expected to
deteriorate further as junior doctors and nurses this week dug in their
positions on demands for better working conditions and salaries that have
led to a long-drawn strike.

According to the August 11 issue of the British Medical Journal, Zimbabwe
was ranked last out of 191 countries surveyed by the WHO and even performed
worse than fellow southern African countries such as the Democratic Republic
of the Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia.

The WHO report attributed the poor health records in Zimbabwe, Zambia and
the DRC to the effects of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, as well as civil
unrest in the former Zaire.

Zimbabwe has one of the highest prevalence of HIV and AIDS cases in the
world, with at least one in four adults said to be carrying the disease.

Health experts put the number of AIDS-related deaths at more than 2 000 a

Zimbabwe’s public health delivery system, once regarded as a shining example
to the continent, is bleeding from years of neglect and inadequate funding
by the government.

Government critics say most of the funds for health and other social sectors
have been diverted to finance Zimbabwe’s costly military intervention in the
DRC war, where Harare has been fighting alongside Namibia and Angola to
repel rebels that want to topple the Congolese administration of President
Joseph Kabila.

The cash-strapped Zimbabwe government says it has spent more than $10
billion in the former Zaire since the war broke out in August 1998, but most
economic analysts and international aid agencies say the actual cost is
probably 10 times more.

The WHO report cited government spending as an important factor in the
quality of a country’s health delivery system but added that other issues
like the diet also played a part in the population’s health.

The WHO report was released as efforts this week to break the deadlock
between the government and Zimbabwe’s junior doctors and nurses over a
three-week-old strike came to nought.

The strike has virtually paralysed the country’s public health delivery
system, with the country’s main referral hospitals only handling serious
illnesses and referring other patients to council-run clinics.

Efforts to get comment from the authorities at Harare Central and
Parirenyatwa hospitals were fruitless yesterday but hospital sources say up
to 100 patients have died countrywide due to neglect as the health
professionals and the government bicker over salaries and better working

The situation yesterday remained desperate at the health institutions as
most nurses and junior doctors ignored pleas by the government to return to

Patients could be seen trooping back home without receiving attention at the
two Harare hospitals while those lucky enough to be attended to had to
endure long waiting periods before getting treatment.

"We have been told to go back because they say they don’t have adequate
staff," one patient, Derek Mandizha, told the Financial Gazette as he left
the casualty department at Harare Hospital.

The Hospital Doctors Association, an umbrella body for doctors working in
government-run institutions, said it was not going to call off the
industrial action unless the state-run Public Service Commission (PSC) which
employs all state workers acceded to its demands for better working
conditions and salaries.

"We have been having meetings with the Ministry of Health but it’s the PSC
that we would like to meet because they are our employer," Mandega said.

He accused the PSC of avoiding the junior doctors and trying to buy time
while the country’s health system bleeds.

No comment was available from the PSC but Deputy Health Minister David
Parirenyatwa told the Financial Gazette that the government was prepared to
review the strikers’ grievances but only if the health professionals
returned to work.

He said his ministry would soon organise an all-stakeholders’ meeting that
would address the grievances of all players in the health sector but said
that would depend on whether the striking doctors agree to resume work.

"Eventually we would want to have a commission separate from the PSC so that
all health professionals would operate outside the public service,"
Parirenyatwa said.

The Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) this week rejected Parirenya-twa’s
suggestion that they return to work before the matter is resolved.
Parirenyatwa met the nurses in Harare on Tuesday.

"The members felt that the ministry and PSC must first address our
grievances before we return to work," ZINA president Stella Zengwa said

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